Yoga Teacher of the Month: Lisa Galico

This month’s featured teacher is Lisa Galico! Read on to learn more about Lisa.

1) Tell us a little about yourself! 

My name is Lisa Galico. I am married to my wonderful husband, Chris. We have three fur babies: our dog, Emerson, and our cats, Quincy and Felix. I

have always loved animals, especially cats, dogs, and horses. I volunteer a few days a week at Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center in Harvey’s Lake. The horses inspire me with their patience and kindness towards the riders.

Lisa Galico - Home Yoga & Barre

On a more serious note, this spring I was diagnosed and treated for ocular melanoma, a rare form of eye cancer. I am so thankful that I have regained all vision in that eye and am now cancer free! I want to raise awareness about this disease. I encourage everyone to get a dilated eye exam at least once a year. Like so many types of cancer, early detection is key!

2) How would you describe your teaching style?

I have been told many times that I have a soft spoken voice. Most of my regular classes tend to be on the more gentle side.

In addition to asana (the physical practice), I like to incorporate pranayama (breath) yoga philosophy, and meditation. I think our society suffers from chronic stress, and I want people to learn the tools to learn how to relax and not to take life so seriously.

3) How did you get into teaching? 

I have been practicing for nine years, mostly vinyasa style classes. About three years ago, I went to a restorative yoga class, not knowing anything about this style. I was immediately hooked! The teacher played soft music and the lighting was dim. The class was lead through ground poses using the props for support. At the time, I was suffering from insomnia. I felt instantly better with a restorative yoga practice.

I enrolled in a restorative yoga teacher training hosted by Home Yoga and Barre and taught be Angela Boltz, from Living Flow Yoga. My intention for taking the course was for personal development, but after the training I was asked to start teaching a weekly restorative yoga class at a local studio. I loved teaching that class, and decided to enroll in a 200 Yoga Teacher Training program.

In 2017, I graduated with my certification from Boundless Yoga, hosted by Balance Yoga and Wellness in Forty Fort, Pa.

4) Tell us about some of the classes you teach in our area.

In addition to teaching at studios, I also offer community classes. I am certified in adaptive chair yoga. I am teaching series of chair yoga classes at the Pittston Memorial Library and at Newberry Estates in Dallas.

I am also certified in integrated equine yoga. I am teaching a workshop, “What the Heck is Horse Yoga” at Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center on Sunday, July 21 . For more information please visit my Facebook page at Lisa Galico Yoga or e-mail me at

5) What do you love most about teaching at Home Yoga & Barre? 

I know this will sound cliché, but I love the people. Everyone at Home Yoga has been warm and welcoming. The owner, and my friend, Alyssa Miller, is one of the nicest people that I know.

As a teacher, I want to inspire people to be the best version of themselves: physically, mentally, and emotionally.
— Lisa Galico

6) What is your favorite pose and why? 

Savasana (corpse pose) because it is an opportunity to be fully present. I tell students to let everything drop, just be here in the present. It’s only a few minutes, and that may feel like a long time for some people. The more we train our minds to drop the chatter the better we will feel on all levels of wellbeing. It’s so rare to find a few minutes to fully relax. I think yoga is a gift to ourselves and so important for self-care. I know the better that I feel, the better I can care for my loved ones.

Thanks, Lisa! Keep an eye on the schedule to see when Lisa is teaching, and look for her classes around NEPA, too.

Featured Student: Ursula Hockman

This month’s featured student is Ursula Hockman. Read on to learn more about her!

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I am a graduate of Coastal Carolina University and work as a Digital Designer/Specialist for CSS Industries in Moosic. My husband and I just bought a home in Luzerne and we spend most our days entertaining family and friends, traveling and spending time outdoors.


2. How long have you been practicing yoga and what got you into it?

I started practicing yoga in high school with my mom and aunt through LCC but fell away from it pretty quickly after our class ended. Flash forward to this past November, I was experiencing a lot of stress related health issues and really needed to start listening to what my body was telling me.

I'm not much of a runner and haven't been able to commit to any high impact fitness routines, so Alyssa convinced me to give the studio a shot taking yoga and barre classes. The positive difference in my daily motivation, mood, and symptoms of the health issues I had been experiencing since then has drastically improved.

Practicing has really changed my life.

3. What is your favorite thing about the studio?

I love the small space. I love how comfortable it is. I love how absolutely welcoming and encouraging everyone that attends classes is. The instructors are wonderful, and I don't feel pressured to "be better." They guide everyone in their practice at their own pace.

4. What is your favorite yoga pose?

Am I allowed to say child's pose? haha! I'm also learning to love half pigeon.

5. What are you looking forward to developing in your practice?

I'd love to work towards crow and headstands. Barre is definitely helping me improve my upper body strength and I've noticed how much farther I can stretch in certain poses in just six months. Progressing slowly but surely!

6. What advice would you give to a new student?

Take advantage of the 30 for $30 offer and take a class with each instructor at least once. You may find that one class speaks more to what you need than others. Don't box yourself into having high expectations. You'll probably surprise yourself at what your body can do, so don't doubt your ability. Just relax and enjoy what you are doing for yourself in the moment. :)

Thanks for sharing with us, Ursula. Next time you see her at the studio, say hello! 

Yoga Teacher of the Month: Katie Callahan

This month, we’re excited to feature Katie Callahan. It’s always a pleasure to have her in the studio teaching as a substitute barre instructor. Read on to learn more about Katie!

1) Tell us a little about yourself! 

My husband Adam and I have 3 incredible kiddos (Jake-14, Finn-12 and Gigi-8).  We live right here in West Pittston - walking distance to the Home studio!


Every day I am fortunate to work with some of the most loving, positive people on the planet - 3 year olds! I'm a Preschool assistant teacher at Wyoming Seminary. So, needless to say my days are filled with laughter and surprises.

Almost 4 years ago my mother, who was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, moved in with us.  The progression of her disease has been steady and thus my time devoted to teaching on a regular basis has been put on hold.  I'm beyond grateful to the Home community for keeping me a part of their family and for allowing me to sub in whenever needed.

2) How would you describe your teaching style?

I like to bring levity and fun to my classes. My music choices vary quite a bit and range from classic to pop to jazz to musical theater. You never know what you're going to get!

3) How did you get into teaching barre? 

The Home community is one of openness, encouragement and positivity, which is what drew me in a few years ago after taking my first barre class. It also inspired me to become a barre instructor.

4) What do you like most about your practice and teaching others?

I exercise and teach barre because of its core benefits - balance, strength and focus.  I'm certainly not an exercise guru, but what I practice means a great deal and has undoubtedly made me a healthier and happier person.

5) What is your favorite pose and why? 

Perhaps one of my favorite things to do in barre is to 'hold' a pose - whether it be a wall sit, an arm outreach, a calf raise or a stretch. I love encouraging students to focus, breathe and build their strength, and reminding us all that even (what seems) the simplest of movements/poses create great strength both physically and emotionally.

Come HOME. I promise you… it’s just what you need.

Watch for Katie subbing at the studio to take one of her classes!

Featured Student: Jean Ann Sperrazza

This month’s featured student is Jean Ann Sperrazza. Read on to learn a little more about your classmate!

Jean Ann Sperrazza.jpg

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I am a graduate of Penn State University, and I have been working in Pharmaceutical Sales for 14 years. I've lived most of my life in the Pittston area.

In my free time, I enjoy baking, reading, traveling, camping, and spending time with my family, friends and my soon-to-be husband. We are getting married in the beginning of April on Seneca Lake, NY - one of the places I love to travel to.

2. How long have you been taking barre classes and what got you into it?

I have been taking barre classes for about 2 or 3 years. I'm not sure how I heard about barre, but I thought it would be a great workout that would tone without bulking. I just happened to do a search for barre studios in the area and Home popped up.

After finding a friend that was willing to join me, we started taking classes and loved it! Well, maybe not the next day... or two! I was sore for a long time after each class, but it was worth it! I believe this is one of the few workouts that has actually made an impact on my body.

3. Tell us something we wouldn’t otherwise know about you.

I am not an athlete and I am not coordinated enough to do other group exercise classes, but barre has been perfect for me. I have only taken one yoga class here, but it is my goal to try to get to more.

4. What is your favorite barre exercise?

I don't think I have a favorite barre exercise. I do, however, have ones that I hate, but they are usually the ones that my body needs the most! Such as bridge series, and any side leg lifts.

5. What advice would you give to a new student?

The first few classes might be a struggle and you will be super sore afterwards, but stick with it. You will find the moves that you were not able to do in the past will get easier and you will find yourself getting stronger, not only in class but in everyday activites.

Thanks for chatting with us, Jean Ann. Next time you see her in class, be sure to say hi, and keep an eye out for our next featured student on the blog!

Teacher of the Month: Diane Sachaczenski

This month, we chatted with Diane Sachaczenski! Whether you’re regular to her class or want to learn a little more about her before taking it for the first time, learn more about her below.

Diane Sachaczenski

1) How long have you been teaching? 

I've been teaching over 5 years.

2) What is your teaching style?  

Vinyasa (Level 2 Alignment based) and Restorative.

3) What do you like most about your practice and teaching others?

I love teaching because I simply love to make people feel good (body and mind).  Yoga is on the rise (especially restorative), and it's a good sign that people realize they need to slow down.

I also like a challenge in my personal practice lately… guess it's time to get out of that damn comfort zone!

4) Tell us something we wouldn't otherwise know about you. It can be anything! 

Most people do not know I was born in Michigan!

5) What is your favorite pose and why?

Warrior II. There is no better pose than Warrior II to put you in the present moment.

We tend to reach forward (fight/flight mode) or reach too far behind (reaching for our past). Think about the present moment. Shoulders above the hips. Crown reaching up, not forward. Center yourself in this pose, physically and mentally land in the present moment.

That’s beautiful. Thanks, Diane!

You can take Diane’s class on Mondays at 7:00 pm for her 75 minuteFlow & Restore Yoga class.

Featured Student: Emalee Gensel

This month, we’re featuring student Emalee Gensel. Emalee has been a regular to the studio for quite some time now, and you may have seen her in a few classes. Read on to learn a little more about Emalee and get to know her better!


1. Tell is a little about yourself!

I’m 30 years old, a graduate of Bloomsburg University, and a resident of Shavertown, PA. I enjoy yoga, hiking, skiing, climbing, antiquing, going to flea markets, and traveling. My husband and I will be going to New Zealand in 2 months... I cannot wait!

2. How long have you been practicing yoga and what got you into it?

I’ve been practicing yoga for about 5 years. I’m not entirely sure what got me into yoga, but I think I was intrigued by how yoga can make one feel connected to their mind and body, and I wanted to experience that for myself.

3. How are you looking to grow your practice?

I’d like to get back into acroyoga and also try aerial yoga. Both types of yoga offer a unique way of moving your body and challenging your practice.

4. Tell us something we wouldn’t otherwise know about you.

I enjoy rock climbing but I’m absolutely terrified of heights. I still climb, I just try to avoid looking down and keep my mind focused on the route I’m trying to send.

5. When do you feel most at peace?

I feel most at peace while hiking. There’s something special about the quietness the wilderness offers. I feel like I’m living in the moment while hiking. I especially love summits that afford me with gorgeous mountainous views.

6. Do you have any tips for fellow yoga/barre enthusiasts?

Don’t worry about what everyone else around you is doing. Close your eyes and focus on your own practice. Challenge yourself - try a new pose or hold a pose for a few extra seconds. Don’t be afraid to fall, that’s how you grow and expand your practice.

Thanks for chatting with us, Emalee!

Photo Credit, Patrick Gensel Photography.

Yoga Teacher of the Month: Brittany Gallup

We’re back with another teacher feature, this month highlighting Brittany Gallup! Learn more about Brittany below.

1) What drew you to practicing and teaching yoga?


My love for yoga was perfectly accidental. A relative needed a student to practice teaching on and I was starting a healthier lifestyle. It was love at first Sun Salutation! 

Yoga started healing me in ways I didn't even intend to discover. I became less anxious which in turn granted me patience as I wasn't always on edge. I thought: "You need to share this!" My ambition to guide was born. 

2) Tell those who haven’t taken a class with you about your teaching style. 

My teaching styles vary. I try to create a casual community-like environment to ensure comfort on a social level.

My students’ personal goals being met is my priority so I will ask you “What would you like to work on today," "Is there a part of the body feeling especially tight.” or "Want me to kick your butts?" And, of course, humor. Everyone could always use a smile. (I try to be funny anyways.) 

3) What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about taking their first yoga or barre class?

To the "first-time" yogi,  we've all been the beginner. Don't fear judgement… fear not trying. It is not our abilities that show who we are but our choices. If you choose to show up and "they" choose to judge, their intentions are not pure and that's a "them" problem. 

4) In what ways are you looking to advance your personal practice this year?

I plan to advance my personal practice this year by doing nothing advanced.

5) Tell us about some of the other work you do for the studio! 

In addition to teaching at the studio I also post on our Facebook page, sub often, and try to help out wherever I can. We are a team at the studio and I am blessed to work alongside some lovely ladies. 

6) What’s your favorite yoga pose and why?

My favorite asana is Warrior 2. It is stable and strong. Meanwhile your crown is held high and your heart is open. You must maintain a fierce gaze at what lies ahead. Take your yoga with you when you leave your mat.


You can take class with Brittany on Mondays at 4:15 for Level 2 Yoga and on Thursdays at 5:45 for Yin Yoga.

Featured Student: Jessie Napkora

We’re kicking this new blog series off in November—the month of giving thanks. Why? Because we’re thankful for you!

To compliment our featured teacher posts, we’ll be introducing you to a new student each month. We like to think of you all as our family, and wanted to get to know you all a little better!

Our first featured student is Jessie Napkora, who you may have seen at the studio! She attends classes frequently, so we sat down with her and asked a few questions:

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

Jessie and her bunny, Rocky, and her dog, Laika!

Jessie and her bunny, Rocky, and her dog, Laika!

I work as an instructional designer and studied at Bloomsburg University, having graduated in 2016.

In my free time I do a lot of baking and cooking. I also enjoy the outdoors—hiking, kayaking, camping, even just being in the backyard. I just prefer to be outside!

I also like to visit museums. My favorites that I’ve been to so far are the National Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Pop Culture.

2. How long have you been practicing yoga and what got you into it?

I have been doing yoga since the spring of this year. What got me into it was actually barre!

Here’s the story behind that—I have been doing barre for about 2.5 years now and began taking classes at the place I used to work in VA. They had free barre classes so I thought I would try it out, and I really liked it!

Then I moved back to PA and my friend told me about Home Yoga & Barre. So I went to a barre class, tried a yoga class, and loved it!

3. How are you looking to grow your practice?

Well, this is definitely something that I want to stick to for a while because it’s a method of exercise that I actually enjoy. I hate going to the gym. I think it’s the worst thing you can do with your time. Waiting for people to finish their reps, clean, and leave the machines seems like it takes forever, but you get a full-body exercise with barre! And it’s mostly with your own body weight, which is great.

I do like the idea of becoming certified—whether it be in yoga, barre, or both! I think that would be a good way to grow my practice: keep trying at it, get certified, and help people enjoy it the way that I do.

4. Tell us something we wouldn’t otherwise know about you.

I have a dog named Laika (pronounced Lie-Kah) and two rabbits, Rocky and Roxy—they both came already named, but the names works really well together. It’s like they were meant to be! My family are big rabbit people, which is kind of unusual.

5. When do you feel most at peace?

Hmm. When I’m walking my dog, especially if we’re in the woods.

Also in bed.

6. Do you have any tips for fellow yoga/barre enthusiasts?

You know how a yoga instructor asks you to set an intention at the start of your practice? Mine is usually just to try while I’m there. That’s it—just try. That’s all I ask of myself, because sometimes you’d be surprised by what you can do if you just try.

We love that, Jessie! We hope you all enjoyed meeting Jessie. Say hi to her next time you see her in class, and watch for your next feature in December… it could be you!

Yoga Teacher of the Month: Alyssa Miller

It’s time to feature the one and only Alyssa Miller!

This month, we asked Alyssa a few questions! With her new Barre Fusion class and other changes at the studio, we dove into a few different things with her in this month’s post. Read on to learn more!


1) When did you start practicing?

I began practicing yoga in 2012 more regularly after I went through a bad breakup and also suffered injuries from running. After a year of practicing consistently and learning to meditate I began my teacher training.  

2) How have you grown your practice over the years? 

I’ve grown from practicing for more physical reasons to practicing more to maintain my sanity and calm my anxiety. I’ve grown a lot in my life and dealt with some of the toughest circumstances over the last few years, dealing with loss of a job, uncertainty, loss of a loved one and more . Throughout this, I noticed my practice became more of my savior than I ever imagined. I definitely gravitate more toward yin and gentle yoga now in my practice. 

3) Tell us about your new class -- Barre Fusion! 

Barre Fusion is fun! I try and do a lot of multi muscular movements to give you the best booty burn in this 45 minute express class. Some of these movements are yoga postures that we incorporate light weights into. We will also finish class with a light flow, a savasana, and essential oils. I would definitely say there is a low impact cardio element in my style of teaching, but you never have to do anything you aren’t comfortable doing. Come try it! :) 

4) And a little about the new tea corner!

Yes! The new tea corner is so that everyone can enjoy a cup or tea either before or after a class! Most people come a little early to make and enjoy their tea. I make mine before class, too!

5) What is your favorite thing about practicing yoga? 

I think my favorite thing is the feeling of bliss afterward. I am able to go home and my mind is present. My to do list can usually wait and I truly slow down. It just helps me to focus on who is around me at that moment. 

6) What advice do you have for someone looking to begin a yoga practice? 

Just start! Don’t be afraid. We’re all silly in classes and I encourage you to laugh. Life is too short to be taken so seriously. We laugh when we’re present! Also, try multiple classes and teachers. Just because you don’t connect with one doesn’t mean you won’t with another.  

7) Favorite yoga pose and why?

Half pigeon. I have really tight unbalanced hips and this helps me to open up all over my body and also allows me to feel the most release.

Join Alyssa for class on Tuesday at 7 pm for Gentle Candlelit Yoga Level 1, Saturday at 8 am for Level 2 Yoga, and Saturday at 9:15 am for Barre Fusion!

Yoga Teacher of the Month: Miranda Dunkailo

If you haven't had the chance to attend Miranda 's class yet, here's your chance to meet her!


Miranda has lived in Pennsylvania all her life. She's a big fan of adventures and learning new things. We're thrilled to have her here at Home Yoga & Barre and are excited to feature her as this month's teacher of the month! 

We asked her a few questions so you can get to know a little more about her. 

1) Tell us a little about your background in teaching.

I have been practicing yoga for about 8 years (yikes... has it been 8 years already?!). I fell in love with the practice and the many variations of styles. 

I loved it so much that I decided I wanted to share my love with others and that’s when I made the decision to become certified. I did my teacher training certification though Om My Yoga 4 years ago and I’ve been teaching ever since.

2) What do you like most about your practice and teaching others?  

I love the fact that I get to share with my students, whether they are new to me or have taken my classes before, what I’ve come to learn through my training and my own practice. 

3) What are you looking forward to most about teaching at Home Yoga & Barre?

I am psyched to be teaching at Home! It’s such a super sweet studio, and I’m just excited to continue to be part of the yoga community. 

4) What's the one thing you want people to know about you before coming to your class for the first time?

To not be intimidated or scared and to just try! It doesn't matter if you wiggle around or fall out of a pose... this is how we learn! I love to give my students a challenge, but I also want them to have fun. 

5) What’s your favorite yoga pose?

Love me some arm balances! I guess if I have to choose just one I would have to say flying pigeon! 

You can catch Miranda on Wednesday's for Level 3 yoga at 7 pm.

Yoga Teacher Of The Month: Luciana Celestine

This month's featured teacher is the one and only Luciana Celestine! Lucy brings a great sense of humor to her classes, which we all appreciate after one too many reps.

Let's get to know her a little better!


1) Tell us about the first time you took a barre class.

The first time I took a barre class was a barre/pilates hybrid at Home Yoga & Barre. I had long been a fan of Winsor Pilates and have been practicing it consistently for decades. I really wanted to try barre and was amazed to find a studio so close to home!

The class was tough. I moved my body in the most bizarre of ways and hurt more than I ever had before, but when I walked out (barely), I felt amazing. Strong and calm.

2) What made you want to teach barre? What or who inspired you to get your certification? 

My main motivator for teaching barre was that it would force me to go to class. I know, I know. But if you've been in my class then you know I like to eat! So it has been very, very good for me in that sense.

I was extremely nervous to become certified because I am not an avid workout person. Like, I run for 45 seconds and I'm done. So the thought of people looking to me for guidance was intimidating. In a lot of ways it has helped me to gain confidence. 

3) What do you like most about your practice and teaching at the studio?  

Definitely the clients! Class is so much fun because of them. I love that we can laugh and joke. It makes the time go by so quickly. We wouldn't have the studio without them, so when I see a room full of people ready to go, it makes me feel really good.

I can be myself there, and if people enjoy it and respond to it, that's a great feeling.

4) How are you looking to grow more in your practice? 

I think most teachers find that over time, you can start to feel stale in your practice. I am constantly watching videos to learn new moves.

I also need to get back to going to yoga. I love the cross training I get from barre and yoga, so definitely making sure I get to more classes. I would also like to learn more about the meditative aspect of barre and how to incorporate that into classes. 

5) What’s one thing you want people to get out of a barre class?

The one thing I want people to get out of class is to realize you're stronger than you think you are, and that if you stick with it, you'll feel a difference in your body. We always compare ourselves to others and doing that makes us feel like we aren't good enough.

I always encourage people to push themselves and not to worry about what others are doing in class. In barre, if you concentrate on yourself, you will get stronger and feel better. 

6) What’s your favorite barre move?

Since I'm the leg lady my favorite move are seated pretzels. There's nothing like them to tone and shape the thigh area. They are brutal but they work!

And there you have it! Be sure to look for that move next time you're in Lucy's class.

You can take class with Lucy on Wednesdays from 5:45 - 6:30 for Barre Express!


Yoga Teacher Of The Month: Joleen Gai

This month, we sat down to talk with the ever-smiling Joleen Gai!

She brings her happiness and energy to every class she teaches, and it just spreads like wildfire. Get to know her a little better in this week’s Teacher of the Month post!

Joleen Gai - Home Yoga & Barre

1) How long have you been practicing and why/how did you start?

I took my first yoga class 12 years ago when I was in college. I thought it would be a good way to get the most of my gym membership and maybe tone up a little. I soon realized there was much more to the practice than staying fit!

2) Tell us about your teaching style?

I like to keep yoga light-hearted and fun. We laugh a lot in my classes! I try to encourage students develop a home yoga practice with what they learn in the studio.

3) What's your favorite thing about practicing and teaching?

My practice keeps me balanced and affords me the opportunity to spread a little bit of light. My favorite thing is at the end of class, when everyone is coming out of shavasana, I encourage students to think of something that they are grateful for and a way that they can be kind to someone. Imagine if only one out of every ten students took that advice and performed an act of kindness! Those small acts add up.

4) What do you look forward to most this summer at the studio?

I can’t wait for yoga on the river Sundays at 10:30. I love practicing outdoors!

5) How are you looking to advance your personal practice this year?

I struggle with the idea of “yoga goals.” Development is encouraging and helps keep people motivated to keep practicing so nailing a difficult asana always feels good.

A year or two ago, I might have enthusiastically said “headstand!” but my personal practice now is more focusing on the eight limbs of yoga and applying it to life off the mat.

I want to study more mythology too and learn the stories behind the poses.

6) Favorite yoga pose and why?

Garbha pindasana in the Ashtanga primary series. I love rocking and rolling! It’s perfect to help find energy and direction mid-practice.

If you haven’t taken one of Joleen’s classes, you can find her in the studio on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm for Level 3 yoga and at 6:00 am on Thursdays for Level 1 yoga.

Stay tuned for our next teacher spotlight next month!

Yoga Teacher of the Month: Kayla Wolthoff

Welcome to our Teacher of the Month series! Each month, we’re going to feature one of the studio teachers so that you can learn a little more about them.

Our first featured teacher is Kayla Wolthoff!

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1) How long have you been practicing and why/how did you start?

I have been practicing since 2013 and I started because the studio I lived by was offering a free week of classes... 7 days later I was hooked!

2) What is your teaching style?

My goal for every class is to be as authentic as possible. I want students to know the poses or exercises that I too struggle with so it's more relatable. I would also say I try to keep it fun!

3) What advice would you give to someone who has never taken a yoga or barre class but wants to?

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Try it out and ask questions!

4) How are you looking to advance your personal practice this year?

Honestly, I just want to make it to more classes. Specifically, for yoga, I really want to work up to a handstand.

We’re with you there, girl!

5) Tell us a about your favorite way to practice, train, or teach!

My favorite classes are ones where I feel extremely connected with the entire class. Whether that's through laughing, cracking jokes are even crying, my number one goal is that connection. It's what drove me to teach in the first place.

One thing is for sure—Kayla certainly brings a lot of passion and excitement to her classes. Her style of teaching reflects her personality so well, and we know you’ll love her!

If you’re interested in taking class with Kayla, you can find her teaching Barre on Sunday mornings at 9:15 am.

Stay tuned for our next teacher spotlight next month. If you have any questions for our future spotlights, let us know in the comments below and we’ll ask!

A Morning Routine & Anxiety

So I began an early morning routine. Basically, due to my anxiety, or maybe my messy sleep patterns caused the anxiety - who knows - I decided to make it a regular routine to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 5am.

Now, I am still transitioning, but even when I awake around 5:30am, I am able to leave for work at 7:30am refreshed, focused, awake, and ready to take on the day!

I made this decision after doing much research on the topic of self-care and observing my own habits and productivity.

Here's how it goes...

  • 5:00am - 5:30am Wake Up
  • 5:30am - 6:00am Workout/Yoga/Coffee and Read a Book (Depends on the Day)
  • 6:00am - 6:10am Meditate
  • 6:10am - 6:20am Journal
  • 6:20am - 7:00am Shower and Get Ready for Work/Tidy Up
  • 7:00am - 7:30am Eat Breakfast and Relax before Leaving

Much of this is self-care. I used to do meditation, yoga or workout, journaling - in the evening and wouldn't feel grounded for the majority of the day. This way, I ground myself first thing and feel refreshed so I can tackle work tasks efficiently and in a more balanced way.

Studies have shown that people who wake up earlier are more productive and more focused. This time in the morning also helps us to feel free to express creatively for a few hours. After reading Big Magic, I know this is much more important than most of us think - to live creatively. It's something we need to do to get back into our skin every day. It keeps us grounded and secure. We are aware of our priorities when we are creatively living and just going with the flow. 

I am grateful for this routine, because it has helped me to go with the flow once more after several months of battling much more extreme anxiety than I have in over 5 years.

Give it a try! 

Relationships and Anxiety

A few months ago I was dealing with my most serious bout of anxiety and panic attacks yet. The attacks were happening almost daily, with confusion about my purpose in life, feelings of not being good enough according to society's standards, and more - but then I stood in front of my Saturday morning yoga class to teach some of my favorite faces after several days of feeling "out of place". I felt comfortable. I felt confident. I had a place. With you. 

And it reminded me how to feel love. That I have so much of it in my life, but where I was somehow able to feel it the most when I needed it the most was in the community we've all created - together. 

Sometimes when we find ourselves anxious or struggling with some type of anxiety, we decide to retreat and pull away from people. We stop talking about what is going on inside our minds and we think we are alone and struggling, when, in fact, we are all together.

Many of us struggle with anxiety in today's world of technology and constant attachment to success. We all deal with the same things, and you'd be surprised what can happen when we open up to each other and come together.

For this reason, I am starting a Facebook Group for any "Homies" that wish to join. We can discuss topics we wish to, open up to each other, and provide tips for what helps each of us outside the studio. 

Yoga is more than what we do in class and on our mats, and I think it is taking it off the mat that is the hard part. This is what it is about - coming together and community, and we have a great one with lots of love! I want everyone to be able to feel how I felt that morning. I didn't feel alone. I felt like part of something bigger, and enough. I felt peace for the first time in three months.

Another way to dabble in some of this is to join in on our monthly Women's Circle. This will be a great safe place for women to come and just listen to each other and feel supported by each other. We will trust each other with confidentiality and create a bond. You'll see how easy it is to open up surrounded by the female energy.

Thank YOU for reminding me. Please join me in building a community of love to support each other!

4 Ways To Calm Anxiety

I've dealt with my fair share of anxiety attacks over the years. It's worse depending on what I'm dealing with in my life and if I'm allowing myself to FEEL, or if I'm suppressing things. Having anxiety attacks isn't a bad thing either. It's nothing to be ashamed of, which is something I've been working on accepting, myself. Anxiety attacks will happen to most of us during certain situations, but learning to take a step back, remember where you are at this exact moment, and checking in with WHY you feel this way is what will help to stop the anxiety attacks. 

Thoughts spiral out of control and one simple and small thing turns into a huge scenario and changes the way you think about yourself and your life in a matter of minutes. It takes practice to learn about YOU and get to know yourself to learn that these thoughts aren't usually true and that you are alright. You are alive. Live.

So I wanted to share some things I've been doing everyday or a few times a week when possible to get to know myself again at this moment in my life. 

  • Wake Up An Hour Early And Meditate Daily.
    • This may not come as a surprise here in helping to manage anxiety. I've gone through phases in life where I meditated and journaled every single day and noticed the difference it had on my life, but I always lost this practice somewhere along the way. I also lost most of my self-care routine in the last year and a half dealing with a death in the family, grief, personal guilt, career changes, and more. Feeling guilty for allowing myself to get so far from my own self-love only makes the struggle to recover more difficult. This is something I realized meditating everyday. It gets harder before it gets better. I cried every single day for two weeks while meditating daily. I continued because I knew this is part of the process - breakdown to break-through. Then, one day I felt good again. And a week went by without sadness. But it happened again. And when it happens, I now allow it. In yoga, we aren't stopping feelings. We are allowing the feelings to come and pass so we can be present again. 
    • Something that's helped me to commit to this routine every single day is using the Insight              app on my phone. This is free and it gives you a ton of options for guided meditations,                    sound healing and more.
  • Journal Daily.
    • This is a practice I'm always grateful for. It's something that I've done through many of the transitioning periods I've had over the last few years and it has helped me to realize re-occurring themes and where I need the most work. It allows me to realize which chakras I need to work on and what the root of my problems are - that the thoughts aren't really true. It keeps me present. 
    • I make sure to continuously acknowledge what I am grateful for every day. Some things that help me stay present all day is journaling about the people I love and writing down all of my favorite things about them and what I wish to remember about them, always. Their laughs, the sound of their voices, funny quirks that they hold, etc. When I go back to read these, they help me remember why I am in love with all of these people, because it's easy to forget sometimes.
  • Take A Bath.
    • This is something I've been doing minimum once weekly. Not only is this a nice thing to do for your body, but it helps your mind decompress. I draw a warm bath with epsom salt and sometimes herbs or the Mr. Teal's lavender epsom salt if I'm taking one before bed. I've always been a person that felt the most free in water. I was a kid and you couldn't get me out of the ocean or pool. I itched to be in the water. I'm still this way. It rarely scares me.I can be out there surrounded by this beautiful water that the earth supplies us, knowing there is another country super far away from me and someone else swimming in the same water across the world. It makes me feel free and connected to everyone at the same time. A bath is the closest I can get to this feeling at home. I can let go. The water will support me and I will be okay here. I will also burn a candle to help me feel cozy and relaxed. Sometimes I'll meditate here, read a magazine or a good book, or do a face mask. Sometimes I'll simply allow myself to be. I'll watch the flicker of the flame for 25 minutes and not think of anything else besides that I am okay and my life is good.
  • Don't Look At The Phone.
    • This one took me forgetting my phone at home one day when I went to work. I almost turned around to get it and thought to myself that this was ridiculous. What did people used to do? The phone I have known is a source for my anxiety. I am always reachable and anyone could demand my time whether I am hanging out with family or my boyfriend - answering a phone call from a stranger was more important. This is what we are trained to expect by having cell phones. We are trained to believe that we don't claim our own time. We always have to be "on". This is not healthy. I don't care what anyone tells you - this is NOT being present. I do have a business, and that day I forgot my phone, I thought it was going to go up in flames while I was working, and then I remembered, I'm at work - what can I do about the studio while I'm there? If something happens, I'll find out later. Either way it was out of my control and wasn't something I needed to worry about. Worrying does nothing. So I was 100 times more present that day. I left work and had a peaceful drive home. I got my hair done and had genuine conversations without the worry of "what am I missing". Not only this, but I didn't look at social media all day, so this is something I am making more of a goal for myself. I will look at people I know and post some things, but I won't scroll through Facebook or Instagram anymore. I feel like I have 15 more hours everyday, I'm sleeping better, and I'm more present in my relationships and following my heart. 

These may not be incredibly surprising things, but they are working for me. I hope they work for you, and if you try them, give them time. Give yourself time to have a break-through. You're alright and you are loved.