“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
– Audrey Hepburn
Meet The MVP Yoga Teachers and Team
Robin is a lucky wife, mama, dog owner, yoga teacher, growth coach, nature lover, swimmer, and clean food junkie. She has embraced and completed numerous trainings from esteemed programs in both yoga and life coaching, studying with the “best” in each field. Her current frame of reference draws from her silence, self-study, observation, life experiences, and devoted time on her yoga mat and meditation cushion.
Robin’s “baby” is a class she created five years ago called Yoga for Mamas. The class, which is designed for mothers, was inspired by her successes and challenges guiding two teenage girls. It is a richly textured experience that incorporates weekly parenting themes. Embodying these contemplation’s through traditional yoga poses, free flowing energy movements, breath, meditation, storytelling, and visualization inspires mamas to bring more wholeness to their families.
When Robin entered motherhood, it became paramount that she understand herself and bring that consciousness to her children. She founded gROw with Robin (growwithrobin.com) in order to share her lessons with other women so that we can all dance and be free.
Robin currently leads group and private yoga sessions, women healing circles, and private coaching sessions.
Megan in an avid fitness enthusiast. After years of running, training, competing in marathons and triathlons she sought balance. She soon found yoga and knew this was the perfect compliment to her “off the mat” fitness program. She quickly went on to earn a 200 RYT certification. She is also certified in teens/tweens and children’s yoga.
Megan likes to use her knowledge of fitness to infuse her classes with core strengthening moves and body-weight bearing exercises as she believes these components along with the lengthening and toning yoga postures practiced in her flow classes will offer and experience that leaves you feeling strong, aligned and balanced.
Megan feels strongly that proper alignment is essential to achieve the full benefit of any exercise or posture. Therefore, she encourages a slower flow to build a sturdy foundation from which to grow.
Finally, to continue her journey toward balance and alignment, she trained through the Coach Training Alliance, accredited by the International Coach Federation, to become a Yoga2Life Mentor Coach.She is also a Red Cross certified Instructor in CPR and First Aid.
Gunda Sabel-Sheehan’s everyday life evolves around love and logistics for her three amazing children, and around a schedule that involves teaching Yoga at her studio, teaching German to private clients and teaching Sociology as an adjunct instructor at Westchester Community College.
Gunda has been practicing Yoga for over 20 years. She started off with a used book about Yoga and Anatomy and added what she learned to her running routine when she first moved to the USA from Germany (1993). Throughout her years as a graduate student in Sociology and International Relations, three pregnancies, her work at a publishing firm and as a boutique owner, she continued to keep a regular Yoga practice. While going through many years of a difficult divorce, it was her Yoga practice and her supportive and knowledgeable teachers that helped her stay healthy, clear and peaceful. The experience of going through difficult phases in life and feeling the positive effects of a regular Yoga practice encouraged her to participate in the Kripalu Teacher Training Program (2012). She had no intention of teaching, but simply wanted to learn more about the philosophy and psychology of Yoga. As it turns out, she loves teaching Yoga with creative flowing sequences, music, pranayama and laughter.
In a moment of brevity she decided to open up her own small studio in Larchmont: Soham Yoga (2014). Here she intends to provide a small, safe space for students of all levels. She encourages her students to trust themselves and to develop their own Yoga and a sense of peace, on and off the mat. She believes in the Kripalu philosophy of non-judgement and compassion for oneself and others and hopes to be able to lead her students to feel good about themselves, learn and trust to stop and breathe and live in the present moment. She is eternally grateful to all her wonderful teachers throughout her life, and to all her students, who allow her to guide them.
Yoga is seeing life the way it is. – Swami Kripalu
Mary has been a student of various forms of yoga for the past 17 years. Always searching for new ways to take care of her body and her spirit, Mary was thrilled to discover Kundalini Yoga. “The teachings and practice of Kundalini yoga completely changed my life!” After working with her teacher and mentor Reinette Fournier (Suraj Kaur), co-owner and director of Tenth Gate Yoga Center in Portsmouth, Mary felt inspired to delve deeper into her practice and pursue becoming a Kundalini Yoga teacher. She completed her KRI 200 hour training at Kripalu in Lenox, MA under the direction of Hari Kaur Khalsa (Hari NYC) and Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa (Soul Yoga) in 2010.
Mary is pursuing her KRI 500 hour level two certification as well as training to become a Core Energetics practitioner. She is passionate about the benefits of this amazing technology and looks forward to sharing this yoga with a sense of fun and an open heart.
Mary is married to Bruce Brakenhoff, Jr. and has 6 children, 3 grandchildren, a dog and 2 cats.
My story of survival
On March 12th, 2013, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I can honestly say that was one of the worst days of my life. In an instant, my life flashed before me and I knew things would never be the same. I am a wife, a mother, a business owner, a sister, a daughter and a friend. Like most women I thought I could do it all, well almost… I definitely tried my best!
I was in shock. How could this happen to me???? I ate well, exercised, did yoga, didn’t smoke and was an overall very positive person. It didn’t make sense. At all. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
After my diagnosis, a lot was happening really fast, and there was no way for me to slow it down. I didn’t have time to be sick. I didn’t want to arrange my life around cancer treatments. I was a busy working mom with lots of things on my agenda every day. I learned quickly that I didn’t have a choice but to make my health a priority and to take things one day at a time. I didn’t want to let cancer define me but I also couldn’t ignore it and hope it would just go away. It was not easy.
What this experience has taught me is that I am one of the lucky ones. I am a survivor. Until this experience I never fully grasped that concept. Being a survivor is a gift and with that comes responsibility. My goal every day with every person I meet is to add something positive or meaningful to their day. If I can make someone’s world a little bit brighter, even for just a moment, then I have succeeded.
Since my career focuses on helping people, I am lucky that I am able to do this for my clients on a regular basis, with career coaching and placing people into great jobs…..but it doesn’t just have to be big things. It can take five minutes, whether it is helping an elderly person in the local grocery store with the door or a child with his homework. Sometimes, it can even be just a smile or a word of encouragement. My experience made me realize how important the support and love I received from my family, friends and even strangers was in terms of lifting me up during my cancer treatments and I am certain it made a huge difference in my recovery. Do it. Spread smiles. Be positive. It might be just what that person needs at that particular moment in her life.
My goal in creating this website and the MVP Yoga for a Cure event is to do the same for others. I want to lift them up as others did for me. I want to make a difference. I want to find a cure and help prevent another woman having to go through what I did. I want to use my experience to inspire others and to let them know they are not alone. I want to always remember that life is a gift. I was given a second chance and I do not intend to waste it.