i am [ready to learn]

learn a little more about our teachers and what inspires them.

Andrea Levine

Andrea Levine

I took my first yoga class in college as a student at SUNY Potsdam, while I was studying Anthropology and Photography. I also always had an interest in movement and the body. As a dancer growing up, I liked to challenge myself and learn new ways to strengthen and stretch my body. I love trying new things on and off the mat and enjoy traveling, hiking, and healthy living. I love learning about different people, places, and cultures and have spent significant time living, studying, traveling, and backpacking in several different countries. Yoga has helped me in so many ways and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people I have met throughout the yoga community. I decided in June of 2016 to travel to Thailand and learn more about yoga with Absolute Yoga Academy. I hope to inspire and encourage others to be open minded to all the ways yoga can be beneficial both physically and emotionally. 


Becky Machado

I am a devoted mother of 4 who loves snow days. Besides hanging out with my kids and amazing husband, I love teaching Bikram Yoga. I have been teaching Yoga since 2005 and am truly amazed by the transformation of a consistent practice.  Because yoga has done so much for me physically, mentally and emotionally; I am passionate about creating a calm, motivating and safe environment so that students can connect better to their bodies. My goal in class is to create an atmosphere of trust and surrender so that we can put away our inner distractions and focus more on the present moment.

Choon Hooch

The path that has led me to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training is an incredible one. During my treatment with breast cancer i required a port in my shoulder to administer the Chemotherapy. This port created problems for me after treatment ended, to the point where after they removed it I was unable to even lift my arm. I had surgery to try to repair the damage and my doctors told me that it would take at least eight months for my shoulder to begin to recover. I immediately went back into the hot room. I paced myself and was conscious of taking care of myself by doing the best i could and laying down if I needed to. I practiced five or six days a week, and within four months I had no pain and full movement of my shoulder.

After this experience, I became enthusiastic about the healing properties of Bikram Yoga. Not only did it help me recover physically, but the sense of community from the studio helped me emotionally and mentally. Yoga is good for you – there are so many people you meet, it’s like family all over the world. Yoga is self-love and world-love.

I teach yoga at a several studios, volunteer at Roswell and Gilda’s Club, and teach Qi-Gong. I attended teacher training in the fall of 2009, in hopes of sharing all of the healing properties of yoga with the world.

Jeanna Duarte Schwartz 

I have been practicing a variety of yoga for 11 years and teaching for 6 of those. My goal as a yoga teacher is to enlighten students with self awareness and internal peace through yoga as therapy. I specialize in yoga for special needs and work to provide yoga in schools. I am a mother to my toddler and a wife to my husband. I enjoy making crafts, spending time at the library, baking, rollerblading, snowboarding, and can make pretty delicious ice cream. 

Lisa Collins

My name is Lisa. I'm a wife, mother of two boys and grandmother of one. I took my first Bikram yoga class on April 3rd, 2008. In 2015, I left my job of fourteen years as a supervisor in debt collection and traveled to Thailand to become a certified Bikram Yoga teacher. I wanted to to bring health and that same sense of wellness to my community. I currently teach at two beautiful studios. Becoming a yoga teacher has helped me share what I think is important. It's given me more an opportunity to spend time doing the things I love, whether gardening or canning, watching my grandson, or cooking Sunday dinner for my family.



Madeline Laughlin

My name is Madeline. I am a chef, a proud mother of two cats, and a yoga teacher. I started practicing yoga in 2009. Since then, I've taken a handful of teacher trainings, more than a few workshops, and spent months working at yoga retreats. I love being around people who love yoga. I love breaking down barriers and sharing successes, building each other up and the feeling of being unconditionally supported by a tribe of people. I practice to breathe deeper, to move a little more comfortably, and to feel connected. One of the most important things I've learned through practicing is that spending time taking care of yourself is not wasted time. I look forward to seeing you in class!

Paul Nagle

 I began practicing yoga seven years ago on a whim.  A friend of mine asked if I would go with her.  When I agreed, she was enthusiastic because no one else would go with her.  I asked her what the catch was; she told me it is over 100 degrees in the room.  Despite the fact that I do not particularly enjoy the heat, I told her I was game.  I was able to quiet my mind through the struggles inherent in this challenging practice.  More than anything, this was (and is) exactly what I needed.  I have been practicing regularly ever since.  I went to teacher training in Los Angeles in 2012 and began teaching right away.  My practice continued to grow as my teaching abilities increased.  I found a new sense of peace in my practice as I began helping people heal.  Not only was I able to improve the quality of my own life with my practice, I was able to help others as well.  This is one of the things that makes yoga so special to me.  I have been back to school more than once since I began my yoga practice, and today I am a student of physical therapy.  This seemed to be the next logical step on my path.  I work to bring elements of western science to an age old healing modality.  As one of my teachers once told me, ‘Yoga is the original physical therapy.’  In my book this is a winning combination.

I am… human, a teacher, a son, a husband, and a father.  I am a student: of life, yoga, and physical therapy.  I am…. Happy to see each of you everyday at our yoga school.  Namaste.

Sarah Naples

Whether you are a beginning yoga student or seasoned practitioner, it is my mission as a yoga teacher to effectively guide you through the Bikram method with accuracy, compassion, and tradition. 
      Stepping into the yoga room for the first or even the 1,000th time can bring about a plethora of thought, emotion, and physiological responses. With my guidance, I hope to create a safe space for you to shed such layers and have your true and authentic self shine through.
     2017 will commence my 10th year in my journey as a Bikram Yoga teacher. During this time, I have attended countless seminars and workshops focused on the Bikram series. My role as a yoga instructor has allowed me to travel throughout the United States and Canada practicing and teaching at a variety of Bikram studios. My most memorable experience was spending four years teaching in Australia while attending the University of the Sunshine Coast. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I am currently pursing my second Bachelor’s with a degree in Nursing, allowing my journey of self-improvement to continue.
     By having an understanding of both Western and Eastern healing modalities, it is my ultimate goal to help cultivate health and longevity in anyone that is ready and willing. Through my yoga teaching experience, I am certain that any person who decides to take the initial step to try yoga has already brought benefit and healing into their life. I look forward to seeing you in class!

Sharon Coverdale

Throughout the years I had always dabbled with yoga.  Although my mainstay of activity was usually gym stuff. You know, weights, variations of cardio, all kinds of outdoor stuff like cycling and skiing.  Which, I still enjoy from time to time. It wasn’t until I walked through the door at BYW, that yoga and I truly began a relationship.  And, oh yes, it has been a love/hate relationship.  Although, overwhelming one of love.  Almost 9 years ago my children where the ages of 9,11,13 and 15.  A very busy time in my life, as it had been for quite sometime.  This particular yoga provided me with the structure and wisdom to slow down, stop and think. Rather than let everyday rush by.
After 4 classes I was hooked and I knew it would be forever in my life.  After practicing for 2 1/2 years and a moment of clarity in savasana, I decided to go to teacher training.  With the support of my family, off I went to San Diego in the fall of 2010.  I know a lot has been said about training, good/bad or otherwise.  However, I truly had one of the best experiences of my life. So many incredible mentors in one location.  So many opportunities to connect with people who have a deep relationship with this yoga, and who where extremely capable of sharing their knowledge.  It was tough and loving, full of crazy stuff and more love.  It was a great melting pot of culture and personalities.   A unique experience that I will always value, but, in no way matches the rich, complicated experience of parenting.
This yoga is forever evolving and really is for everyone, no matter what our physical or mental limitations maybe, in our life or on any given day.  If you think you're incredibly accomplished on a given day, enjoy it, but make sure you keep challenging yourself in the hot room.  See what happens.
The learning in yoga never ends, I am grateful for this, the opportunities are endless, both physically and spiritually.  We are one another’s teacher and student.  To quote Dharma Mittra, "the moment you think you are a 100% right, you most definitely are 100% wrong. Read his stuff, he has a lot to offer.
Whats in store for me as a teacher.  Keep going. Learning. Sharing. Have as many great yoga experiences on both sides of the fence of being a teacher and a student, that life will generously allow for.

Loving yoga more each year
we are yoga together

Om shanti shanti shanti


Tricia Metzger

I have been practicing and teaching yoga in WNY for the past 11 years. I love movement, and believe movement is medicine. While teaching, I try to create an environment that allows students to be creative, so they feel empowered to find and express the best versions of themselves, breath by breath. I received my 200 hours with YogaFit and have been able to study with some awesome teachers-like Seane Corn, Bryan Kest, Baron Baptiste, Stephen Cope, and Rajashree Choudhury. When I'm not on my mat I enjoy hiking, biking, paddle boarding and painting. I like to read, sometimes can be found dancing in the streets, and am the proudest pet owner to my two dogs and my cat.