About our Teachers!


Maria Yakkey, E-RYT 500, E-RYT 200, RCYT, YACEP: Maria is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and founder of Satya Yoga Shala. She has been practicing yoga for 17 years and teaching yoga since December of 2004. Maria has taught in many settings including, schools, libraries, doctors’ offices, fitness centers, yoga studios, and private residences. After many years of traveling from place to place she made the decision to open a yoga studio in her hometown in 2013 Satya Yoga Shala opened its doors to service the local community.

Maria received her 200 hour certification from Into This World Yoga. Maria has also acquired additional training with YogaKids© all four phases of certification, Yoga for the Special Child©, Om Yoga Breast Cancer Survivor©, Prenatal Yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra. and Restorative Yoga. Although Maria has had the opportunity to study with many teachers, she credits her former teacher Jean Aronoff with guiding her on her yogic path. Maria most recently graduated from a 500 hour teacher training program, with Ma Mokshapriya Shakti Saraswati.
During Maria's trip to India in 2012, she had the privilege and honor of meeting Sri BKS Iyengar, a living yoga master, which renewed her dedication to bringing students the most up-to-date information available for a safe yoga practice. In addition to being a yoga teacher, Maria believes in holistic healing methods and is a Reiki Master Teacher, an IET Practitioner, and a Thai Yoga Therapist. Additionally, Maria has great interest in the healing properties of essential oils.

Maria believes that yoga is for everybody regardless of age or ability and with the use of props, yoga can be accessible to all. Maria shares her love of yoga with students of all ages. Currently Maria is attending the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City to peruse a career in Chinese Medicine.

About Doreen Rao, RYT: In 2007, I began to practice hatha yoga. In serendipitous way, yoga acted as a "yellow brick road" that would lead me to a place of self-discovery. The asanas opened my heart, filled my spirit and set alight the desire to learn more about this special and ancient practice of movement and inner stillness. I have learned that yoga is a lifestyle practice that creates calmness for the mind and suppleness for the physical body. It is my intention to share the practice of yoga through the theory and alignment techniques of B.K.S. Iyengar as a path that leads to healthful living.
I am thrilled and honored to teach alignment-oriented yoga at Satya Yoga Shala where the practice is available to everyone at any age and level of flexibility. The only requirements are genuine desire and an open heart. Doreen Ann Rao "Yoga is beautiful as well as divine" B.K.S. Iyengar

200-RYT Certification earned at Satya Yoga Shala: Yoga Alliance affiliated school. Teacher: Maria Yakkey
Yin Yoga Certification earned at Sacred Sounds Yoga: Yoga Alliance affiliated school. Teacher: Masako Miyakawa
Reiki Master Practioner
Yoga-inspired crystal jewelry 

About Donna A. Tiesler, RYT: After several years of exploring yoga at home, Donna discovered the joy of practicing in community at Satya Yoga Shala.  She soon realized that Yoga is far beyond the physical benefits it has to offer. Through the guidance and teaching of Maria Yakkey, she achieved her 200-hour teaching certification in Hatha Yoga and is registered with the Yoga Alliance.   As a former classroom teacher with a BS in Elementary Ed, an AAS in Early Childhood Ed, and mother of two young children, Donna pursued the interest to train to teach Yoga to children as well.  Upon completion of the YogaKids® Foundations Training with YogaKids trainer, Gail Grossman, her joy of working with young children was renewed.  Using the YogaKids method, she creates fun lessons that educate the whole child: mind, body, and spirit with respect to the many ways that children learn through literature, story-telling, games, movement, music, and the arts.  Donna also earned  continued education credits in Vinyasa Yoga at Yoga Darshana Center. The healing and learning powers of Yoga have wonderful effects on adults and children of all ages and abilities and Donna continues to look forward to sharing them with the Satya Yoga Shala family through teaching Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Children’s, and Family yoga.

Rose Edelman, RYT is a certified yoga teacher who has a passion for working with others to help create an empowering, inspiring environment for self-discovery. Her goal is to help people use lifestyle tools on and off the mat. Through the development of Petals of Sangha, with her two colleagues, Olivia Crescenti and Ali Hanson and the support and guidance of their wonderful teacher, Maria Yakkey, she hopes to help bring communities together through weekly donation based classes; helping raise awareness for local and national causes. Her background as a plant-based, whole foods chef and in graduate studies for health psychology influences her knowledge of the mind-body approach in working with students. "When we all positively contribute to different causes that are going on in the world, it's a great feeling to know we're helping each other. We all have so much to offer. Let's all get involved in lending a hand and spreading kindness."

Ali Hanson, RYT found Yoga 20 months ago when she was looking to fill a void in her life and enhance her well being. She fell in love with the Yoga Community, as she immediately felt welcomed and accepted for being her own unique, true self. All the beautiful souls she encountered inspired her to become a Yoga Teacher. For this reason, Ali is committed to spreading yoga through friendship and community. What better way to bring people together in community than to help raise awareness for those in need of love and light? “I’ve come to realize my life’s purpose is so much bigger than myself. I wanted to serve the greater good and help humanity but I had no voice and no outlet of expressing myself. Yoga has given me that outlet and so much more.” Come join Ali in spreading Yoga for a cause.

Olivia Crescenti, RYT 200 is a yoga teacher with a passion for creating a peaceful and calming atmosphere for every student. Her favorite part of yoga is pranayama (breathing techniques). Pranayama helps us nurture the breath so that it becomes a support system that we can rely on at any moment. Her classes provide a safe space for all students, with a focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit as One. As a student of Yoga, Reiki, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Olivia is thankful to be learning about what she loves each day, and is inspired to share it with others. For all of these reasons, you can rest assured that you are in safe hands. She believes in the kindness and genuine ways of the yoga community. Yoga is a practice which benefits all walks of life and is yours to discover. Through yoga, she helps people clear the mind, strengthen the body, and free the spirit. Now is the time to come together, lending our hands and hearts. Together, we have the power to fill ourselves up with love and raise the consciousness of the world.

About Maria Conti, RYT 200, LVCTYMaria has been practicing yoga for almost 20 years.  After experimenting with various yoga studios, teachers, and styles, Maria found her transformational space at Satya Yoga Shala.  It is here that she received the 200-hour registered yoga teaching certificate from Maria Yakkey EYRT-500, for which she is truly grateful.  The experience was profound, enlightening and life changing, and fulfilled her desire to learn more about the union of body, mind, and spirit. Since then, she has also received First and Second Degree Attunement & Training in the Reiki method of Natural Healing, and plans on pursuing the master level.  Maria is certified in Chair Yoga by Lakshmi Voelker, Get Fit Where You Sit making yoga even more accessible to all. Maria is also a certified Laughter leader since 2013.  She enjoys uplifting students and helping them bring more joy and laughter into their lives with Laughter Yoga, and offers several yoga sessions throughout Nassau County, including corporate events. Laughter is healing, and the classes offer the tools to “not sweat the small stuff” and “better manage the big stuff”.  Maria believes in honoring and respecting our bodies as well as their challenges. She believes in the value of the breath, alignment of each pose, and finding the connection between body, mind, and spirit. Maria works in a wellness center where they encourage people to live their best lives. Maria’s favorite quote is, “There’s something greater than you, within you”.  She hopes to continue to help people find their strength, inspiration, and true selves with the notion that we are all one, and we all need to do our share in bringing communities together.

Eric Perez, RYT found yoga (or yoga found him) about 15 years ago. Ever since he has pursued as much knowledge and experience on the divine subject as possible, a journey which eventually took him all the way to India to the feet of his guru. Eric has also been an English teacher for 22 years in Central Islip High School where he runs an after school yoga/service club called S.O.U.L (Sending Out Universal Love).

Eric is certified in Hatha yoga at Satya Yoga Shala, which he has had the pleasure of teaching to various groups in the community, including children, teens, visually impaired and individuals with special needs. In addition, Eric practices and teaches meditation, and is a voracious reader of Vedic (yogic) literature. It is been his belief and experience that all actions we perform as human beings is one of two things: either an expression of love, or a cry for it. With this as his mantra he is honored and excited to share his practice (and love) with you all!

Maureen Feliciano, RYT 200:  For many years, I was a “corporate America rat”, putting in the daily grind, and, quite frankly, loving it.  Several years ago, that same corporate American company downsized me right out of the building and, as a true believer in Divine Intervention, I haven’t looked back!  My yogic journey began when my good friend, Stella LaMassa, invited me to join her for a yoga class.  Yoga, life, and recovery have all taught me the same lesson:  For everything, be grateful.  Namaste, and I hope to see you on the mat!

Maureen earned her 200 Hour RYT certification at Satya Yoga Shala in 2015 with the guidance and support of Maria Yakkey and is registered with the Yoga Alliance.  Additional Yoga teacher trainings include Y12SR (The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery) with Nikki Myers, Yoga Nidra with Mona Anand, and Y4C (Yoga For Cancer) with Tari Prinster. In addition, Maureen is a Second Degree Reiki Practitioner.

Brendan Moynihan is a RYT-200 and Reiki Master Teacher and brings a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere into his Yoga Classes. As a practitioner of Hatha Yoga, Brendan Brings mindfulness and internal awareness to allow each student to find their proper alignment. 
Brendan creates a space which is safe and allowing so the students may sink into the awareness of the body. Through guided imagery, pranayama and his gentle, soothing coice, he sets the stage for a great yoga class. And his humor and natural cadence keep things not too serious.
Brendan has a wealth of information in the field of wellness that he is passionate about. Impossible to share all of this in one class. Brendan incorporates different aspects that relate to the many facets of Yoga, ancient wisdom, and creative visualization into each class. This information in relevant as he accurately communicates knowledge in ways that make sense in todays world. What to be expected is simply the unexpected. 



Meet the teachers of the Shala!