Meet Our Co-Op Instructors



As owner of the business, Mary-Ellen is also a yoga instructor. (Refer to Home page to see her credentials) Her tranquil personality is such an asset to this environment, putting all at ease from the beginning. She offers classes in Chair Yoga, Intro to Aerial Yoga and Intro/Gentle Yoga Flow. (See Schedule)

Mary-Ellen can be reached at:


Heather is a mom of two little ones, a families/pre-postnatal health coach and certified children’s yoga & mindfulness teacher. Her classes are engaging and interactive!

The benefits of children’s yoga and mindfulness are: increase self awareness and confidence, improved social and emotional skills, improved focus and concentration, and skills to manage stress and anxiety.

She believes that mind body movement/work is the key to well balanced children.
In good Health – Heather

Heather is currently working by appointment only. Heather can be reached at:

TREE OF WISHES – Valerie Raggio

Valerie has been taking YOGA classes since the mid 70’s. She has found Yoga, a means of creating balance, and peace in her life as well as helping to build strength and recovery from a herniated disc. Valerie is a LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social worker, and has worked as a social worker for over 30 years. Sharing the healing power of yoga with clients and colleagues has provided so much joy and inspiration. Her heart is in teaching folks the importance of self -soothing with active relaxation, with gentle yoga, restorative classes with YOGA NIDRA. Restorative yoga helps us to enhance our capacity to regulate our stress response and rebalance our nervous system.

After her initial certification with YOGA FIT in 2011, she offered free gentle yoga classes for colleagues at The Institute of Living from 2011 to 2019. In the Fall of 2018, Valerie completed YOGA teacher training at Sacred Rivers in East Hartford, and is a RYT 200. Valerie has been teaching Yoga for the past three years at South Congregational Church in Granby, CT. and as a sub at Roots, Yoga in Tarrifville, CT. She is thrilled to join Maryellen Sutton/Cheemah on South Main Middletown, Yoga Coop. When Valerie is not working or doing yoga, she is hiking with her dogs and spouse, riding her bike with friends, and yes you will see her doing YOGA on mountain tops.

“Difficult roads can lead to beautiful destinations. One Simple step at a time. One breath at a time.”

Valerie brings to the studio her expertise and energy to the All Levels and Intro/Gentle Flow Yoga Classes. Valerie is currently working by appointment only.

Valerie can be reached at:

UNPLUG YOGA – Colleen Green

Colleen’s passion for teaching Yoga started when she began working as a Recreational Therapist in Behavioral Health and Substance use. After noticing the benefits of introducing Yoga to clients that were struggling with their mental health, chronic drug use, lack of healthy coping skills and self-care her love for Yoga grew. Instilling confidence, strength and patience through Yoga is her goal by giving individuals the opportunity to be present in their body through Yoga poses & breath work. She lives’ an active lifestyle that includes hiking with her Dog-Brady, carrying water jugs & baseball equipment to baseball fields for her two sons, and utilizing fitness as a self-care outlet. A body in motion is a healthy body.

Colleen brings to the studio the Yoga Sculpt class. Colleen is currently working by appointment only. Colleen can be reached at:


Nicola Manjeet Shanti DiBenedetto

Nicola has been practicing yoga and meditation since she was 24. in 2018 she received her Kundalini Yoga and SuperHealth: Yogic Science for Addictive Behaviors Certifications. Since then she has been practicing and teaching locally. She is devoted to her practice and sharing her knowledge and healing qualities. She regularly attends workshops and/or courses led by seasoned teacher in Kundalini Yoga including Guru Singh, Shakta, Mukta and Guru Jagat.

As a Kundalini Yoga teacher, Nicola shares the authentic teachings and wisdom from India. Through intention, pranayama and meditation, students leave her yoga class feeling relaxed and refreshed. Her classes will challenge you both physically and mentally while being varied for all levels. Kundalini yoga classes include movement, mantra and breathing with demonstration and no hands-on assistance.

Nicola is a full-time K-12 Special Education teacher. She earned her certification for Radiant Child Yoga and Yoga for Children with ADHD and Those Differently Abled in 2019. By implementing her practices in the classroom, she has gained a level of comfort teaching all children breathing and calming techniques.

In her personal practice, Nicola is a guide and facilitator for her own healing and spiritual growth. She believes there is more than one way to process and clear karmic energy. Because of that she regularly uses yoga, meditation, Reiki, singing bowls and Shamanic teachings to support her. Nicola can be reached at:


Iliana has done exercises all her life but found Yoga to be her passion. After experiencing back and neck issues, she found release through the use of a fitness inversion-suspension equipment known as a Yoga Trapeze (r). This lead her to become a certified teacher in Yoga Trapeze (r) and Breath Coaching (r). She is now working on her certification in the Science of Stretching-Gravity Yoga.

Iliana’s classes use the principals of YOGABODY a fitness-based approach to develop strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and release of back tension and stress management.

This four week Yoga Trapeze Series is a different and fun practice to train your body, soul and mind. You will feel immediate benefits and recognize a quick progression in this full body workout. Iliana is available for group and individual sessions. Illiana can be reached at:

Check out our instructors FACEBOOK pages