Yoga Instructors

Coastal Retreat owner, Kristi Shaw, Ph.D.,MHS, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, C-IAYT (Certified Yoga Therapist), began her yoga teaching career in 2006 at the local YMCA.  Following the path of yoga therapy as an integrated approach in her teaching style, Kristi completed her RYT 500 and C-IAYT hours with University of Maryland Medical School, Center for Integrative Medicine, which included a focus on yoga therapeutics, Reiki and energetic healing. In addition to her yoga training, Kristi hasrecently completed Reiki training through Master level.In 2008, Kristi completed her RYT 200 Anusara-based training with Golden Heart Yoga in Annapolis, MD. During that time, she has also completed a Body Balance Yoga Therapy Training series with Jenny Otto, E-RYT 500, Senior Anusara Teacher, and 20 hours study of therapeutic yoga for scoliosis and back care with Elise Browning Miller, E-RYT 500, Senior Certified Iyengar Teacher. In 2015, she completed her certification in Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) with Nikki Myers. Kristi has taught a range of class styles over her career as a yoga teacher, from vinyasa to prenatal yoga, in settings ranging from gyms, studios, community centers and outpatient addictions programs, with a focus on the therapeutic use of yoga as a mechanism for powerful transformation and healing in the body through alignment and self-awareness.  Kristi is most excited to share the powerful and transformative properties of yoga, both physically and emotionally,  which are available for each of us as we step onto our mat and into our breath.Kristi Shaw also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences (2005), Master of Health Science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2007) and a Ph.D. in Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Sciences from University of Maryland, College Park (2013). She enjoys blending her scientific background with the study of yoga to deepen her yoga practice.  She founded Coastal Retreat Studios and Wellness in 2017 to further her vision of bringing multiple healing modalities under a shared roof, sharing a common focus on aligning and healing the whole person.


This year marks 40 years that Suzie Hurley, E-RYT 500, has practiced yoga and meditation with roots in Kripalu, Iyengar, and Anusara. She is the former Director/Owner of the Willow Street Yoga Center in Takoma Park, MD. which served nearly 2000 weekly students. Her clear and precise teaching style is balanced with fun and authenticity. Often told that her own essence is joy, Suzie’s teaching is enthusiastic and inspirational. Her goal is to always encourage, enliven, and empower her students to open to their intrinsic goodness that lies within.
More about Suzie at




Karen Knauss, RYT 200, Physical Therapy Assistant and Radiant Child Yoga Teacher, Karen blends her physical therapy background with alignment-based yoga instruction.  Trained at Willow Street Yoga Center by Maria Hamburger, Joe Miller and Natalie Miller, Karen continues studies in children’s yoga through Radiant Child, is a certified stand-up paddle board instructor,  and is a certified Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) leader.





Sasha Whiting, RYT 200, LCSW-C,  accomplished one of her most exciting goals thus far when she graduated from her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification in March of 2015 through Red Lila Yoga with Lindsay Lusignea.  After finding yoga 15 years ago, she knew it was something she had to share with the world.  As a child, Sasha danced with the Moscow and Pittsburgh Ballets and Towson University’s Dance Division.  Her love for yoga developed after having a spinal fusion which ended her dance career.  Yoga allowed Sasha to continue moving and flowing to the beat of life.  With her background in mental health, Sasha’s focus is on encouraging students to develop a deep and authentic mind-body connection.  Her classes will leave you feeling strong and empowered, both physically and mentally.  Get ready to flow, push yourself to the edge and ground into new possibilities.  Originally from Baltimore County, Sasha fell in love with the Shore after graduation and never went home.


Eleanor Denegre, RYT 500, began studying and practicing Yoga as a teenager to build strength and grounding for her career in theater and dance as a performer and a Theater Specialist at the NEA. Her practice cultivates resilience, stillness, and focus within the “noise” of daily life and her inquiry is how to create freedom and joy within the constraints of desks and schedules. Eleanor is a 500-hour Kripalu Professional Teacher and a certified Interdisciplinary Yoga Teacher, Nosara Yoga Institute. She studied Yoga with Swami Neeladevananda and corporeal expression with French artist Etienne Decroux and with theater artists Henryk Tomaszewski and Jerzy Grotowski as a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellow in Poland. She has been honored to teach at the Athenaeum Gallery in Alexandria, VA, C2 Fitness, and the Justice Department for over 17 years in Washington, D.C.





Kelli Remo, RYT 200, believes whole hear­­­tedly in the power of yoga to heal and transform. After years of personal practice, and having experienced the profound benefits of yoga in her own life, she became a teacher to give back to others in the way she was blessed to receive. She earned her 200 hour teaching certification in 2010 from YogaWorks in NYC, and has been teaching ever since. Kelli’s classes incorporate creative sequencing, alignment and mindfulness practices. She has a particular interest in the therapeutic aspects of yoga, and is known for her intuitive teaching style, pa­­­­ssion and  sweetness.  



Deborah Pulzone, RYT 200, began her yoga journey more than 25 years ago when she began practicing the Iyengar style. She later completed her teacher training in Anusara with Willow Street Yoga Center. During her many years of teaching, she has blended Iyengar and Anusara styles , each of which are  firmly rooted in the importance of body alignment, keeping our bodies in alignment so that we are able to move skillfully into poses.  Deborah also believes that proper alignment allows our breath and energy to move more freely through our bodies,creating a deeper opening in our hearts and, this integration of body, mind and spirit should be approached as an exploration filled with lightness and curiosity.




Carol Crouch, RYT 200.   A member of the 2017-2018 University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Integrated Medicine Yoga cohort, Carol brings an integrative approach to her practice, incorporating gentle movement, pranayama, meditation and yogic philosophy to her classes. She is a practicing Reiki Master and is certified in Yin Yoga by Karen Mandell.








Donna Stubbs, CRNP,  has worked in health care for over 35 years, in the fields of critical care, trauma critical care, emergency medicine,  labor and delivery, and the last 20 years as a Nurse Practitioner, she is currently working for a Family Practice in Cambridge.   She was introduced to yoga by her sister, Mary Leonard.  During a workshop at Kirpalu, Donna experienced the benefit of using yoga therapy for her patients with a variety of medical conditions.  This interest lead her to Emerald Isle to study with Dr Ginger Garner at the Professional Yoga Therapy Institute. Donna has just completed her graduate project for the medical therapeutic yoga therapist certification and looks forward to using her knowledge of yoga therapy as a tool to assist patients in their journey to health.


Ann Smith, PhD, sits a lot as a clinical psychologist, national trainer and consultant for the treatment of Substance Abuse and PTSD.  Prior to that, she moved a lot in her work as a drama therapist, a yoga instructor and as a general overall New Yorker who walked everywhere instead of sitting.  Ann has completed more than 500 hours of yoga training under the guidance of The World Yoga Center in New York City and Anusara Yoga.  These days, instead of walking to work, she does facial yoga during her commute, and shares her love of yoga and meditation with her patients. Currently, her husband and daughter keep her moving as they live, love and play on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.


Julie Phillips-Turner, RYT, AYS, Y4C, discovered yoga and meditation in 1990, and found that it profoundly helped her to focus on studies and become a more organized and grounded person. In 2008, two family members were diagnosed with cancer, and Julie’s yoga practice became her source for comfort, strength and mindfulness to handle life’s difficult moments.

To Julie, yoga is a powerful therapy for both mental and physical well being, and not just a great physical workout. Twenty years after first discovering yoga, she earned her 200 RYT certification – twice – and continue to pursue therapeutic yoga education and training that can help others with everyday issues. In addition to RYT certifications, Julie’s studies also include Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist (AYS) certification with Kathryn Templeton; Para Yoga master courses with Rod Stryker; Boomer+ Yoga for seniors with Amy Kraft; Ashaya Yoga Therapy with Todd Norian; Yoga for Arthritis with Stephanie Moonaz; Yoga for Cancer (Y4C) teacher training with Tari Prinster; Restorative Yoga with Cindy Lee, and Yoga for Trauma and PTSD. As a Certified AYS, Julie has a deeper understanding of client’s mental and physical needs though the practice of Ayurveda when developing a one-on-one specialized yoga program. As a Usui and Karuna Reiki Master, she is also able to help others reach a deeper level of relaxation and understanding of how important our personal energy is for maintaining good health. Certified as a SUP Yoga Teacher, Julie brings her knowledge of yoga to the board to show students how to experience new ways of practicing yoga.  Her style focuses on developing mindfulness though breath awareness and proper alignment. I also mix various styles of creative movement, restorative techniques and powerful sequencing of poses so students realize the ultimate experience in relaxation and awareness in the moment.