Maggie Heinzel-Neel


What is unique about Maggie's classes, as my friend recently said to me, is that we get the  whole range of experiences, an excellent physical workout, excellent  precise instructions on the asanas, time at beginning and end for quiet contemplation, focus on breath both within the poses and in pranayama, spiritual reflection, personal psychology (directed inward work), and deep relaxation.

All that in an atmosphere of inclusivity, warmth, affection for the students, humor at times, and especially great for me, an ability to direct a class towards students who have been practicing or even teaching for many years while still being suitable for a beginner. This is no small task and somehow doing all of that in one class, in my experience, is extremely rare.

I love Maggie's classes. I feel better about myself and better about the world and more relaxed and confident when I leave her class than when I entered.

Plus, because Maggie teaches vigorous classes with lots of weight bearing poses, each class builds upon another and strength naturally increases over time. This is especially attractive to me as a man and makes me feel good about spending so much time on my mat next to mostly women and I'm sure it's why you can attract as many men as you do.


- David Nidorf, ER Physician Vassar Medical Center




I find Maggie's classes cleansing from the inside out...she incorporates all the elements that speak to me about yoga. Breath, heart, body and mind all working together to create a feeling of connection and wholeness that helps me stay focused and keep quiet the noise in my head. I feel challenged and inspired wanting to do better, be better and go deeper.  Her voice  and  gentle presence is comforting and pushes me to stay present ... almost feels  like I'm having a private class at times. I feel challenged to be stronger, reach harder go deeper and yet be gentle, soft compassionate and full.

- Iris Cohen, Psychotherapist




I began going to Maggie's yoga classes just as a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  I was blown away by her class, as she really seamlessly interwove  Anusara principles with other yoga philosophies, and all riding on changing breathing patterns as she guided the class to a place of strength, energy, a clear mental awareness, and readiness for anything that she could "dish" out. She has a way of very firmly pushing her students to their full potential, but gentle enough to allow for each student's need to modify and pull back to avoid injury, and so respectful of all of us students, even saying "please" when moving through her challenging sequences. I have been so impressed with her physical adjustments, in my case, I would be as completely in a pose as I could be (or so I thought), and she has a talent for helping me take it so much further into a pose, helping me extend out further and strengthen, for example help me straighten and lengthen my arms, or legs, or spine, help me to open my heart all the way up to the heavens, where I aspire to be.

Maggie has been a very important teacher for me, and I now attend her classes as often as I can, and has shown me something that I intuitively already kind of knew but she fully embodies it, which is the principle that the practice of yoga is a combination of all the philosophies and teachings of all of our teachers that came before us, and she has inspired me to learn to become a yoga instructor myself. I always learn something new from her in every class I take, and come away shaking my head saying, "what a great class. I wish I could bottle that". Maggie is a teacher's teacher. I only hope to become half of the yoga teacher that she is, and inspire students the way she has inspired me.


- Michael Gould, Attorney




When I did find the perfect combination of timing, yoga style and teacher, it clicked.  Maggie was that teacher; the one who made the impact that drew me to my matt. It was obvious that the group of people surrounding me were similarly drawn in, the devotees. And yet I was not intimidated as a newbie might be. I felt welcome and accepted. It occurred to me that Maggie draws that kind of energy in and out of people. It was finally justifiable to substitute my run for an hour and a half doing yoga.  I was aware of not just the physical strength I was gaining, but the emotional strength as well.

Maggie is an authentic person with a tone and choice of words that speak to me.  When Maggie imparts wisdom whether from a mystic or from her own life, I don't feel preached to or that she is trying to be something she is not. These ideas are gracefully woven into the practice; they always feel relevant, personal but not intrusive.

A lot of independence grew out of my desire to attend Maggie's classes. The old routine drifted away as I opened myself up to this new experience. It was no longer a dare. It was an inner need.  I do not attend yoga everyday, I mix it up with other aerobic activities, but I make it a point to rotate it around Maggie's classes when possible. I do it for myself and as Maggie has invoked  “for the greater good”.


-Beth Cramer, Film Maker




I love Maggie's class. Maggie teaches strength of mind, integrity of movement, and steadfastness of spirit, and she does this all with grace and nurturing.  She encourages us to transform -- to grow in our relationships in and with the world.


- Carol Richman, Attorney




As a dedicated student-practitioner of Maggie's Yoga classes for over three years,  I find myself addicted and consistently returning for more. I return because Maggie has the rare ability to seamlessly and gracefully push us past our perceived limits.   In doing so, she has always  elevated my spirit and energy.  Maggie draws from many sources and creatively associates ancient teachings with current practical real life scenarios. Many of these "lessons" have stuck with me in such situations. So, In my view, Maggie is the ultimate representation of what Yoga is...


- Tim Hefele, Accupuncturist




Maggie's classes have meant so much to me. They have truly helped restore my sanity and brought back a sense of wholeness to my life. I attribute most of this to her emphasis on breath work throughout class and not letting your students skimp on this very critical aspect of the practice. I believe the breath work is essential to deepening anyone's practice. I would not have had this knowledge or experience without her as my guide.

My experience with Maggie's classes and teachings is that I find it equal parts challenging and nurturing. Her style is fluid and consistent, yet the flow is always different. I think this is most beneficial for the brain and body. While I generally practice yoga for my emotional well-being, my physical body has gotten stronger from her classes. Again, I attribute this to her ongoing effort and desire to keep the classes stimulating for mind and body.

I also have great admiration and respect for her honesty in class; her words, readings, quotes have always been additional inspiration for me. Perhaps my life is ripe for this kind of work, but I think yoga---as a way of life--- feels right to me. In fact, it feels to me right now, at the very heart of my life. And I have her to thank for helping me make it so. I am so very, very thankful for her kind, loving, compassionate teachings.


- Marianne Murray, Community Organizer