© 2018 by The Studio, Pure Yoga LLC.

Teachers

Tobie Schuerfeld

Tobie was introduced to yoga by her mom in her early 20’s, but didn’t start practicing regularly until she visited Kripalu Center in the Berkshires for her 29th birthday.  Being an athlete most of her life, yoga brought a sense of balance and ease to her body that she had never felt before.  She also recognized that the practice of yoga taught students kindness, compassion and truth. These qualities of the practice were very enticing and Tobie wanted to learn more. She started practicing steadily and training with different teachers such as Eileen Muir, Rodney Yee and Stephen Cope. She received her 200 hour certification in 2009 and has been teaching in New Haven since she graduated. Tobie is also a licensed massage therapist with a second level certification in positional therapy and has a master’s degree in clinical nutrition.  This combination of education and training helps Tobie see her students in a unique way. Her classes focus on alignment to create a balance between ease, effort, flexibility and strength.  She is devoted to creating a sustainable yoga practice for her students that creates compassion, love and joy. 

Lisa Altarescu

Lisa Altarescu is a passionate yoga teacher, student and practitioner.  Lisa initially trained at ISHTA yoga in Manhattan providing her with the ability to guide students mindfully through vigorous, creative vinyasa flows as well as deep meditations and savasanas.

 

Lisa found Yoga in her early twenties when first recovering from an eating disorder that left her with feelings of depression and anxiety. The yoga studio, Lisa says, was a place where she found a deeper sense of self-love, non-judgment and a devotion to finding an organic sense of honestly and truth.  Lisa’s hope now, is that each class she offers invites students to feel as supported and loved as she felt when she first stepped on her mat.

 

Soon to be licensed in physical therapy, Lisa gently integrates body awareness, and threads alignment and anatomical cues throughout her classes. Expect dim lights, soft music, a sweaty and nourishing savasana, as well as many opportunities to move away from thought, and into feeling. 

David Macharelli

David first walked into the yoga classroom in 2003 as a tag along, and though he had little idea of what to expect, he was taken with the practice immediately. The eventual transformation in body & personality was startling. Through yoga, a man with little confidence, who was utterly mortified by public speaking, restored the long forgotten playful, inquisitive, extrovert that he’d been as a child. After developing a strong personal practice, David was slowly coaxed (dragging kicking and screaming) into a teacher training in 2011, and has been teaching ever since.  

 

A Yoga Alliance certified E-RYT 200 with an artist’s open mind and a love of constant tinkering with different sequences, David's style is best described as a challenging yet playful, eclectic free-style Vinyasa.

 

David is self-deprecating and silly, encouraging students to explore their anatomical quirks and learn which poses suit them best.  He has a tendency to use rhyming and alliterative cues that draw on elements of many yoga schools, pop-culture references and a (hopefully) charming wit to help student move beyond their fears, to embrace what works and find strength within themselves.

When not teaching or practicing yoga, David is an artist, actor, avid rock climber, museum worker and volunteer for art organization and animal rescues. He lives in Waterbury with his wife Shannon and their two cats.

Christina Casavina

In 2001, Christina found yoga... or the Universe knew she would need the tools that yoga could provide.... she did need them. That was the beginning of what continues to be a great journey.

Her very first teacher, impressed upon the importance of the yoga breath, Ujjayi, and that has been the foundation of her personal and her teaching practice.  She received her 200hr certification in 2006 and has been teaching ever since. Always a student herself, she has trained in Vinyasa with Seane Corn, Restorative with Judith Hanson Lasater, Yin Yoga with Josh Summers, Full of Joy with Lani Rosen-Gallagher and Y12SR with Nikki Meyers. As well as, numerous intensives and workshops with both Ana Forrest and Rolf Gates, whom she greatly respects and admires. Her classes are Iyengar/Hatha based, focused on alignment and the breath, with a splash of all of the above aforementioned.

 

Come open your body, clear your mind, free your soul and let your spirit fly.

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Lynn Varsell

Lynn’s vinyasa, yin and restorative classes welcome practitioners of all levels of experience. Her teaching focuses on anatomical alignment and careful sequencing of poses to encourage a strong, healthy practice and a joyful harmony of mind and body. Teaching for over 8 years, Lynn is a certified 200 HR instructor (E-RYT) registered with Yoga Alliance and the National Association of Certified Yoga Teachers. Introduced to yoga more than a decade ago while living in New York City, her teaching draws from her study and practice of the Ashtanga, Iyengar, ISHTA (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda) and Anusara styles of Hatha Yoga.

Kellie Codianna

Kellie Jean Codianna has been teaching yoga since 2004.  Her teaching and personal practice have been heavily influenced by Kim Valeri, of YogaSpirit Studios, in addition to her own transformative and healing experiences with Yoga, Pilates, and Ayurveda.

After an injury in 2008, Kellie’s determination to become pain-free, led her to deepen her understanding of the anatomical body and ultimately receive her  200-hour PiIates Certification with In Balance Pilates in 2011. She continued her yogic studies with Yoga Spirit Studios and received her Yoga Therapy Certification with Yoga Alliance in 2017.  With a focus on combining strength, flexibility, and breath, Kellie brings attention to spinal alignment in all poses, in order to assist practitioners in deepening their sense of self-reflection and compassion.

Jesse McCarty

I have been practicing meditative body movement for most of my life, which has led me to the practice of yoga.  It is with great honor and much gratitude that I am able to share this knowledge and help others learn and grow in body, mind, and spirit.

Shawna Rocheleau

Shawna Rocheleau’s was first introduced to yoga at the Hartford Conservatory of Art & Dance. Understanding the importance of connecting the breath to movement, Shawna was able to incorporate this awareness to add fluidity to her dance practice.  A few years after finishing the Conservatory, Shawna re- visited the practice of yoga.  She became more aware of the positive changes within herself and the wonderful benefits yoga had to offer both on and off the mat.  With a passion for helping and encouraging others to feel their best, Shawna began yoga teacher training with Paula Scopino at Sacred Rivers Yoga.  In January 2014 Shawna became a certified yoga instructor and in October 2017 she began her journey towards becoming certified at the 500 hour level with Lara Ward and Rebecca Smith of Lotus Gardens Yoga School.  Shawna has also studied yoga nidra with Beth Gibbs of Integrative Yoga Therapy.

 

Since becoming certified, Shawna has been enjoying teaching vinyasa, yoga nidra and gentle classes incorporating different levels of flow pace, restorative postures and a fun playlist of music.   Her classes are inspired by dance, breath awareness, joy, and influenced by the Iyengar and Kripalu traditions.  Shawna’s goal as a teacher is to guide students through a mindful and relaxed practice while encouraging them to listen to their bodies and ultimately make their practice their own. 

Sybil Merriman

Sybil Merriman, E-RYT, has been a student of yoga since 2000. Originally drawn to the physical practice of yoga for the flexibility and strength it gave her, she soon discovered that meditation, yogic philosophy and self-inquiry resonated with her on a more profound level. In 2009, after realizing the deep and lasting changes in not only her physical, mental and spiritual health but in all aspects of her life as a result of yoga, she began sharing her practice with others.

 

Sybil’s diverse education includes a B.A. in Anthropology and Philosophy from Tulane University in New Orleans, where she encountered her first yoga class. She's been teaching since 2010, when she started a weekly chair yoga class at the Newport Senior Center.  Since then, she's led specialty workshops, worked with private clients and taught a wide variety of classes in Oregon, and now in her home state of Connecticut.  She includes both repetition and variety in her classes, which are focused on precise alignment, breath awareness, mindfulness and having fun!  No matter the class or goal, Sybil sets the tone for personal inquiry and transformation. Her intention is to provide a sacred space in which self development is encouraged and personal well being is improved.  Students appreciate her gentle, supportive, and individualized attention and enjoy her unique interdisciplinary approach. Recently, Sybil has started combining her love of travel with yoga, leading local and international yoga retreats. You can often find her with her head buried in a book, hands busy with knitting, exploring hiking trails or dancing West Coast Swing.   Learn more at www.yogawithsybil.com

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