Brenna Adams, RYT 200, started practicing yoga around 2011 searching for physical strength and flexibility. However, on my mat I found peace and ease for my body, mind and soul. Gaining a deeper understanding of yoga has helped me to gain a deeper understanding of myself. The connection of breath to movement, the moving mediation that is yoga; this has become an essential part of my life. The physical, mental and emotional strength I have found through yoga is one of the greatest gifts it has given me. This strength I carry off my mat and it is a gift that I hope to share with others as they continue down their own path of yoga, on and off the mat. I am 200 hr – RYT and received my certification through The Yoga Shop in 2017 where my teachers were Kim Charbonneau and Annie Q.
Carol Tyler, MA, RD, CDN, Reiki Master. She is a Certified Wellness Coach, teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Nutrition Programs with 28 years of experience as a Holistic Health Practitioner. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and yoga student. Recently retired from Saint Francis Hospital, she loves sharing her passion for adventure, wellness and compassionate care.
Cathy Beckius, RYT 200, graduate of the Yoga Shop under Annie Quagliaroli and Kimberly Charbonneau, she has been teaching since December of 2013. “To me, yoga means love and community and commitment and being a part of something way bigger than all of us. My practice is a gift that I give myself and a gift that lets me keep on giving. The simplicity of linking breath to movement and letting go for just a while allows me to tap into my very own strength and light and then, naturally, sharing and loving off my mat! We have lived in Tolland for over 25 years and raised our two children here so having the chance to share yoga and spread the love with our Tolland community
George Hoffman, Director of Silver Dragon Tai Chi and Qi Gong, LLC, has over 25 years of study and practice in the Chinese arts Tai Chi and Qi-Gong and 20 years teaching experience. George’s belief in the power of these ancient arts comes across in his teaching style, patience, compassion and his students’ success.
Jen Daniels, RYT 500, has practiced yoga for over 15 years and completed her initial training in 2013 with Jennifer Prugh’s Joy of Yoga. Jen has completed her 500-hour training with Julie Rader-Wellman’s Mukti school. Additionally, Jen has certifications in Restorative yoga, Youth Yoga, and Flying Lotus (aerial yoga). Through a strong asana practice, Jen has found that deepening her connection to mind-body has transformed all areas of life. Yoga allows people to find the best version of themselves and gives them permission to share it with the world. By learning to pause before reacting and to breathe when life becomes stressful, Jen has found that yoga has improved personal and professional relationships as well as improving the ability to shift perspectives. In addition to creating safe and challenging sequences that are alignment focused, her practices infuse pranayama and mediation. As a child who had a propensity to cause trouble on the soccer field because she was doing cartwheels and handstands instead of defending the goal, Jen loves inversions and arm balances. Her background in equestrian vaulting (www.americanvaulting.org) has created a distinct curiosity of advanced asanas. Through creating a strong and stable core, Jen believes that having the opportunity to play and enjoy the movement your body has to offer is one of the most beautiful aspects of the asana practice.
Abundant transformation occurs when people become aware of their body through breath work and mindfulness. Jen’s intention is to share the unique joy she discovered in yoga with you!
Jess Goldfarb, RYT 200, graduated through The Yoga Shop under Annie Q. and Kimberly Charbonneau, and has been teaching since 2016. “Every time I practice yoga, I feel like I am being led back home. I unlearn all those jaded life lessons and find myself in a happy middle between strength and compassion. Yoga has taught me how to believe in myself when I fall, and how to catch myself with love – both on and off the mat! I know the positive impact that yoga had on my life and I want to share that experience with others.”
Jude Kochman, Certified Yoga Instructor, completed her 200 hour teaching certification with Anne and Matt Falkkowski at Samadhi Yoga Studio. Jude continued her training with a variety of teachers learning yoga for athletes, restorative yoga, yoga for trauma, for seniors, and experiencing a variety of styles. Jude completed her Pranakriya 500 hour teacher training with Yogan and Michael Carroll in 2011. “I’ve been part of the Samadhi teaching team since 2006, teaching to students of all ages and abilities. I became a member of the instruction staff for their teacher training in 2008. I continue to educate myself with a variety of teachers as I move toward yoga therapist certification through the Center for Integrated Yoga Studies. I came to yoga from a background of endurance athletics – long distance running, hiking and cycling. Over time I found myself becoming inflexible and injury prone. I knew I had to make some changes in order to keep participating in the activities I loved so much. Yoga seemed the most logical solution as I’d been curious about it for years and had seen many other athletes benefit from it. Once on the mat I enjoyed the stretching and strengthening, as well as the balance between effort and ease. To my endless delight I discovered so much more. My curiosity about the deeper practices grew and I found myself spending ever more time practicing yoga”. When not on the mat, Jude is outdoors as much as possible enjoying running, hiking, cycling and scuba diving. “I find yoga is my grounding and my balance. I teach with a lightness of heart, joy and humor… I hope that my students practice in the same way”.
Lisa Gaumond, RYT 200, Yoga has shown Lisa how to spread her arms wide and unapologetically inhabit space. It has given her permission to breathe loudly, practice boldly, and challenge that voice in her head shouting out the can’ts and the shoulds. Yoga has taught her to live in and love her body. These things, and more, are what she hopes to share with you during every yoga class. A yoga practitioner since college, Lisa’s teaching career was as much of a surprise to her as it was to everyone else. After years in a high-stress office job, she left her full-time job in 2016 to pursue yoga teacher training through The Yoga Shop. She enrolled in YTT in an effort to learn more about the practice and reset her weary mind. She never intended to become a teacher, but soon found that she loved teaching and never looked back. When not in the studio, you can find Lisa leading chair yoga classes at various senior centers in Connecticut, and on the water all summer teaching stand-up paddleboard yoga.
Kristina Vetrano, RYT 200, “I began my love of the physical fitness industry over 20 years ago as a body builder and personal trainer in a commercial gym setting. After sustaining a running injury in 2012, while I was training for a marathon, I turned to Yoga for increased flexibility and immediately fell in love, not only with the physical aspects of yoga, but with the connection between mind and body through movement and breath work. After retiring from a Law Enforcement Career, I knew that I wanted to become a Yoga Teacher in order to bring the benefits of Yoga to everyone. I received my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification through Samadhi Yoga Studio in Manchester, CT and I am an RYT 200 Certified Instructor with Yoga Alliance. I am currently enrolled in the 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program with the Hard and Soft Institute, whose director is Beryl Bender Birch, through Heart Song Yoga Center in East Longmeadow, MA to obtain my 500-hour Yoga Teacher Certification. My goal is to help Law Enforcement and other first responder personnel through Yoga. I believe that Yoga is for everyone and I teach with an emphasis on respect and safety for all students”.
Kyle LeDonne, Certified Yoga Instructor, is a 20 year student of yoga, ever since he picked up a book on the 8-limbed practice from his mother’s bookshelf. He immediately fell in love with everything about yoga and was quick to dive headfirst into a lifelong practice. Kyle studied at Kripalu and when he decided to pursue a passion for teaching he was formally trained at SMPY in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. From California to New York City and now back to Connecticut, Kyle has always tried to incorporate the tenants of yoga into his life, from a nutritional degree and a lifetime of vegetarianism, to the physical grace that asanas impart, to the deeper understanding of spirituality that runs through it all. Now through the amazing community at BreatheMoreYoga, he hopes to be of service to all the students who seek a happier and healthier life through yoga!
Linda Byam, M.B.A., Health Coach, Certified Food for Life Instructor, helps individuals improve their health and overall wellness in simple and attainable ways. By gradually introducing healthy eating habits and lifestyle practices, Linda helps her clients take control of their health. Through classes, workshops and individual sessions, she works to create a personalized action plan that supports each client’s short and long-term health goals. She has a BA in Biology from Providence College, an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Health Coach Certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Linda is a certified instructor of Food for Life, an award-winning Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine program designed by physicians, nurses, and registered dietitians that offers cancer, diabetes, weight management, employee wellness, and kids classes that focus on the lifesaving effects of healthful eating. Linda is also a certified facilitator of Live Well, a chronic disease self-management program developed by Stanford University.
Marissa Rocks, Certified POP Pilates Instructor, is an encouraging and motivating instructor who believes that exercise should be fun and enjoyable. Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do and the progress you’ve made – it is NOT a punishment. POP Pilates has helped Marissa obtain her positive outlook on fitness and life in general. After working out to POP Pilates videos on YouTube for years, she decided that she wanted to share the feelings of happiness, self-worth, and accomplishment with others. Marissa is currently the only certified POP Pilates instructor in Connecticut but hopes that others will soon join her in spreading the POP Pilates energy around the state!
Mindy Porell, Owner of BreatheMoreYoga LLC, Certified Yoga Instructor, holds two – 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Certifications, one from Sacred Rivers Yoga and one from 108 Monkeys 200 hour Yoga Service Training. She also has 100 training hours with Beryl Bender Birch, one of the most highly regarded and well known yoga teachers in the United States. Mindy has been a practicing yogini for over a decade. Mindy has been an integral part of www.108monkeys.org, a non-profit organization teaching yoga, meditation and mindfulness to inner city youth with the goal of increasing self-regulation. Mindy is passionate about sharing the gifts of yoga with every body type and every skill level, truly believing that yoga is for everyone.
________________________________________________________________Rita Concepcion, RYT 200, is a fitness professional who began practicing Yoga in 2004. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at John’s Creek Yoga Studio in John’s Creek, Georgia. In addition to a yoga certification, she holds a group fitness certification through ACE Fitness. As an instructor and fitness enthusiast for many years, she began practicing yoga to improve strength, alignment, and flexibility. From a spiritual perspective, Rita began practicing to increase self-awareness and reduce stress. Of the many exercise disciplines, she is most passionate about yoga. Rita sees yoga as an opportunity to help anyone of any age stay active and mindful while developing more strength, better posture and improved balance and flexibility. Also, yoga is physical and mindful discipline, which completes any health and wellness program.
Robyn Hall, Certified Yoga Instructor, “It’s not the strongest or the smartest of us that survive, it’s the one that is willing to evolve and adapt”-Charles Darwin. “This quote inspires me not only in my career as a scientist, but also as a yoga teacher. I teach from my body and have found that every time I come to the mat I must be willing to adapt the postures to my current physical condition to allow the evolution of my spirit to attain the true purpose of yoga practice-sheer joy!” Robyn is a certified Vinyasa and Yoga Warriors teacher and is currently pursuing her advanced certification at Kripalu. Robyn’s Vinyasa flow classes are intended to lead students through an exploration of their own bodies with an emphasis on anatomy and safe alignments. She offer options with varying degrees of difficulty to accommodate all students. Her classes, performed in a heated room, are fun and alternate between flow sequences to stretch and strengthen followed by long holds to cultivate body awareness. When not on the mat, Robyn can be found in the woods with her Redbone coonhound, Roxanne.
Sally Woods, RYT 200, has always been a physically active person as a dancer, athlete and fitness instructor. She discovered the benefits of yoga at a time in her life when career stress was manifesting itself with undeniable negative physical effects. After only three years of practicing yoga, she realized she could calm her mind while challenging and strengthening her body in a powerful yet peaceful and compassionate way, and wanted to expand her practice and knowledge by completing her teacher training with Vinyasa teacher and author, Rolf Gates in 2014. As a dancer, she found Vinyasa (flow) yoga to be a natural style for her to embrace and share.
Sharon Shanti, E-RYT-500, YACEP, Kripalu & Pranakryia Yoga Teacher, Kripalu Restorative Yoga Teacher, Yoga Teacher Training Director, and Reiki Master.
Sharon teaches heartfelt Yoga classes, delivers dynamic and motivational Workshops and Retreats and directs Yoga Teaching Training Modules. She is passionate about empowering and encouraging people to honor their bodies, to go within and to continue to grow and heal with the time honored teachings of yoga. As a lifelong student of Yoga, Sharon has studied with some of the most esteemed, knowledgeable and distinguished teachers. Including Yoganand Michael Carroll, Kavi Stephen Cope and Sudha Carolyn Sundeen, Sharon has shared the teachings of these ancient wisdom traditions with students in New England, South Carolina and Canada.
Tanessa Celentano, Yoga Instructor: As a former Kickboxing Instructor, I found myself searching for a form of exercise that would better serve my needs – physically, mentally, and spiritually. I yearned for something that would age with me, helping my body be at its best through all the coming years while also helping my mind and spirit embrace where I was in my life.
Yoga was an answered prayer. With a focus on anatomy and ‘safe’ alignment, the emphasis of my classes is to help your body undo some of the damage our culture and lifestyle has done to the spine, joints, major muscles, and those little tendons and ligaments we so often take for granted.
I love to have fun in my classes… exploring what the body is capable of, but also learning how not to be so rigid and serious. Remembering how to be a kid again, yet learning how to accept and embrace the limitations of our body are the tools I hope each fellow yogi walks out of my classes with.
As a teacher, I have been so humbled and honored to be in this role. I hope you’ll join me on this journey… this practice… of loving our bodies for what they already are, and helping them be the best they can be – for years to come.
Vicky Hannon, Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor and Kripalu “Let Your Yoga Dance” Instructor, has been a student of yoga for nearly 20 years and has been teaching since 2002. Leading classes and workshops throughout Connecticut, she teaches Yoga and Pilates as an Adjunct Instructor at Manchester Community College. In addition, she has served as Faculty Assistant for several programs at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, MA. Vicky is a Certified Reflexologist and a Level III Reiki Master. She is a mother of two, a puppeteer, singer and songwriter. “Yoga to me is more than physical postures. It is a connection to and an awareness of the whole body, a quieting of the ever-chatty, critical mind, and an opening of the often-guarded heart. It is my intention to make yoga accessible to everyone; from the new student working through stiffness, injury, or trauma, to the seasoned yogi moving easily into Crow or headstand. When I teach, I consider myself merely a tour guide for students on their own paths; experiencing their own journey through yoga.”