Tricia McAvoy
Kim Abraham
Sue Bernier
L’Ana Burton
Sonya Cyr
Jana Flaherty
Gary Gootnick
Sandy Hartnett
Amy Jones
Eddie Lilienthal
Molly Bruno
Adrienne Pratt
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.
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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.
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Sue Bernier

Sue always deeply valued the integration of balance and peace into her life and gradually she discovered that she could channel these elements through the art of yoga.

By the year 2000 created a yoga consistent practice that gave more solidity and strength to the values she had always held. In 2010 she discovered Blissworks Yoga and felt truly welcomed and inspired by the community that existed there. Four years later, she enrolled in the yoga teacher training program at Blissworks. Since completing her 200 hour Bliss inspired Yoga teacher training in 2013, she has been teaching weekly yoga classes at the YMCA in Westerly, R.I.

Outside of the yoga studio, Sue loves spending ample time outdoors, whether it is on a long bike ride, walking on the beautiful beaches of Rhode Island, or feeling a connection with the beauty of the outdoors. She lives in Mystic with her husband, Jim.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Eddie Lilienthal

Eddie LilienthalEddie believes yoga is simply an incredible, effective system of self-care and he has found that doing yoga helps to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and settle the mind. As he enters his early 50’s, his intention for practicing and teaching yoga is to help himself and his students be the best people they can be; physically, emotionally and socially.

Since completing RYT-200 Teacher Training with Tricia McAvoy in 2013, Eddie has brought the gift of yoga to the summer residents of Crescent Beach in Niantic as well as to his colleagues and students at a local alternative high school where he is a Special Education Teacher. And he has been so inspired to see yoga help so many people in so many ways!

Eddie loves to bring a sense of humor to his teaching! In class, he wants you to have fun with your fellow yogis yet be guided to dive into your internal self. After all, Yoga is an inside job! He wants you to hear great music, breathe with intention, use your muscles and stretch mindfully, and to laugh! His hope is that you leave class feeling centered, grounded, and in love with life!

When not at the studio, Eddie lives in Niantic with his wife, Jessica, three children, one dog and one cat! He loves to go hiking in the woods, cycling, the occasional triathlon, and almost anything that keeps him and his family active and outside.
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Molly Bruno

Molly MurkettMolly enjoys sharing her love of movement, breath and relaxation through teaching yoga. She completed her Bliss-inspired Yoga Teacher Training with Tricia McAvoy at Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts in November of 2013. Molly was instantly attracted to the revitalizing and transformative benefits of yoga to balance a busy mind, and help reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety. As a Reiki Master, she joins her passions for yoga and energy work in her classes with Reiki infused assists. Her passion is helping students to incorporate relaxation and recreation into a healthier lifestyle. She loves integrating healing touch and positive intention into the class experience to refresh the spirit and restore the body. In addition to her Yoga and Reiki, she co-owns and runs the Green Submarine Deli in Groton, CT with her partner, Dan.
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Adrienne Pratt

Adrienne Pratt
Adrienne completed her 200 hour Bliss-Inspired Yoga Teacher Training in 2013, furthering a commitment to her practice that began in 1994 and deepened with her realization that without yoga the “puzzle piece” was missing from her life. She believes that attention to alignment allows us to dig deep inside to find strength, serenity and balance, keys to her practice and classes. Adrienne remains grateful for the spiritual richness that yoga affords and approaches each class as a chance for discovery and renewal. When not in the studio, Adrienne can be found on her wooden lobster boat, in the sun with her husband TP, riding her bike, or with her cats in Mystic.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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Amy Jones

Amy JonesAmy Jones is a licensed Massage Therapist in her 8th year of practice. She graduated from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy (CCMT) in December of 2005, and has worked continuously in the field ever since. She holds additional certifications in Reflexology and Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Her natural interest in Anatomy and Biology led her to explore Massage Therapy, where she discovered the numerous health benefits provided by human touch, including- increased circulation, reduced stress, easing joint stiffness, pain relief, improved sleep, and general calming and relaxing of the mind and body. She has found her ability to provide relief and comfort for other people through massage to be an incredibly rewarding experience for herself, as well. Whether through a relaxing Swedish massage or a more invigorating Deep Tissue experience, Amy is attentive to the needs of each individual, taking care to provide a comfortable tempo, soothing strokes, and a calming atmosphere. She believes regular massage to be tremendously valuable to the health of both body and mind, and dedicates her focus to helping people discover their own body’s ability to restorative health. Amy is in her third year living in New London with her dog, Dunkin.
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