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

Margot

"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 eachother 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 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

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. 

Verred

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

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

The practice of Yoga is not about changing or improving who we are; it is about returning to the vast and quiet place inside us where we remember the truth of who we are.

I first approached Yoga to rehab my physical body from the toll of long-distance running and high intensity training. After years of practice and self inquiry, I came to realize that much of my life was spent avoiding, denying, or numbing discomfort and pain. Yoga and meditation has guided me to release trauma trapped in my body, confront patterns of addiction and avoidance, heal from the illusion that I don't belong, and seek liberation for all who are oppressed and disembodied. Though my practice started out extremely physical, I now find the most profound wisdom from stillness, breath, music, and nature. 

I approach every class or session with compassion, authenticity, and radical acceptance of whatever arises. There is no expectation that Yoga has to feel "good" or "peaceful." Through breath, mindful movement, music & chanting, meditation, and self inquiry, I gently invite students to discover their inner source of strength and stability, as well as their expansive capacity to be with challenge and discomfort.

I currently offer Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, meditation, Kirtan, and private Yoga Therapy sessions in the New Haven area. It is my humble privilege to learn from these magnificent teachers and more: Margot Broom, Khushi Malhotra, Yogarupa Rod Stryker, S.N. Goenka, Judith Hanson Lasater, Krishna Das, Ramana Maharshi, Mooji, Sharat Arora, and Antonio Sausys.

Haley

Haley believes that everyone’s body and mind can benefit from the yoga journey. She began her own journey in 2002, when she signed up for Yoga 101 as part of a gym requirement for college. It was there that she was introduced to the various styles of yoga and learned basic postures as well as breathing exercises. She enjoyed the increased flexibility, strength, and the clarity of a calm mind; and immediately fell in love!

Haley loves learning and sharing what she has learned with others. She enjoys teaching mixed-level hatha, vinyasa flow and restorative classes that offer an introduction for students new to yoga while encouraging experienced students to deepen their awareness of technique, breath and movement.

Sasha S.

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

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.

Brett

A yoga and meditation teacher since 2000, Brett Avelin is known for his authentic, non-judgmental teaching style aimed at meeting you right where you’re at. His classes and teaching humbly invite rigor and enlivening in the body (born out of the Ashtanga and Iyengar Yoga traditions), meditative inquiry for the mind (inspired by multiple non-dual teachers, notably Adyashanti), while guiding with lightness, compassion, and humor for where one is at in this wild human ride. Deep, radical allowance and self understanding are foundational guide posts in the exploration together. He is forever grateful for all those who have shared their journey and teaching with him and is therefore inspired to share his.  

Chris

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

Saskia Bergmans Smith has been teaching and studying yoga since 1997. Saskia is Dutch, 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 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 connect with their ever-changing pregnant bodies, integrating asana and restorative yoga into her prenatal and postnatal classes. She cultivates learning in her students through inspired by the yogaspirit® lineage, 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 and continues to develop her teaching and healing skills through working with her private clients.

Pauli

We arrive to this very moment and I am honored to briefly share our path of discovery together.  Classes are influenced by a meditative flow, helping to bring your awareness to the now, to the present moment.  My offerings are influenced directly from my personal mat practice, from my studies and offerings from my teachers.  All these influences bring unique and challenging yoga sequences, mind calming techniques and guidance to look inward to one's own-self.  I offer yoga beyond the physical movement by sprinkling the seeds of kindness, acceptance, compassion and love during the asana practice.

How did I arrive here?  Years I simply lay dormant, one with the mud of the universe, and in high school the universe presented a gift on my path, a new path of meditation.  So began the practice of reflecting and calming the turbulence of my mind and walking on the path from darkness (suffering) to light. So many meditation paths all culminating to catapult me to journey to India to study and learn the noble effort of selfless service to all beings.  Earning my 200 hour certification, I now am engaged in an additional 500 hour teacher training journey to study the Non-dual Saiva Tantra teachings.  I honor the light of your heart, freely share the light of my heart and simply offer myself as a conduit to the teachings I have learned. See you on the mat.

May you and all beings be happy.

Kingston

I believe in the transformative power of movement and have found the practice of yoga to be a powerful system for discovering new ways to step deeper into our full selves. With a spirit of playfulness, I love to combine traditional shapes with creative sequencing, drop in lots of inspiration, along with doses of introspective thought to help deepen your practice. As an advocate for the liberation of all bodies, I seek to create a safe and supportive space to integrate the body, mind and spirit through movement. My hope is that you step off the mat feeling refreshed, centered and energized.

Kwadwo

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."

Lauren

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. 

Lani

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

Grace

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.
 

Lorena

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.

Said

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.

Thema

Thema is a certified Usui/Holy Fire Reiki Master Teacher, a 200hr Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Instructor, and a certified Advanced Metaphysical Healing Practitioner.

While holding a space of non-judgement and care, Thema combines Reiki with intuitive energy assessments to facilitate and guide people on their healing journey to wholeness. Her practice as a energy healer and yoga instructor has focused on supporting community activists, artists, healers, and people of color- the people that hold and bring life to communities that are most affected by racism, systematic oppression and inequality.

A versatile teacher and intuitive healer, Thema is well versed in teaching a variety of yoga classes, from candlelit to trap yoga. Thema also offers Reiki, intuitive healing sessions, and various small group classes as co-founder of One Village Healing (OVH). Located at Breathing Room's fourth floor, OVH is invested in creating grassroots level healing spaces in New Haven consciously designed for restoring wholeness, mindfulness, wellbeing, and health disrupted and imbalanced by systemic oppression and injustice- resulting in complete healing and wellbeing for everyone.

John

I reside in my hometown of Fairfield, Ct., where I now help raise my daughter and son. Years of working in customer service and marketing, in cubicles and trade shows while living an unhealthy lifestyle caught up with me. I began to look for healthy sources of energy five years ago after divorce, career challenges, anxiety and addictive behaviors were destroying my health and vitality right when I needed them the most. A therapist told me to breathe and meditate, a kundalini class taught me how.

I began to practice regularly in 2014; Kundalini taught me how to breathe properly and deeply through stress in my daily life. A neutral frame of mind more days than not has had a cumulative positive effect on all of my relationships and how I engage with life.

In 2018, I completed a 220hr teacher training with Kundalini Yoga taught by Yogi Bhajan teacher Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa in Uttarakhand, India. For a month, I practiced more than eight hours of yoga and meditation daily while learning the proper role of a teacher.