Teachers

Mark Nelson, E-RYT 500
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 Corina Benner. Mark has since completed his 500-hr. teacher training through the Himalayan Institute.

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.

 

Michelle Baldino
Teaching since 2013
Vinyasa Yoga, Alignment-Based Yoga, Restorative Yoga

Michelle first experienced yoga with her mother while she was in college but it was a few year later that she made yoga a regular practice. She then fell deeply in love with the strength it gave her body and the relaxation it offered her restless mind. In 2012 she decided to earn her 200-hour teacher certification from Verge Yoga in Wayne, PA. She focused primarily on an alignment-based style of teaching which she still loves to weave into her classes but she also likes to bring a quality of playfulness and lightness to allow students to have their own experience on their mat.

Michelle lives in Havertown with her incredible husband Mike and their two bright and hilarious children, Francesca and Benjamin.

 

Jen Bowers
Teaching since 2014
Yin Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga

Jen has been practicing yoga for 20 years. While Jen was training for a marathon, her mom took her kicking and screaming to her first yoga class. Not only was she surprised by how much she enjoyed the physical practice, she almost immediately connected with the mind, body, spirit transformation that yoga offers. Jen believes deeply that yoga has changed her from the inside-out. Read More >>

She completed her 200-hour teacher training at the Yoga Garden with Mark Nelson and Chae Yang. She has also completed a 55-hour Yin Yoga Teacher Intensive with Corina Benner at the Integral Yoga Institute in New York City. Jen has an active personal yoga practice and is always a student first.

Daily, Jen is moved by the poetry of Rumi, Hafiz and Thich Nhat Hanh as well as the ancient yogic texts, and her classes often start with a philosophical intention that weaves it’s way through the practice. A current theme is finding compassion and self-love on the mat, with the belief that these mindful practices lead us off the mat and into each day. Whether leading a yin class, a gentle class, or an active vinyasa flow, there are always elements of effort and ease, moving with intention into each shape and then, finding the most healthy and supportive alignment. And she recently has adopted a cue used often by Nikki Robinson, “Asana is always in support of the breath”.

Jen loves to travel, is a passionate foody, and is a lover of good wine shared with dear friends and family. And her most important role is that of mother to a 7-year-old yogini-in-training and 10-year-old future tennis star.

 

Cicelee Chapelle
Vinyasa Yoga

When Cicelee first began practicing yoga, it was strictly as a means to cross-train her body. Before long it became her primary form of exercise, as it benefited both body and mind in ways her gym workouts could not. Read More >>

After years of life in New York City working on Wall St. then in the fashion industry, yoga became her path to healing her mind and spirit, releasing struggle, and staying centered. As her passion for yoga grew, so did the idea that she should share it with as many people as she could. To that end she completed teacher trainings with Isaac Pena, Jude English, Mary Dana Abbott, and Schuyler Grant, emerging from them a fully committed yoga teacher.

Having returned to Philadelphia, her hometown, she aims to serve her students with classes that purify the body and still the mind through the healing power of breath coordinated with mindful movement.

 

Megan Duffy
Teaching since 2016
Vinyasa Yoga

Megan fell in love with yoga as a young girl, before she even knew it was a thing. Her morning routine everyday before school involved flipping into poses like wheel and shoulder stand to the beat of MTV’s music videos. Her official practice didn’t start until college, however, when she began taking classes to help bring stillness and balance to her life as a busy journalism student at Temple University. Read More >>

Learning about the body and mind as a whole system drove her to dive deeper into her study of yoga philosophy and physical practice. All of this led Megan to complete her 200-hour teacher training at the Yoga Garden with Mark Nelson, Chae Yang and Nikki Robinson.

In each of Megan’s classes, you can expect a loving and supported environment. Her aim is to have students’ time on the mat serve as a reminder of the strength and courage that is always inside of them.

 

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
Vinyasa Yoga, Yin 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.

 

Noah Julian
Teaching Since 2008
Vinyasa Yoga, Liquid Flow Yoga

A violinist, turned yoga instructor, Noah’s experience with numerous movement modalities including various forms of yoga-asana, dance, martial arts, gymnastics, acrobatics and weightlifting has taken place over a decade of serious study. Read More >>

In large part prompted by a crippling battle with rheumatoid arthritis, Noah began an education and comprehensive practice of self-study, movement, meditation and self-optimization. Noah continues his lifelong study, and daily practice, of these subjects and more while teaching movement, yoga and violin to students ranging from age 5 – 85.

 

Lisa Kroiz, RYT-200
Teaching Since 2005
Vinyasa Yoga

Eleven years ago Lisa received her 200+ hour certification from The Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in New York City with Dana Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi. Read More >>

She teaches a dynamic vinyasa flow paired with a meditative cool down that empowers her students to “soften the edges” in the practice of yoga and in the practice of living life. Yoga has provided Lisa with the framework for a life of wellness, authenticity and grace. Along with teaching her weekly yoga classes she is the co-owner of Food Practice, a boutique cooking company that inspires healthy living.

 

Kelly Love
Teaching since 2006
Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga

Kelly fell in love with yoga after stumbling into her first class over a dozen years ago. After many years of teaching high energy fitness classes, it was yoga that opened Kelly’s eyes and heart to the mind-body connection. Read More >>

Kelly completed her 200 hour teaching certification at Power Yoga Works in Philadelphia in 2006 and has evolved her teachings and her own practice through exploration of other yoga disciplines and guidance from nationally known teachers such as Shiva Rea, Sean Corn, Bryan Kest, Janet Stone, Andrea Marcum, Jason Crandell and many others.

In addition to yoga, Kelly is also certified to teach both mat and reformer pilates which provides a solid foundation for any class she teaches, whether its yoga or pilates. You can be sure to experience Kelly’s passion for core work and with any luck, she will make a core lover out of you too!

 

Gina Molinari
Teaching Since 2010
Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Children’s Yoga

Led to yoga by back pain, Gina started practicing yoga in 2008. Divine intervention brought her from the sweaty studios of the Jersey Shore to Philly in 2013 and placed her in the hands of the Yoga Garden where she completed her 200RYT under the wisdoms of Mark Nelson and Chae Yang. Read More >>

Inspired by rockstar yogis like Rachel Brathen equally as much as the Seekers she encounters in life, Gina quickly learned that yoga is more than asana and is enthusiastic about leading others toward the awareness of yoga as a means of mindfulness, good health, serenity, and love.

Gina’s athletic background and gypsy soul bring energy and a passion for discovery to her sequencing. Expect to move your body and tune into its feedback in her classes. Gina’s classes will integrate the breath with physical alignment and shed light on how our movements can bring awareness to everyday situations. As Gina is energized by yoga and life as ever evolving journeys, you can count on her passionately opening your heart and mind through her classes.

When she’s off the mat, Gina is typically wanderlusting or hula hoop dancing. She’s down to chat about your favorite (plant-based) recipes, work woes, or life dreams. While she is honing the skill of being still, she also hopes to take a world tour someday soon and share her knowledge of yoga along the way.

 

Kristin Page
Teaching since 2016
Gentle Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga

Kristin is a passionate, heart-centered yoga and meditation teacher, lover of handstands, travel, dogs and all things mind, body, spirit related.

When Kristin was 23 she injured her back and found yoga. Yoga has lead her on a journey to find stillness, strength, peace and alignment from within. Kristin was named Best Yoga Teacher on The Main Line and she has guided thousands of students in yoga and mindfulness. Read More >>

Kristin is a regular contributor to online magazines such as MindBodyGreen and WomenForOne. She is founder of Dan’s Down Dog and Dash, a yoga and run event that raises money for local charities that support individuals and families Living Their Life to The Fullest in the face of cancer.

 

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.

 

Nikki Robinson, E-RYT 500
Teaching since 2011
Alignment Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Pre/Post Natal Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga Philosophy

Nikki began her love affair with yoga as respite from a high intensity job on a trading floor in New York City. She was immediately attracted to the combination of restoration that yoga provides the heart and mind and the invigorating and empowering effect on the body the physical practice provides. Read More >>

Nikki completed her 200 hour Anusara Teacher Training with Sue Elkind and Naime Jezzeny. She has also completed her Pre- and Post Natal training with Sue Elkind and Levels 1 & 2 Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Jillian Pransky. She has supplemented her teacher training with extensive philosophy training with Susanna Harwood-Rubin.Nikki uses precise alignment in every class she teaches to empower and encourage students of all levels in the most supportive, safe and loving environment. While she seeks to physically challenge her students during class, her classes are designed to be playful, bright and light-hearted so as to foster the very best in each student. Nikki lives in Wynnewood, PA with her family who continue to be her most challenging and loving yoga teachers.

 

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.

 

Andrea Stagliano
Teaching since 2015
Vinyasa Yoga

Andrea took her first yoga class over 10 years ago and still remembers how she felt afterwards. What started as a physical activity every once in a while turned into a deep inner exploration and a daily way of life, thanks to the freedom and empowerment that comes from being in tune to your body, mind, and breath. That led her to complete her 200-hour teacher training here at The Yoga Garden. Read More >>

Andrea is a student at heart and continues to draw inspiration from each of her own teachers. She views yoga as a pathway to realizing your authentic self, and sees this practice as a parallel to life: a never-ending and ever-changing lesson in finding acceptance and calm in every moment and challenge.

You can expect energizing classes that invite you to challenge yourself while honoring your body’s need in each moment. Andrea also plays ukulele, so expect a savasana that will help you release and bring the feeling of drifting away on a sunny beach, no matter what time of year.

 

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

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.

 

Susannah Thurlow
Teaching since 2015
Vinyasa Yoga, Gentle Yoga

Susannah started practicing yoga in 2008 after her journey on a healthy lifestyle led her to yoga. Early on, she was encouraged by her teacher, Kimberly Mendez, whose dynamic classes influence her teaching style today. She recently completed her teacher training at The Yoga Garden, studying with Mark Nelson and Chae Yang. What first began as a quest for a physical practice has evolved into a lifestyle. Read More >>

Susannah teaches classes that focus on alignment and breath, bringing a rounded sense of calm and focus to the practice. She believes that practicing yoga is a way to bring peace to the world around us. She embraces a world of balance, both on and off the mat. Expect to find a mix of traditional and modern concepts in her classes and playlists.

 

Meg Townsend, E-RYT500, Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist, Reiki Master
Teaching since 2008
Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Meditation

At age 15, Meg convinced her High School Phys Ed teacher to allow her and a few friends to do yoga videos during class and from that, a love affair began. While in college, she used Yoga and Aromatherapy to keep her healthy and grounded during her studies in an opera performance program. Now, as a full-time yoga teacher, she enjoys bringing the healing benefits of Yoga and Ayurveda through weekly classes, Real Living Yoga’s “Yoga for Insomnia” program, international yoga retreats, and other specialized vibrant living workshops! Read More >>

Meg’s teaching is influenced by the world around her, the ancient and practical teachings of Tantra & Ayurveda, and her own experience in healing. She is an initiate of the Sri Vidya Tantra lineage as brought to the West by Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Meg is a dedicated student of Yogarupa Rod Stryker and has studied Ayurveda from Kathryn Templeton and the Himalayan Institute in PA.

Meg’s class is a breath-centered, inner-fire stoking, mindfully-paced class that will leave you feeling balanced, grounded, and inspired. She has an uncanny ability to see what her students need on any particular day, and deliver a practice that will meet those needs. Meg is so excited to be a part of the Yoga Garden community and feels blessed to have landed in such a special place on the Main Line!

 

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

Chae began her yoga practice in 2001 and found asana practice very challenging but was drawn to the philosophy. Her continued practice led to teaching public classes and delving in teacher trainings just five years later. She has completed numerous trainings and immersions in Flow (including Prana Vinyasa), Anusara, Sadhana, Yogic Scripture, Subtle and Physical Anatomy, Prenatal Yoga, Yoga for Aging and Ayurveda. Read More >>

She offers gratitude to her many teachers; especially, Shiva Rea for introducing the essence of Sadhana, Michelle Synnestvedt for showing the necessity of self inquiry, Shari Friederickson for helping find healing and her husband John for his boundless support. She continues Asana studies with Christina Sell, Zhenja LaRosa and Carrie Owerko.

Her classes offer challenge but are also filled with compassion and laughter offering a toolbox for living life. She has participated as teacher and assistant in Yoga Alliance approved teacher trainings since 2009. She is registered with Yoga Alliance as ERYT500, RYT500, RPYT.