Alana Brennan

For over a decade, regardless of where I have been in the world, my yoga practice has not only given me the tools to adapt to new environments, but it has also been a direct and often immediate connection to a community that shares the same morals and values as me.

When I moved to Boston in 2006 to get my master’s in Public Health I started practicing Forrest Yoga intensely and eventually went on to complete the Forrest Yoga Foundation Teacher Training Course in 2007. I completed the Advanced Forrest Teacher Training in 2010 and 2015 and the Forrest Yoga Mentorship in 2015 and 2016 with Heidi Sormaz, owner of Fresh Yoga in New Haven, CT.

I have always felt that Forrest Yoga's strong focus on the connection between body, breath and consciousness has not only allowed me to work deeply in my own body, but has provided me with a solid foundation as a teacher to help guide my students in their own practice.

Students have described my classes, whether vinyasa or Forrest, as challenging and fun! I do my best to create an environment that plays by the yogic rules of mindful breathing, alignment and non-harming to the body that allows my students to shift not only physically but mentally at their own pace.

I recently finished my PhD in Epidemiology focused on HIV/AIDS research in sub-Saharan Africa, where I lived and worked from 2008 to 2011.

Alex Bauermeister


I am an ever-learning self-awareness junkie who strives to make the experience of being alive more joyful, safe and meaningful for all. I have had the privilege of over 1000 hours of training as a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, and group facilitator, along with a decade of personal practice. My teaching style blends the fluidity of Vinyasa with the authenticity of Kripalu and the depth of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy to help my students connect to breath, body and self. In addition to teaching group classes and workshops, I specialize in working one-on-one as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist to help students find mind-body relief from stress, anxiety, tension, trauma and limiting patterns.

Ame Wren

My yoga practice began, as it does for so many, in early adulthood. Throughout the years I’ve come to classify myself as a “yoga mutt” given the myriad of styles I’ve studied. I remain a dedicated student of Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. My practice has taken different shapes over the years but has always been heavily influenced by intentional structure, alignment and breath. From the time I began teaching, combining precision and form with fluidity and creativity inspired me and continues to bolster my path as an asana teacher. My teaching combines the sweat of astanga, the wisdom of iyengar and the freedom of vinyasa while cultivating introspective space. I hope to always remain a curious and dedicated student as well as a humble teacher. I am grateful to Patricia Walden and Natasha Rizopolous for continually strengthening and inspiring my daily practice, to Schuyler Grant and the Kula Yoga Project community for giving me the tools to teach and to Nikki Costello for showing me how to be a yogi.

Ame has been a featured teacher in Yoga Journal, at Wanderlust Festival and was awarded the honor of “Best of Boston” in 2010. She travels extensively leading retreats, trainings and workshops all over the world and is the founder of Boston Yoga School.

Andrea Fotopoulos


Andrea Fotopoulos is a Boston based “Anusara Inspired” yoga teacher. Inspired by the complexities of the teachings within the practice of yoga, and the wildness of living an embodied life, she often weaves story, theme or wise anecdote to personalize the practice on the mat. Her classes are focused on aligned movement, born from a desire to serve each student: from beginner, seasoned, working with injury or working with limitation. Andrea is dedicated to making yoga accessible for everybody by making the difficult doable and the doable difficult. With a mix of no nonsense direction and some good ol’ humor, she cultivates a space for each individual student to do their work, while also creating a strong sense of community to practice within.

Andrea’s teaching style and personal home practice have been shaped by the Anusara yoga methodology, studies of Tantric philosophy and a continuing education with her teachers . Her own yoga practice began over 23 years ago; 13 years of which she has been teaching. Andrea draws her immediate inspiration from her skilled teachers: Christina Sell, Darren Rhodes, Noah Maze, Douglas Brooks and all of their teachers and their teachers’ teachers. May their wisdom shine a light for all of us.

Brenna Matthews

Yoga has always made sense to me. Even before I knew what the term was or completed a class, I had the understanding that everything is connected. When I started practicing asana and meditation regularly I felt myself truly wake up physically and mentally. I teach because I want the world to be a more loving place, and I think it can start by more people looking within (perhaps in my yoga class)

During my younger years, I played division 1 college soccer and ran half and full marathons. Because of this, I’ve come to appreciate the softness yoga can offer. In my classes, I try to offer this element of softness while challenging the body through measured breathing and creative sequencing.

I am ever grateful for the many teachers I have had throughout this journey, most significantly Ame Wren, Schuyler Grant, and my rescue dog Fey who has shown me the meaning of trust and unconditional love.

Cara Gilman


Yoga has taught me how to heal myself. As a runner and active athlete, my mind is constantly telling me to sweat more, to push more and to see more results. After completing seven marathons in five years, this mindset only got my body so far. I was completely burned out physically and mentally. That’s when yoga came into my life. I discovered it at my local gym and fell in love. I was able to sweat, breathe and create a different rythmn with my body that was nurturing yet challenging at the same time. As I began a more regular practice, I quickly learned how to balance my ego, dig deep into my body and let my mind go. In my yoga, there are no finish lines. There are no personal records. There are no gold medals. There is only a mat, my breath and a connection between my mind and body, and that’s all I need. This mindset is what I bring to each class I teach.

My classes will challenge you to breathe and to move in way that feels good to your body and mind; guiding you through creative heat building sequences that focus on linking every movement with breath. My teaching is influenced by the following yoga teachers who I have had the honor to train with and inspire me everyday: Bonnie Argo, Chanel Luck, Lynne Begier, Sage Rountree, Seane Corn and Shiva Rea.

Carolyn Little


I’ve lived and traveled extensively both nationally and internationally and no matter where I am in the world, my practice brings me home within myself. Yoga is a grounding force in my life that has allowed me to heal physically, mentally and emotionally, and to grow spiritually while finding balance and joy, curiosity and a deep sense of gratitude in my life.

A background in ballet and sports lead me to connect with the the graceful, strong flow of vinyasa yoga. I am influenced by many renowned instructors such as: Don and Amba Stapleton (Nosara Yoga Institute, Costa Rica), Tommy Rosen and Kia Miller (Venice Beach, CA), Elena Brower (Virayoga, NY), Desiree Rumbaugh (Anusara), Barbara Benagh (Iyengar), Kevin Courtney (Kula Yoga, NY), David Vendetti (South Boston Yoga) as well as with various international yoga teachers and healers. I completed a yin yoga teacher training program with Josh Summers (Yin yoga and Insight Meditation) and my yin practice is influenced by Paul Grilley, Bernie Clark, and Sarah Powers (Insight Yoga). I combine traditional yoga poses with the meridian system from Chinese medicine, as well as Buddhist meditation, and yogic philosophy. I am also certified in prenatal yoga through Blooma Yoga and Wellness Center in Minn, MN.

In addition to teaching yoga, I am a Certified International Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. I am also a Reiki Master and Pranassage practitioner (a synthesis of yoga and bodywork that produces deep relaxation in the receiver). I am currently, expanding my knowledge, wisdom, and healing capacity through the ancient teachings of indigenous tribes studying and teaching with Shamanic Elder Grandmother Kaariina Saarinen, of the Lakota lineage.

With a master’s degree in Social Justice in International Relations I have worked in South America on issues of women’s health and reproductive rights. My goal is to be a catalyst for positive change by embodying a compassionate, joyful and holistic health approach to life.

Daniel Max

I was first introduced to yogic philosophy while frequenting India in my teenage years. Born and raised in Israel, I left in my early 20s to travel East in search of greater perspective. I began practicing yoga and meditation and learned to work with my limitations rather than try to over ride them. These practices have supported me ever since and have given me the opportunity to serve others.

I came to the US to study holistic health. It is here that I became certified as a shiatsu practitioner, massage therapist, yoga instructor, and nutrition and health counselor. 

I opened JP Centre Yoga, with my co-founder Sejal Shah, with the vision of creating a community based environment which allows for each individual to go inward, refocus the mind, and cultivate a calming experience.

My yoga classes are delivered as a breath-based vinyasa flow with an emphasis on strength and flexibility within optimal alignment. 

I believe that stillness is achieved as a result of skillful movement and that aligning the body, the breath, and the mind, yield greater awareness. My intention is to set the stage for transformation by providing tools for shifting non-helpful patterns and to teach in reverence to the heritage and philosophy of the yogic path.

Dan Steel

Substitute Instructor

I first discovered yoga when I walked into a free class on a whim while still in college. Having a background in martial arts and gymnastics, I was immediately drawn to the physically demanding aspects of the practice. Not long after establishing a regular asana practice I began to recognize its potential for healing and self-discovery. I believe that the strength, flexibility, and balance cultivated in the body can be reflected in the mind.

Every time one steps onto the yoga mat, there is the opportunity for growth and greater understanding of the self, both physically and spiritually. The more we come to understand ourselves, the more we can act in accordance with our true nature, instead of living in repression and inauthenticity.

I have studied extensively with Ana Forrest, completing both the 200-hour Foundational and Advanced trainings, as well as a 200-hour vinyasa training through Back Bay Yoga in Boston. I have also studied Budokon Yoga with Cameron Shayne and am working towards my certification in that style. In my classes I strive to offer a platform upon which students can explore and develop a heightened sense of body awareness.


Evalyn Mehta


Yoga for Healthy Aging

I began practicing yoga to alleviate the stress from working in corporate settings and the fact that for a number of years, had been unhappy with the imbalance in my life.  As my practice became stronger, I realized that yoga was the path I wanted to follow and wished to share my passion for yoga with others, as an instructor. I completed both a 200 hr. certification in Prana Vinyasa flow with Shiva Rea and a 500 hr. certification with Barbara Benagh in Hatha Yoga with an emphasis on Yoga anatomy.  My teaching continues to be informed by the talented yoga instructors in the Boston area, Ame Wren, Alana Brennan and Daniel Max. 

I discovered yoga at the age of  52 and earned strength and flexibility in each of the postures through practice and patience. Now, teaching this practice for over a decade, I offer all the benefits of movement while reflecting the levels and needs of each student. Modifications are offered when necessary as a way to keep the joints healthy, the muscles supple, and vitality strong.

Hannah Landes

Yoga and massage found me at the same time.  Having spent the majority of my life intellectually stimulated but physically sedentary, I didn’t realize how much discomfort I was in on a regular basis until I received my first massage.  Immediately upon experiencing the mental clarity and spiritual lightness from the physical experience, I concluded that I had to take a direct approach towards making my physical vessel feel better on a regular, sustainable, and independent basis, and thusly pursued yoga.  Simultaneously studying for my massage license at Cortiva School of Massage and for my yoga teacher training at Inner Strength Studios—both in Watertown—amplified my comprehension of both and as a result I view the two as inextricably linked. 

My origins in yoga may have begun with heated power Vinyasa flow, but in combining that platform with massage-oriented intentions, my personal style has developed into something more intuitive and nuanced.  My goal when I teach a class is to center the mind with breath so that clear focus on alignment can take place; once the physical position is sound to then pursue stretching and strengthening through complimentary combinations in order to fortify the body in a healthy, thoughtful way.

Jess Lopez


I am an athlete, a spiritual warrior and lover of all things wellness. My yoga journey began in Amherst, MA while working toward my degree in Exercise Science and Psychology.   It was my first taste of what it truly meant to connect mind, body and spirit through movement. 
I am a certified Forrest Yoga Instructor whose classes are strong yet soft. I believe the practice on the mat is our "yogic weight training" for life.  My teaching is most influenced by daily life experiences as well as the amazing teachers I have worked with over the past decade. My intention for students is that they find strength, ease and joy in movement so they can experience strength, ease and joy in their lives. 

Johnathon Holmes


I took my first yoga class on a whim. I had just moved to Boston and noticed that many people seemed to have yoga mats surgically attached to their back when walking down the street—what was all this about? Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I signed up for a 2-hour Iyengar class at my gym; three blankets, two blocks, and one strap later, I fell in love. Yoga asked me to move in a way that was completely foreign and I left class that evening eager for more. The benefits of the yoga practice were immediate, and it was clear that a profound internal shift had taken place.

I completed my 200-hour teacher training with the Boston Yoga School, directed by Ame Wren. I currently study with and am inspired by Tim Kelleher, Brenna Matthews, and Peter Crowley. Linking breath and movement seems so simple, yet has such a profound effect when practiced with purpose. As a registered nurse, I’m also interested in how the regular practice of yoga can help my students cultivate physical, emotional, and spiritual health. My class is an expression of my love for playfulness and structure. I aim to provide a space where students of all skill levels and background can find stability, play with their edge, and create space to let a little more light in.

Karen Caiazzo


My mom brought me to my first yoga class when I was a teenager. I wore umbros. It was a Bikram class. I had no idea what I was doing, was sweating buckets, and was by far the youngest in the class. From that point on, though, yoga was always something I wanted to do and learn more about. I came to the mat regularly to help with physical pain and anxiety. Like many others, I found myself and my life unfolding and opening up the more I delved into the practice. By my mid-twenties, I was producing for educational and public broadcasting, and burning out. I went to Kona, Hawaii in 2008 for my first Yoga Teacher Training at the Konalani Yoga Ashram, and have been teaching in Boston area ever since. Since then, I have completed my RYT500 with the Shambhava School of Yoga. I have trained in teaching Kids Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Ayurveda, Restorative Yoga, and Meditation.

My classes are creative, fun, and playful with focuses on strength, alignment, and mental clarity. I am always reminding my students about their breath. I enjoy getting advanced yogis into crazy postures just as much as I love sharing the magic of tadasana with beginners. I shifted my career because my objective in life is to be of service. While I revel in the looks on your faces when you come out of savasana, my genuine wish for my students is to breathe more, to realize their own strength, to carve out time for themselves as a priority rather than a luxury, and to ultimately feel strong, free, and empowered in their bodies and their minds.

Kathy Tarnoff


As a competitive half-marathon runner, I sought out new ways to enhance my training. This is when I was introduced to my first yoga class. After 90 minutes of sweating and breathing on my mat I came away completely overwhelmed with excitement, curiosity and joy. I had found a missing piece to my wellness/fitness—inner well-being. Then one day I got hurt running….I had to hang up my running shoes to heal and began focusing my attention on yoga. After a few weeks of living on my mat and off the road, I noticed the aches and pains were disappearing and I felt better overall. I didn’t need the pounding of running to feel good anymore.

Following years of intensive practice and the completion of the Forrest Yoga teacher training, I developed a new outlook on wellness, one that included both the shell of the body and the inner self. Along with core strength and overall health, I also gained the ability to speak my truth, to feel within, and to be grounded.

During my initial years of my yoga practice I was introduced to craniosacral therapy, the perfect addition to my yoga practice as it continued the journey inward. Yoga and craniosacral work have enabled me to decrease pain relating to old athletic injuries and the daily aches of being active. Noticing how this combination has improved my quality of life, I wanted to offer the same relief to others and began and have continued studying with Hugh Milne in Berkeley, CA for Visionary Craniosacral Therapy. I have supplemented my background by studying Anatomy, Asana and Therapeutics with Judith Lasater, Functional Anatomy with Ellen Heed and Anatomy Trains with Eli Thompson.

My classes include aspects of Forrest, Iyengar and Vinayasa in both private and studio settings. They are designed to help students develop an overall sense of strength and well-being with an emphasis on inner awareness and what one’s body needs. Whether for beginners, advanced yogis, or athletes, I create dynamic classes that are safe, engaging and challenging.

Kiara Segal

I have come to understand the world through movement, through taking notice of the subtle shifts happening everywhere around us, and have found that one of the most difficult, and most rewarding tasks, is to slow down. I believe we do this by learning how to be present, how to take in a moment for what it is, and not complicate it with what has been, or what could be. This is what brought me to yoga and what keeps me coming back. It is what I hope to share with my students: a sense of calm, joy, humility, and deep attentiveness as we move through, both on and off the mat.

Before turning to yoga, I was a dedicated dancer for fifteen years. These years of training cultivated within me an acute ability to listen to my body, as well as an understanding of the immeasurable sense of freedom that can be obtained through moving, so long as these limits are respected. With this in mind, I always strive to teach creative and challenging sequences, yet ask that each of my students honor, before anything else, their own bodies and personal limits.

I am very grateful for every teacher I have had along this journey so far, particularly Lucienne Vidah, Masaaki Okamura, and my mother.

Kristina Clemons


 I am a life long lover of expression through movement beginning as a classically trained dancer. For me, moving physically is a way to connect to something below the surface and tap into a deeper intelligence. I began practicing yoga in 2004 while living in New York City and have been a dedicated student since then. Kula Yoga Project was my "home" in NYC where I spent several years soaking up smart vinyasa from Schuyler Grant (and many other talented Kula teachers); I eventually found Iyengar yoga through Nikki Costello who became my teacher and mentor. I have been teaching since 2010 and have a 500hr certification (with Nikki Costello). I've recently completed training as a Physiyoga Global teacher which is a 100hr advanced anatomy course blending physical therapy techniques with yoga in order to both prevent and rehab injury. 

With 1,000 hours of combined training in yoga and Ayurveda, my classes are a blend of that learning; I combine functional movement, thoughtful sequencing, and rhythmic breath. My hope is that you might find your own inner intelligence through the physical movement of yoga. As Iyengar says, "It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity."

Marisa Donlin


I’m a Master’s-prepared Acupuncture mama known for my gentle needle technique and comforting bedside manner. After more than seven years as the owner of Newton Center Acupuncture, I’m excited to finally bring my work home to JP as Blue Fire Acupuncture.

Even after delivering thousands of treatments over the years, I still love to witness the unique response each person has to the individualized approach Chinese Medicine offers. Acupuncture rocks. This is what I love about this medicine – you get the best of both worlds. Well designed scientific studies support its efficacy and many aspects remain unexplained but still extremely effective in helping people restore health in their bodies.

My approach to acupuncture is an individualized partnership between practitioner and patient. I create and hold space in the treatment room in a calm and healing way. Your comfort and relaxation is my priority. By asking the right questions at the right time, I help you make profound connections between your lifestyle and your symptoms. I have extensive experience with women’s health, fertility, cancer support, and ptsd.

I am so excited to share the power of Chinese Medicine with the people of this community that I feel so lucky to call my neighbors.

Magi Pierce


Teacher Training Faculty

I am known for astute sequencing and precise cueing. Within a frame of breath and intention, I build a solid structure using the details of anatomy. I facilitate a self-study through the practice by highlighting the subtleties of each posture. The more I study anatomy, the more I step back in awe of the human form.

Having lived and taught in Boston, NYC is now my home since 2010. I teach at Life in Motion on the Upper West Side and Kula Yoga Project in Tribeca and Williamsburg, where I am also on the teacher training and mentoring faculty.

I’ve studied with many inspiring teachers along the way: most recently asana with Genny Kapuler and James Murphy and anatomy with Tom Myers and Todd Garcia. I am eternally grateful to have found my passion and for all those teachers who continue to inspire my path.

I am so thrilled to be collaborating with Daniel on JPCY’s teacher training and spending more time with the JPCY community. More info can be found at

Matt Rutkowski


I completed my 200-hour, Yoga Alliance-registered training with Inner Strength Studios in the Spring of 2012. I have also studied the craft of adjusting and assisting with Lauren Star, Daniel Max and Vyda Bielkus, as well as the Shiva Rea-crafted module “Mandala of Asanas”, delivered by Chanel Luck. I am currently completing a Bachelor’s of Music at UMass Boston. Forever a student!

It is with this curiosity and thirst for understanding that I approach the mat. I would love to prepare you to explore the possibilities of the physical body, enjoy the sensations afforded to one by tuning into the breath, and shed the misconceptions that playtime is just for kids.