carissa yoga

In my classes, I weave a blend of humor and music, balanced by intelligently sequenced asana, pranayama and ancient yoga philosophy.  I strive to provide a full spectrum yogic experience in each and every class.

For me, yoga is more than interesting poses or flexibility. Yoga is a way of living. This practice is a sacred and unique conversation between the body, breath and awareness. But, it’s also fun, creative, laughable, surprising, (at times frustrating!), and a great teacher in and of itself.  It is a gift.

When I’m not teaching yoga, you might catch me cruising on my antique bike, singing loudly in my car, hiking with my husband or hanging in the sun with my kids in my arms.

I’ve moved from city to city, faced changes and unexpected paths –  surfing the constant ebb and flow of my own yoga and breath practice help me embrace the journey of life with an open heart and trust.  This trust in the unexpected, that letting go is safe, the realization that everything WILL be ok, is the gift of practice that I hope to share with my students.

In addition to group classes, come join me at events and workshops dotted around the country, at a retreat in a beachy spot, or in my 200-hour vinyasa teacher training.

I completed my initial vinyasa yoga training in Washington, DC at Flow Yoga Center, a teachers’ immersion with Seane Corn in 2012, and another teachers’ immersion with Maty Ezraty in 2013. I have received the gift of learning from countless wise teachers, including many students along the way and my two small children.

Hang out with me on my blog and on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Tumblr.

(Note: Carissa, Breathing Room’s owner, moved to the Philadelphia area in August 2013, where she also teaches!  She travels back to Breathing Room monthly to teach and direct our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training School.)



Casey Putschoegl

Casey encourages students to practice yoga at their own level and pace. She strives to create a warm, welcoming space for students to explore their own practice without judgment or comparison.

Casey has been practicing yoga for ten years, and her interest in yoga stemmed from her background in dance. Starting at the age of four, she invested twenty years into practicing, instructing and competing in ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary styles of dance. Along the way, she learned that dancing was largely based on performing for others, impressing judges and winning shiny trophies (which would later end up in garage sales!). When she began transitioning from dance to yoga, she discovered the value of turning her gaze inward, instead of looking outward for approval. As a practitioner, she has found yoga to be deeply enriching. As a teacher, she is invested in supporting her students as they develop in their own journey with yoga.

In 2012, Casey received her 200-hour Vinyasa teacher certification through the Breathing Room, where she studied under Carissa Ciuca and Heather Raylinsky. She completed all 200 hours of the training during her pregnancy, so she feels a special connection to pre-natal yoga and other expectant yogis. Casey welcomed her son, George, in April 2013 and is cherishing all the big and small moments of being a first-time mother.

Off the mat, she enjoys traveling, learning foreign languages, being anywhere on the water, and exploring Maine with her husband, son and goofy red lab.

Susy Hawes

Susy Hawes began exploring yoga in high school and has been practicing for the 12 years since. She was drawn to share the practice with others and in May 2012 completed the 200 hour teaching training here at Breathing Room. In Susy’s yoga classes, the breath and inward focus are just as important as the physical poses. Susy works to create a space for students to feel both their mind and body centered and calm.

While her certification is in Vinyasa Flow, she often incorporate aspects of Iyengar, Integral, or restorative yoga traditions. Susy is honored to continue to be both inspired and guided by her teachers: Carissa Ciuca, Heather Raylinsky, Brett Russman, Grace Jull, Nicole Clark, Michael Plasha, and her first yoga teacher, Lynn Meehan.


Margo began teaching yoga in Boulder, Colorado.  She received her 500 hour RYT status with Yoga Alliance after completing her training in alignment based Vinyasa flow with Shannon Paige, Chris Muchow and Nancy Kate Williams. Since then, Margo has felt drawn to learn and delve deeper into the art of teaching restorative yoga.  She completed Level I and II Anjali Restorative Yoga Teacher Training as well as Bhava Vinyasa Teacher Training, a practice that combines the fluidity of a vinyasa practice with the healing of intentional rest.  She has truly gained an intense awareness and appreciation for the transformative power of yoga.

Her Vinyasa classes offer a gentle intensity that is focused on connection to the breath and energetic alignment. Her restorative classes move the student through a series of supported poses with elements of imagery, guided meditation and Pranayama to allow the student to ease into a place of intentional rest.  This past year, Margo designed and implemented a series of one on one sessions that were inspired by the transformational power of yoga.  These are called Heart and Soul Sessions and are meant to be empowering to the student to break through ‘the funk’ in order to live a life more connected to their heart and soul.

With roots in New England, Margo recently moved to Portland, ME with her husband to be closer to family and the ocean, one of her favorite teachers.

Shannon Fallon

Shannon is a licensed massage therapist and experienced registered yoga teacher living and working in Portland, Maine. She teaches ashtanga vinyasa, vinyasa and restorative yoga with a strong emphasis on therapeutics and postural integration. Shannon was introduced to yoga in 2001 as a high school athlete and began teaching in 2006 while studying psychology at the University of Colorado – Boulder. Since then, she has continued her study of the human body and movement with renowned teachers, bodyworkers and health specialists. Shannon is best known for her keen ability to observe a body in movement, communicate clear instruction and give informed adjustments. With sincere gratitude, Shannon bows to all of her teachers and mentors for sharing their knowledge and light, including her greatest teacher- her daily yoga practice. It is Shannon’s commitment to practice that grounds her both personally and professionally.

To learn more about Shannon visit her website at

ethan bio
Ethan Kauffman

As a teacher I am nourished by my ever evolving practice, a journey which began in 2005 and continues to inspire and challenge. Through this process I have come to view each pose as an architectural form as well as an expression of vital energy. I artfully design each practice to unravel tension, cultivate strength, and alight the natural intelligence of the body. As a yoga teacher, I most value crafting a mindful and introspective experience in which practitioners of every level can find richness and exuberance. Each individual is honored with the gift of space and quiet, embodying moving meditation.

I teach numerous weekly classes in southern Maine, lead workshops, serve as an assistant for the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program at the Breathing Room, and provide one on one sessions offering yoga, herbal healing, and holistic health guidance.

In the Summer of 2012, I completed a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified Yoga Teaching Program with the Breathing Room. I continue to be guided and inspired by my many teachers, including: Ame Wren, David Regelin, Leslie Kaminoff, Grace Jull, Ana Forest, Carissa Ciuca, and Heather Raylinsky.

Connect with Ethan –

steve bio
Steve Kelly


Steve Kelly is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher (RYT). He completed his training at Breathing Room in the spring of 2012. During his training, which was led by Carissa Ciuca, he was fortunate to study with deeply dedicated, talented, and recognized teachers in Carissa, Heather Raylinsky, Sue Jones, Alex Amorosi, Grace Jull, Michael Plasha, Nicole Clark, and others.

Steve works to create a safe and comfortable class that incorporates asana and mindfulness where students of any level can explore and deepen their practice. He is deeply dedicated to his own practice of yoga and meditation, and continues his studies through reading and workshops.

He lives in South Portland with his wife and their son. He is grateful for his family, friends, the life he has, and the opportunity to share the practice of yoga.



From and early age Larissa was drawn to yoga. An illness early in life exposed her to its healing powers. Over the past 14 years Larissa has practiced various types of yoga and has explored the physical, mental, emotional and energetic healing powers of all that is yoga. She is enthusiastic in her love of sharing what she has learned in her classes. Through movement, breath, mindfulness and theory she creates a safe environment to allow students find and receive what they need in the moment

Larissa’s undergraduate studies were in Comparative Religious Theologies with a concentration in Eastern Philosophy and holds a BA from Dickinson College. This background was expanded by a 200 hour Vinyasa teacher training here at Breathing Room under the direction of Carissa Ciuca with focused studies with other regional and national teachers including Michael Plasha, Grace Jull, Nicole Clark, Sue Jones, Alex Amorosi and many others. In addition to teaching yoga Larissa is a life coach and holistic health coach in Portland. It is her true passion to help people find the power and freedom to live a life they love.

lily 1

Subscribing less to a particular brand name or style, Lily believes that a teacher should meet the student where they are so that the yoga is tailored to the needs of the student. On the mat she incorporates yoga philosophy and nursing knowledge into her teaching, she creates space for others to explore and experience how the mind, body, and spirit are all connected. She encourages people to reframe their perceptions, to pursue their vitality, to live passionately – in short – to stop running from oneself. The goal in class is to have each student leave with an open heart, a calm mind and a strong body…all key elements in taking their yoga “off the mat” and into their daily lives, truly living their yoga.

Lily has been a student of yoga since she was 11 years old and is now a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training with Jacqui Bonwell through Sacred Seeds Yoga School. Trainings with Sue Jones, Ame Wren, Nicole Clark, Phillip Askew, David Regelin, Bryan Kest, Kathryn Budig, Johnny Gillespie, Alison Sinatra, Carissa Ciuca, Grace Jull and many more inspiring teachers. Lily’s years of yoga practice she has studied many traditions of yoga allowing her to develop her own unique style of invigorating flow and healthy alignment.

Lily teaches weekly yoga classes and serves as a teacher mentor and assists in The Breathing Room’s celebrated 200-hour teacher training.

Off the Mat Lily recently graduated from UNE with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Born and raised in Southern Pines, NC, Lily found her second home in Portland, Maine.

Lily is deeply grateful to all of her teachers and students, on and off the mat.

KELLY corbin

Kelly Corbin has been practicing and living yoga since 1998. From classes in her college’s gym to the rainforests of Costa Rica, yoga has been a central and stabilizing force in Kelly’s life. She has completed two 200-hour yoga teacher-training programs, first an Iyengar-based training and most recently with the Kripalu School for Yoga. As a teacher, Kelly is humorous, creative and fun. She leads joyful sequences that invite her students to explore their own edge, both physically and mentally. Her Iyengar training gives her a strong foundation in alignment and anatomy, while her Kripalu experiences help her guide each student into a practice that honors their individual needs. Kelly believes that yoga is ultimately a path of self-inquiry, so she creates safe spaces within her classes for practitioners to try new things, break out of old patterns, and discover the joys within.

Jacquelynn St. Pierre

Jacquelynn’s background in dance and fascination with the body moving through space led her to her first yoga class… little did she know the experience would have a profound impact on her life.

She believes deeply with her whole heart/mind/body/soul/being in the transformative power of yoga and her teachings truly speak to this.

Her classes are inspired by the beauty and fluidity of music and poetry, informed by the ancient healing practice of auyrveda, and grounded in yogic philosophy. With a focus on how asana practice translates off the mat, students leave class feeling rejuvenated in their physical bodies as well as their minds.

Jacquelynn studied at Laughing Lotus College of Yoga in San Francisco, CA where she completed her 200 hour training. She regularly attends continuing education seminars with celebrated teachers throughout the US and is currently pursuing her 500 hour training at Laughing Lotus NYC.

She has eternal gratitude for her brilliant teachers Jasmine Tarkeshi, Keith Borden, Emily Stone, Astrud Castillo, Dana Flynn and many, many more.

Amanda Marino

Amanda Marino began exploring yoga when she was 12. From her first savasana she felt a spark illuminate curiosity and desire to learn more. In the winter of 2013, Amanda took a leap of faith and embarked on the transformational journey of yoga teacher training at the Breathing Room. Under the guiding light of her teachers Carissa Ciuca, Heather Raylinsky, Grace Jull, Nicole Clark, and Coral Brown, Amanda began to develop her own authentic voice and style.

Through thoughtful sequencing, alignment cues and gentle assists, Amanda holds the space with the hope that that each student is able to come to class, and connect with their breath and body. Amanda infuses each class with music, playfulness, and openness. She is incredibly grateful for all the teachers and students who have shaped her practice. Thank you Keri Johnson and Irene Sakamoto.

Subs & Teaching at BR

While most of our regularly scheduled teachers swap and sub classes as needed, we do occasionally welcome a substitute teacher to lead classes in our space!  Our subs are talented, inspired and have 200+ hours of training.  Most of them have trained right here in our studio.

We are so grateful to be working with these talented teachers who occasionally sub in our space:
Caseylin Darcy
Chelsea Rock-Phelps
Diana Duane


Interested in teaching with us?
All of our teachers have been students here at one time or another.  All our current teachers practice in our space! It helps to foster our connected community experience, which we are known for at Breathing Room.

If you’d like to apply to teach or sub with us, please come in a try a few different classes first, get a feel for our space, see how the studio operates and learn about our community– we look forward to seeing you in class soon!