To move our bodies is necessary both to survival and to happiness. I believe most intelligence even that of the intellect is generated from physical experience and therefore it is not accurate to distinguish physical practice from 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 not only as in the organisms of nature, also 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, Tom Weksler, Ron Wood, Vince Johnson, Lin Junming, Andy Taylor, Stany Mallet, Yann Hnautra, Rafe Kelley, Yuri Marmstein. These forms are various and beyond what I want to discuss here.
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.
Jonathan's background in movement involves intensive study in various movement methodologies, over six years of serious training in capoeira and Chinese boxing, and over a decade of experience in various forms of Yoga ranging from therapeutics to fluid inversion based practices. He frequently incorporates elements of thai bodywork into his practice also.
Jonathan is on the dance faculty at University of the Arts where teaches he Yoga, movement therapeutics, and experiential movement classes. He has assisted multiple trainings and workshops with Simon Park throughout the east coast. Johnathan teaches a style of yoga informed mainly by Liquid Flow, but also by the teachings and practices of Dharma Mittra, Joan White, Ido Portal, Shiva Rea, Katonah Yoga, Eric Franklin, Michael Carrol, and various other teachers and methodologies. Life and movement practice are a constantly evolving journey, and Johnathan is always seeking out and attempting to synthesize quality information into his teaching that is applicable on and off the mat, functional in purpose, and compliments the whole being. All are invited and welcome to practice, and share in the journey of self discovery and awakening that Johnathan believes should characterize the life of a human being.
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.
Bronwyn Sims found yoga after years of training as a competitive gymnast. Bronwyn believes anyone can learn yoga and become more open and aware. Yoga is not just about flexibility. Yoga is the art and practice of showing up mentally, emotionally and physically on your mat. It is about breath, movement, presence, openess, awareness and the journey of the self. Bronwyn enjoys teaching a vigorous class that includes, strength, flexibility, inversions, balance poses and interesting sequencing and transitions.Yoga give us the space and time to look more deeply at oneself.
Bronwyn has Yoga teacher training 200hr with Carrie Tyler of Rasamaya Yoga; Bhava Vinyasa
Yoga with Peter Rizzo; Ashtanga Yoga with Lisa Mendelsund and Doug Swenson; Aerial and
Acrobatics training with Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion of NECCA,The New England
Center For Circus Arts, Hector Salazar of Chelsea Piers, Sarah East Johnson of LAVA and
Tanya Gagne of The Trapeze Loft.
To learn more, visit her website: bronwynsims.com
I am founder and director of MoveMakers Philly, a hip hop dance education program. I am also head youth karate instructor at martial posture studio.
I began training martial arts at the age of 5. I started in Aikido and made the transition to American Kenpo Karate at 8 years and have maintained an ongoing relationship with Kenpo. From ages 11 years on i trained in Wushu, Capoeira, Tae Kwon Do and American Kick Boxing. I competed for 10 years in international sport karate tournaments. I was also closely tied to the rise of Martial Arts Tricking sub-culture in the early 2000s.
At the age of 12, I discovered dance. My first experiences dancing were in social environments with family and friends, dancing to hip hop and R&B. At 14, I had the privileged of meeting professional hip hop dancers based in Philly, many were original members of the iconic company, Rennie Harris Puremovement. From this point, I belonged to a number of dance crews and eventually became a dancer for Puremovement, which gave me the opportunity to tour internationally, learn about the theater and deepen my knowledge of hip hop movement. After Puremovement, I expanded my study of dance to release technique, contact improvisation and Ballet.
Currently, most of my focus as a movement practitioner is devoted to the study of Artistic Gymnastics.
More info: http://www.movemakersphilly.com
Lin started acrobatic arts since 1987, when he was 8 years old in the Fujian Acrobatics Troupe in China. With the troupe he performed in circuses all over the world: Europe, the Middle East, Mediterranean region, Africa and Asia. In the past 20 years, he learned many traditional Chinese acrobatic arts, including Chinese Pole, chair-balancing, hoop diving, Chinese Lion Dance, partner hand-balancing, hand-juggling, foot-juggling, Russian-Swing, Russian-Bar and Ultimate Wheel. His juggling performance was awarded the Silver Lion Prize at the fourth China National Acrobatic Competition in 1995. He also holds the former world record for juggling 12 rings.