Teachers


“Let us turn over together the treasures that wise men have left us, 
glad if, in so doing, we make friends with one another” – Socrates


Each teacher at our school is deeply committed to the on-going practice, study, and re-transmission of the teachings of yoga as transmitted by Yoga Master Sri Krishnamacarya and brought to the West by his son, T.K.V. Desikachar.

Martine Burat Martine began practicing and studying yoga while finishing her post-graduate degree in clinical psychology in France. Soon after moving to Syracuse, Martine met Mary Louise Skelton who had recently founded Upstate Yoga Institute. Mary-Louise became Martine’s teacher, mentor, and friend for the next 10 years (See Mary-Louise’s bio in our Founder’s page.) After Mary-Lou’s passing, Martine continued her studies with Mary-Louise’s colleague, Sonia Nelson, a senior teacher in the tradition. Since 2001, Martine has been expanding her understanding of yoga under the tutelage of another long-time student of T.K.V. Desikachar, Mr. Claude Marechal, from Belgium, and also continues her studies in Vedic chanting with Sonia Nelson from the Santa Fe Vedic Chant Center.

David Jacobs David began studying yoga at Upstate Yoga Institute and, as his interest deepened, became certified to teach through Gary Kraftsow, a long-time student of Desikachar. David has also received certification through Nischala Joy Devi to teach yoga to cardiac and cancer patients. He received training at the Center of Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction model developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. David has taught the program at Syracuse University to students through the S.U. counseling center and in a separate program to the faculty and staff through a Wellness Initiative.  

Jennifer Masters Jennifer has been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years, the last three at Upstate Yoga Institute. In July 2017, she completed a year-long intensive teacher training program in New York City to augment her studies with Martine at UYI and to become a certified teacher in the lineage of Krishnamacarya and Desikachar. Jennifer has taught at UYI, Syracuse University (graduate and undergraduate students at the Newhouse School), and Hospice of CNY (for family members who recently experienced the loss of a loved one.) In addition to teaching yoga, Jennifer works as a fundraising consultant and landscape designer.

Kerry Koen Kerry started her long association with Mary Louise Skelton in 1982 while a graduate student for the Performing Arts. An accomplished yoga teacher, Kerry is also particularly knowledgeable about the benefits of yoga for performers from her own experience with yoga and music. She continues expanding her knowledge of yoga through self-study and attendance of professional seminars in the Krishnamacharya/Desikachar tradition.

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