EMMAUS YOGA INSTRUCTORS
Erica has been teaching yoga in the Lehigh Valley since 1998. She was drawn to Ashtanga after experimenting with other styles and classes for several years. Erica completed her first teacher training with Larry Shultz, who was very influential on her teaching style. She has also taken workshops or trainings with Beryl Bender Birch, Kathy McNames, David Swenson, Nancy Gilgoff, Manju Jois, Richard Freeman, Patthabi Jois, and her current teacher, David Williams.
Erica believes that we are always students, we should never stop learning and trying new things, and that any type of yoga is all part of that path. When taking an Ashtanga class with Erica, students can expect some fun changes worked into the traditional practice. One of the reasons she loves to teach yoga is to help others manage stress through the movements and breathing during practice and believes that this benefit of yoga can be carried into other parts of life. Erica started teaching 40 hour teacher trainings in the mid 2000's which has evolved into the 200 hour Yoga Alliance Registered training that she currently offers through Emmaus Yoga.
Chris MoDavis was introduced to yoga in 1999, while recovering from a serious back injury, after falling from a tree. The realization of the mind-body experience through his practice has helped him to heal and bring out his “inner child” again.
Chris enjoys an active lifestyle and has a passion for the outdoors, which he incorporates into his classes. His classes can range from calming and meditative to challenging and playful, and his humorous but caring personality is evident while teaching. He is passionate about what this practice has done for him and is honored to share all the yoga practice has to offer.
He completed his teacher certification with Melanie Smith, Seane Corn, Anodea Judith and Matthew Sanford and also has studied with David Williams, Richard Freeman, Dharma Mittra and David Swenson.
Favorite things: Jalapeño peppers, floating in water, observing awkward situations, and Wes Anderson movies.
Michelle Cilmi currently teaches Ashtanga Basics at Emmaus Yoga. She has been practicing yoga for over 20 years, and has studied the Ashtanga tradition under Erica McHugh for 6 years. Michelle graduated from Emmaus Yoga's 200-hour teacher training in 2017. Michelle's compassionate style of teaching is inspired by Ashtanga legend, David Swenson, who she hopes to practice with someday. Her Basics class is centered around the fusion of a calming breath linked together with mindful movements. Michelle strives to give her students a safe, attainable practice that can be incorporated into the home environment. When she's off the mat, Michelle spends her time with her 3 daughters and her husband Michael. Together, Michelle & Michael enjoy traveling the world and scuba diving whenever possible. Michelle tries to live by Mother Teresa's quote: "Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love."
Sue was introduced to Raja Yoga by a friend in 2009. Two years later, she became immersed in her yoga practice to regain focus after experiencing a personal loss. Sue felt the need to acquire a more in-depth understanding of yoga philosophy, movement and benefits. After the completion of her 200-hour teacher training in Ashtanga-Vinyasa Yoga at Emmaus Yoga, she was drawn to the concept of a yoga practice that would cultivate a longer hold while in a yoga pose. This concept inspired the completion of a 40-hour teacher training program in Yin Yoga from the YogaLife Institute. She is registered with Yoga Alliance and a member of Yoga International where she continues ongoing CEU hours.
When not in the yoga studio, or working on IT projects at Lutron Electronics, Sue cherishes time with her two daughters, family and friends.
Join Sue in a Yin practice that allows the mind, body and spirit to: “Connect to inner energy as you surrender and release, Learn the benefits of micro-movements, and Grow into soft awareness."
Brittney Billman was introduced to yoga in 2010 at the ripe age of 11 and began to explore different styles to figure out which fit her personality the best. She took it upon herself to study consistently and get her Registered Yoga Teacher Certification under the Yoga Alliance. She received this training with Jo-Anne Stuaguarrd Jones*, yoga instructor and author as well as another reputable teacher, Irum Naqvi. During this training, Brittney discovered that her goal in sharing yoga is focused on therapeutic strategies for the physical and emotional body. Brittney teaches Hatha yoga for beginners as well as mixed level classes that focus on each student’s ability and experience. She molds each session to the students comfort level to achieve maximum benefit. Her classes are often targeted to increase stamina, energy, metabolism, strength, flexibility, and awareness for a balanced mind and body.
*The Anatomy of Exercise and Movement, The Vital Psoas Muscle, and The Concise Book of Yoga Muscles
Loretta Dodson, an avid runner, started practicing yoga in 2006 to compliment her training program. The experience was humbling, but the practice of breath awareness was very energizing and empowering. Loretta completed her 200-hour RYT certification in 2014 at The Yoga Loft of Bethlehem. She completed a 100 hour Yin Teacher Training with Sally Miller in July 2015. Loretta completed the 300 hour Advanced Teacher Training & Certification program at The Yoga Loft January 2017. She is also a Level 1 Certified Distance Running Coach with the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). Loretta enjoys attending a variety of classes and workshops to expand her knowledge of yoga. Her 20+ years working in healthcare has been beneficial for her yoga practice and studies. Loretta is the Head Coach for the Boys & Girls Cross Country teams at Parkland High School. Loretta believes yoga is for you whether you are an athlete or an individual working to improve your range of motion and balance to manage your daily activities. Loretta’s classes emphasize breath & body awareness, safe body alignment and core strength to create the mind / body connection. She hopes to encourage and inspire students to explore outside their “comfort zone” whether it be by trying a new pose, using props to enhance a pose or setting your mat up in a different spot for class. The possibilities are endless and can carry over to your daily life. As always, give gratitude for the amazing things your body and mind can do today.
Gina was originally introduced to Vinyasa style yoga during college. She quickly became hooked after realizing it's psychological benefits. While practicing at various studios, she gravitated towards Ashtanga and recently completed her 200hour RYT training at Emmaus yoga.
As an artist, she feels any form of creative expression and an active lifestyle are key components to a balanced mind, body, and spirit. She lets the freeing properties of movement help her create more space. Her practice provides a warm, fun, and challenging experience by incorporating both the flow of Vinyasa and the discipline of Ashtanga.
Nicole took her first yoga class one day after work as an elementary teacher at the urging of friends and fell in love immediately with everything about the practice. After two years of practicing Ashtanga yoga she trained with Erica (Sulzer) McHugh in Erica’s first teacher training. That knowledge enhanced Nicole’s own practice as she began raising a family and she believes yoga made her a more mindful and better parent. She is trained in yoga for children as well as mindfulness for all ages. After years of practicing different styles of yoga, Nicole mostly practices and teaches Vinyasa flow yoga with attention to correct alignment and an attention to the flow of energy through the body. She studies Ayurveda and shamanism and is a Reiki master. Her goal is to help people find a connection to themselves, their light, and each other. She is also the organizer of All One, a mindful triathlon being held this September in Emmaus.
Lee Ann is a 200 hour Certified Yoga Instructor that teaches locally and to all ages since 2003. She has studied and practiced with top instructors in Iyengar, Kripalu, Ashtanga, Childsplay Yoga and Soothing Touch Yoga. Lee Ann is also skilled in various styles of bodywork and has studied extensively at the International School of Shiatsu, completed her Cranial Sacral level one training through the Upledger Institute an graduated from Health Options Institute for massage therapy. Her long term teaching of yoga and bodywork experience, combined with 20 years of committed personal yoga practice, allows for full integration of her skills to offer a unique, compassionate and humorous class to all students at all levels.
Lynn completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training through the Yoga Loft of Bethlehem, is an RCYT, and a 95-hour Certified ChildLight Yoga Instructor. She is also a ‘PMA®Certified Pilates Teacher’ and a Balanced Body Qualified Comprehensive Pilates Instructor. Having been a professional dancer, it was only natural for Lynn’s mind and body to appreciate the benefits of yoga. She came to yoga in her 20’s, through a consistent practice of concentration, meditation and breath in order to calm her mind from the hours in a rehearsal studio. Her 25+ years teaching experience with children, athletes, and adults combined with her knowledge of proper physical alignment and anatomy allows her to work with individuals from all walks of life. Creating balance mentally and physically in order to lead a more satisfying, calm, and focused life is her ultimate vision for her yoga instruction. Lynn emphasizes enhanced body awareness, strength, balance, healthy muscle memory, breath and mindfulness. As a practitioner of both yoga and pilates for many years, she feels the combination of pilates, yoga and dance creates the ultimate cross modality for a joyful mind and body. In addition to teaching Yoga and Pilates in the Lehigh Valley, Lynn is also an Adjunct Faculty/Lecturer in the Theatre and Dance Divisions of Muhlenberg College, Cedar Crest College and Lehigh University. She is also honored to be a member of the faculty of the Pratyush Sinha Foundation providing Yoga and Mindfulness education to inner city youth. Lynn resides in Allentown, PA with her husband, four children, and their golden-doodle, Henry.