Michelle Stephen
Yoga Instructor
Michelle teaches with a uniquely articulate sense of body awareness, infused with a lighthearted sense of adventure and humor. Her classes are filled with flowing vinyasa sequences to gracefully direct the body into a dance like movement between the breath and the mat. Michelle spends class time sharing her energy around the room performing hands on assists. Her assists help students to feel the form and alignment of the poses, as well as encourage balance, lengthening and finding a subtle stillness within movement. Dharma (Buddhist “Devine Law”), Pranayama (breathing techniques), and music blend every moment and each pose of  Michelle’s classes allowing a beautiful collaboration of love, passion and playfulness to be infused into each’s yoga practice. Michelle first found her practice in 2005 as a college student in Boston. After years of dedicated practice she was offered an internship in 2014 at a local studio and began teaching immediately under the guidance of the studio owner. Guiding breath and movement lit a spark within her she had never anticipated, and after lots of research she found The Awakened Life School of Yoga. She signed up to study under seven internationally trained yogis in the summer of 2015, as the school was hosting an intensive in Nosora, Costa Rica. Her training was highly focused on precise cuing and hands on teaching, allowing Michelle to focus on her students as they follow her flows and grant the energy of the room the ability to influence the class as needed. In 2017 Michelle left her “day job” to pursue full-time teaching and has not looked back since. She teaches a wide variety of styles; Vinyasa, restorative, Yin, chair and Nidra. In 2017 she developed her own style of water yoga, <i>Aqua Flow </i>hosting multiple weekly classes year round in heated public pools. Michelle teaches at a handful of Connecticut yoga studios and wellness facilities, with her unique ability to construct adaptive styles of vinyasa in 2018 she was asked to join the Livestrong Foundation where she works with cancer patients in a structured 12 week program serving as their yoga and meditation teacher. As much as Michelle loves to teach powerful flows to able-bodied students, the reward that comes from bringing yoga to those in a place of deep need has been beyond measurable for her. In 2018 Michelle was offered a full scholarship to the Wild Essence Yoga School, as they hosted a Connecticut based 300 hour training. Teaching full-time while attending weekly trainings gave her the ability to implement the Anusara style teachings of Meghan Currie directly into her teaching practice. She obtained her RYT500 that same year and has since taught thousands of hours of studio classes and attended many workshops, seminars and other continuing education programs classifying Michelle as an Experienced 500 hour trained teacher. Sixteen years into her journey and Michelle’s passion and dedication to her practice are still strong. In the summer of 2021 Michelle attended 108 public classes in 90 days, taking time to sit and journal after each class allowing her to dive even deeper into her experience of being a student. Michelle’s classes offer many variations of poses, providing a space for students to make each flow their own and explore the uniqueness of their practice. Classes are structured with a peak pose, using every aspect of the class to prepare students mentally and physically to begin to play with a more advanced posture, using the cool down portion of the class to balance out the body, release and allow the lessons of the practice to settle within the entire being.