Founder, E-RYT 500, E-RYT 200, YACEP
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.
Studio Director, E-RYT 500, E-RYT 200, YACEP
Know your body…Observe your mind.
When Jill first stepped onto the mat over 15 years ago she knew she had discovered something special. After a few months of practice, she realized yoga would be a lifetime journey for her. As a triathlete and distance runner, she saw the value in the softer side of movement, knowing it would bring balance, strength, flexibility and mental focus to her busy life.
Her Classic Fundamentals classes mix a blend of stress-relieving breath work, energizing strong postures and tension releasing flexibility postures. Her Power Swing classes 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, she also works 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.
RYT 500, E-RYT 200, YACEP
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.
With the guidance of the St. Petersburg Yogi training program she began a dedicated practice, centered on using the fundamentals of Yoga to understand and then 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.
After finding limited relief in other interventions, Yoga/Mindfulness tools not only temporarily relieved symptoms of anxiety, but helped her discover and transform the roots of her anxiety.
Julianna’s 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.
RYT 500, E-RYT 200, YACEP
A native of Mexico, yoga therapist, licensed massage therapist and mother of two, Paola was first drawn to Yoga for pain relief. She used yoga therapy to heal her chronic shoulder and neck pain and even more importantly, used the process to tackle the underlying causes: poor posture, unmanaged stress and lack of self-awareness. Armed with this training and a thorough understanding of anatomy, Paola found relief from her pain and starting helping others. But she sensed there was more, something bigger, something that could mean life-changing solutions, rather than temporary patches.
In her search for solutions, Paola found Yoga to be effective for managing pain in the body and perhaps more importantly, Yoga seemed to highlight the patterns of behavior that often are at the root of the pain, discomfort and disease.
Paola is now not only pain free but has also found harmony in all aspects of her life and feels better equipped to deal with life’s ups and downs.
Her classes are designed to provide a safe atmosphere for self-exploration through the fundamental teachings of yoga: breath, stillness, edge and beginner’s mind. Suited to all levels, her students are guided to use the practice to meet their individual needs and create an awareness of how those needs change each and every day.
|Monday||9:30 - 10:45 AM||Restorative|
|Monday||3:30 - 4:40 PM||Restorative|
|Tuesday||3:30 - 4:40 PM||Classic / Fundamentals|
|Tuesday||7:30 - 8:45 PM||Restorative|
|Wednesday||9:30 - 10:45 AM||Restorative|
|Wednesday||3:30 - 4:40 PM||Restorative|
|Thursday||3:30 - 4:40 PM||Classic / Fundamentals|
|Thursday||7:30 - 8:45 PM||Restorative|
|Saturday||10:30 - 11:45 AM||Classic / Fundamentals|
RYT 500, RYT 200
Coming into Yoga with physical pain from scoliosis and a hard-pushing lifestyle, Heather quickly began taking the advice of her teachers and started applying what she was learning in the classroom to the bigger classroom of her life. Though difficult, she couldn’t help noticing the same transformative effects happening in her body and her life.
Like so many of us today, Heather found herself overwhelmed in a high-stress life of perfectionism and self-bullying, spurring a process of anxiety and depression.
In contrast to this physical and mental drain, authentic yoga directed her towards balance and the peace that organically arises in its place.
Heather teaches a variety of classes, all of which you can expect an accessible approach that both helps and inspires anyone to meet themselves where they are and encourage growth.
|Monday||4:30 - 5:40 PM ||Kids Yoga (ages 8ish to 11ish)|
|Monday||7:00 - 8:15 PM||Restorative|
|Tuesday||4:00 - 5:00 PM||Kids Yoga (ages 5ish to 9ish)|
|Tuesday||7:00 - 8:15 PM||Classic / Fundamentals|
|Wednesday||4:30 - 5:40 PM||Kids Yoga (ages 8ish to 11ish)|
|Wednesday||7:00 - 8:15 PM||Restorative|
|Thursday||4:00 - 5:00 PM||Kids Yoga (ages 5ish to 9ish)|
|Thursday||7:00 - 8:15 PM||Classic / Fundamentals|
|Friday||9:30 - 10:45 AM||Restorative|
|Friday||11:30 - 12:30 PM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Friday||3:30 - 4:40 PM||Classic / Fundamentals|
|Friday||5:30 - 6:45 PM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
RYT 500, RYT 200
Alissa, a mother of two, was encouraged to start practicing yoga when she faced some of the same body-image and anxiety challenges that many young women struggle with today. Soon she began to feel a shift which encouraged her to explore yoga further.
Combining her degree in psychology with the self-looking tools she learned in Yogi Training, Alissa developed a healthy perspective on her body image, as well as powerful techniques to manage her anxiety. Though the work was not easy, she has found peace and gratitude on her journey.
Alissa nurtures her students in their journey through restoration and strength, physically and emotionally, passing along the tools yoga has given her. Her classes are designed to welcome novice students as well as encourage those with an established practice.
She teaches a wide assortment of classes that are mind and body oriented. In her stronger classes, expect a high challenge with low risk. In her moderate classes, there is a nice balance of stretch and strength.
RYT 500, RYT 200
Rob Howland tried to look like everyone else in yoga classes at the gym for years until he discovered the principals of more authentic yoga as practiced at St. Petersburg Yoga.
Through an exploration of the fundamentals of authentic yoga, such as balance and edge, Rob has developed his practice, knowledge, and transformed liabilities into strength.
A disability in his right arm has lead him to the belief that yoga is a potent therapy for physical limitations, but through seeking greater awareness he also found space and understanding on mental, spiritual, and emotional hang-ups.
Teaching yoga with exploration and observation has revealed to him that every system of the body and mind can benefit from the technology of yoga. He teaches from the perspective that yoga classes should be simple, nurturing, and challenging to our dispositions.
RYT 500, RYT 200
“In our fast paced world, we forget to take care of ourselves. Yoga teaches us to slow down, be present, and move toward growth in all areas of our lives.”
Megan came to St. Pete Yoga seeking balance from the stress and pressures of the high tech corporate world. She immediately found relief by slowing down to restore her body, and her mind and life benefited along the way.
Yoga has become a way of life for her now. With practice and commitment to a healthy mind and body, she uncovered her interest in helping others to bring balance into their lives.
Expect a mindful and balanced approach to Megan’s yoga classes and workshop instruction. She teaches meditation, Restorative/Therapeutic, and Classic/Fundamentals of yoga.
RYT 500, RYT 200
A couple years ago Danielle found herself feeling lost, experiencing self-doubt and feeling unfulfilled in her job. Through her journey in finding a new path she discovered the authentic yoga teachings in St. Petersburg Yoga’s Teacher Training. She registered for the program and found powerful life changing practices that she is now able to passionately share with others.
Danielle brings 14 years of experience to her practice, using the yoga fundamentals in her teachings as well as her personal life. She brings great energy to her classes, encouraging students to honor themselves as they move towards growth.
Depending on her student’s needs, Danielle teaches Strength/Flow/Swing and Restorative/Therapeutic classes as well as one-on-one instruction and mindfulness workshops.
|Monday||8:30 - 9:40 AM ||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Monday||11:30 - 12:30 PM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Monday||5:30 - 6:45 PM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Tuesday||7:30 - 8:40 AM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Tuesday||9:00 - 10:15 AM||Restorative|
|Wednesday||8:30 - 9:40 AM ||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Wednesday||11:30 - 12:30 PM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Wednesday||5:30 - 6:45 PM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Thursday||7:30 - 8:40 AM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Thursday||9:00 - 10:15 AM||Restorative|
|Saturday||9:30 - 10:40 AM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
RYT 500, RYT 200
Anna discovered St. Petersburg Yoga while searching for transformation on chronic stress, general anxiety and chronic back pain. Her training taught her to master tools that do more than treat the surface of these difficult issues but rather dive deep into the root causes behind the imbalances.
She teaches mindful practices of life simplification that focus on what is fundamentally necessary and nourishing for the whole being. Anna helps her students build well-rounded lives, filled with creativity and present moment focus, using a range of physical, breath, mind and life teachings.
Expect her to share from her own experience as an athlete working through injury, to working with an anxious mind with self-patience and acceptance.
Anna is incredibly grateful for the guidance offered at St. Petersburg Yoga and strongly believes that the teachings are uniquely valuable to each one of us.
|Monday||6:30 - 7:45 PM||Swing / Fundamentals|
|Tuesday||6:30 - 7:45 PM||Swing / Fundamentals|
|Thursday||6:30 - 7:45 PM||Swing / Fundamentals|
|Friday||8:30 - 9:40 AM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Friday||10:00 - 11:15 AM||Swing / Fundamentals|
|Sunday||9:30 - 10:45 AM||Strengthen / Flow / Swing|
|Sunday||11:30 - 12:40 PM||Classic / Fundamentals|
Kimberly Polignani, M.S., M.A.
Kimberly has always had a passion for helping others. She is a current Yoga Therapist finishing up her 500 Yogi Training, Clinical Psychology doctoral student, Reiki Master. She was drawn to yoga 10 years ago to gain more self-awareness after experiencing a trauma in her life. She experienced the powerful impact that full spectrum Yoga and all its mind, body, life and spirit tools can have on the human condition. While, the road to lessening the emotional ties with a trauma were challenging, she was able to find the balance and forgiveness by going within.
She encourages students to look within to uncover unhealthy patterns that are occurring in their lives. She believes the interconnectedness of the mind-body-spirit is the way to transformational healing and growth. She teaches Mindfulness Yoga specifically Restorative and Meditation classes. In these she helps each individual student navigate through self patience necessary to do healing self work
You will find Kim on the “weekend workshops” at St. Petersburg Yoga. In these transformational Yoga workshops, she emphasizes the big fundamentals in order to showcase the powerful ability to grow and change.