Elizabeth Coffey (Manager)
Elizabeth has been practicing and teaching for several years and has studied with numerous Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Anusara instructors around the country. In 2009 she completed her 200hr RYT certification at Kripalu, and in 2010 she completed an additional 100hr training at Ashtanga Yoga Center of Toronto. Additional certifications include: Yoga Ed for High School, Prenatal Yoga, and Yoga Wall.
“If we practice [yoga] without fail, we will then attain physical, mental and spiritual happiness, and our minds will flood towards the Self.” – Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois
Liz Czapski is a passionate mover who continues to grow in awe of the human body through her personal exploration with yoga, free form dance and acrobatics. Her yoga experience began with a challenging vinyasa class that left her intrigued to draw more connections within her own body. What started as a physical practice quickly evolved into a lifestyle that has given Liz the freedom to manage daily stresses while also providing the tools to listen, observe and feel with more awareness. Liz has come to appreciate how important variation is when exploring the many ways in which our bodies are designed to move. In 2016 Liz completed her 250-hour teacher training at Downward Dog Yoga Studio in Toronto, Canada. She is also an active member of the AcroYoga Buffalo community where she practices, teaches and performs this fun blend of yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage.
Her caring and playful teaching style reflects her positive outlook on life and incorporates strength building while encouraging the use of props to help students find the work throughout class. Liz loves working with people and wants to help each student feel healthy in their body. Off the mat, Liz loves to be in nature, enjoys hiking, biking and camping and chances are you will find her singing and dancing as she does all this.
Jeanna Duarte-Schwartz has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. Her passion for yoga began with Mysore Ashtanga yoga practice along with Transcendental Meditation with the Buffalo Wellness Cooperative. She has studied the Sanskrit language at the Himalayan Institute and Tai Chi with Tony Fuschia at East Meets West Yoga. Her certifications include a 250 hrs Evolution Hot Yoga and Yoga Alliance certified kids yoga from Rainbow Kids Yoga. Jeanna is also certified in community family yoga with the focus on partner acrobatic yoga and therapeutic massage. She recently achieved certificaltion to teach with the therapeutic Yoga Wall at the Osteopathic Wellness Center. Jeanna’s overall goal in her yoga journey is to bring yoga to school, teaching awareness, relaxation and self love to children!
Erin has been practicing as a Licensed Massage Therapist for the past 18 years. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in Community and Human Services and Health Science from SUNY Empire State College.
Her inspiration to become a Yoga Teacher, Massage Therapist and Holistic Practitioner stemmed from realizing the impact movement and distance running (volleyball and cross country running in high school) had on her mental and physical health. She learned hands-on healing over the years from her own wounds. Her experiences have lead her to conclude that living a life free from stress, addictive behaviors, pharmaceuticals, unclean air, food and water pollutants, and a sedentary lifestyle will enhance the health of anyone suffering from anything. All of her life experiences drew her to the study of yoga where she learned to live more consciously, meditate more profoundly and, let go of her past wounds. Erin received her yoga teacher certification from the Himalayan Institute.
by Thomas A. Edison:
“The Doctor of the Future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease”
Spencer believes yoga is a powerful vehicle of direct personal experience for both physical and spiritual transformation, acknowledging the guru within each of us as the driver.
Spencer first came to yoga in 2008 as a stressed out student at Erie Community College who needed one more credit hour to qualify as studying full-time. He immediately knew he made a life changing decision and fell in love with the practice. Since then his practice has taken many forms and many intentions, from practicing hot yoga to successfully losing and keeping off over thirty pounds, to practicing vinyasa and hatha yoga to recover from a long-standing running injury. In 2015 Spencer completed his 200 Hour Classical Hatha Teacher Training in the lineage of Sri Ramana Maharshi at Kaivalya Yoga Ashram in San Marcos, Guatemala. An intrepid world traveler, he has taught yoga to other backpackers throughout Latin America as well as to children with critical medical needs and their families as part of his work with the SeriousFun Children’s Network of summer camps.
Spencer’s teaching style reflects his own practice of finding stillness in every asana and his belief in making yoga accessible to all people and helping them reconnect to a higher sense of Oneness. A passionate advocate of experiential education, Spencer continues to educate himself through yoga workshops, believing in the mantra of Yogi Bhajan “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”
Carolyn began her yoga journey at a local gym. She first walked into a yoga class because a personal trainer who suggested that she take a group class. Over the next few years her interest in yoga began to grow and her attention began to shift to proper alignment in poses. Her personal yoga practice had grown and made her feel better both inside and out. After about a year of teaching at the gym she enrolled in the Himalayan Institute’s 200 hour teacher certification course here in Buffalo. She is enjoying her ongoing journey through life and yoga. Carolyn’s hope for any individual who decides to give yoga a try, is that they begin to enjoy their own journey too.
Amanda has grown up living and loving the community surrounding Buffalo. She loves attending local festivals, sporting events, and outdoor activities. She married her loving, understanding husband in September 2013 and they look forward to beginning a family to fill their home with love and laughter. She works full time for People Inc. in the Self-Directed Services Department, which helps to provide services and support to people with Developmental Disabilities.
Amanda is always on-the-go. She has run many marathons (17) including Boston, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Disney World. She is a regular on the local 5K race scene as well. She loves to be in motion and finding new ways to challenge herself physically.
Amanda began dabbling in the yoga world in 2008. She tried many different styles and was really unsure of herself. She had always been able to put her mind to something and achieve it rather quickly, but with yoga, she had to be patient both mentally and physically. Poses were challenging and breath awareness was unsettling. Amanda’s yoga practice has also given her the opportunity to learn and grow mentally. Every time she steps on the mat, she becomes aware that she is a different person than the last time she practiced and may find new struggles or new successes.
Amanda completed her Yoga Teacher Training at Rising Sun Yoga in March 2015 with the support and guidance of Michael Sutton, Aphinya Deley, and Tracy Draksic.
Jessica’s fascination with the human body led her to pursue her degrees in Exercise Science and Clinical Nutrition at University at Buffalo. While working on her Masters degree, Jessica was drawn to yoga for its stress relief and physical benefits. She quickly fell in love with the asana practice and knew it would be an integral part of her life forever. Over the last year, Jessica has dedicated herself to the practice of yoga as a lifestyle and has been blessed physically, emotionally, and mentally by its gifts. Yoga has made her more flexible, patient, loving, and fearless both on and off the mat. Her conscious decision to exist in Divine Love has brought her much joy, fulfillment and appreciation of the present moment.
Jessica completed her 200-hour training at Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico in 2015. Her teaching style reflects her personal practice. She provides a playful environment where she promotes growth in ones practice by offering different variations, while providing a compassionate setting for all levels of practice. Jessica believes that a supportive community is a fundamental aspect of yoga and is extremely excited to join us at OWM Yoga Downtown!
Heather came to yoga in 2010 and quickly found herself looking for ways to incorporate the practice more deeply into her daily life. Yoga to her was and is a sanctuary for the spirit, healing for the body, and peace for the mind. Inspired by her work with adults with disabilities and a passion to share yoga with as many people as possible, she decided to become a Yoga teacher. She completed her 200-hour yoga instructor training in 2014 through the Himalayan Institute. Her training gave her a deeper appreciation for the great impact of gentle movement and breath on the body and mind. She has continued education in Yoga for Therapeutic Rehabilitation, and welcomes students of all needs to her classes. She believes strongly in adapting the practice to the individual, and loves to help students modify poses so that they can learn and grow the most effectively in their own bodies.