About

Niraj Yoga was established by Melissa Lopez Landers and Kathleen Savoy in the winter of 2015. The goal was to offer their community the many healing benefits of the yoga practice, as well as the highest quality of instruction in an economical way.

Melissa and Kathleen believe that everything happens in kramas (or stages) and in order to find alignment one must trust and step out of alignment. They hope to provide a diverse, encouraging environment and help people get to their personal destination, wherever that may be.

Melissa and Kathleen

Instructors

Melissa Lopez Landers

Melissa Lopez Landers

Owner/Instructor

Yoga is a pilgrimage back into the self...the heart. Melissa discovered that pilgrimage while taking her first yoga class. The experience of being invited into her self and forgive, sense, feel and simply be, altered her in a profound way. Yoga became a means to connect with the rhythm of the beating heart...to breathe...to bathe in prana and healing, and find a moment of freedom in the mess and beauty of living a human experience. Melissa knew from her first savasana that yoga would become an integral part of her life, as well as an important part of her work. It wasn't long after that first experience in which the path of teaching the practice opened up before her. Trusting her heart in a new way allowed her faith and courage to walk forward; to be vulnerable; to be seen. Melissa completed her 200 hour teacher training with her Niraj partner, Kathleen Savoy, and Jessica Kanuika of The Bhava Yoga School. She has since completed over 700 hours of teacher training with a myriad of teachers, including Shiva Rea and Nikki Myers, and styles of yoga such as vinyasa, hatha, tantra, recovery, and trauma sensitive. Melissa earned her E-RYT 500 so that she can pass on to others called to the path of teaching yoga, what has been so generously offered to her; she is currently doing so with Kathleen Savoy and Johanna Bell of Illumina Yoga at the Niraj Yoga studio. Melissa teaches a heart centered class infused with mantra, creative sequencing and movement, an understanding of Hindu archetypes, prana, music, a deep connection to the breath, and an invitation to dive into the inner light we are all uncovering.

Kathleen Savoy

Kathleen Savoy

Owner/Instructor

Kathleen Savoy’s desire for expansion has truly been one unabashed discovery after another. Her search began early and brought her to New York City to explore the world of entertainment. While personal training at a New York Sports Club in So Ho, she took a class called yoga. It was there that she met savasana and found her new hOMe. After completing her 200 hour teacher training in New York at Sonic Yoga with the unparalleled guidance of Johanna Bell and Lauren Hanna, she moved to Maine. She later completed her 500 hour teacher training with Sonic Yoga and Shiva Rea. Since moving to Maine she found love, along with a way to more fully express herself and deepen her teaching by writing a weekly blog. The blog chronicles her reflections on living a courageous and honest life. Kathleen has an infinite capacity for joy. Love, gratitude and awareness are her daily asanas. Kathleen trusts the power of the body and the gifts it naturally beholds – from physical exertion to profound rest. Her thoughts and motivations are always anchored in full expressions of truth. Kathleen’s yoga classes take people on a full-spectrum journey through musings, music and movement.

Cathleen Wasielewski

Cathleen Wasielewski

Instructor

Cathy believes that the practice of yoga provides a means for everyone to powerfully access spiritual ways of being. She has come to know that yoga can enlighten our lives in the full spectrum of mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is a powerful tool for uncovering the unique gifts and divine light of our individual souls and each precious moment of life. Cathy’s classes move from the grounded physicality of the earth and the body to the limitless possibility of the universe and back down again to the Self. Lover of the light, Cathy enjoys sharing the messages she is learning on this ongoing yogic journey while engaging in the physicality and empowerment of asana.

Maria Wagner

Maria Wagner

Instructor

Maria Wagner began studying yoga in 2009 in the tradition of B.K.S. Iyengar. With a strong foundation in asana alignment, she began to practice vinyasa yoga and fell in love with the way that the practice embodies the rising and falling, ever-changing nature of life. From then on, yoga became Maria’s path inward to stillness, empowerment, and truth. In her classes, Maria aspires to create an open and welcoming space and incorporates breath, intention, mindfulness, playfulness, and music. Maria completed her 200 hr teacher training in the krama vinyasa style through Sonic Yoga under the guidance of master teachers Kathleen Savoy and Johanna Bell. She is currently continuing her training in Johanna's Illumina Yoga 300 hr training; a deep dive into the full spectrum of practicing and teaching yoga, and an exploration of all that it means to be human.

Donna McNeil

Donna McNeil

Instructor

Donna McNeil has been practicing yoga for 19 years and each moment on the mat brings a deepened discovery -- about my body, my intellect and most profoundly, my spirit.

Nanci Kahn

Nanci Kahn

Instructor

Nanci is a professional photographer and artist and holds a life long passion for dance. Her life into yoga started 19 years ago while pregnant with her first child. Nanci's dedication to yoga has since blossomed into finishing her 200 hour teacher training with Kathleen Savoy and Johanna Bell in 2015. She is currently involved in a 300 hour teacher training through Illumina Yoga. Nanci strives to share with her students, a smooth flowing vinyasa class devoted to body awareness and good alignment, laced with warmth and good vibration. Her passions for dance and the natural world infuse her choreography in the hope that her students feel the connection between their mind, body and spirit in a safe, open and whole environment. She is thankful and grateful to all her teachers and fellow yogis for their guidance, friendship and love.

Jeanette Richelson

Jeanette Richelson

Instructor

Jeanette Richelson is a juice enthusiast, green smoothie lover, yoga instructor, health educator, farmer, runner, photographer, and free spirit who has lived in Portland for the past eight years. In 2009, Jeanette completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training program with O2 Yoga in Boston and a children’s yoga teacher training with Childlight Yoga. She trained with Mimi Loureiro and Elliott McEldowney in O2 Yoga which balances many principles of Ashtanga Yoga with a Vinyasa-flow format. Since then, Jeanette has gravitated toward practicing the Iyengar Method, a system that has an emphasis on detail, precision, and alignment in the practice of postures and breath control. Jeanette's teaching is influenced by her training in vinyasa yoga and her practice in Iyengar. From 2012-2014, Jeanette & Kathleen Savoy co-owned Roost House of Juice, an organic juice & smoothie bar and plant-based café in Portland. For the past three years, Jeanette has been running youth cooking classes at the Breakwater School Summer Camp. Jeanette’s yoga classes will empower students and allow them to experience full self-acceptance, outer strength, and inner calm. Jeanette is excited to share with her students the power and joy that emerges from intentional movement and conscious breath.

Alix Joslyn

Alix Joslyn

Instructor

Alix’s journey to yoga began in 2006 after years of modern and jazz dance. She started her practice at Stillwater Yoga, an Iyengar studio in her hometown of Atlanta, where she honed a strong foundation and deep respect for her physical body. Gradually, she noticed the awareness of the physical started shifting – she became less entangled with her thoughts, more curious about her breath, and subtler still, the stillness between the two. The path eventually brought her to completion of a 200 hour Hatha yoga teacher training in 2014 under the guidance of Leslee Clark. In January of 2016, she threw caution to the wind and began an additional 300 hour training through Johanna Bell’s Illumina Yoga. The deeper Alix dives into the sacred practices, the more excited she is to hone her voice and share her teachings. She invites you to join her for classes that hold space for the conscious unfolding of truth in all forms. Come exactly as you are in this moment, right now.

Susannah Sanfilippo

Susannah Sanfilippo

Instructor

Susannah Sanfilippo is a Registered Yoga Teacher who has practiced yoga for over twenty one years. Along with her training in classical yoga, she has in-depth studies in: yoga breathing techniques for relaxation, pain reduction and emotional balance; mindfulness meditation; restorative yoga; anatomy; and somatic movement that promotes kinesthetic awareness and body intelligence. Her psychologically-informed teaching style enables students of all ages and experience and to discover the benefits of yoga. Her classes are full of both joy and challenge as she invites students to explore ways to create ease. Susannah is also a singer, leads kirtan, records podcasts and has a background in the visual arts. Susannah is registered with Yoga Alliance, certified by YogaSpirit and is a Yoga Warriors International Instructor, a Y12SR instructor (Yoga for 12-Step Recovery) and a Laughter Yoga Instructor. She loves staying connected with her students. FMI: http://www.theyogaofsusannah.com/

Christine LeMieux

Christine LeMieux

Instructor

Christine LeMieux is a certified guide in the practice of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra®. Christine discovered yoga nidra in 2011 while living in Washington, DC. At the time she was seeking an antidote to the stress of urban living, which she discovered and so much more! The benefits of a regular yoga nidra practice were incomparable and in 2014 she decided to take her own practice to the next level by gaining her certification under the instruction of Jennifer Reis, RYT and creator of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra®. Christine enjoys leading participants through the 8-stage process of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra® -- a fully embodied meditation practice for deep healing and rejuvenation.