We offer 35 classes per week because our teachers teach the style that they love the best. The joy and commitment our teachers have to the studio and to yoga translates to the best class for you. Each of us also has something particular that we love about yoga, which dictates the way we teach and our class plan. Even if we are teaching the same style of class, the class is different because of who we are. Here's a snapshot of what makes us unique.
Sara's focus is on curiosity, both about the body and about how we can train our brains to be more focused and relaxed. She re-found yoga after being treated for breast cancer at 38 years old. Chemo, radiation, a double mastectomy and removal of lymph nodes left her unable to lift her arm and suffering from PTSD. Yoga made her strong physically and healed her body, but it also allowed her to make friends with her body again. While living outside of Boston, Sara delved into Iyengar Yoga which peaked her interest on focused anatomical work and alignment. After cancer treatment, understanding the biomechanics of yoga became her main focus as she started providing yoga therapy and training through Yoga Medicine. Her classes focus a lot on anatomy, she wants you to feel new muscles and learn how they work, but she also includes a guided meditation at the end of every class. Sara teaches restorative yoga, slow flow, anatomy based, and posture clinic. She also provides Yoga 101 workshops and is the owner of the studio. Sara is a Yoga Alliance 200 hr ERYT, trained through Kripalu. Sara's yoga resume, Buffalo News Article, Channel 4 piece.
Melissa's extensive knowledge of anatomy as a massage therapist, doula, and surgical tech are central to her approach to teaching yoga. Her vinyasa classes are meticulously sequenced to bring more awareness, strength and flexibility to specific body systems. She knows the body inside and out! But, within her approach is a desire to take students deeper, to help people find their own inspiration and guide self love. Melissa's calm demeanor encourages a sense of depth within the movement of a vinyasa class that allows for emotional and physical breakthroughs. She recieved her training for her 200 RYT through Evolation. Melissa teaches Vinyasa and Vigorous Vinyasa classes, and occasionally teaches Laughter Yoga. This summer, Melissa is also teaching a weekly vinyasa workshop.
Beth's classes are all about empowerment. She helps you dig deep and use yoga as a tool to become your better self. Beth has found her courage and strength through her daily yoga practice. Beth's hatha style allows for deliberate strengthening of the small muscles in the body that leads to your power. As much as she encourages you to go further than you think you can in her classes, it is her broad smile and deep kindness that makes her classes so popular and her ability to connect with students and provide support that makes you brave. In addition to teaching at Shine, Beth teaches once a week at the VA hospital. Beth is a 200hr RYT through Healing Waters. Beth teaches Fortify and Family Yoga. She offers workshops on arm balances.
For Allison, yoga is about bringing together the body, mind and spirit. Her classes are loaded with one-on- one attention that especially resonates with students who have lower mobility or love a gentle practice. Allison's experience as a dancer made the physical practice of yoga easy for her, which made her more and more curious about the underlying aspects of yoga philosophy and meditation. Her own experience with postpartum anxiety and her professional background as a mental health provider gives her the life and intellectual experience to bring layers of knowledge to her classes. At Shine she has spoken on how stress works and ways to prevent it, Yoga Nidra, and has lead our book club, diving deep into yoga philosophy. Allison received her 200 hr RYT certification from the Himilayan Institute. Allison is on maternity leave for the summer.
For Paige it's all about community, in her classes you support each other and her classes are at its best when everyone is moving and breathing and laughing together. Paige was drawn to Power Yoga because she loved the challenge, the music, and the intensity. But, Paige is also down to earth and accepting. A good example of Paige's attitude happened when the studio owner fell out of a pose in her class and ended up on the floor. "I thought you were beautiful! Beautiful messes are the most beautiful of all. It's how I live my life." In her classes whether you are falling out of every pose or doing every pose perfectly, they are all beautiful. Paige just finished her Baptiste Yoga Level 2 Certification. Paige teaches Power! classes and is often requested for adult birthday parties.
Lauren sees yoga as a way to heal. She brings her anatomical knowledge as a massage therapist into her gentle classes, but above all, she wants to create a space where you can feel safe and supported. She took the step of becoming a yoga teacher because she felt the need to provide people with the support they needed mentally and physically on a daily basis, rather than through the occasional massage. Her classes have a sense of magic to them, you will find yourself sinking a bit deeper into yourself, forgetting about the physical practice you are doing and instead starting to feel the healing that is happening. Lauren received her 200hr RYT through the Himalayan Institute. She teaches Meditation and Yoga Basics, and Gentle yoga.
Leigh was drawn to yoga as a form of exercise, but quickly went deeper. Her classes are like that too. She teaches complex poses with simplicity and clarity and her classes are challenging, but they are also all about you, how can she help you move deeper, get stronger, be fearless. As a philosophy professor at Buffalo State College, it is not surprising that Leigh is interested in yogic philosophy, what is more surprising is how she marries philosophy in a vigorous physical practice. Leigh teaches Vigorous Vinyasa, Advanced Vinyasa and Inversion workshops.
Nathalie lives in the sports world. She was a champion figure skater who competed at the national level and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports and Exercise. Nathalie added yoga to her resume when she started training figure skaters. From there, she started teaching yoga to the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bills. That may sound intimidating, but once you meet Nathalie, you will understand that her approach doesn't change whether she is teaching professional athletes or moms in a running club. She wanted to share yoga with everyone--runners, cyclists, week-end warriors, league players, and people who just wanted to try a different approach. In addition of being very knowledgeable about sports and anatomy, she is a lot of fun. Nathalie teaches Yoga for Athletes.
Jessica is equally at home teaching an advanced vinyasa or a gentle meditative class. For her, yoga is an opportunity for growth. While her classes include detailed alignment, they also emphasize the use of breath and movement to move deeper into your body. As she says, “It doesn’t matter what brings each person to their mat or where they came from, only that they are there. Once you make it on your mat, the healing begins, and will continue with dedication and consistency. We are here together to honor our bodies, minds and spirits.” Jessica completed her 200 hour teacher training in Phoenix, Arizona, under the guidance of late Astanga teacher, David Oliver and Sanskrit scholar, Cheryl Oliver.
Trish's classes are athletic, but full of sunshine. For her, movement is joy and it's contagious. While you will move nonstop in her classes, you will be smiling the whole time. Trish focuses on creative, playful sequencing. She recieved her 200hr RYT certification from YogaFit. Trish teaches Vigorous Vinyasa and Shiny, Happy People.
Christy, a pediatric occupational therapist for the Amherst School District, has been doing yoga her whole life. She started as a child, practicing in her living room with her mom. When she became a pediatric occupational therapist, she saw how effective yoga was in helping the kids she worked with reach their goals. Eventually she trained to teach other educators how to bring yoga into the classroom. Christy's unique biomechanical knowledge and understanding of how children's bodies move and grow makes her Kid's yoga classes unique. Christy teaches Kid's Yoga every Sunday, and this summer will lead the first day of our educator's camp.
Danielle brings her experience as a licensed mental health clinician specializing in body image and adolescents and her role as a psychology teacher and mindfullness leader at Nichols School to her yoga practice and her teaching at Shine. Body celebration is her passion and guided her to train in trauma-informed yoga through Yogis in Service. Danielle is a dynamo of energy and kindness. Her goal is to make everyone feel safe in class so that class becomes a celebration of what your body can do. She will begin teaching Body Love classes for teens on Friday September 15th at 7:15pm and for adults on Saturday, September 16th at 12:30pm. The classes will be held weekly from those dates.