Teresa Dornellas is the owner of Studio 108 and has been teaching yoga for almost 10 years. Her focus is physical, emotional, and spiritual balance and she strives to help people reconnect with their true selves. Teresa’s class schedule is here.
1. How did you get started with Yoga?
My very first class was in Manhattan almost 20 years ago. Someone I met suggested I tried, I went to one class, loved it but took me years to go back. Then I found Kripalu and would go there every now and then for RR weekends. Years later, I became a member of Female Fitness in Rutherford and started to take Carrie Parker’s classes there, that’s when I decide to practice regularly.
2. What got you hooked?
The sense of calmness that I felt after each class. It didn’t matter the style or how hard or easy the class was. The common thread was a feeling of peace like I was finally getting the piece that was missing in the puzzle of my life.
3. What’s one of your favorite poses/ moves and why?
I love backbends because they are so beautiful and give us an opportunity to open our hearts. When I teach lots of backbends in my class, I remind people that they are safe, secure, grounded, so it’s OK to open their hearts.
4. What makes a private studio different/better than a yoga class at the gym?
I used to practice at a gym and that led me to commit to Yoga and join a studio. I also taught Yoga at LA Fitness for a year, and it was an amazing experience. However, there’s nothing like a studio setting. It’s a quieter, more focused environment. We usually have a lot of props, which can help people get deeper into poses, or support themselves in other ways. Also, studios normally offer several different styles of Yoga and we divide them into levels so beginners can feel supported in their discovery and intermediate/ advanced practitioners can feel challenged.
5. For someone who’s never tried Yoga before, what are the main benefits they may gain from practicing it?
Increased strength and flexibility, increased lung capacity, a sense of peace and calm, better relationships due to the tools we learn in our practice.
6. What styles of Yoga do you teach? Besides the style you teach, is there any other you enjoy?
I teach Vinyasa Yoga and Gentle Yoga. I am also certified in Mat Pilates. I also enjoy Kundalini, Restorative and Yin Yoga.
7. Do you do anything else to stay in shape?
Yes, I take the BootyBarre class every Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. and try to make the Monday7:45 p.m. Pilates class, Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Mixed Level class and Sunday 9:45 a.m. Restorative class whenever possible. I also walk A LOT!
8. Who inspires you to stay motivated? How often do you practice when you are not teaching?
My students inspire me. I practice about 3-4 times a week.
9. How seriously do you take nutrition?
Very. I am a health nut.
10. What’s an interesting fact about yourself that others may not know?
Even though I am not Jewish, I lived in Israel for over a year and learned some Hebrew. I still have very good friends in that country, would love to visit again soon.
11. Please tell us more about the classes you teach at Studio 108.
I teach a Vinyasa I class on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. It’s a class open to beginners, where we review the basic alignment points and try to create a challenging flow to get our hearts pumping, followed by deep relaxation. On Sundays at 8:30 a.m., I teach a class called Stretch & Release. It’s open to all levels and it’s a gentle class with lots of stretches, some core and balance poses. We use the exercise balls and foam rollers often to release deep-seated tension and help our muscles to open up.