Bios


Richard Failla, Owner / Teacher
Yoga and  Law Enforcement.  Richard’s two passions couldn’t be more different.  Since 1985, Richard has been a full time Police Officer for the Town of Westport.  In 2006, he became a certified yoga teacher.  Richard’s interest in yoga developed on the recommendation of his dog walker.  “Take a class,”  she said.  “You’ll love it.” 

And love it, he does.  Richard’s passion quickly grew from yoga student to yoga teacher, to studio owner.  Yoga has brought balance and personal enrichment between his two careers.

Richard is certified in both Bikram Yoga (2006) and Baptiste Level I (2011), opening Fairfield Hot Yoga in January 2010.

Between teaching, deepening his own practice and patrolling the streets of Westport, Richard is a busy guy.  But he finds time to break away from it all and enjoy time on his motorcycle as often as possible.  His tough schedule and drive to succeed are an inspiration to us all.  Find him either at the studio or on the streets of Westport…

 

Abbey Chase, Studio Manager / Teacher
Looking for a complement to her running during the cold weather, Abbey discovered yoga. Her brother introduced her to a Bikram studio, in Boston, MA. After maximizing the use of her one-week unlimited special, she was hooked. Addicted. Could not practice enough. But she wanted more than to simply practice five times a week. She wanted to share her passion.

Teaching and Managing Fairfield Hot Yoga reflects her passion to share yoga and allows her to use professional expertise from her work experience in corporate America. Yoga has truly been a catalyst for Abbey to grow, evolve and continuously discover herself while achieving personal satisfaction in a career she truly enjoys. She works with students from age four to 84 with all types of developmental and physical challenges, including many local varsity and college level athletic teams.  Abbey has found a way to blend all her passions together.   

 

Stephanie Christman, Hot Yoga Teacher
At the encouragement of her Qigong teacher in New York City, Stephanie began practicing yoga in 1998. She was instantly enthralled by the practice and followed her passion to many studios and teachers around Manhattan. As she studied several styles of Hatha yoga including Ashtanga and Anusara, her interest in Hinduism and the more esoteric branches of yoga was piqued. She became a student of Swami Tathagatananda at the Vedanta Society and trained in Art of Living meditation. 

During a trip to San Francisco to visit friends, Stephanie discovered Bikram yoga. She was impressed by how energized and elevated she felt following each practice and by the end of a week she was hooked.

When she moved to Milan in 2003 Stephanie again enjoyed practicing different styles of yoga but found herself craving the hot yoga series. She went to Bikram Yoga teacher training in Los Angeles in 2005 and has enjoyed teaching in the Fairfield County area ever since.To enrich her instruction, Stephanie completed a yoga therapeutics course with Mitchell Bleier and Yoga for Trauma Survivors at Kripalu. 

Emily Tully, Power Vinyasa Teacher

To me, yoga is the art of healing and transformation; a portal for self-discovery and belonging. Just showing up on your mat is enough. If you were to tell me 10 years ago that I would be not only taking yoga classes, but leading them, I would laugh. I have always been the “gym type” or the athlete of the group. I played division 1 lacrosse at Sacred Heart University and was the girl that LOVED the running practices. When I graduated and went to Grad School for an MBA in teaching, I turned to running as my main source of exercise and release. I knew that I could put my headphones on and get “lost”. In retrospect, it was a lot like a yoga class; connecting to the mind, body and soul. I found yoga when I felt that I was ready for a change in my routine after an injured knee from running.

Alexia Papadopoulos, Hot Yoga Teacher

While working in the medical field Alexia found through countless conversations with patients about their injuries, that full body pain was a far to common occurrence . Because of this Alexia decided she wanted to help. In spring of 2014, after years of consistently maintaining a daily practice Alexia made the trip to Los Angeles California to attend Bikram Yoga College of India. While there, she was awarded with the "English Bulldog" award. Immediately following her graduation, Alexia hit the ground running taking the opportunity to teach her first few classes at Bikram Yoga International Headquarters. Today you can find Alexia teaching around the Fairfield county area as a full time Yoga instructor. Alexia is committed to helping heal others through yoga. And to continue her commitment to the study and practice of yoga, Alexia plans on adding Vinyasa to her resume.  Outside of yoga, you'll be sure to find Alexia spending time with her four legged best friend, Baby.

Janelle Braig - Power Vinyasa Teacher

Ted Dumbauld - Power Vinyasa Teacher

Judy Orr - Power Vinyasa Teacher

Jillian Sage - Hot Yoga Teacher

 

Yogi
This is Yogi, our studio mascot.  He may look intimidating, but is a big teddy bear.  Throw him his ball, and he won't let you leave.  Oh, and did we say he's not a dog?  Rich's son.