Melissa Gentile: Owner, E-RYT 500, YACEP, Reiki II
Melissa has been teaching yoga since 2003 in yoga studios, gyms, corporate facilities, summer camps and public schools. She earned a dual degree in English/Secondary Ed from TCNJ where she also minored in theatre. Soon after graduating, she practiced yoga to help her cope with the demands of teaching and theatre direction, which she did for nearly two decades. Melissa has completed over 500 hours of extensive yoga training in NY/NJ in addition to an intensive summer study with Mahesvari Mosca, author of YogaLife: 10 Steps to Freedom and director of Sedona Spirit Yoga Hikes/ Yoga Life Academy in Sedona, Arizona. Melissa has studied under the tutleage of teachers from the Kripalu, Iyengar and Anusara traditions. She has also received both a Level I & II Reiki Certification, a Mat Pilates Certification from PIA, a Group Fitness Certification through AFAA, and is trained in Aerial, SUP Yoga and Restorative Yoga. Forever a learner, she deepens her practice through workshops and self-study. Melissa embraces yoga as a way of life and enjoys sharing a diversified, down-to-earth yoga practice with students of all ages and backgrounds, where joy is the ultimate goal. Melissa is also a published writer and in her spare time, loves connecting with nature. “To do what you love and feel that it matters; could anything be more fun?” ~J.Child
Lara Kowalewski: Owner, RYT 200, Reiki II
Lara studied at Younique Yoga in Cedar Grove, NJ, where she earned her 200RYT with a specialty in Vinyasa Flow Yoga in 2015. She is also a Level I & II Reiki Practicioner. Lara discovered yoga after teaching five years in an urban district when she felt the sudden urge to find a new way to not only exercise for physical health, but to also “work out” her inner self. Amazed at how the practice alleviated the stresses of teaching in a high school as well as finding a much needed personal balance, she began to do more studying on the subject and that is when the “yoga bug” took hold of her and it became the best addiction she could ever have. Applying ancient wisdom to our contemporary western world in a useful and understandable way, Lara thinks “outside the box” in her teaching style and encourages growth of the physical and spiritual self for the modern yogi in our modern world. She loves being part of a community where people come to practice with open minds and hearts, no matter where they are in their yoga journey, and feel really good about themselves without any judgement. To her, yoga is best defined as staying balanced and present in each moment, not just on the mat, but in all aspects of this life. “Just remember to breathe through it and go with the flow.”
Michele Morando: RYT-200
Michelle has been a fitness instructor for many years. She has taught Pilates, Spin, and Kettle Bell group fitness classes and is also a massage therapist. Michelle began her yoga journey several years ago as a student and soon after, became a certified yoga teacher. Yoga has helped her grow stronger, more flexible and more fearless, both on and off the mat. Michelle enjoys yoga because it allows her to sweat, breathe, break boundaries and connect her mind, body and soul. In her classes, Michelle loves to help others thrive and deepen their practice while listening to their bodies. Her hope is that her students step off the mat feeling refreshed, balanced and stronger than when they stepped on it. Yoga has inspired her to truly live in the moment. “Love is my religion.” ~Ziggy Marley
Debra Tuman: RYT-200 & Reiki Master
Deb is a deeply passionate person, loving wife of 32 years, mother of three grown children and a full-time orthodontic assistant. She took her first yoga class seven years ago and was hooked. Since then, yoga has become a daily part of her life. Her practice is truly a philosophy, psychology and religion. Her goal as a yoga instructor and Reiki Master is to enlighten and share the experience she discovered in her personal practice. Deb also enjoys writing for a local newspaper and enjoys meeting new people each week, allowing them to voice their opinions. In her restorative classes, Deb aims to be an instrument of guidance for all beings to reach their potential to heal themselves by realizing their true purpose, mission and acceptance.
Erica Spirko: RYT 500
Erica is a 500 hour RYT through Yoga Mechanics in Montclair, NJ. She grew up in West Milford, NJ and has turned to Yoga as a main tool in her life for many years. She is forever grateful for the education she received and the practice she continues to cultivate. It has undoubtedly helped her grow into the person she is today. Her classes are structured so that any body can participate. You can expect a well-rounded class that is educational, alignment focused and thought provoking. You will be invited to move, explore and engage with yourself as you learn to use yoga on and off your mat.