Leta Koontz, RYT, has been studying yoga since 1998. Her first instructor was Lori Brungard. Leta has trained at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India, and has been certified to teach yoga by the Himalayan Institute. Leta has also completed Ashtanga Yoga teacher training with Tim Miller. She is the founder of Schoolhouse Yoga.
Richard Gartner, RYT, is one of Pittsburgh's most resourceful, knowledgeable
and uplifting yoga teachers. His instructions are accurate without
being finicky. He fosters a non-dogmatic and compassionate attitude
about students' faculty and circumstances.
The teachings fuse traditional posture and breathwork with
contemporary anatomy and bodywork. It draws from all forms of yoga,
trigger-point therapy, mindfulness techniques and common sense.
His classes are challenging and intense, with a respect for everyone's
abilities. Richard does not teach any style of yoga. Going beyond a
single yoga system, Richard builds on svadyaya (self-study) to help
students discover their anatomy, energy, and mind.
Richard is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga
Alliance. His workshops can be taken for continuing education credit.
“As your right inner thigh presses back, extend your knees away from each other and drop the left heel. Lift the ribs off the pelvis as your legs firm to support you. Hook your bottom ribs to the extension of your arms, reaching them upwards. Move into the space with your breath. Drop your consciousness into your body, into the opening, into your core and essence.”
My love of yoga has grown through years of studying under precise instructions of alignment from Iyengar trained teachers, and beautiful metaphors from Rodney Yee, which he has collected over the years from his instructors. I teach my students to explore and witness the potential for change and to empower them to live in the body in which they currently reside. To accept the body as it is today, but to know that a change can be affected when a dialogue occurs with the body, mind, breath and soul.
Jen Clark, RYT, began her study of Ashtanga yoga in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and afterwards has gone on to study many styles of yoga. Since giving birth to two baby girls, she realized the immeasurable benefits that yoga has on the body and soul. Jen is grateful to have studied with Max Strom, David Swenson, Doug Swenson, Desiree Rumbaugh and others all of whom have influenced her teaching style. She loves to incorporate different yoga styles that come together in a vinyasa (flow) style class. Jen hopes that all of her students gain both a sense of peacefulness and strength with their yoga practice. Jen completed her 200 hour teacher training program through 3rd Street Yoga School.
Laurie has a strong background in gymnastics and has competed in triathlons. In 2003, she discovered Schoolhouse Yoga and became inspired to study yoga. She has studied with Manju Jois,
Angelique Sneeden, Tim Miller, and Doug Swenson. Laurie completed teacher trainings in Ashtanga yoga with both David Swenson and Tim Miller.
Linda Meacci, RYT, is a gifted teacher and communicator who has practiced yoga since the early 1990s. First and foremost, she recognizes and honors the great potential within each individual.
Linda draws upon her experiences as performing artist, athlete and spiritual student, as well as her sincere appreciation for the interplay of the physical, emotional, intellectual and
spiritual, to create a safe, integrative environment for self-exploration and personal growth. Her instruction is clear and pinpointed, and infused with enthusiasm, compassion and joy.
Linda is innovative: She synthesizes principles of yoga, various movement disciplines, therapeutic bodywork, anatomy and biomechanics to adeptly guide her students with well-informed
insights. She draws inspiration from a wide range of respected teaches, including Ana Forrest, Desiree Rumbaugh, Tim Miller, Doug Keller, Donna Farhi and Susi Hately. Linda also thrives
on her love of nature, travel and her spiritual path, Surat Shabda Yoga.
Becky Mingo has been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 1995. She traveled to India in 1999 to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Becky has studied locally with Lori Brungard and Angelique Sneeden. In her travels, she has studied and taken workshops with Chuck Miller, Maty Ezraty, Doug Swenson, Sharon Gannon and David Life. Before discovering yoga, Becky spend years studying dance, primarily ballet. She has been teaching yoga since 2001, her focus is a traditional Ashtanga practice.
Kendell began her practice of yoga in 1993 during her graduate studies in Cinncinati. She found that the practice gave her peace of mind and focus during the
stress of her MFA program. Kendell discovered Kundalini yoga while living in Los Angeles and fell in love with the invigorating and meditative healing aspects
of the practice. In 2005 she began teaching yoga in Pittsburgh and completed her 200 hour teacher training with Joanne VandenHengel in 2008. Over the years
she has practiced several different styles of yoga, but her love of combining Kundalini yoga with flowing hatha yoga is what fuels her practice. Kendell
created the Chakra Flow class based on her home practice which combines the energy medicine of Kundalini yoga with the flow of hatha yoga. Her classes are
designed to work the body by using various sun salutations and hatha yoga postures, calm the mind with breath and meditation techniques and heal the soul
through positive affirmations and invigorating Kundalini exercises. " My hope is that everyone leaves class feeling lighter and happier. Knowing their beauty
inside and out." Kendell also teaches Mantra meditation classes. Her experience as a professional singer combined with her knowledge of the chakra system allows
her to create a space in which all voices can be heard. Kendell is also available for private sessions in which she helps an individual heal through yoga, meditation
and reiki. Kendell is happy she can share two of her passions, yoga and music, with all her students. Now if she could just bring her cats!!!!
Joni Sturgill, RYT, has been studying yoga and meditation since 1999 and earned her 200 hour teacher certification through 3rd Street Yoga in 2006. Joni’s continued studies with Max Strom, Judith Lasater, Pema Chodron, and her teachers at Kripalu have inspired her to help students transform through breathwork, meditation, alignment and movement. Helping people manage their stress and recover from injuries is a passion of Joni's. In October of 2013, Joni will graduate with her ERYT 500 hour certification from Kripalu. She teaches monthly meditation workshops and restorative yoga workshops at Schoolhouse. Joni is a certified holistic health counselor and is also currently working on a Master's in Counseling Psychology.
Mary Beth Kelly
Mary Beth Kelly, RYT, has been sharing her wealth of knowledge as a yoga instructor at Schoolhouse Yoga since 2002. Studying and practicing Kundalini and Hatha Yoga since 1995, attending intensives at Hacienda De Guru Ram Das Ashram in New Mexico, and training with Shakta Kaur Khalsa and Gurmukh have been the backbone of her practice. She developed the original prenatal program at Schoolhouse when pregnant with her son, Lucas, who is now 6 years old. All of her classes, including Prenatal, Yoga for Kids, and beginning Kundalini are based on the principles and teachings of Yogi Bhajan, PhD. Kundalini Yoga combines meditation, prayer, physical practices and breathing exercises. Her classes are strengthened by the gentle music of Snatam Kaur.
Anna Gilbert Zupon
Anna Gilbert Zupon, RYT, was introduced to yoga in 2005 by Chrissy Carter. She completed her 500 hour training through YogaWorks and taught in New York and Los Angeles before life brought her to Pittsburgh. She is grateful to have studied with Natasha Rizopoulos, Lisa Walford, Julie Kleinman, and Annie Carpenter, among others, and finds constant inspiration seeing the strength, steadiness, and compassion we learn on the mat become tools that we can access off the mat as well. Her classes are influenced by the precision and alignment of Iyengar, the dynamic flow of Ashtanga and a personal commitment to infuse playfulness and joy into the practice.
Diane Dice, RYT, began practicing yoga in 1999 with Ruth Rittenhouse of the Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh in both the Sivananda and Himalayan Traditions. The strength, flexibility and peace she found through her personal practice inspired her to pursue a 200-hour teacher training certificate with Joanne VandenHengel at Schoolhouse Yoga. Diane's background in engineering and business management contribute to her analytical style and her ability to craft effective classes and techniques for the busy lives we all lead. Her goal in every class is to create a safe environment with clear instruction so that her students are empowered to make the most of every moment.
Brenda Maser enjoys sharing her love of yoga with her students, encouraging them to challenge their bodies, quiet their minds, open their hearts and take the practice of yoga off the mat and into their lives. Brenda, RYT, completed the Schoolhouse Yoga Teacher Training Program and has been an enthusiastic yoga practitioner since 2001. Her hope is that each student will experience the joy and amazing benefits of yoga.
Laura has been practicing yoga for nearly a decade and is certified to teach at the 200 hour level. She began practicing when allergies and asthma helped her decide to end her on again, off again relationship with running. When her regular yoga practice not only alleviated her asthma symptoms, but later carried her through life’s more difficult twists and turns by helping to reduce stress and anxiety, she became a devotee and decided to share her practice with others. Her classes are playful and exploratory with an emphasis on stress reduction through awareness of the body and breath.
Sophia is a Pittsburgh native and has been practicing yoga since high school. In 2008, she began teaching yoga at Middlebury College after assisting Professor
Andrea Olsen's yoga labs. Her background in dance as well as her interest in anatomy have made pure movement and breath awareness the foundation of her yoga
practice and teaching. Class begins by gently warming the joints, builds up to more vigorous sequences that challenge physical and mental endurance and then
ends with stretching and relaxation. A balanced mix of moving and static postures, classes encourage presence in the moment, healthy alignment and deepening
of the body/mind/spirit connection. Sophia is a certified SilverSneakers yoga instructor, dance teacher and independent dancer/choreographer/improviser. She
will become an RYT upon completion of her teacher training with Joanne VandenHengel this winter.
Karleen Preator, RYT, began practicing yoga in 1977 and completed her teacher training with 3rd Street Yoga in 2010, continuing her training with Max Strom,
Theresa Murphy, Doug Keller, and our own Richard Gartner. Karleen brings her passion for movement, fitness, and humor into her classes, with the intention
to challenge the body and calm the mind. She provides detailed instructions to allow students of every level to enjoy the yoga experience and emphasizes
the personal practice of yoga as the perfect practice. When not practicing yoga (or working), Karleen spends her time running, hiking, skiing, and kayaking.
Melissa Lucciola, RYT, Yoga is a tremendous source of balance and healing for Melissa, a gift that has helped her overcome the life altering medical challenges of stroke and chronic migraines. Her philosophy is to inspire students to better understand themselves and to support them in discovering their true nature. In her practical approach to yoga, it is Melissa’s belief that one of the keys to enlightenment is to literally “lighten up,” so having fun is always a part of the process. Her sense of humor and commitment to non-judgment provide a safe place for students to explore, break boundaries, and release layers of physical and emotional weight. She believes that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to yoga, therefore she inspires and supports everyone in finding the path that is right for them. Melissa feels grateful for the grace she has received from her many talented teachers and for all their guidance, support and encouragement.
Melissa continues to find inspiration through study with senior teachers such as Desiree Rumbaugh, Rodney Yee, Paul Grilley and Max Strom.
Kristie Lindblom, RYT200, RYT500, is a registered instructor with Yoga Alliance and a Certified Yoga Therapist specializing in chronic disease.
She began her journey with Yoga in 1994 with Marina Votta and has been honored to receive the teachings of Bob and Cindi Barton, Cheri Clampett,
Arturo Peal, Donna Farhi, and Laurel Hodory, among others. After receiving her BFA in Dance from Point Park University in 2003 along with a BA
in Education, her dance career ended abruptly when she had a defibrillator/pacemaker placed as a result of a congenital heart condition. She
found her daily practice a sustaining constant that carried her through that life altering experience, which led her to her passion of sharing
the healing qualities of yoga. Her classes are breath focused, empowering, and healing as she infuses them with a combination of western scientific
knowledge and ancient yogic wisdom. In addition to her Hatha and Therapeutic yoga training, Kristie holds a certification in Dynamic Pregnancy Prenatal Yoga™, and is trained in Highmark’s
Discover Relaxation With I/II. Kristie is especially honored to work with the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reducing Heart Disease as a Stress Management
Specialist and instructor at Pittsburgh's branch of the American Heart Association.
Sarah Bauer spent most of her early life in a dance studio and has always been most fascinated by the human body. She was introduced to yoga as a teenager and began her personal practice of yoga and meditation in 2000. She completed her 200 hour teacher training through 3rd St Yoga with Joanne Vandenhengel in 2010. In addition to teaching yoga, Sarah is a PA licensed massage therapist. Her deep understanding of body mechanics and anatomy brings a safe and playful approach to her classes. Sarah’s teaching focuses on proper alignment, deepening self/body awareness and empowering students to trust and listen to their bodies.