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 Chris Acosta

As the founder of St. Petersburg Yoga, Chris Acosta began a daily practice almost 30 years ago while in a full body brace (for 4 years and 23 hours a day) to first heal his extreme scoliosis.  The degree of scoliosis consisted of two curvatures with the largest at almost 50 degrees, multiple herniated discs, pinched nerves and spinal arthritis.   Freed from the severe pain, deformation of the body, and armed with these successes, he focused on the greater liberations in which Yoga was originally designed.

Due to his hands on experience, Chris has become one of the area’s most admired and prolific instructors.  Mr. Acosta was showcased in, “Best [Yoga Instructor] of the Tampa Bay” by DuPont Registries (July 2007).   He is known as a teacher's teacher and has taught tens of thousands of classes over his career.  Although Chris primarily instructs one-on-one, he also teaches a large number of group classes, corporate classes, workshops, lectures, retreats and is the primary instructor of St. Petersburg Yoga’s 200 and 500 level certifications offered in the Yoga Teacher Training Programs.

Mr. Acosta aspires to demonstrate the true power of authentic Yoga and the amazing abilities it has to transform any area that binds and limits, from the pain and handicaps of the body to the mental traps that cause seemingly inescapable cycles of suffering. Chris holds an E-RYT 500 educator level certification from Yoga Alliance and is also honored to be a part of the distinguished faculty at the Omega Institute in New York.

Known for developing Yoga Traction Therapy, he instructs from many influences:  Iyengar, Therapeutic, Restorative, Ashtanga, Power, Vinyasa, Pranayama, Mantra, Meditation, Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Sutras, Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita. He specializes with the injured and very beginner to the intermediate and most advanced students. Chris's open group classes are geared to accommodating

all levels. 

Monday 7:15 - 8:30 PM Restore / Therapy
Tuesday 9:15 - 10:30 AM Restore / Therapy
Wednesday 6:30 - 8:30 PM Meditation / Applied Philosophy
Thursday 7:15 - 8:30 PM Restore / Therapy
Friday 9:15 - 10:30 AM Restore / Therapy
Saturday 9:15 - 10:30 AM Restore / Therapy


Jill Voorhis Yoga Instructor
Jill Voorhis, Director, E-RYT 500

Know your body...Observe your mind.

When I first stepped onto the mat over 15 years ago I knew I had discovered something special.   After a few months of practice, I realized yoga would be a lifetime journey for me.   As a triathlete and distance runner, I saw the value in the softer side of movement, knowing it would bring balance, strength, flexibility and mental focus to my busy life.


My slow flow classes mix a blend of stress relieving breath work, energizing strong postures and tension releasing flexibility postures. Many of my classes also incorporate traction therapy and creative use of the yoga swing for building core strength and harnessing the benefits of hanging upside down in full inversion.

As an active triathlete, I also work with endurance athletes, teaching the benefits of muscular balance: muscles strong enough to do the action and long enough to cover the distance faster, without injury.

Monday  4:30 - 5:35 PM Classic Flow
Monday  6:00 - 7:05 PM Classic Flow
Tuesday 7:15 - 8:45 PM Aerial Swings Yoga
Wednesday 4:30 - 5:35 PM Classic Flow
Wednesday 6:00 - 7:05 PM Restore/Therapy


Doug Warner

LMT (MA 18608), E-RYT 200, RYT 500, NASM CPT

"Each one of us is a pilgrim, embarking on a sacred journey."
Doug's journey brought him to the study of Yoga, which has been a life changing experience.  He believes that Yoga can be this kind of experience for everyone.  Through his teaching of Yoga, Doug strives to facilitate and enrich each student's personal journey.

Doug completed both his RYT 200 and RYT 500 training at St Petersburg Yoga. He has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 18 years, specializing in Traditional Thai Massage and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Doug's teaching combines his knowledge of anatomy and body mechanics with his on-going study of the wisdom of Yoga.

Monday 5:30 - 6:45 PM Power Flow
Monday 7:30 - 8:45 PM Restore/Therapy
Tuesday 5:30 PM - 6:45 PM Classic Flow
Tuesday 7:30 PM - 8:45 PM Power Flow 85°
Thursday 5:30 PM - 6:45 PM Power Flow
Thursday 7:30 PM - 8:45 PM Power Flow 85°
Friday 9:30 - 10:45 AM Restore/Therapy
Friday 4:30 - 5:30 PM Restore/Therapy
Friday 6:00 - 7:00 PM Nidra/Meditation
Sunday 9:15 - 10:30 AM Power Flow
Sunday 11:00 - 12:15 AM Restore/Therapy
Sunday 5:30 - 6:45 PM Aerial Swings Yoga


Julianna Stoll, E-RYT 200, RYT 500 in training

Julianna came to St Pete Yoga seeking relief from acute anxiety and panic attacks, which became a daily struggle for her when she was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in 2010. After finding limited relief in other interventions, Yoga not only temporarily relieved but fundamentally healed these disorders.

With the guidance of founder Chris Acosta and the Yogi training program she began a dedicated practice, centered on using the fundamentals of Yoga to systematically dismantle her anxiety.


With discipline, she saw the frequency and intensity of her symptoms decline. Over the course of the first year she experienced the liberating power of Yoga on her own life, as her panic attacks dissipated and strength began to be uncovered.

Driven by her initial successes, she is now actively using the fundamental teachings of Yoga across all aspects of her life; working to find opportunity for growth when challenges present themselves, and seeking ways to keep moving towards balance so she can explore her potential in all areas.

Her first-hand experience using Yoga for transformation is strong motivation to be involved in helping others use Yoga to tackle their unique mind/body challenges as a path to discovering potential.

Tuesday 4:30 PM - 5:35 PM Restore/Therapy
Tuesday 6:00 PM - 7:05 PM Restore/Therapy
Thursday 4:30 PM - 5:35 PM Restore/Therapy
Thursday 6:00 PM - 7:05 PM Classic Flow
Saturday 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM Restore/Therapy
Sunday 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM Classic Flow

Jamey Kowalski, RYT 500

My life was a train wreck before I began to take yoga seriously.  I consistently made poor choices, struggled with the weight of regrets and missed opportunities, and was greatly out of touch with any sense of authentic self-love or purpose.  It is with deep gratitude and humility that I’ve come out the other side of that period in my life, powerfully assisted by the many tools of yoga I’ve learned to apply both on and off the mat.


The 500-hour teacher training program at St. Petersburg Yoga transformed my life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You may not find me in a posture attempting to twist myself into a pretzel, but you are able to observe me meeting myself where I am each day, doing the best I can to share with my students what I understand from my own direct experience.

Each type of class that I lead holds unique challenges for the mindful student. I invite even seasoned practitioners to join me with a beginner's mind as together we engage a serious discipline of awareness and growth, thousands of years old, which holds the potential for great inner peace and joy.

Monday 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM Restore / Therapy
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 8:45 AM Classic Flow/Aerial
Tuesday 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM Restore / Therapy
Thursday 7:30 AM - 8:45 AM Classic Flow/Aerial
Thursday 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM Restore / Therapy
Friday 11:30 AM - 12:35 Restorative Flow
Friday 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Aerial Swings Yoga
Saturday 11:00 AM - 12:15 Power Flow/Aerial 85°


Melanie Ulrich, E-RYT 200, RYT 500

Melanie's journey with yoga began 11 years ago when her brother encouraged her to attend her first yoga class.  She was hooked from the start.  Yoga was an enlightening experience creating balance and fulfillment in her lifeMelanie has always wanted to pursue a path in helping and healing others, and like many, was torn between a successful corporate career and following her heart in the science of Yoga. 

Now, she has found a way to combine her worldly corporate experiences with her passion for facilitating the Yoga experience

Melanie completed her 200 and 500 Hour RYT Training with St. Petersburg Yoga, which was a gift that led her into following her dreams of becoming a teacher.

Her strong practices include Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga.  After sustaining a neck injury, Melanie realized she would like to help others who encounter similar circumstances.  She has since broadened her practice to incorporate a Gentle Restorative approach as well.

Wednesday 9:15 - 10:45 AM Power Flow/Aerial
Wednesday 7:30 - 8:45 PM

Power Flow 85°


Shannon Fitzharris, E-RYT 200, RYT 500 in training

Shannon's yoga journey began 15 years ago while living in Boulder, CO. Through her education and guidance at St. Pete Yoga, she has developed a more mindful and self-aware practice. Inspired by her love of nature and the outdoors, Shannon teaches Classic Flow Classes on the spectacular Treasure Island beach. Her style is accessible to beginners and practiced alike. Awaken your spirit with fresh air, dolphins, and shore birds by attending one of Shannon's classes today. Namaste.



Tuesday 6:15 PM - 7:30 PM Classic Flow - Note: Treasure Island Beach
Thursday 6:15 PM - 7:30 PM Classic Flow - Note: Treasure Island Beach
Saturday 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM Classic Flow - Note: Treasure Island Beach

Elsa Valbuena, E-RYT 200, RYT 500

Working both the physical and the spiritual well being, Elsa's class is a Vinyasa Flow , paying close attention to alignment and the fluidity of movement with the breath. Her class is infused with the generously shared knowledge she she has acquired in her studies with Master Teachers and Artists. She has been teaching movement for over two decades . Although Elsa will receive her Yoga certification from St.Petersburg Yoga she believes Yoga is an ongoing process and she is thrilled to share this very liquid style with you.

Monday 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM Classic Flow/Aerial 85°
Thursday 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM Classic Flow/Aerial 85°

Deserie Valloreo, RYT 200

Deserie Valloreo was initially drawn to yoga in order to promote balance in her life. She became a yoga instructor to fulfill her life path (dharma) of serving others through health and wellness. Deserie is a graduate of St. Petersburg Yoga's 200-Hour RYT Training program She specializes in the restorative style of teaching with a focus on working with those who are new to yoga.

Deserie's classes center on stretching to lengthen and release tense muscles and boosting flexibility and range of motion from head to toe. Her classes are suitable for all ages and all abilities. Deserie is very passionate about empowering people to take care of their mind and body naturally. In addition to being a yoga instructor, she is also a Clinical Herbalist and Natural Health Advisor.

Wednesday 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM Restore/Therapy

Adam Higman
Adam Higman, E-RYT 200, RYT 500

Adam first began practicing yoga over 10 years ago and became hooked. Since then he has practiced with a variety of styles incorporating meditation, pranayama and asana. He has particularly enjoyed the challenges and growth opportunities provided by Power based classes having regularly practiced Ashtanga, Heated Power, and other challenging flow styles. His teaching philosophy is grounded from the yoga sutras: "No failure is ever really a failure unless we stop trying altogether" believing that a lifelong practice does not mean we are all doing full splits, but rather that we are challenging ourselves and growing.

In line with this philosophy, Adam tries to facilitate a safe place where we can challenge ourselves (whether mentally or physically) each time we come to the mat. 
Sunday 11:30 AM- 12:45 PM Power Flow 85°



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