Linda Castronovo Venmo: @Linda-Castronovo-1
I discovered yoga while still in high school in a 1979 Runner's World article. I followed the directions and tried the postures because the author promised improved strength, flexibility, and injury prevention. It was just a handful of postures: warrior, triangle, cobra, downward dog, and child pose, but I immediately felt calmer, more centered, and more alive.
I studied exercise science in college and graduate school, worked as a personal trainer, a wellness/fitness director, and field hockey and lacrosse coach. I was certified as a Kripalu Yoga Instructor in 1991 and continue my study of yoga with many teachers, including Patty Townsend. My personal practice has evolved over the years and now includes daily meditation, pranayama, and asana. I value every opportunity to practice yoga on and off the mat.
Now in my sixties, my classes are moving meditations designed to build strength, flexibility, mobility, and balance. I teach an eclectic mix of many traditions, but my aim is to guide you to your own deep well of gratitude, compassion, and self-acceptance.
Click here to learn more about my background.
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Maria Kovalenko Venmo:
I studied Math, Physics, and Engineering in school and started my career as a programmer before shifting into sales with Microsoft and Oracle. In 2006, I began an in-depth study of Hatha Yoga. The result was stunning. I credit my practice for my second pregnancy because doctors told me I could not have any more children.
Since then, I have been deeply engaged in Kundalini yoga and completed 250 hours of Hatha Yoga at the Moscow Yoga University. In 2019, I completed an 8-week Mindfulness course (MBSR) with Rebecca Eldridge, who trained at the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS Medical School.
I moved to Amherst in 2021 and teach at Hampshire Athletic Club and at Christopher Heights of Belchertown.
In 2022, I completed certification as a Neuro Graphica Instructor/Master and Aesthetic Coach. This is a unique approach to art and stress reduction. Learn more here: here: https://www.neurographica.us/
Chris Paradis Venmo: @Christine-Paradis
Chris Paradis is a lacrosse coach, yoga teacher and health coach. She came to her yoga mat 18 years ago to address her aging joints, and found a practice with healing qualities that go beyond stretching and breathing. Chris’s classes focus on the breath, alignment, and fluidity. She also helps students practice self-acceptance and how to take their practice off the mat in order to achieve greater ease and resilience in their daily lives.
Chris earned her 200-hour certification at Amherst Yoga Center under the guidance of Patty Townsend, and has also studied with Sara Rose, Karen Seaver and Shiva Rea. She welcomes students of all levels to come explore the beauty of being fully embodied.
Erin Schifferli Venmo: @Erin-Schifferli
Yoga arrived in Erin’s life in the year 2000. The practice brought healing for her shoulder pain and a newfound sense of wellbeing. She was both inspired and curious! Breathing, balancing, and most powerful of all - being - fostered greater awareness and attentiveness in her life. Discovering this was part of her impetus to deepen her practice and attend teacher trainings to gather further insight. From the first pause on a mat, she sensed the power that Yoga has to offer individuals, communities, and the world. Erin
understood that Yoga impacts the practitioner, as well as the planet; the ripples of the connections continue to grow ever outward. Part of her ripple expansion is to share the practice.
Meditation, movement, and time outdoors in the wonders of Nature support her as a whole person, partner, mother of four, and business owner. Erin is grateful to have learned from many teachers and mentors over the years. She maintains a 500 HR E-RYT with continual life study and an ever evolving daily Yoga practice. Currently residing in Amherst, MA, she offers both in-person and virtual classes, private sessions, Yoga Therapy, Nutrition Education / Counseling, and Doula Birth Services, including birth education /preparation. To learn more about Erin or to schedule an appointment:
Tiffany's bio is coming soon!
Kim Deshaies Venmo: @kmdeshaies
Passionately weaving her studies in contemporary psychology and neuroscience with reverence for ancient yogic philosophy, Kim sparks curiosity in the roots of yoga practice and shares practical tools to help build resilience, support mental health and physical wellbeing. She takes a trauma-informed approach to yoga that aims to bring students into their bodies where they can make the decisions that are right for them in each moment, and hopes that students will leave class feeling celebrated and empowered to take their practice off the mat in ways that support their individual needs, lives, and work in the world. Kim is a registered yoga teacher (200 RYT) with a BA in Psychology and additional training in Yoga Therapy for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Yoga Nidra for Mental Health.
Jennifer Vanderleeden Venmo: @Jennifer-Vanderleeden
Jennifer Vanderleeden has been a student of yoga for the past twenty+ years and has been teaching in the valley since 2010. She is known for her calming presence, relaxing voice, and skillful guidance. Her classes are strong, upbeat and focused on alignment. Her teaching is steeped in mindfulness, precision, and the practice of loving kindness. Students will experience challenging, balanced sequences that enable them to be present and to let go of their daily distractions and doubts.
She aims to create an environment in which students are supported emotionally and are able to maintain the tools they need to feel strong, empowered, and safe in their yoga practice.
Jen welcomes you to come to your mat as you are, and to take your practice with you into your daily life!
Margaret Nunnelly Venmo:
Margaret Nunnelly has been teaching since 2007. She is certified at the 200 hour level and has studied with numerous teachers.
She enjoys the quiet methodical analysis of hatha yoga. Her practice is mostly slow and low to the ground. She takes a thoughtful approach to what is appropriate for the current moment.
Pierre Rouzier Venmo: @Pierre-Rouzier
Pierre Rouzier is a primary care sports medicine physician is his mid 60s who’s been practicing yoga for over 15 years. He was introduced to yoga at age 50 by his then college football playing son who started with yoga for injury prevention. Several years later when his younger son completed yoga teacher training after a number of soccer injuries and said “Dad, I think you’d really like doing this”, Pierre went to the Nexus Institute in Costa Rica for his 200 hour YTT.
His interests lie in yoga for fitness and injury prevention and to help people understand the scope of their injuries and learn adaptive asansas to accomplish their goals. Pierre has used breathwork for working with anxiety, depression and performance enhancement. He committed himself to learning more about the chakra system and integrating this into his practice and teaching.
Pierre’s medical career has focused on “Exercise as Medicine”, helping people make lifestyle changes and work with their injuries. He is the author of a patient education book, “The Sports Medicine Patient Advisor”, and a children’s book, “Henry Gets Moving”.
One of Pierre’s hobbies is long distance adventure cycling. He rode from Oregon to Boston in 2016, from New Orleans to Canada in 2018, from Vancouver to the Mexican border in 2022, and from Lands End England to the northern tip of Scotland in 2023.
His classes will be energetic and enthusiastic (regardless of your level and which asanas you choose) and they’ll work on nearly every muscle group and joint in your body.
Diana Peters-Ross Venmo: @Diana-Peters-Ross
Diana began her yoga journey in college seeking a way to heal her body. As she developed a regular practice, she noticed many positive physical changes including more flexibility and strength. After a year of consistent practice, she became aware of the many ways yoga changed her life, including improved focus and a deeper sense of peace.
With a desire to share yoga, Diana completed the 200 hour instructor certification at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in 2003. After the teacher training, she continued to assistant at Kripalu for a couple of years.
Now Diana enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others at a regular class at Hampshire Athletic Club, as well as outdoors at Andrews.
Diana's classes weave together mindfulness, pranayama, flexibility, balance and strength.
Diana supports participants to find more ease in their bodies, as well as compassion and resilience both on and off the mat.
Diana holds certificates in "Yoga Dance" and Prenatal Yoga, she also has a Masters Degree in Special Education and currently works full time in the public schools.
Ilana Beigel Venmo: @ilanabeigel
Ilana was first introduced to yoga in 1991 in high school gym class, and was instantly enamored with the peace and tranquility the simple yet profound practice offered. She was in awe of the transformation she felt in her body and mind, and while she didn’t yet know the role yoga would play in her life, she knew the story had just begun.
She formally pursued the field of Psychology and a career as a Medical Speech Therapist, all the while engaging in self-study of yoga, meditation and spirituality. She eventually enrolled in a 200 hour vinyasa yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health - simply because she wanted to learn more, not to actually become a yoga teacher … but as John Lennon said, “life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans”.
Now, in addition to leading classes, workshops and private yoga and mindfulness/life coaching sessions in Amherst and online, she teaches on the online platform 'The Thread Yoga Collective' and works as a faculty member at the Kripalu Center where she teaches classes and works in the School of Yoga.
She believes yoga is a way of life - not simply something you do on the mat - and she aims to inspire you to live with more purpose, joy, ease, and flow. In her classes, she encourages you to deeply connect with yourself and her hope is that you will leave practice feeling more vibrant and strong in your body, more calm and relaxed in your mind, and more open and spacious in your heart.
Jen Larsen Venmo: Jen-Larsen-11
Jen Larsen is the founder of Innerglow Wellness, LLC. Through holistic life coaching and trauma-informed yoga instruction, she is dedicated to helping individuals unveil their “inner glow” and embody their greatest potential in body, mind, and spirit. Her education includes graduate work in the psychology of consciousness and psycholinguistics, professional certification through the International Coaching Federation, and she has more than 17 years as a certified yoga and meditation teacher with special training in yoga for trauma and regulation of the nervous system. She has worked with a variety of populations from cancer patients to veterans to professional athletes and everyone in between. In addition to coaching and teaching yoga, she is a public speaker and former radio personality on the topics of health and wellness, particularly the power of the mind and the effects of gratitude and positive thinking on physical health.
In her downtime, you’ll find her creating healthy concoctions in the kitchen, exploring local trails, and spending quality time with her kids, cats, and dog.
To learn more about Jen and her offerings, please visit www.lightyourinnerglow.com
YouTube: Innerglow Wellness
Christie Rosen Venmo: @ChristieRosen
Christie Rosen is an experienced Registered Yoga Instructor, Certified Holistic Health Coach
and Certified Mindbody Eating Coach. She is also the award-winning author of Empowering
the Sensitive Soul.
Christie fell in love with yoga in 2007 while volunteering and living at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires. In 2008 she trained at the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica and
quickly found she shined in the seat of the teacher.
Christie has an online yoga studio, Yoga for the Sensitive Soul, where she provides on-demand and livestream yoga classes designed especially for highly sensitive people. She also provides wellness coaching, workshops, and online courses. Christie is known for her gentle
encouragement, healing presence and for providing a supportive environment to help students
prioritize their wellness. Learn more about her work at www.christierosen.com
An Amherst native, Christie recently returned to the area after almost 20 years and is excited to
become part of the community again.
Suzann Heron Venmo: @Suzann-PH
Suzann has been studying yoga for over forty years. It is through yoga that she finds her center and grounding. She has been a “ mover” as long as she can remember: from classical ballet, long distance running and yoga, She finds solace in relationship with her body.
Suzann also has a psychotherapy practice in the Amherst area where she often combines yoga and breathing in her work. At this time in her life, gentle yoga calls to her. It offers space, time and introspection. Teaching yoga outside is precious and a great honor.
Liz Lacey has completed a 500-hour yoga teacher certification at Shiva Yoga Peeth in Rishikesh, India in 2018, and has completed two additional 500-hour teacher training sessions at Maa Shakti Yog also in Rishikesh. Her training included Ashtanga, Iyengar, Hatha, and Yin yoga. Liz currently focuses on alignment, flexibility, and strength through slow movement. Besides asanas, she is passionate about breath work which she includes in her daily practice.
Robin Kassis Venmo: @Robin-Kassis-1
I love that yoga, which is such an integral part of my life, is so portable. I can take it anywhere, whether it's the red rocks of Sedona, the beaches of Cape Cod, or inside a studio. My practice has deeply informed and transformed my life, and it is a gift to be able to share that with my students, both privately and in classes. I currently teach two group classes on Monday and Thursday mornings at 10:00 and two individual classes over Zoom, as well as occasional workshops.
My training and certification was completed 25 years ago through the Kriya tradition. But my personal practice began in my early twenties, and became more focused in my forties, when I decided to become a teacher. My style is to address individual needs for correct alignment and respectful engagement. Classes incorporate pranayama or breath practice, which supports depth in each pose, allowing a student to listen and find his/her edge without going beyond the body's acceptable range.
I love teaching yoga and my hope is to instill that passion and care to my students as they open to transformation in body, mind and spirit.
In addition to yoga, I am a Usui Reiki Master and am available for private sessions for Reiki and sessions that combine yoga with energy work. As a certified Wholeness Energetics practitioner, I offer spiritual counseling and energy work to support change and empowerment in unpacking old patterns and beliefs. I pull in the methodology of Donna Eden's energy medicine to complement these healing modalities.
Meditation, hiking, reading, singing and spending time with loved ones is the foundation of my life. You can learn more about my work at www.withadancingheart.com
Onatah Stoll Venmo: @Onatah
Onatah is an RYT-500 and certified Embodyoga® Teacher, shiatsu practitioner, musician and healer. She has been teaching yoga since 2012 with a sincere heart and longing to be of service to truth and love. Her classes are deep, alignment focused and full of awe for life.
You can learn more about Onatah and her work at her website, Onatahlove.com
Sebastian Merrill Venmo: @Seb-Caswell
Sebastian is a poet and an enthusiastic yoga practitioner. He studied yoga in India in 2010 and holds a degree in South Asian Studies from Wellesley College. He received his 200 hour yoga teacher certification in 2018 from Adhikara Yoga School & Teacher Training, where he studied under Molly Kitchen and Jacoby Ballard. Sebastian’s yoga classes are alignment focused, rooted in yoga philosophy, social justice oriented, and trauma informed. All levels welcome.
Credentials & Certifications: RYT 200, Trauma-informed
Learn more about Sebastian at www.sebastianmerrill.com/yoga
Sebastian teaches a drop-in weekly Queer & Trans Yoga Class at
Translate Gender in Northampton on Mondays // 6-7:15 PM.
Sign up link: https://SebastianMerrillYoga.as.me/QTYoga
Sebastian teaches weekly classes at the Yoga Sanctuary in Northampton on
Tuesdays at 5:30 PM and 7 PM and on Thursdays at 9:15 AM.
Sign up here: https://www.yoga-sanctuary.com/schedule
In celebration of pride month, Sebastian offers a special workshop on cultivating joy for LGBTQ+ identified students. He taps into the liberatory power of queer joy through an all-levels physical asana practice, a meditation on joy, and space for community and connection. Bring your sparkle, bring your magic, bring your joy!
Joy as Liberation: A Queer & Trans Yoga Workshop
Saturday, June 17th, 3-5 PM at the Sanctuary in Northampton
Molly Aronson Venmo: @Molly-Aronson-2
Molly Aronson (they/she) came to yoga and meditation as a way of finding gentle connection with their body and accessing their intuition. Their teaching is informed by the idea that we all have unique, varied, and sometimes complex relationships with our physical bodies, and there is no universal or correct way to be in relationship with a body. Their 200 hour training was with the Tree Yoga Cooperative, a social justice focused and trauma informed studio that empowers students to cultivate their internal guidance both on and off the mat. The Tree focuses on contextualizing the modern practice of yoga within the race, class, and cultural structures we live under today. Molly practices gentle vinyasa, yin, and restorative yoga and weaves elements of these together in their classes. They intend to honor the roots of this ancient practice while also making yoga accessible to a wide range of bodies and minds. Off the mat, you can find Molly birding, biking, cooking, foraging, or playing drums.
Michael is a daily home practitioner of yoga, and other meditative practices including Yoga Nidra guided relaxation. In 2020 he trained and received instructor certification in a 200-Hour RYT Vinyasa Yoga program.
He began a daily home practice in response to the challenges of the pandemic, and found in yoga a source of well-being, resilience and calm that drew him to outdoor community practice. As a yoga instructor, he delights in being able to encourage and support the practice of yoga in an outdoor setting, and in providing modifications that offer opportunities for both easier access to poses and for challenge.
A lifelong teacher, Michael is a lead Montessori classroom guide in a Lower Elementary classroom. In addition he works with adult learners seeking Montessori certification in his role on the teaching faculty of the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative (METTC).
Alison Myra Ozer Venmo: @Alison-Ozer
As a child, Alison was always moving inspired by music and nature and the joy of connection. She continues to love the exploration and expression of life force through movement and touch, sharing the experience of expanding awareness and integration that can occur with yoga, dance, and meditation.
Alison has had extensive training and experience as a former professional dancer, a licensed massage therapist, and shiatsu practitioner, creating classes and workshops which she has taught around the valley since 1986 through Continuing Ed, Lifelong and Workplace Education at UMass, Amherst Leisure Services, Amherst Family and Senior Centers, Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges, Cooley Dickinson, and Baystate Hospitals, as well as Stillpoint Center for Massage.
Encouraged by her various yoga teachers, Alison completed the 200 hour Embodyoga teacher training in 2010 with Patti Townsend at Amherst Yoga Center, and taught yoga and exercise at Hampshire Athletic Club. She has also taught at dance camps and events both prior and since.
Alison feels privileged to be part of the community teaching outdoors and in the fields of Andrew’s Greenhouse. She aims to be a compassionate guide with an eclectic improvisational approach that invites others to explore and discover their own ‘dance’ in movement and healing, energizing the body and soul.