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.