Brian Stern - Owner & Founder
Hello, and welcome to Instrumental Yoga!
I've been a yoga teacher and practitioner in Boston since 2009, and have a background in music as a composer and musician.
Yoga is instrumental for maintaining your health and wellbeing. My mission is to make yoga available to anyone wanting to experience its powerful healing benefits for themselves!
In 2007, I moved from California to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music. During that time, I developed chronic pain in my spine, arms, and hands.
This pain was caused by repetitive stress, poor posture, and injuries I sustained during my younger days of skateboarding and snowboarding.
Halfway through college, my pain was impacting my ability to play instruments. Seeking relief, I began to see a chiropractor twice a week to manage the pain. My physical challenges quickly escalated into mental and emotional barriers that left me questioning my pursuit of a life in music. My world had flipped so quickly that it left me feeling devastated.
Eventually, I decided to try taking a few yoga classes. Within a few months of consistent practice, I no longer needed to see a chiropractor for pain management. Upon feeling and understanding the benefits, I quickly became dedicated to practicing yoga on a weekly basis. I knew I had to share my newfound passion for yoga with as many people as I could reach.
After graduating, I went back to California for a nine-week training course to become a yoga instructor. I then promptly returned to Boston to teach yoga full-time from my home studio.
Since then, I have been able to open my own studio and share my love of yoga with thousands of people from age five to eighty-five.
I have seen firsthand the positive impact yoga has on physical, mental, and emotional issues, and it has only strengthened my belief in yoga's power.
Today I offer this opportunity to you as an option to break through your limitations. I promise to provide you the highest level of instruction and support as I guide you on a pathway to your wellness goals.
Dana DeShiro (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and Registered Children's Yoga Teacher (RCYT). Dana has been practicing yoga for over 15 years, helping her to grow stronger, more flexible, fearless, and authentic both on and off the mat. Yoga inspires Dana to be present and live each moment with intention, passion, fun and connection.
Dana completed her 200 hour yoga teaching training at Boston Center for Contemplative Practice in Newton. From there, Dana continued her education and completed a trauma-informed children’s yoga and mindfulness teacher training through Yoga Ed.
Dana has an undergrad degree in Special Education, a Master's Degree in Social Work and extensive training in trauma-informed clinical practice. Dana considers herself a forever student, always learning something new.
Dana’s yoga practice is influenced by Ayurveda, the ebb and flow of the seasons and the chakra system. Dana is enthusiastic about sharing the physical and emotional benefits of yoga, meditation and mindfulness with children, as well as adults and creating space for children to be able to express themselves and connect to one another in a safe environment.
On the mat, Dana brings her playful, warm, joyful spirit and sense of humor to her classes. She runs the Family Yoga Class at Instrumental Yoga.
Rachel Smiljanic is a 500-hr Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher (ERYT-500), a yoga therapist, meditation teacher, sound healer, & body worker. She was first drawn to yoga for it’s physical benefits, and further discovered that it benefits her mental, emotional, and energy bodies.
“I love getting on my mat, and immersing myself in the movement and breath. Yoga, meditation, and breath are such a powerful tool of transformation that doesn't require anything external."
In the past few years her passion has drawn her to teach more quieter & slower practices of restorative, yin, somatics, pranayama & deep sleep yoga nidra. Rachel has a talent for holding space for students in classes, workshops, day retreats, and private sessions, and has shared her many gifts throughout Boston, the UK, and Australia.
“Life can be so busy, now more than ever, with extra stimulation to our frontal cortex with so much screen time & scrolling social media platforms. Society praises us for doing more, multi-tasking, and being busy. My work & passion has drawn me to hold space for students & clients to explore ways of slowing down, tuning in, & simply listening. Slowing down is not always easy but can be fruitful, insightful, and deeply healing.”
Rachel completed her 200-hr certificate in Cambridge UK with Bev Nolan & Rachel Moore, and her 300-hr at Down Under Yoga in Boston with Natasha Rizopoulos, Barbara Benagh, and beloved Ame Wren as her mentor. She also completed her 100-hr Yin & Meditation Training with Sarah & Ty Powers, and Restorative Training with Alex Brenna Mattews & Alex Bauermeister.
Rachel blends time between teaching public classes and workshops, and runs a private practice in Jamaica Plain, MA in the corporate arena. When she’s not sharing her passion she is hugging trees, forest bathing, hiking, baking raw & gluten free sweet treats, or hanging out with her beloved Iggy’s - her Italian greyhounds Ted & Ada.
Connect with Rachel via rachelsspace.com
Dr. Matthew Fothergill
Dr. Matthew Fothergill, PT, DPT is the founder of The Health Collaborator, a mobile private practice physical therapy, care partner education, and holistic wellness clinic.
He began his career in sport performance coaching, group fitness instructing, athletic skill development. From there he earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy with a concentration in Vestibular Rehab from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
Having had his own intimate experience with chronic inner ear issues after his brother "accidentally" stuck a candy cane in his ear when they were toddlers, and after a handful of traumatic brain injuries (concussions) sustained while playing football and hockey, he decided to pursue a passion for rehab related to all his personal experiences.
He has found incredible success and joy in working as a private practice owner and consultant. He also runs the Yoga for Dizziness Course offered at Instrumental Yoga.