KAREN CONLEY

Karen established Amazing Yoga in 2000 to share the transforming powers of yoga that she has discovered. Through her compassion and commitment, it is her desire to inspire others to embark upon the yoga journey. She gets excited to share all the discoveries that her continuous practice has revealed. The movement of yoga has become her medicine. Yoga has become a place for her to reconnect with her own spirit.

Karen graduated from Fordham University where she studied English. She began teaching in several public school systems. She later began leading teenagers in outdoor education where they would spend an extremely challenging week in the provincial parks of Canada. She loved helping people see their potential. After taking a workshop with Baron Baptiste, she realized this was the perfect blend. Witnessing students use the yoga practice as a place to face perceived challenges in a safe environment and move beyond where they were was life changing.

Karen’s passionate and dynamic style of teaching has made Amazing Yoga’s teacher training programs in high-demand and she draws students from around the world. She gets excited to share this practice with her students. Her classes are energetic, challenging and will awaken your spirit. She is thankful to share this practice and way of life with her students and her family. Having 4 children has a way of keeping life real for Karen.

Visit Karen's Personal Site.

SEAN CONLEY

Sean Conley has practiced various styles of yoga for over 20 years and has been an instructor for over 15 years. He has explored the physical forms of yoga as well as the philosophical and spiritual origins of yoga.

Sean spent four years in The National Football League. His career was cut short due to injuries from overtraining his body. His injuries helped him stumble into discovering yoga as a way to heal the body and mind.

Sean combines upbeat, inspirational music with a relaxed, easy spirituality that makes his yoga classes at Amazing Yoga a fun and motivational experience. He is honored and grateful to have the opportunity to share his love of yoga and experience with others.

Yahoo named Sean’s online classes and podcasts the top rated. Sean’s Retreats, Teacher Trainings, and Workshops are focused on helping people feel blissed out after challenging and upbeat sessions. Sean is the author of the book Amazing Yoga and is working on his second inspirational book, Kicking My Way Out of the NFL: The Fall & Rise of a Recovering Present Moment Sidestepper.

Visit Sean's Personal Site SeanConley.net

ERIN BOSNIAK

Over the last decade, Erin has experimented with many styles of yoga, but fell immediately in love with the challenge of the vinyasa flow in a cozy, heated studio. Erin worked as an occupational therapist for eight years until her daughter, Nora, was born in the summer of 2007. Her experience as a therapist has given her a clear understanding of the sensory and motor components of the body. And throughout her years of teaching yoga, Erin has begun to recognize the bridge that this practice builds between our internal and external being. Now a mother of two, her own yoga practice is a sanctuary of balance for a full-time mom.

Erin received her teacher training with Karen and Sean Conley at Amazing Yoga in 2005 and completed the Level 1 teacher training with Baron Baptiste the following summer. She has completed weekend workshops with Beryl Bender Birch, Bryan Kest, and Gregor Singleton. Erin has led multiple beginner workshops at the Amazing Yoga studios, and thrives off the energy that this dynamic practice brings to students of all levels. She would like to share with her students the freedom of simply moving the body, and perhaps, a little mindfulness in the process. Erin hopes to continue to evolve as a teacher and as a mom always seeking the beautiful balance between accepting and giving back.

LISA FRIDAY

I first ventured into Amazing Yoga's Shadyside studio in 2005, in support of a friend who had begun teaching there. I quickly fell in love with this powerful, athletic style of yoga that challenged me to strengthen my weaknesses rather than exploit my strengths. In 2009, I signed up for Amazing Yoga's Teacher Training with the intention to increase my knowledge and explore my own practice on a deeper level. Soon I found a desire to share this incredible practice with as many people as possible, thus the beginning of my teaching career! Since my first teacher training, I have completed an Advanced Teacher Training with Amazing Yoga, and have attended trainings, weekend workshops and master classes with Kathryn Budig, Bryan Kest, Natasha Rizopoulos, Gregor Singleton, Seane Corn, and many others. These experiences fuel my continual growth as both a student and teacher. There is always an opportunity to grow and learn, no matter your age or circumstance!

I feel very fortunate to have the support and guidance of Sean, Karen and the rest of the AY staff. On my mat, I enjoy every opportunity to stand on anything but my feet! Off my mat, I enjoy the companionship of my husband, Michael and our two children.

RACHEL BACKSTROM

Rachel first stepped into Amazing Yoga in the Fall of 2004 in search of a new challenge and had no idea of the life changing journey she was embarking upon! Not only is she hooked on the physical challenge, she is constantly amazed at the mental clarity, calm and acceptance the practice delivers every time she steps onto her mat.

Rachel first trained to be an assistant at Amazing Yoga in the Fall of 2006 and subsequently completed her 200-hour teacher training with Karen and Sean in March of 2008. In June 2010, she completed her Level 1 training with Baron Baptiste. Rachel has also participated in workshops with Gregor Singleton, Natasha Rizopoulos, Claire Este-McDonald, Jonny Kest and Bryan Kest.

Rachel graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in finance, but left the business world in 2010 to pursue her love of teaching yoga. She is so incredibly grateful to be able to share her passion with her fellow yogis at AY every day! Rachel also enjoys working as a Wish Granting and Special Events volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She lives with her yogi husband, Brent, in Wexford.

MEREDITH MONTGOMERY

I came to my first Amazing Yoga class in 2006. I was immediately hooked on the vigorous practice and the challenges that it brought both physically and mentally. During a brief relocation to the Washington, D.C. area, I practiced various styles of yoga including Hatha, Ashtanga, and Bikram. I enjoyed learning new methods but craved the heat of Power Vinyasa Flow. Coming back to Pittsburgh, I found my way back to Amazing Yoga and to my surprise, an entirely different experience on my mat. 

This continuous practice led me to enroll in the Pittsburgh Level 1 Teacher Training in January of 2011. Each time I step onto my mat, I have the opportunity to create a new experience. It can be anything from physically powerful, to restoring energy and channeling calmness and ease. This is what motivated me to start teaching. I want my students to not only enjoy a challenging physical workout, but to discover the mental and emotional benefits as well.  

I am a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in business. I have worked as a medical sales professional in the women’s health arena for the past 10 years. When I am not practicing or teaching yoga, I enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending with family and friends. I live in Point Breeze with my husband, Nate, our daughter Leona, and our dog, Cooper.

BRANDON CECIL

I started practicing yoga as a way to supplement my workout routine. While many of the workouts were hard, none rejuvenated me like yoga. After attending several classes at a local gym the instructor recommended I try a heated power flow class. I attended the class and fell head over heels (literally) into power yoga.

As my passion for yoga grew I decided to register for the Level 1 teacher training through Amazing Yoga. I discovered that I loved to teach yoga. In August of 2011 I completed the Level 2 training.

Outside of the studio I work full time in my own business in the AV rental industry. When I'm not working, I am training for Ironman-distance triathlons and also marathons. I married my high school sweetheart in May of 2007. We currently live in Penn Township.

CATHERINE GIGNAC

I found Amazing Yoga after graduating college and it changed my life in profound ways. I needed to learn to listen to my body and my inner heart and to not take myself and my life so seriously. On my mat, I've felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and have been both challenged and utterly freed in that hot sweaty room. I've been blessed with a community of like-minded, wonderful people in a neighborhood that feels more like home with each yogi I get to know and love.

I completed Level 2 teacher training in March 2012 and started teaching at Amazing Yoga soon after. I have molded my teaching to mimic my practice. I try to focus on heart opening poses that inspire us to live freely and unapologetically, softening in all the places we tend to tighten — our joints, jaws, shoulders and often, our hearts.

In 2012, I was forced to be gentler on myself and my body when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune condition that has, despite its challenges, changed my practice and my lifestyle for the better. I've customized my practice to fit my body's strengths and weaknesses and I am constantly inspired by how many of us overcome our struggles, both physical and emotional, on our mats.

Aside from teaching, I’m the Manager of Digital Creative at American Eagle Outfitters. I have a massive travel bug and am always looking for new music to listen to or a new recipe to try. Find me on Instagram @catherinegignac.

HEIDI SIWIK

Presence. The key to living a full and meaningful life. More than anything, presence is what I practice when I'm on my mat. For me, it cultivates a sense of peace, happiness and gratitude that I feel I've missed out on before. When Amazing yoga found me in 2007 (remember the Ellsworth studio?!), I was desperately in need of presence. It seemed to have a strong affect that started repositioning a lot of stuff, such as thoughts, priorities, feelings...almost as a chain reaction. Although my practice helped me gained so many things, I've been able to lose anxiety and lots of stress! 

I'm forever grateful to my teachers Karen Conley, Sean Conley and Erin Bozniak for their time, encouragement, and love when I attempted and successfully completed my 200-hour training. I'm also appreciative of all my fellow teachers, studio managers, studio helpers, and yogi-friends, who are the best community anyone could ask to be a part of. 

I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 where I studied Materials Science & Engineering. Luckily, yoga found me in my late 20's because careers and life can put a lot of weight on you over the years if you let them. I've been teaching at Amazing Yoga for over two years, and prior to that I managed the South Side studio. I love teaching because it gives people an opportunity to learn about themselves, challenge themselves, and ultimately practice being present, which I know firsthand will change you in all the best ways possible. 

HANNAH PICKERINE

My very first experience with yoga was shortly after Amazing Yoga South Side opened in 2009. Having recently moved to the neighborhood, a friend asked me to accompany her to a class. I was instantly hooked. Yoga changed me right away in a way I had never encountered. Physically, I was rewarded immediately with newfound strength and balance, but it was the change I noticed in other aspects of my life that brought me back to my mat, time and time again. Carrying the lessons I learn on my mat (patience, perseverance, forgiveness, and more) over into my everyday life has altered the way I deal with the trials and tribulations we all face so regularly. This ever-expanding wisdom was the most addicting benefit of all, and to this day, I try to practice as often as possible to sharpen those skills that yoga generates.

I completed Level 1 Teacher Training in June of 2011, and Level 2 in July of 2012, both through Amazing Yoga, and I cannot wait to experience more training in the future!

While not in the studio, I am a part-time student and spend my weekends bartending on the South Side, where I also live. I love to travel, ski, swim, and eat, and spend time with my pit bull, Wilson.

SHANNON TRESSLER

I practiced yoga for a few years before learning about heated Vinyasa. I’d always loved a good, sweaty workout and knew I had to try it. When I walked into Amazing Yoga, I found that good, sweaty workout, and immediately became addicted to the physical practice. In the process, I learned a life lesson that I wouldn't have expected to learn in a power yoga class — the value of slowing down. I realized how fast I went from day to day, missing the good stuff in between. Armed with this realization, I saw many positive changes in my life and was inspired to share this.

After completing both Level 1 and Level 2 Teacher Training with Amazing Yoga, I quickly learned that the best was yet to come.  Guiding students to find their own life lessons is both challenging and rewarding. It is so exciting to watch them discover that the physical practice is just the beginning of their yoga journey.

I graduated from Allegheny College with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science.  After working in the industry for 13 years, I left my 9-to-5 to be home with my new baby.  Along with yoga, I love running outdoors, live music, and being with family and friends. I live in Edgewood with my husband, Mike, our daughter, Frankie, and our two rescue dogs, Tess and Miles.

TYRIK COLLINS

I have been instructing and sharing my studies for five years now. In June of 2009, I completed the Amazing Yoga Level 1 Teacher Training, and the following year I completed the Level 2 Teacher Training. My approach to instructing yoga involves lots of deep breathing reminders, and the importance of alignment and comfortability in each pose while being on the mat.

Through Amazing Yoga, I've found a connection to not only the style of practice, but one that linked me to the practice (of any style) in general, which keeps me coming back to my mat whether at a studio or during a home practice. I am as much a student to yoga as an instructor. One thing that is most important to me as I continue to practice routinely is to always have an understanding that I will forever be a student to yoga, thus learning more and more about the practice from day to day. Another important part of my teaching and practice is to always keep other practitioners in class in mind, which stems from a quote from Maya Angelou who said, "When you learn, teach. When you get, give."