Peg Oliveira, PhD, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Peg grew up with sports shaping her early life. Captain of her basketball and golf teams, she never lost the itch for both the discipline and freedom found in purposeful movement.

Marathon induced injuries led her to yoga. In Baptiste Vinyasa Power Yoga, Peg found not only the fun, flow and physical challenges of sports, but an answer to her lifelong search, beginning at a small desk in Catholic school, for an inspiring spiritual practice as well. She is grateful to yoga for the permission it gives her to fall apart fully and come back together in a new way.

Peg was originally certified as a yoga teacher at Yoga Center Amherst in Massachusetts. Peg became a certified Baptiste Vinyasa Power Yoga teacher in 2007, and has studied with many national teachers. She is also certified as a Thai Yoga Therapy Practitioner by Saul David Raye and maintains a limited group of private yoga therapy clients. Peg’s essay “Mind Over Multitasking: What Would Buddha Do?” appeared in the collection The Culture of Efficiency, edited by Sharon Kleinman.

Peg holds a PhD in Social and Developmental Psychology. She is the Executive Director of The Gesell Institute of Child Development, a nonprofit child advocacy organization that promotes the principles of child development through innovation and objective wonder.

Peg’s yoga class offers a dynamic combination of strength, sweat and soul. Her style emphasizes sound alignment with an unpredictable flow. While challenging, it remains accessible to most beginners.

Courtney Bauer, RYT 500, YACEP

Courtney Bauer is founder of Studio Anya in NYC. She created Curriculum AUM (the guidebook of the ANYA classes) as part of a personal pilgrimage. Over the years, her teachings have been applied to many domains as a pioneering blueprint for intuitive evolution. By highlighting the physical and activating a meditative state, the curriculum inspires unity–connecting the hearts of individuals and communities worldwide.


Elizabeth Lowe, E-RYT 200, YACEP

 Plain and simple: yoga makes me happy. My crankiest moods and even crankier body always feels better after some time on my mat. Teaching yoga is no different. A few minutes into leading a class and everything feels right. Yoga has been a constant in my life for 20 years. I find this remarkable. My style of teaching has evolved alongside my love for the practice. I instruct alignment forward movement with a deep emphasis on breath. It is a practice where we address the body as a whole and move in a way that is healthiest for ourselves in that moment.  I think yoga is funny and beautiful and hard. My classes are heavy with challenge. Not the foot behind your head hard but meet the moment difficult. I believe great instructors are willing to remain the learner and my best teachers have been my students.

My influences are too vast to list. I think of my first teacher every single time I teach and Beryl Bender Birch changed my life. I am so grateful for the classrooms I have sat in as a student and the many times I have unfurled my mat to be guided by some phenomenal instructor who so willingly imparts their wisdom.

I am a daughter, sister, wife, and mother. I like taking baths, listening to old school hip hop and lifting weights. I need to bask in the sun and stare at the moon. I am loud, often irreverent, direct and some might even say funny. My happy place is near an ocean but when I am land locked you will find me covered in vibrant colored paint and sawdust.

Trauma Faculty

Jen Leavitt, JD, MSW, RYT

Jen Leavitt received her Bachelor’s Degree from Brown University in 1998 and her Juris Doctor and Master’s of Social Work degrees from the University of Connecticut in 2004.
Following graduation, Jen practiced law for nine years as a public defender in the Juvenile Matters courts at Waterbury and New Britain.

Jen enhanced her understanding of business practice by working as a yoga studio manager for four years. She coordinated and managed all aspects of the highly successful West Hartford Yoga (WHY), including wellness outreach efforts to underserved communities. She currently practices juvenile, criminal and probate law at Marshall & Veale, LLC. She continues to teach power yoga and Yoga for Recovery at WHY. Jen also serves WHY in various administrative capacities and supports the current management team.

Jen’s personal yoga practice has served as an anchor through various life experiences, including divorce, recovery, and spiritual growth. Jen is a West Hartford resident, and enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, hiking with her Yorkshire terrier, and spending time with her infant daughter and family.