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.

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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! 

Featured Student: Jean Ann Sperrazza

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

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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!

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!

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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.

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!