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Shayna Skarf

Shayna Skarf, PhD, RYT-200, began her journey in India in 1999, and her commitment to yoga has grown over 15 years and across continents. Yoga became her saving grace in graduate school and after completing a PhD in English, she decided to pursue her true passion:
Forrest Yoga. She completed her training with founder, Ana Forrest, and currently teaches private clients in New York.

Shayna’s yoga roots are in the Iyengar tradition. She began practicing Iyengar yoga in 1999 at the Light on Yoga Research Trust studio in Mumbai. At the time, she was working as a Service Corps volunteer in Indian Jewish communities. After several months, she founded a yoga club for women at the Mumbai Jewish Community Center and began to teach weekly classes.

Her practice continued to grow as she moved to New York, Boston, and London and attended classes and workshops with leading yoga instructors. Through international moves, career shifts, graduate school, pregnancy, childbirth, and countless crises yoga remained a constant in Shayna’s life.

In 2008, Shayna attended her first Forrest Yoga class in New York with Erica Mather, a Forrest Yoga Guardian. She immediately recognized the healing power of Forrest Yoga and has been a devotee ever since. In May 2014 she realized a dream by completing the 200-hour teacher training in New Haven with creatrix Ana Forrest.

Shayna’s background includes five years of university teaching; ten years of informal teaching (i.e. camps, community centers, youth groups, Sunday schools, Synagogues); and two years of overseas service work.

In addition to Forrest Yoga, she teaches Vinyasa, Hatha, Prenatal and Postnatal, Mommy and Me, Toddler, Child, and Teen Yoga. 

Other Relevant Experience

I have a Ph. D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University (2012) and an M.A. in English Literature and Women's and Gender Studies from Brandeis University (2005). I received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where I concentrated in Creative Writing and Arts and Ideas in the Humanities.

My previous teaching experiences include five years of university teaching (literature and composition) at Barnard College, Baruch College (CUNY), and Brandeis University (2004-2009). In addition, I tutored ESL graduate students at Brandeis University and served as a teaching assistant for courses at Brandeis University and the University of Michigan.

Previously, I worked as a writer at Time Out New York magazine (2001-2002) and as an informal Jewish educator for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Mumbai, India (1999-2000) and Istanbul, Turkey (2002-2003) and have some 10 years of experience in informal Jewish education.