About Instructors

Hawk - Instructor @ Ahimsa YogaHawk

Hawk has been practicing and teaching Yoga over twenty years. She has served Cornell University for the past ten years as a Yoga teacher for the Department of Athletics, as well as many Cornell related clubs. She  is trained in Sivananda Yoga and Dharma Yoga.

Check the schedule for class times.  Dharma Gentle, Dharma I and Deep Relaxation is for beginners or anyone in the process of healing.  Dharma II is intermediate.  Dharma III requires experience, and Dharma IV is for advanced students only!  Hawk has also been teaching at Cornell University for 10 years.

Go to Hawks page.


Tom BurchinalTom Burchinal

Tom Burchinal has been a serious student of Yoga since he began his practice in 2005. After 6 years of personal practice he did his RYT200 certification in the summer of 2011 at the Ithaca Yoga Center – Ahimsa. He is currently enrolled at the American Institute of Vedic Studies where he studies and practices the higher aspects of Yoga and Ayurveda under Dr. David Frawley (Pundit Vamadeva Shastri). Ayurveda has given Tom a clear understanding that every body/mind is totally unique, and should be instructed accordingly. For this reason, his public classes are tri-doshic in nature and accessible to everyone at every skill level. He is a serious student of asana, pranayama, and meditation, and one can expect each of these elements in his public classes. Tom also works privately with students and is available for Ayurvedic-Yoga consultations. If interested in a consultation, please email tom.burchinal@gmail.com. Tom bows humbly before all great teachers, past, present, and future.

Hare OM!


Amanda Amanda Gutman

Amanda felt her life transform in a beautiful way as a result of her personal yoga practice, and wanting to share the joy of that experience with others, decided to become a certified yoga teacher. Her goal is to help you ignite your own personal practice, guiding you to what feels right for your personal body-type, leading you towards the ultimate goal of self-realization. To Amanda, asana is meditation in movement; the truest form of embodiment. In her words, “What a blessing connecting body and breath! Allow your practice to unfold like a lotus of many petals.” After studying independently for several years, Amanda received her 200 hr, Ahimsa Yoga Training Certification in 2011.

Feel free to contact with any questions or comments: amandagutman@gmail.com

Hatha Yoga w Amanda~This class is designed for those students who are familiar with basic yogic principles. Amanda leads a meditative asana sequence connecting us to the subtler aspects of our being. This movement mediation focuses on tuning into the body’s energetic pathways and channels. Students should anticipate a blend of chanting, asana, relaxation, and pranayama.

O friend, understand: the body
is like an ocean,
rich with hidden treasures.
Open your inmost chamber and light its lamp.
Within the body are gardens,
rare flowers, peacocks, the inner Music;
within the body a lake of bliss,
on it the white soul-swans take their joy.

MichaelTroyMichael Troy

Michael discovered yoga at 10 years old while watching the Oprah show. The rest is history! Blessed to have studied with masters, he is committed to living yoga and helping his students cultivate wellness and soul-level connection. There are many forces today drawing us out of our bodies and into mental/emotional hyperactivity; Michael’s classes help us to join with our bodies and spirits consciously and develop inner stillness. His work as a counseling astrologer inspires his yoga.
Sacred Sky Astrology | troy.michael@gmail.com

Yin Yoga: In our culture, which rewards pushing and achievement, yin is often out of balance. This style of yoga focuses on deeply held poses (sometimes up to 15 minutes) to open and release the connective tissue and joints as well as to find balance, stillness, and healing. Although not gentle, this practice is suitable for all levels — a challenging form of yoga that calls you to face your edges, physically and spiritually.

EmilyDiAngeloEmily Di Angelo

Emily is a professional musician, yogi, and animal lover. While studying music in NYC, she started practicing yoga to cope with she stresses of performance anxiety. She is a major advocate of yoga and meditation for relaxation and centering before a performance, and tailors her classes to focus coping with stress.

tammyThe Taminator

Tammy Borchert serves as senior teacher and mentor for Ahimsa Yoga 200HR RYS. She is a certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher.

The Jivamukti method of Yoga is one of the nine internationally recognized styles of Hatha Yoga. The name Jivamukti means Liberation while living. Jivamukti is taken from the Sanskrit term, Jivanmukti, which is used to describe the state of enlightenment. David Life and Sharon Gannon named this yoga method Jivamukti because they wanted the student to be reminded of the ultimate aim of the practice to live in enlightenment (Samadhi).

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced yogi, an Open Jivamukti class encompasses all levels. A typical Open class consists of a vigorously physical and intellectually stimulating flowing vinyasa sequence partnered with hands-on adjustments, pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, Sanskrit chanting, yoga philosophy, and deep relaxation. To keep the practice unanticipated, asana sequences are ever-changing.

We do sitting, standing, and inverted postures and suggested variations for everything in-between. Exuberant, eclectic music plays an integral role in Jivamukti yoga; in a typical Open class you might practice to a shifting soundtrack of uplifting and inspirational music from Krishna Das to Michael Franti to the Beatles. In the words of Sharon Gannon, “The Jivamukti method could be described as that way of teaching and practicing Yoga where the student is constantly reminded that their true Self is none other than happiness, Love itself.”

Geoff Callander

Geoff Callander is chief instructor for Kokikai Aikido of Ithaca.  Geoff started practicing Aikido in 1996 after he took a class on conflict theory at the University of Chicago and was hooked!  He has been teaching Aikido for over ten years, most recently at the Ohio State University prior to moving to Ithaca. His instruction emphasizes correct posture, relaxing progressively, and positive mind.

Aikido is a martial art concerned with effective self-defense technique and realization of our full potential power in all the activities of daily life.  As we develop powerful technique we strive to increase mind-body coordination and stimulate good health.  In this way, we create a secure foundation for a strong and successful life.  We discover our whole human ability, our full potential power, through self-mastery.

We practice Sunday mornings from 9:30-11:30 in the Ahimsa Yoga studio in the Dewitt Mall.  For more information on Aikido Kokikai Ithaca please visit our website: kokikaiithaca.org

melissa-ahimsaMelissa Weiner

Melissa is an energetic Vinyasa teacher, practicing yoga for over 14 years, and Pilates for 3 years. She received her 200-hour certification from Yoga Works in Soho under Jeanmarie Paolillo in August 2012 and children’s certification from Karma Kids. Her teaching draws from the fluidity of Astanga and the alignment and precision of Iyengar, Anusara, and Pilates. Melissa’s knowledge goes beyond asana and sequencing, with instruction on the subtle body, Ayurveda, meditation, pre-natal, and restorative yoga.

Melissa, a competitive runner was inspired to take a yoga class upon incurring many running injuries in 2001. Her first thought was, “I am not good at this, I can barely touch my toes.” Despite her first thoughts, she put her competitive nature aside and stuck with it for thirteen years. Melissa learned to love yoga, and work with her limited flexibility and hamstring tightness, and practice within her own limits. She saw progress and realized yoga is a journey and not a destination. Making progress in her own asana practice, Melissa believes that since she is comfortable in her body and physical limitations that she can help others do the same.

Enthusiastic to bring yoga to as many people as possible, she believes yoga should be accessible to all ages and levels. It has changed her and she is passionate about bringing the joy of yoga to others. Teaching others yoga as a way of life helps students conquer fears, deal with difficult situations and be more open minded. Melissa sees teaching yoga as a gift to help bring others spirituality through asana practice, breath, and meditation.

Other certifications include USATF Level I Coach, Spinning, Red Cross, and Bigger Faster Stronger Certification.

Melissa would like to express deep gratitude to Amy Soucy, Stacey Linden, Ola Ahmad May; Nancy Preston, Shawna Emerick, and Marcela Xavier, yoga teachers at Bread and Yoga, and Ann Toran at Pilates Reforming New York who helped her pursue her dream of teaching yoga and believed in her.