teachers open the door, but you must walk through yourself​​​​​​​


"Yoga has been such a deep part of my evolution as a human. For someone that was not raised within any one religion, I always yearned for the community that houses of worship offer their communities. I felt compelled to create a space for all people to come and feel at home and welcomed regardless of their religion, race, gender or sexual orientation; a space that can create a container for self inquiry and discovery amongst others who are doing the same."

Margot’s passion for the creative goes far beyond her unique eye for design and innovative class sequencing. Margot has the ability to turn a room into a sanctuary and a business into a community of people working together for a greater good. Margot’s style of teaching is influenced by more than 20 years of devotion to her personal yoga practice and education. She holds over 900 hours of training in a wide variety of yoga philosophy and styles. Margot has spent over 500 of her study and training hours at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in NYC, which has deeply impacted her style of sequencing and teaching. In class with Margot, you will always find something new, whether it is new poses, beautifully choreographed sequences or amazing playlists.

"I teach directly from my own mat. Whatever I am working on or undergoing in my own life and practice will flow through me and into my classes. I truly believe that yoga is an extension of how we live our lives and that every challenge we encounter whether on or off the mat is meant to help us learn a deeper lesson of how we live, communicate and treat each other and ourselves."

Since opening Breathing Room in 2009, Margot has remained committed to her mission of providing quality yoga with seva, selfless service initiatives woven in. Breathing Room has been voted “Best Yoga Center in New Haven” in both the New Haven Advocate and New Haven Register as well as receiving the Downtowner of the Year Award in 2018. As Breathing Room expands, Margot continues to grow as a teacher and also a business owner: She recently graduated from Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program honing her leadership and entrepreneurial skills.


Tobie was introduced to yoga in her early twenties but didn't start a dedicated practice until her 29th birthday when her mother brought her to Kripalu Center in the Berkshires. Since then she has completed her 200hr certification in an Iyengar influenced style of yoga. She has learned from teachers such as Rodney Yee, Seane Corn, Rolf Gates, Baron Baptiste and Stephen Cope. Tobie teaches a vinyasa style of yoga with an attention to form and alignment. She believes that form and alignment are the keys to freedom in the body and freedom in the breath. Being a massage therapist for the last 10 years and receiving her masters in clinical nutrition two years ago, Tobie has a well rounded understanding of the body. Her classes are challenging and fun while giving the students an awareness that they are ultimately their own teacher and can guide their practice to fit their needs. 


Welcome! Thank you for being here. I am inspired by several traditions, styles, and teachers including ParaYoga, ParaYoga Nidra, Katonah Yoga, Ally Bogard and my mentor Elena Brower.

My dedication to personal practice inspires my teaching which is grounded in my daily focus.

In class, we use asana and pranayama as invitations to deepen feeling while building presence, agility, and resilience. This practice asks us to introspect, building a heightened sense of awareness from which we can live our fullest lives as our most authentic selves. When we work to first become stable we can move more easily from a place of equanimity and integrity. This is as much a metaphor for life as much as it is a tool for asana. Mindful awareness gives us freedom of choice in how we think, move, and live. We work to create a balance between stable strength and deep, rest full release. This practice has shown me the importance of rest, how vital it is to our life force and fortitude. I hope sharing these practices allows others to uncover the stillness and stability within themselves.


Rebecca Smith (500 E-RYT) loves to challenge students to be curious on the mat, to seek a deeper understanding and connection to their internal experience, and to strike a balance between effort and ease through consistent practice. In other words, be playful, be present, try something new, but be disciplined and diligent in dedicating time to your yoga. In Rebecca’s vinyasa classes, you can expect to work hard, breath steady, rest easy, and sit quietly every time. Her sequencing is intentional and inviting to all levels to build the practice that’s right for you in the moment. Her favorite phrase to remind students of is “don’t be intimidated, be inspired!”

Though most of her classes are vinyasa, Rebecca enjoys teaching a variety of styles of yoga. Whether restorative or vigorous, she seeks to empower each student with self-care knowledge physically and mentally, always encouraging and hoping to inspire a consistent home practice. She draws on her dance background for creative movement, her personal injury recovery for modifications and healing, and her military years to bring discipline and strength to the mat.

Rebecca is honored to teach in both 200 & 300 hour programs for Lara Ward’s Lotus Gardens Yoga School and to be an ambassador for Veterans Yoga Project with Daniel Libby, Ph.D.


Julia is a trauma-informed yoga therapist, music & nature lover, and compassionate facilitator. Her work is dedicated to reconnecting with our inner source of joy, ease, power, and liberation. This work happens on multiple layers -- individual, collective, and generational -- to find true healing and freedom from suffering. Julia’s approach is highly intuitive and personal, inspired by Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra, Vipassana meditation, somatics, nature, music, and social justice movements. She welcomes you to show up courageously and to experience being seen exactly as you are.


A lapsed practitioner, yoga came back into my life when I needed it most. In 2012, after years of managing a small business in downtown New Haven, I was burnt out and feeling disillusioned by the corporate world. In need of something to ground me and help me learn to de-stress, I literally “saw the sign”… of Breathing Room just down the road and knew it was time to step inside.

I started visiting Breathing Room twice a week but within six months, I was practicing daily and serving the community as a Karmie, work-trader. Leaving work early to get to a favorite teacher’s class, I came to the realization that the benefits of yoga were far more fulfilling than anything else I had previously dedicated my time to.

Soon thereafter, I joined Breathing Room’s 200hr Yoga Teacher Training, initially in hopes of building a stronger personal practice but by the end of the training, I could feel a change and started to see yoga in every aspect of my life. I started teaching yoga part-time and continued at my job for an additional four years before becoming a full-time Director at my beloved yoga center. 

To me, yoga is all about the balance between movement and stillness/awareness so my classes often combine both the Yin & Yang. I love leading Vinyasa, Yin and Restorative and also frequently weave in sound healing, essential oils and Reiki as I have found these experiences tremendously valuable.

Sasha L.

Sasha Simone began her yoga journey at the Sivananda Ashram in India in 2005 where she completed her first teacher training. She went on to study with Eddie Modestini & Nicky Doane on Maui in the Iyengar lineage where she was introduced to yoga therapy. Sasha then studied under Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee in NYC where she completed the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program. Sasha offers Urban Zen Restorative Yoga, a multidimensional modality that blends restorative yoga, Reiki, essential oil therapy, and breath awareness. In her classes, she loves to create a peaceful space where people can drop into the silence within and find comfort in their own skin. In a world of busyness & stimulation, Urban Zen offers an opportunity to retreat into an effortless state of being. Physical alignment is supported by various props and a practice of inner yoga begins-- an intimacy with one's breath and inner sensations. Sasha believes the practice of restorative yoga serves as a wonderful compliment to Hatha and Vinyasa practices and is suitable for both beginners and long-time practitioners. 

Sasha K.

Sasha Krushnic’s 10+ years of vinyasa and ashtanga yoga practice has helped him cultivate introspective awareness and an appreciation for reality. He completed a 200hr yoga teacher training at Breathing Room Yoga Center and is also a certified Acro Revolution Instructor. Discovering Acro sprouted new growth as he found it to be an amazingly fun way to develop coordination, strength, and balance within the context of our super social existence as humans. He also has a residential green design build practice and is developing innovative high efficiency architectural products. Sasha’s weekly classes include Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and Open level as well as Intermediate Acro. IG @skrucial, FB Sasha Krushnic. Find him often teaching with the powerhouse flier Abigail Bowesox (@arbsox), and spectacular circus vet Gracie White (@gracie_gw).


Amy is a 500hr RYT Yoga Teacher and C-IAYT Yoga Therapist. She is so grateful to have begun her practice at the age of 18 and has not looked back since. Amy did her first 200-hr teacher training at Joschi Institute of Manhattan in 2013. Her early teaching days were very influenced by one of her first teachers, Gina Lee in Long Island, NY. The roots of her practice and teaching are in vinyasa yoga, a strong and integrative flow. Currently her practice and trainings have evolved into yoga therapy; a therapeutic, individualized variation to the practice. This approach to yoga takes into account our unique situations and invites the practice to be molded to suit us, rather than us to suit the practice. In 2015, Amy began yoga therapy training with Inner Peace Yoga Therapy, based in Durango, CO. Learning under the guidance of senior teachers such as Neil Pearson, Maria Mendola, Dr. Marc Halpern, Nischala Joy Devi, Amy Weintraub, Laura Kupperman, and Michele Lawrence. It is her passion and privilege to have worked with many individuals over the past four years and to watch the impact yoga has on their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

“With great respect and honor, I hold space for the person in front of me with an approach based in: intuition, empathy, and research and information gathering in order to better understand their limitations and needs. I am truthful in what I know and do not know so that I can design a practice that meets them where they are at and helps bring them to where they want to go, including meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, mudras, breath work, and asana (yoga postures). I believe the mindful and multi-faceted approach of yoga provides an opportunity for us to accept life exactly as it is at this very moment, finding joy and peace in every single day, no matter our circumstances.”

Yoga has helped Amy soothe and heal anxiety and physical discomfort. Being a Yoga Therapist has bridged her passion for yoga and purposeful desire to help others. It is her dharma (purpose) in this life.

Her intention is to remind her students that we are whole complete beings already and yoga helps us remember that.


Grace is a yoga and mindfulness teacher who infuses the wisdom of Ayurveda, Mindfulness, and yogic philosophy into her classes. She first stepped on the mat 13 years ago and her dedication to learning more about this practice and the culture it came from led her to live in India and Nepal for 2 years where she initially trained as a yoga teacher. She has studied many different paths of yoga and meditative practices but has been most influenced by Para Yoga, Sri Vidya Tantra, Ayurveda, Mindfulness, Theravadan Buddhism, Conscious Dance (5 Rhythms, ecstatic dance, etc.), the neuroscience of meditation, and Metta meditation.

Her classes are influenced by her studies of all these paths and more. She sings, plays harmonium and guitar and leads kirtan and sacred song circles and has performed in yoga classes, festivals, and retreats internationally. She is also a certified Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence Teacher and offers trainings within companies, non-profits, and educational institutions around the world. She has trained with the Mindfulness Training Institute and Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute as well as sat many week-long silent meditation retreats. She hopes that her classes are a refuge for students to come home to themselves, to see what may be in their way of living in full authenticity and to transform and heal one breath at a time.


Visual artist and muralist, fashion villain, art school founder and peacemonger, Kwadwo offers a donation-based 30 minute guided meditation at Breathing Room every Wednesday night and Sunday morning. He has completed two 11 day silent meditation courses at the Vipassana Meditation Center in Shelburne Falls, MA.

"Guided meditation is a time of self reflection and connection as well as an invitation for peace, harmony and clarity between the internal and external worlds that are within us all," Kwadwo said. "We focus on allowing the breath, body, mind, heart and spirit to connect with the elements, chakras and healing. These meditations serve an introduction to meditation for beginners and also help students become acquainted with setting up a regular meditation practice in their daily lives."


Chris has been practicing yoga for seven years. He began his yoga practice to improve his back pain and he was surprised by how much it helped. His back pain is gone and practicing yoga has also improved his mood and overall health. In March of 2015, he completed a 200-hour certificate course at Breathing Room in New Haven, CT. Chris has enjoyed expanding his understanding of yoga and he now teaches classes at Breathing Room as well as offering private lessons in his home studio. Chris is a connoisseur of the arts. He collects visual works from local artists and music from all over the world. He brings his love of music into to the yoga studio with his unique playlists. Chris lives in New Haven with his wife and three children.


Saskia Bergmans Smith has been teaching and studying yoga since 1997. Saskia is of Dutch heritage, yet she grew up in England. In Europe she studied with Dona Holleman and Orit Sen-Gupta. In Boston, MA, Saskia completed her 200hr teacher training in 2004 and her 500hr in 2007, with master teacher Kim Valeri, Founder and Director of yogaspirit® Studios. Saskia teaches in the style of the yogaspirit®; lineage and is part of the yogaspirit® 200hr teacher training faculty. She ran and operated her own yoga studio, Studio Om, from 2003-2010, in Wakefield, MA.

Saskia has taught prenatal and postnatal yoga since 2003, she has practiced as a doula and teaches workshops to educate parents on the importance of prenatal and postpartum self-care.  Saskia holds a safe and sacred space for her students to connect with their ever-changing pregnant bodies, integrating asana and restorative yoga into her prenatal and postnatal classes. She cultivates learning in her students, guiding a multi-level class from the physical foundation of the body to the healing components of yoga. Saskia a devoted mother to two little girls, a teacher, mentor and life coach assisting her clients in rediscovering peace and purpose in their lives.  Her own learning continues daily through her meditation and mindfulness practices, her children and through the general interaction of life and her learned teachers and scholars.


Lorena seeks a balance of strength, flexibility, stability and awareness in her yoga classes. She is inspired by Hatha, Vinyasa, and Iyengar traditions and designs her yoga classes to align body and breath in preparation for meditation. Lorena has trained in trauma-informed yoga and uses these skills in her day job as a social worker assisting individuals recovering from substance use and mental illness. Lorena approaches her teaching and yoga practice with a beginner’s mindset and is always ready to learn from her students and fellow instructors.


Katrina experiences the practice of asana as a moving meditation, a way to enhance mindfulness, and a way to find a balance in life. Katrina began taking yoga classes 20 years ago as a way to relieve the stresses of living in NYC. After spending the next 10 years exploring different styles of yoga, she completed her 200hr teacher training at Om Yoga, and has been teaching ever since. Her practice has supported her through a career in dance, grad school, two cross country moves, and the adventure of marriage and children. Katrina also continued her studies of health and wellness and received a Masters of Acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Medicine, and has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2014.

From her dance background, Katrina weaves elements of rhythm and flow into her classes, and invites students to explore movement in a way that suits each individual in the moment. Whether in a dynamic Vinyasa class or a calming Restorative class, students will find creative and intentional sequences, with a focus on alignment. Katrina values the community that forms around yoga as much as the practice itself. Katrina’s priority is to create a space where the practice of yoga is accessible to all; where people can connect to and nourish mind, body, and spirit.  


Lauren is fortunate to have the opportunity to guide others through the uplifting experience of aerial hammock classes. Being an active person from a young age and a former gymnast, Lauren has always enjoyed various types of fitness classes and activities. After accompanying a friend to an introductory aerial arts class she was captivated with the challenge that aerials bring and became a devoted aerial student training on various apparatuses such as lyra, silks, and hammock. She appreciates the strength, coordination, flexibility and fluidity involved in the aerial arts. While hanging upside down comes naturally to Lauren, she recognizes that many people feel intimidated with this practice and likely experience the typical doubts of "Am I strong enough, flexible enough, the right body type to even attempt this?" She focuses on allowing each person the space to build trust in their own capabilities and celebrate growth through the practice in a safe and supportive environment. She balances time in the air with grounding through regular meditation practice and studies Shambhala Tibetian Buddhism. In addition to her love of movement, she also has a masters degree in public health. 


I began my personal practice of yoga in 2002 and as my practice became strong and focused, I decided to share my love of teaching and mindful living with others. In 2009, I completed a 200 hr Yoga Alliance certification. In 2014, I completed my certification in Unnata Aerial yoga. I have explored and trained in over 250 hours of workshops in aerial yoga, hand on adjustments, restorative, Iyengar, yin, trauma release, vinyasa and healing arts.  

I believe yoga is a way of living and it will affect every aspect of our lives if we let it in. My classes will guide you in building a good foundation for your personal practice through alignment and mindful awareness of body. My intention is to create a safe space where we can learn and explore the internal experience through practice. 



Gabriela has spent her entire adult life working to make the world around her a little bit more equitable, peaceful and beautiful; whether it was through after school art programs, community activism, or economic development, she was always doing ‘something’...through her adventures in parenting she realized that the work had to happen within were the changes cannot be touched and were the potential for positive ripples is infinite. 

Kundalini Yoga has become Gabriela’s favorite style of yoga to teach because it is so effective, directed and transformational. She found that Yogi Bhajan had elegantly indexed many ancient practices within the framework of a more internal yet dynamic practice of yoga, giving us this supercharged tool that we now call Kundalini Yoga. 

Gabriela seeks to maintain a childlike sense of wonder and joy as she works to offer a space of healing and empowerment in every class, with the intention that every positive ripple each practitioner makes in their lives has an infinite amount of positive effects in all those around them. 

Gabriela started her yoga training at Breathing Room with Lani’s Full of Joy Yoga Teacher Training in April of 2016. She completed Breathing Room’s 200 hour Living Yoga Teacher Training & Yin II in 2017; 2018 - 2019 she completed the work for 200 & 300 hour RaviAna Kundalini Yoga teacher training program with her teacher Ravi Singh. Additionally Gabriela is a Reiki Master, Energy Healer, makes Flower Essence & wild plant remedies and is an intuitive tarot card reader. 


Recognizing that children need balance and focus in their lives, Lani Rosen-Gallagher (M.Ed., RYT 200, RCYT) first incorporated yoga into her daily schedule while teaching first grade in Coney Island in Brooklyn. After getting certified with Next Generation Yoga in NYC, she founded Full of Joy Yoga in San Francisco in 2004.  In 2007, she relocated to Connecticut, bringing her expertise to the East Coast. Lani teaches yoga to children in preschools, public schools, yoga studios, libraries and her favorite classes to teach are family yoga! Lani has also been certified with Next Generation Yoga in Kenya, the Radiant Child Yoga Program, Street Yoga, Circus Yoga, Baby Om & Mindful Schools.

Training others to teach yoga to children is one of Lani's passions with a main goal of getting yoga & mindfulness into every school! She’s been leading her Full of Joy Yoga Kids Yoga Teacher Trainings since 2006. Currently she is teaching her “Mindful Yoga Breaks” curriculum to teachers and students in the New Haven Public schools. She is also the creator of the Mindful Yoga Breaks Anchor Breath poster and card deck to go with her Mindful Yoga Breaks curriculum.

Lani is always striving to improve the lives and futures of children, helping them laugh, love, and grow.  You can find Lani at fullofjoyoga.com


Kayla, RYT200 completed her training through Yogaworks in December of 2016. She first found yoga as a way to explore the mind-body connection during her undergraduate years studying psychology. Kayla strives to hold a space where students can deepen their awareness inward and be curious to explore the union between their own emotional, mental and physical bodies. In her class, you will be encouraged to express intuitive movement and shape, while grounding the body through breathwork and traditional asana postures. 


Originally from Los Angeles, California, I have been in New Haven since September of 2017. I am a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong instructor. I earned a Masters in acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from Emperor's College in Santa Monica and my doctorate at PCOM San Diego​​. As a part of our education, we are trained in Qi Gong and Tai Chi. I was immediately drawn to Qi Gong once I felt the qi flowing through my hands. What had been an esoteric concept before, became very real and I was hooked. I love to share this powerful medicine and hope that people enjoy the wonderful gifts it has to offer.


Yoga has given Aimee new life, and it is her intention to share this vitality and peace from a place of sincerity and deep devotion. Aimee (500 E-RYT) is a former professional modern dancer who performed and traveled internationally with Ailey II. Currently, she is a professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at Yale University.  Both a dancer’s and an anthropologist’s sensibility inform how she approaches holding space as she aims to bring everything she loves to her classes – the joy of fluid and expansive movement; the gift of breathing and moving in community; respect for our glorious diversity; and the lightness that comes from allowing play and humor to support rather than distract from the practice. 

She received her 200 hr training from Yogamaya New York and her 300 hr training from the Tantric Alchemy Institute. She is also a certified STOTT Pilates trainer in advanced mat work. Her classes are often described as rhythmic and buoyant, and her teaching is rooted in a commitment to experimenting with the abundant possibilities within our material bodies to move from soul and be guided by spirit. 


Merging Sarah's scientific background in exercise physiology and her meditation experiences living and studying with monks, you can expect a powerful flow that reaches every area of your physical body and leaves you with greater space for peace and grounding.


When I am not here at BR, I am continuing my journey as a student at Gateway Community College and anticipate graduating with an Associates degree in May 2020. I look forward to the new experiences here at Breathing Room and cannot wait to build long lasting friendships <3!




My name is Camry Lewis and I am a 19 year old college student who is currently majoring in social work. When I’m not in school, I am  working the front desk at Breathing Room. I am new to yoga but I am very excited to learn and expand my knowledge about yoga.