Strong By Nature

Gary Smith


I am Gary Smith, the co-founder of Strong on Center. I have been a personal trainer and licensed massage therapist  (#5586) for the past 10 years. Before that, I was on a semi-professional football team and made it to the NFL Combine. Fitness has always been a part of my life and I believe that combining strength training and stretching is the key to living a healthier, more vibrant & youthful life.  We bring that philosophy to life by providing both strength and conditioning classes complemented by flexibility and Barre classes.  At Strong on Center,  I teach private and group fitness classes to adults and kids.  I enjoy empowering people of all ages to be their best and strive to be better.  I train young athletes on and off-season to improve their performance on the field/court.  I love training and I truly love waking up every day because I love helping people feel great about themselves.  


Southern Connecticut - Exercise Science Major, 2007 Massage Therapy, EMT trained.  

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Kristen McGovern


I am Kristen McGovern, the co-founder of Strong on Center. I teach YoLift, Yoga, and YoBarre at SOC.  As a certified Health Coach, I offer nutritional counseling and 21-day reset programs to all of our clients. 


I trained for and ran marathons for over a decade until an injury sidelined me from my running. I tried one yoga class and never went back. The synthesis of movement and deep connection with breath left me feeling so incredible, that I knew it would be something I would never stop doing.  My Yoga classes combine traditional asana and pranayama with twisting, balance work, and core/abdominal integration, providing an opportunity to explore the spiritual through the physical.  Since I was introduced to Barre, it has improved and increased my muscle tone and strength by utilizing the smaller muscle groups, creating long lean muscles. Combining strength training, yoga and Barre has made me stronger than I ever could have imagined.

200 Hour Yoga Alliance certification, Barre Certification, Y12SR 12 Step Recovery Yoga Certification, ISSA personal training certification, IIN Health Coach.  


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Judy Orr -Yin Yoga

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When Judy first stepped onto her mat and realized what life changing principles and connections yoga has to offer she was hooked. After spending many years practicing different styles of yoga which included Bikram, Vinyasa, Dharma Mittra and Jiva Mukti, she began her journey as a teacher in 2013. 


Judy completed Buddhi Power Yoga 200hrs Teacher Training Certification with Lyn Kehoe. Her teaching style has blossomed further from attending workshops led by inspirational teachers like Bryan Kest, Tao Porchon Lynch, Rodney Yee and Kathryn Budig. 


She completed her 300hrs Spring 2017 at Kaia Yoga with Gina Norman.


Judy’s certifications include:

Foundations of Thai Yoga with Shai Plonski

Restorative Yoga with Jillian Pransky

Yin Yoga with Biff Mithoefer

Y12SR for Addiction

Reiki with Brett Bevell 


Judy brings to her class humor, energy and lightheartedness. She combines a challenging Vinyasa flow with attention to breath, alignment and yogic philosophy. All while encouraging her students to practice their yoga off their mats and into their everyday lives.


Wendy Cahill - Yoga/Reiki/Stretch


I have always had a passion for fitness & sports.
In my younger years I was a gymnast and runner.  After college I became a television producer for ESPN International.

After having children I began working with a personal trainer.  In addition, I practiced pilates and yoga.
Pursuing my own health and fitness goals led me on a path into the health and fitness industry.  


I was a "Flexologist" at Stretch Lab for 3.5 years where I deepened my understanding of the physical body when I was trained and hired as a personal one-on-one stretch therapist.

I have been a registered yoga instructor (RYT 500) since 2015.  

My areas of expertise are Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative, Yoga 12 Step Recovery, Inversion Training, and Thai Yoga Massage,

Reiki 2 Practitioner.

Certifications:  B. A Communication Sciences (UCONN), 500 Hour RYT Certification:  Vinyasa, Yin, Y12SR (Yoga 12 Step Recovery), Restorative, Thai Yoga Massage.  Flexologist (StretchLab)


Loren Hager - Yoga/Functional Medicine



As a practicing chiropractic physician and yoga teacher, Loren guides her students to their optimal alignment of body, mind and spirit. She integrates the principals of yogic philosophy and intelligent asana into all aspects of her life, helping her patients, students, family and self live joyfully and healthfully. Her classes are thoughtful, inspiring and challenging with a touch of humor to guide you into finding a deeper connection with yourself. Loren is a chiropractor and functional medicine doctor, 500-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher, 200 hour Kundalini yoga teacher and reiki master. 


Lisa Shinall - Strength/MetCon


I have been involved in the fitness industry for over 20 years.  I first began with my running career, and have run 20 marathons and plan to run my 21st later this year.  I have also run over 50+ half marathons.


Even with all my running, I knew I needed to round out my overall fitness with cross training.  As a result, I began strength conditioning to assist with my running career.

My past experiences have included coaching a Boot Camp class to motivate participants to run their first race, as well as an instructor at Orange Theory, F45, and several YMCAs.


My objective is to help those I teach or train to never give up and always keep working toward their goal.  I will do everything necessary in order for each person to achieve their personal success.

My favorite expression with my clients or class participants is “stick with it and trust the process.” That has proven to be a successful model for both myself and for my clients.


My certifications include:

·      AFAA/NASM Certified Group Instructor

·      AFAA/NASM Certified Personal Trainer

·      TRX Certified Instructor

·      MOSSA Group Power Instructor

·      Certified Insanity Instructor

·      Mad Dogg Spinning Instructor

·      AEA Certified Water Instructor

Caroline Graham - Yoga 

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Caroline has been practicing yoga for more than ten years.  She was hooked after her first class with Gail Cohen. After a move to London, Caroline’s practice intensified, studying Jivamukti yoga with Stewart Gilchrest and Alessia Avellino. She completed her 200-hour training at Kaia Yoga with Gina Norman and Stan Woodman. Caroline leads a vigorous vinyasa flow class, helping her students grow their strength, balance and flexibility through the connection of breath and movement - and encouraging them to take these attributes off the mat and into their lives.

Lisa Sheehan - Restorative Yoga

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Lisa Sheehan, MA, is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor for both adults (E-RYT) and children (RCYT) and a continuing education provider (YACEP).   Her classes focus on mindfulness, meditation and gentle yoga for stress reduction and to soften, lengthen and relax the physical body.   She is a registered Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor through UMASS Medical School Center for Mindfulness.  MBSR is a globally renowned 8 week mindfulness program that includes yoga & meditation as tools for stress reduction.  She holds specialized certifications in Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra Meditation.  Lisa is the founder of Relax Into Meditation, llc with students ranging in age from 2-97!  Several of Lisa's guided meditations and yoga can be found on the Insight Timer App.


Andrew Billman- Strength/Conditioning


My name is Andrew Billman and I have been a Personal Trainer for the past 8 years. Once I moved to New York City. I discovered that I was far from done teaching individuals. With my knowledge and experience, I have trained high profile clientele, such as; Madonna, Steven Klein, Lara Stone, etc. I was inspired to join the fitness industry after reflecting on the value and lessons I learned through working with individuals and finding how much it impacted their lives. My approach to training relies heavily on the fundamentals of Functional Training, incorporating movements from the activities of daily life that are unique to each individual. I aim to be adaptable with my programming to help find the types of exercise and lifestyle changes that are exciting, manageable, and shape a path to achieve goals. I believe in holistic fitness, finding an age–appropriate routine that incorporates cardiovascular and strength training, and emphasizes the importance of flexibility and balance for total physical wellness. 


Most importantly, I strive to provide clients with a positive and satisfying experience. Our training sessions will inspire people while and reassure their personal ability to fulfill their health goals and everything else faced on a day to day basis.

Sherri Norige - Pilates

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Sherri Norige has been teaching group fitness since 2008. She started out as an actor, dancer, and singer in New York City. Some career highlights include the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular”, touring with The Music Man, some TV and film roles, and a commercial for Canon camera. While pursuing an acting career, Sherri started her professional fitness journey at the esteemed barre studio, Physique 57, where she built her chops, and taught a variety of classes and formats to New York’s elite. Soon thereafter, she got her Pilates mat certification from “Lindafit Pilates”, followed by her NASM CPT certification. With personal training now a part of her arsenal, she sought more information about how to fuel the body and garnered her Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification as well.