Meet Our Instructors
Caitlin has been practicing yoga for nearly 15 years, since her sophomore year of high school. Though originally seeking out the practice for its physical benefits alone, Caitlin has since seen how powerful yoga can be in cultivating peace and groundedness in her mind and body, both on and off the mat. Over the years, Caitlin has acquired a range of teaching experience--including preschool, middle-school English, and chair yoga for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. She completed her RYT-200 hours with Yoga District. A teacher at heart, Caitlin is excited to share her yoga practice with others and aims to make her classes welcoming and accessible to all.
Danielle took her first yoga class in high school....and her second one 5 years later. Seeking an outlet from the busy hustle of her corporate job that wasn't just another happy hour, she quickly found yoga to be just that. Eventually, this practice got into her bones in a big way; she traded her business casual for some stretchy pants, and did her 200-hour training at Yandara Yoga Institute in Todos Santos, Mexico in February of 2011. While there, she also received her Level 1 Reiki training with Allison Eaton, and has since completed the Rasa Restorative 1 course with Jamie Lyn Skolnick at Laughing Lotus. She hasn't put on a pencil skirt since. Danielle's Ashtanga-inspired Vinyasa classes combine playful energy and fluid movement that encourage students to feel, laugh, and get real honest in their practice. She brings a deep focus on pranayama and intention, pushing you to explore your unique breath-body connection and find your own internal rhythm through asana. Her class is even in cadence, organic in sequencing, and accessible in dharma. Expect to feel challenged, open, and hugged from the inside out.
I enjoy alignment yoga as well as flow yoga and Dharma yoga. I meditate at the beginning and end of class and I focus on posture and mobility. I like to talk in class about health benefits of yoga like increased energy level and improved circulation and immune system. We do a lot of stretches in class including neck stretches, backbends, and hip openers. I went to graduate school at the Georgia Institute of Technology and I have been in Washington, DC since 2013 when I moved here to work for the US Department of Commerce.
Empowering his family, friends, and community to take control of their personal health is the most important part of his job. He helps people develop healthy routines and fitness workouts that they can practice throughout their daily lives. In 2012, he completed the National Academy of Sports Medicine (Certified Personal Trainer) course and passed the examination. In 2014, he particpated in a 200 hr teacher training.
Somewhere around 2007, reluctant to enter a traditional gym, Elizabeth entered a yoga studio instead. Her first class made her giggle respectfully. Quickly yoga revealed itself as a medium to manage the pain and pleasure cycle in which life can spin one. The increased lightness and space she felt in her body hooked her, too. Elizabeth (some call her Liz) has practiced regularly at many studios around DC ever since, with teachers wise, giving, and diverse, to whom she gratefully dedicates her daily practice, and she ultimately studied for her 200-hour RYT through Yoga District. Expect Elizabeth's classes to be satisfying to practitioners of many levels, and sprinkled with opportunities for self-acceptance and challenge. She believes in practicing against stagnation and self-doubt, and moving with appreciative joy towards more challenging poses and higher levels of personal being. She uses a variety of music, mainstream and Kirtan, and playful, unexpected sequencing.
Gina began practicing yoga in 2008 to help with knee pain from being a runner. She found that her yoga practice not only helped her with her physical pain, but also helped her find stability mentally as well. Drawn in by the question “why does yoga work” she took the Yoga District 200 Hour Teacher Training in 2013 not knowing whether she wanted to teach or to simply deepen her practice and understanding. Once she completed the training she began volunteering at a low income senior home teaching yoga and is still there twice a week. Gina now practices Ashtanga yoga, and loves to share the beauty of the Ashtanga practice with all her students. Gina love to brings elements of her Ashtanga practice to all her classes and looks forward to continuing her education and deepening her practice as both a student and a teacher. She enjoys a high energy active class with variations for students of all levels.
Gwen believes in the power of yoga to support vibrant, healthy lives. She began practicing when she moved to DC in 2006 to pursue a career in museum education. Over time, she has grown to appreciate the benefits of yoga to help manage anxiety and deepen our life experience. Gwen completed her 200 hour teacher training at Flow Yoga Center in 2015. Expect balanced, playful classes focused on alignment, breath awareness, and deep relaxation set to eclectic and upbeat music. Gwen wants her students to feel supported wherever they are in their practice and encouraged to move with ease both on and off the mat.
Hari-kirtana das is registered as an E-RYT 500 yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, holds an 800-Hour teaching certification from the Jivamukti Yoga School, and is the author of the upcoming book In Search of the Highest Truth: Adventures in Yoga Philosophy. Having a life-long interest in yoga, meditation, and eastern spiritual philosophy, Hari-kirtana lived full-time in devotional yoga ashrams and intentional spiritual communities from 1977 to 1981 and was formally initiated into the Gaudiya Vaisnava lineage of Bhakti Yoga in 1978. After years of study and practice and with the encouragement of his teachers, he began teaching contemporary yoga classes in 2009. He currently teaches classes, leads workshops, designs Yoga Teacher Training courses, and is a frequent guest-teacher for numerous regional Yoga Teacher Training programs. He also leads retreats, including an annual spiritual pilgrimage to India. You can learn more about Hari-kirtana by visiting his website: hari-kirtana.com.
Embracing yoga as a universal path – from traditional teachings to contemporary practices – Heather A. celebrates all aspects of the transformative qualities of the yogic way. She is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) with continued practice, teaching, and learning including Freedom Yoga with Erich Schiffmann, Prana Flow with Shiva Rea, and Jivamukti with Sharon Gannon. Heather’s Meditative classes incorporate more traditional yoga asanas (poses) with pranayama (breathing) techniques, meditations, and visualizations. Her Vinyasa Flow classes weave other modalities such as strength training, energy flow, dance, and pilates-inspired movement. You can expect varied musical accompaniment and sequences in each class. Yoga-ing through her own injuries, Heather is sensitive to those experiencing physical limitations and offers varied modifications and welcomes the use of props. Her approach to yoga is to allow students to observe what’s happening in the moment with their physical, spiritual, and mental selves and embrace the notion that your yoga is truly YOUR yoga. She launched Healthy. Mindful. Active. in 2013 and works with busy people to empower them in rejoicing health and vitality, mindfully navigating life’s journey, and participating in an active lifestyle!
Jade has received the gift of practicing yoga for over 15 years. The time spent on her mat has helped her through the most rewarding and challenging times in my life. She transitioned from teaching 5th graders in the Washington DC to teaching vinyasa in local gyms, corporate settings and privately. She enjoys sharing the knowledge that she has acquired and she is always eager to grow as a student. Jade is a firm believer that yoga is for all and should be taught with care, safety and respect for the practice. Introducing others to yoga is up there as one of her all time favorite things.
John is a movement artist who has studied many styles of yoga over the last 14 years. Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Jivamukti have all inspired his teaching. John's classes are light-hearted and joyful, with an emphasis on mindful awareness. Students should expect an energetic series of movement that connects body and mind, resulting in a refreshed perspective.
Mary first started practicing yoga as a form of exercise and quickly fell in love. After practicing for a few a few years, it was clear she was not only drawn to yoga for the physical benefits; but also, as a way to find balance, focus and calm. Mary embarked on her 200-hour teacher training with ISHTA Yoga to deepen her own practice and discovered a passion to share the transformative practice of yoga with others. She strives to create a fun, accessible environment for students of all levels. In her classes, you can expect strong, challenging sequences balanced with an appreciation for letting go. It is her intention to help you connect with the body and quiet the mind to cultivate flexibility, thoughtfulness and strength.
Parker found yoga four years ago as an alternative to her usual intense exercise routine. She quickly realized that yoga was not just about the asana, although the poses can be intense, too. Instead, yoga is a lifestyle of compassion for all beings everywhere, and a practice that brings peace to the mind and acceptance of the day-to-day. She is formally trained in the Dharma and Power traditions, and incorporates each style in her classes. As runner and a yogi, she hopes her class will make you sweat, work the core and the lower half of your body, as you focus on quieting the mind.
Sadie Leigh is a firm believer in the inherent spirituality of a dedicated movement practice, especially when paired with mindfulness and meditation. As a life long student, performer and maker of dance, she finds her bliss in the heat, strength, and mobility that comes fromfocused physicality. She brings this purposeful playfulness into her yoga practice and classes, encouraging her students to move through the poses gracefully and joyfully.