I believe in Yoga. I honestly feel that everyone can benefit from it. There is this moment in every class where you see a “newbie” on their mat, in the thick of it all, power, sweat, fear, and exhilaration. I love the moment when yoga makes its way into their body and you can see it, you can see the light come out of them. You see their amazement, you feel their excitement, you know that they “get it”. Man, what a gift. I have found my purpose in life, I am a teacher. Annie's teachers include Baron Baptiste, Philip Urso, Debbie Williamson, Marcia Vallier, Anne Surber, Douglas P. Quagliaroli, Lance Clayton and Jan Iyengar.
Annie is co-director of The Yoga Shop and the founder of LivFree® Power Yoga. Annie is Yoga Alliance ERYT 500-hour certified. Find her at the South Windsor, Old Saybrook, West Hartford and Glastonbury studios.
I believe in the effects of yoga. I have witnessed transformation in myself and in others I practice with. I have always wanted to be a part of something that really matters. I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than helping someone realize their true strength physically and spiritually. Her teachers are Baron Baptiste and Annie Q.
My Here, My Now.
Why do I believe in Yoga? Because, up until a few years ago, I was, in most ways, much like any other working mom, franticly juggling the many things it takes to ‘have it all’ in life. Then, I stepped onto a Yoga mat and realized that I could in fact slow down even in this hectic world we live in – and not only did my mind and body need it, but everyone who I touched in life was better for it as well. When I am on the mat, when I teach and when I leave the studio, my body is at ease – peaceful, energized, and balanced. Yoga gives me the space that I need to reconnect to me. Through Yoga, I have vowed never again to be exhausted by life but rather to leave this life exhausted from truly living it! The ability to teach and share this hOMe we built with others in the community is a gift. Allison’s teachers include Annie Q and Kim Charbonneau.
Allison is the co-owner of The Yoga Shop of Ludlow. She is RYT 500-hour LivFree® certified. Find her at the Ludlow studio.
I rediscovered yoga at a time where I really needed an escape from the demands of life. I wore many hats while juggling a challenging corporate career and care-giving for both a young family and aging parents. I realized that I was spending all my time taking care of others and needed to take care of myself. When I discovered the Yoga Shop community, I found a way to escape into a loving place where I could care for and work solely on myself – learning to love who and where I am, releasing the tension and rebuilding strength, dealing with my struggles and growing stronger. Yoga gives me healing and hope in a way I never expected and still surprises me. Yoga is my self care and my passion. I am SO excited to grow The Yoga Shop family and share LivFree®️ yoga in our community. I’m grateful for The Yoga Shop community of teachers and my mentors: Annie Quagliaroli, Kim Charbonneau, Julie Liefeld and the 2017 Masters Class.
Liz is the co-owner of The Yoga Shop of Ludlow. She is RYT 500-hour LivFree® certified. Find her at the Ludlow Studio.
Yoga is my firework. It’s a beautiful explosion of energy. It’s unique, colorful, exciting and fun. Yoga came into my life just at the right moment, it felt like “she” was waiting for me. My life has changed since then and it will always be my opportunity to keep growing mentally, physically and spiritually. LivFree® Yoga invites me to reconnect with myself in a loving and compassionate way. The heat, the sweat, the challenge, the surrender, the acceptance, the community just makes me feel whole. I am eager to share my passion for this beautiful practice and I hope I can offer an opportunity to start a sparkle in more people’s lives. Nadia’s teachers include Annie Q. Simard, Kim Charbonneau, Joe Cavanagh and Holly Peronace Zygiel.
I have always been in my head. Bringing myself to the mat takes all the thoughts away. Some days I have beautiful, open practices. Other days I have terrible practices. What matters is I cleared my mind and did my best. I became a teacher because I wanted to be able to share that experience with everyone. The experience of letting go of the good or the bad. I pride myself off having a laid back, cool style of teaching but still being able to BRING IT. I will continue to show up and share the love. Sarah’s teachers include Annie Q., and Kim Charbonneau.
Sarah is RYT 500-hour LivFree® certified. Find her at Old Saybrook studio.
I have been practicing yoga since 1999 and to me, yoga is not about how deeply you can back-bend, how long you can hold an arm balancing pose or whether or not you can stand on your head. Yoga is about connecting with breath and creating space. It’s about falling back in love with yourself and to make peace with your body. Yoga is to become aware of your mind and the noise it creates. To me yoga is kindness, even in the most physically and mentally challenging poses. Just by softening and letting go you can release your fear and be free. I love what yoga does for my body, mind and spirit. It has made me a better and more balanced person, injury and pain free and stronger both physically and mentally. And it will do that for you too! Petra’s teachers include Annie Q, Seane Corn, Bryan Kest, Lori Bonazzi and S. N. Goenka.
Petra is ERYT 500-hour LivFree® certified, 100-hour Power Yoga certified with Bryan Kest and a Meditation Coach trained in the Vipassana tradition. She is also the Social Media Manager for The Yoga Shop. Find her at the West Hartford and Glastonbury studios.
To me, yoga is the intentional direction of breath, motion and consciousness. It’s a ritual that cracks open my mind and body, offering insight and access to my creative nature. The practice shifts and shuffles into a living path that I create and follow. It’s a moving meditation, an expression of my ups and downs, a challenge and a puzzle and a reward. My mat is where I practice my work. It changes as I change, inviting me to transform again and again. Jeff’s teachers include Michael Roach, Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau, Joe Cavanagh and Holly Peronace Zygiel.
The confluence of physical and non-physical work done on the yoga mat is unmatched by any other exercise. When you realize the intimacy of the relationship of body and mind, yoga leaves the mat and follows you every day. And when life gets out of balance, returning to the mat to work it out is always available. The work put in on the mat pays back physically, mentally, and spiritually. With no attachment to how exactly yoga will change you, putting in the physical work undoubtedly lays the groundwork for growth and change beyond the physical realm. Joe’s teachers include Annie Q and Kim Charbonneau.
I come to my mat thankful each time for so many reasons. Yoga has provided me the time and space to learn to love myself. Yoga teaches me balance and union of mind, body, and spirit and the strength in being present and being able to let go. I swam on an international stage for many years and it conditioned me to hang on tightly to competition, comparison and a good challenge. Yoga provides a different kind of physical challenge that has revealed the strength in unity over comparison, and wakes up my confidence from deep inside, where it tends to hide. But more than all of that, yoga is an opportunity to surround myself with some of the most kind and generous people I have ever met, and I have developed an enormous amount of gratitude for their support. I love coming to my mat knowing that this is so much bigger than just me, because I get to be a part of a community with these beautiful people and experience this transformative practice, and I am so thankful for it.
Angie is RYT 500-hour LivFree® certified. Find her at West Hartford studio.
Practicing yoga fosters the connections of the physical, emotional and spiritual components within each of us, and the singular connection between all of us and everything. It cultivates compassion and is the fertile ground the feeds and grows love. When I practice, it feels like I am wiping the slate clean, creating space and clarity where love abounds and anything is possible. I am so grateful to be a part of this growing community of open-hearted, compassionate people to share this transformational practice, on the mat and as a teacher. Lisa’s teachers include Baron Baptiste, Tias Little, Todd Norian, Sadie Nardini, Natalie Griffin, and of course Annie Quagliaroli and Kim Charbonneau, and this whole crazy ride, life.
Yoga opens my pathways of intimacy in the universe. Yoga ignites my passion. Yoga supports my balance. Yoga fuels my authenticity. Yoga delivers my clarity. Yoga is my mental and physical detoxification. Yoga cares for my heart, emotional and physical. Yoga breathes life into me. Yoga opens my eyes. Yoga softens my entire being. I am simple, mess, wild and free. I am you, you are me. We are one. The most powerful transformation I have been blessed to experience, is embracing, exploring and sharing intimacy. The power of having an intimate connection with yourself, your family, your community and the Universe is the most simple form of living a life with clarity and purpose. Weaving intimacy into the fabric of your life, the fabric being your heart, your mind, your body and your soul … creates an overwhelming sense of peace in that you are you, and, I am me and all we need to do is JUST BE. Be intimately connected with the Universe and breathe. Lisa's teachers include Annie Q Simard, Kim Charbonneau, Joe Cavanaugh, Holly Peronace Zygiel, Jack Iwersen and Angie Chokran.
I first began yoga as a physical practice during a major transitional period in my life. My physical practice quickly transformed into so much more. I became part of a community surrounded by like-minded yogis; I gained mental clarity even if it was just during those 90 minutes of practice – and an appreciation for myself and the strength of my body grew. When I first started yoga I couldn’t touch my toes. Now I have seen the transformation, I have seen what yoga is capable of in my own body. When I am on my mat, nothing else matters. It is my time to be me and to be with me. My practice brings me peace. I wanted to become a yoga teacher to teach LivFree® Yoga, to share to others what yoga has shared with me and to be a bigger part in this amazing community. Kara’s teachers include Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau, Holly Zygiel and Joe Cavanagh.
Kara is RYT 200-hour certified. Find her at the Glastonbury studio.
I think of the Yoga Shop as my baby, and my yoga practice as my baby too! I found the Yoga Shop when I was needing something different in my life. My yoga practice has found a home at the Yoga Shop. My practice has grown here because of being nurtured, cared for, and supported. My yoga has helped me to slow down, appreciate the here and now, and be able to keep my focus. It is always challenging to take my practice off the mat and into my daily life. Some days happen more easily than others. The Yoga Shop is always there to help guide, encourage, and love me along my journey.
Laura Dean-Frazier is the Studio Manager in Old Saybrook.
Yoga is my Source – my wellspring of joy, strength and inspiration. Yoga takes me to the place in myself where I can find just a little bit more: more courage, more grace, more love, more magic. Yoga has taught me to follow the waves of my breath toward surrender in times of challenge, and flow along the currents of compassion and acceptance into a sea of gratitude. Yoga allows me to stand in my power because I now know that this source is always with me, whether I am on or off my mat. Ali’s teachers include Annie Q. and Kimberly Charbonneau.
Yoga is my space. When I get on my mat, I know that for the duration of the practice, I am taking space for myself. There are no demands of me except to breathe. Within that space, something magical happens.I challenge myself, I reach places that I am not aware that I can, I forgive myself when I need a rest. I take the space and I use it to serve my body, my heart, and my soul. Something else happens. While moving and breathing together, I feel supported by the community around me, and in turn, I offer my support with my breath. It’s truly magic. After practicing, I am able to take the magic off of my mat and share it with my world. Yoga has helped me become more like the person I want to be. I am living my life as the best version of myself because of yoga. I am excited to be able to share the magic. Judy’s teachers include Annie Q, Kimberly Charbonneau, Holly Zygiel, Joe Cavanagh and Valerie Fales.
Judy is RYT 200-hour certified. Find her at the Old Saybrook studio.
When I step onto my mat, I make peace with whatever transpired before that moment. I am able to find a place in my mind and in my body that enables me to release, and let go to a point that I can engage in the moving meditation of my practice. It allows me to leave the time and practice with a renewed sense of self and awareness. My yoga practice has enhanced all aspects of my life. I hope that I can share this experience with others. As a group fitness instructor and RN, I am able to speak to my clients about things like alignment and form on a deeper level, and a more holistic level. I hope to continue to grow in my yoga practice, and to continue sharing what I learn through the moving meditation of yoga on and off the mat. Valerie’s teachers include Annie Q., and Kim Charbonneau.
Valerie is RYT 200-hour certified and 100-hour Baptiste Certified. Find her at Old Saybrook studio.
Every time I practice yoga, I feel like I am being led back home. I unlearn all those jaded life lessons and find myself in a happy middle between strength and compassion. Yoga has taught me how to believe in myself when I fall, and how to catch myself with love – both on and off the mat! I know the positive impact that yoga had on my life and I want to share that experience with others. Jessica’s teachers include Annie Q. and Kim Charbonneau.
Jessica is RYT 200-hour certified. Find her at the Glastonbury studio.
My Best Self.
After spending 10 years as a chef in New Orleans I became burnt out from the restaurant industry. I had lost touch with who I was. That prompted me to return home to CT to focus on improving my health and well being. I then landed on my mat for the first time in Joe Cavanaugh’s class at The Yoga Shop. After taking his class and connecting movement to breath I began to find myself again. The connection of movement to breath allowed me to feel not only find myself, but it also relaxed and calmed my mind allowing me to leave class feeling like my best self. Yoga not only improved my physical heath, but my mental health as well. I pursued the teacher training through The Yoga Shop because of the confidence I have built in myself. That is something I want to give back to the community and that is why I became a yoga teacher. I can’t keep my happiness if I don’t give some of it away. Being a yoga teacher allows me to do exactly that. May the force be with you. Zach's teachers include Joe Cavanaugh, Holly Peronace Zygiel, Annie Q, Lauren Bent, Angie Chokran, Shoshana Foster, Becka Hatfield, Jack Iwerson and Anne Sargent.
Yoga is a part of my lifestyle. Over and over I find myself back on my mat continually working through what life has given me, the good the bad and everything in between. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, I always feel supported and strengthened through my yoga practice. I allow space for myself to be authentic and to feel what arises, without judgement of myself or others. It is my space to breathe and let life unfold. My yoga is carried into my daily life and it is a lifelong practice of self love and compassion for every being. It is an honor to be able to teach LivFree® Yoga and to create a space for all people to come and allow themselves to be authentic and feel their truth. Caroline's teachers include Annie Q, Holly Peronace Zygiel, Joe Cavanagh and Jack Iwersen.
Caroline is RYT 200-hour certified. Find her at the South Windsor studio.
Yoga is my commitment to myself and the world around me. Yoga has opened my life up to growth, discovery, friendship, joy, and so much more. It all started with deciding to show up on my mat, and continuing to show up week after week, year after year. Show up; embrace the opportunity. Annie's teachers include Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau, Holly Peronace-Zygiel and Joe Cavanagh.
Annie is RYT 200-hour certified. Find her at the Ludlow studio.
I never used to think that yoga was something I could make a part of my daily life. I took a chance by walking into The Yoga Shop and seeing what LivFree® Power was all about, and my only regret was not finding it sooner. I’ve been pushed to physical and mental boundaries that I never even thought I had the potential of reaching. Every time I think I’ve found my edge I blast past it and find a new one. I am becoming the best version of myself because I let go of my ego and believed in the change that could come from rolling out a mat. The community I’ve found and bonds I’ve formed along the way are unparalleled. There isn’t a single soul out there who couldn’t benefit from some yoga in their lives, and my goal is to spread that message. Dan’s teachers include: Annie Q, Joe Cavanagh, Holly Peronace Zygiel, Jack Iwersen and Lauren Bent.
When I step on my mat, the rest of the world just seems to disappear. Whatever challenges I am dealing with fade away as inconsequential. I was first drawn to yoga for its physical and athletic qualities. Many of my first classes were frustrating as I tried to push myself deeper into poses, in a hurry to advance my practice. But as an athlete who was starting to feel the aches and pains associated with many hours spent pushing my body, balance was what I needed. Continuing to practice, I slowly started to quiet the voice that kept driving me forward and let in the words of the amazing teachers at The Yoga Shop, allowing me to listen to my body, my breath, and my heart. I will be forever grateful for the lessons I have learned…slowing down and not forcing things to happen. I am honored for the opportunity to teach yoga to others, so they may use it as a tool to learn the things they need to on their journeys. Her certifications also include NASM Personal Trainer, Ironman University Triathlon Coach, Les Mills BodyPump and RPM Instructor. She holds a MM Music Education. Chris’s teachers include Annie Q and Kim Charbonneau.
Chris is RYT 500-hour LivFree® certified. Find her at Old Saybrook studio.
I first began practicing yoga in an effort to allow my body to heal after a persistent injury. Through the physical practice, my body has become stronger and more flexible, but the gifts that yoga has given me extend far beyond the physical. It is through yoga that I have learned to feel at home within myself, a feeling that I had lost touch with. As I continue to practice, the yoga has started to spill over into other aspects of my life, bettering my relationships with myself, with others, and with the world around me. I find yoga to be challenging to both the body and the mind in the best possible way- a way that facilitates enormous growth and challenges us to fulfill our fullest potentials. Come grow with me. Corey’s teachers include Annie Q Simard, Kimberly Charbonneau, Julie Liefeld, Holly Zygiel and Joe Cavanagh.
Corey is RYT 500-hour LivFree® certified. Find her at the Ludlow studio.
Yoga is my Phoenix - from any starting point yoga creates the path and energy of rediscovery, renewal and rejuvenation from the ashes, yoga provides the wings to rise out and beyond stuck-ness, ennui, emptiness, and into the direction of purpose. By its calling, yoga will remind you who you are, who you can be, and give you the power to soar. My belief is that yoga will heal your balance of mind, body and spirit-and once you understand your own balance, there is nothing that can hold you down. Julie’s teachers are Annie Q., Kimberly Charbonneau, Josh Summers and Kim Abraham.
Julie is a RN, LMFT, PHD and ERYT 500-hour LivFree® certified. Find her at Old Saybrook studio.
Yoga is powerful. Yoga is community. Yoga is life. Yoga is my bridge. My journey began more than a decade ago with Bikram and Ashtanga practices. It was not until my discovery of LivFree® that I realized yoga can be a bridge that connects the physical and spiritual, helping me to feel a sense of purpose, not only in my practice, but in how I live life off the mat. I seek, through yoga, to nurture those I teach, to foster a sense of community, and to instill a sense of happiness that will spread into the world beyond the walls of the studio. Kevin's teachers include Evan Perry, Annie Q, Joe Cavanaugh, Holly Peronace Zygiel and Jack Iwerson.
This practice can bring you so many places without ever leaving your mat. The possibilities are endless when you merge your mind and your body. The people you meet, the lessons you learn, the things you teach yourself are unparalleled by any other practice or exercise I have ever experienced. Nothing can challenge, provoke, change, transform or empower you like yoga can. My favorite part of practicing is that you are always met where you are at and there is always potential to find more, dig deeper and grow. Each time I step off my mat I step into a better version of myself. Yoga just works! Kristen’s teachers include Annie Q. and Kim Charbonneau.
I need yoga in my life. Yoga is a mental, spiritual, and physical practice that my body craves. Being a yoga teacher allows me to share with others the gift of working to perfect the relationship between mind and body. I am honored to help those I teach feel better about themselves and become the strongest they have ever been. Alanna’s teachers include Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau, Natalie Griffin and Joanne Spence.
Holly Peronace Zygiel
Yoga is my Peace, my journey on the mat began after my first son was born and I need some exercise and healing. My husband encouraged me to start yoga and we had the exercise part right. I decided to continue to practice yoga through my entire second pregnancy. Since yoga has been in my life, I have felt my body, I have healed, and gain strength, balance, and better health. Our yoga community is filled with caring, loving individuals, who share it’s gift everyday and that is why I teach from the brightest place within me and guide my students on their journey to Shine. Holly’s teachers include Elin Larson, Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau and The Yoga Shop Community.
Holly is ERYT 500-hour LivFree® certified, LivFree®
Roberta Romeo Shannon
When I first stepped onto a yoga mat years ago, I did not fully understand the ways in which this practice could show up in my mind, body and spirit. It wasn’t until many years later, at Kore, a small gym in South Windsor owned by Annie Q, that I discovered what yoga could truly do for me. The Yoga Shop and an abandoned little black puppy named Shirley rescued me during a time when I needed it most; my life was in serious need of something BIG. Both Shirley and the community of like-minded people from TYS showed me loving kindness, without judgement, no matter what. I was able to finally see the importance of inviting breath, peace, and joy into my life. Yoga and Shirley continue to rescue me every day, adding so much more to my life those around me than I ever imagined was possible. I have found a home on my mat and love sharing that feeling with others, especially children and new yogis. Roberta’s teachers include Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau and Julie Liefeld.
Roberta is RYT 500-hour LivFree® certified, LivFree® Certified Life Coach and the creator of the LivFree® Kid Warriors Certification Workshop. Find her in the West Hartford studio.
No one starts meditating because they have an extra twenty minutes lying around, and I was certainly no different: a few years ago, I reached a point where the calm and happiness that had been so familiar for much of my life was becoming more elusive, and all I knew was that I needed to find a way to slow down. I’m still not sure how or why I chose meditation, but I remember a conversation with my father just after I’d downloaded the Headspace app, when I told him that I needed to relax, but that I “didn’t want meditation to change me”. Two years later - after a series of events that now feels like it was entirely out of my control - I’d completed a 100-hour meditation teacher training in Boston, and my dad dropping me off at JFK Airport for a flight to Nepal, where I would complete a silent, ten-day meditation course on the mountainside above Kathmandu. So, no, meditation was never part of the plan, and teaching it was even more unlikely--but, lucky for me, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
Billy’s teachers include the Boston Buddha (Andy Kelley), Davidji, Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Lou Redmond and a Vipassana teacher-in-training from Nepal. Find him at the Ludlow studio.
Yoga helps me shine my light. Every day it continues to foster my connection to the true essence of life, the true essence of me. So often yoga helps me "let go" of the adversity of the world and instead indulge in a place of peace, strength, freedom and love. I invite you to welcome yoga into your lives, not only for the physical benefits but for the spiritual and mindful benefits as well. It is truly a beautiful and fascinating gift of self-love. A gift I am so honored to share with others. Marilyn’s teachers include Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau, Natalie Griffin and Josh Summers.
Marilyn is ERYT 500-hour LivFree® certified, a Certified Holistic Life Coach and trained in Yin Yoga. She is also the Studio Manager of South Windsor. Find her at the South Windsor, West Hartford and Glastonbury studios.
My yoga mat is where I become my favorite version of myself. It is where I gather strength, connect to my creative self, become most available, and where I can fall. There is so much room on my mat. I’ve always thought of it as a magic carpet ride. The practice of connecting breath to movement take away the “to do” lists. By the end of a practice I feel renewed as if I had gone away and returned. This is what sets yoga apart for me from other exercise. I love the opportunity for the reset, to connect back to myself and let the rest go. Mari's teachers include Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau, Joe Cavanagh, Holly Peronace Zygiel and Val Fales.
Maris is RYT 500-hour LivFree® certified. Find her at the Old Saybrook studio.
Yoga has taught me that finding my edge will take me places that comfort never could. It has taught me that there is growth and beauty in challenges and that my mind can heal through my bodies movements. I am in constant awe of what this practice has done for me, both on and off my mat. Yoga has empowered me and given me strength that I could not learn from anyone but myself and that is beautiful. Dana's teachers include Annie Q. Simard, Holly Zygiel, Joe Cavanaugh, Kim Charbonneau, Kristen Michalak and Nadia Goracy.
Dana is RYT 200-hour certified and LivFree®
I welcomed yoga into my life at a time when I was doing a lot of soul searching. Yoga helped bring me to an authentic version of myself that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I deeply cherish time spent on my mat because it has become my connection time, bringing peace to my mind. The more time I spend on my mat, the more balance is brought to all aspects of my life. The sense of community that I feel when practicing is amazing and I feel grateful to be a part of such a strong connection. Jessica’s teachers include Annie Q, Kim Charbonneau, Joe Cavanagh and Holly Zygiel.
Jessica is RYT 200-hour certified. Find her at the Ludlow studio.