Open Air Yoga in East Aurora, NY

We offer Yoga & Healing Arts to remove boundaries between body, mind, and spirit.

Offering daily yoga classes, specialty workshops, and private instruction.

Roll out your yoga mat and come discover Nature Studio. With radiantly warmed cork floors, healing salt lamps, 3 large garage doors that open to the fresh air, and beautiful chandeliers, we offer more than just a place to practice…we offer a place to settle in and ground down.


The beauty of yoga is that it’s not about how flexible or fit you are, it’s about discovering your inner strength and coming to a better understanding of your body and your breath. We offer a yoga class for everyone and invite all to join us.


“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit” –Edward Abbey

Class Descriptions

All Levels Flow – This class is designed to increase strength, flexibly, and mental stamina.  Classes have a strong focus on breath work, awareness, and balance between activity and receptivity. Students are encouraged to work at their own pace. Several different variations of postures are offered allowing students to modify or intensify according to their own level of practice.

Dharma – Dharma Yoga is a modern interpretation of classical Eight-limbed or Hatha-Raja Yoga, deeply rooted in ethical precepts that includes elements of flowing Vinyasa, inversions and held poses that will help you to discover concentration, meditation, abiding contentedness and deep healing relaxation.

Flow & Strength – This flow based class will have you working up a sweat, while toning and strengthening your muscles through body weight exercises. Connect your mind and body through core work, arms, and legs to build endurance mindfully. You’ll leave feeling that yoga glow of hard work and relaxation!

Hatha Flow – Hatha Yoga is defined as movement that develops strength, flexibility, bodily relaxation, and mental concentration. Hatha classes are designed for mixed-level participants and provide a balanced combination of sustained poses with attention to basic alignment and therapeutic principles.

Restorative – This is a gentle class with the aid of props – blocks, bolsters, blankets, and straps. This practice is great for anyone looking to slow down, relieve stress, calm the excessive mind chatter, or even for those recovering from injuries.

Slow Flow – Learn to combine breathing, flowing postures and meditation in this gentle, but deep approach to Vinyasa yoga. This slower-paced flow class allows time to explore the postures while cultivating strength, flexibility, balance, and calm. Yoga poses are linked to breath to help reveal body awareness, inner strength and easeful opening.

Vinyasa Flow – Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic system of practicing asanas (poses).  This practice focuses on the synchronization of breath & the continuous flow of movement. Vinyasa is a strong practice that builds heat, endurance, flexibility, strength and mental focus.  This class can be strenuous;  but is appropriate for all levels.  Go at your own pace.

Yoga for Cravings – Would you like to learn how to strengthen your willpower to help curb your unhealthy cravings?  Yoga offers us three clear guides to the cultivation of willpower: Willpower is a muscle that can be strengthened over time and through the body; self-compassion is the foundation needed to strengthen resolve; and a deep connection to the Self will set us free.  Join us to discover how yoga can help you on your journey towards a healthier you!

Yoga Class Schedule

Nature Studio Yoga Post COVID-19 Protocols

Questions?  Email us at

Our mindful procedures are designed to help keep YOU and our staff safe and well.

BEFORE LEAVING for Nature Studio, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a fever?
  • Do I have a dry cough?
  • Do I have a sore throat?
  • Do I have a runny nose?
  • Have I lost the sense of smell or taste?
  • Have a traveled on commercial transportation domestically or internationally in the last 14 days?
  • Do I live with anyone who is sick or quarantined?


If you answer yes to any of the above, you are welcome to take a virtual class but “in studio” class participation is prohibited.

If no, here’s what you can expect in studio:

  • Pre-registration is recommended for all classes (either via MINDBODY or below).  If you are having difficultly accessing your pass or purchasing a new pass, please reach out using email above or call 716.714.9347.
  • Masks are no longer required for vaccinated individuals per NYS Guidance rolled out mid-May 2021.  If you would like to continue to wear your mask, you are certainly fine in doing so.
  • Safety and cleanliness are our top priority.  We have always maintained a clean and safe studio environment.  Whenever you enter our building, you have always enjoyed ozone in our ambient air, halotherapy and an Austin Air Purifier system.  However, we have upped our game by using hospital grade disinfectants on all surfaces and sanitizing high-touch surfaces after every class.  We also close the studio and run Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UV-C) during the overnights.  This process reaches all hard and soft surfaces within the yoga room.  Sanitation stations are located throughout the building.   Note:  Nature Studio meets or exceeds the NY Forward Safety Plan and CDC cleaning guidance and you are welcomed to review our protocols at any time while in studio.
  • Props – you may bring your own props (mats, etc), however, props are available for usage during class.  If you borrow any props, they must be disinfected after class with supplies provided by teacher.  Leave the props out after class so they may be properly dried and subjected to the UV-C germicidal irradiation that evening.


Class Cancellations:

  • Cancel more than 8 hours prior to class – no charge
  • Cancel 2-8 hours prior to class – $10 charge if unable to fill spot
  • No shows will be charged at their normal rate

Cardea Health Integrative (CHI) and Nature studio were mindfully designed from a science-based perspective.

Our Goal

was to create a space like no other, with evidence based healing modalities woven directly into the design. Our guests often state they feel different energy as they walk through the beautiful, wooden arched doors. If you study closely, you will see the attention to detail, eco-friendly materials, and repurposing of items from the stable's past. You may feel calmer simply by being here, immersed in nature.

which draws in nature, resets your circadian rhythm, and studies show can elevate your mood, and even lower you heart rate and blood pressure. In our fast paced world, we wanted to offer a space to slow down and be present, grounded, and in touch with Mother Earth. From heated cork floors, healing crystals, halotherapy (salt lamp) panels, plants, and therapeutic grade essential oils, the Studio utilizes an array of healing modalities. The natural light and forest views invite us to quiet the noise of life and turn our attention inward.

During temperate weather (Spring and Summer) times, the Studio adds another dimension to your practice- transforming into a truly unique, open-air Yoga experience.

The design is based on the concepts of 'Biophilic Design'

We welcome you to our mindful, therapeutic, health infused home.
Allow your healing journey to begin…

Meet Your Yoga Teachers / Workshop Providers

Amy headshot

Amy Aubrecht

Amy Aubrecht, MDiv, RYT-200

A yoga practitioner since 2010, Amy completed her 200-hour Forrest Yoga Foundation Teacher Training in Portland, Oregon in 2015. In 2017, she completed an Adaptive Yoga Training with Mind Body Solutions in Minnesota. She has taught in diverse settings, from backyards to chapels to rock gyms. As her journey on the mat has continued, she values the groundedness and awareness that the practice enables off the mat. Amy emphasizes supportive, strength-building alignment and active breathwork, with classes focused around a theme. With a background in psychology and theology, Amy invites students in her classes to care for their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. She is committed to opening yoga to people of all abilities, drawing on her decade of experience supporting people with diverse abilities. In addition to yoga, Amy rock climbs, cooks with produce from her CSA box, creates cards and lingers in nature.


Sikhona Banko

Sikhona is a warm and engaging Yoga Instructor with advanced training in Hatha Raja, Alignment and Restorative disciplines. She has a passion for leading others to explore the inner workings of the body and guiding students to the feeling of the practice through breath and offering.

Education and Certifications:

-Reiki Master: Your Light Within, 2012
-200 hour Hatha Yoga: Yoga District, 2013
-50 hour Restorative Yoga: Yoga District, 2014
-Advanced Alignment Workshop: Bernie Wandel- Yoga District, 2014, 2015
-500 hour, Hatha Raja Vinyasa, Sri Dharma Mittra, 2017 (in internship process)

RYT200 / Certified Prenatal Yoga

Amy Cartwright

Amy is an East Aurora resident and has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. She completed her Prenatal Training in 2020, and then her 200 hr. Flow Yoga Teacher Training in 2021. Yoga has been an important part of Amy’s life. She practices Yoga as an outlet to mentally, physically, and emotionally prepare herself for life’s challenges and obstacles. She wants to share this passion with other’s so that they can live happier and healthier lives. She believes through Yoga, like minded people can lift each other and encourage one another.

Amy has her Master’s in Education; certification in School Counseling. She will be a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in 2022. Amy enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and friends. She loves to stay active through new activities, watching movies, and is obsessed with Bernese Mountain Dogs. Her future plan is for her Berner to be a therapy dog.


Rachna Clerici

Rachna brings her peaceful and nurturing spirit to the studio, guiding students through a motivating, revitalizing, and inspiring practice. Her classes focus on integration of breath, alignment of body and quietude of mind. She concurs that this practice becomes essential to balance the whirlwind of life.

For Rachna, teaching and practicing yoga is pure passion. She loves to share the practice of yoga with children, teens and adults alike. With over 20 years of practicing and 13 years of teaching, Rachna continues to learn, share, and connect with others. Rachna enjoys many types of yoga but her top picks are Hatha, Vinyasa, and Restorative Yoga. Outside the studio she enjoys wholesome cooking, time with her family, traveling, hiking, reading, poetry, creating mandalas, and other free forms of art.

“Yoga is the emergent light that shines into your soul and radiates out into the world. It is a sacred dwelling inside your heart where mind, body and spirit become the essential harmony of your soul. Yoga is a promise of beauty blossoming every day. “-Rachna

Certifications & Training:
-200 hour Essential Yoga Open Sky 2006 (Iyengar-Inspired Hatha)
-200 hour Essential Yoga Open Sky 2016 (Iyengar-Inspired Hatha)
-Relax and Renew Restorative with Judith Lasater 2008
-Rainbow Kids Yoga 2011
-Para Yoga Nidra 2020
-Continuing Yoga Education and Workshops


Nikki Dukarm

Nikki Dukarm began her work in the fitness industry to help others achieve health through movement and self-awareness. Her experience as a functional fitness trainer allowed her to work with a wide variety of clientele whose needs all differed, but these individuals all benefitted from work on mobility and breathwork. Nikki also found that through the practice of yoga, her own stress and tension was eased.

To supplement her knowledge as a National Council on Strength and Fitness CPT, and her studies at Buffalo’s D’Youville College for Exercise Science and Chiropractic, Nikki chose to pursue further education in yoga. She has completed her RYT 200 through Sacred Paths Yoga, with a focus on Hatha and Restorative Yoga. It is Nikki’s belief that movement can be both medicine and meditation, and she hopes to share her love of nature, yoga and other fitness modalities with her community.


Michelle Duke

Michelle's yogic journey began in 2015 in Delray Beach, FL where she completed her RYT-200 in Vinyasa Flow. From there, she taught all levels while completing her certification in Trauma Conscious Yoga. Once certified, Michelle began teaching yoga to veterans with PTSD. She has taught heated vinyasa, Yin and led workshops in handstands and balance poses.

While she was deployed for the Army in 2016-2017, she volunteered to lead the Yoga program, and then earned her E-RYT in 2018. She also assisted in the production of Florida’s largest Yoga Festival from 2014-2016.

Michelle moved to Buffalo with her wife in May of 2021. They are outdoor and fitness enthusiasts and spend the vast amount of their free time outside or training at a local CrossFit gym . You can also catch them learning to boulder and climb at an indoor climbing gym.

Health and wellness has always been Michelle's passion and she loves helping others. She has been an Army Medic for the last 8 years, recently became a Registered Nurse, and together with her wife, owns a nutrition company.

Her current certifications include:

- Bachelors of Science in Nursing
- ERYT-200
- Yoga Alliance Registered
- Connected Warriors Trauma Conscious Yoga
- CF-L2 Trainer
- Power Monkey Fitness Gymnastics
- Precision Nutrition Level 1
- USA Weightlifting Coach

Michelle is grateful for each class and the opportunity to share space with you!


Annamaria Masucci

Anna has been practicing yoga regularly for over 6 years. While she considers herself a fitness enthusiast, (she's been an indoor cycling instructor for nearly 10 years), yoga brought her a whole new appreciation for movement. Her education and training in Public Health and her love for health and fitness allow her to bring her passion for connecting with others to the world of wellness. Anna's yoga training was specialized in Trauma Sensitive Yoga and focused on preparing the body for movement. For her, yoga is all about connecting with your body, in a way that feels authentic to you. She considers movement a vital part of her own well-being, and loves to bring her own authenticity and playfulness into her yoga class, and to create a space for you to do the same.

Aris Otminski

Aris’ passion for wellness has been her driving force over the last 10 years. It is what led her to pursue an education in Exercise Science and Nutrition. She holds a BS Exercise Science, and MS Nutrition, she is CPR/First Aid Certified and FMCHC (Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach) in progress, expected completion June 2017.
While in college, Aris developed a love for yoga, and is a RYT Registered Yoga Teacher. It was a way for her to move, release stress, and tap into a peaceful place in her mind that she hadn’t experienced before. Her relationship with yoga began with the Bikram practice, but has expanded to many other areas, including Hatha, Flow, Vinyasa, Yin, and many others. Aris began her Yoga Teacher Training in 2015 and received her certification in 2016 in Hot Yoga (similar to Bikram) and Hatha Yoga. She has an appreciation for all forms of yoga and is always eager to learn more.
While on a yoga retreat in Bali, Indonesia, Aris was inspired to dedicate her life to the health and wellness of others. She decided to quit her full-time job so that she could focus on sharing her love for yoga through teaching. She also began her training to become a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach at this time, where she is learning how to be a guide for others to become the healthiest versions of themselves – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
In Aris’ classes she encourages a focus on the breath throughout the asanas – seeing the practice as a breathing, moving mediation, and approaching your practice with love, patience, acceptance, and gratitude.

Sashi Racho

Sashi has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. Her love of the practice led her to complete her RYT-200 hour teacher training in 2012 at Shakti Yoga in Geneseo. She believes that the practice of yoga can lead us to connect more closely with our physical and emotional selves by using body and breath. With a strong focus on alignment, her classes are filled with compassion, humor and support to encourage her students to feel safe, comfortable and strong. In her free time Sashi enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling and watching cooking shows.

Kristie Stephens

Kristie’s yoga journey, which began as an intermittent breather from the daunt of raising four children, has evolved into a lifelong commitment to the restorative powers of self-care. Through years of self-study she has come to understand that yoga's most powerful benefit is the gained ability to offer kindness and compassion to one’s self.

In 2013 she completed her 200 hour teaching certification at Healing Waters in East Aurora. Since that time she has been teaching various forms of yoga from Gentle/Restorative to vigorous Vinyasa and everything in between. She continues to further her education with multiple trainings and workshops.

When not practicing yoga, Kristie spends most of her free time sparring with her children over the importance of disconnecting from their I-whatever’s and getting outdoors!
Kristie Stephens is a certified E-RYT200 with Yoga Alliance

Ayurveda Workshop Provider, E-RYT200

Cayla Sweeney

Cayla Sweeney is the founder of Otherworld Wellness, a holistic care proprietor that promotes balance, healing and connection by combining ancient practices of herbalism and yoga with modern movement and wellness practices through unique experiential opportunities for personal growth and community based self-care during workshops, private consultations, and through her proprietary herbal remedies. Cayla is an anthropologist, E-RYT200 and certified herbalist who was born and raised in Buffalo, NY but has been fortunate to live and travel extensively throughout the world. She blends her unique background in anthropology, yoga and herbalism to provide one-of-a-kind experiential learning opportunities.

Catherine Zawodzinski

Cathy came to study yoga because her chiropractor advised her to do so…26 years ago! Playing competitive tennis her whole life, her lower back on the left side of her body was not as strong as her right side, and the imbalance kept her in pain and walking crooked, a lot!

In the beginning of her yoga career, yoga for physical therapy was her main focus. Cathy taught yoga for healing at a Health and Wellness Center, working with a massage therapist and a chiropractor to heal their patients.

In her professional life, Cathy is a Data Manager in the Teacher Preparation Program at a local private college. Prior to working at the college, she taught yoga to Pre-K children for
several years in a Buffalo Public Elementary School. This prepared Cathy to teach yoga
practices to the teacher candidates so they could bring the wisdom of yoga into their future

Cathy has taught addiction recovery yoga to clients at Horizon Health, Save the Michaels and Cazenovia Recovery, currently she is still teaching at Horizon Health. She created a class on Yoga for Willpower and taught it at Horizon Health, the YMCA, and the Himalayan Institute.

Education and Certifications

- E-RYT 500 Hour, from the Himalayan Institute
- Member of the Yoga Alliance

Other Certifications:

- Yoga for Children
- Yoga for Physical Therapy
- Silver Sneakers Yoga
- Many other CEU’s, like Laughter Yoga!

Cathy has been blessed to have spent many weeks over the last 20 years living and studying with adepts at the Himalayan Institute’s ashram in Honesdale Pennsylvania Ayurvedic Specialist training complete (not certified yet, need to complete exam). She has been teaching for 15 years. Cathy’s classes are what her students need that day and will always include a moment of gratitude! Expect no music, she wants you to learn how to move inward and hear the beautiful music the beat of your heart makes, feel the lovely rhythm of your breath.