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 trainingswith 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.
Britt Tagg has been practicing yoga for over 11 years. Her first introduction to yoga was in her living room where she stumbled upon an hour-long television program taught by a teacher named Steve Ross. These ‘classes’ were playful and fun and the music made you want to shake your butt and the teacher encouraged that. Britt believes that allowing people to enjoy their practice and to be comfortable with themselves is an essential way to foster a long-term yoga experience where the benefits are an evolution of physical and mental self- improvement. Yoga has given her a quality of life that she is enthusiastic to share. Her classes emphasize the importance of practicing safe alignment, body awareness, and deep breathing, but she also tries to keep her classes light-hearted and creative. Britt is a life-long artist and painter and her style of teaching yoga is clearly informed by the fluid stroke of a brush on canvas. Britt has been a RYT certified since 2005 and has amassed a wealth of knowledge studying under internationally-known yoga teachers, as well as, many esteemed local instructors throughout her travels. She believes that education never ceases and that wisdom can come from unlikely sources and this compels her to continually engage in new workshops and classes. Though rooted in Ashtanga, Britt has found a niche in the limitless dance of Vinyasa where she truly feels anything is possible!
Pete originally started yoga for physical fitness and injury recovery. He had tried a few classes here and there, but didn’t develop a regular practice until discovering Ashtanga yoga. After several months, Pete knew he wanted to teach and share all he learned about Ashtanga yoga with others, and enrolled in a teacher training course taught by Erica. While originally drawn to the physical aspects of the practice, he discovered the mental and spiritual properties of the practice have a profound, positive effect on everyday life. Pete tries to share with all his students his passion for a practice that may not be easy, but always leaves one feeling more peaceful, stronger and relaxed.
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
Deborah’s passion and dedication for teaching are evident in her 35-year career as a music educator and her 24-year career as a fitness instructor. Following multiple knee surgeries, she decided to “listen to her body” and turned to yoga. Studying Ashtanga Yoga with David Swenson and Power Yoga with Baron Baptiste, Deborah completed her teacher training in 2000 at Yoga Zone in New York City. She has taught internationally to a diverse clientele. Deborah is also a registered Silver Sneakers Yoga instructor and an ACE-certified Personal Trainer.
Deborah enjoys inventing modifications so that her students feel comfortable in their bodies. Students in her Vinyasa 1 and Gentle Yoga classes can expect a smile, a calming voice, an enthusiastic personality, and detailed direction to help improve form, movement, and breath. Each practice will feature a varied and unique, rhythmic flow of poses specifically designed to suit the needs of the participants in that class. Anticipate having an “aha” moment when discovering the benefits of yoga extending into daily life.
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 will complete 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.
In 1998, Erin fell in love with yoga at her very first class, which happened to be with Erica McHugh, and she has practiced ever since. Yoga has complimented her other pursuits of running and weight lifting perfectly. She credits her ability to recover from hard training to her consistent yoga practice.
Besides the physical benefits of the practice, Erin believes deeply in the emotional healing and restorative power of yoga. Purposeful breathing, combined with thoughtful movement, have helped to center her thoughts and heal her spirit. Combining her RYT-200 with almost 2 decades of public school teaching experience, Erin is a teacher who highly values and supports each individual. She meets each student at his or her personal level of ability and helps them grow from that point. She firmly believes that no one is "too inflexible" or "too old" or "too uncoordinated" for yoga. She encourages each individual to practice yoga in a way that is most beneficial for him or her. Helping students to find the right balance of effort and ease in their practice is of main importance to her.
Ryan started practicing yoga in 2012 as a form of physical fitness. Before long, he realized that the practice also helps him overcome anxiety and stress. Ryan has been practicing regularly ever since. Ryan completed his 200-hour yoga teacher training at Emmaus Yoga under Erica McHugh, and he is a certified yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance. You will find his classes are largely influenced by the Ashtanga style of yoga, but he also likes to venture into some more creative Vinyasa style flow. When he’s not teaching yoga, Ryan expresses his creativity as an architect.