Erica Taxin Bleznak, CYT, M.S.W:
I began my yoga practice in 1995 in the Ashtanga yoga tradition, after suffering an injury while training for a marathon. That injury, unbeknownst at the time, was a gift that led me to the path of Yoga. In 2005, I met my primary teacher Yoganand Michael Carroll and completed the Pranakryia Yoga Teacher training. I have been teaching classes and private yoga for over 11 years, and am continually amazed at the transformative aspects of the Practice. I believe that with patience, awareness, breath, and sincerity that each asana becomes an invitation to know who we Truly are.
I am deeply grateful for my teachers who have always guided me back to myself-to find the answers within- and continue to support me on this incredible journey: My primary teacher Yoganand Michael Carroll, Connie Beaudoin, Paul Hedderman and Adyashanti.
Michelle Baldino is the manager of Main Line Yoga Shala. She started practicing yoga over 10 years ago when her mother encouraged her to join in on a semi-private yoga class. It was love at first (deep) breath. She loved how the movement and stillness made her pay attention to what was happening in the present moment. Michelle found that yoga helped her to strengthen her body in ways she never thought possible while also offering space and quiet that has served her mental and emotional health tremendously. In 2012, with two young children, Michelle decided to go for her 200-hour yoga teacher certification at Verge Yoga in Wayne PA. While it was a busy time in her life to say the least, she felt that teaching yoga was her calling and has been doing it full time ever since. Michelle is a heart-felt teacher that loves to offer a balance of alignment cues to keep her students safe as well as a quality of playfulness and lightness to allow students to have their own experiences on their mats.
LORI MCALISTER (E-RYT 500, YACEP) is a celebrated international yoga educator and the creator of Sequencology, a teaching methodology for intelligent vinyasa. She has been a featured teacher at New York City’s top yoga studios, an adjunct faculty member on several teacher training staffs, and leads workshops, retreats and trainings around the globe. She has been featured in Vanity Fair, NY Yoga + Life Magazine, Style Magazine, and Bazaar Magazine. Lori currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Raimon, and their son, Bodhi and daughter, Ona.
Originally from Maine, Lori earned her BFA in Dance from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her 200 hour yoga certification from New York Yoga under the direction of David Hollander, Michael Gilbert, and Govinda Kai. She also holds a 500 hour certification in Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow from Sonic Yoga and a 75 hour advanced Kula Flow teacher training with Schuyler Grant.
Kayla is a Certified Yoga Therapist (e-RYT 250, RYT 500) who has spent a lifetime realizing her joy in movement. From dance to theater, teaching to therapeutics, she has committed herself to exploring the mind-body connection as a path to self-expression, centering and vitality. Former co-founder of Nava Yoga Center in The Navy Yard (2013-7), Kayla established yoga and meditation as a viable therapy within a leading sports medicine institute, specializing in hip and core muscle rehab/prehab. Kayla is driven to establish engaged, informed, evolving relationships with physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists. She is a current co-author and instructor for Jefferson University Hospital’s Institute of Emerging Health Professions. And she sees her teaching as a launching pad to empower individuals with a role in their own healing, via compassionate, informed self-care.
Julie began practicing yoga when she was pregnant with her third child. What began as a physical practice has evolved into a life devoted to yoga and its principles. Julie has been teaching yoga since 2001. Her first yoga teacher training was with Baron Baptiste. She received her 200 hour teaching certification from Corina Benner at Wake Up Yoga and her 500 hour teaching certification from Yoganand/Michael Carroll founder and director of the Pranakriya school. Julie is also certified to teach Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga. Julie’s classes infuse breathing techniques into a variety of creative flows in order for students to gain access and ease within the poses. In her classes, Julie challenges your perceived physical and emotional limitations in order for students to find more space and freedom in all aspects of their lives.
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. 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.
I was first attracted to yoga for the physical challenges, but quickly quickly realized it was so much more and fell in love with this ancient practice. I became more centered, open, connected, and calmer with each class. This love of all that yoga that had to offer and the ways it began to change my entire life led me to teacher training at Main Line Yoga in 2008. Initially I wanted to deepen my own practice, but then I felt compelled to share this amazing practice with others. I am grateful for the opportunity to share yoga with students of all ages, and feel that yoga has a place in everyone’s life – no matter what age or physical condition. In addition to my 200 hr. YTT, I have been certified by Conscious Child Yoga to teach kids yoga and I completed a health coaching certification in March of 2016. It is my strong desire to help people live healthier, happier, more peaceful lives that inspires me daily on and off my mat.
Michelle began practicing yoga in 2000 when a coworker invited her to take the class she taught at a local gym. The physical practice was immediately intriguing but it was not love at first class. Michelle continued to be drawn to yoga and began practicing Ashtanga yoga. It was there she realized this was the only activity she had ever experienced that would quiet her overactive mind. In 2011 Michelle competed the 200 hour teacher training at Verge Yoga and in 2015 Michelle completed Wall Vinyasa teacher training with Erica Taxin Bleznak.
While it took some time for Michelle to find consistency in her yoga practice there is no denying she was being called to a journey of discovering her authentic self. Each time on the mat She continues to seek the truth in herself while lovingly meeting others where they are on their journey. The truth cannot be unseen, it can only push, shove and sometimes propel you forward to where you are meant to be. Michelle enjoys deepening her students alignment awareness with playful exploration while providing mindful meditative flows. She wants all of her students to share the benefits of self inquiry and self discovery on their mat while feeling the freedom to be playful and have fun. She believes that yoga is like recess for adults. A place where you can be free to try new things, connect with others or play by yourself and leave feeling focused and energized for what awaits. Michelle lives in Plymouth Meeting PA with her loving and supportive husband, Phil, and 2 amazing and energetic daughters, Sophia and Caelin.
Christina Fittipoldi Alden
Christina discovered yoga while coping with postpartum depression after the birth of her son. Feeling lost and detached, she longed to find something to anchor her and breathe new life into her sails. Christina fell in love with the asana practice, the movement and flow, and the stability and strength that yoga provided for her. As a former school teacher, she realized that teaching runs deep in her blood, and her heart ached for the opportunity to teach and touch lives again. In May 2015, with the encouragement and support of her teacher, Liz Shanefield, studio owner of Sojourn Yoga, Christina completed a 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher training and has been happily teaching yoga ever since.
Christina enjoys guiding her students through safe and responsible movement while offering the ability to find freedom, peace, and joy in their yoga practice. She hopes her students can take all these insights and gifts with them as they step off their mat and embrace his or her life journey with more compassion, openness, and love.
“Yoga is a beautiful gift that we can continue to open and discover something new and unique about ourselves each time we step onto our mats. When we acknowledge and embrace all those beautiful discoveries as we move and breathe, then we have created space within ourselves to become more understanding, patient, compassionate, and loving. Imagine the possibilities and how glorious our world would become!”
Deb found yoga in 2008 while struggling with post-traumatic stress from pregnancy-related events. It was through her practice that Deb found perspective, allowed to just “BE” in whatever state she was in, the weight of life shifted and became lighter, leaving behind clarity.
The yogic path of healing revealed, she began her teacher certification in 2009 in Ashtanga. In 2011, she found Alignment-based training and in 2012 Pre- and Post-natal training. Always a beginner student, Deb seeks to understand daily life through the practice of yoga on and off the mat, weaving life’s challenges into themes relevant to improving life one moment at a time.
Deb’s classes are fueled by the breath, discovered in poses crafted with alignment and intention, and often investigated by changing perspective (inverting) or balancing on hands and arms, playfully. Deb strives to empower students to open up, feel safe, and embrace the challenge of themselves on the mat so that they too can experience the transformative power of the practice.
Tiffany found yoga in the late ’90’s as a way to overcome a damaged relationship with her body. Over the following years, her practice evolved and she came to understand the freedom in the acceptance of herself and the importance of staying safe while practicing asana. During a 200-hr Anusara-Inspired Teacher Training, Tiffany deepened her relationship with herself and her practice by finding yoga as an avenue for spiritual awareness and growth. Her class offers a supportive and empowering environment to celebrate inner beauty and inherent strength. Through proper alignment and mindful breathwork, she enjoys teaching poses that allow her students to get uncomfortable, step outside their comfort zones and learn about themselves. When she isn’t cultivating mindful awareness on the yoga mat, Tiffany enjoys adventuring with her family, farming organic vegetables, and creating with her children.
Nicole started doing yoga with DVDs. She finally decided to take a class at a studio and it changed her life! She changed her outlook on life, the way she ate, and the way she felt about her body. Because of the mind/body connection yoga gave her, doing yoga became a necessity.
To learn more about yoga she soon enrolled in teacher training and completed her training in 2015 at Dana Hot Yoga. Now, Nicole can share the wonderful experience of yoga with others. Her classes always had a positive theme and are assessable to all levels from the first time to the advanced yogi.
Ashley found the physical practice of yoga as a complimentary workout to her regular fitness routine in
2015. Growing up with strong values in being an advocate for her own health and well-being,
specifically through exploring alternative medicine and different healing modalities, she became deeply
connected to the mind-body awareness that helped her manage a stress and anxiety induced auto-
immune disorder. Her keen curiosity to embrace and to further explore other elements of yoga into her
taxing lifestyle evolved into a 200 hour yoga teacher training certification from Prana Das Yoga in
September 2017. She is incredible grateful for the experience during this training where she not only
felt a positive transformation in living with intention, purpose, and calmness but also an empowerment
to educate others on the healing elements available in a yoga practice. With great enthusiasm and
newfound knowledge Ashley is honored to teach and guide students to find their own happiness and
freedom, encouraging the connection of breathe and movement, on and off the mat.