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Wellness Instructors: September Retreat 2023

wellness retreat, art and wellnessMissy Graff Ballone
Missy Graff Ballone is the author of Wellness for Makers: A Movement Guide for Artists and host of the Wellness for Makers podcast. Her mission is to motivate and empower creatives through education, mindful-living, and movement. Missy uses her unique backgrounds as an artist, Alignment-based Yoga Instructor RYT500, and Licensed Massage Therapist to make information about the body accessible to artists everywhere. As an artist, she understands the aches and pains that go into having an active studio practice. That's why she's decided to use her specializations to create incredible resources for creatives everywhere!


wellness retreat, art and wellnessEmily Fox
Emily Fox has been teaching Shake Your Soul® since 1997.  For many years, she co-taught the teacher training program with Daniel Leven, the originator of Shake Your Soul®. She loves that participants are often amazed by how good they feel after a class. Emily also teaches Ballroom, Latin Country and Swing Dance, and specializes in helping couples prepare for their wedding dance. You can learn more about her teaching at



wellness retreat, art and wellnessAna Campos
Ana Campos was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and now makes her home in the Witch City (Salem, Massachusetts). She is a founding member of Vogue Knitting's Diversity Advisory Council and is committed to increasing equity and access in the fiber world. Ana brings more than 20 years of fiber experience to her yarn shop, Circle of Stitches, and to her workshops, which she teaches across the U.S. In 2019, Ana published her first book, A Little Bit of Shamanism. She strongly believes that the fiber arts are a vehicle for fostering community and healing, both on a personal and communal level. In her work, she explores the intersection between fiber arts, mindfulness, and spiritual practice.years of fiber experience to her yarn shop, Circle of Stitches, and to her workshops, which she teaches across the U.S. In 2019, Ana published her first book, A Little Bit of Shamanism. She strongly believes that the fiber arts are a vehicle for fostering community and healing, both on a personal and communal level. In her work, she explores the intersection between fiber arts, mindfulness, and spiritual practice.

wellness retreat, art and wellnessDenise Lajeunesse
Denise is a Sound Journey and Guided Meditation Facilitator/Reiki Master Teacher. She is certified in Sound Healing, Sound Conducting, Energy Medicine, Reiki, Crystal & Hot Stone Therapies, and Transformational Bodywork. Initiated into the Q’ero Inca Shamanic Traditions, Denise is in service from her home and offers Sound and Shamanic Healings, Reiki and Sound, Crystal Sound Healing Sessions.




Carolyn Walker
Carolyn is a Reiki Master, Sound Healer, and Traditional Herbalist with a multidimensional approach towards health. She received her Reiki training under Winifred Costello and a Certificate in Therapeutic Sound Healing through the Center of Light Institute of Sound Healing and Shamanic Studies in Chester, VT.  She holds both a Bachelors in Music Education and Masters in Music Theory from UMass Amherst, and has taught violin and songwriting privately in the Pioneer Valley since 2001. Carolyn blends the traditional Reiki session with Sound Healing practices using voice, singing bowls, frame drum, chimes, and gong. She’s a graduate of Blazing Star Herbal School in Conway, MA, and loves working with her plant allies in the garden and kitchen, making teas, salves, and herbal preparations for friends and family.

Janice Luzzi
Janice Luzzi has been a practicing massage therapist since 1990, offering both Therapeutic and Seated Chair Massage. Janice served as faculty at Stillpoint School of Massage from 1993-2000 in Hatfield Ma, and faculty / Health Educator in the Health Professions Department at Greenfield Community College from 2000-2010.  She also serves as a coach and mentor in support of other Massage Therapists relating to Business Practices and Marketing. Jan's website.


Kimberly Reillywellness retreat, art and wellness
Kimberly found yoga when she was looking for a way to destress from a draining corporate job. It wasn’t love-at-first-class, but she soon found the style of yoga that suited her best. This began a journey to a more balanced, connected, and fulfilling life through her yoga practice that eventually led her to completing her yoga teacher training with Sacred Jade Yoga in 2016 in St. Petersburg, FL. Kimberly is an active woman who loves to hike, ski, weight lift, and sew. She enjoys sharing yoga in safe, accessible, and inclusive classes at her studio Flow on Main in Dalton, Massachusetts.



wellness retreat, art and wellnessNicole Howland
As an artist living my whole life among the forests of Massachusetts, it is no wonder my work has come to reflect the natural environment. I have a deep love for and connection with nature, especially the universal forms and patterns which repeat themselves in unexpected and sometimes mysterious ways. As we are living through an environmental crisis, I find it essential to re-establish our appreciation and gratitude for the miraculous mysteries that our earth exhibits including the numerous ways it sustains our bodies and souls. I have an undergraduate degree in Visual and Performing Arts from Worcester State University and a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College. I enjoy exploring a variety of art making techniques and materials and look forward to sharing what I love with you.


Safara Fisher (she/her)
Safara found yoga, in part, by way of her mother’s devoted practice of over 50 years and her own discovery of “her healthy” physical, mental and spiritual life. From the practice of breath and movement, a curiosity of yogic philosophy, and a sense of community, a healing happened and a lifestyle ensued. As a person with an invisible disability and experienced in trauma-informed practices, Safara applies this awareness to her teaching. She encourages yoga as a self-love practice accessible to all. She seeks to represent the diversity of racial and cultural community of yogis and to promote inclusivity. Safara received a 200-hour Yoga Alliance® certification in January 2020 from Yoga Sanctuary. She is also certified in Chair Yoga for Every Body, Accessible Yoga, and Trauma-Informed Yoga. Safara’s website.

wellness retreat, art and wellnessSarah Friedman
Sarah is a registered nurse with a love for the holistic side of medicine. As a yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner she has truly come to know and appreciate the difference overall wellness makes in life. When she's not at the hospital or teaching yoga, Sarah runs Berkshire Parents Collective, a new non-profit in the Berkshires with a primary goal of increasing support and education for local families. Outside of work, she can often be found with her husband and three dogs, reading a good book, or spending time with her friends and family.



Janet Aalfs
Janet has been sharing her integrative arts work locally, nationally, and internationally for 45 years. She has been a featured presenter and workshop facilitator at many conferences and events including the Dodge Poetry Festival, Split This Rock, and as a teaching artist in Cape Town, South Africa. Her writing has been widely published in journals, anthologies, several small press chapbooks, and online. What the Dead Want Me to Know, her third full-length collection of poems, was published in 2022. Janet was the 2nd poet laureate of Northampton, MA (2003-2005), is a 7th degree black belt, a Jian Mei branch chief instructor of Tai Chi & Qigong, a dancer, community educator, and the founder/director of Lotus Peace Arts at Heron's Bridge\VWMA.


art and wellness retreatSuzi Banks Baum
Suzi Banks Baum dwells at the crossroad of literary and visual arts. A writer, mixed media and book artist, Suzi is devoted to daily creative practice which is the super-food for her signature teachings: Backyard Art Camp, the Powder Keg Writing Workshops, and Advent Dark Journal. She administers the Writers Studio of the Pentaculum residency at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Her first book, An Anthology of Babes gives voice to 36 artist mothers. Follow her on Instagram for a look inside her daily practice @suzibb.


wellness retreat, art and wellnessCarly Leusner
Carly Leusner is an herbalist, nutritionist, and chef. Founder of Acorn Kitchen Nutrition, she runs a clinical nutrition practice and offers culinary nutrition education, with a special expertise in wildcrafting local edible and medicinal plants.  Formally, she has studied with herbalists Sage Mauer, Chris Marano, Matthew Wood, Susun Weed, Sean O’Donahue, and Rebecca Snow. She created Acorn Kitchen with Felix Lufkin and friends back in 2013, with whom she’s hosted numerous community wild food feasts, workshops, plant walks, and public talks over the years. Carly recently earned a Master’s in Human Nutrition, is a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), and is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC). Her years of experience cooking, along with her passion for anthropology, social justice, and nutrition science are all infused into her wildcrafting walks and courses.


Kim Deshaies
Passionately weaving her studies in contemporary psychology and neuroscience with reverence for ancient yogic philosophy, Kim sparks curiosity in the roots of yoga practice and shares practical tools to help build resilience and support mental health and physical wellbeing. She takes a trauma-informed approach to yoga that aims to bring students into their bodies where they can make the decisions that are right for them in each moment, and hopes that students will leave class feeling celebrated and empowered to take their practice off the mat in ways that support their individual needs, lives, and work in the world. Kim is a registered yoga teacher (200 RYT) with a BA in Psychology and additional training in Yoga Therapy for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Yoga Nidra for Mental Health.

Ellen Clegg
Ellen Clegg, MS, is the founder of Wellness Empowerment Drumming. As a Master Facilitator and Experiential Educator, she utilizes drumming to enhance wellness in people of all ages, and to help them find their strength, courage, expression, and wisdom through workshops, retreats, and performance. With 35 years of experience, Ellen has traveled internationally, integrating knowledge of the drum's healing traditions with proven health strategies of modern scientific uses of group drumming to create community and individual transformation and empowerment. Ellen's website