meet our team
Born to an English mother and a Ghanaian father, Francesca discovered her spirituality at a very young age. Her journey started in the U.K., where she turned the “can nots” and “do nots” into self-realization and enlightenment—Francesca’s growth continued exponentially through yoga, which she has practiced for the past 15 years. Though her yogic experience has brought her incredible joy and unspeakable sorrow, she will be the first to tell you: You can’t heal without suffering—the heart must be broken open. This embracing of the light and the dark gives Francesca a unique perspective on yoga—and life in general. Her classes are more often communal celebrations: pupils feel as though they have been existentially altered as they “dance with the ancients” through the 26 & 2 series. Francesca encourages her students to be their own guru—and connect with their own inner observer. She adheres faithfully to the lineage, but infuses her own brand of nurturing and empathy. And though she is a master of this singular blend, Francesca herself will say that she is still more student than teacher, always thirsting for insight. Francesca is truly one with the divine. She is a being made of light, her body is made of stardust—and she is LOVED by her students, her colleagues and especially by her two beautiful children.
Riji Suh was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised with her brother in Iraq, Germany, and finally NYC. She has lived in New Mexico and Hawaii, and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Riji has been practicing yoga since 2004. She has taught the 26.2 series since 2006, while studying and teaching within and from other yoga lineages since 2008, such as that of Sri Dharma Mittra. For Riji so far, the creative quality in teaching is most effective when there is experiential foundation in traditional systems. She stays inspired to expand/extend root teachings through her own practice journey. Her solo practice time, multi-sports background, self-guided-healing, meditation practice, and teaching history have given her the adaptability to guide all levels of practice and diverse conditions of the human spine+. Riji is (com)passionate about teaching teachers, and loves to travel nationally and internationally to teach seminars/workshops, mentor teachers, assist/lead teacher training programs, and lead yoga retreat experiences. She has been able to keep her life in creative balance by her collaborations in the fashion/media world. Rijisuh.com
Antwan Thomas is the founder of the Urban Yogi Collective, which is a consciousness based community of healers, teachers and yogis working together to build, expand, and create sacred practices and spaces for spiritual development, education, and exploration! As a practitioner and leader of Yoga, Breathwork Meditation, Reiki and other healing practices and retreats, his goal is to help you AWAKEN your INNER HEALER! Discover and celebrate your GREATNESS.
Christopher has been teaching the 26 & 2 yoga series since the Fall of 2006. He started practicing this yoga while studying music in college and immediately benefitted from the balance and structure taught in this powerful practice. Christopher has taught in California, Colorado, Florida and Spain, but has been based on Long Island, NY for the majority of his time teaching. He is also a high school Special Education teacher in Brooklyn, NY and has worked with the school’s administration to bring yoga and social justice to students. He is a lifelong student and believes that teaching is one of the highest forms of learning.
We believe that the meaning of life is to find your passion and share it with the world. Our passion is the pursuit of a plant-based, sustainable, well-being. Plants have the power to heal, nourish and rejuvenate us, and we believe that in order to live a healthy and holistic life, no sentient beings need to suffer. Therefore all our products are always cruelty-free and create minimal waste.
After 20 years of practising yoga, Syed Ali has cultivated an approach to teaching yoga that is no-fuss, grounded and results-driven. Bangladeshi-born Sy immigrated to the United Kingdom aged five. A typical immigrant upbringing and aspirations led him to study computer science and philosophy at university, but after working in the corporate world for six months he knew it wasn't for him. He shifted into the faster moving world of property development, and then as a result of his passion for physical fitness, he moved into personal training and then sports therapy. A friend introduced him to Bikram yoga in London when he was 30 and living something of a wild life. He didn't think he would survive his first class; he was so depleted and challenged that he was determined meet the practice head on and kept on returning. After a number of sessions, he realised that injuries resulting from a decade of weight lifting, long-distance running and skydiving were starting to heal. As well, chronic issues such as hypertension, eczema and hay-fever were clearing up. Then he also noticed that his regular practice in the hot room was helping to resolve addiction issues. He also felt more emotionally grounded and started to make better personal decisions in all areas of his life. Sy completed his Bikram teacher training in 2007, despite being severely injured in a motorbike accident shortly before his training. He has been teaching ever since.