201-203-0791 info@bloomyoganj.com

Evelyn Brigandi, RYT 200

Evelyn fell into the world of Hatha yoga about 10 years ago when she was looking for options to help alleviate the severe migraine headaches that she used to get.  By practicing yoga regularly and keeping a clean diet, Evelyn began to feel the physical benefits with the relief of her migraines.  Within a few years, Evelyn became involved in other schools of yoga: Raja Yoga (meditation), Karma Yoga (selfless service), Laya Yoga (awakening the chakras and kundalini energy), and Bhakti Yoga (practice of love and devotion) – all of which helped calm her mind, uplift her spirit and strengthen her body.  Evelyn’s classes incorporate pranayama, form, flow and alignment with a sweet, restorative ending in savasana. Evelyn is a graduate of Clair Diab’s 300 hr teacher training at American Yoga Academy.

Fiona Torbick, E-RYT 200, RYT 500

Fiona first found Ashtanga yoga at her local gym while she was in high school, and maintained a consistent individual practice as she went on to complete degrees in Opera and Piano at Syracuse University. Vinyasa classes became her sanity while she worked in a hectic marketing agency for a few years, and evolved into a passion that led her to pursue her 200-hour teacher training at Starseed (Verona, NJ). Soon after she began teaching, she decided to leave her full-time job in order to spend several months in southern India completing her 300-hour Advanced Ashtanga teacher training. Her classes are informed both by the vigorous, intense Ashtanga practice and a thorough understanding of anatomy and alignment. Living by the philosophy of “helping people to help themselves,” Fiona teaches challenging yet meditative classes with an emphasis on form, flow, and pranayama. But when she’s not on the mat, you can bet she’s in a faraway land making new friends and finding adventure!

Steve Dessimone, RYT 200

One of Steve’s earliest encounters with these sacred practices came at a very young age. As a child, his favorite movie was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In it, there are scenes when the Turtles sit and meditate, and although the movie is full of action and adventure, these scenes captured a deeper part of his attention and curiosity. Seeds were planted, and only when he began practicing meditation almost 20 years later, did he realize that he’d been storing them in the depths of his mind since childhood, and now was the time to cultivate.

After a few months of meditation practice, sitting comfortably was, well…not so comfortable. At this time, Steve’s study of eastern philosophy was burgeoning and through this study, he noticed that yoga was also mentioned quite frequently along with meditation. It was clear that this was the next step and before long he began taking classes at Naturally Yoga in Glen Rock, NJ.

Since then, he has studied in the traditions of Intergral, Iyengar, and Ashtanga yoga, infusing all three into his personal practice and always keeping meditation as the cornerstone. In 2016, he completed his 200 hour teacher training at Naturally Yoga and considers Veronica Yacco, Neil and Sheryl Edsall, as the well springs from which he has been blessed with these teachings. Steve believes that in this life, the body and mind are the instruments with which we’ve been given to perform, and yoga is how we tune them.

Michelle Brook, E-RYT 200

Michelle Brook has practiced yoga since 1998, but began a more rigorous and committed practice in 2011, after a traumatic loss. Yoga helped her through a difficult time and has enhanced and benefited her life in significant ways since, making her eager to learn more and to share her knowledge so others can absorb the positive benefits that yoga can provide.

For many years Michelle has been teaching preschool nature programs, grade school river ecology lessons, and substitute teaching at all grade levels. Michelle is now thrilled to have the opportunity to teach yoga to children. She has a 30 hour certification from Karma Kids Yoga Studio in NYC, where she learned games, activities and hundreds of poses that incorporate play to best share the practice with children. Michelle continued her yoga studies by completing a Yoga Alliance 200 hour certification in June 2014 at the American Yoga Academy in West Orange.

“I love sharing yoga with children; it’s about poses, play, breath, music, dance and games. Kids have fun while gaining knowledge about themselves and learning lifelong skills to manage stress and strong emotions.”

Brittany Snyder

Vinyasa flow yoga has been a part of my life for over 10 years. I use yoga as a way to unwind after a long day, and can definitely feel the benefits it has provided me. I feel lighter, happier and more at ease after a full session. I focus on going through a slow-paced vinyasa flow and integrate pranayama (breath), and asanas (poses) with a little meditation. I decided that yoga would be the best solution to maintaining such a busy lifestyle, which includes being a 5th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, while obtaining my Masters Degree in ESL with an additional 30 graduate credits to earn my Reading Specialist Certification. I consider myself to be a life long student, and have a love for learning. I am constantly reading about yoga philosophy, and attend as many yoga classes as I can. I am fascinated by yoga philosophy, and feel like it has opened my mind in so many ways. Every time I practice I feel mentally stronger, and physically healthier. Whether I am learning from another teacher’s class, or going through the motions of my own routine, I can always feel like the best version of myself afterwards. I am so happy I found my practice, and know I will be connected to it for the rest of my life.

Michele Maltese, E-RYT 200

Michele was introduced to yoga as a teenager in the most organic way-in her aunt and uncles living room!  At a young age, she knew that yoga was a part of her DNA.  She then dedicated herself to the physical practice and ethics for the next 20 years.

Always a student, she continues to learn and open her mind.  As a graduate of Naturally Yoga teacher training, Michele went deeper into her study of yoga: asana, philosophy and sacred texts.  

Michele creates a genuine connection with her students.  Her authenticity enables others to reach a place of openness and inner truth.  As part of her teaching style, you will receive loving adjustments and details to alignment.  Most of Michele’s classes are a combination of powerful flows and dynamic static poses mixed with counter poses, gentle twists and soothing restorative poses.  You will experience a balance of Yin Yang – always honoring yourself where you are.

Michele has a light heart and does not take life too seriously, yet has a deep respect for the practice of yoga, its teachings, and all things spiritual.

Cheneisha Lewis, RYT 200

Yoga has become a part of every breath that Cheneisha takes, as it is so much more than just asana (physical practice) and pranayama (breathwork). In 2002, Cheneisha took her first yoga class for a
college credit and was introduced to Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar). She knew that she had encountered something special when she noticed the subtle shifts in her body, along with how easily she was able to feel balanced and energized. Cheneisha never completely stopped physical practice, but there was a span of time when she engaged few and far between. As life would have it, the challenges that she met in early adulthood, provided her with a greater appreciation for self-knowledge and inner peace. She began to search for answers and her quest drew her back to consistent practice. Her desire to truly connect with herself and to deepen her experience with yoga, led to her enrolling in a 200 Hour RYT teacher training program at Naturally Yoga. After her first day in training, she was reintroduced to the “magic” of yoga and immediately knew that she would be embarking on a lifelong journey that would allow a higher level of joy and contentment, while finding increased strength, flexibility and balance. She integrates yoga into her personal life, daily and as a mental health counselor, she invites
her clients to experience the benefits. Cheneisha’s intention is to welcome people of all ages, sizes, backgrounds and levels to experience the amazing benefits of yoga and all the possibilities that it brings.

Margaret Caruvana, Certified Pilates Mat Teacher

Margaret has been into fitness for 35 years, and fifteen years ago stumbled upon Pilates.  She has a certification for the Power Pilates Core Mat I Training via The Pilates Project.  Margaret believes working out to be a lifelong journey, and that we all need to find what brings out the best in oneself.

“The Pilates method of body conditioning is a unique system of stretching and strengthening exercises developed over ninety years ago by Joseph H. Pilates.  It strengthens and tones muscles, improves posture, provides flexibility and balance, unites body and mind, and creates a more streamlined shape.” –The Pilates Body, Brooke Siler

Kat Horvath, RYT 200

Kat began practicing yoga in high school and throughout college as a way to workout. Never being the athletic type, she found an immediate connection to yoga as a way to take care of the body without any fear of judgment or competition. With the encouragement of her yoga instructors, she decided to train to become a yoga teacher and what started as a workout routine became a way of life. Yoga has changed every aspect of her life for the better. The most important lesson  learned was not to be afraid to take risks. Kat helps her students find the fun in yoga in a judgment free space.

Kelly Ianelli, RYT 200

Kelly’s journey led her to a steady Yoga practice in 2007 due to chronic inflammation from running marathons, and ‘til this day she swears that Yoga is the only reason she is still running. With aspirations to deepen her practice, Kelly decided to head to Rishikesh, India in 2016 to study Yoga, and she successfully earned her 200hr teaching certification from Siddhi Yoga School. As per her teacher’s advice, upon her return she taught whoever was willing to try Yoga, and the biggest gift was how much she would learn from her students. She quickly developed her own authentic style, and her favorite part about teaching is how much she learns from her students in turn deepening her own personal practice. She loves sharing Yoga, and when asked what she has gained most from Yoga, she would have to say balance in her body, life and mind. Her biggest wish for her students is that they walk away from her classes with a more profound awareness and connection to their body and how spectacular it really is.

Margie Williams

I found yoga as a mother of three young children, craving some time for myself. I remember that first Monday night class, I was hooked! The breathing, the postures, the meditation and the sense of community in that room gave me exactly what I was craving.

That was 16 years ago and I am still that student in awe of the practice. I became a certified teacher in June 2011 and have been teaching ever since. I teach classes that are a combination of pranayama, gentle asana and inner reflection, infused with the practice of loving-kindness. I hope to create a space where students can slow down and work at finding the balance in life.

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