Teachers at Woodbury Meditation & Yoga Center

Janaki Pierson

Janaki, Co-founder, executive director and principal instructor of the Woodbury Meditation & Yoga Center, presents seminars on Hatha Yoga, Meditation, Stress Management, Death and Dying/Life and Living, Elementary Sanskrit,  and Thinking Into Being: Creating Your Own Reality. Ms. Pierson has been teaching meditation for over 32 years and has been established in her own daily practice for 40 years. She teaches extensively throughout New England  and New York in medical, educational, corporate, and community settings. Janaki received Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification from the Siddha Yoga Dham of America in 1982. For the most of the past 12 years, she has been spending 6 weeks each winter in India, either at an  ayurvedic clinic or doing spiritual practices on the banks of the holy Narmada river in Gujarat, India.


Hilde Brehm

Hilde has been a part of the WYC community for over 15 years. Since completing her Hatha Yoga Teacher Training at WYC and has also attended numerous workshops at Kripalu and Omega Center. In 2004 she received her certification as a natural childbirth pregnancy yoga instructor from Kripalu. In her regular classes Hilde teaches traditional hatha yoga, focusing on basic postures, breathing, gentle opening, deep closing relaxation, and ending with a brief deep stillness for meditation. She tailors each class to the level of the students participating: sometimes strengthening and vigorous, sometimes gentle and restorative, always attentive, present and accepting.


Diane Scuteri

Diane Scuteri has studied and practiced Hatha Yoga since 1987.  After completing a teacher's training course at the Woodbury Yoga Center she began teaching in 1995.  She has continued her studies and completed a 200RYT teacher training program in 2009 and is now certified with the Yoga Alliance Association. Diane teaches Traditional Style Hatha Yoga bringing together the integration of asanas and breathwork,  This system of integration brings to the practitioner a deep release of muscular tension and increases energy flow for an experience of complete relaxation balancing the body and mind.  All levels welcome.

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Laura McEvoy 

Laura received her Yoga Teacher Certification from Kripalu in June 2002. She has been practicing for 25 years. She has a special interest in teaching children. Their ever present, unique and authentic spirit serves as a reminder that yoga can bring us "home" to that true being. So often children are told to calm down and relax, yet they aren't taught how to. Through yoga children learn to develop coordination, healthy habits and coping mechanisms. Ms. McEvoy regularly attends workshops at Kripalu. She has been the recipient of various diversity grants providing Yoga instruction to economically disadvantaged children in various urban settings. Her work with children of diverse cultural background has been recognized in the KYTA Yoga Bulletin and the National Tides Foundation Publication. She holds an Elementary School Teacher Certification and Masters Degree in Counseling. She recognizes student-learning styles and teaches postures and relaxation techniques in a variety of ways. On the other end of the spectrum, Laura also greatly enjoys teaching floor and chair yoga to seniors. 


Sara Van Doren

Sara began her yoga practice almost 30 years ago with an Iyengar instructor in 1988. After moving to CT in 1996, she discovered Woodbury Meditation & Yoga Center and immediately felt at home here. Sara completed Yoga teacher training with Kripalu in March 2013. She incorporates yoga and meditation into her work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Art Rodia

Mr. Rodia, a retired schoolteacher, began his yoga practice in 1967 at the age of 23.  In 1991, he received Shaktipat (Kundalini awakening) from Shri Anandi Ma, and has participated in yoga programs and yoga teachers' seminars at Kripalu, Integral Yoga Center, Anusara Yoga of Sausalito, CA, and Smiling Spirit Yoga (Milford, CT).  He has taught at Woodbury Meditation & Yoga Center since 2010.  Art's teaching incorporates modern knowledge of the body's needs and limitations, while remaining true to the venerable roots of yoga.  He teaches that gentle yoga postures are an effective vehicle for attaining enduring energy, vitality and mental health for people of any age.



Alisa Wissell

Alisa Wissell received her Yoga Alliance 200 hour teacher training through Sacred Rivers Yoga in East Hartford, CT. She is also certified to teach children’s yoga and mindfulness through ChildLight Yoga. Alisa founded One Love Yoga and One Love Kids Yoga to nurture adults and children’s mind, body and spirit. She lives in Southbury with her husband and daughter.

Alisa’s yoga journey began 16 years ago by recommendation of her chiropractor to help her bad back and instantly felt at home at WYC. She immediately fell in love with yoga and will always remember a special experience she had in one of her first classes with Janaki which moved her to tears. She realized at that moment that yoga is a journey inward to her true self and she couldn’t help spilling over with emotion at this realization. She discovered that yoga is so much more than the physical postures and that it was touching her spiritually. She deepened her practice by studying yoga philosophy which resonated within her. She feels passionate about weaving yoga philosophy into her daily life so she can help nurture people, animals and nature.

Alisa Wissell is also a NYS Certified Teacher and has several years experience as an English teacher for Carmel Central School District in NY. In addition, she earned her Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy.

Alisa feels honored to teach at The Woodbury Yoga Center since it is where her journey began and has led her to her true purpose. Each step Alisa took up the path to the beautiful studio nestled among nature, melted away the stress of daily life and she felt such deep peace and a sense of connection to everything around her. She is excited to walk that same path she took so many years as a student but now as a teacher sharing her love of yoga.

 Her goal is for ALL people, no matter what your age is, physical limitations or abilities are, to feel welcome and comfortable in her class and leave your mat feeling more peaceful than when you walked in.


Nina Levenduski

A lifelong athlete and equestrian, and a dancer in her younger years, Nina was first exposed to yoga and eastern philosophy during college. Nina had the unique opportunity to practice and perform Bharatanatyam, the classical dance of south India, as student at Skidmore College. Nearly fifteen years later, Nina returned to yoga and meditation classes in an attempt to better manage the stresses of a demanding career, chronic health problems, and other life changes.  Nina found in her yoga and meditation practice the means to improved health, increased stamina and emotional resilience, better stress management, and an added bonus of better body awareness, flexibility, strength and confidence that drastically improved her equestrian and other athletic skills.

The stillness, spirituality and deepening of the mind-body-spirit connection drew Nina back to into a regular yoga practice, and eventually inspired her to become a yoga teacher.  Nina completed her 200-Hour Yoga Alliance teacher training in 2017 at Bloom Yoga and Wellness in Southington, CT.  Nina enjoys helping her students to cultivate a greater attitude of mindfulness, happiness and body awareness in her classes.  Nina currently teaches Hatha, Gentle Hatha, Vinyasa, Beginner and Chair Yoga classes.


Lisa Mahon

Lisa Mahon attended her first yoga class in 1991 at WYC and has been practicing various forms of yoga on and off the mat since then.  She became a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher in 1995 and continues to attend advanced training workshops through Kripalu, Omega and Sanctuary Power Yoga.  While her classes focus on physical alignment, core strengthening and coordinated breathwork, the true essence of each class is for every student to discover the physical, mental and emotional possibilities of being in the present moment.  She is currently finishing a degree in Exercise Science and Wellness.