Staff

Karuna O'Donnell

Karuna O’Donnell is a Certified Level 3 Forrest Yoga Teacher and a recognized educator in New England. Additionally, she offers private instruction, yoga classes and teacher training throughout Greater Boston. Karuna is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She is also an educator profoundly committed to a mission of social justice in community initiatives and a professional committed to delivering consistent, high quality, research-informed learning experiences, which cultivate a culture of respect and dignity. Karuna is a highly motivated and enthusiastic person with experience in professional business management. She is highly trained in the art of yoga with an extensive repertoire and rich career history. Karuna is independent and original in her thoughts. Furthermore, she is an individual with an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans and transforming those plans into actions. Among other things, she highly values knowledge, competence, and structure. Karuna thrives positively by being a long-term thinker with a high expectation for performance. 


Christine Rose

Christine Rose, the co-founder of Four Corners Wellness & Yoga, has brilliant entrepreneurial skills and a desire to become a prominent brand name in the service industry, Christine Rose will be leading from the front. Christine Rose has shown her potential, always striving to set the bar higher. Her drive to get things done will ensure that 4 Corners Wellness + Yoga  thrives and instills a culture of dedication to wellness in the community. 

Christine Rose is a graduate of Boston University and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. Her passion is helping people. Christine is committed to volunteerism. She has volunteered with a number of organizations throughout her lifetime beginning with Big Sister Association in 1995 and most recently as a compassionate touch volunteer at Hebrew Senior Life Nursing Home. Christine’s professional career spans from the food service industry to financial services to the not for profit sector and service based industries (hair salon & floral shop).


CarmenLeah Ascencio

CarmenLeah Ascencio, LICSW, MPH, RYT, CPC, is a bilingual (Spanish-English) public health social worker, therapist, radical life coach, trauma-sensitive yoga instructor, educator and proud Boricua queer. She loves supporting people to dismantle their ideas about what can’t be done in order to focus on a vision that will be achieved. CarmenLeah integrates artistic, spiritual and body centered practices into her therapeutic and transformative work. CarmenLeah is also a novice surfer, outdoor explorer and is learning to build sustainable tree houses.


Photo taken by Kevin Tobin

Photo taken by Kevin Tobin

Leo Bray

Like many, I first came to yoga hoping to address chronic aches, pains, and stiffness. I was blessed early on to experience classes with the amazing Becky Thompson, at the Dorchester YMCA, as my first inspiration to deeper practice and the fuller range of yoga's gifts, including its capacity to help us heal and grow.

Through Becky, I met our wonderful friend, Karuna O'Donnell, who further inspired me, and later guided me to Akasha Yoga School. Their ongoing work helping trauma survivors heal through yoga continues to inspire me. I have had the good fortune to receive training from Karuna in teaching trauma-informed yoga classes. 

In my classes, I strive to assist people in listening to their bodies, focusing as much as possible on whole-body awareness, informed by my ongoing learning with the Alexander Technique under the expert tutelage of Cecile Raynor. I do my utmost to make each class an accessible and welcoming experience for everyone who attends.



Liz Elia

Liz Elia is a holistic health and wellness practitioner who is committed to guiding her clients and students to their own inner source of health and happiness. Her yoga classes are explorations where students can safely be challenged physically, find their center mentally, and feel rejuvenated in their spirits. She creates a supportive and fun environment where all people are met exactly where they are, regardless of ability or experience. Liz is committed to making yoga accessible to everybody. She offers weekly classes to senior citizens, and also teaches chair yoga classes to people with mobility issues. Liz became a yoga teacher in 2011, completing a 500 hour certification in Myofascial

Yoga Therapy and Bodywork with David Vendetti and Todd Skoglund. Liz is also certified to teach Yin Yoga, Yoga for Brain Disorders, Pranayama, and meditation. In addition to teaching yoga, Liz works as a Brain Integration practitioner at her office in Cambridge. She works with children and adults to address learning difficulties, attention and memory problems, physical imbalances, and emotional trauma using this powerful and completely natural healing modality.    To learn more about Liz please visit: wholemindedhealth.com


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Brenda Hernandez

Brenda Hernandez began practicing yoga to find personal growth and community.  Her passion for the unity of mind, body, and spirit that yoga brings, led her to yoga teacher training at Akasha Yoga School in 2015. She is a higher education diversity professional and a feminist activist.  Her work influences her approach to yoga as a means of creating a safe space for explorations of identity and acceptance. Brenda's classes offer gentle movement, restorative postures, and energetic hands-on assists.


Tara Jackson

In 2006 Tara started taking yoga classes at Boston Sports Club in an effort to gain more flexibility. As she deepened her practice over the years it occurred to Tara that, just as yoga had benefitted her, it could also positively impact the children under her charge as a professional babysitter.

By 2014 Tara was so dedicated to yoga that she decided to deepen her practice by completing a 200-hour yoga teacher training at Boston Yoga School. Upon graduation, she began seeking out ways to bring yoga to kids and went on to earn her children’s yoga teaching certification through Coolidge Corner Yoga. It is Tara’s hope that through yoga her young students, including everyone from toddlers to preteens, will gain insight and learn to turn inward while having fun on their mat.


David Monterserin

I am a truth seeker, a student of life, and a world traveler.

Born and raised in the north of Spain (Asturias), I got my yogic education in Barcelona, where I studied for four years with some of the best yoga teachers of the country, and taught for two years to all kind of students, including children and elderly. I also learned Buddhist Zen meditation in the first Zen temple of Spain in Valencia, as well as Vipassana meditation in the tradition of S.N. Goenka in the Dhamma Neru center of Cataluña. Over the years, I have continued participating in many Vipassana and Yoga retreats around the world, in England, India, and the United States, deepening my own understanding of the self-transformation process that the paths of Yoga and mindfulness bring about. Now, I study Western and Eastern philosophies from an academic standpoint, as well as South Asian religions, and Sanskrit language in the pursuit of a Ph.D. in Indian Philosophy.

In my Yoga practice, I try to incorporate all these channels of knowledge into a base of classic Haṭha Yoga. My aim is to make Yoga available to everyone through slow and gentle movements, with a special emphasis on mindful breathing and meditation techniques, stretching, and relaxation. I believe that Yoga is an embodied spiritual practice, open to all, whose most profound mission is to unfold the mystery of who we are.


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Shoba Narayana

Hi! I’m Shoba Narayana and I love sharing yoga with anyone and everyone who wishes to learn. My philosophy is: If you can breathe, you can practice yoga.

I was introduced to yoga at a young age when I was visiting my grandparents in India.  As I grew up, I forgot about these teachings and I became distracted by the rat race of life. Stepping back into a class three years ago reminded me of the simplicity, beauty and sense of wonder that can be inspired through yoga. This experience encouraged me to complete a 200 hour yoga teacher trainin program with Daniel Orlansky and Liz Owen.

To me, yoga is a way to center and ground myself. It is a way to bring some lightness and awareness into my daily life and I believe it is medicine for alleviating stress. My intention is to create a safe space to explore the connection between mind, body and breath. The style of yoga I teach emphasizes slow, mindful movement. My class is welcome to everyone, particularly those who are new to the practice.I hope to see you in the studio!


  

Theresa Okokon

Theresa began practicing yoga in 2006 when she decided to join the Peace Corps.  She was not in great shape, so she joined a gym figuring that Peace Corps Volunteers probably needed to be fit to climb volcanoes and paddle canoes in the Amazon to get to their mud huts.  Unhappy on the elliptical machine, Theresa wandered into a yoga class, and fell in love.  She continued to practice in her new home in Ecuador (in an apartment in the city of Guayaquil …since not all Peace Corps Volunteers live in the jungle), and this continued when she returned to the States and eventually moved to the Boston area.  Theresa completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Open Doors Yoga in Weymouth in 2014, always with the goal of finding a way to teach yoga as a response to trauma. In 2015, Theresa completed a 100 Hour Trauma Informed Mind Body Facilitator Training with yogaHOPE in Boston; and in September 2015, Theresa was named the Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellow with Rosie’s Place and founded her program: LEGIT.yoga. With LEGIT.yoga, Theresa teaches trauma informed yoga at Boston area shelters, low income housing communities, substance recovery programs, hospitals and schools serving low-income and at-risk communities. In 2016, Theresa joined the faculty of a 200 Hour trauma informed and social justice focused Yoga Teacher Training with 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness in Dorchester.

Theresa believes in a yoga practice that is as intense as it is relaxing, where you learn to appreciate and understand your body and your breath for exactly what it is today.  Theresa’s approach to teaching yoga is that YOGA can teach YOU to use the power and good energy that your body creates to transform your own life and the lives around you.


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Tracey Rodriguez Photography

Grace Steele

I first found yoga in college when I began taking the free classes offered at my university and I quickly became hooked. The practice allowed me to connect with my own body in ways that I never had before. My practice is where my strength, passion, and fire are ignited. I always feel confident and beautiful on my mat. I want to share this practice with others to promote healing and compassion within our world that so desperately needs it. I work in the social work field and see so many connections between yoga and empowering others to live more peaceful lives. Yoga has completely changed my self-concept and feelings of my own self-worth. I am inspired by the entire community at Universal Power Yoga in Norwood, MA, where I completed my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. In both teaching and practice, I strive to slow down from the fast pace that often defines life. I value a balance between softness and strength, effort and ease- on and off the mat.



Linda Wells

Linda N. Wells is the Wellness Warrior. Before pursuing a career in promoting wellness Linda was a Program Director, Youth Worker and community organizer. She spent nearly 10 years giving more to others than she did to herself; limiting her ability to create positive change for herself and her community.

Linda has since transferred her skills as an educator and activist to become a well known health advocate and Wellnesspreneur in the Boston area. She works with individuals to release toxic habits and identify the precursors to their burnout. She continues her activism by working with community-based groups to raise awareness of health and wellness through free and low-cost programs.  Linda's teaching recognizes that stress may be unavoidable part of our lives but also that wellness is our birthright and we owe to ourselves to make healthy choices.

She is an experienced registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance. Holding an M.Ed. specializing in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and BA in Political Science and Economics from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. www.lindawellnesswarrior.com



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Marlene Boyette

Marlene Boyette, founder of Boston based Leela Yoga & Wellness,  is an educator (teaching Yoga & Meditation at The Advent School in Beacon Hill),  dedicated to using yoga as a catalyst for nurturing and celebrating the playful spirits of each person she comes in contact with. Specializing in both Trauma Informed Yoga & children’s yoga, Marlene believes that the practice of yoga extends far beyond asana (movements and poses). By collaborating with various city / government agencies, organizations and programs, Marlene strives to use her personal practice, lifeexperiences and training to reach individuals and families with limited access to wellness   

programming. She believes that yoga, as a philosophy, is the very way in which we approach every                                                                              single aspect of life; from the foods that we choose to ingest to the way that we address Self-Care,                                                                              Self-Love and our physical, emotional and mental health needs; Gently, mindfully and joyfully.  


Aisha Yusuf

As a life long athlete, Aisha came to yoga unexpectedly. Aisha readily admits her addiction to cardio workouts and adrenaline rushes, and was originally apprehensive about yoga as a physical practice. Fast forward to a persistent back injury and high levels of stress, Aisha found herself with a friend in a power yoga studio in Los Angeles. Since then, she was hooked! First joining a Black woman owned fun and energetic studio in Oakland, to moving across the country (again) and finding a place where she could continue her practice in the north east. 

Frustrated by the lack of teachers of color in the yoga community, Aisha was led (really pushed by an instructor) to purse teaching. As a new teacher, Aisha is so excited to help others realize how strong their bodies really are, how focused their minds can be, and how deep our spiritual connection to ourselves really is. Researcher by day, yogi by night, Aisha is excited to join the yoga teaching community. Hoping to bring her love for athleticism and a light hearted approach to yoga practice, full of focus, laughter and energy.


        

        

Kiante Smith

Kiante has been a Licensed Professional Massage Therapist for over 8 yrs. She graduated from the highly acclaimed Cortiva Institute in MA. Kiante has worked in chiropractic and spa settings which give her a vast spectrum of experience and knowledge in the world of massage. She specializes in Accupressure, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy,   Cranio-Sacral and InjuryTreatment/ Restorative Therapy.

Overall she has a passion for providing healing and wellness. She believes that massage therapy is beneficial in many ways. Her ultimate goal is to help allow the body to function at its best quality while customizing each session to fit the client’s goals and needs. She looks forward to promoting good health through massage to all that trust in her healing hands.

 

 


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Myrca Augustin

 

 

 


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Ciara Clark

Fascinated by the art and challenge of the asana, Ciara’s initial journey into yoga was sparked by the meditative and holistic aspects of the practice.  A consistent yoga practice has proven to be one of the few experiences in physical movement that felt pleasurable, nourishing and facilitated awareness through meditation.  Allowing her to operate from a still place of needing nothing, versus seeking abundance in the material form, Ciara has found yoga to be an amazing holistic approach to achieving mental and emotional clarity.  The feel of the yoga space was much different than that of a gym; she was able to re-connect and relate to her body in a new way, punctuated with gentleness, humility and self-love.

As an advocate of wellness and community building, Ciara’s intention as an instructor is to motivate her students to connect with their healing abilities and expansive potential to do great things beyond asana.  Her background in the biological sciences and clean eating encourages her students to work consciously and intelligently with their physical bodies.  Ciara thoughtfully combines breath work and asana to help purify the body of both physical and emotional toxins.  With a sharp focus on proper alignment and a deep connection to the breath, her classes will inspire her students to open up the body, quiet the mind and connect within.  She strives to offer a dynamic, challenging, and judgment free experience for all levels of practitioners, accompanied with compassionate adjustments and an energizing vinyasa flow.


Ciara is a Holistic Health Coach and Yoga Instructor who received her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification through South Boston Yoga.  Supplemented with additional training through bodhi & mind yoga, she provides one-on-one yoga and meditation sessions to individuals during all stages of breast cancer treatment and recovery.  Ciara continues to grow as a student and an instructor, finding joy in sharing the journey of the practice with others.


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Keyona Aviles

Keyona’s belief in the body as crucial to well being and healing lead her to be formally trained by Lesley University at the Masters Level in Holistic Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2006), as well as multiple fitness professions including Group Exercise (2006), Vinyasa Yoga (2009), and Thai Yoga Massage (2014.) 

“In my family music/movement/dance was how we praised our God, how we expressed our deepest emotions, how we shared ourselves when words failed. So when vinyasa yoga came to me, a practice that joins breath, movement, and creates reflective space, it felt both foreign and very familiar. It was a way to access the healing available within myself; a way into mySelf through simple body movements. The way I teach is heavily influenced by the shapes, sizes, and flows found in my large family, the many forms of water around our New England and island homes, and my own body. I am grateful for gifts gained from learning with Rolf Gates, Micheline Berry, Leslie Salmon Jones, Carrie Tyler, Sue Jones, Tom Myers, Antigravity/Aerial yoga and my students.” ~ Keyona  Aviles, LMHC

See Keyona’s offerings at www.inspiredrelease.com

Contact her at inspired.release@gmail.com617.446.3840


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Sharon Amos

Sharon (RYT-500) has been a dedicated Yoga practitioner since 2012. She studied and continues to study with the renowned Natasha Rizopoulos whose teaching disciplines combine the Iyengar and Ashtanga methods at Down Under School of Yoga in Brookline MA, where she received her 200 and 300 hour certifications. Her teaching style is slow flow alignment and breath based Vinyasa yoga. Her teaching philosophy is that the powerful healing practice of yoga is for everyBODY, including those who disagree, and especially those who have limited access to it for whatever reason.
Sharon is also an experienced Oncology Nurse at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center where she teaches Yoga to fellow staff members, and is working towards implementing a Yoga Therapy Program for Oncology patients there in the near future.
Always a student, she is currently enrolled in the Ayurveda Certification Program at Down Under Yoga as well.  Ayurveda is considered the "sister" to Yoga, and is one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems based on the balance of ones mind, body, and spirit.


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Melanie Hannon

Melanie completed the social justice, trauma informed 200hr yoga teacher training at 4 Corners Yoga and Wellness in June 2017.  She first heard of Y12sr from her teacher Karuna O’Donnell and is honored to be practicing and holding space for Y12sr at 4 Corners Yoga and Wellness.  Melanie is passionate about recovery, both personally and professionally, and is thrilled to be a part of a holistic healing community that values inclusivity and accessibility.


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Sonia Erlich, LMHC, M.A., M.F.A.

Born and raised in Boston, Sonia's commitment to the health and wellness of this city and its individuals, families, and communities runs deep. She works as a Psychotherapist at a health center in Dorchester and a pediatrics practice in Quincy. Her therapeutic approach draws upon mind-body techniques, creative expression, and trauma sensitivity. Prior to her clinical work, her field experience has included wilderness therapy in Utah, case management in Boston, teaching in after school programs, and group leadership in community centers and residential treatment facilities. She has had more than fifteen years of working with people of various ages, identities, cultures, and life circumstances. She uses reiki, mindfulness, and yoga to support her work in creating safe, healing spaces.

Sonia earned her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She has trained in trauma-informed yoga through The Trauma Center at JRI and became certified as a Yoga and 12-Step Recovery facilitator. As a mind-body practitioner and guide, she creates an opportunity for deep alignment and connection with the self, the community, and the environment. She is enthused to participate in the mission of 4 Corners Yoga & Wellness and work among a cohort of conscious healers.


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Jaylee Oberg

Jaylee Oberg is a Boston native who is known for her powerful but playful teaching style. She was first introduced to yoga in college and fell in love instantly. She finally found a practice that did as much for her body as it did for her mind. She is an avid reader, a proud dog mama, and enjoys reading, trying out new recipes, and singling very loudly to Beyoncé. Her favorite place is anywhere people are gathered to sweat, breathe and break boundaries together.


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Caitryn Megan McCallum

My aunt dropped me off at my first yoga class when I was 14. I remember the room was dimly lit, hot, filled with adults, and I wondered why she had thought this would be a good idea. I was nonetheless curious about the movements, and I liked that no one else in the class was judging my early-teens self as she fumbled awkwardly around on her mat. I was so baffled. I was also totally hooked.

Yoga stayed with me through high school and college -- where i found my home in Ashtanga Yoga of Charlottesville -- and onto my first teacher training post-college. Yoga has transformed for me from an "escape from the real-world" to an exploration of how to bring the practice into the many phases of my daily existence.  Moreover, it's provided me a community through all movement and change - chapters of both different states and cities, as well as through more difficult periods - of depression, grief, and anxiety. My classes are based in my 200-hour Foundational and Advanced training under Ana Forrest, as well as my 200-hour traditional Vinyasa training under Daniel Max and Magi Pierce.  There is attention to anatomy, breath, and core, with humor is woven throughout.

I'm grateful for the teachers who created sacred space for me during my very first classes and whom I to turn to and learn from today.  Thank you to Cat Kabira, Joanne Flaherty, Ana Forrest,  Alana Brennan, Magi Pierce, Cat Allen, Heidi Sormaz, Jennifer Elliott, Ty Landrum, Katie Tully, and of course my very first teachers and warrior women -- my late grandmother, my aunt, and my mum.


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Gally Reznor

I was born in Russia and practiced ballet and gymnastics as a child. During my teenage years my family moved to Israel where I completed my college education in public health. I began practicing yoga in 2011 after arriving to Boston. The practice helped me mobilize my body after many years of inactivity and find community in a new city. After practicing yoga for over 4 years I completed the 200 hour yoga teacher training at JP Centre Yoga.  After moving to Dorchester in mid 2017, I was very excited to discover 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness  Center  opening just few blocks from my house.  

On the mat I like to work hard, incorporating dynamic cardio elements while building strength and flexibility.  My classes are influenced by dance, contemporary music and high intensity training. I work in medical research and in my free time like to travel, snap pictures and take dance classes all over town.  


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Aisha Townes

Aisha Townes, MS/MPH RYT 200, has practiced yoga for the last 15 years. She is passionate about the intersection of public health and yoga. She recently completed a dual master's degree in medical sciences and public health with a degree focus in maternal and child health. Aisha enjoys teaching slow flow yoga with assists. She has taught yoga in Nicaragua. She emphasizes yoga for everybody and every body. Favorite pose: wheel.


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Michelle Mendes

Certified yoga Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Line Dance Instructor, Arthritis Foundation Fitness Specialist, Reiki Practitioner, Pilates Mat Instructor,

A yoga teacher and student of different energy and fitness modalities for over 10 years, Michelle thrives on continuous education from a variety of yoga disciplines and healing specialties. Her yoga teachings are rooted in viniyoga and Hatha yoga traditions.

Her classes teach to the theme of presence, connection, and the unfolding of possibility in every moment. Her classes also focus on using yoga as a healing tool to honor and deepen each students individual connection to personal strength, self acceptance and love. "The goal of my classes is to connect students to their inner world. The strengthening of what we can not see leads to the connection we most deserve. This connection is the key to the unfolding of the never ending journey that yoga represents."

Namaste
- The light in me appreciates and acknowledges the light in you.


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Joell M. Beagle, RYT, MSW, MDiv

"To say that yoga changed me is an understatement. Yoga is how I breathe life into my existence and center myself amidst life’s chaos. It did not just change me, it rearranged and saved me.

I discovered yoga at a gym in Waco, Texas.  Among the clanking weights and blaring televisions, I strolled into a group workout session incorporating various yoga postures.  Exploring the interplay between the body and breath was the beginning of my yogic path.

For years, I dabbled in the practice, popping into yoga studios for drop-in classes or experimenting with online videos.  My practice shifted dramatically however when I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.  In my pursuit of holistic methods for managing the physical, mental, and emotional stress, I found myself back on the mat.  I delved deep and, with time, began to gain a more embodied sense of self.  It was a gift I knew I wanted to pass on to others.

I completed my 200+ hour teacher training at Boston Yoga School under the mentorship of Ame Wren and Brenna Matthews. I am versed in hatha yoga and in my classes focus on strength and balance using integrated movement with deep, long holds. I am known for my distinctive voice with an emphasis on meditation and pranayama (breath work). In addition to my yoga studies, I hold a Master of Social Work and a Master of Divinity, bringing a rich and layered experience to the classroom."  Best - J.B.


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Xiomy Avila

 Xiomy Avila is a Wellness (Ayurvedic) Coach and a Kundalini Yoga  teacher. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience to help people to find balance in their lives by teaching them how to make healthier choices for themselves and how their choices might have an impact in their health, the environment and global issues. “When we are able to find love and harmony inside of us we are able to live it and share it with the world”

Xiomy studied International Business in Colombia. Working and supporting companies to develop a better organizational environment, helping people to find balance and joy between their jobs and their personal life is something she is passionate about. In this journey she found that every change, starts with our self development as human beings, a constant evolution of healing, of becoming more aware of the process of loving ourselves. On her journey she has studied and trained in Self/Professional Coaching and Behavior Analyst, Ayurvedic Massage & Panchakarma Therapy, Ayurvedic Pregnancy Care & Baby Massage,  Hatha  Yoga, Kundalini Yoga & Advanced Yoga Therapy.

Description for Class: We will be exploring through kundalini kriyas that allow us to opening our heart and loving feelings, increase compassion and sensitivity to others. Eliminating unnecessary thoughts and feelings so we can be more present and experience our feelings more clearly.