Jen trained in the Philadelphia area at Wake Up Yoga's 250-hour Foundational Vinyasa Teacher Training in 2018 and Blue Banyan's 100-hour Immersion in 2016. When she first discovered yoga in college, she noticed right away some pretty amazing effects of the practice: a calm alertness, stress relief, and loosening of chronically tight muscles. Fifteen years later, those same benefits draw her in on a daily basis, and she is inspired to keep learning as she realizes that the tools of yoga can be implemented every day, with every challenge. In Jen's classes, as in life generally, she seeks balance. Intentional breathing to release tension and soothe the nervous system is combined with a strength-building physical challenge.
Sarah began practicing yoga in 2009 as a way to complement her other athletic endeavors of lifting and running. Seeking to deepen her practice, Sarah completed the 250-hour Foundational Vinyasa Teacher Training at Wake Up Yoga in 2018. Beyond its physical benefits, yoga has helped her be more present and calm in her daily life, and she hopes to share these benefits and her love of movement with others.
Alane met yoga in 2006 when she was seeking a hobby. Little did she expect what she found would transform her life! Fueled by the desire to study yoga more intensively, Alane enrolled in Wake Up Yoga’s Foundational Comprehensive Teacher Training program in fall 2008 under the skillful and compassionate direction of Corina Benner and Jill Manning. Shortly after completing her teacher training, Alane had the good fortune to begin teaching at Wake Up Yoga. Teaching yoga both challenges and feeds Alane’s love of her yoga practice, and she feels honored to hold the space for students to experience their own transformations.
In fall 2011, Alane completed Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Karen Safire. The principles Karen introduced in this training continue to inform Alane’s teaching. In 2014 Alane participated in the Functional Anatomy and Yoga Therapeutics Training with Marlysa Sullivan and Pranakriya Level 1 Prenatal Teacher Training with Jacci Gruninger. Both programs provided extensive tools to utilize yoga asana and breath practices to balance what is often an excessive level of activity in daily life. Alane’s classes are designed to smooth out tension, strengthen the body for its daily tasks, and rediscover steadiness. Beginners and more practiced yogis are equally welcome.
When she’s not teaching, practicing, or administrating yoga, Alane enjoys taking long walks, reading mystery novels, trying new recipes and eating dark chocolate. She lives in Drexel Hill with her husband, Jeremy, and sweet baby girl, Louisa.
As a trained high school athlete and leisure endurance runner, Aisha was first introduced to yoga as a physical practice in 2009. However, it wasn't until 2013 in graduate school that she took to yoga for its physical and emotional transformational possibilities. Deepening her practice, Aisha completed the Wake Up Yoga Foundation Teacher Training in 2018 as a means to not only share her passion for yoga but also help people access their own individual body in a way that increases their overall wellbeing. When teaching yoga, Aisha holds the value of seeing the individual first, remaining in the present moment, and cultivating a space for safe exploration.
Bridgette first started practicing yoga in 2010. After trying a few studios and types of yoga, she fell in love with Wake Up Yoga's teaching style and the environment of the studio, and soon realized that Wake Up Yoga felt like her second home. Bridgette signed up for the Beginner Series (which she took twice!), and after six years of taking classes at Wake Up Yoga, she deepened her practice completing Wake Up Yoga's Foundational Vinyasa Teacher Training program, realizing that she wanted to share this wonderful practice with others. As a health coach training to be a holistic nutritionist, Bridgette feels that yoga has provided a strong foundation in her continuing journey to support and educate people in leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle and can’t wait to see where it continues to take her.
A self-proclaimed “wanderer”, Giva Ann came to yoga in 2014 out of sheer curiosity and was immediately drawn in by the calming, cleansing, and rejuvenating effects of the practice. A confessed perfectionist, she leaves her expectations off the mat and instead embraces her practice as is — a philosophy she encourages her students to take as well. A graduate of the 2018 250-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Wake Up Yoga, Giva places great emphasis on body awareness and the connection between breath and movement. Her goal is for her students to leave class more empowered, relaxed, self-aware, and happy.
Melissa is a certified Vinyasa and Yin teacher through the Wake Up Yoga YTT program. Having practiced yoga for almost a decade at various establishments in and around the Philadelphia area, it wasn't until she walked into Wake Up Yoga on Passyunk Avenue, that she felt truly at home. Turning to yoga as a place to help deal with the constant demands of raising a chronically ill child, it helped her to form an identity outside of her role of "mom" and as an individual. She brings a lightness and sense of humor to each of her carefully crafted classes.
An avid runner, fitness enthusiast, and dedicated yogi, Elana Stern proudly teaches yoga at Wake Up Yoga and privately, embracing all levels from beginner to advanced. Elana was trained in meditation as a teenager, studied Eastern Philosophy academically, and received her 250-hour Foundational Vinyasa Teacher Certification as well as her Restorative Yoga Certification from Wake Up Yoga. With a passion grounded in decades of practice and study, Elana's creative style roots in the body, focuses on breath and presence, and integrates athletic training for a strength-building, grounding, and releasing practice.
Corina Benner, RYT-500, Studio Owner of Wake Up Yoga, wholeheartedly believes that the ancient practice of yoga perfectly complements our modern pursuit of vibrant health, personal fulfillment, harmonious relationships and spiritual enrichment. Viewing asana practice as an entry-point to self-study, Corina weaves the tenets of yoga philosophy into her teaching, inspiring students to discover how this age-old practice remains relevant today in their own lives both on and off the mat. Her positive vibrations and contagious optimism empower students of all levels to practice with enthusiasm, while her detailed instruction, poetic language and intelligent sequencing create a safe space for students to explore the landscapes of their body, mind, heart and soul. As a Teacher of Teachers Corina seeks to impart a deep and abiding reverence for the power of yoga, while also affirming her students’ unique experiences which give rise to his/her own authentic voice, and inspiring them to cultivate a sharp and discriminating mind that is softened by an open and receptive heart. In 2002, she opened Wake Up Yoga, inspired to create a warm and nurturing cOMmUNITY-centered yoga studio where people of all ages, stages, colors and flavors could come together with breath and movement, in silence and in laughter, to deeply connect with the underlying current that unites us all. She has been teaching a 200-hour Foundational Training since 2002, and Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings since 2005, and has taught both programs locally, nationally and internationally. In addition to her Foundational Training with Cyndi Lee at OM Yoga Center in NYC, Corina’s teachings and understanding of yoga have been influenced by more than 100 hours of Teacher Training with Rodney Yee; more than 70 hours of Teacher Training with Shiva Rea; and more than 300 hours of Teacher Training with Paul Grilley. As one of her primary teachers, Paul Grilley has imparted a deep respect for anatomical difference, which is the guiding principle behind alignment instructions in Yin Yoga. Corina’s understanding of chakras has been informed through study with Paul Grilley, and also nearly 50-hours of Training with Anodea Judith, and a 4-day Training with Kristine Kaoverii Weber. She has been a student of Sanskrit under the expert tutelage of Manorama, of Sanskrit Studies, and has been working on memorizing, chanting and writing the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali in Sanskrit with help and guidance from both Manorama and Paul JJ Alix, of Yoga for All. In 2013 Corina completed a 300 hour Yoga Therapeutics Teacher Training at the IHYT in Ontario, Canada, exploring therapeutic applications of yoga to treat anxiety and depression, cancer and end-of-life care, chronic pain and grief, along with study of structural alignment, and Ayurveda. She has been strongly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism and the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa as imparted largely by her Meditation Teacher, Michael Carroll, and has been fortified by a steady meditation practice since 1999. Her mind and perspectives have also been shaped by the writings of J. Krishnamurti, and her heart has been opened through the beautiful poetry of Rumi, Hafiz, Rilke, Jack Gilbert and Mary Oliver, just to name a few.
Angela began an on-again, off-again relationship with yoga somewhere around 2004. Taking her first class in college, she was always drawn back to her mat at key points in her life. When she moved to Philadelphia, the first studio she practiced at was Wake Up Yoga. She instantly felt at home.
Angela’s connection to the Wake Up Yoga community has helped make yoga a consistent part of her life. As a result of a regular practice and participating in the Wake Up Yoga foundational teacher training program, she has experienced the holistic benefits of yoga for her mind, body, and spirit.
Angela is passionate about helping others realize their most authentic selves. She meets students where they’re at, encouraging them to challenge their edges with curiosity and compassion. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her joy for the path of yoga with others.
Ash was introduced to movement based activities when she was very young. Enrolled in baby gymnastics classes at the age of 3 and dance classes at 4, she fell in love with both and continued throughout her life. At age 12 she encountered yoga for the first time via DVD and maintained a home practice off and on in combination with dance training. It wasn’t until studying theatre and dance in college that she took her first yoga class at the campus gym and began to find a deeper meaning in her practice. She continued taking classes at local gyms until she moved to Philadelphia in 2013 and found Wake Up Yoga, the first place she practiced that was dedicated to teaching only yoga. It was here that her practice was able to develop into a practice of body, mind and awareness and the desire to share this experience with others was sparked.
Ash received her 250-hour Foundational Yoga Teacher Certification from Wake Up Yoga in May, 2015 under the guidance and experience of Corina Benner, Felicia Graham Comisar, Julie Pogachefsky, and Tricia Bendik. She is honored to be teaching at the studio that inspired and taught her and is excited to give students the experience that kept her coming back to Wake Up Yoga.
Ash brings a playful, explorative energy to her classes that awakens creativity and brings awareness to the fluidity of movement and breath. When she isn’t teaching or practicing yoga she performs as a hula hoop dancer and enjoys spending time lounging with her cats and dog or lounging with her friends.
Ashley first started practicing yoga on and off during her senior year as an undergrad, enjoying the calm the practice provided in both her body and mind. After moving to Philadelphia in 2013, she began a consistent practice, hoping to find solace and santosha (contentment) after life threw a few curveballs her way. She was amazed to find clarity, inner strength, and the sense of community she had been searching for. In 2017, she completed the 250 Hour Foundational Wake Up Yoga Teacher Training Program under the guidance of Corina Benner. She is grateful to Corina and her mentors Felicia Graham Comisar, Nicole McLane, Laura Edoff, and Stephanie Berliner for their love and support along the path.
Ashley hopes to instill a sense of empowerment in the students she teaches (both on their mat and off) by encouraging them to meet their edges with compassion and awareness. Being a classroom teacher, she understands the importance of a creative and well-planned class. Much like the students she teaches in her classroom, Ashley hopes that the students she teaches in the yoga studio leave with a feeling of capability and strength. Her detailed instruction and dedication to differentiation ensure that all students are able to access what is being offered. She is deeply grateful and humbled to be able to share her love of the practice with others and hopes that the students she teaches are inspired to continue their own path on the journey to their truest Selves.
Having practiced yoga for several years at home, Bernie really thought she had it down. However, it wasn’t until she walked into Wake Up Yoga that she did just that, she woke up. Yoga began to make sense and as a result it changed her life. In Wake Up Yoga, Bernie found a home. Spending so much of her time working, surviving, and taking care of others she started to learn how to live. Quickly becoming a devotee of the practice and the teachers, soon she was noticed by one teacher who began to tell her that she was capable of doing things that she did not know possible. That confidence began to translate both on and off the mat to the point where she eventually enrolled in the Teacher Training Program which she completed in 2014. This became a labor of love as she felt it important to be present and to demonstrate that yoga is non-discriminatory and that age should never hold you back. Bernie’s love of yoga is evidenced in her relationships with her teachers and fellow students whom she adores. She firmly believes that it is in giving that we receive. Just as she has received the attention and the benefits through mindful, loving instruction, her focus is to share that with others and help them to awaken their own gifts. She is continually thankful to Corina Benner for creating such an amazing community. She knows that with the love and support of Corina along with her mentors Nicole, Felicia, and Kate she has found and embraced her joy.
Brooke’s interest in yoga grew out of a desire for stress relief and grew into a desire to delve deeper. She started practicing more seriously during graduate school and was particularly drawn to vinyasa yoga, finding that being in motion slowed her mind. Brooke received her 250-hour Foundational Vinyasa Teacher Training certification from Wake Up Yoga in 2016, under the careful tutelage of Corina Benner, Felicia Graham Comisar, Laura Edoff, Stephanie Berliner, and Kate DeRosa Howell. She aims to bring a sense of play, exploration, and mindfulness to her classes, and welcomes all who are interested in sharing their practice, from those who are just starting their journey to those whose journey is long underway. Together with students, she works to make her class a safe space that allows for deep personal transformation with a hefty dose of the giggles.
Carmen first began practicing yoga in 2008. She was initially seeking only physical benefits and practiced a physical, heated form of yoga. Although she enjoyed it, after a couple of years she felt rumblings of something more. After spending four days at Kripalu, she realized that there was so much more to yoga than she had ever imagined. Soon after this she discovered the warm, welcoming community at Wake Up. Even when she found the classes physically and emotionally challenging she kept coming back to practice.
In 2015 she completed Wake Up Yoga’s Foundational Teacher Training as well as Yin Teacher Training. She is forever grateful to the wise and inspiring Corina Benner for leading her along this path. She is very thankful to her amazing and knowledgeable teachers Felicia Graham Comisar, Julie Pogachefsky, Tricia Bendik, and Heather Goldner Kinsey. With their guidance and the loving support of her fellow teacher trainees, a transformational spark was lit and the journey toward finding her true, authentic self began.
Carmen is continuously amazed at the gifts that yoga brings to anyone who listens with an open heart. She believes that yoga is accessible to people of all levels of physical ability, knowing that the true practice of yoga asks not for physical perfection, but to use the asanas as a means for inner transformation. She is honored and humbled to be teaching at Wake Up, where she hopes to create a warm, safe space for her students to practice and discover their authentic selves.
Originally from Ohio, Carmen has lived in Philly for over 10 years. She currently resides in South Philly with her talented musician husband, Scott, and their four felines.
Carolyn began practicing yoga in 2003 using workout videos at home. She was initially intimidated by yoga studios and trapped by her own body shame. In 2008, she summoned the courage to take a class with a live teacher and has never looked back. She is a 2015 graduate of Wake Up Yoga’s 250-hour, Comprehensive Foundational Teacher Training Program.
Carolyn believes that people are made of magic; little piles of starlight who navigate the world in cages of flesh and bones. She believes that yoga is a powerful physical and spiritual practice that helps us align our inner light with our physical selves. She teaches from a body positive perspective and works with students in their bodies exactly as they are today. Carolyn’s passion is in bringing this ancient philosophy alive and sharing its relevance with anyone who is interested in experiencing it.
Deb has practiced yoga throughout her life, studying in California, Washington DC, Connecticut, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania as her family moved around the country for various jobs. Yoga is the one constant that always brought her community, connection and serenity.
She decided to pursue a long time dream of learning to teach yoga in 2010. Deb continues to pursue the study of yoga. She just completed her second Vinyasa teacher training program, graduating from Wake Up Yoga’s 250-hour Comprehensive Foundational Teacher Training Program in April 2017. Prior to that, Deb completed Corina Benner’s Yin Teacher Training Program in May 2015, Dhyana Yoga’s 200-hour Vinyasa teacher training program in June 2010 and Jordana Rock-Garden’s 30-hour Yin teacher training program in May 2011.
Deb seeks to meet all students where they are physically, mentally and emotionally; work with them to achieve their personal goals; and, share in their journey of yoga…a journey which inevitably offers more personal growth and enhanced gratitude than they could ever imagine. Her greatest joy is seeing students achieve and surpass their goals – physical, mental, and emotional – and amaze themselves with their own strength and brilliance.
Artist, Restauranteur, Blogger, Cafe Dweller, and, thankfully, Wanderer. Elisa was born and raised in South Philadelphia and had recently moved back to the area after living in NYC, where she opened and operated her dream-come-true, Petalbelle Cafe. Her fellow barista begged her on a daily basis to drop the coffee and sweets and cOMe take a yoga class, but, with too much to do and not enough hours in her day running the cafe she found it hard to make the time.
The economic downturn of 2009 put an end to the cafe on its one year anniversary. She returned home, exhausted, broken-hearted and without a sense of purpose. After three days on her sofa, she decided to get up and take a walk. “I stopped walking when I saw Wake Up Yoga South. I thought, well now you have plenty of time! I walked in and never left. It was what got me out of bed in the morning and I went everyday. I loved the studio, my classes and especially my teachers. I would cry in Savasana because class was over but it was a little more than that.I didn’t understand what was happening at the time but I started to make connections to my mind and body and how they played a part in expressing myself in the asanas.Yoga became my Lifeline. It offered me focus, stability, balance and release from the stress I had been walking around with for the past year. I stopped running and became present in my life. ”
Elisa began taking workshops at Wake Up Yoga and after a delicious Yin/Restorative workshop with Felicia Graham Comisar, decided to get her certification in YIN Yoga from Corina Benner in 2014 and also received her certification in Restorative Yoga from Karen Safire in 2014. She received her Foundational Teacher Training from Corina in 2015.
“I’m so grateful for Corina, Wake Up Yoga and all the teachers, especially Felicia, who saw a Teacher in me before I did. I have been blessed to study and learn at Wake Up Yoga. It’s all so surreal, receiving my Foundational Teacher Training and, now, with students of my own. It is one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Next up, getting my Hubby on the mat.”
Felicia believes that yoga is an amazing system and that everyone comes to it from a different angle and takes away different benefits. She started practicing yoga in 2003 and it was love at first Raja Kapotasana (sleeping pigeon). Already active with swimming and biking, Felicia found yoga added a tremendous sense of joy and well-being to her life. Even before diving into the philosophical side of yoga, she experienced an increase in patience and focus, as well as myriad health-related benefits. Curious to learn more, Felicia started reading about yoga and studying with different teachers. The more she read, the more drawn she was to yoga as a path to health and happiness and as a way to positively inform and transform all aspects of her life. It quickly became clear to Felicia that her vinyasa teachers who trained with Corina Benner at Wake Up Yoga were closer to the source. She decided that she wanted to share this amazing practice and path with as many people as possible, so in the summer of 2009 she applied to join the 250-hour vinyasa yoga teacher training program at Wake Up Yoga, where she had the privilege to study under the loving guidance of Corina Benner, Victoria Ladd, and Julie Pogachefsky (of Jai! Yoga). Felicia was thrilled to be able to follow up the vinyasa foundational training with Yin Teacher Training, taught by Corina Benner, and Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Karen Safire. The styles complement each other and have added a new level of depth to her practice, teaching, and life. Felicia is very grateful for the opportunity to share her knowledge and love of yoga with students as she continues to study and practice. Taking students on a journey with their breath and their body, as well as sharing the wisdom of her teachers, fills Felicia with joy and reverence. She respects the differences in all of us and strives to offer options that invite students to open up on multiple levels as they consider their interconnectedness with all things. She believes we should resist taking anything too seriously, especially ourselves, as we process all that we learn through our own internal wisdom. She is honored to have the opportunity to plant seeds physically, mentally, and emotionally for students to take with them off their mat and into the world to nurture and grow.
Wake Up Yoga has been Jennifer’s yoga hOMe since 2004, and she loves that the vibe here is warm, friendly and welcoming.
The more years Jennifer continues to practice, the simpler her practice becomes. She believes simplicity is a virtue when it comes to this gift of yoga. Jennifer is a self-proclaimed yoga hopper, practicing all over the city with so many gifted teachers. While she loves a good sweaty practice, she’s learned that just because you can practice a pose…doesn’t always mean you …should. Sometimes the simplest of shapes are the most lovely and humbling. Her classes are balanced but challenging–believing there’s a time for every practice, and there’s room for everyone here on the mat: If you are type-A and your growth edge is to step back a bit, come to your mat. If your growth edge is to be tentative, come dip your toe ever so gently into the deep end. Sometimes the hardest thing is to practice child’s pose when you’re dying to kick up into handstand. ‘Practice….and All is coming…’
Kate is a certified and experienced yoga teacher specializing in vinyasa and prenatal yoga. Kate received her foundational teacher training from Wake Up Yoga under the direction of Corina Benner in 2010, and went on to study Yin Yoga with Corina Benner in 2012 and Prenatal Yoga with Jacci Gruninger of Pranakriya School of Yoga Healing Arts in 2014. She continues to deepen her yoga practice and teaching through advanced training programs with two beloved teachers, Yoganand Michael Carroll of the Pranakriya School of Yoga Healing Arts, and Marlysa Sullivan of the Center for Integrative Yoga Studies.
Perhaps the greatest teachers of all, however, have been her two children, Silas and Cleo, and the transformational exKate seated.resizedperience of pregnancy and childbirth. Throughout her pregnancies, Kate soaked up the wisdom of renowned midwife, Ina May Gaskins, and prolific Childbirth Educator, Penny Simkins, while maintaining a steady yoga practice. She became more and more curious about the parallels between the practice of yoga and the life-changing process of childbirth, and following Cleo’s birth in 2015, Kate began working towards her Childbirth Educator and Birth Doula certification through Birth Arts International.
Kate is inspired by the dedication of each student who comes to class, the wisdom and depth of ancient yogic texts, and the compassion of her teachers. She is profoundly grateful to Corina Benner for her guidance and support, and for fostering the Wake Up Yoga community she considers home. She is honored to share her love and knowledge of yoga.
Kate lives in South Philadelphia with her husband, Ted, and her little yogis, Silas and Cleo.
Katy Hawkins was a literature professor before she turned to teaching yoga.
She holds a Ph.D in Comp Lit from NYU, and her scholarship centers on Eastern literary and meditative forms. Ten years ago she completed her yoga teacher training with Corina Benner at Wake Up Yoga, and has taught classes at Wake Up like prenatal yoga and creative flow. After taking a break to start her own studio (Shiné Yoga in Chestnut Hill), she’s thrilled to return!
Khalief has found the practice of Yoga to be the most fitting platform in his exploration of mind, body and soul.
Recovering from a near death accident, Khalief utilized the practice of yoga as one of the many natural wholistic healing methods to overcome his injuries.
With a background in athletics and wholistic healing, Khalief was initially drawn to the meditative aspect of yoga and shortly after found a passion for the physical practice. As a graduate of the 2016 Wake Up Yoga teacher training program, Khalief’s love for handstands, inversions, arm balances and overall fitness, has led to the development of a well rounded practice and teaching style that strengthens the body and mind.
Kiran first practiced yoga in 2001, when the stresses of student life became overwhelming. She continued to practice over the years and became serious about her practice in 2009 when an injury left her unable to exercise in a traditional manner. Kiran relied on yoga for both her physical and spiritual recovery, and maintained her practice when her body fully healed. Kiran spent months exploring yoga throughout India, where she visited ashrams and temples and practiced often at Integral Yoga Institute, Coimbatore and Samyak Yoga, Kerala. She believes there is a type of yoga practice for nearly everyone, and that the breathing exercises, physical movements and inward reflection are beneficial to all. Kiran completed her Foundational Teacher Training at Wake Up Yoga under the guidance of Corina Benner in 2013, and earned her Yin Yoga teaching certificate with Corina Benner in May 2012.
In addition to being a passionate yogi, Kiran is also an avid runner. She has completed the Broad Street Run five times and has finished two full marathons, multiple half marathons and two sprint distance triathlons. Kiran also enjoys long walks on the beach, hiking and seeing live music of every variety. Her work in the legal field keeps her busy most days, but Kiran finds time to volunteer as Board President of the Philly AIDS Thrift, her very favorite thrift shop.
For Laura, yoga is not just a physical practice, but a practice of svadyaya, or self-study.
In 2012, Laura completed her 250-hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training (followed by Yin Yoga Teacher Training in 2012), under the guidance of Corina Benner. In addition to vinyasa and yin, she teaches the Brand New Beginners Series at Fairmount. After 200-hours of studying yoga therapy with Marlysa Sullivan and the Center for Integrative Yoga Studies, Laura is now receiving a Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy from Maryland University of Integrative Health.
Laura’s teaching of the asana, or physical yoga postures, is grounded in the importance of alignment, muscular engagement, and present moment sensation. Her sequencing is creative and complex, with an easy going approach, encouraging students to listen to their bodies and meeting the practice where they are that day. She wholeheartedly believes in the process of yoga: a living, breathing tradition of awakening to one’s self and the world. Her hope is that she may inspire students to commit to the practice of yoga, helping to guide them in rediscovering their truth.
Liz began her exploration of yoga shortly after moving to Philadelphia ten years ago, curious what it had to offer physically. Soon after her first few classes, she was fascinated by the rich history of the practice as well as its potential to truly change lives. After moving to South Philly, she began to practice at Wake Up Yoga and was inspired by the breadth of knowledge shared by the teachers as well as the warm, welcoming environment.
She continued her practice while returning to graduate school for physical therapy, and her education on and off the mat firmly rooted her belief that movement is medicine, mobility is a precious gift, and that both longevity and vitality are rooted in keeping mind and body active and engaged. She believes that yoga is for everybody and every body, and that people of all abilities can benefit from the practice. Liz completed Wake Up’s teacher training in 2017 and is honored and thrilled to share her love of yoga with her students, aiming to create a class that’s both lighthearted and supportive, upbeat and illuminating
A dancer since the age of three, Maggie first began her yoga practice in college as a supplement to her dance training. It quickly expanded into much more of her life as she fell in love with it – the practice and the lifestyle.
Maggie is a firm believer in finding an adventure every single day, big or small, and has found that many of these can begin with, end with, or be inspired by time on a yoga mat. She hopes to help her students learn to live fully and completely, in appreciation of the amazing world around them. Her classes focus on physical and mental strength building and awareness, openness, and mindfulness.
In addition to dance, Maggie has studied dance/movement therapy, Laban Movement Analysis, Barteneiff Fundamentals, and various other types of bodywork. In April of 2016, she completed the 250-hour Vinyasa Yoga teacher training program at Wake Up Yoga. She is very honored to be teaching alongside her own amazing teachers – Corina Benner, Felicia Graham Comisar, Laura Edoff, and Stephanie Berliner. She currently teaches dance and movement classes for children with special needs as well as yoga for kids.
Megan teaches with a compassionate light-hearted approach and a love of yoga philosophies. She empowers students to practice yoga in a way that enriches their own bodies’ innate strengths and inherent flexibility. She truly believes all people benefit from the practice of yoga as it facilitates profound healing on all levels of being.
As a teacher, she helps students embrace the earthy-richness of alignment and structure alongside the intuitive yet mysterious aspects of yoga. She believes yoga shines a light inward towards the totality of our true selves, nurturing our true nature, the part of ourselves connected to all living things.
In 2013, Megan completed her Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Corina Benner. She received her 250-hour Foundational Yoga Teacher Certification in 2013-14 and is humbly grateful to her teachers Corina Benner, Felicia Graham Comisar and Kate DeRosa Howell. She feels very fortunate to be a part of the strong and open hearted community of Wake Up Yoga, and is currently pursuing her 500 hour certification in Yoga Therapy from Center for Integrative Yoga Studies.
Nai became serious about yoga while completing her undergraduate degree in Education. While struggling to cope with the stress and anxiety of student life, she decided to attend a class at the campus gym. She was initially drawn to yoga as a means of escape, but found it to be so much more. She noticed the calming effects of a physical practice and mediation on her mind, body and spirit. Yoga quickly became an integral part of her daily routine.
After moving to South Philly, Nai stumbled upon Wake Up. She found a safe space to deepen and explore her practice, as well as a community filled with love and support. Wanting to share her passion for yoga, Nai enrolled in the 250- hour Foundational Vinyasa Teacher Training program at Wake Up Yoga. She is immensely grateful to her teachers Corina Benner, Felicia Graham Comisar, Laura Edoff, and Stephanie Berliner, as well as her mentor, Bernie Malin.
Nai is humbled and honored to be teaching at Wake Up Yoga. She truly believes yoga should be accessible to all and is grateful for the opportunity to share this practice with others!
Nicole came to yoga seeking peace of mind, and body, and a practice to help maintain her sense of well-being. Her yoga consistently grounds her and she hopes to help her students develop such a practice. Nicole has been teaching for over a decade and specializes in helping students with body limitations and aches and pains throughout life – especially in their later years. Her teaching style focuses on posture, functional alignment & injury prevention/reduction. She is trained in Yoga, therapeutic Pilates and Vedic Thai Yoga. Nicole hopes to help her students find balance, strength, and flexibility on and off the mat.
Ever since she was a little girl, Patrice bounced around from hobby to hobby, trying everything under the sun; she dusted the pottery clay off her shirt before drum and violin lessons, and danced her way to playing competitive sports. Although she loved the challenge and creativity these activities offered, nothing could keep her interest and focus for very long…except yoga.
Initially, Patrice started practicing yoga as a form of exercise and to improve her waning flexibility. She quickly realized that yoga was so much more than just a physical practice and began to hear whispers of yogic teachings in other parts of her day. After years of reaping the benefits of yoga in her own life, she wanted to share this ancient transformational fire with others. A high school teacher by trade, the decision to pursue yoga teacher training became a natural extension of her passions and she immersed herself in the sacred study of yoga. Patrice is honored and humbled to be teaching at Wake Up Yoga under the guidance of her beloved teachers Corina Benner, Felicia Graham Comisar, Julie Pogachefsky, and Tricia Bendik. She hopes to carry on their beliefs of cultivating a safe space where people from all walks of life can benefit from the practice of yoga, encouraging curiosity and awareness through balance, perspective and peace. Patrice believes that time on the mat provides the framework for self-study as well as self-care, adding clarity (and sweetness) to life and love.
Aside from teaching at Wake Up Yoga, Patrice teaches yoga and breath awareness to kids and teens. She lives in South Philly and enjoys traveling, snuggling with her dog Scout & stargazing.
“Never underestimate the power of compassionately recognizing what’s going on.” – Pema Chodron
Sarah Kowalski has been practicing yoga for over a decade, and teaching since 2014. Her devotion to yoga is rooted in her experience that, through moving our bodies and studying our breath, we can build a deeply relevant mindfulness practice that strengthens our ability to meet the changing realities of life with kindness, presence, and resilience.
Sarah tends to bring a slow, somatic, restorative component into most of her classes—viewing yoga practice as a time to build strength and mobility in our bodies, but also as a much-needed opportunity to slow down enough to see below the surface of our daily lives. To allow ourselves to relax enough to compassionately observe what’s actually going on—in our bodies, in our breath, in our thoughts, in our lives—instead of rushing past, trying to get someplace else.
Through detailed, invitational language and accessible but often novel movement sequences, she hopes to teach classes that create kind-hearted connection to present-moment sensations, and to hold space for you to meet the weird little nuances and synapses that make you unique. Ultimately, Sarah views yoga practice as a system for feeling more deeply at home in our bodies, minds, and lives. Which, along with the world around us, are always changing—so yoga practice also becomes a path of continuous learning and discovery.
Above all, Sarah is a voracious and lifelong learner. In addition to her foundational vinyasa training at Wake Up Yoga, she has completed certifications in prenatal and restorative yoga, and complements her yoga practice with study of biomechanics, somatics, natural movement, and mind-body connections. She has completed several advanced trainings in yoga therapeutics and anatomy, and has been studying yoga asana, mythology, and philosophy with Zhenja La Rosa since 2015. Most recently, Sarah trained in the Roll Model® method (a system of self-myofascial release using therapy balls, created by Jill Miller) with Trina Altman, and is working toward becoming a fully certified teacher of the method.Sarah K seated
As a teacher, she hopes to invite you into an embodied, sensory inquiry into how your own muscles and bones, mind and breath work together, in real time—so that you can keep bringing your awareness home to the present moment and waking up your innate capacity to savor your life, moment to moment, while you’re actually living it.
Sonni first discovered yoga as a 14-year-old Theatre Major at her performing arts high school. Sun Salutations and breathing techniques were taught as a way to warm up the body and the mind for acting. Over the years yoga and meditation have helped her immensely in her career as a performer. It has also aided her in her relationships and her management of stress and time. Twelve years of practicing yoga has convinced Sonni that mindfulness and awareness of the body can greatly enhance whatever you are doing in life. Regardless of age, occupation, or physical ability, yoga can provide anyone in any phase of their lives with space to build resilience and joy in the very cells of their bodies.
In 2016 Sonni graduated from Wake Up Yoga’s 250 hour Foundational Teacher Training program under the nurturing guidance of Corina Benner, Felicia Graham COmisar, Laura Edoff, and Stephanie Berliner. She has also completed a 20-hour training in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and intends to dive deeper into yoga therapeutics. Her classes are slow yet steady, with emphasis on the breath, present moment sensations, and maintaining a sense of playfulness. She believes that yoga poses can and should be suited to the practitioner, rather than conforming the body to suit an idealized version of a pose. Sonni lives in Mantua, with her guitars and her books. Besides yoga, music is Sonni’s other lifelong love. and you can find her regularly playing guitar and singing around town.
Steph began practicing Yoga in 1999 when working at a gym in high school. Yoga quickly became a magical source of respite for Steph, who continued her practice throughout college and into adulthood. Steph believes that by moving through physical asana and connecting the breath to movement, the mind begins to calm. Yoga provides Steph with a deep sense of self and allows her to remain grounded, aware, and connected to herself and to others.
In 2009, Steph received her Kids Yoga Teacher Training certification from Yogawood in New Jersey. Steph taught a variety of Kids Series and Family Yoga, which allowed her to apply playfulness into her teaching and her own individual practice. In 2011, Steph eagerly began her Teacher Training journey under the enlightened guidance of Corina Benner through Wake Up Yoga’s 250-hour Comprehensive Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training. This experience deeply transformed Steph’s relationship to Yoga. Steph found that she was finally able to put words to the mental, spiritual and physical benefits of Yoga that she had been experiencing for many years before.
Steph works to infuse authenticity, compassion, humor and playfulness into her teaching. She believes that it is important for students to practice one of her beloved teachers, Adriene Mishler’s favorite mantras to “Find What Feels Good” both on and off the mat. Steph believes that Yoga allows everyone to tap into their endless potential and inner peace and looks forward to guiding students on this path.
Stephanie first began her journey into yoga at Wake Up Yoga South in 2010. She was looking for a way to manage stress and calm her ever-racing mind, when a co-worker suggested she come to yoga practice. Upon beginning a regular weekly practice, she immediately noticed the positive effects in her body and her mind. Decreased stress levels, much more patience, less rigidity in her muscles, and more flexibility in her attitude to boot!
As she developed a consistent practice over the years, Stephanie saw vast improvements in her physical health, including much better digestion and more satisfying sleep, as well as an overall feeling of wellness and “Okay-ness”. She even started feeling more emotionally flexible and found she could open up to herself and to others with greater ease. These profound changes lead her to complete the 250 hour Foundational Yoga Teacher Training Program at Wake Up Yoga in 2017, under the loving guidance of her yoga teachers and mentors, for whom she is incredibly grateful.
Stephanie believes that the time spent on the yoga mat is truly invaluable! She hopes to offer students a safe space to expand and uncover who they really are, while allowing their bodies to surrender and release tension through gentle movements linked with breath awareness. Forever a student, Stephanie is always learning and very humble to be a part of this beautiful community, and is excited to share in all the healing benefits of yoga together!
Tegan has been grateful for the space yoga creates in her mind and body since starting her practice in Atlanta, GA in 2002 in the Kripalu tradition, under the gentle tutelage of William Hufschmidt. Moving back to her birthplace a few years later, she quickly found that Wake Up Yoga was the studio that kept drawing her back to her mat. In 2013, under the guidance of her fiery, loving and compassionate teachers Corina Benner and Felicia Graham Comisar, she graduated as a Vinyasa RYT, fulfilling a long term goal. Tegan has since taken a variety of additional teacher trainings, including Prenatal with Pranakriya, and particularly likes teaching a class that is appropriate and engaging for every-body. As a new mother, Tegan is humbled by the opportunity to nurture pregnant bodies & loves to create space for people to grow into this life & body changing process. When not on the mat with her daughter Zaley, Tegan continues her alternate life work of supporting the development of Community Food Systems, currently with the federal government.
Tracy found yoga through a career in dance and movement. Vinyasa and Bikram Yoga not only complimented her performance, but prevented injury. Vinyasa flow felt like home as it has a dance-like sensibility, which is the reason she gravitated toward that being her foundational practice. Every one of her classes is unique. The classes develop organically; depending on the student’s’ needs, experience level, and overall energy of the group. The students will feel the importance of integrating the spiritual and philosophical teachings of yoga while mindfully synchronizing breath and movement. She encourages her students to work towards their ‘edge’ on the yoga mat, which motivates them to work towards their goals off the yoga mat. She prides herself on making her classes accessible for everyone. She offers a slow and deep practice for beginners, yet challenging to even the most seasoned practitioners. Tracy uses inspiring music to help move the practice through a seamless, graceful flow. She is constantly learning and absorbing yogic life through the eyes of others. She is grateful for all the workshops, nationally recognized teachers, students and self-practice, allowing her the opportunity to create a life on and off the mat for herself. Her teacher training certification from Wake Up Yoga of Philadelphia influenced her attention to proper alignment and truly honoring your own body, mind and spirit as one. Yoga had the power to transform Tracy’s life and beliefs and sharing yoga has become one of her greatest joys. Expect to leave her class feeling stronger, more flexible, balanced and most importantly, uplifted! Come tend to your soul.