We are pleased to present our skilled and caring Teaching and leadership Staff


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DANIELA HESS

Co-FOUNDER, lead educator, board president

CTACC, M.S. Ed, Spiritual Counselor, Life Coach, Certified Yoga Instructor, Meditation Guide, Radiance Educator

MY EXPERIENCE: My 20 years in spiritual study and application are primarily from the Mahayana School of Tibetan Buddhism and Kashmir Shaivism. Prior to Co-Creating Yoga Farm, I worked 1:1 and with couples as a Life Coach, and I co-founded and taught with HeartPath Institute. My teachers have included His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Byron Katie, D.R. Butler, Lorin Roche, Camille Maurine, Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, and Dr. Jackie Black.

MY "WHY": The synthesis of the oral teachings and transmissions of an unbroken lineage combined with the contemporary teachings of meditation, inquiry and modern mysticism fuel my ability to guide students into the answers that lie buried like treasure within their questions. I am masterful, with a laser like sharpness, at helping all who come to me to See, Feel, and ReMember their own Radiance. 

In our Western culture, we are presently experiencing the highest rates ever of depression, anxiety, and loneliness; these are all symptoms that contribute to many people feeling an emptiness inside; a disconnection within, a lack of fulfillment in meaning and purpose in their lives, and the absence of Joy. On the outside, many people are able to hide it rather well, however when we arrive home, often our lives behind closed doors are where we both love the most yet simultaneously we feel a dissatisfaction within that’s sometimes clear, and other times hard to identify ‘why’. To manage the feelings of suffering we engage in habits, addictions, and patterned ways of being in order to change the way we are feeling in the short term. Over time, these coping methods don’t truly serve our highest good, as we feel more and more disconnected. 

My passion is helping clients and students ReDiscover who and what they ‘really are’, to fall deeply in love with themselves, to relearn how to nourish and cherish themselves so they can honestly nourish others, and to Feel, with their whole Being, the experience of the ‘Rapture of Being Alive’. 

My job is to help You ReCognize your Self. To help You ReMember your magnificent Goodness and Beauty and Power. To live a life of astounding fulfillment, and to live AS Love, in Action in your relationships and ultimately, as Service to others.

When the mind becomes very very Clear, all that remains is Kindness, Gratitude, smiles, laughter, tenderness, effective actin, ThankYou’s, and the repeated question aloud to others; ‘How may I Be useful for You right Now...?’

My Vision of our capacity as a Humanity is a world where all beings are living in and as Connection, Purpose, Joy, & Service. When we Awaken ourself to our True Nature as Kindness & Clarity, we can Awaken ourselves as our Kindest Humanity.

MY CONVICTION: "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional" and "Everyone’s True Nature is inherent Goodness, & Kindness, and Love."


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CHRISTOPHER GRANT

Co-FOUNDER, Yoga Teacher, director of operations

E-RYT 200, B.S. Engineering (Cornell University), Certified Yoga Instructor, Meditation Guide

MY EXPERIENCE: I have been studying and teaching yoga, meditation and other healing therapies and energetic modalities for over 20 yearsand hold many teaching certificates and a Cornell Engineering degree. My teachers have included Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, John Osborne, Lorin Roche, James Eavenson, Dr. Joe Marshalla, Yogi Bhajan, and Dr. Joseph Levry.

I love assisting those new to yoga, or individuals experiencing pain or dis-ease, to connect with yoga and meditation practices that will assist them in taking steps towards to a healthy body, vibrant mind and compassionate connection with others.

MY "WHY": Meditation can free us from suffering, mental confusion, and remind us of our connection to Source.


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Jeannie O'Neill

director of development, Yoga Teacher, Yoga Teacher Training Lead

MY EXPERIENCE: My M.Ed degree is in Contemplative Pedagogy and Mindfulness in Schools. I have years of experience in the public school system as well as in charter and alternative schools as a teacher, social worker and administrator. Having owned a yoga studio in Bennington, Vermont, I taught yoga to students ages 3 to ­83 and have extensive yoga anatomy, physiology, and philosophy knowledge. My teachers have included, Jennilee Toner, Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Patricia Jennings.

MY “WHY”; I am passionate about illuminating students’ individual paths towards peace and surrender. I believe that the four yogas allow freedom on that path.

MY CONVICTION; Change and Healing are synonymous; “we cannot control the waves, but we can learn to surf.” Jon Kabat-Zinn


Jennifer Wells-Miller

Yoga Teacher

BIO COMING SOON


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Joshua Reynolds

yoga teacher, development

joshua@yogafarm.us

MY EXPERIENCE: I am in the process of completing my yoga teacher training here at Yoga Farm. I graduated with a Bachelors in Music Business Management from Columbia College Chicago in 2011. I found yoga through my relationship with my fiancée Mariko, and have experience working in the tech startup world since 2013. 

MY "WHY": I am a firm believer in the benefits that yoga and mindfulness provide. My mission is to share this with everyone that I possibly can. 

MY CONVICTION: Yoga is a practice that unifies the student with the divinity within themselves.


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Pennee squier barresi

Yoga Teacher

My Experience: In May of 2017, I completed my RYT 200 hour teaching certificate through Yoga Farm, Lansing, NY and in June of 2018, I completed a 30 hour Restorative Yoga training at Kripalu with Judith Hanson Lasater. I have been teaching meditative, gentle flow classes and now a Restorative Yoga class at Yoga Farm since then. I have received my fourth level Heart Path Reiki initiation and offer private Reiki sessions. Now retired, I served in public education for 30 years as a School Psychologist. During that time, I began my exploration into the many benefits of Mindfulness as an extension of my own mediation practice.

My “WHY”: Through my yoga practice, I have come to recognize how the quality of my life can change when I respond from love rather than react from fear. Discovering that yoga is really not so much about self-improvement, rather it is about a radical self-acceptance with fierce compassionate, opened me to my own self-love. It is a honor for me to offer support to others on their journey.

My Conviction: Loving yourself with all your heart, will allow you to truly love all sentient beings on this Earth. Yoga is that path.


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Shira Melen

Yoga Teacher, LICENSED Massage Therapist

MY EXPERIENCE: I began my yoga practice in 2003 and throughout that time my practice has taken many shapes and forms. In 2016, after working nearly 10 years as a pastry chef, I traveled to India to complete my 200hr Vinyasa teacher training, along with 100hr of Yin Fascial Yoga training.  This only increased my fascination with, and respect for the human body, which then led me to the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2017. I currently operate a massage practice in downtown Ithaca.

MY "WHY": My yoga practice has deeply informed my knowledge and understanding of myself - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Yoga has seen me through difficult times, and been my companion through joyous ones.  It excites me to share the benefits of yoga with others, and I’m honored when students choose to share their practice with me.


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Erica Lazarus

Yoga Teacher

MY EXPERIENCE: My yoga practice began in 2008 and I completed my 200-hour teaching training at the Yoga Farm in 2017. Having an extensive background in fitness, athletics, and dance, I am endlessly exploring new ways of movement to deepen in my relationship with my body, mind and soul.

MY “WHY”: The practice of moving and activating my body has afforded me a more fluid and peaceful life. Through this freedom of self-expression, I am able to surrender to the moment at play with ease, clarity, and openness. Our bodies hold great wisdom and through the practice of yoga, we become further aligned with our true selves and can experience self acceptance, love and freedom.

MY CONVICTION: The world serves as a beautiful reminder of the love that I am.