Behind Align Yoga & Strength

Allison

Founder & Teacher


Here is my story:


Allison has been a fitness enthusiast from a young age. As a child, she watched fitness shows for fun. So, when she got a job as the Business Manager of a gym on the top floor of World Trade Center 3, she was in heaven! After 9/11 Allison suffered from both anxiety and depression. She found solace in a local fitness studio, that offered yoga in the basement and began practicing yoga with an amazing teacher. After experiencing the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that come from a consistent practice, she was hooked.

Soon marriage, family, and a corporate job took center stage, and her practice was put to the side.

In 2009 a herniated disk left her side-lined and unable to walk. At only 31 she was diagnosed with advanced Degenerative Disk Disease and was told she had the spine of a 70-year-old. Fear and anxiety were again center stage, she felt betrayed by her body and feared feeling that pain again. It was paralyzing. Once again, she returned to her yoga practice. Soon after finding an alignment-based yoga studio she signed up for Yoga Teacher Training.

Unfortunately, Allison has had to endure 2 additional back surgeries due to compromised discs and genetics. She has taken everything she has learned from physical therapy, as well as her in depth studies of anatomy and biomechanics and uses it to help others find connection and confidence in their bodies again. In 2020 she began working with yoga teachers in an Advanced 300hr Teacher Training with more trainings to come.

Allison's yoga practice has helped her endure grief, debilitating physical and emotional pain, as well as working through past trauma. She continues to use her mat as a laboratory for exploration, observation, and reflection. It has become a place to come home to herself.

She is E-RYT® 500, YACEP®, she has also Yoga Tune Up Certified instructor as well, and is certified in Restorative Yoga, Kids/Teen Yoga, Yin, and Prenatal Yoga.

Beth White RYT 500

Reiki Master Practicioner

Beth is a RYT-500, completing her 200hr at Tula, and her 300hr at Align Yoga & Strength. Beth turned to fitness after turning 40. Fibromyalgia and Epstein-Barr were taking their toll, and she decided to try to stay mobile. After following a stable and committed fitness routine for several years, her trainer insisted that she needed a weekly rest day, even if it was active...that's where yoga came in. Over time her exploration and commitment to yoga deepened, and she discovered many physical and mental benefits. In addition to fibromyalgia and Epstein-Barr, Beth suffers with sciatica and numerous bulging discs along the spine. She found that yoga helped keep her joints and muscles moving with more ease than they had in years. Over time she also built core strength through her practice, which helped combat her back issues. Beth also suffers with chronic positional vertigo, and has learned how to modify her practice when the vertigo comes to visit. In addition, she has adapted her practice through a knee injury and surgery. It wasn't long before Beth realized she wanted to share all yoga had given her and become a yoga teacher. Beth is also a Reiki Master Teacher, and is passionate about sharing this healing modality with her students and private clients. Reiki, universal energy, can provide both physical and spiritual ease by allowing energy to flow freely through the body. For yoga students and reiki recipients, Beth's hope is that those that participate leave feeling better than when they arrived; body, mind and spirit.

Regan DeBenedetto RYT 500

Regan graduated as a 200 hour RYT in 2018 and immediately fell in love with teaching yoga. She has over a decade of experience in adult education and enjoys sharing her passion for health, wellness and self-care with the community. She incorporates essential oils and yoga philosophy into every practice helping her students get the most out of their class. She works with each individual nurturing not only the physical body but mental and emotional as well. Regan founded RED Heart Yoga, a mobile yoga studio service, in 2019. Through RED Heart Yoga she holds private and group pop-up events to raise money for various charities. She is an enthusiastic volunteer and fundraiser for the American Heart Association and sits on the Executive Leadership Heart Walk Team. When she is off the mat Regan enjoys long distance running as a form of moving meditation and exercise. Regan is continually inspired and passionate to give back to the community all that yoga has given to her.

Monica Campbell RYT 500

Monica began her Yoga journey in 2008 to relieve lower back pain but found yoga to be much more than just stretching. After practicing Yoga for many years and realizing not only the physical benefits but also the mental, she became inspired to pass along her love and gratitude for yoga to others.

Yoga and the instructors that crossed Monica's path have had a positive influence on her, always making her feel amazing inside and out, and guiding her to live in the present moment which she hopes is conveyed in her teachings.

Monica uses the Philosophy of Yoga - uniting mind, body, and spirit - in her classes and creates a light-hearted environment. She believes Yoga is for everyone and incorporates alternatives to poses based on students' strengths and abilities. She continues to be a student and practices yoga and meditation regularly. Monica completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and Meditation Training at Tula Yoga, 75 Hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training which included Pranayama and Mindfulness Meditation at Inlet Yoga, is a White Light Reiki Master Practitioner and is pursuing her 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Align and Strength Yoga (graduating in April 2021). Off the mat, Monica enjoys sewing, knitting, jewelry making, and spending time with her husband and two adult children.

Kaitlin Ward-Persegin RYT 500

Kaitlin has been practicing yoga for over 10 years as a means of fitness but it wasn't until about 6 years ago that she fell in love with the mind-body connection. Eager to learn and deepen her practice, Kaitlin completed her 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher training at Tula Yoga in Aberdeen. Being a mom of three young children, Kaitlin knows well the importance of taking time for yourself and believes it is essential to leading a balanced life. Her classes combine breath and movement for a fun, yet challenging experience. She encourages her students to embrace where they are on their yoga journey and find their own personal edge. Kaitlin hopes you will leave her classes feeling refreshed, centered and energized.

"Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame." B.K.S. Iyengar

Theresa Eckert - Pilates & TRX Instructor

Theresa Eckert is trained as a nurse and worked in Massachusetts. Moving back to NJ to raise a family, she practiced Orthopedic rehab nursing. Always interested in health and fitness, she became certified as a nutritional/diabetic counselor. After suffering a back injury, she found Pilates. Quickly falling in love with the practice, she decided to change course and became comprehensively certified for all methods of Pilates. She has over 850 hours of Pilates training including special populations and touch. Theresa enjoys bringing core strength and flexibility to her clients. "Pilates is perfect for every BODY." She loves to encourage and empower her class pushing them to work and learn their body, always with a joke or smile .

Stacy Joyce RYT 500

Stacy took her first yoga class in 1996, which was two years after having a spinal fusion surgery to stop the rapid progression of her scoliotic curves. She was instantly drawn to the practice, and attracted to the idea of doing a physical activity that left her feeling replenished, instead of depleted.

Stacy completed Yoga Works 500-hour teacher training. During the course of yoga teacher training, she found her teaching interests drawn to teaching students, who like herself, didn't fit into the one-size-fits-all yoga class. Her intention is to teach her students how to appreciate their bodies while accepting its boundaries. She is humbled by the teachers who have influenced her study, and aspires to share that gift with others.

Michelle Scheps RYT 500

Michelle is a local elementary school teacher who is passionate about her career, and loves serving the community where she lives. She came to yoga as a way to stretch and lengthen her muscles after intense workouts left her wondering if she would someday lose the ability to touch her toes. Having danced all through childhood, losing flexibility was not an option. For a long time yoga was a physical release of the tension in her body from pushing hard with weights and cycling. When Michelle's marriage ended, she found the spiritual side of yoga nourishing and empowering as she sought out on a new path in life. This path led Michelle to complete her 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2018, and she is currently working toward her 500 hour YTT certification. Michelle's classes are for all levels and, just like in her classroom, she aims to reach all yogi's on their mat, physically or spiritually.

Michelle Ungano RYT 200

Michelle became committed to fitness after raising her five children over 8 years ago. After diving into the group fitness world and developing plantar fasciitis, she found a love for barefoot classes. Yoga and barre were her go to classes. Her journey to teach started with barre, but quickly realized that yoga was what she needed to dive into. Michelle graduated from Seed of Life Yoga NJ 200 RYT, registered through Yoga Alliance in February 2019 at Robert Wood Johnson Fitness & Wellness Center in Old Bridge, NJ.

Michelle believes that self-care is vital to be a healthy and happy person. She strives to set an example of a compassionate & strong woman, and is grateful to guide students to enjoy & embrace their journey, wherever that may be for them. Michelle enjoys practicing and teaching different styles of yoga to make her classes fun, challenging, adaptable, safe and thoughtful. She wants everyone to know the beauty of yoga, whether they're a child, teenager, young adult, adult or senior, ANY BODY can benefit from the mind and body connection that yoga offers.