Our Team

The Leading Yoga instructional team are committed to optimizing your yoga experience. Our instructors teach Zoom sessions, meet individually with students, conduct off-site at corporate events, and lead yoga teacher training certification coursework.

Team members include advanced practitioners in Hatha yoga, meditation, Vinyasa yoga, and much more.

Leading Yoga Our Instructional Team

If you are new to yoga, ask any Leading Yoga team members to assist you to get started with your yoga journey. Our teachers are here if you have questions so just ask us.

Jennifer Smeddy

Director, Lead Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Jennifer Smeddy began her yoga journey looking for a way to quiet her mind and assist with her anxiety. She found solace in yoga and has a thirst to help others learn the benefits of yoga; helping your mind, body and spirit. Her formal yoga training occurred in India where she received her YTT. While living in India, she studied traditional Hatha yoga and the yogic sciences. Jennifer has experience teaching Hatha, restorative, yin and chair yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation. Yoga has shown Jennifer how to approach life in an open and honest way. With yoga in her life she is able to achieve a sense of ease and acceptance she never thought possible. Choosing this yogic path has changed her life completely and left her more accepting of herself and the nature of reality than she ever thought possible. Her life has transformed because of her daily yoga practice and she is excited to help others on their yoga journey with Leading Yoga.

Katrin Mersch

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Katrin has 20 years of experience as an actress, dancer and singer. She has her 500hr Teacher Training 2014-15. She has lived and worked in Europe and the US and enjoys traveling. She integrates all of her life experiences on and off stage and on and off the mat into her yoga/mindfulness classes. With the help of asanas (positions), pranayama (breathing exercises)and meditation (mindfulness) she supports yogis and yoginis of all ages and fitness levels to
find a way to their own true Self. Katrin creates a safe environment and encourages you to explore your own breath and to learn from your body sensations. She gives you the tools to strengthen your self confidence in order to be able to face every day challenges. Her favorite Mantra is: ‘The path is the goal.'

Shalyni Paiyappilly

Meditation & Reiki Instructor

Shalyni is a NY State Licensed Psychotherapist, Certified Life Coach, Registered Yoga / Meditation Teacher, Sound Vibration Facilitator, Reiki Practitioner, and a Singer.

Shalyni felt a calling at a young age to share her presence and her voice to help those in distress. She believes it is her mission to inspire peace in others. She currently works full time providing psycho-therapy at a private practice group. Additionally, she offers meditation, yoga, and sound vibration sessions in various NYC locations.

Jane McIntosh

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Jane began her exploration with yoga through suggestions for alleviating her chronic back pain. Amazed at the difference a few postures made, her practice grew serious and her love for yoga philosophy intensified, truly changing her outlook on life. Yoga found its way into all aspects of her life and her heart. With a career as a health educator, fitness professional, and yoga teacher, yoga continues to influence her life both on and off the mat.

She continues to pursue education in yoga and the healing arts for a deep understanding of therapeutics. Her classes are a mixture of her various training on breath and alignment principles. A balance of vigor, restoration, and renewal. Jane loves teaching to every level helping to facilitate her strong belief that yoga is truly for everybody and every body type. Strongly grateful to all of her teachers too many to mention and her students who teach her so many life lessons.

Kevin Allen

Kevin Allen

Yoga Instructor

Kevin Allen has been a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher since 2013. He first began studying Iyengar Yoga in 2006 as part of a New Year’s resolution. As a teacher, Kevin helps students gain insight into poses with crisp demonstrations, clear instructions, and straightforward corrections. Kevin also works as an actor and writer. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Dartmouth College.

Viramarie

Viramarie Witiuk

Yoga Instructor

Viramarie is an RYT200 Hatha and vinyasa yoga practitioner and instructor. Having left the corporate world, she returned to her athletic roots and continued her journey toward health and fitness by obtaining certifications in Yoga, Pilates, Barre Ballet, Core Conditioning, and becoming a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She finds joy in staying healthy herself and also encouraging others to join her on a path of overall well-being, incorporating the mind, the body and the soul.

Atieh Sahraei

Yoga Instructor

Atieh Sahraei is a 200-hour Certified Yoga and Meditation Instructor and a Nutritionist on the path to becoming a Registered Dietitian (RDN). She started passionately practicing yoga during her first year of college and when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Atieh felt the urge to take her practice to the next level and begin sharing the amazing Mind, body, & Breath experience with the world. Practicing Vinyasa Yoga flow has led Atieh to reach her perfect body goal, while at the same time, it has been a great method to balance and relax her mind. For the past two years, Atieh’s lifestyle has been all around Intuitive living and eating - exercise is just one element of a healthy life.
Atieh teaches all levels of Vinyasa flow, Power, and Yin Yoga; and has instructed all types of classes from private to large classroom sessions.

Sojourner Walker Williams

Yoga Instructor

Sojourner Walker Williams (she/her) is an energy healer, ayurvedic practitioner, and yoga teacher/trainer. Sojourner draws from her experiences as a Reiki Master, Akashic Records reader, Thai Bodywork practitioner, Reyad Sekh Em practitioner (Kemetic Alchemy Healing), and 500+ hours of yoga teacher trainings, to integrate a variety of healing modalities during her sessions depending upon the unique needs of each person in her care.