TEAM

Celebrating local communities on the national page.

Welcome to YOGA♥ Magazine, a print magazine that celebrates local yoga and wellness communities, on the national page. Our mission is to celebrate diversity, to inspire, and create community.

YOGA♥ Magazine showcases yoga, lifestyle, wellness, art, and community in a beautifully designed print magazine that is thoughtfully curated and printed on high quality paper stock. YOGA♥ Magazine also produces retreats, events and co-produces SOULFest Yoga and Wellness Festival.

Founded by Iana Velez, former Creator, Publisher, and Editor in Chief of the critically acclaimed local publication NY YOGA LIFE magazine.

Yoga Plus Magazine - bio pic - iana velez_photo by - Paul Undesinger

Iana Velez

FOUNDER & EDITOR IN CHIEF

Iana Velez is the Founder and Editor in Chief of YOGA♥ Magazine, a nationaly published print magazine celebrating yoga, wellness, art and culture as well as the co-producer of SOULFest a national yoga and wellness festival that celebrates diversity, accessibility and community. SOULFest NYC is the only FREE festival that includes spanish/bilingual yoga in its programming as a tribute to the city’s hispanic community and Iana’s family.

Iana’s parents came to NYC from Puerto Rico, where Iana was then born and raised. She has a BA in Art History and an MFA in Film from USC, has worked internationally as an Art Director for over 20 years in TV, Film and now print. She completed her 200 YTT certification from Nosara Yoga Institute, teaches restorative yoga, and has been practicing yoga since 2005.

Stephanie Jade-Wong Bio Pic

Frances Hunt (She/Her)

Managing Editor

State you live in:

NEW YORK

What you love most about where you live:
I love the diversity and cultural richness of NY along with the ability to find most anything here.

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
Sheri Celentano (@shericelentano) has always spoken to my soul as a teacher. In a room full of students her sequences and words seem to always speak directly me. She has the same impact virtually! Harlem Studio (@harlemyoga) has always been a studio that offers the diversity and representation I look for in both teachers and students.

Yoga Plus Magazine - Erica Garcia Abergel team member bio pic

Erica Garcia Abergel (She/Her/Ella)

REGIONAL LEADER

State you live in:

NEW JERSEY

What you love most about where you live:
I love swimming in the ocean year round!Coming from the Bronx, NY, I love that I get to live close to the city I love most but live in open space. I love the slower pace and sense of community I get in New Jersey. It was the one thing I never really had in NY.

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
For Yoga asana, these days, I am inspired by Audi Gozlan and Selena Isles. Each brings their own knowledge and authenticity, spirituality to their practices. I also always get my ayurvedic fill from Ali Cramer and my philosophic and kirtan fill from Miles Barrero.

For meditation, I always lean on my teacher Davidji. For music, I still regularly listen to Johnny Scifo and his magically inspired sound baths.

To highlight a fellow NJ yoga teachers I love – my go-tos are Gina Caruso Pachkowski (Vinyasa), Ellen Mosko (Yin) & Raji Thron (Ashtanga)

Stephanie Jade-Wong Bio Pic

Stephanie Jade Wong (She/Her)

Feature Editor

State you live in:

NEW YORK

What I love most about where I live:
NYC was always a dream. Now that it’s home, I love how inspiring, brutal, and magical it is.

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
Mackenzie Gaudette of Charmed Healing

photo: Grant Henry

Justine Ma - bio photo

Justine Ma

TEAM MEMBER

State you live in:

HAWAII

Where you teach/work (how people can find you online to learn more):
chefjustinema.com

What you love most about where you live:
I love swimming in the ocean year round!

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
Ali Cramer

Yoga Plus Magazine - Melissa Honkanen - bio pic

Melissa Honkanen (She/Her)

TEAM MEMBER

State you live in:

GEORGIA

What you love most about where you live:
Atlanta brings outdoor yoga everywhere! Be it on hikes in the Chattahoochee National Forest or in green urban community spaces on the BeltLine, I love being able to connect to the beauty of yoga and the inspiration of Mother Nature.

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
Maile Sivert at The Mindful Body in San Francisco holds one of the most beautiful and sacred yoga classes.

where you teach/work
melissaannyoga.com

Yoga Plus Magazine - team member pic - LouLou Piscatore

LouLou Piscatore

BEAUTY & WELLNESS EDITOR

State you live in:

NEW YORK

What you love most about where you live:
I’ve lived in Manhattan for my entire adult life and have a love hate relationship with it! It feels like the center of the universe most days and the best part would be the abundance of it — you can walk one block and experience art, music, food, fashion, people, nature, beauty, ugliness, joy, despair…like your senses are constantly in overload..

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
wellness: Ann Cecil Sterman and Andrew Sterman: masters of Classical Chinese acupuncture, herbs and food energetics @anncecilsterman, @welcomingfood

Yoga
Sheri Celentano @soulfull_solutions
Ashley Dorr @theshalanyc @premayogabrooklyn
Ali Cramer @soulfull_solutions
Dominique Gartsin yogalilamontauk.com

Yoga Plus Magazine - bio pic - Lauren Beth Jacobs

Lauren Beth Jacobs (She/Her/Ella)

TEAM MEMBER

State you live in:

WASHINGTON, D.C.

What you love most about where you live:
I am inspired by the many people who come here and work their butts off because they want to make the world a better place. I also love when people discover that this city they thought would be a quick stop and resume builder is actually their home, filled with incredible neighborhoods, small businesses, restaurants, museums, parks, culture, and people!

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
There are too many to count, so I am just going to share my favorite online yoga studios right now: I adore my online home studio, YA Classes with YogiApproved, for inspiring me to try new styles of yoga and movement from wherever I am in the world! And, after teaching yoga for more than 15 years, I always return to an old favorite, YogisAnonymous, when I am hoping to drop into my own practice and get out of teacher mode!

Yoga Plus Magazine - Jennifer Grubba bio pic

Jennifer Grubba (She/Her)

TEAM MEMBER

State you live in:

MINNESOTA

What you love most about where you live:
We have the perfect weather in the summertime and the long and harsh winters make us relish them that much more! Many Minnesotans spend as much of their waking hours outside in the summer as possible. We are surrounded by lakes (both urban and rural) and have a great food and music scene. Fun fact: The U.S. Census Bureau puts the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro behind only the New York-Newark-Jersey City area in number of theater companies per capita

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
I’m most inspired by the anti-influencers. They are the instructors who teach with heart and soul, not for followers or to sell anything, but simply because it’s part of who they are and they want to help and inspire others. These are the unsung healers and caretakers who keep showing up to teach despite the challenges of the pandemic. I’m a regular at Live True Yoga, where I teach. A good friend of mine founded it as an independent studio and it has blossomed into a franchise of four studios and continues to grow. It’s a very supportive atmosphere and beginner’s workshops are offered regularly so people can learn the basics in a warm and welcoming setting. There are many great teachers and studios in Minnesota, but Live True is my yoga home. I work in the education system and during my summers off one of my favorite things to do is to take a class in a new studio in a different city followed by a SUP excursion and coffee or beer al fresco.

Yoga-Plus-Magazine- Miko Hafez bio photo

Miko Hafez (She/Her)

TEAM MEMBER

State you live in:

WASHINGTON

What you love most about where you live:
It’s exceptionally beautiful, has nice cafes and restaurants,and has probably the best summer weather in the world! It’s close to mountains and vast forests. I love hiking, so this is a perfect city for me.

Favorite teachers or studios (online or in person) who inspire you:
Tracy Hodgeman from 8 limbs yoga in Seattle.