Christa Carlson, ERYT
began her yoga journey in 2008 with home practice, mostly watching DVDs and “trying to figure out if I was doing it right”. In 2011 she found The Center and began to realize what practicing yoga in a community was all about. Being taught how to focus on feeling the body and breath in the poses was so empowering; she realized that yoga is so much more than just “doing it right”. Having found that connection and wanting to share it with others, Christa began The Center’s teacher training program and received certification in 2013. She loves to teach Flow and guide students to new levels in their own practice.
Jessi Bertoncini, RYT
first stepped on the mat while searching for a way to quiet her worried mind. Through the love of her asana practice she found the healing power of presence. After a daily practice of almost 5 years Jess completed her 200 hour training at Seva Power Yoga of West Chester in 2013. In the Spring of 2016 she received 50 hours Advanced Teacher Training credentials through Magu Yoga of Germantown. Expect to be led through intelligent sequencing gently guided by alignment cues that not only create space in your practice but aim to find symmetry in the body.
Kathleen Metzker, MPH, ERYT
has been teaching yoga since 2005 and developed an interest in the mind-body connection at an early age. She is the Director of Integrative Health Services and Mind Body Educator at The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University. She also leads workshops at The Center.
Kathleen completed her Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction practicum and continues supervision with Diane Reibel, at Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and has completed professional training under Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. She is committed to mindful living and finds great joy sharing her learning with others.
Tessa Orlyk Hill, RYT
took a leap of faith into yoga in 2001 while working in a high-stress corporate environment in NYC. “My yoga mat became a safe place to breathe, decompress and look compassionately at my whole self: weaknesses, strengths and the unknown parts too!” Tessa is grateful for the internal instinct for self-healing that led her to practice and to pursue teaching. She hopes to facilitate that instinct in others with enthusiasm, patience and a sense of humor. She began her teacher training (RYT-200) here at The Center in 2011. In 2016, she completed a 69.75 hour Advanced Training with Ana Forrest, creator of “Forrest Yoga”. Tessa teaches Synergy, Gentle Mindful with Yoga Nidra and Gentle Yoga classes.
Usha Lakshmi, ERYT 200, RYT 500
is passionate about yoga and her spiritual journey has all been about breathing, practicing, teaching and simply being. She has been a yoga practitioner all her life and continues to learn at every opportunity she gets. She believes that the quest for knowledge is never ending and prefers to be a seeker of knowledge for the rest of her life. Yoga grounded her and always helped her to live in the now. She has lived and taught Yoga in the Philadelphia area since 2010.
Being an RYT 500 and ERYT 200, she is registered with Yoga Alliance and has a thousand plus hours of experience teaching yoga full time. Usha continues her studies frequently in India where she is constantly expanding her knowledge, personal practice and sharing that with her students. She has learned that sharing her studies with others takes her own personal experience to a whole new level. Don’t they say that when you give, it gets returned back to you threefold? So true as she learns from each one of her students every single day. Thus with teaching and practicing she comes the full circle.
Laura Liss, MSW, ERYT 200, RYT 500
became an active yoga student in 1998 when she was intrigued by moving through poses while being reminded to breathe. Her practice was vital while raising three kids and supported her through the loss of her mother and breast cancer. After experiencing its indisputable power she was drawn to teach yoga to help others rather than continuing a career in social work. During her first retreat with Beryl Bender Birch, intentions were offered to a fire in ceremony. Six months later, Laura’s intention blossomed and The Center was born in December 2005.
Laura is a 500 hour graduate of the Hard & the Soft Yoga Institute and completed the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery Certification, Jefferson Mindfulness Institute’s MBSR teaching practicum and The Center For Mindfulness’ MBSR professional training. Laura teaches MBSR courses, yoga classes and leads The Center’s 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training from the heart with a focus on meeting the moment with awareness and kindness, no matter how it is.
Lisa McBride, RYT
enjoyed many years of Yoga at The Center before deciding to enroll in the teacher training program. “It was a wonderful experience enabling me to become certified in 2013 and share my passion for yoga with others.” Lisa is trained in Flow and Synergy and currently teaches these classes. Her study of yoga postures, alignment, breath work, yoga readings and meditation has moved her towards the mind body connection that was needed in her life. “The benefits have unfolded over time for me and I am excited to see what yoga will bring to my life in the future.” Lisa is also a certified Childlight Yoga teacher and has an Early Childhood/Elementary Ed degree. She loves teaching Kids Yoga classes at this studio.
Self-acceptance, compassion and encouragement are important values Lisa hopes to share with all of her students, enabling them to practice yoga to meet their needs in each moment.
Jackie Oberholtzer, RYT
found yoga in 2009 while searching for the mind body connection she loved from her 15 years as a dancer. What she found was that and so much more. She began teaching in 2012 after completing Yoga Teacher Training at The Center. Jackie teaches Flow and VinYin so that she may share her love of music and movement with each of her students.
Susan Sacchetti, RYT
became a certified fitness instructor 18 years ago to help others realize the many benefits of exercise as part of daily life. Eight years into teaching, Susan took to a yoga mat for the first time and found it to be life changing. At a time when her daughter was suffering with a severe illness, yoga gave Susan new strength, inner peace, and the physical healing that helped her through a very difficult time.
She has been teaching Vinyasa since 2005, and is enjoying teaching Synergy and Flow classes at The Center. Susan loves the creativity of Flow and the consistency of the Synergy practice. She has also brought a weekly yoga practice to seniors in her community. “While exercise is a huge part of my life, yoga has added a balance and tranquility unique only to itself.”
Mary Hines, RYT
discovered Yoga after ending her competitive gymnastics career in 2006. She was looking for a fun and interesting way to stay in shape and found this in Yoga, and so much more! When she began practicing regularly, Mary realized that there was no perfection or judgement in Yoga- what a change! Learning how to use her breath to deepen poses and “let go” created space and softness in her mind, body and spirit.
Mary’s love for Synergy (formerly Stationary Series) and desire to share this practice with others called her to join The Center’s Yoga Teacher Training Program which she completed in 2015. Mary is honored to have joined this passionate team. Her fun loving spirit and gratitude for the practice invites students to be present, smile and explore.
Christine Signorino, RYT
began her yoga practice as a young adult in her twenties. Starting with seeking enlightenment as a human being, a mother, a member of community and always a student. She began expanding her consciousness through asana practice a few years later and has continued practicing for the last twenty five years.
Practicing yoga has helped her find strength and balance in relationships, parenting, difficult loss as well as mindfully moving through daily life. With a desire to continue to learn more, Christine completed her 200 hour teacher training at The Center in May, 2016 and shares her light in teaching Flow and Synergy classes.
Wanda Bryant, RYT
decided to seek out yoga in hopes of a natural method to help with back pain. What she also found was a love of yoga and the community of those she practices with. She decided to learn more by enrolling in the 200 hour teacher certification program with The Center and became a Registered Yoga Teacher in May 2016. Wanda has been teaching the Synergy practice and is excited to be able to share the Gentle Yoga practice with others on Monday nights.
Kristen Vogel, RYT
Kristen’s personal practice of yogasana began in 2013, though she would say that she has always been a Yogini: practicing postures while horseback riding and breathing exercises while singing. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, she began a yoga group for girls’ empowerment. She then completed 500 hours of YTT in India, along with Singing Bowl Therapy, Reiki, and Thai Yoga Massage.
Now Kristen hopes to bring her collective experiences to those living in her home state in order to create a tribe of people interested in self-healing and love. She is excited to learn from the people she grew up with once more.