Our Team

The Leading Yoga instructional team is committed to optimizing your yoga experience. Our instructors teach Zoom sessions, meet individually with students, and conduct off-site at corporate events. We offer teacher training certification coursework for those interested in becoming an instructor.

Team members include advanced practitioners in Hatha yoga, meditation, Vinyasa yoga, and much more. Review our team to see who you would like to come out to your next corporate event or to teach you a private lesson via Zoom or in person.

Leading Yoga Our Instructional Team

Leading Yoga team members are here to assist you with your yoga journey. Looking for a private one-on-one lesson? A corporate event? An in-service day for your team? The Leading Yoga instructional team is here if you have questions so just ask us.

Leading Yoga Instructional Team

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.

Shalyni Paiyappilly

Yoga, 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.

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.

Astrid Kusumo

Zumba and Zumba Toning/Conditioning Instructor

After the birth of her 2nd child, Astrid was looking for a way to lose weight, and get healthy and fit. She started trying Zumba workouts at the gym and after 1 year, she fell in love and find a passion for it. She then decided to become a certified Zumba Instructor. Astrid has been teaching for over 6 years and has loved every second of it. Astrid truly believes in helping all people feel welcome to work out and have fun in a judgment-free environment. She is also licensed to teach Zumba toning and certified AFAA-GFI.

Angela Pang

Zumba, Zumba Toning/Conditioning & Zumba Kids Instructor

Angela is a mom of 3 kids. She gained a lot of weight after her last child and was looking for a fun way to lose weight. She joined her local gym and attended a Zumba class and instantly fell in love with Zumba. After joining 1 year in the gym, she lost over 40 lbs. Zumba is her favorite group fitness class, not only did it help her physically, it also helped her mentally. Angela gained a lot of confidence and feel so much happier since. She gets to meet amazing people around her in her classes. So she decided that shewant to bring this happiness to others. After she got her Zumba license 2 years ago, she also obtained her Zumba toning, Zumba gold, Zumba Kids licenses. She is also an AFAA certified group fitness instructor.

Ethel Tally

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Ethel is a yoga and meditation instructor with over 700+ hours of yoga training under her belt. She is also a certified doula, prenatal yoga, art and dance facilitator. Ethel loves to be creative in her offerings incorporating a variety of styles of yoga, meditation and movement. She empowers everyone through her teachings to nurture that precious mind-body connection.

Malathi Raghavendra

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

As a means to balance professional and personal life, Malathi took to Yoga. She fell in love with the art of yoga and further went on to become a certified yoga teacher from The Yoga School NY and advanced training from KYM, India.

Ann Qin

Yoga, Zumba & Meditation Instructor

I have been very passionate about sports, exercise, and fitness for almost all my life. I had received gymnastics training for eight years since I was a kid. I am an avid marathon runner, I had done the NYC marathon 9 times and numerous other distance races. I have been a member and pacer of the New York Running club for many years. In 2019, I won 4th at NPC Eastern USA Championships Bikini Novice Class A, and I won 5th at NPC Brooklyn Grand Prix Novice Class A.

My true passion is Zumba and Yoga practice and teaching, they both have a big impact on me mentally and physically. I have been a certified Zumba instructor, hold Zumba basic license and a Zumba gold license since 2016, and I absolutely love teaching Zumba classes. I am also certified 200 (E-RYT) from Yoga Alliance. Back in 2011, I had been a practitioner for the Virtual Yoga health program “Yogaxpress” at the studio of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and a producer of this program at Queens Public Television for several years.

In the past and up to now, I have been spending a lot of my time and energy coaching, motivating, and inspiring others to work out, I have a lot of experience in coaching and instructing kids, adults, and seniors in dancing, yoga, exercising since I have been as a group fitness consultant for a private fitness for many years.

I am a very highly motivated and energetic person. I have a passion for helping others, improve their lives through fun workouts, strength training, and fitness. I am friendly, and willing to learn and I have confidence in supporting and building relationships with all levels of customers. I love fitness, I love people, and I want to share the enjoyment that fitness bring to me with others.

Andrea Baykir

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Andrea Baykir is a 200hr Yoga Instructor, Chopra Center Certified Meditation Instructor, and Revelation Breathwork Facilitator. She currently teaches Meditation, Yoga, and Breath to women online who are experiencing overwhelm, impatience in their relationships with their children and partners, self-judgment and criticism, and disconnected from what it is that their hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits need. Andrea is also a former Elementary School Teacher and also supports children in building emotional resilience through mindfulness, breath and meditation.

Azure Lilliana

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Azure started practicing yoga as a child and has been certified to teach yoga and meditation to adults and children since 2014. She is passionate about helping students connect to their inner peace and power. Azure has taught mindfulness to children in public and private schools across all 5 boroughs of NYC. She has organized classes for adults in workplaces and community centers as well as taught in studios and private homes. Azure believes that powerful benefits and big changes can come from simple beginning steps.

Abinaya Swaminathan

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Abinaya is a yoga practitioner & registered yoga teacher specializing in Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Pre & Postnatal, Restorative, Yin, Prop, and Chair yoga. She is currently training in Yoga Therapy. She was introduced to yoga as a kid, with her base being Hatha yoga. She has been leading online and in-person sessions for all age groups, adults and kids, for over 5 years. She absolutely loves what she does.

Natalya Fearnley

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Natalya is a yoga instructor certified in power yoga and restorative yoga. She enjoys teaching a combination of styles with a focus on pranayama that allows her students to feel their strength and release excess energy so they can drop into nourishing stillness and explore the peace of being present in their bodies. She believes that each person is their own best teacher and offers her students guidance to help them learn to listen to their body and understand how to give it what it truly needs. She has been practicing yoga since she was a child and teaching yoga since 2019. She has taught hot yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga, power yoga, and combinations of these practices in group and individual settings both online and in person.

Hegulka Scheiman

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Hegulka is a registered yoga teacher and has been leading in-person and online sessions for over 8 years. She enjoys helping people from diverse backgrounds create an enriching and sustainable yoga practice. Her approach aims to be welcoming for every-body and she strives to make her instructions adaptable to the needs of participants. She completed her Vinyasa training at Three Sisters Yoga and then Gentle/Hatha training at Alchemy Yoga Therapy. Her offerings include practical guidance that folks can use in daily life, such as relaxed breathing, mindful movement, and guided meditation. She is currently a Yoga Therapist in-training.