DEREK & NADIA
Derek and Nadia are adventure enthusiasts committed to growth, change and transformation. For the past decade, they have been sharing the joys and excitement of personal evolution with everyone bold enough to look inward. Their dedication to genuine and practiced teaching has grown from the thrill of their own evolution and desire to empower the same self-actualization experience in others. They believe that it is only by testing our limits that we learn what we are truly made of.
E-RYT 500, Trained extensively on injury prevention and recovery, Certified in sound therapy with the Native American Flute, Professional Mixed Martial Artist
Derek’s own pursuit of self-actualization did not begin in a yoga studio. An accomplished athlete with a penchant for contact sports, Derek began mixed martial arts training at age 21. Soon thereafter, he started teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muy Thai and competing at a professional level. At 23, Derek suffered a debilitating bucket meniscus tear and was told that invasive surgery was his only treatment option. Upon the convincing suggestion of a friend, Derek skeptically agreed to try yoga for the first time in an attempt to rehabilitate his knee and avoid going under the knife. Derek experienced marked improvement in the condition of his knee after only three weeks of yoga practice. Profoundly impacted by the physical results, he began to incorporate yoga regularly into his mixed martial arts training and teaching routines.
In 2010, Derek decided to transition from student to practitioner and enrolled in an intensive Teacher Certification Program at Dhyana Yoga. Immersed in his training, Derek started to experience unanticipated and powerful meditative, restorative and therapeutic benefits. He began to enjoy a newfound feeling of global connectedness and mental clarity. Derek credits yoga with helping him to develop mindfulness and increased levels of emotional awareness.
Derek has been instructing since 2010 in the Philadelphia area and hosting seminars on benefits of yoga and meditation. His teaching is significantly influenced by Tim Miller, David Swenson and Richard Freeman. Derek specializes in working with individuals dealing with a wide array of physical limitations and injuries to help them return to their optimum health. His team clients include the University of Pennsylvania Women’s Rowing Team and the University of Pennsylvania Men’s Wrestling team.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin
RYT 500, Asana artist with a light-hearted and whimsical approach to the serious art of yogic practice. Disciplined healer and lover of nature and plants.
Nadia came to yoga over 15 years ago with zero sense that her first class would ignite a completely different life trajectory. She was so humbled and defeated by that class that the only thing to do was go back a second time and a third. Soon she realized that consistent daily practice was wearing away the ego, the competitive nature, the stubborn fool and the monkey mind that had plagued her through most of her life. And, although she had always been healthy and athletic, her body transformed into a painless, energized and happy organism.
Since then, Nadia has been practicing yoga in the Ashtanga lineage and specializes in teaching yoga as a comprehensive art to expand individual and global consciousness. She is an enthusiastic practitioner of aromatherapy, chant and mantra, sound therapy and plant healing, and helps her clients to develop their own innate intuitive gifts. She also coaches budding entrepreneurs on how to create and establish their life paths.
In addition to Prana Das, Nadia has been privileged to hold yoga teaching positions at Temple University, Haverford College, The Shipley School, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Lower Merion High School.
Nadia is grateful to her many many teachers, and particularly to David Swenson and Shelley Washington, Mary Flinn, David Newman and Megan Kirk for their guidance of her practice, to spiritual guides including Ainslie McCloud, Kim Mazzella, Lawrie Hart and Maleah Jacobs for their influence of her intuitive disciplines and to Ram Dass and Krishna Das for their combined impact on her perspectives.