Our teachers are the backbone of what we do. They are all powerful leaders with generous hearts. All of them have a tremendous amount of experience and the ability to meet their students with love and generosity.
Tim is the founder and program director of Roots2Rise. Tim fundamentally believes everyone can benefit from the physical, mental, and emotional effects of yoga and mindfulness. He believes yoga and mindfulness can transform each individual and the result is empowered communities working together. Tim started Roots2Rise as a service to make yoga available and accessible to everyone. Roots2Rise works to serve the entire region and creates opportunities to empower and support yoga teachers to expand their reach beyond the studio walls. Tim is committed to finding, creating opportunities and holding space for these leaders to be as powerful and as effective as possible.
Christine has been practicing yoga since 2012. Wherever life took her she maintained a strong yoga practice from South Africa, India and later rooting her power vinyasa practice in California with much help and support from her sister. She moved to Philadelphia in the Fall of 2014 where she became a member at Grace and Glory Yoga, a Power Yoga community. Hooked on the community and practice GGY shared, she completed her yoga teacher training through GGY in January 2016.
Christine’s vision is to share with her community the joy that yoga brings to her life.
Jenna is an environmentalist and Philly native who has always found joy in the connected-ness of nature. But it wasn’t until she came to her yoga mat, that she truly felt a part of that connection herself. Over time, she discovered that yoga provided her with a sense of community, fostered compassion, and ignited a desire to serve others. Much like nature, she found the practice to be a powerful connective force. In September 2014 she participated in Yoga Gangsters training (now Connection Coalition), and immediately after decided to pursue her 200 hour training, which she completed in January 2015... she hasn't stopped learning since. Jenna is also practices reiki, and serves as a birth doula. Her classes focus on self-empowerment through purposeful breath and mindful movement. She hopes to inspire others to use their yoga practice to connect with themselves, and be conscious of the world around them.
Over the years, Yoga has become Ellie's source for stability in this ever changing world. Through movement, breath and meditation, she finds peace and gratitude for the world around her. Ellie completed her 200 Hour RYT at the Satchidananda Ashram, Yogaville with the Integral Yoga Institute. Sprinkling love, compassion and curiosity into her daily routine, Ellie carries that into her practice as a yogi and textile artist. Through nuanced movement and breath, Ellie fills each Yoga class with heart.
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Megan Do Namasciento
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Samantha is a Roots2Rise teacher at DiSilvestro Playground in South Philadelphia. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training with Africa Yoga Project in Nairobi, Kenya in 2014. She has also studied with the Baptiste Institute and is currently studying under Dana Trixie Flynn of Laughing Lotus Yoga NYC/The Church of Yoga New Orleans. Her classes are powerful, playful, and always fun! She shares from her personal practice and crafts unique classes that are a blend of her years of experience in power yoga and her more recent learnings in subtle energy, chakra sequencing, and yin yoga. For Samantha, yoga is a practice of healing, and through yoga she has gained confidence, acceptance, and self-trust. She is currently applying to PhD programs in Sociology and will pursue scholarship in the emerging sub-field of critical yoga studies.
Beth Heed is a Yoga teacher and Reiki Master with a background in elementary and special education. Her focus in on mothers and children and she strives to support families emotionally and physically through offerings of Yoga and energy work.
Beth has been practicing Yoga since 1999, and it has been a profound source of peace and healing in her life. She completed both her 200hr & 500hr Yoga Teacher Trainings at Blue Banyan in Mt. Airy. Beth enjoys sharing her love of yoga with all people in hopes that it will encourage healing journeys for both individuals and their communities.
Amanda is a Certified Grounded Kids Yoga teacher, having completed specialized training in teaching yoga to children ages 3-18. She holds a Master’s degree in Art History and Criticism from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Spanish from Gettysburg College. She has been teaching kids yoga locally throughout Philadelphia for several years and has a passion for serving the kids of Philadelphia. Through her training with Atlanta-based Grounded Kids Yoga, founders of the Atlanta Yoga Movement in Atlanta public schools, and her long-time work supporting integrated education programs in New York City schools, Amanda is inspired to bring yoga and mindfulness to Philadelphia schools.
Rooted in the Grounded: Yoga, Laughter, Elevation model, Amanda’s yoga classes for kids and teens are literacy-infused, integrating stories, words, letters, alliteration, music, art-making, and laughter with yoga to empower students along their own path towards deeper self-knowledge and awareness. They focus on helping children cultivate mindfulness and nurturing their physical, emotional, and social needs through grounding structure, yoga movement, and creativity. Amanda’s yoga classes for Philadelphia schools are designed to increase student’s physical awareness, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and anatomical knowledge, while igniting their passion for words, stories, and language. Amanda’s intention is to give children opportunities to discover and embrace their own worthiness—so that they will be prepared with the tools they need to navigate life’s ups and downs and creatively transform negative emotions into positive life lessons. All of this happens when students come to their yoga mats and practice a pose after a pose after a pose—one breath at a time.
I discovered yoga in 2000 while attending a class with my mom at her gym. It was a Baptiste power yoga class, and I loved it! The practice felt like the perfect balance to keep me grounded and complement me as a runner. I stepped away from regular practice when I got married and moved. After having children, my husband and I found ourselves in Haddonfield, NJ. After a few years there, a studio opened their doors down the road from us, and my life was forever changed. My practice helped me work through post partum anxiety and the devastating loss of my father. Yoga fills me with the endless possibility that is available to each and every one of us at every moment. Yoga brings me back to who I am at the core. I attended level 1 with Baron Baptiste in 2014 in the hope that I would deepen my own personal practice. It did, and as a result, I left the training clear, empowered and wanting more. I attended level 2 in July 2015. I am certified to teach children yoga (Karma Kids Yoga NYC). Teaching my four children and their friends is a passion of mine. Weaving together my background in pediatric physical therapy and children’s yoga inspires me. Giving back to this community is my passion. Yoga has changed my life for the better, and it is my intention to leave everyone I meet in their own greatness.
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I completed Power Yoga teacher training at the Hotbox yoga studio in Dec. 2013 and Vinyasa training with Beyond Asana in Nov. 2014.
I invite a playful, non-judgmental, yet challenging approach while emphasizing the power of the breath to stay present and to quiet thoughts.
The most visible benefits of a continual yoga practice are the strength and flexibility that you’ll gain from doing the poses. Because of a concentration on breathing, your lungs will get stronger. The focus on breath and the physicality of the practice will result in a more mindful, peaceful attitude off the mat.
I am registered with the Yoga Alliance - RYT 200
Photo Credit: Nick Antony::Photography LLC
My favorite Quotes:
“Choose joy no matter what life has to offer”
“You are perfect exactly as you are”
I am a certified yoga teacher with over three years of teaching experience.
Why do I teach? Because I am always amazed by the transformation that occurs on people's mats as they practice. I love leading students through a yoga practice to a place where they can have a powerful experience on their mat physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Whether it's igniting energy and excitement or finding serenity and peace, my goal as a teacher is to lead students to a place where they can discover new things about themselves and their lives.
Don's passion is building community by teaching vinyasa yoga classes that are not only accessible to all levels of practitioner but also offer personal challenge with the opportunity for the practitioner to go inward so that they can live a fully self-expressed life. Through his partnership with the yoga based organization Roots2Rise, he has been able to develop yoga based programs to serve those most in need. One of his biggest accomplishments serving community was when he was honored by West Chester University's LGBTQA group by recognizing him with the Bayard Rustin Award for Compassion and Courage in May 2014 because of the powerful impact of his programs to create community and build personal self esteem for the participants at the University.
Shenise Nicole MBA, MSS LCSW has been in the field of social work for 15 years and has dedicated her life to trauma informed care and practice to individuals, families and communities through psychotherapy practice, consultation, advocacy and training. As a survivor of an abusive marriage and mother of two boys, this work is very close to her heart. She has always had an interest in providing healing to individuals in creative ways which led to the development of her own aromatherapy line and the use of other creative therapies.
Shenise found her love for yoga at Grace and Glory Yoga Fishtown 2 years ago, walking into the little basement studio that has since grown, during a work place wellness event. Yoga has changed her life in a miraculous way; physically, emotionally and spiritually. She went on to complete her 200- hour teacher training in December 2016 at the studio. Since finding her love for yoga she has been able to also obtain her trauma informed yoga certificate through Street Yoga to help those who have suffered from PTSD and traumatic experience heal in a way that typical talk therapy could not provide for her clients. Shenise has helped both children and adults create a safe space for healing through the practice of yoga.
Shenise also acts as a Running Coordinator with the group Black Girls Run and has a special interest in making Yoga more prevalent and accessible in the African American community. She has also integrated her practice of yoga and love for God into Christian worship to make the practice accessible to some faith based communities who may not otherwise have been accepting to the practice.
Shenise is very excited to be a part of Roots2Rise as it aligns with all the Social Work values bringing yoga to communities who do not have access to its benefits but have every right to partake in the practice.
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Lauren Pilgermayer received her 200 Hour Teacher Certification from Hotbox Yoga in February 2016. Amazed by the impact yoga had made in her own life, she became a teacher to initially deepen her practice and then discovered the profound effect teaching has to truly enhance the lives and well being of others. Lauren is committed to showing up for students each and every way so that they can discover their own power through their yoga practice. Lauren is passionate about helping others to see the potential, power, and possibility that is in all of us. .
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Shannon was called to practice and teach yoga as a way to foster physical, mental and emotional health for herself and others. She is passionate about holistic health and strongly believes that yoga is a pathway to achieving physical well being, mental clarity and emotional healing. Shannon’s intention as a yoga teacher is to allow space for each student to practice yoga in a way that serves them and opens up the possibility for self-love, acceptance and growth.
Shannon has been teaching yoga for 6 years in studios, gyms, schools, and at community events which has given her the opportunity to teach students of all ages, races, genders and skill levels. This diverse experience allows Shannon to show up and teach each yoga class for every student who shows up on their mat.
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