Stacey Vespaziani, RYT 500
Stacey Vespaziani is a yoga teacher, writer, actor, storyteller and avid traveler.
While earning her BFA in Theater at the University of Cincinnati, she reluctantly took her first yoga class and was hooked from that first downward facing dog. After moving back to her hometown of Pittsburgh, Stacey completed her initial yoga teacher certification with Amazing Yoga and in 2007 started the first Pay-What-You-Can yoga program in the city of Pittsburgh under the name of Human Race Yoga– which offered weekly classes out of the Union Project and Dormont Library.
She went on to become a Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher and in 2011 founded South Hills Power Yoga with locations in Dormont and Peters Township. Over the last decade, she has also studied with Gregor Singleton, Bryan Kest, Seane Corn, Natasha Rizopoulos, Sharon Gannon, and David Life and has trained and certified over 120 new yoga teachers through the South Hills Power Yoga’s 200-hour Teacher Training Program.
Stacey’s teaching approach is anchored in the belief that yoga will bend to fit each student and not the other way around. As a result, her classes are joyous and accessible while challenging students on their own unique level. She is so excited to be running this studio with one of her best friends in the world and to have the opportunity to share yoga with the Bloomfield community.
Stacey lives in Dormont with her husband Brian, their rescued pups Danger & Zoe, and an ever-expanding backyard vegetable garden.
Though I practiced off and on in my twenties and thirties, it wasn’t until I turned forty that I discovered the power of yoga to heal. By then I’d been running, cycling, and backpacking for years and had the battle scars to prove it—bad knees and tight hips—and while exercise had always been vital to my mental health, in yoga I found a path toward feeling more at home in the world, more at ease in my own skin.
In 2013 I traveled to Mysore and then Goa, India to study Ashtanga yoga, and most recently I’ve begun exploring Iyengar yoga, bringing this tradition’s therapeutic features into my practice and teaching. While I have studied with many well-regarded yogis over the years, I find working with my own changing body—its strengths and limitations—to be my most important teacher. In my yoga classes you’ll be encouraged to challenge yourself physically, to breathe and sweat and observe yourself with friendliness and a sense of humor. Know that whatever your history, your age or shape or strength, there’s room for you here.
In my other life, I teach nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh and write essays on art and the body.
Darcy Lyle has been in love with practicing and teaching yoga for more than a decade. She is inspired by the never ending surprises and possibilities that show up in the ongoing practice. Her teaching is rooted in steady, curious, kind attention. Humans can cultivate anything this way over time. Off the mat Darcy enjoys playing acrobatic and slackline games, mothering her son, and tending to her gardens. For more about Darcy visit DarcyLyleYoga.com.
Holly Koenig, RYT 200
Holly received her 200-hour certification from Yogaworks in New York City. Her classes focus on healthy alignment, body awareness and self-reflection to create an open thoughtful practice and a deeper connection to the present moment. She travels regularly to continue her education with Chrissy Carter, Natasha Rizolpoulos, and Jillian Pranzky. A life-long cyclist, she works with runners and other cyclists to prevent injury and create balance and space in the body. She is also certified in restorative and therapeutic yoga, and is a reiki master. She shares these two healing practices with cancer patients at Saint Claire Hospital.
Maryellen Baverso, RYT 500
I believe in a constant path of self-discovery and through the guidance of yoga, we can move closer to who we are and what we want. My practice is joyful and content with a focus on feeling confident in my body.
In 2014 I completed my Level One 200-hour training with South Hills Power Yoga and immediately started assisting a weekly class. I discovered my niche for reading people’s energy and offering assists through safe and effective hands-on adjustments. In 2017, I returned to a Level One training in New York to clean up my personal practice and navigate my next yoga journey. By the end of the summer, I left my job and immersed myself in a Level Two 300-hour training program with YogaWorks. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to devote myself to the practice on the mat and in the teacher seat.
As a teacher I want students to feel alive and inspired by the work they create on their mats and to skip off into their world more confident, honest, and open with who they are right now.
In my class expect to build heat and refine alignment with intuitive sequencing that spikes curiosity in your practice. Experience space that invites an abundance of energy, joy, and reconnection to your body and mind. Music, hands-on adjustments, freeing environment.
Jennifer Caumo Shaw
Jennifer discovered yoga during her teenage years after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affected the flexibility of her fascia. In an effort to regain strength and flexibility, she began her practice by studying at-home yoga videos. In spite of some really bad videos, she was captivated by the practice and continued to dabble in various styles of yoga throughout college. In 2011, she walked into a power yoga studio and instantly fell in love with the intense, yet graceful style of power vinyasa yoga. She completed her 200-hour training with South Hills Power Yoga in 2012 and is delighted to be a part of BFY.
I am a Pittsburgh based power vinyasa yoga teacher, wife, daughter, friend ... and lover of good food and craft beer. I completed my 200-hour training through South Hills Power Yoga in 2013 and allowed it to completely transform my life by diving all in to teaching. I first found yoga my senior year of college at Chatham University as a physical replacement for college sports; but during grad school while earning my MEd from Pitt is when it transformed into the full mind, body, spirit.What's my "real" job? Well, my other job is working at Pitt as the Coordinator of the Stress Free Zone, teaching college students the important practice of mindfulness and meditation.
A student of yoga for nearly a decade, Lee has been teaching around the Pittsburgh area for over three years now. While yoga’s combination of strength and cardio training were what originally led Lee regularly to his mat, he quickly learned to appreciate the additional mental benefits that a steady practice helps to build. In class, Lee focuses on the harmony of steady breath, controlled strength, and mindful movement. Though Lee likes to push his students to challenge themselves physically, he always maintains a lighthearted class with an upbeat vibe to encourage you to make the most of your time on the mat.
Casey is a father, acrobat, climber, yogi, world traveler, and software engineer who enjoys helping people do seemingly impossible things. He earned his acrobatics training and coaching certification with J&C Training in early 2018. Working with Jason and Chelsey--acrobats renowned for their precise, technical approach--Casey learned to value empathy, communication, incremental progression, and play in acrobatics.
Yoga saved me in my teen years, while I was battling the dark abyss of teen-angst. Back then, yoga gave me a chance to own my awkward body and witness the fluctuations of my scattered mind. Yoga has carried me through depression, college, broken-hearts, 17 years of practicing, (almost) 10 years of teaching, 3 pregnancies, countless minor injuries, and more. It has been as constant and crucial as breathing. The personal nature of the practice has allowed it to morph into exactly what is needed at every stage of my life.
Through my teaching, I hope to create a space that helps practitioners find a deep connection to themselves, their breath, bodies, and spirits. I believe that the power to change our world lies within the ability to see into ourselves, and through that grow love, acceptance, and compassion.
Kristen has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and teaching for the last 8. Initially trained in power vinyasa, Kristen has also had additional trainings in chakra yoga, yoga for addiction, and meditation. A regular teacher at South Hills Power Yoga, Kristen is excited to bring her teaching to a new space.
I found my mat through heartache 10 years ago. Yoga helped me navigate my way through a divorce and early single motherhood. The physical benefits are bonus. It is a moving prayer for me. Yoga continues to change my life in miraculous ways.
I completed my 200-hr teacher training through South Hills Power Yoga and have influences in Yin and Restorative. I have taken a variety of trainings and workshops with Judith Lasater, Tara Brach, Biff Mithoefer and Prema Maya.
I am a devoted practitioner of Transcendental Meditation and seek to uplift humanity through my art, meditation, and instruction of yoga.
I stepped foot in a heated power vinyasa yoga class for the first time at age 21 with no prior yoga experience. A skeptical college senior and not a natural athlete with little expectations, I welcomed the warmth and humidity of the studio during the cold Pittsburgh winter weather. It was through developing a more consistent practice following graduation that I found an increased strength in my body and breath, and in turn, was able to create more space in my mind for less self-judgment.
Naturally ambitious, I completed my 200-hour teacher training at South Hills Power Yoga in 2013. It is my hope that students find my classes to be light hearted and honest, playful but challenging in both body and mind, and many classes are accompanied by music. Outside of teaching yoga, I work as a registered nurse in an ICU. In my spare time, I train for half marathons, travel to the Caribbean, and hike local trails with my husband and dog.