No list is ever complete.
It feels strange to not include violin teachers, family, personal friends and lovers who have taught me the most important lessons such as effort, communication, patience and guidance, but;
As a means to bring something into fruition, one must at the same moment choose to not bring something else into existence.
This list serves to point a finger at many (though not all) of the hands that have repeatedly been placed on my body as a mode of support and guidance through my journey as a Yoga practitioner.
Where personal websites are inactive I have included studios where owners and teachers alike continue to hold space that is sacred and informative to my growth.
I came to Yoga no stranger to the joys of physicality. But my body was a wreck from sports that I played growing up. I was tremendously inflexible with ailments in my neck and back. For me, at the time, the simplest postures were- not only deeply therapeutic- but poignant vehicles for psychic transformation. It was this effect on my conscious mind that hooked me into the practice. I spent years in home practice before ever coming to class, thinking that my experience was too personal to share in a group setting. But, when I took my first Vinyasa class, in a room full of people, all practicing with one intention, all stoking the same fire, I fell in love with Vinyasa; and pursued it through various avenues over the years, searching out the through-lines and common threads from one school to the next, & embracing the lifestyle of the Contemporary Yoga Movement. I teach today from that space between, in an attempt to convey the love story between form and flow, dancer and witness, devotion and integrity, Sun and Moon. I look forward to our practice together!
A licensed acupuncturist, holistic nutrition coach, Qi Gong instructor, and registered yoga teacher with over a decade of experience, Ari brings a diverse, multi-disciplinary approach to his work. His background in engineering, in-depth studies of biomechanics, and hands-on training in human anatomy enable him to help clients recover quickly from injury and achieve greater overall stability and quality of movement. Ari is an expert at helping people understand complex movement principles an apply them within their own practices.
In addition to his academic endeavors, Ari has spent many years gaining direct knowledge under the guidance and tutelage of Sung Baek, a 74th-generation Korean acupuncture master, and Nevine Michaan, founder of Katonah Yoga, whose mentorships have offered invaluable insight into the more esoteric aspects of Chinese Medicine, Taoist Philosophy and the yogic healing arts.
With a keen eye for detail, Ari’s teaching style is succinct, highly personalized, and imbues a deep care for integrity of movement. To “work smarter, not harder” is Ari’s personal motto, and one can see this ethic carry over into his teaching via his deep commitment to helping students move with more efficiency, fluidity, and ease.
Ari has an acupuncture practice in New York City and holds workshop internationally, teaching Yoga, Qi Gong, and gymnastics strength training.
Katonah Yoga® is a syncretic Hatha yoga practice developed by Nevine Michaan over 40 years. She and her teachers incorporate classical Hatha yoga with Taoist theory, geometry, magic, mythology, metaphor, and imagination — in a practical framework designed to potentiate personal and communal well-being.
Framing the practice, maps of time and personal space are defined and refined. Themes using asana as origami, manipulating form for function, and developing a sense of personal measure are incorporated in Katonah Yoga practices.
Katonah Yoga is organized around three principles of esoteric dialogue: all polarities are mediated by trinity; the universe has pattern, pattern implies intelligence; by virtue of repetition there is potential for insight.
Revelations are revolutionary.
Lily Kind is an independent interdisciplinary artist and performer. She does not know exactly what an economically just dance world would look like in the united states, but believes we are far form it. One way she tries to shift the dance world towards greater economic justice as the director of the Artists in Residency program at Urban Movement Arts in Philadelphia. She studies and teaches vernacular jazz, improvisation, and contemporary floor work accessible to a range of bodies and learning styles. She co-founded Ragtag Empire, a lindy hop start up. Her dance writing has been published on CultureBot, Thinking Dance, and Phindie. From 2008-2013 she ran award winning Baltimore-based dance making organization Effervescent Collective, that made work in warehouses, skateparks, boxing gyms, old churches, gymnasiums, and on riverbanks. She has studied at Goucher College (2009 BA cum laude with honors Individualized Major in Dance, Anthropology, and Post-colonial studies), Sarah Lawrence College, California Institute of the Arts, Headlong Performance Institute, and Goddard College (2019 MFA Interdisciplinary Arts with a Concentration in Performance). Her creative process and the dances that emerge are queer, sisterly, and fun.
Jill Manning has dedicated herself to the study and practice of Yoga since 1998.
Born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs Noah found fitness at an early age when He began studying martial arts. It was through this experience that he witnessed the powerful impact physical strength had on all other aspects of life. Noah earned his B.S. in Exercise Science from Temple University, is a SFG Team Leader with StrongFirst, A fully Certified Gym Jones instructor, and holds his CSCS. Noah and his company Max-Level Fitness LLC are dedicated to creating strategic purposeful change through strength and fitness.
Rebecca Pacheco is an international yoga teacher, creator of the popular yoga and wellness site Om Gal, and writer, currently working on a book to be published by Harper Collins. She began practicing yoga at the age of 16 and teaching others at age 20.
Formerly a master teacher at the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute in Boston, Rebecca’s style now incorporates many yoga influences. Her classes are known for being fun, fiery, and philosophical, as she loves integrating traditional yoga philosophy in a way that’s accessible and inspiring to the modern yogi.
Rebecca has appeared in national ad campaigns for Reebok, Ryka, New Balance, Ibex, and more. She is a global ambassador for lululemon, spokesperson for Lycra, and avid athlete who ran the Boston Marathon in 2009 and 2014. She regularly complements the training programs of athletes, from amateur to Olympian, with her Om Athlete classes, talks, and workshops. She’s honored to be the annual emcee of New England’s largest yoga event, Yoga Reaches Out, at the Dana Farber field house at Gillette Stadium.
Rebecca holds a B. A. in English from the University of Richmond, where she first immersed herself in the study of Eastern religions and philosophies, including Buddhism and Hinduism, both central to the tradition of yoga. Prior to starting Om Gal, Rebecca worked in education for at-risk youth in Dorchester, MA and was a marketing executive at Boston magazine. Her creative blend of topnotch teaching and content help yogis of all levels become more healthy and mindful in yoga and life.
Simon began his Yoga journey in 1995 with Shiva Rea in the World Arts and Cultures Department at UCLA. Soon thereafter, he became immersed in the great atmosphere of the original YogaWorks studios in Santa Monica where he completed his first teacher training with Maty Ezraty in 1998. A move home to Philadelphia led to an opportunity to study with senior Iyengar Teacher, Joan White, and the legendary yogi Dharma Mittra. After apprenticing with Shiva Rea as an assistant, Simon began leading his own workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats - eventually worldwide. In 2007, Yoga Journal acclaimed Simon as, "one of the most influential and gifted Yoga teachers of the next generation.” His free-style Vinyasa is fluid, intuitive, and encourages freedom through self expression. Simon is profoundly influenced by the teachings of Shiva Rea, Richard Freeman, Maty Ezraty, Joan White, and Dharma Mitra - his core teachers for the past 20+ years. Simon's blend of these influences finds a beautiful alchemy in his style, Liquid Flow Yoga, a mix of classical and modern Yoga. Recently, Simon returned to his educational roots by creating a Yoga Program for Princeton University. Dubbed the "Flying Nomad," he draws inspiration from road legends such as Jimi Hendrix who aptly stated, "the Earth is my home.”
positive position: Ron wood
Motivate and be Motivated
Johnathan Raiss is a teacher of Yoga, and practitioner of postural diagnostic work. His love of movement began early in life with competitive athletics and martial arts, and was transformed through the necessity of finding practices capable of rebuilding, strengthening, and optimizing body and mind. Johnathan’s classes focus on the complementary nature of fluidity and precise alignment, as they can best serve an individual to find ease in motion and stillness. His practice is heavily informed and influenced by the teachings of Nevine Michaan, who he has studied with since the fall of 2012. Johnathan is a certified Katonah Yoga(r) teacher, and leads workshops, classes, and private sessions utilizing this methodology. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience from teaching as a professor in the dance department at the University of the Arts from Fall 2012 to Fall 2019, and has also taught and worked with dancers and general students at Princeton University. In his current practice, Johnathan brings wellness initiatives into the corporate setting, helps athletes to optimize performance, and works with a diverse range of businesses and organizations to help others unlock the benefits of a functional practice. He is a skilled practitioner of yoga therapeutics and restorative flying techniques, which he frequently practices with individuals and groups.
We practice yoga to broaden the mind and develop the imagination. Consider the body as a house; the mind is the body’s occupant, that implicit, but most powerful, aspect of a self. The practice is a dialogue between mind and body, mediated by the breath; one’s internal atmosphere and the cosmic material that it receives, contains and uses. We practice yoga to alter our psychology by reorganizing our physiology. Yoga engages our body in a physical debate between forms that are personal, habitual, and largely unconscious, and forms that are archetypal, measured, and conscious. By reforming our body’s unconscious habits and introducing more informed and efficient patterns, yoga becomes origami for the body. As we fold and unfold, we develop dimension rather than engaging in the binary struggle between tight and loose. In this way we set up conditions for greater self-knowledge and a more expansive vision, which leads to personal change. This physical insurgence, infused with spirit, is our mission.
Urban Movement Arts (UMA) welcomes adults of all ages and experience levels to explore Hip Hop, American folk dance, and African Diaspora movement genres. We guide movers and dancers to develop true connection to community and style.
Our programs and classes bring out the joy of discovering new ways of being and moving in the world.
Joan began her yoga training in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1968. In a1972 horseback riding accident she broke her back and sustained other serious spinal injuries. She suffered from temporary paralysis and slowly began to recover do some yoga poses. Joan participated in a 1973 class in Ann Arbor taught by B.K.S, Iyengar .Watching her closely, he advised her what to do and what not to do. From the very first asana she knew that she had found her teacher.
Certified by B.K.S. Iyengar at the Advanced level, Joan has been studying with the Iyengar family since 1973. She has traveled to India 27 times and currently travels at least once a year to study with the Iyengars She was the Chair of the national certification Committee for the Iyengar National Association for six and a half years. She has been awarded best of Philly four times the last in 2009. The Philadelphia Magazine labeled her the doyenne of yoga.
In 2005 Joan had another horseback riding accident, which left her with a broken back, eight broken ribs, a destroyed shoulder and a punctured lung. Despite all of this she has continued to practice and learn from her experience. She has also had to learn how to work with both aging and injuries.
Joan’s teaching is true to the tradition’s high standards. Her language is direct and succinct. Her understanding of the poses draws from over thirty seven years of study with the Iyengar family. She genuinely enjoys being with her students and generously shares what she knows.
A Sanctuary for growth.
Innovating on traditional yoga in order to offer our students a diverse and holistic way to practice. YMS is more than a yoga studio, it is a sanctuary for growth. Located in Brewerytown in Philadelphia, PA.