Who we are
Lightrail Yoga is the collaborative effort of Radha Krishna Lila and Benjamin Smielowitz. We offer yoga training, immersions and intensives, as well as yoga retreats and getaways. Radha and Benjamin have ongoing and specialized workshops and also offer daily classes and private lessons. They teach a traditional style of Hatha-Raja Yoga combined with their knowledge of Bhakti or devotion. Through this effort they hope to share the ancient teachings of yoga in today's modern world bringing awareness, compassion and light to all beings.
Our mission is to provide a serene, safe, and welcoming space where students can explore their own yoga, develop their very own personal yoga journey and self transformation. We work to create peace in our world, communities and families by first creating peace within ourselves. A consistent yoga practice will leave students feeling rejuvenated and inspired; opening the doors to positive transformation; ultimately creating a calm and peaceful mind, an open and compassionate heart, and a strong feeling of self acceptance.
At Lightrail Yoga, our skilled teachers are encouraged to bring their own teaching style, and voice, allowing for a unique yoga experience every time. Through our own individual growth and with a strong sense of community, we open our hearts to the beauty that can be found in every day.
Radha Krishna Lila from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil has trained with Sri Dharma at the Dharma Yoga Center in NY as well, Radha has been a professional dancer for more than 20 years. Benjamin Smielowitz from New York, was trained in Classical Hatha Raja Yoga by Sri Dharma Mittra at the Dharma Yoga Center in NYC. They now inspirited by their beloved teacher Sri Dharma Mittra teach various classes, workshops and trainings together and individually. Benjamin and Radha are also musicians and singers and have produced three albums together.
Who is Sri Dharma Mittra?
Sri Dharma Mittra has spent most of his life in service to humanity, disseminating the ancient knowledge of how to achieve radiant health and spiritual development. He was born in the late 1930′s and has studied Yoga since 1958. After meeting his guru (teacher), Sri Swami Kailashananda, he immersed himself in intense study and practice of the classical eight limbs of Yoga and nine years of dedicated full time practice of Karma Yoga. Sri Swami Kailashananda is known as the first Guru to bring the practice of Hatha Yoga to the west in the early 1950’s. Sri Dharma was accepted and initiated as a sannyasi (one who renounces the world in order to realize God). During these years he had the esteemed honor of being the personal assistant to the Guru attending to all his needs.
Dharma Mittra spent many years as a full-time yogi and brahmachari (celibate religious student who lives with his teacher and devotes himself to the practice of spiritual disciplines). He then began teaching, only for his Guru and with selfless expectation. He was the main demonstrator for the Yoga asanas at the many lectures the Guru gave to the public in the ’60’s and ’70’s. After many years as a celebrated teacher at his guru’s Ashram, Sri Dharma left in 1974 to found the Yoga Asana Center, currently known as Dharma Yoga New York Center.
Sri Dharma is a most beloved Yoga Master, known for his humility, humor, joy and kindness in teaching. Every student who comes to his practices is treated “as part of his family.” He diligently teaches the Yamas, the first step of Yoga, as he sets the greatest example for it in his life. In every class you will hear “without the Yama’s, known as the ethical rules, there is no success in Yoga.” He tirelessly promotes ahimsa (nonharming) through vegetarianism, veganism, a live food Yoga diet, and kindness to all living beings, especially our inferior brothers in the animal kingdom.
Sri Dharma writes: “Reduce your wants and lead a happy and contented life. Never hurt the feelings of others and be kind to all. Think of God as soon as you get up and when you go to bed.”