Teacher Bios

Robert Barton, Owner

 

Robert was introduced to yoga at the age of 7 by his father who began practicing yoga in the 1950's. Robert felt an immediate connection to yoga at that time and became fully immersed in the practice in 1987 after suffering a back injury while skydiving.
Intensive personal practice and study with some of the finest teachers including Dean Lerner (Senior Iyengar Teacher), Tim Miller (Ashtanga), Kali Ray (Tri-yoga Flow), Yogi Hari (Classical), Andrei Sidersky (Esoteric), Angela Farmer and Victor Van Kooten (Innovative Exploration), turned an obstacle into an opportunity. Robert was certified to teach in 1992 through the Yoga Vedanta, Science, and Arts Center under Yogi Hari & Leela Mataji.
Robert established Three Rivers Yoga Institute in 1993 and was the FIRST yoga studio in the Pittsburgh area. Robert brings 20 years of daily practice, a pain-free back, and a deep understanding of the therapeutic application of the practice to his classes. His approach is humorous and compassionate helping students to move beyond self-perceived limitations.
Robert has many other talents including martial arts for 30 years. Robert is an avid drummer of 41 years and writes a monthly column in Drum Magazine (Yoga for Drummers).  Robert is also trained in the Lotus Palm method of Thai Yoga Massage and is a gifted body worker providing a therapeutic and transformational healing experience. Robert is certified through Yoga Alliance at the 500 Hour Level.
 

Joe Lanzarotta, MD


Joe came to Three Rivers Yoga in 2005 to compliment his longtime meditation practice with Yoga. Joe studied Transcendental Meditation from 1969-1972 and is associated with the Rochester Zen Center, practicing Buddhist meditation since 1983. Joe holds a first-degree black belt, Japanese Shotokan Style and has practiced martial arts in the Japanese/Okinawan/Indonesian styles for nearly 20 years. Joe currently serves as the Medical Director, Occupational Medicine/Employee Health at Mercy Hospital. Joe’s hobbies include gardening, fitness, nutrition, alternative/complementary medicine, spiritual traditions, biking on rails to trails, hiking and spending time with his longtime wife Debbie, and their two canine companions, Iggy and Gabby, rescued from animal shelters. Joe teaches Anatomy for the Three Rivers Yoga Teacher Training Program and is able to apply the basic anatomy principals and experiential knowledge in a way that is easily understood by students and teachers of yoga.
 

Cheryl Sorek

Equanimity, energy, poise & loving-kindness are among the numerous gifts Cheryl receives from her yoga practice. She, in turn, infuses as her signature in the classes she teaches at Three Rivers Yoga. Cheryl has personally experienced the transformative impacts of yoga and meditation. She is grateful for all the positive influences yoga has produced in her life. She earned her RYT 200 in 2007 after which she volunteered teaching classes at many venues in the North Hills & Pittsburgh area. In August 2011 Cheryl completed her RYT 500 with Three Rivers Yoga and is certified a certified 500 hours teacher through Yoga Alliance. She received Restorative Yoga training at Three Rivers Yoga in November of 2007. Cheryl is grateful for the friendships yoga has facilitated and to her teachers for helping her deepen her awareness.

 

 

Carolyn Smith, RYT200

 

Carolyn Smith has a passion for health and sports. Her commitment began while earning a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, and dance. Following a successful teaching career, Carolyn entered the business world as a human resources executive and later became certified by the Federation of Coaches and is currently an executive coach for Sewickley Alliance. She gravitated to Yoga following an equestrian back injury, rebuilding her health while learning yoga. Discovering that she wanted to learn more she enrolled in the Three Rivers Yoga Institute’s 200-hour teacher training program. She graduated in 2009. Since then, Carolyn has completed teacher training workshops at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and in Boston.
 

 

Ellen Bufalini


" As you think, so you become" (The Yoga Sutras of Pananjali 1:28)
The beauty of yoga is the growth that you experience in all aspects of your life-- Ellen wanted to learn more about yoga and enrolled in the Three Rivers Yoga Lifestyle( 2011) course. Upon completion, she enrolled in the 200 Hour Teachers Training course at Three Rivers Yoga (2013). She plans on continuing her studies.


She has studied in intensive workshops with Max Storm & Donna Fahri, Angela Farmer & Panditji Tigunait.
Ellen wants her students to build strength, endurance, and flexibility by pairing breath with movement.


Ellen is hoping to share her teachings with you--come join her.
 

 

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