Our Team

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 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 flow 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 her path inward to stillness, empowerment, and truth. In deepening her relationship with herself, she discovered outward connections deepening as well. In her classes, Maria creates an open and welcoming space, incorporates theme and intention, emphasizes breath, and encourages each of her students to embrace their own individual experience. Maria completed her 200 hr teacher training in the krama vinyasa style through Sonic Yoga under the guidance of master teachers Johanna Bell and Kathleen Savoy. In 2016, a love of her own practice of restorative yoga inspired Maria to complete Margo Rosingana's celebrated training Movement in Stillness so she could learn to guide students into intentional rest and deep relaxation. Her fascination with the quieter and contemplative side of yoga then led her to a deep and regular practice of yin yoga with Cathleen Wasielewski. Maria has recently completed her second level krama vinyasa teacher training in Johanna's Illumina Yoga 300 hr program; 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.

Louisa Irele

Louisa Irele

Instructor

Always a lover of movement, Louisa was first introduced to yoga by her dance teacher in high school, but it wasn't until after college that she truly fell in love with the way her asana practice ignited her awareness in all aspects of her life, both on and off the mat. Her journey took her through many different styles of yoga and ultimately to the completion of her 200hr certification in krama vinyasa from Illumina Yoga under the guidance of Johanna Bell, Kathleen Savoy, and Melissa Lopez Landers. Louisa believes that yoga is truly for every body. Her yoga is infused with dance to create a dynamic flow and she incorporates elements of trauma-informed instruction to create a welcoming environment for all to safely explore their own natural movement.

Molly Wasielewski

Molly Wasielewski

Instructor

A myriad of injuries led Molly to find yoga at the age of 12 at the suggestion of a doctor as a way to increase body awareness. She maintained a sporadic yoga practice, but it wasn’t until she returned home to Maine in 2014 in the wake of a personal crisis that she truly committed herself to a steady practice. As she dived more into her personal practice, she began to reclaim her voice and step into her power, finding expansion that freed her soul and connected her to her Truth and purpose. With the guidance of Kara Seymour, she began to feel called to share the gift of yoga as a path back to the self in mind, body, and spirit. In March of 2017, Molly completed her 200 hour teacher training with Illumina Yoga under the guidance of Johanna Bell, Kathleen Savoy, Melissa Lopez Landers, and Cathleen Wasielewski. Molly leads a heart-centered practice, offering modifications to make yoga more accessible for everybody, so that we can all show up as our perfectly imperfect selves and connect to our greater Truth through the practice.