Roe Pietropaula – was introduced to yoga in 2003 and was drawn to the poses, which reminded her of her love for dance and acrobatics from her youth. She completed her Certified Yoga Teacher Training in 2012. Working so close to death and dying as a hospice nurse, she realized how yoga philosophy tied into her beliefs about life and living and her own spirituality. Devoted to her neighborhood, she opened a non profit studio, Breathing Room Yoga and Wellness, to bring yoga to her friends and neighbors in Port Richmond. With the goal to create a space where any one can come and learn yoga, the studio has outgrown its original location and moved to a larger building. Her hope is that students, yoga teachers, and health practitioners will embrace our community and in turn, find some Breathing Room for themselves.
Albert Fung – I started practicing yoga in the summer of 2003, looking for a way to get into shape. And while that did happen, I found that the practice had shaken me. I am still shaking.
First, I was captured by the postures and sequences themselves. I was affected by the wisdom embedded in them. I was drawn to the energy of the teachers I met; I had not really known seekers of this kind before. They would have a lot to teach me, about postures and otherwise. Through Yoga’s teachings, I have come to face fears and find nuanced understandings of myself. In this process, I have come to heal and seek authenticity.
I practiced for many years at The Yoga Room in New York where I practiced predominantly the Vinyasa and Anusara styles. I have also practiced Iyengar, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Bikram, among other styles, in New York and in Philadelphia. Today, my practice is centered on the Classical style.
Melissa Sharp Terrels – I walked into my first yoga class over 18 years ago to find people laying on the floor in balls (Child’s Pose). As a Type A never stopping athlete, I found this form of exercise seemingly ridiculous. By my way of thinking, unless I was moving fast, I wasn’t exercising. I bought a 10 class package so I stuck with it and eventually realized yoga was a perfect fit. My practice was physically challenging yet mind altering. As I slowly noticed my fast paced life slowing down, my life took off in a different direction, opening my world to a new sense of living. Yoga allowed me to flow through life, meeting obstacles with clarity and ease. I don’t know how it works but I have spent the last 10+ years educating myself in different schools trying to find out.
I completed a three-year Comprehensive Yoga Therapy Program at Yogalife Institute and have studied with many well-known and not so well-known teachers. My journey through Ashtanga, Anusara, Vinyasa, and many other “types” of yoga has taught me that yoga can’t be typecast. My classes are a functional blend of many styles, teaching students how to practice on the mat and live their yoga off the mat.
Meg Dixon – I first started practicing yoga in college, mostly at the encouragement of a friend, but soon discovered it was very helpful in coping with my daily stressors.
Fast forward six years later, when I am out of college, out of practice, and out of shape. Once again, I found myself encouraged to give yoga another try. I began practicing vinyasa flow in order to improve my general health, and as a supplement to other workouts, but found that it helped with other things as well – primarily my mental well-being. This new application of yoga inspired me to share it with others, especially those with whom I work on a daily basis, people struggling with mental illness.
In January of 2016, I completed a 200 hour teacher training course, focused in vinyasa flow, with the hopes that it could change the lives of those I already helped, as it had so drastically changed my own life. I love the experience of sharing what I have learned, almost as much as I love seeing the little daily transformations people make when they practice. Now, I look forward to every teaching opportunity that comes my way, whether it is in the mental health field, teaching at the studio, or just offering a little of my time and energy to those who need it.
Alex Mutt – My passion for the discipline of mind and body started at an early age. I was trained by and performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet School as a classical ballerina, and also studied violin throughout my youth. Yoga became a lifestyle that I shared with family and friends after starting my own practice in a friend’s basement. Yoga soon became an integral part of my life, keeping me centered, balanced, and focused between work and home. As a mother who always cared for others first, I began to understand the importance of taking care of myself daily and the benefits that follow from practicing yoga. My classes are infused with a mix of dance, breathing techniques, gentle dance movement sequences, and proper nutrition tips. I encourage students to develop a personal style that they can maintain throughout their life. My ultimate goal is to lead students to increased mindfulness, awareness, and consideration for themselves and others, both on and off the mat.
Pat Ciaramella – As a well-being enthusiast, Pat has studied various aspects of the Asian culture for over 30 years. She earned a black belt in Okinawan Karate, holds certificates in Tai Chi, a Reiki III Master, Vedic Conservatory, and certification from the Thai Healing Academy in Chang Mai, Thailand. Pat continues her education in Thai Yoga Bodywork education and offers sessions privately at The Breathing Room or in your home. You may contact Pat at her business email address Patthai_yoga@hotmail.com
What is Thai Yoga Bodywork?
A hands on Healing Art System which is based on the Asian medical model of working not only with muscles, bones, joints and tissue but also with the body’s energy system, called – Sen Lines.