Meet the Teachers
At VegaYoga & Movement Arts, we bring together a wide range of trained teachers with a wealth of knowledge and a desire to make yoga accessible to all people, no matter what age or skill level.
VegaYoga & Movement Arts’ co-director and instructor, Aaron Vega (200 RYT), brings his “yoga for the people” philosophy to every class he teaches. From his yoga core-focus yoga, to his signature Sunday morning class, Aaron incorporates a deep understanding of movement and yoga with a dash of humor. The passion and joy he shares with his students is intertwined with tradition and innovation. Creating a fun and safe atmosphere either with his music mixes or dynamic sequences, there is always something new happening in Aaron’s classes. At the ready to give a modification or an invitation to explore deeper, Aaron’s classes leave students strong in their body and feeling good about themselves.
Debra Vega (CYT 300, RCYP), Vega Yoga & Movement Arts’ co-director and instructor, brings her 13 years of yoga practice, combined with her 30+ years of dance training and over 25 years of teaching experience, to all of the classes she offers. She is certified in Therapeutic Yoga (in the hatha yoga family), which emphasizes adapting yoga to the unique needs of the individual within a group setting. She completed a 300 hour training with long-time teacher and Structural Yoga Therapist, Karla Geoffroy. The lineage of her studies and practice are rooted in the teachings of the founder of Structural Yoga Therapy, Mukunda Stiles.
In addition, Debra has a special certification to teach Children and Teens by completing the Radiant Child Yoga Program (RCYP) in the Kundalini style of yoga, and trained with Shakta Khalsa, founder of Radiant Child Yoga.
Coming from a dance background (a retired Radio City Rockette!) and therapeutic approach to yoga instruction, Debra approaches yoga with a strong awareness of the body and with the knowledge of ways to keep the body safe during practice. She is sensitive to the needs of her students and is happy to offer modifications in order to allow students of any skill level to practice with confidence. With a positive attitude and a smile on her face, Debra’s gentle way of “allowing you to practice where you are today,” encourages each student to leave her classes feeling good about their practice and good about themselves.
Lorraine Brady, RYT 500, received her 200-hour certification at Karuna Center for Yoga and Healing Arts in Northampton. She completed her 500-hour embodyoga® teaching certification at the Yoga Center Amherst, and currently serves as an assistant in ongoing teacher training programs. Lorraine has also completed a teacher training in yoga therapy for veterans coping with post-traumatic stress, and is registered with the Yoga Alliance.
Lorraine's classes focus on basic alignment principles with an emphasis on coordinating movement and breath. She provides students an opportunity to improve flexibility, gain strength, and clear the mind. The connection and integration of body, mind and spirit through yoga creates the ability to move with greater harmony and grace through the rhythms of life. Lorraine is committed to sharing the many benefits of yoga with others.
Kim is a 200/hr Certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and is currently attending Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts studying Art Education. She was introduced to yoga over 15 years ago and her passion for it brought her here to VegaYoga. She has been teaching adults, teenagers, and children with metal illness and special needs in private schools for over 7 years. She truly believes in the benefits of yoga, art and all pursuits that lead towards a deeper understanding of the self.
Body and breath awareness, along with meditation are important parts of her personal practice, as well as her teaching. She strongly believes that yoga is for everyone and is always willing to make adjustments and assist her students in any way to make yoga work for them and their bodies. Kim seeks to cultivate a lighthearted, comfortable atmosphere that gives room for the growth and exploration of each individual's yoga practice.
Jamila K. WilsonI am a yoga teacher that moved to the Pioneer Valley within the last year. I have practiced yoga since 2005 and in 2010 completed a 250 hour yoga teacher training program at Wake Up Yoga in Philadelphia, PA. I am certified in vinyasa and yin-yoga and would love to share my offering of yoga with this beautiful community.
I've practiced yin yoga since 2009 and went through a 40 hour teacher training workshop with my teacher Corina Brenner who studied with both Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. I've also continued my education recently by taking several classes and studying with Josh Summers over the last year. I've taught yin-yoga for the last three years, and value the importance and balance of a yin practice to an active lifestyle.
In my style of teaching yin yoga I love utilizing the healing sounds of soul music to induce a deeper meditative state. I have a strong spiritual practice and found in my own practice, and in teaching yin yoga, that the incorporation of music, yoga philosophy, and meditative silence creates a sacred space for the practitioner to delve into a journey of surrender and release.
Erin KellyErin Kelly of Holyoke, began her yoga practice in 1991. She has been teaching for 14 years. She is the former owner of Ahimsa Yoga Center in South Hadley. Ruth Anne Lundeberg of Mama Nirvana's was her first teacher. She continued with Patty Townsend, where she officially began her teacher training. Her focus is primarily Embodyoga, but she also has training in yoga for scoliosis, pre-natal yoga, yoga for children, yoga nidra, yoga therapeutics, yoga for veterans (yoga for trauma) restorative yoga, pranayama and meditation. Initially, she was inspired by yoga because it helped heal depression over the loss of her sister, but over the years it has become a faithful companion for her in dealing with day to day stress and the ordinary challenges of life. Her classes are well rounded, from restorative to rigorous, you'll always feel stretched, toned and relaxed after class. Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Anna Forest, Patty Townsend, Eric Love, Karen Miscall Bannon, Shiva Rea, and Sean Corne, are some of the yogis that inspirer the most. She is eternally grateful to Ruth Anne for the introduction to this amazing practice. Erin welcomes the opportunity to join the Holyoke Sangha.
Beth O'ConnorBeth O'Connor (CTY 300) is certified in Therapeutic Yoga, which emphasizes adapting yoga to the unique needs of the individual within a group setting. She completed a 300 hour training with long-time teacher and Structural Yoga Therapist, Karla Geoffroy. The lineage of her studies and practice are rooted in the teachings of the founder of Structural Yoga Therapy, Mukunda Stiles. Beth began practicing yoga eight years ago, after twenty years of dance experience and ten teaching. The deeper aspects of mindfulness and safety that yoga offers were key elements to Beth developing a passion for yoga and the desire to teach it. She helps her students discover their abilities and develop their strength. They enjoy her compassion and devotion to her practice and teaching. Beth is a wife, mother of two and avid gardener.
Carol ClarkCarol Clark has been practicing Tai chi since 1979 and QiGong since 1995, and began sharing her practice in 1996. Her journey has been one of growth and expansion using Tai Chi and QiGong as tools for focusing, refinement, and anchoring in the higher vibration that comes with transformation. Keeping one's balance, especially during deep change, is challenging ~ and essential ~ and we are ALWAYS changing.
Michelle is interested in the connections between intuitive wisdom, movement and artistic expression. She has studied Classical Indian Dance, Ballet, Modern/Post-modern dance, Pilates, Gyrokinesis and of course, yoga. After completing her Teacher Training in Classical Yoga in 2001, Michelle went on to study Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Anusara yoga. Her classes are somewhere between a meditative experience and a playful adventure. Currently, Michelle is adjunct faculty at Springfield College where she teaches yoga to dancers, contemporary dance technique, improvisation and choreography.
Andrea found yoga 14 years ago and quickly fell in love with the practice.
Andrea has explored different styles of yoga but is most interested in the Iyengar Method. She completed a 200 Hour Teacher Training at Karuna Center For Yoga and Healing Arts in 2006, and has since completed a variety of trainings and yoga intensives. She infuses her classes with her passion for alignment and interest in the body/ mind/ heart connection.
She also enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dogs in the woods, and rock climbing.
Andrea hopes her students will find a sense of peace and contentment in her classes (and maybe a little laughter).