Our Team

Leah Chiofaro, Owner & Founder

Leah Chiofaro founded SoulShine Power Yoga in 2014 as a way to bring more healing, peace, and strength directly to her community. After some of the hardest years of her life, consistent yoga practice brought her strength in body and mind, and she understood for herself the power of yoga to help people change their lives. With some help from her mentors, SoulShine Power Yoga went from a dream to reality. 

Leah has a long history in business, retail, and entrepreneurship, and owned her first business in Burlington called Hydrangea from 2005 to 2020. She opened SoulShine in Essex in 2014, the first standalone yoga studio in Essex Junction. Her vision expanded, and in 2021 Leah opened the second SoulShine studio on Church Street in Burlington in the middle of a global pandemic. When she’s not in the studio, Leah loves spending time with her three doggies, snowboarding, and enjoying live music.

Apryl Larkin

Apryl came to yoga as a runner wanting to avoid injury, but quickly fell in love with the practice. She really fell in love with yoga in 2011 when she moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and met an amazing teacher there who told her that she knew one day Apryl would teach. That planted a seed that came to fruition in 2015 as Apryl enrolled in the 200-hour teacher training program at Laughing River Yoga in Winooski.

Apryl loves the ability yoga gives to build strength in the body and enjoys a Vinyasa practice, powerfully linking breath with movement. She enjoys inverting and arm balancing, but also holding poses to build strength and flexibility. She is so grateful for the many teachers and students who inspire her on a daily basis.

Casey Baraw

Casey Baraw is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and founded Inspired Yoga in July of 2011 in Jay, Vermont with the resounding support of the local community. She was originally drawn to yoga due to chronic lumbar back pain stemming from her history as a competitive athlete and twin pregnancy. In an effort to avoid back surgery, Casey took up Ashtanga yoga. In 2007, Casey completed the intensive YogaKids teacher training which gave her the tools to integrate yoga into the educational system working with a number of local schools offering multiple yoga programs to students, educators, and health care providers. Casey trained with David Swenson and Shelly Washington in 2011 and joined them once again in 2013 for the Ashtanga Teacher Training. In 2013 she graduated from the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and is a certified holistic health coach. Casey obtained her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification through Yoga Vermont and her 300-hour Ashtanga Teacher Training in Goa, India learning an Iyengar approach to the Ashtanga Primary practice. Casey Baraw has been teaching and studying yoga for more than a decade and specializes in modifications for those who have restrictions and limitations. Casey teaches powerful Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative, Yoga Nidra, and Kids Yoga. She studied under David Swenson, Kino Macgregor, David Robson and Yogananda Namito. Casey Baraw is the Lead Teacher as an E-RYT 500 of Inspired Yoga School as well as a YogaKids Teacher Trainer located in Newport Vermont.

Cara Bondi

Cara (she/her) believes that every time we practice yoga, our yoga changes, and these shifts are what transform us. She teaches yoga to give the mind and body creative, playful obstacles, hoping that students discover something while practicing together that adds to their yoga. She completed her 200 hour training at Laughing River Yoga in 2022, and is currently training in Yoga Nidra at the Mind.Body.Joy school of yoga. In her classes, you can expect creative sequences for all levels, a little yoga philosophy, and a lighthearted, inclusive atmosphere where you can come as you are and take what you need. Off the mat, Cara is a scientist, mother, and animal lover living in Burlington, Vermont.

Casey Palmer, Business Manager

Casey is the Business Manager for SoulShine Power Yoga and is based out of the Burlington studio, where you’ll find her most days of the week. She has worked in an administrative capacity for SoulShine since its inception in 2014, and previously managed Leah’s first business, an accessories boutique called Hydrangea Too, for nearly six years. A Vermont native and longtime Burlington resident, Casey enjoys hiking, swimming, sunset-chasing, reading, writing, photography, music, film, food, and — perhaps most importantly — cooing sweet nothings at her cats, Whitman and Wylie. She’s a big fan of our Gentle Flow offerings, which for her instill a sense of softness and grace that changes the way she moves through the day and beyond.

Catherine Hamilton

Catherine (Ph.D., ERYT 200) has been practicing yoga for forty years.  She received her 200-hour training certification at Honest Yoga in 2015 and has studied under Tao Porchon-Lynch.  She has completed 200 hours of her 500-hour training with the Westchester Academy of Yoga (WAY) under Renee Diamond (the “Tao” Way).She is also certified to teach Dharma yoga wheel, Yin and accessible chair yoga. Catherine conducts teacher certifications in chair yoga and has delivered four certifications as benefits for yoga studios during the pandemic.She has also developed also developed a curriculum for teachers on mudras and has delivered the chair yoga training for teachers in various 200-hour programs.
Her background in gymnastics and modern dance are evident in her energizing Vinyasa flow sequences that build core strength, stability, and greater flexibility. Catherine’s classes are known for their interesting and uplifting themes, designed to create a healthy, joyful experience and a blissful balance between ease and effort.  She integrates “mudras” or “hand yoga” into her classes to promote healing and transformation, as well as offers options for therapeutic and Reiki assists. Catherine spins vinyl records for the yoga teacher community under the name DJ Love Doctor.Outside of the yoga studio, Catherine is a wife, mother, public health professor and advocate for better a consumer experience in health care. Follow Catherine on Instagram: ChairYogaLove, DJLoveDoctorVT, Yogalove.us; and on YouTube: Chair Yoga Love (chair  flows) and DJ Love Doctor (mat flows)

Christina Fornaciari, Studio Manager

Christina Fornaciari (she/her) is a full-time yoga teacher living in Winooski, Vermont. She values yoga deeply beyond the physical practice and leans into yoga as a way of moving through life off the mat with more self-awareness, lovingkindness, and skillfulness. Even though she holds the role of a teacher, Christina is committed to continuous learning and studentship as a way of honoring the depths of the yoga practice and tapping into her fullest self.

Christina’s offerings weave together physical postures, breath awareness, mindfulness, Sanskrit mantra with the harmonium, and yogic philosophy, striking a balance between effort and ease with a focus on cultivating mindful awareness, curiosity, and self-acceptance. She aims to create an inclusive, safe, and non-judgmental space for practitioners to simply be themselves in the moment.

Christina is a 500hr certified yoga teacher and is also the Co-Director of the 200hr Yoga Teacher Training program at Laughing River Yoga.

Eliza Kuchuk

Eliza earned her 200 hour yoga teacher certification through Yoga Vermont. She was first drawn to yoga in college when she noticed it helped ease chronic pain and continued to practice as she found joy in movement and the philosophy. In her classes you can expect a strong vinyasa flow with a focus of tuning into your own experience. Eliza aims to have fun, offer some challenges, and weave yoga philosophy throughout each class so we can bring what we learned on the mat off the mat. Outside of yoga Eliza enjoys hiking, traveling, paddle boarding, art, reading, and finding new ways to adventure in the outdoors.

Emily Souliotis

Emily has been practicing and teaching yoga for five years. She earned her 200 hour teaching certificate through Yoga Vermont in Burlington, and is currently working on her 500 hour certificate. Although Emily loves teaching many styles and levels, her favorite class is a challenging vinyasa! When she’s not teaching, Emily loves spending time with her husband, two little ones, and boxer pup.

Ginger MacDonald

Ginger practices yoga for physical and emotional well-being, greater self-understanding and greater connection to herself and the world. Yoga and mindfulness practices help her be more fully present in a way that’s kind and accepting. Her yoga classes focus on safe-alignment, playfulness, attention to breath and intention, mindful awareness and self-compassion. She loves teaching beginners and making yoga and mindfulness accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities. After completing 200-hr and 300-hr trainings in alignment-based vinyasa flow yoga, Ginger did additional trainings in yoga and mindfulness for children and teens, yoga for people with cancer histories and advanced trauma-sensitive mindfulness. In addition to being a yoga instructor, Ginger is a clinical psychologist. She enjoys time with friends and family, as well as hiking, skiing, paddling, gardening, music, art and reading.

Joanna Dawson

Joanna is a health and movement teacher. Her life’s work is to help people reconnect to their bodies, exploring how mind meets body. Joanna has her MPH, 200hr RYT and worked in fitness for over 10 years from Iowa to San Francisco and now Burlington Vermont. With experience in stunt performance, Joanna values the presence of focus precise movement can teach about our mental selves, and how it can be used to heal. Joanna helps remind you of your best, with how you treat yourself, body, mind and spirit.

In Joanna’s classes expect to unite breath to awareness. focus less on achieving, and more on what proper form the body needs. Move with a healthy future self in mind. As in life, yoga, or any movement – it’s not a ladder to climb up. Let us move every day in honor of our physical form. Joanna looks forward to exploring what that means for herself and her students in every workout she leads!

Jenny Sugar

Jenny Sugar (you can call her Sugar!) took her first yoga class in 1999 and has been teaching ever since. With a background in Ashtanga, her true passion is for Vinyasa-style yoga because of its playful, energetic, fluid, and challenging nature.

Sugar’s vigorous classes use the connection of your breath to your movements to deepen the connection you feel toward others and to the world. You’ll strengthen and open every inch of your body, and are encouraged to move at your own comfort and ability level, to explore new, challenging poses, and above else, to have fun!

Kara Bouchett

Over the past two decades, Kara has devoted herself to wellness, yoga and Ayurvedic studies. Since she began practicing yoga in 2003, Kara has been certified as a Ayurvedic Practitioner and is currently studying to become an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. She has been teaching yoga since 2015 and has led businesses in health and wellness.

Her love for yoga comes from her deep appreciation for the mental and spiritual healing power of a yoga practice. Kara’s yoga classes are strong, and have a focus on breath and mindfulness. She enjoys creating a practice environment for all levels.

Beyond teaching yoga, Kara enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, two boys, and two dogs, and is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Kelsey Reed

Kelsey first came to yoga during high school as a way to prevent injuries from other sports, but she quickly realized the benefits of yoga beyond the physical aspect. The physical movements combined with the breathing techniques have been crucial for her stress management. In the summer of 2018, she decided it was time to learn how to share her passion with others and completed her Yoga Alliance certified 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training through Health Yoga Life in Stratton, VT. Kelsey is also a registered nurse and appreciates using the various aspects of yoga to help her patients achieve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Kerry Fantelli

Kerry Fantelli teaches a vinyasa focused class. When you take class with Kerry, you will be welcomed and challenged. She has a strong alignment focus and incorporates mindfulness practices within her classes. Kerry wants students to find the balance between going beyond their fears and doubts and listening to the needs of their body. Kerry is playful and energetic and her classes often have the same vibration. 

Malaika DosRemedios

Malaika DosRemedios (E-RYT-500, and YACEP) is a full-time teacher of the Tantric Tradition of Hatha Yoga, group fitness instructor and personal trainer in the Burlington, Vermont area during the late spring to mid fall and lives in Key West, FL during the winters. When not in Vermont she is traveling and teaching all over the globe. In the recent years, Malaika has lead Intensive Immersion Teacher Trainings in Bali, Indonesia and clinics for students and teachers in Sydney, Australia.

She enjoys working with communities, inspiring others into their best selves. She is a community partner, and consultant with other yoga communities globally, helping to fine tune their vision and creates collaborative partnerships with other teachers and studios involving yoga retreats, teacher trainings and events throughout the world. Her life is dedicated to this work and she always feels as though it is just beginning. She and her beloved Yellow Lab “Teddy,” who is a certified Therapy Dog of Vermont, like to volunteer in their free time unleashing smiles to folks in need of personal visits.

Marissa Pappalardo

I began my yoga practice as a means of gaining physical strength and flexibility. Years later, I find myself with a deeper understanding of yoga. To me, yoga is a practice of melding together the mind, body and spirit.

After establishing my personal practice, I decided I wanted to share the joy of yoga with others. In 2017 I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training at the University of Vermont. During this experience and thereafter, I’ve sought to expand my understanding of yoga through exploration of the Chakra system and a myriad of traditional Sanskrit Sutras. As a teacher I hope to facilitate a space where students find deep relaxation and connection with their bodies.

Megan Moon

Megan Moon leads dynamic vinyasa flow, offering a fully supported space for students to build their practice safely and freely. She weaves creative asana sequences together with the universal principles of alignment and yoga philosophy to create enriching practices. Megan has embraced many different styles of yoga over the past several decades including Kundalini, Ashtanga, Yin, and Anusara and believes in the power of yoga for healing, health and expansion. Megan received her 200 hour training in Anusara Elements from Tiffany Wood in 2021 and her 500 hour training in alignment based Vinyasa from Honest Yoga in 2018. Megan is also certified in Yin yoga, kids yoga, and hoop dance. Outside of the studio, Megan is a Mom, a DJ, a personal chef, a gardener and a hoop dance teacher.

Noelle Davis

Noelle Davis has practiced yoga for the last 16 years and completed her 200 hour teacher training through Yoga Vermont. Her vinyasa classes focus on being present, listening to the breath as the voice of the body, and having fun. The connection that we all make through breath, movement, and our minds is what inspires Noelle to get on her mat everyday. She believes that through the physical mind we can free the mental mind. Noelle is grateful to be here sharing her love and adventure for yoga, for her teachers who inspire her daily, and most especially for her family, as it is their love that makes living her life blissful.

Paula Palermo

Paula identifies as a teacher. Yoga, art, mindfulness and mathematics both sacred and practical are passions she shares with adults and children alike. Fostering wellness, curiosity and building strength as well as supporting practitioners in developing meaningful and sustainable life-long practices are the goals of her teaching. Expect a mindful practice which integrates breath-body connection, energy, humor and music with Paula.

Rachel Lacourciere

Rachel is a registered yoga teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance and has been practicing yoga for almost 20 years. She currently teaches group classes in a wide variety of venues, as well as privately. Rachel specializes in teaching to the needs of the individual, bringing to SoulShine an energetic vinyasa practice designed to improve each student’s flexibility, strength and overall well-being.

Sarah Quinttus

Sarah was first exposed to yoga in the spring of 2011 and quickly fell in love with the practice and its teachings. Growing up playing competitive sports, Sarah endured several injuries which resulted in 5 reconstructive knee operations. Yoga was the only form of rehabilitation that made a lasting impact, and she attributes her daily practice to being able to remain active outdoors, whether it be skiing, biking, hiking or kayaking. 

Although Yoga started as a mostly physical practice for Sarah, it has grown into a way of life, both on and off the mat, and has become deeply spiritual and healing for her. Through living her yoga she has learned the power of intention, positive thinking and remaining present. In Sarah’s class you can expect to be physically challenged, play with your edge and find space and serenity in the mind. Sarah has been inspired by many wonderful teachers on her path and is excited to share the traditions of this beautiful practice with her own students. Sarah is currently working towards her 1,000hr IAYT certification in Yoga Therapy.

Simone Aliya

In 2011, after years of racing in circles around a track as an All-American runner, Simone arrived at her first Power Yoga class with tight hamstrings and imbalances in her mind and body. She found that the rigorous yoga practice not only stretched and strengthened her body but also offered her focus and a way to channel her intensity without the stress of competing. She received her certification from Corepower in Boulder, Colorado and dug deeper into the practice—going beyond its physical component. Using self-discipline (tapas), self-study (svadhyaya) and contentment (santosha) as the guiding principles of her classes, she instructed athletes all over Bozeman, Montana for eight years and worked to help both herself and her students change how they felt in their bodies and in their lives. In 2017, she completed Gabriella Walter’s Inferno Hot Pilates certification program and began teaching IHP at the local Hot Yoga studio. She’s excited to reconnect with her New England roots, call Burlington her new home and teach at SoulShine. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys writing, painting, mountain running and hiking.

Stacey Sadowsky

Stacey is an avid runner and volunteer running coach who was told by her massage therapist if she didn’t’ find a way to stretch the body, she would not be able to continue running. That comment led her straight to yoga! Though her body calls for a heated, vigorous practice with arm balances and handstands for strength, her passion is teaching beginners who think they can’t “do yoga”. She loves to inspire, encourage and unite through yoga, breath and meditation.

Stacey completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2019 and will graduate with her 300 hour teacher training in January 2021. She is also a certified chair yoga teacher and volunteer teaches at a local senior center. She is also certified in Dharma Wheel and Yin practices.

Tara Mayo

Tara believes in a non-judgmental and all-inclusive environment for students to feel grounded, balanced, and connected to their breath. Her classes focus on strong alignment, safety, empowerment, and connection to oneself. From beginner to experienced practitioner, Tara leads a practice that is well rounded and mindful of each student’s needs.

A student of 20 years, her practice has evolved from purely physical, to the connection with emotion, body awareness, breath, and the intellect. She is also certified in yin yoga, restorative, sound healing, and dharma yoga wheel. Off her mat, Tara can be found running, hiking, and continuing her lifelong journey as a student and lover of all that yoga has to offer.

Ready to Make a Change?

Become a member of the SoulShine Community and get started with your yoga practice.

LOCATIONS

SoulShine Essex
1 Market Pl #16
Essex Junction, VT 05452

SoulShine Downtown Burlington
100 Church Street, 3rd Floor
Burlington, VT 05401

CONTACT US

Essex Studio: (802) 662-4147
Burlington Studio: (802) 540-0192

SoulShinePowerYoga@gmail.com