ALISSA Bigelow in memoriam
Alissa Bigelow began her yoga practice in Southern California more than 14 years ago under the direct guidance of her teachers Seane Corn and Max Strom.
Inspired by the intrinsic healing powers of yoga to transcend dark into light, Alissa steps onto her mat each day as both a student and a teacher.
Trained to teach in the PURE yoga tradition of strict Vinyasa Flow, her classes can be both vigorous and restorative.
Her intention is to open the heart, mind and body to all possibilities and all probabilities. She offers her students the opportunity to honor their own truth, moment to moment, linking each breath to the next through movement and awareness of the light within us all.
Elizabeth Brown M.A., has been teaching at Karma for five years. She began her formal training in 1992 with Sarah Powers, Tias Little and Paul Grilley in the Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Yin traditions.
In 2001-2003 she lived in Siddha Yoga meditation centers in Oakland, California, and in Ganeshpuri, India, where she met John Friend and began training in Anusara Yoga.
She currently studies formally with philosophers Dr. Douglas Brooks and Professor Paul Muller-Ortega; this work informs her classes, which include students from ages 5 to 80 years old.
With over 1000 hours of training and ten years of yoga teaching in Northern California, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Boston, Elizabeth leads international yoga and service retreats in Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Tanzania.
She brings a rich understanding of therapeutics, a strong meditation practice, and the desire for all students to align with their own innate freedom. Her classes are fun, dynamic, and strong. Her lightheartedness is contagious; students move easily to the next level of practice.
Karma, contrary to popular belief, didn't name herself and actually does not own the studio! She was born in Florida to a family of hippies and named after the "karmic" link found in her parents' astrological charts. After moving to Boston, she turned to yoga as a way to heal her intense back and joint pain, discovering a solace that inspired her to become a teacher in 2002.
Karma embraces many different styles of yoga including vinyasa, slow flow, yin, and restorative - blending elements of each into her classes in order to create a balanced mix of stretch and strength, opening and grounding, effort and surrender.
Her classes focus on watching our patterns, choosing the energy we carry, and cultivating a deep connection between body, mind, and breath in order to tap into your prana flow and deepen your practice. She is equal parts chakra-astrology-crazy-woowoo and down-to-earth anatomy geek. She encourages everyone to find the practice that is right for them in order to realize their own path to self-discovery and personal transformation.
Miranda discovered yoga when she was researching and writing a never-ending dissertation. Yoga helped her to focus, relieve stress, and straighten out her spine after seven years of hunching over a computer. She learned that success in yoga—and in life—is sometimes about “failing” 100 times to succeed one time. The process of yoga made her realize that ultimately, nothing is impossible. This is ultimately why she became a yoga instructor.
Miranda completed her 200-hour YogaWorks teacher training with Natasha Rizopolous. This training was in alignment-based Vinyasa Yoga that combines elements of Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Viniyoga, integrating the strength, heat, and physical challenges of Ashtanga with the careful anatomical alignment of Iyengar Yoga.
Her classes are centered around an anatomical theme or asana, and involve a strong integration of breath and movement. Miranda strives to create a safe and playful environment that is challenging but not competitive. Off the mat, she still enjoys studying the history of science, gender, race, and visual culture, taking really long, pointless, enjoyable walks, and cooking vegetarian and vegan treats.
Clair took her first yoga class in college and fell in love immediately. Back then, the mat became a place of refuge amidst numerous health struggles, and today it remains one of her favorite forms of self care.
Clair strives to make her classes simultaneously energetic and relaxing, and accessible to all people. She teaches a fun and challenging Vinyasa flow class, focusing on linking breath to movement. She designs it to build heat in the body with a creative mix of standing sequences, and to help calm the mind with guided meditation at the end.
Outside of the studio, she is a practicing clinical herbalist and devoted dog mom.
While he doesn't recall exactly when he attended his first yoga class, Peter Nikolaidis is pretty sure it was sometime in the early 2000s. Maybe the late 90s. Okay, he really doesn't remember, but it was a while ago. In 2011, while unable to continue his usual practice of martial arts due to an injury, he turned to yoga to fill in the gap. Over time, yoga shifted to become more of a central component to his everyday life, alongside self-defense and mountain biking.
Given the heavy yang nature of his other pastimes, yin is their natural yogic compliment. Today, Peter refers to yoga as "how he puts himself back together after tearing himself apart in his other favorite activities." He has trained in yin yoga with Josh Summers, and will complete his RYT-500 training in early 2019.
Daniel Stackhouse is certified by the American Council on Exercise as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and fitness nutrition specialist.
His interest in fitness is characterized by a deep-rooted desire to achieve long-term health, wellness and confidence. These ongoing aspirations stem from his years as a severely-overweight child which gave him an understanding of the impact that poor fitness, poor mobility and negative body image can have on one's life. Daniel is driven to help others liberate themselves from such confines and live with abundance, strength and joy.
Daniel founded the Bodhi Fitness Method as a way to organize his training philosophy. Utilizing a holistic approach to encourage positive growth of the body, mind and heart, each training program or class is designed to build physical fitness from the ground up. Through present and mindful awareness of the body, each practitioner will gain an intrinsic understanding of balanced form and safe function.
Along with the implementation of other lifestyle changes, each client is offered a clear path through the Bodhi Fitness Method to bring joy, confidence and fulfillment into their daily life. Integral to the process is a compassionate and non-violent ethic which is sustainable for the individual, the planet, and the other beings with whom we share it.
Jesse founded Karma Yoga Studio in 2002 to serve as a welcoming community wellness center that offers a wide range of yoga styles and related Eastern methods of fitness. He is a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher who has been practicing and teaching clients in the Boston area for over eighteen years. Since then, Karma has grown to 3 locations in the Boston area.
Over years of studying and teaching, Jesse developed the PhysioYoga method (see PhysioYoga under class descriptions), a unique yoga style that combines two seemingly disconnected approaches: the ancient hatha yoga traditions with modern-day, evidence-based scientific research in biomechanics and sports medicine.
Jesse has come to believe that, in addition to the wisdom of traditional yoga training, scientifically-verifiable facts and serious attention to injury prevention should be cornerstones in our contemporary teaching and practice of yoga. To this end, Jesse studied for over 6 years with a certified physical therapist and Iyengar-trained yoga teacher, Kim Amlong, while developing the PhysioYoga concepts.
His PhysioYoga classes are heavily focused on three issues:
- proper anatomical alignment,
- joint protection and health, and
- effective body mechanics.
These areas of emphasis make Jesse's classes ideal for yoga novices, people with injuries, and core-conditioned athletes in training looking to achieve an optimal balance between strength and flexibility.
Jesse has had the distinction of teaching PhysioYoga for the past nine years to medical clinicians in the Alternative Medicine Immersion Program at the Natural Standards Center, the foremost authority in peer-reviewed research in integrative medicine.
He has an avid interest in and vast knowledge of holistic nutrition, herbology and alternative systems of medicine, and is also a certified chi kung instructor. His interest in yoga actually developed while studying Eastern meditation and the internal martial arts, which led him to include many of the synergies present between the two practices into his classes.
As part of his personal 'karma yoga' ('service to others' in Sanskrit), Jesse donates his time and resources to issues close to his heart: economic justice and animal rights causes in his local community. He teaches numerous free yoga classes aimed at underserved populations, including Harvard University's Phillips Brooks House, local homeless shelters, and programs for at-risk teens; he co-founded and sits on the Board of Directors of C.A.R.E., the first and only Cambridge-based animal rescue and adoption organization; and he volunteered weekly for the homeless meals program at the First Church in Cambridge.
In accordance with ahimsa, Jesse lives a vegan lifestyle and incorporates environmental sustainability and social justice goals in all of Karma Yoga Studio's business practices. He is a firm believer that business should only be conducted as an agent of progressive change in our society, and hopes the currently budding age of social entrepreneurship and ethical investment practices will help transform our world for the better.
For his role as a local business leader, Jesse was honored to address the Harvard University Leadership Institute at its annual Forum on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He was also personally awarded by the Mayor of Cambridge with the Greenest Business Award for Karma Yoga Studios. He lives in Cambridge with his long-term partner and over a dozen rescued animals. Jesse feels blessed by and grateful to all who have aided his journey along the way. Namaste.