All A Yoga Teacher Should Be

yogacitynyc | 20 January, 2010 10:09

Yesterday all circumstances conspired for me to take class with one of my favorite teachers…Elizabeth Rossa.

Several years ago Elizabeth started Shri Yoga in Tribeca. She rented a light filled loft space with painstakingly refinished floors and painted walls. It was a serence and spacious place to practice.

I was an early supporter and always felt a strong entrepreneurial bond with Elizabeth, especially as she struggled through a break-up with her business partner and an extensive landlord battle that eventually forced her out of her beloved studio. During this time, one of my own yoga business ventures ended, I became certified as a teacher and launched YogaCity NYC.

Through all her travails, Elizabeth’s teaching remained calm, centered, well-informed and full of natural grace. When the studio first opened, she taught a lot of Anusara-based concepts. Now, after years of meditation study with Sally Kempton and certification in Kundalini Yoga, she melds styles together, seeking an ultimate truth that is universal and not defined by a particular way of doing things.

Because Elizabeth shuttles between spaces, she has renamed and re-branded her business Shri Grassroots Movement. She teaches scheduled classes in two beautiful loft homes on Greenwich Street. She manages her business with a simple sign in sheet and a donation box at the front door. No computer, front desk attendant or mats for sale.

There is nothing between you and her teachings. No ego, no dogma, no expectations other than that the two of you will behave in the age-old tradition of student and teacher. She reconfigured her personal practice, which includes voracious study, to have a broader meaning for the student and student absorbs what they are ready for from the teacher. In a marvelous dance between simplicity and complexity she takes you through basic alignment-based asana, breath work, Kundalini kriya, chanting, meditation and relaxation.

I highly recommend any of Elizabeth’s classes not only because she is such a true teacher but because she believes that our life is our practice and that the act of paying attention is an important and ongoing pursuit.

Her Shri Grassroots Movement is a reminder of all that a yoga class in this city can be. For more information about Shri Grassroots Movement classes, workshops (there’s a yoga and drawing workshop this Sunday) and retreats go to (click on schedule tab for class times and updates). You can also email Elizabeth at