“The YTT program at Shakti Yoga & Living Arts is one of the most life-changing lessons I’ve had the honor of experiencing. It spans excellence across curriculum, teachers, and facilities.
The curriculum, as taught by Anna Winkler with a focus on Hatha in the Iyengar tradition, is a thoughtful combination that takes into account the varied experiences of the student cohort. Along with rigorous asana practice, we dove into Sanskrit chanting and a curated list of books to understand yoga philosophy, metaphysics, anatomy, meditations, and lifestyle. With the readings were group discussions that allowed us to express our thoughts, questions, and relations to the text. A few words on Anna; she is kind, committed, and seriously knows her stuff. To simply say she is a yoga teacher is like saying the Hubble Telescope is a magnifying glass. Anna is a beloved community member, trusted mentor, and sage who knows when to push us to grow but also has the emotional intelligence to provide support in the midst of that challenging growth.Our lessons were supplemented with guest teacher instruction (teachers who also teach at Shakti and are deeply embedded in the wellness community around Maplewood/north NJ) that introduced us to various styles of practice and aspects of teaching and holistic living; Kundalini, yoga specializations (pregnant students, elderly students with use of prop modifications, etc.), sequence planning, and more.
The facilities at Shakti are incredible – from the bright vibe of the studio with hand-painted art drawing inspiration from Indian culture to the sturdy rope walls and the heated floors. All props are plentiful and neatly organized and the space is clean, warm, and inviting. The separation of the front desk/lobby space, private holistic practitioner offices in the hallway, and main studio in the back lend a sense of intimacy and privacy to the practice. No one is on display or exposed to the external gaze. We practice in peace and safety.
I now feel I have a firm grasp of essential yoga concepts thanks to Anna and everyone who shaped my experience at Shakti. My evergreen YTT contemplations document and quality books are ones I continue to reference post-YTT. It has fueled a passion for further study and expanding my library of reference texts. Having access to classes with a teacher pass enables us to continue our learning while planning out our community classes and refining our respective teaching approach. I’ll be forever grateful to Shakti Yoga & Living Arts.” ~ Suman Patnaik Maplewood, NJ 2023
“I met Ambaji at the Sivananda TTC at Uttarkashi. I had already been practicing and teaching for a sometime and was looking for a teacher who could advance my personal and teaching practices. Ambaji’s clear, detailed and anatomically precise instructions fulfilled me. I thought I had a well developed breath capacity but was introduced to an entirely new diaphragmatic awareness. Her warmth, compassion and ability to spot the mental flaw that holds you back from performing an asana properly is what I seek to give to my students as well. I highly recommend her yoga training course to both the newbie and advanced.” ~ Surabhi Rathod Uttarkashi, India 2017
“Amba,or Anna Winkler,was my asana teacher when I took the Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peeth Teacher Trainning Course in Uttarkashi, north India.I was inspired by Ambaji a lot. She was always full of energy and longing for teaching us everything she knows. She was so experienced, dedicated and kind. It seems every class was not enough time coz Ambaji always wanted to share more knowledge and skills about yoga. Apart from class, she also is our good friend, always took photos of us, to help us keep the best memories of India. I feel so grateful living and learning with Ambaji for one month. I will always remember “chest up” and keep practicing in my entire life. OM!” ~ Jubing Zheng (Chinmayi) Uttarkashi, India 2017
“My yoga teacher training at Shakti was one of the most transforming experiences of my life. It was so worth the effort and focus it required of me and has served me well as the foundation of my yoga practice in the years since. The training was varied, covering so many areas beyond the in-depth asanas I expected to learn to become a teacher. Some examples: anatomy, lovingly offered support for practice teaching (a scary thought for this introverted soul), study of the yoga sutras, chair yoga, use of props, chanting, meditation, pranayama. There was even one class conducted entirely in the dark and another given over the phone on a snowed-in evening! Anna is a wonderful, talented, genius of a teacher with a strong intuition for what her students need. Take this training and you will learn not only yoga, but will also gain insights into yourself and into all that yoga has to offer us all in this wacky world we live in.” ~ Susan Pendleton
‘I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2012 with Anna Winkler. I found it to be one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Learning yogic philosophy and gaining a deeper understanding was life changing for me. I am forever in Anna’s debt. She has boundless knowledge in so many different areas of yoga, and teaches with humility and patience. I highly recommend this training.” ~ Jane Guzzi
“I completed Anna’s Yoga Teacher Training in 2011 and have been grateful ever since. She is extremely kind and patient as well as very knowledgeable in classical yoga texts and teaching asanas. But, what sets her apart from other teachers and their teacher training programs is her ability to know what each student needs, and to focus her teaching to meet that need. Once you understand, you can pass that knowledge on to your students. If you are taking this training to teach classes yourself or just to deepen your own practice, you will not be disappointed. I highly recommend Anna’s YTT.” ~ Kim Reynolds