oyster bay yoga

Joanna Dinolfo


Q&A with Joanna

Describe yourself in 3 words: Ambitious, trustworthy, witty

How would your family and friends describe you? Catered, resilient, loyal, trustworthy, and humorous.

How would your students describe you? Calm, spiritual, creative

How do you want your students to feel after your classes? I think this is an accurate depiction:



How did you become an instructor: I went to several studios before I found the style I wanted to teach. I also did some research online which led me to Bonda Yoga in Great Neck, home of Long Island Yoga School. I started taking classes there and knew that it was a perfect fir for me after my first class with Laurie Ahlemann, owner of the Yoga School.

What's your favorite food? It's so hard to pick just one. I love food, cooking, baking, etc...I am Italian, and if I had to narrow it down I'd say my favorite food is (my own) gnocchi with Cafiletto di pomodoro sauce. If you asked me tomorrow though, I may something totally different.

What's you #1 favorite song of all time? "Black" by Pearl Jam

If you weren't a teacher, what would be your dream job? Veterinarian. I'm obsessed with animals and want to open an animal rescue one day...

What's your guilty pleasure? Doughnuts. Oh, how I love them.

What do you miss most about being a kid? I miss the fearlessness children have, especially with regard to physical activities. I miss that, and not having any bills!!!

What's the best meal you've ever had? Barramundi in Australia. I have yet to find a restaurant in the US that has barramundi and even though it was 14 years ago I can still taste it...

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble? I was such a nerd. Well that, and I was afraid of my mother, so I hardly ever did anything wrong. The only thing I can remember is staying out really late when I was 17, about 4 hours pas my 12:00 curfew, to watch a cheesy metal band at the Roxy in Huntington.

What's your favorite asana and why? Wild thing (camatkarasana). It's challenging, vulnerable, and beautiful.

Describe your teaching style: My class is challenging, creative, laid back, and fun. I also love putting together playlists that are not what you would usually hear in a yoga class. I always get compliments on my song lists, so I guess it works!

Tell us about your first yoga class (or a memorable experience from your early yoga days): About 10 years ago, I told my doctor I was feeling stressed out and anxious, but didn't want to take medication and asked what she recommended. She said yoga. I blew it off for a while, always telling myself exercise wouldn't help, I was taking kickboxing classes and even though that helped for a while, it didn't last, so why would yoga? A few months later, I still wasn't feeling great, so I looked up beginner yoga classes. I found a beginner class close to where I was living at the time and decided to take it. I went early and met the instructor and immediately felt her calming energy. After that class, I said to myself "I have to teach this," which was odd since I never before felt the urge to teach anything. I kept going to that beginner class until I felt confident to take open level classes, and that's how my journey began.

Anything else you'd like to share? In addition to yoga, I am an avid rock climber and climb at least twice a week indoors, and go upstate once or twice a month during the spring, summer, and fall. I love the outdoors, and also kayak, paddle board, row, and hike. Oh, and I'm a lawyer full time, but I wish I wasn't.