Heartsong's Owners and Co-Directors Sheila and Tony Magalhaes are proud of the strengths and talents of the teachers who offer their many gifts and talents to the center. Each teacher brings their own bright shining light, their passions, their trainings, their experience and their unique voices to the classroom. Sheila and Tony are honored to introduce "Team Heartsong" to the community, and grateful for the depth of support and the longevity of their commitment to the deeper practices of yoga.
Sheila's first Kripalu certification was completed in 1993, and she also completed her 500 hour Advanced Professional Kripalu Certification and received her advanced level certification from Beryl Bender Birch in the practice of Classical Ashtanga Yoga from The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She is a faculty member and hosts Beryl's 200 and advanced 300 hour yoga teacher training programs at Heartsong. As a “lifelong East Longmeadow gal” she has been teaching for over 25 years, in the studio, local schools, community and corporate settings. Sheila feels lucky to have found the benefits of yoga and meditation back in the early 90’s when she was a new mom, and feels that these practices were incredibly helpful in navigating what felt like a "stressful demanding complicated life” at the time. She is thrilled to see these ancient eastern complimentary health care practices become more mainstream, and is passionate about teaching others to go out into the world and help people find peace in the busyness of their 21st century lifestyles, cultivating radiant health and well being in body, mind and spirit. With the mantra "More Yoga More Love" Heartsong has graduated nearly 100 students who are teaching all over Western MA; to all ages, in underserved populations, those with disabilities, and all who are curious to learn.
Tony received his Kripalu Yoga teaching certification in 1999, and continued his studies in classical Ashtanga Yoga. (Sometimes called the 8 Limbed Path) Tony recognizes that his yoga practices help to create balance and equanimity into his life, and while he is always the "behind the scenes" backbone of the studio, he is involved in a variety of activities outside the center as a self-employed electrician and an adult league soccer player. Tony, Sheila and their (now adult) children Nick and Libby consider Heartsong to be a part of their extended family, and an integral part of their community. You can find him in his favorite spot, "at the desk" most weeekends, meeting and greeting our students and friends.
Beth received her first Kripalu certification in 1995, and completed her 500 hour advanced training there in 2005. She brings vitality and joy into her classes while emphasizing the physical benefits of each yoga pose along with the strength that develops within. Her passion for connection to the cycles and the seasons of the natural world around us is also an important part of her teaching. She reminds the students that all are interconnected, to the world around us and to one another. Beth has been assisting in the Kripalu Center's month long Yoga Teacher Training intensives every summer since 1996, and has been a public school teacher since 1972. Beth is Sheila's mom and one of Heartsong's most dedicated supporters.
Jane has been practicing yoga since 1965 and teaching at Heartsong Center since 1998. She is certified at the advanced 500 hour professional level of Kripalu Yoga and was trained as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner. Jane continually explores new techniques to enhance not only her teaching, but her personal practice as well. Jane also teaches a diverse blend of meditation techniques drawn from her experience of Transcendental, Vipassana and mindfulness meditations. For Jane, the joy of teaching is found in watching students' lives become enriched as they reach deeper levels of themselves through their experiences both on and off the mat.
Lisa has been a student at Heartsong Yoga Center since 1997. She became a certified Atma Yoga teacher in 2000 and is a proud Advanced Level graduate of Heartsong and Beryl Bender Birch's The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. Her background and training is a synthesis of several schools of yoga, including the traditions Atma, Ashtanga, and Kripalu styles of yoga. Lisa also studies Mindfulness Meditation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Her teaching style is a wonderful blend of all of her practices. She brings her skills and passions to Heartsong and its students balancing both the strength and the softness of yoga. Lisa brings a joyful approach to the Family Yoga classes, and is equally comfortable guiding experienced Ashtangis and brand new students of all traditions.
Lauri began her yoga experience as a student of Kripalu and Astanga yoga in 1996. In 2003, she completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Todd Norian. Since then, she has continued her yoga training and studied with many Certified Anusara yoga teachers. She brings a sense of lightheartedness to her classes, connecting students with their unique inner radiance. With an emphasis on self-honoring, acceptance, and joyful celebration that is at the heart of all Heartsong practices, Lauri's students learn to express balance in spirit, heart, mind and body. Lauri is passionate about sharing the therapeutic aspects of yoga.
Joanne has been a student of Kripalu Yoga for many years. After 25 years in the corporate world, she took an early retirement in 2000. Because of her passion for health and fitness she was approached to become a teacher in the community. She holds a certificate for Group Exercise Instructor and several other training certificates from both the YMCA and AFAA. In June of 2003 she completed her Kripalu Yoga Teacher training. Joanne is continually taking courses in the fields of health and fitness and is working towards her 500 hour Advanced Teacher Training. As a teacher, she brings the many gifts she has personally received from Yoga with the hope of sharing these with her students.
Aimee completed her Kripalu 200 hour yoga teacher certification in February of 2011 and Kripalu's 500 hour yoga teacher certification in June 2015. A long time student and friend of Heartsong, Aimee joins the teaching staff to further her journey. This inquiry of yoga is transforming Aimee's lifestyle to continuously learn and practice the lessons of mindfulness and conscious awareness. Her style continues to unfold as every beloved teacher and student provides new insight and influence on shaping her teaching practice. The Kripalu moderate or intermediate level class offers options for those looking for a little more than gentle or all levels classes. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to modify. Aimee is most grateful for the Heartsong community and appreciates the opportunity to grow with staff, students and friends.
Stacey took her first Yoga class in 1991 and knew she had found a place to call "home." She completed her first training in 1997 with Rodney Yee and has continued to practice and study in the Ashtanga tradition and Prana Flow Vinyasa. She is a 500 hour Advance3d Level graduate of Beryl Bender Birch's The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute, with Sheila, here at Heartsong Yoga. Stacey is now on faculty with their teacher training programs. She is also a Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in Orthopedic Massage and teaches anatomy for yoga. Stacey strives to maintain a creative, safe and nurturing environment for students to uncover how the practice of Yoga and meditation can holistically enrich their lives and the world we live in.
Mark has been a passionate athlete all his life, discovering yoga in 2001. Previously he had been certified as a YMCA cycling instructor, Pilates instructor, and an AFAA yoga instructor, teaching part time for the YMCA for 6 years. He completed his 500 hour Advanced Level training with Beryl Bender Birch's The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute, with Sheila, here at Heartsong Yoga in 2019. Mark's yoga practice and yoga teaching help to provide perspective and balance with his full time career as an engineer. As a yoga teacher at Heartsong, he enjoys sharing the calm focus and serenity that yoga practice brings to his life with his students.
Steve has been practicing yoga since 2009. He originally began his asana practice as a supplement to his love of cycling, but he quickly developed a passion for the philosophy and broader practices of yoga. Steve is a 200-hour graduate of the Beryl Bender Birch's The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute, with Sheila Magalhaes here at Heartsong Yoga. Steve has also completed 200 hours of training in yin yoga and meditation with the Summers School of Yin Yoga. Steve is currently continuing his studdies with Josh Summers, and will complete his 300-hour certification in 2019. Steve is a Certified Accessible Yoga Teacher, training under the direction of Sarah Helt. The mission of Accessible Yoga is to enable all people and communities to experience the benefits of yoga in an inclusive, welcoming environment. Steve also completed "Yoga for the Rest of Us" teacher training with Peggy Cappy, a program of adaptive yoga for seniors and other individuals who would benefit from a modified yoga practice. Steve strives to blend humor and philosophy to help others experience the physical and mental wellbeing of yoga practice and mindfulness in a fun and safe environment. A life-long resident of the Pioneer Valley, Steve earned degrees in management and law from Western New England College, which he puts to use at his day job in corporate America.
Amy Joseph was drawn to yoga in 2001 after having her two children. With a background as an APEX certified aerobic teacher in the mid 90's, she was looking for a way to relieve the stress of being a new mom when she found yoga. Amy began practicing yoga at Heartsong and fell in love with the Ashtanga yoga system right away. Sheila introduced her to Beryl Bender Birch, and she completed her 200 hour teacher training program with the Give Back Yoga Foundation's teacher training program, The Hard & The Soft, with Beryl Bender Birch and Sheila, here at Heartsong Yoga in 2014. Amy has taken workshops and trainings with many wonderful teachers including David Swenson, Nancy Gilgoff, and Christine Hoar. She maintains a strong and disciplined daily asana practice and hopes to share the knowledge she has gained with her students, in her unique joyful and happy teaching style. Amy resides in the beautiful community of Hampden with her supportive husband Lou and her two teenage children Anthony and Nina.
Cat Rasid has been a student of yoga since 1999. Kripalu inspired, she received her 500 hour Advanced Level training with Beryl Bender Birch's The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute, with Sheila, here at Heartsong Yoga in 2019. She has a passion for beginners. Her loving kindness combined with focused attention on self-care and self-discovery welcomes students of all levels. Cat believes that all is possible with the breath. Taking a Chair Yoga class with Cat is a beautiful transformative experience, for all ages with any limitations. We call her the Queen of Compassion.
Heather has been practicing yoga for 20 years over two decades. In 2014, she took the next step in her commitment to yoga by completing her 200 hour training with the Beryl Bender Birch's The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute, with Sheila, here at Heartsong Yoga. Heather also is a 100-hour graduate of Mindful Yoga Therapy with Suzanne Manafort and has received additional training in Adaptive Yoga with Ann Richardson. Heather enjoys creating a safe space for her students and making yoga accessible to individuals of all ages and abilities. Her heart-felt authenticity and compassion resonates in all her classes. A mom of two active boys, Heather enjoys hiking, camping, gardening and practicing Random Acts of Kindness as a way of leaving the world a little kinder and more peaceful along the way.
Janine was introduced to yoga at a pivotal point in her life. She attended a Heartsong 40 Day Life Makeover program in 2011 and was truly transformed. With a background in training for a manufacturing company, she knew she wanted to use her experience and talents to bring happiness to others. Her dedicated personal practice led her to Kripalu, the yoga of compassion. She completed her 200 hour teacher training at Kripalu School of Yoga in 2013. Janine strives to offer a safe, supported yoga experience infused with heart, humor and humility to students of every fitness level.
Lyn began her yoga career practicing ashtanga with Sheila at Heartsong. She received LVCYT certification in Chair Yoga from Lakshmi Voelker at Kripalu and certification from Carol Krucoff and Kimberly Carson at Duke Integrative Medical Center focusing on the therapeutic aspects for seniors. Lyn has been a chair yoga instructor at Heartsong, retirement centers, and adult community centers over many years. She is a 200-hour graduate and ongoing student of Beryl Bender Birch's The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute, with Sheila Magalhaes here at Heartsong.
Michelle took her first yoga class right here at Heartsong Yoga She was welcomed into the class with a fellow student telling her that "her life would never be the same"...and she was right! She completed her 200 hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training at Samadhi Yoga in 2008. Her classes offer students of all ages and abilities the chance to experience a calm, meditative approach to their practice, encouraging them to live in a more "physically aware body" while developing gratitude and acceptance for where they are. Her classes focus on allowing students to find balance in body, mind and spirit. Michelle specializes in Yin Yoga at Heartsong and you will find her supporting our gentle yoga classes both as a teacher and as student.