Meet the Team

Julie Robbins

LMT, Founder, CEO, Entrepreneur, Mom

I like to keep my fingers on the pulse of women and their care.  In a world where women often find themselves last on the list, my passion is to notice and care for their physical and emotional needs that often go unacknowledged and unaddressed. Through my work as a massage therapist and entrepreneur my goal is to provide pain relief, down-regulation of the nervous system—that is, biological relaxation—and other resources to women so they can go out and be their best selves in the world.


Along the way, this life-long mission has lead me to found a feminist group in college, The Pregnancy Massage Center in Atlanta, The Tampa Bay Birth Network (with friends), Lotusleaf Therapeutics, Westville Massage, and now The Well for Women. (Whew!) My massage and doula practice has always centered on the childbearing year, which lead me to design and patent the Lotusleaf ergonomic pregnancy sleep system (date to market TBA). When I see my clients in discomfort, I love nothing more than to find, innovate, or otherwise quilt together a solution for them.


I live in the Westville neighborhood of New Haven with my awesome husband, two fantastic kids, and a couple of guinea pigs whom I tolerate with good humor (Cupcake and Peanutbutter).  When I’m not obsessing about the comfort of my clients I enjoy contra dance, playing with fabric, and connecting with my friends. 

I welcome you to meet our team!

Note: Due to Julie's high demand, she is not available for intro offers, memberships or any other discounted rates.

Angie Naranjo

Office Manager and Front Desk Ninja

Angie is awesome!  She can help you with anything you need at The Well.  (More coming soon!)

Sarah Flashman

Membership Advisor


Sarah Flashman lives in Westville with her husband, 3 year old son Benjamin, and new baby Aaron.  In her current role at The Well, Sarah is here to answer questions and advise you on the membership level right for you.  We also look forward to her returning to our teaching roster after baby #2 is born in 2020!


Sarah graduated in 2011 from the Hartt School at University of Hartford with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and has performed with various modern and contemporary ballet companies. She has years of experience teaching dance, but  currently enjoys teaching barre, prenatal and postpartum fitness classes.   

Susan Francis


My journey to massage therapy started with a simple desire: to help people reach their full potential through the emotional and physical support massage therapy can provide. Each massage I provide is customized to your needs, incorporating a combination of modalities including Swedish, cranial sacral work, stretching, and deep tissue techniques as needed.  In August of 2018, I received my certification as a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist (CPMT) specializing in providing Touch Therapy services to children on the autism spectrum. My training was provided by Tina Alle, founder of the children's health and nurturing touch organization Liddle Kidz™ Foundation.  I welcome the opportunity to include woman and girls on the autism spectrum to the healing world of massage therapy.

Eboni Dinkins


Eboni is a graduate from Branford Hall Career Institute. While in school she fell in love with Eastern massage modalities because of its more holistic approach at balancing the body and all of its parts. Like Eastern medicine the goal is to find the root cause of an issue instead of just treating the symptoms. It goes beyond relaxation to relieve pain and restore the body’s natural homeostasis. She actively challenges herself to keep learning and sculpting her craft to provide a variety of techniques that are then tailored to meet each individuals needs. She believes massage therapy is not as simple as getting or giving a relaxed rub down, because much thought, science, and tradition has gone into the techniques behind your massage. She understands that we live in a hectic world where most of our time is spent rushing and juggling a crazy schedule. Busy jobs, having family commitments, maintaining an active social life, trying to get or stay in shape, etc., can seem to take up all of ones time. She helps you to step back from this constant “on the move” lifestyle so you can form a deeper connection to a healthy mind and body . “You must always find time for Self Care”

Bo O'Connor-Hall


Bo O’Connor-Hall graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Theater from Emerson College in 2004 with the goal of fostering meaningful connections. Five years later, after traveling the country performing as Shakespeare’s Lady Capulet, she enrolled in the West Hartford Yoga teacher training where she learned that who people are is reflected in how they move in their bodies. This epiphany whets her appetite for information on how the body works and she jumped directly from her 200-hour yoga training program into massage school. Bo O’Connor-Hall graduated at the top of the class from the Clinical Program at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in 2011. While in massage school she also studied extensively with Jill Miller and became a licensed Yoga Tune Up Teacher in 2010. Bo is also the proud mama of two and understands the discomforts of pregnancy and the occupational hazards of raising children. She is currently working towards a prenatal massage certification to better serve moms and moms-to-be. In her massage practice, Bo uses her evolving understanding of functional anatomy to help people move and feel better in their bodies. She has worked with individuals ranging from desk-bound professionals to full-time moms to serious athletes, to resolve chronic pain patterns and create ease in the body. Despite her obsession with the scientific/ anatomical aspect of massage, her underlying intention is always to foster connection and better understand the human condition.

Laura Dostaler


Laura started receiving massage while pregnant with her second child after some personal difficulties. It had such a powerful impact on her physical and emotional well being she decided to dedicate herself to helping others feel their best, especially mothers-to-be. Clients describe her work as deeply relaxing with specific work in the areas that need it most. She graduated at the top of the class from Branford Hall Career Institute in 2012. In addition to her clients she also obsesses over family, friends, music,

art, books, and gardening.

Saskia Bergmans Smith

Yoga Instructor: 500 HR RYT

Saskia Bergmans Smith has been teaching and studying yoga since 1997. Saskia is Dutch, yet she grew up in England. In Europe, she studied with Dona Holleman and Orit Sen Gupta. In Boston, MA, Saskia completed her 200hr teacher training in 2004 and her 500hr in 2007, with Kim Valeri, Founder and Director of yoga spirit ® Studios. Saskia teaches in the style of the yoga spirit ®; lineage and is part of the yoga spirit .® 200hr teacher training faculty. She ran and operated her own yoga studio, Studio Om, from 2003-2010, in Wakefield, MA.  Saskia currently lives in New Haven, CT.  She is passionate about her teachings to expectant mothers on the importance of prenatal and postpartum self-care, in addition, she teaches Rusty Hinges, Standing Strong and Restorative Yoga in community classes and as a personal coach. She cultivates learning in her students through her teachings and guides a multi-level class from the physical foundation of the body to the healing components of yoga. Saskia holds a safe and sacred space for her students to regain and build confidence in themselves and their bodies. Saskia a devoted mother to two little girls and continues to develop her teaching and healing skills with each passing year.

Taylor Sykes

Yoga Instructor: 500 HR RYT

Taylor Sykes-Williams began her yoga journey in the summer of 2013 and immediately fell in love. After taking a class out of curiosity, it felt like home. Yoga helped her explore parts of herself that she did not know existed and she wanted everyone around her to feel the way yoga made her feel.  Taylor's enhanced mental health brought her even closer to yoga; it wasn't just the physical benefits that kept her coming back to her mat, it was also the mental and emotional stimulation she was receiving that helped her deal with her anxiety and depression. After years of practice, study and learning about who she was and what she wanted, she became a yoga teacher, and in September 2019 she became a yoga therapist.  It is Taylor's mission to create sacred space for the community to come to know yoga in its entirety with the understanding that—YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE; no matter the shape, size, color, culture, background, ability, or disability. However you show up to the mat is enough.

Samantha Amendola

Yoga Instructor: 200 HR RYT

Since her early teenage years, Kundalini Yoga has been a significant piece of Samantha's self care routine and lifestyle. She was first introduced to Kundalini Yoga when her mother brought her to a class when she was ten years old (taught by her now mentor and dear friend Susan). As a compassionate individual with a deep understanding of the mind- body-soul connection, being able to spread this ancient, healing yoga technology has been a remarkable journey. Watching her tribe of students grow and open into their most authentic selves through their yoga practice is a soul warming experience. She took her 200 Hour teacher training with Hari Kaur Khalsa of NYC through Yoga for Everybody of Fairfield, Connecticut. To Sam, Yoga is not only a physical practice with abundant health benefits, but also a way of life that brings prosperity, presence, and healing into every step of your journey.

Rosie Moniello

Yoga Instructor: 200 HR RYT

Rosie started practicing yoga in 2006 , not only did yoga heal some health issues but her spirit as well. Fascinated by the healing and clarity that yoga helped her discover in her body, she developed a deep appreciation for mindful movement and embarked on a fitness journey. Rosie has a 200hr Yogafit, and working on her 500hr with Lotus Gardens Yoga School certification as well as a Ace Group Exercise and Personal Training certification. Rosie aims to spread the wealth of knowledge that different movements can offer in an upbeat and personal atmosphere. Warmly welcoming people of all walks of life, she strongly believes that this versatile practice can transform anybody’s body, mind, and life as it did her own. 

Shefau Dabre-Rufus

Zin Zilla Yoga Workshop Instructor, 200 HR RYT

Zen Zilla Yoga’s mission is to elevate the vibration fire-breathers who live in and/or serve urban communities by increasing the frequency of the peaceful state of balance one experiences through a purposeful mind and body connection. Rooted in rhythmic yoga, ZenZilla Yoga and Wellness uses Black music and guided meditation to provide urban educators concrete, practical strategies to support Black children and youth. 

Verred Rose

Yoga Instructor: 500 HR RYT

Verred is inspired by several traditions, styles, and teachers including ParaYoga, Yoga Nidra, Katonah Yoga, Ally Bogard and Elena Brower. Her dedication to personal practice inspires her teaching which is grounded in her daily focus. Verred is bringing Yoga Nidra to The Well.

The yoga practice asks us to introspect, building a heightened sense of awareness from which we can live our fullest lives as our most authentic selves. When we work to first become stable we can move more easily from a place of equanimity and integrity. This is as much a metaphor for life as much as it is a tool for asana. Mindful awareness gives us freedom of choice in how we think, move, and live. We work to create a balance between stable strength, deep rest and full release. This practice has shown me the importance of rest, how vital it is to our life force and fortitude and how practicing allowance can open up a lot of ease for us. Verred hopes sharing these practices will allow others to uncover the stillness and stability within themselves.

Heather Dowling

Yoga Instructor: 500 HR RYT, LCSW

Heather received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. She is a faculty member of the Yale Child Study Center and has a private practice in downtown New Haven and on the Shoreline of Connecticut. Her integrative practice as psychotherapist, guide, teacher and spiritual mentor is informed by the complementary models of mindfulness, meditation, yoga, somatic experiencing, expressive arts therapy and family constellations. Heather joins us at The Well to teach a monthly Embrace You Meditation.

Thema Haida

Yoga Instructor: 500 HR RYT

Thema Graves is a long time Westville resident and a life long yogi. She began her yoga journey as a 12 year old practicing Sun Salutations before school. After practicing on and off for years, she decided to deepen her practice and dedicate herself to teaching yoga in 2017. As a 500 RYT trained in Yoga Therapeutics, she knows that yoga can be a life altering game changer and is meant to be accessible to everyone. "Yoga and meditation literally changed my life. My hope is that everyone who takes my class, gets a taste of what that feels like."

Elina Katzman

Mat Pilates and Dance Instructor

A PowerPilates® mat certified instructor and belly dance instructor at The Well, Elina was born in the USSR and raised in Israel and is a professionally trained dance teacher. She graduated from Thelma-Yellin school of Arts (the Israeli equivalent to Juliard) in dance department. She is also a student of a former  “Bolshoi Theater” leading soloist, Maya Melman Kryuchkova specializing in various classical ballet techniques and floor Ballet. Elina is experienced in Classical, Oriental and Musical Theater dance styles she performed with various Israeli companies including Bat -Dor and the Israeli Opera. She also holds B.A in communication and management from the Israeli college of management.  She moved to the US in 2013 and lives in Hamden with her husband and son.  


Elina is a motivated high energy movement educator with ability to individualize instruction based on students' interest and needs. Multi-lingual and cultural (English, Russian and Hebrew ), she combines her cultural knowledge creating Innovative experience for students. 

While we are not currently offering Mat Pilates and Belly Dance as classes, Elina is available to teach private sessions or small groups by request.

Irene Cullagh


Irene Cullagh. I am an RN and IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and has been working with mothers and babies for over 20 years. Irene has provided labor & birth, post-partum, breast feeding classes and lactation support.  She previously started a successful mother/baby support group at The St Raphael Campus of YNHH.  


Irene also has a private practice where she do home visits for nursing mothers. She will be hosting the breastfeeding support group at The Well will be open to breastfeeding mothers and their babies. 


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*The Well uses an inclusive definition of “women”: anyone who was assigned female at birth, or identifies as female or gender-fluid. If you feel drawn to our services, then you are welcome!

© 2019 The Well for Women | 495 Blake Street   Suite D   New Haven,  CT   06515  |  203.390.5542