Nikki Koch took her first dance class at the age of two, and continued dancing through her entire young life. After moving to NYC, Nikki turned her attention from dance to yoga, as it helped to ease physical discomfort caused by old dance injuries and repetitive stress, and a meditative, breath-centered yoga practice helped her to find a more healthy, stress-free lifestyle. Nikki received her teaching certification at Abhyasa Yoga Center in 2009, where she taught for three years. In 2012, Nikki, along with partners Julia Huffman and Dana Bushman, founded The Cobra Club as a home for yoga misfits – welcoming to all levels from total beginners to practiced yogis. Nikki’s aim is to take the stigma out of yoga that the practitioner has to be flexible and able to do complicated and physically demanding poses, while leading a perfectly zen life of abstinence outside of the yoga studio. She recognizes that vices, in moderation, can help ease difficulties and lead to healthier, happier lives.
Carl Banks is a multi-instrumentalist, storyteller, and New York City based folk singer. He entertains kids and adults with traditional folk and children songs as well as original material that doesn’t speak down to youth. His music draws from many different time periods without bias of genre, a musical raggedy man of sorts, classes include rhymes, repeat-after-me songs, and movement songs with lots of audience participation.
For over twenty years, David Jason Williams a.k.a. U.N.D.A.K.O.V.A
(Universe. Naturally. Delivers. All. Knowledge. Of. Vitality. Automatically.) has been awakening audiences with his special brand of insightful & knowledge infused hip hop. Urban monk and teaching artist, his seasoned background in yoga and meditation has allowed him to develop a yoga hip hop curriculum for urban youth with the organizations non-profit BEAT NYC, GENERATION WIRELESS (Now Amplify) and the ABC Sanctuary just to name a few. Undakova has shared the stage with George Clinton, LL COOL J, KRS ONE and Black Sheep. As a native New Yorker, graduate of Laguardia HS of Performing Arts and pioneer of Hip Hop Yoga UNDAKOVA exemplifies that self-love and artistic expression are the ultimate tools for empowering communities.
Janna Naylor holds a BFA in Dance from the Ballet Department of the North Carolina School of the Arts. She received her training from Melissa Hayden, Duncan Noble, Gyula Pandi, and Nina Danilova, to name a few. She traveled to Budapest to study with the National Hungarian Ballet. She has performed as a soloist with Ballet New York, toured china with the Michael Mao Dance Company as a principal dancer, and is a dancer in Matthew Barney’s art film Creamaster III. She has choreographed works for various theatre productions and the musical Ferenet Baranka. She has developed Moving Books, an early childhood program addressing literacy through dance performance. She is a dancer with SLDT and will enter into her 7th year as Program Director of SLDT- the Academy.
James is the USANKF 165 lb Juice Karate national champion, a Renzo Gracie purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, He has extensive training in Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts-based striking under Ray Longo, spent several months training Muay Thai in Thailand, and has competitive amateur Muay Thai experience. James is the winner of multiple grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, has experience in Combat Sambo and experience teaching Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, and mixed martial arts.
Saskia was introduced to yoga in 2003 and after moving from the German countryside to New York City in 2006, yoga became an essential and substantial practice helping her to find stillness, peace, and clarity in this big city. She completed the first Sarva Yoga Academy teacher training at Go Yoga. Saskia has studied various lineages of yoga, the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism, Indian Yoga, and the Fourth Way. She was also certified as a Therapeutic Yoga Practitioner at Integral Yoga and is a certified Reiki Practitioner of the 2nd degree. For Saskia, yoga is not a physical practice but rather a combination of mind, body and spirit; and the healing powers of the unity of these elements. With her Metal Yoga classes Saskia is creating a Yoga environment of a different kind for everyone who is not interested in the experience of a regular Yoga. She is offering metal tunes to a devotional practice to the darkness.