One Whirl Yoga fest + Healthy Lifestyle Expo (plus food trucks!)

(photo of L.A. & Stacey from South Hills Power Yoga, finishing their Power Yoga session. Photo captured by me.)

This past Saturday, I attended Whirl Magazine’s 2nd Annual One Whirl Yoga Fest & Healthy Lifestyle Expo in Pittsburgh! The festival was held at Point State Park (in Downtown Pittsburgh). This was my first year attending the festival and I anticipated it for months!

(*Head’s up: I will post links below to: Whirl, the Yoga Festival, social media, the yoga studios I mention and the food trucks*)

This year, the yoga festival was $35 for an all-day pass of yoga (which I thought was a great deal)! In my opinion, as long as you (at least) attend two classes, you earn your money back. Creating an all-day pass made registration easier for both WHIRL and the yogis attending the festival.

I arrived to the festival at 12:10pm. The first workshop I participated in was “Yoga with a Kick”, instructed by Christine Summer of Sijahk Yoga. Sijahk yoga is located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania and is Christine’s personal combination of Yoga and Taekwondo. Sijahk yoga offers: hatha, therapeutic, sijahk yoga, yoga and emotional freedom technique and self-defense classes. Also, Sijahk Yoga is available for: 1) outdoor adventures, 2) yoga parties  and 3) private sessions.

Ms. Summer’s class was wonderful! She combined the sun saluation and vinyasa yoga with Taekwondo. This was a nice change from a typical yoga class. Also, we did a lot of partner work as well as practice yoga in lines and circles. This was a great way to meet fellow yogis in the Pittsburgh community. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this class!

Once Christine’s class ended, I moved right into a “Power Yoga” class with L.A. (Lee Anne) Finfinger and Stacey Vespaziani of South Hills Power Yoga. I mentioned South Hills Power Yoga in a previous post (, which I encourage you to read. Both instructors received their initial yoga teacher training with Karen & Sean Conley of Amazing Yoga (one of the most prestigious yoga studios in Pittsburgh). Both ladies have trained with renowned yogis, such as: Baron Baptiste and Bryan Kest.

L.A. and Stacey’s power yoga class was both challenging and rewarding. I’ve done a power yoga DVD, but I’ve never taken a power yoga class. I’ve attending several vinyasa yoga classes (in fact, Power Yoga is the westernized version of vinyasa yoga). I wished to attempt L.A. and Stacey’s class at the Yoga Fest to decide if I should visit either (or both) Dormont and/or Peters Township studios. I was enrolled in a workshop at the Dormont studio, but I’ve never taken a regular class at South Hills Power Yoga.

Both L.A. and Stacey’s sense of humor assisted me to transition from asana (yoga posture) to asana. In my opinion, Power Yoga is vinyasa yoga taken to the next level. It’s a little more challenging than your typical vinyasa class. The basic and all-level yoga classes at South Hills Power Yoga are heated (90+ degrees). For now, I think I will stick with non-heated classes- the workout itself was enough of a challenge for me. Even so, I would love to try a gentle/restorative class at their Peters Township studio (which is an non-heated class). Also, I would like to attend another workshop with them.

Stacey and L.A. switched between teaching and assisting the students. L.A. was so helpful with her modifications and adjustments! I remember meeting Stacey when I attended the Moon Salutation workshop. She was so friendly! I would definitely attend more classes with L.A. and Stacey.

After two hours of yoga, it was time for lunch! First, I grabbed a hand-crafted chocolate milkshake from BRGR food truck.


(photo taken by me.)

BRGR has two restaurant locations: one in East Liberty and another in Cranberry. Also, they have a food truck. The food truck is often found parked in either Downtown or Shadyside. Also, it attends several Pittsburgh events (such as One Whirl Yoga Fest).

Wow! Let me tell you, that was one of the best milkshakes I have ever had! I was too excited and too thirsty to take a picture of the milkshake, but here is a nice shot of the truck.

Next, on to PGH Crepes (a Pittsburgh crepe cart). The PGH Crepe cart is parked on Liberty & 5th Avenue (in Downtown Pittsburgh) Monday through Friday. Saturday, you will often discover PGH Crepes at 20th street at Penn Avenue in the Strip District.


(another photo, captured by me!)

I ordered a Turkey, ham & swiss crepe for lunch. Let me tell you, folks: one of the best crepes I’ve ever tasted!


(last photo in this post- promise- by me.)

Three hours at the Yoga Festival, I decided to take the T (the subway in the ‘burgh) home. What a great day! I received a two-hour yoga workout; I had a chance to learn about a yoga studio that is 1.5 hours away from my house. Also, I decided that I will have to try a class at South Hills Power Yoga! Lastly, the best reward of the day was lunch from two Pittsburgh food trucks!

Here we are, at the end of this post. What did you think of my review of One Whirl Yoga Fest? Please, either leave a comment below, “like” this post and share it with your friends! If you know of any Pittsburgh yoga classes and/or studios I should try, tweet me (@lauraelizabethj), or just tweet me if you liked this post! Do you have a favorite yoga pose? Have a friend take a photo and Instagram it to me (@artwritdesign86). Also, do you have food trucks in your state, province or country? Don’t be afraid to let me know.

With Gratitude,

Health Kick Lady

One Whirl Yoga Fest

Whirl Magazine

Sijahk Yoga (Sijahk Yoga’s Facebook)

South Hills Power Yoga (SHPower Yoga’s Facebook, SHPower Yoga’s Twitter & SHPower Yoga’s Instagram)

BRGR (BRGR’s Facebook & BRGR’s Twitter)

BRGR’s Food Truck

PGH Crepes (Facebook & Twitter)

*Stay tuned for a Pittsburgh Food Truck Round Up post!*


Review of Kendell Romanelli’s Moon Salutation Workshop at South Hills Power Yoga (Dormont)


Hello fellow yogis, exercisers and health enthusiasts!

Earlier today, I participated in a Moon Salutations workshop at South Hills Power Yoga (Dormont location) with Kendell Romanelli. Here is my review!

First and foremost, this was my first workshop (and first visit EVER) at South Hills Power Yoga. I was so happy that the metered parking was free on Sunday! The original South Hills Power Yoga studio is located in Dormont, which is equal distance between Downtown Pittsburgh and the South Hills. Anywho, I was greeted by Stacey Vespaziani, Owner and teacher at both South Hills Power Yoga studios. She was very friendly!

The workshop was taught by Kendell Romanelli, a renowned yoga teacher in Pittsburgh. She teaches at both Schoolhouse Yoga and B.Y.S. Yoga; Kendell is know for her Chakra flow and Kundalini classes. Chakra flow means she incorporates yoga postures that benefit the seven Chakras (root, sacral/naval, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras). Kundalini yoga moves the energy in the lower part of the body upwards (thus, releasing the serpent). Also, Kundalini yoga involves stimulating and continuous poses.

The South Hills Power Yoga studio space is beautiful! The studio is very spacious and peaceful. The instructor opens the studio 15-30 minutes before class and locks the front door at the start of class (don’t be late!).

What is a Moon Salutation? Moon Salutation is the opposite of a Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation involves a lot of forward bending and arm balancing poses. During the Moon Salutation, there are several standing postures. The breath is incorporate in synch with the asanas (postures). Kendell explained that the arm balancing poses in Vinyasa yoga were originally intended for menWomen tend to have more strength in their hips, thighs and core. Thus, the Moon Salutation reflects this strength. Originally, the Moon Salutation was created to help teenage boys reduce strength and gain flexibility. Now, all practice the Moon Salutation, but it is very common for women to practice this particular yoga.

Kendell was a wonderful teacher! I might’ve been the only student at the workshop (in others words, I believe the workshop consisted mostly of yoga teachers). Thus, I was very grateful for her modifications, cues and assistance. She was so welcoming and friendly!

Also, the class learned about mantras. We incorporated a mantra into a chanting meditation. The mantra, translated into English, roughly translated to: “everyone around me is a teacher and I am my own teacher”. This means that each person in your life is able to teach you a lesson. Also, you must listen to your inner voice. As Kendell informed us: “it’s when you don’t listen to that inner voice that you know you’re in trouble”. So true! Once we learned the mantra, we participated in some chanting meditation.

During the workshop, we learned some Kundalini poses as well. I can’t describe specifics on that, but I thought they were very helpful! We practiced these poses at the beginning and at the end of the asana practice.

Of course, the final part of the yoga class is the shavasana (hopefully, I’m spelling that right! This means corpse pose, but often is identified as final relaxation). During this time, Kendell sang to us (that was so relaxing)!

Kendell’s husband Rick played acoustic guitar throughout the entire practice. That was so nice! A great change from the usual yoga music booming from either a stereo or iPod.

There you go, folks! The summary of the Moon Salutations workshops. I would definitely attend another workshop at South Hills Power Yoga.

*WORD OF ADVICE*- Whether you are either new to yoga or have never been to the South Hills Power Yoga studios, they have a 10 days for $10 deal. This mean that upon your first visit to the studio, you will receive a 10 class punch card (and the card costs only $10!). It’s good for ten consecutive days. Also, this deal applies to yogis who have either only taken workshops or pay-what-you-can classes at South Hills Power Yoga.

I might have to try this deal! The Peters Township studio is actually an easier commute for me. Plus, I would love to see their second studio!

Below, I will post links to South Hills Power Yoga, Schoolhouse Yoga and B.Y.S. Yoga.

What did you think of this post? What kinds of yoga do you practice? Thinking about starting yoga? Feel free to either: 1) “like” this post, 2) leave a comment below, 3) do a blog/vlog response, 4) tweet me (@lauraelizabethj) or 5) instagram me (@artwritdesign86).

Thank you, everyone, for reading!

With Gratitude,

Health Kick Lady

South Hills Power Yoga: Dormont and Peters Township Studios

Schoolhouse Yoga (Kendell is a teacher there): Four locations in Pittsburgh

B.Y.S. Yoga (Kendell is an instructor here): Located in Pittsburgh’s historic South Side

10 Days for $10 Special at South Hills Power Yoga: New Student Special

One Whirl Yoga Fest and Health Lifestyle Expo: $35 all day pass. Located at Point State Park. Kendell Romanelli will be teaching there, as well as: Stacey, L.A., Darcy and Candace from South Hills Power Yoga

Where else to find me:

Twitter For more up-to-date posts, follow me on Twitter!

Instagram My life in pictures. You know you want to take a look!


Picture info:

Chucky. (Photographer). 2009. A Asian Girl Doing Yoga. 21 July 2013.



Hi everyone:

I thought I would write a new post and update! The beginning of June marked three big firsts for me: my first trip to the West Coast, my first trip to California and my first trip to San Francisco! My Mom and I went to visit my Aunt and Uncle. It was such a wonderful trip! The weather was great (in the 60s and 70s, little humidity and no bugs!)! I enjoyed spending time with family and exploring San Francisco! We did a LOT of shopping, dining, a wine tasting and even a movie sight-seeing tour!

Anywho: when I returned from the trip, I noticed a photo of my Mom and myself. I did not like the way I looked in the photo. I knew it was time to loose some weight. I need to loose weight not just for appearance sake, but for health reasons as well.

Four weeks ago, I started doing the DoTerra Slim & Sassy TrimShakes and the Slim & Sassy essential oil (I add one or two drops of that to a beverage). The TrimShakes replace one or two of your meals. They are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals, proteins, fibers and natural ingredients to help you loose weight. The Slim & Sassy essential oil fights cellulite and assists with curving cravings in between meals.

So far, I’ve only lost two pounds (1/2 pound each week), but gradual weight loss is much healthier than drastic weight loss. I’ve been working out more (3 times a week). I practice yoga two times a week and I just started doing Pilates once a week.

If you are interested in learning more about DoTerra’s products, click here (the link will take you to my Aunt’s page. She is an Independent Consultant for DoTerra): DoTerra website

I will post some photos below of some TrimShake recipes:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Trim Shake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Trim Shake
Strawberry Shortcake TrimShake
“Strawberry Shortcake” TrimShake
Vanilla Yogurt Peanut Butter TrimShake
Vanilla Yogurt Peanut Butter TrimShake

Do you have any tips for me (workout and healthy eating related)? Feel free to either leave a comment below, do a blog/vlog post response, Tweet me (@lauraelizabethj) or Instagram me (@artwritdesign86).

Thanks everyone! Talk to you soon!

With Gratitude,

Health Kick Lady