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Harmony Yoga and Dance A Vision Fulfilled

Mariko Fusillo (E-RYT 500) is the owner and director of Harmony Yoga and Dance since 1999. She is a lifelong Yoga practitioner who has been teaching for 31 years. In addition to teaching Yoga classes at all levels, Mariko is a Yoga therapist, Pilates and dance instructor, personal trainer, meditation guide, Reiki/shiatsu Master, and healer at the studio. Approximately 19 years ago, Ms. Fusillo envisioned overseeing and coordinating the activities at a center like Harmony Yoga & Dance. She made her dream a reality by creating this studio where she integrates and applies her skills and experience while meeting the needs of students of all ages and ability levels. Mariko has touched the lives of more than 1500 students ranging from infants through senior citizens. Some students wish to enrich their daily or spiritual lives while others strive overcome specific physical challenges. Harmony Yoga and Dance is a haven where people may grow in many different ways. Through their experiences at Harmony Yoga and Dance, each student learns from teachers, from one another, and from insights that unfold as they discover significant aspects of their own personal being.

To best serve her clients, Mariko believes strongly in the importance of proper teacher education and training. She received her certification from the prestigious Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in western Massachusetts where she continues to take classes and workshops. Recognized by the Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500 (an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, Advanced Professional level, she has received it as over 7,000 hours of significant teaching experience) and by International Association of Yoga Therapist.

Mariko is qualified to train Yoga teachers and conduct continuing education courses. In addition, Mariko continues to learn and become proficient at various Yoga disciplines including Kripalu, Integral, Ieyenger, Anusara and Yin Yoga plus Chakra Yoga healing, Viniyasa Flow Yoga, and Meridian Yoga. She also holds special certifications for special populations and special methods "Itsy Bity Yoga," "Yogakids," , "Pregnancy Yoga" and "Restorative Yoga", and " Mediation", and "Advanced Pranayama" . Anatomy, Physiology and Dance education from Hunter College and the 92nd Street Y.

Mariko is also a Reiki ( The Reiki Peace Network) and Shiatsu Master. She has studied and also currently practices such healing methods and physical training techniques as Pilates( certified by physicalmind institude), the Gyrontonic Expansion System, the Alexander Technique, and body dynamics. You may read more about Ms. Fusillo's approaches to healing described below.

As the studio's director, Mariko is very careful in her selection of teachers. She wants those who attend Harmony Yoga and Dance to readily recognize that the instructors who work there are highly skilled and well trained to help students get the most from their classes. As one woman from Bellmore, Long Island explained, "I come here because I know that the teachers care about us as people and offer us the opportunity to grow at our own pace." The studio staff successfully accommodates individuals in a professional yet warm and relaxed manner.

Personal Background

Born and raised in Japan, Mariko became familiar with Yoga and various Asian practices and philosophies as a child. When she was 8 years old, her father spent time guiding her in imagery meditation. Mariko's father was a master of Chinese astrology, and he shared his understanding of the laws of nature, the universe, and destiny cycles with Mariko and her siblings. He and his wife offered their children a great deal of love and support.

Mariko began practicing Zen meditation in a Buddhist temple in her early 20s. Her experience with the Zen monks and the knowledge she acquired, along with all that she learned from her father, ignited her passion and served as an inspiration for further spiritual growth.

In high school and college, Mariko also became very involved in drama and dance, and she has taken numerous dance and dance education classes, danced professionally, and taught dance classes. These professional carriers have Mariko required physical and mental discipline. As a young adult, Mariko visited the United States to pursue her growing array of interests. She met her husband-to-be in New York. Today they are the happy parents of a nine year old daughter. Motherhood motivated Mariko to teach Yoga, dance, and body movement to infants, children, and expectant mothers. She then increased her student base to include seniors and special populations. She has also taught Yoga at hospitals and schools and has conducted workshops for Yoga instructors who want to teach Yoga to children. Mariko has additionally mentored new Yoga teachers and organized and conducted retreats.

Healing and Therapy

Ms. Fusillo has embarked on an exciting new journey in her 40's and has expanded her practice as a Yoga and healing therapist to assist people experiencing chronic health disorders as well as those recovering from medical problems and diseases. Her unique approach to helping patients heal combines practices she feels will be effective in working with particular individuals exhibiting specific symptoms. Mariko becomes very involved with those she is treating and has helped people with asthma, multiple sclerosis, cancer, hypertension, insomnia, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Lupus, diabetes, scoliosis, heart disease, obesity, and stroke complications. Clients have reported that her caring heart and gentle touch are as much a factor in healing as the therapies she carefully selects to release energy blockages; develop flexibility, body alignment and strength; and enable relaxation and increase brain function. Mariko incorporates Yoga poses, energy movement methods such as those of Qi-gong, breathing techniques, guided meditations, Reiki, and Shiatsu and Thai massage among other practices that patients may engage in along with traditional medical treatments.

Influential Teachers and Guides

Mariko wishes to convey her greatest respect to her teachers listed below and thank them for their time and invaluable lessons.

Kripalu Yoga: Martha Abbot, Sudha Carolyn Lundeen, Devarshi Steven Hartman, Megha Nancy Buttenheim, Sudhir Jonathan Foust, Rebekkah Kronlage, Jeff Migdow,MD, Ann Green
Anusara / Chakra Yoga: Tedd Norian, : Jacalyn Prete
Iyenger Yoga: Mary Dunn, Brook Myers, Anna Golfinopoulos
Pregnancy Yoga: Janice Clarfield
Hatha and Kundarini Yoga: Mary Flinn, Alan Finger
Viniyasa-Flow Yoga: Shiva Rea
Raja Yoga and Advanced Pranayama: Yogananda Michael Carroll-Rama Berchi,
Raja Yoga, Sanskrit Studies / Integral Yoga: Swami Bhaktananda, Manorama
Chakras and Sound Healing: Anodea Judith, Sri Shyamji Bhatnagar
Chanting and Mantra: Bhavani
Children's and Baby Yoga: Marsha Wening, Helen Garabedian
Body Dynamics: Carol Reynolds
Qi-Gong: Mantak Chia, Son Shunsei
Reiki: Ellen Louise Kahne
Shiatsu/ Thai Yoga Massage: Ohashi , Kam Thye Chow,

Future Goals and Plans

Ms. Fusillo is pleased to see that Yoga studios are springing up throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties but, along with other established teachers on Long Island, has grown concerned about reports that sometimes uncertified and untrained instructors are teaching in some of these newer places. She envisions Harmony Yoga & Dance as a center where safe instruction and mindful guidance of the highest quality will continue to be provided.

Mariko is very receptive to her students' ambitions and aspirations, and she regularly makes minor changes in the studio's schedule to meet these needs. As requested, she offers options for more unconventional instruction in areas such as private ballroom dancing and Swedish massage. It should be noted that costs are fairly established so classes remain readily accessible to a wide spectrum of individuals.

Mariko wishes to thank every one of her students. From beginner to advanced, she greatly appreciates that they help her to grow and develop important insights and sensitivities. In serving her students, Mariko has found that they, in turn, have added a more meaningful dimension to her life than she ever imagined.

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Wantagh, NY 11793

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