Peter Rizzo

Founder and Director

Peter is the director of Bhava Yoga Center and brings 20+ years of teaching experience into his classes, workshops and teacher training programs.

Peter is certified by the Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT500 level and was trained at the 800 hour level at Jivamukti in 1996. He first opened Bhava in the East Village of NYC in 1999. He has conducted yearly teacher trainings since then. Peter has been invited to teach Bhava Vinyasa Yoga and lead teacher training programs internationally and draws yoga students from across the globe to study in Brattleboro.

Bhava Yoga has been serving the Brattleboro community with intelligently sequenced vinyasa and mindfulness meditation for more than 10 years. Peter is happy and grateful to be in Brattleboro and to offer Bhava Vinyasa Yoga in this magical, beautiful place.

Email Peter

Ariana Mathieu

Ariana Mathieu is a RYT-200 certified Kundalini Yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance. She believes Kundalini Yoga is a powerful, transformative, and profound practice, that helps center one's energy and allows for the personal growth and expansion of one's awareness. Ariana has a true love and passion for Kundalini Yoga. She believes it is a beautiful practice that supports living a grounded, happy, healthy, spiritual life. She feels the most rewarding aspect of this practice is the well-being one can receive from it, and the inner strength and peace a regular practice cultivates. Kundalini yoga brings peace and flow into one's life. It is a technology, which helps us to connect and align with our own inner wisdom and teacher.

Ariana first began practicing Kundalini Yoga in 2011 and immediately felt a deep connection to this style of yoga. Since then she has experienced profound positive shifts in awareness, perspective and overall state of being. Ariana received her 200 HR Kundalini Yoga training in Sedona, Arizona at Seven Centers Yoga Arts Studio. Through her practice she realized the importance of maintaining the balance of mind, body & soul. She has experienced immense positive changes from her practice, and wishes to offer the opportunity of this experience to others.

Edward Suprenant (Awakened Wisdom of the Heart)

Edward is a student of the Plum Village Tradition of Zen Master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. He has practiced within Buddhist and yoga traditions for nearly ten years, primarily through the San Francisco Zen Center and the Prajña Yoga school based in Santa Fe, NM. His Plan of Concentration at Marlboro College focused on questions in Buddhist philosophy and inter-religious ethics, which he continues to integrate into his study of yoga. Currently, his research interests involve exploring ways that contemplative practices in Buddhism and yoga can support creative and effective socio-political engagement. 
 
The classes Edward offers are primary structured for yoga students interested in developing a mediation practice. After injuring his knee during a three-month mediation retreat at the San Francisco Zen Center, Edward began to question the tendencies of many spiritual traditions to regard the body as an instrument for some other end—eventually pushing ourselves beyond our limits. Recognizing that we all teach what we hope to learn, his teaching style focuses on slow, careful asana sequencing in order to develop a mediation posture that is stable, upright, and relaxed.

Kim Foltz

I have been studying, exploring, experiencing and sharing some sort of body work for over 25 years. The classes I offer are the products of my experience and understanding of what will best support us in moving through the physical aspects of life. I hope to be able to share my beliefs in the importance of patterning correctness into our structures, and the ease of motion that can result from movement with intention based on the seeking out and strengthening not only the large muscle groups, but the smaller stabilizing muscles that surround them.
 
I am the proud holder of a zillion certificates of anatomical study, three levels of pilates instruction, and two certified Yoga trainings - all of which mean very little if I can't translate them into an experience of living more completely in our bodies with strength, ease and intention. Lucky for me, I love doing that, so I persist in the translation. 
 
We're all always learning. 

Lisa Mendelsund

Lisa began studying yoga at Barnard where she was exposed to both asana practice and also to Indian philosophy under the tutelage of Barbara Stoler-Miller. She continued study at the Jivamukti School into the late nineties and also at the Iyengar Institute of New York.

In 1996, Lisa made the first of three extended trips to India where she studied the eight classical limbs of Ashtanga Yoga under the guidance of the Jois family, as well as studying Ayurveda and Indian dance. Lisa has been teaching and practicing yoga consistently for almost two decades, bicoastally and for the past 11 years here in Brattlboro where she lives with her children.

Marybeth Kover

Marybeth first began a formal yoga practice when Bhava Yoga opened its Brattleboro doors in the summer of 2004. She was instantly taken by the challenge, flow, support, and growth offered by Bhava vinyasa classes.

After completing Peter’s yoga teacher training in August 2008, Marybeth has embraced the journey of teaching others all that she has learned. She combines her work as a Certified Rubenfeld Synergist® and new mother with her love of yoga and music to offer students a challenging vinyasa flow in a safe and supportive environment.

Above all else, she empowers her students to learn to listen to the wisdom of their body. In addition to teaching yoga at Bhava, Marybeth has a private practice in Rubenfeld Synergy at Easeful Journey in Brattleboro, VT. She is also a Certified Rubenfeld Synergy® Mentor and a teacher of this gentle, yet powerful bodymind therapy.

Meggie Stoltzman

Meggie has practiced yoga for over 14 years, and completed a 200-hr teacher training with Peter Rizzo at Bhava. Her influences stem from extensive practice of Warrior Yoga, which incorporates elements of martial arts training, and Baptiste Yoga, inspired by Hatha Yoga and the teachings of Krishnamacharya, Iyengar, and Desikachar. She teaches classes that are suitable for all levels, offering modifications and variations for each pose to make the practice accessible to beginners and advanced practitioners alike.

She teaches an energizing vinyasa style yoga and incorporates aspects of Buddhist philosophy and meditation into her classes, guiding students to bring attention to their body and their breath. She believes in practicing yoga as a form of moving meditation, letting go of our busy minds and returning to the present moment, again and again.

When she is not in yoga class, Meggie spends most of her time outside, running an organic vegetable farm on the town line of Guilford and Halifax.

Niki Fletcher

New bio coming soon...

Rick Contino

Yoga has become a daily practice that inspires and sustains every aspect of my life. I hope to make this the case for my students as well.

I model classes on what works best for me, but the feel of class largely depends on the students—classes generally fluctuate from being focused and deep, to being warm and lighthearted. I encourage students to tune into the rhythm of their breath and the deep sensations in their body as I take them through a course of postures designed to change patterns of holding in the body and the mind. Throughout the practice, the body becomes a shape-shifting vessel for energetic expansion and resting of the breath.

My experience with yoga began in 2003 in Chicago, where good friend and yoga teacher, Nathan Paulus, introduced me to yoga as a spiritual practice. In 2008, I trained with Peter Rizzo in the Bhava method of instruction. My study of Samkya (yoga philosophy), Tai Chi (Taoism), and Zen also influence my teaching. 

Tanna Dean

A Bhava instructor since 2013, Tanna first experienced the benefits of Yoga years ago while recovering from a knee injury. She discovered that not only was Yoga a safe and effective way to recuperate but she also began to feel more comfortable in her body by dropping the striving in her physical pratice, doing less and doing better. After practicing hot yoga with Ellen Abraham for a few years Tanna discovered Bhava Vinyasa and completed a teacher training program with Peter in 2013. Since then she has also completed training in Unnata Aerial Yoga and partnered with her friends to open ACT Fit Co. in Brattleboro. Tanna is also a certified SPINNING® instructor and a Black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate. She is currently continuing her studies with Peter in the 2016 Bhava Advanced Teacher Training program, bringing her current Yoga instructor’s certification up to a 500 Hour RYT level.

Tanna loves that the practice of Yoga offers immediate benefits as well as the potential for effective long term transformation. Held within a safe and encouraging environment, her vinyasa classes are both challenging and fun with an emphasis on loving acceptance while discovering all of the wonderful things the body is capable of.