Sarah Orlowicz is known for creating a comfortable space for her students and focusing on gentle movement and deep relaxation for rebalancing the nervous system and releasing stress. She teaches Restorative Yoga weekly on Sunday at 9:45 a.m. and Wednesday at 6 p.m.

1.     How did you get started with yoga?
I was reading a book about someone who was going through a similarly difficult time in her life as I was, and that’s what inspired me to try yoga. I never looked back. 

2.     What got you hooked?
My first teacher was very down to earth and inspiring. She taught at the perfect physical level (just enough of a challenge) for me and always related yoga philosophies to everyday life. Her name was Teresa Dornellas! There was also a really sweet community at the studio that I had joined.


3.     What’s one of your favorite poses/ moves and why?
Any restorative pose!

4.     What makes a private studio different/better than a yoga class at the gym?
At a studio, there’s the opportunity to create relationships with teachers and other students more so than at a gym. Also, it’s more likely that some philosophy and spiritual aspects of yoga are integrated into classes, which is appreciated by a lot of people… even those who start out coming just for the workout! There is also an opportunity to experience different types of yoga that may not be available at a gym, like restorative, yoga nidra, kirtan, and special workshops.

5.     For someone who’s never tried yoga before, what are the main benefits they may gain from practicing it?
So so much! “Body, Mind, Spirit” is not just a cliché.

6.     What styles of yoga do you teach? Besides the style you teach, is there any other you enjoy?
I teach mostly restorative yoga, but also have a background in vinyasa. I enjoy both of those, as well as an occasional class in any other style. I also very often practice a vinyasa-based style of yoga that works directly with the lymphatic system. Exploring and being open to different styles and teachers has been an important part of my yoga journey. 

7.     Do you do anything else to stay in shape?
I walk the dog a lot… love to hike, play volleyball, and bicycle. I’m not a big fan of “working out” in the traditional sense… I like to play!

8.     Who inspires you to stay motivated? How often do you practice when you are not teaching?
I’m so inspired by my teachers, especially Jillian Pransky, and all of my yoga teacher friends that I’ve trained with and met along my journey. I practice (mostly) daily… even if I don’t make it to a class or get a full practice in, I almost always set aside at least 20 minutes for some sort of yoga – sometimes a meditation, a restorative pose, playing my Tibetan bowls, or a short movement practice.

9.  How seriously do you take nutrition?
I’ve noticed over the last few years, how much food affects my body in every way every day. Nutrition is definitely a big part of my life. Finding the foods that negatively affect you and cutting them out, can make a huge difference in one’s day to day life. Huge! It’s worth thinking about… diet can have a very significant effect on every aspect of one’s health!

10.  What’s an interesting fact about yourself that others may not know?
I’m an artist at heart… I went to school for art, and my home yoga/art studio is one of my favorite spaces to be in. I try to “create” often… It’s very meditative, and I consider it a healing practice as much as yoga. I’m also a professional graphic designer/creative director. 

11. Please tell us more about the class you teach at Studio 108.
I teach restorative yoga twice a week at Studio 108. We are lucky to have a plethora of props to “play” with, and a beautiful, warm, safe space that encourages relaxation. Restorative yoga is geared toward making a shift in the nervous system. With the stresses of everyday life, we tend to get stuck in the “stress response.”

Restorative yoga guides us to release tension from the body and allow our autonomic nervous system to shift into the “relaxation response.” The more this practice is done, that more easily we are able to find a place of contentment in our everyday lives. It can be a treat, but is also a legitimate practice for many positive shifts in all aspects of health and wellness! It’s not a lazy practice, as some people assume, and can be more difficult than a challenging vinyasa class. Restorative yoga is something everyone should try, and most people can benefit from doing regularly!

Theresa Conlon

Theresa is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor (200-hour RYT) who has been teaching since 2013. She is skilled in various yoga styles including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, and Meditation. Theresa also brings an extensive dance background to her yoga practice, which includes teaching both modern dance and ballet. She has over 40 years of dance/theater performing experience and currently showcases her choreography as part of Bergen Dance Makers, a dance collective in northern New Jersey. Theresa’s yoga classes offer a calming mix of traditional asana postures and creative movement flows, supported by energy-moving breath. Students of all skill levels are invited to find ease and peace in their bodies/minds/spirits through the joyful bliss of yoga movement.

Carrie Parker Gastelu

Carrie Parker Gastelu, E-500 RYT, has been teaching yoga since 1993. Carrie began her journey when Yogi Raj Mani Finger initiated Carrie into the ISHTA Yoga lineage after training with Mani’s son, Yogi Raj Alan Finger. In addition, she has studied many other yoga traditions as well as anatomy, physiology, movement, and awareness practices to create an eclectic style all her own. She is known for her honest, non-dogmatic yet passionate approach.

Carrie is a regular speaker and contributor at conferences, websites, and print publications and has been featured in Fit Magazine, the Yoga Zone Book, and in the Yoga Zone Video, “Flexibility and Stress Release.”

Lisa Podesta-Coombs

When Lisa found yoga in 2008, she started to find herself again and it set her on a path of health and healing. She received her 200HR RYT certification from Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis, and her 30HR Chakra Yoga Teacher Training certificate with Anodea Judith and holds a Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) certification. She is also a Holistic Health Coach (certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Lisa believes we’re all on a journey of learning how to trust ourselves; she helps her clients build that trust by supporting them in creating better habits for a better life through various functional movement modalities like yoga, barre, Pilates & strength training, mindset, and whole food nutrition.

Forever a student with a passion for people, holistic health, and self-actualization, Lisa is always embracing opportunities to advance her education to better serve; Ayurveda workshops & immersions have been of particular interest as she continues to deepen her knowledge of and experience with food as medicine and she recently completed Unleash Her Power Within, a transformational program of rediscovering our truest selves, powered by Tony Robbins.  

As she continues to give herself space and grace to nourish her natural self and actualize her potential, Lisa continues to share the gift of movement as medicine to inspire authenticity & health in body, mind, and spirit. You can expect mindful, accessible, dynamic, playful, and uplifting classes from Lisa.

Tanisha Sutton

Tanisha’s yoga journey began when she was an undergraduate student studying at university. Changes in her health coupled with anxiety over grades, relationships, and life in general, forced her to search for healthy lifestyle choices she could implement to help manage the stress that she was experiencing as a new adult. A friend of hers suggested that she attend some community yoga classes to help with the anxiety and increase her daily physical activity. Initially, she was reluctant and filled with all these false ideas about yoga and the people who practiced yoga. Like many others, she was concerned that her body type and lack of flexibility automatically excluded her from being a student. Curiously yet hesitantly, she journeyed on to her first class and began laying the foundation for a home and public practice that has supported her over the years.

On this journey, she has discovered that yoga has nothing to do with appearances nor is there anything, but an open mind needed to begin. She intends to provide you with a gentle yoga session that is safe, inclusive, and accessible. Her classes are an expression of self-love and are a deliberate choice to tend to ALL the parts of our being that are neglected, ignored, or disregarded during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Through meditation, deep breathing, and gentle movement we will collectively share space to observe, rest and re-set. Tanisha is honored to share her practice with you and looks forward to seeing you on the mat!