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.
Bill Goodale, Certified Yoga Instructor, completed his 200 hour yoga teacher certification at Samadhi Yoga Studio. Bill has been practicing yoga for 16 years. He became more serious about yoga after severing his Achilles’ tendon, as he needed to increase flexibility and strength. About the same time, he was introduced to Reiki. Realizing the importance of each, he decided to deepen his practice and become a Yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner. Bill believes that yoga has brought him more calmness but also increased strength and flexibility. Aside from his teaching practice, Bill is retired and has been married to his lovely wife Dianne for 37 years and has two wonderful daughters. He is also certified in BROGA Yoga Level l & ll (yoga for guys) and he is working on his 500-hour certification in therapeutic yoga. His mantra is Breathe, Relax, Feel, Watch and Allow.
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”.
Leah Pragluski, Certified Yoga Instructor, was first introduced to yoga in 2009 while working out at home to Tony Horton’s P90X exercise videos. Coming out of savasana, she knew yoga was magical and wanted to learn all she could. Having four boys, Leah waited 7 years before joining a studio to take her first class! Just one month later she dove deeper into her practice and took Samadhi Yoga Studio’s 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Manchester, CT. Since graduating in June 2017, she has taught children’s yoga to Home- schoolers, Pre-schoolers and Elementary aged children in an after school program. Leah truly believes that the children are our world leaders and yoga serves as a wonderful tool to help them along their path in this life. Leah is trained in Hatha Yoga and practices both Hatha and Kundalini Yoga. Currently, she is pursuing additional training in a Kundalini Yoga for Youth program.
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.
Lisa Genest, RYT 200, has been a student of yoga for more than 11 years, and at the age of 50 decided to focus on her yoga journey to see where it could bring her. In 2015 she completed her 200 hr teacher training at Sacred Rivers Yoga in East Hartford. Lisa is devoted to providing an environment for people to feel nurtured, safe and allow space for them to be able to explore their yoga practice. She encourages an atmosphere where you, as a student, can allow the practice of yoga to meet you exactly where you are. She teaches a gentle class with a connection to breath. She is often inspired, and loves to share, quotes and poetry that feels connected to our daily lives. Lisa also has a background in nursing and is a level 2 Reiki practitioner. When off the mat her other passions are her family, her kitties, time with friends, reading, hiking, snow shoeing, music and playing with her creative side.
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, RYT-200, 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, RYT 200, 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.
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.”