Marisa Bonfanti is a Yoga Teacher, Yoga Teacher Trainer, Reiki Master, and Master Healer based in Hudson Valley, NY and NYC. She has devoted the last fifteen years to studying and sharing how the physical and subtle realms of life interact with each other. Through 1200 hours of training and 14 years of teaching, Marisa has gained significant knowledge and insight on how to access and support the body and soul.
In teaching yoga, she uses breath-centered hatha-vinyasa yoga, vocal sounding and meditation to guide students into intimate relationships with their body, breath, and whole self. As a skilled Reiki Master, experienced Thai Yoga Bodyworker and gifted Aroma Acupoint Therapist, Marisa helps usher tension from the body, calm the mind, and make space for whatever is ready to be expressed.
Whether helping someone meet physical challenges or navigate personal growth, Marisa has a keen sense of how to simultaneously access intuition clearly and employ learned healing systems precisely. Marisa's extraordinary ability to integrate various modalities and tune into each person's needs accelerates an awakening of consciousness and brings her clients into a more supported and expressive state of living. Her clients credit her powerful presence and grounding energy as much as her skillful approach for helping them feel more connected, aware, and at home in themselves.
What began as weekly self care for Marisa in 2001 quickly evolved into a professional practice of teaching and healing right after she completed Prana Yoga Teacher Training with Dr. Jeff Migdow and Priti Robyn Ross in 2004. Unparalleled in its education of chakra tuning, embodying sacred yoga philosophy, and integrating sound in asana, Prana Yoga was the perfect first step for Marisa to take in answering the call to teach. Having earned her Bachelor's degree in Art History at NYU, Marisa already had a background in using her perceptive eye for detail as well as a gift for articulating the subtleties both of the physical form and the soul so she transitioned fluidly from working at an art restoration studio to sharing her gifts in the yoga studio.
Equipped with her natural instincts and dynamic training, Marisa spent eight years serving her local Brooklyn community at Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center, providing yoga for Mount Sinai Hospital in Queens' Community Outreach program, and working privately with people in their homes. During that time, Marisa gained a more comprehensive understanding of anatomy and body mechanics in Leslie Kaminoff's Yoga Anatomy and The Application of Breath Centered Yoga training. Kaminoff's training also provided an authentic view of the T.K.V. Desikachar lineage of yoga which uses the breath and honed observational skills to teach therapeutic individualized yoga. Marisa learned more thoroughly how to see patterns of tension and places with potential and how to design a practice that efficiently maximizes benefits and minimizes risk. Marisa gained in depth knowledge of how to apply hands-on assists from an anatomically-informed, breath-centered perspective. She has incorporated that education into her teaching and healing ever since and feels it helped integrate her energetic sensitivity with her intellectual capacity for understanding the human body-mind.
Fascinated by the body's capacity to self-heal and curious about the science of physical therapy, Marisa spent three years from 2007-2010 working part time as a physical therapy aide and yoga therapist in two physical therapy clinics and a neurology clinic. She relished the opportunity to observe first-hand what protocols were used post-surgery, recovering from injury and managing chronic conditions. Marisa provided her yoga expertise to expedite healing and help patients regain mobility, strength, balance and confidence. That experience was an invaluable time of learning both copious clinical material as well as affirming that she preferred to serve as a mind-body therapist who fully acknowledges and facilitates the connection between body and soul to heal and realize one's full potential.
With years of energy-based yoga teaching, anatomy education, and medical clinic experience, Marisa felt called to apply her natural gift for hands-on healing. She studied Thai Yoga Bodywork for three years with master yoga teacher and physical therapist, Jonas Westring, earning advanced level certification and readily applying techniques in yoga therapy and healing bodywork treatments. Her equal sensitivity to the energetic systems ad musculoskeletal system served as a steady guide to support many students on the yoga mat and clients in bodywork sessions thereby inspiring Marisa to receive Reiki Level 1 and 2 attunement from Usui Reiki Master, Dr. Jeff Migdow and to pursue further practice as a healer.
All the while, Marisa went from being a resident assistant to Assistant Director of Prana Yoga Teacher Training, working alongside Dr. Jeff Migdow since 2009. She has designed and written teaching methodology for the 200 hour teacher training of which she leads 60 hours every year. Her contributions include how to assist compassionately and intelligently, understanding asana from anatomical, physiological, and energetic perspectives, and empowering trainees with a firm grasp of how to conduct themselves morally, creatively, and professionally as yoga teachers.
Leading teacher training, working with people one-on-one, in studios, on retreats, and the variety of other experiences this path has led Marisa on over the years developed her abilities as an empath and intuitive healer immensely. It was not until Marisa met Tiffany Carole in 2015 and took Tiffany's Master Healer Program that all of the previous learning, giving, and life experience integrated and elevated to a whole new profound level. This exceptionally powerful program initiated Marisa in Shamanic and Taoist studies and Essential Oil remedies through Aroma Acupoint Therapy. Studying with Tiffany in a co-creative group of master practitioners each advanced in their field of acupuncture, nursing, massage therapy, yoga, astrology, clairvoyance, and life coaching activated Marisa's capacity to heal herself and others in a profound, multi-dimensional way and opened her eyes to the potency and efficiency of using Essential Oils to accelerate transformation and healing in ways she had not experienced with other modalities alone. Having learned on a cellular level when studying chakras how deeply connected we are to the elements, Marisa organically transitioned into understanding the nature based Chinese Five Element Theory used in Aroma Acupoint Therapy and the fragrance energetics of the oils themselves. While yoga, Thai Yoga Bodywork and Reiki opened Marisa up to experiencing the interplays of physical form and unseen energy, it has been Shamanic studies, Taoist Five Element Theory, and Aroma Acupoint Therapy that integrated her understanding of them, resulting in a whole new level of acknowledgement of, respect for and collaboration with the forces of nature and a whole new level of healing and awareness for herself and her clients.
200 Hour Prana Yoga Teacher Training - Dr. Jeff Migdow, Robyn Ross (2004)
200 Hour Yoga Anatomy and the Application of Breath-Centered Yoga - Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Mathews, Zack Kurland (2006)
108 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training: Anatomy Studies for YogaTeachers: Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Common Injuries & Biomechanics - Jason Ray Brown (2016)
200 Hour Circus Yoga for Kids and Families Teacher Training - Erin Maile, Kevin O'Keefe (2004)
50 Hour Anusara Yoga Part 1: Immersion Program: Part A – Jonas Westring (2014)
35 Hour Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher Training - Jyothi Larson at The Breathing Project (2006)
27 Hour Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher Training - Shiva Rea (2005)
20 Hour Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga Teacher Training - Judith Hanson Lasater, PHD, PT (2005)
20 Hour Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 + 2 - Shakta Kaur Khalsa (2005)
Usui Reiki Master Teacher - Dr. Jeff Migdow (2018)
Usui Reiki Master Practitioner - Dr. Jeff Migdow (2017)
100 Hour Master Healer Program – Tiffany Carole (2016)
Master Healer Unity 50 Hour Immersion in Sedona – Tiffany Carole (2016)
Aroma Acupoint Therapy Level 1 – Tiffany Carole (2016)
Usui Reiki Level 2 – Dr. Jeff Migdow (2016)
Transformation Through Touch 40 Hour Summer Immersion - Leslie Kaminoff (2015)
Usui Reiki Level 1 – Dr. Jeff Migdow (2014)
Chi Nei Tsang (Chinese Abdominal Massage) 35 Hour Training Level 1 + 2 - Ohm Rinraya (2014)
Karsei Nei Tsang (Chinese Healing Massage) 12 Hour Training - Ohm Rinraya (2014)
Thai Yoga Bodywork Level 1, 2, 3 – 140 Hours - Jonas Westring, PT (2008, 2009, 2012)