meet the teachers
Prem Sadasivananda, a scholar of Vedantic Philosophy, Hindu Scripture and Sanskrit, is well-known for his lively and humorous talks, his accessible teaching style and his unique ability to bring the ancient Yogic scriptures and texts to life in the modern world.
A true life-coach, he has drawn on a deep knowledge and years of practice of Yoga to create popular courses on Meditation, Positive Thinking, and Anger Management and Relationships. A trained musician, his Satsangs and Kirtan (chanting) are uplifting, thought-provoking and inspiring.
Formerly known as Swami Sadasivananda, Prem Sadasivananda's spiritual journey began as a sannyasin (monk) for 24 years in the Sivananda Organization. He served as the Director of the Sivananda Center in New York City from 2003 to 2014 and the London Center from 1990 to 2003.
Known for his skill at making Vedantic philosophy to applicable to everyday life, he has taught hundreds of Yoga Teacher Training Courses and Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Courses for the Sivananda Organization at their Centers and Ashrams throughout the world.
Prem Sadasivananda is a direct and long-term disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda, the disciple of Swami Sivananda and through his teachings of Yoga and Vedanta he continues his service by helping others in their spiritual pursuits.
Building on his unique experience as a sannyasin and now as committed teacher on his own, Prem Sadasivananda strives to provide loving and gentle guidance, perspective and inspiration for all levels of spiritual aspirants in search of a deeper purpose in life.
Elizabeth Dunne (Sita)
Elizabeth Dunne, otherwise known as Liz, Lizzy, or Sita-ji, is the proud co-founder and creative director of Love Integration, a vibrant yoga and community center in Long Beach, New York where she teaches weekly Hatha Yoga & Yoga Nidra Classes.
Liz is a E-RYT 500 Hour Yoga Acharya through the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, and has been teaching yoga full-time since 2008. Her classes are gentle, traditional, and quiet, giving the students the space they need to rest their minds, decompress and develop a sense of Self introspection.
Through her deep love and respect for Mother Nature, Liz believes it her dharma (righteous duty), to spread the awareness that all things are connected and all of life is one. She encourages students to live a conscious life, and to connect to nature often as a way to experience the essence of yoga (divine union).
In 2017, After a long struggle with a debilitating neck injury and an auto-immune disease she restored herself to wellness. Her faith in the bodies infinite potential for healing is ever transparent. Her wish is to impart her students with the many gifts she has received through her ongoing practice and studies.
She has helped to to create the Yoga Bhakti Dharma School Teacher Training and advanced Teacher Training Courses. Which has led 8 trainings, with over 75 graduates to date. She motivates their on-going initiative, Seeds of Service, a Karma Yoga Club helping those in need locally and globally through service opportunities, fundraising, and events.
Love is at the root of all creation. It is our very essence and its power sustains everything and all living beings. Through the active practice of Love and its vibration we are able to heal ourselves, help others, and nurture the planet, one breath, one positive mood, one good deed, and one cause at a time.
Flor Villazan (Durga)
Flor is a native of Venezuela. Since she was a child Flor always explored the wonders of nature and her relationship with it. Her curiosity about the movement of animals and their similarity to the human body led her to pursue a career in modern dance. Since her early works as a choreographer she started expressing what deeply needed release—the true Self within. As life moved her around Flor eventually found her way to her beloved guru, Sri Dharma Mittra. Ever since her first experience with Dharma she realized that she had found hOMe. "Dharmaji woke up something within me that I have always known but I had forgotten my connection to. Everything I have learned in his presence connected back to past experiences that I had not been able to understand previously. To begin grasping the real state of Yoga is very complicated at first, but with constant practice, everything is possible. In this way, I have found the connection to my ancestors and discovered the teacher within me." Sri Dharma Mittra teaches his students to be the embodiment of unconditional love and compassion, and to live the Yamas and Niyamas, gradually removing the ego and impurities of the mind, realizing the true Self within. Flor teaches as she keeps learning from Dharma, by copying the teacher mentally, physically, and spiritually. Andrei Ram Om has also been a constant guide and source of inspiration for Flor, through the teachings of Hatha Yoga and showing the importance of caring for the great Mother Earth and recognizing her guidance. To be the embodiment of unconditional love and compassion allows us connect to all beings as One, beginning with the Earth, which connects and supports us all. “I am forever grateful to my beloved guru Sri Dharma Mittra and to my friend and teacher Andrei Ram Om, for all their constant love and teachings.” Flor Aluna Yogini Durga Om.
Flor has been studying under Sri Dharma Mittra and Andrei Ram Om since 2009. She is a certified Dharma Yoga teacher, and has also studied Thai Yoga massage, Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and now also receives teachings of Hatha Yoga and Vendanta from Prem Sadasivananda.
Dawn Bossman (Bharati)
When Dawn began her yoga practice, she quickly realized that yoga means a lot of things, not just exercise for the body. It is her deepest desire to encourage others to discover how yoga can help us develop a healthy body, mind, spirit, and heart.
Dawn is an RYT 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher in both Hatha Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, and she is a Level 1 Reiki practitioner. She teaches open level Hatha and Sivananda classes, Beginner Yoga workshops and series, and Yoga Nidra.
“Serve. Love. Give. Purify. Meditate. Realize. Be good; do good. Be kind; be compassionate.” – Swami Sivananda
"Health is Wealth, Peace of Mind is Happiness, Yoga shows the way. " - Swami Vishnu-devananda
Sasha Petukhova (Anandi)
Deeply established in her personal practice of yoga asana, meditation, and pranayama as well as study of yoga philosophy, Sasha encourages her students to smile and focus on their breath as they move through dynamic and challenging asana sequences.
After completing her 200-hour teacher Training at BambooMoves, she began teaching yoga to students of various ages, physical fitness levels and backgrounds. Sasha is also certified to teach kids yoga, and prenatal yoga classes.
Sasha believes, that through the practice of Yoga, we strengthen our bodies, grow emotionally, learn to control our minds and finally unveil the soul. It is through the purifying of the body and the mind, we can begin to experience many gift of yoga practice, the most cherished one – compassion and humility, understanding that deep inside we are all the same!
Ryan Goodman (Narayana)
In a way, yoga sought Ryan out from the very beginning. Through diseases of the body and the countless surgeries he has endured; through his love for art, music and stringed instruments; and through an old, worn book on the Vedas he found at the of age 17; these all helped him find his way to yoga. Ryan's practice of Zen meditation eventually led him directly to the real yoga: hatha yoga.
Developing love and compassion for everything, especially ourselves, is the greatest lesson. Meditation, combined with pranayama and the asanas, helps keep the body and mind supple, quiet and receptive. These are the teachings Ryan longs to share and spread. For there is no greater knowledge!
Ryan received his RYT 200-hour certificate in the spring of 2015 at the Yoga Bhakti Dharma school and is ecstatic to be teaching alongside his fellow sadhakas (spiritual aspirants).
“The Self is not the individual body or mind, but rather that aspect deep inside each individual person that knows the truth.” – Sri Swami Vishnudevananda Saraswati
"Only one book is worth reading: the heart." – Ajahn Chah
We all call her ‘Quinn’…
Back in 2012, after only a few short months of practicing Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga, Quinn hung up her basketball sneakers and received her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification at NYC’s Laughing Lotus Yoga Center. A 12 year veteran of the NYPD, Quinn couldn’t imagine not sharing the benefits of Yoga & meditation with those subjected to negativity on a regular basis. In 2016 Quinn co-founded NYPD Blue Karma Yoga, a program dedicated to the well-being of Uniformed members of the Police Department. Quinn also participated in Liberation Prison Yoga’s training to gain insight on working with incarcerated populations. LPY is a non-profit organization which uses a trauma- conscious approach to bring Yoga and meditation to those incarcerated in Federal and State prisons.
Quinn teaches Lotus Flow style Vinyasa classes which are playful and upbeat, focusing on strength, flexibility and mindfulness all while encouraging the individual to move with freedom. You can expect a funky playlist for each of Quinn's classes and to leave feeling balanced and refreshed. If you're lucky you may catch a bit of her stand-up comedy routine!
All levels and First Responders welcome!
Stephanie Naham (Sandesh Kaur)
Sandesh Kaur is a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga instructor trained by Sat Jivan Singh and Sat Jivan Kaur of Kundalini Yoga East in Manhattan, both of whom were personally trained by Kundalini Yoga Master Yogi Bhajan. She has been teaching since 2010 and is passionate about delivering the message of how to live in your higher consciousness to others with grace and courage. As a teacher she is inspired by the sacredness, the happiness and the challenges of life. She seeks to use what she has learned on her path to heal, uplift, and serve others. A philosopher, musician and dancer, she loves to embody the strength in awareness with creativity.
Movement has been a compelling force in my life: competitive gymnastics as a teenager, learningHatha yoga from books, long distance bicycling, and running in my early twenties, practicing Aikido in my mid twenties. Around 1980 I was lucky enough to began studying Tai Chi with Margaret Stevens, a student ofProfessor Cheng Man-ch’ing, and was instructed inthe Yang Style 37 movement short form and 10 Taoist exercises.
In the Professor’s own words:
“To study Tai Chi Chuan means to learn to relax. “Relax. Let go of all tension, all hardness. Be soft.”
It is easier said than done, but my eclecticteaching style will introduce you to theprinciples of the relaxed energized movement of Tai Chi. It is a common story that famous Tai Chi instructors startedbecause they were sickly, and it healed them. As I approach my 70th birthday I contribute a lot of my well being to Tai Chi. Over the years, my practice has ebbed and flowed, but whatever I did it was evolving. I learnedmore about relaxed integrated movement from African Dance teachers than I did in my regular practice. In the words of the poet Mary Oliver: “The world offers itself to your imagination.” What I can say is that when I do it, it changes, restores and re-balances me. It has alwaysbeen there like a friend to call in time of need. Come, let us create a peaceful beautiful world inside ourselves, together.
Patrick Gilmore (Parameshwara)
My first experience with yoga happened a couple of years ago, when I was at a rock bottom in life, where I was drowning on the inside - when I had given up on life and thought death was my only happiness. I was working at Sportset and I was asked to helped build a yoga stage with the people who have become the greatest inspirations in my life, the people who guided me to start this journey. For whom I have such huge love, appreciation and gratefulness that are beyond words.
Many of us suffer from some sort of addictions whether they be caffeine, food, our cell phone or lying. My addiction was alcohol and OxyContin. For years I had forgotten who I was. My body and mind were a dark, empty place. Even before my addiction, I was filled with so many fears and emotional problems such as social phobia, hatred, anxiety, and depression. My self esteem was non existent, but with my excessive drug use it became worse. If you don't love yourself how could you love others. I was lost. The feeling of happiness was something that I could only experience in my dreams. Everyday suicidal thoughts became a reality. Little did I know it then, but the day I was introduced to yoga I was given the reason why I am still alive today. My yoga practice started off slow. In the early stages of starting yoga, I was still abusing drugs. I had tried many times to get sober but deep down I never really wanted it. Using was the only thing I thought at the time was making me happy, but all it was doing was putting a bandaid on every single problem that was going on in my body.
After months of practicing yoga, especially meditation, I noticed something that I didn't think I'd ever experience in my life: silence. My mind was quiet. I was in the present. I wasn't worried about any problems that were happening in my life. Therefore there was no reason to have a feeling of depression, worry, anxiety or sadness. I was just happy. A had a sense of being free. After this more of this something started to click in my head. I wanted to be done abusing my body, hurting everyone around me and slowly killing myself and being miserable. I decided to check myself into rehab and start my sobriety and new life.
I wanted to further my knowledge of this thing called Yoga so I took the teacher training. Here is where I really understood what yoga means. I found this happy, caring, loving spot in my heart that had been long lost for a long time. More and more, yoga was healing my body physically, mentally and spiritually. It showed me to love everyone and everything, even the people who have put me down in life; to not put negative people down but to see a part of myself in them and to help them like my teachers helped me; to love and treat all living beings equally from the tree in front of my house to the tiniest insect on it; to be compassionate to all; to be honest to others and with myself; to have discipline; to live a life of non-attachment. Before Yoga I didn't even know what words such as "compassion" meant. I became aware of my breath even in the most uncomfortable and stressful situations. I learned that when you are caring for the body and mind, there is no void to fill with any sort of destructive behavior. I finally found the path that I was going to follow. I was learning not to dwell on my past of abusing drugs and hurting myself and the loved ones around me. I learned to not put myself down because I thought someone else was more successful In life and had a happier life, but to be happy with who I am. It was slowing making me realize all of those struggles and wrong doings just made me stronger and closer to the person I want to become. It brought me back to my child self.
My teachers and the people I have met along this journey have inspired me to never give up, to love my self and others, to not feel sorry about past struggles but to embrace it and see it as a blessing. Every single one of them are some of the most amazing, positive souls I have ever met in this lifetime. They have shown me that no matter how many struggles come my way or how many people put me down or doubt me while taking this path, not to let it stop me from continuing it. I strive to continue to pass on the knowledge that I get from my teachers and to help anyone and anything with the practice YOGA and everything behind it; to show people you can achieve anything you put your mind to no matter how impossible you may think it is; to believe in yourself and have no limitation; to spread the real truth of finding liberation.
This is My Life long journey. The path to enlightenment!
Claudia Cuencos (Jnaneshwari)
In the last three decades Claudia has been empowering women, hosting healing circle workshops, and creating human sound mandalas in spaces of relaxation, meditation and with vibrational healing tones using quartz crystal and Nepalese singing bowls in South America, Europe and the U.S. Through positive thinking practices she has been inspired to walk with awareness, creating prosperity and faith for herself and all those around her. Through her intention to learn more she became immersed in the experience of uncovering the deep layers within herself and searching for the roots of the original healing philosophies, teachings and techniques. Slowly discovering her Self over the years, her passion for learning and searching led her to study Taoism, Buddhism, Mindfulness practices, Vedanta Philosophy, yoga from diverse lineages, and Sanskrit. She has assisted many practitioners, including family members and friends, in discovering their full potential under their own creative self-healing and self empowerment. Slowly and passionately she transformed herself over the years into a Guardian of Ancestral Healing traditions, planting the seed of meditation in her soul and the planet in this lifetime. She is an intuitive healer and Bhakti Yogini. She is a certified 300 hour yoga teacher through the Yoga Bhakti Dharma School in RVC, & has 500 hours of Kundalini Yoga Training with the Eurpean Yoga Alliance. Art & Interior Designer, Reiki Master, NLP Facilitator, Intuitive Vibrational Healer.
Mike Dunne, a Long Beach Local has grown up knowing, loving and representing the City of Long Beach. Currently an employee at Empower Solar, Mike has shown great dedication to our environment and its preservation.
Back in August, 2012, Elizabeth Dunne founded Love Integration Yoga, a movement that would eventually touch the hearts of many Long Beach Locals. Two months later, Elizabeth met Mike Dunne, her spiritual soul mate, here in Long Beach, NY. Since Married, Elizabeth and Mike have impacted their community together by integrating love wherever they go. You can find Mike and Elizabeth advocating for clean water, walking for environmental awareness on the Long Beach board walk or practicing meditation on the beach.
Now that Love Integration has found its home in the heart of Long Beach, Mike has an important role to play. After rebuilding the space, Mike is devoted to the love that the studio has to offer. You may see Mike handling the "handy-man" duties of an everyday business or in tree pose before, after or even during class! Here to support us all in our journey to spread more love!
Arielle Ruggiero (Daya Devi)
Like many, Arielle found yoga during a traumatic time of her life. Arielle lost her mother when she was eighteen, just starting college. Growing up with her mom, who was deeply rooted in Native American culture, connected her to her roots at a young age. Living in Long Beach for the past twenty years, Arielle has always been deeply fascinated with nature and its similar movement to the human body, as well as the tight knit, community driven tribe that lives there.
As Stephen Cope so wonderfully says, "Yoga is probably the world's most perfect form of exercise. It cultivates cardiovascular health, and musculoskeletal strength and flexibility, without the painful and damaging side effects of high-impact aerobics. It tunes up every organ system - respiratory, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, lymphatic, and nervous. It cultivates the body's capacity to relax, and dramatically reduces the negative effects of stress. With regular yoga practice, we breathe better. We sleep better. We digest our food better. We feel better."
The yoga practice has dramatically changed Arielle's life, in a very short period of time. Arielle feels that yoga is accessible to all - whatever your age, your job, your weight, your eating habits. Yoga is about connecting, to you, and all the beauty that surrounds you. It brings you closer to your true nature, your true spirit.
We come to yoga to create space in the mind and the body where you once felt trapped. To become aware of the walls you've built around yourself for protection, out of fear. To become more in tune with your body, and your breath, to allow yourself to quiet the mind. The goal of yoga, is to find love…for yourself. That way, you can see love, in all.
Emily Scaglione (Kumari)
I was first introduced to practices like meditation and reiki during a challenging time in my teens when doctors were struggling to find an effective plan of treatment for my epilepsy. In the midst of such an unpredictable time, these practices became an anchor and eventually, a path toward healing that neither I nor my doctors would ever have thought was possible.
A little while later, I found my way to yoga…and then into the classes of people whose deep commitment to service inspired me deeply. It was in witnessing this, as well as the gifts that this practice was already bringing into my life, that I felt I wanted to study it further.
I’ve come to believe that yoga is a profound tool for healing – whether physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. For this, I am very grateful as well as for the depth of compassion in the hearts of the people who have become my teachers. It is my hope to work toward being able to share some piece of what these teachers and this practice have, and continue, to gift me with.
Lesley (Lalita Devi)
Lesley (Lalita Devi) first stumbled upon yoga in a college course she had taken at Penn State University. Always having had an interest in the body, how it moves and fitness ...she took to it immediately and found it to be a place to center herself, in order to give her best “self” to the world and those she loved around her. Slowly learning and practicing more throughout the transitions of a professional career, and later as her most prized position a mother of two little girls...she became more dedicated and quickly realized how much she loved and was devoted to the practice and craved the community that surrounds it. Lesley has had years of experience in the fitness world teaching private and group pilates based classes, as well as personal training. After completing her yoga training through the Yoga Bhakti Dharma School, she feels it has enhanced the way in which she teaches and relates to others. She feels that when we feel strong, confident and at peace within ourselves, we are able to bring compassion and kindness to others. Lesley is a sunny and positive spirit whose passion and enthusiastic way of teaching makes all feel welcome and creates an encouraging environment to practice. As you explore your own mindfulness and flexibility on the mat, Lesley advocates to keep that peace of heart, mind and spirit within and witness the benefits throughout the day. She feels blessed to be part of the Love Integration family and lucky to share her practice and what she loves with others.
Stephanie is the Founder and Owner of Real Food Pure Love, a Holistic Wellness Company, integrating Health & Life Coaching, Reiki, Yoga & Meditation. She is deeply passionate about supporting the ascension of others, helping people find their inner peace, trust the wise innate teacher within, and connect deeply to their True Self. Bridging play with deep-dive personal transformation, her mission is to offer rich spaces for the healing and harmonious merging of mind, body and spirit.
A lover of travel, this past summer Stephanie spent a month in the jungle of Costa Rica studying under her mentor Sara Goff Aurora Satya Devi, where she received her 200 Hr. Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training through Satya Embodied Yoga School. Stephanie is grateful for her 7 year journey as a student of yoga, because it taught her greater self-love, patience, stillness of the mind, and was a doorway to powerfully healing the relationship to her body and soul. She is ecstatic to be now be a teacher of Yoga philosophy and practice at Love Integration!
A true Sagittarius through and through, Stephanie has a hunger for this wild ride we call Life; thrives on connecting deeply with people, animals and nature; and delights in this life-long journey of learning. She brings a quality of vulnerable humanness and permission for imperfection to her teaching, and secretly wishes every Being on this planet to fully embody their greatness, know their power, and be deeply inspired by that power within.
Samantha received her 200hr RYT Training in June of 2017. She trained in California with Shivakali Teacher training, focusing on alignment based Vinyasa. Samantha is over the moon to be able to share her passion and connect with people through her yoga practice. Being drawn to yoga to help cope with mental illness, she has seen firsthand how yoga can change a life. Samantha has found it as a part of her dharma to help others find their way through their practice.
Selena Brown (M.A., M.Ed., RTY200) became fascinated by the body’s ability to hold and convey truth when she began cross-training in yoga and dance in early 2001 at the University of California, Riverside. Selena leads meditative, growth-oriented, and breath-focused yoga & meditation classes that emphasize mindfulness. With a background in psychotherapy, education, and public speaking, Selena seeks to help practitioners learn to listen to their authentic voice and find the courage to live a life that honors their light.
Kristen was introduced to yoga when she first moved to Long Beach in 2012. Having struggled all her life with muscle pain and weakness, resulting from a genetic disorder, Kristen has found her time on the mat to be profoundly healing physically, mentally and spiritually. While Kristen had felt called to deepen her practice and expand upon her knowledge of yoga and philosophy from early on, life, work, and other things kept “getting in the way” until a health crisis and the birth of her son in February 2018 caused her to re-evaluate…everything.
Kristen received her RYT 200-hour certificate in the Fall of 2018 at the Yoga Bhakti Dharma school, she is honored and grateful to be teaching alongside her friends and teachers at Love Integration. Kristen believes that taking the time to connect – mind, body & spirit - is, perhaps, the most powerful healing tool we have available to us. She hopes to encourage all of her students to treat themselves and their bodies with love and kindness, whatever their emotional state or physical capabilities may be, in every given moment.
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete – Jack Kornfield