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Our Yoga Teachers: One Yoga Center, Foster RI

ellen-pose1Ellen Schaeffer

Ellen Schaeffer is the founder and owner of Youphoria and One Yoga Center. She began her study of Yoga shortly after she received a degree in Psychology in 1984. It was a perfect match from the start, and Ellen has continued to explore and practice Yoga since that time. She is an experienced, registered yoga teacher at the 500 hour level and is also certified as a Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT 1000).

Ellen worked for many years in the human service field. Her experience includes work with folks with developmental challenges and the chronically mentally ill. She has experience with adjudicated youth and adults living in the prison system. She worked as a social worker in state child welfare for 7 years and then with a private, nonprofit, special needs foster care program for youth.

She loved her work, but she found the systems that served her clients increasingly challenging to negotiate. This challenge taught her the value of Yoga in managing personal stress and stress in the lives of her clients.

While exploring options for further education, Ellen did some deep soul searching and decided to make a career change that would allow her to follow her passion. In 1994, she traveled to California to participate in the Yoga therapy teaching program offered by Joseph Lepage and Integrative Yoga Therapy. Here she studied with many well known and highly knowledgeable teachers including Donna Farhi, Georg Feuerstein, Richard Miller, Eleanor Criswell Hanna, Dr. David Simon and Frances Vaughn. This program ignited Ellen’s interest in Yoga psychology and Yoga as a therapeutic modality for body, mind and spirit.

Since this time Ellen has explored many styles and practices of Yoga. She is certified in Vinyasa style Yoga by her longtime teacher and friend, Tom Gillette. She studied in Montreal, Canada with Kam Thye Chow and the Lotus Palm School and is certified through them as a Thai Yoga Body Work practitioner. She has also achieved second dregree Reiki training. Ellen has spent a great deal of time studying with and exploring the work of Gary Kraftsow and the American Viniyoga Institute. She integrates Viniyoga teaching methodology in many of her classes. Over the past several years, Ellen’s interest in Yin style Yoga has added a new flavor and depth to her teaching.  She has been deeply inspired by the work of Paul Grilley and along with her studies with Paul she has studied Yin with Paulie Zink and received certification in Yin Style Yoga from Josh Summers. Another source of inspiration for Ellen is Angela Farmer. Angela’s emphasis on keeping practice organic and receptive supports Ellen’s belief that each time we come to the mat it is an opportunity for a whole new experience and that the exploration of Yoga asana (postures) should be an expression of what is truly arising in each moment. In Ellen’s words, Hatha Yoga practice is “is a body centered language through we can honestly express who we are.”  Ellen’s study with her spiritual teacher, Adayashanti, is a continual reminder of her dharma (path),to support others in awaking to the truth and beauty of their own being.

During a trip to Brazil in the winter of 2004, Ellen reestablished her relationship with Joseph LePage and his wife Lilian LePage of Integrative Yoga Therapy (from whom Ellen received her basic certification). As a result of this rekindled connection, Ellen has begun training teachers in the Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) teaching method.  One Yoga Center is considered a Registered Yoga School (RYS 200) with the Yoga Alliance  In 2012, Ellen accepted a position as part of the Integrative Yoga Therapy administrative staff and is the Director of their 200 hour affiliate program. Ellen is also a faculty member for Kripalu’s Integrative Yoga Therapy’s professional Yoga Therapy training program offered at Kripalu.

Ellen is registered with the Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT500-hour level and is certified by Integrative Yoga Therapy as a Professional Yoga Therapist at the 1000 hour level. In 2016 she applied for and received her Yoga Therapy credentials from the International Association of Yoga Therapist.

Ida Berris

Ida Berris is an experienced educator, spending the first part of her career as an English teacher. She holds two masters degrees in education with a focus on curriculum development and instruction. In 2010 Ida completed her 200-hour IYT certificate as a yoga instructor and is currently working at One Yoga with a focus on Yoga for Everybody and every body from gentle to strong flow.

Anita Bevans

Anita holds advanced 500 hour certification in Yoga Therapy from Integrative Yoga Therapy and is currently working on the completion of her Yoga Therapy Certification (1000 hour). She is also a certified irest, yoga nidra, practitioner, and is currently a student of Positional Release Therapy.

Anita’s warm, direct, welcoming style will certainly make you feel at home in her classes. Her clear, precise instruction and innate wisdom will guide you with ease every step of the way. Join her for a class and discover why Anita’s return to OYC is such exciting news.

Joan Corey

Joan holds a B.S in physical education and has worked as a fitness instructor for 25 years prior to teaching at One. She has. extensive experience working with children, adults, seniors, and special populations. Currently Joan teaches physical education for students grades Pre K – 8 at St. Augustine School, Providence, RI

Joan has a passion for Yoga, which she began exploring and practicing 18 years ago after the birth of her son. She was first attracted to the physical aspects of yoga; however, she gradually discovered and enjoyed the mind/body experience. She believes that the experience of yoga happens on and off the mat.

Joan is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200 hour level. She is certified by Integrative Yoga Therapy. Joan enjoys teaching a flowing class that is seasoned with opportunities to build strength. Joan’s personal interests include spending time with family and friends, gardening, walking, reading and cooking.

Renee DeMarcophoto

Renee DeMarco is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a part-time private practice in Providence.  She specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and co-morbid mental health issues.   She became interested in yoga as a young adult over 25 years ago.  In 2012, she studied to become a Kripalu yoga teacher and is a certified KYT -200 hr. instructor.  Renee embraces the philosophy of self-actualization in her treatment practices. The Kripalu philosophy of compassion for the self and others complements this approach. The practice of yoga enables us to realize our true potential while integrating body, mind, and spirit.  Yoga practice is an immersion of our being through coordinated movement with prana (breath), focused attention on alignment, thought, and spirit.  Yoga theory and philosophy enriches our practice.  Everything we do on the mat can be applied to our lives off the mat. This is the magic of yoga.


Jennifer  Spaziano

Jennifer Spaziano, RYT200 offers tools on the mat that lead to inner peace and connection off the mat. Convinced that understanding the mind-body connection is the key to a joyful and healthy life, Jennifer incorporates her formal studies in dance, philosophy, psychology, religion, meditation and yoga to provide students many paths to realize their best self.

Jennifer has had the good fortune of studying with master yoga teachers of Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kundalini, and yoga for children. She is the mother of four and brings that love into her classes. Her style will be sure to lift your spirit with a smile no matter how you arrive.

Crystal Vernava

Crystal began a regular yoga practice in 2002 and as her practice deepened, she completed her teacher training in Vinyasa Yogaat Eyes of the World Yoga in 2010. The past five years, Crystal has been teaching at Shri Studio, a non-profit serving populations that would otherwise not have access to yoga. Recently completing Shri’s 60-hour Path of Service Yoga Outreach Teacher Training, she has enjoyed teaching Yoga for Mental Illness as well as Yoga for Caregivers of Special Needs Families.

To further her studies, Crystal has attended numerous workshops and teacher trainings with Tias Little, over the years. Sarah Powers has also become a great inspiration. Crystal is fascinated with the effects of asana (postures) and pranayama (breathwork) on the subtle body. She loves the philosophy and psychology of yoga and, appreciating metaphor, is drawn to Taoism. New areas of her interest include yin yoga, Chinese medicine, neuroscience and neuroplasticity.

Crystal has worked as a dental hygienist for over 20 years and is a wife and a mother of two sons. Being a social person, she loves connecting with people. “Yoga teaches us to connect with ourselves- to stretch, strengthen, heal and grow.” Her style of teaching is detailed in alignment and easy for beginners to follow and offers challenge to seasoned practitioners. She enjoys creating eclectic playlists and focusing on various themes physically or energetically for each class. Students leave relaxed and renewed.