Our
Mission

Illumina is a community of real people doing deep shit. It’s not about who you are or what you wear, but that you want to dive in and explore. We are seekers held together by different modalities from different cultures, different strengths and unified with the desire to live from the heart and explore the authentic self.

Our doors are open to all and to practice here is to embrace diversity, embodiment, heart. Here you will feel safe and supported while exploring the deeper questions that life poses and yoga supports.

Our teachers are highly skilled, and relate to more than one modality of practice. They bring in their own experiences and truths to inform a unique class experience in the full spectrum of the yogic path.

Illumina teachers are able to ask students important questions during practice to encourage self reflection and personal empowerment. They are able to hold space powerfully and humbly with the ability to apply compassion and neutrality to all interactions.

Our
Teachers

Johanna Bell

Director

Johanna is known as a teacher of teachers and an inspiration guru who mentors countless yoga instructors on their ever expanding journeys. She is a sequencing specialist devoted to the infinite creative and connective stream of each individual’s truth and is the founder of the Full Spectrum Sequencing Approach. Her classes incorporate poetry, moving metaphor and music in a rich orchestral way that guides the student on a soulful, sweaty journey into the heart of what it means to be human. As a counselor and healer, she is recognized for her ability to see the light, wholeness and infinite potential within everyone she meets.

Johanna’s yoga journey started when she was a wee tot, dancing to express the things that had no words, writing to find the images that evoke… These loves carried her through years of training as a classical ballet dancer, a degree in theatre with an emphasis on literature and a successful career as an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer in New York and on the road. Her dabbling into yoga turned serious when she discovered Sonic and the expressive joyful, forgiving energy of the space. She graduated from the 200-hour program under the guidance of Lauren Hanna and Jonathan Fields and soon realized that the teachings made sense of everything she ever believed in and brought all her separate pieces together. She’s never looked back…becoming teacher and manager of the 2nd Sonic Space in Westchester almost immediately…guiding that studio through it’s transition to Quest Yoga Arts, Joining The Sonic Training Faculty and ultimately stepping into her home base in NYC as Co-Director in 2009, serving Sonic and all its training programs in that capacity until 2014. In the midst of all that, she was blessed with a 500-hour certificate under the guidance of the incomparable Sri Dharma Mittra and has continued to be inspired through the lineage of Shiva Rea, the wisdom of the Tantra, the Pneuma System and ancient Shamanic wisdom. She is a Reiki Healer and has studied under Guru Dharam Khalsa for her certificate in Kundalini Yoga Therapy. She is married to the most magical man and fellow Yogi, Jim Bell. They reside with their daughter Lucia in Carmel, NY.

Johanna Bell

Rian Bodner

Co-Director

I first started to practice yoga to attain the body and life I wish I had. Now I practice to feel empowered within the body and life I already posses.

As a teacher, my priority isn’t to get you excited about me, or even about yoga, but for you to be excited about you. To help you experience the abundance of your integrity, fearlessness, and truth so that you can serve your heart, your relationships, your authenticity, and your life’s mission, in the most elevated, empowered way possible.

What you can expect from practicing with me: Expect the unexpected. You will learn how to direct your energy in the most potent way possible, and how to show up for yourself with sensitivity and strength. Expect to explore your blindspots, and gain deeper awareness of how your mind operates and how the body responds. How your humanness and struggle and heart are all an asset to your growth and success.

There is only one body type made for the practice of yoga; the human body. So if you happen to possess one of these, the only thing that's needed to allow yourself to opportunity to experience your own radiance is simply choosing to show up.

Rian Bodner

Hannah Gruber

I came to yoga and Ayurveda from a stressful, jam-packed life, with debiliiating allergies, asthma and digestive issues. Tired of medication, inhalers, doctors, caffeine and not enough sleep, I was willing to try anything.

I decided to stop believing the myth that feeling terrible was my fate. I didn’t want to walk around with a smile on my face while my body was in pain. I wanted to OWN my body and my health. I wanted to take care of myself.

I believe that great health is a holistic matter: when your body, mind or emotions are out of alignment, it throws the whole system off. However, the more you come into balance, the greater your magnetic potential, purpose, meaning, and love in life.

Hannah Gruber

Maria Wagner

Yoga is an invitation to enter into deep and loving relationship with all parts of ourselves. Within me, yoga has ignited a dance between inner exploration and outward expression, and serves as a path to remembering the sacredness and interconnectedness of all things. I began practicing yoga in 2009 in the tradition of B.K.S. Iyengar with Melora Gregory. With a strong foundation in asana alignment, I discovered vinyasa flow and fell in love with the way that the practice embodies the rising and falling, always-changing nature of life. From then on, yoga became my path inward and outward toward self-acceptance, expression, empowerment, and the ability to connect with truth. As a graduate of Sonic Yoga's 200 hr and Illumina Yoga's 300 hr teacher trainings, both under the guidance of Johanna Bell, I am now honored to be on the teaching faculty of Illumina Yoga's trainings which have been so deeply transformational in my life. In my teaching I encourage all practitioners to trust their body's intuition and embrace their own individual experience. My classes are rooted in Tantric philosophy and hold the sentiment that the Divine can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Designed around a specific energetic theme, my classes weave together asana, dance-like moving metaphors and mudras, breath, mantra, mythology and archetypal energies, and music to explore the infinite wonder of nature and the depth of this human experience. Photo credit: Wohler & Co.
Maria Wagner

Kathleen Savoy

Kathleen Savoy’s desire for expansion has truly been one unabashed discovery after another. Her search began early and brought her to New York City to explore the world of entertainment. While personal training at a New York Sports Club in So Ho, she took a class called yoga. It was there that she met savasana and found her new hOMe. After completing her 200 hour teacher training in New York at Sonic Yoga with the unparalleled guidance of Johanna Bell and Lauren Hanna, she moved to Maine. She later completed her 500 hour teacher training with Sonic Yoga and Shiva Rea.
Kathleen Savoy

Neeta Handa

‘We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.’

This quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, holds a special resonance in my heart. Spirituality to me is a conversation about our experiences as human but also as limitless soul. To me it is not limited nor confined to rituals and practices, rather it is staying in true alignment with my Spirit and my true essence. It is expressing my ever eternal Ruh (Soul) through the precious presence of my human self. And so, as we shift powerfully (sometimes painfully) from old paradigm and knowing of the Earth to a New Paradigm, I sense it is time for us to simplify our journey, our practices and the rhythm of our lives.

Born and raised in the heart of India, New Delhi, my yogic practices started early in life. As a young child, I used to practice Hatha & Ashtang style of yogasan, during the earliest moments of dawn for years, under the guidance of a temple priest/ my Guruji. This discipline supported me to channelize the excited energies of a child, and helped me to become a life-long student of Yogic studies and mystics of life. It was also this foundation that grounded me and made me feel home during a phase of my life when I felt lost, this time as an adult. I was on a path of a linear corporate career which I survived for close to a decade and yet there was always a deep yearning for more. Even though I my years at the corporate world were very satisfying and successful, I felt limiting to fully express my intuitive abilities- a part of me that has always been the dominant one. And that yearning lead me to return to my mat and my meditative practices. It also took me on a journey to explore and discover the Yogic lineage of my great grandfather, who was a deeply loved and followed Yogic teacher & philosopher during the Pre-partitioned India. I rekindled my intuitive, spiritual and creative self. One step to another in this direction, led me to deepen my Yogic practices and to the doors of Sonic Yoga NYC, where under the guidance of Johanna and Lauren, I took an inner journey through the formal 200 Hour teacher training. During my 200 Hour YTT, I explored Vinyasa style that nourished and allowed my energies to flow. I have always sensed energies, vibrations and the working of subtle energy body, and with the intense, yet soulful vinyasa flows during my teacher training, supported me to deepen my understanding of the beautiful unison of our physical and energetic body. It opened new doors within me and creative juices started flowing through me. I started to experience life in reawakened ways. I became mindful to the patterns and rhythm of life and nature. Colors, symbols, shapes, signs, words, food, and every routine part of life became more alive, spirit (ual) alike and ritualistic. Later, I took another deeply enriching and transformational journey of 500 Hour YTT under the guidance of Johanna and the other enlightened teachers of Illumina Yoga, NY. When I am not on the mat, I knot & string handmade Jaap (Japa) Malas, infused with pure intentions and love and I support & guide my ever-expanding tribe to strengthen the lost connection with their very own beautiful Ruh (Soul) and deepen their Inner Journey.

Yoga supports me to give voice to my inspirations and intuitive downloads. For me, Yoga is a discipline and a ritual and so I sacredly practice Yoga on & off the mat. To me, it is a moving meditation that takes me into deeper realms to explore. I truly believe that Yoga creates a State of Limitless, a vast spaciousness that one can choose to fill with as many spectrums, as much joy and as much love one can hold and spread. Yoga and mindful rituals are tools to connect into an inner space with much awareness and tap into the limitless treasures and creative energies that’s deeply rooted in our Higher Consciousness. These sacred practices provide us a space to listen and pay attention to the inner communication around what triggers us and what excites us, what grounds us or irritates us and why, where we feel stuck or feel liberated, where are we navigating towards, what truth are we expressing or holding back?

Through my offerings, I bring together a soulful flow of postures (aasan), breath work (pranayam), rhythmic pulsating actions (kriyas), meditations (dhyan), mudras (hand gestures), sacred symbols & shapes, and seal each practice with a grounding relaxation (savasan/yog nidra). I encourage my students to experience a deep awareness of the postures, the flow & movements of the body and the powerful connection of the breath. While also staying in a receiving mode, for each student to connect to their own ‘In-Spirations’ and intuitive messages that might find a clear psychic way to flow through them and to them. I also like to create relaxation and centeredness within, while having enough space for everyone to challenge themselves, and evolve & grow- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Being a certified Reiki Master and certified Kundalini Reiki Teacher helps me to hold the space for everyone’s energies and create a beautiful common energy in room.

I truly believe that we are here on Earth realm to celebrate our presence, our evolution, and also the deep connections we experience and share with other Beings. And so, the spiritual and mindful practices then serve as tools and our support system for us to enrich our journeys, while not taking ourselves too seriously. I am honored and excited to practice together through Illumina Online Portal and look forward to witness my journey to evolve as a teacher, a human, and a limitless soul.

Neeta Handa

Tanya Birl-Torres

Tanya is a lover of light and all things joyful! She is a self professed seeker of clarity and truth and sees creativity as each of our birthrights. Through her work as a yoga and meditation teacher, movement/creative director and facilitator, Tanya help individuals open up to life, allowing it to flow freely through them. Using movement, yoga, creative/spiritual connection and curiosity as a means to ground, source and embody the truth of who we are.
With over a decade long career as an actress, dancer and choreographer, Tanya have come to find her voice as an artist and creative. Blurring the lines of performance she have found a deep reciprocal connection between artist and audience, teacher and student, being and environment. Finding the true collaborative approach to creating change within the self as well as our communities as a whole.
Throughout her life, she have always heard the inquisitive voice of her 7 year old self. From a young age she have been passionate about asking questions and digging deeper into her own human potential. Through this work with SoHumanity, she is channelling her inner child who sees being creative as an opportunity to shift social consciousness and change the world through seeing the joint humanity in us all. As a mother of a preschooler and a certified scuba diver, she is obviously gusty and up for a challenge!
Tanya Birl-Torres

Cathleen Wasielewski

Cathleen's formal yoga training began in early 2011 and through a magnificent evolution has brought me on a journey of gratitude. I have been so blessed to study with such teachers as Shiva Rea, Roberto Lim, Seane Corn, Todd Norian, Anodea Judith, Josh Summers, Bernie Clark, Francesca McCartney, Melissa Sophia Joy and Johanna Bell as well as so many more. My educational journey continues with current studies in Somatic Awakening® and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Each teacher and each experience has given me a light of perspective on the value of what it means to be a Spirit on this human journey.
My teachings have evolved through steady growth of both Vinyasa and Yin Yoga –first with a masculine and disciplined approach to the access of Self through body awareness and now to dancing with the Shakti feminine elements that so serve the wholeness of the culture we are growing with. The union of the two is Yoga and life in its fullest sense. The resonance between Yin and Yang guides to true healing. Our resonance, our rhythms and this human life are a reflection of and a guide for our evolution and transformation.
I have been teaching in a variety of venues and yoga studios in the greater Portland, Maine area since 2011. I teach annual yoga retreats that focus on wholeness through meditation and asana practices.
The sphere of yoga is immeasurably infinite. It is my belief that each person penetrates the sphere with the practice that resonates most sweetly with their own experiences of who they are. This entry point may be through asana practice, meditation, or the breath noticed in the daily challenges of living. We find our yoga in daily conversations, the ability to ground ourselves in the midst of struggle amongst our human family and in the many moments of strength that surprise us. The recognition of the yoga as union (yoking) of all things is a practice toward the awakening that we are here for. Cathleen is a BS-Pharm, E-RYT 500, YACEP, Masters of Intuition Medicine®
Cathleen Wasielewski

Louie

A true Yogi in every sense, Louie is deeply committed to keeping his students focused on the little pleasures. Taking time to smell not just the roses, but the grass, the curb, the post, the fence, the bench. Take it all in and don't take yourself so seriously.
Louie

Hamish

Loyal, athletic, and patient, generous, Hamish's lessons involve befriending simple pleasures, not taking yourself too seriously, and getting a little dirty.
Hamish