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 her creative sequencing and 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. 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 and Mary Dana Abbott in Los Angeles. In addition to teaching and training other teachers, Suzanne continues to study all things yoga and is currently enrolled in her 300 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.
Sara McDevitt found yoga after years of convincing herself that she loved running. She will be forever grateful to her best friend who dragged her into her first vinyasa class, even though she insisted that yoga “wasn’t her thing.” Sara hasn’t owned a pair of running shoes in years and barely a day goes by where she doesn’t roll out her mat. Her yoga practice has helped her to let go of things she can’t change, to live in the moment, and to not sweat the small stuff. She is thrilled to be a part of the community at the OM Lounge which found its way into her life at the exact time she needed it.
Sara began teaching in 2013 and is continually honored, amazed, and humbled by all of the students that entrust her to guide them through a powerful, playful, and heartfelt class. A lover of music, she also likes to create the perfect soundtrack to weave into the fabric of her classes. Sara is inspired by many different teachers, lineages, and styles of yoga and is committed to lifelong learning and fine-tuning her skill as a yoga instructor. Sara is also an assistant of The Om Lounge 200 hour Teacher Training.
Sara grew up in a small western PA town and considers herself equal parts a country girl and city girl. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has a masters degree in Journalism from Point Park University. When she isn’t practicing or teaching, Sara spends her time working in higher education administration at Carnegie Mellon University. She also enjoys live music, a good road trip, and an early morning yoga practice before the sun comes up!
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.
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. Outside of yoga, Olivia works full-time in Marketing Communications, runs a wellness blog called Essential Olivia, and is a plant mom who dreams of someday also becoming a dog mom.
Born and raised north of the city, Maggie grew up being chased by her four bothers and playing competitive soccer. After the stress of college and the rigors of playing soccer became too exhausting, she recognized the need for a quiet space to allow her mind to slow down. Maggie loved the change of pace that yoga offered, along with the physical, emotional, and mental benefits that followed from a regular practice. Yoga has allowed her to let go of (or see beyond) the little things that once consumed her and recognize the importance of taking life day by day.
Maggie wanted to gain the knowledge and experience required to share yoga with others, while also deepening her own practice. She completed her 200 HR teacher training through Flex Yoga, Wooster in 2018. You can expect Maggie’s classes to have a blend of creative and powerful movement linked with the breath.
Outside of the studio, you can find Maggie exploring coffee shops around the city with her boyfriend, or in the kitchen figuring out what she should make next.
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 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.
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.
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.
Born and raised just north of Pittsburgh, Kelsey recently moved back from Denver, Colorado, where she received her 200-hour yoga teaching training. Kelsey was teaching in Denver for the past two years and has been practicing yoga for the past eight years. Kelsey was excited when she found the Om Lounge, where she hopes to bring her west coast vibes!
With a degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition, Kelsey has an adept understanding of human anatomy along with a deep awareness of the mind-body connection. Partially due to her yoga journey, Kelsey is currently obtaining her graduate degree at Chatham University in counseling psychology, where she eventually hopes to incorporate psychotherapy and yoga therapy.
Kelsey was initially drawn to yoga solely for fitness, but gradually learned all the other teachings that yoga has to offer. Yoga has healed Kelsey in more ways than she could have ever imagined, allowing her to find her true sense of self. Kelsey is honored to share her practice, which includes spiritual readings from various philosophers and spiritual teachers. Come flow with Kelsey on Tuesdays at 9:30 AM to learn, heal and breathe.
Originally from Rochester, NY, Vic has come to think of Pittsburgh as home over the last eight years. His journey through college began with a football scholarship to Ohio Wesleyan, took him to the ski team at CU Boulder, and ended in injury and a psychology degree from SUNY Geneseo in upstate New York in 2012. After graduating, he moved to Pittsburgh where he worked as a musician with his younger brother for the next five years. He shifted focus to education in 2017 and spent the last two years teaching tenth grade English at a high school in Boston. He moved back to Pittsburgh in the summer of 2019 to reprise a career in music and yoga in Pittsburgh. He is generally happiest when he is on his bike, reading a good book, playing music, practicing yoga, tending to his plants, or some combination of them all!
Vic's passion for yoga began shortly after he stopped playing football and was looking for something to mitigate some of the daily pain associated with old injuries. Yoga remained mostly a pain management tool for years, but that began to change around the time he moved to Boston. The more time he spent at the studio and on his mat, the more he began to experience the breadth of benefits yoga has to offer, and he began to fall in love with the practice. He completed his 200-hour teacher training in the summer of 2018 and started teaching in November. Yoga has become his favorite way to exercise, a mental health necessity, and the best part of most days! As a teacher, he loves designing creative and challenging sequences, with a focus on breath and alignment. You can expect to achieve a meditative state through physically demanding sequences in his classes.
Renee is born and raised in Pittsburgh's South Hills. Sh is a mom, wife, and lover of all things Yoga. She found yoga a little later in life, or rather, yoga found her. Renee came to a class to support a friend, but found so much more on her yoga mat. What started as a place to practice and get a workout, The Om Lounge became more like a home. Renee believes in her heart there is nothing a little yoga can't fix! As her love for yoga grew in Renee's soul, along came her passion to teach. She took a leap of faith, and decided to sign up for training. Balancing training and famiy isn't easy and Renee knew that she would work hard but she knew in her heart it was her path. She completed The Om Lounge training in May of 2019.
Renee is a dedicated practitioner and her mat is her sanctuary. When Renee is not busy being “mom” to Olivia and nurturer to her own disabled mother, you can find her on her mat practicing, or wrapped up in a blanket reading yoga books. Renee is super excited to bring her energy, passion and creativity to the teacher’s mat. Most important, she can not wait to share space with you on your mat at The Om Lounge.
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. In 2018, 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 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.
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.
In 2012, Tiffany quit her DC non-profit job in suicide prevention and moved to rural Ghana for a year. While there, she came to live with a meditation teacher for three months who changed her life. When Tiffany came back to DC, she was looking for a way to continue her practice outside the quiet village and in the hustle and bustle of city living. This is when she decided to dedicate herself to an asana practice to accompany her sitting meditation. She fell in love with the physical side of yoga and the discipline, strength, and vulnerability that accompanies it. It became clear that this was going to be a lifelong practice.
Tiffany moved to Pittsburgh in 2014 for her Master's degree in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, all while finding her place in the yoga community in her new city. The connection between the need to be present and empathetic while serving people through social work and the mindful awareness required in yoga was strongly linked in her mind. Yoga allows Tiffany to be emotionally calibrated and energetically balanced to do her daily work consistently and without burning out. Her dream is to bring yoga to the people she works with in her day job, other social workers, and share the practice with as many people as possible. As a way to deepen her practice and explore teaching, Tiffany completed a 10-month 200-hour teacher training at Vital Glow Yoga. She fell in love with teaching and is excited to hold space for people as an instructor. Tiffany is hungry to learn more about the eight limbs of yoga to be a better teacher to anyone who walks through the door.
In Tiffany's classes, you will find a mindful flow with unexpected sequences that explore complexity and simplicty all led with lots of love. When Tiffany is not working her day job at Landforce or in the studio practicing yoga, you will find her with her adorable husband and supportive dog (the reverse also applies) hiking through the woods or nestled in their couch.