meet our teachers
Jen Ryan (RYT 200, Reiki I, Owner)
Jen opened The Yoga Loft in Wilmington in October of 2005. Jen was born and raised in Wilmington and she wanted to create a fun, friendly place for people in the community to come and practice. She started practicing in the early 90's while living in California and was immediately 'hooked'. After finishing up graduate programs in CA, she decided to move back ‘home’ and teach here.
Eventually she chose to dedicate herself to studying and practicing yoga full time. She trained and studied the Ashtanga practice and continues to study and practice daily. Jen has studied with local and national master teachers; and continues to deepen her practice and understanding. She believes that one must continue to learn, practice and study on their own before being able to teach others; and she believes that discipline should continue in order to be a better teacher. She shares this belief and dedication with her amazing teachers in training in The Yoga Loft RYT program. She hopes that you can support them during the Community Classes that they teach.
She started giving free community classes at the local elementary school and began teaching in studios all over Boston and the Merrimack Valley. Finally she decided to open The Yoga Loft and bring the practice home to Wilmington. Besides the daily class offering and teacher training, she runs workshops and specialty classes and works with local and national charities to host fund raisers. The Yoga Loft continues to offer Community classes and give back to the local communities with the donations.
Jen loves anything to do with movement and loves to “mix it up” and cross train. She is also certified to teach Broga, Schwinn Cycling, FXP Hula Hoop, Balanced Athlete and group fitness. Her classes tend to combine elements of other movement styles to create a unique, challenging and fun flow!
If she isn’t teaching Yoga or English she is probably hanging with the boys, Levi and Bill, who offer lots of encouragement and inspiration!
Becky Tache-Gabryjelski (RYT 200)
Becky first found yoga as a compliment to her daily exercise routine. Although instantly drawn to its strength, grace, and beauty, she was not completely convinced it was right for her. That all quickly changed during the first practice when she was able to be completely present. Her mat instantly felt like home. After that one practice, she began to seek out local studios and teachers that gave her much inspiration. She found a home at The Yogaloft with Jen Ryan and her amazing community of yogis. After a few years of consistent practice, Becky sought to deepen her understanding of yoga by completing a 200 hour YTT with Jen Ryan and Nicole Grant at the Yoga Loft. Having a background in education and nursing, Becky was compelled to share her knowledge and love of the practice by leading others on their mats. You may expect a blend of juicy slow flow movements, strength, and solid alignment principles coupled with a light-hearted vibe in any of her classes. She believes in starting from where you are and building purposeful, intelligent sequences for all levels to enjoy. Becky is forever grateful to Jen Ryan and the Yogaloft community of teachers and students for their acceptance, loving-kindness, and guidance throughout the years. She hopes to continue learning and sharing so we may all “dance in our light” for many years to come.
Nicole Brezinski (RYT 500)
Nicole was first drawn to this ancient practice by its beauty, grace and the overall centering it provided. She soon realized that it was the emotional and spiritual balance that drew her back, day after day. She was hooked. The mind-body connection that her mat provided inspired her to teach others. Her intention is to help spread that sense of peace and overall physical and mental well-being to her students. Her thoughtful classes are always creative, blending an intelligent sequence of poses that can be modified for any level. Together with her sense of fun, she gently and safely encourages others to discover the joy of yoga through the conscious integration of breath and movement while inspiring others to seek deeper and reach higher.
Greg McGowan (RYT 500, Ashtanga Certified, Yin Certified)
As far as Greg is concerned he is still relatively new to yoga he is continually surprised and motivated by the intense physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of practicing yoga. Sharing these benefits with beginners and experienced yogis alike fuels his passion for teaching. Since his first yoga encounter, Greg has filled his time with classes from more than a dozen local studios. He continues to soak up as much instruction as time permits and from as many different teachers as he can. Greg has been certified to teach Ashtanga yoga by the great David Swenson, and Yin Yoga from our local guru Josh Summers, he is also Anusara inspired certified by the one and only Marc St. Pierre. Although he continues to lean toward Ashtanga, Greg pursues his interest in those styles and many other forms of yoga including, but not limited to, PranaVayu and Forrest. A variety of styles influence his instruction, keeping his classes fresh and challenging. He has studied with Desiree Rumbaugh, Shiva Rea, Richard Freeman, Tias Little, Anna Forrest, Natasha Rizopoulos, and Dominic Corigliano just to name a few! Greg is a RYT certified through the Yoga Loft with the dynamic Jen Ryan and continues to assist her in her teacher training programs. He has graduated with a BS in psychology and sociology. He also has a background in martial arts and is a certified CPR Instructor. His calm demeanor and sense of humor can be found in all of his classes.
Bill Drury (RYT 500)
A long time practitioner of Hatha yoga, Bill began practicing in 1980 learning a variety of poses from yoga manuals. This self taught approach allowed him to develop a disciplined connection to his practice, enabling him to explore the boundaries of his physical abilities. But the desire to deepen his practice led him to seek out formal training. Within the first two classes he knew he'd found the right teacher in Jen Ryan. Her basis in Ashtanga yoga and her creative style were a perfect match for Bill's unique blend of strength and flexibility. Bill continues to develop his teaching skills currently completing his 500 hour certification with Natasha Rizopolus at Down Under Yoga and has completed an Ashtanga mentorship with Kate O'Donnell of AyurvedaBoston.com. Bill graduated with a BS in Computer Science and currently is a Director of Product Management in North Andover. Check out Bill on Instagram http://instagram.com/drogodrury
Stephanie Noyes (RYT 500)
Stephanie's passion for yoga began in 2010 - and she hasn't looked back since. She has since completed two 200 hour teacher training programs with Jen Ryan of the Yoga Loft and, most recently, her 300 hour teacher training with Kristin Olson. Believing you can never have too much knowledge, Stephanie regularly takes workshops and intensives from some of the yoga worlds most prestigious teachers. Stephanie creates a warm and welcoming environment by injecting her wicked sense of humor into every class. Her classes are both fun and challenging (plus they include a killer playlist!). She helps students tap into inner strength they didn’t know they had, and encourages them to go beyond what's comfortable by exploring their capabilities in all postures. She challenges students to try new things to promote growth, confidence and trust in their bodies. She encourages them to shift their minds perspective to bolster inner peace and well-being.
Things I love: my boys, my amazing husband, summer, good dark chocolate, giraffes, sunflowers, cooking, warm chocolate chip cookies, handstands, rock and roll, getting lost in a great book, stars, kayaking, sangria, gerber daisies, that first trickle of sweat, red accessories, strong coffee, fresh picked strawberries and blueberries, the idea of having my own garden - someday, music that makes me move, arm balancing, homemade pasta, my lil puppy Ruby-loops, hugs, board games, pesto, elephants, long walks, learning something new, the beach, avocados, mascara, shopping, the color yellow, flipflops, peanut butter… but not in that order!
Stephanie's Professional Make Up, ph: 781.820.8838 www.stephsmakeup.com
Maureen Fagen (RYT 500)
Maureen took her first yoga class in 2003 after the birth of her second son. “I was looking for a way to get back in shape but soon discovered the many benefits of yoga. Juggling the demands of family and career, yoga helps me achieve balance”. To deepen her practice, Maureen pursued a 200-hour RYT training program with Jen Ryan and went on to complete her 300-hour training, as well. “My hope is to instruct students to develop and refine their practice pose by pose and class by class. Finding the lightness and softness of each pose is what it’s all about.”
Michele Boshar (RYT 200)
Michele started practicing yoga as a supplement to running 13 years ago when she was pregnant with her daughter, with hopes to keep the pounds at bay! What she didn’t expect to find was the spirituality and serenity of the practice, and the instant connection to community. This made her continue to return to her mat. After talking about it for years, she finally bit the bullet and decided to do her teacher training. Inspired by Jen Ryan’s challenging class filled with enlightenment, insight, and humor, she enrolled in the YogaLoft teacher training program. It has been a wonderful trip she doesn’t want to end. She is excited to share what she has learned with hopes that others will receive some of the same benefits and inspiration she has. Michele is an artist whose images are often inspired by her yoga community. When she is not practicing yoga or painting, she is spending time with husband, three kids, and dog Zeus.
Sandy Snyder (RYT 200)
"Yoga... everything else is second. It's a lifelong journey. Sandy started practicing about 20 years ago and within the practice is where she found peace of mind for the first time in her life. “My mind was quiet, my fears were gone, all distractions slowly disappeared while on the mat. Here I was the best version of myself.
The true test is taking this quiet, centered state of being, and filter it into the rest of your daily life.”
Only now after years of practice did the role of 'yoga teacher' enter into the equation. Having completed the 200 RYT at the Yoga Loft in Wilmington with teacher’s Jen Ryan and Greg McGowan, Sandy brings her love for yoga to her students. Having a strong Ashtanga base , her classes incorporate breathe and movement through vinyasa and awareness of one’s own strength.
Sheila Leaden (RYT 200, Reiki I)
Sheila fell in love with yoga in 2007 at the Yoga Loft in Wilmington. Since then she realizes that everything is connected and she is forever changed by the benefits of yoga, physically, mentally and spiritually. Inspired by some of Sheila’s favorite teachers, Jen Ryan, Nicole Brezinski and Kristen Olson, she completed the 200 hr RYT program at the Yoga Loft. Passionate about studying the Yoga Sutras and creating mindful, calming and centering Beginner classes, Sheila strives to empower her students through yoga to be calm, centered, confident and happy! She realizes how yoga can positively affect people in so many aspects of life. When Sheila is off the mat, she most enjoys spending time with her family at her home in Wilmington and she works as an Ultrasound Technologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Brienne Thibodeau (RYT 200, Reiki I & II)
Brienne fell in love with yoga slowly, hesitant to quiet her mind and be fully present. She kept coming back to her mat to meet the physical challenges yoga offers and for the feeling of lightness in her body. Before she knew it, her time on the mat became her favorite part of the day. Brienne found the Yoga Loft after moving home from college and was astounded by the closely knit community, the knowledge of the teachers, and the confidence she found to come out of her comfort zone. Brienne graduated Jen’s Teacher Training in 2013 and has been teaching vinyasa and restorative style classes since. She strives for her classes to be logically sequenced, accessible, and full of positive energy. Brienne is also trained in SPA yoga through Betty Riaz and is certified in Reiki I and II. Brienne is grateful to Jen Ryan for her wisdom and support, and all of the Yoga Loft teachers who so gracefully uplift their community.
Andrea Martignetti (certified spinning instructor)
Andrea was born and raised in Medford, MA. Since moving to Wilmington nearly five years ago, Andrea has become a member of the Anytime Fitness indoor cycling family and over the past couple of years has become a regular at The Yoga Loft’s weekly Core and HIIT classes and is just starting to find her inner yogi. Andrea’s true passion is indoor cycling and she’s been hooked since taking her first ride over 15 years ago. Moving in such a fast-paced environment set to great music is one of her true motivations. After years of contemplating taking her ride to the next level (and a little encouraging nudge from Jen Ryan!), Andrea recently completed the Spinning® Instructor Training through Mad Dogg Athletics and is well on her way to becoming a fun, inspirational instructor!
Kacy Soderquist Zurkus
Kacy Soderquist Zurkus is a Wilmington native who's been practicing at the yoga loft since its establishment. After running her first marathon, she was trained in group fitness instruction through ACE Fitness and taught step classes in Charlestown way back in 2001. Since then she has run five marathons and at least a dozen half marathons. Running, though, wasn't enough to build strength, so she started training at the Yoga Loft adding tread, muscle, and core conditioning onto her practice. Now she's on her way to yoga teacher training.