ALAINA CONNER

I dabbled in yoga across several studios while attending college, but it wasn't until 2009 when I finished my first class at Amazing Yoga that I realized what the practice could be. I had just graduated, and having struggled with anxiety-related issues my whole life, I wasn't sure what to do or where to go. I was stressed and nervous all of the time. The physical practice at Amazing Yoga helped me through a rough patch -- it helped to relieve my nervous energy and taught me how to manage stress and be more peaceful, relaxed, and calm. The positive attitudes of the teachers and the community helped to get me back on track.

I joined the Shadyside work exchange crew immediately and found a wonderful group of kind and generous people. In fact, they were so great that I stuck with it for 5 years! In 2015, I was given the opportunity to help out even more by stepping up as the manager for the Shadyside studio. I'm incredibly honored for the opportunity to give back to the studio and the community. I love working with the amazing yogis who frequent the studio.

When I'm not at the studio I'm working to educate the public on environmental issues and to reduce air pollution in our region. I enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors, whether in a park, in the woods, on my bike, or out camping with friends. 

NANCY VERDON

Yoga. Such a simple word has come to mean so much-

My love for the Amazing yoga community began in 2009 when I made the journey from New Jersey to Pittsburgh to attend Duquesne University. In hopes of meeting new friends and staying in shape while on my new “college food” diet, I decided to try yoga and the rest is history.

Amazing Yoga was a comfortable atmosphere of non-judgement. My mat became a place of growth, where I was constantly challenging my body and beliefs. I was able to rediscover things that I loved about my body, and realized just how strong mentally and physically I was becoming. Yoga became my outlet- an outlet to relieve myself of all the nonsense that built in my mind during the day. The studio quickly became a place where I could express myself, regain clarity and elevate my spirit. I moved back to Pittsburgh in 2014 and picked up right where I left off; and when the opportunity to manage the Southside studio came up, I immediately jumped on it.

Outside of managing the South Side studio, I work for Deloitte as an International Tax Consultant. Yoga has taught me that our practice translates into useful tools outside of the studio. Finding comfort in the discomfort of situations has helped me maintain my positive attitude through long hours in public accounting. I learned how to take the peace that each practice brought me, and start each day with gratitude (a morning mantra that I now live by).

When I am not doing taxes or back-bending, I love to travel, try new recipes and relax outside. The most important asset to each of us should be our health and that’s why I chose, through the practice of yoga, to give my body something back for all that it gives me. I am a firm believer that yoga is for everyone, whether you have been practicing for 10 years or 10 days we are constantly developing. Amazing Yoga has always been a piece of home to me as I continue to try and keep my life as balanced as my headstands.

KELLY TRUMBULL

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Kelly is thrilled to manage the AY South Side studio.  An avid Amazing Yoga practitioner for the past five years, Kelly credits the practice with keeping her grounded, focused, and present on and off the mat.  She is thankful to be part of such a wonderful community of yogis.  When she’s not practicing yoga, she teaches acting at Carnegie Mellon and Point Park University and works as an actor in theater, TV, and film in Pittsburgh.  She also enjoys hikes with her pups, game nights with her friends, and spending time with her great family.  

CAITLIN DUNN

My journey with yoga started in 2001 at the Amazing Yoga Monroeville Studio when my mom had signed me up for a teen yoga with Karen.  From word of mouth, yoga was supposed to be good for the body and the mind.  It seemed like the perfect workout for a Type-A pre-teen.  When I walked into the studio for the first time, I remember feeling an instant sense of comfort.  The studio felt like a home away from home.  We learned the fundamentals of yoga and even got foot massages.  Most importantly, I remember how much I loved going to yoga and how I felt physically and mentally stronger.  Taking Teen Yoga at Amazing Yoga with Karen helped lay the foundation to my lifelong dedication to yoga.

Finding my way back to Amazing Yoga took about twelve years due to high school swimming and college.  However, I always found a way to practice yoga whether if it was going through the vinyasa at the gym or going to class periodically with my roommates.  After graduating college, I kicked off my career and was trying find a sense of passion and community outside of work.  I also struggled with some health issues, which encouraged me to change my approach to health and well-being.  I began to do yoga again.  Through practicing yoga, it inspired me to stay the path to living and maintaining a healthier life.  I knew that I needed to go somewhere that fostered wellness with the support of a community, so  I renewed my commitment to yoga and returned to Amazing Yoga.  It still felt like home.  I did, however, feel slightly intimidated  since my yoga practice was back at a beginner level.  The teachers were welcoming, down to earth, and encouraging.  The other yogis were kind and friendly.  Gradually, the intimidation wore off, and I began regain confidence and feel stronger inside and outside of the studio.  I wanted to continue to deepen my yoga practice and get more involved in the Amazing Yoga community, so I joined the AY Wexford Work Exchange team in May 2014 and completed Level 1 Teacher Training in January 2016 in Pittsburgh.  Through the work exchange program and teacher training, I have met so many amazing people who are truly supportive and encouraging.