Eight years ago Erik Burling stepped into his first yoga class and moved into his first posture. To this day he remembers that experience vividly. He was enamored, the yoga made perfect sense. Not only did the practice transform the body, he could see and feel the changes as they were taking place. Since that moment Erik has maintained a regular yoga practice 6 days a week. A desire to dig deeper into yoga led Erik from Binghamton, New York back to his hometown of Philadelphia; from a life in television broadcasting to a life spent serving homeless men recovering from addiction. Erik’s yoga practice has morphed under the guidance of Certified Ashtanga teacher David Garrigues at the Ashtanga Yoga School of Philadelphia and Authorized Level II teacher Meghan Kirk at Mysore Philadelphia. In addition to Ashtanga Yoga, Erik has studied Tibetan Buddhist Meditation with Matteo Pistono and Zen Meditation with Dr. David Loy. Erik is a Masters Candidate of Buddhist Studies at the Won Institute. Erik’s yoga classes are infused with both Ashtanga and meditation. His philosophical inspirations are derived from two great teachers, The Buddha and Jesus Christ. Rather than adhere to any particular religion, Erik strives to see the common link between all faiths and share those insights with students.
CHANDLER PRICE Teacher
Chandler began her pursuit of yoga when at age 7 she wrote in her journal that she wanted to know herself. Years later in 2013, she found a consistent yoga practice with Erik Burling to experience just that. Chandler strives to teach potent, alignment-based classes where breath is of highest importance. She offers students the experience of intelligent physical structuring, energetic stability, and mindfulness. Her teaching is inspired by self-healing, astrological climates, and ritual. Chandler believes that within each of us lives the answers we seek and she is honored to act as a guide for those looking deeper. She is also a graduate of the Magu Yoga Advanced Teacher Training.
LAUREN BURLING Co-Founder/Teacher
Co-founder Lauren Burling has been studying and teaching yoga for ten years. She began deeply studying Ashtanga Yoga with certified Ashtanga teacher David Garrigues in 2012. She has taught weekly classes since 2008 and hosted a 200-hour teacher training in 2012. Lauren is a full time Medical Social Worker and studies Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) with the Penn Program for Mindfulness. Her teaching is a reflection of her Ashtanga and MBSR studies and in addition, Lauren is a student of Iyengar teacher Joan White. Lauren is a supportive and hands-on teacher who loves a "long hold," inspires curiosity in her students, and encourages them to live on the edge of any uncertainty in their practice and in their lives. Lauren and Erik live in Mantua with their three cats (Hydranga, Calalilly & Rosie) and their new puppy Scout Finch. They are constantly revisiting the ways in which they can live a more sustainable lifestyle while giving back to their neighborhood and city. Of note, Lauren is from Pittsburgh but is an Eagles Fan, shhh!
BRANDON EVERETT Meditation Teacher
Brandon Everett recently had the tremendous honor of being named to the Faculty of ClearLight Meditation Institute, where he completed his 900-hr meditation teacher training on 2017. His teachings about the science of meditation weave together the latest findings in neuroscience & psychology, while his meditation instruction is direct, practical, and can be easily integrated into daily and working life. His motivation in teaching is to help others recognize their inmost capabilities and potential for happiness & joy.
KAREN HAMILL Teacher
Karen Hamill discovered her love for yoga during her college career at Boston University. Trying her first class on little more than a whim, she felt instantly hooked to the feeling of calm, challenging invigoration. She loved the 90-minute escape from constant turnings of thought. Karen teaches a vigorous class designed to challenge the body and mind. Often noted for her bubbly personality and positive attitude, Karen strives to leave her students feeling uplifted and empowered. Karen believes in the importance of building a strong foundation in correct alignment, but also leaving room for play as a method of testing boundaries. Her interests in life are varied, leaving her class infused with creative transitions designed to use the breath and body to unlock the mind. Karen recently graduated with her Masters in Yoga Therapy.
DAWN WEBSTER Acupuncturist
Dawn Webster completed a 3400 hour program in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine at Yo San University in Los Angeles, founded by 38th generation practitioners Mao and Dao Shing Ni. She has done additional training in China at the China Academy for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, focusing on advanced acupuncture techniques. Her bachelor's and master's degrees are in environmental geology and music performance from Rutgers and Temple Universities.
ANNA KESSLER Teacher
Anna Kessler For Anna yoga is a journey that has had all of the challenges, self-exploration and moments of bliss that so many travelers experience. Anna attended her first yoga class in 2009 in NYC and felt like a fish out of water. The room was crowded, the class was fast-paced, and she felt as though she received no outreach or assistance from the instructor. After a number of years practicing irregularly and at various studios, Anna moved to Philadelphia for law school, and quickly found yoga classes where everything clicked, and she fell into a routine that has become her outlet and inspiration. A naturally grounded and balanced person, Anna discovered yoga to be a natural expression of herself, while allowing her the space and means to explore her physical and spiritual being, and its interconnectedness to the larger whole, as she had never done before. Drawing from her teacher training in 2016, and the teachings of her wonderful teachers along the way, Anna aims to provide students the guidance to move presently, let go of the ego, steady the mind, purify the body, cultivate compassion, and ultimately evolve. Anna is thrilled to be part of the Roots community!
SHELLEY SAUNDERS Studio Manager
Shelley Saunders began her practice in the fall of 2011. She was always the first one to arrive at her former yoga studio, eager to learn and to take practice. Since developing a strong relation with yoga throughout the years, Shelley has formed a close bond with Erik and Lauren and has proudly been practicing with the Burlings for nearly 5 years. (She also is a devout cat sitter to Rosie, Hydie, and Callie Burling). Her favorite aspects about Roots are the community and friends that she has made, as well as getting to class early and staying late chit-chatting about everyone's favorite poses. Personally, Shelley's favorite pose is anything with an assist and she is working on binding in marichyasana c for 2018. When she is not cat sitting for Zoe King or the Burlings or acting as the studio manager at Roots, Shelley works as a Development Associate at Congregation Rodeph Shalom on Broad Street. Be sure to introduce yourself to her at the studio!
ROBINA WINKLER Teacher/Massage Therapist
Robina Winkler (RYT 200 hours) (TaoYoga Level II: healer) has been teaching yoga for several years in Costa Rica and Philadelphia. Her journey began in 2011 while living in Tokyo, Japan where fate led her to her first master teacher, Jessie Lee Parker. She studied the ancient art of Tao Yoga for a year and half. She completed her first Vinyasa Teacher training as an understudy of Mark Nelson and currently studies at The AYS of Philadelphia as a dedicated ashtanga yogi. Robina's classes are ashtanga-based flows that encourage students to develop a deep spiritual connection with themselves and their practice.
BILL SCHMEDDING Community Engagement
Bill Schmedding started practicing yoga around 2007, but practiced irregularly until January 2015. In 2015 he remembers making a New Year’s goal to practice at least three times each week, which he accomplished. In 2016, his New Year’s goal was to practice at least five times each week, which he has done ever since. The main reason he practices yoga is for the workout that it provides. Bill loves to sweat. However he feels that yoga improves his patience level and helps him be calmer and more relaxed as well. Yoga has helped him live in the moment and breathe more fully as he moves through each day. Bill selected Roots as his home studio because of the consistency of each yoga class and the caliber of teachers. He also appreciates the sense of community at Roots. The students get to know each other, as well as the teachers. Bill is currently enrolled in the 200-hour Teacher Training at Roots and is the pioneer of their new Community Engagement program. If you'd like to talk to Bill about partnerships in the community please e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org
JUSTIN ROSE Teacher
I came to yoga quite naturally from a very physical childhood - on the baseball diamonds, in ballet and tap studios and on stage in musicals back in Iowa. After a few detours, I eventually landed in Philadelphia to pursue advanced training in physical theatre with the renowned Pig Iron Theatre Company. Upon completing the program and yearning to advance my sadhana I began to practice ashtanga yoga with David Garrigues, Jorgen Christianson and Eddie Stern. In the summer of 2016 I completed my 200 hour teacher certificate with Kula Yoga in NYC studying with amazing teacher such as Nikki Villela and Alex Auder among others. I first stumbled into yoga many years ago - not really aware that some of those elements of the warm-ups we did in my acting classes in college were actually yoga poses. One day, at home, bored, and looking for some way to be physical - I put on a roommates Rodney Yee yoga video and knowingly practiced yoga for the first time. I was ecstatic! The joy, the release, the exhilaration of finding ways to link the breath, the body, and unlock the secrets that are held within began. I thought I had learned a secret - turns out I was just exposed to the beauty of an ancient tradition that I have come to love deeply. Through the years, yoga has become the most effective means I have to combat the difficult moments of life. On numerous occasions, yoga has offered - and continues to offer - the opportunity to release my brain from habitual thought patterns, connect to my inner life and find moments of physical strength and balance that I carry with me in life. I aspire to bring intelligent alignment cues into a fun and sweaty environment! Offering people the opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentally. I am forever grateful to all my friends and teachers, old and new who have supported and in some cases insisted I teach yoga. I consider my time in class an honor - to assemble, to breathe and to move together.
Graduates of 2017-2018 Teacher Training Program
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