Laura Aiken, instructor, RYT 200, Reiki I
I've practiced yoga since I was a teenager, but really fell in love when I moved to Houston from London in 2014. My teaching journey began while working on a construction site in remote Australia where I led a weekly practice of co-workers. As soon as I got back to Houston in 2016, I signed up for YogaOne (now Yogaworks) teacher training and became a registered yoga teacher within the year.
I love to teach two styles - restorative yoga; a slow and deeply healing practice for body and soul; and a Forrest-inspired vinyasa flow that invites students to find their edge, fueled by breath, self-inquiry, and compassion.
My goal is to deliver a nurturing and breath-filled practice that guides my students to the next level of their yoga (whether that’s a new arm balance or finding peace in stillness), to connect yoga philosophies to practical intentions my students can take into their everyday life, and for people to walk out of my class feeling empowered.
When I moved to Pittsburgh in 2018, practicing yoga was a huge help for me in adjusting to the new environment, and I'm so happy to be get the opportunity to share my practice with the moon community at SoulShine Yoga.
Cheryl Palmer, instructor, RYT 200
I discovered yoga via a dusty book I bought at a yard sale when I was 14. I never heard of yoga or saw it before but spent my freshman year of high school teaching myself poses and doing my version of meditating. I became more interested in teaching spinning, distance running, lifting weights and playing roller derby and I didn't find yoga again until a sports injury forced me to take better care of my body. At first, I found myself too distracted to appreciate it fully and felt my mind being pulled in one hundred directions every time I got near my mat. I figured yoga just wasn't for me until I stumbled into a Power Yoga class in Charleston, SC a few years ago. Hanging out at a yoga studio seemed much more appealing than the horrible rush hour traffic that I was sitting in daily.
The physical challenge of yoga was what initially attracted me. It has given me so much more. It's become a space I didn't know I needed where I could quiet my ever busy mind and connect to my inner thought and ease the stress I used to carry around with me. It's made me more aware and appreciative of the current moment and my mat has become somewhere I can go when I need a heart-lift.
Wanting to use yoga with my elementary class, I took a children's yoga training through Childlight and Kidding Around Yoga. I had so much fun teaching after-school yoga and I was craving more. I also wanted to refine and develop my own practice and was certified through South Hills Power Yoga in July 2017. When I went to a pop-up Buti Yoga class last summer it was unlike anything I tried. I knew right away I had to bring this practice to more women and was certified in Buti in August 2017. I love music and trying new poses (and laughing when they don't go well!) and I feel that yoga should be something that makes you smile.
Welcoming Yoga Studio in Moon Township
Meeraj Moosa, instructor, RYT 200, Certified Reiki II practitioner
Meeraj started taking yoga for a physical practice during her junior year of high school. She likes to say yoga found her for the much-needed mental practice during her first year of college. After seeing an improvement in her overall health she knew she wanted to pass this beautiful gift on to others. After graduating college Meeraj began the journey to getting her 200-hour YTT certification, which she received in March of 2016. At the time she was a nanny and started practicing with the kids she watched over. It was then that she realized kids needed yoga just as much as adults, and she decided to focus part of her training on children’s yoga. Having a knack for working with children has opened Meeraj up to a whole new world of possibilities in the yoga community. She holds a Childlight Yoga Teacher certification as of June 2016.
When Meeraj isn’t practicing yoga you can find her cuddled with her cat, offering Reiki, or enjoying the company of her friends & family!
Kate Ruemler, owner & instructor, E-RYT 500 & YACEP
I first found yoga as a supplement to dance classes during my high school years. It was a required course during the summer intensive program at Point Park University. I actually fell asleep during my very first class, due to a full dance schedule.
As time went on, I danced less and still made time to return to my mat. Yoga has always been a steady constant in my life, whether it was a physical outlet or an emotional/mental one.
I’ve continued to remain dedicated to my yoga practice where the wind has taken me. I lived in Japan for two years and continued to study and even had my first teaching opportunity at Monkey Pod Yoga in Kuki, Saitama. I’ve also made it a habit of studying wherever I end up traveling to including Bali & Lombok, Indonesia, Taiwan, Portugal & throughout the states.
I completed my 200hr teacher training in 2014 with South Hills Power Yoga and have been teaching non-stop ever since. And even more recently, I completed my 300hr advanced teacher training program at Sangha Center for Yoga & Wellness in the summer of 2017. I truly love teaching yoga and will continue to keep learning as a student myself.
I’m so excited to help spread the yoga love within the Moon Township community!
Erin Burdine, instructor, RYT 200
Erin was born in San Diego California. At age five she begged her mom for ballet shoes, and at age six she finally gave in and Erin fell in love with the world of dance. She was enrolled at New West Ballet Company who worked closely with the California Ballet Company. She danced pre professionally throughout high school and relocated to Weirton, West Virginia at age 18 where she continued to dance with Point Park University and pursued teaching dance throughout the Ohio Valley. She started taking yoga classes to enhance her strength, balance, and flexibility. She ended up finding an even deeper connection to the practice of yoga than she had in dance. In April of 2015 she was in a car accident which injured her back and neck and put her in a neck brace for some time. She had to take a step back from dance but with the help of physical therapy and yoga she was able to regain her strength and flexibility. She learned more about her body through the injury and her connection with yoga assisted her not only physically but mentally as she went through her healing process. Erin decided to pursue yoga teacher training at Yoga H’om where she received her 200-hour teaching certificate. With the 12 years of teaching experience behind her she was able to smoothly transition from teaching dance to teaching yoga. She looks forward to further her training this fall with Kino Mcgregor and Jason Crandall! Erin finds so much joy in sharing her knowledge and energy with her students! When she is not in the yoga studio Erin enjoys hiking, painting and spending time with her family!
Cara Spear, instructor
Everyone is different, anyone who allows yoga into their lives will have different experiences, yet all are a story of inner growth.
For me, yoga started as a way to exercise, quickly I noticed how good I felt after doing an asana practice. As time flowed along, my amount of practiced flowed in and out with it, but ultimately expanding through each year, eventually into a daily dedicated pracitce. Kriya Yoga, a powerful pranayama mediation has also become a daily ritual for me. (Interested in Kriya? Start by reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda!)
After two years, I had made a correlation that the more I practiced yoga, the better I felt! My relationship to anxiety changed, as to the experience with the 'ups and downs' of life. I am able to observe my thoughts and find clarity and peace more often. I have always been curious about my thoughts and why people think. Where do thoughts come from? Who is thinking? The big "Who Am I?"
Yoga, has helped me find a sort of peace and understanding to these big questions. The more I studied yoga, the more these questions were addressed, and the answer was always to look from within.
It took a few years of studying asana mostly through youtube videos (one of the most affordable ways to learn! ALSO I HAVE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL, WORK IN PROGRESS BUT PLEASE CHECK IT OUT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbpNqvX14fEq0xMR0uEnNAA/featured .) for me to have a realization that, "I want to teach yoga!" My career focus had always been, "I want to help people." That was my only direction. After graduating I went to CCAC to continue studying, taking art, philosopy, writing, guitar, and American Sign Language until yoga became my major focus. A yogic saying is that everyone is your teacher, you teach me and I teach you. That is why I love to teach yoga.It has helped me so, so much. Now, through it, I can help you!
Casey Reinig, instructor, E-RYT 200 and YACEP
Casey’s yoga journey began in college when she took an elective class while working towards an Exercise Science degree at Slippery Rock University. She was a college cross country and track runner and had chronic lower back pain due to the wear and tear of running. She found that a daily yoga practice took away her back pain and taught her how to really breathe for the first time. Upon graduating in 2001, she moved to Jacksonville, Florida where she worked in Corporate Wellness and earned her 200-hour teaching certification. She has taught in a wide variety of settings since then. One of her most memorable classes was when she was 6 months pregnant and taught an impromptu class on the beach in Punta Cana when the resorts instructor canceled. Casey has studied with many international teachers and always consider herself a student as well as a teacher of yoga. She loves to find yoga classes and adventures wherever she goes. She lives in Moon Township with her husband and three young children and enjoys traveling, hiking, camping and being outdoors with her family. She thinks of yoga as a gift that can be shared with absolutely anyone and is grateful to be able to share it with you!
Liz Newberry, instructor, RYT 200
I have had the pleasure of teaching yoga in the greater Pittsburgh area since 2009. I first studied yoga as a modern dance minor at Allegheny College, where I focused on dance and movement in the context of cultural significance. As a graduate student at Duquesne Law School, I found myself being called to practice yoga as a method of staying grounded and connected to myself. As I continued to practice, I felt called to become a teacher and share my love of yoga with others, and to help others in accessing the tools of breath and movement. I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training with Joanne Vandenhengel of Third Street Yoga, and I am currently continuing my yoga teacher education with the 300 hour program at Sangha Center for Yoga and Wellness, with an anticipated graduation date of June, 2017. I am a mother of 2 children, and I have a special interest in prenatal yoga. I obtained my prenatal yoga teacher certification through Janice Clarfield and Urban Yoga in Washington D.C. in 2012. Additional continuing education experiences I’ve had over the years include gentle yoga teacher training, guided meditation, hands-on adjustments, and trauma-informed yoga. I plan to continue the cycle of learning, teaching, and practicing forever, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to do so at Soulshine Yoga!
Lauren Cerqua, instructor, MPT, RYT 200
Around 2 years ago during a very stressful time, meditation and yoga changed my life! I knew I had to share this practice with as many people as possible. I completed my 200hr training in Costa Rica with YogiCop and Urban Elements in 2015, followed by Relax and Renew Level 1 Restorative Yoga Training with Judith Hanson Lasater, PT, PhD. in Rochester, NY September 2015 (Certified).
I have found restorative yoga can be a wonderful place to promote healing, stress reduction, and rest for the body. In my quest for more knowledge, I had the opportunity to learn Love Your Brain Yoga, became an assistant for Judith in her Level 1 training in Chicago June 2016, and completed Judith's Advanced Relax and Renew Level 2 Restorative Yoga training in San Francisco August 2016. Restorative yoga has a special place in my heart, and I am so grateful to share the healing aspect of this practice. In my daily work as a physical therapist, I have found it can be so healing and helpful.
Also, as a recent Rainbow Kids Yoga graduate in October 2016, I can't wait to take that knowledge and fun times and share them with kids and families in the community!