Wake Up Yoga


Corina Benner

Master yoga teacher and founder of Wake Up Yoga since opening its first studio in 2002, Corina sought out yoga to connect with spirit, heal from deep physical injuries, and as a path to overcome a quiet inner despair caused by realizing that modern pursuits brought no lasting happiness. She took her first yoga class in 1992 and has been teaching vinyasa yoga since 1999 and yin yoga since 2004. Viewing asana practice as an entry-point to self-study, Corina weaves the tenets of yoga philosophy into her teaching, inspiring students to discover how this age-old practice remains relevant today in their own lives both on and off the mat. Her positive vibrations and contagious optimism empower students of all levels to practice with enthusiasm, while her detailed instruction, poetic language, and intelligent sequencing create a safe space for students to explore the landscapes of their body, mind, heart, and soul. As a Buddhist, she continues to be influenced by the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa as imparted largely by her meditation teacher, Michael Carroll, and has been fortified by a steady meditation practice since 1999. Initially certified by Cyndi Lee, she counts Paul Grilley, Rodney Yee, Shiva Rea, Paul JJ Alix, and Manorama among her beloved teachers.

What inspires you about Wake Up Yoga?

I truly believe Wake Up Yoga is a magical place. There is a realness to the studios. Students get to be exactly how they are, without having to hide, pretend, justify, or blame. People are kind and supportive of each other, without any sense of obligation or quid pro quo.

What excites you about teaching yoga?

I love empowering students to move beyond their perceived limitations to attempt things that seemed impossible, which is such a metaphor for life. I love that I get to share poetry, invoke beauty, enhance vitality, and inspire kindness.

What do you like to do off the mat?

I love hiking with my dog, Copious, and spending time in nature. I love preparing clean, healthy, delicious food for people I cherish. I also really enjoy spending time with my parents — we laugh a lot together.

What’s interesting about you that people might not otherwise know?

I've had *so many* jobs, everything from acting in children's theater to being a sales assistant on Wall Street. I once won a "Best Actor" award at the Delaware Valley One-Act Play Festival, and I passed the Series 7 and 63 exams, getting licensed to buy and sell securities (aka, stockbroker). While completing the S.E.L.P. with Landmark, I started an organization called Write Now!, which was a mentor-writing program for teenage girls. It still exists today with branches in both NYC and LA (now called Girls Write Now!).

upcoming classes