About Mookshi Practitioners
The practitioners at Mookshi come from a wide range of experience and are well trained and skilled in their respective healing art modalities. Each of our practitioners bring something unique to their practice, adding to the diverse range of bodywork services we are able to offer you!
Owner & Director of Mookshi Wellness Center, E-RYT Yoga Instructor, Bodywork/Ayurvedic Therapist
Cara Freidheim is the Owner and Director of Mookshi Wellness Center, which is nearing it’s fifth year of operation. She has been studying Yoga for 15+ years, and teaching for 9+, she is dedicated to her thriving Bodywork Therapy practice specializing in Ayurvedic Healing Treatments. Cara is currently continuing her Ayurvedic & Yogic studies with Dr. David Frawley through the Vedic Institute. Compassion is key in her practice, Cara strongly believes in the evolution of self and encourages her clients to embrace the thought that we are all on a path of healing and have great potential to feel more whole.
Ali started practicing yoga in 2001 and is certified therapeutic yoga teacher through Integrative Yoga Therapy. She also has her Pelvic Floor Yoga Teacher certification through Leslie Howard, RYT. Ali works with her students to help relieve stress, bring attention back to the breath, build stability and strength through yoga poses and to find healing relaxation for the mind, body & spirit. Her special areas of interest are women’s health, postpartum health, digestive disorders, stress and anxiety management, recovering from trauma and providing help to the healing body. In Ali’s classes she uses all types of yogic healing techniques to gain a better understanding of our physical, emotional and energetic self. She hopes to always create a safe and encouraging environment for her students … where everyone can feel welcome. Ali offers private therapeutic yoga sessions for those who would prefer individual, tailored classes or are new to yoga. Prior to a private session, you will have a phone consultation to discuss any current health challenges and your desired goals. Private yoga sessions are a wonderful way to check-in with your body, mind and spirit and gain some guidance as you move forward with your yoga practice and healing. Once we see each other as a true extension of ourselves we will find peace in our hearts.
Iktya Certified, Chakra/Yoga Practicioner, Sound Healer and Musician
Brooke Smokelin is an experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT), IKTYA certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist, Sound Healer and Musician. For over 15 years she has studied with teachers in the Kundalini, Sivananda, Ashtanga, and Kriya Yoga traditions. Through these various studies and an ever-blooming inspiration and fascination with the yogic chakra system, “Chakra Yoga” has become the cornerstone of her practice and her teaching. “Chakra Yoga is ‘Applied Yoga’, otherwise known as Yoga Therapy, in that we learn and apply specific therapeutic yogic tools of asana (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), mantra (repetitive sounds), and meditations to specific issues and imbalances in our lives and through regular practice bring the body-mind-spirit into better health and harmonization.” Brooke developed her Chakra Yoga as a creative and experiential medium to inform and ignite others with a knowledge of and techniques to embody their full-spectrum selves. Her Chakra Yoga empowers students, clients and practitioners with the yogic tools to transform their lives. Brooke offers Chakra Yoga classes and Chakra Yoga workshops and Trainings (CEUs available) as well as private or semi-private yoga sessions, Yoga Therapy, and Chakra Balancing sessions. Additionally, Brooke has worked with doctors and leaders in the Integrative Mental Health field to develop her Embodiment Program, a mind-body protocol specifically for Pervasive Developmental Disorder Spectrum, ADHD, PTSD, and other anxiety/mood afflictions. Brooke has been a practitioner of various forms of Sound Therapy for over 10 years. Working with the voice, drums, tuning forks, and quartz crystal bowls she integrates the healing qualities of rhythm, vibration, harmony, and deep listening into both group and private sessions. Yoga Instructor, Private Yoga Instruction, Yoga Therapist, Sound Healing, Energy Medicine, Musical Medicine, Chakra Balancing, Energy Activation and Embodiment Techniques, Chakra Yoga Classes. Contact Brooke directly at email@example.com or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Chakra-Yoga-Sacred-7-Yoga for more information about Brooke’s practice and availability. You may also contact Mookshi Wellness Center at 412.407.7829 for more information.
Deirdre Amos has been practicing massage therapy for ten years. She is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association and licensed to practice massage therapy by the State of Pennsylvania. After completing massage therapy education and training at Great Lakes Institute of Technology, Deirdre received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Gannon University.
Deirdre takes a uniquely therapeutic approach to massage combining her undergraduate and graduate work in human biology with her experience working in the physical therapy setting. The result is consistently goal oriented sessions focused on increasing functionality and decreasing pain. She enjoys the challenge of working with a variety of disorders and injuries and frequently coordinates with local physical therapists and physicians. A USATF Certified Running Coach and marathoner herself, Deirdre also enjoys helping athletes recover and reach optimal performance.
Elena Egusquiza recently moved back to Pittsburgh after completing a 200-hour kundalini yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India and a 200-hour vinyasa flow training in New Orleans with Sean Johnson. With the help of her influential yoga teachers around the world, she has reconnected to her first love – music. She now works to create dynamic fusion flows, finding ways to weave the healing properties of nada (sound) yoga into her asana classes. Her practice is comprehensive, drawing on a variety of techniques, from breathwork and meditation to dance and mantra chanting. A lifelong student, Elena actively seeks out cutting-edge yoga styles and healing modalities to keep her practice fresh. She likes to keep students on their toes, and strives to awaken their curiosity so they continue to delve deeper and deeper into their practice.
Elizabeth has been practicing yoga for 10 years. Her journey has led her from
classes at Cyndi Lee’s studio in NYC to years of steady learning from accomplished
instructors of Ansuara yoga. She has also traveled to India and visited the ashrams
of the Bihar School of Yoga and studied with teachers of this philosophy.
Elizabeth completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at the Himalayan Institute
in Mt Lebanon.
In addition Elizabeth has been a dedicated student at Mookshi for two years since
her move from NYC.
Shiatsu, Thai Massage
My studies of massage and the human body began in 1992 while living in Oregon. I attended the Cascade Institute of Massage and Bodywork and after completing my training I was granted a license to practice massage. Only I never did. I was side-tracked by a photograph. In 1993 I traveled to Thailand to study traditional massage. My interest was kindled by one photograph in particular of a single Thai massage stretch performed on the rocks overlooking the beauty of Hawaii. One year later I was in Chaing Mai and my journey had begun in earnest. After three months of intensive training I returned to Pittsburgh where I began to share my new found knowledge by introducing people to the sacred bodywork known as Nuad Bo-Rarn or ancient massage. I have spent the past 18 years dedicating myself to bringing this dynamic form of bodywork to the Pittsburgh area, it would be my honour and privilege to share with you the sacred art of Traditional Thai massage.
Holly received her 200 hour certification in 2012 from Yogaworks in New York City. Focusing on healthy alignment, body awareness and self reflection, she helps her students create a practice they can apply on and off the mat. A life long cyclist, she works with runners and other cyclists to prevent injury and create balance and space in the body. She is certified in Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga. This healing modality uses breath, mindfulness, and gentle movement to help manage cancer, MS, and other chronic and debilitating conditions. She is deeply grateful for the opportunity to share this practice.
My yogic journey began at the turn of the century, as a college student at Pitt. Yoga changed my life and brought me relief from migraines, depression, and injuries sustained from a lifetime of physical activity. After fifteen years of practice, I arrived at a place where I was ready to share my experience with others. I completed my yoga teacher training in 2016 at BYS, under the disciplined tutelage of Lynn Rescigno. I practice a classical vinyasa style of yoga. My sequences are lively and dynamic, yet balanced and accessible to all skill levels. As my teaching journey continues, I look forward to sharing and learning with all of the yogis in the Mookshi community.
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Fertility, Prenatal, Postpartum & Labor Massage Specialist, Birth Doula, Reiki Master, Craniosacral Therapist, and Mama. From a very young age I was aware of my empathic gifts and intuitive abilities. My love of the human body & how it works came during my senior year of high school during my first anatomy class. This is when I realized just how amazing we all are! After graduation, I went on to pursue a career in Massage Therapy. I graduated from CTA in Monroeville in 2000. During my time there, I took an introductory course in Prenatal massage and fell in LOVE!!! I knew from that moment on this was what I was meant to do. Nurture. Over the last 17 years I have taken classes in a myriad of modalities that have helped me to grow my knowledge of the body, which has helped my clients from all walks of life. It has also helped me to specifically learn how all of these different techniques can benefit women in their childbearing years. So, not only have I taken classes specific to Certifying me in Fertility, Prenatal and Postpartum & Labor massage, but I have been driven in every other class to ask & learn how that particular therapy would help my Mamas. As I learned more about the body I became more and more aware of how much energy played a vital role in the healing process. A whole different level of touch! Amazing!!! It was then that I started working toward my Reiki Master level training. Since learning about energy work, I realized how very specific yet gentle therapies have profound effects on the body. Lymphatic Drainage, Reflexology & (a personal favorite)Craniosacral Therapy are modalities that I have taken great care in learning and am continuing to broaden my expertise with as well. I not only feel that a clients energy is a factor in the healing process but my own as well, which is why I practice a technique called Healing from the Core. It is a form of meditation/awareness that helps me keep healthy boundaries with my energy, while also allowing it to be a full & grounded presence that acts as a buoy to help me support my clients. Aside from all of my knowledge & trainings, I truly believe learning how to work with & trusting in my empathic gifts and intuitive abilities have been the driving forces that guide me to help my clients to heal. Crystals, stones and essential oils are also a great passion for me, but nothing is more special to me than my family. I am happily married to my best friend and we have 2 amazing little girls who are the light of our lives. I enjoy spending spare time creating items out of yarn (Crochet or Knit, I love them both), playing hide & seek with my angels and spending time outside. If you have any other questions about me or my services~ you can visit my website at www.heavensenthealing.weebly.com
Laura Herrmann, LMT, E-RYT is honored to support you on your journey to health and happiness. Transformative change comes from within. A great teacher or therapist will assist you in this process of self-discovery and self-healing. Laura teaches with clarity, subtlety, and compassion to guide you to greater body awareness and insight. Her yoga teaching is inspired by the traditional Ashtanga and Iyengar systems, as well as her vipassana meditation practice. She travels regularly to study with master teachers such as Maty Ezraty, Petri Raisanen, and Manouso Manos. She has additional training in Yin Yoga with Richard Gartner and Pelvic Floor Yoga with Leslie Howard. Laura studied at the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy in 2012, and continues her training in a wide range of modalities. Her offerings include therapeutic massage, pregnancy massage, myofascial release, cranial sacral therapy, and reiki. She is a student of energy medicine, mysticism, herbalism, ayurveda, holds degrees in Literature and Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh, and is pursuing a nursing degree to become a Nurse-Midwife.
Dr. Luke attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Studies in 2011. Upon graduation from IUP he chose to earn his Doctorate of Chiropractic at New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) where he graduated from in 2014. While attending NYCC Dr. Luke worked in the NYCC outpatient health center in Buffalo, the Rochester Brain and Spine clinic, the University of Buffalo health center, and many other clinics in the Buffalo area. After returning home, he decided to open up his own office in Tarentum to serve the community in which he grew up in. Dr. Luke is proficient in Diversified adjusting, Sacro-occipital technique, Drop table technique, Instrument assisted adjusting, Manual soft tissue manipulation, Fascial Movement Taping (ROCKTAPE), and much more. Dr. Luke’s mission is to give his patients the best possible care that can optimize their health; whether that is in their occupation, athletics, or in everyday life. Call 412-877-7390 to contact Dr. Luke Directly or visit www.camp-chiropractic.com for more information.
Leslie Wright has earned an RYT-500 certification from the Himalayan Institute and a second 500-hour certification through EmbodiYoga with Lisa Clark. She has many interests (gardening, book binding, anantomy, animals especially carts floral design paper making, yoga of course), and she is always noodling away at something. She finds the world beguiling. When Leslie leads a restorative yoga class, she seeks to create a welcoming space where people are encouraged to withdraw for a time from their outward-reaching, multi-tasking busy-ness and to shift their attention toward an inward-reaching quietness. Before entering the studio, participants are invited to leave their to-do lists in the outer hallway with their shoes; and once they have settled onto their mats, they are asked to do one single task: they are to focus attention on themselves. With sustained practice, students come to discover a paradox: the act of withdrawing one’s attention from the external world in order to focus on the self is not an act which limits experience; it becomes, rather, an opening towards the equally vast and varied terrain of one’s internal experience. The class, then, provides not just a physical space in which to practice supported asana, but it provides a temporal spaciousness, when students can s l o w d o w n and notice how very much indeed there is to know about themselves–the patterns of their thoughts, the qualities of their observations, the textures of their breaths. Students, suspended for a time from the distractions of the world, create a space where they can remember themselves.
Moriah Ella Mason
Ella began her massage therapy career in 2010 after graduating from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca, NY. With over 1,000 hours of formal training and 6 years of practice, Ella has experience helping clients with a wide range of goals: everything from sciatica to bursitis to post-traumatic stress disorder. Ella is also an experienced professional modern dancer and movement educator. She brings her knowledge of movement studies to each session, helping clients craft a treatment plan and self-care strategies to support long-term healing and a deep mind-body connection.
Midwife, Craniosacral Therapist
Neena Cicirello has studied various forms of transformational healing for over 12 years. She holds a BA in Marriage, Family, and Gender Studies from University of Colorado-Boulder, is a practicing Traditional Midwife, and has over 4 years experience as a CST Therapist. Neena came to CST through her studies of Massage, Anatomy, and Traditional Midwifery, and trained with Carol Gray a Midwife and Craniosacral Therapist of Portland, Oregon. Neena’s life work is dedicated to the evolution of birth and humanity through healing, self empowerment, and anatomy education. She works to cultivate awareness in the body of her clients seeing the healing process as an opportunity to rebirth again and engage with the innocence of life.
Rachael, RYT, completed her teacher training in 2010 with Pittsburgh’s Third Street Yoga. She has a long history of martial arts and study of Western Buddhism, which she brings to her practice. She works closely with Joanne VandenHegel to train aspiring teachers and plan bi-annual retreats. Her teaching is most aligned with Hatha Yoga, but she infuses an element of “Mindfulness Meditation” and “gentle flow” to her classes.
Sarah Bauer is a PA Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, and Yoga Instructor. She graduated from the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy in 2007 with a dual focus in Medical Massage and Asian & Energy Therapies. She became a Reiki Master in 2009 after studying for years with Timothy Kocher-Hillmer and will soon begin taking on Reiki students. Sarah was a staff member at The Pittsburgh Center for Complimentary Health & Healing for three years. Upon the birth of her second child in 2010 she opened Samadhi~ Massage, Reiki & Yoga. She completed her Yoga Teacher Training coursework with Joanne Vandenhengel of 3rd Street Yoga in 2010 and currently teaches classes and workshops at Schoolhouse Yoga. Sarah trained and worked as a professional dancer before turning toward a healing profession. She is a long-time student of mystical traditions as well as a practitioner of yoga and meditation for over 10 years. All of these life experiences give a unique form to her work, melding a fluent knowledge of anatomy and body movement with the grace of a dancer, and incorporating her view of the body’s energy system to induce deeper levels of healing. She enjoys working with these different approaches harmoniously in a session depending on a clients individual goals. Sarah lives in Regent Square with her artist husband, martial artist son and sweet toddling daughter. She is a fluent Spanish speaker. In her free time she enjoys being in nature, breathing, knitting, being up-side-down…and getting a massage! Call 412.407.7829 or visit www.samadhi.massagetherapy.com for more information about Sarah’s practice and availability. To book an appointment with Sarah online click here!
Taheera Tucker, M.S. R.Y.T.
Mindful Psychotherapist, Trauma and E.M.D.R. Specialist
Taheera has served in the mental health field for nearly 16 years specializing in Trauma
and Mindfulness. By integrating trauma specific techniques such as E.M.D.R with mindful practices such as yoga, reiki, mindful movement, meditation, and breathing exercises into traditional psychotherapy, Taheera has developed a unique specialty in the mental
health field. She believes in an integrative holistic approach and provides her clients deeper insight on where energy may be blocked in their bodies and makes recommendations that are specific to her clients needs. Taheera is a certified Yoga Teacher, Reiki
Healer, E.MD.R., Trauma Specialist, and has a M.S. in Human Services/ Mental Health Counseling from Capella University, and currently obtaining a M.S. in Professional Counseling at Carlow University. Taheera considers herself a Healing Artist, partaking in ongoing trainings in order to deepen her awareness to better serve her clients and the communities. For questions or concerns please contact me at Taheera@corewellnessliving.com. To book an appointment, call 412.407.7829.
Tim earned his 200 RYT at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Nassau, Bahamas. Trained in classical Hatha Yoga philosophy, his classes are a balance of pranayama and asana, engaged postures and deep relaxation. Dedicated to nearly a decade of study of Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice, he brings an element of mindfulness training to his Yoga practice, allowing one to experience the peace of mind that lies in the experienceof the present moment.