Julie Leatherbarrow:


Julie Leatherbarrow has practiced yoga for 18 years and made a life long dream come true in 2012 by getting her certification through Yogakids, an educationally based Hatha yoga program for children. Julie wanted to deepen her knowledge and understanding of yoga and continued her education at the Himalayan Institute of Buffalo, earning her 200hour certification in May of 2015 and is currently working on her 500hour certification at HI. Bringing a youthful spirit into all of her classes, Julie believes in fully experiencing the joys of life, no matter the age. As the founder of Budding Tree Yoga and the Budding Tree Yoga Festival, Julie wants to share her love of yoga with others and assist them in returning to their natural state of being at peace.

Julie offers private instruction and small group classes, as well as professional development workshops for educators. For more information, please call, (716) 957-9809 or email, 

Jennifer Stern : 


Jen is a RYT-200 Level Yoga Teacher and a Certified Ayurveda Yoga Specialist.  She is registered with Yoga Alliance, and completed her training through the Himalayan Institute in Buffalo, NY.  She has personally practiced yoga since the late 1990’s.  She is also certified in CPR/AED and 1st Aid through the American Red Cross.

Jen offers private and group instruction in Hatha Style Yoga, ranging from Beginner Level to Intermediate, as well as Gentle/Restorative.  Ayurveda consultations are available to further assist clients with a more tailored personal practice of yoga, as well as lifestyle/diet changes that offer support to the mind/body/spirit.

Currently teaching in private, corporate and studio settings throughout Western New York, she enjoys sharing yoga and Ayurveda with students, helping them discover the many benefits of practice on the body and mind.  She emphasizes breath awareness, proper alignment, and relaxation in her classes.

Erin Szwajda: 


Erin’s yoga journey began after her mom was diagnosed with MS. She was misdiagnosed many years prior. Throughout the years she endured many hardships. As Erin was frightened and confused, she began research on the illness. To her surprise almost every article discussed the benefits of yoga to MS patients. That was enough for her to start learning about yoga. She began a solid home practice with hopes to help her mom.

About six months later she attended her first group yoga class, with Julie Leatherbarrow. Erin left the class with a sense of calm. Something had happened in that one hour that cleared her mind of worries. She was hooked!

A few months later Erin needed an appendectomy. After her surgery it took some time to get back on the mat. When she was able to practice again, it all made sense. Yoga meets you where you are. All of a sudden the healing benefits were upon her. She was able to find inner peace and a quiet mind even if she could not do downward dog. At that time she knew she needed to share this gift.

Erin attended The Himalayan Institute teaching training program and completed her 200hr certification in May 2016. She is forever grateful for her teachers, their wisdom and insight, her classmates, and everyone who has supported her along the way. Erin is well aware of the healing powers of yoga, especially the undeniable amount of self-love and acceptance that yoga provides.

Since graduating she has been teaching gentle yoga classes at a local church. She also volunteers monthly at The Buffalo Peace House, and teaches private to semi private classes weekly for people with specific concerns. Erin feels truly blessed to share this gift and has a passion to continue on this journey. She considers yoga to be her companion, who can always provide a sense of stillness and inner peace. To find the calm, even in chaos. Yoga is a gift that keeps on giving. Namaste!

Sharon Huber 


My yoga journey began while I was looking for more variety in my exercise regiment and a way to de-stress from work.  My husband had used yoga for years for relief from back pain. The benefits he received from his practice were undeniable.   I had no idea the yoga classes would turn into a lifelong commitment to the practice of yoga.  The practice of yoga for both the mind and body was so transformative that I wanted to pass on the benefits to others so I attended and completed the 200hr teacher-training program in 2015 at the Himalayan Institute in Buffalo, NY.  I have taught yoga in my local community since then and have recently joined the teaching staff at Budding Tree Yoga!

Sapna Patal

Sapna Patel is a Certified Classical Hatha Yoga Teacher.   She has been practicing and studying yoga for nearly 20 years.  Sapna completed her first Teacher Training through Inner City Yoga with Roseanna Frechette. She continued her study with Nischala Joy Devi, where she received a certificate for completing Yoga for the Heart training.  In 2005, Sapna was initiated in the Himalayan Tradition. She moved to the Himalayan Institute to study with her teacher Pandit Ragmani Tigunat, where she completed her 200hr Teacher Training.  Her teaching style focuses on giving her students the tools they need to relax and strengthen the nervous system, as well as, create the habit of being present.  They can then incorporate these tools to support themselves as they move through the challenges and joys of the human experience. Sapna has been teaching around WNY for many years and is now teaching Restorative Yoga at Budding Tree Yoga.