Justicia DeClue (E-RYT 500) is delighted to be living her dream by sharing her love of yoga. A native of St. Louis, she has been teaching since 2005 and is the owner and director of Maha in Philadelphia. When she found yoga in college, it was the most challenging thing she had ever tried, and every pose was exhausting. She built strength steadily under the guidance of amazing teachers, and is now sought after for detailed alignment instruction and her openhearted teaching style. Justicia teaches from her steady personal practice, offering classes that are challenging and playful, fun and accessible. A formerly Certified Anusara Yoga instructor, she has a deep commitment to the therapeutic potential of yoga, and its relevance for each practitioner at every skill level. She offers deep gratitude to all her teachers, especially Zhenja La Rosa.
Zhenja La Rosa’s teaching encourages students to explore the vast potential of their own hearts and bodies by emphasizing the transformative and therapeutic aspects of the practice of yoga. In her classes, Zhenja joyfully shares the insights from her dedicated personal practice and the revelations of everyday experience. Known and sought after for her precision, clarity, and delight in detail, Zhenja is a true teachers’ teacher who has mentored and trained many yoga teachers over the years. Zhenja is strongly influenced by her 10-year sadhana in Anusara Yoga.
Teagan (RYT 500) is an arm balance lover and renaissance woman. She has been a passionately dedicated yoga teacher in Philadelphia for over 10 years. She has taken teacher trainings in a number of different styles of yoga and combines her knowledge from these studies to offer expertly taught yoga classes. She also has a Ph.D. in Anthropology and researches food in Philadelphia in the 19th century. She attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. And she is a lifelong dancer. Teagan has also become an avid runner and loves how yoga compliments running. She teaches yoga teacher trainings, workshops, and classes around the city.
Jake began practicing yoga to help keep his body in good physical condition while recovering from a long list of injuries. After receiving the therapeutic benefits of yoga and becoming more grounded in all areas of his life, Jake was convinced that transformation through yoga is not only possible but also empowering and enjoyable. Jake believes that yoga is most beneficial when applied to practical, everyday life experiences. This philosophy means Jake presents class in a way that best serves his students and simplifies a seemingly complicated practice. He offers a challenging yet accessible yoga class that is infused with philosophy, anatomy and alignment. Jake is a certified vinyasa yoga teacher and has completed over 400 hours of training. He is continually growing both as a teacher and a student. His training is ongoing and constantly evolving. His dedication and passion for yoga allows him to continually grow while sharing all of his knowledge and enthusiasm with his students.
Alexandra Holmes has been teaching yoga since 2003. Her Dynamic Flow classes are some of the most sought out and noted throughout the Philadelphia area for being thoughtfully sequenced, holistic, and innovative.
Believing that breath, alignment, and flow are some of the most transformational aspects of yoga, Alex considers herself a student first, and credits her teachers as inspirations. Alex’s teaching pulls from her varied studies in yoga, anatomy, movement and choreography; she holds a B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is E-YRT 200 certified. Visit www.alexholmesyoga.com for more info.
Amanda began her yoga journey in 2006 and has never looked back. After obtaining a 50-hour youth yoga teacher certification from Philadelphia’s Yoga Child studio in 2009, she began teaching children in local schools, studios, preschools, synagogues, churches, museums and summer camps. In 2013, Amanda completed Maha’s 200- hour teacher certification program, and is passionate about yoga therapeutics, emotional balance, and proper alignment on the mat- all of which are incorporated into her classes. As a trained birth and postpartum doula, Amanda continued her knowledge and desire to serve Philadelphia Mamas and completed a 20-hour prenatal yoga intensive training at Shanti Yoga Shala in 2015. A native of Philadelphia, Amanda happily resides in South Philly with her one-eyed cat, Peter Falk. When she isn’t working, you can find her working as a Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator, at her community gardens, drinking coffee, or practicing with her teachers- Zhenja La Rosa and Andrea Barbario.
Chae began her yoga practice in 2001 and was very drawn to the philosophy. Her continued practice led to teaching public classes and delving in teacher trainings five years later. She has completed numerous trainings and immersions in Flow (including Prana Vinyasa), Anusara, Sadhana, Yogic Scripture, Subtle and Physical Anatomy, Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga, Yoga for Aging and Ayurveda.
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 are challenging and 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.
Since leaving a professional non-profit career in New York City, Joan has immersed herself studying yoga and training with expert teachers. She completed her first Anusara teacher training at Yoga Montclair with Certified Anusara teacher, Vishali Vega in 2006 and completed continuing education workshops with renowned teachers including John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga, Todd Norian, Sianna Sherman, Christina Sell, Desiree Rumbaugh and Zhenja LaRosa. Joan continues to study with Professor Douglas Brooks, Ph.D. a world leading scholar of Hindu School of Tantra.
In her teaching, Joan creates an environment and pace that are both challenging and safe for students at all levels of ability and experience. Joan shares her desire for yoga to guide students to a transformational place where a radically positive shift can take place in body, mind, and heart. Joan describes the teaching of yoga as a divine privilege. Each student is a gift!
Danie’s personal love of yoga is rooted in strengthening relationships and community on and off the mat. Her classes focus on alignment and strength in order create a safe, accessible practice. She offers gentle assists and modifications to help you cultivate a practice that is right for you.
Carly serves as marketing director and brand manager as well as yoga instructor at Maha. After spending years in an advertising agency working with large corporations, she is thrilled to combine her passion for marketing with her love of yoga! Carly has been practicing yoga since 2004 and has benefitted greatly from the healing and transformative powers of practice. She underwent a major hip surgery in early 2014 and credits her yoga practice for her rapid recovery. Carly teaches an alignment based vinyasa practice, focused on the intelligent placement of the body and breath. She finds strength and inspiration in her daily practice and looks to share that with her students. In Carly’s class you can expect to be challenged and stimulated; physically, mentally and spiritually.
Katrina Atkin is a yogi, dancer, and choreographer hailing from Chicago, IL. She came to yoga as a young dancer for its restorative and conditioning properties. After a series of dance related injuries, it became her daily practice. She decided to deepen her studies by attending Maha Yoga’s 200 Hour Teacher Training in 2015, and began teaching shortly thereafter. In her classes, she strives to focus on strengthening our inherent mind-body connection, with a strong emphasis on injury prevention, movement, and a commitment to creating a comfortable, encouraging environment.
After a long relationship with dance, Anisha came to yoga within the past few years and immediately received the benefits, both physical and mental. She dove into completing two teacher trainings, Ashtanga and Anusara / therapeutic based, and dug further into the study and exploration of yoga. She loves practicing and teaching with people and sharing those moments to open a new facet of the practice.
In class, she hopes you gain a new sense of your capabilities. and always with a sense of lightheartedness and laughter! She is so thankful for the Maha community of students and teachers who allow for the practice to thrive.
Yoga is a treasured part of Katie’s fitness lifestyle. She uses it to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness which complement her interests in running, weight training, and interval exercise. Katie is using yoga to improve her range of motion and wellbeing in ways which were missing from her other exercise routines.
Katie developed an appreciation for accessibility – creating things that can be used by people of any ability level – after several years of working with adults living with serious mental illnesses and other limitations. Her belief is that almost anything can be achieved with the right attitude (and modifications). She loves helping people find their own doable pose that is just the right amount of difficult. Her high-energy classes focus on becoming stronger and stretchier with a smile!
Julie brings a refreshing enthusiasm to her classes as she is excited to share some of the nuanced ways she has come to understand safe and effective alignment. Along with these straightforward cues, her teaching is characterized by lots of questions that ask students to explore the subtle realms of sensations throughout their own bodies. Through this practice, she wants students to leave feeling more centered, balanced and mindful. She is both grateful and thrilled to participate in this community and join her students and fellow teachers on this never-ending journey of understanding. Currently a student of acupuncture, she combines what she knows of Indian philosophy with what she’s learning in Chinese medicine to inform her teaching.
After dabbling with yoga for several years, Ira’s passion for yoga took off when he stumbled into Maha (he tripped over the sign on the street). Ira completed Maha’s 200-hour teacher training, as well as additional trainings in sequencing, mindfulness, and meditation. As a practicing litigation attorney for over 30 years, Ira has learned from experience how yoga can be transformative on and off the mat. Ira sees teaching as a way to share the benefits of a yoga practice, especially with people who might not think yoga is “for them.” In his classes, he seeks to create a supportive environment where students are encouraged to explore safely each asana as an expression of individuality, while cultivating a sense of community. Ira takes his yoga, but not himself, seriously, so come to class ready to learn and to laugh. Ira is grateful for the encouragement and support he gets from his teachers (especially Justicia, Jake, Stephanie, Amanda, and Andrea), the Maha community, his family (especially his wife Leslie who requested to be mentioned by name) and his friends.
An athlete growing up, Jessica needed to find something physical to supplement her new sedentary lifestyle after graduating college. She found yoga in 2013 after experiencing lower back pain and while bringing healing to her physical body, yoga surprised Jessica with a physical challenge, an inspired heart and a more settled mind. She moved to Philadelphia from New York in 2015 and completed her 200 Hr teacher training which helped her build community in her new city. She thanks her teachers Alex Holmes and Mariel Freeman for making Philly feel like home and for continuing to challenge and inspire her to become a more intentional person. Jessica offers an athletic, alignment-based class, focused on linking the mind and body through breath.
Mamie Guidera has been practicing yoga for 15 years. She completed the Maha Teacher training in 2015, and has been teaching adaptive yoga for people with physical disabilities ever since. She is an avid rower and bicyclist but finds that yoga is essential for maintaining quality of life with Parkinson’s Disease.
No experience is required for her class, but a sense of humor is helpful.
Shortly after earning her BA in neuroscience at Oberlin College in Ohio, Adriana began practicing and studying yoga in 2011 after taking her first Bhakti Flow class in Oakland, CA. An athlete growing up, she was first drawn to the physical challenge of the practice but quickly delighted in the equanimity it brought to her mind and spirit. Adriana believes life is a conversation and is constantly surprised and inspired by the answers found on her mat– and the questions which come from those answers.
After moving to Philadelphia, Adriana completed the 200 hour teacher training at DIG Yoga in alignment-based hatha yoga, with her teachers Sue Elkind, Naime Jezzeny, and mentor Mariel Freeman. Through clear alignment cues and thoughtful sequencing, she encourages, supports, and empowers students to cultivate a deeper connection with their breath and body, creating a sustainable yoga practice to carry throughout life.
Melissa came to yoga looking for a way to feel more grounded. She quickly realized the more time she spent on her mat, the more capable she was of moving through life with less stress and a more open heart. Melissa teaches a light hearted alignment based class that allows students to cultivate curiosity in a safe space. She’s thankful to all of her teachers, especially Mariel Freeman and Alison Mungan.
Liz began practicing yoga while in college. An avid runner, she took up yoga as a way to stretch and build strength to support her running, but quickly fell in love with yoga on its own. She moved to Philadelphia in 2013 to begin teaching middle school, and deepened her yoga practice as a way to destress and center herself amidst a hectic work life. She completed her 200 hour Yogahour Teacher Training at Maha in 2017. She’s excited to offer students a fun yet challenging practice to help them build strength and confidence.
Juli’s love of yoga truly took shape when she began practicing regularly as a means to curb her anxiety and support her well-being. Finding the practice transformative, she began building body and mental confidence both off and on the mat. Juli completed the 200 Hour YogaHour Teacher Training in 2017 as a means to share the life-changing power of yoga. As a Counseling Psychology and Art Therapy grad student, she is passionate about the therapeutic benefits of a yoga practice, and cultivates a restorative and nurturing class.
Natalie’s yoga journey began in the tiny living room of her apartment, where her friend (who was not even a yoga teacher at the time) taught a small group of friends the basics in ashtanga. Natalie was hooked from the beginning and started a very dedicated home practice soon after. She found that yoga brought her mental clarity and patience, something she did not have a lot of! She also found the physical benefits of yoga to be transformative to her very physically demanding full time job as a pastry chef. After moving to Philadelphia, Natalie heard about Maha Yoga’s work exchange program and signed up without hesitation. She began practicing with Justicia DeClue, Jake Panasevich, Teagan Schweitzer, Carly Markowitz, Alex Holmes, Stephanie Berliner, among many other incredible teachers who shaped her personal practice. Natalie aims to make yoga fun, challenging, and accessible to every one regardless of experience or financial standings. You can catch her donation based community classes on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:45.
Jillian began practicing yoga in 2001 to heal her body from years of running.She began a consistent practice and was amazed by the slow yet remarkable transformations occurring in her body, and especially the shifts in her mind. In 2012, she completed an Anusara-inspired 200-hour training at Focus in Bryn Mawr, PA. The philosophy of uniting Attitude (heart), Alignment (mind) + Action (body) deeply resonates with Jillian to this day. A lifelong student, she is continuing her studies towards a 500-hour certification in The Advanced Training at Three Queens Yoga.
Jillian teaches yoga as a modality for honest self-reflection and views the practice as a way to connect deeply with ourselves and the world around us. She is excited and honored to join the Maha community!