Everyday People.

Our yoga teachers are firefighters, lawyers, musicians, therapists, artists, small business owners, brokers, coaches, writers, foodies, cyclists, runners and family members, etc., just like you. Come check them out.

Blanca Alcaraz

Founder, Co-Owner


b titiI came to yoga through resistance.

Raised as a migrant worker, I learned about the boundless power, beauty and energy of the land. My unwavering respect for our soil was literally cultivated in our family’s daily dependence on it for survival.

From the work fields I migrated into an adolescence filled with violence, anger and rage, so much so that an educator told me that I would be dead by the age of 16. Fortunately for me, another educator was able to recognize and hone my true potential. Simply put, he believed in me.

One of the first places that I learned to listen to my body and to find in it an expressive path was sports. My years as a competitive athlete in the US and abroad made me entirely dismiss the idea of yoga.

My first experience with yoga was shortly after 9/11. As a firefighter, my sense of loss for everyone that day grew tremendously. Words became insufficient and my body became a receptacle for that silence and stress. For me, exercise has always had a meditative quality that unites my body, mind and soul. Increasingly, however, going to the gym was not enough, and injury and overuse had made many other sports impossible. With yoga, I found that I no longer was trying to prove anything to anyone, especially to myself, that simply being is enough.

As I deepened my exploration of yoga training, I also rediscovered many of the mind-body healing traditions that surrounded my youth—the heat work of Temazcal, the energy work of Curanderos; my yoga practice today blends not only East and West but also North and South.

My life is an example of the power of unconditional love and a testament to giving kids a second chance. I am forever grateful.

Jaclyn Kryzak

Creator, Co-Owner


jaci 2My mom died at 36 when I was just 10 years old. Because of this I live like each day might be my last–living and giving fully, unafraid, in the present, taking advantage of all life has to offer, challenges included.  I love, coach, lawyer, teach and practice the same way. The practice of yoga is what facilitates this for me–what regenerates and empowers me, keeps me fit in every form to tackle every day life. It’s what I aim to share with you.

I spent the first half of my life as a competitive athlete, becoming and being a division 1 women’s ice hockey player for Boston College. Being an athlete taught me to work—hard, and to work on me. It taught me to how to support, inspire and encourage people including myself; to be 100 % me because everybody plays a role and I had something important to contribute; to not be detoured by loss or failure; and to never give up on my goals or myself. Turns out this too is yoga and it’s what I aim to share with you.

In the second half of my life I found law school, yoga, marriage, divorce, exponential love  and remarriage, and my step son—who has taught me about so many things, but most importantly, about selfless and unconditional love and what it means to be a mother and a caretaker. All this and the root of all my passions to date have led me to  being: a solo practitioner (lawyer) working with people to actively participate in the resolution of their problems or to help build their dreams (family law, real estate, estate planning, business incorporation, etc.), a real estate broker, small business owner, entrepreneur, teacher, trainer and coach. My love and passion to create, to work through all the details and to help build your dreams…this is what I aim to share with you.

For me yoga is about balancing, recovering from and preparing for the craziness of life; figuring out what we need/love/makes us happy/no longer serves us; how to support ourselves being our best self; and learning how to breathe and be where we are while doing all that. As we empower ourselves through this process on our mats, the more able we are to do all this off our mats in our day to day life. In my teaching I create opportunities to practice this through creative and varied sequencing that requires you to learn to be present and connected to your mind and body, that invites you to fall and fail and get back up, that incorporates many balancing poses and focuses on the small spaces and details which we tend to pass over. This is what I will share with you.

Norm Brzycki

NormMy mission is to inspire and empower people to transform their lives, themselves, and their careers.

I have had the pleasure and privilege of helping thousands of people better their careers, jobs, performance,and lives. For well over a decade I have worked with people and organizations pursuing their passion, their goals, and their dreams. My experience and expertise includes working with private individuals and groups as well as small, medium, and large organizations. The people I work with come from a wide array of backgrounds and interests including artists, athletes, college students, entrepreneurs, CEO’s and corporate executives. Their ages have ranged from 18 to 65. All of these individuals have very different circumstances, dreams, wants, and hopes. All have a unique voice, a purpose, and a want to live a motivated and passionate life. All of these people I have helped.

Kristi McNeil

kristiMy journey with yoga began over fifteen years ago when I first moved to Boston from Utah – it was sort of like my first friend here. Over time, my practice has developed and brought me so much joy and energy which has carried over into my life beyond the mat. I have worked in the restaurant, hospitality and music industries for many years and my practice gives me the perfect balance between my personal life and my chaotic professional life—a place to quiet my mind and start listening to my body.

My goal is to help bring this balance to my students’ lives. I believe in the power of moving meditation, using breath as a guide to open and release the body. I want the practice of yoga to be accessible and personal to you, with guidance in how to soften the edges of our everyday life off the mat. I offer a power flow midday class on Wednesdays, a restorative, slow flow on Sunday evenings, and a week long retreat in beautiful Panama, a place that is very special to me. I also love to use aromatherapy and hands-on assists for some extra love if it’s welcome. I am honored to share my love of this practice.

Janelle Browning

janelle picI was never athletic as a kid. I wasn’t good at sports, and I was self-conscious about my lack of coordination. I first attended a yoga class in the late 1990s, and it provided me a new feeling of presence and strength I’d never had. It gave me the confidence to engage in all kinds of intense exercise–boxing, pilates, running, spinning–and fundamentally changed how I live in my body.

Regular exercise became central to my life in ways I’d never expected, but the impact was primarily limited to physical benefits. I felt great when I left the gym, but it wasn’t a lasting feeling, and I had to exercise nearly every day to maintain that equilibrium. To be frank, if I didn’t exercise, I got anxious. Yoga has given me a way to integrate an exercise practice that connects my body and mind. It gives me an ongoing foundation of focus and ease —physically, sure, but also emotionally and mentally—that is not dependent on my logging a certain number of hours per week at a gym. It has improved my strength and stamina, and continually supports my performance in other physically demanding activities. I still love to box.

Yoga has provided me with a balance I’ve never found anywhere else. My practice has taught me hard and much-needed lessons in slowing down. When a recent unexpected knee surgery kept me out of the gym and the studio for nearly a month, I didn’t have the anxiety spike I’d have expected; my equilibrium is no longer solely tied to exercise. My practice extends throughout my life. It has changed the way I breathe. It has taught me to enjoy the transitions and pauses as much as I enjoy landing where I’ve aimed.

Diane Wong

diane 2I came to yoga to heal myself.

Born into a Black, Chinese, Mexican, Irish, Native American family, I grew up as a member of Cleveland’s black community and attended a segregated school system. My first race learning experience was a 5th grade American History class where I read that blacks were slaves in America and much better off as well-treated and provided for slaves than savages in the darkest jungles of Africa from when they were rescued to work in a glorious America. This is what I learned about myself and my heritage in America. Devastated by this picture of myself, I was heart broken. I sunk into deep distress, unhappiness and shame about my race, my family, my people, myself.  At the same time, it provided a clear life purpose for me.

I found my way to Harvard Law School which seemed to be the best direction to get involved in race issues. After graduation living and working in Portland Oregon, I found World Work and was drawn to their process oriented group work, community building, leadership skills and their work for Spiritual Warriors as a way to begin to unlayer the stuck energies that existed inside me as the result of the trauma of race.  For 5 years in Oregon and for times after, I learned to tap into those deep places within myself until I was no longer so easily triggered by old stuck feelings and thoughts.

I moved back to the Boston area in 1996 and found yoga as a refuge for me to go and heal. In yoga, I learned to move and breathe and to simply be. As a yoga teacher I’ve had the opportunity to find for myself and to create for my students, deep healing work through all 8 limbs of yoga, and specifically modalities of Yin, meditation, the chakras, and Pranayama.

In 2016 looking for clear ways into the world of race and healing, I co-founded, with an Oregon Colleague, Dr. Nancy Rogene, Healing our Human Family: Let’s Talk About Race. Here in Somerville under the auspices of SCATV and Boston Free Radio, I bring my commitment to race dialogue, deep processing skills and yogic healing on the internal plane into a full program for unfolding and healing our racial dilemma, podcasting and broadcasting uninterrupted healing meditation and dialogue, so that the race aspects which we all carry within us can be fully experienced, explored and finally released to the Universe to be transformed. I have also begun recording meditations, not related to race but in general the process of awareness, healing and harnessing the power we have within, which you can check out at https://www.mixcloud.com/diane-wong/.

In my teaching I bring whole heartedly, my passion to create space for students to fully experience and explore their body, mind, emotions, their own stuck energies and feelings and to release and transform.

Nancy Bernhard

Nancy BErnhard picI came to yoga for the chance to slow down in an overdrive life of academics, parenting, and running.  I stayed with it because the feeling of release was so delicious.  Over time, I realized it was more than a series of movements; it is a wise and vital guide to living in a human body.  My practice has taught me how to observe without judging, how to ease rather than force myself into something difficult, how to stay calm and present when something remains difficult, and how to release with purpose.

After a dozen years of practice, I began to teach.  In class I offer space for students to take what they need on any given day, whether it’s to ground, reach, strengthen, relax, or just breathe.

Anita Kim

anitaLike many, I came to yoga looking for exercise.  Never an athletic person, exercise was a way I could counteract the amount of food I can eat (which, believe me, is a substantial amount).  But I also came to yoga at an emotionally difficult time in my life: in the midst of a separation and divorce.  Being on my mat allowed me the space to process what was going on in my head and in my heart and to find the strength to move forward. 

As someone who studies lobsters for a living, an animal that can only grow by shedding its shell; it’s fitting that my practice allowed me to grow by shedding the layers, roles, and definitions that no longer fit me.Instead I found my own truth (and luckily it doesn’t look like a lobster).I continue to learn that I don’t have to try and be perfect or try and be who I “should” be, that I just have to be me.I hope to continue to learn and share this journey in classes that provide space for mindfulness and meditation sprinkled with some humor and goofiness along the way.

Lizzie Grobbell

10553547_10202435432707626_6471148711594260828_nI originally dabbled in yoga throughout high school and college as a means of injury prevention and recovery during competitive sports seasons, including collegiate ultimate frisbee at the University of Michigan. After my ultimate career ended due to a traumatic brain injury my passion for yoga emerged when it became clear that it was a way to clear my mind and reconnect to my body. Living in the present moment has always been a challenge for me, especially throughout recovering from my brain injury, graduate school and even now in the working world. Fortunately, yoga helped me to create space, be present in my own life and not to take life too seriously!

Now, in addition to yoga, I’m able to enjoy rowing, CrossFit and (attempts at) practicing meditation. Being an athlete and having experienced the healing benefits of this practice, I try to weave the physical elements of athletics and mindfulness into yoga classes to create balanced flows that satisfy mind and body and create opportunities to improve physical and mental health.

Gen Richardson

GEN PICI grew up playing outside until I was called in for dinner. I evolved into a hockey player and eventually competed at the highest level traveling internationally with Team USA. Afterwards, I embraced running and cycling and turned myself into an ultra endurance athlete. I started yoga as a new way to challenge myself mentally and physically, though quickly received more—patience and a new understanding for physical strength and lack thereof.

Aside from being an athlete, I am a community volunteer, a coach, a mentor, a sister, a beer connoisseur and the proud owner of a rescue pup I named Monkey. I am passionate and present, direct and honest and love to laugh. I am the same in how I teach.

While I emphasize physical mechanics, I encourage freedom of expression and offer humor and thought provoking bits for you to take or leave. There was once a time I let years go by without practicing until a former ice hockey teammate offered me the gift of yoga. I have since been inspired to carry her kindness and offer the same gift to others.

Anastasia Kanistras

AnastasiaI grew up in two different countries, split between two parts of my family. I attended elementary school in Greece and in the United States. Having to double my whole world meant I learned how to have a big, full life, but it also meant that I was spread thin and didn’t have time to take care of myself—not that I was ever taught how. Thankfully it was early on, in eighth grade, that I was introduced to yoga as a way to create a quiet space—to settle, to breathe and get a little bit of physical activity as part of my daily routine.

I eventually began a career in human services working with teens and adults with developmental disabilities and brain injuries. As my rewarding work life expanded, I once again found myself out of control and stretched thin. So again and again I came back to my old friend yoga, longing to explore taking it beyond a sixty or ninety minute class…and found myself in a teacher training.

My current mission? To teach. Myself and others. I want the balance between giving it my all at work, and finding moments to breathe. I want to bring some yoga, some peace and grounding to the people I serve. At work and on the mat. With yoga, music and essential oils, my aim is to help you balance your serious work life with a class full of joy and quiet space for yourself.

Mally Smith

I first came to yoga through dance and improvisational movement. I have always been a kinesthetic learner, experiencing and understanding the world through my body and sensation. During my 200hr YTT at The Kripalu School of Yoga in 2012, I began to explore the more spiritual aspects of yoga and fell in love with the practice of meditation in motion. Weaving together yoga, dance, mindfulness and spirit offered a beautiful invitation for me to connect more deeply inward and reach more fully outward.  Since then, I have completed a 500hr YTT in Indonesia with Jovinna Chan and Grace Jull, studied Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra with Jennifer Reis, and continue to learn through my own practice on and off the mat.

Currently I divide my time between Massachusetts and Edinburgh, Scotland. I am a singer-songwriter, lover of plants and plant medicine, and I am about to dive into a PhD program this fall at the University of Edinburgh, where I’ll be researching the role and potential of compassion and wellbeing in university personal and professional development programs. And I’m so excited to be teaching some classes at be. this summer – I love this community so much and I’m so happy to be back!

My classes range from gentle to vigorous, with a strong emphasis on listening to your body, always leaving room for personal modification and independent exploration. I strive to create a safe space for my students to get to know their unique self – body, mind and heart – allowing for deep physical, mental and spiritual inquiry.  All are welcome!

Stefanie London

IMG_2517stefanie 1I began practicing yoga after chronic illness limited my access to other forms of physical activity. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, yoga was indispensable in coping with a year of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. I discovered the many benefits that breath and body awareness can have on both mental resilience and physical strength.

Because of the physical challenges I brought to yoga, and those I continue to encounter, I never take a pose for granted. What comes easily on the mat one day for me may be impossible the next. My goal as a teacher is to share the curiosity and joy I experience while doing yoga with people from all backgrounds and of all abilities. In my classes I provide time and space to work deeply and safely in poses, to cultivate compassion for ourselves and others and to demonstrate appreciation for the miraculous things our bodies do each day.

The themes running through my life are creating and teaching.  In the artwork I create, I use the debris of everyday life to make new objects with new meanings. Treasured highlights from my past include teaching at local universities as a professor of photography, as well as stacking pyramids of oranges in the produce department of an Albuquerque food co-op.  I currently volunteer at a community acupuncture clinic, advocate for patients with dual diagnosis of cancer and mental illness, explore vegan baking, and play with my parrots.

Kaitlan Spedden

I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and have since lived in North Carolina, Colorado and Switzerland before moving to the Boston area in 2017.  Monday through Friday, I work in international education and exchange with responsibility for safety and security. This and prior, similar, work came with the necessity, and gift, of traveling throughout much of the world and feeds my passion to travel, regularly explore new parts of the world and experience many different cultures.

Growing up I studied ballet for many years, which both informs and drives my approach to yoga – encouraging focus on flow, anatomy and strength.  As a teacher I want to share the balance I’ve found as an adult through my yoga practice.

Blakely O’Connor

BlakelyYoga helps me balance both on and off the mat.

During the day (and night) I am a mom, wife, bioengineering PhD student at Harvard and a student body president. Between taking classes, building miniature models of the placenta, attending council meetings and picking up Legos, it’s easy for me to get caught up in the stress of everyday life. With yoga, I get to take a step back from these roles and focus inward. Yoga allows me to practice breath, patience, compassion, discipline and letting go. I feel the impact of those minutes on the mat in every other hour of my day.

I have been practicing ever since I took my first gentle movements and glorious, fifteen-minute savasanas (read naps) in a prenatal yoga class. After my son was born, I turned to a more physical vinyasa to reclaim and reconnect with my body. At the same time, I discovered a mindfulness practice that transformed my yoga into a more intentional, moving meditation. As a teacher, I likewise hope to create challenging sequences that encourage students to breathe, connect and find balance, both on the mat and in life.

Jessie Ornstein

JessieFive years ago, several months into a frequent, strenuous exercise regimen, I suffered a neck injury that ended up revealing thyroid cancer (surprise!). After treatment I was so weak. I tried returning to the old routine but didn’t feel the same and feared further injury. So I turned to yoga hoping it would be a way to reconnect with myself and my physical strength. I had no idea how hard it would be or how much more deeply and effectively this practice would be in taking me toward all of my goals and best version of me.

My experience working in the mental health field and as a birth doula, have given me the ability to hold space through difficult times (and poses!) and to create room for growth, strength and flexibility. Yoga has helped me learn to be as gentle and loving with myself as I am with an infant learning to walk. My goal as a yoga instructor is to bring that guiding energy into each of my classes and share in this sacred ritual to create a safe place for all bodies, abilities, and identities.

Taylor Copeland

Taylor PicAs a teenager, I felt I didn’t have the time or right space to process my feelings and what was happening in the moment. In college, at a time where I felt both lost and ready to explore internally, my aunt introduced me to meditation as a tool to heal; which led me to yoga. Diving deeper into mindfulness and yoga practice has been my home while coping with stress and finding compassion and balance in life.

My goal is to bring empowerment and joy into teaching, allowing each student the opportunity to explore each practice as their own. As a former youth worker and somebody who cares deeply about community, I hope to provide and expand opportunities for teenagers in Somerville to access yoga and mindfulness.

Johanna Smith

Erin Bourgault

Erin picI started practicing yoga as a way to make space for myself. As someone who has struggled with a chronic disease my whole life, yoga for me has been a way to support and nourish my body (and mind and heart and spirit). I practiced after a knee injury in college prevented me from running regularly. Then a bike accident in my early twenties resulted in three difficult elbow surgeries and a slow, painful process of rebuilding my muscles and range of motion in my left arm. I practiced. Yoga is a way for me to practice acceptance and patience with whatever I am going through.

I have spent the past several years working towards immigration justice at a community health center in East Boston, spending my time in various case management, supervisory and trauma response and recovery roles. I most recently started leading trauma-informed community yoga classes in Spanish in East Boston. I am also a reiki practitioner, birth doula, and support person for people experiencing abortion.

In my classes, I will strive to create an environment for you to make space for yourself, tap into your strength and listen to what you need in the moment. My teachings will incorporate mindfulness and self-compassion as offerings while you take the time to support yourself in whatever way you need.