Meet the Team

We are passionate about helping others discover the yoga tools that are appropriate for them through exploration of biomechanics, neuroscience, mindful self-compassion, and the brain/body connection.

Laura Terry (she/her), Masters in Physical Therapy, BA in Exercise and Sport Science, Yoga Educator, and Balance Through Movement Founder

Lead Faculty

A Physical Therapist since 1998 and a yoga instructor since 2008, Laura Terry combines the science of Physical Therapy and the mind/body integration of yoga in her teaching. Laura has her own private practice of Yoga and Physical Therapy in Chapel Hill. Learn more here about Laura and her practice.

Whitney Wilkerson (she/her), NBC-HWC, E-RYT 500, Yoga Educator, and Balance Through Movement Founder

Lead Faculty

An expert in behavioral change and compassion-based interventions, Whitney is a National Board Certified Health & Wellness coach working in leadership development. She supports clients to build and maintain physical, emotional, & spiritual health through cognitive inquiry, mindful awareness, and somatic exploration. Discover more about Whitney here.

Alicia Fajardo (she/her)

Visiting Faculty

Alicia Fajardo is the creator of the Fajardo Method of Holistic Biomechanics™, a methodology emphasizing the role of the autonomic nervous system in our everyday health and well-being. She combines her B.S. in Exercise Science and education in Dance with 32 years of experience teaching movement through weight training, dance, aerobics, Pilates, and Gyrotonic®. Alicia’s professional approach uniquely views the body as an integrated unit incorporating mind, body, and soul. Discover more about Alicia here.

AmariYah Israel (she/her & they/them) 

Visiting Faculty

AmariYah is an energy healing facilitator and educator living in central Ohio. They currently offer relaxation sessions through Reiki, a gentle Japanese healing system. AmariYah helps clients connect with their personal power, a practice of rest, and community. She is passionate about uncovering pathways to healing for and with oppressed people. Learn more about AmariYah here

Jessica Palmer-Gwaltney (she/her)

Visiting Faculty

A former special educator and current instructional designer, Jessica is a teacher at heart and a 2019 Lead With Compassion yoga teacher training graduate. Her classes encourage participants to meet themselves where they are with self-compassion and deep listening and focusing more on what yoga feels like on the inside than what it looks like on the outside. For Jessica, yoga has been a pathway for easing anxiety, finding self-acceptance and self-compassion, and cultivating balance in mind and body. Learn more here.

Helen Davidson Tapper (she/her)

Visiting Faculty

A Massage Therapist and Professional Yoga Therapist, Helen’s current practice focuses on helping people feel at home in their bodies and harnessing the power of the mind. Learn more here.

Gwenaëlle Thomas (she/her)

Visiting Faculty

Gwenaëlle (Gwen-Eye-Yell) Thomas is a Neuro-psycho-pharmacologist and rising 5th-year Neurobiology PhD candidate and National Science Foundation fellow at Duke University. Gwenaëlle’s interest is in improving drug therapy to minimize side effects and further understand how precision medicine could be combined with neurophysiology to improve quality of life for those living with mental illness. Learn more about Gwenaëlle here.

Ruth Newman (she/her)

Visiting Faculty

Ruth blends deep tissue & relaxation techniques with a strong anatomical awareness of strength imbalances to help athletes, and those recovering from injury, surgery, and illness. She uses foam rolling, self-massage, joint stability work, and restorative postures in private practice and public classes. Find more about Ruth here.

Meredith Haggerty (she/her)

Visiting Faculty

Meredith recently relocated to North Carolina from Chicago where she worked clinically and taught mind-body medicine in Student Health Services and The Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Her classes reflect her training in art and a variety of yoga traditions, including work at the intersection of dance, yoga and somatic body work with Sondra Fraleigh as well as a background in mindfulness rooted in Buddhist practice and massage therapy.

Charity Lackey, BSN, RN (she/her)

Visiting Faculty

Charity is a 2020 Lead With Compassion yoga teacher training graduate. Additional bio & photo forthcoming!

Margaret G. Chesson (she/her)

Visiting Faculty

Margaret G Chesson, PT, GCS, RYT graduated from UNC- Chapel Hill in 1976 in Physical Therapy and has worked most of her career in hospital settings, skilled nursing facilities, and outpatient orthopedic clinics. A Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, her interests include fall prevention and the optimization of bone health.