Instructors

 

We are fully staffed by teachers and therapists who have had years of experience, training and education to give them the knowledge and skills needed to be the best stewards for meaningful, long term health. 

 
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Christine Sturgis

BA, PTA, RYT-250, FMS, SFMA, founder PhyToga, owner Movement Rx Studio

Christine Sturgis, mother of five, outdoor enthusiast and yoga practitioner of 20+ years, has spent the last 10 years developing a career applying two of her greatest passions: helping others and movement. She is a licensed PTA, having treated patients in an outpatient orthopedic setting for 4+ years and home health care physical therapy at Mainline Health Systems for 3+ years. During that time, she completed her FMS certification (Functional Movement Screen), SFMA training (Selective Functional Movement Screen),  250+ hours certified yoga teacher training program and Level 1 Myofascial Release certification under John Barnes, giving her a wide range of knowledge and experience in movement synergies, biomechanics and manual therapy.  She used this knowledge and experience to found PhyToga, which combines the best of all these movement principles in one exercise program. She brings her wide range of experience to her students and private clients, creating a safe environment to grow stable and balanced bodies with increased vitality


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Hasan Rucker

Hasan Rucker teaches ancient, contemporary, and traditional Holistic energy based movement art forms through systematic, progressive, and profound training methods. Hasan is a lover of life, movement, health, spirituality, knowledge and mysticism. He seeks to utilize his aspirations to advance human culture and well-being, through the use of mind, body, and spirit expansion techniques. Since his early days interning with art department and physical education teachers in High School, Hasan’s desire to find the links between mind, body, spirit, and energy has led him upon a path of discovery. This Quest particularly led him to the mind, body and spirit arts of China, in the form of Wushu Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, and Meditation.  While In China, Hasan learned esoteric and modern practices centered upon the balance of Yin and Yang. Due to China’s unique history of the Shaolin Temple being so intimately related with India, it helped direct Hasan’s mind into the world of Yogic knowledge, Buddhism, and sutra.  Hasan immediately developed a connection with Bodhidharma as a result of his spiritual pilgrimages from India to China. Upon returning home , Hasan entered into a disciple program of the “Self Realization fellowship,” of Paramahansa Yogananda to further his experience of the Yogic Kriya, Philosophy and Physiology systems. While using his Kinesiology degree in Exercise Physiology, he began to form a unique synchronicity of all the wonderful biorhythms unlocked while practicing these wonderful systems coherently. Truly their efficacy went far beyond titles, names, and country borders. From daily astute Practice of these Holistic Systems, Hasan engendered an ethos predicated upon nurturing the ideal that the human potential is limitless and available to all mankind. Today, Hasan by day works as a “Holistic Health and Wellness ” Supervisor at "Girard Medical Center ,” and works with a team of Dance Movement therapists, Art therapists and Music Therapists to help Philadelphia’s populations in need of health assistance.  During the evening Hasan follows his energetic calling and teaches Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Meditation , Martial arts ( Wushu Kung Fu), and Prana /Qi healing.


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Brian Nevison

An energetic, creative, and sports-oriented kid, I grew up in Bala Cynwyd, and then studied at Penn State University, earning a B.S. in Kinesiology in 2011. Between then and now, I’ve become a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a licensed Kinstretch instructor.

Using play, movement, positivity, and training to help others make positive life changes is one of my greatest passions. I have 8+ years professional experience training people of all ages and ability in one on one, group, and team settings.

My own aggressive and uncompromising athletic lifestyle led me into many injuries and debilitating chronic pain, imploring me to take a step back and learn even more about the body. Over the last several years, re-focused mobility and strength training has allowed me to regain a healthy body, and given me the freedom to express myself completely.

This newfound freedom has helped me find positivity, hope, and gratitude in every facet of life. In sharing my energy, experience, and knowledge, I aspire to bring a greater sense of freedom, empowerment, and self-expression to everyone I contact.


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Gail Lazarus

BA, MSW, Certified LaBlast Dance Fitness Instructor

A life long dancer, Gail fell in love with ballroom dancing while watching Dancing with the Stars.  She decided to give it a try and it was love at first step! She discovered LaBlast, a partner-free cardio workout based on all the dances from the TV show and knew she found the perfect blend of dance and fitness.  Gail trained with LaBlast’s creator, 3 time World Ballroom Champion, Louis van Amstel, and has been teaching ever since.  LaBlast makes dance accessible and welcoming for people of all ages and fitness levels. Choreography patterns begin simply and allow students to progress at their own pace and comfort level. Come experience the joy of music and movement with LaBlast, it is truly exercise in disguise!

Gail also uses dance as a means to combine her work with her other passion for community service.  She is the founder of Dance For Good, an organization that strives to empower others through the power of music and movement.


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Alicia Papson

Alicia has been practicing Pilates for 20 years and she is excited to share her passion for Pilates with MovementRx Studio as a certified instructor! She completed her Pilates Mat training at the prestigious Body Precision studio in Rosemont and focuses on adapting exercises to meet the needs of clients at all fitness levels. Alicia’s mission is to challenge and inspire others to realize their body’s potential – through strengthening and lengthening our bodies, we will increase flexibility and core strength. Alicia lives in Havertown with her husband and two young children.

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.  In order to achieve happiness it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old.  If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young.”  - Joseph Pilates


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Sid Gunawardena

BA, BSc, MA, PhD, RYT-200

Sid first stepped onto his yoga mat 8 years ago seeking to deal with the stress of finishing his PhD thesis. That simple decision led him to a new home; his mat became a place of sanctuary, growth, and joy.

Sid has always enjoyed teaching, be it Karate during his college years or computer science during his academic career. Undertaking a 200-hour yoga teacher training was a natural next step and he completed his training in 2015. Breath, alignment and mindfulness, are the cornerstones of his classes. His goal as a teacher is to make the asana practice and the philosophy of yoga accessible to all.


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Andria Torres

Born and raised in Philadelphia, I've been in the fitness industry for over 20 years. Fitness is my full time job and also what I do for fun. On average, I teach 12 Classes at various locations per week. I love dancing, hiking, biking and working out in general. I am passionate about movement and spreading the joy. I've combined all of my many years of experience and knowledge in fitness to create Cardio Dance Fusion

Certifications: Foundations of Group Exercise, Healthy Lifestyle and Principles, CPR/First Aid/AED/Oxygen/Blood borne Illness, Step, Zumba, Spin, Core Strength, Personal Training, TRX, Barre, Kettle bell, LaBlast


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Sara Earl

Sara started dancing at three years old and went on to train in ballet, modern, folk dance and jazz and to perform professionally. She taught aerobics classes for some years subsequently but her love of dance was reignited when she discovered Nia. As a Nia teacher of The Nia Technique for almost two decades now, she has continued to train to the level of Nia Black Belt and is also certified to facilitate Moving to Heal and FreeDance class formats. Through her Nia classes, Sara strives to reconnect others to the joy of dance and offers the physical and emotional gifts of body-awareness gleaned through movement. Sara has also developed a movement program for children, has danced everything from Authentic Movement to Gaga/people from Austin to Zurich. As a Dance/Movement Therapist in-training, Sara has studied a variety of approaches to movement-as-therapy including developmental, neurobiological and Jungian as well as restorative movement to address trauma. Her instructors have included board-certified Dance/Movement Therapists Nanine Ewing, Amber Gray and Kalila Homann. She is currently enrolled in a graduate counseling program and is supervised by Elizabeth McNamara, MA, LPC, BC-DMT, NCC.


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Emily Smith

The exploration of movement and natural healing is a life long journey for Emily Smith.  Her beliefs in alternative healing have been fortified by the experience of healing herself and helping others do the same since 1999. She feels honored to help others create change and happiness  as a myofascial release, movement and licensed massage therapist. Emily is heartfelt in helping others listen to the body's wisdom as the ultimate guide for mapping the treatment of the whole person body, mind and spirit and creatively shares simple and effective skills that treat and prevent chronic pain naturally as well as create resiliency and strength. Emily has advanced training in John F Barnes' Myofascial Release Approach, is certified in pilates with the Pysicalmind Institute and has completed teacher trainings in yin yoga, qigong and Original Strength.


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Nicole Rodriguez

Nicole is a Posture Therapist and owner of Pain Free Philly. She trained in the Egoscue Method and worked as an Egoscue Therapist at Egoscue of Philadelphia. She was disabled in a car accident and a chronic pain sufferer for years until she was healed through posture therapy. Nicole has her Master's Degree in Dance Education and has a background in dance, movement and teaching.