On November 15th, 2004, The Light Within Yoga Studio opened with a simple mission: to provide each student with a safe, clean environment in which to learn and practice yoga; to encourage each student to achieve his or her greatest potential by teaching classes that are safe, enjoyable, and effective.
The name of the studio evolved out of a Swami Rama quote:
“When we love someone, we love the Light Within that person. The process of enlightenment is the path of learning to appreciate the Light Within both ourselves and those we love, and seeking to allow the full expression or our Self as well as the Self of others.”
Lynn Slocomb RYT® 200 w/ Yoga Alliance
Lynn took her first yoga class in her mid twenties. At that time, she was the health and fitness director for the YWCA in Lancaster, PA and the quintessential gym rat, teaching group exercise for almost a decade. Yoga was just too time consuming and she couldn't figure out how sitting and breathing could accomplish anything. Little did she know. She tried to "fit it in" here and there throughout the years whenever she could "justify" the time away from work in the corporate world and being a single mother.
After battling stage III breast cancer, several surgeries, and significant weight gain, high-impact workouts only led to one injury after another. In addition, life became busier and busier as her family of two grew to seven when she married her husband and they relocated to Landenberg. It was here where Lynn found Unite for Her, a program "committed to helping women diagnosed with breast cancer navigate their way through treatment by providing complementary therapies designed to promote physical and emotional wellness." These complementary therapies led her to The Light Within. Lynn has practiced at The Light Within since 2012.
She loves Ashtanga, but NEEDS Restorative and Gentle classes for balance. She has also learned to love herself where she's at and to make time for her own practice. She is currently teaching Gentle Restorative and Gentle Evolving Level classes.
Lynn believes the breath should come first, movement next, and always lead with your heart. She believes the guiding principle of Yoga is "do no harm," and lastly, but certainly not least, Yoga is for everyBODY. Off the mat, Lynn runs a nonprofit, The BucketWish Foundation, and enjoys hanging out with her family, throwing pottery, and cooking. Lynn purchased The Light Within Yoga Studio in October, 2017. Her vision is to provide a safe space that serves the community and continues to carry out the vision that is The Light Within.
Margaret Bodine E-RYT® 200 w/ Yoga Alliance
Margaret loves yoga for the joy and peace it brings to her life. She very much enjoys sharing the gift of yoga with her students. She appreciates the ability of the breathing,meditative and physical practices to help us to de-stress and to actually create health.
Margaret began her study of yoga 30 years ago while living in California. She studied the TriYoga Flows system with Kali Ray, the creator of this system. She is certified in the TriYoga Basics Level and Level 1. When she moved to Pennsylvania in 1994, she founded the yoga program at the Jennersville YMCA and taught TriYoga there for 8 years. Margaret completed the Yoga Teacher Training in 2011 with Alison Donley at The Light Within.
Through this teacher training and ongoing classes, she continues to deepen her understanding of the philosophy and practice of Yoga and is grateful to share this with her students.
Svetlana (Lana) Bird began teaching yoga in 2018 after 20+ years of practice, and after completing her Yoga Teacher Training at The Light Within Studio, a beautiful gem of a studio "hidden in the wilds of Pennsylvania”. She had an opportunity to learn from Alison Donely, Julia Byrem, Pat McKeon, Margaret Bodine, Patricia Jacobs, Emily Duckett and every instructor from whom she ever took a class.
Svetlana’s goal is to teach from the heart in every class, to see the Light within every student, and to continue to study yoga in her personal practice and beyond.
Svetlana came to the United States from Moscow, Russia, and loves both countries equally. Prior to becoming a yoga instructor, Svetlana taught English and Russian languages to elementary, high school and college students. Shortly after coming to the U.S., Lana developed and directed an intensive English program for international students at Albright College and later taught English to “undocumented” adults at a detainment center in Reading, Pa. In more recent years, Lana served as coordinator of international admissions and traveled globally recruiting international students for Bucknell University.
Julia Byrem E-RYT® 200, RYT® 500 w/ Yoga Alliance
Julia found a deep personal resonance with the religious and spiritual philosophies of the East as an undergraduate student in 2002, and began practicing yoga in 2006 when she became pregnant with her first child. The synthesis of knowledge and experience immediately ignited what seemed to be a latent passion for the practice; it felt like “coming home.” Each day since has brought Julia the opportunity to experience the profound impact the practice has on body, mind and spirit, and she believes that Yoga is for everyone. The freedom that she is finding through her own practice informs her teaching and her studentship.
Julia completed her 200 hour training with Empowered Yoga and her 300 hour at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Ayurveda and Yoga. She has had the honor of studying with such teachers as Dr. Scott Blossom, Larissa Hall Carlson, Yogan and Michael Carrol, Dr. Rosie Mann, Dr. John Douillard, and Joseph LePage. In Julia’s classes, students can expect to find a simple and balanced yet motivating practice incorporating mantra, alignment, mudra, and meditation. Julia takes each day as an opportunity to live a balanced life, and is passionate about learning and sharing what she learns.
Alison Donley E-RYT® 500 w/ Yoga Alliance; Faculty, WCU Kinesiology Department; Wellness Advisor and Yoga Teacher for Unite For HER, and former owner of The Light Within Yoga Studio
Alison Donley discovered her love for yoga when, at the age of 16, she discovered B.K.S. Iyengar's Light on Yoga in the library of the small town of Waynesboro, PA. While she continued to practice yoga asana throughout the next 4 years of NCAA competitive gymnastics, the real journey began when the competition ended, and the true practice of Yoga began. Alison has been practicing yoga for 37 years and teaching for 33 years. She started yoga programs for 2 large health clubs in the West Chester area, and opened The Light Within Yoga Studio in November of 2004 after she and her husband Dean, and two children, Rachel and Trevor, moved to Southern Chester County. Alison created two 3-credit electives (Yoga I and Yoga II) for West Chester University, where she has been teaching since 1998, and continues to teach full time. In addition, she and Pamela Walsh, owner of The Spirit of Yoga studios in West Chester and Downingtown, co-created a Yoga III course and a 200 hour yoga teacher training program at West Chester University.
Alison has completed numerous teacher-training and certification programs through the years, including guidance and training from Tim Miller, Richard Freeman, David Swenson, Beryl Bender-Birch, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Recent guidance from A.G.and Indra Mohan have proven to be an incredible inspiration.
Alison is the author of Yoga: A Path to Wellness, published in August, 2010 and 2015 by Kendall-Hunt Publishers. Alison has presented yoga-related topics at the county and state level for West Chester University at local in-services, the Pennsylvania Athletic Training Society State Convention and AAHPERD. She is an advocate for yoga in schools. She is a member of the Advisory Board for Unite For Her as the Yoga and Meditation teacher for the foundation's Wellness Days for Women with breast cancer. She contributes articles on Yoga and Wellness for the foundation as well. Alison was a hospice volunteer for 6 years and also spent a year volunteering for a child abuse prevention program.
Alison believes that her strongest quality as a teacher is her passion for sharing yoga and her love for her students. The Light Within Yoga Studio was featured in the October 2005 issue of Yoga Journal magazine, as part of Omtown Heroes, an article about small town yoga studios. She is infinitely grateful for the love and support of family, friends, and students and for the ability to share this ancient (and AMAZING), system of self-care.
Tracey Eltringham RYT® 500 w/ Yoga Alliance Yoga has been a part of Tracey’s life for over 11 years. She felt an immediate connection in her first class. Her personal practice enables her to live with a greater sense of ease, a sense of mindfulness, and the ability to feel connected to others. She is a (R)egistered (Y)oga (T)eacher that has completed 500 hours of training. Tracey has additional training in teaching restorative yoga and teaching yoga to children, those over 50 and those with fuller bodies. Tracey is authentic and easy to relate to. Her motto is come as you are, with the hopes that you leave feeling empowered, encouraged, and more connected with yourself. She is enthusiastic about sharing her love of yoga and meditation. Off the mat, Tracey spends time with her family and their three dogs, and tries to slip into nature for a brisk walk as often as possible.
Gwen Fancy RYT® 200 w/ Yoga Alliance
Gwen started her yoga journey in Austin, TX in 1997 when she was expecting her first child. Over the years she has practiced a variety of styles of yoga and has found that a whole approach to yoga has had a positive impact on all aspects of her life. Gwen is a RYT 200 and will soon complete the RYT 300 program and has been teaching at The Light Within since 2012.
Infusing an Iyengar foundation into a flowing, fun, and creative practice, Gwen takes a playful approach to challenging poses. She believes that our yoga practice can be a metaphor for our lives, reminding us not to take things too seriously.
Gwen has been married for 23 years and has two “audultish” daughters. By day she is an elementary school librarian. When she is not practicing yoga she loves playing with her dogs, being with family, reading, and digging in the garden.
Mary Garrett RYT® 200 w/ Yoga Alliance
Mary's first experienced yoga in the mountains of Lexington, Virginia having just completed nursing school at Duke. She has practiced with many different teachers over the years and found that a fairly regular home practice brought peace to a life filled with family and work.
Practicing yoga with the wonderful community at The Light Within Yoga Studio rekindled her desire to deepen her practice. Mary completed the 200 hour teacher training with Alison during the summer of 2013. She is committed to sharing the yoga practice with all who have the desire to learn it, believing that everyone can experience the many benefits of the practice.
When not practicing yoga, Mary is the school nurse at The Tatnall School and mom to four grown guys!
Patty Jacobs E-RYT® 200, RYT® 500, YACEP® w/ Yoga Alliance
Patricia has been a proud member of The Light Within Yoga "commUnity" since the studio opened in 2004. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training with Alison Donley in 2012 and is currently working towards her 500 hour teacher certification. She feels blessed to be able to share yoga with others - especially the young and those with special needs. In addition to being a register yoga teacher, Patricia is a Special Education teacher, with over 20 years of experience. She feels honored to have been awarded "Teacher of the Year" recognition for 2016 for the John G. Leach school.
Patricia was first drawn into yoga, as a way to exercise when the cold winter weather dissuaded her from riding her mountain bike. But, since her very first class at The Light Within, she has been drawn even deeper into yoga, as a way of experiencing so much more than physical postures. Patty appreciates all that yoga has brought into her life both on and off her favorite orange mat.
Currently, Patricia leads Family Yoga and Tweens/Teens and Gentle Beginner classes, and offers a summer Yoga camp program. Adults and children alike respond to her positivity, warm smile, and soothing spiritual energy. When not teaching or practicing yoga, she enjoys photography, gardening and spending time with family, friends and her 2 dogs.
Michael Kahn E-RYT® 200 w/ Yoga Alliance
Michael has been practicing yoga at The Light Within for over ten years. He completed his 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at the studio. Michael is currently leading the Monday 5:15 pm Short Form Ashtanga and Ashtanga Fusion on Thursdays at 5:30 pm and Sundays at 8am.
A photographer by trade, but a yogi by heart, Michael has discovered first hand the healing power of yoga both for the mind and the body. He is continuing his studies by reading yogic philosophy books, and studying vinyasa variations, as well as working on his own Ashtanga practice. Incorporating yogic philosophy in his daily life, he has learned to slow down in a world that is going too fast, to let go, and to take better care of himself by really listening. He and his wife Christine are constant supporters of the yoga studio, with the hope that others can benefit just as greatly as they have. Visit Michael's site to see his photography.
Tracy Sadler Machalek has been performing and teaching dance for over 25 years. She danced professionally with the Corpus Christi, TX Ballet Academy from the age of 10 and in highschool was selected from thousands of dancers to perform in the World’s Fair in Brisbane Australia. While acquiring her B.F.A. in Dance from the University of Texas at Austin, she was selected to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. After her B.F.A., she went on to perform with Mark Dendy at ADF and Micheal Foley in NY. She has also danced professionally with Andrea Ariel and Toni Bravo. Currently, she performs with Sally Jacques’ aerial dance company Blue Lapis Light. She teaches ballet, tap, jazz, Zumba, Zumba Kids, Yoga, Pilates, Barre and her own Ballet Fit and Yogalates class creations. She loves to share the joy of expression through movement. Her goal as a dance/fitness/yoga instructor is to create a fun, warm, loving environment where students of all ages and all levels feel confident in their progress and have a blast moving!
Pat McKeon RYT® 500 w/ Yoga Alliance
Pat has been practicing yoga for many years. She began her practice with Alison Donley, following her from the local Y to AGRA, the recreation association, to the current studio. She has been an active participant in all of the studio’s endeavors and opportunities since its beginning. She believes yoga provides a means to integrate all aspects of the body, mind and spirit to improve health and wellbeing for all individuals.
Pat is a lifelong learner and teacher, who worked for the Avon Grove School District for more than 30 years as a teacher and an instructional coach. She completed the Yoga Teacher Training course at the Light Within, is a Register Yoga Teacher, 200 hours, with Yoga Alliance and is currently teaching Gentle and GEL classes at the studio. She has completed her 300 hour certification at the Light Within. She is eager to share the her love of yoga with students and practitioners at the Light Within. Pat is currently teaching a Gentle class on Tuesdays, and sharing the the Gentle Beginner on Wednesday nights and the Gentle GEL class on Sundays with other TLW teachers.
Pat lives in New London with her husband, David. She has two grown children, Erin and Ryan. Pat is following in the footsteps of her daughter, Erin, who was an instructor at the Light Within for several years when the studio first opened.
Kara Patti RYT® 200 w/ Yoga Alliance
Kara started practicing yoga about 15 years ago. She loved the idea of stepping onto her mat and leaving all of the daily stress behind. A few years ago, she found The Light Within and began regularly practicing Ashtanga. She was immediately drawn to this practice and became dedicated to learning as much as she could about it. She knew that yoga made her feel better both inside and out and decided to delve deeper into the world of yoga. In the spring of 2017, Kara completed the 200-hour teacher training with Alison. She loves to share her love of yoga with her students and looks forward to being a lifelong learner of this amazing practice. Kara is thrilled to be a part of The Light Within family. This place feels like hOMe!
Kara lives in Unionville with her husband, Tom, two daughters, Jules and Josi and her two cats (aka: “the wildebeests”). She is a special education teacher and Reading Specialist at an elementary school in Hockessin.
Caitlin Reilly RYT® 500 w/ Yoga Alliance
Caitlin has been teaching yoga for four years in the DE region. She earned her certification with One-Yoga in 2012 and is currently earning her 300 hours with The Light Within.
She began her teaching career informally at the age of 8, leading aerobics for fellow 3rd graders in the school yard. Her aunt had introduced her to a Denise Austin workout tape one day, and it fascinated her. Moving the body in new ways was amazing! She wanted to share what she learned about cardio and strength training. This enthusiasm for fitness continued through the years with sports like swimming, soccer, track, and cross country.
She majored in Screenwriting at Emerson college, and almost moved to LA to work in television. A series of life events brought her to DE. After recovering from an illness, yoga entered the picture. A beginner's yoga course opened her eyes to how a single movement could impact not only the body, but one's mind and ethics. Yoga helped refresh her approach to health and problem solving. Suddenly the little 3rd grade Caitlin popped back up and said "Hey, cool – let me share this..."
Now she loves teaching yoga, and welcome people of all backgrounds to her class. She is not naturally super flexible, so don't worry if you aren't. The "Om" should never "Ow."
Off the mat, Caitlin enjoys art (both classical and all things pop culture), cooking (then eating!) with friends, and the great outdoors. She loves to relax with her husband and their two fluffy cats at home.
Stacey Tipton RYT® 200
Stacey was born and raised right here in Southern Chester County. After high school she attended an art school in Philadelphia where she majored in Photography, luckily her college roommate's mother was a yoga teacher and that was when her yoga journey began. That was over twenty years ago and her practice and love for yoga continues to grow everyday. Over the years, she has learned that the ultimate gift that yoga can bring to us is sanity in an insane world. It's not about flexibility or getting into any certain posture, it's about self care through breath. If you can breathe, you can do yoga, it truly is for everyone.
Hiking, art, music, nature, and her children are her life joys. She is currently studying Physical Therapy and is a Hospice volunteer. She is excited to share yoga with her community and looks forward to helping others move forward in their own self journey.
Jenny Wood RYT® 200 w/ Yoga Alliance
Jenny tried her first yoga class at the age of 13. Since then, yoga has been woven in and out of her life through the years. Over time, her practice has changed from a results oriented physical focus to a way of being. Jenny completed the 85 hour Prenatal Yoga teacher training program in 2015 at Yoga Yoga in Austin TX, and the 200 hour Yoga teacher training at The Light Within in May 2017. She is happy to have found her community at The Light Within and enjoys taking classes there regularly.
Jenny has been teaching childbirth preparation classes since 2010 and is a certified Bradley Method Instructor and Dancing for Birth Instructor. Since 2002, Jenny has been studying, teaching, or performing belly dance and currently teaches several weekly classes. Yoga, dance, and birth all share the theme of being present in your body and awareness of breath - and seem to be beautifully complementary endeavors. Each experience presents the opportunity for individual growth and well being.
In her downtime, Jenny can be found trying to keep up with her two wild sons, exploring the forests, reading, creating wheel thrown pottery, making all sorts of things, and trying to remember her dreams.
Dr. Jean Hauser Meditation
Dr. Hauser has over 25 years of experience as a Clinical Psychologist in a psychotherapy practice. She has a Master's Degree in Psychiatric Nursing and a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology, both from Rutgers University. Prior to practicing as a Psychologist, she taught in the Nursing Departments, first, at the University of Delaware and then at Rutgers University. Presently, her practice includes psychotherapy with individuals and couples; stress management; grief counseling; and teaching relaxation and meditation techniques for psychological and spiritual healing and growth.
Christine Yurick has been practicing yoga for 8 years, specifically ashtanga vinyasa yoga, at The Light Within. Off the mat, she is a business manager, photographer, poet and editor. Christine loves to cook, travel, garden and go for long walks. She runs our monthly newsletter and contributes to our Instagram page. You can find her at the studio with her husband, Michael, who is a teacher here.
”Best yoga studio I have ever been too! Teachers are wonderful and very knowledgeable with regards to adapting practice to students with injuries and/or different levels of experience.”
“First time for me for Winter Solstice celebration and it was GREAT. I made my commitment starting 2016 to get back to my yoga practice on a consistent basis. TY the light within!”
”I have found that the 2 classes I have attended, Mon. 9:15 and Tue. 1PM have been terrific. Times are good and instructors are wonderful and so helpful with tips and props. I have gotten a lot out of my experience so far.”
”Pure and simple. And to me, that's the highest compliment of all--it kind of says it all. Thank you so much...!!!”
”The Light Within Yoga is a wonderful studio for all walks of life and backgrounds in yoga/spirituality. Recommend 110%!!!”
”My experience of the UFH seminar began by encountering a warm and inviting group of people as well as a comfortable space and an informative presentation. Thank you!”
”The Light Within was a great place to restart my yoga practice. The owner, teachers, and fellow students are warm, supportive, and welcoming. Proud that this yoga studio is in my little town of West Grove.”
”I loved the service! Yoga has changed my outlook. You can feel the peace as soon as you enter the studio. My only complaint is that my life sometimes gets in the way of making it to class. Alison is wonderful!!!”
”Wonderful environment, friendly instructors, great experience.”
”Everything about The Light Within Yoga Studio is worth experiencing! The fantastic teachers. The wide variety of classes offered. The healing, relaxing and energizing benefits of yoga practice. The warm and welcoming space of the studio itself.”
”I loved the service! I only attended sessions with Alison - she was amazing. She took the time with individuals who needed additional assistance during sessions, and I don't think anyone was even aware of it. It was so seamless. Her care for others hangs heavy in the room. I am currently having back issues and am considering returning once I get this flare-up under control.”
”The teachers and students are terrific and the teachers do help the beginners find the correct form in a posture and they give alternatives when you can't quite get into a posture - I am a beginner so I cannot comment on the advanced classes. The atmosphere is calming yet when you walk out you feel energized!”
”Love the studio, love the teachers and have learned so much. I've recommended you to many of my friends. I look forward to my continuing education and zen. NAMASTE!”