• Faculty


    Sandra Kopell, E-RYT Yoga Alliance, MALS, Studio Director, began the Yoga in Middletown program in 1991. She is a graduate of the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Center of Greater Boston Teacher Training Program where she studied with Patricia Walden and Peentz Dubble, and has been a teaching assistant to the latter. Her teaching is informed by four decades immersion in movement and mind/body studies that include the practice and teaching of yoga, modern dance, choreography, dance improvisation, anatomy and kinesiology. She holds a post-graduate degree in Dance and Movement Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
    She is a former adjunct instructor of movement/dance/kinesiology topics at Eastern Connecticut State University. She has also taught yoga to children at area public schools, and for groups as varied as the Wesleyan University Men’s Lacrosse Team, employees of Middle Oak Insurance Company, and employess of Connecticut State Department of Social Services. She has trained new Yoga Instructors according to Yoga Alliance Standards, and is known for her innovative sequencing. She continues to study the Iyengar method.

    Madeleine Hexter, Certified Iyengar Instructor, RYT-500 Yoga Alliance, is a graduate of The Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco‘s two year, 500 hour teacher training program, and has been teaching yoga since 2002
    Madeleine is experienced in teaching students with chronic back pain and scoliosis. She apprenticed with Senior Iyengar yoga teacher Elise Miller, a renowned expert in yoga for back care and scoliosis, and she has completed the requirements to become an Elise Browning Miller Yoga For Scoliosis Trainer. Presently, she is a student of senior Iyengar instructor Patricia Walden . Madeleine brings 30 years of personal yoga practice to her teaching. Her alignment oriented sequences will gently guide you to connect mind, body and breath. Visit her website at www.mhyoga.net

    Amy Tate, M.Ed., RYT Yoga Alliance, PhD Lesley University, has seventeen years experience of hatha-yoga practice, and has been teaching yoga since 2004.She has taught children and adults in various settings in the greater Boston community and in Connecticut including Lesley University, Wesleyan University, Franciscan Hospital for Children, and the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center. She holds a Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health certification, and is currently immersed in the Iyengar method. Amy’s teaching is informed by her present studies with Patricia Walden and other Iyengar yoga teachers. Amy’s doctoral thesis is: Yoga for Women: Discourses of Gender and Health among Menstruating and Pregnant Iyengar Yoga Practitioners

    Sheila Bunnell, Certified Iyengar Instructor is a guest teacher at Yoga in Middletown where she began her yoga studies in 1998. She trained to teach yoga with Joan White, one of Iyengar Yoga’s senior teachers, and with whom she is currently enrolled in the next level of the Iyengar teacher training program.

    Paola Maina, Yoga Alliance RYT. has been a student of Iyengar yoga since 2001, and is a 2008 graduate of the Yoga in Middletown Teacher Training Program.
    She has been a public school teacher in CT since 1997 and is the mother of two young children.

    Julie Carrion began practicing yoga as an undergraduate at Wesleyan University two decades ago and was certified to teach in Austin, Texas at Yoga Yoga studios in 2002. After completing the 200 hours required to be registered with Yoga Alliance, she continued to train with national teachers hosted by the studio chain such as Donna Farhi, Gary Kraftsow, Christina Sell, and Manju Jois. She managed two studio locations and served on the Yoga Yoga Teacher Training faculty, which was led by Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher Jessica Montgomery.  She moved back to Middletown in 2007 and began practicing with Sandra while she was pregnant with her second child. She taught a postnatal class at Yoga in Middletown after the birth of that baby, and is happy to return to the studio again to practice and teach

    Brigitta Zimmer, Yoga Alliance RYT, began practicing yoga in 1985. She graduated from Sacred Rivers Yoga Teacher Training Program and continues her studies there. Since 2008 she has been teaching at The YMCA of Greater Middlesex County and at many area studios and fitness centers. She teaches with lightheartedness
    and from her personal experience of the transformative effects or regular yoga practice.


    Rikki Alrutz holds degrees in Standing Pilates from the PhysicalMind Institute, and Matt, Reformer and Orbit Pilates from Balanced Body University. After playing professional tennis and suffering a career-ending injury, Rikki turned to Pilates and Yoga rather than to surgical procedures to recover.  Melding her earlier career with her current one, she creates sport-specific therapeutic movement programs. Rikki is also certified in The Franklin Method, a system that  incorporates he practical elements of body design and mind/body connection through imagery, experiential anatomy, movement, and touch. Her yoga certifcations come from the Zephir Yoga Teaching Training in Paris, France, accredited by the French Federation of Hatha Yoga, and the Sri Aurobindo Yoga Ashram in India.
    Rikki has taught internationally to all ages and levels since 1998.