Breathe. Sweat. Transform.
 

Our Teachers

 

Owner - Sanctuary Power Yoga
My introduction to yoga came with practicing yoga with videotapes in my living room. After time, and with some prodding from a friend, I ventured into my first heated, power yoga class. I loved it. It was an experience unlike any other. Before that, I had been a dancer, a swimmer, a runner, a biker, a gym enthusiast. But after that first class, I knew yoga was it for me. Yoga means "union" & that is what I feel every time I get on my mat. My body, my breath, my mind, my spirit - all united. I feel whole & connected. Yoga has transformed me & the way I live my life. It seemed a natural progression for me, then, to become a teacher of yoga. To share what I love about this practice with others. And every time I teach, I learn more about myself. I have been teaching heated power yoga for more than 10 years & have been blessed to train, practice & work with many, many gifted & inspirational teachers. In March 2011, my family & I moved from the Boston area, back to Connecticut where I grew up. When the opportunity to open Sanctuary Power Yoga presented itself to me, it was literally a dream come true. I am thrilled to be able to bring this type of yoga to the area & to be able to create sacred space where people can come together to practice & share their time & energy. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or have never tried yoga before, I personally invite you to join me for a class at Sanctuary Power Yoga. To breathe, sweat & experience transformation for yourself.
After struggling for years with a series of unhealthy choices and behaviors, including an eating disorder and depression, I was finally able to find balance and restoration in my life through yoga. I started off doing yoga in my bedroom - watching videos and listening to tapes. I was at first hesitant to go to a class, and felt very unnerved by the idea people looking at me, and judging me. Slowly this fear lessened, and I made it to my first Vinyasa class.  I realized very quickly that people weren't staring at me or judging me. I slowly began to completely let go of fear that I had. It was  not long after my first real class that I knew that I wanted to teach yoga.  Yoga has allowed me to change my life dramatically through persistent practice with others, as well as by myself - yoga has transformed my life in so many ways. My mission is to spread my knowledge of yoga to those I teach, and allow space for students to find their own balance and healthy lifestyle.
Yoga holds a special place in my heart. For a long time, any sort of physical activity was really something I just never wanted a part of. After I graduated High School, I had no drivers license, no plans for college & no job. For about a year I stayed home alone - I developed anxiety, to the point where leaving my house was actually frightening to me. I became very depressed and gained weight. One day I decided that I had to do something, and began researching physical activities I could do without leaving my house. I stumbled onto yoga and I began practicing in my room, with a towel as a mat. Not only did yoga help me get back in physical shape, but it also helped with my anxiety. I started to slowly creep out of my room and back into the world. Within months I had my drivers license & started college. I am now living and loving life - finding passion I never had before and practicing yoga! Yoga has inspired me to teach & I hope to share the gifts yoga has given me with others.
My introduction to yoga began in college.  I liked practicing but something was amiss.  Either the style was working but the instructor wasn't, or the instructor was fantastic but I failed to connect with the practice.  In 2011, after battling with personal turmoil and upset, a friend of mine suggested (strongly) that I should try going back to yoga and try heated Power Yoga.  I did, and was instantly hooked!  The practice moved quickly enough and was challenging enough to keep my attention, but at the same time it was soothing and nurturing.  Not long after my first heated class, I made the decision that yoga was going to be a permanent element in my lifestyle.  As my practice became more consistent, anger lifted, frustration subsided, and things just seemed to make sense.  Life got easier.  I became a teacher so that I may be able to assist others in healing, because, really, all you have to do is breathe.
I spent time exploring many different styles and practices of yoga & the traditions of a yoga lifestyle. I began practicing yoga regularly in 2008 & fell in love with Vinyasa Flow (Power) yoga. I am passionate about teaching students to link breath and movement - to immerse themselves in breath & be in the present moment, to let go and connect body, mind and spirit while moving through a physical practice. I strive to create a class & space that allows students the opportunity to open their mind & trust their intuition - exploring what breath and body can create on the mat which leads to coloring outside the lines off the mat..taking their practice into their everyday life.
I went to my first yoga class in 2006. What started as a scheme to get close to my girlfriend’s mother (Monday night yoga and dinner at the pub) turned into one of the great passions of my life. Those first few months of practice set the stage for a wide range of yoga experience. Since then I have practiced as much yoga, in as many styles, as possible. I also practice Zen Buddhism as a formal student of Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, the mainhouse of the Mountains and Rivers Order. Whether flowing through a sequence of physically challenging postures or just sitting on a cushion, my practice is always about letting go, accepting, and taking responsibility for this life. My Monday night plot worked out in more ways than one: I married Amy Allen, a full-time yoga teacher, in 2009.
I began practicing yoga regularly in 2013. After having my second child, I was sleep deprived, not feeling great about my body, & having a hard time managing my anxiety. I knew yoga was a great physical workout, but I had also heard of it's other benefits - reducing stress, helping with anxiety, and... it was QUIET. So I would practice to YouTube videos in my woodstove room while my little one napped and my older child played. As I began other forms of exercise at home, I continued to practice yoga & wanted to try going to studio. I found Sanctuary Power Yoga & I loved my first class! As I began practicing more & integrating more yoga into my life, I noticed life was getting easier & I began feeling more content. Now, my practice is a part of my life for which I am quite grateful. I decided to become a yoga teacher to share my love of this practice with others.
The human body is the most versatile & beautiful tool that any and all of us have at our disposal, & I have found no better way to explore the potential & infinite possibilities presented by that tool than through the practice of yoga. While I have engaged in a physical practice of one sort or another consistently over the last ten years, my practice of yoga has really begun to deepen & broaden in the last couple of years. I realized at a certain point that I was making many demands of my body without taking any time to celebrate it. When I am on my mat, there is an underlying sense of celebration - for my body, which allows me to practice - for my breath, which renews and supports me - for my mind, which spurs my curiosity - & finally, a celebration of the opportunity to integrate and synchronize all three through yoga. To be able to teach & to share in that celebration with others, wherever they are in their journey, is both an honor and a privilege.
I first began practicing yoga as a compliment to my dance training during my late teens - it was a much needed balance for me, living the life of a competitive dancer. Later on in my life, I practiced on and off when I could find the time, while juggling married life & motherhood. Like many of us do, I began to put everyone else's needs before my own & pretty quickly I felt my life taking on an imbalanced quality. After the birth of our 3rd child, I began to practice yoga daily, right in my living room. Soon, I realized that I could have a much deeper awareness and understanding of myself from the inside out through my yoga practice. There was less emphasis on how I looked or performed physically, and a greater emphasis on how I was feeling mentally and emotionally. I decided to take my journey from inside my living room, into the yoga community at Sanctuary Power Yoga. After my first class with Heather, I was hooked and within 6 months I decided to commit to Sanctuary's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. Being guided through this Yoga Teacher Training was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life! The support & guidance allowed me to take the risks I had been too afraid to take for much of my life. Most of all, speaking in front of a group of people and believing at the same time that what I have to offer is unique, full of value & worthwhile to others! I am joyfully committed to growing as a student and as a teacher of yoga. I look forward to making a connection with the Sanctuary Power Yoga community!
In 2013, my best friend and I moved to Philadelphia. For both of us, it was a fresh start. She was beginning a graduate program & I was there to finally finish college. Being new to the city & looking for things to do, I found a power vinyasa studio that would soon become my home away from home for the next 2+ years. Immediately, I fell in love with the practice. It was hot, physical & most of all healing! At that time in my life, I often found myself riddled with anxiety & doubt. The more I practiced, the more confident I became in who I was & what I could do. I began to let go of unhealthy habits & behaviors, find peace & connect to the love I had lost for myself & for others. The lessons I learned were transformational & gave me the confidence to get out of my comfort zone. It is truly my passion to teach this practice I love so dearly. My goal is to empower students - to help them increase their vitality, realize their potential on & off their mat, & find peace in the present moment.

I've always dabbled in different styles of yoga, taking a class here and there, until I was in college & found myself struggling. Yoga then became the only constant for me & the place I would retreat to, time & time again. Since then, I haven't been able to get enough of it. My practice has taught me, & continues to teach me, that there is only this moment & this breath. To always come back to my breath, on & off my mat, & to lean on it for support. To me, yoga is about finding the power within & allowing it to guide you.

I took my first yoga class while in college as a dance major 16 years ago. From there, I would periodically come back to a regular practice until it became a part of my everyday life. Yoga has helped me find peace through challenging times, learn to let go of things outside of myself, & how to more deeply love myself & those in my life. Having a dance & athletic background, naturally I was attracted to the physicality of a yoga practice & discovered that heated power yoga, in particular, afforded my body the physical challenges I was hoping to achieve. Yoga, being a practice, means that there is always room to grow & evolve which is, in my opinion, one of the most thrilling aspects of life.
I wanted to be more confident & to share these amazing new tools with others in the hopes that in some small way I could help make the world a better place. That is when I decided to make "maybe I can be a yoga teacher" into a reality, deepening my own understanding and practice as well as having the opportunity to share that love and knowledge with my community.
I started practicing yoga in 2012, when I began experiencing all sorts of pain from my lower back to my head along with anxiety and depression. It had been suggested that I try yoga as a form of therapy. I did, & found that it was so much more than just physical therapy. I learned that there exists a strong connection between my physical body, energetic body, and emotional
being. Through yoga & meditation, I have been able to truly understand my feelings & energy manifest in my body. As a high school math teacher, I encounter adolescents who are experiencing stress & don't know how to handle it. I now run a weekly
yoga club for students and hope to inspire other high schools to offer yoga as well.
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