Everyday People.

Our yoga teachers are firefighters, lawyers, musicians, therapists, artists, small business owners, brokers, coaches, writers, foodies, cyclists, runners and family members, etc., just like you. Come check them out.

Blanca Alcaraz

Founder, Co-Owner


b titiI came to yoga through resistance.

Raised as a migrant worker, I learned about the boundless power, beauty and energy of the land. My unwavering respect for our soil was literally cultivated in our family’s daily dependence on it for survival.

From the work fields I migrated into an adolescence filled with violence, anger and rage, so much so that an educator told me that I would be dead by the age of 16. Fortunately for me, another educator was able to recognize and hone my true potential. Simply put, he believed in me.

One of the first places that I learned to listen to my body and to find in it an expressive path was sports. My years as a competitive athlete in the US and abroad made me entirely dismiss the idea of yoga.

My first experience with yoga was shortly after 9/11. As a firefighter, my sense of loss for everyone that day grew tremendously. Words became insufficient and my body became a receptacle for that silence and stress. For me, exercise has always had a meditative quality that unites my body, mind and soul. Increasingly, however, going to the gym was not enough, and injury and overuse had made many other sports impossible. With yoga, I found that I no longer was trying to prove anything to anyone, especially to myself, that simply being is enough.

As I deepened my exploration of yoga training, I also rediscovered many of the mind-body healing traditions that surrounded my youth—the heat work of Temazcal, the energy work of Curanderos; my yoga practice today blends not only East and West but also North and South.

My life is an example of the power of unconditional love and a testament to giving kids a second chance. I am forever grateful.

Jaclyn Kryzak

Creator, Co-Owner


jaci 2My mom died at 36 when I was just 10 years old. Because of this I live like each day might be my last–living and giving fully, unafraid, in the present, taking advantage of all life has to offer, challenges included.  I love, coach, lawyer, teach and practice the same way. The practice of yoga is what facilitates this for me–what regenerates and empowers me, keeps me fit in every form to tackle every day life. It’s what I aim to share with you.

I spent the first half of my life as a competitive athlete, becoming and being a division 1 women’s ice hockey player for Boston College. Being an athlete taught me to work—hard, and to work on me. It taught me to how to support, inspire and encourage people including myself; to be 100 % me because everybody plays a role and I had something important to contribute; to not be detoured by loss or failure; and to never give up on my goals or myself. Turns out this too is yoga and it’s what I aim to share with you.

In the second half of my life I found law school, yoga, marriage, divorce, exponential love  and remarriage, and my step son—who has taught me about so many things, but most importantly, about selfless and unconditional love and what it means to be a mother and a caretaker. All this and the root of all my passions to date have led me to  being: a solo practitioner (lawyer) working with people to actively participate in the resolution of their problems or to help build their dreams (family law, real estate, estate planning, business incorporation, etc.), a real estate broker, small business owner, entrepreneur, teacher, trainer and coach. My love and passion to create, to work through all the details and to help build your dreams…this is what I aim to share with you.

For me yoga is about balancing, recovering from and preparing for the craziness of life; figuring out what we need/love/makes us happy/no longer serves us; how to support ourselves being our best self; and learning how to breathe and be where we are while doing all that. As we empower ourselves through this process on our mats, the more able we are to do all this off our mats in our day to day life. In my teaching I create opportunities to practice this through creative and varied sequencing that requires you to learn to be present and connected to your mind and body, that invites you to fall and fail and get back up, that incorporates many balancing poses and focuses on the small spaces and details which we tend to pass over. This is what I will share with you.

Norm Brzycki

NormMy mission is to inspire and empower people to transform their lives, themselves, and their careers.

I have had the pleasure and privilege of helping thousands of people better their careers, jobs, performance,and lives. For well over a decade I have worked with people and organizations pursuing their passion, their goals, and their dreams. My experience and expertise includes working with private individuals and groups as well as small, medium, and large organizations. The people I work with come from a wide array of backgrounds and interests including artists, athletes, college students, entrepreneurs, CEO’s and corporate executives. Their ages have ranged from 18 to 65. All of these individuals have very different circumstances, dreams, wants, and hopes. All have a unique voice, a purpose, and a want to live a motivated and passionate life. All of these people I have helped.

Kristi McNeil

kristiMy journey with yoga began over fifteen years ago when I first moved to Boston from Utah – it was sort of like my first friend here. Over time, my practice has developed and brought me so much joy and energy which has carried over into my life beyond the mat. I have worked in the restaurant, hospitality and music industries for many years and my practice gives me the perfect balance between my personal life and my chaotic professional life—a place to quiet my mind and start listening to my body.

My goal is to help bring this balance to my students’ lives. I believe in the power of moving meditation, using breath as a guide to open and release the body. I want the practice of yoga to be accessible and personal to you, with guidance in how to soften the edges of our everyday life off the mat. I offer a power flow midday class on Wednesdays, a restorative, slow flow on Sunday evenings, and a week long retreat in beautiful Panama, a place that is very special to me. I also love to use aromatherapy and hands-on assists for some extra love if it’s welcome. I am honored to share my love of this practice.

Janelle Browning

janelle picI was never athletic as a kid. I wasn’t good at sports, and I was self-conscious about my lack of coordination. I first attended a yoga class in the late 1990s, and it provided me a new feeling of presence and strength I’d never had. It gave me the confidence to engage in all kinds of intense exercise–boxing, pilates, running, spinning–and fundamentally changed how I live in my body.

Regular exercise became central to my life in ways I’d never expected, but the impact was primarily limited to physical benefits. I felt great when I left the gym, but it wasn’t a lasting feeling, and I had to exercise nearly every day to maintain that equilibrium. To be frank, if I didn’t exercise, I got anxious. Yoga has given me a way to integrate an exercise practice that connects my body and mind. It gives me an ongoing foundation of focus and ease —physically, sure, but also emotionally and mentally—that is not dependent on my logging a certain number of hours per week at a gym. It has improved my strength and stamina, and continually supports my performance in other physically demanding activities. I still love to box.

Yoga has provided me with a balance I’ve never found anywhere else. My practice has taught me hard and much-needed lessons in slowing down. When a recent unexpected knee surgery kept me out of the gym and the studio for nearly a month, I didn’t have the anxiety spike I’d have expected; my equilibrium is no longer solely tied to exercise. My practice extends throughout my life. It has changed the way I breathe. It has taught me to enjoy the transitions and pauses as much as I enjoy landing where I’ve aimed.

Virginia White

virginia pictureLike most of us, I tend to run at full-speed and have long sprints of work work work (and stress stress stress). In my life beyond the studio, I lead People Operations at a growing technology company (and spend way too much time spoiling my lovely, adorable, needy cat). So I started going to yoga because it made me feel good – and that basic impulse hasn’t changed. It kept feeling good, so I kept going back.

Over time, yoga has become my “life raft” – something I can use or connect to whenever I need it. I have to say that in this very real world we live in, it’s something I need pretty often. Relationships, careers, family, health, and more – all that “stuff” can sometimes be so complicated, chaotic, or unpredictable. This practice, however, doesn’t have to be. Yoga is just exploring a commitment to show up, move, and breathe. I love how simple it is.

In my classes you can expect a focus on that simplicity. I trust you already have a lot of “stuff” going on inside. My goal as a teacher is to help clear your head and leave space for you to connect to yoga in a way that you can take off the mat and into the rest of your life.

Diane Wong

diane 2I came to yoga to heal myself.

Born into a Black, Chinese, Mexican, Irish, Native American family, I grew up as a member of Cleveland’s black community and attended a segregated school system. My first race learning experience was a 5th grade American History class where I read that blacks were slaves in America and much better off as well-treated and provided for slaves than savages in the darkest jungles of Africa from when they were rescued to work in a glorious America. This is what I learned about myself and my heritage in America. Devastated by this picture of myself, I was heart broken. I sunk into deep distress, unhappiness and shame about my race, my family, my people, myself.  At the same time, it provided a clear life purpose for me.

I found my way to Harvard Law School which seemed to be the best direction to get involved in race issues. After graduation living and working in Portland Oregon, I found World Work and was drawn to their process oriented group work, community building, leadership skills and their work for Spiritual Warriors as a way to begin to unlayer the stuck energies that existed inside me as the result of the trauma of race.  For 5 years in Oregon and for times after, I learned to tap into those deep places within myself until I was no longer so easily triggered by old stuck feelings and thoughts.

I moved back to the Boston area in 1996 and found yoga as a refuge for me to go and heal. In yoga, I learned to move and breathe and to simply be. As a yoga teacher I’ve had the opportunity to find for myself and to create for my students, deep healing work through all 8 limbs of yoga, and specifically modalities of Yin, meditation, the chakras, and Pranayama.

In 2016 looking for clear ways into the world of race and healing, I co-founded, with an Oregon Colleague, Dr. Nancy Rogene, Healing our Human Family: Let’s Talk About Race. Here in Somerville under the auspices of SCATV and Boston Free Radio, I bring my commitment to race dialogue, deep processing skills and yogic healing on the internal plane into a full program for unfolding and healing our racial dilemma, podcasting and broadcasting uninterrupted healing meditation and dialogue, so that the race aspects which we all carry within us can be fully experienced, explored and finally released to the Universe to be transformed. I have also begun recording meditations, not related to race but in general the process of awareness, healing and harnessing the power we have within, which you can check out at https://www.mixcloud.com/diane-wong/.

In my teaching I bring whole heartedly, my passion to create space for students to fully experience and explore their body, mind, emotions, their own stuck energies and feelings and to release and transform.

Nancy Bernhard

Nancy BErnhard picI came to yoga for the chance to slow down in an overdrive life of academics, parenting, and running.  I stayed with it because the feeling of release was so delicious.  Over time, I realized it was more than a series of movements; it is a wise and vital guide to living in a human body.  My practice has taught me how to observe without judging, how to ease rather than force myself into something difficult, how to stay calm and present when something remains difficult, and how to release with purpose.

After a dozen years of practice, I began to teach.  In class I offer space for students to take what they need on any given day, whether it’s to ground, reach, strengthen, relax, or just breathe.

Anita Kim

anitaLike many, I came to yoga looking for exercise.  Never an athletic person, exercise was a way I could counteract the amount of food I can eat (which, believe me, is a substantial amount).  But I also came to yoga at an emotionally difficult time in my life: in the midst of a separation and divorce.  Being on my mat allowed me the space to process what was going on in my head and in my heart and to find the strength to move forward. 

As someone who studies lobsters for a living, an animal that can only grow by shedding its shell; it’s fitting that my practice allowed me to grow by shedding the layers, roles, and definitions that no longer fit me.Instead I found my own truth (and luckily it doesn’t look like a lobster).I continue to learn that I don’t have to try and be perfect or try and be who I “should” be, that I just have to be me.I hope to continue to learn and share this journey in classes that provide space for mindfulness and meditation sprinkled with some humor and goofiness along the way.

Catherine Musinsky

Catherine MI have danced all my life and earned an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts (1995). I started yoga the spring of my last year at NYU and was surprised not only at how it improved my dance technique, but that it immediately helped me overcome some fear and tension that had been my constant companions. Ten years later yoga enabled me to remain grounded and hopeful through the harrowing treatment of breast cancer.  

In 2009 I did a Yoga Teacher Training. This yoga teaching philosophy encompassed all the systems of the physical and energetic bodies (not just bone and muscle), all eight limbs of yoga (not just asana), and used experiential anatomy techniques based on Body Mind Centering and alignment principles based on BMC, Iyengar and Forest yoga styles.  To see me on film, check out the 4 minute short, UNCHASTENED (unchastened.com), by Brynmore Williams, where I perform and discuss how movement and henna body art helped me to accept the changes that breast cancer brought to my life.

Lilly Benham

lillyI am a person who dwells most deeply in the heart space. My yoga practice and teaching is built around inclusion, awareness, compassion and empathy – for the self and all others. I am currently pursuing my Master of Education with a license in Middle School Humanities from Lesley University. These same values drive me on and off the mat. I believe that we must be present in our bodies, hearts and minds in order to feel and heal – as individuals and as a society. Yoga is a wonderful place to start.

It is a privilege and an honor to teach b|e.’s donation based class. I care deeply about creating a more socially just and equitable world. Teaching the community class aligns with these personal values and pushes me to create an inclusive space in every class. Inclusive of every personal identity, income and level of practice.

I strive to offer balance in my classes. The balance between strength and surrender, movement and stillness, work and allowance, and the letting in and letting go of emotion. My main teaching goal is for every student to feel a little better walking out of class than they did walking in. To feel a little more grounded in self-awareness and self-love.

Alicia Walker

After multiple sports injuries I went to my first yoga class with a friend. Initially I was interested in the workout and benefited from the social aspect of having a yoga buddy. But over time yoga became an integral part of my life for mental well being and balance of life, work, stress, fitness, and most importantly self-care. So did the community aspect of yoga (which is an incredibly powerful network of wonderful people!).

I have been incredibly lucky that teaching, learning, and experiencing movement is my purpose in life. By day I work as a pediatric occupational therapist and by night as a professional circus performer and burlesque performer. I have the privilege daily to work with people of all ages and abilities to make gains in movement, play, social skills, fun, and health. I strongly believe all people, of all ages and abilities, should have the opportunity for play. I am grateful for the opportunity to share that through the practice of yoga.

Lizzie Grobbell

10553547_10202435432707626_6471148711594260828_nI originally dabbled in yoga throughout high school and college as a means of injury prevention and recovery during competitive sports seasons, including collegiate ultimate frisbee at the University of Michigan. After my ultimate career ended due to a traumatic brain injury my passion for yoga emerged when it became clear that it was a way to clear my mind and reconnect to my body. Living in the present moment has always been a challenge for me, especially throughout recovering from my brain injury, graduate school and even now in the working world. Fortunately, yoga helped me to create space, be present in my own life and not to take life too seriously!

Now, in addition to yoga, I’m able to enjoy rowing, CrossFit and (attempts at) practicing meditation. Being an athlete and having experienced the healing benefits of this practice, I try to weave the physical elements of athletics and mindfulness into yoga classes to create balanced flows that satisfy mind and body and create opportunities to improve physical and mental health.

Gen Richardson

GEN PICI grew up playing outside until I was called in for dinner. I evolved into a hockey player and eventually competed at the highest level traveling internationally with Team USA. Afterwards, I embraced running and cycling and turned myself into an ultra endurance athlete. I started yoga as a new way to challenge myself mentally and physically, though quickly received more—patience and a new understanding for physical strength and lack thereof.

Aside from being an athlete, I am a community volunteer, a coach, a mentor, a sister, a beer connoisseur and the proud owner of a rescue pup I named Monkey. I am passionate and present, direct and honest and love to laugh. I am the same in how I teach.

While I emphasize physical mechanics, I encourage freedom of expression and offer humor and thought provoking bits for you to take or leave. There was once a time I let years go by without practicing until a former ice hockey teammate offered me the gift of yoga. I have since been inspired to carry her kindness and offer the same gift to others.

Anastasia Kanistras

AnastasiaI grew up in two different countries, split between two parts of my family. I attended elementary school in Greece and in the United States. Having to double my whole world meant I learned how to have a big, full life, but it also meant that I was spread thin and didn’t have time to take care of myself—not that I was ever taught how. Thankfully it was early on, in eighth grade, that I was introduced to yoga as a way to create a quiet space—to settle, to breathe and get a little bit of physical activity as part of my daily routine.

I eventually began a career in human services working with teens and adults with developmental disabilities and brain injuries. As my rewarding work life expanded, I once again found myself out of control and stretched thin. So again and again I came back to my old friend yoga, longing to explore taking it beyond a sixty or ninety minute class…and found myself in a teacher training.

My current mission? To teach. Myself and others. I want the balance between giving it my all at work, and finding moments to breathe. I want to bring some yoga, some peace and grounding to the people I serve. At work and on the mat. With yoga, music and essential oils, my aim is to help you balance your serious work life with a class full of joy and quiet space for yourself.

Brittany Musto

I came to yoga for a new hobby and I’ve come across what I know to be a lifelong practice. Immersed in Vinyasa flows I instantly fell in love with the focus on breath and movement while balancing the work and the rest. Things in my life even started to make sense. I’m definitely uncertain—like many, I’ve been struggling to find that perfect job for me. I left my fashion job, jumped back into the hospitality industry and am letting myself take the time to figure out where I want my life to go.

Yoga has opened my mind to what was missing in my life—listening to my body—which has encouraged all sorts of positive things in my life. If there’s one little thing I can do to help my body feel better, it’s this practice. The simple fact that movement and breath can keep me grounded while lifting me up is amazing and it’s a feeling I aim to convey in my classes.

When I teach, I come from a place that wants to discover new boundaries. I offer poses that challenge me the most, the ones that help me to find the calm within the chaos…the ones that invite me to be present in my body, fighting that uncomfortable feeling and willing to encourage whatever shows up. I like to bring energy and emphasis on breath, smooth transitions and options so that students can explore the full potential of their practice. I welcome all students to come find some breath and movement, to explore and to see what shows up.

Stefanie London

IMG_2517stefanie 1I began practicing yoga after chronic illness limited my access to other forms of physical activity. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, yoga was indispensable in coping with a year of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. I discovered the many benefits that breath and body awareness can have on both mental resilience and physical strength.

Because of the physical challenges I brought to yoga, and those I continue to encounter, I never take a pose for granted. What comes easily on the mat one day for me may be impossible the next. My goal as a teacher is to share the curiosity and joy I experience while doing yoga with people from all backgrounds and of all abilities. In my classes I provide time and space to work deeply and safely in poses, to cultivate compassion for ourselves and others and to demonstrate appreciation for the miraculous things our bodies do each day.

The themes running through my life are creating and teaching.  In the artwork I create, I use the debris of everyday life to make new objects with new meanings. Treasured highlights from my past include teaching at local universities as a professor of photography, as well as stacking pyramids of oranges in the produce department of an Albuquerque food co-op.  I currently volunteer at a community acupuncture clinic, advocate for patients with dual diagnosis of cancer and mental illness, explore vegan baking, and play with my parrots.

 Jagmeet Singh

JagI aim to use yoga and physical health as a way to understand the world around me. I believe that true mastery comes from within and physical fitness is a way to unlock dormant potential within us all. I specialize in mobility and pain reduction. I have helped many students and clients recover from debilitating injuries and overcome fitness related obstacles. Part physical trainer/boot camp instructor, part yoga teacher, my style is characterized by a loving intensity and I’m 100% there for you.

Caroline Loughlin

carolineFor years, I admired yoga from afar. It wasn’t until the ending of a difficult experience that I welcomed it closer into my life. If there is an upside to heartache, it’s the power to create opportunities for pause and reflection.

In 2013, I left a career in event planning to pursue my heart’s calling and become a therapist. Navigating my way through graduate school, yoga became an outlet to manage a new kind of stress and intensity.  Before yoga, I found solace and release through running, seeking that “runner’s high” to start my morning or finish a stressful day.  As most runners do, I dealt with nagging injuries.  While I felt the pain, I stubbornly pushed through it, ignoring my body and what it was trying to tell me it needed. Yoga is what finally got me to listen.

This practice encourages me to notice and gently respond with kindness towards myself.  With deliberate movements and purposeful intent, yoga generates an internal fire which simultaneously energizes and restores me. Each time I come to my mat, the experience is different while also familiar and comfortable.  As a therapist and teacher, I strive to create a safe, comfortable, healing space, where individuals are welcome to explore and express all of themselves and invited to honor their body’s calling with rest, expansion, challenge, or modification. Having received the unexpected and timely gift of yoga, I hope to pay it forward by sharing my practice and experience with the be. in union community.

Katie Barbaccia

I’m an outdoorsy, adventurous who first dabbled in yoga several years ago when I was living in Australia, working as an au pair. When I moved back to the U.S., I really struggled to transition back into my life here. On top of which my ongoing struggle with autoimmune disease was proving to be a permanent life challenge. However, tuning into my body through yoga has grown to be a large part of my healing process…teaching me how, and reminding me to, work with my body rather than against it.

As I continue to practice more and more, I find that yoga helps me to build connection, stability and a relationship with myself. Yoga provides an opportunity for me to reset and find balance in my life. In my teaching I aim to provide a yoga space that allows for whatever you need to find your own balance too.

Kaitlan Spedden

I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and have since lived in North Carolina, Colorado and Switzerland before moving to the Boston area in 2017.  Monday through Friday, I work in international education and exchange with responsibility for safety and security. This and prior, similar, work came with the necessity, and gift, of traveling throughout much of the world and feeds my passion to travel, regularly explore new parts of the world and experience many different cultures.

Growing up I studied ballet for many years, which both informs and drives my approach to yoga – encouraging focus on flow, anatomy and strength.  As a teacher I want to share the balance I’ve found as an adult through my yoga practice.

Blakely O’Connor

BlakelyYoga helps me balance both on and off the mat.

During the day (and night) I am a mom, wife, bioengineering PhD student at Harvard and a student body president. Between taking classes, building miniature models of the placenta, attending council meetings and picking up Legos, it’s easy for me to get caught up in the stress of everyday life. With yoga, I get to take a step back from these roles and focus inward. Yoga allows me to practice breath, patience, compassion, discipline and letting go. I feel the impact of those minutes on the mat in every other hour of my day.

I have been practicing ever since I took my first gentle movements and glorious, fifteen-minute savasanas (read naps) in a prenatal yoga class. After my son was born, I turned to a more physical vinyasa to reclaim and reconnect with my body. At the same time, I discovered a mindfulness practice that transformed my yoga into a more intentional, moving meditation. As a teacher, I likewise hope to create challenging sequences that encourage students to breathe, connect and find balance, both on the mat and in life.

Jessie Ornstein

JessieFive years ago, several months into a frequent, strenuous exercise regimen, I suffered a neck injury that ended up revealing thyroid cancer (surprise!). After treatment I was so weak. I tried returning to the old routine but didn’t feel the same and feared further injury. So I turned to yoga hoping it would be a way to reconnect with myself and my physical strength. I had no idea how hard it would be or how much more deeply and effectively this practice would be in taking me toward all of my goals and best version of me.

My experience working in the mental health field and as a birth doula, have given me the ability to hold space through difficult times (and poses!) and to create room for growth, strength and flexibility. Yoga has helped me learn to be as gentle and loving with myself as I am with an infant learning to walk. My goal as a yoga instructor is to bring that guiding energy into each of my classes and share in this sacred ritual to create a safe place for all bodies, abilities, and identities.

Miriam Hammer

mimiI view yoga as the art of coming home to yourself. I began practicing locally in high school, but it was only after quitting my division III sport during college that my devotion to the practice truly blossomed. Not only did my body change shape and become more grounded and able, but I also felt a deep spiritual connection to the practice and the non-physical sensations that arise throughout it.

As a traveling writer and global adventurer, I’ve since taken my teaching practice across the world, from the jungles of Cambodia to the volcanoes of Costa Rica and the beaches of Belize. I approach yoga as integration of physical and mental exercises that are designed to balance and unite the mind, body and spirit. My classes offer smart sequencing, a wide range of asanas, strengthening and alignment, breathing exercises, and of course, room to explore and have fun. I look forward to seeing you on the mat!

Taylor Copeland

Taylor PicAs a teenager, I felt I didn’t have the time or right space to process my feelings and what was happening in the moment. In college, at a time where I felt both lost and ready to explore internally, my aunt introduced me to meditation as a tool to heal; which led me to yoga. Diving deeper into mindfulness and yoga practice has been my home while coping with stress and finding compassion and balance in life.

My goal is to bring empowerment and joy into teaching, allowing each student the opportunity to explore each practice as their own. As a former youth worker and somebody who cares deeply about community, I hope to provide and expand opportunities for teenagers in Somerville to access yoga and mindfulness.

Katie Karlberg

katie K picWhen I first found yoga, I thought it was my “quick fix” and that stepping onto a yoga mat in a 90-degree room once a week would magically solve all my problems. While it is true that I still look to yoga to solve many things, what I learned from yoga is that there is no quick fix. Instead, yoga taught me how to balance. Quite literally how to balance on one foot in certain poses, but also how to balance my emotions.

As a lifelong perfectionist, I can often find myself in a constant state of fear, afraid of failure and petrified of making mistakes. Before finding yoga, I lived an “all or nothing” lifestyle where the only two options were failure or perfection, and nothing in between. Today, my yoga practice has helped me to relish in making mistakes and practice self-compassion. Without yoga I wouldn’t be able to laugh when I fall out of a challenging yoga pose, listen to what my body is telling me or believe that I am enough just the way I am.

Yoga may not have become the magical solution to all my troubles, but it did become the magical tool in my toolbox. As a yoga teacher I want to share this tool with others, and in class together we can laugh at our mistakes, learn all we can from the poses and remember that yoga is a practice, and practice doesn’t make perfect…practice makes better.

Johanna Smith

Erin Bourgault

Erin picI started practicing yoga as a way to make space for myself. As someone who has struggled with a chronic disease my whole life, yoga for me has been a way to support and nourish my body (and mind and heart and spirit). I practiced after a knee injury in college prevented me from running regularly. Then a bike accident in my early twenties resulted in three difficult elbow surgeries and a slow, painful process of rebuilding my muscles and range of motion in my left arm. I practiced. Yoga is a way for me to practice acceptance and patience with whatever I am going through.

I have spent the past several years working towards immigration justice at a community health center in East Boston, spending my time in various case management, supervisory and trauma response and recovery roles. I most recently started leading trauma-informed community yoga classes in Spanish in East Boston. I am also a reiki practitioner, birth doula, and support person for people experiencing abortion.

In my classes, I will strive to create an environment for you to make space for yourself, tap into your strength and listen to what you need in the moment. My teachings will incorporate mindfulness and self-compassion as offerings while you take the time to support yourself in whatever way you need.

 Emily Gransky

emilyYoga was been something I had done on and off for years…until a friend encouraged me to stop re-injuring my knee from running every month and take a “real break” (and do yoga). The “break” turned into months of practices several times per week and I wanted more. My teacher training brought me closer to myself and helped me understand yoga from the outside in as well as the inside out—body mechanics, alignment, anatomy, how to engage my entire body in every pose and how to find rest in the work and work in the rest. I fell in love with yoga in a deep, new way.

I love the ritual of yoga.  I love every little minute from the meditation before it begins as I lay on my mat and set my intention, to staying present to every inch of myself as I work and sweat, to cleaning my mat and rolling it up for the next time I practice.  It is a spiritual experience for me and I am excited to share that with others.

Lisa Clark

Lisa ClarkTen years ago, the thought of practicing yoga barely entered my mind; now yoga is a steadfast part of my life both physically and intuitively. My interest began after reading Force of Nature, a book about big wave surfer Liard Hamilton. Liard practices yoga to help him with the physical and mental challenges of surfing. It inspired me to give it a shot and I began practicing at home on a $10 mat and guidance from that book. After a couple months, I began venturing into yoga studios and haven’t looked back since. I used to work in the restaurant/entertainment world, helping to build a unique brand of venues that centered around food, music, and art, but most importantly, a company that strived to contribute to the communities they served; our motto was “help ever, hurt never” and our business was based on the Vedic Principles – Sathya, Prema, Shanti, Dharma, and Ahimsa. For the past 17 years my life has been consumed with running a general contracting company with my husband, raising our two boys and incessant baking to fulfill my creative passion. My whirlwind existence has been calmed and centered by practicing yoga. It allows me the opportunity to take time to clear my mind while toning and strengthening my body in a way that no other physical exercise has ever done. That “how you feel after class” feeling has interwoven itself into my life. Little did I know that same work principal from my restaurant years would become part of my daily life once I embraced yoga and result in my desire to teach others.