Meet our wonderful staff! We are grateful to have such compassionate teachers sharing their love of yoga here at Kozy! Our teachers care deeply about their students and are passionate about spreading the benefits of the practice. They pour their heart and soul into making sure that their classes serve the needs of our community. Our staff welcomes beginners as well as experienced yogis and they modify their classes as needed to ensure an enjoyable experience. Every teacher has their own little twist or way of presenting their classes. Make sure to try a class with each of our teachers to learn something new and for a varied experience! You are sure to walk away feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, de-stressed and satisfied!
Please join us in celebrating and thanking our lovely Kozy Yoga teachers!
Namaste ~ Sara & Melissa
Melissa Gentile - Owner, E-RYT500
Melissa “Bee” Gentile ~ E- RYT 500/ YACEP/ Reiki II: Melissa has been teaching yoga and fitness since 2003 in many venues including yoga studios, gyms, corporate facilities, summer camps and public schools. She earned a dual degree in English/Secondary Education from The College of New Jersey and soon after, found yoga to help her cope with the stresses of teaching. Melissa has completed over 500 hours of extensive yoga training in NY/NJ in addition to an intensive with Mahesvari Mosca, author of YogaLife: 10 Steps to Freedom and director of Sedona Spirit Yoga Hikes/ Yoga Life Academy in Sedona, Arizona. Melissa has also received both a Level I & II Reiki Certification and Attunement, a mat Pilates Certification from PIA, a Group Fitness Certification through AFAA, and is certified in Aerial and SUP Yoga. She has completed a Restorative Yoga Certification with Cyndi Lee and a Mindful Schools training course. In June 2018, Melissa began her journey towards being certified through Phoenix Rising School of Yoga Therapy, where she completed her first 32 hours of extensive training. Forever a learner, she deepens her practice through self-study. Melissa embraces yoga as a way of life and enjoys sharing a diversified, down-to-earth yoga practice with students of all ages and backgrounds. She strives to help others experience the joy she feels when stepping on a yoga mat. Melissa is also a published writer and in her spare time, loves connecting with nature. “To do what you love and feel that it matters; could anything be more fun?” ~ J.Child
Sara Olson - Owner
Sara is an avid student of yoga, mindfulness, personal growth & life in general. Her path has always been one of seeking knowledge, understanding, truth and connection since her childhood. In 2004 Sara’s journey brought her to Ringwood, NJ, where she settled down with husband Carl Schell and had 2 kids. With all that comes with being an out-of-the-house working mom, Sara lost a bit of her personal contact with her desire for more knowledge and a deeper spiritual connection. In 2015, Sara decided it was time for some “taking care of me” time and began practicing yoga at Kozy Yoga. It was a spiritual re-birth, a re-connection with her pre-children body, and most of all it was joining a community of like-minded souls...it felt like coming home. In January of 2016, Sara was approached to take over the studio with co-owner Melissa. Sara works full time as the Account Director and Office Manager at an advertising agency. Sara has been attuned twice each to Reiki I and II. She has participated in workshops on meditation, crystal healing, sound healing, mandalas, and various yoga disciplines. She enjoys events and kirtans based on the principles of mindfulness, awareness and allowing. Sara believes that everyday is a new day to connect and seek more knowledge. With gratitude, Sara thanks all her life teachers and guides - including family and friends - who inspire her to keep moving forward along her path while practicing what she has learned thus far.
Yoga has been a part of Susan’s life since 1998. Susan’s life changed after first stepping on her yoga Mat back in 1998 and this was the beginning of her journey to self-love. Her teaching journey began with Cheryl Kiviat in Ringwood, NJ. Susan completed her 200-hour teacher training in March 2014 at hOMe Yoga in Mahwah, NJ. Susan started teaching at Kozy Yoga in March of 2014 and has been teaching there ever since. Susan’s intention is to pass along the love, knowledge and gifts of Yoga by simply connecting the power of breath (the Pranayama) to the movements of the different postures. Through yoga, Susan gained a depended awareness of her body and learned to turn her yoga practice into a moving mediation and was able to gain an enlightened understanding of her authentic self. She invites all people of all levels to come with her on this magical yoga mat ride. She believes yoga is a vessel to becoming more mindful of loving, honoring and respecting yourself fully and completely. Susan has been a Reiki Master since 1998, has completed Trudy Griswold’s Angelspeak training January 2011, Peak Potential Enlighten Warrior Training Camp in August of 2005 and Wizard Training Camp in August of 2006. Susan lives in Ringwood with her husband Michael and their dog Magic. During the day, Susan is a middle school special education teacher, and she loves sharing her yoga mindfulness in school with her students and colleagues, too!
Michelle, RYT 200, has been a fitness instructor for many years. She has taught Pilates, Spin, and Kettle Bell group fitness classes and is also an experienced massage therapist. Michelle began her yoga journey several years ago as a student and soon after, became a certified yoga teacher. Michelle, who taught preschool for many years, now teaches kids’ classes at Kozy Yoga. Yoga has helped her grow stronger, more flexible and more fearless, both on and off the mat. Michelle enjoys yoga because it allows her to sweat, breathe, break boundaries and connect her mind, body and soul. In her classes, Michelle loves to help others thrive and deepen their practice while listening to their bodies. Her hope is that her students step off the mat feeling refreshed, balanced and stronger than when they stepped on it. Yoga has inspired her to truly live in the moment. “Love is my religion.” ~ Ziggy Marley
Amber Chazukow has over 15 years of experience in dance education. She is also a certified yoga teacher and Reiki Master. Amber has performed professionally as a dancer and also runs an amateur dance troupe composed of her students. She lives in a cabin in the woods of West Milford, NJ with her husband, daughter and cat. Amber’s classes incorporate breath, movement and essential oils, for a delightful sensory experience.
Deb is a deeply passionate person, loving wife of 33 years, mother of three grown children and a full-time orthodontic assistant. She took her first yoga class seven years ago and was hooked. Since then, yoga has become a daily part of her life. Her practice is truly a philosophy, psychology and religion. Her goal as a yoga instructor and Reiki Master is to enlighten and share the experience she discovered in her personal practice. Deb also enjoys writing for a local newspaper and enjoys meeting new people each week, allowing them to voice their opinions. In her restorative classes, Deb aims to be an instrument of guidance for all beings to reach their potential to heal themselves by realizing their true purpose, mission and acceptance.
Helen Hill has been a student and lover of yoga since 1999 when she picked up a cryptic book about yoga at her local hippie store in Burlington, Vermont. Yoga saved her body as she healed from years as a competitive tennis player, skier, runner and outdoor adventurer. Helen has practiced Kripalu, Astanga, Kundalini, Jivamukti and Vinyasa style yoga. She is a graduate of Naturally Yoga’s teacher training (2019). She is eternally grateful to her teachers and mentors. Having grown up in Belgium and England, Helen adds world beats in her classes and, as a writer and artist, she draws from artistic influences as she guides you through Vinyasa. She is known for playful classes that amplify the benefits of yoga and ignite the imagination. “The hardest thing to see is what is right in front of your eyes.” ~ Goethe
Daniela has been practicing Yoga and Meditation on and off for years. It wasn't until experiencing severe anxiety and depression that she began to delve deeper into her mind, body and spirit connection. During her soul searching journey she found herself taking many self help courses including Transcendental Meditation, obtaining a Life Coaching Certification as well as a 200 hour Yoga Certification course with the American Yoga Academy in Chatham, NJ. It was during this course that she began to feel a calling to teach Yoga and help individuals who may be lost in the everyday shuffle of life to find that connection with themselves again. Daniela truly believes that with the way our society has evolved, promoting long working hours, dependency on material things and addictions to prescription drugs, now more than ever is the time to delve deep into our souls for release, relaxation and rejuvenation through the soulful practice of Yoga.