Totally Yoga's Class Instructors
Connie began practicing yoga in 2007 to add variety into her exercise routine. She quickly became passionate about yoga and fully dedicated to her practice. Yoga has totally transformed her mind, body and soul and allowed for self-discovery. She has furthered her vinyasa flow practice over the years by taking countless hours from teachers across the states.
She received her certification through Yoga Flow in Pgh, Pa and is registered through Yoga Alliance. She looks forward to helping other yogis embark on their journey of finding inner strength and peace. Through each breath, she aims to inspire her students to advance not only their practice on the mat but their lives outside of the classroom. Her own practice has shown her to become a more mindful, appreciative person beyond the yoga mat, and she hopes to show fellow yogis how to do the same.
Yoga first found Derek Martin through a significant other in late 2008. Awkward and inflexible, he kept what one could call a consistently irregular practice in his dormitory living room. Only after attending community yoga classes at the Dormont library did Derek experience the energy of peoples' movement & breathe to cues of a teacher in real time. In his teaching he emphasizes the importance of breath and it's vital connection to slow, purposeful movement.
He completed his teacher training at the 200 hour level through South Hills Power Yoga under the instruction of Stacey Vespaziani, LA Finfinger, Darcy Lyle, and Jen Lee. He thanks his mentors and teachers at SHPY for their knowledge and insight as well as all those who come to yoga for contributing to the vibrant, powerful culture that it is.
Throughout the past twelve years Crystal had traveled from NYC to Beirut to Burning studying various forms of yoga, including Power Vinyasa, Prana Flow, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, Kundalini, Yin, and Acro. Today she maintains regular Vinyasa, Yin, Kundalini, and Bikram practices, as well as seated meditation and pranayama (breath control). All of these yogic tools and practices inform her teaching in a vital way, which she always brings back to play, self-discovery, mindfulness, self-love, discipline, and prayer.
Crystal considers her first yoga class to have taken place in the woods behind her house when a coal company began to strip mine. At fourteen years old she intuitively began to meditate while stretching on a patch of grass, trying to silence the roaring and clanking of heavy machinery in the distance. This would later become proof to her that yoga is truly a path towards healing and awakening that is readily available to all.
She taught her first yoga class in 2007, in a haunted hotel turned artists’ commune while dressed as Moses to a group of hungover poets. This would later become proof to her that nothing is too sacred to have fun with.
Crystal is also a published poet and writer, who has taught creative writing, literature, and composition at the university-level for four years. She is presently hard at work on her first book of prose, which chronicles her adventures while attempting to walk alone across the country while writing poetry for people that she met along the way.
Ashlee's training has been a mix of formal education and reverent self-study. She apprenticed under Lynn Rescigno of Pittsburgh's Bend Yoga and is certified through YogaFit.
Ashlee began her yoga practice at the age of fifteen. During college in 2008, she traveled to Hyderabad, India and studied with Guru VBVN Rao. She started teaching yoga at the University of Pittsburgh in 2009 under the direction of Susan Gillis-Kruman.
In 2010, Ashlee spent six months in Hawai'i living in and teaching yoga at an artist co-housing community and ecovillage. There she discovered AcroYoga, a blend of partner acrobatics and yoga, and continues to incorporate its aspects of subtle body awareness and self-trust into her classes.
Ashlee draws inspiration from many teachers and styles, including Meghan Currie, Bryan Kest, Sharon Gannon and David Life, Acro, Anusara, Ashtanga and Jivamukti.
Alyssa started practicing yoga 5 years ago at the behest of her boyfriend (now husband) as a way to de-stress from her bartending job.It has since led her into a journey of total wellness, influencing every decision she's made if her life since. The awareness that has come through deepening her practice over the years has helped make positive changes in her life, finding a career as an ELS teacher and part time bone broth maker and vendor. Alyssa has completed training being certified through Yoga Alliance and is committed to share her passion for self-discovery through yoga. The personal awareness that her own practice provided has inspired her to share her love of yoga with everyone.
Michael sees Yoga as a tool, a venue, an art-form for expressing universal love. Practicing for seven years and teaching since 2011, he completed his 200 hour training with Yoga to the People in NYC. He seizes every opportunity to share the beauty that Yoga has helped him to experience. By fall, he will have completed his 500 hour training with Philip Urso and Live, Love, Teach. LLT has inspired him to develop a new model for more fully incorporating the 8 Limbs of Yoga and the teachings of Eckhart Tolle into a Flow class–taking the practice beyond the physical, using breath as an energetic conduit for connection of mental/emotional awareness with visceral sensations felt in the body.
Michael just took part in the USA Yoga 2014-2015 Competition at One Whirl Yoga Fest where he placed 4th (1.2 points away from advancing to nationals).
When not on the mat, Michael is a musician, documentary film maker, and poet. As a performer he has opened up for the likes of The Flaming Lips, Wiz Khalif, and Andrew WK. His first poetry collection will be released by Six Gallery Press this fall. His new documentary project is called Yoga Pilgrims, wherein he will travel interviewing other yogis, teaching Yoga in unexpected locations, and spreading the message that Yoga is Love.