All our Speakers confirmed for this Conference
Suzanne was born and raised in Pittsburgh's South Hills and The Om Lounge is a dream over 40 years in the making. Growing up, Suzanne was either reading a book, writing, or dancing. After taking dance and gymnastics classes, Suzanne would go home and choreograph ‘sequences’ for the neighborhood kids . From dancing to gymnastics, Suzanne loved movement. Now as a yoga instructor, Suzanne is known for creative sequencing as well as transitions on the mat.
Straight out of college, Suzanne worked as a television news producer. Her love for writing and creating continued and Suzanne eventually moved away from TV news and into marketing for a local spa. Throughout her years as a working mother, Suzanne depended on her yoga practice to sustain her physically and mentally as well as ground her. Her interest and love of yoga led her to become a teacher. Suzanne completed her 200 hour yoga training and continued her advanced training with Kate Duyn in Los Angeles. After years of teaching classes, Suzanne decided to open The Om Lounge, with the intention of a space that would be more than just a yoga studio. It would be a yoga home. In addition to teaching and training other teachers, Suzanne continues to study all things yoga and is currently enrolled in her 500 hour advanced training with Faith Hunter at Embrace Yoga In Washington DC.
In Suzanne's class, you can expect soulfulness and insight, yet her inner feistiness and playfulness are always present. Her classes are based in the style of Vinyasa Krama, a step-by-step progession, to a certain goal, whether that be a posture or theme. Suzanne hopes that the practice of yoga, through finding awareness, will support her students as its has supported her throughout the different phases of her life.
When not at The Om Lounge, Suzanne is most likely relaxing with her puppies or her boyfriend, reading, or eating her favorite food: pizza!
Leslie is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the vision that is now The Om Lounge. Born and raised in the Steel City, she spent her childhood as a competitive dancer and baton twirler. Performing on stage for hundreds came easy for her and something she truly enjoyed. Over the years, staying physically fit has always been a priority, but she discovered yoga when the gym just wasn't enough anymore. She needed that creative outlet that balanced the mental and physical aspects of overall health. One day she walked into a yoga studio to change things up - and it was the attention to the fluid yoga breath and focus on lengthening muscles with purpose and direction that really attracted her to the practice. Over time, she became aware of the many positive benefits that made themselves known... and as the love for her yoga practice grew, becoming a teacher was simply inevitable. Leslie completed her 200 hour Teacher Training and has workshopped under the tutelage of Kino McGregor and Chrissy Carter. In addition to her studio classes, Leslie is also an assistant to The Om Lounge 200 hour Teacher Training.
Leslie's love of music has molded her teaching style into a new and exciting experience. She takes pride in cultivating her playlists, which are all available on Spotify! In her classes, you'll get nice and sweaty with challenging sequences focusing on strength and extension. You will become stronger, physically and mentally - all the while making the practice your own.
When not working as an Account Manager for a Corporate Housing firm or hanging at The Om Lounge, Leslie enjoys live music of all kinds, traveling with her sister, happy hour with friends and snuggling with her fuzzy black kitty cat, Tyrion.
Alexi was lucky enough to discover yoga at the sweet age of sixteen, when her friends thought it would be something fun to try. From that very first class, she was hooked. A dancer her entire life, the fluid movement of vinyasa flow resonated with her, and also built strength in her body and mind that she didn’t know she needed. It wasn’t until Alexi graduated from Penn State in 2013 when yoga took an even bigger role in her life. Newly working in the banking industry, it was the perfect stress relief that she needed and looked forward to every day.
As her love and passion grew, she took the leap and completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2014. As a teacher, Alexi wants her classes to be an escape for her students. No matter how busy and crazy life gets, your time on the mat is your safe place to breathe, move, feel good, and have it all be about YOU. You can expect to be challenged, moving through poses that are thoughtfully connected, with arm balances and challenge poses always incorporated. In addition to years of studio classes, Alexi is an assistant to The Om Lounge Teacher Training Program. Alexi has taught at yoga retreats in Tulum, Mexico, as well as yoga festivals and various workshops in Pittsburgh. She loves learning and always looks for the opportunity to take workshops with world renowned teachers.
When not on her mat or working at the bank, you can expect to find Alexi trying out new restaurants with her friends and family, or cheering on the Steelers and Penn State football with her husband, Brian.
Jen was introduced to yoga in college and experimented with it throughout the next few years. She truly found her practice in 2013 while going through a transitional period in her life. At first she was drawn to the physical benefits of yoga, but over time it was the mental clarity and inner peace that kept her coming back.
Jen’s goals for her classes are to offer a strong, creative flow that allows for progression while holding space for students to find balance between mind, body, and spirit. Jen's classes will challenge you: she often builds her classes to a challenging peak pose, but will prepare your body and mind to get there. Jen also loves creating playlists to flow along with her classes. You might be tempted to move your hips!
Aside from yoga, you can find Jen traveling, exploring the newest coffee spots, working out, and hiking with her love, Bob and her pups, Bubba & Zola.
Sara first stepped foot onto a yoga mat in 2003, but began practicing consistently in 2007 after a marathon left her with a knee injury. She became intrigued by focusing on alignment and one breath per posture during that transition, developing a deep love for yoga and for what it did for her health, mind and body. She soon became a regular practitioner using yoga to clear her mind, alleviating the stresses of daily life. Yoga offered safety, focus and repose. As she deepened her practice and began to recognize all of its benefits, she knew one day that she would teach yoga. A teacher by nature, Sara was inspired to expand her efforts outside of the foreign language classroom and into the yoga studio. When the perfect training scenario presented itself, she decided to become certified so that she could share yoga and its advantages with others. She completed her 200 HR RYT in June 2017 and is grateful for the experience and the vast knowledge she received.
As a native Pittsburgher, Sara enjoys dog walks in city parks, swimming in the summer, riding her bike, traveling, immersing herself in other cultures and being active in the community. She is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese.
In her class expect a creative and mindful flow focusing on alignment with one breath per movement. Experience pranayama, or breathing techniques and their energizing and calming effects on the body. Plan to move around the entire mat with mandalas for different perspectives. Expect to let go, have fun, flow with music, release negative energy and fill up with contentment.
Olivia is a Pittsburgh native who has loved yoga ever since she bought a $5 yoga DVD and tried it in her basement 7 years ago. Olivia has a passion for all things wellness, and loves a good sweat just as much as a quiet meditation.
Olivia especially appreciates the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that yoga has brought to her life, and as she grew in her yoga practice, her desire to teach grew as well. Olivia completed her 200hr Teacher Training through the Om Lounge in 2019 where she learned to teach the way that she loves to practice: incorporating body, mind and spirit into practice.
Olivia enjoys a flow that challenges the body, invigorates the mind and moves the soul. She enjoys balancing asanas, fluid transitions, and a thoughtful message. Olivia’s goal is have her students feel both mindfully centered and physically challenged during class. Olivia also leads a once a month Moon Circle practice and meditation at the studio incorporating her knowledge of moon energy.
Outside of yoga, Olivia works full-time in Marketing Communications, runs a wellness blog called Essential Olivia, writes and paints, and is a plant mom who dreams of someday also becoming a dog mom.
Growing up, Bari struggled to find a hobby that kept her interested and coming back for more. She’d explored yoga a bit via YouTube, but it wasn’t until after a friend brought her to a yoga studio in 2014 that she never looked back. She discovered the amazing physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that yoga has to offer by challenging her body while constantly training to calm her mind.
She completed her 200 hour teacher training in May 2019 after sleeping on the decision for 2 years. She was introduced to a whole wealth of knowledge and found a confident voice that had been itching to bloom. Bari hopes to help her students find their own strength by teaching creative flows with clear and thorough direction. Her classes build heat and allow students to explore their boundaries. She understands that the only way to grow is to try new things and get out of the comfort zone, but also acknowledges the time it takes to get there.
Bari has always cared about overall health and wellness and received her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She works as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and ensures that her patients’ nutrition is optimal while in the hospital. She hopes to promote overall wellness by tying together her knowledge of nutrition and passion for yoga. Outside of the studio, she can be found cuddling her cats, watching mindbending tv shows, and trying new foods.
Caroline Quinn is a Pittsburgh- based yoga instructor who was born outside of Philadelphia. She came to Pittsburgh to attend the University of Pittsburgh. Upon graduation, she decided to stay and build her career and home here.
Growing up, Caroline was a competitive swimmer, specializing in butterfly, the IM, and distance freestyle. Outside of swimming, she would regularly lift weights and run. Caroline found yoga in 2013 and was on/off practitioner until she found The Om Lounge. She was immediately attracted to the community-feel of the studio and the physical challenges yoga presented. Since then, she has been practicing regularly and has found yoga not only physically beneficial, but also spiritually uplifting, giving her a wealth of new friends and a place to meditate and relax.
Taking one of Caroline's classes, you will be greeted with a friendly and engaging personality! Caroline's classes are challenging yet accessible for new yogis looking to explore a new fitness class or seasoned yogis looking to further their practice.
When Katie returned to Pittsburgh in 2014, she found yoga as a way to stay active after retiring from collegiate cheerleading. Before starting her career in financial services, she attended yoga everyday for a month (thanks, Groupon) and has been hooked ever since!
In class, Katie leads you to find confidence and comfort in challenging yourself beyond your perceived limits, on your mat and in life. You can expect to balance, play, and take flight with a leg (or both) in the air! As yoga has done for her, she hopes your practice shines a light on your mindfulness and self-awareness to help you reach your fullest potential from the inside out.
Outside of the Om Lounge, you’ll find Katie spending time with her extended family (who all live in the South Hills), serving her community through volunteerism and as a board of director for several non-profit organizations, and tackling difficult conversations to make Pittsburgh a more diverse and inclusive home for all.
Alyssa first discovered yoga around 2011 when she was in high school. Her friend brought her to a class at their local studio. As an avid athlete, Alyssa was used to speed and competition and loved yoga’s focus on slowing down and quieting the mind. Eventually, Alyssa decided to deepen her yoga practice by signing up for 200-hour teacher training at The Om Lounge. She completed her training in May 2019 and now teaches an early bird flow at The Om Lounge as well as other vinyasa classes in the Pittsburgh area.
Alyssa's classes consist of creative and thoughtful vinyasa flows that build from the ground up. Expect challenging asanas and fluid transitions, with an emphasis on mindfulness and meditation throughout class. Outside of yoga, Alyssa enjoys hiking new trails, exploring Pittsburgh’s food scene, and planning her next travel itinerary.
Rachael is an active duty Army Officer. She came to her mat when she returned from her deployment to Iraq in 2017. Her practice not only healed the effects of years of high impact athletic activities, but it also provided her with a yoga tribe. Her yogic community wove itself into the tapestry of her heart with its unconditional acceptance of yogis from all walks of life, body types, and levels of experience. In her world where most things in her life are mandatory, her mat is one of the only places where everything is optional. She firmly believes in the following: your practice, your choice.
In her class you will be offered a challenging, progressive flow set to engaging playlists (read: you are going to want to dance) with opportunities to push your practice. But more importantly, you will feel comfortable enough to try new things, fall, laugh at yourself, have fun, and accept yourself however you came to your mat that day! Rachael hopes to lead you to what she found on her mat: the profound quiet and comfort that comes from unconditional self acceptance.
Outside of the studio and her uniform, Rachael is an avid distance runner, cook, and reader of mystery novels.
Looking for a new way to exercise, Erin decided she would try yoga. She didn’t ever think it would make the impact in her life that it has. Erin has been hooked ever since taking that first class. She loves the movement, the breath, and that euphoric feeling post-savasana.
Erin has learned to take her practice off the mat and into her daily life to help cope with daily challenges and stress. In 2018 she completed her RYT200 and is thankful for the knowledge learned. She looks forward to sharing the gift of yoga to others. Erin hopes her classes will help students feel grounded, calm, and free. Expect to let go of negative energy, and replace it with positive energy.
When not teaching, you can find her hanging with friends, walking her pups, or at home binge watching tv.
Eva was born in Florence, Kentucky. At the age of three, she decided that she was going to dance, and that she did. While training all over the United States, from Seattle to New York City, she learned the value of hard work and discipline. For the yoga minded, she had found Pratyahara, turning inward, and Dharana, her concentration. At sixteen she had moved away from home and committed fully to ballet. Eva trained eight hours a day, six days a week, until she was hired by the Ohio Ballet. A few years later, she joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and worked for eight years performing as a soloist. Eva and her husband, who was also her partner on stage, were asked to join Twyla Tharp Dance in New York City. They lived in Brooklyn and traveled to stages all over the world. One of her favorite moments was starring in the Gershwin Awards for Billy Joel on PBS. Eva’s path to yoga has always been intertwined with dance. Yoga and meditation became her refuge. The dance world can be cold and competitive; the yoga studio is full of love for self and others. Eventually, her love for yoga overtook that of her first passion, ballet. During her final years of performing, she used yoga as self-maintenance to stay injury free and did yoga to warm up before shows. Returning to Pittsburgh, she retired from dance to have a baby. Recently, Eva became a Licensed Massage Therapist. While at the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy, she found her Dharma—Ayurveda bodywork. She is certified from the California College of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga, and with her passion for yoga, teaching was the next step on her path. When Eva met Suzanne, the choice became crystal clear that she was to train for her 200hr RYT at the Om Lounge. Eva is ecstatic about sharing her joy of yoga on the mat and as an assistant of The Om Lounge Teacher Training program sharing her knowledge of Ayurveda.