Meet Our Faculty
Allie Murray (she/her)
Yoga for Recovery
Allie has practiced yoga for over twelve years. She discovered her appreciation for yoga in college, taking free classes offered on her campus, and deepened her practice by turning to meditation in her twenties. Since then, she has practiced regularly, received her 200hr RYT and taken additional workshops in trauma-informed yoga. She also teaches privately with her own business. In her personal practice, she has found stability and strength in the mind, the body and the heart. With a strong belief that yoga is for every body, Allie strives to create a welcoming and accessible class environment for all. When not practicing yoga, she works by day in technology and enjoys baking, time outdoors and spending time with her family and her dog.
Meditation, Yoga and Cancer
Ann Biese, ERYT 500, RCYT, MBSR-T, REIKI MASTER, is an international Yoga Instructor and Teacher Trainer for ChildLight Education Company. She is a certified yoga for cancer instructor for both adults and children since 2012. Ann has also worked as a Meditation and Mindfulness Specialist in pediatric and school settings, including Tufts Floating Hospital for Children in Boston for Lucy's Love Bus. Ann has taught MBSR and yoga to various youth groups and teen athletes across the country. She has been a featured speaker on meditation and mindfulness in schools across the country. Ann is also the author of the award-winning children's book Worry Bee and Mindful Moon. She enjoys volunteering as an instructor for Go Give Yoga and was featured in NorthShore Magazine for her volunteer work in Massachusetts. In her time off the mat, Ann enjoys her family and pets, as well as volunteering at an equine rescue farm.
Yoga for Recovery
Annie is a mom of two amazing kids, military spouse, compassionate listener, former perfectionist, recovering sugar addict, chocolate lover, runner, certified health coach, personal trainer, yoga teacher, and healer. Founder of and podcaster for Core Nourishment and creator of the Wellness Portal for Moms, Annie loves holding space for and witnessing the “aha” moments as individuals navigate their own journeys, explore and discover more self-confidence and love for themselves (from the inside-out), their community, nature and life. She is deeply passionate about educating and empowering others to make positive lifestyle choices so that they can fuel their bodies, work, relationships, passions and dreams. Annie aims to guide others to reach their highest potential, and creates action plans for people that guide them to empowerment, radiance and core aliveness.
Annie’s yoga classes explore a powerful fusion of yoga and strength, offering dynamic flowing sequences that move from the core and invite vitality, mindfulness, flexibility, balance, and playfulness in. She has her 200hr Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT) certification through the Yoga of Energy Flow teacher training at Dover Yoga, her 40hr Still Point Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training certification, and her 50hr Yin Yoga Teacher certification. She is enormously grateful to have had the opportunity to teach Yoga for Recovery at Hope on Haven Hill over the last few years and to be a part of the incredible yoga and healing community along the Seacoast. She is honored to share her passions and be of service through Yoga in Action. Visit Annie at www.anniewagoner.com
Yoga and Cancer
Becky is a licensed physical therapist with 25 years of experience in the rehabilitation and wellness industry. As an ACSM certified group exercise instructor and YA-certified 200 hour RYT, she teaches a variety of classes through the Seacoast. Every one of her classes is infused with her extensive knowledge of anatomy, injury care, and body awareness. She believes the spiritual side of yoga serves to enhance the physical aspect of wellness it brings. Always approachable and happy to answer questions, she aims to have everyone leave class knowing a little bit more about themselves.
Chair Yoga, Yoga and Cancer
Cheryl was first introduced to yoga 30 years ago practicing from a video she received as a gift. Quickly yoga became an adjunct to her running, snowboarding, cross country skiing, and cycling as it enhanced flexibility, mindfulness, strength, and healing. Then Yoga suddenly became the “go to” for all that ailed her.
Inspired by the teachers she meet while exploring Bikram, Power, and Kundalini Yoga; she took her practice outdoors and fell in love with SUP Yoga. In 2019 Cheryl completed her 200 Hour training at Exeter Power Yoga after receiving her SUP Yoga Certification. Inspired to learn more, she became Certified in Accessible Yoga, Restorative Yoga/Yoga Nidra and has had the privilege to teach a variety of yoga styles.
She is the Owner/Lead Instructor for Tides of Life SUP Yoga which was launched in 2020. Driven for more knowledge, Cheryl completed her 500 Hour training as an International Yoga Teacher in 2021 and currently teaches Yoga at Coastal Fitness.
When not on her yoga mat or SUP, Cheryl can be found providing Occupational Therapy Services in Skilled Nursing Facilies. She is also a Health/Life Coach, Nutritionist, Snowboard Instructor, and is an Outdoor Enthusiast. Great joy is found traveling, spending time with friends & family, her boyfriend and their 2 cats. Passionate to protect our ocean waters, she adopted Seapoint Beach and volunteers to lead beach clean ups since 2020.
Yoga and Cancer
Yoga was something that came in and out of my life over the years. It was only when I immigrated to the US in 2011 that it has been a constant, a daily practice. Moving to a new country and culture, joining a yoga studio in town gave me the connection I craved and a community.
To be a RYT500 and teaching for over 3 years have been a gift. I enjoy leading a yoga practice and am able to deliver all types of classes (Restorative, Power, Flow, Yin, Yoga Nidra) as well as workshops to all levels. I truly believe that yoga is for everybody and believe in the connection it gives us to ourselves as we continue to learn and grow as individuals.
To be part of Yoga in Action and its Yoga and Cancer program is humbling. I have had family and friends affected by cancer and during my YTT300 training offered free healing yoga practices to patients and their family/carers.
Yoga is impactful and is truly healing.
Yoga for Recovery, Yoga and Cancer
Dani got her 200 YTC in 2014 through Sadhana yoga school. Her yoga journey began when she discovered meditation at age 12, and realized the benefits were ones that really resonated with her and brought her a feeling of coming “home”. When Dani started practicing yoga and noticed the physical practice was giving her the same benefits of meditation, becoming a yoga teacher became her absolute dream job. And still is. Dani loves learning alongside her students with every class. She believes yoga should be accessible for everyone, and everyone deserves to give it a try.
Chair Yoga for Seniors
Denise RYT500 Yoga Teacher, Level 1 Certified Pranayama (Breath Control) Teacher, 500 Hours Additional Training, Good Human, Lover of Life began her journey in yoga with a deep connection between body, mind, and spirit. This connection inspires her to share this gift of yoga with others. Teaching from the heart and soul to inspire others to explore and expand their own body, mind and essence is her personal goal as a teacher. Denise wants to encourage a feeling of lightness and strength that comes from within her students. She is continually inspired by all styles of yoga and believes yoga is for everyone. When not practicing or teaching yoga you will find Denise working in her gardens, outside enjoying nature all times of year or hanging out with her mischief making Maine Coon Cats.
Yoga and Cancer
Yoga has been a steady part of Heather’s life since her first class in 2000. She was immediately drawn to the physical intensity and the mental focus required in class. Heather attended the Bikram teacher training in 2005 and 3 years later opened a Bikram studio in Concord, New Hampshire. She was blessed with an amazing teaching staff of kind and compassionate teachers and, together, they helped to create a yoga community that is still strong today. After her third son was born, she sold the studio to focus on her family. She obtained a 200-hour teaching certificate through Yoga NH, a certification in Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra, and a 300-hour trauma sensitive teaching certificate through the Trauma Center in Boston. Heather is drawn to teach to populations who have had challenging life experiences and who she feels could benefit from the coping skills and empowerment gained through cultivating a yoga practice. She is grateful to be able to witness students discover their own strengths through movement, and gain self-empowerment, self-love, and acceptance over time. In addition to teaching yoga, Heather has served as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for 6 years. She enjoys skiing and hiking with her family and is working on completing the 48 4,000 footers in NH.
Yoga and Cancer
Kelly earned her 200RYT Certification in January, 2020 and is presently enrolled in a 300RYT through Power Yoga University (Exeter Power Yoga). Kelly’s teaching method is largely based on heated power vinyasa with an emphasis on music and emotional release. Her committed power yoga practice began in 2017 to compliment her strength training routine. Yoga soon became a way of life for her. It was through challenging times in 2022 which brought many heartaches, including a cancer diagnosis, medical scares in her family, and losses of loved ones, that the other limbs of yoga began to heal her.
Kelly grew up in Manchester and works in the legal field. When not working or teaching yoga at Humble Warrior Power Yoga, Kelly enjoys exercising, listening to music, going for walks, and petting dogs.
Yoga and Cancer
Kim is a YA-certified 500 hour registered yoga teacher. Kim began practicing yoga about 20 years ago for the physical benefits. However, in 2010 after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, her practice deepened. Yoga and meditation have been integral in complimenting her healing journey. She has additional training in Positive Psychology, Food as Medicine, Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Adaptive Yoga. She has also studied Meditation at Insight Meditation. She has a Masters in Medical Science from Yale University with over 15 years of experience working as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant. Kim’s passion is combining her medical knowledge with yoga and meditation to share the healing benefits of yoga with people of any ability and health status. In her free time, Kim enjoys being out in nature with her husband, 3 children and 2 dogs.
Yoga for Diverse Abilities
Lauren worked for 30 years in a school district in Maryland outside of Washington, DC. She was a special education teacher for 10 years and a professional school counselor for 20 years. Lauren discovered yoga 17 years ago when her son was ill frequently due to a delayed immune system. It helped her reduce stress and anxiety while gaining physical strength and exercise. Lauren received her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification in July 2019 with Breathe for Change an organization that promotes wellness for educators. In September 2020 she obtained her Children’s Yoga teacher certification. Currently, Lauren teaches yoga to adults and teens with diverse abilities through a Parks and Recreation program, a local nonprofit that bridges the gap between high school and adulthood for individuals with developmental disabilities, and gentle yoga classes to adults. She is passionate about making yoga accessible and fun to anyone willing to try it.
Lauren Young (she/her)
Heart Healthy Yoga
Lauren has been practicing yoga off and on since 2004, and teaching
yoga since 2016. Lauren is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher, 95-hour Registered
Child Yoga Teacher, and has 30 hours of accessible yoga teacher training with Jivana
Heyman. Lauren first became interested in yoga when she was looking for an activity to
do outside of work. She enrolled in a small group beginner series and she quickly fell in
love. Yoga gave her a hobby, calmed her anxiety, and controlled her chronic pain- all
while bringing a deep focus to her life.
Throughout the years, Lauren’s interest has gravitated towards sharing yoga with
children, families, and adults who may not have thought yoga was an activity for them.
Sharing this gentle and accessible practice has become a gift.
Lauren is also a mother of two young children. She enjoys listening to podcasts,
reading, walking outdoors, cross-stitching, and stained glass art.
Heart Healthy Yoga
Through years of struggling with pelvic pain from Endometriosis, Leah found that many movement practices would only trigger pain and symptoms. After discovering yoga and connecting with it in a profound and safe way, she knew it was her calling to share it with others.
Leah was first introduced to the physical practice of yoga while living in Key West, FL in 2012. After moving back to the Boston area in 2013, her practice ramped up throughout the years leading up to her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Banyan Tree Yoga in Nashua NH in late 2019. Since then, she has become a RYT-500, E-RYT-200 and YACEP through Yoga Alliance. Leah is additionally a certified Pilates Instructor and has certifications in Yoga for Women’s Health and Trauma-Informed Yoga.
Leah loves teaching her students the value of yoga not only for a strong mind/body connection and deeper body awareness, but as a therapeutic modality to ease the symptoms and pain of pelvic health issues. She tries to bring all of yoga’s 8 Limbs into her trauma-informed style of teaching. Leah teaches weekly classes at Banyan Tree Yoga as well as surrounding venues in the Southern NH area.
Yoga for Youth, Community Yoga
Leigh is a Certified Yoga Therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher for Adult and Children, Certified Embodiment Coach, and has a Master's in Education. Leigh's mission is to make yoga accessible and doable for ALL. She deeply values inclusion, connection, and belonging for people of all ages, abilities, fitness levels, body types, races, ethnicities, faiths or secular orientations, gender identities, languages, and socioeconomic status. Connection, community, and compassion for others are at the very heart of Leigh’s work. She offers group and individual yoga therapy sessions to children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. Leigh teaches gentle, therapeutic yoga, chair yoga, and Yoga Nidra in order to make these practices truly accessible to everyone.
As a former classroom teacher, Leigh witnessed firsthand the need for children to feel safe and at ease before they could learn. Having found the teachings of yoga so profound in her own life, Leigh felt compelled to share these powerful skills. Leigh understands that learning basic self-care and having tools in your back pocket to apply in any situation are must-haves in today's busy and stressful world. Practical tools that help calm and regulate our nervous systems are essential to our well-being and must be taught. Leigh invites you to get out of your head and into your body and welcomes you to learn empowering life skills that promote awareness, compassion, ease, and resilience for yourself and one another!
Liz Bargardo (she/her)
Yoga for Recovery
Elizabeth first discovered yoga in the shelves at the Dover Public Library at the age of 8, and that sums up two of her lifelong passions— books and health. She holds Bachelor Degrees in Linguistics and Nursing, and has obtained specialized training as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and Certified Lactation Counselor. Her most recent fields have been Maternal/Newborn Care, Emergency Medicine and Community Behavioral Health.
She started actively practicing yoga in 2003 and obtained a 200-hour vinyasa-based teaching certification in 2012 from Breathe in Rochester, NY. Since then, she has taught in a variety of settings and her relationship with yoga has naturally evolved. In working through recovery from a traumatic birth experience, she rediscovered the integral part that intentional movement plays in the healing process and “coming home” to your body. She focuses on releasing the influence of the ego and finding ease, both on and off the mat.
Elizabeth currently works full time as a parent to twin daughters, whom she is raising on dirt, homemade croissants, and the Hamilton soundtrack. In her free time, she is a trail runner, writes for Seacoast Moms and Trail Sisters, and is developing yoga programming for runners.
Yoga for Diverse Abilities
Maria is a 200 hour RYT, since April 2014 and has practiced yoga for over 16 years. She has received certificates in teaching yoga to adults with disabilities and trauma sensitive yoga. Maria is on the Board of Directors Yoga in Action and is excited to be a Program Teacher for Yoga for All Abilities. Maria is a wife, and mother to two grown daughters, one with a developmental disability. She loves to cook new recipes, eat, read, walk her mini labradoodle and spend time with friends and family. Maria has found great comfort in her mind and body daily, and during life's challenges, through yoga. She believes that yoga is for everyone and hopes to be able to help others be comfortable in their mind and body through yoga. Maria teaches a basic yoga class focusing on asana and slow flow, utilizing breath and movement, helping to bring balance, strength and calm to your mind, body and spirit.
Yoga for Diverse Abilities
Marie strives to help all children embrace their full potential and live their lives with joy through the practice of yoga and mindfulness. Following a 33 year career as an early childhood/special education teacher, Marie began an exploration of yoga. While completing her RYT 200 at Prasada Yoga Center in her hometown of Hampton, NH, Marie developed a unique conflict resolution workshop for children called Peacing. The desire to combine these two practices led Marie to ChildLight Yoga, and eventually to Little Flower Yoga, a yoga and mindfulness program where she is now a certified member teacher. Marie discovered tools to help children overcome physical, mental and emotional barriers to learning, including skills to improve focus and concentration. As a kinesthetic learner herself, Marie loves to share this style of learning, and combines techniques for breathing, focusing, and relaxing with age-appropriate yoga. Committed to promoting feelings of safety and enjoyment for her students, Marie believes that encouragement and positive reinforcement in the practice of yoga and mindfulness can positively impact the student, family, classroom, community and society as a whole.
Yoga and Cancer
Marissa is a RYT-500, earning her 200-hr certification in 2011 at the Integral Yoga Center of Highland Park, NJ, and her 500-hr certification at YogaLife Institute of NH in 2020. She is a Personal Trainer certified through American Council on Exercise (ACE), a Certified Senior Fitness Specialist (ACE), a Cancer Exercise Specialist (Cancer Exercise Training Institute) and is certified in Yoga and Mindfulness for Diverse Abilities through Childlight Yoga. She has also received training in Yoga and Cancer with Michelle Couture, Director of Yoga in Action's Yoga & Cancer program.
Marissa's approach to yoga and fitness is both functional and fun - always with a sense of humor - and she encourages participants to come to come just as they are, with love and patience, curiosity and courage. Marissa is the owner/manager of Empowered Movement LLC, a personal training and private yoga business.
Yoga and Cancer
Michelle has been practicing yoga since 2003 and teaching since 2006. She is an ERYT yoga instructor and is Yoga 4 Cancer teacher certified. Michelle is the Founder and Director of Yoga and Cancer, a program of Yoga in Action and is currently serving on the Board of Directors as President.
Michelle believes that yoga is a powerful healing modality that can bring positive change for people who consistently practice yoga. She is known for her creative sequencing with focus on alignment and breath. Michelle has a compassionate approach to teaching seeing the individual needs of her students so she can deliver thoughtful instruction that will enhance their practice and healing. Michelle’s passion is to share the gifts of yoga so that participants can deepen their connection to self and find peace and well being in their everyday life.
Michelle James (she/her)
Community Yoga, Yoga for Recovery, Yoga and Cancer
Michelle James, RYT-200, RCYT, and Reiki 1 Practitioner has a degree and background in early childhood education. After 20+ years working with children and families in various settings, she discovered the benefits and joys of sharing yoga with children. This marked the beginning of her yoga journey. She completed the ChildLight Education Company 95hr program and has led classes for families with babies through teens. She is a student at heart, always eager to continue her own education through experience and discoveries. Michelle completed her 200hrTT, a trauma informed, empowerment approach to Hatha/Raja yoga in January 2019 with Yoga Muse School of Yoga. Her classes invite you to explore the mind-body-breath connection through movement, breath awareness and yoga philosophy. Variations of postures are both offered and encouraged, with an intention of creating a practice that is accessible to all students, inviting both challenge and ahimsa (kindness) as you listen to what your body is telling you in each moment on your mat. Through this awareness and connection to yourself, you open the opportunity for strength, flexibility, balance, mindfulness and confidence.
She is grateful to share all that yoga has to offer, both on and off the mat, with students of all ages. Off the mat Michelle enjoys crocheting and spending time in nature - kayaking, fishing, hiking and most of all laughing with her husband, three grown children and two precious grandchildren.
Michelle’s yoga journey began as a child in base housing alongside her mom during a yoga broadcast on PBS. Realizing her need to move, Michelle’s parents enrolled her in dance at a young age, sparking her love of movement. She studied dance for more than twenty years. After entering the corporate world, she needed something to burn off stress and remembered yoga. Several yoga videos later, she began to experience more ease and balance. Her practice led her to Kimberly Dahlmann at Yoga East, where she deepened her practice and began teaching. Michelle is a 500RYT and is Reiki Level Two certified. In addition to Ashtanga she has studied Pilates, Yin, Philosophy, Iyengar, and Pranayama. These studies infuse her practice and teaching. Michelle is honored to volunteer on YIA’s DEI Committee and is excited to share practice with the communities YIA serves. Her classes are accessible to all. Michelle shares with tremendous respect for the ancient traditions of yoga and the cultures from which they came. Michelle resides in Maine with her husband, daughter, and three dogs. She loves her Hispanic and military upbringing, paddleboarding, being outdoors, and spending time with her family.
Mindy Miller Muse
Yoga for Diverse Abilities
Mindy Miller Muse YA-CEP, E-RYT500, C-IAYT, Mindy has been practising Yoga for approximately 20 years and teaching for over 14 years. She has a background in clinical social work (MSW) and a special appreciation for Hatha Yoga’s potential to strengthen the mind/body/ heart connection. Mindy blends an appreciation for and an in depth knowledge of anatomy and an alignment based approach to asana with the importance of inspiring each individual’s unique and innate wisdom through facilitating curiosity, creativity, and choice. Mindy has more than 40 hours of specialized training in trauma-sensitive yoga with Dave Emerson of the Boston Trauma Institute. She is a Certified Yoga therapist and teaches Yoga full time with practitioners of all ages in a variety of settings including schools, libraries, community centers, mental health programs and Yoga Studios. In her yoga classes and teacher training programs, Mindy aims to create a welcoming environment for each person to enhance their Mind/Body/Heart connection with an emphasis on accessibility, personal choice and creativity.
Rochelle Jewell (she/her)
Community Yoga, Yoga for Recovery, Yoga for Diverse Abilities
Rochelle Jewell, E-RYT is the founder of Yoga in Action and a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher. Long before she envisioned the creation of a yoga service organization, she recognized the importance of creating a safe and sacred space for students. She believes it is important for yoga teachers to recognize that students bring their history into the yoga room and to understand the many things that can trigger trauma responses. The idea of introducing trauma sensitive yoga classes in the seacoast came long before the creation of Yoga in Action. Rochelle is so pleased to have brought this goal to fruition and to be teaching one of Yoga in Action’s trauma-informed yoga classes.
Yoga for Recovery, Yoga and Cancer
Shelly is an international Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and creator of malas. She connected with yoga while living in Australia and found home on her mat. Inspired by her teacher Kimberly Dahlmann's ability to hold space for her students, she traveled to Maui to immerse in teacher training with Eddie Modestini and Nicki Doane. Her classes are a practice of self love inspired by Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kundalini, and cosmic astrology. She believes in taking the qualities we strive for on the mat - things like honesty, integrity, and compassion - off the mat and into our world.
Shelly is passionate about sharing the tools that continuously help her land in presence, release negativity and realign with her true essence of love and joy. She whole-heartedly believes in the infinite healing abilities of Yoga, Reiki and Meditation. Join Shelly for practice on the mat, invite peace and ease into your world with a Reiki session and ask her about malas as a meditation tool. shellygrande.com
Chair Yoga for Seniors, Yoga for Recovery
Sue came to yoga in her late 30s seeking low-impact physical exercise, but she soon found herself drawn to exploring the deeper aspects of the practice. She began teaching regularly shortly before completing her 200-hour yoga teacher certification (at YogaLife Institute of NH) in early 2015. The experience of yoga, as Sue imagines it, includes developing new perspectives, experimenting with the unfamiliar, opening up beneficial paths of communication, and cultivating light-heartedness as one moves through life. Sue has taught yoga at all levels to students ranging in age from adolescents to nonagenarians. Sue has a particular interest in making yoga accessible to those who come to yoga later in life. In her spare time, Sue enjoys cooking, reading The New Yorker; walking her dog with friends, and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Yoga for Youth, Yoga for Diverse Abilities
Suzanne is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher, Reiki Level 1 & II practitioner, as well as an occupational therapist. Her passion for life, wellness, and yoga radiates as she guides you through mindful movement to help you connect within and find both ease and strength within yourself. She desires each student to feel supported, both physically and mentally, on and off their mats. Her background in anatomy, physiology, and occupational therapy assist her in making appropriate modifications and/or adaptations so all can enjoy the benefits of yoga!
Yoga for Recovery
Terry Farish, RYT 200, is a graduate of the Yoga Life Institute of New Hampshire. She has a certificate in Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY) with the Trauma Center Yoga Program, a certificate in Yin Yoga with the Josh Summers School, and studied mindfulness with Juanita Blackwell of The 3 Doors. For Yoga in Action, Terry teaches at Infinity Peer Support, an organization that offersa peer-oriented approach to mental health wellness and recovery in Strafford County. She teaches collaboratively with Liz Bargardo, each teaching alternate months. She also teaches at Gateway Taiji and Yoga in Portsmouth.
In memory of Kathy, who blessed our Yoga in Action community and beyond with her gifts of love, compassion and generosity. Kathy’s desire to teach to the Yoga and Cancer community was sparked by her genuine calling to make a difference in the lives of others. We have so much gratitude for her kindness and beautiful way of teaching- a gift to her students and to everyone around her. Kathy’s spirit will forever be in our hearts.