Tricia McAvoy
Kim Abraham
L’Ana Burton
Sonya Cyr
Jana Flaherty
Gary Gootnick
Sandy Hartnett
Prati Kaufman
Jennifer Lambert
Janet Marolda
Krystal Rose
Heidi Waddel

Tricia McAvoy, E-RYT 500, Founder and Owner

Tricia McAvoy is the owner of Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts, LLC, which was established in 2004. After dealing with the symptoms of Lupus for 11 years, Tricia took her first yoga class in 1995 when she was feeling completely lost in life, a classic couch potato. In her first class, while holding a warrior pose, her teacher suggested that she breathe, and at that moment everything changed. She feels that yoga gave her life more meaning and helped reconnect her vital force. She received her first certification to teach yoga from the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in 2000 and was certified Anusara-Inspired in 2009. Tricia’s classes ranges from funny and witty to deeply introspective. She shares from everyday experiences and relates them to the highest teachings of yoga. The root of her teachings is that we are all beautiful and unique in our own ways, with our own skills and gifts to share with the world and yet we’re all deeply connected at the heart. Tricia is certified through the Lotus Palm School for Thai Yoga Therapy and is also a certified Reiki Master. Tricia lives in downtown New London where she greatly enjoys the growing art and music scene. She loves to make pottery in her spare time.
Back To Top

Instructors

Kim Abraham

Kim took her first Ashtanga class after failing a flexibility test and to relieve chronic pain. She experienced amazing relief from the effects of long term tick-borne disease and a challenged immune system. Yoga helped heal her mind and spirit as well as her body. She is extremely grateful for that healing as well as for amazing teachers like Doug Swenson, David Swenson, Patabhi Jois, Paul Grilley, Beryl Bender Birch and Dharma Mittra. Additionally she has studied Anusara and Thai yoga therapy with Jonas Westring. Kim presents a wide array of styles – from the strict formal sequences of Ashtanga (her main practice), to Vinyasa flow, to Yin. Kim loves to teach. She has a B.S. and M.A. in teaching, and her students enjoy her enthusiasm and commitment to their learning. In class students will explore all areas of yoga including pranayama, Kriyas, Ayurveda, and the Yoga Sutras. Kim teaches in a manner with just the right blend of gentleness, discipline, humor, spirituality, respect for tradition, compassion, dedication, and passion for the yogic lifestyle which makes each and every class an absolute joy and an integral part of her students’ lives. Kim has been a resident artist for two years and she lives with her son at the Hygienic Gallery in downtown New London. She loves to travel and has taught worldwide. She dreams of going back to India, and going to California to study with Tim Miller.
Back To Top

L’Ana Burton

L’Ana Burton started dance class at age 2 1/2 and today at 61 still feels very passionate about dancing because it makes her so happy! She loves dancing but also supporting others to do it and to feel good about themselves as ‘dancers’! She feels great joy in seeing others involved in creating their own movement vocabularies and also believes we can all find movement that is special and unique to our own individual selves.

L’Ana is a dancer, performer, educator and the founder of CDC, Creative Dance Continuum, begun in 1986 in the dance department of Connecticut College. CDC was at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum for ten years and has now moved to The Dragon’s Egg and Blissworks. L’Ana has been teaching dance since 1969, bringing hundreds of residencies into schools to integrate movement & dance into the curriculum. She is a Master Teaching Artist for the Department of Economic & Community Development (formerly known as The Connecticut Commission on the Arts) and is a HOTS educator for the state since its inception in 1994. L’Ana strives to create a dance atmosphere where everyone feels like A DANCER, using the tools of improvisation & exploration for all ages in her classes. You can read more on the CDC web site: www.creativedancecontinuum.com. When she’s not dancing you can find L’Ana doing yoga or at the beach or hanging out with her two amazing kids, Jona and Jason. She has lived in Niantic for the past 5 years and is quite happy there.
Back To Top

Sonya Cyr

Having been a member of several musical groups throughout her education, music serves as a source of inspiration for Sonya and a variety of music is often infused into each of her classes. She began the study of yoga in 2002 and was trained as a yoga instructor at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in 2006. She teaches the Kripalu method as well as Vinyasa Flow, Restorative and Core classes. Sonya has taught French and Spanish since 2002 and currently teaches at Norwich Free Academy. Sonya completed YogaEd training and often uses these techniques to create balance in her classroom. Sonya enjoys knitting, dancing, running, cooking and hanging out at the beach. She lives in New London with her husband and kitty.
Back To Top

Sandy Hartnett

“Yoga has taught me so much about myself and life. I love seeing those ‘ah ha’ moments in my students and the calm wave of peace that washes over them during savasana.”

Sandy has been teaching yoga since 2005 to many diverse groups, including seniors, corporate employees, gym members, and prison inmates. She completed 500 hour training at Kripalu in 2010 and will continue to be, first a student, then a teacher. She is a Level One Practitioner certified in LifeForce Yoga (Yoga for Depression) with Amy Weintraub. She believes wholeheartedly in the healing power of yoga. She is also an Advanced Reiki Practitioner. Sandy lives in Preston with her husband Dick and dog, Chloe. They enjoy hiking, kayaking and spending time with family and friends.
Back To Top

Prati Kaufman

Prati KaufmanAlthough Prati grew up in India, where the philosophy of yoga has been an integrated part for centuries, her fascination with yoga asana (postures) began after moving to America about seven years ago . She found that regular practice kept her grounded in her new home, a different world from everything she knew. After traveling for the last three years, along with her son, she decided to move back to New London, the only place she could call home other than her home town in India.

Prati received 500 hrs and 300 hrs teaching certificate from S-VYASA Yoga University (http://www.svyasa.org/) Banaglore, India and Shushumna Yoga, (http://www.sushumna.in/), Goa, India, respectively.

Her teaching is an eclectic mix of different schools depending on the mood of class, but always based on Yoga’s core philosophy “that everything is supplied from within the individual,” and practice is intended to explore that space and expand it. Prati shares the science of yoga, where postures, breathing and alignment are just tools to go beyond mind and body. Yoga postures, if practiced regularly can bring profound positive changes both in subtle and physical body. Regular practice helps in creating awareness of each small act and to develop non-judgmental attitude along with a healthy strong body.

Please join Prati in an exploration of your deeper self and rejoice in just being who you are already, a unique individual with a unique practice.

Jennifer Lambert

Jennifer LambertJennifer took her first yoga class in 2000, and although it wasn’t love at first sight, something kept her coming back. The more she practiced, the more she loved it and found it helped her lower back pain and tempered her natural Type A personality. She has practiced Anusara yoga, and her teaching reflects the Universal Principles of Alignment and Tantra philosophy taught within this school. In 2013 she decided to enhance her practice by participating in the Bliss Inspired Yoga Teacher Training program at Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts. In addition to teaching, Jennifer is a LCSW in the State of Connecticut and is excited to see current research supporting the benefits of yoga and meditation for mental health. As a result, she integrates both yoga into her clinical work, and mental wellness into her yoga classes. Jennifer also maintains a meditation practice which is influenced by the teachings of Ajahn Chah and was actively involved with the Dharma Punx in Portland, OR. In 2009 she attended a workshop with Douglas Brooks who introduced her to Tantric Philosophy- a path more satisfying to her heart and mind. Jennifer lives with her partner and two children, who teach her daily the greatest teachings of service and bliss.
Back To Top

Janet Marolda

Janet MaroldaJanet was first introduced to yoga about 20 years ago where she felt a persistent desire, just below her level of awareness, to develop a consistent practice. Once she heard the voice on a more conscious level, she began to understand the wisdom within the practice. After working as an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist for 29 years, Janet decided to take a year off to go on an inner journey in search of other paths she might travel. In 2013 she decided to increase her knowledge and skills in yoga philosophy and practice through the Bliss Inspired Yoga Teacher Training program at Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts and discovered it to be an immensely rewarding choice. Janet enjoys mindfully challenging the body in safe, controlled, conscious poses and breath techniques while exploring the unending possibilities of taking each aspect even further. She lives in New London with her wonderful husband and talkative cat where she enjoys vegetable gardening and loves to cook, walk, hike and be outside in the lovely weather.
Back To Top

Krystal Rose

Krystal RoseKrystal Kornegay Rose teaches energetic and lighthearted vinyasa flow classes, both power and gentle styles. She is constantly inspired by what a yoga practice can do for a person, both on and off the mat, and feels honored to be a student and teacher of the flow. Krystal is passionate about the ocean, animals, yoga, maritime history, historic preservation and of course Moby-Dick. She grew up on a cotton farm in North Carolina but is adjusting well to life in Mystic, where she has worked at a local maritime museum since 2007. Krystal is a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and completed her 200hr Teacher Training with Sid McNairy of Lifeline Power Yoga (now SidYoga) and Dechen Zezulka of the Mystic Yoga Shala, in 2010. She has completed multiple workshops with Shiva Rea at Kripalu and is currently working towards her 500-hr Shiva Rea Prana Flow® Teacher Training with Senior Teacher Coral Brown and Debbie Valois.
Back To Top

Heidi Waddell

Heidi has been practicing yoga since 1999 after suffering from a serious back injury. Through her yoga practice she regained her strength and mobility and soon discovered that yoga had so much more to offer than just the physical aspects. In 2004 she began as an instructor for River Yoga in Westerly, Rhode Island and has since taught at Mystic Yoga Shala and Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts. She received her 200 hour Yoga Alliance Vinyasa Teacher certification from The Rolf Gates School of Yoga. In addition to Heidi’s yoga practice, she has also received the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche at Karme Choling, a Buddhist Meditation Center in Barnet, Vermont. Heidi resides in Stonington, Connecticut with her loving husband and fellow yogi, David, and their three children. In addition to her teachings at Blissworks, she offers classes through the WCEE, an education and enrichment program housed in Westerly, Rhode Island. Heidi likes to incorporate both the physical and the philosophical qualities of a yoga practice into her classes. She truly believes that everyone can benefit from yoga and encourages her students to explore a wide range of asanas, while tossing in an occasional meditation, pranayama or chant. Her goal is to guide others toward self-knowing and ultimate contentment, so that what we learn on the mat is something we carry within us wherever we go.
Back To Top

Therapists

Jana Flaherty

Levitation! That’s what Jana felt in her early experiences receiving Foot Reflexology. She thought the therapist was lifting her feet, but later found out it was the reflex that connects us to heaven and earth that opened that experience of levity. Jana wanted to share the full relaxation she experienced with others and pursued her education at the Connecticut Center for Universal Reflexology. Her own practice has given her both witnessed and reported experiences from her clients of immediate bruising reduction after surgery, reduced fluids from a lymphatic condition, as well as mitigated headaches and so much more. Whether you are having health issues or just want to maintain optimal health, Jana believes Foot Reflexology can help! As well as having a BA in Social Work, Jana is a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Foundations of Svaroopa Yoga Teacher. She loves living in New London, her favorite city in Connecticut!
Back To Top

Gary Gootnick

Gary GootnickGary is a Licensed Massage Therapist (CT Lic #7842) and an active member of the American Massage Therapy Association. He graduated from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy, and received the award for Academic Achievement and Hands-On Excellence. Gary has a thorough knowledge of human anatomy, as well as training and skills that encompass a variety of bodywork techniques and modalities. His sessions are customized to meet the needs of each client, and may include a combination of Deep Tissue Work, Swedish Massage strokes, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Acupressure, Body Mobilization, Stretching, and Energy Balancing. Whether it’s to reduce stress, decrease pain, increase joint mobility, or for general relaxation, Gary’s sessions structurally and energetically integrate, the unique aspects of each modality and technique used. In his sessions he combines deep tissue work with comforting, soothing strokes, to create a deep level of healing, which facilitates an increased connection to the body. He approaches every session with empathy, skill, and compassion, as he tunes into, and connects with, the clients breath and movement. Gary strongly believes that skillful therapeutic massage can have long-lasting benefits for the body, mind, and spirit, and he is dedicated to providing effective ways to help his clients move toward a state of optimal health and well-being.
Back To Top