Leanne Wong and Amanda Harding met during the yoga teacher training at Om Yoga New York. During the 200-hour certification, they became good friends and discovered that they shared the same passion for yoga which led to the creation of karuna: yoga with wisdom, compassion and fun.
Having come from a family of Broadway gypsies, yoga became a natural progression for me after a lifetime of dancing. Certified through NYC’s OM Yoga Center and Prenatal certified through Janice Clarfield, I have trained extensively in Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Jivamukti and Iyengar yoga with highly respected teachers across the world. Teaching privately for almost 7 years as well as group classes at Equinox ,The Shala, Park Slope Yoga, Yoga Center of Brooklyn and many others, I teach a vigorous and dynamic class incorporating the fluidity of dance and music with heavy emphasis on alignment, breath, patience and fun.
My wish is to impart to my students the many gifts I have received through my practice and studies – a greater sense of awareness, inner peace, strength, compassion and much joy. What consistently fascinates me is how this practice informs all aspects of my life and the lives of my students on a daily basis. There is nothing more powerful than watching new and exciting discoveries unfold for students as they simultaneously learn more about themselves and their bodies through yoga.
When not teaching, I also work in film as a Casting Director, am writing my first screenplay and am a passionate animal welfare advocate.
My passion for yoga lies in its ability to constantly surprise me. My first discovery was the thrill of a workout, next I explored a change in how I dealt with certain adversities, and now, I love that (without getting too hippie), yoga can be as profound or spiritual as I wish. Yoga has transformed my body, trained my mind and changed my life, over and over again.
The human anatomy and its relation to one's mobility fascinates me. I've been teaching for almost seven years and in that time I’ve seen yoga heal chronic lower back pain, help overcome addiction and given people so much self confidence.
I try to approach yoga with honesty and intelligence and believe that for each person, there's a unique yoga formula which will always vary. To see one's life transform from the practice of yoga enriches my life enormously. Aside from my parents, Krishnamacharya and his son, TKV Desikachar are my most influential teachers. Studying yoga therapy from Desikachar at the KYM in India showed me that every single person can benefit from yoga, as long as the breath is present.
Prior to this, I've studied with Cyndi Lee at OM Yoga NYC, Judith Lasater in restorative yoga, Bikram Choudhury and Mia Borgatta in prenatal yoga.