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Harmony Yoga & Dance Student Testimonials

Reasons for choosing Harmony Yoga and Dance over other competitors

"My college aged daughter recommended Harmony Yoga and Dance when I was recovering from joint replacement surgery...I previously attended "hot yoga" classes but now find my practice at Harmony Yoga and Dance to be more therapeutic not only to my body but also my mind. Mariko has taught me to accept and accommodate my physical limitations. Barbara S.

"I originally chose Harmony Yoga and Dance over 10 years ago when it opened conveniently close to my home. Over the years I have sampled other yoga offerings but always return to Harmony Yoga and Dance and now attend classes with my daughters. Mariko is my favorite instructor, I am fortunate to have found her. Her classes are a nurturing and a holistic experience with meditation, breathing, stretching, strength training and spirituality." J.Walsh

"Through internet research I found that Harmony Yoga and Dance features the gentle approach for which I was looking." Jill K.

"The variety of instructors and class selections attracted me to Harmony Yoga and Dance." Vicky J.

"Once I met Mariko at a local continuing education program, I knew I needed to further continue to further develop my yoga practice with her." Kathy F.

"I have achieved improved strength, flexibility, toning and better posture through my yoga practice. Meditation has been a rewarding experience through breathing techniques. My yoga practice has led to improved confidence and I have met nice people at Harmony Yoga." Michele N.

"I love all the wonderful tools, readings, peace, love that I experience at the center. Of course I love doing Reiki and meditation, drumming and having the opportunity to do this at your center." Nadine S.

Testimony about Mariko's class By Barbara Caruana

Through her kind, intuitive, nurturing and professional manner, Mariko Fusillo, president and owner of Harmony Yoga and Dance, has taught me how to nurture myself.

During the eleven years I have been lucky enough to practice Yoga with Mariko, I have witnessed, observed, participated in and thoroughly enjoyed my physical, spiritual and mental growth.

As a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, I always freely give myself to everyone I love.

After about thirty years of many different kinds of aerobic exercise classes, I discovered Mariko. I erroneously assumed Yoga would allow me to participate in a less strenuous way to exercise. My very first beginner Yoga session with Mariko made me realize I would be working every muscle, joint and each region of my body, including my brain. I loved it!

At the beginning of each session, Mariko inquires about each member of the group and how we are feeling. If necessary, she modifies the class to meet each personís needs. She then progresses to a mind and body centering exercise, which might include a spiritual or consciousness raising reading. Sometimes a short chant follows. I always know that when Mariko lulls us with a nice relaxing self-foot massage, my body will be pushed to its limits sometime within the next 90 minutes and then brought back to total relaxation. A slow start does not always mean we are having a restorative session.

With each new season, Mariko introduces a new focus. Spring is an awakening period. Summer brings a joy for all outdoors, sometimes with a backyard tree hugging session with fireflies and all or maybe an early morning beach class. The fall harvest brings to a time of Thanksgiving in preparation for renewal in winter.

As I attempt to organize my thoughts, I find there are many more aspects of Marikoís commitment and experience I need to mention.

Every class with Mariko is unique to itself. Even if I am lucky enough to fit two classes into my busy week, each session is different. The focus may be the same but the progression and flow of postures is adjusted to accommodate the population of that particular class.

After 11 years I am still being introduced to new postures. Perhaps some of the postures are simply adaptations of others but some I know Iíve never experienced.

One evening a friendís daughter happened to be in town on our regular Yoga night. Mariko welcomed the soon-to-be Mom without hesitation and adapted each posture to the needs of her seven-month pregnant body. Everyone in attendance benefited from the experience.

Marikoís extensive training and preparation enables her to vary her use of equipment. Straps, balls of many sizes, elastic bands, blocks, bolsters, pillows, walls, chairs, Pilates rings, knuckles, partners are just a few of the props used in classes. My personal favorites are eye pillows, essential oil and blankets for shavasana.

When the class is drawing to a close, Mariko helps each person become more fully relaxed with a thoughtful massage. The massage usually centers about the head, face, shoulders or a specific appropriate acupuncture point. If a particular class included a vigorous leg or hip opening session, a short leg massage might happen.

Each class ends with a spiritual or uplifting reading or a positive affirmation.  ďI love myself imperfections and all. I love my body imperfections and all. I love my life imperfections and all.Ē

I leave each class with the knowledge that I have been skillfully guided in the art of nurturing myself.

Mariko Fusillo Testimony from Jennifer Cline Sargent

I have also taken adult classes with Mariko at Harmony Yoga & Dance. She works individually with each person during any given class, remembering if they have issues or special difficulties. She worked with me during my second pregnancy so that I was able to continue with regular yoga classes up until the last month when I switched to prenatal yoga. I have also seen her compassionately work with people who have Parkinsonís and other diseases, using yoga to help retain muscle strength and flexibility and ease discomfort. She has helped other people come back from accidents and injuries in ways they didnít think possible.
Even though we have to travel a bit to get to Harmony Yoga & Dance, I feel itís worth it due to the level of training the instructors are required to have and the personal attention you receive in any given class.

Jennifer Cline Sargent

Therapeutic yoga testimonial- Nancy Sikorski

About eight years ago I was asked by a friend with MS (multiple sclerosis) to be part of a yoga class at Harmony Yoga and Dance led by Mariko Fusillo. We were four women with different levels of physical limitations.

I was born with Spastic Paraplegia and Spastic Paraparesis and had corrective surgeries as a child and many years of physical therapy and rehabilitation. As an adult, I also developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. When I started weekly semi-private classes of therapeutic yoga, I relied heavily on my cane and leg brace to walk every day. I was in constant pain.
My limitations include muscle weakness, fatigue, stiffness, spastic muscles, lack of balance, difficulty walking, stumbling, diminished motor control, neuropathy, inflammation of my joints, pain and swelling.

Therapeutic yoga with Mariko allows me to stay active. She provides me with a gentle, effective way to deal with my chronic health problems. During class I stretch, breathe deeply and I am more flexible. The long term effect is less insomnia and fatigue along with lower heart rate and blood pressure. The most important benefit for me is effective pain management without pain medication.

I am continuing with my weekly sessions with Mariko. Whether the classes are private or semi-private with two or more partners. Mariko gives us individual guidance and hands-on attention. She is a wonderful woman who is not only knowledgeable and talented in Yoga and its related fields but also a deeply compassionate teacher. She empowers her students to be the best they can be a d sets a great example. After personally evaluating the individual student, Mariko teaches based on each student's ability. She know when to challenge us and when to ease our efforts.

Mariko uses therapeutic yoga and incorporates traditional yoga practice with physical therapy exercises, meditation, Reiki healing and Pilates rehabilitation exercises into a completely balanced program.

Because I have chronic disease, I have worked on managing my symptoms. I have greatly benefited from my private and semi-private therapeutic sessions with Mariko.

I have improved both mentally and physically and I am not totally dependent on my cane now. My classes are as important to me as my medications, doctor's visits and other therapies for my well being. Nancy S.

Lori's testimony (Pilates)

"It's the perfect way to start my week."
"I try not to miss it."
"Lori is fantastic!"

As a person, Lori is warm and welcoming. As a teacher, she is extremely knowledgeable and attentive and is always willing to modify any exercise to suit the needs of your body.
Her classes are enjoyable and different every week. At the end of the night you know that you've really worked to lengthen and strengthen each and every muscle, and that you've had a fantastic workout.

"Lori's Pilates classes have changed the shape and tone of my body."
"When I leave, I actually feel 2" taller."

Peggy McCan and testimony

Testimony about Peggy McCan by Jennifer Sergent
I first started taking classes at Harmony Yoga & Dance in 2005 when I was pregnant with my first child and my doctor had recommended prenatal yoga. A friend was in the prenatal class and brought me with her to try it. I found it to be very helpful with stretching, relaxation and breathing during my pregnancy as well as labor and delivery.

After my son was born, we started taking Mommy & Me yoga classes with Peggy. We have continued these classes as he has grown and currently attend a family yoga that includes my younger son. Even though there is a three-year age difference between them, Peggy consistently tailors the class and exercises to hold both of their interest and keep them involved. She has a very easy- going, almost grandmotherly, approach to the children that they all positively respond to. Peggy consistently encourages the children and you can see the results when they practice the different poses at home on their own! She also manages to provide a fairly comprehensive yoga class for the grown-ups in attendance.

Peggy is kid friendly and gets my son to do the poses while adding moves in there for the adults. The (Family Yoga) class proceeds smoothly with kids and adults involved and having fun. I especially like the relaxation time. Jo-Ann H.

Suzan: testimonial

I have been enjoying Pilates with Suzan for many months. She is always upbeat and funny but at the same time keeps us focused on the exercises. She really knows her stuff and is very good at giving individual guidance during class.

Suzan is very descriptive and her moves flow nicely into each other. She got me to open my shoulders and my chest to better complete the poses. I find I am able to breathe and focus much better. Suzan is my therapy. Jo-Ann H.

Hollie: testimonial

Hollie is passionate about yoga and sharing her insights to create a deeper and meaningful practice. She always takes the time to answer questions and is interested in every student. My practice is richer because of her. Anonymous

Hollie is always bringing something new - love her restorative classes. Vicky J.

Ilana: testimonial

"Ilana is very skilled at teaching proper alignment and I love her soothing massage with essential oils during Shavasana." Barbara S.

Ilana is energetic and extremely knowledgeable. She creates a safe environment with her genuine spirit and kind ways. Anonymous

Sometimes Ilana's classes are a challenge for me, one that I enjoy. Kathy F.

Ilana understands how to do a gentle yoga class using breath well with asanas. Nadine S.

I love Ilana's massages - she is always checking our positions. Vicky J.


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3050 Merrick Rd
Wantagh, NY 11793

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