Who We Are

Are you ready to live a life that you are most proud of?  

We believe in the transformative practice of yoga.  We believe that each person is unique.  We come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities.  We believe that each student brings to the yoga mat their own story, history, and experiences.  This is why we approach each student with wonder and reverence.  Our job at Good Ground Yoga is to make each student feel safe, well cared for and personally tended to. 

Our fundamental mission is to help our students better understand their body and nervous system, build both physical and emotional strength and resilience and learn to accept themselves 100%.



Leslie Pearlman

Leslie Leslie Pearlman, founder, and director of Good Ground Yoga is a Forrest Yoga Mentor Teacher and Guardian with more than 20 years of 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 worldwide 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.




How would you define your yoga teaching style?
It is a Forrest yoga-inspired class for sure but I always look to empower my students by creating classes that build strength and show them that they are capable of much more than they think. I try to think outside of the box and offer classes that are unique and fun.

What do you love about teaching yoga?
Yoga is a gift, and I love that I have the ability to share that gift with all of my students. As a teacher, it is so rewarding to watch your students grow and learn on and off the mat. That I think is the best part about teaching yoga.

How has yoga changed your life?
I don’t think I can really put into words all of the great things yoga has done for me. On a physical level, I have never felt more connected to my body. On an emotional level, I feel grounded, more level headed and a sense of equanimity. BUT my spiritual growth has really been what has changed my life. Learning about the philosophy of yoga, where it all comes from and what it is all about has been a game-changer for me and singing kirtan has helped me once again find my voice.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?
Breath Formula! One of the pinnacle principles of a Forrest yoga practice and one I have come to love. I truly breathe before words leave my mouth and before I react to any situation.
Also, Yoga is about community and building community is something I work hard to achieve, whether that is with my yoga family or my work family.
And finally, I try to see everyone as a spirit soul, seeing the good in people even when they don’t see it in themselves. I truly believe that everyone has a piece of the divine within them and if you see every person that way; that is one of the best ways to practice yoga off the mat.

Training and Certifications
200 YTT Good Ground Yoga 2014
500 YTT The Funky Om 2019




How would you define your teaching style?
My teaching style is ever-changing, like the seasons. Right now: slow and mindful with lots of room to explore what is happening in the emotional body.

What do you love about teaching yoga?
Connection. I absolutely LOVE witnessing people in their bodies and exploring what’s happening in the present moment.

How has yoga changed your life?
Through the practice and teaching of yoga, I have become more present and clear with who I am and what I am put here to do.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?
Through being my authentic self. My practice has allowed me to see my shadows and embrace that as part and parcel of the whole package.

Training and certifications
Prana Shakti Flow 200hr
Anusara 50hr
Advanced Chakra TT with Todd Norian & Anodea Judith 50hr
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner 950hr
Laughing Lotus 150hr
Jamste Yin Yoga 160hr
Reiki Level 3 Practitioner
Past Life Practitioner
Certified Life Coach
C-IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists)


Angie Simeti

How would you define your yoga teaching style?
My teaching style is about connection and safety. Without establishing this and nurturing it any kind of healing (physical, somatic, emotional, mental, or spiritual) cannot truly begin. 

What do you love about teaching yoga?
I love the connections we make across communities.  I love that the love we cultivate inwardly extends outward.

How has yoga changed your life?
The practice as a whole has become a safe haven for me to connect with and nurture the deepest parts of myself that need healing. It is how I connect with myself when nothing else makes sense- it is the constant saving grace in this incarnation.

How do you practice off the mat?
My practice helps to keep me in my body during times of strife and stress.

BA in Neuropsychology
200-hour yoga training with Always-at-Aum Yoga School 
300-hour yoga teacher training at The Funky Om


Hilary Woodward

How would you define your yoga teaching style?
Easy Going, Caring, Friendly and Smart

What do you love about teaching yoga?
I am a trained classroom early childhood teacher so I really like actually teaching how to do poses safely. I love the “aha” moment when a student feels a new opening or stance that gives them a door through which they can grow in their yoga practice. I love connecting people with their bodies by helping them to attain mindfulness in practicing the poses. That way they can begin to light up and receive the wonderful benefits of yoga.

How has yoga changed your life?
I started yoga to do some wonderful stretching to counter balance an intense cycling routine.Yoga went beyond a physical practice for me and has given me a way to safe passage out of old physical wounds I had managed to accrue over many years. But even better, it has helped me release emotional wounds I didn’t even know I had been dragging around.

How do you practice off the mat?
The main thing I use off the mat is a slow deep breath in situations where I might have a quick retort.
By the time I begin to exhale, I am grounded and open rather than defensive and closed. I also use my breath to tap into my own experience of joyful calm when surrounded by loved ones. For me, the breath is the most important tool grown from years of practice.

Certified Forrest Yoga Teacher 2005


Marcus LaPiana

How would you define your yoga teaching style?
I teach vinyasa flow.

What do you love about teaching yoga?
I love helping others to “ground” themselves and connect to their spiritual and highest self.

How has yoga changed your life?
Yoga has changed my life by keeping me grounded and connected to my highest self.

How do you practice off the mat?
I practice yoga off the mat by practicing what I preach, regular meditations, helping those in need when I can, living a positive life and always just being aware of the energy I send out through words, thought and actions.

C200 ytt certified, Reiki certified, Hot 26 certified, Yin certified, Personal fitness trainer certification, certified in youth fitness, certified in exercise therapy, certified in fitness nutrition.

Mary Sabo


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!