Susan Mondi Bowen
Susan E-RYT500; YACEP, as the Yoga Training Director, has created training curriculum that integrates yoga with complimentary techniques from science, philosophy, and spirituality. Susan’s experience in teaching integrated methods for human change and transformation spans more than 16 years and 10,000 hours. Training curriculum is current, fresh and exciting while still being rooted in the foundational study of yoga (experience) and research (knowledge). Numerous practices and methods invite the individual student to find their formula to lead a joyful life regardless of the conditions of the outer world.
Jess Apo, E-RYT500; RPYT; YACEP, fell in LOVE with yoga when she noticed expansion of her spirit, feeling it was her calling to make a career change to teaching yoga. Her desire to become a teacher trainer was there from the beginning, recalling her passion for teaching in a classroom setting. Her energetic enthusiasm for sharing her devotion to yoga is felt by the teacher trainees. She loves vibrational movement and has an outstanding ability to evoke emotion guiding her students to engage with source. Her teaching aligns with the yoga sutras seamlessly because she honors the practice by living it. Yogic philosophy, sequencing, hands on assists and her innate ability to connect with the individual are among her strengths. Jess loves teaching many styles of yoga and enjoys watching transformations in her students as they take their practice off of their mats and into their daily lives. She leads yoga retreats all over the world taking her students to exotic locations to immerse themselves in yoga. This year she has also written an 85 hour prenatal teacher training and completed an aerial yoga teacher training. Yoga has transformed her life and she so grateful for the practice.
Kristen Garaffo E-RYT 200, received her 200 hour training here at Thrive in the Summer Intensive format – and has been teaching ever since! Kristen is an actor and a singer, and has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Boston Conservatory. Conservatory life was a dream, however the stress slowly began to build and the lifestyle of being a professional actor led to burnout. She knew she needed a change, and yoga was the answer! Through a consistent yoga and meditation practice – Kristen transformed her stress and anxiety to freedom and joy. She soon felt called to share this incredible wisdom and learn as much as she could, which led to her 200 hour training, as well as multiple trainings at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Wanderlust, Gabrielle Bernstein’s course Spirit Junkie Masterclass, and Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within. Kristen is also a certified Souluna Life Coach, and is passionate about living yoga and supporting others in finding their unique gifts and sharing them with the world. She shares her own unique gifts as a yoga teacher and trainer – blending music, storytelling, and her light-hearted spirit – and offering a relaxed, safe space for students and trainees to find ease and joy in their minds and bodies.
Alison (E-RYT200, YACEP) completed her 200-hour training here at Thrive Yoga in 2016. In addition to teaching yoga, Alison is a human movement and corrective exercise specialist as well as both a running coach (RRCA Level 2 Certified) and CrossFit coach. She has completed extensive advanced-level training in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, myofascial release, and injury management and prevention with Tiffany Cruikshank, Sage Rountree, Jason Crandell, Alexandria Crow, Jules Mitchell, and Gil Hedley. Alison specializes in working with individuals who have injury concerns and athletes. Alison developed, launched, and manages her own brand — Yoga for Durability. She is the author of The Durable Runner — a book that combines the wisdom of yoga, corrective exercise protocol, and myofascial release techniques to help runners increase their physical and mental durability — which is expected to be released in late 2019. She is also a regular yoga and fitness contributor to Fit Bottomed Girls and her work has been featured on many health and wellness sites such as Prevention, Competitior, Women’s Running, POPSUGAR, MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, and ACE’s ProSource.
Felicia Piacente, E-RYT 500, completed her 200-hour training in 2009 and 300-hour in 2012, both through ISHTA Yoga under the direction of Alan Finger, Sarah Platt Finger, and Susan Mondi. She received prenatal yoga and level 1 Thai Yoga Massage certifications in 2010. Felicia has been teaching weekly classes, master class progressives, and workshops at Thrive Yoga since June, 2009. Her high-energy style incorporates pranayama, grounding, power asana and relaxation to all student levels.
Jane Stelboum, E-RYT200 and RYT500, earned her 500-hour training here at Thrive Yoga through a collaboration with ISHTA Yoga, NYC from 2009-2012. She completed Duke University’s Integrative Yoga for Seniors training and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Jane has been teaching at Thrive since 2010 and leads a weekly class for aging adults at the Ben Gaither Senior Community Center. She loves introducing our Rookies to the joys and benefits one can find from yoga and regularly teaches the Yoga for Healthy Backs 4-part series so people can learn to practice in a way that is safe for their own bodies and conditions. Through Sarasvate, a company whose mission is to prevent Alzheimer’s, Jane conducts Yoga Designed for the Brain workshops at senior living communities and centers, provides professional and personal caregiver training. She has shared her workshops at yoga studios and wellness centers at studios in our region, NY and Florida, and teaches Mindfulness for Clear and Creative Thinking to corporations and organizations. Her workshop is now part of the Thrive teacher-training curriculum. She has been a featured speaker and/or panelist at conferences and events including the Smithsonian’s Yoga as Lifestyle Medicine Symposium here in D.C., the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC) Annual Conference on Long Island, NY, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) Educating America Tour on Long Island, NY, and the Mid Atlantic Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) in Baltimore.
Traci E-RTY200, started yoga in high school as a way to condition for sports and was quickly drawn to the additional mental benefits her practice also provided! She used yoga as a way to heal past traumas and reconnect with her true self. Having that experience, she wanted to become a yoga teacher to help create a loving and safe space for her students so they can discover just how strong they really are, inside and out! Traci’s training includes 500 YTT, Reiki Level 1 and 2, Thai Yoga Massage Level 1, Aerial Yoga Level 1 and 2, 20 Hours of Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) with David Emerson. She has also co-created a Level 1 & 2 Aerial Yoga Teacher Training and Restorative Aerial Yoga Teacher Training.