Meet Our Staff
Owner Susan Friendson
Susan Friendson loved Santosha the first time she stepped into the space. She has studied various dimensions of spirituality for decades and knew right away that Santosha held and radiated a calming and nourishing light. Her goals in the studio are to sustain that light and to joyfully welcome the light of others when they connect with the Santosha community.
Owner Tara Kelley
Tara has been working in the private sector for many years as bookkeeper and financial controller. With a desire to learn something new, she began practicing yoga in 2007 and knew after her very first yoga class at Santosha that yoga would change her life for the better. And it has. When the opportunity to take over as co-owner of Santosha presented itself she knew that to be a part of something that had taught her so much would be an honor and a blessing.
Owner Beth Sherman
Beth thought that she had died and gone to heaven when she found Santosha, around the same time as Tara and Susan. The spiritual quest, and the desire to deepen and expand in that journey, has been at the heart of who she is. Beth hopes that the wide and gracious spiritual container that Santosha provides will attract more and more people to the principles and the healing power of yoga.
Heather (Indu) Eilering
Former Owner-Founder, Santosha Yoga Studio
Heather’s lifelong dream to run a yoga and holistic center came true when she opened Santosha Yoga Studio & Holistic Center in June of 2006. Currently Heather is working at the Amrit Yoga Institute while completing her book, “The AAA’s: Freeing the Mind from Conflict”. Heather is a 500 hr. Yoga Instructor. She has been practicing yoga since 2002. Heather made the transition to Amrit Yoga in 2004 when she moved from Chicago to RI. Trained by Yogi Amrit Desai and the senior teachers at the Amrit Institute, in addition to receiving her 500 hour Yoga Teacher certification, Heather has also acquired her Amrit Yoga Nidra certification.
Melissa (Nitya) Walsh
Amrit Yoga Teacher and Co-Founder of Santosha Yoga Studio
As co-founder of Santosha Yoga Studio, Nitya feels that she is truly following her passion. After completing her Massage Therapy training at Ahern’s Massage School in Mariposa, California in 2003, she realized that she had been introduced to the beginning of the rest of her life. Working with people was something that came very naturally to her, and becoming a Massage Therapist seemed to be a perfect fit.
Beth Kiley-Kinder (Sat Siri Kaur)
Kundalini Yoga Teacher
Sat Siri Kaur brings to her teaching over thirty-five years of hatha yoga and vipassna meditation practice; however, it was her experience with Kundalini Yoga that inspired her to become a teacher. Sat Siri Kaur is an IKYTA and KRI certified Kundalini Yoga teacher with over seven years of teaching experience.
Kavita Lori Richardson
Amrit Yoga Teacher
Kavita Lori Richardson (PTA, CYAT, AYNF) is a long time student of yoga and movement exploration. She regards the movement of the body intrinsic to the releasing of emotional blockages within the psyche, freeing the mind for a deeper meditative experience. Her interests are wide and varied, having explored various paths of movement including: Pilates, & Belly dance, and diverse paths of yoga such as Vini yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa and Kundalini yoga. Continue Reading…
Amrit Yoga Teacher
After many years of practicing yoga, Joanne completed Amrit Level I teacher training in 2009 and became a Yoga Nidra facilitator in 2011. With her relaxed and nurturing teaching style she assists students on their journey toward integration of body, mind, heart and soul. Her goal is to transform the world, one yoga class at a time!
Forrest Yoga Teacher
Kristen has been practicing yoga since 2001. All of her life she has studied the art of physical movement through various dance forms. She earned her BFA in Dance Education and Performance from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. Continuing her education, she earned her BS in Physical Education and MS in Exercise Science from the University of Rhode Island. Continue Reading…
Karina Lutz is a workshop leader, poet, yoga teacher, and sustainable energy consultant. She has been involved in sustainable energy issues since 1988, most recently as Deputy Director of People’s Power & Light, a social entrepreneurial nonprofit energy consumers’ alliance with a mission to make energy affordable and environmentally sustainable. Continue Reading…
April O’Malley (Karambir Kaur)
Kundalini Yoga Teacher
April has been practicing Kundalini yoga since 2004. Ever since she walked into her first class she noticed the transformative effect this ancient form of yoga had on her life. Her love for Kundalini yoga led her to become a teacher. April is an IKYTA certified Kundalini yoga teacher completing her training at the Baba Siri Chand Ashram in Millis, MA with Hari Kaur Khalsa.
Jaya Jennifer Buckland
Amrit Yoga Teacher
A student of the Amrit Method® of Yoga for the past 6 years, Jaya is a former addiction counselor and currently serves as a non-profit administrator. Jaya’s heart is in helping people meet themselves where they are, both in life and on the yoga mat. She brings a fine-tuned sensitivity, tenacious sense of humor and unwavering kindness to her teaching, creating a safe and loving environment where students can engage in deep personal exploration. Jaya’s passion is bringing the teachings of yoga to people who may not see themselves as typical yoga students through workshops like “Yoga for Large Bodies” and “Yoga for Addiction.”
Amrit Yoga Teacher
Kathleen has been studying and teaching yoga for many years. The focus of her practice is integration; developing the capacity to allow for all that is. Through chanting, pranayama, asana and yoga nidra, we come to a place where the ebb and flow of daily life is as acceptable as the tidal movement of the sea.
Amrit Yoga Teacher, Yoga Nidra Facilitator
Shelly left the stress of Corporate America in 2007 when she was diagnosed with Invasive Breast Cancer. Her passion for yoga began during her treatment process while taking yoga classes for Breast Cancer Survivors. That is when she met her Angel, Heather Indu Eilering, Yoga Instructor, Friend and Mentor from Santosha Yoga Studio. Shelly loved the energy of the Santosha Community so much that she began performing selfless service at the studio two days per week and hasn’t looked back.
Janie (Ganga) Fronek
Amrit Yoga Teacher and Community Outreach Liaison
Janie teaches privately, has two weekly classes at Santosha on Wednesdays [http://yogaatsantosha.com/classes/schedule/], and loves leading workshops. She is a certified Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT500). She completed her Amrit Level 1 Teacher Training at Santosha and Amrit Level 2 Training at the Amrit Yoga Institute. Continue Reading…
Carly stepped into her first yoga class at Santosha Yoga Studio in 2007. She stepped out recognizing from deep inside that she had found a very special place there, and the feeling of an ignited connection to her own body. That heart recognition grew into a practice, and a continually evolving transformative experience. She completed a 200 hour Level 1 Amrit Yoga Teacher Training at Santosha in 2013. Continue Reading…
Jo-Ann has been studying Yoga for about ten years. Guided by a deep spiritual connection with the practice, she found Santosha in November of 2012. It was there she was introduced to the Armrit method of Yoga. In her heart, she always knew she wanted to teach so when the opportunity to study came along, she jumped right in. Continue Reading…
Rebecca Macri (Karampal Kaur)
Kundalini Yoga Teacher
Rebecca has been practicing yoga since 2001. She first experienced Kundalini Yoga in 2012, when a series of serendipitous events lead her to Santosha and her teacher, Sat Siri Kaur. The profound healing she experienced through Sat Siri’s classes lead her to deepen her practice through daily sadhana and teacher training in 2014. Continue Reading…
Sharon is a Master’s level Rehabilitation Counselor, AAMET Certified EFT Practitioner and Intuitive Healer providing Counseling for over 20 years. She is a teacher in healthy living and moving forward for teenagers and adults. Her Counseling experience specializes in assisting individuals with disabilities along with Holistic Counseling, Mindful Eating, Career development and transition, Positive thinking and living in love. Continue Reading…
Amrit Yoga found Sara through her spiritual journey. She was not even practicing yoga at the time she signed up for 200-hour Amrit Level 1 Teacher Training in January 2013. The teacher training experience was life-changing and the development of her personal practice continues to be transformative. She’s come to understand that teaching is part of her path and a way to share the many blessings Amrit Yoga has brought into her life. Continue Reading…
Katherine has practiced Amrit and Kundalini Yoga since the year 2008. One of the biggest breakthroughs in her practice and personal life happened when she received the transmission of the Incan Munay-Ki Shamanic Rites of the Laika in 2011. After this breakthrough the veil of her inner wisdom and intuitive gifts began to lift, but it was at the Amrit Level I teacher training in the year 2013 that her path as a yogi and her true essence began to emerge. These important Continue Reading…
Trained in The Amrit Method of yoga, Jessica uses specific sequencing in combination with meditation throughout every class to ensure that all participants have the invitation to practice relaxing with what is, however it is showing up in that moment. She is trained and is well adept to reach all people, no matter their ability or their experience level.
In addition to her 250 hour training with the Amrit Yoga Institute she holds a certificate in pre-natal yoga from Finding Inner Peace Yoga School. She was also trained in the Level 1 part 1 of The Veterans Yoga Project, Therapeutic Yoga for Trauma recovery and Resiliency in addition she is trained n in Yoga Therapy.
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