Hey hey yoga lovers! I recently spent a few days in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, cris-crossing that awesome city visiting any yoga studio that would have me. I met so many awesome yogis, studio owners, and yoga teachers and very excited to share a little bit about the Burgh yoga culture and cool things happening in that community. So if you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh for personal or business travel...here's the yoga scoop!
Yoga Flow - Shadyside
First up is the lovely Yoga Flow studio in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh. This hot yoga studio offers early morning classes (my favorite!) and gives you a great vinyasa flow experience, among other styles including yin classes. I was lucky enough to get to take a class with Hayley, a well rounded yogi who is extremely wise for her young age. I wish I had discovered yoga at 16! Thanks Suzanne and Dominique for letting me crash!
After a great class at Yoga Flow, I headed to Schoolhouse Yoga in the Strip district to meet up with one of their star teachers, Richard Gartner. He's crazy smart and know more sanskrit than anyone I've ever met! He specializes in restorative/yin yoga at the studio but has a full schedule of private clients as well. He's got some incredible ideas and is about the inject a little of his own brand of awesome into the broader yoga community. How's that for a little teaser? Stay tuned.
As for the studio space, it's a lovely room with bright, large windows with pretty epic views of the Pittsburgh skyline. And it's just blocks from amazing local shops, markets, and cafes. Definitely check them out if you find yourself in the Burgh! Thanks so much for welcoming this studio crasher, Leta!
Yoga on the Square
In the afternoon, I venture to Regents Square to visit the fine folks at Yoga on the Square. As luck with have it, YOTS had just been purchased (as in only weeks ago!) by some dedicated local students and they are now in the process of expanding the studio and making it their own.
I fell in love with these people and this space immediately - they all had such a warm, giving energy and the space was no different. It's one level up from the bustling Regents Square below which makes it a little sanctuary in the sky. (I should mention that Yoga Flow and Schoolhouse yoga were also a floor or two above the street which gave them all a tranquil feeling.)
One of the new owners is Lisa Clark, a seasoned and respected yoga teacher known for her Embodi Yoga system/method. The entire team - Lisa, Michelle, and Kai - were such a fun group to meet and share a little bit about our unique yoga paths. Can't wait to get back there and take a class with Lisa! Thanks so much for letting me crash!
BYS Yoga Studio
I was feeling pretty great after visiting all the studios above, but I was blown away yet again by the Pittsburgh yoga scene when I headed over to BYS Yoga on the south side of Pittsburgh. Very cool neighborhood with a great urban energy. I ventured up a long staircase right off the street - I felt like I was in a historic building with its ornate details and old world charm.
The owner/director of the studio, Kristi Rogers, was incredibly welcoming and was a great person to chat with about the state of the yoga industry both locally and nationally. She's definitely someone who has a lot of experience (she's run BYS Yoga for more than 10 years) and practiced even longer. All I know is that next time I'm in time...we'll be grabbing a beer and talking serious shop. ;)
As for the actual studio - ummmmm - this was a truly beautiful space. The huge and grand windows streamed in beautiful natural light onto the hardwood floors. It's hard to explain - just trust me and check it out.
Kristi was kind enough to ask some of her teachers to come in to meet me and the diversity of the teachers was really impressive (from what they teach, to age, to gender, to "real life jobs", to experience...good stuff). And I love hearing Kristi's story about when a certain super famous writer/actor/director came in for a class...and she made him sign a waiver! Awesome! Thanks so much for having me and letting me crash during happy hour on a Friday!
I was able to visit Sterling Yoga, a bigger-than-it-looks yoga, massage therapy, reiki, and belly dancing studio in the south hills of Pittsburgh. Sterling Painton, the studio director, was incredibly welcoming and shared so much of what her studio and teacher have to offer the community. Sterling's story was particularly inspirational for me as she uses her advanced yoga training to work with older adults and people with Parkinsons.
From the street, Sterling Yoga looks like lovely yoga studio with hardwood floors and historic details. But as you continue to the back, it just keeps going! And there you'll find more studio space and several private rooms for massage, reiki, and even private pilates sessions.
They also had an adorable fall garden in the back that definitely helped cheer things up on that wet, dreary day in the Burgh. Thanks so much for having me Sterling and team! Can't wait to crash again in the future!
Copper Kettle Brewery Yoga & Sight Seeing in the Burgh
And of course, I wouldn't be a decent Colorado girl if I didn't check out the local craft brewery + yoga class event at Copper Kettle Brewery. It was a great vinyasa flow class brought to us by Stray Dog Yoga and we were all surprised to participate in an unintentional "hot yoga" class. Gotta love those big kettles of hops and barley warming things up!
And I was super excited to meet up with a Yoga Travel Tree ambassador and generally awesome community member - Alyssa (also known as @sunflowergirlie). We did yoga, we drank beer, we talked all things soulful career! Such a lovely evening.
My final day in Pittsburgh was spent with my best friend from grad school (she's a true blue yinzer, born and raised in the south hills). She showed me the sights, took me for a traditional Primanti Brothers sandwich, we rode up the incline, and even found some Iron City souvenirs (much harder than it should be!). And, because I love you, I'm including a little bonus picture from the wedding I was in town to attend. :)
Thank you Pittsburgh!
You are one hell of a yoga city...and, frankly, just one hell of a city.
[quote align='right']The Pittsburgh greater area has more yoga studios per capita than California.[/quote][quote align='right'][/quote]I'll leave you with this little fun fact to hopefully inspire you to get to the Burgh to experience it for yourself: The Pittsburgh greater area has more yoga studios per capita than California. Chew on that nugget!
Until next time...keep on being amazing wonderful and authentically, unapologetically YOU!