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.
Joe has studied under many brilliant teachers and been exposed to myriad styles including Ashtanga, Bikram, Dharma, Kundalini, Anusara and more. He hascompleted a 200 and then 500 hour teacher training under the tutelage of Mitchel and Tracey Bleir and Donna Jackson at Saraswati’s in Norwalk, CT.
Joe's classes are a union of movement, sweat, music, fun, spirituality and breath-work. Each pose is woven together in a vinyasa flowing style. I encourage awareness and proper alignment in every pose. Classes are tailored to meet the needs/ability level of those present and are open to all levels of participants.
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
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.
Jessica's first introduction to yoga was a brief intervention to combat childhood anxiety and night terrors when she was seven. She returned to yoga as a teenager and became a dedicated Bikram practitioner. As she moved around the country and the world for school and work, she became more involved in the world of Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Ashtanga, completing her first certification of 200 hours with Tias and Surya Little at Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her studies continued in the yoga world as her interest in using yoga as medicine and therapy continue to grow. She has also completed Yin Yoga certification with Carole Westerman, prenatal yoga with Linda Spackman, and children's yoga courses.
Students will find that Jessica enjoys creating sequences that can be modified and enriched to meet the emerging physical and emotional needs of each individual. When she is not in the yoga studio, Jessica can be found working as a Drama Therapist at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven and in the public schools of New Haven.