Yoga Instructor & Studio Coordinator
Drop who you’ve been told you are supposed to be; connect with your breath and gifts that are uniquely yours. Kelly received her 200hr teaching certificate from the Mystic Yoga Shala under the guidance of Jim Conlan and Detchen Zezulka.
She’s had the pleasure of teaching at several studios in CT but her home is here at Get Bent in Norwich as the Studio Coordinator. Kelly teaches 6 classes a week and has seen amazing/inspiring transformations in students.
As you spend more time on your mat, notice that you are open to try new things, eat healthier, opt to spend time in nature and surround yourself with positive people.
My current favorite pose is a handstand. Initially, I was afraid to leave the support of a wall. Now I do handstand all the time, anywhere I can. Sometimes I fall-out and other times stay up forever :)… Yoga is a “Practice” not perfect; there’s freedom in that. Please join me on your mat, Namaste
Katie has practiced yoga since 1997 and began her meditation journey in 1994. She was trained at Satsang Yoga Center in Garrison, NY in 2004, and received her prenatal certification in 2005. Her most recent studies have been in guided meditation with a certification in meditation for teens, and advanced training in vinyasa, yoga nidra, yin yoga, restorative yoga, and trauma-informed yoga. She enjoys teaching all levels of students from beginner to advanced and pregnant moms to seniors. Classes emphasize breath, alignment, vinyasa, meditation, and a cultivation of self-nurturing. Katie believes strongly that yoga brings us closer to our true self.
Hello Gent Bent Community,
My name is Emma Holman. I was born and raised in the area of Stonington, CT. I was introduced to the world of yoga while I was in college, I studied off and on for about three years and continued a more consistent yoga practice post graduation. I have 4 spectacular nieces and nephews. I dove into the world of teaching yoga once I experienced the loss of my nephew. Yoga has become a sense of clarity and dependency in my life as I endured this earth-shattering loss. This community has assisted me in handling this excruciating life event. In return, I have discovered a new confident petal of my life. I look forward to joining the Gent Bent community, where I will be able to share my love of yoga with you all while learning with you.
Zach is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, founder of The Path 2 Self Movement Academy and a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, Zach has worked as a Therapist in settings from post acute longterm care facilities to elite sport medicine Physical Therapy clinics. Zach believes pain and injury is always an opportunity to return better with deeper self awareness.
Zach has used movement as his greatest medicine since he was a child struggling with anxiety and a previous diagnosis of ADD. Movement and sports has been his way to authentically express himself and release suppressed emotions. Zach thrived on the baseball and football field but found himself quite lost when competitive sports were gone. This period led to a multitude of addictions which ultimately led him back to movement when his sister suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. After seeing what physical therapy did for her recover he soon completed his PTA degree and currently practices physical therapy at ECRC physical therapy in Lisbon CT.
If not working or training himself or clients you can usually find Zach outside on pachaug pond, snowboarding, or working in his garden. Zach enjoys mentally and physically challenging yoga classes, qi gong, Tai chi and strength training.
Zachs greatest passion is bringing the medicine of movement to those around him. Helping people unlearn all they thought to be true about themselves, reality and their potential so they can live a more authentic, pain free life.
“Face yourself 2 free yourself”
Zack earned his 200 hour yoga teacher trainer certificate from Kripalu school of Yoga and Ayurveda in 2014. He taught for many years before returning to earn his Level 1 Kripalu outdoor guide certificate which stringed together forest bathing, meditation and outdoor survival skills. Zack most recently earned his black belt in Reihokan Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do form Mark Spear of Black Bear Dojo. Additionally, he also study’s and practices Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong.
Zack began his martial arts journey at the age of three. He has studied dance, gymnastics, yoga, BJJ and all types of movement. Using the principles of Bruce Lee’s teachings of “Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” he’s created DOMO.
Do means way or path. MO is short for movement. It means a way of movement. It combines injury prevention training, breath work, sensory training, movement riddles and so much more. The training can be for elite athletes, Parkinson’s patients, individuals in wheel chairs or complete beginners. If you can breath, you can train.
Zack is married with 3 children and a granddaughter. He is passionate about sauntering in the woods and breweries. Zack works at Kripalu Friday to Sunday teaching mindful hiking and Qi Gong. He also volunteers at Black Bear Dojo teaching the kids karate classes.
Holly has been a certified Spin instructor for 6 years and advanced Les Mills Body Pump instructor for 5. Holly was hooked after her first Spin class. The challenging workout and love of group fitness motivated her to become an instructor. She is passionate about music and believes it can be a powerful motivator. Holly’s goal is to create an energetic fun class that will have you singing while you are climbing hills and racing on flats. When she is not spinning, Holly loves vacationing with her husband, spending time with family & friends, and snuggling with her two cats.
“Visualize your highest self & start showing up as her”
Rachel Thomas Shapiro
Rachel has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years and received her RYT-200 through the Intentional Embodiment Yoga School in Westerly, RI. Yoga has been a transformative experience both on and off the mat. The journey has followed parallel paths: the meditative state achieved from linking breath to motion that is the goal of her practice, and the development of character through conscious acknowledgement of the Yamas and Niyamas. With more than 25 years of teaching experience that focuses on chemistry, anatomy, and physiology, Rachel is clearly a nerd. Can yoga be lighthearted and also challenging? Sure can! Rachel’s vinyasa flow yoga classes offer students a joyful and accessible experience on the mat that connects them to their inner vitality and the natural world around them.
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, Aqua Flow 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.
E-RYT200, RYT-500, Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) Certified Instructor, and YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider)
Danielle has been practicing Yoga in many disciplines for 12 years now. Initially drawn to the practice for relief from arthritis, Yoga quickly became so much more than a physical refuge. The spiritual path has lead her to teach yoga that speaks to mind, body, and spirit as a complete system for self-inquiry and healing. Vinyasa yoga is her specialty these days, teaching classes that encourage and empower students through physical movement and personal connection. In addition to power classes, Danielle also guides students through Bhakti Yoga practices in Kirtan and Mantra Workshops.
Danielle’s teachers include: Annie Q. Simard, Kimberly Charbonneau, Julie Liefeld, Janet Stone, Nikki Meyers, and Dana Walters.