Om Institute Teachers

Gia-Raquel Esposito - Helps Students With Pain Management

Gia-Raquel Esposito, owner of Airs Above Yoga, LLC and a real estate sales associate in Tewksbury, New Jersey has had a love for horses stemming from early childhood. Growing up in “horse country” afforded her the privilege of beginning to ride from the tender age of four. It was forces beyond her control, which brought her riding aspirations to an abrupt halt. It took twenty years before she was able to reunite with her long lost passion for horses and their ability to heal. In that time, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication from Arcadia University and became a twice two hundred hour certified yoga instructor in both Hatha and Vinyasa. It was the loss of her mother, Rose, to breast cancer that ultimately shifted her trajectory from the corporate world to the internal work for which yoga, as a practice, is renowned. Airs Above Yoga, while tailored to the Equestrian, also focuses on injury rehabilitation. Since childhood, Gia-Raquel has suffered both chronic and acute injuries and is able to offer her clients ways to reintegrate their bodies to accommodate their recovery. Over the years she has worked extensively with private clients both outside and within the equestrian community. Having lived in Philadelphia, New York, and most recently Santa Monica California, her heart has always remained where she was born and raised. Deciding to return home to Hunterdon County has allowed her to keep rooted in the land she loves, while giving wings to her love of helping others all over the country.

Jennifer Degen - Helps Students With Exhaustion & Burn Out

I was looking for a way to recover from feelings of self-doubt after having had a traumatic brain surgery. I decided after watching the character Nick in the movie Enlighten Up, the yoga skeptic, tear up, that yoga would be worth the experiment. The next day I committed to practice 100 straight days of yoga online. The intention at the time was to transform my pain. 12 years later, here I am a dedicated student of yoga. Teaching, somatic coaching, and retreats are the center of my life. I spend my days facilitating change and transformation and feel grateful that my stress/pain/overwhelm led me here. Having always been a spiritual seeker, with multiple losses, and injuries that influence my journey, I have discovered my intuition is my best guidance. That gut feeling and heartbreak have new meaning to me now. My classes are experiences for you to garner the tools that can support you to move through life’s inevitable disruptions, traumas and personal events that leave us contracted, exhausted, fearful, uncertain or addicted. My classes help you explore the truth of what is getting in the way of you living more wholly and fully. You will discover the sweet nectar of whole life fitness; deepen both your core values, while also restoring balance and strength back into your life. If you have a desire to feel more joy, ease and freedom, while deepening your commitments to yourself, then come to my class for some inspiration. We all have an inner guide that we can tap into to reach our greatest potential if we hold the mirror up to ourselves. See you in the yoga room!

Krystal Akin - Helps students with trauma, mental/emotional health

I started my yoga journey in high school to support my personal mental health and strongly believe in the power of the mind-body connection. As a mom, mental health counselor, and trauma survivor, I specialize in supporting individuals in learning to move through moments of intense emotion and to use body based practices to heal past traumas.  As a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT,) I also enjoy supporting parents of children & teens who struggle in this area.  My classes focus on helping you use breath and movement to tune into and play with your energy and inner rhythm, giving you the tools to practice in a way that best serves you.  For survivors of trauma who aren’t quite ready for a class environment, I’d love to work with you privately to help you find a sense of safety and control in your body. A lover of lifetime learning, I am currently working toward my 500hr RYT at Spira Power Yoga in Seattle under Carina Terra & Dora Gyarmati.

Montse Gili - Helps Students Who Feel Lost/Stuck/Unfulfilled

Montse has been working for the last 20 years, among other things, mentoring young artists in the world of theatre and performance. It was her passion for sharing and to help others realise their potential, that eventually lead her onto the path of yoga teaching. A practitioner since the late 90s, she never considered teaching, but finally took the leap and… couldn’t be happier! Montse first trained in the UK and later on added another 500hr in Rishikesh, India, with Krisha and Sangeeta Shikhwal, working with them on traditional hatha yoga, with elements of Iyengar style alignment and restorative yoga. Her classes are relaxed, friendly, with emphasis on alignment and large doses of humour. Everyone feels welcome, regardless of their level of skill or how long they had on the mat. Montse’s moto is ‘be your own template’, both in life and in yoga… Your shape is unique and so is your life, so don’t follow the ‘should be or look like this or that’; find your own path… on and off the mat. Montse will gently guide you in that exploration, as she has done with actors over the years she can help you find your own path, your own uniqueness and your own yoga practice. “She is a fantastic teacher in both the dynamic and more restorarative classes. Above all, she is a great facilitator who cares for you every step of the practice and encourages you to own your own practice and work within your availability to get into a pose, without needlessley pushing into a particular shape. I can highly recommend her classes!” – Matt Fennemore