Instructors

Jill Sansom

RYT 200, Co-owner

Jill has worked in the healthcare profession for many years, starting with direct patient care before elevating to management and administration. Her professional journey was supported by a holistic wellness lifestyle, which included aerobic exercise, biking, hiking and various other forms of physical fitness. When she first discovered yoga, the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits were nothing short of miraculous, and she realized she wanted to teach yoga and share this amazing practice with others.

Indigo Yoga Loft is the result of Jill and her life and business partner Matt Baker’s years of personal discovery and hard work. Health and mindfulness are Jill’s passions, and she is dedicated to helping you realize your own personal wellness goals.

Before opening Indigo Yoga Loft, Jill worked for various yoga studios, wellness and fitness clubs throughout the Pittsburgh area. She has an Associate of Science (AS), Radiologic Technology/Science – Radiographer, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She is a  registered yoga teacher with her 200 hour training completed at Stray Dog Yoga in Wexford PA and completed her certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in May of 2017.

Jill’s passion is to inspire others to be their radiant selves, by trusting their intuition, being authentic and incorporating healthy foods and choices into their lives.  She believes that everyone has a unique path towards wellness and appreciates individuality and choice!

Britney Kwiatek

RYT 200

Britney Kwiatek is an RYT specializing in beginners, vigorous flow and restorative practices. Her training comes from a 200 hour YOGAworks certification, 2013. Her study was done under the mentorship of Anna Gilbert Zupon at Breath Yoga Studio. It is Britney’s mission in conjunction with the mission of Yogaworks to teach a signature style balancing precise instruction, alignment with breath, fluid movement andthoughtful sequencing. Britney’s educational background is a BA in English literature from Dickinson College, Carlise, Pa. Work history involves sales management positions in major medical device companies. When She is not practicing yoga or spending time with her family, as a busy mom of 2 boys, Jude and Julian, Britney loves running, Cross training, Mud Runs and 5K’s. Rooted in Pittsburgh, Britney looks to share her passion of Yoga to the community.

Nichelle Moran

RYT 200

Yoga feeds my center! It creates awareness with its stillness, and defines my presence through it’s movement.  I stumbled upon exactly what I needed after years of beating myself up physically and mentally. I became a certified RYT-200 in 2013 after many years of regular time spent on my mat in various studios identifying mentors throughout a brilliant yoga community! Personally my practice has grown, and continues to shift over time.  My goal is to connect a powerful flow to mindful observations with enthusiasm and joy at each breath. I want to share with each student who walks in the door a passion to find their sense of self and just enjoy the moment!

Root to rise…to greatness! Nichelle

Erin Scanlon

Erin believes in embracing life – learning, growing and finding the joy in every opportunity. She first discovered the joy exercise brought her at age 11 as she followed along to her mother’s step aerobics DVDs and 18 years ago she attained her first certification as a spinning instructor. Since then, she has learned and grown her teaching to include boot camp, strength conditioning, personal training and yoga. Erin loves the way yoga brings a balance and connection to the body, mind and spirit that she finds is unlike any other form of fitness. She received her yoga teacher training through American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA). She is always looking for ways to expand personally and in her teaching through workshop trainings, reading and practicing. Her teaching style is to provide the melding of work and fun– taking what serves you and letting go of what doesn’t. Erin strives to bring the lessons and observations she experiences in teaching and on her mat into her daily life. Some days can prove to be easier or harder than others – this is the amazing gift of yoga – being a continual, evolving and living practice to grow in.

Erin enjoys her work as the intranet manager at her company and loves to spend family time with her husband, two boys and dog hiking and playing in the woods of the Laurel Mountains.

Elizabeth Small

RYT 200

Elizabeth is a wellness enthusiast. She earned her Associates degree in Dietetics from the Community College of Allegheny County in 2011 and loves to share her knowledge of healthy living with everyone she meets. Elizabeth grew her fitness knowledge by completing her 200-hour teaching certificate in Baptiste Style Power Yoga in August of 2016. Her love for yoga could not be contained. She feels compelled to share her passion with the local community. For Elizabeth, yoga is more than just a killer exercise, it’s been physically, emotionally and spiritually healing. Yoga is a life changer. When she is not at the studio or teaching at a local library you can find her hanging out with her husband and two cats, reading, drinking tea, hiking, or spending quality time with her friends and family. Elizabeth enjoys creating creative flows to challenge the mind and body while focusing on safe alignment in her classes. She is here to serve her community and looks forward to seeing you on your mat soon!

Gina Ciarrocchi Zech

RYT 200

 

Gina is a storyteller, truth seeker, nourisher, nurturer, lover, and yogi. Her life’s purpose is to continuously awaken herself and others through stories that help us get and stay curious about being open, receptive, and of love in this world. In her classes, expect a balance of creative and familiar movement peppered with stories about life on and off the mat, all to the backbeat of some killer tunes. She completed a 200-hour teacher training at Stray Dog Yoga in Wexford in 2014 and is humbled by all of her life’s teachers for guiding her along this path. Follow along with her writing at ginacz.com.

Jessica Streeter

RYT 200

Jessica has been practicing yoga off and on for many years but became devoted to her practice in a deeper way after the birth of her son in 2014. She realized that yoga is much more than practicing the asanas and that her mental, physical and spiritual health were stronger than ever the more she practiced and studied all aspects of yoga. She completed her 200 hour teacher training through Yoga Flow in Pittsburgh in 2017 and believes that yoga is for absolutely everyone. “Whether a posture is modified, advanced, perfect or imperfect, it’s all yoga, it’s all beautiful and it’s all necessary.”

Gigi Gerben

RYT 200

Gigi has been practicing yoga since her college days. She received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Duquesne University in Psychology and Education/Counseling, along with a graduate degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh, Yoga, on and off the mat has been a grounding place in her life. Gigi trained in classical yoga tradition by completing her yoga teacher training at the Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh, and is an RYT-200 hour teacher with Yoga Alliance. While her personal style is a blend of Hatha yoga and vinyasa flow, she teaches various styles of yoga. Gentle yoga classes are Hatha-based, while more advanced classes are influenced by vinyasa flow.

Gigi also studied with Cyndi Lee and completed her Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Cyndi Lee in 2016. She also is certified in Yoga for All, having completed this certification with Dianne Bondy and Amber Karnes. Every body is truly welcome in her classes. With a background in psychology, the effects of yoga on healing trauma is of particular interest to Gigi. She has done some study in this area and will be pursuing further training in this area with Hala Khouri. Having experienced the healing power of yoga herself, Gigi is inspired to bring yoga to all populations. When she is not teaching or practicing, Gigi can be found researching the migration of the Northern saw-whet owl and hiking, biking, and kayaking with her family.

Jen Stratakis

E-RYT 500

Jen is a classically trained yoga teacher whose personal mission is to bring meaningful yoga to as many people as possible. She recently completed trainings in Transcend Aerial Yoga, Principle-Based Partner Yoga®, Yin Yoga, and LoveYourBrain (yoga for TBI survivors.) Her educational background includes a B.S. from Kent State and a Master’s from CMU.

Jen has studied and practiced yoga for over 15 years. She is grateful to her yogic influences – Sandra Anderson, Dharma Mittra, David Swenson, Seane Corn, Sarah Powers, and Judith Hanson Lasater – for their wisdom and guidance. When she’s not practicing or teaching yoga or other mind/body topics, Jen enjoys distance cycling, hiking, paddleboarding, and supporting local humane causes.

Bethany Traynor

E-RYT 200

Bethany has been guiding Hatha Yoga classes since May 2012, and has transitioned her teaching style to a restoring Hatha/ Vinyasa hybrid after receiving her Vinyasa certification in 2015.  Bethany has a strong self practice which started in 2011 after her first time in a yoga studio, and was a student of dance for eleven years.  She graduate from California University of Pennsylvania with a BA in dance, focusing on modern ballet.  Bethany is in love with all types of movement, and brings that love into her classes.  Some of her biggest inspirations are the teachings of Clara Roberts-Oss, Ana Forrest, and Rodney Yee.  Bethany has been fortunate enough to receive her training under a strong yoga lineage through the Shambava School of Yoga founded by Babaji Sri Shambhavanada, for her 200 hr.  She continued that training under Gayatri Devillier and Stacey Vespaziani and is looking to continue on to receive her 500hr certification.

Bethany’s yoga style is that of slow, thoughtful, and creative movement. Her teaching includes strong alignment cues, blended with heartfelt affirmations and a healthy does of lightheartedness.  She loves using all types of music to inspire and create a fun atmosphere, and believes that all movement should stem from a place of ease.

Shawna Locke

RYT 200

Shawna took her first power yoga class in January 2013 and left the studio feeling as if she was exhausted and bursting with energy at the same time. Over the years, she has used yoga and meditation as a means of healing, working through the stresses and challenges that life brings, and learning to accept herself as she is right at this moment. While she appreciates the physical strength that yoga has given her, it’s the mental strength, focus, and balance that she’s gained that drives her to seek more, do more, learn more.

 

She obtained her 200 hour certification from South Hills Power Yoga in August 2017 and then went on to become certified as a yoga teacher for cancer patients and survivors through Tari Prinster’s y4c teacher training in June 2018. She is currently studying to become a yoga therapist through Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy with Brandt Passalacqua.

After finding (and continuing to find!) that yoga can aid in healing both mentally and physically in her own self, teaching has become the ultimate way for her to share her passion for yoga with others. She truly believes that yoga is for every body and level of ability.

Laurel Chiappetta

RYT 200

 

Laurel is a mom, statistician, teacher, entrepreneur, runner, biker, triathlete, occasional bird-watcher and long-time yogi.  What began in a mid 90’s at a community college yoga class, she can now be found practicing yoga at home, in a heated vinyasa studio, pre-run, and in the great outdoors.  Her path balances her life and training alike.
Laurel enjoys evaluating the demands of different sports and discovering how to pair yoga asana, balance, and meditation to enhance athletic performance.  She loves to challenge herself with her own practice and to share yoga by helping others to discover its many benefits.  In addition to “strengthening” Indigo yogis by adding weights to the practice, Laurel is working on bringing yoga to underserved areas of Pittsburgh.