Instructor Bios

Blair Ritchie

Blair Ritchie came to yoga as a pre-professional dancer. While in college she was introduced to alignment based Hatha yoga through a teacher. She has an interest in emotional anatomy, or the connection between the alignment of a person's body and what they have been through in their life, both emotionally and physically. Her classes are a balance of self-inquiry, alignment, and flow. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of fine arts in dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts. Since graduating, she has actively pursued her two passions: performing and the study of the human body. Since 2005 Ritchie has performed both nationally and internationally as a member of multiple modern dance companies. She is also a registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with a background in Anusara Yoga, a challenging alignment based style of Hatha Yoga that she has studied since 2004. In addition to her required teacher training, she has taken extensive therapeutics training to learn the practical applications of yoga and hands-on adjustments to the chronically and acutely injured body. She is completing her advanced 500 teacher training with yoga teachers Sue Elkind and Naime Jezzeny at DIG Yoga. She is the assistant director of a youth Modern Company, which allows her to work with young dancers age 10–18 as they develop their artistic and technical talent. Ritchie is also a member of the Mason Gross faculty where she teaches technique, sits on their Technique Curriculum Committee, and has formulated the curriculum for their Yoga for Dancers Program.


Taryn Vander Hoop

Taryn Vander Hoop, ERYT-500, is an international yoga instructor based in New York City. She completed her 200-hour training under the direction of Liz Mandarano (Yoga Effects, 2009) and her 300-hour studies under Dana Flynn and guests such as Nikki Costello and Suzanne Sterling (Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, 2013). Her recent accomplishments include teaching at the Korean National Yoga Conference, Union Square Summer Thursdays, and leading a yoga retreat to India with participants from four countries.

The practice of yoga has transformed Vander Hoop's mind and body and she has been able to translate much of her yoga practice into her dancing, both in finding the exhale in the release of movement and using mantra and meditation to enhance her focus, confidence, and performance. Teaching has provided her with several opportunities to travel and teach as well as the flexibility to continue her artistic pursuits as a dancer.

Vander Hoop's classes are designed to be vigorous yet accessible, utilizing innovative vinyasa pose combinations to warm up the body and focus the mind. She aims to help her students see fewer limitations and realize more possibilities, both on and off the mat.