Filter Staff

Tessa Orlyk Hill, RYT

Tessatook 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.

Christa Carlson, ERYT

IMG_0328-2began 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.

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.

Nicole Kardine, RYT

first discovered yoga in high school, attending weekly classes with her mom and sister. Her practice came and went as so often happens with the ebb and flow of life. She returned to the mat and became rooted again in a consistent practice, at which point the “shift” began. Her path led her to The Center from the referral of her dear friend and teacher, Kathleen Metzker. Nicole was drawn to complete the MBSR program that is offered at The Center and she was launched down the path of self discovery, acceptance and love.
A thirst for a deeper practice, a deeper connection to her true Self led her to her teacher Dawn MotherHeart Smelser.  With Dawn’s guidance and love she completed her 200 YTT at MotherHeart Yoga Sangha. In addition to being a 200 RYT, Nicole is also a Reiki Master Practitioner.
Believing in the interconnectedness of all beings, she feels called to share the practices and light that inspire her everyday. Community and how to best serve the community is what drives her to cast her fears aside and allow her heart to lead the way.

Lisa McBride, RYT

Lisa2enjoyed 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.

Wanda Bryant, RYT

wandadecided 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.

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.

Rhonda Craven, RYT

tried yoga for the first time in her mid-twenties; seeking ways to have some quiet in her life.  She would practice for a while, then stop, feeling as if she was neglecting “more important” things by taking time for this self-care. However, yoga kept calling to her. It helped her to stay grounded and was the one thing that would really light her up!  As this pattern continued off and on for many years, she finally decided to make yoga a more consistent part of her life.  After practicing faithfully for a few years, she wanted to share the many benefits of yoga with others and show them it’s OK to take time for yourself.  Yoga is nothing to be afraid of.  Yoga will change your life!    
Rhonda competed her training at The Center and is a 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher and a Certified Reiki Practitioner.  She is excited to bring Radiant Yoga to The Center.

Kathleen Metzker, MPH, ERYT

TheCenterHYA_1-27-13_082b 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.

Jessi Bertoncini, RYT

Jessi2first 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.

Lynné Filion, RYT

found yoga at the age of 12 and fell in love instantly, practicing ever since. She has taught since 2014 and holds her 200 hour RYT in Hatha Yoga, with additional certificates in Restorative Yoga, Meditation, Children’s Yoga, and Trauma Sensitive Yoga. She enjoys teaching gentle and beginner classes just as much as more vigorous ones and is always adapting classes to be accessible to everyone in the room. She was recently selected for Yoga Alliance’s Community Service Award for her yoga outreach work locally. Lynné loves the transformative capability of yoga and enjoys sharing it with her students both young and old. She is currently studying to achieve her 500 hour RYT alongside an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist certification. When she is not teaching she can likely be found somewhere outside with her dogs or husband.

Usha Lakshmi, ERYT 200, RYT 500

ushais 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.

Jackie Oberholtzer, RYT

Jackiefound 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.

Amanda Daley, RYT

fell in love with yoga through the eyes of a child. Doing yoga with her daughters prompted her to start teaching children’s yoga in 2013. Amanda is certified with Child Light Yoga, Cosmic Kids Yoga, and Global Family Yoga. The more she practiced with the children the more her personal practice grew. She did a lot of home study and practice as well as attending weekly gentle yoga classes. Amanda started subbing here and there for her teacher and eventually began teaching regularly. She was blessed to compete the 200 hour yoga teacher program in April of 2017 at The Center.  “Yoga has become a way of life for me and I’m very honored to be able to share that with others.”

Susan Sacchetti, RYT

Susan2became 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.”