Ben McLellan opened Underground Studios in 2009 to provide yoga and personal training in a welcoming and professional environment for students and clients of all levels.
Ben found yoga while in college studying classical percussion. Due to the rigors of practicing and playing for many hours he developed tendonitis. “This was a very challenging time for me as I saw my music career being challenged by a physical issue.” After exploring several methods Ben was introduced to yoga by his sister. “I began practicing power yoga and felt immediate relief from my tendonitis.” He continued to practice for a couple of years and then slipped away from practice for a few years.
Upon moving to Massachusetts to pursue a master’s degree in music, Ben’s life took a major turn towards living his Dharma (purpose). He decided to forego another music degree and instead stepped into the wellness realm. “My mom had always been an inspiration for me to touch people’s lives in a positive way.” Ben found his way to personal training and also began practicing yoga again. He was fortunate enough to apprentice with a seasoned teacher and soon began teaching yoga.
“Since coming back to my yoga practice there has been a profound shift in my life. In fact, yoga has touched all areas of my life. This is why I do the work I do so that I can share this with clients and students and help them see that transformation and living a more auspicious life is possible.”
Ben received his personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and is additionally certified by the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which has advanced his understanding of human movement patterns and how they relate to functional performance and injury prevention. His current and past clientele range from those interested in weight loss, post rehab clients, college and semi-pro athletes and beginner to advanced yogis. Incorporating aspects of both yoga and resistance training, Ben provides a balance between the individual desires of his clients regarding their physical body and promoting and emphasizing a mind-body connection.
Ben prides himself on his commitment and enthusiasm towards his work and is continually working to grow his personal yoga practice. Ben is a certified Level 1 ParaYoga teacher, registered with the Yoga Alliance, and also has a 200 hour certification in Qi Gong. Through continued education, yoga trainings, and Qi Gong trainings, Ben is able to practice what he preaches and offer his students a thorough understanding of the ever-growing practice of yoga. Ben currently studies with Yogarupa Rod Stryker of ParaYoga (www.parayoga.com), Level 2 certified ParaYoga teacher Lauren Toolin (www.laurenjaytoolin.com), and Master teachers Jason Campbell and Michael Leone (www.zenwellness.com). He supplements his yoga training with continuing education seminars on meditation and breathing, structural alignment, and Qi Gong.
Using the technique of “wise progression”, Ben teaches yoga from a place of compassion and leadership, often using humor to connect with students. Ben expresses his knowledge of the body by incorporating alignment principles throughout his classes. He is able to safely bring students to their edge by encouraging them to rest when they need to, take it to the edge when possible and ultimately enjoy the process of breathing through it. His classes provide a challenge to students while remaining accessible and open to all those interested in the practice of yoga.
If you’re interested in meeting with Ben to discuss personal training options, developing or advancing your personal yoga practice or with any questions about Underground Studios, contact him at email@example.com
Jules Teibel made Boston her home after growing up in Northwest Indiana. She then lived and traveled around the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Middle East. While serving as a drill sergeant in the Army, she developed a passion for teaching and fitness training. The transition from military to civilian life was daunting but Jules found comfort and balance after beginning her yoga practice in 2003.
In 2006 she attended the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, AZ and earned her Anusara based 200 hour yoga certification as well as an AOS in Holistic Healthcare.
Jules moved to Boston in 2007 and worked as a massage therapist and yoga teacher. It was then that she met her kindred spirits and deeply respected colleagues Ben McLellan and Christine Demott. Through Ben and other esteemed instructors Jules has embraced and incorporated elements of Iyengar and ParaYoga disciplines into her own teaching.
Jules returned to college and in 2010 graduated with honors earning a BA in Environmental Science from UMass Boston.
Lisa Perron was introduced to yoga by a theatre instructor in 1996 and it has been an integral part of her life ever since. She has enjoyed studying a variety of styles with teachers in New York, San Francisco and now Boston.
Through yoga, Lisa has come to appreciate the balance of challenge and surrender, opening herself to continuous learning and growth while also accepting her yoga practice just as it is. Lisa completed her teacher training with Natasha Rizopoulos through YogaWorks, which emphasizes a combination of precision and flow informed by the Iyengar and Ashtanga traditions.
As a psychotherapist off the mat, Lisa is interested in yoga’s potential to enhance both physical and emotional well-being. Lisa encourages students to pay attention to their individual experiences in order to develop a yoga practice that is personally rewarding and can last a lifetime.
Julie Schonbeck began practicing yoga over ten years ago as a way to cope with the physical and emotional demands of being a nurse.
Because her professional life meant being up all day, up all night, or somewhere in-between, Julie was first drawn to the pure relaxation she found on the mat. Over time, Julie also came to appreciate the physical challenges of yoga and to realize how her practice could create a steadiness in the present moment that could be applied to all of life, both on and off the mat.
In 2011, Julie completed her 200 hour teacher training with Natasha Rizopoulos through YogaWorks, which blends precise alignment with elements of flow. Julie is also a certified Yoga Warriors Instructor, which is an evidence-based yoga program designed specifically for military personnel to help prevent or alleviate symptoms of combat stress (COSR) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Julie continues to deepen her personal practice, and is currently studying with Ben McLellan of Underground Studios. Julie views yoga as a life-long practice that encourages self-exploration and offers concrete tools with which to face life’s challenges. As a teacher, Julie strives to help others see the subtle changes that are possible at any time and to discover the place of stillness that lies within.
Jen Drake was first introduced to yoga through her college dance classes. Having spent much of her childhood in the dance studio, Jen was initially drawn to the physicality of yoga. Through dedicated practice, she realized that yoga offered much more than increased flexibility and balance. Jen has come to appreciate the connection that yoga offers between the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga has allowed her to find peace and inner strength.
Jen completed her 200-hour teacher training with Natasha Rizopoulos and Jennie Cohen through YogaWorks. The YogaWorks method focuses on alignment and linking breath with movement.
In May 2012, she will earn her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Boston College. Jen’s researches the visual arts as a way of understanding children’s cognitive and emotional development.
Power. Beauty. Grace. These are the guiding principles of Niav’s teaching. Power comes from building core strength, aligning bones, and stabilizing joints. Beauty arises in the exquisiteness of each pose and the joy that naturally occurs in the practice. Grace happens in the dance of breath and movement and the seamless flow of one posture into the next.
The yogic path is one of awakening and liberation. From a place of integrity, personal experience and a deep desire to walk the yogic path, Niav supports her students in their evolution. With over 25 years of practice experience, 11 years of teaching experience, and a MA in Psychology, Niav brings a depth of understanding, wisdom and compassion to her teaching. She encourages playful fascination and exploration of the body. Her classes are creative and joyful focusing on development of core stabilization, mindfulness of breath, precision in postures, and the slow, steady building of strength and flexibility through intelligent, thoughtful sequencing.
Niav attended her first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in 2001 with Ana Forrest. She began teaching in early 2002 in Santa Barbara, CA where she honed her teaching skills for nine years. She then moved to San Francisco and taught at various studios including Yoga Tree for two years. Over the last 11 years she’s been certified in Pre-Natal Yoga (2006), acquired a MA in Clinical Psychology (2007), been licensed as a Massage Therapist (2007), attended her second 200 hour YTT in Vinyasa Yoga with Vidya Jacqueline Heisel (2010). Most recently she’s acquired a 150 Hour Certification in Yoga History and Philosophy (2011) from the California Institute of Integral Studies, 150 Hour Certificate in Kashmir Shaivism (2012) from Christopher Hareesh Wallis, PhD, and 500 YTT with Janet Stone (2012). In addition she’s studied with Baron Baptiste in Boston, Cyndi Lee of Om Yoga in NYC, and Shiva Rea in LA. Niav has extensive experience working with a broad range of students from beginners to advanced yogis, from adults to teens, and from athletes to those with injuries and disabilities including MS, paralysis, and spinal chord debilitations.
Joe Somodi has been teaching most of his adult life. He began studying yoga in 1999 and became a certified yoga instructor in 2007. He leads workshops and retreats all over the country. He is currently doing a tour on the topic of living a more resilient life. In the yoga studio, Joe teaches his students energy management. He does this by conveying the importance of breath, physical stability and relaxation, and how these influence the state of the mind. Joe is a Reiki 2 practitioner where he has treated a wide variety of people coping with cancer, multiple sclerosis and other physical limitations. Joe is currently studying with Rod Stryker, one of the leading Tantra Yoga teachers in the United States.