Get to know your instructors.
LPC, LMT, RYT, Reiki Master
As founder of BEND; Mind, body, spirit inter-connectedness and the quality of life are the themes of Danielle’s life. She has 18 years of experience as both a personal trainer and fitness instructor. She has been trained in yoga, meditation and energy matrix alignment to complement her practice. Her studies and practice in spirituality continue to be her lifelong passion. Her objectives are simple: touch, motivate, and inspire.
LPC, Usui Reiki / Karuna Reiki Master, Meditation Instructor
Jean is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 25 years experience working with a variety of different clients. Her approach is holistic and systemic, looking at the person in their environment and seeking alternative solutions. Jean has been a Reiki Master for 30 years. Her studies are extensive in energetic healing and aromatherapy. She teaches Reiki initiation workshops throughout the year. She also offers a donation based meditation here at BEND. She is a true healer.
Debra started taking ballet classes at the age of 6 loved it, and never stopped.
She has Advanced Training and Certifications in: ISHTA Yoga, STOTT Pilates, (both Mat and Reformer,) Ballet Barre, Ayurveda Nutrition and Rehabilitation. She continues her education every chance she gets.
All her classes are fun and upbeat no matter what your level is.
Josh was born and raised in New Haven, CT and began working at an early age as a professional child actor (over 40 national commercials, off-broadway theater, extra work on popular television shows like “SNL” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”). He began drumming at age 6 and now at age 37 has recorded, toured and performed with over a hundred bands and artists and has written a few hundred songs of his own. His first yoga teacher, Anne Katz, is based in Westport CT. In 2006, when he moved to Los Angeles to try and “make it” as a drummer, he found the west coast way of life highly conducive to spiritual awakening. On his own, he began doing austerity practices like fasting, vows of silence, celibacy and hours of seated meditation. He read texts from all religions and schools of thought, learning as much as possible about spirituality as a whole. In 2010, he completed a 40hr transformative mediation training with Ken Cloke, founder of Mediators Beyond Borders. In 2012 he began visiting “The Esalen Institute” in Big Sur on a regular basis, where native american ceremony, gestalt therapy and time in nature furthered his development of expanding consciousness and actualizing his existence. Working with Peter Meyers (Stand And Deliver Group) he honed his skills for communication, conflict resolution and improv acting/public speaking. He co-created a meditation podcast called “The Shaman And The Rockstar” with Ian Peric (Priceless Vitality) which opened the door for him and Ian to travel to Italy for a month in 2014 to tour the country teaching meditation. Under the guidance of Mitchell and Tracy Bleir he began teaching at CT Bowspring, then Sama Yoga in New Canaan CT and Balanced Yoga in New Haven CT; honing his skills as a yoga teacher by teaching yoga. He considers the first 2 ½ years of teaching yoga his 200hr certification, and in 2018 he completed a 300hr advanced Bhakti Yoga teacher training with Raghunath (his guru and childhood inspiration from Shelter and Youth Of Today). He still teaches music, yoga and meditation privately in his home in New Haven CT, and holds public yoga classes at Sama Yoga, Balanced Yoga, Bend Yoga in Milford, CT and Breathing Room Yoga in New Haven, CT. His classes are challenging and fun for students of all levels, and he is always eager to share the practices of music and Bhakti Yoga with anyone who wants to learn.
Arielle (E-RYT 200) has been practicing yoga for 10 years and teaching consistently since 2012. Arielle’s classes are informed by her time living at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, her training in Classical Hatha Yoga with Sivananda Yoga International and her studies of yin, restorative and gentle yoga as guided by Dana Slamp and Jon Witt. Arielle is also a certified YogaEd instructor and when she's not leading yoga classes she works full-time for an international non-profit running service and education programs with urban youth. Arielle’s classes are as dynamic as her personality, ranging from soft and gentle to strong and fire-y. No matter the class you can expect to move with your breathe and pulse in and out of postures to build heat and flexibility in the body. You can expect breath work and meditation to focus the mind and you can definitely expect a spirited and expressive playlist to inspire your movement
Knowing that yoga is a marriage between body and mind/spirit, Michelle expresses this union in a Vinyasa flow that encapsulates softness and strength. Her philosophy is that you need to be soft in order to be strong; echoing the ancient saying “you need to be like bamboo, firmly rooted, yet flexible”. Students have expressed that watching Michelle teach is like watching an underwater dance. Her belief is that the linking of breath with movement, as in traditional Vinyasa flow, allows the student to tap into their own wellspring of creativity and power. It is from this place where Michelle’s strength as a teacher becomes apparent. She has the unique, disarming quality that commands trust from her devotees, while remaining a fierce companion to her students in their exploration of untapped potential.
A Registered E-200-hour and 300-hour (yoga therapy) Yoga Teacher, along with 1500 hours of teaching, Michelle has trained with many Eastern healers in Seattle, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Providence, RI, NYC and CT. She is also a 100-hour Certified Meditation Teacher, a Reiki 2 Practitioner, has a B.S in psychology, lives a cruelty-free lifestyle, is an accomplished vegan chef and is Buddhist.
Ellen Lenson, RYT, began practicing yoga regularly in 1999, while living in New York City. Her practice quickly became was a place of refuse and joy. She began teaching in 2008 and has done so continually ever since. Currently teaching Yin and Restorative yoga, she has also taught Forrest Yoga and alignment/anatomy-based classes. Her current classes are deeply influenced by her study and practice of craniosacral work and finds it is in the stillness and quiet that we can truly hear and heal ourselves.
Kimmarie credidio Migliore
Yoga has had such a profound effect on my life and continually shapes how I live and my interactions and relationship with myself and others. I’ve been teaching yoga for over 16 years and my passion for it continually grows. I’ve taught Girl Scouts, middle schoolers, cancer patients, war veterans, domestic abuse survivors, and yogis of all shapes and sizes, from beginners to advanced. My ultimate happy place is somewhere with palm trees and ocean, bad cell service, and no A/C, where I’d go barefoot, garden, do lots of yoga, and walk everywhere. My husband and fur baby Shanti would be there too.
When I’m not teaching yoga or doing my own practice, I can be found hosting various workshops that support the yoga and wellness lifestyle.
Yoga reminds me to take life in stride, to accept things I can’t control, to not judge- myself or others, to lead with kindness and a loving heart, and to breathe.
Sally started as a bilingual elementary education teacher. Following a 4-year assignment with the Peace Corps teaching preschool and elementary education in Paraguay, South America, Sally taught for several years in the New York City public school system in the South Bronx.
However, dance has never been far from Sally’s heart. She studied modern dance at Boston University, and while overseas she used her dance background to engage the young girls of her local village, creating workshops where the girls could learn to express themselves and then show off their skills to local friends and family members. Many years later, Sally is still using dance, but this time teaching adults and the older population the benefits of movement, strength, flexibility, and balance.
In her free time, you can find Sally relaxing with her two daughters, her husband Dan, and their dog Faith. Together they like to go hiking, biking, skiing or out to watch the latest Marvel movie. Sally also loves to cook, paint, and be creative. Her favorite saying is “keep on moving!”