Meet our experienced and enthusiastic instructors:
Alyssa is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and a Dance2Fit instructor from Indiana, Pennsylvania. She graduated from IUP in 2016 with a degree in Exercise Science (minor in Nutrition). She is currently a fulltime employee at ALDI and is also an On Call Exercise Specialist at Plus One Health Management. She has been following Jessica Bass, the creator of Dance2Fit, for almost 3 years. She got to take one of Jessica’s classes in Pittsburgh, PA (Jessica is from TN) and got to meet her and hear her story. Alyssa has been passionate about dance ever since she was a cheerleader in high school.
Jan practices Iyengar-style Yoga combining lifestyle practices, physical poses, breath control, and meditation. She started practicing Yoga more than 25 years ago with the Himalayan Institute in Pittsburgh. Jan was trained as a Yoga teacher through the Southern Institute of Yoga Instruction teacher-training program in Nashville in 2001, qualifying her as a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has taught yoga in the Indiana area for 10 years, sharing practices that help students to be healthy and happy. She has participated in workshops with a variety of yoga and meditation teachers and in 2009 qualified as a Relax and Renew Trainer with Judith Lasater. In 2010 she completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program with Jon Kabat-Zinn. Jan is also interested in Mindfulness in Education and integrates mindfulness practices (gentle stretches and breathing practices) in her IUP classes in the Special Education and Clinical Services Department.
Originally from Galveston, TX, Caleb earned his BA (Spanish) and MA (Latin American Studies) at Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. in History (specializing in Colonial Latin America) from the University of Florida. After living in the US, Spain and Bolivia for extended periods of time, he came to IUP in the fall of 2000. He is currently Director of IUP’s Cook Honor College, Associate Professor of History, and Founding Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Student Leadership. Caleb has been meditating formally for nearly 10 years as a practitioner in the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Having completed more than a dozen meditation instruction programs, he has become certified as a Shambhala Meditation Guide and Instructor. He is happy to share his experience at Sunflower Yoga Studio.
Lauryn is a personal trainer and yoga instructor from Indiana, Pennsylvania. She graduated from IUP in 2013 with a degree in Exercise Science and completed a yoga teacher training program in 2016 at Schoolhouse Yoga in Pittsburgh. Coming from a strength training and conditioning background, she has extensive knowledge of how the human body responds to exercise and movement. This background helps her develop yoga classes and routines that target every part of the body. Her expertise includes strengthening the muscles, increasing flexibility, weight loss/weight management, injury rehabilitation, stress relief, and helping students achieve overall health and wellness. Helping others achieve their fitness goals and live healthier lives is Lauryn’s passion. She loves to share her knowledge of yoga and exercise.
Kristen is a fourth year doctoral student at IUP studying Clinical Psychology and through this has developed an appreciation for the relationship between physical and mental health. A Zumba instructor for six years at Sunflower, she wanted to develop a slightly different cardio dance class that integrated these two. Her class, “Shake It Off!” gets people dancing, sweating, and laughing in an empowering and supportive environment. She looks forward to shaking it with you in her high-energy class!
Jill first discovered Yoga thirty five years ago but only began to deepen her practice after moving to Indiana from Pittsburgh in 1996. After finishing a Ph.D. program in Literature and Criticism at IUP in 2003, she enrolled in a yoga teacher training program with Kathy Elder at Kalani on the Big Island of Hawaii and the following year continued her studies at the Living Yoga Program in Austin, TX. Jill began teaching Yoga in 2005 and has since worked with teachers from a variety of Yoga traditions and styles. She has most recently worked with Sadie Nardini and earned certificates specializing in Ashtanga Yoga, the primary series (with David Swenson), Kundalini Yoga (with both Gurmukh and Shakta Kaur Khalsa), Pre-Natal Yoga (Yoga Matrika, Pittsburgh) and Children’s Yoga (YogaKids® International). With the vision of bringing teachers and students of Yoga together to create a Yoga community in Indiana, Jill opened Sunflower Yoga Studio in February of 2008. It is her intention to continue sharing the life-transforming benefits of Yoga and inspiring new and experienced students alike.
After teaching locally for 35 years, Deborah retired and has become a student of yoga. She always had a keen interest in physical fitness, even winning a bench press contest at the age of 25! Now, however, she finds greater satisfaction in her yoga practice. For her, yoga offers the best combination of spiritual and physical practice, along with proving to be of maximum benefit in serving and aiding the body through life’s journey. There is a soothing sense of peacefulness and harmony that mixes well with the awareness of the body’s posture, movement, and alignment. Presently, Deborah completed her Yoga Fit teacher certification in December, 2012. She hopes to bring to “boomers,” like herself, that same sense of peacefulness, harmony and energy while developing a more flexible and fluid body.
Season completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Moonglow Yoga in Greensburg, PA in 2015 and is the owner of Homestead Yoga Studio and School of Sustainable Living, LLC in Smicksburg. Her training focused on all aspects of yoga and various styles, but her favorite is the gentle yet intense yin yoga. She is also a graduate of the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts as well as main campus with a BS in Food and Nutrition and recently received her Permaculture Design Certification at Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC. She works in Indiana and is thrilled to be teaching at Sunflower yoga and offering her Power/Yin yoga class here.