Joanna Colwell | Russell Comstock | Mary Claire DeHaven
Sansea Sparling | Olga Pschorr |Jennifer Neil
Linda McCuen | Chessy Kelley | Kelly Hickey

I was first introduced to Iyengar Yoga in 1987, and it set me on a lifelong path to take care of my body and mind. I have been blessed to study with many knowledgeable teachers, most recently Rebecca Weisman and Janice Vien, who mentored me through the assessment process to become a certified Iyengar teacher.

In 2006 I founded Otter Creek Yoga in Middlebury, Vermont, Addison County’s first yoga studio! I am a full time yoga teacher and I love sharing this practice with students of all ages and abilities. I am especially interested in how our practice is a method of self care, that can also influence how we care for our family, our community, and our world. Although many of the teachings are ancient, yoga philosophy offers precious jewels that can help us navigate our modern world. As a devoted student of yoga, I seek to deepen my understanding of yoga ethics and to apply these teachings in all aspects of my life. I am passionate about anti-racism work, and consider this a key part of my spiritual practice.


Russell Comstock, Co-Director of Metta Earth Institute, has given his life to living, learning, and loving. As a stepfather for over twenty years to three sons Russell is dedicated to fathering, family, and community life. Always moved by the soul of earth, he holds an MA in Contemplative and Ecological Leadership and a BA in Human Ecology. A practitioner of yoga for more than twenty years, he is certified in both Interdisciplinary and Jivamukti Yoga, and brings to all his teaching a spirit of embodied devotion. With extensive experience directing programs in wilderness, adventure, and experiential education, Russell integrates a steady intention to help humans connect more compassionately with earth and with each other. He has trained as a quest and wilderness guide with Earth Rise Foundation, School of Lost Borders, and Outdoor Leadership Training Seminars. He is a licensed New York State Guide and is a nationally certified Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT). Currently Russell is authoring a book called Metta Earth Yoga - Contemplative Ecological Practices for a Sustainable Future.

Mary Claire DeHaven has been a Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor since 1996. Respect and compassion are key elements of her yoga teaching,  She invites her students to find the tension in their bodies and minds. Then, through movement and holding postures for sustained periods, her students naturally move through this tension, gaining flexibility and strength along the way. "Some students appreciate a challenge; others need a gentle practice." Students are free to work at their own pace in her classes.

Mary Claire draws from both her background as a meditator and her practice as a psychotherapist to make yoga a meditation in motion in which students are encouraged to be centered and relaxed in their bodies.

Mary Claire has taught yoga classes in Huntington, Vermont for the last 10 years. In addition to her teacher training in 1996 at  Kripalu, she has been influenced by the renowned yoga teacher Donna Fahri  who focuses on the experience of breath throughout the body, Rudy Pierce from Kripalu and Martha Whitney from Burlington, VT. Mary Claire has also studied Thai Yoga Massage at the Lotus Palm school in Montreal. She is a licensed Psychotherapist currently practicing in Middlebury, where she has practiced for 13 years.

Sansea Sparling loves yoga. She delights in helping students of all ages to gently open their bodies with yoga postures, breathing exercises, and generous amounts of humor and compassion. A long-time student of Deborah Felmeth, and registered Yoga Alliance teacher, Sansea is certified by Don and Amba Stapleton at Nosara in hatha yoga instruction and Pranassage©. Her influences include Anusara yoga, Donna Farhi, and the study of dance and anatomy.

Olga Pschorr strives to give all levels of students a safe, yet vigorous practice that emphasizes inner somatic awareness, whole body alignment in order to increase the movement of energy and prana through the physical body and yoga nidra. Her classes are fluid, calming and energizing with an inward focus.

Olga loves the grace and wisdom of the body in movement and in stillness, at all ages of life and ability. Her early influences include ballet and modern dance, and she was first introduced to the importance of the breath by a childhood friend who became a professional opera singer. A long-time student of Joanna Colwell's and deeply inspired by her teachings, Olga became a certified teacher in 2010 at Yoga Center Amherst where she studied yoga, embodiment, and experiential anatomy with primary teacher, Patty Townsend and visiting teachers Andrea Olsen and Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen.

Olga offers an ongoing yoga class to her neighbors in Salisbury village, assists in Amherst teacher trainings and will continue yoga studies with Tias Little in New Mexico in 2012. Off the mat, Olga provided state leadership in service to Vermonters with disabilities for 18 years, and she is now the director of New Leaf Montessori in Leicester, where she plays, tumbles, teaches, and practices yoga with 20 children under age five, each year. Many people know her by her childhood nickname, Gigi.

Olga loves the unique simplicity of working through practice towards experienced knowledge. She is happy and grateful to dedicate her time to Otter Creek Yoga!

A Colorado native, Jen Neil has studied and practiced Iyengar Yoga since 2001. In 2009 she completed a two-year Iyengar teacher training course with Janice Vien in Grantham, NH. Jen is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, having passed her Introductory 2 assessment in 2015, under the guidance of her teachers, Rebecca Weisman (Iyengar Center of Vermont) and Janice Vien. In addition to teaching yoga, Jen is an artist and a farmer. She and her husband, Eric, are building their home and creating a permaculture farm in New Haven, VT. Jen is inspired every day by the connections between all of these parts of her life, and she's grateful for the opportunity to share her love of yoga with others.

LindaLinda McCuen

Linda McCuen initially explored dance education as a high school student. Since then, dance has continually pulsed through her life as a means of expression and rejuvenation. Linda completed her Nia certification in April of 2007 and has taught Nia courses ever since. She’s a regular faculty member at Cobra Gymnastic and Dance Center, where she teaches weekly classes ( and has monthly and bi-monthly offerings at the Open Sky studio in Bristol, Vermont. She is excited to become part of the Otter Creek Yoga studio and offer classes in our studio.

Chessy Kelley has been practicing yoga for over 12 years. She has experience with various styles including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Sivananda and Anusara. Chessy was certified by Yogavermont in Burlington in 2012. Passionate about meditation from an early age, she traveled to India in 1988 to study and practice Tibetan Buddhist meditation and philosophy with many high Lamas, including His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama. Her commitment to the practice of Tibetan Buddhism is an integral part of her life. Since 2000, Chessy has led meditation classes to individuals and groups throughout Vermont for people of all ages and faiths. This practice of meditation is an underlying presence in Chessy’s yoga classes. By using the breath to connect the body and mind, one can go deeper into each posture.

Kelly HickeyIsabeall Logan

Kelly Hickey has been a student of Hatha yoga since 1995. She is inspired by the many styles and philosophies of yoga and finds herself on what she believes to be a life long path of inquiry and reflection. Since 2004 she has enjoyed teaching both adults and children within Vermont. She has completed training in Radiant Child Yoga I & II, “Om Shree Om” Children’s Yoga Teacher Training with gifted teacher Christine McArdle-Oquendo, as well as 3 Levels of the Anusara Immersion Program. Working with children and families is where Kelly's heart feels fullest and her soul enriched. She believes children are natural yogis and the joy they find on their mats transfers to great pleasure and care that reaches far into the world.

May Your Practice Benefit All Beings

Otter Creek Yoga Home | Class Descriptions | Current Schedule

Joanna Colwell, Director
For information call 802/388 1961