2017 Women’s Wellness Weekend Presenters and Teachers

Below is an alphabetical list of 2017 Women’s Wellness Presenters and Teachers, scroll down to see their complete biographies.

  • Fre Atlast
  • Rebecca Anguin-Cohen
  • Kristin Bergstrom
  • Debbie Birch
  • Priscilla Bright, MA
  • Alice Camara, L.Ac
  • Shelle Edge
  • Bobbi Esmark
  • Ashley Gannon
  • Lea Garnier
  • Lana Gokey
  • Terry James
  • Rifka Kreiter
  • Angel Ortloff
  • Samantha Paige-Graeber, LMT
  • Alison Ryczek
  • Dr. Judith Schafman, Ph. D.
  • Debra Seidman, LMT, CLT
  • Sharon Suess
  • Beth Ylvisaker

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Rebecca Anguin-Cohen

Rebecca Anguin-Cohen has been practicing yoga for over 20 years, and received teaching certification from master Kripalu instructors at the NY Open Center. She has studied with a range of leading teachers to integrate the mind-body connection to offer practices that affect energy and emotions in group and private classes. She is a sub and workshop teacher at MindBodySoul Yoga, teacher for local outdoor community classes, and a level II reiki healer practicing on both people and animals.

Rebecca works in advertising and counters the stress with yoga, meditation, and tai chi practiced with groups in her neighborhood of Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. Her love of nature grounds her spiritual path—which is one of many reasons why she has so enjoyed teaching at Women’s Wellness since 2006!


Fre Atlast

Fre Atlast is a multi-instrumental performer, producer, resident teaching artist, composer, foley artist, community activist, Street Priestess, and founder of The Elders Drum Project. Her home base is the TRANSnDANCEnDRUM Center at 415 Main St. Rosendale, NY.  www.eldersproject.org. info@transndancendrum.com



Debbie Birch

Debbie Birch is a certified Hatha Yoga Instructor, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant. She began her career in health and fitness when she received her Pilates training at North Carolina School of the Arts, while studying to be a professional dancer.  She went to New York City where she performed in several Broadway Musicals and National Tours.  At the same time she taught an array of fitness classes at Broadway Dance and Manhattan Plaza Health Club.  She also served as a personal trainer to many performers and celebrities. Debbie was the Activities Director, instructor and personal trainer at New Age Health Spa before developing Catskill Organic, a company dedicated to developing healthy alternatives to aging gracefully and maintaining a youthful appearance using organic plant based products. Currently Debbie is the Director and Certified Personal Trainer of the Wellness Center at Ellenville Regional Hospital. Devoted to the fitness and wellness industry since 1985, Debbie is a published writer, blogger, trains clients in the Sullivan and Ulster County areas and promotes her line of organic skin care products.  Please “Friend” her on Facebook and go to her web site www.catskilorganic.com to gain access to her informative blogs and learn more about her products.


Priscilla Bright, MA (Lead facilitator of Women’s Wellness Weekend)

Priscilla Bright, MA, lead facilitator of Women’s Wellness Weekend, is an international healer and national program leader who has worked in the holistic health and healing fields for over 30 years.  She is the immediate past School Dean of the internationally known Barbara Brennan School of Healing, and is a presenter at Omega Institute and New York Open Center.  Priscilla holds a Master’s of Public Health in Health Behavior from the Boston University School of Medicine.  Priscilla has her private practice in New York City, Rhinebeck and New Paltz, NY and also does phone session work that is deep and effective.

Priscilla leads energy healing workshops on Brennan Healing Science, and also her Inner Healing and Life Renewal programs which are designed especially for the world’s healers and nurturers.  Program participants take profound steps towards more emotional strength and inner balance, as they are guided to release deeply held stress, and shift the self-limiting and depleting energy-field patterns that are often held by heart-focused individuals.  For more information on all services and programs contact Priscilla directly at 845 417-8261 or at priscilla@priscillabright.com.  Programs are also listed on her web page priscillabright.com.


Alice Camara, L.Ac

Alice has been a practicing acupuncturist for 30 years. She is nationally certified (NCCAOM) and is licensed in NY state. Alice incorporates foot reflexology, organ massage, and structural acupressure into her treatments. Alice has been initiated in the Second Degree of Reiki healing, and will be offering acupuncture treatments throughout the weekend.


Bobbi Esmark

Bobbi Esmark has been practicing tai chi and qigong for nearly 25 years. She teaches in the mid-Hudson Valley in Stone Ridge, NY and at the Mohonk Preserve. Bobbi is a fine artist whose interest is in nature and the nature of being human. If you wish to contact Bobbi, her email is esmark@me.com and her phone number is 845-399-1033.


Lea Garnier

Lea Garnier has worked in the healing arts for over 20 years and is an accomplished practitioner in this field.  She has over 15 years experience as an Upledger trained Craniosacral Therapist who integrates Sound Healing into her private practice at Sage Center for the Healing Arts in Woodstock NY, a center she co-founded in 2007 and co-directs.  She also gives weekly group sound healing sessions at Sage Center.

In 2008 she became a certified yoga instructor, and specializes in teaching the integration of sound awareness (nada yoga) with gentle asana in a yoga class setting.  In 2010 she co-founded and continues to co-organize the Annual Sound Healing Retreat Intensive and the annual Yoga of Sound Retreat which take place at Menla Mountain Retreat Center, and caters to an international audience of practitioners working in the healing arts. www.sageacademyofsoundenergy.com


Lana Gokey

Current owner/operator of Crispin Hair Design & Spa, located in Lake Placid, NY 12941. I have been licensed in Massage Therapy for over 14 years, with emphasis on Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue, Connective Tissue Release, Lymphatic Drainage and Reflexology.  In addition, I have studied CranioSacral Therapy (CST) ans Somato-Emotional Release (SER) through the Upledger Institute.  With advanced training in CST & SER, I have been a Teaching Assistant for CST I; a Preceptor for Advanced CST courses, and have taken numerous advanced CranioSacral and Somato-Emotional Release courses, including an advanced anatomy lab at the New England School of Osteopathic Medicine in Maine.   My clientele encompasses children, adults, athletes, medical professionals and others.  I am pleased to participate in the Women’s Wellness Weekend Retreat and look forward to assisting you in achieving your specific wellness goals.

Ashley Gannon

Ashley Gannon is a certified hula hoop instructor, a 6 year veteran self-taught hula hooper and founder of Hoop for a Better Tomorrow, a community organization which works to empower the women of the Hudson Valley through the power of the hula hoop.  She is also a NYS certified math teacher with a passion for helping kids build their self-confidence, stay active and follow their dreams.  This passion has lead her directly into starting her hoop business and helping women of all ages.    Currently, she is teaching hoop dance fitness classes and workshops to people of all ages and genders, and handcrafts the hula hoops to perfectly “fit” her students (height, weight, age, ability etc..) as well as reflect their personality through colors and designed tape decorations.  She also brings her hula hoop programs to athletic, after-school and summer programs for kids, and even does hoop birthday parties.


Rifka Kreiter

I am a teacher/facilitator with  over 40 years of experience in a wide range of meditation techniques and practices, including mindfulness, Transcendental Meditation, Tibetan Buddhist meditation, and Western syntheses like the est Training.   (I also hold an M.A. in Clinical Psychology. )  This will be my tenth year leading sessions at Women’s Wellness Weekend where our meditations in the beautiful Castle Living Room are always especially rich.   This year, on Friday evening, I am excited to be sharing stories from my memoir, Home Free:  Adventures of a Child of the Sixties, to be published by She Writes Press on May 16th.   You can find excerpts and follow my blog on rifkakreiter.comCome meditate!


Angel Ortloff

Angel Ortloff is an LMT practicing at her home and at River Rock Spa in Woodstock New York  . For the last 10 years she has been offering therapeutic modalities according to clients preferences and need. She enhances her art of massage with clinical aroma therapy. For more information, please go to angelortloff.com.


Samantha Paige-Graeber (New York State Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor)

My career began at the age of 37 after graduating from the Swedish Institute for Massage. After school I studied various techniques that would enhance the work I do. Some of those techniques included cranial-sacral, ortho-bionomy, myofascial, muscle testing, and energy work. These modalities are gentle and non-invasive with profound results. Currently, I am in a certification program for working energetically with the nervous system.

Massage can aid chronic or acute backache, headache, foot, ankle, knee, hand, arm, shoulder and neck problems. For people recovering from accidents or suffering from sports-oriented injuries massage can be used where-needed to help aid the healing process and reduce injury-related pain. It stimulates the circulatory system, calms the nervous system and removes waste products and traumatic experience from the tissues. It helps the body to remember what relaxation is really about.   When taken on a regular basis, health is improved and enhanced. On an occasional basis, it can serve as a tune-up or a way to pamper yourself, as well.

Energy work affects the energy field, or aura, which surrounds and permeates the physical body. The Nervous System Energy Work deals with the energy of the brain and automatic nervous system. The person is dressed. The work is subtle but deep in a non-intrusive way. It’s goal is to remove blocks in the body and bring the body into balance.

My approach to working with a person is to take into account their uniqueness and their needs. I bring my knowledge, experience, intuition and a positive caring attitude to work. My husband and I have lived in Slate Hills, New York for over 25 years. We have 2 daughters, 5 grandchildren. As for hobbies or interests, let’s just say I love to explore and love to dance.


Alison Ryczek

Alison has been practicing pottery for 15 years. She uses ceramics methods such as hand building and slab work, but her main focus is on traditional wheel thrown pottery. She loves to create pottery that is not only functional, but also a piece of art. Alison works out of her home studio which is local to Frost Valley. She loves every one of her pottery creations, but her finest work has been her daughter, Ruby. You can find her art at http://www.alisonryczek.com.


Dr. Judith Schafman, PhD

Judith Schafman, Ph. D. is a Gestalt therapist, artist, dream work guide, teacher and spiritual director offering medicines for the heart and soul, including dream work, imaginative self-expression, connecting deeply with nature through art, and self-contemplation. The foundation of her work is that all individuals have at their core great wisdom and creativity, and can discover and live from this sacred power within.

Jude received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, and a Ph. D. from Union Graduate School, a nontraditional degree program without walls based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received certification in classical spiritual direction from Shalem, Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington DC, and attending the Gestalt Training Centers in San Diego and in Washington, DC. Her work is deeply saturated by a 15 year stay in a meditation retreat site, where she offered service and did regular spiritual practices. She is the author of an online course called Embracing your Inner Wisdom: A Home Study Classroom in Dream Work, and articles on dream life, including how to begin your dream practice, the dark side of personality in dreams, dreaming in the heavenly realms, and how to apply dream lessons to daily life.

She offers teleconference courses, lectures, and Skype sessions in dream and awareness work, and psychological/spiritual counseling. See www.judithschafman.com for further information on how to work with Jude. 


Debra Seidman, LMT, CLT

Returning for her ninth Women’s Wellness Weekend, has been a licensed massage therapist for over 16 years and is also a certified lymphedema therapist. Previous positions include six years as Massage Therapy Coordinator at Benedictine Hospital’s Complementary Medicine Department. She is one of a unique group of massage therapists nationwide with experience working in hospitals, where she also trained interns in acute care massage.

Debra prides herself on tailoring each massage to the individual’s specific needs. Her client includes both infants and WWE wrestlers. Her signature treatment is a combination of relaxing Swedish and therapeutic Deep Tissue; however, you always determine the pressure of your massage, from as light as you need it (as with Manual Lymph Drainage) to as deep as you can safely tolerate it! :o) In addition to Wellness massage, she has extensive training a/o certifications in Sports massage, Chair massage, Geriatriac massage, Oncology Massage, Infant Massage Instruction and Lymphedema Management.

Debra is currently in private practice in her offices in uptown Manhattan and Kingston, NY and onsite in corporations, homes and arenas throughout the state. She can be reached for questions or information on massage or insurance coverage, workshops and  lectures, or to book an appointment, at (845) 616-4488. 


Sharon Suess

Sharon has been teaching this watercolor class since the inception of WWW. She was formerly the graphic designer for Frost Valley before she retired in 2008. She still does freelance design, and now has more time for painting, drawing and other creative endeavors.