Justine Bacon - Owner

Fusion, Yin, Cyclist's & Runner's Yoga

Justine is an explorer with a deep passion for our natural world. Teaching on land and on the water on her SUP board, Justine believes yoga is for anywhere, at anytime and for everyone. Students know her best for the intentional and breath driven nature of her fusion style classes, her specialty cyclist and runner classes and her stirring playlists. Aside from studio classes, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings, Justine has taught large events and festivals such as Wanderlust108 and has taught runner's yoga at the Philly 10k, the Broad Street Run, Oddyssey Half Marathon, Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, the Run for Clean Air, and the annual Be Well Philly Bootcamp, to name a few.

Her yoga journey truely began in 2011, after a profound and humbling month in Guatemala volunteering for Whole Planet Foundation After her return home, she found her first teacher, Becky Dawson, and completed a five month internship in 2012. At the end of her 200HR teacher training in 2013, Justine Co-founded Philly Yoga Factory, Philly's first pay-what-you-can yoga program, offering classes every single day of the week. After having taught for many studios in Philadelphia, 5 years later, she pursued her long held dream of opening her very own studio, Yoga Brain in East Falls. YB reflects the passion Justine has of studying many traditions, enjoying diversity and placing the breath at the center of practice. It embodies service to community and environment and has a collaborative nature. YB is for the explorer of mind, heart and world. #CreateYourConsciousness

Justine holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Temple University.  She is a 200HR certified Vinyasa Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance with the E-RYT and YACEP designations and over 3,000 teaching hours. She also holds certifications and continued education credits in Yin Yoga, SUP Yoga as well as Power Yoga and Hot Yoga fusion formats.  Justine has had the pleasure to contribute to the Philly Area Yoga blog and the honor of being featured in Philadelphia Magazine's Be Well Philly annual print edition 2015-2016 for her cyclist and runner's classes.  She is a proud Pro-Ambassador of Jade Yoga Mats.


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Julia Alvarez

Womens Yoga,Vinyasa and Kids Yoga

Julia has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and teaching for 5, all thanks to the synchronicities she has found guiding her to her true path. In 2014, she received her 200hr Vinyasa Yoga training through Sonic Yoga in NYC. Her teaching style is nurturing and intuitive, and her goal to create a space for students to find their own mind/body/spirit connection. She works closely with women and children, and weaves divine feminine energy throughout her classes. When not practicing yoga, she can be found somewhere collecting seashells or making herbal potions!


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Melissa Baker

Sivananda and Hatha Flow

Melissa is a wanderer of the world who finds a reason to smile and laugh at life's every turn. She is a lover of learning and moving. Melissa took up a meditation practice while in college, finding joy in studying Eastern religion and philosophy. When an elder relative of her's shed light on the Path of Yoga in 2013, Melissa knew it would become an integral part of her life. Since then, she has practiced several schools of yoga in cities across the United States. In 2016, Melissa served and studied at The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Northern California, diving deep into the classical teachings of yoga. During this time, she realized the powerful healing effects of a strong yoga practiced and has since wanted to share this with others. Melissa earned her RYT-200 certification in 2017 and has taught a variety of asana classes including power, vinyasa, hatha and gentle. Melissa's classes are energetic yet grounding, centered around breathing and healing physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically. Students are encouraged to connect deeply to themselves during class and carry their practice with them to the external world. Melissa finds inspiration for teaching through self-care by spending time in nature and listening to music.


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Lindsay Bauer

Vinyasa and Wake & Flow

Yoga to me is about the way you feel during your practice and how your mind, body and spirit align.  Personally, yoga has helped and continues to help me maneuver through a very complex journey we call life. I have learned to embrace the good, understand the bad, face fears and find grace in it all. In my practice, yoga is symbolic to life. How I confront a difficult pose is how I confront a difficult experience. I sit longer, with more peace.

As a marriage and family therapist and yoga instructor in Philadelphia, my purpose is to help others find this same solace. I began teaching yoga in 2014 after becoming certified to teach through the Sadhana Yoga School in Bali, Indonesia. After returning home, I started a private practice in Center City and for over four years, I have been integrating mindfulness, meditation, yoga and psychotherapy into a unique treatment modality. Through my ongoing studies and personal practice, I have landed comfortably in the Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga styles. I pay attention to the physical body and assist with alignment, injuries and adjustments that deepen the practice. However, my best work arises in the energetic body. My goal is to help you release any struggles you may be having physically, emotionally and spiritually. To find peace within difficulties.


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Pasquale Cairo

Ashtanga Flow

Pasquale has been humbly fortunate to have studied under the guidance of Ashtanga Vinyasa Senior Instructors - Manju Jois and David Swenson. He considers himself blessed to have received a rare opportunity to learn from Ramaswami Srivatsa, (a longtime student of Krishnamacharya). He currently teaches small groups & Private classes from very beginner to advanced Asana practitioners.

Pasquale also has a passion for instructing TaiChi, Chair Yoga & Pranayama to the seniors & disabled at the Phila. Housing Authority & Holy Redeemer Hospital Physical Therapy Outpatient.

His Ashtanga Flow Yoga class is described by him as a Vinyasa 101, or a refreshing “meditation in motion” for all-levels from beginners to intermediate. Pasquale has an eye for acclimating & customizing a Practice to the needs of the individual. He has a fun, enjoyable & accessible approach to Yoga.  Newcomers & seasoned practitioners alike are welcomed!  Who is this class good for? Anyone seeking to experience the  personal & therapeutic-anxiety relieving benefits of deep breathing & breath control. 


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Kacey Deguardia

Vinyasa and Yin

Kacey found yoga in 2014 when she was at some major crossroads in her life. During her first class, she quickly realized there was something deeper present than just a work out-- and with curiosity and commitment, she developed a relationship with the subtleties of her body and her breathing that she did not even know could exist. Since then, she has gone on to study under multiple teachers and lineages, making her teaching style diverse and accessible. Kacey owes her deepest gratitude to her teachers that empowered her to find her own unique voice: Coby Kozlowski, Avani Gilbert, and Justicia DeClue. In the classroom, Kacey focuses on accessibility, meditation-in-movement, and the power of intentional breathing. She hopes you can leave class feeling lighthearted, and like the greatest most empowered version of yourself. Kacey is certified in Alignment-based Vinyasa, Yin, Baptiste (power), and restorative-- and it is not uncommon to see elements of these styles in her classes!


Lee-Ann Doncevic

Open Levels Vinyasa

Inspired by her grandmother, who danced professionally in NYC, Lee-Ann’s life-long love for dance and movement began at a young age. She grew up in Southern Maryland, training as a young dancer in ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance, competing, and performing nationally.

Lee-Ann went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the Univ. of Maryland. She danced professionally for the NBA’s Washington Wizards dance team for three seasons and performed with a modern dance collaborative theater in Washington, DC. With 12+ years of being a dance instructor of various styles, Lee-Ann specializes in jazz technique, ballet barre, and tap dance instruction to both children and adults.

Lee-Ann is a registered yoga teacher (RYT200) in Vinyasa practice from Bombay Yoga Company. In June 2018, she completed her training for trauma-sensitive yoga with Transformation Yoga Project. With her business skill-sets, having a Master’s of Business degree from Univ. of Maryland, she has created yoga for Wellness Programs at organizations (including the one she works for) and hopes to further her reach with these initiatives. She recently started her own business, Two Hearts Dance & Yoga, which aims to provide holistic movement opportunities to communities, small groups, and individuals. In class, she integrates her background of movement trainings, knowledge of body alignment, and pure lust for mindfulness to bring an uplifting energy to her students. Lee-Ann enjoys sharing her passion for movement on all levels and exchanging good vibes with others in the community!


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Melanie Farley

Ashtanga Flow

Melanie found yoga and meditation nearly 10 years ago due to a “dark night of the soul” experience that caused her to confront deep childhood wounds that were not healed in her body-mind. Yoga taught her that she could breathe and stay present, even in the most trying circumstances, and that the happiest, strongest people are those who have seen the darkness, but choose to bend toward the light. She believes that the breath is the bridge that connects life and consciousness, and that staying present with the breath during our practice deepens inner awareness, facilitating transformation and healing. 

She earned her 200-hour certification in Ashtanga-based Vinyasa at Dhyana Yoga, where she studied with John Vitarelli, Bruno Circolo, David Hem, and others. She continues to deepen her studies by practicing Ashtanga in the traditional Mysore style, attending workshops and additional trainings, and reading lots of books! She also has an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts, and when she’s not doing yoga she loves to write, create performance art, and ride her bicycle all over the city. 


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Hallie Fischer

Open Levels Vinyasa and Hatha Flow

Hallie completed her 200 Hour YTT in December 2016 at Moyo Yoga in Schwenksville, PA under the mentoring and leadership of Maureen Priest.  In her teaching, Hallie focuses on the importance of anatomy, form and safety while leading her classes in traditional Vinyasa and Hatha style asana as well as pranayama practice.  She hopes to educate others in the importance of  yoga and mindfulness but not lose site of the fun and playful aspect of yoga that she has been taught.  Hallie has been practicing yoga for many years but didn’t take her practice too seriously until a back injury introduced to her to a deeper and more meaningful practice a few years ago. Through this deeper practice, Hallie has taught herself the importance of the physical and mental practice both on and off the mat and she tries to be mindful in her day to day activity.


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Kate Gruber

Hatha Flow

Kate began practicing yoga in 2008 as this was the only practice that relieved pain from a prior knee surgery years earlier. After developing a consistent practice, she found there was so much more to yoga that the physical asana. Being on the mat created a feeling of liberation and contentment, even after class was over. She loves rereading the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita puling themes from the text into her classes. Kate hopes you leave her class feeling more expansive and energized. She is excited to create a loving, welcoming community at Yoga Brain. When she is not practicing yoga, she is working full time as a research Nurse Practitioner.


 
 
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Joe Longo

Kundalini Power, Vinyasa and Meditation

Joe began his yoga journey in 2002 after taking his first Kundalini class and falling in love with the practice. In 2004 Joe completed his first vinyasa training with Dhyana Yoga in Philadelphia. In 2011 Joe completed his 220 hour Kundalini yoga training with Sada Sat Kaur & Sada Sat Singh at Yoga on Main in Philadelphia, PA. Two months into Kundalini training Joe decided to leave his day job to follow his bliss and passion for yoga and photography. Most recently Joe completed a 100-hour advanced yoga training with Alex Holmes and Daniel Cordua at Palo Santo Wellness Boutique in Philadelphia, PA.

 

 
 

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Stacia Nero

Open Levels Vinyasa

Stacia is a leader in the Philadelphia yoga and wellness community whose mission for the past decade has been to inspire others to find their own strength and growth through the practice of Yoga and self care. She has traveled extensively to Southeast Asia and across the United Stated to train in Thai Yoga Massage, Aerial Yoga and Paddle Board Yoga. She is also trained in Yoga for Golfers to work more specifically with athletes improving the dynamics of their breath and swing.

She believes in the transformative power of deep interpersonal connections and that true Yogis strive to support their fellows throughout this life. She pushes you to find yourself and to be ok with whatever arises. She is genuine, raw, with a willingness to be vulnerable, so you too can live openly with her as you are. She sees movement as poetry and breath as the rhythm of a powerful form of personal expression.

Stacia has trained and taught in many settings and communities for the last 8 years. She has completed several 200 hour trainings in Hatha and Vinyasa, a Yin and Restorative certification, sequencing studies, and most recently completed her 500 hour training. She has cultivated strong yoga roots within Philadelphia and strives to curate special experiences that leave you feeling stronger, more confidant, and open to new experiences.

Dan Stillman

Ashtanga Flow and Open Levels Vinyasa

I live in Philadelphia, where I spend my mornings practicing Asthanga yoga in a Mysore-style setting. I spend my days preparing tax returns. I spend my evenings enjoying fresh air and time with friends.

Yoga Journey: I first learned about yoga while in India in 2012. At the time, I was impatient and did not see its value. I wanted to run. I was living in the fast lane. If it didn’t make me completely exhausted, what kind of benefit could it have for my body? I ended up ditching it after a few classes.

In between, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (which is where my blog began). In November 2014, after returning from the Appalachian Mountains, my body was desperate for healing. For weeks after the journey I found it difficult to walk down stairs while my body was recovering. One of my friends was going to a yoga class one night, and I asked to tag along. That night, the teacher said, “Even if you only come to your mat and sit there, you are still practicing yoga.” At this point in my life, I was much more willing to sit and do nothing, and the idea stuck with me. I could come and go, move or sit, stand or lay and still be practicing this “thing.” This resonated with me deeply. After hiking over 2,000 miles, the best point of the Appalachian Trail experience wasn’t finishing. It was emerging from one of the final stretches of wilderness and seeing the finish line right before me. I could stand there and look at it, or lay down and go to it the next day. I could walk away and never go up it. It was one of the first moments of my life that I felt I owned and had no control over, all at the same time. Only after such a long experience could I have come to appreciate that moment so deeply.

I have come to apply this concept to my daily practice and living. When I started with running, the distances were only accomplishments. And as I grew and have completed more endurance feats they have become less about proving myself and more about the feeling of freedom. It is incredibly freeing to get to a point where you can truly feel accomplished and happy about what you have done and the road behind you, yet still want to continue towards the goal. This is how I feel when I practice yoga. I am always working towards another goal, but am not so attached to it that I forget about where I am at today.