Meet the Storrs Yoga Instructors

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I have been fascinated with yoga from the day I took my first class. It made me realize how much I was not breathing! By connecting my breath with movement, I was able to access areas of my body and mind that I did not know were possible. My experiences since I have been practicing over the years have been interesting and rewarding, as well as insightful.
As owner/director of Storrs Yoga Center, my goal is to continue to share the joy of yoga. I have always had the vision of creating a safe space for anyone to come to practice yoga and explore their own personal journey. SYC is a judgement free zone. 
I have been blessed with gifted teachers who have their own styles to share while keeping the common theme of educating people about some of the many things that yoga can show you. The concept of finding my inner strength and beauty has helped me to also recognize that in others. I am truly grateful for this opportunity, as it has changed my outlook thereby changing my life.

My love for yoga began over thirty years ago. While the level of commitment to my practice varied over the years my belief in the benefits of yoga has never wavered.

In 2012 I began teaching after completing my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. Since that time I have completed advanced training certificates in Yin Yoga, Meditation, Applied Yoga Anatomy and Restorative Yoga. I have studied under teachers such as Josh Summers, Doug Keller, Marlysa Sullivan, Yoganand Michael Carroll and Jason Crandell. I will begin work toward my Registered Yoga Teacher-500 Hour Level in the summer of 2017 through Daniel Oralansky in Arlington Massachusetts.

I welcome you to join me on the mat regardless of your age or physical ability. Yoga is for everyone and the beauty of yoga is that it will meet you where you are. Namaste.

I took my first yoga class in the late 1970's. At that time there was an Integral yoga ashram in Pomfret and the class was their basic level routine. I knew I loved it from the start and memorized it so that I could practice without having to attend classes. I continued my practice fitting it in around school, jobs, raising kids, etc. Once my kids were grown I started exploring other yoga offerings in the area and took YTT at Kripalu in 2012. Jurian Hughes and Carolyn Sudha led. Since then I have continued my training completing 2 of 10 units toward Pranakriya 500 hour YTT with Yoganand Michael Carroll (Pranayama and Pradipika). I also completed a 10 day silent Vipassana retreat (12/2013) with S.N.Goenka.
I live in Mansfield work at RGH OR as a nurse and enjoy gardening, bicycling, ice skating, swimming, contra dance and hiking.
Sharon Coriaty - KYTA The concept for teaching Kripalu Yoga to the community started nearly 8 years ago in Willimantic, Connecticut. “I knew that the life practice of yoga had made a huge impact on my own life, especially during the challenging times of living in a stressed out world, balancing working, being a mother and wife and trying to juggle it all. Yoga anchored me and connected me to myself unlike another workout. I literally fell in love with the practice in my early 30's." Sharon is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher obtaining a 200 hour certification through Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox, Ma. With a strong background in aerobics and pilates, she encourages her students to work at their own pace finding a practice that they can incorporate into their daily lives. Sharon resides in Willimantic, CT with the loves of her life, her children Spencer and Kelsey, and her husband Henry.
Catherine started her yoga journey ten years ago on Martha’s Vineyard and completed her first teacher training with Eric Schiffmann in Santa Barbara, California. Soon after, she obtained certification in Yoga for Golfers and Yoga for MS. She has continued her studies with Rodney Yee, Shiva Rea, Tias Little, Matthew Sanford and many more wonderful teachers. In 2009, she completed her 200-hour training at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires. In addition to her yoga training, Catherine is also a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Catherine is committed to supporting people in being the healthiest, happiest self. Having offered both private and group instruction on Martha’s Vineyard and in Plymouth, Kingston and Marion Massachusetts, Catherine recently moved back to her roots in Connecticut. She is currently residing in Manchester, CT where she continues to practice and teach yoga, along with offering nutritional health coaching to clients.
Kate has been practicing yoga since 2000. She arrived on the mat in search of a different physical “workout” and stayed on the mat as a result of learning how to breathe and be mentally and spiritually present and true. Kate is a school administrator in Hartford, CT. She completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher training at Samadhi Yoga Studio in Manchester in 2006 and has been teaching a variety of classes since then.

Jessica is proud to have been sharing yoga as a healing modality ever since completing her 200 hour teacher certification program through Samadhi Yoga Studio in 2007 under the guidance of Anne and Matt Falkowski. Offering an eclectic approach to yoga, Jessica is passionate about yoga as a healing and evolutionary discipline for the body, mind, and spirit. She is particularly inspired by freeform flow, organic movement, and the dynamic interplay between movement and stillness in the experience of postures. She believes in an accessible style of yoga that stays true to the original art but that blends current theories in exercise science and health psychology. Jessica is known for infusing physical practice with the use of music, intention, and poetry. She encourages her students to approach yoga from a place of compassion, creativity, and intuition. She believes that we all need to celebrate the unique system of our body and soul and that we all move through the world and evolve ourselves to a unique rhythm and birthright. She believes that the most important lesson of yoga is learning to listen to ourselves and to live and to act from our place of truth and vision. Jessica holds a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT). She believes strongly in holism as a framework for physical and psychological well being and she feels inspired by the blending of Eastern and Western psychology and medicine. Jessica considers herself very fortunate to have found yoga at a young age and for being able to combine yoga with her career path.

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.

The first time I fell in love with yoga was in Kindergarten. My teacher, Mr. Wielgorecki, led our class in practice each day before rest time. It made my heart sing, connecting me to something deeper than myself that I didn’t understand. When I rediscovered yoga in my mid-twenties, it felt like I stepped into a forgotten part of myself that I’d known forever. A number of years later, I fulfilled my dream of becoming a RYT 200 certified yoga teacher through Samadhi Yoga Studio in Manchester, Connecticut. I'm currently studying for my advanced level yoga teacher training. My goal is to foster a welcoming, safe and nurturing environment for people to explore and develop their yoga. My classes focus on alignment and sequencing meant to open, strengthen, lengthen and heal. I look forward to sharing my love of yoga with you!
Shadia discovered yoga over ten years ago in her hometown of Houston, TX. Since then she has explored various studios, workshops, and schools of thought.

Through yoga, Shadia found something to ground her in a world of chaos. She believes yoga is the vehicle that transports one from the outside realm of a busy world, to the quiet space within. Shadia aspires to help others connect their mind, body, and soul through yoga and meditation, all while in a safe space, without judgment.

Shadia completed her 200-HR certification through the Yandara Yoga Institute, in Bali, Indonesia, and teaches Hatha, Vinyasa and Yoga Nidra. She completed her 300-HR certification through the SchoolYoga Institute in Cusco, Peru, where she also trained in shamanic healing techniques and sacred ceremonies.

She brings her creative background to the mat with each session, incorporating various styles and teachings for a fluid yet cohesive experience. Her students have described her class as being the perfect balance of invigorating and meditative, and always an intentional time to focus and be present.

Leann is a junior at the University of Connecticut studying public health. Growing up in Albany, New York, she was a competitive gymnast until she went away to college. After being active her whole life, her newfound sedentary lifestyle and difficult transition into college took a toll on her mental and physical health. After trying a Barre fitness class last year, she was hooked. By using yoga as a compliment to her barre routine, she was able to find balance in her life and get back on track with her schoolwork and personal life. Leann attributes her success in school and overall happiness in life to her dedication to the barre and the mat.

Leann is a Level 1 Total Barre Qualified Instructor through Merrithew Health and Fitness and C2 Body. One of her goals is to expose underserved communities to fitness programs that can be done by anyone, anywhere. As a future public health professional, promoting physical fitness and emotional wellness as a method of health promotion and disease prevention is an important mission in her life.

Total Barre is a dynamic combination of dance, Pilates, yoga, strength training, and cardio that provides a total body workout in just 50 minutes. Each session is broken down into 11 songs, all of which have choreography targeting different muscle groups. You will spend 40 minutes at the ballet barre (or in this case, barre-height chairs) and 10 minutes on your yoga mat working your core and flexibility. In addition to toning muscles and burning fat, Total Barre encourages an increase in coordination and range of motion. Total Barre is for all body types and fitness levels as modifications can be made to make every routine more or less difficult. No need for sneakers, just bring a water bottle and positive attitude!

I am a student at the University of Connecticut. I began practicing yoga in the summer of 2014, right before my freshman year at UConn. I was a dancer for 16 years and stopped after my senior year of high school. Yoga was the activity I began to succeed dance. I started for the physical benefits and stayed for the mental benefits. I never imagined yoga would impact me in the way it has. I have become less tense and more patient. I learned how to appreciate obstacles that were being thrown my way and gracefully move past them rather than being frustrated by them. I wanted everyone to feel as at-peace as I did; a teacher training course seemed like the perfect idea. I received my 200 hour certification at Prada Power yoga in Boston, MA. It was an emotional and physical rollercoaster for 4 intense weeks. I came out a completely different person and learned so much about myself and teaching. Teaching yoga is a vulnerable yet amazing experience. My goal as a teacher is to make my students feel comfortable to practice their yoga, no matter the level of experience. I try to accomplish this by creating an environment within the room of positive energy, starting with my own.

Anita started yoga for more-balanced conditioning following a running injury. She completed her 200-hour teacher certification at Samadhi Yoga Studio in Manchester, CT, and is working toward an advanced certificate in yoga therapy. Anita is a researcher and instructor of natural resources management at UConn. She enjoys running, hiking in all seasons, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, biking, and traveling.
Caroline O’Dwyer has been practicing and studying yoga since 2003, and certified to teach since 2010. Her background includes a wide variety of styles including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Jivamukti, Anusara and Restorative yoga. She began her studies with Lauren Lanham at Yoga for Everybody in Fairfield, Connecticut, when she was just 15 years old. Over the next 5 years, she frequented master classes and workshops with senior teachers in and around New York City, including Dharma Mittra, Sharon Gannon and David Life, Bryan Kest, Siva Rea, and Mitchel Bleier. In 2008 Caroline moved to Paris, France to study abroad for over a year during her undergraduate program at UConn. While in Paris, she studied at Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche, and participated in an apprenticeship program in Ashtanga Yoga practices with Charles Bensusen, and also studied intensively with Mika de Brito, whose unique approach to vinyasa sequencing greatly enriched her experience.

She returned to the United States at the end of 2009, and completed a 200-hour teacher training program at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, California, with its founders, Ganga White and Tracey Rich in the summer of 2010. After completing her undergrad, Caroline moved to Rochester NY, where she earned her Master’s Degree at the Eastman School of Music, and studied Iyengar yoga with Francois Raoult at Open Sky Yoga. His expertise in alignment and anatomy, as well as pranayama and meditation has deeply influenced Caroline’s teaching to this day.

Currently, Caroline is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice and Opera at the University of Connecticut, and has been teaching group and private classes at Storrs Yoga Center since she moved to the area in 2013. All of Caroline’s classes are deeply informed by a strong foundation in human anatomy and proper posture alignment, as well as sensitivity and awareness of injuries, limitations in range of motion, and experience of each student at every age and level of practice.

Marie Percy has been practicing yoga since 2007. She fell in love with yoga when she discovered that it could help her manage her chronic low back pain and spondylolisthesis (permanent spinal fracture) after a long career as a high level competitive gymnast. She loves that yoga helps her eliminate pain, reduce stress, and connect to a deeper sense of self love and compassion. Marie has a diverse movement background that spans multiple movement disciplines including gymnastics, dance, theater, movement analysis, and somatic movement studies. Her yoga classes reflect her deep understanding of the human body and the mind body spirit connection. They are deeply introspective, technically rigorous, and accessible to all ability levels with plenty of options to make the practice your own. Marie completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Samadhi under Anne Falkowski. She is a Certified Movement Analyst with the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies in NYC and holds an MFA in Theater/Movement Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University. 
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