Beth has been an administrator in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years and a yoga practitioner for more than 35. Recognized for her expertise in the mental health field, she has served on panels, led workshops and moderated national conferences. Before coming to Lineage in February 2009, she directed a juvenile justice organization where she increased the budget tenfold.
She created a nationally recognized service delivery model for youth re-entering the community after incarceration and has published several articles and a book chapter describing how to replicate the model. Beth graduated from Simmons College with a master’s degree in social work in 1973. She was certified in executive management from Columbia University’s School of Business in 2003.
Jeramy came to Lineage as a volunteer in 2005 after many years working with at-risk youth as a dancer and choreographer. She began doing administrative work for Lineage in 2007. Jeramy is a yoga teacher certified through OM Yoga Center in New York City, and she sees her work with Lineage as a path fusing her prior work with her yoga practice.
Chia-Ti is a certified yoga teacher and Thai body worker. She received her first certification in yoga therapy from the Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore, India, in 2003. She is also trained in classical hatha yoga through the Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Camp and in Yin Yoga with Victor Chang. She has taught yoga in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Her passion is working with teenagers, and she teaches in public high schools, foster care, alternate-to-incarceration sites and juvenile detention centers. Chia-Ti believes that yoga fosters the confidence, peace and creativity that empower people to make healthy choices. She is grateful to her teachers and for the continuing grace that her own yoga practice brings into her life.
Bart van Melik
Bart had been practicing meditation intensively for seven years in his native Netherlands, where he developed and ran educational programs with youth, refugees and immigrants, before moving to New York City in 2008. One of his meditation teachers, Joseph Goldstein, introduced him to The Lineage Project. He began as a volunteer and was hired in 2010 as rehabilitation counselor. Bart holds a master’s in the psychology of culture and religion from the Nijmegen University in The Netherlands. He is amazed and deeply inspired by the wisdom and compassion of the youth he teaches.
Joshua Bee Alafia
Joshua has been working with youth empowerment projects since 1996, teaching Capoeira, filmmaking, Tai Chi, Qigong, Muay Thai and meditation. He began volunteering with Lineage in the spring of 2011 at the suggestion of his mentor, insight meditation teacher Gina Sharpe. He now teaches at high schools and alternate-to-incarceration sites. He received a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and film from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Joshua is interested in exploring new ways to bring mindfulness into daily awareness.
Teacher and Social Work Intern
Rebecca has been practicing yoga and meditation since age 16 and loves sharing the practices with young people facing challenges in their lives. In 2005, Rebecca received her 200-hour certification from Jhon Tmayo and Sabina Stahl at Atmananda, a New York City studio that focuses on the Atmananda Yoga Sequence, a vigorous Vinyasa practice. She received her 300-hour certification from Amy Matthews at the Breathing Project, where she learned more about anatomy, yoga therapy, and a slower and gentler way to practice. Rebecca has augmented these trainings with certifications in Thai Yoga Bodywork, Reiki energy healing and hypnosis. She is currently training to be a psychotherapist, with the intention of developing a practice that integrates psychology with mind-body and energy healing modalities.
After completing her 200-hour and prenatal yoga teacher trainings in 2007, Booker worked with many different at-risk communities until she found her calling to teach yoga and meditation to incarcerated youth through Lineage. She is now involved in leading the Lineage teacher trainings. Booker also facilitated a mindfulness-based intervention with adolescents on Riker’s Island, the New York City jail, for two years through New York University, and she has taught with the Prison Yoga Project in Northern California. She teaches a seven-week training in yoga and activism through Off the Mat, Into the World, and she is currently enrolled in a 350-hour training at California’s Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Stephan W. Kolbert
A native New Yorker, Stephan is an educator, yoga teacher and integrative therapist who uses yoga, Reiki, aromatherapy, nutritional and contemplative counseling, and Thai body work. He has spent more than two decades working with diverse populations, from the homeless and incarcerated to the economically secure. He has worked with clients who are healthy, infirmed, hospitalized or in palliative care, from birth to death. Stephan holds a 500-hour certificate with Yoga Alliance. He has completed the 500-hour Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program, where he now serves as a mentor. He holds a master’s in counseling and guidance from New York University. He has worked with Lineage since 2007.
Daniela Colaianni Poe
Daniela was born and raised in Italy, where she found yoga through her theater studies at age 15. She loved how yoga combines peaceful, non-competitive practice with an opportunity for creative self-expression, and it quickly became an indispensible part of her life. Daniela holds a master’s degree in performing arts and teaches yoga to children, teenagers and adults, including moms-to-be and new mothers. She has taught yoga in Italian public schools and currently teaches in New York City public schools.
Amy is dedicated to sharing the practice of yoga in ways that reflect her own authentic experience, heartfelt inquiry and diligent practice. She received her first 200-hour certification with Integral Yoga in 2004 and completed an Anusara teacher training in 2009. She offers yoga to a diverse range of students, including NYC public school teachers, middle school and high school students, NYU and Fordham students, nurses, athletes, musicians, pre-schoolers, foster parents, teenagers, and seniors. She offers yoga and meditation classes at MindBodySoulYoga in Washington Heights, Bread & Yoga in Inwood and CAP21 Conservatory, as well as at Humanities Preparatory High School in Chelsea with the Lineage Project. She began as a volunteer with Lineage and became a teacher in the fall of 2011. Her practice and teaching reflect her beliefs that the deepest wisdom lies within, and every mind, body and heart possess the innate ability to heal.
Grace began practicing yoga while attending Cornell University and has been teaching yoga, dance and meditation for more than seven years. A Brooklyn native, she is dedicated to uplifting and giving back to her community. She has been a counselor for adults with disabilities working for the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Services and is an entrepreneur, owner and director of Move With Grace yoga studio in downtown Brooklyn. Being a part of Lineage is an extension of her commitment to spread opportunity and enlightenment to those who may feel lost in the urban environment. Her inspiration comes from more than 25 years studying movement and choreography, as well as seeing the youth in her community tune into the expansive universe that exists within all of us using the tools learned in movement and meditation!
Ani has developed several specialized yoga programs, including a breath-based core strength training and a yoga series for singers. She teaches at OM Yoga Center, where she completed her teacher training. She is a graduate of Leslie Kaminoff’s advanced yoga anatomy program and has studied mindfulness meditation with Larry Rosenberg, restorative yoga with Judith Lasater and Thai massage through the Lotus Palm School. Ani is also a freelance grant writer for nonprofit arts, education and alternative health organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and fiction writing from Bard College.