Sherryl Pederson

Nationally Certified Yoga Instructor

Introduction to yoga began innately moving the body, pausing in some and gently moving in other positions. Moving the body with the body’s wisdom along with massage were the first two therapies that offered relief and recovery. With this freedom became my desire to see others thrive in their own movement. I like to find the niche for people to find the power, freedom and fun in their own bodies.

My first yoga instructor, Debbie Buff, a local Pittsburgh Yoga Instructor inspires with detail to body position and breath. She was the contributor of my becoming a Yoga Instructor.

Other great influences: Barbara Benaugh, Ana Forest, Eric Schiffman, Anusara Yoga, Vipassana, Richard Gartner.

Nationally Certified at Shoshoni Yoga Retreat & Teacher Training (as well as for the love of Colorado) 2000.

Certified in Aerial Yoga


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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 recently 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 15 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. When she's not practicing or teaching yoga or other mind/body topics, Jen enjoys distance cycling, hiking, paddleboarding and supporting local humane causes.

Will Brani

YogaFit level 1 certification

Will Brani is a Graduate Assistant at Duquesne University working towards a master in saxophone performance. He's a southern Georgia boy at heart, but loves being here in the city of Pittsburgh. He started practicing yoga 4 years ago, and received his YogaFit level 1 certification in 2014. He started aerial yoga at a local studio in Arkansas and eventually started teaching aerial classes in the area. Aerial Yoga Teacher trained at Body Empowered Yoga & Movement.

Roni Crist

Aerial Yoga Teacher Certified

Roni Crist is an AFAA Group Exercise Instructor since 2008.  She was certified first in Spin in 2004, Les Mills Body Pump certified since 2008, TRX certified in 2011, Beachbody PIYO trained in 2014, and Boxmaster trained in 2014. She has been actively teaching all of these classes in a couple gyms in the North Hills of Pittsburgh since moving here in 2009 from NJ.  So with 13 years of actively teaching several classes she has had access to training with several yoga instructors to broaden her practice.  After taking her first Aerial yoga class at Body Empowered Yoga and Movement in September of 2016 she was hooked and took the Aerial Yoga Teacher Training in October 2016.  Roni is a new Aerial Yoga instructor but is able to incorporate some training moves from her other classes to bring a new twist to Aerial.  She is a mother of three teenagers and finds working out to be her peaceful place.

Craig Lawhead

Certified Yoga Teacher

Trained with Joanne Vandenhegel at Third Street Yoga.  Craig is a Track coach who enjoys introducing athletes to yoga.  He practices a gentle vinyasa style and believes that if you control your breath you can control your life.  His favorite question to ask any competitor is "Are you ready?  Are you prepared?  And do you know the difference?"  Ready is physical, whereas being prepared is a mental state.  Craig likes to bring both components to his practice.