Mary Aranas

Photo of New York City-based yoga instructor Mary Aranas

I have to pinch myself over a couple of wonders every day. One is motherhood, the wonder of getting to be a mom. Another is yoga – getting to do it and, wonder of wonders, to share it and see lives transformed by it every day.

I started yoga right after my son was born, nearly 16 years ago now, as my busy new-mother schedule left no room for martial arts, dance or marathon cycling trips. From a merely physical attraction, the relationship grew to an all-encompassing union of my physical, emotional and spiritual path. When my mother passed from breast cancer, right after September 11 shook the world, it was a wake-up call to me that every day is the day you need to follow your heart. I took the path to teach yoga then. And every day, in every class I teach, I try to make that wake-up call, to touch each student, poetically, physically, aesthetically, to follow their heart.

My yogiraj is Alan Finger of ISHTA Yoga. ISHTA means ‘individual’ and is also an acronym for ‘Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda.’ It brings those ancient traditions to the West and makes them accessible, to meet each individual yogi's needs wherever he or she is at, today, whether it is restorative, prenatal or vigorous power vinyasa they need. My classes always incorporate a yogic theme, some pranayama or kriya, and mantra and yantra, as well as alignment and vinyasa. Most notably, I like to use a seven-week Chakra theme cycle. I've also been so blessed in learning from so many teachers and lineages, and they, too, are included and channeled into my teaching, which is both intuitive and structured.

My specialties span the extremes of yoga, from the highly dynamic and athletic AcroYoga, which I've taught three years and practiced for four, to ever so soft and sweet Thai massage, Yoga Nidra, and restorative yoga, in which I teach privates, workshops and teacher trainings. I love that balance of yin and yang in my practice and in my life.

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