Yoga and movement sanctuary
A Sanctuary for growth.
urban movement arts
Urban Movement Arts (UMA) welcomes adults of all ages and experience levels to explore Hip Hop, American folk dance, and African Diaspora movement genres. We guide movers and dancers to develop true connection to community and style.
Our programs and classes bring out the joy of discovering new ways of being and moving in the world.
Katonah Yoga® is a syncretic Hatha yoga practice developed by Nevine Michaan over 40 years. She and her teachers incorporate classical Hatha yoga with Taoist theory, geometry, magic, mythology, metaphor, and imagination — in a practical framework designed to potentiate personal and communal well-being.
Framing the practice, maps of time and personal space are defined and refined. Themes using asana as origami, manipulating form for function, and developing a sense of personal measure are incorporated in Katonah Yoga practices.
Katonah Yoga is organized around three principles of esoteric dialogue: all polarities are mediated by trinity; the universe has pattern, pattern implies intelligence; by virtue of repetition there is potential for insight.
Revelations are revolutionary.
We practice yoga to broaden the mind and develop the imagination. Consider the body as a house; the mind is the body’s occupant, that implicit, but most powerful, aspect of a self. The practice is a dialogue between mind and body, mediated by the breath; one’s internal atmosphere and the cosmic material that it receives, contains and uses. We practice yoga to alter our psychology by reorganizing our physiology. Yoga engages our body in a physical debate between forms that are personal, habitual, and largely unconscious, and forms that are archetypal, measured, and conscious. By reforming our body’s unconscious habits and introducing more informed and efficient patterns, yoga becomes origami for the body. As we fold and unfold, we develop dimension rather than engaging in the binary struggle between tight and loose. In this way we set up conditions for greater self-knowledge and a more expansive vision, which leads to personal change. This physical insurgence, infused with spirit, is our mission.
Joan began her yoga training in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1968. In a1972 horseback riding accident she broke her back and sustained other serious spinal injuries. She suffered from temporary paralysis and slowly began to recover do some yoga poses. Joan participated in a 1973 class in Ann Arbor taught by B.K.S, Iyengar .Watching her closely, he advised her what to do and what not to do. From the very first asana she knew that she had found her teacher.
Certified by B.K.S. Iyengar at the Advanced level, Joan has been studying with the Iyengar family since 1973. She has traveled to India 27 times and currently travels at least once a year to study with the Iyengars She was the Chair of the national certification Committee for the Iyengar National Association for six and a half years. She has been awarded best of Philly four times the last in 2009. The Philadelphia Magazine labeled her the doyenne of yoga.
In 2005 Joan had another horseback riding accident, which left her with a broken back, eight broken ribs, a destroyed shoulder and a punctured lung. Despite all of this she has continued to practice and learn from her experience. She has also had to learn how to work with both aging and injuries.
Joan’s teaching is true to the tradition’s high standards. Her language is direct and succinct. Her understanding of the poses draws from over thirty seven years of study with the Iyengar family. She genuinely enjoys being with her students and generously shares what she knows.
Lily Kind is an independent interdisciplinary artist and performer. She does not know exactly what an economically just dance world would look like in the united states, but believes we are far form it. One way she tries to shift the dance world towards greater economic justice as the director of the Artists in Residency program at Urban Movement Arts in Philadelphia. She studies and teaches vernacular jazz, improvisation, and contemporary floor work accessible to a range of bodies and learning styles. She co-founded Ragtag Empire, a lindy hop start up. Her dance writing has been published on CultureBot, Thinking Dance, and Phindie. From 2008-2013 she ran award winning Baltimore-based dance making organization Effervescent Collective, that made work in warehouses, skateparks, boxing gyms, old churches, gymnasiums, and on riverbanks. She has studied at Goucher College (2009 BA cum laude with honors Individualized Major in Dance, Anthropology, and Post-colonial studies), Sarah Lawrence College, California Institute of the Arts, Headlong Performance Institute, and Goddard College (2019 MFA Interdisciplinary Arts with a Concentration in Performance). Her creative process and the dances that emerge are queer, sisterly, and fun.
Simon began his Yoga journey in 1995 with Shiva Rea in the World Arts and Cultures Department at UCLA. Soon thereafter, he became immersed in the great atmosphere of the original YogaWorks studios in Santa Monica where he completed his first teacher training with Maty Ezraty in 1998. A move home to Philadelphia led to an opportunity to study with senior Iyengar Teacher, Joan White, and the legendary yogi Dharma Mittra. After apprenticing with Shiva Rea as an assistant, Simon began leading his own workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats - eventually worldwide. In 2007, Yoga Journal acclaimed Simon as, "one of the most influential and gifted Yoga teachers of the next generation.” His free-style Vinyasa is fluid, intuitive, and encourages freedom through self expression. Simon is profoundly influenced by the teachings of Shiva Rea, Richard Freeman, Maty Ezraty, Joan White, and Dharma Mitra - his core teachers for the past 20+ years. Simon's blend of these influences finds a beautiful alchemy in his style, Liquid Flow Yoga, a mix of classical and modern Yoga. Recently, Simon returned to his educational roots by creating a Yoga Program for Princeton University. Dubbed the "Flying Nomad," he draws inspiration from road legends such as Jimi Hendrix who aptly stated, "the Earth is my home.”
I came to Yoga no stranger to the joys of physicality. But my body was a wreck from sports that I played growing up. I was tremendously inflexible with ailments in my neck and back. For me, at the time, the simplest postures were- not only deeply therapeutic- but poignant vehicles for psychic transformation. It was this effect on my conscious mind that hooked me into the practice. I spent years in home practice before ever coming to class, thinking that my experience was too personal to share in a group setting. But, when I took my first Vinyasa class, in a room full of people, all practicing with one intention, all stoking the same fire, I fell in love with Vinyasa; and pursued it through various avenues over the years, searching out the through-lines and common threads from one school to the next, & embracing the lifestyle of the Contemporary Yoga Movement. I teach today from that space between, in an attempt to convey the love story between form and flow, dancer and witness, devotion and integrity, Sun and Moon. I look forward to our practice together!