Asana Utsava


The Full Program is available at the following link:  Asana Utsava Program

Below you will find the essays written by our collaborating Yoga Studios.
These essays were given to our composers to interpret into music performed at the concerts on January 30/31st 2014.


“bLend”, composed by – Suzanne Polak
Performed By:  Bend Yoga; Ashlee Green.

“Bend Yoga is a fun, bright, uplifting place to practice yoga. We take a classical approach to teaching so that students learn the foundations of this ancient practice first. And while we take yoga seriously, we also like to have fun. It’s important to us that all of our students feel welcomed, safe, and encouraged during their time with us.


“virasana”composed by –  Emily Jones
Performed By:  Breathe Yoga Studio; Hayley, Worthman, Ashley O’Hara, Jennifer Ferris-Glick, Alana, DeLoge, Maggie Borza-Petrie

Discover YOUR yoga practice at BYS Yoga! We know that yoga is a journey deeper than just physical movements and we believe that through education, everyone can experience its benefits! We strive to teach our students that their practice is much more than what occurs on a yoga mat or even within the walls of our studio, but it’s where most of us first encounter it and foster its growth. BYS Yoga offers accessible, cooperative, and uplifting classes aligned with the traditional roots of yoga. Within our studio environment, students are free to explore the depth of their practice – discovering mindfulness, acceptance, non-judgment, and authenticity, and in turn, inviting these qualities into their lives and communities. Yoga is a lifestyle, but it’s also the path to get there… BYS Yoga offers a roadmap!


“a steady dynamic flow”, composed by – Chris Massa
Performed By:  Michael Lübbert

Clay Yoga is a Power Vinyasa Yoga studio located in the heart of Bloomfield.
What is Power Vinaysa Yoga? Great question! Let’s break it down:  Power: the capability of doing or accomplishing something.  Vinyasa: a steady, dynamic flow of connected, continuous movement linked with breath. Yoga: union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle.  So let’s put it all together–it’s the ability to accomplish a steady, dynamic flow of movement that unites you with the supreme being or ultimate principle.  Ugh. “Supreme Being” that means yoga’s a religion, right?  Not so much. Sure, some people look at yoga as a chance to connect with a higher power. But yoga is a chance for you to find out what’s going on with you. A chance to connect with yourself. But not just with any old part of yourself–it’s a chance to connect with your highest self. Your best self. Your supreme self.

But let’s be honest…Just practicing yoga won’t change the world. Any jerk off the street can do a yoga pose.  Good point. But cultivating the peaceful state of mind you can get from a yoga class into your life off the mat…that’s when the magic is gonna happen. You’ll no longer sweat the small stuff–like when someone cuts you off in traffic. You’ll be able to handle the bigger stuff—when someone you care about isn’t doing so well. And you’ll see beauty and love and worth in every person that you meet…yourself included.

Our studio is unique because we don’t have the disconnect between students and teachers. I’ve been to many studios around the world where there is a definite “teacher” role and “student” role. We do everything to make sure that everyone feels welcome. We don’t have a sign-in desk, we have a sign-in couch so there is no separation there. We have artwork from local artists on display that we change throughout the year. Our teachers come to each other’s classes. You don’t have to wear certain brands to do yoga. You just have to have a willingness to reach your best potential. We encourage people to get out of their own way and just try. It’s so incredible what you can do when you believe win yourself!

We celebrate yoga by celebrating life. We have two options in this world–to live a life of love or to live a life of fear. The only thing we can really control is how we react to what happens in our lives. Yoga teaches you to live a life filled with joy and get away from the anger. Clay Yoga celebrates connection, celebrates love, celebrates our role in the world.


“Deep Search”, Composed by – Ryan McMasters
Performed By:  Yoga Hive;  Teachers & Students

We believe that yoga is accessible to everyone and work hard to make our space welcoming and fun. While yoga can somtimes feel like challenging, our belief is that we are all stronger that we give ourselves credit for. We embrace nada yoga, or the part of yoga related to music and sound. Many of our teachers use music during class and we all use music before and after class.

The Yoga Hive brings in people from all different backgrounds, fitness levels and ages. We are the only heated studio that brings together teachers who have trained with a variety of internationally recognized yogis. This means that all of our classes and teachers come with a different flavor.

We celebrate yoga by offering fun events and workshops. We embrace the community aspect of yoga both on and off of our mats. Every so often we hold ‘social club,’ which is a way for our students to interact with us outside of the studio and meet one another.


“Reach In Branch Out”, Composed by – Blake Ragghianti
Performed By: 
 School House Yoga; Mita Ghosal, Leta Koontz, Monique Richards, Kendell Romanelli

“Rid your body of its impurities, let your speech be true and sweet, feel friendship for the world and with humility seek wealth and knowledge.”  -T. Krishnamacharya

The benefits of practicing yoga reach from deep inside and branch out to the world around us. We start by focusing on the physical practice with movement, breath and attention. From there we are able to improve our physical health, calm our minds and strengthen our connection to the world around us. As we heal our physical selves, other parts of our lives are healed including our relationships with ourselves and with others.

Schoolhouse Yoga is dedicated to being a place in Pittsburgh where such healing can take place. With three locations in Squirrel Hill, the Strip District and the North Hills our studios joyfully engage in sharing the benefits of improved physical health, reduced stress and greater overall wellness. Drawing from the lineage of Krishnamacharya, Schoolhouse’s highly skilled and deeply caring instructors are informed by various yoga styles including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini and Yin-Yoga.

All forms of yoga and levels of students are encouraged to converge and commune with each other at Schoolhouse. Our studios are not just a place to practice yoga, but a way to practice life. Assemble. Breathe. Relax. Unite.

_______  Intermission _______

“Salsa” ,  “Swag” ,  “Sweetness”, Composed by – Robert Farrell
Performed by: Take Yoga, Leigh Ann Handel & Michael Cutright

“Seer” , “Spirituality”, Composed by – Robert Farrell
Performed by:  Yoga on the Square, Joanne Spence, Monica, Gaydos, Cara Bessko, Dawn Penney, Raiona Gaydos.

At Yoga On the Square, we teach the whole person and believe that sometimes doing less benefits us more. Often in yoga classes, students push themselves to achieve a preconceived external form or goal. In doing so they forget to listen to the informative but subtle internal messages their bodies give them about what they need, when they have gone too far, and when they need to challenge themselves further. It is when we stop listening to the body that injuries and stress can occur. At Yoga On the Square, students in all classes can develop a heightened body awareness and learn to listen to and trust the unique signals of their bodies. This understanding is achieved through working with the breath, paying careful attention to anatomy and alignment, taking time in each pose, and inviting students to move mindfully and safely in their own bodies. Students learn to use yoga props and restorative poses to support their physical as well as their emotional needs. At Yoga On the Square, students will find both a non-competitive, warm community and supportive teachers who will meet them exactly as they are in the moment. Though yoga can be a serious practice, and many students come to the practice for serious reasons, an attitude of fun, playfulness and exploration is cultivated at the studio, and students are often reminded that they are wise to come out of a pose when they need to, or to not do a certain pose if they choose not to. All students are encouraged to develop a home practice, and to use their time on the mat as a way to process feelings and learn to “respond” positively to life events, rather than just “react” to them.

“Carve”, Composed by – Shani Banerjee
Performed by:  Bikram Yoga, Zeb Homison

At Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh we really believe yoga can help change people’s lives. Not from an elitist standpoint or a spiritual soap-box, but every time a student comes to take a class they have carved out a little bit of time in their busy day to try to make themselves better. A better student, a better parent, a better athlete, a better employee… everyone has a different story. Yoga brings us together, it creates community even while helping each individual to focus inward… to realize themselves.

BYPGH is unique in many ways… Our building in and of itself has an interesting story. A turn of the (20th) century movie theater, we have taken the shell of a building that used to bring comfort and entertainment to a community and re-purposed it in hopes that it can again.

Our classes are hot! Our practice space is expansive. Our teachers are full of energy! The experience, we hope, of taking class here is inspirational and challenging.

We don’t celebrate yoga as much as we celebrate people. Yoga is something we do… It’s like brushing your teeth or taking a shower… Seeing people change on a daily basis is the amazing thing and we try to encourage them, challenge them, and inspire them to keep changing. Yoga is a never ending process. It’s life!


“Flow”, Composed by – Guy Russo

Performed By: Yoga Flow, Ryan Mullinary, Grace Kosko, Gina Kallick, Brian Edwardo, Jesse Bueno

It’s something different for us all that brings us to a yoga class. Perhaps it is to increase flexibility, gain strength, enhance physical fitness or to relieve stress. At each Yoga Flow studio, you will find that whatever your motivation is for being there, you are welcome to our family. Yoga Flow offers a variety of vinyasa-based classes in a heated room. Vinyasa simply means flow. We believe that by incorporating the heat, flow and attaching breath to movement, you are more equipped to not only reap the physical benefits of fitness and cleansing of the mind and body, but you will also awaken your spiritual side for the ultimate combo – mind, body and spirit. When you roll out your mat at Yoga Flow, you open a door within that leads to personalized spiritual growth. The tools that walk you through that door include the soothing atmosphere of eastern sounds, revitalizing scented oils, peaceful candle flames and encouraging, yet challenging routines. Each student is encouraged to explore the ancient practice of yoga in our safe environment, unveiling new perspectives about themselves and the world. Each teacher brings their own unique style and paths to enlightenment, all while staying true to the Yoga Flow philosophy of mind, body and spirit.


“The Body and the Pose”, Composed by – Chris Massa
Performed By: Yoga on the Square; Monica Gaydos & Raiona Gaydos