Teacher’s Corner: Meet the mang’Oh Teacher Trainers

Teacher’s Corner is a new blog series written by one of mang’Oh’s most experienced (and well-loved!) teachers, Chintamani Kansas. Chintamani also teaches and mentors at mang’Oh’s Teacher Training each year. We will be posting Teacher’s Corner every two months, featuring a detailed look at issues and topics that are of particular interest to yoga teachers, both new and experienced. We hope you will enjoy Chintamani’s wealth of experience, as well as her fun and witty look at the world of yoga teaching!

Erica Whalen

Erica Whalen is the creator and the lead instructor of the beloved mang’Oh teacher training. She is incredibly humbled and inspired by all of the many students and wonderful instructors that have brought this program to life, year after year.  Erica oversees the program in its entirety, and also leads the sections on Yoga Philosophy, Sun Salutations and Sequencing.

When Erica discovered mang’Oh, she was running around New York City teaching at various studios, gyms, and living rooms. At the time, mang’Oh had a tiny community and was in need of some love and inspiration. In 2007, she, along with her business savvy sister and dearest friend Cynthia, purchased and reinvented the studio. Today, mang’Oh has become the place they always dreamed it could be: a sweet yoga sanctuary full of heart and soul.

Erica is in love with the practice of yoga. She profoundly believes in its healing effects for the individual body and spirit, as well as the collective whole. She delights in teaching beautiful and expressive asana classes in the hatha vinyasa style. Every day, she is inspired by and grateful for all of the students and teachers that call mang’Oh their yoga home.

Erica has a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance from Texas Christian University, and she received her yoga certification through Laughing Lotus Yoga School. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Evan, and their two little ones, Charlie & Lila.

Favorite Quote: Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do. –Rumi

Chintamani Kansas

Chintamani Kansas is honored to be a part of the mang’Oh Yoga Teacher Training program since its first year in 2011.  For the program, she designed and developed the sections of Backbends, Inversions, Subtle Energy/Subtle Body and Embodied Anatomy.

Chintamani Kansas began her yoga journey at her local gym, trying a class on a whim– and quickly realized the practice of yoga can be a simple, yet powerful tool for finding balance and joy.  Yoga helped Chintamani overcome trauma, reconnect with her spirit, and rekindle her vitality and curiosity.  Having discovered the potential of yoga to restore health and vitality for herself, Chintamani knew she had to share yoga with others.  She has been teaching yoga for 14 years and is continuously inspired and full of gratitude to see the benefits of yoga unfold in her clients and students.

Chintamani’s classes focus on mindfulness and inquiry as well as conscious alignment and expansive movement.  Chintamani’s continued studies include Mindfulness Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Therapeutic Yoga, Embodied Anatomy, and Pilates.

Chintamani lives in Brooklyn with her Partner, Andrew, and her three cats, Biggie, Jubie and Brucie.

Favorite quote:  The True Self abides in the inner chamber of the heart, always at peace, whatever forces of nature may storm outside.  –The Bhagavad-Gita

Danielle Figgie

Danielle Figgie has been a part of the mang’Oh Teacher Training program since 2013.  Danielle leads Standing Poses 1, Rotated Poses and Meditation and Pranayama.  She feels honored to be a part of the participants’ journey towards deepening their practice and (whether they know it or not) changing their lives. Having been in their shoes before makes it all the more wonderful to witness. 

Danielle has been practicing yoga since 2002, when she happened upon a yoga class while studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. What seemed to be a lighthearted decision turned out to be the first step towards finding her truest joy and life’s work. She returned to the States and continued to study yoga when she could; through completing her Accounting degree to working in Corporate America, yoga was her outlet to release stress and come back to the act of just being.

In 2008, Danielle realized that given she spent most of her time working, her job should be a source of joy, not stress. Upon having this realization, she immediately began planning a career change. That year, she completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher certification at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in NYC and she has been teaching ever since. She is ever so grateful to have the opportunity to share this practice and to facilitate bringing joy and peace into others’ lives. Her teaching style is constantly evolving with the phases of her life and her own practice, but she will always emphasize moving and breathing with intention and do her best to encourage her students to stay curious.

Danielle lives in Tribeca with her husband, Harry, and their daughter Josephine. When she is not teaching she is a stay at home mom, which has taken her yoga practice to a whole new level!

Favorite quote: To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. —Mary Oliver

Lisa Iannacito McBride

Lisa Iannacito McBride was thrilled to be certified in mang’Oh Yoga’s inaugural 200hr vinyasa teacher training. She is honored to become a part of the faculty in 2014.  Lisa teaches Standing Poses 2, Forward Bends, Business and Ethics and Specialty Yoga.

Lisa’s experience with movement is ever evolving.  She received her BFA in Dance from Purchase College and performed with several ballet and modern dance companies in NYC for over a decade. She had been introduced to Pilates as a supplement her dance training and in 2006 was certified to teach by the Kane School of Core Integration. She took her first yoga class at mang’Oh the following year, while on staff as a Pilates teacher.  She was originally curious about and interested in the physical aspect of the practice, but the more classes she experienced, the more clear it became that there was something much deeper. The conscious connection of breath and movement linked her mind and body in a way no other physical discipline had, bringing peace and focus that flowed off the mat and into her life. 

In 2015, Lisa moved to upstate NY, where she is originally from, with her husband and son. She is still actively performing as well as teaching dance, Pilates and yoga. She is deeply grateful to have the opportunity to remain connected with mang’Oh community.


About The Author:

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Chintamani teaches classic and specialty yoga in New York City, and is a longtime Teacher Trainer in the mang’Oh 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program. She continues to study yoga, yoga therapy and other healing modalities, including Anatomy, Pilates and Mindfulness Meditation. Chintamani is certified in Embodied Anatomy and Yoga and Kane School Pilates.

Chintamani’s classes blend mindfulness, alignment and joyful movement; encouraging safety and skillfulness, as well as freedom and expression. Chintamani’s mission is to get us all to move, breathe, find our joy, and feel connected and smart.

For more information, or to say “Hi”, click here.