Class Descriptions

Ahimsa, 200 Hour RYS offers a variety of different classes – mostly yoga but with a handful of other little treasures added into the mix. Below are descriptions of many of our different offerings. Check the class schedule for up-to-date information on when they meet.

Raja Hatha Ashtanga Yoga with Hawk 500hr ERYT

Hawk is a Yogini of 20+ years.  As creator of AHIMSA Yoga Studio and Ithaca Yoga Center she has had the opportunity to work extensively with Yoga as a vehicle for transformation.  Her original training was with Sivananda Yoga and her 500 hour level training is with Sri Dharma Mittra.  See the schedule page for class times and levels.  Dharma I and Deep Relaxation are for beginners or anyone wanting a more gentle Yoga practice.  Dharma II is intermediate level.  Dharma III requires experience and Dharma IV is for advanced students only! Going beyond her original training as Yoga teacher and therapist she has helped many people to ignite their own miraculous healing powers through advance Breathing techniques.  She brings a gentle, nurturing energy to her work that combines with the clarity and power of Spirit achieved after many years of work and study.


Hatha Yoga with Tom

Hatha Yoga is the practice of merging opposite energies (Ha = sun, Tha = moon).  Classes with Tom will mainly consist of Asana, Pranayama, Kriya, Mudra, and Bandha (more than just asana!).  He will teach various methods and techniques to cleanse and purify the body, giving one flexible strength in mind/body/soul, while always stressing the importance of adapting the practice to one’s own self and body.  His approach is natural and free.  That is especially present in his choices with sequencing – there’s always something new.  He feels that too much detail-oriented technical information will confuse the mind and prevent proper absorption in the practice, and his job as teacher is to introduce technical points only when called for with each individual student.

He has studied/is studying the styles and teachings of BKS Iyengar, Dharma Mittra, Jivamukti, Ashtanga, Chaya/Shadow Yoga, and Core Strength Vinyasa, and is well read in several of the sacred ancient texts.  He is certified to teach, but considers his “real” yogic knowledge to be the result of vetti, “knowledge through experience,” and not information memorized from books.  He promises to teach only what he has found to be beneficial through much self-experienced practice!
Tom bows humbly before all the great teachers past, present, and future with immeasurable gratitude.


Yoga with Amanda

Bliss Yoga w Amanda
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.  Through hip opening, arm balances, and inversions, the surrender is only matched by the challenge!  Yogis will be kissed with bliss.


Raja Hatha II w Amanda

This class is designed for those students who are familiar with basic yogic principles. Students should anticipate a blend of chanting, asana, pranayama, and meditation, leaving you feeling refreshed and relaxed.


Yin Yoga w Michael

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.


Deep Relaxation with Hawk

You are guided through the practice of a very deep relaxation where healing may occur. All are welcome, no experience necessary!


Kirtan w/Damodar Das

Kirtan is a sanskrit word that means “to communicate, to celebrate, to praise.” It is an ancient yoga practice of call-and-response chanting, repeating the many names and attributes of the Divine. It is a joyful and uplifting practice. This class will feature chanting from other spiritual traditionals and cultures as well. This event is a community co-creation. Those who wish to are invited to bring instruments, songs and chants to share. All ages are welcome. We will sing and chant with the intention of creating peace within us and all over the earth. The Masters say that it’s the easiest Yoga practice during this Kali Yuga. ‘Dennis Winge’s Kirtan is filled with devotion, and enthusiasm. It is infused with a spiritual energy that makes it both captivating and uplifting. – -David Newman

Damodar Das (spiritual name for Dennis Winge), was a full-time New York City jazz and studio guitarist for over 10 years before he fell in love with kirtan in early 2010, after which he rapidly learned much about the sacred practice.  He took week-long intensive kirtan course with the world renowned chant-master David Newman at Omega Institute in Spring 2010. There he learned many traditional chants, studied Sanskrit vocabulary and pronunciation, heard stories about the Deities, and memorized several ancient Vedic prayers as well as the 40 -verse Hanuman Chalisa.  In Fall 2010 he was initiated into Kriya Yoga by Shibendu Lahiri, great grandson of Lahiri Mahashay.  In 2011, Damodar Das completed a 30-hour training course with American Sanskrit Institute teacher Jo Brill, in which he learned to read ‘Devanagari’ (Sanskrit script) as well as understand and appreciate the nuances of Sanskrit poetry.

Leading his chants on both harmonium and guitar, he played at such well-known spiritual centers as Kripalu, Omega, and Ananda Ashram. While living in Westchester County, NY he was featured in Natural Awakenings magazine (click here to view).  Upon moving to the Finger Lakes region in early 2012 he has led kirtan at Visshudha in Binghamton, Grounded by Yoga in Bloomfield, Ahimsa in Ithaca, and the Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies in Hector, and now regularly leads a monthly kirtan at Yoga and More in Corning and a monthly chanting of the Hanumaan Chaaleesaa in Foundation of Light in Ithaca.

His ensemble includes a rotating cast of other professional musicians on traditional and non-traditional instruments as harmonium, tabla, doumbek, djembe, flute, violin, bass, and keyboards.  Damodar Das also founded the band “Mantra Magic” and co-lead and co-organized the wildly successful ‘Rock and Roll Kirtan’ in Garrison NY in April 2011 as well as the fabulous New Years Eve Kirtan Extravaganza 2010 in Ridgefield, CT.  As a sideman Winge has played with such kirtan greats as Sri Kirtan, Satya Franche & Ma Kirtan, Sahaja Kathi Norklun, Sita ‘s Light, Lee Harrington, BlisSing, Shivananda and Shubalananda.

Winge has taken traditional Eastern kirtan to a new level that continually appeals to many Westerners by utilizing his extensive jazz and rock background. His deep respect for and extensive knowledge of Sanskrit chant is engagingly complemented by his jazz- and rock-influenced style of kirtan. As a freelance guitarist for over 10 years, Dennis is well-versed in many styles of music and incorporates a variety of musical forms and traditions in his kirtan. Some of his chants are based on the chord progression to jazz standards and classic rock hits, even including ones from Patti Smith and Jimi Hendrix! The combination of musical familiarity and deep devotion to the Divine Names that are sung is not only widely appealing but also an uplifting experience for all who attend Winge’s kirtans. Winge strikes a perfect balance between traditional and non-traditional, as well as between inward, meditation-fostering chants and those that are simply a rollicking good time to sing!


Jivamukti with Tammy

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.”


Breathing with Hawk

Benefits accrue at all three levels of body, mind, and spirit simultaneously and often at a level beyond conscious awareness.  While no specific medical claims are made, nearly all known dis-ease has been seen to respond favorably to conscious breathing; ranging from cancer to digestive dis-orders, migraines, heart and circulation problems, addictions, high blood pressure, immune system dysfunction, depression, chronic fatigue… the list is endless.  Transformational breathing also complements and integrates all other healing systems.  The simple truth is that complete oxygenation of our cellular system is essential for good health!