Hi! My name is Emily Pearl Alfano, founder of Red Barn Wellness. After almost two decades, I have returned to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, to create this very special place for health, healing and growth.
In 2010, I left my 8-year career (and comfort zone) as an Environmental Scientist, gave away all of my possessions, ended a long-term relationship, and embarked on a solo-journey to the other side of the world. Crazy, right?! Well, for such a blessed soul I had noticed I spent an awful lot of my life suffering. I knew there had to be something more to this existence, I knew I needed to heal, and I wanted to uncover the truth...
I spent the next 3 years traveling and studying with master teachers of yoga and Buddhism. I approached it all with the mind of a scientist, determined to uncover what works best for health of mind and body. Making my body the experiment, I dove into nutrition, meditation, yoga and the subtlety of the energetic world. I lived in ashrams in India and spent 3-months in the jungles of Thailand studying the science of yoga at the Pyramid Yoga Centre. I acknowledged my gifts of sensitivity and nurtured my intuition. I studied many healing arts and eventually became a Shamballa and Reiki Master.
My quest for knowledge led me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the World's Largest Nutrition School, where I graduated in December of 2012. In 2013, I began my yoga therapy studies with the Wisdom Method School of Yoga, while concurrently creating Red Barn Wellness. I am now have my 700-hr Yoga Therapy Certification, in addition to my 500-hr Chakra Yoga Certification and 200-Hr It's Yoga- Ashtanga Yoga Certification.
Through my many trainings, retreats, and travel experiences I've learned how food, meditation and yoga can make a huge difference in ones health- mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. I am honored to teach the tools I've learned, and to bring fantastic teachers here to Red Barn, to help us all feel better, age gracefully, and shine brightly!
Elizabeth has practiced yoga, meditation, recovery spirituality and other disciplines for 25 years, and has been a massage therapist and transition coach for over 10 years. She was amazed and inspired by how her own neck and shoulder injuries healed more quickly with regular yoga and bodywork, but she also loves how grounded emotionally and spiritually she feels after a session.
She has taught gentle, beginner & restorative yoga classes in many studios as well as private individual and group sessions. She received additional certification in Jnana Yoga, the yoga of self-inquiry, to further facilitate the integration of body, mind, and spirit for students and clients.
Elizabeth works gently with beginning and physically limited students, and also with people facing life transitions, and with the addictive mind and body. She loves to share how yoga (and bodywork) is one of the best ways to build a strong physical foundation for the mind to more quietly focus and for the spirit to move more freely.
Asana practice with self-inquiry (Jnana Yoga) principles creates a space for anyone to honor and hold whatever life presents to us as a challenge or a joy, with more ease and grace.
Hi! My name is Katherine (but most people call me Kado) and I feel so privileged to be a part of Red Barn Wellness, a place that promotes healing and community. Like Emily, I moved away from the Berkshires and the NW Corner for awhile before coming to my senses and moving back!
I’ve spent that last six years exploring the world of health and fitness as a certified personal trainer and teacher in New York City, and in 2014 decided to get my license in massage therapy from the Swedish Institute of Health Sciences. I love combining the subtly powerful and restorative aspects of movement and body work with the physically and mentally challenging elements of training and athletics.
I’ve come to realize that by creating space for both “working in” and “working out” in my habits of self-care, I increase my capacity to handle life’s tougher, scarier moments with resilience and courage. And sometimes I just cry or yell or sigh or write and that works too.
My favorite ways to work out are: riding my bike, hiking, climbing trees, swinging kettlebells around, stringing together bodyweight “flows” (think fitness choreography!), playing ice hockey.
My favorite ways to work in are: Qigong, receiving acupuncture, practicing Shiatsu, singing, writing, gardening, reading.
Robbie Bogard (Japjeet Kaur), RYT 200, recently relocated from Chicago to the Berkshires. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and therapist specializing in trauma recovery who has been practicing various forms of yoga for over twenty-five years. As part of her work with individuals recovering from trauma and other forms of psychological distress, she has emphasized the importance of the mind/body connection. She encourages the use of yoga and meditation for calming the mind, opening the heart, and connecting with one’s soul and spiritual needs. She went to her first Kundalini yoga class in 2010 and was immediately drawn to the use of sound and mantra as an integral part of each class. She discovered the immediate benefits of chanting as it created an experience of balance and centeredness in her hectic life as a working mother.
Her interest in Kundalini Yoga led her to 3HO (Happy Healthy Holy Organization) Women’s Camp in 2012 where she immersed herself in the teachings and practice of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. In 2013 she decided to enroll in Urban Yoga Chicago’s Teacher Training to fulfill her desire to deepen her own practice and contribute to sharing the benefits of Kundalini Yoga.
Robbie/Japjeet loves food and travel, to make art, have new experiences with people, and deeply values connecting with others and creating community.
Hello, my name is Zoey Wagner. I was around 10-years-old when I took my first yoga class, and continued the practice on through high school. In my college years my practice dwindled as running and weight lifting took its place. In College I changed my major semester after semester, alternating between art, nutrition, and physical therapy. I knew I wanted to do something that would give back to others but none of these areas of study felt right within me.
In the summer of 2015 I suffered a back injury that forced me to give up running and weight lifting for months, which thankfully lead me back to yoga. Yoga helped tremendously with the pain (both physical and mental) I went through as I healed. Becoming a yoga teacher was something I’d thought about in the past but I knew then that it was something I wanted to take on. In the spring of 2016 I went to Kripalu Center for Yoga and obtained my 200 hour yoga teacher training. Since then I’ve taken on private yoga clients and spent some time this past summer working at a yoga studio in New Hampshire. I taught five days a week to men going through a drug and alcohol addiction recovery program. The experience was truly inspiring. Being able to see the positive impact my work had on others was deeply rewarding and I am thankful for my time there.
My approach to yoga is centered around making the experience all about you. It’s your practice, no one else’s and no one else knows what feels good in your body better then you. I implement this by guiding relaxation, matching breath with movement and creating body awareness, empowering each individual to feel in control of their practice. I’m beyond grateful to now be here at Red Barn Wellness, I so look forward to meeting some new people and growing together!
Jody has been a student of life since her teens. Always a seeker, exploring and deepening into meditation, dabbling in yoga as exercise, she finally “discovered” yoga. In 2002, while attending an Iyengar class she had the realization that this was her new “frontier”. Little did she know how the journey of yoga would become a journey into life itself. Encompassing all her passions, the pulse of yoga allowed her to move deeper into the exploration of self on all levels; physically, mentally and emotionally.
After a horse accident she developed debilitating back issues, ones she is still working with. With the desire to share the joy of movement with meditative awareness and how it heals and empowers, Jody decided to take her teachers training with Todd Norian , founder of Ashaya Yoga, Ashaya is an alignment based yoga that invites the practice of balance and flexibility while building strength. One leaves the class calm, focused, and inspired.
Her goal in teaching is to support people where they are, encourage them to do what they can, and to enrich their confidence on and off the mat. This combination makes for happier lives and when we are happy all those around us are happier too. Life, enthusiasm and love are contagious. Let’s change the world!