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Meet Our Teachers

Maureen Lauer-Gatta, ERYT 500 - Owner

About your Maureen:
Maureen has a knack for creating a comfortable, calming atmosphere for people to heal and grow whether it be through yoga, workshops, retreats or drum circles she facilitates. She has been practicing yoga for over a decade, teaching since 2003 and training yoga teachers since 2008. Her love of this practice and the growth she sees in others through yoga inspires her daily. She has combined yoga and drumming at local retreat centers where people can learn Mindfulness Practices that help reduce stress, increase their ability to focus and improve their quality of living. Since 2011 Maureen has been leading 8 week Stress Reduction Programs based on Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program. In 2012, she participated in a Jon Kabat-Zinn's MBSR retreat at Mt. Madonna Retreat Center in Watsonville, California. She also has attended a Mindful Schools Workshop in February 2014 in New York City. Over the last two summers, she taught 300 children grades 4-12 yoga and mindfulness practices during the Inspiring Minds summer enrichment programs. She has presented Mindfulness Workshops to the YMCA of of Ohio in Columbus, Eastern Gateway Community College, One Health Ohio and Delphi.

Maureen has been practicing yoga for over a decade and teaching since 2003. In 2011 she became a certified Drum Circle facilitator under the guidance of her teacher Jim Donovan (www.jimdonovandrums.com). Since then, she has been facilitating drum circles at The Yoga Room, which she has owned since 2010. She studied at Inner Wellness and earned her Registered Yoga Teacher certification. After many years of teaching numerous classes she received the title of Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT) through the Yoga Alliance. In August of 2010, she completed her 500-hour certification at Three Rivers Yoga (www.threeriversyoga.com ) in Coraopolis, Pa. In August of 2009, she participated in a monthlong meditation retreat at Tara Mandala (www.taramandala.org ) in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. She also leads teacher trainings - Yoga Alliance 200 and 500 hour certified programs as an affiliate with Three Rivers Yoga. She is a part-time adjunct professor at Youngstown State University since August 2015 for yoga and meditation.
She continues to study yoga and meditation with her teacher Karres Cvetkovich of Youngstown and Dawa Tarchin Phillips of Santa Barbara, California.

In her spare time she enjoys attending music festivals with her husband and spending time with her dogs Owsley and Charlie


A note from Maureen:  Through the breath, the mind and body become one.  The breath guides us, helping us be aware of our bodies and minds.  As Sri K. Pattabhi says, “Yoga is 99% practice, 1% theory.  Do your practice and all is coming.”


Aaron Szczurek
Thank you for coming to the mat to practice, dear soul! I remind myself this every time I practice through feeling and experience if not words. The practice of yoga has been a blessing to me in so many ways! Most importantly it has helped me allow for space to be opened up where growth toward health and healing may take place. I have found my interactions with myself and others so much more pleasant and positive as a result. I am a RYT 200 hour. I was trained at through Three Rivers Yoga in Niles, Ohio. I have been teaching groups of individuals since about mid September of 2017. I would love to share what I have experienced of yoga with you through my teaching style! Thank you, and many blessing to you now and always! Namaste! Aaron :-)

His Inspiration: I am inspired by moments of positive, pleasant, and peaceful interactions within myself and shared with others. I am inspired by finding that place where one feels a sense of balance and peace within any circumstance.

Favorite Quote: There are many wonderful quotes, but the one that keeps coming to my mind over and over again is from my work friend. A dear soul who struggles with his own problems like we all do, but still has so much joy in his expressions of life. "All you can do is your best, and that is all anyone can expect of you." It always brings up many thoughts up including, "Is this really true?" I find that I really do want it to be, and find myself doing what I can to make sure it is through kindness and compassion to myself and others.

Angel Llewelyn

Angel is a 200-hour RYT, who studied under the guidance of Micheal Curtis of The Yoga Place and Yoga Central in Canton, Ohio. A dedicated yogi for several years, she is passionate about her own personal practice. She enjoys sharing the benefits of Yoga and meditation with others, especially those new to the practice. Angel also has a background in classical ballet, competitive figure skating, sports coaching, competitive running, as well as a keen interest in philosophical study. Combining this with 13 years of career experience providing an in-depth study of anatomy and physiology, Angel has a unique approach to teaching and sharing yoga. Angel aims to provide a space where all people can explore the practice of yoga safely and confidently in an uplifting, supportive, and nurturing environment.

Angel Llewelyn is an impassioned yoga teacher who trained with Michael Curtis in Canton, Ohio, and unifies her knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and body mechanics with the philosophy and heart of yoga. At The Yoga Room she teaches MEDITATIVE YOGA FLOW for all levels, combing mantra and mudra with asana (posture) as an introspective approach to the practice of flowing yoga. Students will experience a calm, meditative state with increased balance of vital life energy in order to support taking the peace found in practice out into daily life and into the world. <3

Beth Montgomery
Beth trained at the Yoga Training Association of Pittsburgh and teach both Hatha and Iyengar yoga, as well as Pilates. She has been teaching for over 30 years consisting mainly of Yoga, Pilates, Muscle Toning and sometimes Cardio.

Her Inspiration: I have been teaching various types of exercise for the past 30 years consisting mainly of Yoga, Pilates, Muscle Toning and sometimes Cardio.

Favorite Quote: Keep It Moving!

Cara Meadows

Her Inspiration: Seeing changes in the world.

Yoga R&R
  1.  Cara Meadows is an  yoga teacher who has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. At The Yoga Room she teaches Gentle Yoga Flow which is sequence designed to bring the body into relaxation while releasing stress and anxiety. 

Favorite Quote: "You are not separate from the whole. You are one with the sun, the earth, the air. You don't have a life. You are life." ~ Eckhart Tolle

Ed Istnick, Jr.

Ed is offering Beginning Tai Chi classes at the Yoga Room.  He has been practicing Tai Chi for twenty years and teaching for ten years.  Ed trained first in the external martial arts and then in the internal martial arts.  He trained in Poekolan Kung Fu at Dragons Temple and in Chon Style Tai Chi with Marie Lew.


When the weather permits, you might find him practicing one of the martial arts in his back yard or in Wick Park.   During his free time, Ed also enjoys motorcycling, scuba diving, playing and listening to music, and learning more about and practicing martial arts.  He says, “I’ve been fortunate to have things I enjoy and the time to pursue them.  My twenty-five years of school bus driving has given me this opportunity.” 

Julie Reidel

Julie Riedel: Multilevel

Julie loves teaching and sharing yoga with others. At The Yoga Room she teaches multilevel yoga, a class filled with variations to fit multi skill levels and needs. After class students will feel stress free and energized. 

Kathy Dew, RYT

Kathy has been practicing yoga for seventeen years and teaching for three year.  She completed her training with the American Yoga Association in 2004 and earned her Licensed Yoga Instructor certification.  She currently teaches classes in Beginning Yoga, Gentle Yoga, and Yoga for Children.


Kathy describes herself as an outdoors person.  She enjoys riding her bicycle, walking, and practicing yoga.


In addition to teaching at the Yoga Room, Kathy offers reiki treatments and sells Shaklee products. If you would like to make an appointment, you can contact her by calling the Yoga Room.


A note from Kathy:  Because I love spending time outdoors, Dr. Forrest Shaklee’s motto, “Living in harmony with nature,” is my belief, too.  It’s the whole person that matters – the mental, spiritual, and physical parts of each of us all coming together.  Yoga and nutrition are parts of the whole picture, and I love sharing and teaching what I have learned.    

Karen Fletcher

I received my yoga 200 RYT/500 RYT training through Three Rivers Yoga in Niles, Ohio with Maureen, I couldn't have asked for a better teacher/mentor and now dear friend. I've been teaching now for four years, learning more each day and loving it! On my personal time I enjoy traveling, gardening, walking, bicycling, meeting new people and most of all spending time with my beautiful granddaughters who were my inspiration into yoga. I had the honor of traveling to India on a yoga pilgrimage this year, to be where it all started was an incredible experience! I am so blessed to be part of our beautiful family here at The Yoga Room. Hari Om

Her Inspiration:
My Yoga students, who bring me such joy everyday by showing me their interest, love and commitment, this in turn keeps me focused on continuing my yogic educational journey. Namaste

Favorite Quote:
"Many people are alive but don't touch the miracle of being alive."~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Mandy Hinkle

Mandy Hinkle completed her training at the internationally accredited Yogaworks Teacher Training Institute in Los Angeles, CA. She has Ashtanga Yoga and Iyengar-based training. She has done in-depth study of asana, pranayama, yogic philosophy, Ayurveda and anatomy under the lineage of Joan Hyman, Maty Ezraty and Pattabhi Jois. While in LA, Mandy taught Vinyasa Flow Yoga on the Malibu Pier, she taught meditation with SWAP LA, an outreach program to assist sex workers battling drug addiction and she helped mount two donation-based yoga studios in Hollywood. Mandy was also a professional director, choreographer, print model and actress. She also works as an art director for boudoir photography shoots. 

Mandy’s greatest joys are her husband and her children. She considers motherhood her best lesson in meditation and yoga.

"All great changes are preceded by chaos."

Mandy Smith

Reiki Circle
Mandy Smith is Reiki Master/Teacher of the Usui lineage. The Reiki Circle is a moment in time for one to heal and to be healed. Participants will experience healing on all levels of Self in the sacred space of The Yoga Room.

Usui Reiki II Training
Mandy Smith, Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, Truth Seeker, and Shamanic Healer guides those ready to start a journey to the Self. Continue your Reiki path with Usui Reiki II by learning Reiki symbols, distant Reiki healing, and receiving an attunement. Students will experience a renewed sense of purpose and excited to refresh their Reiki practice.

Advanced Reiki Training
Mandy Smith, Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, Truth Seeker, and Shamanic Healer guides those ready to start a journey to the Self. Delve further into the Reiki modality by receiving the Usui Master Symbol and working with grids, aura clearing, and more. At the end of the training, students will have completed a mastery of Reiki knowledge, ready to practice Reiki renewed and restored.

Melissa Vlahos

Melissa Vlahos is an international professional artist with a focus on healing arts and therapeutic dance guidance. She is the creator and photographer of The Unleashed Project, a women’s empowerment photography experience focused on self-love and body positivity.

Through her own journey of healing endometriosis and body shame, she discovered and connected with her Wild Woman and the wisdom of her womb. This deepened her soul’s true purpose of stepping into healing the Divine feminine across past, present and future lineages.

She is passionate about shifting the paradigm to women harmoniously supporting, inspiring and empowering one another. Melissa has devoted herself by guiding women to unleash their intuitive power, full creative expression and connection to their authentic voice. Art, dance, meditation, drumming, circling, inquiry work and other healing modalities are the gifts she shares to help women reclaim their true selves.

Melissa received her teacher training certificate in Embody Your Sacred Feminine Dance (aka Radiant Goddess Dance) and throughout her years of self-development has been trained in Shamanic Ceremony & Space Holding, Goddess Ritual Practices, Ecstatic Dance, Chakra Breathwork Techniques, Pleiadian Light Meditations and received her Reiki Attunement.

Tabbatha Bennett

I fell in love with Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) after attending my first class July of 2012 in Huntington Beach, California. This first encounter with the ancient technology was the catalyst for major transformation in my life. A mere two months later I enrolled in a 10 month long teacher training course at 7th Chakra Yoga. I didn’t enter teacher training with the intention of becoming a teacher but more so to quench the thirst I had to learn as much as I could about this beautiful practice. Then as the Universe would have it… I was offered a teaching opportunity two days after my graduation! Wahe Guru!

After completing Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training I began teaching at Source Studio and Anahata Movement Arts in Riverside, California. I also taught at Stella Luna Studio in Buena Park, California. Realizing my passion to work with woman and children through teacher training I studied to become a Doula soon after completing my teacher training certification. Becoming a Doula ultimately lead me to obtaining my certification in Pregnancy Yoga at Yoga West, Los Angeles, CA. Yogi Bhajan’s home studio.   

After spending 15 years on the West Coast, 10 years in the non-profit sector and completing my various trainings in yoga and becoming a Doula I knew it was time for a change. After much prayer and meditation I came to the conclusion it was time to return home to Youngstown, Ohio. I found the tools needed to assist me in touching that pure place of love and creativity deep with inside, I wanted to share it. I wanted to share it specifically with the folks in my hometown where I was so deeply rooted.

My devotion to Kundalini Yoga derives from the inner-connectedness and the complete joy experienced after each practice. My passion and desire is to assist each student in creating their own personal experience to connecting with something GREATER than their humanly form through the practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditaion. I am truly grateful to the Yoga Room for offering a sacred space to teach such a special practice. I invite you to join me at my next class. Sat Naam.

Zara Markman
Zara began her yoga journey in college, attending free classes at the YSU Rec where she fell in love and decided to become an instructor herself. She is a 200-hour RYT who studied at Essential Yoga School in Avalon, New Jersey under the guidance of Jennifer Claudio. Originally from Wisconsin, Zara is now peacefully living in Ohio after a whirlwind year of residing in New York City. Her classes focus on moving gently and listening to our bodies while building strength and mobility at our own pace.

“Every act of creation begins with an act of destruction”  - Pablo Picasso.