Leslie Pearlman, founder and director of Good Ground Yoga, is a Forrest Yoga Mentor Teacher and Guardian with more than 20 years teaching experience and is registered with Yoga Alliance at the highest level (E-RYT 500). She is widely known for her radiant energy as well as her compassion, support, humor and warmth. Leslie has the unique ability to help her students reach their personal best and go deep without compromising form and integrity. She has taught thousands of students in New York City and the Hamptons and conducts workshops nationally and internationally. She is a well-known assistant to Ana Forrest, the founder of Forrest Yoga, and assists her with workshops across the country. Leslie is one of the most senior Forrest Yoga teachers in the world. In fact there are less than 10 teachers world-wide who have been given this honor of guarding the legacy of Forrest Yoga.
Prior to teaching yoga full-time, Leslie was an attorney at Brooklyn Legal Services where she provided legal assistance to domestic violence survivors. It was through this work that Leslie saw the connection between personal empowerment and self-healing. This link is at the heart of Leslie’s teaching. She has a deep conviction that yoga can help you observe how you’re treating yourself and those around you.
Leslie understands how to use yoga therapeutically and is creative in developing modifications for all her students. Her classes move people deeply. Leslie has the uncanny ability to see where students are blocked and help them move forward and heal.
Erica was born and bred on long Island. After dabbling with a few classes here or there, Erica found her home at Good Ground Yoga. Having discovered the transfromative impact that yoga had to her body and soul, Erica knew she wanted to pass this forward to students of her own. Erica is a Level 1 Certified Forrest Yoga Teacher and a graduate of Good Ground Yoga’s 200-hour Teacher Training Program and GGY’s Mentoring Program. With a young spirit and soul, Erica is a big believer in breath work and awakening the core. Her playful spirit shines through in her classes inspiring her students to grow both on and off the mat.
Amy took her first Forrest Yoga class at Good Ground Yoga and that day marked the start of her yoga journey. Through her practice she has learned to breathe deeply and connect to feeling. More importantly, Amy has felt the transformational effects yoga has in all aspects of her life on and off the mat. She recently completed GGY’s 200 hour Teacher Training and continues to enrich her practice with ongoing education. She is currently under the mentorship of Leslie Pearlman. She hopes to help others find their yoga path by guiding them in a practice that develops their skills in connecting to their strength and feeling in their body.
Mary Sabo is Long Island Native, who fell in love with yoga after taking her first class on a whim one day in New York City during college. Mary was no stranger to movement as she grew up dancing and left Marymount Manhattan College with a B.A. in Theater Performance and a minor in Musical Theater.
She continued to practice yoga into her twenties and found the benefits of a consistent practice were abundant, not just physically but also mentally and spiritually as well. Eventually she knew she wanted to share the practice of yoga with others and in 2014 she completed the 300-hour, nine-month teacher-training program with Lois Nesbitt and Jessica Bellofatto at Kama Deva Studio in East Hampton, N.Y. While working to get certified she also researched and wrote her masters thesis, Yoga to Benefit High-Stakes Test Anxiety, focusing on research that targeted yoga-specific benefits to American public school students when practiced regularly before taking high-stakes tests.
Mary’s goal as an instructor is to make yoga accessible and enjoyable while proving that it truly is a practice for all!
Hilary Woodward is a certified Forrest Yoga Instructor and has taught since 2005. She has also practiced meditation since 1975. Both yoga and meditation inspire her to be strong, present, awake and open. Hilary brings to students joy, humor and a passion for the transformative effects of a dedicated yoga practice. She helps students seek the true teacher within through breath and movement. Guiding her students to a mindful, self-compassionate yoga practice helps them take these qualities off the mat and into everyday life. Hilary has a BS in Education. Her instructional expertise is drawn from classroom teaching, school directorship, choir directing, knitting instruction and dance calling. She spends time organic growing, cooking, knitting, sewing, writing, hiking, cycling, and , of course, on her mat. But, not all at once! She lives in Southampton with her husband Eric. They have two grown daughters, Lucy and Emma.
Kaitlin took her first yoga class at age 14, hoping to ease anxiety, heal from anxiety and an eating disorder, and build strength in a new way. After exploring various styles and teachers since 2005, she fell in love with Forrest Yoga in 2011 and completed her 200-hour teacher training in a Forrest-inspired Vinyasa style at Good Ground Yoga’s first teacher training in May 2014. Kaitlin’s classes focus on healthy alignment, deep breathing, building strength, and creating space and freedom in the body and mind. Kaitlin uses creativity, warmth, humor, and challenging pose sequences to create a welcoming, yet intense, class specific to each student’s needs at any level. Kaitlin is also a certified fitness trainer and holds an A.S. and B.S. in Biology, a M.S. in Nutrition, and is currently working on her M.A. in Marine Conservation and Policy at Stony Brook University.
Laura took her first Forrest Yoga class in 2012 and has been hooked ever since. A recent graduate of Good Ground Yoga’s 200 hour teacher training program, Laura teaches a style of Vinyasa Flow deeply inspired by Forrest Yoga. She has continued her yoga education by attending the Forrest Yoga Symposium in 2013 as well as attending workshops with Ana Forrest learning how to assist students in a more healing way. Laura comes from a decade long career in healthcare before switching gears and now works as a designer in Bridgehampton, NY. Her education and background is apparent in her classes giving her students clear direction and compassion while having fun! “Yoga has been one of the most transformational experiences of my life. It has taught me the relationship between the mind and body and given me the gift of breath”. This has given Laura the ability to not only let go of stress and achieve personal balance but given her the gift to lead her students down the same path.
Mary Brennan has been trained with over 300 hours of Yoga and Meditation. She received her training for Yoga4cancer at Kripalu. At the Open Center in New York City, she received training in Meditation and Contemporary Studies. Mary has also been trained by Judith Hanson Lasater in Restorative Yoga. She is also trained in Yoga Nidra, Chair Yoga, Gentle Yoga and Yin Yoga. Mary has taught yoga at Four Winds Hospitals, Cross River, NY as well as in yoga studios and many others wonderful places. She loves teaching and sharing yoga with others, so they too can also feel the amazing benefits of Yoga.
Denizzie Kearns, RYT 200 is a daily practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga. She believes in the integrity of the systematic approach and intelligence of the Ashtanga system and believes that taking care of the body and mind is the key to living a balanced life and continuing evolving. She hopes everyone can find not only a relationship with the asana practice, but also a relationship to the Self by showing up to the mat daily as she emphasizes the importance of consistence in our daily life.
“Showing up to a mat often times is not what I think I need at that moment. However, the devotion and commitment to my practice have taught me how to appreciate the greatest lessons of life: to observe the true nature of what is happening within myself. At the end of my practice I feel stronger both physically and mentally and have the ability to face challenges head on with clarity and courage. I am honored to share with my students what I have learned from my daily studies of yoga and from my beloved teachers. As a teacher (on and off the mat) I hope to continue to serve the community by guiding and inspiring my students the same way a chain of teachers has always inspired me. I credit my beloved sons for being my gurus in this path and my husband with all the support. I bow down to the lineage and all my teachers, past, present and future.
Mary Broidy came to yoga after the sudden loss of her brother and then 9/11. Mary is a trained economist and worked next to the World Trade Center and has embarked on a healing journey ever since. She moved out to Southampton for the beauty and strong yoga community and followed a path that took her to India (and Italy) to study Ashtanga yoga with Lino Miele and then eventually wtih Sri K. Pattabi Jois, Saraswati, and Sharat. The disciplined practice of the Ashtanga tradition resonated with Mary’s wildly analytical mind and the physical nature of the flowing practice. Mary was drawn to the rich traditions of classical Hindu philsophy, meditation, chanting, and was eventually certified by the International Sivananda Vedanta Center in Neyyar Dam, India. She also became certified by Beryl Bender Birch’s Hard and Soft Yoga institute and also studied teacher training under Richard Freeman. Mary was also influenced by Ashtanga teachers: Stacy Platt, Christopher Hildenbrandt, Eddie Stern, and Manju Jois. To continue study of the body and to enrich the one on one experience, Mary became a personal trainer with NASM and AFFA, She recently returned to her former employer as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, where she helps her clients create goals-based wealth managements strategies. (www.strongbodysteadymind.com).