Angie Jacques, Certified Yoga Instructor and Barre Instructor, holds a BA in Psychology and Art History and worked as a Social Worker for 15 years. She began her yoga practice 17 years ago after suffering a sports related knee injury and has been committed to it ever since. In 2004 Angie completed an intensive training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA which included over 200 hours of course work in principles of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology, pranayama techniques and relaxation and meditation methodology. Angie’s background in ballet and competitive sports shines through in her teaching. Her presentation is warm and compassionate while encouraging her students to reach their personal best. When she isn’t doing yoga, you can find Angie on her mountain bike enjoying the outdoors or telemark skiing on the hills of Vermont.
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 feels like coming home”.
Carissa Gross, RYT 200, “my path to yoga was similar to how John Green described falling in love (and falling asleep) in ‘The Fault In Our Stars’…it happened slowly, and then all at once. I’ve been practicing yoga off and on for more than a decade, but it was during my recovery from serious illness in 2015 I truly discovered the nurturing and healing powers of yoga, and realized that I wanted yoga to be more than a casual part of my life. I also have a graduate degree in psychology, and during my time as a graduate student I had the privilege of teaching psychology classes to undergrads, which is where I found I had a love for teaching. Becoming certified as a yoga instructor seemed like the ideal way to combine these two aspects of my life, and so I enrolled in the YTT program at Samadhi Yoga, completing my 200 hours in April of 2016. I will continue my teacher training journey in July of 2017 as I begin my advanced-level teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Synchronizing breath and movement, yoga for me represents a means of nourishing both the physical body and the spirit. My classes emphasize my passion for yoga through a deep connection between the strength of the breath and proper alignment in each asana. My goal is to help make yoga accessible to each student and enable my students to find peacefulness in mind and body. I teach beginners, moderate, and power classes”.
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”.
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”.
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 Perry, Certified Yoga Instructor, found yoga as a self-care technique during her years of training to be an LMT at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy. Instantly, she was hooked on how great it was to move, bend, and strengthen her body without the daunting hours at the gym. Mindy found something in herself on her mat that she had never experience before: she was able to use her body in a way that made her feel empowered. Mindy enrolled in the yoga teacher training program at Samadhi Yoga Studio in Manchester, CT, graduating in May of 2013. In addition to holding a Yoga Alliance approved 200hr YTT certificate, she is also a licensed Zumba instructor, certified in barre fitness, and certified in Hot Hatha Sculpt through Meredith Evangelisti of Boston. Using her anatomy and physiology background from massage therapy, Mindy incorporates knowledge and fun into all of her vinyasa-based, music-filled classes. She continually reminds her students to smile and enjoy themselves, even as the postures become difficult or fatigue sets in.
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.
Moey Burns, E-RYT 500, has been practicing varying styles of yoga for over 10 years. A lifelong athlete, she discovered Bikram yoga at age 20 and later became addicted to crossfit, power lifting, and kickboxing. After a severe injury forced her to reconsider her physical fitness involvement she found vinyasa, meditation, and pranayama as healing practices and an alternative to strenuous exercise. She has a 500-hour Certification through the Hard and the Soft Yoga Institute and has studied extensively with Beryl Bender Birch. She has also studied Mindful Yoga Therapy for veterans through the Give Back Yoga Foundation. Her teaching is strongly influenced by classical Ashtanga and she primarily teaches Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow, restorative, classes for people with injury, or beginners. As a full time registered nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Moey is particularly focused on alignment and breath work. Her vision is to spread what she has found in yoga to anyone and everyone open to the practice.
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.
Taylor Cheek, RYT 200, completed her teacher certification at True North Yoga in Avon, CT under Pamela Mirante in winter 2016-17. After sporadically attending yoga classes for a few years, she truly committed to the practice when she discovered the peace of mind and sense of empowerment that shines through after a powerful vinyasa flow. “The yoga mat is a safe place for me to grow and explore my limits. It is a place where I can be vulnerable and accepting of where I am at today. It is a place where I can be intuitive with my body, pushing myself a little harder or giving myself the space to slow down and reflect. Yoga is about being a “yes” and being present, and carrying this attitude far beyond the mat.”
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.”