We (Karen and Sean) are the co-creators of Amazing Yoga. We opened Amazing Yoga in 2001 to celebrate life, community, and wellness in this city which we love.
Our intention is to create a space that will allow people to find true health along with a deeper spiritual connection. The practice allows one to experience oneness (the aim of yoga) and gifts that include a healthy and radiant body, peace of mind, and a joyful essence.
All of our Power Vinyasa classes are led by Amazing Yoga certified instructors. Our teachers continue to study and participate in ongoing training. Amazing Yoga teachers instruct from their own personal practice by sharing their love of yoga with innovation, passion, creativity, joy, and spontaneity.
Karen created Amazing Yoga 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 has been assisting Baron Baptiste and leading workshops and teacher trainings for the past 6 years. She is a certified Baptiste teacher. As a new overly exhausted mother, she found this practice healing. She gets excited to share this practice with her students. Her classes are energetic, challenging and will awaken your spirit. She is thankful to Baron for creating a spark within her 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.
Follow Karen on Twitter: @KarenAmazinYoga
I began practicing Baptiste Power Yoga after a brief 4 year career in the NFL which ended prematurely due to back and hip injuries caused from overuse and overtraining. I found yoga to be healing in many ways and not just physical. The mental peace that yoga offered was unexpected but it was the driver to continue and eventually take up teaching. It is with this love and gratitude of yoga that I try to share it with as many people as possible. My football-related injuries have helped me bring in compassion, wisdom(hopefully), and lots of weak attempts at humor into every class.
I have been teaching in Pittsburgh since 2000 when we first opened Amazing Yoga. I engage in ongoing training with Baron Baptiste and I am thrilled to be part of the Baptiste Community.
I encourage students to tap into their internal wisdom and to let go of everything that is truly not a part of us. With this new found space we can open our hearts and minds to opportunities of service and love.
Along with Karen, we recently released the book “Amazing Yoga: A Practical Guide to Strength, Wellness, and Spirit.” The hope for the book was to express how simple yoga really is. It’s something that just requires a little bit of effort and some time. And the benefits can be profound and life changing.
Follow Sean on Twitter: @Sean_Conley_
Erika took her first yoga class in high school and practiced more off than on for over a decade. After moving back to Pittsburgh post-college, she began practicing yoga on a more regular basis. Initially, Erika practiced yoga to supplement her workout routine and less for the mental and spiritual benefits. Wanting to simply refine her practice, Erika enrolled in the Amazing Yoga Teacher Training Program in Costa Rica in January 2011. It was then that she fell in love with the style and challenge of Vinyasa Flow Yoga and to her surprise teaching. In August 2011, Erika completed Amazing Yoga’s Advanced Teacher Training Program in Mexico. Erika feels truly blessed to be apart of the AY community and is forever grateful for the wonderful opportunity that Sean and Karen have provided for her. Erika’s dedication and commitment to yoga have been a life-changing experience!
On a personal note, Erika graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Communications in 2000 and completed her MBA from St. Francis University in 2005. She has been employed by a pharmaceutical company since 2002 and currently works in the specialty biologics division as an account specialist covering three states. When Erika is not working or practicing yoga, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jeff and their dog Ozzy. Erika and Jeff are expecting their first baby in February 2012.
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.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Mark has been studying yoga for about 10 years and movement techniques for over 20 years. Mark is also a Personal Wellness Coach and works with individuals to improve energy, balance and health. His has extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching and the importance of preventive care. He received his training in Plant-based Nutrition from Cornell University with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, nutritional foundations through the Nutritional Excellence Training program with Dr. Joel Fuhrman and is studying dietary theory with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mark practices a holistic approach to health and wellness, which incorporates all areas of your life to develop a deeper understanding of the food and lifestyle choices that work best for you.
He also works as a personal movement coach for actors, incorporating techniques from stage combat and swordplay to Alexander Technique and Intuitive Dance Rhythms. Perhaps you might even see him in some theater production some time soon. You can also find him at Whole Foods Market, where he is the Healthy Eating Specialist providing cooking classes and nutritional information for all our customers.
Katie took her first yoga class in 2003 after her grandmother, a yogi for over 30 years, encouraged her to try it. Yoga was the perfect complement to her then college soccer career. Katie fell in love with the practice and feels grateful to have the opportunity to share it with others. Yoga has motivated her to live a healthier lifestyle, which she would like to encourage students to do as well.
Katie believes yoga has something to offer for everyone, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad. She is inspired by her fellow Amazing Yoga teachers, staff, and students.
Katie completed teach training with Sean and Karen in 2007 and has attended workshops with Bryan Kest, Natasha Rizopoulos, Gregor Singleton and Wade Zinter. In addition to teaching yoga, Katie is a lawyer in the Pittsburgh area. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and doing anything in the great outdoors.Katie completed teach training with Sean and Karen in 2007 and has attended workshops with Bryan Kest, Natasha Rizopoulos, Gregor Singleton and Wade Zinter. In addition to teaching yoga, Katie is a lawyer in the Pittsburgh area. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and doing anything in the great outdoors.
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.
Melissa walked into Amazing Yoga’s Wexford Studio in March 2007 when a running related injury kept her from being able to do any other exercise. Thinking yoga would be a “short term workout solution” until her leg healed; Melissa soon realized that yoga was reshaping her whole life! Melissa enrolled in the Amazing Yoga Teacher Training in 2008 to deepen her practice and knowledge of yoga, but soon found a passion for sharing the benefits and lessons that yoga had given her to students of all walks of life. She’s been teaching for Amazing Yoga ever since; and when the economy eliminated her job as a Director of Marketing in 2009 she took the leap into teaching as a career instead of a hobby!
Prior to teaching at Amazing Yoga, Melissa coached high school rowing for 11 years and loves to bring the technical precision and focus that rowing demanded into her teaching. A self described “yoga geek,” Melissa loves to soak up as much as possible from all of the amazing instructors at AY and our visiting teachers – participating in workshops with Bryan Kest, Gregor Singleton, Natasha Rizopoulos, Claire Este-McDonald, and others. A long time runner, Melissa enjoys the opportunity to share the benefits of yoga with athletes from all backgrounds.
Melissa believes that yoga gives you whatever you need, whether it’s strength, flexibility, confidence, peace, or humility. “When you step onto your mat, you’re letting go of control and becoming the most honest version of yourself”. As a teacher at all three Amazing Yoga studios, Melissa sees students of all ages and backgrounds experience this transformation and leave a class empowered! When not on her mat, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband Nigel, two year old daughter Hannah, and two crazy Portuguese Water Dogs–Cooper and Clyde.
I came to my first Amazing Yoga class in 2006 after growing tired of my regular exercise routine. Through the vigorous practice, I had found the physical challenge that I was looking for and became hooked immediately. During a brief relocation to the Washington, D.C. area, I practiced various styles of yoga including Hatha, Ashtanga, and Bikram. I enjoyed these methods, but nothing compared to the power vinyasa flow that I was used to. 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.The teacher training deepened my practice both physically and mentally. Each time I step on my mat it is a new and different experience. Finding this incredible release is what has 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. Every student is deserving of the “post-svasana bliss” after practice, and I want my teaching to lead them to that. I admire every instructor at Amazing Yoga because each teacher allows their personality to shine through their teaching methods. I am especially grateful to Sean and Karen for this wonderful opportunity. 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 six years. When I am not practicing or teaching yoga, I enjoy traveling, cooking, cheering on all Pittsburgh sports teams, and spending with family and friends. I live in Shadyside with my husband, Nate, and our dog, Cooper.
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.
Sally discovered yoga after years of overtraining as a dancer and dance teaching artist. After decades of dance, yoga in a heated room became a beautiful way to heal a damaged body and spirit. Little did she know, yoga was going to transform her life and help her to make everything possible (…EVERYTHING!).
Sally holds a B.A. in Dance, a M.Ed. in Teaching and she begins her studies towards her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology this year. She earned her 200-hour certification from Amazing Yoga with Karen and Sean. She has completed Baron Baptiste’s Level 1 and Level 2 training programs and is a Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher. Sally is a Faculty Member in the Physical Education Departments of the University of Pittsburgh and Grove City College where she teaches Dance, Yoga and Exercise Science. Still dancing, she continues to perform her own choreography in the Pittsburgh region and beyond.
Sally leads you through an invigorating practice with precision and focus where she asks her students to use yoga as a tool to live a better life off the mat. She is eternally grateful to her teachers Karen and Sean Conley and Baron Baptiste who lit the yoga fire under her tushie and push her to be “more authentically Sally.” The yogi who inspires her most is her five year old daughter, Lorelei, who continually teaches her presence, love, and to not take herself too seriously. When not on her mat, Sally enjoys training for cycling races that seem impossible and being ejected from her mountain bike in the wilderness.
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.
Michelle’s yogic journey began back in 2002 at W&J College where classes were being offered for free on Sunday afternoons. Having been a competitive figure skater, cross country runner, and marathoner, yoga was a golden opportunity for her to finally stop pushing and to start listening to her body. After trying numerous styles of yoga off-and-on (Hatha, Bikram, Ashtanga, etc.), Michelle immersed herself in vinyasa flow yoga when she stepped into Amazing Yoga’s studio in May of 2008. She found something powerful on her sweaty mat that she had never experienced before – the perfect balance between mind, body, and breath. She stopped pushing, started listening, and started feeling again.
Michelle received her teacher training from Karen and Sean at Amazing Yoga in June 2009, completed the Level 1 Teacher Training with Baron Baptiste the following summer, and Level 2 Teacher Training with Karen and Sean in August 2011. She has completed workshops with Bryan Kest, Gregor Singleton, and Natasha Rizopoulos. Michelle’s passion for teaching comes from her desire for to share her love for yoga with her students as well as the balance that yoga has brought into her life. She considers herself truly blessed to be a part of the Pittsburgh yoga community and is constantly inspired by the dedicated teachers at Amazing Yoga.
Michelle is currently a lawyer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When she is not reading up on the law, at the studio or teaching cycling in Shadyside, she enjoys doing absolutely nothing with her husband, Brian at their home in Shadyside.
After finding yoga in college, I moved back home to Pittsburgh and walked into Amazing Yoga in Wexford as a means to get fit and stay sane while trying to find a “grown up job.” By the time I found the job, I was addicted to the practice and insisted my new apartment would be within walking distance of an Amazing Yoga studio. I moved to Shadyside and have been a die-hard, sweaty, heat-craving yogi ever since.
In the last few years, I’ve learned to listen to my body as much as my heart and my heart as much as my head, and to not take myself too seriously when I’m on (and off) my mat. I have felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows while on those 68 inches of floor space I’ve come to crave and I know it will continue to serve me as I navigate the rest of my twenties and beyond… always a new pose learn, a mental challenge to overcome, and not something I will ever conquer completely. As I grow into my practice, I know I will continue to grow into myself.
I completed Level 1 Teacher Training in Costa Rica in May 2011 and Level 2 in Mexico in March 2012. I’ve participated in Baptiste style workshops under Gregor Singleton and a Jivamukti assisting workshop under Sandhi Ferreira. Now I find myself sharing my love of yoga with anyone who will listen.
By day I’m a web designer at American Eagle Outfitters. By night I’m a self proclaimed style-music-wine-life-happiness enthusiast, typically restaurant hopping, catching up on episodes of “New Girl” and “Parks and Recreation,” or planning my next weekend getaway to the beach or big city. Follow my adventure on Twitter: @cgignac
Yoga found me in the winter of 2009. I was frustrated and tired of battling with myself to run another mile or spend another moment on an elliptical machine. I needed something different, something that would allow me to play my edge, yet promote a wholehearted acceptance of myself. A dear friend of mine asked if I wanted to join her for a class at the South Side studio. I never could have anticipated how the heat, the flow, and the philosophy of yoga would provide for such a life changing combination. I was finally listening to my body and intuition instead of being ruled by expectations and judgements.
Yoga continues to weave its way into each relationship, adversity, and moment of my life. I completed Sean and Karen’s teacher training in June of 2012 in hopes of sharing my love of this practice that produces such gratitude, patience, and mindfulness. I feel very grateful to have that opportunity, and to be a part of the AY team. When I’m not practicing or teaching at Amazing Yoga, I enjoy working as a fifth grade teacher within a local school district. I live in the North Hills with my wonderful husband Phil and our lively dog Hercules. I love reading books with a cup of coffee, traveling to the ocean, and enjoying live music!
I began practicing yoga in 2004 to look for a way to relax, deal with stress, and build mental and physical strength. I practiced several different styles of yoga over the course of six years. In 2009 I found myself at Amazing Yoga’s studio on Ellsworth Avenue and that is when I had my “ah ha!” moment. From that moment I began my dedication to the yoga practice. For me yoga goes far beyond my mat and has truly changed my life for the better. Yoga has helped me find inner strength and peace as well as increasing physical strength and flexibility. The teachers at Amazing Yoga helped set me on the journey to openness and authenticity. I began to encourage everyone I knew to try this invigorating practice, and I felt compelled to share yoga with everyone I came in contact with (okay it became somewhat annoying!). That’s when I knew it was time to become an instructor.
In 2010 I attended Amazing Yoga’s Level 1Teacher Training with Sean and Karen which opened me up to the possibilities I was holding myself back from for years. A year later I completed Level 1 Teacher training with Baron Baptiste and I really began to challenge myself to confront my weaknesses on and off the mat. I have also attended other trainings to increase my knowledge and practice including training with Greghor Singleton as well as Sean and Karen Conley. I am so grateful to my teachers for helping me to find the strength in myself to continue on the journey to authenticity and continuously challenging me every day.
I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a M.Ed. both from the University of Pittsburgh. While I am not practicing yoga I work with young children with developmental delays as a Behavior Specialist. I enjoy traveling often, cooking and spending time with my friends and family.
My very first experience with yoga was shortly after Amazing Yoga opened their South Side studio 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.
Jamie started coming to Amazing Yoga in late 2010. She had dabbled in various yoga styles and classes prior to coming to AY but nothing really stuck, and she was looking for more. After her first class, she left truly stunned at what she’d just accomplished…and it stuck. Since that first class, she’s been hooked and can’t go more than a few days without hitting her mat. She appreciates the simplicity, peace, and balance that yoga brings into her daily life.
Jamie lives in the South Side with her husband, Grant, and their cats. She loves experimenting with vegan cooking and exploring all that the city has to offer. After spending almost eight years in corporate retail, she was up for a change and currently works for a local non-profit. When the opportunity arose for her to manage the South Side studio, she jumped at the chance to get more yoga in her life and help create the positive experience that she’s had at AY for others.
I have been practicing yoga since 2007, but when I walked into Amazing Yoga a few years later, it was then that I understood how this practice transcends the physical, challenging us to look within ourselves for transformation. Through this awareness, my practice evolved, and I was inspired to teach. I had to share what I found, both on and off of my mat.
After completing the Level 1 Teacher Training in Pittsburgh in 2012, I went on to take Level 2 in Tulum in 2013, both with Amazing Yoga. I have participated in workshops with Gregor Singleton and Bryan Kest and am grateful for the daily teachers I have in Karen, Sean and the entire AY team.
I graduated from Allegheny College with a degree in Environmental Science, and work for SAP America. I love music and being outdoors and I live in Edgewood with my husband, Mike, and our two dogs.