Questions?  Email us at NatureStudio@CardeaHealthWNY.com

Yoga Class Schedule

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

Our Goal.

Our goal was to place emphasis on as many healing modalities in the design as we could. Many patients state they feel different energy as they walk through the beautiful wooden arched doors (ca. 1910’s architectural salvage from Spain). If you study closely, you will see the attention to detail, eco-friendly materials, reusing and reinventing items form the stable’s past. You may feel calmer, just by being here, immersed in nature. Studies show that hospital patients exposed to nature actually experienced quicker recoveries and that spending time in nature can even be a predictor of longevity. Just 5 min in nature can improve self-esteem and mood, reduce anxiety and depression and can even decrease symptoms of dementia.

The design is based on the concepts of “Biophilic Design”,

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 S L O W down and be present, grounded, and in touch with mother earth.
From heated cork floors, healing crystals, happy sunshine lightbulbs (simulate sunshine and affect neurotransmitters), NASA approved Filtration plants, air purifiers and therapeutic grade essential oils; the healing modalities are endless. The natural light and forest views, enables one to escape reality and watch the birds, deer, “Otis and Frieda” (our peafowl), and free range chickens. Perhaps you choose to stroll through the medicinal garden and feel the energy released from the living plants or sit alongside Stonehenge (Elmhenge). We also felt passionate about adding halotherapy- our 16 sq. ft. salt lamp panels. They have a calming & detoxifying effect and can support the nervous/lymphatic systems. Additional benefits are reduced stress and headaches, increased energy and improved sleep patterns.

We welcome you to our mindful, therapeutic; health infused home-let your healing journey begin.

Meet our Yoga Teachers

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)

Richard Jason Bruke

Richard is an energy intuitive healer who intends to guide you deeper into expressing your true nature through awakening love. He is a RYT 500 Yoga Instructor, a Reiki Master, has a B.S. Landscape Architecture, and is a Raw Vegan Chef. He continually has amazing opportunities to travel the world and is guided to learn and share healing practices from the spiritual lineages of a tapestry of cultures.
Richard began experimenting with Yoga at age 15 cultivating his practice by attending classes throughout the years, and by living in intentional communities where yoga is a focus. He has lived and worked at The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies where he practiced multiple styles of yoga. He completed his 200 hr YTT at ISHTA Yoga in NYC. ISHTA stands for Integrated Science of Hatha (Sun & Moon), Tantra (duality integration) and Ayurveda (life science). He completed his 300 hr YTT at Shri Kali Ashram in Goa India learning more about Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda integration closer to the source. "In my expanding circle of connection, I share my gifts and talents in service of the oneness."

Maryna Caputo

Maryna Caputo has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. Her practice inspired her to complete 250-hour teacher training in India at Yoga Vidya Gurukul ashram in the tradition of Swami Satyananda in 2008. Originally from Ukraine, Maryna has a degree in translation and worked as an interpreter at many international yoga seminars in Europe. She teaches classical Indian yoga, emphasizing the benefits of each posture and technique on physical, mental and spiritual levels and helping students reach a blissful state of body and mind. Maryna offers many traditional yogic methods and specialty classes, including pranayama and yoga nidra.

Sarah Guglielmi

Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor
Sarah Guglielmi is a professional educator and wellness coach, in the fields of yoga and Ayurveda. A former engineer, she was drawn to yoga 15 years ago looking for relief from chronic stress and illness. Sarah not only regained her health but discovered a deeper dimension to life she finds rich and inspiring. Her overarching intention is to make the healing power of yoga and Ayurveda accessible to her students.
In addition to her private Wellness Coaching practice, Sarah serves on the faculty of the Himalayan Institute. For the past 10 years she has taught workshops on yoga practice, yoga philosophy, and ayurvedic lifestyle. She travels nationally as a teacher trainer for the Himalayan Institute's Yoga and Ayurveda Professional Certification programs. Sarah currently resides in Buffalo, NY, where she serves on the faculty of the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo and Daemen College.

Allison Higgins

To Allison, yoga is about bringing together the body, mind and spirit. In her classes she
strives for a sense of one-on-one connection, in order to guide students inwards. Her
goal is to have all students feel safe and comfortable, so modifications are always
offered for students who have lower mobility or who love a gentle practice. She danced
her entire young life, and as an adult found yoga provided a safer, healthier and more
accessible way to keep moving and connecting to her body, as well as relieving stress.
In her hatha classes, she draws on both western and eastern knowledge and practices
developed in her yoga training and professional background as a master’s level,
licensed mental health counselor (LMHC). She received her 200 hr Yoga teacher
certification from the Himalayan Institute and is registered with Yoga Alliance.

Dan Irwin

Dan started practicing yoga over 25 years ago after an athletic injury plagued his lower
back. A friend of his suggested he try yoga and recommended that he check out a
teacher named Rodney Yee. Dan took him up on that and has never looked back.
Dan had been under Rodney's tutelage that entire time and has now been teaching for
4 years. Dan recently completed his 300 Level Certification with Rodney and his wife
Colleen Saidman Yee out of their Yoga Shanti Studio in Sag Harbor, Long Island.
Dan is an avid golfer, reader of history, and lover of dark chocolate.

Lynn Kaczmarczyk

For Lynn, yoga is about finding balance, grounding and strength for the mind and body. She started practicing yoga intermittently about 20 years ago beginning with an adult Ed class in a school gym simply as a way to relax and find a quiet hour. She has learned over the last several years that with a consistent practice and a better understanding of the connection between mind, body and breath, balance can be achieved. She believes the practice of Yoga is a personal experience, and offers her attention and skills to make practice accessible to anyone, and everyone, no matter the body type, level of experience, age, or ability. She has learned that each style and pose can be modified to meet a student’s needs and wanted to be able to encourage others to find the mind-body connections. This led her to want to become a Yoga teach and she completed YTT 200 hour certification in the spring of 2019. She has completed additional training focused on Yoga for 55+.

Molly McDermott

Molly has been teaching yoga for the past 6 years. She is a Certified Hatha Yoga
Instructor, a Certified Prenatal & Postpartum Yoga Instructor and a Birth doula/birth
services provider and educator. She began her yogic path in 2005 upon moving to East
Aurora after a significant life changing event. She sought a new purpose and longing,
which led her to yoga and an awakening to the spiritual path. This eventually
transformed into becoming a yoga instructor, a passion for teaching pregnant women
and providing various birth services to these women and their partners.
Molly teaches a variety of yoga classes, including gentle and all level, as well as
prenatal and postpartum and fertility yoga. Raising two children on her own for many
years, Molly found peace, stability and strength by bringing yoga into her life and felt a
passion to share the benefits with others.
Molly has always had a passion for learning and continues to educate herself to expand
her knowledge to serve those with the same passions.

Nancy Noud

Nancy has had a love of yoga for many years, based on it’s supportive and healing properties, both physically and emotionally. She is a graduate of the 200 Hour Shine Yoga Teacher Training, in Hamburg, NY. Nancy’s interests lie in slow yoga, Restorative and Myofascial Release classes. Her desire in teaching is to share ways of getting in touch with our bodies, pairing breath with gentle movement. She encourages the use of a variety of props and supports in efforts to improve our overall mobility.
Nancy is a pediatric Occupational Therapist who specializes in working with children with developmental delays and those with autism spectrum disorder. She is certified in Pediatric Yoga through Radiant Child, and sees the daily benefits of incorporating yoga in her treatment sessions. Yoga assists her students with coordination as well as to become aware of their bodies. Through the use of controlled breathing exercises, Nancy observes a significant increase in her students’ focus and attention.
In her free time, Nancy’s interests include gardening, making jewelry, spending time with her husband and dogs, and traveling to California to visit family.

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.

Alison Photiadis

200 Hr RYT- trained in Sampoorna Yoga, the yoga of fullness, Alison has been teaching for 10 years and is currently working on her E-RYT. She specializes in chakra harmonizing or balancing, pre/post-natal, birth prep, mommy & me, family yoga, The EssentialYoga and Aroma Touch classes.

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.

Rebecca Sophia Strong

Rebecca Sophia Strong, MA, LMHC, RYT200 is a Contemplative Psychotherapist, Social Artist and Yoga Teacher. Rebecca holds a master’s degree from Naropa University in Contemplative Psychology/Psychotherapy; is a trained systems-based group-facilitator; and is trained in the Hakomi method of body-centered psychotherapy. Rebecca has studied with Kira Sloane of Yoga Anytime and is a graduate of the Asheville Yoga Center for Hatha Yoga. Rebecca’s personal training in mindfulness began in 1995 with Hatha Yoga and overtime has grown to include the practices of; Aikido, the 5 Rhythms, Contact Improvisation dance, Shambhala meditation, the New Cosmology, Animas Valley Nature-Based Soul work and Tibetan-Buddhist meditation of Shamatha and Vipashana. Rebecca has been leading and teaching groups since 1997 through her Movement as Medicine body of work. Rebecca works full-time as a Mental Health Counselor and teaches yoga in Niagara and Erie Counties. Rebecca cherishes time in nature, loved-ones, laughing, dancing, coffee with nutmeg, and sharing mindfulness practice with others for the sake of creating a more peaceful, just, sane and happy world.

Diane Zwirecki

Diane Zwirecki is a certified Group Exercise Instructor through the International Sports Conditioning Association (ISCA) and has completed additional yoga instruction through the Aerobics & Fitness Association of American (AAFA)/American Council on Exercise (ACE) continuing education program. Her experience includes five years as a Pilates, yoga and PiYo instructor at the Buffalo Athletic Club for Women, in addition to various other teaching positions in Western New York.