“I will now review for you how we become whole.”
Her 20 year history with yoga began as a way to feel whole and balanced from the stress of being an athlete and performer. While working as a physical theatre performer and aerialist, Ashtanga yoga has been a healing force that not only soothed sore muscles but calmed the mind and lit the creative light. She teaches at Pure Yoga, and Prema Yoga Therapy Institute in NYC. As an artist internationally, Sonja has worked with the Madgdelana Project, Womens Interart, Lincoln Center Theatre, and other Broadway productions. All of this she is grateful for, the life adventures and stories where art and yoga continue to remind her to move from a place of grace. She is eternally thankful to her teachers and believes we can all live in, and enter grace, physically and energetically if we move forward with patience and positive attitude. With the idea from her son Sam Smithyman, Sonja helped him create the Enter Grace organization, a non-for-profit that brings yoga to under served schools in Harlem and the Bronx.
Sonja started her yoga teaching journey at the inaugural teacher training of Samahita Centered Yoga Institute in 1999, now based in Ko Samui Thailand. She is a certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Sonja currently teaches yoga and fitness in New York City and leads workshops, retreats and teacher trainings abroad. Sonja is happy to to translate her yoga, and exercise training to empower people in such capacities such as vinyasa, meditation, restorative practices, trauma recovery, and professional athletic performance.
Originally she learned Ashtanga yoga under the guidance of Eddie Stern, and most recently with Saraswati Jois in India. Sonja revels in the immersion of different healing traditions. A grad of Prema Therapeutics Yoga Institute in the study of Medical Yoga and Ayurveda in New York City, she is certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists and specializes in Cardiac Care.