Leslie Carleton began practicing yoga in earnest 26 years ago in Chicago, in 1988, with senior Iyengar instructor, Gabriel Halpern of Yoga Circle. 3 years later she began her teacher training under Gabriel’s brilliant tutelage. She subsequently trained over the next several years with many senior Iyengar teachers including Roger Cole, Manuso Manos and Jo Zukovich. In the late nineties she found herself in an Ashtanga Vinyasa class with Tim Miller and was ecstatic with how liberating it felt to move! She continued to teach, blending Iyengar Yoga’s attention to alignment and safety, with Ashtanga Yoga’s breath guided movement. She completed Ashtanga teacher training with David Swenson in 2003 and later on studied also with Shiva Rea, Beryl Bender Birch, Schuyler Grant and other “innovators” of classic form. What she teaches is essentially a form of Vinyasa yoga that blends influences of Iyengar and Ashtanga traditions to create a flow practice that balances challenge and ease. In July of 2011, Leslie had brain surgery to remove a tumor, and lost her right side balance nerve and much of the hearing in that ear. In the wake of this experience and its aftereffects, she has felt her own practice deepen and ripen into something sustainable, nourishing, and deeply personal. As a teacher, Leslie tries to offer that same kind of experience to her students—a practice that is meaningful within a contemporary and personal context—the joy and fire of challenge tempered by the intelligent guidance of correct alignment and one’s unique circumstances.
Sharon Gouveia Comeau has been practicing yoga since 1999. She practiced primarily Bikram yoga until moving to the upper valley in 2003, when she discovered Upper Valley Yoga and the joy of the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition. She has taken workshops in Ashtanga yoga with David Swenson and Beryl Bender Birch, and just completed a 200 hour hatha yoga teacher training with Deb Neubauer, a certified Anusara yoga teacher. Sharon is known for her clear teaching style, welcoming presence, and sense of fun and exploration she brings to the practice.
Justine Fahey has been practicing yoga since 1998, first in Cambridge, MA at Baron Baptiste’s studio and then in the Upper Valley since 2000. Mainly focusing on Astanga and vinyasa practices, she believes yoga is integral to both physical and emotional well-being. Justine lives in the Upper Valley with her husband, three kids, dog and cats.
Erin Tunnicliffe began practicing yoga in 1996, and has been teaching since 2002,when she completed David Swenson’s Ashtanga primary series teacher training. She credits local teachers Stephen Leslie and Chris Buhner with igniting her love of yoga as well as instilling the importance of a daily practice. Erin has completed Sarah Power’s Insight (yin) Yoga and Meditation teacher training levels I and II, and has incorporated this highly complementary style of yoga to her personal as well as teaching practices. Erin has also studied with Sage Rountree in her Teaching Yoga to Athletes program. Yoga has become a platform for broader study into the Eastern contemplative traditions, and Erin regularly attends workshops on these subjects at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she serves as a member of the board of trustees. Erin’s day job is with her MBA alma mater, the Tuck School.
Bri embarked on her yoga journey in college, when her friend (now husband) Geoff brought her to a class at the university gym. As an avid athlete, she grew to love its therapeutic benefits. Her practice has since blossomed, and Bri has developed a deep appreciation for the healing effects of yoga and meditation on the mind, body, and heart. Bri has a Masters Degree in Education and taught high school math for three years in New York City before moving to the Upper Valley. She earned her certification to teach yoga through Lotus Gardens Yoga in Sherman, CT in 2009 and completed the Anusara Immersion I in Darien, CT. She weaves energetic flow with deep relaxation in her classes, focusing on correct alignment and body and breath awareness.
Jennifer Armstrong While studying dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jenny had the opportunity to study Pilates with a first generation Pilates teacher, Kathy Grant and got hooked! After college she moved overseas to teach, and began suffering from daily back pain. Returning to her roots, she decided to leave that job and re-organize her life around health and wellness, which brought her back to Pilates and yoga. Jenny received her Intermediate Reformer and Matwork Certification from STOTT Pilates in April of 2007, and has been teaching ever since. She has been incorporating yoga into her own practice since college and just recently completed the Anusara Immersion with Deb Neubauer. She enjoys seeing people connect more deeply with their bodies, helping them to feel stronger both in their favorite physical activities and in their daily lives. Having experienced the benefits of Pilates and yoga in her own life, she is excited to explore the combination of these two techniques with others!
Angie Follensbee-Hall has been practicing yoga and meditation since 1996. Angie studies with many great teachers of various lineages in between making Handmade Paper Wall hangings, and raising two beautiful daughters! In 2005, her eldest daughter suffered a serious illness. During her daughter’s recovery, Angie began to seek ways of finding peace and a sense of wholeness, and she returned to the practice of Yoga with renewed vigor. In 2007, she graduated from Yoga teacher training with Linda Lalita Winnick, of Shakti Yoga and The Ayurvedic Enrichment Institute, of Woodstock, NY., and she is currently enrolled in Linda’s 500 hour Advanced Teacher Training. Angie’s training is unique in its application of Ayurvedic principles and practices. In each class, asanas are chosen in accordance with Ayurvedic principles of seasonal balance. Angie’s classes are vinyasa based, and incorporate alignment elements of Anusara and Iyengar Yoga, as well as the deep soul connection from the Kundalini Yoga practice. Angie has studied with top teachers in all these styles. Angie lives in Cornish, NH with her husband Joshua (who sometimes accompanies Angie’s classes with live music) her two daughters, and her many animal companions.
Liz Heffernan recently relocated to New Hampshire with her husband and two boys after living eleven years in Hawaii. Her journey with yoga began as a young teenager when through a random, yet auspicious, opportunity she took a yoga course at a nearby college. Here, in Savasana, she experienced a sense of peace and wellbeing, a feeling that was in profound contrast to her daily expression of herself. It took fifteen years for the seed that was planted then to germinate into a dedicated practice. Now, after almost 20 years of daily yoga, Liz is humbly grateful to this life-affirming path that consistently realigns her physical body, thoughts and innermost intentions with more joy and a deep sense of ease. Liz has been teaching yoga for 17 years. Her dynamic teaching style is influenced by in-depth study in a variety of Hatha Yoga styles with many, many wonderful teachers including Ashtanga Yoga’s Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, Tim Miller, and Bhavani Maki; Anusara Yoga’s Desiree Rumbaugh and Noah Maze, and Integrative Yoga Therapy’s Joseph Le Page. Her flow classes weave together creative sequencing, clear alignment, and mindful breathing with compassionate self-inquiry and form a tapestry that reflects her heartfelt commitment to this transformative path.
Miriah Wall fell in love with yoga asana in 2009 and has been practicing with enthusiasm ever since. Miriah came to yoga with humble hopes of rehabilitating an injured knee but became a devoted practitioner as she began to see the ripples of positive change the practice inspired in all aspects of her world. Miriah has completed a 100-hour teacher training in the hot yoga series through Core Power Yoga as well as a YogaWorks 200-hour training with Natasha Rizopoulos. Miriah is currently working to finish her Masters in Counseling and looks forward to beginning her career as a Counselor and Health Coach upon graduating. Miriah’s classes combine intelligent alignment, awareness of breath, and mindful movement with philosophy, playfulness, and laughter. While her love of asana is unwavering, Miriah nevertheless remains committed to the notion that the real yoga is found in how the lessons on the mat translate into life outside the studio.
Megan Howe has studied yoga since 1998, styles including Kripalu, Iyengar, and Anusara. She completed a 300-hour Anusara Yoga teacher training in 2006 and taught for several years in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. She returns to teaching yoga after a hiatus, during which she established a career as an oncology nurse. Megan combines clear alignment guidance with compassion in helping her students find greater body awareness and deeper well-being.
Liz Dion loves to teach playful and compassionate classes. She came to yoga to work a restless body and stayed for the smiles and savasanas. She believes that one of the most important things we can learn in yoga class is to laugh at ourselves. Liz is currently studying Wellness and Alternative Medicine at Johnson State College. She received her 200 hour yoga teacher’s certification through School Yoga Institute in Walpole, NH. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Her approach to teaching is relaxed, and encourages personal exploration weaved with opportunities to giggle at our beautiful selves.
Deborah Heimann has been practicing various styles of yoga since 2000, and chiefly Forrest Yoga since 2008. She recently completed her 200-hour certification training with Ana Forrest, and as a newly minted Forrest Yoga associate teacher, she has a deep passion for connecting students to their authentic selves. Her focus is on building strength and tenacity through deep breathing, centering, and grounding in each asana. Deb is a clear and compassionate communicator, a professional freelance book editor, and an amateur gardener.
Amanda Anderson began studying yoga in 2000 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Inspired by the need for yoga teachers after Hurricane Katrina, Amanda earned her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in Vinyasa Flow yoga with Massachusetts-based Frog Lotus Yoga instructors at an intensive retreat in Italy in 2008. In 2010, Amanda went to India for six months to study Ashtanga yoga and Buddhist meditation. Afterward, she moved to Barnard, Vermont to write a memoir about the power of yoga in her life. As she continues to write, Amanda shares her yoga through community classes at the Barnard Library, private lessons and group classes at Twin Farms resort, and now at Upper Valley Yoga. Her teaching style reflects her belief in the healing power of present-moment awareness and connecting to one’s core as she draws from the various yogic traditions of Ashtanga, Iyengar, Forrest, Kundalini, Kripalu, and Viniyoga. Additionally, Amanda has developed and offers a Creative Expression Through Yoga workshop series that blends her loves of writing and yoga. During the warm months, Amanda leads Yoga Hikes for those who want to experience yoga on the trail and deepen their relationship with nature. She’s proud to finally have her website together: www.innerliftyoga.com.
“I (Cathy Vansant) started practicing Ashtanga yoga with Leslie at Upper Valley Yoga when she opened her studio in 2003. I am graduating from a Hatha Yoga Teacher training course in August 2014, taught by Angie Follensbee-Hall, which has greatly broadened and enriched my own work on and off the mat. I believe in a yoga that is accessible and adaptable to the individual, and have tried to maintain a practice that I can sustain through the many transitions life offers. Yoga has brought not only strength and flexibility into my mind and body, but also a capacity for acceptance, patience and commitment to the process of mindful living. I also bring a sense of humor to every class.”
Stacey Glazer began practicing yoga in 1990. She has studied with many teachers over the years including Richard Freeman, Beryl Bender Birch and Deb Neubauer focusing mostly in the Ashtanga and Anusara styles of yoga. When not at the studio you can find Stacey down the road at Vital Communities. She has lived in the Upper Valley with her husband and two daughters for the past 15 years
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