Meet Our Faculty
Yoga and Cancer Program
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.
Jonna Grenier is a certified yoga instructor registered as a 200 RYT through the National Yoga Alliance and is certified as a Yoga 4 Cancer instructor. Jonna first began practicing yoga as way to rehabilitate from breast cancer surgery, but quickly learned just how much more the practice has to offer and it became her passion. She became a yoga teacher in hopes of sharing the therapeutic gifts yoga offers for personal growth, transformation, tranquility and healing. As a cancer survivor, Jonna understands the many benefits yoga offers for cancer patients, survivors, their caregivers and anyone looking to find a sense of ease, wellbeing and peace. Jonna offers creatively sequenced yoga classes for all levels with an emphasis on body alignment, meditation and breath. Jonna is a compassionate and nurturing soul who is also a Master Reiki practitioner which she shares freely in her classes.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
Lana Vogestad is honored to lead the Yoga and Cancer classes at Yoga East and be of service to this community that is very close to her heart. Her interest to teach yoga began soon after her father was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2001. Experiencing and witnessing how a yoga practice can give an abundance of new energy, strength, hope, peace, and bring about empowerment and healing, is a constant inspiration for Lana. Lana is a 200 E-RYT/ 500 RYT. She has taught extensively in Iceland, the Netherlands, Atlanta, and in the Seacoast. The transformational and healing power of yoga and the community it creates has been an anchor for her through the ebb and flow of life. The tools we learn on our mat are available off the mat. Our practice returns us to our natural state of peace and love and helps to diminish anything that weighs us down.
Deana Aulisio Cavan, RYT200
Deana took her first yoga class with Kimberly Dahlmann in a little cabin in Barrington, NH in 2000. As the years passed, her practice grew roots through consistency, perseverance, and the tried-and- true methods of the Ashtanga lineage. Her teachers would provide her great ability, humility, and the courage to become a teacher herself. Admittedly, Deana's greatest spiritual teacher came into her life on April 27th, 2014 - her son, Everett Thomas. Over the course of ten months, it became clear the reason why she had practiced so diligently for the last 15 years – to prepare her to take care of a child with cancer and to move through the devastation of losing him. Yoga had taught her how to accept suffering with grace and strength and to let go of being in control. From this harrowing experience, Deana has decided to pursue teaching children and adults with cancer, their caregivers, and grievers the yoga, breathing, and meditation techniques that gratefully kept her heart wide open. She also continues to enjoy teaching the lovely students at YogaEast in Kittery, ME.
Sherry Evans (RYT200) is a certified yoga teacher in the Classical tradition (YogaLife Institute of NH) and has been teaching gentle, restorative and senior yoga at Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga (Portsmouth, NH) since its inception in 2012. She has also taught at senior centers, nursing homes, recreation departments, for the YogaLife Institute and Ocean Spirit Yoga. In 2017 she became certified as a Yoga for Cancer (Y4C) teacher. From an early age, Sherry watched untold people in her life suffer and ultimately die from cancer, most poignantly her Dad 15 years ago. In the past year, as several close friends were diagnosed she witnessed their journeys, as a yoga teacher and friend, which did not include death but did include all the other sufferings. Knowing the restorative and healing qualities of yoga, she was certain that a consistent yoga practice could help. As Sherry believes that life is an adventure, she also knows that not all adventures are wanted, including a cancer diagnosis. With humor, compassion and equality Sherry brings her sense of adventure and seven decades of wisdom to each class she teaches. Advanced yoga studies include Restorative Yoga with Sudha Carolyn Lundeen and Jillian Pransky and Trauma Sensitive Yoga with Dave Emerson. In 2015 she completed the 25 hour ‘Yoga for Seniors Teacher Training’ at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health with Carol Krucoff and Kimberly Carson. She is also a certified coach in the ‘Matter of Balance’ program through the Southern Maine Agency on Aging.
Shelly Grande 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
Andrea has called the Seacoast home for over 25 years. After being sidelined by autoimmune issues, Andrea embraced Yoga as a way to keep in shape and focus on the mind-body conneciton. Having practiced several methods of Yoga, Vinyasa was the one that spoke to her. Yoga has transformed her life physically, mindfully and spiritually.
Andrea received her RYT 200 through Barre & Soul in Portsmouth, NH, holds her Reiki Master Teacher certification and serves as a Hospice volunteer. Andrea was inspired during her first Seacoast Yoga Mala to teach cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers. She is looking forward to holding space for her students in a loving and supportive environment. Andrea aims to have her students leave her class feeling grounded, strong and inspired.
She is very grateful to share her practice with the Yoga and Cancer community.
Marissa is an E-RYT 200, earning her 200-hr certification in 2011 at the Integral Yoga Center of Highland Park, NJ. She is currently enrolled in the 500-hr program at YogaLife Institute of NH. She is a Personal Trainer certified through American Council on Exercise (ACE), and is the owner/manager of Empowered Movement LLC, a personal training and private yoga business.
Marissa has suffered from chronic illness her entire life, and she believes that movement and yoga is a way to shift energy, clear the mind, and step into your power so you can claim (and reclaim) who you truly are. Marissa's approach to yoga is grounded and balanced - with a touch of humor - and she encourages participants to come to the mat just as they are, with love and patience, curiosity and courage.
Kim Dowling is a 200 hour Registered Yoga teacher, trained at Vishuddha Yoga School. She is also a certified ChildLight Yoga instructor. 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 and Yoga Nidra. 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 has experience working with patients requiring a wide range of needs, from injured, young athletes to seniors after joint replacement. 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. Kim has been leading a Cancer Care yoga class since its inception at Good Karma Integrative Yoga in Newburyport. In her free time, Kim enjoys being out in nature with her husband and three
Michelle James, RYT-200 has a degree and background in early childhood education. In 2012, 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 is an experienced, certified ChildLight Yoga Instructor for babies through teens, as well as Studio Coordinator at ChildLight’s home studio in Dover, NH. She is a student at heart, always eager to continue her own education through experience and discoveries. Michelle completed her 200hr in January 2019 with Yoga Muse School of Yoga at Bridge Studio at Art, South Portland, ME. Her training is grounded in a trauma informed, empowerment approach to Hatha/Raja Yoga. She now looks forward to sharing all that yoga has to offer, both on and off the mat, with students of all ages. Off the mat Michelle enjoys crocheting, softball, spending time in nature - kayaking, fishing, hiking and most of all laughing with her husband, three grown children and one precious grandson.
Suzanne is certified yoga instructor, having completed her 200-hour training at Prasada Yoga Center. Suzanne attended the inaugural Yoga and Cancer class led by Michelle Couture in 2012 as a way to recover and heal from a cancer diagnosis. Through regular class attendance, she found healing on both physical and emotional levels that far exceeded her expectations. Her gratitude for the program led her to sponsor the Yoga and Cancer website and to eventually become a yoga instructor as a way to share the profound healing she experienced in the Yoga and Cancer Program. Suzanne cultivates a welcoming and accessible environment for her students to experience a practice that she hopes results in a deepened sense of overall well- being. Suzanne will be available to substitute at various locations in the Yoga and Cancer Program.
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.
Trauma & Recovery
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.
Sarah Sherman received her 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training from Core Power Yoga in San Diego in 2009 and is certified through Yoga Alliance. Sarah had always been athletic and led an athletic lifestyle with exercise and movement being her natural self medication, but she wanted more. She started practicing during a difficult time in her life and found the balance of mind, heart, and body to be a new mandatory part of her day.Sarah has taught in a variety of gyms, studios, parks, breweries, schools, and corporations in California and New Mexico but with a career in mental health and serving under-privileged communities Sarah strives to bring yoga to populations that might not show up to a traditional studio: inner city children, vets, special education students, trauma survivors, etc. Her creative flow and experience working with such diverse populations of clients allows Sarah to read her students needs and deliver a class everyone gets something out of. Since moving to NH, when she's not in the outdoors hiking, skiing, and being on the water with her family, she's teaching middle school special education.
Kelcy is a registered Yoga teacher as well as a Massage Therapist licensed in the state of Maine. She has been teaching yoga since 2010. In 2016 she received her certification to Teach Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga as developed by the Trauma Center in Brookline Mass. Kelcy is also a member of the Yoga Service Council. She teaches public and private classes including at risk youth, recovery programs, and prisons. Kelcy has seen the healing benefits of yoga working in her own life and is honored to be a part sharing this work with others. She lives in Southern Maine with her husband and two children.
Liz began her relationship with yoga in 2003, when she sought out the calming effects of a regular practice in the midst of a personal struggle. Within it, she found grounding, an improved ability to view situations from the outside in, along with a stronger sense of self. After 10 years of practicing a variety of yoga styles, she completed her 200-hour RYT training in Vinyasa Flow at Breathe Yoga in Rochester, NY. Liz is also a Registered Nurse whose career has included experience in pediatrics, psychiatry, forensic nursing and women’s health. Seeking to help individuals look at all modalities of wellness is a passion she carries into both teaching yoga and in her role as a nurse. If she’s not working or teaching, you’re most likely to find out running on local trails, cheering others on at road races, finding new adventures and topics to write about in her blog.
Karly Nihal is a Yoga Therapist, Kundalini Yoga instructor, and a life long seeker of awakening and truth. She completed her 200 hour Kundalini Yoga teacher training at the Baba Siri Chand Ashram in Millis, MA, and her 500 hour training in Yoga Therapy and Classical Yoga at the YogaLife Institute in Exeter, NH. Her passion is to raise awareness in herself and others through the beautifully diverse forums of yoga, meditation and education. Karly teaches Kundalini yoga in Exeter and Portsmouth, NH.
Rochelle is a mother of 2 grown sons, is an athlete, Registered Dietitian, life coach graduate and a continuous kid at heart. Out of curiosity years ago she explored yoga through DVDs at home and progressed to attending group yoga classes in town. She found the group energy, guidance of teachers and networking to be inspiring. Yoga practice began as a way to physically cross-train and stretch and progressed to being a playground for reflection and pause, noticing strength in ways beyond just physical. She was inspired to learn more and completed her RYT 200 training in 2016. Rochelle aims to inspire others to tap into their own resourcefulness and curiosity and to access the leader and teacher within.
Rose's interest in yoga began as an exploration in another modality of exercise, but has since transformed into a sacred practice for connecting deeper with herself and others. She received her RYT200 from Soulfire Power Yoga in Greenland, NH, and has years of experience as a health and fitness professional. Early on, Rose knew her purpose was to support others in living a happy, healthy and empowered life. She earned her B.S. in Physical Education and holds certifications as an American College of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer and Health and Wellness Coach. One of her most rewarding roles was working as a Supervisor and Health Mentor of the In SHAPE program at Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord NH, assisting individuals with adopting a healthier lifestyle. Rose brings: playfulness, empathy and compassion to her teaching, and a passion for guiding people to their ultimate physical and mental strength. Rose’s greatest joy comes from time spent with her husband, Hugo, and son, Leif.
Jacky has been practicing yoga for more than 10 years and recently completed her 200-hour teacher training at Prasada Yoga Center in North Hampton, NH. Jacky believes that people of any physical ability, age or stage in life can discover the benefits of yoga and find peace and balance in their lives. She has special interest in bringing yoga to individuals in recovery and believes the practice can truly heal the whole being by calming the mind, nurturing the spirit and balancing the body. Jacky works with homeless children, teens and families and co-facilitates intensive outpatient program groups as a certified Recovery Support Worker. She resides in Hampton, NH.
Shannon Keyes has practiced yoga since 1998, when her mom introduced her to the practice. She is a former high-school English teacher, who moved to New Hampshire to attend law school. After practicing as an attorney, Shannon became pregnant with her first son. While pregnant, she was so delighted with her prenatal yoga class that she obtained her prenatal yoga teaching certification through The Art and Science of Prenatal Yoga by Amy Hopkins, RN, LMT, CCCE, E-RYT. As Shannon’s family grew with the addition of a second (and now third!) son, she started taking family yoga classes. She completed training for her child yoga teaching certification with ChildLight Yoga, LLC. Shannon has since completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification through 3 Bridges Yoga Studio. She is eager to bring family yoga classes to the community and share the powerful impact yoga has on deepening relationships between child and caregiver. In Shannon’s spare time, she loves going to the beach, gardening, camping, and spending time with her family.
Mindy Miller Muse
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.
Jamie, 225 RHYT, Reiki I Practitioner, began practicing yoga in 2014 and in 2017 earned her 225 hour teacher training through Holy Yoga, Phoenix, AZ. Yoga has helped Jamie become more confident and willing to explore new adventures in her life. Jamie believes that yoga is for all and is especially interested in bringing yoga to those in recovery. She continues to be a student of the practice and is grateful for the wisdom her teachers have shared with her. She loves incorporating mindfulness into her classes and the freedom to be playful in poses.
Jamie lives in Rochester with her two daughters, two dogs and two cats.
Annie Wagoner studied Psychology at Connecticut College and knew all along that she wanted to interconnect her passion for counseling with movement and mind-body nutrition. She started practicing yoga and Pilates in 2001 to help aid in her training as a field hockey player and rower in college. Yoga brought balance and healing to her body, and Pilates helped her tap into deep core power and discover greater strength. Annie’s classes explore this powerful fusion of yoga and Pilates, offering dynamic flowing sequences that move from the core and invite vitality, mindfulness, flexibility, balance, strength and playfulness in. She strongly believes in preventative medicine and feels that consistent stretching, strengthening, and self-care can heal and restore the body and mind.
Annie is also a Mind/Body NutritionCoach, owner of Core Nourishment, mom of 2 amazing kids, a foodie, a runner, prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher, motivational speaker, writer, and podcaster. Annie 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 has her 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) certification through the Yoga of Energy Flow teacher training at Dover Yoga, her 40hr Still Point Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training certification, and she holds a certification in Pilates through the Boston Bodyworks/Power Pilates Studio. She is enormously grateful to be a part of the incredible spiritual and healing community along the Seacoast and honored to share her passions and be of service through Yoga in Action.
Kimberley, 200 YTT through Soulfire Power Yoga in February 2018. She has been working at Exeter Power Yoga since the summer of that same year. Kim is half way through her 500 YTT certification, to be completed December 2019. She also worked her first yoga retreat in South Africa. She hopes to continue to combine her love of travel and yoga on more retreats over the next year. She is also certified as a barre instructor, trained at The Dailey Method in San Francisco CA. Kimberley was raised in New Hampshire and moved to California in 2000 where she worked, had three children and lived for 15 years. Kim started practicing yoga after her children were born, she found the practice to help ease postpartum anxiety and exhaustion. After her family moved to Stratham she started practicing heated power yoga, loved it and wanted to get certified and start teaching again. Kim’s favorite part of teaching is helping people feel better, seeing how much this practice can make a difference in people’s lives and honored to be able to bring yoga to the communities within Yoga in Action.
Breana has been practicing yoga for about four years now. She found this practice through moving out on her own, new to the seacoast area. Her journey began at home, and she started to notice that as she devoted more time on her mat that there were little subtleties in her life that began transforming. One of the things that has drawn her to her practice is that with consistency she has become aware of ways her body is able to move that she never thought possible, growing up with frequent hip injuries. The awareness of each muscle and bone has made her want to share the importance of proper alignments in a sequence or pose and the impact that getting in touch with your physical body not only has on the physical itself, but how deeply connected to the mental and spiritual bodies this movement truly is. It wasn’t until this last September that she decided to take her RYT 200 hour with Ankati Day through Barre & Soul. Since completion of her training, Breana has decided to dive head first into the Trauma Informed aspect of yoga. She is training to receive her Y12SR certificate, and will be attending the Prison Yoga Project training this August 2019. She believes that with compassion, mindful communication, and devotion to self that everyone will be able to receive the life altering benefits that yoga bestows upon us. In her free time, Breana enjoys her freestyle practice, photography, spending time with nature, painting along to Bob Ross videos, and dabbling in the kitchen.
Lenny began his yoga practice in 1987, and started teaching in the mid 1990’s. He completed his 200 hour teacher training at Yoga Life Institute in Exeter, NH, and has trained in many traditions in 15 visits to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In 2008 Lenny participated in Dave Druz’ Yoga Philosophy Immersion Course in Hawaii. He is a personal coach and speaker for Balance Life Coaching, and currently facilitates yoga and meditation classes at small to mid-sized companies. He also teaches yoga and presents youth programs for the Seacoast YMCA in Exeter. Most rewarding for Lenny are the reports of growth and transformation from from clients and students.
Kate is a 500 hr RYT based on the Seacoast of New Hampshire. She is the founder of Three Moons Yoga and is a certified Trauma Informed Soulwork Facilitator. She has worked with many populations including students in southeast Asia, individuals with disabilities, and victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She has travelled the world in search of higher purpose, which eventually brought her to realize her true north in bringing the teachings of Yoga to others. Kate leads cacao ceremonies, yoga classes, and retreats all over the seacoast and beyond. She is an enthusiastic student of Trauma Theory, Somatic Experiencing, and the human cognitive ability to redirect unhealthy patterns. She is a volunteer advocate for HAVEN and is passionate about her choice to best embody the teachings of Yoga and bringing empowerment to others in realizing their capacity to heal and unlearn. She is honored to share sacred space with you at Yoga in Action.
Maria Cousins 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.
Joy Massicotte is a certified 200 hr Yoga teacher and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor. She has received extensive training in Gong Mastery Training with Don Conreaux and Sage Academy, Healing with Crystal Bowls and Sacred Sound with Nancy Waters, Founder of Luminous Tones, and Biosonic Tuning Fork Sound Healing with John Beaulieu. She also has her Reiki I certification. Joy loves bringing community together to connect with each other and to our higher selves.
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.
My pronouns are she/her. I am a daughter, sister, spouse, mother, doula, and educator. I love teaching yoga to folks who don't fit the description of what the media leads us to believe yoga is supposed to look like. I believe if you have a body, and if you breathe, you are a yogi!
My yoga practice started in 2001 and has taken many forms throughout the years. In 2011, I completed my Master's degree in Secondary Education for Special Ed. In 2015, I completed a 200hr yoga teacher training with Yoga District in Washington, DC. Since then, I've taught Hatha classical sequences, vinyasa, prenatal, and yin yoga, in classrooms, in studios, in gyms, and breweries to a wide variety of students ranging in ages from 15-95, and to those who present with a disability (physical or cognitive), and those who don't. I identify as being a member of the LGBTQ community, and welcome all pronouns, genders, and radiant beings in class.