Dr. Nikki Starr, M.D.

Background:

I began my call to healing as a medical doctor. During medical school I began practicing yoga and meditation, which began to shift my way of seeing the world. Travel transformed my vision of life too and by the time I was 25 I touched every continent except Antarctica. After completing my internship at NYU Medical Center, I realized that some of best prescriptions for a healthy, happy life include love, self care and conscious living. This sparked my personal spiritual journey and shifted my focus to alternative healing. Naturally my work shifted more to holistic coaching and healing session. On my journey I've also completed two Vipassana experiences and continue to teach classes, workshops and retreats worldwide.

Why I practice meditation:

I meditate because this practice supports me in embodying my truest self, it connects me to my heart center and allows me to live my fullest potential. Meditation has also helped to awaken my intuitive and healing abilities.

Why I teach meditation:

My personal mission includes elevating love on the planet as well as supporting humanity in our healing and spiritual awakening. Meditation is one of the best tools to facilitate healing, transformation and awakening in people.

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Joule L’Adara

Background:

Joule L’Adara, MFA, is an experimental vocalist, holistic vocal coach, and sound therapy practitioner based in New York City. 

Joule founded Sounding Circles LLC in 2009, through which she produces vocal empowerment and sound meditation play-shops for adults.  She created a unique group facilitation method which accesses the voice as a transformational tool, bypassing language in order to connect to pure emotional expression. In addition to being the US representative for German-based Therapeutic Instrument maker Feeltone, Joule trains sound healing practitioners internationally through live workshops, retreats, and an online certificate course. Her programs have been featured at the New York Open CenterIntegral Yoga InstituteBread & YogaThe Green Spa, Naturopathica Spa, The Dorot Institute, New York City’s Community Healthcare Network, The WOOM Center, Denver’s Samadhi Center for Yoga and Meditation, San Francisco’s Globe InstituteCommunity Arts Partnership (CAP)  of Los Angeles, and Kalani Oceanside Retreat in Hawaii. Joule has been producing her monthly series The Sound Soak - an immersive meditative live concert and “sound bath” - since the Fall of 2012. Most recently, she collaborated with Sound Meditation San Francisco, to launch the New York premiere of the Sound Healing Symphony: a large scale sound bath which 600 people were able to experience at Judson Memorial Church in June 2018. More large-scale events are in the works for the coming year. 

Joule recently launched her workplace branch Sounding Wellness which helps busy professionals access calm, increase their energy, and find balance through sound meditation. Sounding Wellness also offers team-building, leadership training, and vocal empowerment practices, focusing on the voice as a tool of influence, creativity, and authentic power. Joule’s team has worked with global firms including Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP, non-profits such as Planned Parenthood, and the start-up community through a partnership with WeWork Wellness. 

As a professional singer who has performed with The Metropolitan Opera and as a soloist in Carnegie Hall,  Joule is now Artistic Director of The Guided Imagery Opera: a classical vocal ensemble that performs experimental music-theater works incorporating elements of sound therapy and Guided Imagery and Music (GIM).  Joule’s original opera, Birth of the Wild Heart gave its premiere workshop production at New York City’s National Opera Centerin 2016 and received a developmental grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in a co-production with Stone Mason Projects in the spring of 2017.  Joule’s prior compositions include the electronic opera Das Inanna Project produced in Berlin, Germany.  As a recording artist Joule has been featured on several albums including the platinum-selling German group E Nomine released on Universal Music Germany. She has performed her original music in clubs and festivals across the US, Europe, and Australia.

Joule has invested many years in intensive training, developing a diverse skill set in various aspects of sound, voice, and self-expression. She holds a Masters of Music in Multi-Focus Voice and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a BFA in Theater from Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, and a diploma in Acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.  Joule developed her technical knowledge of the physics of sound through a diploma in Audio Engineering from SAE Australia. She holds multiple certifications as a sound practitioner from many institutions including: The Sound and Music Institute Integrative Practitioner Training at the New York Open Center, The Globe Institute for Sound and Consciousness in San Francisco, Vickie Dodd’s Sacred Sound School in the Pacific Northwest, Jonathan Goldman’s Healing Sounds Intensive Training in Loveland, Colorado, Acutonics Tuning Fork Practitioner Training: Levels I-V, Facial Soundscapes: Training Levels I-IV,  Harmonic Healing with Elfen Energy Chimes in Australia: Practitioner and Teacher Training, Feeltone Monochord Level I-II and Teacher Training.  She is a candidate for Fellow in the Bonney Method for Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), a multi-year training  from the Atlantis Institute of Consciousness and Music., and she is a Master-Level Reiki Practitioner. 

In September 2015 Joule gave a keynote speech at the Globe Sound Healing Conference in Oakland, California sharing the stage with top leaders in the sound healing community. In 2017 she was a speaker at the Emerging Women Live Conference in Denver and is currently a facilitator of Emerging Women Power Circles: an online intense group supporting women to grow their capacity for leadership, consciousness, and authenticity. Joule is currently working on Sounding Circles, the book: a guide for empowering communities through co-created sound. 

Why I practice meditation:

I practice meditation to come back to the deepest, sweetest, fullest, yummiest version of myself: the place inside where there is no separation, only wholeness; where I feel complete within and without. It's a tremendous relief and a glorious wonder to suspend all the doing and enjoy simply being.

Why I teach meditation:

It’s part of my life’s work to help people reconnect to themselves, their personal power, their body awareness, and access inner stillness where they can learn to receive unconditional support at any time!

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Bee Bosnak

Background:

Teaching since 2011, my goal is to give you the tools you need so that you too, can heal yourself. Availing myself to continuous philosophical, spiritual and physical education from various disciplines, I weave thought provoking messages throughout my classes. I apply the ancient wisdom to our contemporary western world in a useful and understandable way that will not only connect you back to yourself, but also the universe at large. You will walk out feeling encouraged to find a deeper connection with your body and empowered to live life gracefully on all levels. I use the physical body as a medium to the only thing that this practice is invested in; the ability and the art of letting go.

Born in Turkey, grew up in England, and having spent many years in LA, I currently live in New York City and hope you will join me on the yoga mat or the meditation cushion soon, be it in class, a workshop or a retreat near you.

My yoga trainings include 500hrs through The Kaivalya Yoga Method (Alanna Kaivalya), as well as continuing my education with my second 500hrs through Yoga Medicine (Tiffany Cruikshank). I also hold a certification through Yoga Tune Up® (Jill Miller). My meditation trainings include The Power of Awareness Mindfulness Training (Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield) as well as being a dedicated Vipassana meditator in the lineage of S.N. Goenka. I’ve taken intensives with senior teachers which include Max Strom, Elena Brower and Maty Ezraty.

Why I practice meditation:

To return home.

Why I teach meditation:

To help people open up to possibility. 

 

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Amber Gregory

Background:

Amber is a certified yoga and meditation teacher currently based in New York City. Her passion and curiosity around these practices has led to more than 15 years experience in the world of wellness. She has trained in Mindful Awareness; Buddhist and Vedic meditation; Vinyasa and Iyengar Yoga; Physiyoga; and Aromatherapy.
In 2017, Amber had the opportunity to join her mentor, Nikki Costello, on a journey to India. She sat daily with Tibetan Buddhist monks high in the Himalayas at Thiksay Monastery, and had the privilege and honor of meeting His Holiness the Dali Lama. Traveling south to Pune, she then practiced under the expert guidance of Iyengar Yoga teacher, Gulnaz Dashti. The experience not only opened her eyes to the deeper traditions of yoga and meditation, but reaffirmed her love for and commitment to the practice. Growing up in California as a dancer, volleyball player, and snowboarder, Amber first sought out yoga as a way to complement her athletic pursuits. It quickly became clear, however, that the benefits of yoga went far beyond
physical exercise: it required a certain kind of focus and attention that left her with a quiet mind and a deep sense of peace. Eager to understand the inner workings of the practice, she jumped at the opportunity to study within the Mindful Awareness Research Center, earning a B.A. in Sociology from UCLA.
Since then, her devotion to the practice has been unwavering, and her joy when sharing these tools, contagious.

Why I practice meditation:

Meditation brings me home. It allows me to connect to a sense of stillness within that is at once grounding and empowering. As a freelancer and avid traveller I depend daily on my practice to reconnect to my center, returning again and again to my most authentic Self.

Why I teach meditation:

I teach meditation simply because it has brought an immense amount of joy, equanimity, and compassion into my life. Because I have been lucky enough to study with deeply knowledgeable and authentic teachers, I feel called and honored to share these invaluable lessons that help guide us back home.

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Donna D'Cruz

Background:

Born in India and raised in Australia, Donna produced music with the Australian Aborigines including the Arnhem land tribe  and learned about their "dreamtime." She went on to found Rasa Music, a woman-owned record company that released world music and produced the music of Deepak Chopra and other recordings for meditation. She travels the world as a Celebrity DJ and leads people to ecstatic, profound experiences as they celebrate the biggest moments in their lives. Donna has been teaching and guiding meditations with music for years. She combined her love of music with her passion for awakening consciousness. Named the “Rockstar Teacher of Meditation” by Well+Good, Donna presents her signature “Dip into Bliss” experience globally to Corporations, Brands in the Fashion, Tech and Finance sectors and is a Master presenter at PTTOW and Worldz Summit. She also created and has lead (for 8 years)  the weekly Meditation program at Phoenix House, America’s oldest Drug and Alcohol Recovery Institution. Donna will soon be launching "Sleep Beditations: A Modern Sleep Solution".

Why I practice meditation:

Meditation  is like a personal journey through my subconscious where I get to visit all the inner aspects of myself and give them a mindful tune up in order to live a more balanced external life, in the present moment… and it helps me get shit done!

Why I teach meditation:

I share the DIP INTO BLISS (Meditation) experience with Individuals, Family, Corporations and Leaders to help them realize their deepest life’s purpose.  It is in Stillness that we can shut off the internal clutter,  tune in and listen to our most fervent soul’s purpose and calling. 

 

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Mark Connolly

Background:

As the former Style Director of Conde Nast Traveler for twenty years exotic travel, global style, culture and beauty became embedded in my DNA. The excitement of discovering ancient traditions and wisdom around the world inspired me to take another journey, one of self discovery and personal empowerment.

After leaving the glamorous world of  publishing in 2013, I decided to take a spiritual sabbatical. This lead me to work with renowned Reiki masters, Naam yoga teachers, powerful shamans, past life healers, sound therapists and divine aromatherapy essences. 

All of which come together in my unique and transformative Seven Door Journeys, a  relaxing, nurturing, self healing program to help you unlock your hidden potential and enable you to work through any major life issues. They help you to be present, focused and in the now as your most authentic self. One chakra at a time…

Why I practice meditation:

Meditation  is like a personal journey through my subconscious where I get to visit all the inner aspects of myself and give them a mindful tune up in order to live a more balanced external life, in the present moment… and it helps me get shit done!

Why I teach meditation:

Meditation should be like lip balm…always in your bag and on hand for any occasion. It is one of the easiest and best ways to counteract stress and anxiety. It is an easy access tool that helps  connect people to the hidden aspects of themselves which can help them to lead balanced and authentic lives. It can also help you to discover your superpowers! Who wouldn’t want to teach that?

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Dr. Belisa Vranich

Background:

Dr. Belisa Vranich is a renowned clinical psychologist, public speaker, and the author of Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve your Mental and Physical Health (St. Martin’s Press/Hay House). Belisa is also the Director of Breathing Science at The Ash Center for Comprehensive Medicine in New York City.

As founder of The Breathing Class™, Dr. Belisa has taught and lectured nationwide on topics related to dysfunctional breathing patterns and stress. Unique in its straightforward approach, The Breathing Class™ addresses both physical and psychological problems related to oxygenation that is out of balance, and teaching people to breathe in an anatomically congruous way that maximizes balanced inhales and exhales.

Dr. Belisa is a regular guest on national television including CNN, Fox News, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and VH1, and has been interviewed by Anderson Cooper, Soledad O’Brien, Joy Behar, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Juju Chang, Bill O’Reilly, Nancy Grace, and Alisyn Camerota. Dr. Oz has recognized her as one of the top US doctors in her field. She recently appeared as an expert guest on Cesar Millan’s new show, Cesar 911.

After fifteen years of experience in private practice Dr. Belisa is recognized as a leading expert in topics that range from health and fitness, stress reduction, nutrition, relationships, to trauma and addiction. Previously, she was the Director of Public Education at the Mental Health Association of NYC; she cotaught Personality Assessment and Projective Techniques at New York University, she was a consultant at the National Mental Health Association in Washington, DC; director of an outpatient clinic at Jacobi Hospital Center, Bronx, NY; a school psychologist in the South Bronx; and part of the Brooklyn Aids Task Force supporting parolees and their families. A public speaker in the areas of health and mental health, Dr. Belisa has a decade of experience in developing educational campaigns, presenting, and lecturing nationwide.

Why I teach meditation:

My mission is that breathing be included in every health profile in a way that is functional. Along with blood pressure and posture – breathing biomechanics has to be assessed if we are truly going to get to root causes, and inspire critical changes.

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Aimée Derbes

Background:

Dr. Aimée Derbes, DACM, LAc is here to help people reconnect with their innate vibrancy and wholeness, so they can navigate being human with more ease. She offers acupuncture, breathwork meditation, and energy medicine sessions and groups in NYC, and works with people all over the country through virtual breathwork and Healing Touch sessions and online groups.

 

Approaching each of her patients as the beautifully unique and complex individual they are, Aimée weaves together many healing tools – acupuncture, gua sha, cupping, moxibustion, energy healing, breathwork, essential oils, guided meditation, and more – to address physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual concerns and support the whole person. In addition to being a New York state licensed acupuncturist and a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, she is a nationally certified Chinese herbalist, a Healing Touch Certified Practitioner, and a Certified Breathwork Healer in the tradition of David Elliott. Aimée’s multidisciplinary healing arts practice, Align Acupuncture, is a refuge for people who are ready to be deeply supported as they let go of living in chronic stress, refill their wells, and heal in a sustainable, lasting way.

Why I practice meditation:

Meditation is a tool that helps me take responsibility for myself and my life. My practice has helped me inhabit my body and my life; fully feel emotions; operate from a place of intuition and trust rather than intellect; and heal pain that no other healing modality could touch. The unwinding, healing, and creativity that come through my meditation practice feels bottomless, and I never cease to be amazed with what shows up.    

Why I teach meditation:

I teach so more people have space to feel, unwind tension, self-heal, discover more of who they are, and expand their ideas of what's possible for themselves and for all of us. Teaching is one of my favorite ways to connect with others, be of service, and share this tool that has been so healing in my own life. And did I mention, it's really fun?! 

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