Melissa Cuddihy

Melissa Cuddihy


"I believe that well-being  consists of a balance of exercise, healthy nutrition , rest and relaxation.  I have found yoga to be an essential component to wellness. I have been practicing yoga for over 30 years and became certified to teach yoga through the Nourish teacher training program with Victor Dubin.  In addition to teaching yoga, I have over 15 years of experience in the wellness industry.  I am certified in massage therapy, aquatic therapy and exercise and teaching integrative fitness for people with injury.    I believe my teaching style allows students of all levels to easily follow classes, I help each participant with any accommodations they may have. "

"I have lived in Santa Cruz for 20 years raising my family.  I enjoy traveling and practicing  yoga.  I am excited to open the doors of Urban Sanctuary to offer a range of classes to suit people from all walks of life!"

Melissa Cuddihy, Founder/Instructor



Laura Albrecht, Instructor

Laura Albrecht teaches Yoga, Spinefulness, and theraputic exercise to groups and individuals throughout the Bay Area. She a background in Traditional Ashtanga Yoga from studies at Mount Madonna Center and currently studies with  Spinefulness founder, Jean Couch, at the balance center in Palo Alto. She also has experience  as physical therapy aide and chiropractic aid. Laura believes that for a healthy yoga practice, the fundamental postures of life; sitting, standing, bending, walking, and sleeping require the most awareness and refinement. As a teacher, Laura's goal is to keep students safe by moving slow and educating everyone about deep, postural strength. She guides students through poses and movement patterns that inform the way they move off the yoga mat with intention of bringing mindful movement into our everyday lives. Laura believes that Yoga and Spinefulness are practices that can be beneficial to everyone. It is her job to help you discover a practice that allows for the body's internal healing powers to shine.


Abbie Righetti, Instructor




Wendy Kent, Instructor

Wendy is a living example of recovery and resilience  found through yoga. She has lived through a debilitating spinal injury, and she is a survivor of stage-4 cancer  and associated post-traumatic stress syndrome. Through all her experiences, she has gained valuable perspective on the power of yoga, especially gentle yoga as a healing tool. She also brings a special sensitivity toward helping others in any quest for an improved state of being. Wendy  received her first yoga certification from the Yoga Therapy College in Houston, Texas. Wendy has trained with Shiva Rhea, Rodney Yee, and Bikram Choudhury. She has also trained with local Santa Cruz experts as well, including Mark Stephens, Annica Rose, and Victor Dubin, with whom she completed her second-level advanced teacher certification. Wendy teaches with compassion and playfulness and stresses the importance of not forcing, but allowing our bodies to comfortably adapt to each pose. Her classes build strength, balance and flexibility, both physically and mentally, while calming the mind and improving focus.