Hott Spot Heroes

Sometimes people come into our lives that touch us so deeply that they change us, Sometimes we meet people with stories and experiences and lives, that encourage us to keep going.   Sometimes we come across the most amazing spirit and determination that we cant help but say YES!! I want to do that, I need that, I want to be that!!

We call them Our Heros! Please know that these amazing people are not just Hero’s for the month. They are Hero’s each and every day.. We are blessed to call them our friends and family.  You all mean the world to us and you are all very dear to us all at The Hott Spot! Thank You for your passion, loyalty,presence and energy !!

  We are  honored and privileged  to introduce to you Our Hott Spot Hero’s Past and Present!!
Much Love, Namaste, &Blessings

Hero June 2017

It gives me great pleasure to finally introduce someone who has been one of my hero’s from the first day I met him.  John was at one of my very first classes I ever taught going on 5 years ago!  John showed up at 9am on that Saturday morning  and almost every Saturday since .. He would say to me I can’t do all of what you and others do.. I reassured John that we need to let go of judgment of mostly ourselves and that it is not about keeping up with others,but rather listening to and honoring your own body and being gentle with yourself.  I have watched John grow in strength, endurance, flexibility and knowledge and he is very dear to me. I hold each class, conversation and hug in my heart!  I am sure he does more that he ever thought he would in a yoga practice and to practice in the warmth and in a heated room at 76 ?  Did I mention he is 76yrs young?…..He is amazing!!..
A little about John…Transferred to Pittsburgh in 1983 for work with his lovely wife and 3 beautiful children. John was always a fairly active man, but as he came into his 70s he  began to look for different excercise classes like Pilates and Yoga. John finally settled on Yoga at the South Hills Karate Academy. After 2 years I came on board as the instructor, teaching differnt types of yoga, John  has always practiced with an open mind and open heart for new and difffent classes. We now have gravitated to Hot Yoga and he finds it a refreshing change from traditional Yoga and would recommend it to anyone interested.” Hot Yoga is a very warm (no pun intended) and comforting time.”
I asked John what has Yoga done for him? His Repy” Having done Yoga now for 4 + years it is an important part of my weekly routine, at age 76 I feel that while I don`t have the endurance to keep up with the younger folks I do the best I can (which I feel is pretty good ) My weight is good, coupled with a twice weekly gym work out, twice weekly Yoga and golf on a weekly basis, life is good .There is almost a Spiritual aspect to Yoga, as well as the physical, for me I concentrate on the  physical side while respecting others who view the Spiritual side.
Summing up I feel that anyone looking for an all around program for better health could not do any better than Yoga.”
I know I speak for everyone John, You are our Hero!
Hero Nov 2014

Hot Spot Hero Nov 2014kevin-k

Kevin kulhawy

Kevin started yoga with the Hott Spot in Aug of 2012.. He has logged 327 hours of yoga since then!! He comes consistenley 2-3 times a week and has an amazing practice. Kevin is amazing! During practice Kevin modifies and he honestly honors his body and mind! As an instructor I watch him and my heart swells with joy because I know he is truly finding his bliss at practice!  He is  always pleasant, and positive and is genuinely one of the most sincere people I know.. His concern for others touches my heart in a world were most don’t even make the time to ask about someone.  He always reminds me of the words I use in class and when I am going thru something he seems to know exactly what to say to make me feel better. [Now that’s student teaching teacher]  Just recently he gave me the most amazing testimony that I had to share with everyone.. Kevin had gone to the doctors  and had routine blood work. His blood work came back borderline.  If he continued on that path it was only only going to get worse..He told me last week he had his annual check up and the doctor had asked what he had been doing, All his blood work came back perfect.. He told them I do hot yoga!!  Yes Kevin watches what he eats but a regular hot yoga practice is what he contributes to his well being!! Kevin you are not just my hero I know I speak for The Hott Spot Team and Family You are our Hero.. Wishing you  peace and health and prosperity always!

Lori and The Hott Spot Team


Hero Dec 2014

Hott Spot Hero Dec 2014mary-m

Mary Mineo

Mary is a wife of 38 years! A mother of 4 awesome children and has 6 beautiful grandchildren that keep her busy and she loves travel!!  Mary started yoga with the Hott Spot in Aug of 2012.. She has logged 271 hours of yoga since then!! She tries to come consistenley 2-3 times a week! She has been practicing for approximately 8 years but has found that  Hott Yoga is the way to go since she has had both knees replaced!!  You would never know it by her practice!! Mary contributes how quickly she has recovered from surgery to her hot yoga practice.. she also feels it helps with her back and just feels better when she practices and sweats it all out! I couldn’t agree more!! Something that I love about Mary is she will text me and tell me that she couldn’t make it as much as she wanted to and that I need to light a fire under her to get into class, because she knows that no matter how you feel coming into practice, you will leave feeling better, every time..  I call Mary my hippy yogi, only because of her loving and free spirit!! No moss grows under her feet:)She is always smiling and always so helpful… with her loving spirit, I feel like I’ve known her forever! Our Namaste sign behind the desk is a beautiful gift from her…Thank you Mary, it’s perfect…Mary you are not just my hero I know I speak for The Hott Spot Team and Family You are our Hero.. We all love you so!! Wishing you  peace and health and prosperity always!

Lori and The Hott Spot Team


Hero Jan. 2015

Hott Spot Hero

Jan. 2015joanie-b

Joanie Lewis

I asked Joanie to share her story as she is humble and contrite of heart and we both agree that her story would inspire and  help others! Joanie is a wife and mother of 2 beautiful children.  Joanie is an inspiration to us all here at the Hott Spot and  I have to tell you she gets more done before 9:30 am yoga class starts than most of us get done all day!! 🙂  Joanies story starts with breast cancer.. in 2012 she had surgery and doctors told her that she would not have full range in her arm again… Well if you know Joanie then you know that diagnosis was not acceptable!!! When her doctor gave her the clear to start exercising again the Hott Spot had just opened up… She knew this was something that she had to do… Everyday…not kidding 5-dys a week!! When she started there were struggles that you can imagine but she never stopped.. she honored her body, but at the same time kept finding her edge.. She quickly found out that she was not only working her body but she found that the meditation part help to teach her to destress and really learn to relax!  Today Joanie is truly amazing we cant work her  out hard enough and yes has mastered crow!!:).. Relax yes she can and she does in Shavasana!!! Joanie started yoga with the Hott Spot in Aug of 2012.. She has logged a whopping 606 hours of yoga since then! Yep she’s a Pro:)!!  She is kind and thoughtful and always willing to help.  Joanie thank you for inspiring me, thank you for inspiring all of us.  Thank you for never giving up!! I know I speak for The Hott Spot Team and Family You are our Hero.. We all love you so!! Wishing you  peace and health and prosperity always!

Lori and The Hott Spot Team

Hero Feb. 2015

Hott Spot Hero Feb. 2015alice-k

Alice Kenawell

As an instructor I have the awesome privilege of watching some one brand new to yoga come to the studio  and learn and grow and fall in love with this beautiful art.. Sometimes it takes multiple times coming back not giving up to  get acclimated and find your peace.  Then there are some who as soon as their first Hot Yoga Practice ends they know they have found something they will do for the rest of their lives…. A Lot!!!:) Join with me in honoring Alice Kenawell as the Hott Spot Hero for the Month of February, Allie, 17 a senior at South Fayette High School walked in or might I say was “forced” to take a yoga class in November by her sister and her cousin!!  I am so proud when our young people start their practice so early in life!!  I wish I would have as a teen!!  Guess What.. Allie was hooked… she loved it, she even came back the next day with out her sister and cousin!! 🙂  I got to talking to her as I always like to know if our yogi’s are healing any part of their bodies and Allie confided that she has a mild form of Scoliosis…I can only imagine the  struggles and concerns that a young woman faced with a challenge physical mentally and emotionally but to see her practice and see her determination to try new things to find her edge and also honor her body and limitations.. it makes my heart swell..I asked her what differences she has noticed since starting her consistent practice in November.  She has told me that it has helped with pain but also practicing body, mind and spirit has helped her to not be so self conscience!!   Allie plays in the marching band at school and she is introducing a lot of her friends to give Hott Yoga a try too!!  Allie I think you are absolutely  amazing and I love you so much !!   Thank you for inspiring me, thank you for inspiring all of us.  Thank you for never giving up!! I know I speak for The Hott Spot Team and Family You are our Hero.. We all love you so!! Wishing you  peace and health and prosperity always!

Lori and The Hott Spot Team


Hero March/April 2015


Hott Spot Hero 

March /April 2015

Anna Silberman

Not everyone has a physical situation they are working thru.. Some of us have pains and aches and hurts so deep that others can not see.. Some of us have rejection and grief and loss, resentment and anger that can keep us from being who we really are, mentally emotionally and physically

Anna works for Highmark and is the Vice President of Clinical Client Relation. She works with the company for health management to promote healthy futures and to prevent health problems and disease. Sounds like Yoga is right up her ally!!

About 4 years ago Anna and her husband Mark were faced with  heart wrenching news..Mark had been diagnosed with cancer. Mark underwent treatment and she watched and cared for her husband as he  fought for 3 years.  Mark lost his battle almost a year ago… Anna a mother of 2 beautiful children and a wife of  35 years was suddenly shifted into living a life she was not used to.. Understandably she was having a hard time finding her normal again.  Then in May Anna decided to do something for herself.  Her friends whom she calls her heros when it comes to wellness, Colby Diziki and Wendy Vida, talked her into doing hot yoga! !  She loved it! Anna hardly misses a Sunday.  With each passing Sunday she gets renewed strength to move forward with her life.. With Sundays being a difficult day of being alone without her husband..Now, Sundays are her favorite day.  She not only comes but she brings all of her friends because she wants to share the benefits of this amazing practice with everyone. Since Anna has been practicing at the Hott Spot she told me that it  has helped her to be more comfortable in her new role and more comfortable about being alone. When she practices and breaths she is sending light and love and healing to others.. Practicing Yoga has opened Anna’s heart again  to love and be loved!!. Anna, I know I speak for The Hott Spot Team and Family You are our Hero.. We all love you so!! Wishing you  peace and health and prosperity and love.

Anna has also picked the Charity Of The Month that we will be honoring all month with our Pay What you Can based  Classes and donations all month.

Alexis Joy Foundation for the prevention of suicide among new moms who have depression.  Alexis Joy Foundation 


Hero June 2015
steveHott Spot Hero
June 2015
Steve first came to the Hott Spot in January of 2013. On the advice of his doctors because of lower back pain. Steve has endured lower back pain for 15 years.  He has logged 72 visits and 90 Hours with a consistent once a week yoga session. With 3 Herniated and bulging disks In his lower lumbar,Steve says that hot yoga releaves his pain, helps him to be in a better mood and is more relaxed! Steve also golfs as much as he can, spins and cross trains.. I found out he gets his determination from his mom, 85 years young and visits Curve 3 to 4 times a week!!! What makes Steve our Hott Spot hero is that he never gives up no matter how he is feeling he shows up and knows that he will always leave feeling better. Steve also gets regular massages from Joe Nezovich our Licensed Masseuse.  He is always so supportive of all we are doing at The Hott Spot and I want to personally thank him and let him know how very dear he is not just to me but to all of us!! Wishing you Health and Prosperity and Peace Always!! We Love You. 


Hero Sept 2015

Join us in Honoring Kelsy Frank this Month!Kelsy

Kelsy first entered our studio in May of 2013 and she has been enjoying  a regular Hot Yoga practice since.  Logging 195 hours of yoga and practicing an average of 2-3 times a week!!  Why is Kelsy our Hero this month? Because she is a self-prescribed adrenaline seeker!! She is a skydiving, rock climbing, stunt plane riding, golf club swinging, tall building scaling never say never one of a kind  kick but yogi, surviving breast cancer with drive and determination a beautiful philanthropist are only part of why she is our Hero!! She started taking yoga after her elbow and shoulder were giving her trouble from lifting and rigors of life taking toll on the body, She sought out Something that would be a little more gentle on the joints! Did I mention she is 70 years young?!Since practicing her elbow and shoulder are pain free. That gives her the freedom to do what she really enjoys doing like jumping out of airplanes and Scaling The EQT Plaza 625 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Oct 2nd at 9:00am in order to raise money for Over the Edge benefitting Our Clubhouse for Ovarian Cancer. The Hott Spot will be doing (2) 108 sun salutation classes all proceeds will benefit her cause On Sept 19 and 20th 4:30-6:00pm
I know I speak for the entire Hott Spot Team Your our Hero!!
Blessing Kelsey Good Luck and Namaste on the 2nd we will be rooting you on!
Hero Oct. 2016

Hott Spot Hero Oct. 2016 Ted Katz

ted-crow ted-headstand









Join me in celebrating one of the most charming men I am blessed to know.   It is an honor and brings me great joy to introduce to you our Hott Spot Hero Of The Month for October 2016 Ted Katz!!

Ted is the father of a beautiful daughter and 2 grandsons!  He is retired from his practice of being an optometrist of 53 years in Carnegie!

    Ted started practicing at The Hott Spot in Oct of 2013… Not by choice:).. A friend of his Jacquie Imro kept on him until he gave in!  It took a few months but we are so grateful and happy he did!~ Since then Ted has logged over 100 Hours of Hot Power Vinyasa Flow!  He comes once or twice a week faithfully but Yoga is not his only form of activity!  He loves to be in the great outdoors.  He likes to walk and hike but this guy was born to ride! A cycle enthusiast, Ted has participated in 25 BP MS 150s. A 150 mile bike course to raise money and bring awareness to Multiple Sclerosis .  Ted has participated and cycled in many U.S.  states and around 10 beautiful and different countries! He has raised over $12,000 for this cause! 
     I had asked Ted Last year if he would honor us by being our Hero… Ted declined as he wasn’t feeling so well, and he wanted to be 100% for us.  He went thru a tough time of about 6 month and is back stronger than ever.. Though his illness he was also diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis.  Ted knows his bodies limitations but never quits, never stops! 
      As an instructor I sometimes stand back and watch in awe of him. Watching him execute headstand and arm balancing in crow.. He is absolutely amazing! His practice is energetic, and vibrant and makes me say Yes, I want to be that when I grow up!
That saying is what most people say when they get to know him:)
      I asked him if he wanted to say anything, and he said” I feel blessed to be able to still do the things I love!”  Oh did I mention Ted is 79 years and 11 months young and he is living his advice of Never give up and Always keep on moving!
     I asked Jacqui, Teds friend for her thoughts. She said, “Ted is an inspiration to all who meet him, whether he is passing you on his bike or attempting his first headstand in yoga while the whole class watches.  He is always there to help out no matter what it is, a good conversationalist and a great listener and sees only the good in people.  I am proud to call him my friend”  Jacqui we feel the same and we are proud to call him our Hero too, not just this month but everyday.  Happy Birthday Ted! I have a feeling you’re just getting started.
Much Love, Blessings Always and Namaste!
Lori and The Hott Spot Team & Family
     Each Hero gets to pick the Charity Of The Month.. This month Ted picked Western Pennsylvania Humane Society
     You can donate all month and I will be holding a special 2 hr class On Sunday, Oct 9th.1:45pm to 3:45pm. Yoga-A- Lil-Longer donation based. All proceeds will go to WPHS
Hero Nov. 2016
Join me in celebrating the beautiful Mrs. Ellen Pandolfo.   It is an honor and a privilege to introduce to you our Hott Spot Hero Of The Month for November 2016.
I know you can take one look at that beautiful smile of hers and know the joy we receive when she walks in the doors!  Ellen is such lovely and sweet soul!  She is soft spoken and gentle and always has a kind word to say!  We know you will agree if you are ever blessed to meet her.
    Ellen  started practicing at The Hott Spot in Dec of 2013… Sinceellen then,
 to date she has logged 248 hours of Hott Power Vinyasa Yoga and 209 visits. She also brings Sofie, an exchange student form Denmark! (We love you Sofie!! xoxo) Her husband Gary practices  too and even did Partners Yoga together! Gary is the owner of an awesome Construction Company called Pandyman Construction.
Ellen also enjoys Golfing, Biking and Running too!  
    She started yoga after her fight and victory with breast cancer.  She endured intense chemo and radiation for 6 plus months and a lumpectomy. With the help of her loving husband  Gary of 35 years and the support of her friends and family who made sure she she kept positive and kept her spirits up, she became more than a survivor, she became and inspiration to so many others.~ 
      I asked her what yoga has done for her after her experience and she told me,yoga has made her spiritually and physically stronger.  
      I asked Ellen what did she bring away from her experience and her reply made my spirit soar!  She found her faith and her church.  Turning to God at one of the scariest and lowest points of her life, she found her strength in Him and her faith. 
      I asked Ellen what advice she would give to anyone that was going thru an illness as she did. She encourages everyone to find in outlet in faith and physical activity even getting outdoors for a bit  and surrounding yourself with positive people always! Don’t ever give up!
     Ellen you are an amazing yogi, but more than that you are a beautiful being inside and out!  Thank you for your inspiration and your openness and for sharing.. I know I speak for the entire Hott Spot Team, Ellen you are our Hero!
Much Love, Blessings Always and Namaste!
Lori and The Hott Spot Team & Family
     Each Hero gets to pick the Charity Of The Month.. This month Ellen picked Bridgeville Food Bank
     You can donate all month and I will be holding a special 2 hr class On Sunday, Nov. 13 th @ 1:45pm to 3:45pm. Yoga-A- Lil-Longer donation based. and Thanksgiving Day @ 7am and 9 am All proceeds will go to Bridgeville Food Bank


Hero Dec 2016


Tim Willison Hott Spot Hero December 2016

Join me in celebrating Tim Willison  our Hott  Spot Hero !!  Tim started coming to the Hott spot in march of 2015 and since has logged over 143 hours of  Hott  yoga.     I have watch Tim become stronger, more flexible, more stable, physically, mentally  emotionally and spiritually  I have watched him reach his goals with determination and passion and dedication! Through all of  his visits I  have had the great pleasure learn who he is and where he came from. It an honor to bring you his story. I know he will touch you as he has touch all of us.From a family of  7 children ( I am #4) and raised by the best parents ever.I now reside  in the South Fayette/Bridgeville  area except for a period of 4 years in Colorado Springs in the early 80’s.       During the 90’s I experienced some life changing experiences with a total of 5 back surgeries in which 2 of them involved placing titanium rods in my lower back.  Because of this my active life came to a screeching halt, since all sports including golf was no longer an option.  During this same time frame I also went through a challenging divorce. So as they say “If  it does not kill you it makes you stronger”.  Hmmmmm….     Fast forward two years ago.  While visiting my parents in Florida and my older brother (having gone thru 10+ back surgeries) said  I  was walking like an old man.  He told me I was going with him the next day.  So I attended  my “first hot yoga” – Bikram class in Florida.  I learned the child’s pose very quickly during the first 15 min of class.  However being a determined person I went back the next day.  The heat and stretching seemed to help with the continual back pain.  But I had to head home and thought about going to a class locally.  That’s when I found the Hott Spot Yoga studio and joined.  This studio was a “cool 95 degrees vs. 105 degrees in Florida.  However these local classes made me think that “never in a million years” would I ever get through one class without taking child’s pose let alone skip, hop or jump to the front of the mat!   Well through some,  OK 6 months worth of classes, I was able to do both. What a feeling of accomplishment!     Finally I was still dealing with the aftermath of the divorce & did not realize it.  Then the day after Thanksgiving 2015 I attended a class and as usual Lori worked  us with her normal upbeat workout.  As I lay on the floor exhausted, sucking in air, I listened to the meditation of the day on Forgiveness.  It resonated so much with me that I had to get a copy of it from the book.  I took it home and read it, & read it, & read it well you get the picture.  It made sense (to my dismay – LOL) and I knew what needed to happen but had fought it up to now.  So I took a deep breath, sat down, and wrote a letter to my ex wife and discussed many things. I knew I needed to forgive her but I had to start elsewhere.  To give forgiveness you need to start with asking for forgiveness even when you don’t think you did anything wrong.  Wow!  Pretty heavy stuff.  But I relented and so I asked her for forgiveness.  The most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.  She told me later it was one of the nicest letters she had ever received from me.  It was like a 1,000 lbs weight was lifted off my shoulders and never knew I was carrying this load.  Now we can be civil around each other for my daughters sake.  Out of that difficult divorce I was able to “keep” my daughter (step) and my grandson who is my best friend (see pix).  For that I thank God so much.  So not only has hot yoga helped me manage much of my physical pain it has helped me spiritually to learn to forget about me and to focus on others instead.  Isn’t that the reason we are here anyway right???        

   Thank you Tim for your loyalty, presence and energy . I know I speak for The Entire Hott Spot Family,  You are our Hero!

Much Love,Blessings and Namaste!  





































Hero May 2017
Meet our Hott Spot Hero For May 
Jeffery Hayes
Jeff walked into the studio a “Mountain of a Man” and just stole our heart! Each time he came I could see his practice grow as he never gave up I could see his passion and determination and his light shine.  He is a gentle giant and his practice resonates peace and truth!  I am sure you will agree as I am honored to present his story and his beautiful family with you.
Personal profile:  Age 59, Married 29 years to Marylee McCarthy Hayes, 4 grown offspring, Whitney daughter (Singer and Actress trying to make it to Broadway) 29, Taylor (US Army )26, Jordan (USMC) 23 and Spencer (USMC) 21, Three Grandkids, Kolton (age 4&1/2 born ten years to the day my father passed away) Ella age 3, Halle age 2 with one more on the way. And last but not least my German Shepard Tazor.


What brought me to Yoga? Well, I was in a deep and dark funk many reasons beyond my control ten tens ago.  I was clinically depressed and was in treatment for recovery.  I had lost my self in pity and self hate.  “I was drowning in my sorrows, until my sorrows learned how to swim” ( Lyrcis for a U2 song).  My therapist suggested alternate methods to battle my blues.  I was fortunate to have the support of family and friends to help me thru these difficult times in my life.  Yoga allows me to push the reset button in  brain and reboot away from the negative energy.  It allows me to unite my mind, body and spirit as a reminder that we need to take inventory of our lives, Just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit brings me peace to my faith.


I have always been active in sports, but now since I’m pushing 60 I have of aches and pains in my body due from sports injuries.  At one point about 4 years ago I was almost 290 lbs. Yoga allowed to to ease back into a more active lifestyle that I was accustomed to living.  Now, I try to do yoga at least twice a week, also ride my mountain bike and walk my dog.  Today, I can proudly say I now weigh 245lbs and looking to lose more.


“I am not a role model” This quote is a line from Charles Barkely, NBA HoF player for  Nike shoe ad back in the 80’s.  That’s the way I felt when Lori asked me to share my yoga journey with the Hott Spot studio.  I don’t think of myself as a hero to others and I don’t seek the limelight of accolades for doing good deeds.  I just like to think that I go about my business and lead by example.  Huh,  I guess that does make me a hero to those who are looking for inspiration.  


Anyway,  I have been practicing yoga for about 5 years total. I  been with Lori and staff for about a year and 4 months.  What I have noticed about HSY is the warm friendly, open and welcoming environment to all those who enter the door.  Kind of like “Cheers” where everybody knows your name. I have meet so many new people and old friends But my new BFF from the studio is Lori’s son Adam. I saw them once at Get GO and I hear Hey! “Big Man” I think Lori was embarrassed but I just laughed and smiled when I saw him.  How can any one not like this kid.  


Sincerely Jeff

Hott  Spot Heros get to pick the charity of the Month
Please make donations to LEAD PITTSBURGH

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