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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

Meet Brittany!

You may have taken several of her classes at Home Yoga & Barre - let's face it, you probably have. Brittany is a great team player and fills in for us ALOT! We love her and so do many of you, but how much do you know about her? That's why we started this series, introducing Brittany to YOU!

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1. How long have you been a yoga teacher?

I have only been teaching yoga for 6 months. Though I am new to teaching I feel I'm exactly where I should be. 

2. What brought you to yoga?

I was introduced to yoga by a relative who also teaches at Home Yoga & Barre , Tom. It was love at first down dog. Shortly after I found my passion for yoga, my sisters health, which was already a struggle, drastically took a turn for the worse. We lost her. I then dedicated my practice to her and promised myself to help others the way I wish I could have helped her. This mission led me to become certified to teach yoga and share my findings with those who share my passion. 

3. How has yoga changed you? Physically and/or mentally.

Yoga has changed my life physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yes, I'm healthier physically but mentally, I am also grounded. I feel like I can "hold it together ", live with less anxiety, and just breathe.  

4. What intrigued you about teaching at Home Yoga & Barre?

The environment of Home Yoga & Barre is truly like no other. I walk into this studio and relief overcomes me. Alyssa and Jonelle have created such a place that's not just another studio or a class at a gym. The other instructors are also a huge contribution to its "home like" comfort. 

5. What's your favorite post class meal or snack?! 

I can eat the bark off a tree after a good yoga practice (so I'll eat anything in my path!) 

6. Complete this phrase..."On a typical Saturday you can find me..."

On a typical Saturday you can find me anywhere my loved ones are ♡. 

Join Brittany on Thursdays at 5:30PM for Intermediate Yoga, Sundays at 7PM for Yin/Yang, and Mondays at 5:30PM for Intermediate Yoga!

Meet Joy!


You've seen her name on the schedule the last two months. You've thought about possibly coming to Pilates & Barre on a Thursday night, but something else came up. Maybe you've come to Joy's classes before, and you've loved them - but you don't know much about her. 

We are bringing Joy to YOU! Learn a little more about our instructors on our blog every so often as we interview and introduce them to you in a different way! You may learn something about them you wouldn't have expected! :)


1. How long have you been a Pilates and barre instructor?

I've been teaching Pilates for almost 5 years.  I always used many Barre moves in my Pilates classes, but just recently began teaching Barre.

 

2. What brought you to teaching Pilates?

I fell in love with Pilates over 10 years ago.  Fitness was just becoming part of my life and I broke my foot.  As I was healing I began doing different Pilates videos at home to just get moving and somewhat active again.  I couldn't believe how long and lean it made me feel.  Over the course of a few months I noticed the strength in my core and everywhere else and my flexibility was remarkably improved.  I also loved the feeling of finally mastering a move I never thought I could and that I always had to modify.  I always explain to my students how important the modifications are...they truly make you stronger.  I simply had to share my love of this practice with others and that's why I decided to get certified.  

 
3. How has Pilates and barre changed you? Physically and/or mentally. 


Pilates has certainly changed me both physically and mentally.  Physically I am so much stronger than I was before I starting practicing.  The strength I built in my core as a result of Pilates, made so many other types of fitness doable for me.  I am also much more confident and I am very happy and proud of my body.  Before I discovered my love for Pilates, my weight was a constant struggle.  Pilates changed that.  In addition to the physical benefits I reaped many mental ones.  I learned the importance of patience. 

Next, I learned the importance of consistency  and perseverance.  I needed all those things to practice Pilates at the level I do today and that carries over to daily life.      


4. What intrigued you about teaching at Home Yoga & Barre?

After taking a few months off from instructing I was so excited to join the team at Home Yoga & Barre.  I couldn't wait to get back and share my love of of yoga, barre and Pilates with others.  I absolutely love the way the studio is so involved in the community that it is located in.  I think that's so important.  Of course, I also looked forward to working with Jonelle and Alyssa and meeting new friends in fitness.    


5. What's your favorite post class meal or snack?! 

This is a tough one!  I usually make protein shake that combines protein powder with frozen berries, spinach, almond milk and flax-seed.  Currently I am also obsessed with Quest protein bars, the chocolate peanut butter is my favorite!    


6. Complete this phrase..."On a typical Saturday you can find me..."

On a typical Saturday you could find me spending time with my husband, our families, or our friends.  I normally get up and get my workout done in the morning so I have the rest of the day to do what I need to.  My husband and I are big football fans, so during football season you could find us watching Penn State!  


Join Joy this Thursday evening at 7pm for Pilates & Barre! Why not try something new and get ready for the weekend?!