Melissa began practicing yoga in 2008. She was living in New York at the time, pursuing an acting career, and working at a 3 Michelin star restaurant. Yoga proved to be exactly what Melissa needed to stay centered and grounded in such a fast paced, high energy city. After several years of practicing, Melissa decided to deepen her practice and knowledge, and received her 200 hr certification from The Yoga Room. Melissa has practiced Jivamukti, vinyasa, and Iyengar yoga and her classes incorporate elements from all of of these styles. Her classes are designed to build strength and flexibility while maintaining proper alignment. Melissa uses her background in dance to create sequences that flow naturally and have seamless transitions. She encourages her students to stay true to their practice and offers multiple variations of poses as well as prop guidance.
Melissa's yoga experience and teaching interests have always run a parallel course to her life.
In 2015, after two early pregnancy losses, she knew that she wanted to teach prenatal yoga. For the brief time she was pregnant, she was fascinated with the way a woman's body, breath, and mind changes while growing a baby. She felt that practicing yoga while pregnant would only deepen that connection of the mother and the baby, while also preparing the mother to give birth. Melissa now has two healthy children and she practiced and taught through both of those pregnancies. She uses these experiences to relate to the beautiful mamas who take her class.
Melissa and her husband left the city in 2015 and moved to Milford, CT. Melissa found a home teaching vinyasa and prenatal yoga at Ganga Flow. What she loved most about Ganga was the community. It was more than strangers coming to their mats. Whether teaching or practicing there, you always felt a sense of family. A major goal of Just Be is to continue to foster and grow that community.
In 2018 with a 2 year old at home and a new baby on the way, Melissa decided she wanted to teach yoga to children. Raising children today, you quickly see the amount of over stimulation and over scheduling children are often subjected to. It was important that she had the tools to offer her own children as they grow up in today's world. After receiving her certification, she taught a 12 week yoga and mindfulness program at an elementary school in MA. Melissa is excited to have the facility and the opportunity to introduce and teach yoga and mindfulness to local children.
• RYT 200, The Yoga Room, NY
• Prenatal Certified Teacher, The Yoga Room, NY
• RCYT, Little Flower Yoga, CT
Owner/ Yoga Instructor
Mike Cardillo, RYT-200, completed his 200 hour training through the Pranakriya School of Yoga Healing Arts. He considers yoga to be something more than simply making shapes with your body. He leads upbeat, mindful classes that incorporate pranayama, asanas and meditation to deepen the inward experience, while releasing tension along with building strength. Above all, he believes in keeping yoga approachable to all bodies and experience levels. He is currently working on his 300-hour certification with addition studies in anatomy, meditation and yin yoga.
Diane started a regular yoga practice in 2008 and quickly realized that the strength and body awareness she established in ballet, gymnastics, skiing and nearly twenty-five years as an exercise instructor was easy to transition to her yoga practice. The element of introspection, on the other hand, was something totally new and more of a challenge to her. Over time, this is what she has grown to love most about practicing yoga and is what brings her back to her mat again and again. Diane is an RYT 500 having completed both her 200-hour and an additional 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Kaia Yoga in Westport. Diane’s passion for movement, breath, alignment and pushing past mental obstacles are evident in her upbeat and flowing classes.
Michelle graduated from SCSU with an Exercise Science and Nutrition degree and is full of passion and knowledge about fitness and nutrition helping students be the best they can be!! She loves to empower others to create space and energy in mind and body using breathe and movement. Her goal is to create a playful and safe practice where students can explore and build deep core strength both on and off the mat. Michelle teaches in a way that will motivate you to go deeper and reach your full potential. You will leave her class feeling calm, uplifted, and in love with your yoga practice. Michelle teaches a full spectrum of classes from upbeat Vinyasa Core Flow to Prenatal, and Baby & Me Classes. So whether you want to move, play and flow or simply sit and breathe you are always welcome in class.
I’ll see you on your mat!!
• 200 HR YTT Fresh Yoga, New Haven CT
• STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer
• Prenatal Certified Teacher, Prinakriya
Alicia first fell in love with yoga while in graduate school in 2012 as a way to manage stress and find balance. Since then, yoga has inspired her to live in a more mindful way, and has become an instrumental part of her foundation as a family therapist.
Her passion for yoga led her to completing her 200 hour yoga teacher certification through Sikorski Yoga in 2017 and she has been teaching since that time. She strives to encourage everyone who takes her class to feel good about themselves and their bodies. Her style is calm, welcoming, fun and supportive.
Betsy has been teaching group fitness, dance, personal training and health coaching full time for 30 years. She was the owner of Rhythm in Motion Dance and Fitness Studios in Branford and Madison, CT, and worked in Corporate Health and Wellness for 17 years where she built a pioneering holistic health and wellness program and managed onsite Fitness/Wellness Centers. Her love of movement, health, dance, and fascination with the human body has inspired her passionate quest to help people heal, become more embodied, and find more joy and meaning in their lives. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and MELT Method Practitioner, and trained in numerous corrective exercise and healing modalities. She brings a unique alchemy of disciplines and a dynamic, creative teaching style to all of her classes.
Betsy Bell Osterholm
Shabon’s Yoga journey began in 2005 when she attended her first class in Vinyasa style. Coming to Yoga mainly for a physical workout, her practice has deeply evolved and changed into one that not only supports her body, but also her mind and heart. She began practicing and studying Yoga more deeply in 2012 and soon realized that sharing this gift with others was a necessary part of her journey. She believes that Yoga offers us a true and lasting refuge. In August of 2017 she earned her 200 YTT certification at Sadhana Yoga School at Bethel Farms in New Hampshire. While trained in teaching Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga of all Levels, she loves all traditions and tries to skillfully weave them into her classes. Yin has become a favorite to practice personally and also share with others.
“I try to remain true to all the knowledge and experience that I have learned from all of my teachers. I am always learning and will always be a student, which helps me immensely in being a better guide when leading a class”
Natalie first discovered yoga in High School by volunteering and taking classes at The Woodbury Yoga Center. It was there rooted in Seva, her love of yoga began.
Shakipat initiation into the path of Kundalini Maha Yoga with Anandi Ma at Woodbury Yoga Center, Woodbury, CT.
200 hr YTT with YogaSpirit at Your Community Yoga Center, Hamden, CT.
Children’s Yoga Teacher Training with Full of Joy Yoga at Your Community Yoga Center, Hamden, CT.
Community Herbalist and Master Gardener
Workshops/Intensives in Kundalini, Bikram, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anusara, Hatha, Yin and Restorative Yoga
"The practice of yogais to remove the weeds from the body so that the garden can grow."
Dominique began her yoga journey 20 years ago practicing Baptiste yoga in Boston and Brooklyn. After returning to her hometown, New Haven, in 2008, she continued practicing Power Yoga but also began to experience and enjoy a variety of vinyasa classes, especially classes that focused on the importance of mobility and body awareness, slower and deeper flows, and attention to alignment and injury prevention. As an educator and avid runner and cyclist, Dominique was drawn to yoga’s grounding ability through mind/body connection—finding the calm in this sometimes chaotic life. Her classes include creative sequencing in a vinyasa flow that fosters flexibility and strength. Embracing the connection between movement and breath, her classes meet the varying needs of students, empowering them to find the steadiness and ease in their own practice. She hopes that mindful movement on the mat might translate to mindful moments off the mat.
Dominique completed her 200 hr teacher training with 108 Monkeys in New Haven under the amazing guidance of Peg Oliveira, Elizabeth Lowe and Courtney Bauer. She graciously honors her teachers and their commitment to yoga service.
Sally resides in Stratford with her husband Dan and her two daughters, Hannah and Emma and their very fluffy dog, Faith. Sally is a former bilingual second grade teacher. Sally taught second grade in the South Bronx and in New York City for many years before starting her family. Sally, who was afraid to swim, married a former swim Captain who not only showed her how to swim but introduced her to the world of Triathlons. While training for a triathlon Sally got injured and couldn’t run so a friend suggested she sign up to take a fitness class, and the rest is history. Sally has been teaching fitness for the past 6 years and when she started teaching, she only taught Aqua classes, but with her love of dance and yoga, she knew she wanted to teach more varietal classes. Now she teaches everything from barre to strength training. When she is not teaching fitness classes, she can be found spending time with her family, hiking, skiing, baking scrumptious treats or taking long walks with her dog.
Barre/ Yoga Instructor
Nancy is a newcomer to Milford, having moved here at the end of 2018 from Edgewater, New Jersey when she retired from her career in sales and marketing in the medical field. In a short time she has established herself as an active member of Milford’s yoga community. Nancy became a 200 hour certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor in 2009 and has enjoyed an active and faithful yoga and meditation practice for over 20 years. Nancy recently returned from a month-long yoga retreat in India where she deepened her knowledge of the yoga of sound, devotional mantras, mudras, chakras, chanting and meditation. She is also a classically trained singer who has always valued the connection of breath and movement as a way of fostering creative expression and a pathway to knowing greater consciousness. Nancy teaches Gentle Yoga and Guided Meditation, with a foundation in Hatha Yoga, mindfulness, and body awareness.