Instructors

kate-headshot-2
Kate Kill
E-RYT 500

Kate serves as President on the Board of Directors for the Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh and is a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.  Drawing from the Himalayan Tradition, she blends yogic and Ayurvedic techniques to promote wellness on all levels.  Kate enjoys leading corporate seminars and retreats in and out of the country.  She also works with athletes to optimize peak efficiency and school children, teaching them mindfulness and yoga practices that they can carry with them throughout their lives.    When she is not teaching, she enjoys gardening, cooking and spending time with her husband and three children.

JudieJudie Markley

I have been teaching yoga for over 10 years, certified by the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy since 1998. I continue my practice, education and study of the Himalayan tradition and currently teach Aromatherapy workshops at the Pittsburgh center. I have been Secretary of the Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh since its inception.

    genejpg   Gene Ellsworth

I am certified by the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy and I teach combination of hatha and flow yoga. I began my yoga training as a result of my affiliation with the Dean Ornish Program and I emphasize the importance of breath in stress reduction and the impact of yoga and meditation on a healthier lifestyle.

DeeDee Gazdik

I have studied Hatha yoga for 13 years and have taught for over a decade.  It brings me great joy to see so many transformed by the practice of asana, pranayama, meditation and relaxation.  I observe so many students starting the inward journey that brings joy, love, acceptance, mindfulness and peace and that is the fire that burns within me to keep teaching.  I welcome all questions that my students have and the questions bring me to a deeper level of understanding how important the relationship between teacher and students is, that connection allows me to deepen and continue growing on my own journey.  When I’m not teaching,I work as a floral designer and enjoy spending time with my husband, dog and many friends.  I am certified by the Himalayan Institute of yoga Science and Philosophy.

WendyWendy Mackin

Wendy is a certified Spanda Yoga Instructor and teaches yoga and Sanskrit. She has been associated with the Himalayan Institute for 20 years as a meditation practitioner. Because of her background as a visual artist and professional musician, she is very interested in exploring the creative impulse through movement, painting and music. She is interested in the therapeutic applications of yoga and the application of yoga to everyone, regardless of fitness level.

Abigail Ritter

There is a sacred space within each of us, our “Temple Within,” where strength, light, and love live. I am a 200 and 500 hour certified Hatha yoga teacher, trained through the Himalayan Institute. My teaching of yoga allows each student to connect to this sacred space through awareness of the subtle body.

Sylvia Dooley

I have been practicing yoga for 20 years and  completed the Himalayan Institute 500 hour certification program. I love yoga and all of its benefits and believes that everyone can benefit by its practice. I  emphasize alignment and form and integrate the traditions of Hatha and Iyengar in my classes.  I continue my own practice through attending many different types of yoga classes throughout the area as well as studying various yoga text in order to offer my students fresh perspectives on the postures.

aimee-headshotAimee Lamendola

Aimee Lamendola is a Mt. Lebanon resident and mother of four children ages 11 to 19.  She began to study yoga 10 years ago and was briefly exposed to the practice in her youth.  Inspired to address the stress of everyday life and seek a physiological balance of body and mind, Aimee pursued her teacher certification and has not looked back.  Now a 500 hour certified instructor, Aimee’s personal journey to homeostasis has greatly inspired her to share the benefits of mindfulness and Hatha with all ages.  Recently, Aimee has begun to study and implement yoga for athletes training, bringing the numerous benefits of fascial pliability, oxygenation, balanced body strength, and blood flow to a population of young people who are over-trained in one area and frequently injured.  Aimee also believes that incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices into the daily lives of athletes of all ages can greatly reduce their anxiety levels and give them tools to help refocus and calm themselves when needed.

              

Bevs bio picBeverly Gray

I began my yoga journey ten years ago, stumbling upon a class after a traumatic life experience, searching for meaning.  What I found was that the healing power of yoga through self-awareness and practice was incomparable.  I know that whatever experience I had prior to that class led me there.  Wanting to deepen my experience, I earned my 200 hour RYT Training in 2014.    I consider it a great honor to be sharing the tradition of the Himalayan Institute with my students, who are my best teachers, and I bow to them.  The depth of knowledge within this ancient practice is vast, there is much to be learned; happily, the journey never ends.  I believe in the sacred space and light within all of us.  My goal is to allow each student to connect with and tap into that energy, both on and off the mat, through asana, breath work, and mindfulness.  It is my hope to create a safe space for my students filled with compassion and openness, guiding them to find comfort in their own stillness.
When I am not teaching at the Himalayan, you might find me at Lincoln Elementary School where I work as a teacher aide, spending time with my two teenage boys and husband, cooking or writing.

ColleenColleen Dougherty

As Colleen sees it, great fortune brought her to the doorstep of the happy Himalayan Pittsburgh community 6 years ago…a place I feel is genuinely devoted to teaching the disciplines of yoga to aspirants.  I think that intuitively we each know and seek the power and beauty of feeling whole and we are drawn to the practices of yoga to support this yearning.  In 2009 Colleen completed the teacher training program, but says, “The truth is, of course,we are all teaching and learning from each other everyday at the Himalayan.”

   susannah2  Susannah Azzaro

I have been practicing yoga for about 16 years…at times off-and-on,         and at times very regularly.  In 2013, I completed the teacher training       program through the Himalayan Institute.   I have a background in           ballet, and definitely continue to crave moving and stretching, but it         is the infinitely deep layers of yoga relating to union of mind, breath, body, and spirit that fascinate and inspire me to practice and teach.

JenniePhotoJennie Bolas

I was introduced to yoga at one of the beginner’s classes held at the Himalayan Institute and became enlightened about the wonderful spiritual and physical benefits of yoga. Through the guidance and encouragement of Beth May, a fellow Himalayan Institute instructor, I completed the 200-hour teacher training with the Himalayan Institute in 2013. I enjoy teaching classes that focus on building awareness of the body, proper alignment and breath.  My goal is to make yoga accessible for people of any age and background.  I believes that if someone can commit to a 10-20 minute practice a day along with 10 minutes of meditation, it can make a dramatic impact in their relationships, career and health because it did for me.

WEB-Kara-100 (1)Kara Heinrich

Through my daily yoga practice, I have created a healthy lifestyle full of joy and peace.  I am a 200 hour certified Hatha Yoga Instructor trained through the Himalayan Institute and have been teaching since March, 2015 to the present.  Our Center is truly a community of students and instructors committed to strengthening the “internal fire” within each of us.  By lighting the “internal fire”, we can then illuminate the outside world and mindfully manage our paths in this ever changing stressful world.  I’d love for you to join me every Saturday when I guide the Hatha I level 10-11:30 am class.  Photo by Nicole Begley.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin

14 Mt Washington trail copyTracy Szemanski

I found the Himalayan Institute, because I was looking for a beginner’s class. I was lead there, I know this only in hindsight. I remember when I first could have been introduced to yoga at a gym I belonged to, but I was not willing to give it a try because of my ignorance. This was before the internet. The beginner’s class was a very important foundation for my practice. I was challenged by the practice, although I had always been active physically, the asana challenged me in a different way. I came to Yoga for the physical aspects of the practice and was drawn to the deeper aspects of the yoga philosophy. I completed the teacher training in 2014/2015 to deepen my knowledge of the Himalayan tradition. I recently started teaching and especially enjoy the mini-yogi’s class. I am grateful and proud to be a part of this Yoga School. When not involved in yoga, you will find me hiking or walking my precious pooches, Sidney & Tilly or spending time with my precious human children, Jacob & Ali, when they are back in the area

MaricaMarcia Ritter

I am a 200 hour certified hatha yoga instructor, trained at the Himalayan institute.  I teach  beginner classes and private sessions. I am also celebrating 10 years as a licensed massage therapist, and 18 years as a reiki master, working with balancing the chakras.

 

Susan Frenchik

HI-certified yoga since 2009, has been practicing yoga since the late 90’s. She lives with her family in Sewickley and teaches French at Washington and Jefferson College. She firmly believes that joy is an act of resistance.

Om namah shivaya.

Susan Volkar

susan pic3My first experience with yoga was in the early 90’s with a VHS tape that I purchased from a garage sale.  I loved it and was hooked.  There weren’t many yoga classes offered in those days, so I mostly practiced in front of the television.  A few years later I was fortunate to find a great local instructor and began attending her classes.  Having been in the sales field for the past 30 years, I have interacted with many different types of people and believe that everyone can benefit from the practice.  Students appreciate my classes because they are well rounded and challenging if desired, but fun.  I completed the RYT 200 hour Himalayan Institute teacher’s training program in June of 2014.   Yoga has brought so much to my life including the opportunity to be a part of the amazing Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh family.

Lyl Rose

I have been practicing Hatha yoga in the Himalayan tradition for over ten years and teaching for the past seven. I  believe yoga is the ultimate connection for personal and spiritual growth by cultivating patience, breath and alignment in a strong and mindful practice. My goal is to share and inspire others to integrate yoga philosophy, pranayama, meditation and grace into the realities of daily life and trust the true teacher within our own hearts. I love Pittsburgh and reside in Crafton with her husband and three beautiful children.