Owner/ RYT 200
Yoga as defined:
The more commonly used, literal meaning of the Sanskrit word yoga which is “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach” from the root yuj,
Union of the body mind and spirit through breath, movement and calming the mind.
My yoga journey began when a friend took me to my first hot yoga studio. I was hooked instantly! Thank you Rachael! I left feeling incredible , I was more relaxed than I have ever felt after a work out and yet energized and clear headed. I immediately went home and told my husband,”Honey, I think I’m addicted but I think I should go back one more time to make sure:). It wasn’t long before I knew that I not only needed to learn as much as I could about this amazing ancient practice, but I also needed to share that knowledge with others the physical and emotional benefits that I have received with a regular yoga practice.
Certified throughYogaFit’s 200-hour Yoga Alliance-approved Training Program, as well as working toward YogaFit’s 100 Hour Warriors Program. YogaFit® for Warriors helps yoga teachers gain a deeper understanding of exactly how trauma gets stored in the body through the central nervous system and which yoga postures, breathing methods and meditation practices are particularly effective at releasing physical and emotional trauma at the autonomic level such as with those that suffer from Post Traumatic Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. This training help students to free troubling emotions, persevering thoughts patterns, chronic somatic tension and hyper vigilance in military personnel, emergency responders, and others who suffer from emotional or physical trauma.
I am the grateful and humble owner of this studio and am teaching here at The Hott Spot with a vision for this space to be a healing sanctuary for everyone that walks thru these doors. To have the confidence that there is nothing but love and compassion here and to feel free to strip away the outside world and find their authentic self…so they can practice with ease physically , mentally and emotionally!! I wish for you to feel like you’ve just come home when you visit us!! I LOVE OUR LIL STUDIO!!
I also teach at South Hills Karate Academy Saturday Mornings.. My practitioners range from late 70’s to 8 yrs of age.. On the mat I teach an active flowing vinyasa style of hatha yoga that will allow practitioners to stay safe and feel challenged yet successful. I teach from a place of authenticity, passion and love.
Off the mat I am a mom of 2 beautiful children Alana 16 and Adam 12 and a wife of 28 years to the most supportive and wonderful husband a girl could ask for. Thank you for your love and making me feel beautiful everyday. I am a PartyLite Leader and trainer for 15 years and I am a professed bride of Christ in the 3rd Order of Franciscans. I have taken a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience in the spirit!. We are a contemplative order and have a deeper prayer life. As a daughter of one of the most compassionate, loving, generous , kind and passionate mothers on the planet loving on others comes very natural, I was raised with hugs abounding!(You can count on a hug when you come to the studio!!) Thank you mom for living the most important commandment of all, “Love one another as I have love you!!” As a daughter of a Sargent in the US Army, physical fitness and dedicated workouts have always been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Thank you Dad for instilling in us at such a young age the importance of being active always and in all ways.. All of my trainings from Partylite to Yoga to my Spiritual and the love and support from the people around me and in my life, have come together so beautifully to bring you a practice that I know as TRUTH! My passions include but are not limited to as I am growing everyday, hiking, biking, zumba, kickboxing, weight training, step, sculpt and boot camp classes, swimming, belly dancing and just plain dancing around the house while cleaning and cooking!! With aspirations to work toward massage, reiki, working with chakra energies and something I’ve always wanted to try karate(Master Garbowsky woo hoo!)
Thank you to Annita and Sharon my Yogini’s from the depths of my heart thank you for showing me not only my physical strength but my inner strength. Thank you Kristen Happe for coming into my life and being such and amazing human being !!. Thank you for your inspiration, confidence and belief in me, but mostly thank you for your friendship.. Saving the very best for last, The Hott Spot Team and Clients you are more than our instructors and clients you are our friends and family and we love you!! Forever my heart and soul. Blessings Always & Namaste!
Namaste. Definition (one interpretation)
I honor the light within you. I honor the light within me. When we meet in that place of light inside each of us, we are one.
Megan found yoga at a very young age when her Aunt took her to her first yoga class. She lost her practice for many years but it always held a place in her heart. Megan has had many struggles and obstacles in her life. Losing her mother at the age of 24 being the most profound. She was searching for herself feeling lost, and anxious. Megan decided she wanted a healthier lifestyle and started practicing yoga at home. She hopped around to several studios before finding her home at The Hott Spot. Everyone there was so welcoming and kind, she knew instantly that she was exactly where she was meant to be. Yoga has completely transformed her life – mind, body and soul. She hopes to share all that she’s learned so that other people can experience it as well. She is always a student, striving to learn as much as she can about this amazing practice. “The best way to learn is to teach. It is often the most broken people who make the best teachers. They have overcome enough challenges to understand and relate compassionately with other people.”
Lover of the sun the moon and the stars. Anthony plays music that most people would call background music. He has played his guitar for nigh on 7 years and has brought his music across the United States from San Francisco all the way to New Orleans. His dreams and aspirations in life include: playing music in front of a live audience, becoming a master coffee barista, and teaching students at a college level. Anthony has been known to serenade live audiences, please enjoy and remember that musicians are wild animals.
One beautiful summer day, a young caterpillar of a girl, by the name of Deidre, opens the door to the magical world of YOGA. “WOW,” she declares – moving gracefully through emotions of joy, enthusiasm, and gratitude, while the experience fills her very existence. Deidre finally begins to realize she is opening herself up to a sustainable knowledge of re(member)ing the liveliness of who she always is, through the process of practicing yoga. The journey was transforming the girl’s life, in the most influential ways possible- yet most importantly – she was breathing through the poses of her life !!! Taking the craft from home sessions with family-friends, to the studio, she begins studying with many respected teachers around the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area- and then eventually decides that taking a teacher training program is falling into its natural state. Studying with Mary Comfort of YogaFit, Deidre finally receives the training she needs to achieve another staple of the enlightening dream – she becomes a yoga teacher. Deidre is extremely passionate about the art of yoga, and finds day to day, her ultimate purpose is to explore the yogic path of enlightenment. Acknowledging the guide of what yoga has to offer allows Deidre to gift herself with love abound, acceptance, honor, and respect. Eventually, this forever student and teacher blooms into more freedom as a butterfly, and she lets her wings streeeeeeetch into the infinite universe!. :p
When it comes to teaching, Deidre enjoys providing a fun, energetic approach to the class, allowing the students to modify their shapely postures as much as one desires. As long as her fellow yogi’s keep breathing and stay safe with comfortable, proper alignment, and maintaining a personal growing process at heart, the practice will always teach in a most grounding sensation- that the sky is the limit! YOGA IS SACRED GEOMETRY, creating itself through the human body, mind, and initiates through the spirit. Always remember – that expression originates from movements or lack thereof – and an evolution is constantly creating in this world. Deidre hopes every student will find the same serenity and peace, that has blessed her life for the past five years, by being in the presence of yoga, and will always encourage students to lighten up the spark of the ubiquitous creative calm in nature.
May diligence remain upon the yogic path<3
Piyo, Cise and Insanity Instructor
My journey with fitness started in 2013 when I had a ton of baby weight to lose and my wedding was coming up right around the corner. I then found my Beachbody coach and my entire life changed! Fitness and clean eating became a priority for me and I never felt better before from all of the improvements I was making. My first fitness program was Insanity and it gave me the best results I’ve ever known. It is also what inspired me to become a fitness instructor and a coach myself! After my Insanity Live certification in September 2014, I had found my passion for teaching fitness classes and helping others in their journey to a healthier lifestyle. So I pursued more certifications! In May 2015, after falling in love with the PiYo home program, I became certified to teach PiYo Live. Then in October 2015, I became certified to teach Cize Live. After joining The Hott Spot team this year, I have found a new love for yoga and it’s on my goal list to pursue my certification in the coming New Year!
When I’m not teaching fitness classes, I’m just a regular old mom with a love for a healthy lifestyle and deep passion to pass it on to my family. You can probably find me working out in my basement or in my kitchen cooking meals for my husband and 3 year old son, who has an impeccable taste for healthy food! We also love to travel, do anything in the outdoors or just snuggling up on the couch to watch a movie or read stories.
Marybeth began taking yoga classes in 2010 at her gym as a way to supplement her running and spinning workouts. During that time, she liked yoga, but didn’t fully embrace it. It wasn’t until she took her first heated class that her ‘like’ of yoga turned into love- and she hasn’t looked back. Marybeth loves that yoga is more than just a great way to sweat- it has also helped her manage anxiety and stress. When she isn’t practicing yoga, Marybeth can be found outdoors: biking, camping, rock climbing, or walking her dog. Marybeth is certified Level 1 with Yogafit.
Wendy found hot yoga 3 years ago when she started to experience running injuries. As a distance runner for many years, Wendy has completed Pittsburgh’s full marathon and many other races in the area. After years of running, Wendy started to feel its effects on her joints, ligaments, IT bands, and every other moving part of her body. Hot yoga quickly changed all that and turned her pain into renewed passion and longevity. She can now keep to her 5-mile a day, 6 day a week running regimen as long as she balances it with hot yoga. Even more than the physical benefits, Wendy has found a deeper peace, resilience, acceptance and meaning in the wonderful blessing she has in her life.
Aside from running and yoga, Wendy is a Registered Dietitian and works full-time for Limeade, a well-being technology company in Seattle. She has an amazing husband, who shows up in yoga class from time to time; and she is blessed with 3 wonderful children. Any free moments she finds, she spends with her family and friends.
“Yoga has truly changed my life and has put me in positions, on and off the mat, that I never thought possible. Growing my practice physically, mentally and emotionally is a gift I am fortunate to embrace and share every day. Namaste”
Natalie’s Yoga Bio
Natalie first found yoga at Electric Forest Music Festival in 2012 when she stumbled upon a big group practicing yoga. Her curious mind asked if she could join in! Afterwards, she found out that she had found something so beautiful and felt completely within her soul. Natalie has never felt that feeling before and ever since then, she has been practicing yoga daily for about 3 1/2 years. She has studied Vinyasa and other different yoga styles like Ashtanga in parts of the U.S and in parts of Europe. She also studies different kinds of meditation (Kirtan and Yoga Nidra), and loves to incorporate meditation practices in her classes. Natalie also practices Reiki therapy and will soon receive her level 2 certification this summer. She believes that we are all ONE with the Earth, the Higher Power, and with all people. Her goal for her classes is more than just the burning calories, she wants every yogi to feel completely within his or her soul. Natalie wants them to feel what it is like to have the ability to tune out your worries, expectations, stresses, and to leave class with a positive mindset. Soon Natalie will be getting her 500 hr. teaching certification with Passion Yoga in Costa Rica with a certification in plant medicine in 2017. Join her for an opening and powerful Vinyasa flow.
Jen Stratakis, E-RYT 500
Jen is a classically trained yoga teacher whose personal mission is to bring meaningful yoga to as many people as possible. In early 2012, she completed training in both Principle-Based Partner YogaÂ® and Yin Yoga. Her educational background includes a B.S. from Kent State and a Master’s from CMU. Jen has studied and practiced yoga for over 14 years. She is grateful to her yogic influences â€“ Sandra Anderson, Dharma Mittra, David Swenson, Seane Corn, Sarah Powers, and Judith Hanson Lasater – for their wisdom and guidance. When she’s not practicing or teaching yoga or other mind/body topics, Jen enjoys distance cycling, hiking, DOGA, and paddleboarding.