Meet our teachers

many of which are on this couch, but not all... 

We all share the style of Vinyasa, but here at Inhale our team of teachers come from a variety of different yoga disciplines and each incorporates their unique knowledge and experience of the practice of yoga into their classes. You might find yourself in a Hatha class or moving and mediating to the energies of Kundalini. It's possible to be burning tapas and in a vigorous Flow or propped up on bolsters to mellow out. But no matter whether you are flowing fast or slow or the music is on or off, we all agree that maintaining a steady connection to breath, a focus on alignment, and an awareness of the mind and body is the most powerful part of the practice. 

 

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Janna Hockenjos

Vinyasa | SUP

Janna (E-RYT 200) discovered yoga when she was 13. It was a whole winter dedicated to teaching herself how to do a headstand in her living room with the help of a yoga book. She didn’t return to a regular practice until yoga served as the much-needed balance to a twenty-something life in New York City. Janna received her 200 HR training from Sonic Yoga in New York City and did an apprenticeship at Mala Yoga in Brooklyn. Janna teaches a Vinyasa style class that focuses on both the physical and subtle body. Her students experience the flow of prana, music, and message set to the firm foundations of asana and alignment. Outside of regular classes, she specializes in teaching yoga to those who live with brain injury and PSTD. Janna is the owner of Inhale Pittsburgh, a Lululemon ambassador, and two-time published author of He Never Liked Cake and Move Feel Think: Yoga for TBI, PTSD, and Other Forms of Trauma.  When she’s not on her mat or keeping Inhale Pittsburgh ship-shape, she is busy writing, discovering this cool city, or walking Mae Belle in the Mexican War Streets. And when it's warm out, look for her doing yoga on a paddle board or maybe join a SUP Yoga class she's teaching. Learn more about Janna at: jannahockenjos.com. Instagram: @jannacabana

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David May

Vinyasa | SUP

 

David (RYT-500) sees his yoga practice as a miraculous reflection of the universe. His practice began in 2012 under the debilitating stress of an education job that left him void of any joy or passion. As an ex-athlete, missing the sports that had defined him for so long, David believed yoga would be a simple way to remain in a healthy physical state, but it soon became something so vast, capturing his entire spirit. Every practice led him to a deeper understanding of himself, and with each soul expanding sequence, he became hooked. David decided to pursue this newest “addiction” and traveled to Hawaii for his 200 HR teacher training. After weeks of study, he had found his biggest passion - to share all the joy that yoga had reflected back to him with others. Since Hawaii, David has traveled to Peru to receive his 500 HR YTT and also received a certification in Thai Yoga Massage, while traveling in Thailand. David's classes focus on a strong spiritual or mental theme to carry the body through a variety of postures. He believes himself to be a transparent reflection of the universal connection we all share, and it is David's hope to share the joy he have experienced through yoga with you. Instagram: @davidchris_108

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alyssa Kuzins

vinyasa | kundalini

Alyssa (RYT 200) discovered yoga in college, but did not practice it seriously until the summer immediately following graduation.  Her first yoga class was at an Iyengar studio in Pittsburgh where she learned the importance of alignment, before she ventured into Yoga Flow for heated Vinyasa classes for a more vigorous practice. Eventually, Alyssa realized that her grad school path in Public History was no longer in alignment with her truth; therefore, despite a very uncertain future, she took a leap of faith and quit her master’s program for a “yoga career.” Today she teaches both Vinyasa and meditation all over the city. Alyssa's classes always leave you feeling clear, connected, and strong. Her Wednesday evening Move & Meditate class involves a mix of grounding, gentle asana work, breath work, some discussion,  and group mantra chanting. Alyssa hosts regular workshops at Inhale, and she also hosts a vibrant book club (Chapter & Chants) here at the studio. Instagram @sunflowergirlie | @thejournaldeck

Melissa Lucciola

Vinyasa | Hatha | yin | SUp 

Melissa, (E-RYT 200) sees yoga as yoga a tremendous source of balance and healing, a gift that has helped her overcome the life altering medical challenges of stroke and chronic migraine. She brings a unique sense of empowerment and non-judgment to each of her classes, teaching in a way that provokes thought and meaning. Melissa's classes are always challenging (both physically and mentally), accompanied by uplifting music, and include demonstrations and hands-on assists. Through careful planning and energy reading, she provides a safe place for students to explore, break boundaries, and release layers of physical and emotional weight.  In 2010, she completed her 200-hour yoga certification at Yoga H’om in Pittsburgh, PA.  You can also find her at the “Floating Studio” where she teaches stand up paddleboard yoga (SUP Yoga) and is a YOGAqua Certified SUP Yoga Instructor.  Growing up an avid water skier and true mermaid at heart, Melissa feels at home on the water, near the ocean, or exploring the world with wanderlust.  Follow her on social media and you’ll soon discover she’s also an avid foodie, lover of good wines and enjoys spending time with Darryl and their family of four-legged fur kids Titus, MacGreggors, and Gracie. Instagram: @puppylovesupyoga

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Sydney Shoff

Vinyasa

Sydney (RYT 200) realized the importance of connecting to your body through movement by growing up as a dancer.  A natural progression from dance to yoga occurred in high school where she began to notice subtle physical and mental changes, which made yoga a staple in Sydney's life.  After a retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica, she knew she had to deepen her practice and share yoga with others. As a teacher, Sydney wants to bring the same sense of peace to her students that yoga has provided her. In her Vinyasa flow classes, you will find both strength and relaxation, all the while her goal is to quiet the thoughts that crowd our heads to make room for love and mindfulness. Sydney is committed learning for her own personal growth and also to be her best self for her students. Off the mat, you will most likely find Sydney working at James Gallery or planning her next traveling adventure with her man. She also loves capturing moments with photography and doing absolutely anything outdoors, from making s'mores by the fire to biking. Instagram: @sydney_allie

 

 

Emily Balawejder

Vinyasa

Emily (RYT- 200) never believed that she would be teaching yoga. She discovered yoga in 2011, first practicing in her house with Nintendo wii, and then an iPad app. Months later, she worked up the courage to walk into a studio for a full day of workshops, and she  was hooked. Emily completed the Healthy Body | Peaceful Soul training at Inhale Pittsburgh in August 2016. The practice she shares is steady, full of intention, and places an importance on connecting movement to breath.  By day, Emily works as the Art Director for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and finds similar themes in art and community that are found on the mat, and she loves to connect the two spaces.  A proud Pittsburgher who is renovating an 1880’s townhouse on the Northside, Emily also has a love of adventure, travel, biking, Sondheim, reading, and puppies. She’s very glad that she stopped practicing yoga virtually, and is thrilled to have found such a vibrant yoga community in her hometown. Instagram: @emilylaughed

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Joanna Studeny

Vinyasa

Joanna (E-RYT 200) completed her 20O HR teacher training through Core Power Yoga in Boulder, Colorado in 2009, after practicing for almost a decade.  First drawn to yoga to help with a very terrible meditation practice while studying Buddhism in college, Joanna found a breath-focused asana practice to be an incredibly helpful tool for chilling out her crazy mind and cultivating a practice of mindfulness.  Her classes are light-hearted and fun, and often include challenging poses to emphasize both the limitless nature of our yoga practice as well as the impermanence of the physical form.  When she's not on her mat, you can find her rock climbing, stand-up paddling, failing at slack-lining, or hiking with her horse-dog. Instagram: @jogayoga

 

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Lauren Shaffer

Vinyasa

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Amanda Rubio

vinyasa

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Serafina Zippi

VINyasa

Ashely Koltonski

VINYASA | Kundalini | restorative | SUP 

Lauren (RYT-200) has always considered athletics as a pivotal role in Lauren's life. As a child she was raised playing and competing in a variety of sports. After moving to Pittsburgh in high school, she became very withdrawn, her father gave her an ultimatum, pick a sport or get a job, be involved in something. She chose cross country, which served her well, as she received a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh. After injuring her hip, she realized she needed a more rounded fitness regime, so she turned to the strength and flexibility of yoga. After going through a rough patch in life, she fully committed, enrolling in 200 hour teacher training at Bend Yoga. Her classes are often geared towards those looking to supplement their fitness routine with the physical and mental benefits of a yoga practice. Instagram: @yoga_by_lauren

 

 

 

Amanda (RYT 200) began practicing yoga at the age of 26, at a time when she was looking for something to change her outlook on life and bring her to a place of greater awareness and openness.  Seven years later, Amanda received her 200 HR training from Amazing Yoga in Pittsburgh and now teaches a Vinyasa flow practice that, while very physical, strives to help students become more conscious, present, and aware through focusing on breath and meditation. In 2014, Amanda co-founded MoWa Yoga, a pop-up yoga community focused on bringing yoga with intention to the overlook pods on Mount Washington and other unique spaces around Pittsburgh. Amanda continues her work as the principal of MoWa Yoga, and by teaching at several studios throughout the city. When not teaching or practicing, Amanda works as a civil litigation attorney, and spends her free time exercising, traveling, reading, writing, and spending time with her boyfriend Andy, her friends, and her cat Martie McFly. Instagram: @mandyrubes

 

 

Serafina (RYT 200) Serafina can remember the power and strength she felt in Tadasana after her first few yoga classes as a teen. It wasn't until years later that she returned to yoga and found a regular practice at Midtown Yoga in Memphis, TN. Yoga taught Serafina to cope with her sometimes debilitating anxiety, balance her daily life, and find happiness through simple acceptance. After completing her RYT 200 with Healthy Body Peaceful Soul last summer, right here at Inhale Pittsburgh, Serafina realized that her dharma may have been right under her nose all along. She is here to offer others the tools to improve the quality of their lives through the practice of yoga. Serafina teaches Good Vibrations on  Tuesday evenings. Expect a playful but calming class, usually themed to help you find out a little more about yourself in every pose. Listen for a fun playlist and look forward to a long, centering savasana. Instagram: @mufassafina

 

 

Ashley (RYT 200) learned that yoga awakens the soul and energizes the spirit over 10 years ago. Yoga has changed her life for the better, including her community, health and perspective on life. She wanted to deepen her understanding of her practice so she earned her 200 hour certification in 2014 at Blue Lotus in Raleigh. Educated in Vinyasa and Restorative, Ashley enjoys teaching flow classes to all levels, beginners welcome, and slow flow and restore classes. She believes that slowing down and tuning in helps gain clarity and insight and leaves the soul feeling grounded and rooted in truth. Ashley knows that movement leads to energy shifts in the mind and body so she loves to get on her mat, go for a hike in the woods or run along the Pittsburgh rivers. She also is a lover of travel and experiencing beautiful culture because "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." <3 Join Ashley on Thursday evenings or out on the water this summer.  Instagram: @yogini_rover

 
Our Substitute Teachers deserve a shout! Here are some of the faces you will see teaching classes every now and again. 
Rich Rayburg, Laura Jackson, Amy Jansen, Tara Beretsky, Katherine Zitterbart, Abby Linn, Stefanie Zito, Mandy Newport, Chelsea Carbonell & Katerina Istomin  
 

Come to class to chill out, work out, rejuvenate, re-connect, or just have some good old fun.  We want your yoga practice to be whatever you would like it to be. 

All you have to do is show up.