To move our bodies is necessary both to survival and to happiness. I believe that most of our intelligence is generated from physical experience and therefore physical practice is woven inextricably into spiritual, intellectual or religious practice.
I spent my time as an undergraduate studying comparative religions because I was interested in getting to the core of what it means to be human. I found that religion both in definition and when it is being practiced sincerely is a way to reconnect with the source.
I see the body as the fundamental connection to the natural world, both to the organisms of nature and to the nature of our mind which is inherently intelligent, warm and useful. When I teach yoga or other forms of movement my underlying desire is to help reconnect my students with the nature of their bodies and the nature of their minds. In order to do so I draw from a variety of traditions which include but are not limited to:
- Hatha Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
- Zen Meditation
- Tibetan Style Energy Work
- Movement Games and Improvisation
My training has been quite diverse. The most depth has been with yoga which is a form of movement, concentration and analysis that I have been working with formally since 2004 and teaching since 2009. My most significant yoga teachers include Will Walter, Kim Manfredi, Dharma Mittra, Nevine Michaan, Alex Auder and Marcy Vaughn.
Other forms that I've learned have been transmitted to me by Ido Portal through Johnny Sapinsoso, Zack Finer and Joseph Bartz. I’ve also done intensive work with Tom Weksler, Ron Wood, Vince Johnson, Lin Junming, Andy Taylor, Stany Mallet, Yann Hnautra, Rafe Kelley, Yuri Marmstein.
Finally I'd like to offer a saying that is quite potent for me:
PUT YOUR BODY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS
A violinist, turned yoga instructor, Noah Julian's experience with numerous movement modalities including various forms of yoga-asana, dance, martial arts, gymnastics, acrobatics and weightlifting has taken place well over a decade of serious study. In large part prompted by a crippling battle with rheumatoid arthritis, Noah began an education and comprehensive practice of self-study, movement, meditation and self-optimization. Noah continues his lifelong study, and daily practice, of these subjects and more while teaching movement, yoga and violin to students ranging from age 5 - 85. More info can be found online at www.NoahMoves.com.
Ron Wood started his exploration in martial arts and movement with high school wrestling. Catching the bug for hard work and constant improvement, he went on to attain black belts in Kenpo Karate under Tom Updegrove and the Joe Lewis Fighting Systems as well as the rank of contra mestre in ASCAB Capoeira from Mestre Doutor. In between, he has been able to explore many other martial forms and also had a 15 yr career as a professional hip hop dancer. Dance gave him the opportunity to travel the world, train with and learn from some of the greats in dance and experience different concepts and principles in movement. Always a student, teaching allows him to share his journey while being challenged to identify the best path for each individual's growth. Most important, remain childlike!
I am always amazed to realize I've been making dances for over a decade. My dance making is propelled by my interest in idiosyncratic movers and non-Western rituals of performance. In my teens, I studied post-modern dance making with Twyla Tharp dancers Richard Colton & Amy Spencer. I earned an interdisciplinary BA in Dance & Anthropology from Goucher College. I have posted up in Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and Los Angeles to approach movement styles of the West African Diaspora. Effervescent Collective, the dance-making organization I founded in 2009, was voted Best Dance Company in Baltimore every year of its existence (2009-2014) by the Baltimore City Paper. I spent one year working on an MFA in Dance & Integrated Media at Cal Arts before leaving to attend the Headlong Performance Institute here in Philadelphia. Along the way, I have also picked up training from Sarah Lawrence College (NY). The Laban Institute (London), Batsheva Summer & Winter Intensives (Tel Aviv, NYC), Millenium Dance Complex (LA), Herrang Dance Camp (Sweden), Guardian Dance Preservation (Baltimore), The Mobtown Ballroom (Baltimore), and lots and lots of Lindy Hop festivals. I make dance films and music videos sometimes, in consideration of the internet as the primary mode of current dance consumption
Alex’s love of acupuncture and sports medicine began as a Division I cross country and track athlete. During his time as a runner, Alex suffered from several running-related injuries that forced him to seek help beyond the athletic training facility. He found that sports acupuncture medicine was the only effective and lasting treatment modality for his injuries.
Alex has completed his masters degree in acupuncture at the WON Institute in Philadelphia. He has completed certifications in Functional Range Release Upper Extremities (FR), Functional Range Conditioning (FRCms), and has studied Acupressure and Tai Massage techniques at the WON Institute. Alex is an RYT certified yoga instructor.
My journey in movement has been constant and ever-changing. From experiencing the joy and comradery of team sports to discovering the challenge and peace of solo endeavors, I have always been one for seeking adventure and growth. Whether it be mountain biking, trail running, adventure races, kayaking, or camping, I’ve always found myself drawn to nature and an outdoor practice.
Drawing from a background in calisthenics and rock climbing, I have supplemented my training with parkour and mobility study. I have trained in natural movement, mobility, hand balancing, and parkour, with movers such as Rafe Kelley, Ido Portal, Yuri Marmerstein, and the Yamakasi.
I have come to realize that it’s not about the activity or the location, it’s about the experience and the interaction. I believe that exploring natural movement is a necessity for any human, and I enjoy helping others discover the feelings of joy and freedom that come with it.
It all comes down to fun and play!
My first memories of yoga are from childhood, practicing asana alongside my dad, and watching him sit for long periods every morning to meditate. These influences acted as a seed that was planted in me—one which began to blossom over a decade later when I gained an affinity for books on Western Esotericism, and found myself learning yoga postures yet again, but this time under the tutelage of many great LA and New York based yoga teachers. I received my 200-hour certification at Atmananda Yoga in 2008, and shortly thereafter completed an advanced teacher training with Schuyler Grant at Kula Yoga, and studied with Nevine Michaan to become Katonah Yoga certified.
In my classes I strive to help students explore the inner realms though the forms and expressions of the physical body. I enjoy focusing on the intricacies of precise alignment and at the same time crave the immense sense of freedom, which comes from letting that go to flow intuitively from movement to movement. It is my opinion that through the grace of the movements of the physical body, one can imbue the same sense of grace and peace within. In the words of the ancient adage: as above, so below; as without, so within.
Amanda knew it was her Dharma to share the healing practice of yoga since 2012 when her passion for yoga as a student inspired others to ask her to teach them. The love affair began after feeling anxious and unstable after dropping out of the University of the Arts, and feeling majorly disconnected from her body for many years. This practice catapulted a fire that would remain unextinguished. She completed formal training at the Dhyana Yoga 200hr in 2013. Soon after, she was teaching at their studios in Philadelphia. By 2015 she was leading Mediation and Chakra modules in their Teacher Training Program. She has since adopted the teachings of Alex Auder (Kula Yoga Project/Katonah Yoga) and Prana Flow as taught by Simon Park who she has been a student of since 2012. She has completed a 15hr immersion in the Bhakti lineage with Raghunath Cappo (2014), a 10hr postural adjustment training with David Regelin (2015) and the 75hr Eye of the Teacher Training with Alex Auder (2017). Currently she practices with Alex Auder and Simon Park as often as possible, and was featured in the Liquid Flow Teacher Training Manual for 2018. She aims to hold space for people to feel more than human, and experience the magic of yoga while humbly remaining a student to her most loved teachers. She can be found currently (2018) living in downtown Philly with her husband Edward B. Gieda III with whom she will be traveling to western Europe to teach yoga to his touring band An Albatross.