ॐ Meet the Owners ॐ
Michelle DeNicola (Owner & Teacher)
Michelle is a 500hr Certified Yoga Instructor and Reiki Master. After a few years of working as a Radiation Therapist at NYU, she started her yoga journey- looking for a way to clear her mind, and instantly fell in love with the practice. She is married to her best friend and has 3 children, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She loves adventures, music, the beach, surfing, spicy food and being barefoot.
Michelle has Certifications in Vinyasa Flow, Yin, Restorative, Stand Up Paddle board Yoga & Karma Kids Yoga. Her creative playlists compliment her upbeat, laid back, friendly, positive attitude. You are sure to get a class that will make you feel safe, welcome, and relaxed. She is certainly not afraid to live life and run head first into any opportunity. Her motto is “jump and the net will appear.” Michelle has learned to stay present by letting go, optimistic by never giving up, and the importance to share these values with her students. Favorite Role Models: Mister Rogers, Bob Marley, Anais Nin and Mother Teresa
Cindy Valentine (Owner & Teacher)
Cindy started her yoga journey in 1999. She has 2 children and is married, with 2 cats “Samadhi” and “Chip”. Cindy has her masters in education and taught 6th grade for 5 years until she made the switch to teaching kids and teachers yoga full time. She created and implemented a yoga program in the Syosset school district and taught in service yoga trainings to educators. Her yogic path has always been organic; having full faith it was always what’s meant to be. She soon completed 4 teacher trainings to teach kids yoga to preschool through teenagers, mommy and me, and family yoga. She completed her first 200 hour teacher training for adults and this is where she met Michelle. Over the next 12 years, she has continued to study with many incredible teachers.
She has also received the following training certifications:
500 hour yoga teacher training, Yoga Tune Up level 1 and 2, Yoga Tune Up Advanced Anatomy, five 18 hour trainings under Jonny Kest, two complete Yin teacher trainings with Joe Barnett, Kickboxing, Barre Classes, Strike Indoor Cycle (Spinning and Jonny G certifications), & Warrior Sculpt/ Yoga Sculpt. She has also studied extensively with, Sean Corn, Bryan Kest, Baron Baptiste, Jacqui Bonwell, among many others. Out of all of her experiences, nothing prepared her for owning a yoga studio but she wouldn’t change a single thing! She loves every second of working with her best friend and partner in crime. The Yoga Shack was born out of her absolute love and devotion to the practice of yoga.
ॐ Meet our Teachers: ॐ
Brittany’s goal is to help others build up their physical strength by focusing on principles of alignment, while also taking that time to connect to the heart center. Driven to teach after discovering that yoga was so much more then just a physical practice. Brittany is a spiritual and compassionate yogi who lives yoga on and off the mat, inspiring others to do the same. Fun Fact: Brittany works for locally brewed Coastal Craft Kombucha. She also has a huge passion to raise positive awareness in all dog breeds.
Peter is a hairstylist by trade. A lover of nature, adventures, travel, puppies, gardening, home renovations, fitness, nutrition & food. He began practicing yoga as a fitness outlet and over the years, it morphed into much more than a physical practice. He enjoys a strong vinyasa flow, but has also come to enjoy slowing down at times. Music, chanting, and vibrational sounds permeate with him.
Kimberly loves to teach invigorating flows that explore the balance between strength and mobility. She is continually inspired by yoga’s ability to help people transform and connect deeper into themselves while doing something positive for their physical body as well. Kimberly has a passion for building a healthy lifestyle. When not practicing yoga you can find her out in nature (hiking, kayaking, paddle-boarding, you name it!), teaching dance and barre, and even taking classes at the local crossfit gym.
Olivia began practicing yoga at the young age of 15. The yoga studio quickly became the place she could turn to, the one place where she wasn’t judged as a student, friend, athlete, or daughter, but a place she could just be. Yoga has taught her how to better love others, the world, and herself. Her classes honor and incorporate the teachings of yoga while also playing and breaking a sweat. Expect to flow to an upbeat playlist and move the body, while also stilling the mind. There are numerous reasons why Olivia became a yoga teacher, but the main one is because she wants to provide a space for others to just be. Book lover, grilled cheese enthusiast, & sunset chaser, are just a few things that describe Olivia!
Christina’s deepest passion is to encourage, elevate, and educate others to live an inspired, creative, and balanced life. Yoga and meditation were her saving grace during some of the darkest moments of her life. During these days, the meditation room was the only place she was able to find solitude and a sense of peace from the overwhelming drama of her own mind. In the beginning of her journey she was guided to the sacred amazon of Guatemala and Peru, where she found peace for the first time. Not because of the environment she was in but because of the space she allowed for self-reflection, inquiry and healing. It was here where she began to recognize the power of her own mind, the limitless potential of her heart and her spirt. She learned that we hold enormous power and potential to free and heal ourselves. Christina was immediately inspired to share this understanding with all those who were ready to hear her message. Christina is passionate and devoted to supporting her students along their spiritual journey by imparting lessons of the mystical traditions of Shamanism and Alchemy. Each day she wakes up inspired by the potential of love and one mission—to create a safe and sacred space for others to embark on their own spiritual journey. She wishes to encourage others to embody their fullest potential, by learning to create space within their minds in order to more clearly understand their unique gifts, passions, and essence of who they are as beings of light and love.
Trish has practiced yoga on and off for many years. After finding the Yoga Shack as a place of community and love, she decided to commit to doing something extraordinary for herself and signed up for their 200hr Teacher training and Restorative training. Upon completing the trainings, she found the practice she loves to do- helping students learn to take a moment, a breath, for self-love and self-care through yoga. Practicing and teaching yoga has become an important part of who she is and part of her journey to better herself and help those around her. When not at the Shack, Trish loves to hang out with her kids, family and friends. She loves the beach, creating, gardening and learning.
After 30 years of exploring many different paths of the fitness world, divine intervention brought Michele's starving soul into Gritty Buddha in October of 2017. When her teacher and mentor, Regina Smith, began to speak something inside her broke open and she thought the tears would never end. Michele clearly saw the next right step for her - A 200 hour Enrichment and Yoga teacher training. The experience set her soul on fire. Since graduating in May 2018, as her yoga and meditation practice continues to evolve, she has committed herself to holding this sacred space for others. In sharing these practices, Michele wishes to offer her fellow light seekers a safe place to surrender and nurture their spirit while empowering them with tools to support them on their journey.
Hi I’m Lindsey and I am so grateful to be a part of The Yoga Shack Community! I have been practicing for 4 years now and a teacher for two. Yoga has been so healing and transformational for me in my life and I am so excited to share, learn and flow in this sacred space with you.
Michelle has been practicing yoga since 2003. Although she’s tried many different types of yoga, she has the strongest affinity for an Ashtanga/Vinyasa-based practice. This style gives her joy, peace, and a sense of playfulness, all things reflected in her teaching style. She has a great knowledge for modifying poses to suit any body and its needs, and is keenly able to balance ease and intensity.
Michelle’s first teacher training was in Ashtanga in 2005 and has been teaching ever since. To deepen her knowledge and her practice, Michelle completed teacher trainings and is E-RYT 500 and YACEP certified through the Yoga Alliance. Michelle has been blessed with the opportunity to study with Jabari Hakeem, Michael Aronoff, Beryl Bender Birch, and many other wonderful teachers.
Michelle enjoys teaching yoga and finds it rewarding sharing her knowledge with others. She is always willing to learn more and is constantly trying to increase her knowledge through workshops, readings, and trainings.
Michelle is a proud mother of three beautiful daughters who keep her busy with their many sports, music, educational and social activities. She’s a dog lover & is a very active member of the Farmingdale Schools PTA.