Meet Our Co-Op Instructors


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


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.”

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. (See Schedule) This is Yoga and a burst of Cardio/Hiit Combo class beginning with a Sun Salutation flow to warm up, followed by a 20-minute Cardio workout and ending with our Yoga cool-down.


Nicola Manjeet Shanti DiBenedetto

A warm welcome to Nicola Manjeet Shanti DiBenedetto.

She will be instructing Kundalini Yoga classes. (See schedule).

This is a high energy class combining elements of Reiki, Kundalini Yoga and Pranayama to balance the Body, Mind and Spirit.