Staff

Karuna O'Donnell

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Karuna O'Donnell is highly skilled teacher and teacher trainer who is recognized as a leader in the trauma healing community in Boston and nationally. As an educator, she is profoundly committed to a mission of social justice in community based settings. In 2008, she was awarded a fellowship for Leadership in Education to the Harvard Graduate School of Education for work with complexly traumatized youth in Dorchester, MA. In the process of achieving her MEd from Harvard, her identities as an artist, activist and teacher converged as a founding member of Survivor Theatre Project, of which she is now a workshop facilitator and leadership team member. In graduate school, Karuna was employed as a consultant by the Trauma Center Yoga program at Justice Resource Institute, Boston's leading trauma center. Karuna implemented a trauma sensitive yoga program with students at the van der Kolk Institute and began offering private instruction, yoga classes and teacher training as resources for healing throughout Greater Boston. She was selected to assist the groundbreaking Forrest Yoga Foundation Teacher Training in 2014 and the Yoga, Meditation and Addiction Recovery Conference founded by Nikki Myers and Rolf Gates in 2011 and 2014. She is certified in Forrest Yoga (Level 3), Trauma Informed Yoga and the Yoga of Twelve Step Recovery. She sees yoga as her path to becoming an authentic human being with a precious gift to bring to her people. Karuna offers yoga and arts learning g in the greater Boston area.

Karuna says "Facilitating personal acts of courage brightens my spirit tremendously. My vision is people becoming the central directors in their own healing. I want to know how people in overwhelming life situations learn, heal and envision their lives beyond present circumstances. I believe that wellness resources cultivate resilience in people of all ages. I believe in coalition building between people dedicated to healing and brightening the collective human spirit and striving to end poverty and injustice. My intent is to offer consistent, high quality, trauma and research informed learning experiences that reflect and create a culture of respect and dignity."


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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.


   

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.


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.  


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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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Tee Trac

Yoga has changed my life for the better. For that reason, I wanted to learn how to teach it to help people the same way it helped me.   I finished my 200 hours of training with Open Doors Yoga in Weymouth and am also Yin Certified Yoga Teacher.  I currently train with Shawn Cornelison for the 300 hours program to specialize in the application of therapeutic essentials and go even deeper in learning skills of yoga as a healing art and science. May you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be happy, and may you be at ease.

 


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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 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, Daniel Max, Magi Pierce, Alana Brennan, 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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Rebecca Ramer

I was first introduced to yoga in a high school gym class, but it wasn’t until I took a semester off from school as a college junior that I began to develop a consistent yoga practice. I had been struggling with depression at school, and somehow I knew that the answer to my problem was in the body. I spent the next few months attending classes at Laughing Lotus in NYC, and found there a deep connection to my body, mind and spirit that allowed me to step out of the darkness, and get through college.

In 2013 I completed 200-hour Vinyasa training at Back Bay Yoga, where I studied under Lynne Begier, Sarah Sturges and Aaron Cantor. Their diverse teaching styles taught me to see yoga from many different perspectives—a way to stay physically and mentally healthy, a spiritual practice, a way to express myself, and even a way to play. This January I completed a 4-week mentorship program with Alana Brennan at JP Centre Yoga, where I worked to find my own voice as a teacher. I like to incorporate humor and gentleness into my teaching, encouraging students to leave their perfectionism at the door, and allow themselves to relax and explore.

When not practicing yoga, I am a social worker, who has worked with children, adults and families in residential and day treatment programs. Thus far I have worked most extensively as a group therapist, working with adults with mental illness. Outside of career I enjoy singing, and am a member of a gospel choir. I am also a member of a local housing rights organization that works to prevent displacement and keep communities in tact. I am currently taking time off from my work to focus on self-care, self-discovery and self-creation, as well as looking for ways to contribute my unique gifts of warmth, music, humor and deep love to the world around me.


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Christian Verde

Christian Verde is an Associate Certified Pranic Healer and has a private practice of Pranic Healing. He started Pranic Healing in 2011. He currently teaches Basic Pranic Healing in Boston, MA, founded The Center for Pranic Healing Massachusetts in 2018 and co-founded Atlanta Pranic Healing Center, LLC in 2014.


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Laura Charles

Laura's love of teaching yoga comes from her commitment to forever be a student. Rooted in the belief that time on our mats is practice for how we are in the world, Laura's classes cultivate curiosity, attention, openness, and creativity. She uses a combination of asana, music, mantra, mudras, and pranayama to empower students with their own set of tools to access strength and calm within, as well as the ability to take their practice into their daily lives. She enjoys working with students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

Laura took her first yoga class 16 years ago in search of a complement to her dance training. She was immediately awakened to yoga’s power to cultivate a deeper connection to her whole Self in a way she hadn’t experienced with dance. The idea that movement and breath could be an inward exploration rather than solely an outward expression kept her coming back to the mat, and eventually encouraged her to deepen her practice with meditation and mantra.

Laura is trained in vinyasa yoga and completed her 200-RYT training at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in Manhattan in 2011. She also completed additional trainings in Bhakti yoga at Laughing Lotus and the Lineage Project's teacher training program for at-risk youth. She previously taught in Brooklyn, NY and currently teaches in Boston, MA.

 


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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. 


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Ajeet Himat Singh

Ajeet Himat Singh is a yoga teacher, family therapist, father, and husband who is grateful for the opportunity to bring the transformational power of Kundalini Yoga to the Roslindale Community. Like many, he came to yoga seeking a practice to support personal change. What he has found is a treasure trove of teachings and practices that support a life of joyful exploration and spontaneous expression.

Kundalini Yoga integrates the power of posture, breath, mantra and meditation to more fully connect students to their own higher wisdom. Ajeet’s classes are accessible to all levels of experience and ability, and at times will seek to challenge your own self-perceived limitations of who you think are and what you believe you can achieve.

A daily practitioner of Kundalini Yoga for over 7 years, Ajeet has completed the Kundalini Yoga Level 1 Teacher training under Hari Kaur and the amazing team of teachers at the Baba Siri Chand Ashram in Millis, MA.

“When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind, beautiful.” 
― Yogi Bhajan


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Tiffanie

Tiffanie recently graduated from the Salter School of Massage Therapy. She is very passionate about holistic health and healing. Tiffanie is confident in her abilities and has a firmness in her hands which leaves clients feeling relaxed and aware of their individual needs. Tiffanie is also an avid yogi and plans to incorporate aromatherapy, energy work, and sound healing into each of her massage sessions. Day by day she is working to develop a deeper understanding of how the human body works in connection with these holistic tools

 


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Myrca Augustin

Massage started off as a hobby, now my hobby is a career. I went to Cortiva Institute and  graduated in October 2016. I've been a massage therapist for a year. I'm enjoying being a massage therapist  so very much and seeing my clients have some improvements in the body.  I continue to receive training to better my skills, technique, and to provide more services to my clients and future clients.

 

 


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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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Anita Simpson

Anita has been a licensed massage therapist since 2009. Her massage style is very much on the relaxing side. She specializes in reducing stress, migraines and can also provide reflexology within a Swedish relaxation massage. She customizes her massages in a way it can suit all areas whether there is pain or tension. Anita enjoys encouraging her clients on their road to wellness and is happy to be able to help them become a healthier and positive in addition to their regular self-care.