TEACHERS

 
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KRISTIN O’DONNELL, RYT, TCTSY-F

Kristin began to practice yoga and meditation to alleviate stress from her previous job as an Office Manager. The difference they made in her everyday life was so profound that she knew they needed to be added to her routine. Her new practice opened her up to join an online class with Lisa Rankin and Martha Beck. Only a few months later, Kristin attended Martha Beck’s Life Coach Training. She enjoyed the training but felt that she was still missing something on this new path. It became clear that pursuing yoga in depth was the next step. She completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training with Carrie Tyler at Barre & Soul Harvard Square. She is now using her yoga and life coach skills to help people in need. Kristin purchased Groundwork Yoga and Wellness in August 2018. She hopes to provide a safe space for people of all ages to learn about yoga and mindfulness.

Kristin is a Yoga Alliance certified Yoga Instructor. She is also certified as a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher with the Trauma Center of Brookline, MA. She has taken several children’s yoga trainings with ChildLight Yoga in Dover, NH. She is currently working toward completing her 95-hour Children’s Yoga Teacher Certification. Kristin is looking forward to continuing her journey teaching yoga to children and adults.


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JOANNE AFARIAN

After a career in marketing in the biotech industry, I’m pursuing my deepest passion and teaching yoga. I’ve had a personal yoga practice for 17 years that began with hot vinyasa classes. Over the years, I’ve pursued a more meditative practice and I believe this is reflected in my teaching style. I am a certified Kripalu yoga instructor- Kripalu style is more introspective and emphasizes a connection of the mind- body- and breath. I love helping students connect to their bodies and release any preconceived ideas of what yoga has to look like and rather focus on having their own unique experience. I love every aspect of preparing for a class from developing a theme, coordinating asanas, to compiling a playlist.

I completed my 200 hour training at the Kripalu Yoga and Ayurveda Association in Lenox, Ma with Brahmani Liebman and Jashoda Edmunds – two of the most thoughtful, experienced, and compassionate instructors I’ve ever met. I am also a certified Yin Yoga instructor having also completed this training with Brahmani and Jashoda. I am aware of their profound influence every time I am in front of a class. I am honored to have learned from them and have also been a teaching assistant for them at Kripalu for both the 200hr and Yin Yoga teacher training programs.

My passion is helping students develop their practice and guiding them to grow and dive into their practice both on and off the mat. I hope you’ll join me on the mat soon.


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HILARY BENT-MULLINGS, RYT, AHC

Hilary is first and foremost an eternal student of life, yoga, meditation, and holistic healing systems. She is overjoyed to have found her path helping others gain better balance and health through yoga, meditation, energy healing and Ayurveda.

She has completed her yoga trainings at Back Bay Yoga in Boston and at Yoga of Energy Flow. Meeting students where they are at physically and mentally is very important to her. Hilary is a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor, having studied at both Kripalu and the Jiva Institute in India. She is also a Thai Yoga Massage and Reiki Practitioner.

Hilary strongly believes that yoga is something that can be practiced both on and off the mat. Bringing a sense of humor and open mind is part of her daily practice in life. Her hope is to help others feel at home and connected within themselves, which is something these ancient healing modalities have given to her.


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ELIZABETH J. BERNER

Elizabeth’s yoga journey began in 1995 through the gentle encouragement of a friend to attend a yoga class. After the first couple classes she was hooked and yoga has become a way of life for her. As a former triathlete and fitness instructor, Elizabeth has learned that yoga is so much more than just a physical practice. For her, it is a multifaceted discipline that provides remarkable emotional, cognitive, and spiritual shifts in a person. Showing up is the first step and Elizabeth greets those who show up on their mat with a loving kindness and deep appreciation for being present.

Elizabeth completed her 200-hour teacher training certification through yogaspirit studios with Kim Valeri. Having spent several years working at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine and learning from leading experts in the field of mind body medicine, Elizabeth approaches yoga with a sincere curiosity of the mind body connection. Her classes are infused with light-heartedness and an approachable style. Her master degree studies at Harvard University in psychology, along with her background in mind body medicine has led to her firm belief in the profound positive changes that yoga has on our well-being. Elizabeth is a Health Educator/Wellness Representative. In addition to adult yoga classes, she completed the Balasana Kid’s Yoga Teacher Training and teaches kid’s yoga. Elizabeth is committed to helping others enjoy a healthy and balanced lifestyle through the integration of yoga and stress reduction.


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TESSALINA SOFIA BELJEAN

Tessalina is fortunate to have been exposed to yoga at a very young age: as a young child she copied her mother while she was in her poses and years later, when she was in middle school, her mother handed her a book that solidified her interest in yoga. Seeing and feeling the benefits of a long-term practice, she wishes to pass on what she has learned. Her hope for her students is that they feel the rewards of yoga, in and out of class.

Aside from being a yoga teacher, she is also a photographer and has worked in higher education for almost a decade. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in Mass Media and a German Language Studies Certificate. She loves to ride her bicycle to work everyday, ski in the winter, and delve into various crafts and DIY projects.

She earned her 200-hr YTT with the Boston Yoga School under the tutelage of Ame Wren, Brenna Matthews, and Ben Chused. She is interested in how the practice affects mental health, she is fascinated with the history and lineage of yogic philosophy, and wishes to learn more about anatomy and how the practice feels for different bodies.

Be well.


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NINA MCGEEHAN

Nina took her first hot yoga class late in 2009. The teacher said to “thank your body” while in savasana. From that moment, she was hooked. Her goal is to incorporate yoga and/or meditation into her daily life. She even has “date yoga” sessions with her husband. Her yoga practice has evolved from being viewed as a workout to becoming a connection between body, mind, and spirit. She loves taking what she’s learned on the mat out into the world. She strongly believes that having gratitude creates happiness within oneself.

Nina went through Hands On Assisting in January 2015 and Prana Power Yoga Teacher Training (200 hours) in 2018. She is also Reiki II Certified. She loves to use imagery during class to help her students release stress and tension. She believes that the breath is the most powerful tool a person can use.

Her classes focus on providing proper safe alignment, yet allowing the student to follow their own intuition. She meets students where they are in their practice, while encouraging mindfulness in a fun and comfortable atmosphere. She admires those that take the time for themselves.

Nina’s passions include baking, strength training, paddle boarding and spending time with her husband, son and dog.


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ASHLEY NICHOLS

Ashley is a passionate yoga instructor and forever-student. She received her 200-hour training at South Boston Yoga in 2015 and has since been combining her love for yoga and nature by teaching gentle vinyasa style classes at Clark Farm in Carlisle, MA- near her hometown. Ashley fell in love with yoga during her college years and since then, her practice has been ever evolving.

Yoga for Ashley is an outlet for unwinding and sorting out the entirety of her being. She has learned a plethora of lessons from the practice on and off the mat and feels as though yoga like everything in this life is a continuous practice and one you have to keep working on. Ashley practices daily gratitude and her mission is to guide others to abundant health and happiness as her yoga practice has guided her. The practicing never ends, as the learning never stops.

Ashley teaches vinyasa based classes that are designed for all ages and skill levels. Her teaching style is gentle yet playful. She provides precise cueing to give you multiple variations of each pose in order for you to make it your own personal practice and take it to wherever you need it to be.

Ashley’s passions outside of her yoga mat include loving animals, gardening, soaking in sunshine, growing, dreaming, teaching, learning, being, feeling, exploring, traveling, and loving. Ashley also is an ABA Therapist at a school for children with autism. She is enjoying and learning a lot as this chapter unfolds.

Namaste.


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KERIN PEREZ HARWOOD, RYT

Kerin discovered yoga in 2006 at her local gym, but it was only after her first heated vinyasa class in 2008 that she became hooked. The combination between focus, strength, and stillness has kept her coming back to her mat. In 2012, Kerin started taking yoga more seriously, developing a daily and at home practice. With a little encouragement from her friends, Kerin made the leap and pursued the 200 hour yoga teacher training at Prana Power Yoga in Cambridge, becoming a Registered Yoga Instructor through Yoga Alliance in 2012. Since then Kerin has continued to practice, study, and teach yoga.

Kerin is currently following her passion for women’s health and wellness. This year, she became a certified prenatal yoga instructor through 5 Points Yoga, studying under Barrett Reinhorn. She recently started her own venture, SupportHer Doula and Wellness Services, where she works as a birth doula and is a level II reiki practitioner. She focuses on providing judgement-free support to women throughout their pregnancy and birth. Kerin leverages her knowledge of childbirth to teach a thoughtful and impactful prenatal yoga class to the women in her community.


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JANNA WESTMORELAND

Janna felt the transformative power of yoga after one pose. Plagued with sickness and low confidence, Janna took a free postnatal yoga class and within 5 minutes of being in legs up the wall, Janna’s body and mind felt a calm that had been missing for years. The more she practiced, the more Janna saw positive changes happen in her life off the mat. Anxiety disappeared, digestive ailments lessened, and courage grew. The small town girl from Maine was even able to conquer her fear of driving in Boston!

Wanting nothing more than to pass along the benefits of yoga to her family and community, Janna completed her 200-hour teacher training with Liz Owen and Daniel Orlansky in 2017. An eternal student of yoga, Janna has since completed Find Your Voice: Continuing Education for Yoga Teachers with Nicole Siegel and Allison Jones and YogastroloyⓇ Initiation with Allison Jones of Wonder Yoga in Arlington. Janna draws on many styles of yoga in her teaching to better help students connect with themselves, their community, and their environment, all with the foundational motto of, “come as you are, bring it to the mat, and leave elevated”.

When Janna is not teaching, practicing, or studying yoga, she can be found cooking and baking, collecting sea glass at the beach, watching classic movies, and enjoying life with her husband and two daughters.