Meet the Teranga Yoga Family
Joanna Da Sylva
Being able to come on my mat everyday is a gift that brings me balance, clarity, peace, and confidence. As an athlete, I was first drawn to the physical aspect of the practice but soon realized the transformation that took place deep within my body, mind and soul. I completed my 200-Hour Teacher Training in Vancouver in May 2013 to share with others the many-layered benefits of this beautiful practice.
Having partly grown up in Senegal, the rhythm of African beats deeply inspires my teaching practice by waking up the inner dancer. My classes are fun, challenging, caring and I love to flow and work purposefully to increase body heat in order to get a good detoxifying sweat. Integrity and proper alignment are important to my yoga practice and are reflected in my teaching. Through the practice of yoga, I have been able to cultivate my inner strength and peace and I love sharing that awakening experience with others.
I am a multipreneur/entrepreneur in Philly: a yoga teacher, wellness chef, and fitness professional. My motto is to create a full life of purpose, love and healing.
Yoga has brought me ease in my physical practice. I started doing yoga after an injury and continued to balance out my strength training. Overtime, it gave me a feeling unlike any form of exercise I was used to doing. Yoga calmed me down and helped me relieve stress when I was living in NYC, a time when I was unsure of what I was doing for me. My yoga practice helped me see more clearly that my power and strength could be more than one-dimensional. I hope to share that experience with my students; empowering them to go through those necessary changes that we all need for our growth in all dimensions; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In class, I work on inward and outward strength, reconnecting with the foundations and finding freedom in your movement so that you can believe and feel unstoppable in all that you want to do. In addition to having a deep focus on alignment, I incorporate movements that support proper posture and engage the body in a conscious way for optimal body health to live mindfully outside of the studio.
I moved to Philadelphia from NYC and got my 200-hour Teacher Training in January 2017. My teaching is influenced by so many wonderful yoga teachers but mostly by those underserved by the yoga community; the people who thought yoga was not for them. In every class, my goal is to create a safe space for all bodies to practice. I teach vinyasa flow splashed with ashtanga, all to hip hop and Afrobeats. Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for years or weeks, my class is for you! Yoga has taught me so many lessons and each day on my mat feels like a new beginning. I'm so excited about joining the Teranga team and can't wait to see where this journey takes me next!
I discovered yoga in my early twenties and passionately integrate the ancient practices of yoga and meditation to create meaningful change and shift in perspective. Inconsistencies and upheaval throughout my childhood led to an insatiable desire to travel and experience different cultures. This led me to study and teach throughout Southeast Asia, India, Europe and Australia over the span of 5 years. I attribute the courage to follow my heart in discovering the power and authenticity of practice.
I work as a birth doula in addition to teaching various styles of yoga, workshops, prenatal care and meditation.
Josie Rosa Gatlin
As long as I can remember, mindful movement has always been a part of my life and lifestyle. Along the journey of transformation, that movement has included sports, hiking, meditation, stretching, dancing, climbing trees; In my first real time away from home, I discovered power vinyasa yoga. Learning to control my breath and connect it with intentional movements was empowering as well as innate. Yoga felt like home to me.
In 2008 I earned a certificate in Exercise Science, became an ACE certified Personal Trainer. It wasn't until 2013 when, after a life changing event, I moved from NY to Philadelphia to begin my 200 YTT at Power Yoga Works. Since completing my power yoga training, I've become certified in Yoga Sculpt and Restorative Yoga. I teach lots of different formats of yoga and movement and I look forward to seeing you on the mat.
I am a yogi, aunt, teacher, scholar, connector, and explorer. I have lived, studied, and traveled extensively in East Africa and completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with Africa Yoga Project in Nairobi, Kenya in 2014. I completed additional training in the methodology of Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, the practices of trauma-informed yoga, and the chakra-based sequencing techniques of Laughing Lotus Yoga. My classes are powerful, playful, and always fun! I share from my personal practice and craft unique classes and playlists with a focus on rhythm. Expect percussive beats, strong standing postures, and chaturanga-optional flows.
Having grown up a dancer, movement has always been a big part of my life. In college I explored yoga as a means to not only feed my physical body, but the mental and spiritual as well. In 2017 I graduated with a B.S. in Public Health and yearned to expand my knowledge through yoga teacher training. I completed my RYT-200 with Transformation Yoga Project and the Temple Inside-Out Center in May of 2018. Transformation Yoga Project provides yoga through a trauma-sensitive lens to individuals who are impacted by trauma, addiction and incarceration. Through the Temple Inside-Out Center I was able to train alongside folks incarcerated at a prison called SCI Chester. In June of 2019 I completed a 250 hour training with Yoga and Movement Sanctuary.
My studies have inspired me to create a safe space where participants feel empowered to reach their potential and gain skills that can help them navigate their daily lives. I am particularly moved by integrating other movement disciplines into a yoga practice as well as alignment and meditation.