The [Epic] Team
Julie weinstock, operations manager
Being born and raised in New York, it may come as no surprise to you that for most of my life, the concept of "me time" was entirely foreign. I was always on to the next thing, next place, next goal. If you asked me about stillness, I would have told you I don't speak the language. In the city that never sleeps, our minds don't either.
*Enter yoga, stage left*
I won't tell you I suddenly developed a deep affection for sitting in one place for hours on end. I'd be lying if I told you my list of goals shrunk down. But what did happen? I found that in an hour of breathing and dynamic movement I could become a million times closer to all those things I was so desperately (but somewhat subconsciously) chasing after. I gained an hour of "this is who I am." Even more than that, I learned to embrace it.
While other workouts offered me strength, a sense of accomplishment, and of course those magical post-class endorphins, yoga was the first workout that allowed me to leave a space with a quiet mind. (Who knew this sense of peace existed in NYC?)
From this spark, I went for the fire. I got certified to teach yoga in August 2016 at Yoga to the People. After a year of teaching there, I went on to teach Beer Yoga. Not long after, I made my way to my first Drunk Yoga class. It was love at first sip. Now, here we are :)
Favorite yoga pose: It's hard for me to commit to one favorite yoga pose (it’s the whole flow that makes you feel amazing!) but I do enjoy crow. Who doesn't want to fly?
What brings me joy: I have a special affection for the little waddle Corgis do when they walk, (I relate) that first cup of coffee in the morning, shakshuka with the feta on top, and doing ridiculous things to make others smile. (Okay, but mostly dogs. All dogs…)
What I wish people knew about yoga: I wish more people knew yoga isn't about being flexible or how long you can hold a headstand. My favorite definition to date is “Yoga is learning to deal with the consequences of who you are.”
Corinne Teklitz, digital marketing manager
Corinne is a cross between the life of the party and the girl next door. She brings fun, energy, and quirky sass to everything she does. Her affectionate personality creates a warm, easy going environment. Corinne first began practicing yoga in college as part of a requirement towards a bachelor’s degree in dance. Yoga was a welcomed break from course work and savasana meant nap time. After an injury, Corinne rediscovered yoga in 2015 and began teaching. She strives to cultivate an experience accessible for every person. At a house party you can find Corinne tearing it up on the dance floor or off petting the dog. Corinne is thrilled to be a part of the Drunk Yoga family!
Favorite (Drunk) yoga pose: Wide leg forward fold - the point where I know a twerking contest is inevitable, and anything with the name dog, because dogs!
What brings me joy: A good Italian Montepulciano and my dog Miloh
What I wish people knew about yoga: That yoga (and life) doesn’t always have to be so serious. Move in a way that feels good in YOUR body and brings YOU joy, regardless of what it looks like or if it’s “right.”
Yoga entered my life as it did most people’s in the U.S., because I wanted a new way to exercise other than running and lifting weights. I used to dance and this was a close resemblance. But the more I explored my yogic practice the more I fell in love with it as not only a full body exercise, but a mental lifestyle adjustment as well. I spent one summer after college renting a room from two yoga instructors. Through them, my yogic practice deepened and eventually I decided to become certified in teaching yoga through FlyYoga School under the tutelage of Sherri Sidoti.
My yoga practice stems from Sthira Sukam; the balance of effort and ease. I remember I took a yoga class one day and was trying so utterly hard to go to the deepest and fullest extension of the pose and my teacher pulled me out of it and helped me readjusted to find a place in the pose where I was not only engaged, but also peacefully receiving. I truly believe yoga is about us finding the best balanced version of ourselves physically and mentally. I even have those words tattooed on my forearm as a reminder every day I am practicing balance.
Most recently I work at multiple studios and private gyms in and around Manhattan teaching Vinyasa Flow, meditation, cardio HIIT classes, one-on-one hands on privates, and hot flow yoga. I have a background in theatre and music and done multiple workshops for actors and symphonic musicians and had the opportunity to work as a summer camp for high school students.
Favorite yoga pose: People always ask what is your favorite yoga pose and as an instructor it is so easy to say "I love them all." Or we can be clever and say Shavasana of course, who doesn't love taking a nap at the end of practice. But I'll be honest, the pose I love most is Warrior III. It's an odd one, and probably rarely mentioned. But it is one of the first poses that I really started to notice how if I put my arms here, my back did this, if I turned my toes this way, my hips did this. To me you use your body to stretch your body. And I learned how all the nooks and crannies of my body were important as is every aspect of our lives. Almost like the butterfly effect, every small thing affects the balance of my body emotionally, physically, and mentally.
What I wish people knew about yoga: What is important to me about yoga is that it's not a sport, it's meant to create community & it's to find balance mentally & physically. Now the wine, might alter the balance a little bit, but who doesn't love a good challenge? Also, I am I huge proponent of smiling while practicing. It doesn't have to be taken so seriously, and if the smile is a little liquid induced, even better.
After being forced to take a power vinyasa yoga class, as a friend's final wish before going away for college, I found myself laying in a pool of my own sweat feeling relieved. Of what? I still don't know, but that feeling kept me returning to class several times a week for 5 years before embarking on a 200hr Vinyasa training in the summer of 2016. Since my certification I've found pleasure in dissolving western media's perspective on yoga for friends and strangers so that they can embark on their own yogic journeys.
I am passionate about teaching drunk yoga because adding a glass of wine to a vinyasa practice lifts the burden of trying to conceptualize a focus for the class. Without getting too philosophical I can provide a point of connection for a student to step onto their mat where the only foci are their breath and not spilling the wine. And if they spill their glass, that's okay, too;)
Favorite yoga pose: Chair pose because it feels like my whole body is full of energy and my legs are the strongest part of my body so I can sit for a while
What brings me joy: K-pop (bringing joy into my life for nearly a decade)
What I wish people knew about yoga: That you don’t have to be a size 0, raw vegan, pretzel person to do it and if you are a size zero, raw vegan, pretzel person, you’re welcome, too.
While I am now a self-proclaimed yoga addict, I wasn't always that way—in fact, I took my first few classes sporadically, and under protest. Maybe if there was wine involved, I would have been more inclined to understand what the "flow" this was all about. After letting my relationship with the practice age, I signed up for my 200 hour certification. A dancer my whole life, I love how yoga has preserved my body, strengthened my joints, and kept me chill in audition holding rooms, or before showtime.
If you find yourself in my class, you'll be high-fived, hugged, wined, and maybe even a little worked out. Be prepared to sing along with my playlist—I have an uncanny knack for memorizing obscure song lyrics and movie quotes.
Favorite yoga pose: Seated Chair Twist, and Happy Lover
What brings me joy: My nephew. Finding money that I forgot was in my pockets. Getting a man-spreader on the subway to un-spread, so I, or someone else, can sit. Snow White is my FAVORITE Disney princess. She’s the OG!
What I wish people knew about yoga: You don’t need to show up in Lululemon with your makeup done or carry an obnoxiously heavy insulated water bottle to do yoga right. If that’s your jam, cool! I sometimes like to do that. But it starts with being you. Put on those soft yoga pants that may or may not actually be pj bottoms. Wrap yourself up in your old college T-shirt. Roll up with dirty hair, roll out your mat, take a seat, and give yourself a best friend hug, because you SHOWED UP.
Gina Marie Russell
I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years, and teaching for nearly 4. I started my yoga journey at a gym, and legitimately could not even touch my toes at the beginning, but I was hooked. While life would sometimes get in the way of a yoga class (sometimes for 6-ish months or so), I always found myelf coming to the mat. Also a passionate wine drinker, drunk yoga feels like the perfect marriage of bending and sipping, and of course, having a blast!
Favorite yoga pose: Any juicy twist (especially if most of my body gets to lie of the floor)
What brings me joy: Theater! I see as many shows as my time (and wallet) allow!
What I wish people knew about yoga: That flexibility is not a prerequisite. Come as you are and use all the props!
I was born in India and have lived in Singapore, Minnesota and Philadelphia before settling into NYC. While I started yoga first at a toddler age, I put it aside for many years until my stressful job in private equity. I found that yoga calmed me mentally and challenged me physically, and was hooked. I did my teacher training in Mexico and have taught for ClassPass as well as dozens of private classes.
Favorite yoga pose: camel pose (backbends literally open your heart!)
What brings me joy: seeing someone smile the first time they do something they thought was impossible, good coffee, bad puns, and my family!
What I wish people knew about yoga: it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel.
I hated yoga. Yup, you read that correctly—hated it! I was a runner, kick boxer, high-impact kind of gal until I did something to my lower back (in one of these high intensity classes I was so fond of) and my doctor said that I had to steer clear of my normal rigorous activities and should try something more focused on strength and low impact to the spine, like yoga. This was NOT what I wanted to hear. But, I gave it a go and for the first time I really went all in. I really went as deep as I could in every pose, I challenged myself trying new variations of yoga, I pushed myself in each class, and that is where I saw my transformation.
I became so entranced with yoga and its positive impact on my body (and soul). It was such a comforting release for me, but at the same time, transformed my body and its capabilities. Less than a year after really dedicating myself to a regular yoga practice, I registered for a yoga certification course.
Currently, I am an executive sales coach by day and a yogi by night (and early in the morning) but I think where I find I make the most impact in my community and in myself is when I combine those two worlds. I have very little divide in my life right now—whether you are a friend, colleague, or yoga student, I am often speaking about the importance of balance, having a growth mindset, selfcare, and diving deep to find the best version of yourself.
Favorite yoga pose: Half Moon Pose because I feel super strong and powerful (plus it has moon in the name, I mean, how “warrior” is that?)
What brings me joy: discovering a new band/artist/playlist on Spotify and playing it on repeat for days.
What I wish people knew about yoga: Yoga can serve you in exactly the way you want it to. It can help you tone up, get fit, work your muscles, but it can also help you focus, help you find clarity, remind you what is important. Yoga can push you out of your comfort zone or wrap you up in a warm blanket. We all need yoga in our lives for different reasons and that’s what makes it amazing.
I fully embrace the saying “living the dream”. Native New Yorker, rock n roll rebel child, tequila specialist by day and Drunk Yoga teacher by happy hour. What could be better? After extensive training in dance, I did the most un-New York thing and, quite literally, tripped into yoga. After a life altering injury, yoga reminded me what it meant to communicate with my body. You can often find me leading the rebellion, practicing yoga or drinking Chardonnay. This certified yoga instructor brings positive vibes and a vast knowledge of spirits to create the most fun you will ever have while exercising.
Favorite yoga pose: Half pigeon because it reminds me that I am only human and to humble myself
What brings me joy: A cup of tea before bedtime, live underground rock concerts and the New Orleans Saints.
What I wish people knew about yoga: Yoga isn’t poses you see on Instagram, those are posed and often fake life. What you feel while in class is real life. Breathing is yoga. Being flexible is yoga. Not being flexible is yoga. You don’t have to touch your toes to do yoga.