Our Talented Islip Yoga Teachers

Toni Panariello - The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness Teacher



I started yoga about 10 years ago through videos at home and immediately felt connected to the asana movements because it took my mind away from everyday life and stress.

The benefits my body received, such as the flexibility and strength, was a great asset, but it was the mental benefit of being able to nurture myself that changed the game. The only time I am not multitasking or not thinking of my to do list is while I am practicing yoga.

The practice of yoga has allowed me to manage life off my yoga mat with less stress and as a better version of myself. I have been fortunate enough to learn from many great teachers who have focused on breath, alignment and dedication.

I am RYT-200 and Yoga Alliance certified. My passion is to create an experience for students to connect with the mental and physical benefits of yoga. I truly believe that with gentle perseverance, yoga provides healing in our lives, both on and off the mat.

Sam Buser - The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness Teacher



I have been practicing yoga since 2001. I was introduced by my chiropractor after a serious back injury. He recommended some yoga videos and I was surprised at the immediate sense of well-being and focus that I felt after I practiced. It was the thing I had been missing. After a while, I found my first yoga class and was instantly hooked on the energy exchange and sense of belonging that comes with practicing alongside other people.

I realized yoga was more than just a workout but an entire life practice, helping me to feel better in my physical body and also more comfortable in my own skin.

In 2014, I signed up for a teacher training because I needed to learn more. I soon discovered that teaching inspired a completely new level of gratification for yoga. I was quickly guided into teaching beginners and newcomers. This has been the most rewarding- helping people to find a retreat, a sense of place in the universe, and a way of life. I am particularly aware of how difficult it can be to give something back to yourself amidst all of your daily responsibilities. But I also know that yoga can fit into any person’s life and enrich in ways you may not expect! The best part is that you can practice regardless of your physical limitations or abilities.

I am currently certified to teach yoga to Breast Cancer survivors as well as Chair Yoga. My learning is far from over and I hope it never ends!

Namaste, and Meet you on the Mat!

Eugene Feis - The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness Teacher



Eugene Feis is a Dharma Yoga® Center, NYC, certified teacher (200 hours) and has been practicing yoga for over 25 years. He also is certified as a hot yoga teacher (100 hours) and as a hatha yoga teacher (200 hours) from the School of Living Wisdom and teaches partner (acro) yoga. He combines the physical aspects of yoga with its health and well-being aspects, and he grounds his practice in the traditional, ethical rules which dictate that each posture be a dedication to the god energy that is alive and is within each of us.

The classes Eugene teaches have a flow and ease that originate from within. Each pose has a purpose, which is to bring students to a place that is unique to them. He begins each class with a moment of silence, in recognition of love and compassion for every person in class.

Eugene has also been practicing reiki for a number of years and is certified as a Reiki Master, as well as certified in Thai Yoga Therapy from Thai Massage Sacred Bodywork in New York City. His reiki circles (shares) are held weekly and are by donation only.

Eugene also promotes karma yoga through the healing work he does with reiki. He has performed reiki on children, senior citizens, adults, dolphins, bugs, birds, and domesticated animals. He also practices distance reiki, whereby he directs the healing energy to people and areas far away that have been stricken by tragedy.

Eugene is registered with Yoga Alliance, an IRC § 501(c)(6) professional and trade association that supports the yoga profession and business.

Spirituality, consistency, and dedication are the hallmarks of Eugene’s practice.

Amy Toscano - The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness Teacher



Yoga was introduced to Amy during her years in College while studying Photography. After receiving her BFA in Photography, Yoga became a huge healing aide while going through an emotionally challenging chapter in her life.

Having a desire to spread the benefits of Yoga to others, she studied and received her RYT-200 at A Jewel In The Lotus in Islip, NY in June 2016. During her off weekends while training, she received her Reiki Level 1, 2, and 3 Certification.

Teaching Yoga has really changed and opened up her life. She is always eager to learn and considers herself a lifelong Yoga Practitioner.

Kelly Fitzsimons Teacher The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness in Islip



Kelly has been practicing yoga for 15 years and received her 200 hour Vinyasa teaching certification in Spring 2014 through Three Sisters Yoga in NYC. Since then she has furthered her training with intensive studies in Yin and Restorative Yoga practices as well as receiving her Shamanic Reiki 1 certification.

In November 2018 she completed her 300 hour Ancient Wisdom teacher training with Kula Collective in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

Kelly loves to infuse elements of these different practices into her classes, as well as integrating breath work, mantra, mudra, essential oils and crystals, guiding her students to a state of rest and relaxation. She truly believes in the importance of a regular yoga and meditation practice to create space in our lives and align with our true selves.

Maryellen Winter - The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness Teacher



Maryellen Winter is a Kripalu yoga teacher and Yoga Alliance certified. She is also certified in Yoga for Cancer, Yoga for Trauma & Grief and Prenatal Yoga. She is the former co-owner of Embrace Yoga in East Islip. She is a seasoned teacher who guides students with wisdom and grace.

Maryellen’s Hatha style teaching, offers her students compassionate awareness by connecting them to their hearts, minds and breath. Her classes are attended by practitioners of all levels from gentle beginner to the more experienced vinyasa students. Maryellen’s style of teaching allows all of her students to feel comfortable. You will leave her class feeling relaxed and uplifted.

In her free time, Maryellen enjoys spending time with her seven children, grandchildren and loving husband on the South Shore of Long Island. She is also a volunteer for many local organizations including Monday’s at Racine’s.

Emily Sara - The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness Teacher



Emily found her way to the mat 10 years ago in search of a new source of movement and breathwork, but what she received is more than she could have imagined. Emily’s passion for the practice and gratitude for all she has experienced so far, led her to the strong desire to share yoga with others.

She completed her 200hr yoga teacher training in the summer of 2020 with Breath Body Earth and has been teaching since. Currently, she teaches vinyasa and restorative classes, as well as yoga for children. Emily is also a speech-language pathologist and has a background in musical theatre. She strives to incorporate her love for communication and storytelling into her style as a yoga teacher. Emily’s mission is to create accessible, empathetic environments where others feel safe and empowered to be their authentic selves on their journey to building deep connections in their mind and body and to ensure everyone feels heard.

Allison King Teacher The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness in Islip



Alison began practicing yoga in 2010 in an effort to encourage more compassion for herself and others. She received her RYT-200 with Always-at-Aum in December 2019, has her Bachelor’s in English, and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Literature.

She believes yoga is a life-changing practice, one that allows you to become a witness to your mind, body, and spirit. When practicing yoga and meditation, she feels most connected to the Universe and every soul within it. She embraces being a student for life and is honored to share this healing and transformative practice with others.

Jennifer Zeman Teacher The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness in Islip



Jen intertwines her love for dance, fitness, spirituality and health into her yoga classes. She started taking yoga classes in 2006 and became an RYT-200 with Always-At-Aum in the Fall of 2016.

She completed her RYT-500 in March of 2019. Jennifer has her Bachelors degree in Health Science and Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac University. She specializes in pediatrics and physical disabilities as a licensed, registered Occupational Therapist. She dedicates her life to helping others find fulfillment within their daily lives and believes that 'We rise by lifting others.' Jennifer is also certified in teaching children's yoga, stand-up paddle board yoga, yin yoga, prenatal yoga, and hot yoga. She believes in the power of finding the positive in all situations. *'Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.'*

Kelly Roan Teacher The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness in Islip



Kelly aims to make yoga accessible for every body! She understands that it can be a challenge to even just step into a studio. Kelly focuses on creating a welcoming space where you feel safe enough to relax and experience the mind body connection.

Her classes are slow intentional movements paired with slow intentional breath creating a moving meditation. She has been practicing yoga close to 20 years, drifting in and out as her family’s schedule permitted. About 3 years ago, this became a full commitment as she discovered yoga was natural way to manage stress and health. Her practice took on a life of its own! She couldn’t get enough, enjoyed the physical practice, but more importantly, she fell in love with the spiritual, mind calming effect of the meditation and breath work! “I loved how I felt walking out of class and it continued throughout the day. Best of all was my family noticed it too!” She continues to guide others on her journey of holistic wellness; combining her love of yoga, essential oils, crystals and reiki into a daily practice. Kelly is a RYT 200 certified, intuitive coach and an energy worker.

Heather Robles Teacher The Welcome Mat Yoga and Wellness in Islip



My yoga journey began in 2013 at a yoga retreat in Nicaragua. At that moment I learned the power of yoga and the space it provided to be able to take an extra breath during the stressful moments; to cry during the worst, and to feel pure joy at the simplest things life has to offer.

I slowly began to build my practice with annual yoga retreats but it wasn’t until the last 3-4 years did I start practicing more regularly, noticing the improvement in strength and most importantly flexibility, which I am still always trying to improve. A desire to help others along on their path to healing led me to graduate from Stony Brook University with a Masters Degree in Adult Nurse Practioner in 2016. Having practiced yoga for several years, in 2020 I felt a major shift and longed for more. I decided to sign up for the 200 hr YTT with the Online School of Yoga to pursue this desire to deepen my home practice. As a 10+ year fitness instructor, the teacher in me wanted to share this new-found love with others and to help them cope with the most stressful times, as yoga did for me. Yoga truly is a way of life.