Ahbra Curtis LaManque
Tricia McAvoy, E-RYT 500, Founder and Owner
Tricia McAvoy is the owner and director of Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts, LLC, established in 2004. After dealing with the symptoms of of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus, Tricia decided to explore the field of natural healing. She took her first yoga class in 1995, at a time when she was looking for new direction in her life.Through the years, Tricia explored different types of yoga and yoga teachers and has found her niche in an alignment-based practice. She received her first yoga certification from the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in 2000 and was certified Anusara-Inspired in 2009. Although based in alignment, Tricia’s classes range from challenging to slow and contemplative. She shares from everyday life experiences and relates them to the highest teachings of yoga. Tricia believes that yoga is an empowering practice that can help anyone advance on their path to self-knowledge. It is not important the level of poses that one achieves, but rather the attitude one cultivates wherever they find themselves. Tricia is also certified through the Lotus Palm School for Thai Yoga Therapy and is a certified Reiki Master Teacher. Currently, she is enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s health coaching program. She lives in New London with her famously peaceful cat, Pax.
Sue Bernier, CYT-200
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.
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.cdc-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.
Sonya Cyr, CYT-200
Sonya began her 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’s teaching is known for being clear and accessible. Students can expect a class that is equal parts skillful, challenging, sustainable and fulfilling. In addition to being an experienced yoga instructor, Sonya teaches French and Spanish at the Norwich Free Academy where she designed the yoga program and enjoys engaging her students daily in the practice of mindfulness and the inquiry of yoga. Sonya lives in New London, Connecticut with her husband, Erik and son, Konrad.
Zackary Keegan, CYT-200
Zack began his yoga practice about 10 years ago while he was attending CCSU for history. A friend began doing pigeon on the lawn near his dorm and he joined in, then began regularly meeting until he joined a nearby studio. He began trying yoga everywhere he went, including at Bikram in the Valley in Simsbury, Viva Flow Yoga in Bremerton Washington, West Hartford Yoga, and Blissworks in New London. In 2015 he finished his 200-YTT through Blissworks with Tricia McAvoy, whom he still studies with.
Currently, Zack is attending Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in Groton to become a licensed massage therapist. His work with anatomy has not only helped grow his knowledge of movement and muscles, but it also grew his compassion to empower students to know and work their own bodies, finding release from pain or to embrace their own inner and outer strength.
Mike McAndrew, CYT-200
Mike was introduced to yoga in 1998 and immediately realized how much better he felt after each class. And so his yoga journey began. His daily practice led him to the desire to teach others and share the experience of yoga practice.
Mike received his 200 hour Hatha Yoga Certification with Anusara Yoga Teachers Todd Norian and Ann Greene in May 2012, and has since taught at The Westerly Community Yoga Center, Studio 4 and joined the Blissworks staff in 2015.
Lynn McCarthy, CYT-200
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Lynn believes that Yoga is yet another way to serve. The practice of Yoga opens pathways of personal growth and gratitude that extends well beyond the mat. Belonging, trust, fun and love are what students will find in her class. Lynn holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology, certifications in Strength Training, Personal Training, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Health Coaching. She began the practice of yoga in 1996 and in November 2013 completed her 200 hour yoga teaching certification in the Anusara tradition . For 36 years, Lynn has enjoyed her work in the field of exercise, health & wellness. As the cofounder and CEO of Angel Charities, which helps children with cancer and life-threatening illnesses, currently she coordinates athletic events; AngelSwim and AngelRide which have raised over 5.5 million dollars.
Rachna Tewari, CYT-200
Rachna, originally from India, moved to the U.S. after marriage. She began practicing yoga as a teen inspired by her father, her first Guru, and has been passionate about yoga ever since. Her yogic journey began at the age of fifteen when her father enrolled her in a Yoga Camp offered by the Bihar School of Yoga. After moving to Pune, Maharashtra for her higher education, Rachna’s search landed her in the B.K.S Iyeangar Institute. Later she did Art of Living Level 1 course in Bangalore, India and the Level 1 Meditation course in the U.S. She travels back to India frequently and spends time with Master Teachers from various traditions.
Heidi Waddell, RYT-200
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, a 75 hour certification with Karen O’Donnell Clarke in Therapeutic Yoga and a 16 hour certification in Yoga for Teens from Christy Brock, the founder of Yoga Minded. 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 and has recently received her Reiki Master Teacher certification from Reiki Master Andrew DiLeo of Oak Star Ministries in the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition. Heidi resides in Stonington, Connecticut with her loving husband and fellow yogi, David, and their three children. As a yoga teacher, Heidi likes to incorporate both the physical and the metaphysical 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. Please call Heidi at 401-207-9108 to book a Reiki session or a Private/Semi-Private Yoga session.
Rebecca’s passion for conscious movement began with dance during her teen years and was further fueled by her first yoga instruction in her early twenties. In 2008 she became a licensed massage therapist through the Connecticut Center of Massage Therapy and is a LMT at Rob Rivers Salon and Spa in Mystic CT as well as conducting a private practice of her own. In 2015 Rebecca traveled to Ibiza Spain to complete a Sivananda Hatha yoga 200 hour certificate. As a massage therapist she values helping others connect with their physical self and now as a yoga instructor has even more tools to enhance this ability. She is continually humbled by the power of asanas (postures) and meditation, and regards these practices as invaluable-aiding in connecting to the core, creating resolutions, and paving a clear path for the Self.
Healing Arts Therapists
Tricia McAvoy, TMT, Reiki Master
Tricia McAvoy, the owner of Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts, first began exploring alternative medicine over 20 years ago. Her first experience with Reiki had a profound effect upon her and made her want to share the benefits with others. She became a Reiki Master in 1999 and has used this art of healing every day since! Tricia believes Reiki is a powerful and positive hands-on healing technique that helps spread peace in the world and has again begun leading Reiki certification classes to help others open to their healing potential. After she received her first Thai massage, she had a similar experience of wanting to share the beautiful Asian art with others and so took training from the Lotus Palm School in 2004. Tricia published her book, “One Woman’s Path to Health” in 2016, sharing her own journey to better health through natural remedies. Currently, Tricia is enrolled in Health Coach Training through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition out of New York City and is looking forward to helping others move forward in their quests for better health!
Ahbra Curtis LaManque, LMT
Over the last twelve years Ahbra has built a successful practice, focusing on the overall quality of life for those suffering from pain. Ahbra specializes in injury and surgery recovery, relief from chronic pain, postural disfunction/disease and general discomfort due to overuse and work related stress. After graduating in 2004 from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy, with certificates in academic excellence and community involvement, Ahbra continued on a path of in depth study into anatomy, acupressure and the myofascial system. This journey came full circle, in 2010, with a certificate in The Masters Class in Eastern/Western Traditional Cupping with renowned Australian Acupuncturist Bruce Bentley. Ahbra’s goal is to continuously grow in her healing path and is currently attending a 240 hr. program to become a Certified/Registered Aromatherapist.
Ahbra provides specialized sessions focusing on each clients specific discomfort, with the application of combined massage, cupping and gua sha techniques. While this may be a new treatment path for those who have only experienced traditional massage, it is both safe and effective with minimal to no discomfort while providing lasting results. The basis for treatment with cupping and gua sha is the removal of toxins from painful muscle tissue, this method leaves red markings on the skins surface (not a bruise) allowing fresh blood to flow through the area, while aligning immobile scar tissue and fascial adhesions. Ahbra has provided relief to clients, family members (including her young daughters) and herself for complaints ranging from chronic neck and shoulder tension, frozen shoulder, sciatic nerve pain, and soft tissue injury. You may contact Ahbra directly at 860-405-5363or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your personal experience. All treatment option and modalities will be fully explained and utilized to start you on a path to a healthier happier life. For a more in-depth exploration of cupping and gua sha you may review this collection of Bentley’s informative essays http://www.
Amy Jones, LMT
Amy 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. You may contact Amy directly at 860-933-3991 to schedule your appointment.
Tina Shifflett, RMT, IET
Tina Shifflett is a Reiki Master/Teacher of the Usui tradition and a Certified Advanced Level Integrated Energy Therapist (IET). She received both her Level I and II Reiki training and attunement from Reiki Master/Teacher Matthew Ferrar in April and July of 2012, and her Level III and Master Teacher training from Jamie Lee of New London, CT in October 2013. Tina also pursued her training and Basic Level IET attunement to the violet angelic ray from Heidi Gabrilowitz of Cranston, RI, in March 2012 followed by Intermediate Level and training in June of the same year. It didn’t take long for Tina to intuitively realize that this “work” would be part of her life’s purpose and future journey and went on to obtain the Advanced Level of IET in August 2014.
Tina is also a singer, guitarist and percussionist, and writes her own music. She currently lives in Mystic, CT with Daisy, her blue-eyed Lhasa Apso. You may contact Tina directly at 860-857-6324 to schedule your appointment.
Heidi Waddell, RMT
Heidi received her Reiki Master Teacher certification from Reiki Master Andrew DiLeo of Oak Star Ministries in 2016 under the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition. She has been using the healing powers of Reiki on clients, animals, places, and for long distance treatments with effective results since 2015. Heidi enjoys providing her clients with the ability to find unity and harmony again with the universe where we can once again feel whole and healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You may contact Heidi directly at 401-207-9108 to schedule your appointment.