Alluem Yoga
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meet the teachers

Gina Pachkowski

Owner of Alluem Yoga, Gina is an energetic, certified yoga instructor.  Her practice embodies a combination of power, ashtanga, bikram and vinyasa flow-yoga.  She has tapped into her 15 years of dance training, aerobic instruction and physically active lifestyle to create her own unique yoga style.  This wife and mother of three children has incorporated yoga into her daily living and gets pleasure in educating others about the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of yoga.  You will love the energy and spirit that Gina brings to her class.  Not just because of who she is but because of who she wants the rest of us to be.  She believes that only by giving we gain what truly matters.  Gina is grateful for stepping into her first meaningful yoga class taught by Mary Roth.  She then went on to get her training in Soul Sweat Asana Practice from Wendy Gross-Pinto at The Yoga and Healing Center in Scotch Plains and is certified through the National Yoga Alliance.  Gina is forever grateful to her teachers for sharing their voice and knowledge of yoga and for being part of creating a life she loves.

Gina has participated in workshops with renowned yoga instructors such as Baron Baptiste and Seane Corn. In 2010 Gina participated in a week long intensive with Off the Mat Into the World. OTM uses the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and to ignite grass roots social change. She is inspired and continues to learn from Seane Corn, an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and creator of OTM.

Gina is the founder and owner of Alluem Yoga, where she teaches and oversees the operations of the school.  She is a Cranford resident.  Gina’s intention is to create a fun, supportive and nurturing environment for all yoga students.

Karen Gilmour

Upon discovering yoga in 2004, Karen watched her true self shine through every time she practiced. After experiencing the many benefits of yoga first hand, she knew bringing these benefits to children could help shape their awareness, self-esteem, and confidence now and in their future. The most beautiful thing is watching a child come into a better understanding of self - mind, body, and soul.

Karen completed her teacher training with Little Flower Yoga in NYC. She is certified in Children's Yoga and trained to teach grades K-12. She did her student teaching through the Harlem Children's Zone bringing yoga to children who may have never gotten the chance to experience the beauty of the practice. She has continued to further her knowledge of the practice through attending many developmental workshops with Little Flower Yoga and YogaKids, as well as workshops for development of the self, including the week long intensive with Off the Mat Into the World.

When Karen is not practicing yoga, she is most likely working on illustrating her next children's book. She has currently illustrated 4 children self help books focusing on health, emotions, imagination, and self-esteem.

Eileen Michie

Eileen's yoga practice which began five years ago transformed her life both emotionally & spiritually.  Inspired by the teachings of Mary Roth, Eileen decided to continue her journey and become a yoga teacher.  Subsequently, she became certified in Soul Sweat Asana Yoga under the direction of Wendy Gross-Pinto.  Upon receiving her certification in 2008, Eileen had an opportunity to teach Chair Yoga to Senior Citizens at the Westfield Senior Housing Center. She discovered the rewards and benefits of teaching yoga to older people.  Eileen has made a commitment to continue to teach older people in a nurturing and healing environment.  Eileen’s yoga practice has provided her with mental and spiritual clarity and provided her with a balanced lifestyle as a teacher, wife, and mother of two beautiful girls.

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Christina McCabe

When Christina began practicing in 2008, she could not have imagined how yoga would impact her life. While she adores and craves the physical postures, she has learned some truly life changing lessons through the practice of yoga. Christina remembers being in a yoga class and thinking, "This is such a gift. I want to give this to other people." After completing her 200-hour teacher training at YogaWorks, NYC with Paula Lynch, this dream became a reality.

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier." Christina takes these words from her hero Mother Teresa, to heart, and it is her hope that people leave her class feeling better, happier and more at peace. She would like to thank Gina for giving her the opportunity to teach at Alluem. Yoga attracts amazing people, and Christina is beyond grateful to be part of the Alluem family.

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Tricia Pizzi

Tricia began her practice of yoga in 2002. As a multi-sport athlete, yoga originally began for her as a great way to create a stronger and more flexible body, but has since developed into a lifestyle. She has received her certification from Yoga Works NYC in a style that combines aspects of Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow in 2009. She also received her Prenatal Yoga certification at Yoga Works NYC and teen and kids certification with Little Flower Yoga.

Surfiing and yoga are Tricia's true passions and compliment each other perfectly; to her, surfing is yoga on water. Her ideal day would include and early morning yoga practice followed by some sick morning and evening surf sessions, topped off with some ice cream from the Beach Plum at Bradley Beach, NJ.

Tricia has also been a tenured faculty member at Westfield High School for the past 10 years where she teaches US History and AP Government and Politics (still trying to figure out a way to have the practice of Yoga be an approved elective in high schools!). She spends much of her time with her husband, Adam, and their adorable, yet rambunctious dog named Ralph Macchio.

They also have launched a teen service adventure company where they will be taking kids to volunteer, practice yoga, surf or ski around this amazing planet! Check them out at

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Melissa Kaban

Melissa has over 20 years of dance, choreography and performance experience at countless studios, school and community theatres in the area. She stepped onto her yoga mat 10 years ago to breathe a new relationship with movement into her body and has never looked back. Melissa completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training with Satsang Yoga Manjari in the Vinyasa Flow style in 2011 and currently teachers basic and flow classes. She is a Maters Level Dance/Movement Therapist, serving children, adolescents and families with in the realms of behavioral health, developmental disorders, trauma and domestic violence outreach. Melissa strongly believes in weaving traditional yoga philosophies into your daily life to find a healthier connection with yourself and others. She is committed in the healing power of movement, music and a healthy lifestyle and works tirelessly to bring these tools to those who may not have the opportunity to access them on their own.


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Mindy Cullen

Mindy first discovered yoga in 2004.  After years of dancing, sports, running,  and a multitude of gym classes, she stepped into an Ashtanga-based yoga class and discovered her true passion.  She has practiced and studied in many styles of yoga:

Bikram, Ashtanga, Anusara, Vinyasa, and Soul Sweat.  She acquired her 200-hour yoga certification through Wendy Gross-Pinto’s Soul Sweat Asana training.  Her training gave her more than just a knowledge of postures and breathing techniques.  It gave her a better understanding of the mind, body, and spirit connection that is formed on the mat and brought into her daily life.  She compliments her physically meditative and spiritual flow with her previous experience as a dancer and choreographer on Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked dance team. She is grateful to all of her teachers for their inspirational and powerful instruction, Wendy Gross Pinto, Kim Kiamie, Ellen Kaplow,  and Gina Pachkowski.  As a certified yoga instructor and a member of Yoga Alliance, Mindy looks to motivate and lead others to discover their true potential on the yoga mat as well as in their lives.  Her husband, and two amazing children, motivate and teach her every day to be present and more connected to life’s true purpose. 


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Clarissa Alliano
For Clarissa, yoga is life. She has been a devoted yogi for many years and since her training in 1998 at the Integral Yoga Institute in Yogaville, VA, she has been able to share her love of this ancient practice with students of all ages in New Jersey, New York and California. Clarissa integrates pranayama, meditation, yoga nidra, chanting and yogic philosophy into her teachings so that her students can benefit fully - body, mind and spirit. She gives love and thanks to the studios and ashrams in which she has been able to hold space, as well as to the many students who have touched her life as she continues to move along this ever transforming path.
Cindy Fechter

Cindy's passion for yoga began nine years ago when she took her first yoga class.  Since that time Cindy has developed a strong connection to Anusara yoga, founded by John Friend.  Cindy resonates deeply with Anusara's Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness and believes that Anusara's Universal Principles of Alignment are powerful guidelines for the healing and progression of mind, body and spirit.  In 2004, Cindy completed a 200-hour teacher training in Anusara yoga and has since spent hundreds of hours studying with John Friend and various certified Anusara Yoga Teachers.  Cindy incorporates yoga into all aspects of life, including a full-time schedule as a pediatric physical therapist and as a mom to three beautiful sons.  Cindy enjoys sharing her enthusiasm and love for yoga with others.

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Nicole Coons

After 15 years of her youth as a ballet and modern dancer, teacher and choreographer, Nicole discovered yoga in 1998. Instantly drawn to the physical challenge and concentration this yoga class required, Nicole shifted her focus to yoga and began to realize the many benefits beyond the physical aspects.  Several years later, Nicole became a Certified Yoga Teacher in the YogaWorks style, which  draws from 3 traditional lineages of yoga: Ashtanga, Iyengar and Viniyoga. She has also practiced with and has been inspired by a number of teachers including Elena Brower (Anusara), Alan Finger, Sara Platt and Ann Mosca (ISHTA Yoga), and a multitude of master teachers, with whom she has had the privilege to study over the years.

Nicole offers a student-focused group class and private instruction that are appropriate for each student's age, level and wellness goals. She guides her students to greater self-awareness, focus and health through precise  instruction and alignment with breath, movement and flow in a class carefully themed to deepen the students' experience of yoga. Each Flow class is paced moderately to vigorously depending upon the level and needs of the students. Prenatal classes draw on both her formal training and recent personal experience with a yoga-filled pregnancy and, now, motherhood!

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Karen Mustard

Karen first walked into a yoga studio at a crossroad in her life. Opening that door not only exposed her to the physicality and spirituality of the practice of yoga, but it introduced her to a myriad of people she feels honored to know. They are mentors, teachers, students, but most importantly, they are friends. Along with her friends, Karen obtained her 200 hour certification at the Yoga & Healing Center under the direction of Wendy Gross-Pinto, and has more recently been certified to teach Restorative Yoga with Jillian Pransky. Karen has been registered with Yoga Alliance since 2008 and looks forward to continuing her education now that she and her husband of almost 30 years have sent their third and youngest child off to college. Karen has been fortunate to practice under many well-respected yogis on her journey and thanks all of her teachers and friends that have supported her along the way.

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Kim Kiamie

Kim is an enthusiastic yoga practitioner. She has studied under many talented yoga teachers. Kim received her 200-hour teacher training in 2003 under the tutelage of Wendy Gross Pinto, her first beloved yoga teacher.  Kim loves teaching a strong vinyasa flow class and her strength lies in her creative sequencing. In 2009, Kim became a certified Relax and Renew Trainer in Restorative Yoga through Judith Lasater. She enjoys leading restorative classes as well as workshops with her husband, Ross Marshall. She continues her professional development by attending Yoga Journal Conferences in NY & Miami. Some of her favorite instructors include Jason Crandall, Kathryn Budig and Kino MacGregor. At present, Kim teaches a variety of classes including vinyasa, restorative and basic yoga.

Kim is so grateful to all her teachers including Wendy Gross Pinto, Clarissa Alliano, Mary Roth, Cindy Fechter and Gina Pachkowski. They have all blessed her journey. Above all, Kim is most grateful for her family - her husband, Ross Marshall and her amazing son Michael William Marshall. They bring love and light to her life every day.

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Tara Bogota

Tara was fortunate to have found yoga at an early age. Growing up a gymnast, she found the asana and flexibility piece of the practice came quite easy to her, but it were the teachings and philosophy that she fell in love with. In order to deepen her practice, Tara completed her 200 hour RYT in 2004 at the Institute of Progressive Therapies in San Diego.

As a Natural Foods Chef and Yoga Instructor, she hopes to inspire others to take with them the powerful teachings of their yoga from their mat, into their daily lives and even onto their plates. Her vision is to provide individuals the tools they need to achieve optimal health, live joyful lives and feel radiant in their body while keeping the true tradition of yoga alive.

Besides teaching group and private yoga and cooking lessons, Tara instructs workshops and consults on healthy living, organic gardening and natural foods. You can learn more by visiting:

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Kelly Coyle

Kelly found her practice in 2008 after searching for a way to clear the mind and connect with the body. As a dancer and multi-sport athlete, she was looking for a new way to stay strong, fit and healthy. Her passion was ignited the moment she took her first chaturunga in a vinyasa flow class and began spreading the word to friends, family and strangers about this amazing thing called yoga.
Kelly is certified in LifePower Yoga and received her 200-hour training at LifeTime Fitness. She has a background in Ashtanga, Hot Vinyasa and Slow Burn and likes to incorporate all styles to energize her students and get them breathing.  She is continually dedicated to learning and growing in her practice; when not teaching, you may find her on the mat next to you or out exploring a new class or workshop. She incorporates yoga into her full-time schedule as a Public Safety administrator and in everyday life with her family and friends. Kelly gives much gratitude to every day her toes touch the floor, to the beautiful and inspiring people she meets and the experiences she gains and shares.

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Toni Reino

Toni fell in love with yoga in 2009 after a life changing event. It helped her realize her true self as well as a safe way to unwind. Yoga gave her a mind body connection that she has never experienced before. She immediately enrolled in a 200 hour Hatha Yoga training with Joanne Bruno, RYT. She graduated in 2010 with a deep understanding of yogic philosophy and anatomy. Over the summer of 2010, Toni studied at the Lippincott Center for Well Being with Rev. Trish Woods. During her time there, she gained knowledge in spiritual development, the Chakra System, different types of healing modalities and concentrative medicine. While studying there she also received her Reiki I Certification. In 2011, she continued her yoga education with the accredited Wendy Gross-Pinto at the Yoga and Healing Center obtaining a 200 hour Soul Sweat Certification.

Toni also has a love of bringing yoga into the lives of families and children, helping them gain confidence and giving them a safe and healthy way to de-stress. She has developed curriculums and has taught in a variety of centers and schools bringing yoga to children from ages 2 to teenagers, as well as children with special needs.


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Alluem Yoga | 347 Lincoln Avenue East | Cranford, NJ 07016 | Phone: 908-276-YOGA © 2009 Alluem Yoga. All Rights Reserved.