Michelle Pollard, RYT-200, Owner, CPT, NASM, Nutrition Coach
A fitness enthusiast for many years, Michelle turned to yoga and Pilates to heal injuries from high impact exercise. She immediately fell in love with Pilates and yoga. In 2008 she began training with Power Pilates in mat and apparatus. In 2012 she completed her 200-hr yoga certification at Yoga Mandali with Gopi Kunnicut. She continues to take workshops and trainings to improve her teaching skills in order to offer more effective classes and sessions. Michelle is fascinated by anatomy and alignment. She finds the human body an amazing vehicle. It is capable of so much more than we give it credit for. There is nothing more rewarding for her than having a client express how yoga or Pilates has changed their life for the better. Michelle holds certifications on a variety of modalities including Group Fitness, Personal Trainer, SPIN, TRX. Her motto is ‘Movement Heals’. She is so excited to bring an option for healthy living to Downtown Schenectady.
Ginny Mahoney, E-RYT200, RYT500
Ginny found yoga as an athlete, looking tor a way to cross train. While yoga provided the physical benefits she desired, it was the mental benefits – a greater sense of peace, and relief from daily stress and anxiety – that kept her coming back and ultimately fueled her desire to teach. Ginny completed her 200hr training at Rise Yoga and Movement Arts in Saratoga in 2015 and added a 30hr intensive in 2017 to further strengthen her teaching foundation. In 2017, she underwent the Love Your Brain Foundation’s teacher training program at Kripalu, certifying her to teach their yoga program to survivors of traumatic brain injury and their caregivers. In 2019, she completed her 300hr training at Jai Yoga School in Albany. Ginny loves the fact that there is always more to learn and enjoys being both a student as well as a teacher of the beautiful practice of yoga.
Ginny teaches from the heart and strives to bring a message of empowerment to her students, encouraging them to find their inner strength and confidence. Her classes are creative, purposeful, and strong. She aims to meet every student where they are at and encourage them to dig deep both physically and mentally to uncover their greatest potential.
Holly Luciano, RYT-200
Holly’s relationship with yoga began in 2010 following a running injury. After taking some Yin and Bikram classes, Holly was immediately hooked. In 2014 Holly completed her RYT 200 in Vinyasa Yoga. Holly studied under Justin Wolfer and Cindy Lunsford of Hot Yoga Saratoga. Holly completed an additional hot Hatha Yoga certification in 2016, studying under Jimmy Barkan in Costa Rica. Holly finds that both the healing and preventative benefits of yoga keep her coming back to her mat and wanting to share this practice with others. Holly is also a primary instructor in the Barre Method and completed her trainings through Tracey Mallett and the Exhale team in 2015 and 2016. Off the mat Holly works as a mental health psychotherapist in Malta, NY treating anxiety, mood disorders, addiction and trauma. Holly has a passion for helping others and finds that each of her practices helps the other. Holly has been working at Studio 4 since its initial opening in 2014 and hopes her familiarity with the studio’s values and mission is translated to you in your class experience.
Jennifer Hughes, RYT-500
Jen L. Hughes is a certified Medical Illustrator by day and has enjoyed teaching yoga at Studio 4 since 2016. A deep understanding of anatomy, breathing practices and meditation support her ability to teach yoga beautifully. Jen teaches all levels in studio and private settings. Her teaching style is light, fun and from the heart. She received her RYS 200 hour training in 2015 and RYS 300 hour training in 2017. Her continued education focuses on yoga as therapy, meditation, ayurveda and sound healing.
I began dancing when I was 7 years old taking lessons in ballet, tap, jazz and baton, but ballet has always been my first love. I continued lessons through high school and soon after received my certification with AFAA as a fitness instructor. In 2015, I competed in my first NPC Bikini Competition. I placed 1st in the Masters category and 5th place in both the Novice and Open categories. An amazing experience that gave me the confidence I needed to start teaching Barre classes at Studio 4. In 2015 I became certified in Piyo, and in 2016 completed the certification for Beginner & Intermediate Pilates Mat through Beacon Pilates In 2019, I became comprehensively certified in Pilates through Beacon Pilates, as well. I have lived in the Capital District all my life. I was born in Schenectady and as a teen moved to Burnt Hills. Graduated from Burnt Hills High School and then attended SCCC where I received my Associates degree in Business. I currently reside in Scotia with my wonderful husband and two children.
Traci Peters, Comprehensive Certified Pilates Instructor
Traci Peters, Comprehensive Certified Pilates Instructor
Traci was introduced to The Pilates Method while earning her B.A. in Dance from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2006, she became Mat Certified, and then in 2008 completed The Comprehensive Certification Program through Power Pilates, under the leadership of Bob Liekens, and Susan Moran-Perich. She has taught the athlete, and the most compromised clients spanning all ages, levels of abilities and cognitive understanding. In 2012, she was honored to be invited to teach part of the
Teacher Training Program at Body Tonic, in Brooklyn N.Y. Teaching Pilates for the past 17 years, throughout New York City, Brooklyn, NY, Upstate New
York, and the Berkshires in Massachusetts, she is sought after for her “eagle eye” as some clients say about her. What she loves most about Pilates is it’s universal effectiveness. It simply works!
I have a deep love and connection to yoga & studio 4. In 2018, I began my teaching journey through the Foundations Yoga Teacher Training at Studio 4. My classes are rooted in creative flows that might make you wobble and challenge you to turn on that mind/body connection. My class sequences build like climbing a ladder and are paired with a carefully curated playlist to help you match your breath to the movement.
I have a background in fine arts and design, and I am a small business business owner myself. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our 3 aussies (yes,3). I am grateful to be surrounded by such amazing yogis each day at Studio 4.
Kierstan Ryan - RYT 200
Kierstan is a lifelong athlete turned yoga and fitness enthusiast. She trained under Michelle Pollard's Yoga Foundations RYT-200 course in 2021 where she fell in love with yoga teaching. It combined everything she loves: fitness, friends, and a great playlist. She has taught at Studio 4 ever since she completed her training where you'll find her teaching hot vinyasas classes and stepping in as a sub, wherever needed. Kierstan's teaching and practice focuses on the mind and muscle connection. She believes strongly in the importance of using your breath to guide your movements and listening to your body throughout your yoga practice. Her classes feature flows that build off each other, creating sequences that challenge both the mind and body. She loves using music to support this and always takes time to remind you to thank yourself for showing up for you at the end of class.
Outside the studio, you will find her taking and trying other fitness classes, going to farmers markets and local restaurants, hiking, reading books, and spending time with her friends and family. She has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering and works full time for a local pharmaceutical company writing regulatory documents. She also loves the theatre and is a subscriber to Proctor's Theater in Schenectady.
Marc’s journey into yoga is a home grown one that started back in 2011 after needing something to help with the aches and pains of the gym rat life. His home practice continued for 4 years via online classes and workshops before stepping foot into his first public class. In 2021 Marc completed his RYT200 with Michelle Pollard in her Yoga Foundations program. These days he’s an all around movement, arm balance & inversion junkie. Marc has earned certifications in Mobility & Movement Mechanics from Awakening Yoga Academy (Patrick Beach & Carling Harps), Mobility in Asana with Dice Iida-Klein and most recently a mentorship program with Justin Reilley. Marc also has a passion for martial arts and holds his black belt in Taekwondo. His approach to yoga & movement is aimed at helping students cultivate greater body awareness by becoming mindful of every part of their body, at every instant of their practice. Letting the breath be the guide, ultimately improving one’s stability, mobility and strength. You can find Marc on the weekly schedule a couple days a week and also catch him fairly frequently at workshops and fun themed classes.
Sam Iversen - RYT 200
Sam is a Care Manager for individuals with Intellectual/Developmental disabilities and a certified yoga instructor. Sam discovered the benefits of yoga when she joined a yoga club in college and she never stopped practicing from then. She completed her YTT with Michelle Pollard’s Yoga Foundations RYT-200 course in 2019 and has been teaching at Studio 4 ever since. Sam loves teaching well balanced vinyasa classes that build heat and offers fun variations of postures that allow students of any background to participate in and enjoy. You’ll also catch her taking various classes at the studio, her favorites being barre and reformer Pilates classes.
Outside of the yoga studio, Sam enjoys reading, taking her dog for walks, spending time at her family’s camp, and relaxing with her husband and friends. She has bachelor degrees in both psychology and sociology and hopes to explore therapeutic yoga in the future as a way to support individuals with disabilities.
Tommie Burch, RYT-200, Prenatal-85, ASFA Barre Instructor
Tommie is a self-proclaimed yoga and fitness enthusiast who has recently switched to her fitness career full-time. Trained under Michelle Pollard's Yoga Foundations RYT-200 course in 2021, Tommie has been at Studio 4 ever since. On the schedule, you can catch her teaching hot vinyasa classes, barre fitness, prenatal yoga, mommy and me yoga, family yoga, and sometimes subbing for a slower flow class. She believes strongly in the importance of the mind, body, and spirit connection in a yoga practice. Her classes pair a challenging physical aspect with an uplifting mental and spiritual twist. She is also known by her students for her themed yoga and barre playlists.
In her spare time outside the studio, you will find her reading books, listening to podcasts, taking walks in nature, and spending time with her friends and family. She has a Bachelor's degree in early childhood education and collegiate certificate in music from Schenectady Community College. She loves the sun and the sea and will never pass up the opportunity to spend time on the beach.
Tanya MacLeod - 1200 Hr Baptiste/RYT-500
Tanya has always been a competitive athlete and spent most of her 20’s and 30’s strength training, running distance races and marathons. In 2013, shortly after moving to the Capital Region, she rediscovered yoga. What started as a physical practice, quickly became a passion. Yoga was no longer something she did, it became a way of life. It brought her mind, body and spirit into alignment and she could feel the work she was doing on her mat, showing up in her life.
Tanya is a 1200hr Tier 3 Certified Baptiste Power Yoga Influencer and 500hr RYT. She’s completed Baptiste Level One, Level Two, Level Three, Fit to Lead, Apprentice, Art of Assisting, Assisting Course, Being of Power, #unstoppable, #unstoppable Facilitator, YOD Level 1 and 40 Days to Personal Revolution with Baron Baptiste, Paige Elenson and the Baptiste Institute. She loves being a student and continuing to learn, discover and grow.
When she’s not in the studio teaching or practicing, she’s spending time with family and friends, traveling, moving her body (running, walking, hiking, working out), reading, cooking, baking and enjoying good food. Music makes her heart happy and she’s an avid podcast listener.
Jennifer Lewis, RYT-200
Jennifer believes yoga creates strength, flexibility, and balance in mind and body. As a yoga teacher, Jennifer's goal is to teach yoga that is accessible... for everybody and every body, with a focus on breath as an essential part of the practice. She enjoys sharing her love of yoga... and helping others find their own inner peace, balance, and calm.
Jennifer Lewis is an elementary school teacher who specializes in English Learners and loves the challenges and joys of teaching. Teaching has been a constant in her life with yoga as the one physical activity she kept coming back to when life’s road became too curvy. As her practice became more consistent, she discovered the importance of the breath and the many ways it benefits all aspects of one’s life. As a breast cancer survivor, yoga and the breath of yoga, changed her life in so many positive ways that she realized the next logical step would be to combine teaching and yoga.
Jennifer completed her 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga training at Studio 4 Hot Yoga and Pilates with Michelle Pollard in June 2017. She gained an understanding of the anatomy of yoga, the importance of creating a safe class as well as the deeper meaning of the eight limbs of yoga as a way of life led by gratitude, compassion, and community.
Before I started a career helping others get out of pain, I needed to help myself. After years of living a fast paced life, I realized I could no longer live with the physical pain and emotional stress. I started a 10 year journey towards improving my health and well being by studying breath, movement, the nervous system and mental health.
Today, I am a teacher. I help those that want to feel better in their body. I help people understand why they have pain and what they need to do to get out of it. There is much joy, freedom and empowerment unearthing our “blind spots”, those places where movement, thought and posture contribute to patterns of pain. My fitness expertise will help you unearth your passion for moving and breathing better and bring you to the best version of yourself.
My fitness journey started in 2008 after the realization that if I didn't start actively taking care of my body it wovuld one day fail me. Through trying all different types of exercise I fell in love with fitness. In 2013 I graduated SUNY Cobleskill with a BA in Plant Science and AAS in Landscape Development and decided to pursue a career in fitness. A few years ago my father was suffering with 3 herniated disks. He tried everything from cortisone shots, physical therapy, and acupuncture, nothing worked until he started taking pilates. Though it was painful to start he is now able to do everything he did prior to his injury and more. Pilates not only realigned his body but changed his mind set towards exercise. I found my passion for pilates through the change of my father. I received my Pilates Mat I Certification through Power Pilates in February 2016. I also teach barre fitness, kickboxing, and am an ACE certified personal trainer.
Sheryl Campbell - Baptiste 1200 Hr
Sheryl is a 1200 Hour Baptiste certified yoga instructor and former Co-Owner and Founder of Baptiste Power Yoga Capital District, which closed in September 2021 due to the pandemic. She has facilitated numerous wellness programs, workshops and trainings. Sheryl’s mission is to inspire others to be the best version of themselves by sharing yoga, coaching and mentoring. She has completed numerous yoga teacher trainings, as well kids teacher yoga trainings, and mentorship programs.
Sheryl is a mother to two college students, and works in the corporate field by day for financial consultants. In her downtime, she enjoys cycling, hiking, skiing, traveling and the great outdoors.
James Reeves - RYT-200
James began his yoga adventure in 2015 while between jobs, attempting to rehab a back injury. He quickly became enamored with the practice and the things that it offered physically, mentally and socially. James and his wife Chelsea earned their teaching certification with Michelle Pollard at Studio 4 in 2018 and have been teaching Vinyasa classes ever since. James likes his classes to be fun and challenging, hitting a little bit of everything to leave you feeling stronger, more relaxed and stretched out all over when you leave. He enjoys making custom playlists for his classes and always seeking out some fun new tunes. James is also a 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has found his Yoga practice to be a perfect compliment to help his body deal with many years of rough treatment on the mats.
Amy Waylett - RYT -200
Amy took her living room practice to Studio 4 a few years ago, initially to learn more about yoga and gain some physical benefits. Studio 4 became a sanctuary as she was working in a heightened stressful and challenging healthcare environment. Amy received her RYT 200 at Studio 4 in 2022 and began
teaching right away. Amy has always been an advocate of a healthy lifestyle – promoting physical activity, mental health, and proper nutrition – as she manages the daily demands of living with Type 1 Diabetes. Don’t be alarmed if you hear lots of beeping during your yoga practice with Amy, it’s all good!
She’s always willing to talk about blood sugars and insulin pumps, so don’t hesitate to ask questions. Amy has become a passionate yogi and enjoys sharing the yoga experience with the community and her friends and family, which includes her husband and 2 sons.
Off the mat Amy has a MS in Healthcare Administration and works as a Project Manager for Radiology IT. She lives with her husband, 2 very active sons, 3 Labradors, 2 cats and a few chickens! Amy loves being outside, feeling the sunshine on her soul, and maintaining an active lifestyle.