Dawn and Jason both grew up in the Callicoon area, and have always felt a strong connection to the people and the beautiful river valley. After 12 years of traveling the world, living in New York City and Portland Oregon, they're excited to take what they've learned from their extensive studies and share it with the local community.
Co-Creator, Yoga Instructor, Wellness Educator
The elevation of well-being starts with the foundations of good health. We live in a time of overstimulation and stress. Often, our body and mind awareness are the first to lose sight of. I thrive on helping to gently guide people back into their natural rhythms, so that healing and happiness are priority.
While teaching me how to walk with grace and harmony through life, alternative medicine and mindfulness practices have allowed me to venture deep into the heart. Awe and wonderment of the natural and cosmic world came to me at a very young age, and expression through physical movement and mental discipline have allowed me to celebrate that connection with myself and the earth. I love finding the sweet stillness between thoughts and movements, and recognizing the beauty and sacredness of the ordinary. I began experimenting with yoga and mindfulness practices at a young age. Since then, I’ve begun a journey inside of myself and around the world to try to gain a better understanding of my higher purpose.
My yoga classes are influenced by the spiritual teachings of many traditions: hatha, vinyasa, restorative, bhakti, shamanism, and more. Classes will encourage deep connection to breath, body, earth and heart. We explore mindful movements to nourish the body, guided meditation to find joy in stillness, and connection to breath to celebrate the present moment.
This incredible practice continues to inspire me everyday, and I humbly bow with deep gratitude to all of the teachers in my life. They have given me the courage to honor my truth, to shine my light, and to share my love of wellness and yoga with others.
Co-Creator, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Herbalist
I find inspiration from all aspects of holistic healing. In 2010, I received my degree in Massage Therapy from the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon. This laid a strong foundation in a therapeutic, western style of massage. This included deep tissue, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, sports massage, and injury & pain management.
Along with my knowledge of western massage, I have a deep appreciation and interest in eastern modalities and energetic healing. These studies includes yoga, qigong, traditional Thai massage, tuina, shiatsu, and Reiki.
I'm a graduate of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, where I received a Masters degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I'm able to treat a variety of conditions: ranging from musculoskeletal pain, mental-emotional issues, digestive issues, women and men's health, addiction/recovery, and pediatrics. My patients can expect to find a balance of deep relaxation, while also receiving focused and detailed therapeutic work on areas of concern or pain.
These studies help support my commitment to practice truly holistic therapies- enhancing and uplifting physical, mental and emotional states, while contributing to an overall sense of well-being.
Jason is currently In-Network with The NY United Empire Plan for acupuncture and massage.
Massage Therapist, Certified Holistic Health Coach
Natalie Golonka is a licensed massage therapist, certified holistic health coach, and budding herbalist. Her styles of massage include Swedish massage, Deep Tissue/Neuromuscular Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Shiatsu, Myofasical Release, Prenatal/Postpartum massage, Ayurvedic massage and Energy work tailored to meet individual healing needs.
After two decades of experimenting with fad diets and exercise programs that didn’t last, Natalie enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to learn about nutrition and wellness. Already having a strong background in anatomy and physiology, she fell deep into the rabbit hole of health and nutrition. Most recently Natalie had graduated from the herbal apprenticeship with Heartstone Herbal School. These experiences have sparked a passion for herbal medicine, personal development and natural living. After 8 years of practicing massage therapy, she has fine tuned her skills into her own blend of therapeutic muscle release and energy work. Natalie is dedicated to helping others practice being their own authority on their health and life. By supporting the whole person, and teaching them to listen to their bodies, true healing can happen. Natalie is deeply grateful to be surrounded by such a wonderful community and honored to be a part of River Family Wellness.
Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Homeopathic Practitioner
I grew up in these sweet hills, second child in a family of eight kids. Family snapshots often show me bouncing one of the babies on my hip or holding a pet, as nurturing came naturally. That nurturing inclination, plus a keen interest in health and a desire to work with my hands, found perfect expression when I studied massage therapy in 1986. Massage is such a basic and kind way of encouraging the body toward health. Not only did I love learning about anatomy and physiology in great detail, I was also introduced to the world of alternative healing which I’ve been exploring ever since. Homeopathy, which caught my attention soon after, remains the closest thing to magic that I know. Homeopathy can shift a person’s resonance at the deepest levels. Tiny white pills, highly diluted, touch inner dilemmas, freeing a person’s body and mind from expressing that conflict through physical symptoms and emotional strain. Yep, magic. Massage begins healing at the physical level, while homeopathy heals from the energetic level. My third offering, Japanese Acupuncture, addresses both elegantly. It treats our human selves as the microcosms of nature that we are. And acupuncture has so many awesome tools!
Nurture has grown into healing, and my wish for all, to paraphrase an aphorism from Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, is for the mind to be unfettered, the emotions fluid, and the body free enough for the spirit to hold unbounded sway within it; this is how we can dream big, and have the capacity to reach for those dreams.
My styles of massage include Integrated therapeutic massage, borrowing elements of Swedish Massage, Shiatsu, Neuromuscular Therapy, Tui-Na, Cranio-sacral Therapy and Reflexology, as needed. My therapeutic work is specific, but not deep tissue.
Massage Therapist, Physical Therapy Assistant
Michelle is a NYS licensed Physical Therapy Assistant and Massage Therapist with 24 years of experience. Her approach has developed into a therapeutic blend that aligns an individuals ability to achieve holistic health and well being.
Additional training includes: Level III Reiki practitioner, Deep Tissue massage, Myofascial release, fascial stretching, trigger point release, Medical and Swedish massage.
Shamanic Luminous Healing, Energy Medicine, Crystal Healing
Antoinette Aurell, Protector of Jewel Heart, founder of Ouroboros Healing Arts, is a medicine woman, healer, and mystic. Her vibrational healing practices include Shamanic Luminous Healing & Energy Medicine, the Art Of Laying On Of Stones or Crystal Healing, Aura Reading, and Herbalism from the WiseWoman tradition. Antoinette is a teacher of The Crystal Academy of Advanced Healing Arts, and facilitates Crystal Healing certification courses, workshops and Earth Wisdom Circles in NYC, Upstate NY, and Mt Shasta.
Antoinette’s mission is to be of service in raising consciousness by supporting clients to re-connect to their authentic soul purpose, to align with their heart centered wisdom, into their full power of presence. Her passion is to midwife the opening of our intuitive channels, to empower our life force to make positive changes and co-create our dream life in every moment.
Wisdom traditions from around the world teaches us to remember our divinity, our birthright to expanded joy, and our sacred connection to Spirit and Mother Earth. These essential qualities and perspectives are nourished by ceremony and ritual. Each healing 'ceremony' session takes place in sacred space, a safe place to commune with our spirit and receive messages from our higher and wiser self to view and feel into our life lessons/karma and purpose/dharma. Vibrational healing modalities are energetic practices that work on the subtle levels of our energy bodies. Illness is driven, much of the time, by our emotions. Energy work or vibrational medicine, works to open up our energy centers or chakras, and release, transform and heal the emotional memory holograms from the energy field so we can have more life force to use on constructive purposes and feel much better.
Rosen Method and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
Julia is a Certified Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Conscious Uncoupling Coach, and Rosen Method Movement Teacher. She has over 20 years of experience as a somatic bodyworker supporting people to grow and flourish through lifes challenges. In her Rosen Method/Somatic Experiencing sessions she uses heart centered presence and touch to calm your nervous system, while approaching with gentle curiosity the places in your body and mind where traumas and beliefs have been stored. As each layer of constriction peels away, you begin to transform from who you learned to be for survival, to who you truly are. In the Conscious Uncoupling Coaching journey she brings her many years of body awareness to midwife individuals thru the trauma of broken relationships.
Explore her website for more information: www.rosenbyjulia.info
Nathaniel began his studies in herbal medicine as a teenager and has been actively studying, practicing, and teaching ever since. Nathaniel is regarded as a leading expert in the region in the identification and use of wild edible and medicinal plants. Currently, he is working to create a domestically-sourced Chinese herbal pharmacy. Nathaniel has been practicing shiatsu (acupressure) for over 15 years. His main office for shiatsu and herbal consultations is Worker Bee Community Acupuncture in Milford, PA. He also teaches and practices at many other locations throughout the area, including River Family Wellness.
Rebecca DeRosa believes that anyone can practice yoga regardless of age, ability, gender, or body type. Her classes are a a combination of vigorous Vinyasa flow, nurturing restorative poses, and calming meditation. She studied in Dharmashala, India with Anushree Singh and Mahinder Prasad, both of whom practiced under the guidance of B.K.S. Iyengar. In order to achieve peace and wellness for all, she is excited to share her practice with you!
Erika works to assist in re-empowering people to heal themselves through compassion, honesty, and playful self discovery, reducing and alleviating the perceived disconnection at the root of much of our suffering. She teaches in schools, studios, small businesses, addiction rehabilitation centers and private residences. Erika structures her classes considering all student’s unique personal needs. While offering several variations and modifications of tradional poses, she hopes to make asana practice accessible to every body. Yoga is the process of dissolving the misunderstandings causing us to believe we are separate, different, and apart from - rather than a part of the world around us. Erika hopes in utilizing her personal experience and sharing her passion for the practices of yoga, that she may be able to assist in the healing and enhancement of life experiences for all who attend her classes.
My interest and love of yoga was sparked more than a decade ago, but I couldn't seem to find a style that really called to me until I found Ashtanga. I can still remember taking my first Ashtanga class more than six years ago in a small studio above the local grocery store on the island of Utila where I was living. At the end of class I was completely fascinated with everything I had just experienced physically, mentally and spiritually. That was the beginning of my journey into the depths of the Ashtanga method and eventually to my yearly travels and studies in Mysore, India with my guru and teacher, Ajay Kumar of Sthalam 8 Yoga Shala in Lakshmipuram. I received my certification from Sthalam 8 to teach the primary series of Ashtanga in 2013 and have been traveling and teaching ever since. I was re-certified in December 2017 and received my certification in Pranayama with Guruji B.N.S Iyengar. I’m grateful to be able to share and teach to others the incredible teachings that were shared and taught to me. And although I’m a teacher, I strive to always remain first and foremost a student and practitioner, to continue to learn and grow and dive deeper.
Pole Fitness Instructor
I started pole dancing in 2013 after years of curiosity and no access to training. The supportive tight knit community of the studio I found an hour and a half from home was like that of my former days spent playing sports in school, providing me with the long missing feeling of being on a team. With my training came some big changes to my overall health. The inactivity over the years exasperated my life long movement disorder, and dance gave me a means to drastically lessened the pain and tension in my muscles. This realization of how therapeutic it was for me sparked an interest in sharing the sport with others.
Pole also gave me the opportunity to let out my playfulness by encouraging theatricality as if I was playing the part of a character, a good mental and emotional escape from anything that might be causing stress in my life. I would arrive to class feeling heavy and leave feeling like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.
I began my teacher training in March of 2015 and completed the course in March of 2016. I received my certification from Dance Discoveries, an ACE, AFAA, PFA, and PDC approved program. Today, I continue my training in pole dance, constantly working to advance my own skills at the same studio I had fallen in love with years before and continuously seek to attend education workshops to improve my instruction.
Kristen was introduced to yoga from a friend in 1998. An instant love affair began. Through the years, Kristen was able to share this joy with the children she worked with and with women in long term treatment, recovering from addiction. As she watched the power of yoga help them overcome their difficulties, she began to see it as something deeper than simply physical postures.
In 2010, Kristen became certified to teach yoga and continued to teach students of all ages in a more formal capacity. During this time, she began to find self-care practices more in the form of Yin, Yoga Nidra, Meditation and Ayurveda. In 2014, Kristen became certified as an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant.
After a brief hiatus, Kristen's ever evolving journey has taken her to a place where she has been reminded of the vast healing powers even the most basic practice can have and is excited to share what she's learned in this new chapter of life.
Gong Meditation Facilitator, Licensed Psychotherapist and Counselor
Marc J. Switko has been exploring the far reaches of gong playing as a therapeutic, meditative, and performance modality for individuals and groups with solid results. He uses the gong and various other sound instruments in his public and private vibrational healing and meditation practice as a stand-alone treatment and in tandem with counseling and psychotherapy (when requested- He is a NYS Licensed Psychotherapist and Counselor). Utilizing gong music as an empowering, healing tool has opened new pathways of compassion and empathy for Marc and he is excited to be sharing these powerful sound waves with others. He participated in an intensive certification residency in Fall 2016, studying Gong for use in both healing and performing modalities with Master Don Conreaux, one of the five original Kundalini yoga teachers designated by Yogi Bhajan in 1969.
Yoga & Dance Teacher
Sahiba received her Hatha yoga training from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram in Madurai, India; her Ashtanga Vinyasa training at Ashtanga Yoga Mysore in Mysore, India; she trained in Yoga Therapy at Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik, India; and most recently she did a training in Aerial Yoga from Kashish yoga in Goa, India. She's been teaching body movement, be it dance or yoga, for over 10 years. In all this time she has had the opportunity to teach people of all ages, body types and backgrounds. Since Sahiba comes from a background of professional dancing her classes focus on correct body alignment as well as feeling the movement.
Yoga Instructor, Women's Bodywork Practitioner
Samantha is passionate about entering the body as a source of deep wisdom, flow, creativity and intimacy with all of life. She believes our deepest healing happens in body consciousness. Having studied Embodied Flow yoga training, worked in community mental health and now as a bodyworker for women, the mind-body-heart connection has really been the focal point of her enquiries. She offers her depth of presence and genuine warmth to facilitate yoga, movement and meditation classes.
Kelsey received her 200 hr vinyasa yoga teacher training at 108 lotus yoga in Milford Pennsylvania. There she deepened her studies in the understanding of alignment, teachings of the history of yoga, mindfulness, breathe awareness and intelligent sequencing for smooth transitioning through the poses, leaving the body feeling good. She is very grateful to have many great teachers for that yoga has brought miraculous healing and transformation to her life she never thought was possible. It is her passion to bring the teachings and loving awareness to her students to help them tap into their inner wisdom and light within them so they many bring healing and transformation to their lives as well.
Laura’s love for yoga began freshman year of college after discovering it in a magazine. She continued to expand her yoga practice with teachers around the country during her husband’s military career. Most recently as a yoga teacher in the D.C. area, she taught a variety of classes that served populations ranging from the yoga studio, corporate clients, private sessions, and community classes at the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore. Following her husband’s military retirement, Laura and her family decided to settle in the beautiful Catskills of Sullivan County. Laura appreciates how the physical aspect of yoga can stretch and strengthen the body and also the mind. She doesn’t think classes have to be serene and serious all of the time, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing in the middle of a pose. Laura values making yoga work for everyone’s body type by offering customizations during class. Join one of her classes to experience this for yourself!
Hipnotist, Sprirtual Counselor
MFA in Creative Writing from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, CO (spring 2012); BA in German/English from Mary Washington College (now University) in Fredericksburg, Virginia (spring 1982); German, French and English at the University of Vienna’s Institute for Translator and Interpreter Training (now Center for Translation Studies) (1984-1985); Seminar for Foreign Language Teachers at Waldorf Schools in Nuremberg, Germany (1994-1995); seminars with the Community of Translators in Vienna and the Vienna Poetry School in Vienna, Austria.
In addition, Certified Hypnotist (since 2015) with the International Association of Counselors and Therapists, trained by Kristin Prevallet in Hastings on Hudson, NY, as well as practitioner of the Art of Channeling, trained by Rhiannon Augenthaler in Vienna, Austria (2008). Born and raised in the United States, after many years in the German-speaking world, I continue my meditative and artistic practices by involving myself with healing and trance, by examining language, foreign language, poetry and prose.
More information: hillarykeel.com
Tai Chi Instructor
Sifu Lee has been studying Martial Arts since 1984. He has run his own school out of NYC for 20 years. His competition team was well known as the school "to beat" in the circuit. Team NYC Shaolin garnished over 3000 wins in its 20 year career. Master Lee is an instructor of both southern Shaolin 5 animal system and Southern Praying Mantis. In addition to kung fu Master Lee learned the traditional Wu Style Long form while residing in Hong Kong. His master Sifu Fan taught him the long form at Hong Kong University. Qi Gong white crane style from Fukien province is also a system that Sifu Lee instructs.