Lela is an RYT 500-hour certified Yoga Teacher originally from Litchfield. She took her first yoga class while at Skidmore College, and cried throughout the entire class; the experience was akin to meeting a dear friend for the very first time. Her practice slowly- and inconsistently!-developed over the course of five years while working in the fast-paced hospitality industry in New York City. Upon leaving New York in 2013, Lela spent a year traveling through Southeast Asia and South America where she began to truly cultivate her own yoga practice. Spending time in yoga studios all over the world reinforced the notion that one can feel at home in the body simply by stepping on the mat.
She completed her first teacher training while living in Seattle in 2015, through Corepower Yoga. In September 2018, she completed a 300 hour advanced teacher training with Heather Rems Korwin at Sanctuary Power Yoga in Torrington, CT. Though initially drawn to power yoga, she has developed a slower, gentler way of teaching, guided by the needs of her students. She teaches gentle, restorative, yin, and flow classes. Her classes incorporate thoughtfully curated music, breath work, hands-on guidance and a healthy dose of joie de vivre. She is honored to be back in Northwestern Connecticut, helping friends and neighbors develop their own yoga practice.
I’m so grateful for Valley Spirit, the owner and the staff are incredibly kind and welcoming to all levels of experience. I’m new to yoga, I’ve only taken a couple of beginner series which left me wanting more but also very intimidated. When I moved back to the area I was in search of a yoga studio that offered a welcoming atmosphere to ease my insecurities. I was recommended by a friend to consider Valley Spirit. After searching through their site, I felt an immediate connection. The services they offer focus on healing, self-improvement, encouragement, a place to recharge and much more.
The moment I walked into their shop I was greeted by the owner, Kristin. She gave me a tour through their studio which made me feel right at home. She was incredibly kind and genuinely cared about my goals towards yoga. Kristin informed me of all classes available, they have much more than yoga and all services cater from beginners to advanced. My first yoga class was with Lela Ilyinsky, I told her I was very new to yoga with just a beginner series under my belt and she assured me that I would be just fine. Her class was INCREDIBLE! Her knowledge and passion for yoga coupled with her desire to bring peace and harmony to the lives of her students really showed. Lela’s class brought me a sense of strength and flexibility, not just for my body but also for my mind. She kept the class challenging enough for all students with the ability for me to keep up. Thank you to everyone I've met thus far at Valley Spirit, I can't wait to attend more classes and meet more people!
-- Deanna Hayghe