Our Instructors

Meg Ferrigno

founder, co director, instructor

Meg has been working on educational development projects in India, Nepal and Tibet for the past decade. Her passion for sustainable development was ignited on an undergraduate research trip to the Himalayas. Upon completion of her thesis at Hampshire College, she moved to Asia where she studied and volunteered for the next seven and a half years. During that time she met her two root gurus, Ayang Rinpoche and Garchen Rinpoche. She founded the Ahimsa House in 2012, a center for nonviolence with $15,000 from the city of Philadelphia from a wrongful arrest.

Jalana

garden co-manager

Jalana is an avid gardener and yoga teacher.

Mike Romano

ope mic facilitator

Mike is an artist, musician, poet, and human. After sprouting and growing up across the bridge in South Jersey, he had a stint of tumbleweedy adventures before finally returning to set down roots and flower in West Philly. He is also a lover of foods, maps, the natural world, and other humans. He is inspired to help work for our collective liberation by a spiritual sense of love and empathy, rooted in the knowledge that everything on this planet is interconnected and interdependent. He is imperfect, still learning and maturing, open and excited for growth. He has hosted open mic nights in several cities and venues, as well as taken part in an eclectic array of musical projects. His artistic works often focus on emotional healing and savoring the jults and joys of this crazy ride of life we're all on. He is excited to share and learn with the community through being involved with Ahimsa House!

Food Not Bombs

For over 25 years Food Not Bombs chapters have been redistributing free vegetarian food all over the world. The main point is that food is a right, not a privilege. Anyone is welcome to come cook, gather donations, distribute and eat.

PREVIOUS TEACHERS

many of our previous teachers remain involved as substitutes

We are grateful to all of the co-creators of this space. Ahimsa House was officially opened September 11th, 2012 and a number of beautiful people have helped make it what it is. 

Sade

co-director, instructor

Sade is a Philadelphia native, women rights/trauma & sexual assault activist working towards ridding the world of stigmas surrounding mental health and sexual assault. Sade is also a promoter of self-care and self-awareness in all things seeking the greater good.

Erica Gaudios

yoga instructor

Erica fell in love with yoga after attending a few free classes offered near her hometown in NJ. During a time of unemployment her practice grew and eventually lead her to Philadelphia where she completed her yoga teacher training in March 2014 at Studio 34.

Steve Ellis

Meditation Instructor

Steve is a graphic designer, musician and dharma student. He’s been practicing mindfulness meditation since 2012 starting with Against the Stream in San Francisco. He is currently an active member of Philly Insight and Refuge Recovery.

Fair-Amount Food Forest

Fair-Amount Food Forest  is a project which is working to build an educational, and community-driven public food forest in Fairmount Park. Food forestry is a gardening technique modeled after the forest but uses food- producing plants in a sustainable manner. As a volunteer-powered community resource, we can offer a variety of educational opportunities and be free to harvest from. Our coalition organizes outreach, fundraising and project planning together through our twice a month meetings at Ahimsa, and we welcome you. We are fiscally sponsored, volunteer run, and make decisions through a modified version of dynamic governance. Please join us if you'd like to help make this a reality! www.fairamountfoodforest.org

Natasha

Meditation Instructor

Natasha has been a part of the Ahimsa house community almost since the inception! She has practiced mindfulness meditation for a number of years and offers silent space for others to practice at the house.

Chelsa

Movement Therapist

Chelsa’s healing philosophy is rooted in an earth-based practice informed by Core Shamanism, Reiki, Candle Work, and Dance/Movement Therapy. Chelsa’s movement-based work is a synergy of her earth-based practices and her traditional education; allowing for a communion of the mind, body, and spirit.

Portrait Cooperative

Everyone takes turns sitting for an evening and/or finds volunteer models. Potluck snacks too. This group has bounced around a bit,and are happy to land with Ahimsa! Please contact Meta if you would like to join us. metazhuraw@gmail.com

Eryn

Yoga instructor and Reiki Practicioner

Eryn is a Philly-based yoga teacher and reiki practitioner. She studied yoga in India, where she became passionate about using yoga and other spiritual tools for healing. Eryn is a creative & healer based in Philadelphia. She uses the tarot, reiki energy healing, and yoga as tools to help you be present and come back home to yourself. 

Yvonne

Group Faciliatator

I AM YVONNE MCCOY

 AND  

I AM…….A SURVIVOR

After years of being pregnant with this purpose, the time has come to give birth.  Moving towards becoming the founder and Chief Executive Director of an organization entitled Life After Sexual Assault, L.A.S.A –Shaming the Shame.

As a result of my experiences, my struggles, my fears and my survival, I feel I have a voice that will help others who have had a similar experience in the following ways:

  • From one survivor to another being able to relate to what they are going through

  • Being able to assist them in understanding, it really was not your fault

  • Helping them to understand what you are feeling is real, no you are not crazy

  • Assisting them in understanding, L.A.S.A. --- there is Life After Sexual Assault

 

My ultimate goal is to educate, encourage, empower and inspire others who have endured such a haunting, traumatic, life changing YET survivable experience. 

Sunshine

facilitator

Licences and trained Spa therapist, Sunshine offers a relaxing approach for healing and self care.

Rachel

music therapist & yoga instructor

Rachel has been a practicing music therapist (MT-BC, LPC) and yoga student for almost ten years. She recently combined these two passions during a Nada Yoga (the yoga of sound) teacher training in Rishikesh, India. Now a 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher, Rachel is excited to offer classes and workshops that invite participants to get in touch with their voice, play with the world of sound and movement and experience the joy of singing together.

Rob Rose

Instructor

My name is Rob Rose and I am honored to create space at Ahimsa for authentic connection, self empowerment, and letting go of energy which no longer serves us. There is tremendous power in group energy with the collective intention of surrender and my role as a facilitator will be to listening, responding and providing support.  www.connectwithrobrose.com 

Georgiana

Yoga Instructor

Georgiana teaches children and adult yoga classes in Philadelphia. She completed her yoga teacher training in December 2018 at Studio 34, where she currently teaches as a member of the Queer and Trans Collective.

Neha

Yoga & Kirtan Instructor

 I started to practice yoga to help connect me to my body when I felt lost and in pain from daily traumas of life. It continues to help me find healing when I need a reminder of spirit and universal love. 

Blair

Yoga Instructor

Blair is a long-time Philly resident with a love of many things: sunshine and rain, gardens, music, movement, reading and writing, the kindness of neighbors and strangers. She works full-time as a nurse in Philly.

Breanne

Yoga Instructor

Breanne's yoga practice began a decade ago, when she came to her mat yearning to learn to rest in herself.  As a nurse and Registered Yoga Teacher, she values this practice as a process of self-discovery, a tool to heal our personal and collective traumas, and a path towards liberation. Breanne sees our mat as a place we can go to practice giving ourselves whatever it is we need.  In her time off her mat, she loves intimate conversation, writing, sipping tea, reading, reading and more reading, dancing, and watching/listening to people make music.

Mariana Pardes

Training SOmatic Therapist

Mariana Pardes and I am training as a somatic therapist, offering free sessions to all.

August

Add some more info about this item...

I'm a LMT who has been working 10 years professionally  - having worked with children, prenatal clients, and adults of all ages in a variety of styles. My current work is transitioning into working with infants, their parents, and the birthing process.

 

In August I will be doing a Doula training as well to further my education towards working with younger populations and parents. Starting in the next year or following I plan to attend school for a Masters in Occupational Therapy where I'm excited to continue by education in the therapeutic field. I am also near-fluent in ASL, have taught yoga and meditation in the past, and have a general interest in the body as an interdependent organism of expressive and intelligent abilities as a teacher and student

 

The Icarus Project

The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. We transform ourselves through transforming the world around us.

Jamie

Dance instructor

Jamie is a lover of adventuring and creating, and is inspired by the beauty and wisdom of our natural environment. He still feels weird talking about himself in the third person and looks forward to connecting in person growing together. 

 

 

Simirit

yoga instructor

Simrit Atma Kaur is a healer and Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher. She serves West Philly through teaching, home cleaning and supporting cat rescue.

Sandra

yoga instructor

Sandra is a Korean-American West Coast transplant who completed her Yoga Teacher Training with the Studio 34 family in West Philly. As a union organizer, she believes in the power of yoga to sustain our bodies and spirits to build a better world.

Sarah

Yoga instructor

Sarah is grateful for how the practice of yoga has enabled her to connect more fully with herself, other people, and the natural world. She also deeply appreciates how yoga has enriched other practices in her life. Sarah completed yoga teacher training at Studio 34 in 2018.

Naima

youth arts instructor

Naima believes yoga is a practice of empowerment, which reveals our truly divine nature in all living things including ourselves. She is passionate about the healing properties of yoga, which she considers so important in a world where wounds, aliments and traumas are often never really dealt with. She believes that healing, facing our fears and working through what feels uncomfortable is the real way to happiness and living life fully, yoga is simply a tool to help us along the way. 

Hariprasad

yoga instructor

Hariprasad has been teaching vinyasa yoga both privately and publicly for over a year. He trained with Brittany Policastro and Maura Manzo in the Beyond Asana teacher training. Hariprasad is committed to social justice and as such teaches yoga at a long term juvenile justice facility and at a Project Home center in North Philadelphia.

Ryan

Ryan has been a Philadelphia resident since September 2013 by way of Washington, D.C. She is a high school Special Education/ Reading Intervention teacher in North Philadelphia, and in addition to her passion for dedicating her Life’s work to the advancement and expansion of knowledge for today’s urban youth, Ryan holds empowering youth to develop their individual voice through the Spoken Word tradition as a core value as well as she hosts the Poetry/Spoken Word club at the school she currently teaches. From a more personal scope, Ryan has thrown herself into a journey of deepening her spirituality and building a stronger, healthier, more magical relationship with Self and has come to view self-care, self-exploration, and ultimately self-love as a human obligation not only to the individual, but to society, the world, and the Universe as a collective. As we navigate through today’s society, the demands piled on us to simply be Human have proven to have a toxic effect on this planet, and as a result, now more than ever, Ryan seeks to help heal other human relatives both metaphysically and physically. She especially feels a deep connection towards advocating for marginalized individuals who experience a unique form of suffocation at the hands of systemic oppression—especially people of color and the LGBTQ communities and has been involved in activism since her junior year of high school. A major part of her recently refreshed spiritual study is attributed to this connection. In March 2013, Ryan received her Gohonzon after her life-changing introduction to the Buddhist practice, and continues to further her practice of the teachings through chanting, meditation, and mindful living. In addition, Ryan was introduced to the physical practice of yoga in 2015, and has come to hold the teachings of Patanjali’s yoga philosophy dear upon the completion of Studio 34’s Yoga Teacher Training 2016. Ryan is currently a student at the Reiki School and Clinic studying Reiki 1 and has aspirations of delving into aroma therapy, massage therapy, and crystal healing. 

Jeanine Campbell

Facilitator

Jeanine Campbell is an ESL teacher who has found yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to be key to her teaching practice and journey to becoming a teacher. Born on the outskirts of Philadelphia, she now calls West Philly her home and loves living, working and volunteering in this beautiful community

DJ

community herbalist

DJ is a Community Herbalist, Wild Foodie, and longtime neighborhood resident.

Marc Fried

Yoga instructor

After years of doing yoga and wanting to experience the subtle and energy bodies, I went on a quest to unlock those realms.  This lead me to months at a time at Agama Yoga in Thailand studying Chakra based Hatha Yoga and Tantra.  

Noelle Picara

expressive arts educator

Noelle Picara is a musician and expressive arts educator who develops safe, supportive spaces where people of all abilities feel empowered to access their own creativity and innate wisdom.  She has developed Re-Humanizing as a practice for moving past trauma through using the voice, movement, meditation, and play to build a sense of strength and safety in the present.  She specializes in working with survivors of sexual violence.

Dave DeHart

Healthy Masculinity Facilitator

Dave is an autodidactic polymath, multi-instrumentalist and computer guru from all over (mostly the East Coast). Dave values equality, precision, improvisation, deep introspection, deep conversations and open-mindedness. A trauma survivor, they have a deep drive to understand trauma and the healing of it on both the individual and collective levels. When not introspecting or playing music, Dave enjoys practicing and performing improv comedy.

Melanie

yoga instructor

Melanie  just completed her 200-hour training in vinyasa yoga at Dhyana Yoga where they received in-depth training in yoga anatomy and physiology, assists and adjustments, pranayama (breathing practice), meditation, and more! They continue to deepen their studies to strengthen their practice as a teacher and a learner. They are currently pursuing and additional 50-hour training at Dhyana that focuses on assists and adjustments.

Kristen Jas Vietty

Instructor

Kristen Jas Vietty is into connection: with her self, our environment, and other humans. She can often be found playing with plants, dancing, singing, snuggling, sharing food and drinks, and intimately communicating. 

Sina

Meditation Instructor

Sina is a Neuroscientist with extensive practice in meditation and movement . After finishing his studies in Italy, he joined Princeton University as a researcher. Sina is passionate about ways of healing mental disorders and trauma through body movement. Sina has training in Butoh at the Vangeline Theatre in NYC, and practices improvised dance with Group Motion in Philadelphia.

Hong-Mei Li

Meditation Instructor

Hong-Mei is an enthusiastic yogi and meditator as well as a certified Art of Living meditation and yoga teacher. She is a scientist by trade and has Master's Degree in Non-Profit Leadership. Her true passion is connecting people, teaching yoga and meditation, and running and hiking.

Deb Lane

Gestalt Coach and Trainer

Deb Lane is a gestalt coach and trainer, BSW ( ICF,PCC)  presenting her work both in the US and Europe. She has applied her Gestalt methodology and philosophy in her coaching, teaching, personal and professional relationships. 

Lani Sol

healing arts practicioner

 Lani Sol is a natural intuitive who has been practicing various forms of healing arts for over 25 years. She has a masters in psychology and a professional certificate in spiritual coaching. She sees wellness as a way of life. Her goal in working with you is to facilitate a life changing & sustainable healing experience. Visit HealingHouseWellness.com for more information

Victoria

Butoh facilitator

Victoria is an artist, facilitator, educator, and hypnotherapist and has created workshops, classes, and performances in PA, NYC, and Jordan. Victoria is passionate about utilizing research in Butoh and transpersonal drama therapy to facilitate growth and positive change. Victoria is certified by the International Association of Counselors and Therapists as a Hypnotherapist, has trained in Butoh at the Vangeline Theater in NYC, and has studied physical theatre at Dell'Arte International and elsewhere. Victoria is also a founding member of the 100th Monkey Theatre Ensemble, a new east-coast devising company. 
www.victoriamoyer.com

Ali

Children's reading club facilitator/Essential Oils Specialist

Ali is passionate about empowering others to live their best life through natural healing. Her mission is to help spread health and happiness with essential oils. Through her own wellness journey, she has come to understand the positive impact plant medicine, Yoga, meditation, and connection can have on our overall wellbeing. She is the proud mama of daughter Ruby and West Philly local for many years.

LaVondra (Lava) Ham

Yoga instructor

LaVondra (Lava) Ham has been teaching yoga and mindfulness educator to children since 2009. She earned her 14hr YTT certification through Childlight Yoga in Wayne, PA. She has since earned her 200hr YTT adult yoga certification from Studio 34 in Philadelphia, PA. She continues to journey into the world of spirituality and mindfulness through her personal practice and continued education. 

Vimukti Aslan

Yoga instructor

C-IAYT, ERYT-200, RYT-500, is a yoga therapist, instructor and Yoga of Recovery® counselor. She has been exploring the themes between somatic, emotional and spiritual healing through Integral Yoga® and Tibetan Buddhism for over 10 years.

Caroline Pocock

Yoga instructor

Caroline Pocock is a certified Hatha Yoga instructor and philosophy nerd trying to find her path and her people on this beautiful winding journey. Born in North Carolina, she's lived in Ecuador, New York City, Argentina, Vermont, and now finds her new home in West Philly.

Allison Vila

Spanish Instructor

Moving from France at the age of 13, I quickly found myself in a "teacher" role among my friends. I, later, traveled the world and discovered the importance of understanding one's language and culture to enjoy their country. This pushed me to become a French teacher and show the public that other cultures are just as intriguing as ours. 

Cari

Yoga instructor

Seven years after her introduction to yoga, Cari’s practice deepened in 2015 when she began to realize how its mind-body-breath integration helped to manage the onset of her chronic pain condition. She began to entertain the idea of enrolling in teacher training as a means to deepen her own knowledge, appreciation, and respect and to possibly share the practice with others—and safely. She is so blessed to have completed her foundational teacher training at Studio 34 in December 2017. Cari’s approach focuses on the tenets of the present moment as a way to connect the body to thoughts and emotions, and pays particular attention to transitioning with mindfulness, ease, and self-compassion while offering an adaptable physical practice to provide “yoga for every body”.

Mary

Yoga Instructor

Mary started regularly practicing yoga as a way to manage the onset of a chronic pain condition after a bike accident. She took the Studio 34 teacher training this past year to learn and share knowledge about how listening to the language of your body can significantly reduce stress and chronic pain.

Maria

Baking Instructor

I'm a vegan pastry chef that studied at the Art Institutes of Philadelphia, I attended the schools baking/pastry arts program for two years. I graduated in June 2014. I currently live in the suburbs outside of West Philly. I'm an assistant baker at Traub's Bakery in Prospect Park, Pa. I'm trying to break into the vegan philly scene day by day.

Sam

Non Violent Communication Facilitator

Sam is interested in the relationship between non-violence in society and non-violence within the individual. He practices hatha yoga, vipassana meditation, and Non-Violent Communication with the understanding that negativity inside and outside can be transformed into compassion through diligent awareness and life-enriching intention.

Loni Dayan

Yoga instructor

A returning teacher Loni will share what she has learned in her time away.

David Whitman

Writing Instructor

I am writer and poet living in near Cedar Park in West Philadelphia. I have enjoyed a freelance writing career. I have also worked in publicity and promotions, writing copy and press releases.

Heather Renee

Yoga Instructor

Heather Renee, a Florida transplant, Birth Doula, Caretaker, and practitioner of yoga, completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India over the summer of 2017. She has worked with women and families for many years and is heavily active in Recovery Advocacy.  She believes that healing the world around us begins through self healing, and creating the space to be of service to others. She aspires to live a life of kindness and nonviolence, and feels that each encounter is an opportunity to learn how to hold more compassion.  

Eugene

Writer

Eugene Carrington is a retired NYC bie messenger who began writing in 2005. A finalist in several national poetry contests, Carrington has published poems in California Quarterly and fiction in several literary magazines.

Alexei

Psycotherapist

Alexei is a trained therpist residing in West Philadelphia, interested in integrative healing.

Maureen

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Maureen recently moved from the Santa Monica Mountains. She is a proud mother of twins toddlers. She's a student at University of Pennsylvania for Entrepreneurship. She's rigorously practiced yoga for fifteen years and meditation for four. She resides in University City.

Susan

Open Mic Faciliatator

Susan is working toward the completion of her master’s thesis for a graduate degree in Art Therapy from Drexel. Her thesis focus is on the development of a method of art therapy to reduce isolation and work through other difficult conflicts faced by patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. She also works as an Administrative Manager at a drug and alcohol treatment center in Philadelphia. In the past, she has led art workshops for teens, an experiential art course for military veterans, and worked with both children and adults through art seeking to create meaning and communicate their experiences. She believes that creativity is a deeply spiritual experience, innate within all of us.  The act of creation is capable of bringing out our inner truths and connecting us to one another, and connecting our inner worlds with the outer world.

Joanna Doberstein

yoga instructor

Joanna completed the 200 yoga teacher training at Studio 34 in 2016.   She believes the self awareness and acceptance gained through Yoga truly helps us all to find truth, see beauty, and act compassionately; inwardly as well as towards others.  Celebrating the diversity and ever changing nature of asana practice (and life), she encourages all students to bring a sense of humor and curiosity to their mats.

Massimo Elijah Pryor

Spoken Word Artist, Open Mic Host

Massimo Elijah Pryor is a spoken word poet born and raised in Philadelphia. He has performed alongside many local poets and musicians, featuring for events such as Pecola Breedlove and The Freedom Party, Moonstone Arts 100 Poets Read, The New Mosaic Open Mic and Ahimsa House Poetry Jawn. He feels blessed to be part of such a thriving and diverse art scene in his home city, and loves seeing people use creative expression to change their world.

Taylor

Yoga Instructor

Taylor graduated Studio 34's Yoga Teacher Training in December of 2017 and is super excited to begin sharing the art that has given her love, healing and community. She is a mover, dancer, theatre artist, sister, friend, barista, and lover.

Gina

Yoga Instructor

Through years of social work with Philadelphia's homeless individuals, Gina Cocchiaro witnessed the healing impacts of group fitness. With a BS in Neuroscience and certification in Aligned Vinyasa yoga from Studio 34 in West Philly, Gina, now studying medicine, believes in the power of yoga to unify, strengthen and heal community.