Teachers

Mark Nelson, E-RYT 200
Director
Teaching since 2008
Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Yin Yoga, Gentle Yoga

Mark has been practicing yoga since 1991. Early on, he fell in love with the feeling of openness and focus that comes from a regular practice. Where the spirit leads, the body will follow, and he soon discovered that he could move in ways he never thought possible. Read More >>

That combination of mindfulness and movement drew him deeper into the practice, studying Ashtanga Yoga with such renowned teachers as David Swenson, Annie Pace and Jill Manning; Yin yoga with Paulie Zink; and Vinyasa Yoga with Cyndi Lee and Corina Benner.

Mark teaches yoga as a personalized healing science and a profound life-changing philosophy. His classes unite the flow of breath with the flow of the body, guiding students to a creative blend of physical exploration, inward focus and real-life philosophy. Mark has directed the Yoga Garden studios since 2010.

 

Jen Bowers
Teaching since
Vinyasa Yoga

Bio coming soon.

 

Ali Calvaruso
Teaching since
Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga, Yin Yoga

Bio coming soon.

 

Lisa Ciccotelli
Teaching since 2003
Gentle Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga

Lisa began to dance as soon as she could walk, and continued for sixteen years. She began practicing yoga in 2000, something she saw as a natural progression from dance and an alternative way to heal a lower back injury. Read More >>

Initially drawn to the physicality of yoga she was instantly impressed by the incredible effect it had on her body and mind. Inspired to share this practice and its life-changing effects with others, Lisa became a certified level 1, 2 and 3 yoga instructor through the International Sports Medicine Association in 2002. She trained at Kripalu to become a restorative yoga teacher, and Yoga on Main to become a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance.

Lisa believes in yoga as a modality of healing the person as a whole. A class with Lisa is challenging and energizing with flowing movements and a focus on breath, opening the body mindfully, and calming the mind through meditation.

 

Phil Donnelly
Teaching since 2007
Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga

Phil began her teacher training to dive deeper into what yoga was all about and try and figure out how and why “it worked”. Phil is now expanding her practice by studying Iyengar Yoga. She believes the therapeutic benefits of using good alignment are enormous. Expect a nicely paced flow class mixed with a little humour.

 

Kim Eckler
Teaching since 1999
Pre- and Postnatal Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga

Kim began practicing yoga in 1989. As a philosophy student and dancer, the mind-body connection of yoga resonated deeply with her. In subsequent years, yoga remained a useful tool as she pursued martial arts and motherhood, keeping her body and spirit in balance. Read More >>

She became certified through the Yogalife Institute in 1999, studying pre- and postnatal yoga with Patricia Cornielus. Kim is also a postpartum doula. She feels privileged to share in people’s happiness as they grow their families.

Kim believes that anybody can practice yoga. Practicing with intention of purpose and sensitivity to the body keeps one present in their focus, and helps to avoid self-defeating behaviors such as competition and self-criticism. A class with Kim begins slowly and softly in order to synchronize body and breath, then builds in intensity. There is a focus on stability through the legs and hips, and softness in the neck, chest and arms, thus being grounded yet open. For prenatal classes, there is a reinforcement of the connection between mother and child.

 

Lauren Foster, E-RYT 200
Teaching since 2008
Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga

Lauren Hanna Foster began practicing yoga in 2007 and teaching in 2008. A Pittsburgh native, Lauren moved to Philadelphia to complete her Masters degree in Social Work at Bryn Mawr College. A social worker by day and yoga ninja by night, Lauren teaches group and private vinyasa classes inspired by Ashtanga and the many variations of Vinyasa Yoga. Her classes are grounded in a playful combination of flow, structure, tradition and joy.

 

Terry Fox
Teaching since 2006
Meditation, Mindfulness-Based Stress Management

Terry’s meditation practice is rooted in the contemplative prayer and silent retreats of her youth. As a young adult, she expanded her meditative inquiries to include the spiritual centers of the major world traditions. Read More >>

In the 90’s, she gravitated to the teachings of Zen Buddhist monk ThichNhatHanh, the mindfulness model of Jon Kabat-Zinn, and the supporting research of the scientific community. Terry holds a Master’s degree in counselor education and counseling psychology and has worked as a teacher and counselor in a variety of settings, including schools, sheltered workshops, and social service agencies.

Terry teaches meditation as a journey of self-discovery that’s undertaken by settling into silence and listening with one’s whole being. The journey cultivates a sense of calm, ease, and well-being, deepens insight into self and others, and leads to a realization of one’s true Self. Terry’s classes consist of instruction, practice, and discussion. She encourages her students to embrace their meditation experience with curiosity and kindness and to respect the unique unfolding of their individual journey.

 

Rachael Hunter
Teaching since 2011
Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga

Rachael began practicing yoga in 1996 when she moved to Princeton, NJ for postdoctoral studies. Learning an Iyengar-style practice as well as Vinyasa flow, she completed her teacher training at Verge Yoga in Wayne PA. Through her teaching as well as her personal practice, Rachael recognizes the power of yoga heal old injuries as well as prevent new ones. She leads her classes with careful attention to alignment and slow mindful movement.

 

Phyllis Hurwitz
Teaching since 2008
Personal Training, Bootcamp, Body Sculpting, Spinning, Sculpt and Strength

Phyllis became serious about exercise and fitness after the birth of her first son in 2002. She was immediately drawn to the Jillian Michael’s style of fast, intensely focused interval training. Without a lot of time for exercise, the short bursts of cardio combined with strengthening moves worked, and after each pregnancy, Phyllis worked even harder and continued to see results. It was after she began running that she fell in love with fitness forever. Everything came together for her as she discovered the balance of Yoga. Her background as an elementary school teacher and her love of fitness became a new life path. Read More >>

Phyllis now teaches and trains women, men and children with the same techniques that worked for her; quick, efficient, safe and fun. A particular focus on form and postural awareness throughout class, along with a connection of the breath and movement, maximizes results both in class and out. Phyllis provides variations and modifications for all levels, while challenging each student to push past their comfort zones. Phyllis’s classes are fun and interactive, always providing new moves and new opportunities for change!

 

Noah Julian
Teaching Since 2008
Vinyasa Yoga, Liquid Flow Yoga

In the style of Simon Park’s Liquid Flow (which fuses Prana Flow and Dharma Vinyasa) Noah brings a unique and fun approach to the practice by incorporating experience with several movement modalities, spanning over a decade, while adhering to the roots of Vinyasa practice. Read More >>

In a slow and highly challenging flow we will find each movement’s responsibility, creating a dance-like quality to the practice, which transforms an art form into a moving meditation.

 

Jill Karkosak
Teaching since
Gentle Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga

Bio coming soon.

 

Maggie Lile
Teaching since
Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga

Bio coming soon.

 

Bevin Lustman
Teaching since 2012
Power Yoga

Bevin began her yoga journey back in 2009. In 2011 she enrolled in the vinyasa yoga teacher training program through Dana Hot Yoga and has been teaching power vinyasa yoga ever since. Read More >>

After finishing her collegiate athletic career, power vinyasa yoga was the only activity that kept her strength level challenged while continuing to grow the connection between her mind and body. Through her own practice and teaching, she has cultivated a profound passion for teaching her students how to gracefully deepen their practices while simultaneously continuing to deepen the connection of mind and body. Bevin’s classes are an energizing collaboration of power vinyasa flow, pranayama and reflection.

 

Gina Molinari
Teaching since
Vinyasa Yoga, Gentle Yoga

Bio coming soon.

 

Chelsea Nader
Teaching since
Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga, Gentle Yoga

Bio coming soon.

 

Simon Park
Teaching since
Vinyasa Yoga, Prana Flow® Yoga

Bio coming soon.

 

Brittany Policastro
Teaching since 2003
Vinyasa Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Restorative, Prenatal, Yoga Babies

Known as a Stevie Wonder-loving, truth-speaking change-maker who bagged law school to pursue a creative thirst; Brittany rarely follows the pack on or off the mat. She believes transformation can be tumultuous- sometimes loud and messy but always packed with guidance and grace. Read More >>

And she leads her students into the heart of the practice from the start of her classes.” reference=”Brittany” more=”With over 6,000 hours and nine years of experience, Brittany teaches from an inspired space of connected consciousness. Her technique is influenced by her 300 hours of training in Anusara, practice in Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga as well as deep study in India.

Inspired to create global awareness, Brittany has traveled to Cambodia, Brazil, Tanzania and India teaching yoga to children and connecting with each culture. In 2010, Brittany founded Beyond Asana and co-created the Beyond Asana Yoga Teacher Training, which combines asana, sacred activism, personal growth work and global travel.

In 2009, Brittany’s blog was published in Yoga Journal. In 2010 she appeared on the 10! Show for a segment for Healthy Backs. In 2011 her poems were featured in The Poetry of Yoga, alongside some of the most recognized teachers in the world and in 2012 LululemonAthletica named her an ambassador for their Philadelphia store.

Brittany cooks and eats consciously, loves to dance and continues to be uplifted by reruns of The Cosby Show.

 

Johnathan Raiss
Teaching since 2008
Vinyasa Yoga, Liquid Flow Yoga, Prana Flow Yoga

Johnathan was introduced to yoga through the practice of Ashtanga and hot yoga at the vulnerable age of sixteen. He has been involved with athletics and martial arts for much of his life, but yoga truly helped to expose him to levels of qualitative, therapeutic, and informative movement beyond what he knew possible. Read More >>

Deep meditative awareness, and self-realization began to become aspects of his life through yoga practice, and he feels these things have served to develop an empathic bond with the planet and humanity as a whole. Simon Park, Dharma Mittra, Phillip Askew, David Regelin, Shiva Rea, Richard Freeman, Ido Portal, and Alex Holmes are great influences in his practice and teaching.

Johnathan teaches a dynamic flow that fluctuates between subtlety and vigor. He seeks to share a challenging yet therapeutic practice that can beneficially transform one’s life both on and off the mat.

 

Lauren Robertson
Teaching since 2010
Children’s Yoga, Gentle Yoga

Lauren began her practice of yoga in 1995 and was certified in 2010, studying under Bob and Kristen Butera. Lauren’s teaching philosophy is strong and organic, stemming from eight years’ teaching experience in art education. Read More >>

Her creativity and love of learning inspire her teaching, beginning each class with an intention to inspire and awaken the mindfulness in each student.

Lauren is honored to be part of the Yoga Garden team. Her goal is to make yoga’s process accessible to her students. Her classes provide them with enhanced flexibility, strength, balance and endurance, both mental and physical.

 

Sarah Rogers
Teaching Since 2006
Hatha Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Yoga for Seniors, Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Kripalu Yoga

Sarah first learned about yoga from her mom and began practicing formally in 1999. She received her 200 hour Hatha Yoga Certification from The Spirit of Yoga in January 2007 where she learned about various styles including Forrest, Ashtanga, Kripalu, Baptiste, Iyengar, Kundalini, and Prenatal yoga. In 2010, Sarah spent four months volunteering at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health as the Guest Yoga Team volunteer where she coordinated, taught, and assisted classes. She has much gratitude for all of her teachers including Pam Walsh, Deanne Caputo, Judy Curiel, Jurian Hughes, Devadas, Randal Williams, Grace Jull, and Danny Arguetty. Read More >>

Sarah brings a calm, soothing presence to her yoga and meditation classes. She is interested in teaching her students to cultivate not only improved physical health but also an inner stillness and a tranquil spirit through their yoga practice both on and off the mat.

 

Rebecca Saline
Teaching Since 2006
Power Yoga

Teaching Vinyasa Yoga and Power Yoga since 2003. Rebecca’s yoga journey began in 2001 when her older sister took her to her first vinyassa yoga class. During that practice, Rebecca felt the physical challenge of yoga lead to a spiritual awakening. From there, she devoted herself to yoga under the instruction of renowned yoga instructor, Baron Baptiste. In 2003, she became a certified yoga instructor at Philly Power Yoga. Read More >>

In addition to teaching yoga, Rebecca has a B.A. in Psychology from George Washington University, a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Temple University and a Reading Specialist Certification from the University of Pennsylvania. Rebecca’s classes embody the belief that yoga is a moving meditation. She strives to challenge her students through a vigorous physical practice while helping them keep a peaceful mind. Rebecca feels her classes are an opportunity for each student to connect with their true inner self and is grateful to guide them.

 

Colleen Schoenhard, E-RYT 500
Teaching since 1988
Classic Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation (as taught by Yogi Bhajan), Yoga Nidra, Gentle Yoga

Colleen began meditation while in college, yoga soon followed. It felt great to get out of the “head” and stretch and tone the body, calm and focus the mind, give space to witness emotions, realize the power of breath, and to be aware of the connection with unlimited possibility. Read More >>

This transformed her life professionally and personally and it helped when life’s serious challenges came. Colleen is grateful for her study with some profound individuals: Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga, and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health- her long-time teacher of Classic Yoga/Meditation; and GurumukhKalKhalsa, HariKaurKalKhalsa, Hari Kirin KalKhalsa from the Kundalini tradition. Workshops with: Yoganand Michael Carroll, Tara Brach, Shiva Rea, Paulie Zink, Beryl Bender Birch.

Colleen is an experienced, knowledgeable teacher who knows the body/mind well. She teaches yoga as a practical, transformational tool, a technology (with heart) to explore and develop the unlimited creative potential within each and every one of us. She asks the students to begin exactly where they are and be present and “witness”. Breath is consciously used to connect body and mind. Students cultivate focus, courage, non-judgmental awareness (mindfulness) as well as strong, flexible bodies. Each class leads the student through a comprehensive, balanced sequence beginning with an opening meditation; warm-ups; sun-salutations; standing, balancing, and mat poses; and final relaxation. The experience is calm but can be challenging at times. Various stages of some postures are given so that individuals can make poses as challenging or simple as they need, allowing for an all-level group to benefit. This is a complete workout inside and out, leaving students feeling happy, whole, empowered and recharged.

 

Emily Smith
Pilates

The healing power of touch and movement have always played an important role in Emily’s life as means for communication & self expression. Her interest in the mind-body connection grew out of her love of dance which she continued to study through college.

Emily earned a BS in Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She has studied Pilates in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Arizona and Colorado and is certified to teach Pilates through the Physicalmind Institute. A move to Colorado in 2003 sparked future endeavors when she opened Trinity Wellness Studio in 2005. After selling the studio in 2010, Emily returned to family and friends in the Philadelphia area. Here, her teaching now incorporates self massage & myofascial release into creative and fun movement sessions.

Emily completed 650 hours of training in Massage Therapy and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. I am excited to share my hands-on healing modalities with clients.

Upon reflection, I discovered that I have been creating movement sequences and facilitating the body’s natural ability to heal ever since I was three years old. I am thrilled to carry my passion into my professional life. I invite you to soften the shell of life’s tension. Peel back the layers and reconnect with your essence. I look forward to meeting and working with you.

 

Marla Sussman
Teaching since 2001
Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga, Pre- and Postnatal Yoga, Yoga for Children

Marla was first introduced to yoga in 1990 and was immediately inspired by its spiritual and physical teachings. She began practicing more regularly in 1999 and trained at Yoga on Main where she received her certification in 2001. Read More >>

Since then she’s received certification in prenatal, children’s, and yin yoga. She feels very blessed to have found yoga and is honored to be able to share what she’s learned.

For Marla, yoga is an expression and a part of an individual’s journey. It can fit into any lifestyle. She encourages body awareness and compassion using grace through movement. Her classes blend soft and strenuous movement in a safe, light-hearted and nurturing environment. Breathing, exploration, and joy are at the core of each class.

 

Dawn Weisbord
Teaching since 2001
Qi Gong, Sheng Zhen Wuji Yuan Gong

Dawn began practicing and studying yoga in her early twenties. This practice piqued her interest in transformation through mindful breath and movement. She began formal study of acupuncture and qi gong in 1997 at the Traditional Acupuncture Institute. Read More >>

There, Chan Zhang was Dawn’s first qi gong teacher. She now studies extensively with Master Li Jun Feng. Master Li has certified Dawn to teach shengzhenqi gong. She’s studied with various other wonderful teachers including Kimberly Rigsbee, Ken Cohen, Francesco Garripoli, Master Wu Zhongxian, and Li Jing. She’s a lifetime member of the National Qi Gong Association and of Peaceable Dragon. Dawn teaches acupuncture and qigong at the WON Institute of Graduate Studies in Glenside, PA. She holds the credentials of M.Ac.,Dilp.Ac., and is a certified qi gong instructor.

Finding the practice of qi gong to be transformational and evolutionary in her own life, Dawn loves to share her joy of practice through teaching. Anyone can learn and practice the simple and profound movements of qi gong. Dawn’s classes are relaxing and energizing. With mindful movement and breath students learn to cultivate and move qi energy and can create healing, health, well-being and transformation. Students practice standing, sitting and non-moving meditative forms as well as qi self-massage. Classes are designed to benefit students of all levels.

 

Chae Yang, E-RYT 500, RPYT
Teaching since 2006
Vinyasa Yoga, Prana Flow®, Prenatal Yoga, Therapeutic Alignment Yoga, Hatha Yoga

Chae began studying yoga in 2001 and was immediately drawn to the philosophy and tools yoga had to offer for life. She began her teacher studies in 2006 to complete two vinyasa teacher trainings by 2008 and registered with Yoga Alliance as RYT 500. She began assisting Yoga Alliance approved Teacher Training programs in 2009 to continue on as a participating teacher of trainings. Read More >>

Her commitment to the studentship of yoga include: Sadhana, Ayurveda, Flow, Alignment and Therapeutics. She has completed trainings in Anusara Yoga (200 hours), Vinyasa (700 hours), and Pre(post)natal Yoga as well as numerous Subtle Body Immersions, Therapeutic Alignment and Yogic Scripture courses. Chae is registered with Yoga Alliance as: ERYT 500, RYT 500 (Prana Flow), RPYT (Prenatal). Her classes sew together inspiration from Shiva Rea and Michelle Synnestvedt along with teachings of Himalayan Institute Faculty, Twee Merrigan, Maria Garre, Darren Rhodes, Joan White, Carrie Owerko and Ellen Saltonstall.

Chae teaches yoga full time and is dedicated to serving the community through yoga having lead classes that benefit families of cancer patients and the homeless in Philadelphia since 2007. She has also been leading global Yoga Retreats by the sea since 2009. The private, group and retreat practices offer individual challenges but are filled with laughter, ease and compassion. She continues to study and share yoga full time and is a householder.