Tricia Reyburn, E-RYT 500, Founder and Owner
Tricia Reyburn 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 Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki Master Teacher. Currently, she is enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition‘s health coaching program. She lives in Waterford with her love, Charlie & famously peaceful cat, Pax.
Monique Bellenoit, CYT 200
“Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Sue Bernier, CYT-200
Since completing my certification in 2013 at Blissworks Yoga & Healing Arts it has been a privilege to share my love of Yoga and meditation teaching at Blissworks and the Westerly YMCA. My classes focus on alignment principles and pranayama along with introducing a theme and closing class with meditation. I bring awareness to the benefits of moving with awareness in each asana, linking breath and movement. My goal is to teach that if we can slow down in the flow of Yoga we can also bring this into our day to day lives creating balance and a greater sense of peace.
A love of the outdoors brings me to spending time by the shore or hiking in the mountains in Vermont. I share my beautiful life in Mystic with my husband Jim.
Tracy Blasioli, LCSW, CRT-500
Tracy fell in love with yoga almost 15 years ago when she popped her first Rodney Yee video into the VCR (remember those?). Since then, she has used yoga as a tool for healing, self-discovery, and overall wellness. As an avid runner – and one who tends to over schedule herself – she would often find her personal practice falling to the wayside once training or life got in the way. That all changed when an overuse injury from marathon training left her nearly immobile. Given the time to focus on healing her body and mind, she was forced back to the basics and fell in love with yoga all over again. Healthy, and rejuvenated, Tracy completed her 200-hour Kripalu teacher training in 2012 and now thoroughly enjoys teaching a tradition of yoga that focuses on the importance of accepting the body with all of its weaknesses and strengths, while listening to the inner wisdom it shares with us.
Tracy teaches at many locations in the area and recently began working with Inner Peace CT teaching clinical yoga classes. By combining her yoga training with her master’s degree in social work, Tracy ultimately hopes to provide yoga therapy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as adolescents suffering from eating disorders.
Dave Carlson, CYT-200
I’ve been active all my life. From the time I was a kid I’ve been on the move, participating in wrestling, rugby, rock and ice climbing, mountain biking, tele skiing, and all sorts of other stuff. I found yoga, or it found me, in 2006. That first class I attended was an eye opener. It was during the middle of a rugby season, so I walked in thinking I was very fit. I barely made it through all the poses, and was sweating profusely. Touch my toes? I could barely get my hands to my knees when I bent forward. Since then, yoga has become more important to my physical health and emotional well-being than I could have ever imagined. Yoga has helped me stay in shape, and helped me become happier. I’m able to be present for my family in a meaningful way.
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.
Emily Geeza, RYT 500
Originally from Southeastern CT, Emily has been practicing yoga for about 20 years. She recently moved back hOMe to Niantic, where the energy of the sea called her back after many years of living in the mid-Atlantic with her family. During that time, of practicing yoga, and experiencing glimpses of the healing powers of the ancient traditions of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda, Emily began studying Prana Flow® yoga, a style of vinyasa flow developed by Shiva Rea, with Maria Garre in 2010. She enjoys practicing all styles of yoga, but is especially inspired by the way Prana Flow® yoga brings peace to the body and mind through movement meditation. It is her goal to help each and every student find a practice that is accessible, balanced and healing.
Kay Karakry, CYT-200
Kay started practicing yoga in 2016 in her university gym as a form of exercise. Having been an avid athlete, she was looking for that same sense of community in yoga. She was introduced to amazing students and a teacher who inspired her to develop a home practice. After she graduated college in 2019, Kay was interested in deepening her practice and learning more about the spiritual and historical part of yoga. She completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training through Yoga Works LA and was granted her diploma on March 7, 2021. During some hard times yoga was and continues to be a perfect balance of spiritual, mental and physical healing. One of the reasons she loves yoga so much is because every time she is on her mat she is reminded that we are responsible for our own happiness, no matter what is going on in the world around us. Kay enjoys practicing yoga anytime and anywhere and is passionate about bringing yoga to all spaces. In her classes she focuses on mindful movement and believes wherever you are in your practice, yoga is a perfect way to tune into your body and show yourself some love. She believes yoga is a journey not a destination and encourages people to try yoga so they can feel good, take care and learn more about themselves and others. Kay lives in Uncasville, CT with her partner, Theo and their German Shepherd Dog, Layla.
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, E-RYT 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.
Sheri Shamblin CYT-200
Sheri started practicing yoga in 2000 in a gymnasium at a local high school with little expectation, other than to satisfy her curiosity. From that point forward yoga has played an important part in her life. After many years of a routine practice, taking classes from several inspiring teachers and developing a home practice, in 2015 Sheri completed a 200 hour Teacher Training at Blissworks Yoga and Healing Arts with Tricia Reyburn.
Michelle Vanase, RYT-200
Michelle began practicing yoga after the birth of her children in 2005. Seeking a means to physical health and stress relief as a working mother of twin boys, she quickly learned that there was a lot more to yoga than just exercise. A lifelong journey of study began, leading to completion of her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2015. She is currently enrolled in Blissworks’ 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training program, due to graduate in 2021.
Michelle loves the powerful inward journey we take every time we step onto our yoga mats and how we take that personal transformation out of the studio and into the world. Her classes focus heavily on mindfulness, breathing, yoga philosophy and self study. She has a special interest in yoga for stress and anxiety and has taught many workshops in that space. Having completed training in children’s yoga and having taught yoga in schools for years, she has a special love of mentoring young yogis.
Michelle lives happily in Norwich with her family and a bunch of cats and dogs. In her spare time, she is involved with greyhound adoption. She loves spending time in nature, reading, cooking, drinking tea and eating chocolate.
Heidi Waddell, E-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, a 16 hour certification in Yoga for Teens from Christy Brock, the founder of Yoga Minded and a Yin Yoga certification from teacher Liza Dousson. 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 is a Registered Holy Fire® III Karuna Reiki® Master/Teacher. Heidi resides in Stonington, Connecticut with her loving husband and fellow yogi, David, and has 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. You may contact Heidi directly at 401-207-9108 to schedule a Reiki session or a Private/Semi-Private Yoga session.