Jeff (co-owner)

I am a 43-year-old man who experienced a life changing illness. I always thought of fitness and health as a side dish to life. I was always prioritizing work, fun, and material success over my health and myself.

In 1997, after battling kidney disease, and a short time on dialysis I underwent a live donor kidney transplant with my father’s donated kidney. The surgery was a success. Post surgery, I resumed my previous lifestyle, experiencing life more vividly and with more appreciation, but with no thought given to how I could enrich and prolong my quality of life.

I attended my first yoga class with a colleague. His enthusiasm for exercise and health prompted me to take a closer look at myself. Before long I was looking forward to any day that I could practice Yoga. Through a long journey I am now a Yoga Alliance 200-hour Registered Certified Yoga Instructor.

My wife Pam, who had always been a proponent of exercise, was excited to see me get involved with Yoga. When we first met, she was working out regularly, but as we became more involved I noticed that she no longer made exercise a priority and I didn’t encourage it. Yoga was also her way back to a regular exercise routine. I mention this as it is great to have support in your life. Where it comes from doesn’t necessarily matter, it is knowing that there are others experiencing the same thing, and willing to support you in your endeavors. This is one of the reasons I created Waltham Yoga

During the time I was first exposed to yoga, my wife and I adopted our daughter. This was a challenging time, but my wife and I were supportive of each other, making sure we were both able to get to classes. This was possible in great part due to the support of my family especially my parents.

Some my observations during my start of a regular yoga practice and healthier lifestyle.

  • I immediately felt the connection to my body and nutrition.
  • It took me about 6 months for me to stop laughing at taking off my shoes and socks, AUMS, s’avassana and third eyes (all things that happen in a typical yoga class)
  • Within first 6 months, lost 20 lbs and was never considered overweight to begin with. All back, shoulder and neck pain went away. Within 1.5 years was able to remove blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, and bone strengthening drugs, as well as one of my transplant drugs. I had a bone density test pre yoga/healthier lifestyle and was diagnosed as being pre-osteoporoses. Within 1.5 years, not only reversed bone mass lose, but was back to normal range. I am not a doctor or therapist, but what I have to offer is hands-on, real experience from an ordinary person’s perspective.

You will find my class to be physically challenging to a point where I will push you to your edge but also give you the opportunity to understand your body and know when to back off a posture or when to push through your edge and breakthrough. I hope to show you how to incorporate both of these important conscious actions to real life to truly live in the moment.

Pam (co-owner)

I came to yoga as a way of keeping in shape after years of competitive skiing, and running had taken their toll on my body. I loved the feeling I got from “power yoga” and acknowledged the transformation in my body almost immediately.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the practice of yoga allowed me to connect and just “be” and let things happen. In fact, it was a couple of years before I made the actual mental connection of the effect that yoga had between my mind and my body. I enjoy an energetic Vinyasa flow and I am grounded by breath, creative sequencing and proper alignment. I am an ardent student of yoga which allows me to connect and learn from my students. I offer a hands on approach to yoga, and I believe it should be accessible for all practitioners.

I am RYT200 certified from South Boston Yoga under the amazing guidance of David Vendetti.

I feel deeply humbled and honored to have the opportunity to bring yoga to as many people as I can and have the deepest gratitude to have the support of my husband, family and friends. My daughter is my heart and greatest inspiration and continues to teach me new and exciting things daily.

Cathleen

CCathleen is a 500 RYT who trained under the wise instruction of Natasha Rizopoulos. Cathleen enjoys teaching students of all level, offering variations to make the poses available to everyone in class. Constantly inspired by both her teachers and her students, she is always exploring new ways to invite alignment, openness and curiosity into the practice. When people ask her, “Can I do yoga?” her answer is always “YES”!  In her own life, Cathleen has found that the physical practice of asana has increased her body’s strength and flexibility –  but it’s the strength and flexibility of the mind that the practice cultivates which keeps her coming back to the mat.   

 

Alissa

Alissa believes that yoga should be a body, mind, and soul experience. Our bodies are meant to move, and it is through the physical aspect of practice that we are able to quiet our minds and tap in to the inner world of self-discovery. Her classes are invigorating, challenging students to embrace their fears as a pathway to growing physically, mentally, and spiritually stronger. Her light-hearted energy and confident vocal presence invite you to feel comfortable and at ease in her class. Alissa encourages students not to expect perfection—only willingness, and a sense of freedom. (Yoga is called a “practice” for a reason!)

As a teacher, it is her duty and privilege to guide you through useful movement with inspiring direction to help you uncover your own inner spirit. Alissa believes that we each have a unique gift, or “dharma”—something we are meant to do in this lifetime. Whether you’ve found your dharma, or are still trying to figure it out, it is her goal to provide a safe space for exploration and intention on your mat.

In 2010 Alissa discovered yoga while living in Los Angeles. She needed something new and different to shake up her monotonous workout routine, and boy did she find it! In 2013, living in Boston, she had a life-changing moment when she asked herself what it was that she really wanted to do with her life. It was then that she embarked on her own journey as a teacher, completing Back Bay Yoga’s teacher training, and she’s never looked back. Alissa feels honored to teach alongside such wonderful, inspiring instructors in her favorite city, and is beyond excited to share her passion with you!

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Jess

After fifteen years of classical ballet, Jess first came to the mat in college, where fitness classes came free with tuition. She lost touch with yoga after college, but was reintroduced to her practice a few years later when a friend invited her to a basics class. She happily fell back into a regular practice, learning to find joy in the challenges and relishing the opportunity for self-­reflection and self­-discovery.

She signed up for teacher training not knowing whether she wanted to teach, hoping to simply deepen her practice. She completed teacher training at Waltham Yoga in April 2015 with a newfound desire to share her experience and invite others to challenge and learn about themselves as she did. She tries to incorporate the grace she learned from ballet and the strength and dedication she learns from her super­athlete friends into each of her classes, while keeping things lighthearted with the occasional bad joke.

Jess can often be found reading, making a mess in her kitchen in the name of baked goods, and snuggling with her friends’ wiggly and loveable cocker spaniel, Rupert aka Captain Fuzzypants. She loves to laugh (especially at herself) and music that makes her feel good, and has been known to consider a day wasted if she hasn’t listened to Bruce Springsteen.

Audrey O’shaughnessy

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I love yoga! I’m on my mat regularly, and I am excited to bring yoga to others. I offer a challenging but accessible power yoga/vinyasa class designed to meet students where they are and help them find their edge. My classes and my personal practice are heavily influenced by the fantastic Renee LeBlanc.

As a law student and a gym rat, I was skeptical when I was dragged to my first yoga class. It was not what I expected! I was immediately attracted by the physical challenge of yoga and I have come to appreciate the mental benefits as well. After ten years as a dedicated yoga practitioner and a 200 teacher training at Back Bay Yoga Studio, I am now a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Instructor. I offer an authentic and fun flow and, as a new teacher, I encourage students to modify as needed. I hope to see you in class!

 Tracy Affonso126017593R

“Sometimes your only available method of transportation is a leap of faith.” Margaret Shepherd

I am honored to represent the teachings of yoga, whether I am on my mat, stuck in traffic, at the grocery store, or in my classroom surrounded by 19 ten-year-olds. I graduated from Jacqui Bonwell’s Sacred Seeds Yoga School in May 2011 and have been teaching ever since. The decision to become a yoga teacher is one I thought about for years before actually taking the plunge and I have not regretted it for a single second. Practicing and teaching yoga have changed my life in more ways than I can count and I love sharing pieces of what I have learned with my students. I strive to inspire others to enjoy life by being present. My classes offer yoga practitioners a powerful and calming experience that opens them up to the playful adventure of possibility. See you on your mat!

 

Deb Bendetson

IMG_1057My practice began randomly about 15 years ago when a friend brought me to a class. When I saw the strength, grace and commitment of my fellow students I knew I had found my passion!

My yoga journey led me in many directions, but I have a preference for power yoga. Along the way my inspiration has come from my many incredible teachers and I am especially grateful to Yogapower for my teacher training.
Yoga challenges us to stay present both physically and mentally and I believe creative sequencing and a bit of playfulness is what helps keep us motivated and on our mats. My classes are challenging and I often include arm balances and/inversions, but the goal is never to “master” a pose. Empowerment comes through effort and I often tell my students that that the only guarantee of never moving towards a pose is never taking that first step.
I hope I inspire my students through my encouragement, hands on assists, and by my example that you are never too old to hang out upside down

 

Billy Gamblebillygamble

Never in a million years did Billy Gamble think he’d become a yoga teacher. Like many things in life, he discovered yoga by accident. While working as a security guard at a music & yoga festival in upstate New York, Billy attended his first class on a whim. He instantly noticed the positive side effects of practicing and had to explore the world of yoga immediately. When he returned to Boston he tried vinyasa, hip-hop, yin, restorative, and Forrest classes around the city and fell in love. He’s been a dedicated practitioner and fitness enthusiast ever since.

It wasn’t until Billy joined Rugged Crossfit, and with the support of his coaches, that he decided to become a yoga teacher. Billy completed his 200-hour teacher training in the summer of 2012 at Back Bay Yoga, studying vinyasa, restorative and yin styles under the tutelage of Lynne Begier and Aaron Cantor. Billy also his Bachelor’s of Science in History and a minor in Business from Northeastern University, is a CrossFit Level 2 trainer, a USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach, and a NASM certified personal trainer.

While Billy is serious about his own yoga practice, he strives to create classes that are fun, relaxed, & welcoming for all students. His goal as a teacher is to help bring out the best from his students—mentally, physically, and spiritually—through the practice of yoga

!Jess Faith Guyer

Jessica Faith Guyer has practicing yoga for over 10 years and instructing for the past 6 years.  Jessica believes yoga can provide long-lasting benefits, both physical and mental. Though Jessica began yoga at an early age, she did not truly begin to practice until she  was in the midst of her hectic college lifestyle. During that time, yoga helped her de-stress while teaching her about the power of mindfulness.  Years later, yoga is an integral part of her  everyday life.

Upon graduating college, Jessica knew yoga practice was something she wanted to learn more about and share with others. In 2010, she completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training through Finding Inner Peace at Charlestown Yoga. Since then, Jessica has continued her studies through a Yoga Mentorship with Ame Wren, Hip Hop Yoga Training, Assisting Program and Yin Yoga Training. Jessica’s goal is to help all individuals find a balance between strengthening and softening, so that they too are able to leave the space feeling better than when they walked in.

Amorette Colby