Meet Our Teachers

Maureen Lauer-Gatta, ERYT 500 - Owner

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 ( 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 ( ) in Coraopolis, Pa. In August of 2009, she participated in a monthlong meditation retreat at Tara Mandala ( ) 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 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

Julie Reidel 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 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."

Zara Markman finished her 200hr training at Essential Yoga School in Avalon, New Jersey under the guidance of Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Trainer Jen Claudio. Zara's classes focus on gentle precise movement and learning to listen to your body. Lover of the outdoors, animals, and all things joyful.

Mandy Smith

Mandy L. Smith, Usui Reiki Master Teacher and intuitive energy healer, leads Reiki trainings and circles. Her main focuses are the environment and our connections to the Universe. She has been educating others about the environment for over 17 years, and teaching Reiki since 2014. She began her study of Usui Reiki in 2008 with Dell St. Ana in Easton, Maryland. She has also studied with Gail Faith Edwards, Pixie Lighthorse, Athena Perrakis, Dr. James Duke, Mae Wright, and Andrew Pengelly. From these experiences, Mandy has learned that awareness and understanding of the Self is the first step to any change we wish to see in the world. As such, two of her purposes are to sow seeds of healing and see sacred potential in all.

In addition to Reiki circles and teachings, Mandy offers services in energetics, shamanic journeying, native medicinal plants and herbal remedies, meditation, journaling, personality analysis, ancestral healing, oracle readings, numerology, and other healing modalities. She also offers privates sessions.

Favorite Quote: "Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. " - C.G. Jung

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.