Rachael began practicing yoga in 2006 for the physical and mental benefits.
Rachael loves the physical challenge of yoga as well as the sense of calm her practice brings her. Aiming to share this with others, Rachael completed her Yoga Teacher Training in 2018.
She is also a wellness coach and has achieved certifications as a Reiki Master, plant-based nutrition, reflexology, children’s yoga, yin yoga and meditation.
Rachael is passionate about helping people who have been touched by cancer and regularly volunteers at Our Clubhouse in Pittsburgh, PA giving reiki and leading a lecture series on Plant-Based Nutrition.
Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate through eCornell and the
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies
Core Coach Training Program from Wellcoaches, School of Coaching in partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine
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 has 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 18 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.
She currently teaches yoga and other mind/body topics at Elevate Yoga Pittsburgh, Moon
Parks & Rec, and Yoga H’Om, among others. Jen is also the co-founder of NamastHay Goat
Yoga of Pittsburgh©, the area’s first and biggest goat yoga enterprise. In addition, she is a
meditation affiliate with Listening to Smile, producers of frequency-minded healing music.
When she's not practicing or teaching yoga or other mind/body topics, Jen enjoys distance cycling,
hiking, paddle boarding, and supporting local humane causes.
Rachel Connor is a CYT 240 (Certified Yoga Instructor 240 hours) who teaches under the
Sivananda discipline. She first experienced Yoga in 1979 when her high school Biology teacher, Sr. Antonette Severin, introduced her to the Sun Salutations. Although she dabbled in Yoga for many years,Rachel did not begin a serious practice until 1996, in anticipation of starting a family. Yoga helped her to become physically, mentally, and spiritually fit, and after the birth of her son, she continued her Yoga journey. After striking up a friendship with her Yoga teacher, she eventually was asked to be a sub for the class. In 2004, Rachel enrolled in the Yoga teacher training course through the Aura Wellness Center. Under the auspices of Dr. Paul Jerard ( E-RYT 500) and with direct supervision from her teacher, Janet Martin (200 RYT), she embarked on the 1 year training. Rachel received her certificate in 2005, passing with High Honors.
For the past 16 years, Rachel has consistently practiced and taught Yoga at several local fitness
centers, and she is excited to join the staff of the Wellness Lounge. Rachel’s goal is to help her students achieve strength, flexibility, focus and inner peace through Yoga. Her class combines movement (asana), breath (pranayama), and guided relaxation (yoga nidra) to provide balance in her students’ lives.
In addition to teaching Yoga, Rachel also teaches preschool at the Archangel Gabriel Preschool
and Childcare Center on the St. Malachy Campus in Kennedy Township. She resides in Robinson Township with her husband of 32 years, Tom, her 22 year old son, Brody, and her quirky little dog, Sophie.
Erin Deaton Soisson
Erin has been teaching yoga for 6 years. She studied at YogaWorks in Northern California where she spent most of her life until recently, relocating to Pittsburgh. Erin has taught ages 2-75 years and she truly believes yoga is for every Body. While she enjoys the physical benefits of Hatha yoga, the greatest gift of this beautiful ancient practice is being able to move through this chaotic world with an extra dose of grace and ease. She is excited to make magic happen with the people in her new community.
Lesa & Ian Parker
Ian and Lesa began taking Zumba Fitness classes in 2009 and together lost over 85 pounds within the first year by combining physical activity with dietary changes.
Lesa started taking dance classes at age three and was a dancer, cheerleader, and gymnast throughout her childhood. In her late 20s and early 30s, she stopped working out, gained 45 pounds, and was not very energetic. Zumba helped her to lose weight, to become more energetic, and to increase her endurance. Lesa became licensed to teach Zumba Fitness in July 2009 and started teaching that September.
Ian started taking Zumba Fitness classes when Lesa began teaching classes. Since he was already at Lesa's Zumba classes to set up the sound system, he figured he might as well dance and work out. He found that Zumba gave him energy and provided an outlet to move his body and enjoy music after a long workday. Ian obtained his Zumba Fitness license in June 2010 while Lesa was recovering from a pulmonary embolism.
The couple began teaching together, demonstrating different variations and modifications in their classes. Over the years, Ian and Lesa have taught several types of fitness classes, including Zumba Toning, Zumba Gold, Zumba Kids, Belly Dancing Body Fitness (BDBF), STRONG Nation, SkyFit, Zumba in the Circuit, Aqua Zumba, and Zumba Sentao.
For the last several years, due to the demands of having three children and balancing conflicting work schedules, they cut back on the number of classes they were teaching. However, they realized they miss teaching dance fitness classes together and are determined to get back in shape by engaging in an activity they love!