Rodney Yee transferring wisdom to Stephan.
Photo by Araw for Urban Zen Foundation.
We offer tremendous gratitude to our teachers, students and clients who have put their trust in us, been vulnerable with us, laughed and cried with us, and taught us so much in the process! Thank you!
Stephan and Ingrid are the future of yoga in NYC. They are opening a boutique studio that returns to the basics, solid practice, good knowledge, ongoing investigation and acute observation. They each have the essence of yoga dialed into their body, mind and heart, and have the skill to communicate it. …Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, rather well-known Yoga Instructors, Co-Directors of the Yoga Therapy component of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program and Co-Founders of Gaiam Yoga Club, among many other exciting and helpful things.
In my mid-seventies, as a stressed-out woman with a chronic sleep deficit (I am primary caregiver for my long-time partner, who has an advanced neurological disease and requires 24/7 care), I was resigned to annual bone density tests that showed increasing osteopenia. Not to the point of actual osteoporosis, but well on the way. Exercise was recommended, but there was never enough time or energy, and I felt hobbled by godawful feet, achy knees, wobbly balance. The recent test was different. To my surprise and my doctor’s delight, I had not only halted the downward progression but reversed it. There is more bone in my spine and hips now than a year ago! How to explain it when there were no substantive changes to my diet, no medications, no new supplements? Last August, on an impulse, I walked into UWS Yoga and Wellness, which had recently opened around the corner from my apartment, and said, “I think I need this.” Since then, I’ve been taking two afternoon classes a week, primarily chair and Urban Zen. It’s a modest schedule and I wish I could do more, but this is what I can fit into the schedule for the present. There is only one word for the difference it has made: Wow! The improvement in bone density is major, of course: My doctor attributes it to the spinal twists and asanas that work the large bones of the leg and hips. My knees are less creaky – Child’s Pose no longer hurts. I still can’t hold Tree Pose for more than a couple of seconds but balance is considerably better. And I can’t say enough for the psychological benefits and consolation of Ingrid’s and Stephan’s restorative classes. Thank you both; I hope I can not only continue but deepen my practice well into the future.
[Addendum: Right after writing this, this same student was measured for her height and had grown ½ inch since her last physical!] …BB, Weaver and Caregiver
After only a few classes, I became aware of a mind-body shift. While going through a difficult period, I felt like I had more inner space, more room to make choices. I was less stuck in certain emotional responses. I have been practicing yoga for years, but something here was noticeably different: These classes were not only opening new channels, they were also giving me the strength to experiment with new options. The freedom was arising from the body and allowing me to change a way of being in the world. …SRT, Writer
Just wanted to drop you a note to say again how much I enjoyed the class on Saturday with Ingrid. As teacher in training, I am asked to go to classes and journal about what I liked and didn’t like about the classes I attend as a way to clarify what kind of teacher I’d like to be. I started journaling about it today, and the only thing I didn’t like was that the bathrooms are in the studio. I loved the class. It was familiar yet challenging. Ingrid had some interesting transitions and her upbeat personality helped me to keep going even when my mind might have said take a break! I enjoyed her precise, clear and easy to follow instructions. I liked that she greeted us individually, i.e. those of us new to her. I loved her ability to create a safe trusting atmosphere in a really short time. I love the beautiful wood floor. I liked that the other students were just regular and nice folks. And I LOVED that Ingrid sang to us during savasana! I will definitely be back! …MR, Instructor
I’ve tried lots of yoga studios on the upper west side and am very impressed with the clean and healthy space that Stephan and Ingrid have created. They teach many different forms of yoga and healing and understand how to work with whomever is in the room. I highly recommend this new studio to anyone wishing to begin exploring yoga, or who wish to find a safe and welcoming place to continue their practice. …EW, Author
I absolutely love this new Upper West side studio! The owners, Ingrid and Stephan, are two of the loveliest people and they have created a warm and welcoming atmosphere! I love too that they have all different levels of yoga and are leaving their space open at certain times of the day for anyone to come in and have a safe, quiet space to meditate. This is not only a yoga studio but wellness as well. The first time I’ve ever taken a restorative yoga class where they use essential oils for relaxation as well. What I love is how much they truly care about each person. They are both extremely experienced in all practices of yoga. I am especially impressed by the fact that they worked very closely with Donna Karan’s project at Beth Israel Hospital and understand the needs of people recovering from injuries and illnesses. Love the space, as well, bright and clean!!!!! …JG, Actor
So glad to have a new neighborhood yoga studio! The teachers are so encouraging, patient, friendly, very hands-on. I am finally learning how to achieve correct postures! …JG, Musician and Salesperson
Ingrid was my first real live yoga teacher (I edged into yoga several years ago via DVDs), and I can’t imagine a better introduction. Not only is Ingrid a wonderful instructor—knowledgeable, articulate and observant—but she exudes compassion, serenity and warmth. I feel as if I’ve come a long way in my own yoga practice and have reaped many benefits both physical and spiritual. When I started taking classes with Stephan too, I was delighted to find that I now had not one but two extraordinary teachers who shared not only their knowledge but also their enthusiasm and their bright, positive energy. I have no doubt that Ingrid and Stephan’s new yoga studio will be a big success and a great asset to the community! …BP, Editor
After being hit by a car in NYC, I was told that I would have to have surgery to rebuild my knee. During the week I was in hospital (the day after the operation), I was introduced to Stephan, a gift from a friend. Unable to move my left leg and only finding relief from the pain via a self-administering morphine drip, Stephan introduced me to mindfulness techniques, we did in-bed yoga, he performed Reiki, used essential oils and taught me breathing exercises to help me sleep. The amazing thing was, after our first session, I felt calm. For the first time since the accident I wasn’t in pain or feeling sick from the medication. Stephan came back each afternoon. I looked forward to his visits. It is now 2 years later, and I continue to work with him weekly. He helped me so much with the extremely long process of rehabilitation both physically and mentally. Additionally, I have sent him as a gift to a number of my friends when they have been having trying emotional or physical experiences. …Andrew Egan, Creative Director, CoolGraySeven
I have known Stephan since my back surgery almost two years ago. He got me out of my misery and onto my path to recovery. Stephan is both a teacher and a healer. He understands the human body extremely well and never pushes students beyond their capabilities. Stephan is soft spoken, attentive and very aware of his students’ daily moods and progress. I continue to see him regularly to support my general health and wellbeing. …JB, Entrepreneur
My days are always better when I’ve had the class with you [Ingrid]. You’re an excellent teacher. I’m always telling my students that if it weren’t for yoga, they would be in more trouble. In the spring, they were always checking whether I had gone to yoga class before coming to school. …AR, Educator, Journalist
Each session is like a meditation and Ingrid helps you to connect your body and mind and to focus on your breathing in a way that gives you stability in everyday life. You feel patient and more calm. Ingrid is herself a most patient and calm teacher and pays attention to the smallest details and watches closely to be sure that the postures are practiced in the safest and most beneficial way. Every session is unique with different parts of the body receiving emphasis at different sessions. The class is designed for all levels. Beginners or experienced alike will all benefit. …DG, Legal Assistant
Ingrid is a wonderfully thorough and careful yoga teacher. She reviews poses in depth and is very in tune with the comfort level and pace of each individual student in her class. Her classes are not just about the poses, but the process and thus we feel immense benefit from our yoga practice. She also has a beautiful voice! …MC&RG, Physicians
Yoga has always been an activity I knew I “should” be doing but fitting in a class to other physical activities has never been something I found a way to prioritize. Ingrid is calm and firm in her approach so that I feel that sense that I am “working out” and at the same time feel myself slowing down and developing breathing and flexibility that allows me to improve my running and bicycling. …KM, Educator
I just wanted to let you know how great my body feels and I feel from your yoga class, and I have been, ever since the first class. It just feels good all day! …LH, Real Estate Agent