Our Teaching Staff
. Raji is the founder and co-director of Yoga Synthesis and Program Director of Yoga Synthesis Teacher Trainings. Since its inception in 1999, hundreds of graduates have earned certifications through the renowned Yoga Synthesis™ Teacher Training programs.
He has studied extensively and directly with a number of well-known teachers from various prominent Hatha Yoga lineages including: Pattabhi Jois and Richard Freeman in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Dharma Mittra in Shivananda Yoga, Aadila Palkivala in Iyengar Yoga, Gary Kraftsow and Fran Ubertini in Krishnamacharya Yoga, John Friend in Anusara Yoga, Ravi Singh and others in Kundalini Yoga, Glenn Black at Omega Institute. He has taken trainings at The Colorado Yoga Institute, The Santa Barbara Yoga Center (with Erich Schiffmann), The White Lotus Foundation (with Ganga White and Tracy Rich), the original Yoga Works in Santa Monica (with Maty Ezraty,Chuck Miller and others) Yoga Centers in Bellevue Washington (with Aadil Palkivala)and continues to take workshops with teachers from different traditions whenever possible.
Raji’s passion is for the integration of different methods and styles, which allows him to express more creativity and engage in open exploration into the essence and wholeness of Yoga. From dynamic flowing movement to passive poses and active holds with alignment and props, his depth of knowledge of various practices and the creative combination of them has led him to be known throughout the area as a leader in innovative and creatively inspired Hatha Yoga. He has also helped many people with various ailments through therapeutic yoga applications. Raji applies his creative spirit in the areas of breath, energy awareness and meditative practice as well, with continual practice and study in various meditative and contemplative traditions, particularly Tibetan Buddhism. The inspiration for the Yoga Synthesis™ style is a culmination and integration of all that he has learned and explored. Renowned for his creative, challenging and dynamic classes, Raji is New Jersey’s most experienced Vinyasa and Ashtanga instructor. Raji hosts workshops throughout the area and has produced several Yoga DVDs.
Yoga has been a part of Susan's life for many years. Her first experience was in a high school gym class, and somehow always stayed with her. Sporadic classes turned into a weekly habit after having her first child. Yoga has helped Susan to find stillness, and gratitude in her life. Yoga has helped Susan to let go of negativity and open her heart to others. Susan received her 200 hour Teaching Certificate with Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis. Susan has completed workshops including Seane Corn, Anat Baniel, and Max Strom. Susan continues to educate herself, and pass the gift of Yoga to her students!!
Alane started practicing yoga in 1999. Yoga Synthesis has been her home for the past 5+ years. In 2013 Alane completed and graduated from the Yoga Synthesis 200-hr yoga teachers training program with Raji Thron. She is also registered with Yoga Alliance. In addition to studying with most of the Yoga Synthesis teachers, Alane has taken workshops with Erich Schiffmann, Max Strom and Jillian Pransky. "Even though I can share my love of yoga and meditation through teaching, I'm a student at heart." Alane guides a well balanced classical Hatha yoga style class, appropriate for all student levels.
Alexis initially came to Yoga Synthesis at the urging of a friend in 2008 and never left. She fell in love with how it made her feel both physically and emotionally. It was life changing for her and she feels blessed to have found yoga even if it was later in life. She had such a strong desire to share her love of yoga with others that she decided to enroll in teacher training. She earned her teacher's certification through the Yoga Synthesis Teacher Training program with Raji Thron and currently tries to balance her ashtanga practice with a variety of other vinyasa classes.
Andrew is thankful for what his yoga practice teaches him every day and how that caries into his daily life. His inspiration comes from his rigorous daily practice with his wife Trella that blends ashtanga, vinyasa flow, and inversions. He loves to combine different yoga schools to make a creative fusion where you will play with gravity with an effortless effort. Expect a creative flow, intense core and fun inversions. Andrew received his 200 hr certification from the Yoga Synthesis Teacher training in Ramsey, NJ.
Loose the stress…find the peace
Anjali has been practicing yoga and meditation since 2002. She came to the practices to open energies in her body and mind.
She is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance and has completed Yoga Synthesis Teacher Training with Raji Thron and Anusara Immersions with Chaya Spencer at Shree Yoga. She is a certified teacher of IMX=Pilates, a form that tones and elongates muscles, strengthens core, increases flexibility, and improves posture.
Anjali is an interior designer and an avid golfer. She finds the clarity and serenity of Yoga enhances her design aesthetics and project management skills. It also deepens her composure on the golf course.
She enjoys meditating, schmoozing and laughing with the Yoga Synthesis Book Club. With her passion for studying Yoga Philosophy she knows there is much more to Yoga than the physical practice of poses. She brings a fresh approach to ancient philosophies that will motivate you in today’s modern life, taking you from the mat into the world to stay more focused and centered.
Anjali teaches a fusion of traditional yoga styles and principles with an emphasis on alignment.
She is known for her atypical and innovative playlists. Come rock your Vinyasa to awesome Reggae, Funk and Soul tunes!
Artemis started practicing hot yoga in 2011 after a friend bought her a class package as a gift. Artemis began practicing to get her body in shape to help boost her skills in the sport of archery.
Seeing how yoga helped her mentally and physically, Artemis sought to learn more about how yoga works. She enrolled in the 200 hour Fire Shaper Teacher Training in the Fall of 2013 and later completed her 500 hour Advanced Teacher Training with Raji at Yoga Synthesis.
Astrid's yoga journey started long time ago in Germany. As a 10-year old she was always seeking for postural alignment and perfection. Her path took her to ballet, gymnastics, dancing (waltz, salsa, tango) and finally to yoga. Yoga gives her freedom because 'You simply cannot fail.'.
She believes that yoga will make you happy no matter someone's reason to try the practice. Her classes are linked to yoga philosophy, guided imagery, relaxation techniques and alignment instructions. Her favorite yoga sutra is 'Die ideale Haltung ist stabil und leicht zugleich' or 'Yoga pose is a steady and comfortable position' that means that in every asana there is a place where you can just relax and explore the ease (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, II, 46).
She graduated from Raji's basic and advanced teacher training and is currently working on yoga therapeutics. Yoga Synthesis for her is a wonderful place to connect with a true community of yogis.
Candy first found yoga in an outdoor class in Martha’s Vineyard ten years ago. It was definitely an amazing experience. From there it was uphill all the way! She has practiced anywhere from the local gym to a helicopter pad on top of a mountain.
Yoga Synthesis has become a go to place for Candy. She has been able to deepen her practice and find a community of wonderful people. Candy has just finished her teacher training with Raji. She is a cardiac nurse at Valley Hospital. Yoga has been life changing for her. She has gained flexibility, strength and balance through yoga. Candy feels very strongly that anyone can reap a wonderful benefit from yoga. It has helped her so much physically and emotionally. Learning to look inside and find her inner strength has been huge for Candy.
Casey's daily yoga practice began in 2009 at a moment in her life when she was in need of healing. Under Raji's guidance, she completed her basic yoga training at Yoga Synthesis and has eagerly committed to his advanced training in 2017. Casey's philosophy as a yoga teacher is to help students feel good mentally, physically, and emotionally. Offering modifications for every level practitioner, Casey's class has a playful edge, filled with creatively sequenced flows that always end with the perfect amount of savasana!
Jennifer Coan has been practicing yoga since 1995 and teaching since 2000. She has had the good fortune to practice with teachers who have inspired her and set a beautiful example of the transformational power of yoga. She tries to share this experience in her classes - physically, through the breath and from the heart. She has been teaching at Yoga Synthesis Ramsey since their doors opened in 2005. She is certified in Integral Yoga (200 hours), Yoga Synthesis Basic (200 hours) in 2001 and Yoga Synthesis Advanced (300 hours) in 2012. Jennifer was also certified in Yamuna Body Rolling in 2005.
An accidental visit to Jivamukti Yoga center in the late 1990s was the very beginning of Jin’s yoga journey. Not quite knowing why she felt the way she did(strangely wonderful) after the yoga classes at Jivamukti, Jin left yoga for quite some time to raise her 2 beautiful daughters. As a recent empty nester, her unresolved curiosity of yoga drew her back to yoga classes at The Gym where her teacher Marla Walter gave her inspiration and encouragement that yoga is for everyone who seeks. Soon after, Jin found her home at Yoga Synthesis and received 200 RYT in April 2012 under Raji Thron’s guidance.
Practicing yoga centers her life. Asanas reflect balancing act of her Motherhood, career, relationships with people and life’s ‘stuff’ and the rest, on and off the mat. And time after time, Yoga always brings her back to her heart; the relationship with SELF- good, bad and everything in between.
Jin loves how finding yoga made her steps lighter, heart brighter, smile warmer and her arms open wider to embrace all that life presents day to day. For Jin, teaching yoga is an honor and a privilege to share and to grow together, by saluting the Spirit in each and every person in the room and by serving as a humble bridge to facilitate awareness and sensitivity within. And last but not least, yoga is FUN! Jin maintains a full time specialty dental practice at Mid-County Endodontic Group.
Johnny Scifo is a RYT-500 advanced certified yoga teacher and has been a devoted yogi for over 10 years. He received his basic training in breath-based yoga from Ramapo College under the guidance of Fran Ubertini and Carol Bowman. At a yoga workshop series at Ramapo, Johnny met Raji, and ultimately completed his advanced training at Yoga Synthesis in 2015. Johnny's musicianship and passion for yoga create powerful experiences for his students. His classes are breath focused and presented in a way that everyone can experience the beauty and power of their yoga practice. A mixture of modern science, ancient wisdom, and raw love, Johnny is a living example of the power of yoga for positive change and the ability to fulfill one’s dreams and dharma.
E-RYT, RYT 500, RCYT
Judy began her practice of yoga while teaching in the Pre-K classroom. When she saw firsthand the profound effect it had on the children and the positive energy shift it had in the classroom, she followed the natural path, which eventually led to teaching yoga.
Her classes are light hearted and slow flowing, allowing the students time to focus on breath and alignment. She brings attention to the transition between the poses, allowing movement to flow organically from the breath, and allowing time to enjoy the journey between each pose.
Her training includes:
*Yoga Synthesis 500 hour teacher training certification with Raji Thron
*Om Yoga 200 hour teacher training certification with Cyndi Lee
*Om Yoga Restorative teacher training with Cyndi Lee
*Angel Yoga Advanced Children teacher training with Sheryl Edsall
*Yoga Minded Teen Certification with Christy Brock
*Shree Yoga Anusara Immersion with Chaya Spencer
She has also studied with many other gifted yoga and meditation teachers along this path and although she looks forward to continuing her exploration of learning, Judy is most inspired by her greatest teachers ; her family and students.
Judy teaches yoga to all ages, from young children to adults and has taught in the New York/New Jersey area and in Costa Rica for many years. She created and teaches a Yoga Alliance based children/teens teacher training program which allows other yogi’s the gift of bringing yoga to our youth. Feel free to contact Judy at Judylev14@gmail.com at any time.
Karen was introduced to yoga in March of 2013, in a time when daily stress and anxiety started to consume her. A good friend invited her to a donations class, and instantly she fell in love with Yoga. Not only did yoga help her deal with daily pressures, it started to uncover past traumas that were unresolved and still had a strong presence in her daily life.
Karen's yoga practice inspires her to continue on the journey of self-healing and transformation. She's eternally grateful to have found the yoga community, which is encouraging her to embrace all that she is and those around her.
In 2015, Karen completed Raji Thron's 200 hour teacher training and has dedicated herself to her practice ever since. In her class, expect an inspiring, creative flow that combines challenging poses and smooth transitions.
Kelly Solloway earned her teacher’s certification through the Yoga Synthesis ™ Teacher Training program with Raji Thron in 2004. She was first introduced to Yoga and Eastern Philosophy in high school, and while her interest and education in that area continued, she pursued bodybuilding as her physical training regimen. It was only later in life that Kelly re-discovered the power within the Yoga to join together the body, mind and spirit in a single practice.
Her training includes studying many styles of yoga including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Restorative, Viniyoga, and Kundalini yoga. She continues to study with her teacher, Raji Thron, in addition to other accomplished yogis such as Sheryl Edsall, Erich Schiffmann, and many others and attends various workshops and trainings with different teachers as often as she can. Kelly's classes are unique, educational, and, most of all, fun for both the beginner and the seasoned practitioner. She has a creative way of blending different traditions of yoga styles of asana, pranayama, and meditation practice into an insightful, thoughtful and safe yoga experience.
For Kenny, yoga did not capture his interest right away. It has slowly integrated into a lifestyle of self-healing and helping others heal themselves. This world is constantly changing, and we can open up to it and respect all of its manifestations. His yoga became a process toward clarity, strength, stability, and our innate basic goodness. He gradually re-relates to both body and mind, which at times can be challenging yet incredibly fulfilling.
A graduate of Raji Thron’s 200 hr teacher training at Yoga Synthesis and Shastri Ethan Nichtern's multi-lineage meditation teacher training program, Kenny believes yoga is for everyone with all present conditions. He likes to blend qualities of meditation, pranayama, and various traditions of Hatha Yoga. Everyone is encouraged to proceed in a rhythm that feels perfect to him or her. And most important is to recognize, allow, and respond to your ever-changing personal experience. Have fun with it and please come as you are.
Kent Lindemer, M.F.A. has an intense passion for and an extensive background in yoga, dance and bodywork. Growing up with a yogini mother who ran a Siddha Yoga center out of the house, it was only natural that he became an avid practitioner of Yoga and was drawn to the world of dance and massage therapy. After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, Kent danced and choreographed both nationally and internationally with Pilobolus Dance Theatre from 1989-2000.
After obtaining certification in massage therapy and bodywork, Kent toured nationally with the Broadway musical Swing! as the company’s massage therapist, aerial bungee rigger and trainer. Concurrently, Kent continued to pursue his studies in yoga with John Friend and eventually became an affiliated Anusara teacher. Immersing himself even further within the world of yoga, Kent completed Advanced Teacher Training with Richard Freeman and taught Ashtanga Yoga at The Yoga Workshop in Boulder, CO. Most recently, Kent earned an MFA in Dance at the University of Washington.
As a result of these multifaceted yet interconnected experiences, Kent has developed a uniquely rich knowledge base and style of teaching which blends together elements of his experiences in dance, anatomy, Ashtanga and Anusara Yoga, his own style of Nata Yoga, Nada Yoga, and Partner Yoga. Kent enjoys teaching workshops and classes nationally and abroad and has done so since 1995. He has moved back to the East Coast to continue his career and have a baby with his lovely partner Deirdre. He still keeps a Massage Therapy practice and occasionally dances with Pilobolus, as well as on his own. Kent is very excited about sharing the integration of his unique experience with students at Yoga Synthesis.
Kimberly believes that every day is a gift, and truly something to celebrate. Her love, passion and desire to learn has allowed her to swiftly deepen her practice, passion and understanding for healing the body. With a desire to bring gifts of yoga into the lives of adults and children, she completed Raji Thron’s 200-hour basic teacher training at Yoga Synthesis, graduating in May 2013 Judy Levin’s Children and Teen Yoga Teacher training graduating in February 2014. Since graduating Kimberly is trained and certified in Qi Gong, Radiant Child Yoga for children with special needs, Kundalini yoga for self-esteem, and Reiki. Kimberly teaches in a variety settings and of classes including; Vinyasa, Flow, Basic, Gentle Restorative, Yoga Tone, Yoga for Athletes, Children and Teen, Yoga in Schools, Family Yoga, and Yoga for Children with Special Needs. In her teaching and personal practice, incorporates various styles of yoga including; Ashtanga, Iyengar, Restorative, Viniyoga, Kundalini yoga and Qi Gong while also weaving in the use of mindfulness, meditative techniques, and spiritual affirmations. Kimberly hopes to use her knowledge of yoga to bring peace, happiness, smiles, and joy to the lives of adults and children of all ages as it has for her.
Laura McGarrigal, RYT 200
Laura began practicing yoga regularly 12 years ago and quickly found it to be the key to maintaining balance in one’s life. She believes the mind, body and breath connection attained through yoga to be the perfect way to relieve stress and forge a spiritual path towards a calm and tranquil demeanor and a life of ease and grace.
As a teacher, Laura focuses on the breath that flows through each posture as a way to connect the body while relaxing the mind. Laura believes in preparing the body with appropriate warm up poses prior to transitioning to more challenging postures. She helps her students ease their way into each pose with guided verbal instructions and gentle hands on assists in a non-competitive and relaxed environment.
Lisa is a 500hr experienced advanced yoga teacher, having graduated from both the basic and advanced Yoga Synthesis teacher training program. She has recently completed all three modules of Anusara Immersion yoga training through Shree Yoga, in Upper Saddle River. Currently, she is on her way to becoming an Anusara Inspired Yoga teacher! Lisa discovered yoga in 2001 at a local sports club. Her teacher, Anna Khazan was certified through Yoga Synthesis and led her to a deeper involvement with the mindful meditation that is yoga. Whether a student comes to yoga to improve strength and flexibility, learn relaxation techniques for stress, or help relieve chronic aches and pains, Lisa's classes offer everyone a chance to tap into their pure potential. She is especially grateful for her teachers, Raji Thron, Chaya Spencer, and is inspired by the teachings of John Friend, Shiva Rea, and Gary Kraftsow. Yoga is for everyone, no matter your flexability, strength, or age, Start wherever you are, no matter what your limitations are, you can honor yourself in your practice. With patience and awareness, and the importance of the principles of alignment, your perfection will be found.
Back in 1990, I fell in love with Yoga when I took my very first class and have since been inspired by the inner wisdom, compassion and challenges of how Yoga so beautifully opens the heart, body and mind. I am a graduate of Yoga Mountain's 200 Hour Teacher Training (aka Yoga Sanctuary, New City, NY), and am registered with Yoga Alliance. I have continued to participate in many workshops throughout the years with Sean Corn, Todd Norian, Dharma Mittra, Desiree Rumbargh, Leslie Kaminoff and Erich Schiffmann to name a few. I have found a passion for studying the different traditions of Yoga, which has allowed me to infuse my teaching style of Vinyasa flow with Spiritual text, Anatomy and a strong attention to the details of Alignment.
My classes are colored with humor, great music and a tremendous respect for the practice of meditation and pranayama.
Throughout the years, Yoga has enriched my life with much humility, grace and openheartedness.
While continuing on my Yogic path, I am presently studying for my 500 hour Advanced Teacher Training certification at Yoga Synthesis with Raji.
It's hard to tell whether Michele Sapanaro embraced yoga, or whether yoga embraced her. Either way, it was a perfect match that united important streams into a powerful river whose currents have transformed her life. Michele's life-long interest in health and fitness expressed itself in dance, gymnastics and vegetarian cooking. Her natural gifts as a teacher, and her desire to touch and be touched by the exuberance of life led her to become a Certified Childbirth Educator, and prenatal and postpartum fitness instructor. These pursuits prepared Michele for the eventual integration that was yoga, culminating in her completion of Raji Thron's Yoga Synthesis Teachers' Training in 2004. Michele continues to study and practice Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with Raji. She has completed Primary and Second Series, and is now exploring Third Series. Michele's greatest joy, however, is sharing the gift of yoga with others. More information on Michele can be found on her website www.shininglightyoga.net.
She is an adventurous soul who loves the sunny weather; she has lived in 4 different countries, Studied Economics at the University of Texas; was a runner, worked in the finance sector and lastly real estate. After she had knee surgery it limited her physical activity. So, she felt she was missing something in her life. One day she was walking by a yoga studio, she was captured by a vision to explore hot yoga. After 3 weeks of practicing yoga she noticed changes of energy and mobility. It inspired her to practice 2 or 3 hours a day, 6 days a week. Afterwards, her determination was to complete her 200 hour program with Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis and did so in November 2015. And now, she keeps rolling on and off the yoga mat and sharing her passion and inspiration with others and continues deepen into her own practice in yoga studies.
Sondra Stowe, M.F.A., EdM, had a long career as an opera and concert singer and has also been an avid yoga practitioner for many years, having studied various styles intensively, including Kundalini and Iyengar. This passion for a variety of yoga styles led her directly to the 200-hour training at Yoga Synthesis in 2006 and to the Gentle/Restorative training at Yoga Synthesis that same year. In the true spirit of Yoga Synthesis, Sondra loves to combine the flowing elements, mantra and breath work of Kundalini with the alignment principles of Iyengar and the rigor of Vinyasa in her own personal practice. Yoga is extremely important in her life and she loves to share its amazing benefits with others. To this end, she's excited to be starting the Advanced Teacher Training at Yoga Synthesis in 2017.
Tara was fortunate to have her first experience in yoga, over 20 years ago, with an almost 70-year young teacher, Paula Heitzner. Paula, through her grace and awareness, taught her that true happiness is moving through life without limitations, at any age! Tara has studied with many wonderful Qi Gong and yoga teachers over the years. She had the pleasure of doing her Teacher Training with Sheryl Edsel and Gurmukh Kaur Kalsa. Tara is a Qi Gong and Kundalini yoga teacher, as well as a body worker and reflexologist. She is grateful to be a part of the Yoga Synthesis family!
Tenley is a RYT-200 registered Yoga Alliance teacher. Her yoga practice began as a compliment to her experience as a K-12 Arts
Educator/Administrator. The design of her classes are mindfully organized to incorporate a seamless mixture of physical, mental, and spiritual elements of the yoga practice. Training includes 200 hour program with Gail Bentley Walsh of Yoga Mountain and recently completed her 500 hour program with Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis.
Trella fell in love with yoga immediately in her first yoga class and continues to fall in love more deeply every day. Yoga has transformed every facet of her life and is helping her find a unified body heart and mind. Her devotion and passion for the practice seeps through every moment of her class and personal practice. She and her husband Andrew have a vigourous daily practice that blends ashtanga, vinyasa flow and inversions.
In her classes, expect a creative flow, intense core and fun inversions.
My first exposure to yoga came during college in the form of a Kundalini yoga class. I have never forgotten the feeling of that savasana. That was more than 30 years ago. When my children were young I managed to practice sporadically. But when time allowed I began to practice in ernest. That is when my life began a transformation. On my mat I found peace and compassion. I came home to myself. At some point I realized I needed to share this gift of yoga with others. I completed Yoga 200 hour Teacher Training May 2011. Trish received her 500 hour certificate from Raji Thron/Yoga Synthesis in September 2014. I teach with compassion for the souls that stand before me knowing that yoga works its magic for all who open to it's grace. I am so humbled by this mystery. I give great thanks to the Universe which provides this blessing of yoga. I thank my teachers for their wisdom and support. I thank my family and friends who continue to support me with their loving hearts.
Yael started to teach yoga in 1999. She fell in love with Iyengar yoga and has been teaching structural yoga in the spirit of B.K.S Iyengar ever since. She studied with the Iyengars and went through the Iyengar rigouros teacher trainings and then continued her studies with the advanced teachers training at Yoga Synthesis with Raji. Yael is a licensed Acupuncturist and an expert in Chinese Medicine, and herbal Medicine, practicing in her clinic in NJ.
All Yoga Synthesis teachers are experienced yoga practitioners and certified instructors, carefully trained to address the needs and requests of students by offering modifications, props, hands-on adjustments and alternative postures.