Our Instructors

Inlet Yoga Instructors

Our amazing teachers are the core of our yoga community. Each of our highly experienced and caring NJ Shore instructors is committed to helping their students to grow their yoga practice and inspire their self discovery. All our instructors teach from the roots of their own practice, and inspire their students growth, nurturing and caring for them during classes, workshops, and trainings at Inlet Yoga.

Our Instructors

Jennifer Vafakos

Managing Director and Owner

Through fortuitous events Jennifer stepped into her first yoga class on the lower east side of NYC at Bhava Community Center more than 10 yrs ago, and fell in love with the sweaty and energetic vibe. Not her mother’s yoga or her classical ballet background, she realized it was something so much more… Classes are an offering of healing, laughter, playfulness, fun and adventure colliding with mindful alignment, dynamic sequencing, breath-work and yogic philosophy.

Ever grateful, Jennifer has completed almost 1,000 hours of training with Laughing Lotus in NYC under the direction of Dana Flynn and the sweet guidance of Sheri Celentano, certifying her at the ERYT 200-hour level with Yoga Alliance. Further, she apprenticed for almost one year with Sheri Celentano specializing in assists, and observing techniques for teaching basics level Vinyasa. Jennifer has completed additional Level 1 training with Baron Baptiste, as well as the brilliant Tari Prinster specializing in yoga for Women Cancer Survivors.

She is the manager/owner of Inlet Yoga and co-lead for Inlet’s 200hr RY

Emma Clagett
Yoga Instructor, Former Founder Inlet Yoga
Founder of Inlet Yoga in 2011, Emma ran and grew the amazing Inlet Yoga community for six years. She is a graduate of Laughing Lotus’s 200 Hour Teacher Training Program in New York City.

Emma is the Director of Capacity Building of the Pacific Fund at the Atlantic Foundation, a grant-making organization concerned with addressing issues of social justice, the environment, arts, and technology. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Harmony Institute, an interdisciplinary research center that studies the impact of entertainment on individuals and society. She previously served as the Director of Development at Advocates for Children of New York, as well as Director of Institutional Giving at the Community Service Society of New York.

Marije Paternotte
Yoga Instructor
Marije E. Paternotte offers a unique approach to yoga; balancing movement and breathing practices of traditional Hatha and Tibetan Yoga with the stillness of the Taoist Yin Yoga, awareness of Chi flow, and an emphasis on mindfulness and the Buddha Dharma. Her teaching style is understated and compassionate. She has the ability to present complex concepts, and an in-depth knowledge of yogic anatomy and philosophy, in a simple and approachable way.

Marije was born and raised in Amsterdam where, after her training to be a professional ballet dancer, she studied law and worked as a corporate lawyer. A yoga retreat in Bali led her to the United States where she took her first yoga teacher training. She currently lives in a small beach town in New Jersey with her husband and teaches yoga locally as well as workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings around the world. Marije is also a guest teacher at the renowned Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Massachusetts.

Marije (E-RYT 500) received both her foundational and professional level yoga teacher certification at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Massachusetts and is certified to teach Yin Yoga and Mindfulness by Sarah Powers’ Insight Yoga Institute, as well as by Bernie Clark.

Carrie Godesky
Yoga Instructor
After her first ashtanga practice Carrie knew this was going to be a life changing moment. The clarity, peace and balance she found on the mat were unlike anything she had ever experienced. Over the next ten years Carrie’s quest to recreate that feeling of “complete centeredness” everyday, all day, lead her to study with renowned yoga instructors across the nation and begin a dedicated practice of personal growth and universal awareness.

In 2003 Carrie received her Teacher’s Certification through YogaFit. Thanks to Beth Shaw and her innovative Teacher’s Training Program, Carrie was able to start giving back and sharing all that she had learned, on this road to “awakening”. With twenty –(20) years of prior group exercise and personal training experience and a committed personal practice, YogaFit was the perfect fit for Carrie.

Today Carrie is “living” her yoga and enjoying her life guiding hundreds of yogis at the Jersey Shore.

Brie Jacobs
Jivamukti and Yin Yoga Instructor
After 10 years in the hair and beauty industry as a colorist , Brie found herself in an increasing toxic world of chemicals, stressed out, creatively feeling stuck and feeling like her professional and personal life were not coexisting in her favor. This was having an affect on her mentally and physically. Needless to say, she was looking for relief. In 2010, this spark of awareness lead her by chance to a local yoga studio. Unbeknownst to her, the teachers she would find in that cozy little room would change the course of her path forever. Fast forward 5 years, Brie is a Jivamukti Yoga teacher living in Thailand for 2 months studying under Homprang Chaleekanha ,a Traditional Thai Medicine doctor and a Thai Yoga Bodywork master. She lived and studied closely with Homprang for over 300 hours during those 2 months covering subjects such as Thai Yoga Bodywork, food as medicine , Thai foot reflexology, womb lifting , how to make and apply hot herbal compresses and how to make products , such as tiger balm , from plants found in Homprang’s garden. The life experience and knowledge she obtained in Thailand is indescribable and life changing. Brie is eternally grateful for Homprang and the many teachers that she has stumbled upon so far in her life.

In 2013, Brie spent a month at the Omega Institute in upstate N.Y. and completed the 300 hour Jivamukti Yoga teacher training. She studied under Sharon Gannon and David Life, who are the founders of Jivamukti Yoga, and Lady Ruth, who was a student of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois for over 20 years. Brie teaches and practices yoga weekly in Ocean and Monmouth County, N.J.,USA. Forever a student , Brie hopes to be lucky enough to continue to travel and learn from the teachers, people and animals she meets from all over the world. The knowledge, experience and connections she makes on these travels are held near and dear to her heart.

Allison Kane, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Yoga Instructor
Allison’s goal in teaching is for people to have a better understanding and awareness of their bodies and to joyfully accept and celebrate who they are. Through a blended approach of learning and playing, she strives to balance information and fun in all of her classes – inviting folks to enjoy their yoga practice and transform their lives.

A yoga practitioner since the mid 90s, Allison began teaching in 2009. She completed both her 200 & 500-hour Teacher Trainings at DIG Yoga in Lambertville, NJ, and is registered with The Yoga Alliance as both an E-RYT 200 & 500-hour instructor and as a Continuing Education Provider. While Allison began teaching from an Alignment-based perspective (within the Anusara school) her approach has shifted to a focus on embodied movement. Her emphasis tends to be one that combines a balance of both stretching and strengthening – with a passion for anatomy and therapeutics. Allison is also a certified instructor in Yoga Tune Up®, The Roll Model Method®, and Yoga For All®. In addition to her teacher trainings Allison has studied with notable movement educators such as Tom Myers, Jules Mitchell, Jillian Pranksy, Leslie Kaminoff and Jenny Otto.

Offerings by Allison include a range of Hatha Yoga classes in addition to classes and workshops that focus on self-massage and myofascial release. She has demonstrated her teaching capabilities at a variety of studios on the Jersey Shore.

Brett Lehr
Yoga Instructor
Brett Lehr is a devoted Yogi, Thai Massage Therapist, Music Lover and seeker of Perfect Waves. Yoga is his life’s passion and he is honored to be able to share the gift of this practice with others.

Brett brings to his teaching a love for the history and philosophy of yoga and a powerful belief in the transformative capabilities of asana practice for emotional and spiritual growth. Brett’s yoga classes, which combine elements of the Hatha Raja traditions, are infused with beautiful music, warmth and humor, his profound knowledge of asana, and a strong emphasis on pranayama and meditation.

April Puciata
ISHTA Yoga Instructor
April is honored to be a Senior ISHTA Yoga teacher and trainer of ISHTA yoga. Through this lineage, her studies, and teaching she hopes to inspire students to find what resonates with their individual spirit and tap into their unbound potential.

Dedicated to the yoga practice for 15 years, April Puciata’s initial desire to participate in a teacher training was not to be a teacher, but a student. The day after she finished the final practicum, April was laid off from her job as a manager at Random House after working in publishing for almost 6 years. As her reality reformed, April completed her 500 hour teacher training under the guidance of Kavi Yogiraj Alan Finger, the co-founder of ISHTA Yoga with Mani Finger. She taught classes at ISHTA Yoga and YogaWorks in New York City for nearly a decade, as well as offering private sessions to a wide base of clients including The Museum of Natural History, Citibank, and a collection of actors, attorneys, Wall Street businessmen/women and movie directors. For the past 6 years, April has also been teaching teachers.

Serena Soffer
Sr. Yoga Instructor
Meet Serena! She’s a whirling dervish with glitter on her fingertips and just enough magic running through her veins to be the human embodiment of a unicorn. You’ll find her twirling around Monmouth County, creating a sweaty and soulful flow for people to open up, let go of inhibitions and challenge themselves to step into their own power with grace. Serena’s love and passion for the practice began long before she even knew to call it “yoga.” Her first teacher was her mother, a famous contortionist in the German Circus. As a child, Serena began intensive classical dance training, which led to an incredible education and career as a dancer, performer and choreographer. In 1989 Serena found mantra, chanting, meditation and pranayama while touring with the Phantom of the Opera and, as she says, “the spiritual rollercoaster ride began!”

After the death of her mother in 1998, someone told Serena to “try yoga.” Lost and looking, she stepped through the doors of Jivamukti NYC. Her first class was a transformational, love-at-first-flow moment. Serena practiced with unwavering devotion for years before developing her own spin and soundtrack for the practice at Laughing Lotus NYC with her soulmates and teachers, Dana Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi. Serena studied hundreds of hours, to RYT and beyond, at Lotus and returns there as often as she can as a guest teacher, student, innovator, creator and lover of love. Serena is honored to study with and be influenced by many great teachers including Dana, Jasmine, Joan Suval, the late and great MA Bha, Manorama, Bharati, Sharon Gannon and David Life. She is also deeply inspired by her love of dance, poetry, the chakras, mantra, aryuveda, magic and unicorns. Her greatest advice to her students is simple this: “Smile and LIVE YOUR LIFE”

Gerald Saluti
Vinyasa Yoga Instructor
Gerald Saluti is first and foremost a student of the movement of the human body. With a background steeped in athletics, Gerald molded his passion for movement and his study of anatomy into a dedicated yoga practice.

He took his first yoga class over 10 years ago and was drawn both to the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga. Intrigued by how yoga made him feel and in order to deepen his own practice, Gerald completed his first teacher training. He attended numerous yoga workshops, festivals, and events and eventually could not ignore his burning desire to teach yoga.

Michele Dougard
Yoga Instructor
Michele found healing in yoga after a car accident left her in pain. The relief she found from the physical part of the practice led her down the rabbit hole into a much deeper devotion for yoga. Investigating different principles and disciplines to form a well-rounded practice, she decided a teacher training was the next step and jumped in feet first. Over a decade later from her first class, she has earned her 200 RYT at Inlet Yoga, studied Katonah with Ivy Ray, and spent time studying with Laughing Lotus as well. Ever the perpetual student, Michele is working toward her 300 Hour certification with Yoga Bohemia on LBI.

Michele’s style of teaching is fun and playful as well as insightful, sometimes using unconventional sources for inspiration. She believes her lighthearted approach to teaching puts students at ease, allowing them to fully embrace their practice.

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