Teachers and Substitutes

Usha Lakshmi ERYT-500, YACEP

ushaUsha is passionate about yoga and mindfulness. Her spiritual journey has all been about breathing, practicing, teaching and simply being. She has been a yoga and meditation practitioner all her life and continues to learn at every opportunity she gets. She believes that the quest for knowledge is never ending and prefers to be a seeker of knowledge for the rest of her life. Yoga grounded her and always helped her to live in the now. She has taught Yoga, Breath-work and Meditation practices full time, in the Philadelphia area, since 2010. She has thousands of hours of experience teaching mindfulness practices full time.

Usha’s kids’ teaching methodologies have been influenced by the life, education, society and culture that she has been exposed to growing up in India. She finds a similar parallel in the West through the Waldorf Schooling and Rudolf Steiner principles. She strongly believes that childhood education should not be limited to academics and social norms, rather it should build a pathway to understand the human consciousness and its many capacities as a whole. “The journey is inward not outward” is a message that she likes to get across into the child’s subconscious from an early age.

Usha continues her studies frequently in India where she is constantly expanding her knowledge, personal practice and sharing that with her students. She has learned that sharing her studies with others takes her own personal experience to a whole new level. Don’t they say that when you give, it gets returned back to you threefold? So true as she learns from each one of her students every single day. Thus with practicing and teaching she comes the full circle.

Usha is registered with Yoga Alliance  as an Experience Yoga Teacher(ERYT-500) as well as a Continued Education Provider (YACEP).  For a list of full time schedule, workshops and programs that she offers – go to her website  at “Yogabhyasa Kalari“. To learn a little more about Usha, go on to her personal blog – “My Yoga Journey.” 

Christa Carlson (Substitute Teacher)

Pic for Usha _ 06.05.19-Christa

Christa is an ERYT-200 registered Yoga Instructor who has been teaching yoga for 6 years.  She began her practice in 2011 and realized how much she loved finding her breath in stillness and within movement.  Wanting to share this with others, she took teacher training at The Center in 2012 and has never looked back!  She has a talent for motivating students with enthusiasm and encouragement. Challenging students to listen to their own bodies taking the poses to their edge or backing off a bit depending on what their body is telling them in each moment. One of her favorite words is “Maybe”.  Being able to take your breath from your mat and into your world is a gift just waiting to be opened.


Nicole Kardine (Substitute Teacher)

GH-768x511-NicoleNicole first discovered yoga in high school, attending weekly classes with her mom and sister. Her practice came and went as so often happens with the ebb and flow of life. She returned to the mat and became rooted again in a consistent practice, at which point the “shift” began. Her path led her to The Center from the referral of her dear friend and teacher, Kathleen Metzker. Nicole was drawn to complete the MBSR program that is offered at The Center and she was launched down the path of self discovery, acceptance and love. A thirst for a deeper practice, a deeper connection to her true Self led her to her teacher Dawn MotherHeart Smelser. With Dawn’s guidance and love she completed her 200 YTT at MotherHeart Yoga Sangha. In addition to being a 200 RYT, Nicole is also a Reiki Master Practitioner. Believing in the interconnectedness of all beings, she feels called to share the practices and light that inspire her everyday. Community and how to best serve the community is what drives her to cast her fears aside and allow her heart to lead the way.