"Effective teaching may be the hardest job there is." --William Glassner
At The Shala of Pittsburgh Ashtanga Yoga, we take the job of teaching yoga seriously, but we have fun doing it! All of our teachers are fully proficient in and have a deep understanding of The Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga and are currently studying the Intermediate Series. Additionally, all of The Shala's teachers have competed a 9 month apprenticeship with their local teacher Laura Gorham-Huon (principal teacher at The Shala) as well as Primary Series teacher trainings with master teachers Tim Miller and/or David Swenson. Read below to see what our amazing teachers have to offer to you the student!
Susan has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 2001 and plans to continue this practice for many years to come. She has studied with Tim Miller, Kino MacGregor, David Swenson, and many other Ashtangis locally and around the country. She has a sound knowledge of the Primary Series which she has been teaching to students in the Pittsburgh area for several years, and she is now currently studying the Intermediate Series. Susan is thrilled to study Ashtanga Yoga with Laura and have an Ashtanga Shala in Pittsburgh. Susan is a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse and has been a yoga and group exercise instructor for many years.
Laura Gorham, MD, E-RYT 200, YACEP
Laura is the owner and founder of The Shala of Pittsburgh Ashtanga Yoga and has been practicing yoga for over 12 years. She was introduced to yoga through the Ashtanga method, but when she moved to Pittsburgh 10 years ago she couldn't find an Ashtanga studio in the area. She began to practice Baptiste Yoga, and eventually completed 200 hours of teacher training in this method and taught for a few years afterward. However, Laura began to crave the Ashtanga Yoga method she was first introduced to years prior, so she decided to stop teaching and focus on a dedicated Ashtanga Yoga practice. She has taken multiple workshops and intensives with Kino MacGreogor, David Swenson, David Garrigues, Taylor Hunt, Tim Feldman, Sharath Jois, and Tim Miller. Finding a deep resonation with Tim Miller, she chose him as one of her primary teachers. She has also completed a year long mentorship with Taylor Hunt and looks to him as her other primary teacher. Laura travels at least once or twice yearly to study with Tim, travels regularly to Columbus to study with Taylor, and she has completed over 300 hours of teacher training training in both the Primary Series and Intermediate Series. Laura is now 7 years into her Ashtanga training, had a baby during that timeframe, and is currently studying the 3rd Series (Advanced A) under Tim Miller and Taylor Hunt's tutelage. Laura has an infinite love and passion for this method of yoga. She has seen and felt her body, spirit, and mind transform while practicing regularly and working steadily through the Primary and Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Yoga. She is thrilled to share this method of yoga with you!
Lori Brandt, DPT, E-RYT 200, YACEP
Lori Brandt has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. Her devotion for yoga inspired her to go to India where she completely her 200 hour teacher training at Sampoorna Yoga in Goa. India is where she discovered her love for Ashtanga Primary. Prior to India, Lori was a dedicated student of Power Yoga and Vinyasa flow. Lori is very excited to be a student under Laura Gorham-Huon and new teacher at the Shala. Lori's passion is yoga, but her profession has been in health care the last 15 years. She is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist and Orthopedic Manual Therapist in Physical Therapy as well as a Certified Athletic Trainer.
Laurie Held Ireland
Laurie wanted an alternative workout rather than running and weight training after the age of 40. One day she walked in to an Ashtanga Yoga class and never turned back! In the early 2000's, seeing the need for more Ashtanga teachers in the Pittsburgh area, Laurie had to travel to teacher training workshops to deepen her knowledge of and experience in this method. Laurie was honored to practice with Pattabhi Jois, his grandson Sharath and daughter Saraswathi in 2005 in NYC. Not only has she travelled every year to study Ashtanga Yoga with multiple master teachers, but she has also completed two Primary Series teacher trainings with master teachers Tim Miller and David Swenson. She is an enthusiastic, dedicated student and teacher of the Ashtanga Yoga method. She is currently studying Intermediate Series in the Mysore classroom with Laura’s teaching and guidance at The Shala. Laurie is thrilled to be a part of The Shala’s teaching team!
Ryan had a very active childhood. He played sports but and sustained multiple injuries over many years. At age 18, he joined the military and continued the trend. Years later, those old injuries began to catch up with him. He needed to find a way to reverse the damage that had been done to his body over the course of his lifetime. Ryan discovered yoga in Pittsburgh 11 years ago and explored many styles – anything he could find. He was first introduced to the Ashtanga practice 9 years ago. He was drawn to the “foundational approach" of this method. He had been looking for a “maintenance plan,” and this seemed to be it. Ryan feels The Shala has the potential to exceed his expectations and he feels grateful to be a part of its story here in Pittsburgh. As he continues to explore the practice, his appreciation for it deepens. It not only benefits him physically, mentally, and emotionally, but also informs his philosophy. In a world where we manifest our direction, the only constant is change. Ashtanga Yoga helps Ryan manage his responses to the ever changing world. He is happy to share this practice with others, looking to add the same value to their lives. Ryan is currently a student of the Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Yoga in the Mysore classroom at The Shala.
Becky Mingo, E-RYT 200
Becky Mingo’s love of yoga grew out of her early dance training. She has been studying Ashtanga since 1994 and teaching primarily Ashtanga since 2001. Her training started with Lori Brungard, now a KPJAYI Authorized Level 2 teacher, and continued with Angelique Sneeden. She studied with Chuck Miller at Yoga Works and completed several week-long teacher-oriented trainings with Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty. In 1999, she travelled to India to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson R. Sharath Jois. She has studied with David Swenson, Shannon Life, David Life, Manju Jois, Eddie Modestini, Tim Miller, Nancy Gilgoff, Kino MacGregor and others. Becky has a completed her 200-hour teacher training program with 3rd street yoga in 2012. She completed her Relax & Renew Teacher Training with Judith Lasater in 2009. Becky is also a student of Iyengar Yoga and studies with Manouso Manos and Jennifer Butera.
Becky has a regular Ashtanga practice. Her personal practice is mostly about breathing and about asking the body to be steady, have ease and be still. Through the birth of three children, the diagnosis of two of the children with a deteriorating medical condition, the loss of one child and through various injuries, the Ashtanga practice has provided a place of stability and balance. Having “recreated” the Intermediate Series practice four times before, Becky is moving toward the series once again.