Yoga has been a part of Megan's life for several years and she has found a strong passion for the practice. She is also the Mind Body Director at All Sport Health and Fitness.
Megan believes that no matter what you practice, taking time for *you* is priority.
Mental and physical health go hand in hand.
However you move your body. Whatever fulfills you. Whatever you need to do to find that safe space. Independently. Socially. Healthily. Do it.
Megan has enjoyed watching Elevate grow over the years and she's looking forward to incorporating her ideas and passions into this small (but mighty!) studio.
Joelle is a certified Yoga Therapist who has been teaching Yoga since receiving her 200 hour Yoga certification from the Kripalu Institute in 2000. She received her 500 hour/Yoga Therapy certification from Yoga Mountain in 2011 and has taught Yoga to people of all ages and abilities, including special needs children. A former professional dancer and college dance professor with both BFA and MFA degrees in dance, Joelle aims to convey the joy inherent in all movement expression. With a compassionate and friendly teaching style, Joelle strives to help her students utilize the ancient Yogic teachings as an agent of change and transformation in their lives.
Sarah is a yoga therapist and meditation teacher, a student of Buddhism and classical yogic practice, and a caregiver. The heart of her practice is rooted in the tradition of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar, who emphasized individualized practice and believed that yoga should be adapted to foster self inquiry and personal transformation. She has been lucky to study deeply in this tradition at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, in training with her teacher Danielle Tarantola, and with many senior teachers of this lineage. She also studies meditation and Buddhist teachings with Michael Stone, as well as contemplative caregiving at New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, where she serves as an end-of-life doula. Her contemplative practice is also linked to her artistic practice as co-director of contemporary dance company a+s works. She lives in Beacon, NY with her painter husband and teaches throughout NYC and the Hudson Valley.
“ We are all artists who paint our masterpiece called life.”- Dani
Danielle Locastro, typically known as Dani, is a professional artist, certified yoga instructor and lover of life. She has been exploring her connection to something greater than herself her entire life through her need to make art. It was 19 years ago while giving birth to her daughter when she had a near death experience that changed her life as she new it. Soon after, she started practicing yoga for health reasons and made a holistic connection after her first yoga class with Lisa Bennett that yoga is transformative.
The connections with her art and yoga are profound. Her personal practice was in existence for 13 years before she decided to be trained as a teacher. She practiced yoga with Hudson Valley teachers like Charles Matkin, Lisa Bennett, Julian Paik and Iyengar Master, Gabriel Halpern. Shortly after she teacher trained with her special teacher Amy Pearce-Hayden and was certified in Raja Hatha Yoga style.
In 2013 Dani starting teaching at Yogascape, All Sport, Elevate Yoga & Barre, Encourage and Ascend. She runs heARTFUL yoga workshops around the country and in 2015 she trained with Bryan Legere, for certification for The Great Yoga Wall. She works with a variety of private clients to maintain wellness, promote balance, and improve their quality of life while tapping into ones own creative and healing potential. Her classes are playful, creatively challenging and provide the opportunity to dig down inside to shine out.
Her workshops link together her creative connections and approach to self –discovery for all people. She considers herself to be always learning and refining, and her daily yoga practice, art, pottery, food and love to be the richest fuel for her teaching. Her teaching style is an emphasis on body alignment with self-expression to awaken and listen to your own intuition. She is empowering with her energy to help the student harness awareness, breathe in and express it out.
Dominique Paesano is a 200 hour registered yoga teacher and group fitness instructor. She grew up here in the Hudson Valley but when she graduated college from St John’s University, she moved to the Nashville, TN area for a few years.
She has been teaching group fitness since she was a little less than 10 years. Dominique has a general group fitness certification, TRX, Silver Sneakers, and her 200 hour RYT. She has taught a wide range of ages and physical abilities. Dominique has recently embarked on a journey with the athletic wear company, Lululemon, in which she is eager and able to help the community in reaching their health and wellness goals through teaching, service, and education.
Dominique loves to challenge people! She believes they can do more than they think possible and finds it so rewarding to watch people grow. Dominique is a firm believe in relentless positivity and following what makes her heart happy. She adore traveling, rock climbing, American Sign Language, and vegan desserts! Join her at Total Body Fusion!
Tori is a trained barre instructor through the Barre Intensity program. Currently completing her 200-hr Yoga Teaching Certification through Elevate. She discovered yoga and fitness classes in college and has never looked back since. After seeing the effects of what Barre and Yoga combined can have on the body and mind, she made it a goal to help others in the community make those same discoveries. She has been a resident of Poughkeepsie for the last 5 years and really enjoys all of the classes that Elevate has to offer and prompted her to become part of the Elevate family. Watching people change, heal and grow through exercise has been one of the most rewarding experiences for Tori through teaching.
Outside of barre and yoga, Tori also enjoys music. It has been a huge part of Tori’s life ever since she was a little girl choreographing dances with her friends all the way up to singing in a band as an adult. She believes that healing can be done through sound, movement, and powerful lyrics. She makes it a point to incorporate fun and encouraging music into all of her barre routines; helping everyone in her class leave the studio feeling happy, spiritually uplifted and empowered.
“Yoga entered my life unexpectedly, when I came upon a candle-lit ‘Yoga’ sign on the side of a winding country road in 2000. That first class changed my life’s path.
I became a certified 200hr instructor in June, 2006 under the skillful guidance of Amy Pearce-Hayden. Soon after, I moved to Latvia, where I opened my yoga studio, Satya Yoga, offering classes, workshops and retreats to kids, teens, adults, corporations, embassies and schools. I’ve freshly returned to New York, after an inspirational decade of teaching and more training overseas.
Yoga is my tool for maintaining peace, stability and strength within myself. The pure joy comes from extending these feeling to others, of all ages, and observing positive changes taking place. Yoga is not only your practice, but a place deep inside, where you can set your spirit free, to experience physical and spiritual change.”
Emily is a student and teacher, of yoga based in Beacon, New York. She comes to yoga with a mindful and holistic focus. Upon beginning her practice more than 10 years ago, she immediately responded to the power of yoga to unite the body, mind and spirit, leaving her feeling physically and mentally at peace. Emily was certified at the 200hr level in June of 2016 at Stil Studio in Dedham, MA. She went on to complete an advanced training in the fall of 2017 under the guidance of Phoebe Miller. Emily’s focus is to help students experience the benefits of yoga through a creative vinyasa flow and meditative approach, which clears the mind and paves the way for inner awareness and spiritual calm. She is particularly passionate about the ability of yoga to help people living with serious illness, depression or addiction, and focuses her efforts on providing a compassion-centered, mindful yoga practice to people facing these challenges. Teaching yoga is her way to help others achieve the physical strength and inner peace that she has found from her practice. It is the healing spiritual essence of yoga that she wishes to share with her students.
Carol has been an educator in movement for over 25 years. She is enjoying the journey of mind, body and spirit as it deepens our understanding of what it means to be human. Beginning in dance at the age 7, to running marathons in her twenties, Carol has a wide range of movement experience. It is her desire to help each and every person discover their movement potential. If you’re not feeling good in your body, your mind can’t be happy. Carol has been learning from the best in the Pilates and movement community – Kane School (2001-2005), Viniyoga (2007), Irene Dowd (2013- current) and certified in pfilates (2017). Carol also stays current in the field studying with Kuan Hu Chew, Madelyn Black, Wendy LeBlanc and Brent Anderson. She is always happy to share incites and learn from her best teachers – the student.
For Gina Vicente, yoga has given her such a freedom in every aspect of her life and she is joyed to have the opportunity to share it with others.
Melting the mind, body, and spirit both on and off the mat, with focus on Pranayama (breath energy) and alignment to better allow students a chance to learn about and challenge themselves in a compassionate, fun and safe environment.
Gina has her 200 HYTT Certificate and has completed the Yoga Wall Training here at Elevate. She enjoys incorporating joyful, energetic flows, stretching, balancing, and restorative asanas into everchanging classes. Taking inspiration from aspects of B.K.S. Iyengar’s teaching, nature and others, she encourages everyone on their path of self-awareness.
“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagavad Gita
Heidi Freyer was born and raised in Wilton, CT and started dancing at the age of three. She received her early training from her mother, Linda Freyer, owner of the Freyer Academy of Ballet in Wilton. Heidi went on to receive her BA in Dance at SUNY and earned her Independent Study Certificate at The Alvin Ailey American Dance School in NYC. Heidi also obtained a certification with the prestigious American Ballet Theater’s National Teacher training program.
While dancing and performing in NY, Heidi pursued a Pilates certification through Power Pilates. In addition to teaching classical ballet and modern dance she has taught Pilates extensively throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties To round out her skills she has received additional certifications in the Barre training and is currently teaching in Westport, Darien, New Cannan and Wilton CT. She is thrilled to be bringing her experience to Elevate Yoga & Barre!
Barre certified by Exhale.
Ishia is a 200 hour certified e-RYT. She has been teaching locally for nearly a decade and is motivated and inspired to teach practitioners of all levels. Prior to becoming a yoga & barre teacher, she received her BFA in Theater & Dance and had a colorful career performing and producing dance all over the country. Well versed in Vinyasa and HotYoga Practices, as well as being Prenatal Certified, Ishia teaches a unique class that fuses all of her past experience into a sweaty, transformative asana experience that is not to be missed.
PhD, RYT 500 hr
Diane is a lifelong learner. Her journey began back in the 70’s when she taught high impact aerobics using her Victrola record player and vinyls. She was a body builder and professional dancer as well.
After college Diane entered the world of public school special education where she devoted 30 plus years and became an administrator while earning her PhD.
Diane is also a certified personal trainer and Reiki master. When she discovered the the gifts of yoga she was hooked!
Diane has her 500 hour teacher certification through nOMad. Her teaching style is diverse including vinyasa, hot 26, yoga wall, Barre, restorative and some creative things of her own. She is passionate about sharing her love of yoga and her belief that every body is a yoga body. She is thrilled to be part of the Elevate family!
Living and breathing the hustle and bustle of life in NYC often caused Saray, a Bronx native to feel overwhelmed, un-energetic, and restless at the end of her day. Moving to the Hudson Valley's quiet surroundings relaxed her body, but not necessarily her mind. Eager to explore the tranquility of her mind, she attended her first Yoga class. What she felt during and after her first class was nothing she ever experienced in the gym. According to Saray, she didn't work out her body, she worked out her mind. Yoga intrigued her not by physical benefit, but by the emotional and mental growth. With a background in teaching, and memories of her first experience of Yoga, Saray's interest of teaching yoga to others was sparked. She is currently RYT-200 certified and welcomes yogis from every age and walk of life. Upon entering her class, students feel a profound sense of acceptance, peace and warmth from her nurturing nature.