Donna first took yoga 15 years ago in Mexico and fell in love with its beauty, precision and spirituality. After years of studying Iyengar and vinyasa flow yoga, Donna trained with Yogafit and taught mixed-level flow yoga for three years at White Oak Sport & Health. Because she thinks everyone should find joy in yoga, Donna infuses her classes with adventure, spirit and compassion and reaches out to students at every level. Beginners will feel challenged but most find that they advance quickly. A member of the International Association of Black Yoga Instructors, Donna is on leave from her column at TheWashington Post while she writes her memoirs.
RYT 200Francine’s independent and intuitive yogic studies began over thirty years ago. First practicing with Lilias Folan via the rabbit-eared black and white t.v. screenon top of a dresser in her parent’s bedroom, she’s followed her heart through various paths and lessons ever since. Her roots stand firmly in the Hatha tradition and her primary influences from the alignment based branches of yoga continue to inform and inspire her.To find out more about her approaches to yoga and her work as a writer and fiber artist please visit her website: PoeticHum.com
Liz is an E-RYT 200. She was brought to yoga and remains inspired by her three children and their unique relationships with the universe. Liz’s playful and spirited attitude makes yoga and its benefits fun and accessible for everyone.
Annie Carlin has been practicing yoga for over 12 years, studying many different styles from vigorous vinyasa to technical alignment-based hatha, prenatal and therapeutic yoga. She completed her 200-hour training with Tias Little (Prajna Yoga) in 2011 and has been teaching ever since. In December 2014, Annie completed her 85 hour prenatal yoga teacher training certification with Integral Yoga. Her goal is to create a safe space for all to enjoy the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of yoga. She emphasizes self-acceptance and specializes in customizing poses to suit each person’s practice. Through thoughtful sequencing and creative modifications, Annie hopes to show her students that everyone can do amazing things on the mat. Annie offers profound gratitude to all of her teachers and students and is thrilled to be sharing this incredible practice.
For more yoga with Annie, check out her website, Supportive Yoga (www.supportiveyoga.com).
Trained as a dancer her whole life, Sara first saw Vinyasa yoga as a natural supplement to her dancing. Though after discovering Prana Flow in 2006, her commitment to yoga jumped to a whole new level. The guided free form movement and creative, flowing sequencing really resonated; it was like dancing on her mat.
Sara is currently studying to complete her 500 hour RYT in Prana Flow. Yoga has also ignited a deep passion for service work, with a focus on sustainable community development, taking Sara both across continents and into her own backyard. Currently she lending her efforts to help develop The Growing Hope Initiative, a new non-profit dedicated to using organic agriculture, yoga and the arts to transform communities in Southern Florida and the Keys.
She also recently completed the Off the Mat and Into the World Leadership Training Program and hopes to continue to use yoga as a means to unite, heal and empower.
When not on the mat, Sara works as a documentary film producer and new mom to a beautiful baby girl.
Carrie loves to share her delight in Anusara yoga with her students. She finished her 350 hour teacher training program at Willow Street Yoga in 2006 and continues to deepen her own practice by studying yoga and therapeutics. Carrie firmly believes that yoga is for everyone; every body, every age and stage of life. There are few things she enjoys more than helping a student into a new pose for the first time. Her classes emphasize empowerment and joy and are imbued with a sense of creativity, play and freedom.
“Kati” channels her enthusiasm to empower others to live a life with peaceful minds and hearts filled with love. She believes yoga is a powerful way to free mind and body from self-limitations and that through practice, people can access the very essence of who they are. Since earning certification in 2004, Katie continues to study the rainbow of yoga traditions and studied yoga therapy completing an in-depth course on Ayurveda in 2008.
Her unique teaching style is comprised of dynamic multi-dimensional flows, deep breath work and a focus on alignment. She addresses each individual’s needs and limitations, creating a safe environment for her students to be guided through physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions. Her latest love is Kundalini yoga, the king of all yogas. Kati completed a 200 hour Kundalini Yoga teaching program and is a KRI certified teacher. Her life has been completely transformed by this lesser known practice and she is very eager to share this amazing technology.
Kati moved to the States 23 years ago from Budapest, Hungary where she was a television producer. She currently works for a local nonprofit organization and teaches yoga every minute she can find.
Naomi Gottlieb-Miller, Yoga Director
Naomi fell in love with yoga at first downward facing dog and has been a passionate advocate for yoga ever since. Known for her ability to offer creative and intelligently sequenced yoga classes, Naomi combines a fluidity of movement and a playful spirit with a clear, precise focus on alignment. Naomi invites each student to explore their edges on the yoga mat in order to discover an innate ability to do things they never thought possible. Expect to sweat a little, laugh a lot and fall in love with your yoga practice all over again.
An activist at heart, Naomi’s practice is informed by the idea that yoga is not just what we do on our mats, but the way we live our lives. Her teaching is grounded in the lessons she receives every day from being a mother to her sweet daughter Milly, as well as the simple yet profound discoveries that can be made by living and loving fully.
Naomi is an E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Teacher and has been teaching in the DC area for nearly 10 years. For the past few years, Naomi has been deepening her study of Ayurveda and training to become a Yoga Health Coach. In addition to yoga classes, she offers online Healthier Habits courses for people interested in living better in their bodies for the rest of their lives. Find out more about Naomi at http://www.tothestickymatandbeyond.com.
Jill Grospierre, Assistant Yoga Director and Kids Yoga Program Coordinator
Jill has been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years and finds joy in sharing her knowledge and experience with all ages. She particularly loves to share mindfulness-based movement with children and finds it delightful to watch them grow and learn. Jill also enjoys working with children that face neurological or emotional challenges and teaching them coping skills through yoga. Jill is particularly drawn to the challenge of working with adults that are new to yoga and finding creative ways to help them deeply benefit from all that yoga has to offer. Jill is a RYT200 and has done training in kid’s yoga. She is working towards a children’s yoga certification.
Rachel’s yoga journey began in 2005. What started as a means to “work out,” very quickly evolved into a place of deep reconnection with the self. The process of integrating mind, body and breath opened a new world for Rachel. A world with more self compassion, self awareness, clarity, serenity and empowerment. Rachel graduated from Blue Heron Wellness’ RYT 200 program in 2013. Rachel’s classes are light-hearted and lively while also offering the opportunity to dig deep into the potential of your postures and personal practice; peeling away the layers to re-connect with your natural, unique gifts and let your inner light shine. You can expect attention to alignment, to help finetune your asanas, as well as a sweet flow. Rachel is continuously inspired by her three playful, young children and supportive husband. Rachel is forever grateful to her beloved teachers, with whom she credits the transformation of her practice.
Nancy has been a serious yoga and meditation practitioner for more than a decade and a half. Nancy received her yoga RYT 200 training at Blue Heron Wellness Center in 2011 and has been teaching there ever since. She continues her training in yoga anatomy and yoga therapy, having amassed over 75 hours with Martin Kirk to date.
Yoga is her passion.
Jo Ann has kept coming back to yoga since she was taught a sun salutation series in college. She trained to teach yoga and prenatal yoga at Tranquil Space and worked there as a studio manager before her son was born. She has also done training with ChildLight Yoga to teach kids yoga. Jo Ann loves watching her son’s delight in movement and hopes to inspire her students as well.
Rick is a teacher, student, and life practitioner. He began his yoga journey on a gift card. Then he simply got drawn in — physically, mentally, spiritually, and by the sense of community. He is a volunteer at the Walter Reed Medical Center where he’s led many yoga classes for wounded warriors, their families, and medical staff who treat them. His practice has become a blend of playful styles, and his classes include elements of yin yoga, flow, Qigong, the physiology of stretching and breathing, and supportive assists.
Check out FireWaterYoga.com for more details.
Hannah believes that yoga guides people home – making them more self-aware and enhancing their capacity for self-expression. Her specialty is helping individuals learn how to release tension in their bodies, center their thoughts and restore their sense of well-being. She received her training in classical Hatha yoga in 2009 and has been teaching ever since. She completed studies in Yoga Therapy in July 2011 and continues to her studies in ayurveda.
Tara Lemerise, fell in love with yoga in 1999 and has been teaching since 2005 after graduation from the Willow Street Yoga Center Teacher Training. She is known for offering clear, light-hearted, and encouraging instruction to students of all levels. From restorative postures to arm balances and everything in between, Tara helps her students feel more joyful, more grounded, and more at ease after each class.
To learn more about Tara, visit her website: www.taralemeriseyoga.com
Krista discovered yoga eight years ago as a mother of two young children and a frequently deployed husband and is forever grateful for that discovery. She loves the beauty and joy found in and through yoga and the peace that continues on and spills over through life. Through moves, job changes, and eventually moving away from military life the love for yoga stuck with her. She teaches an alignment-based Vinyasa style Hatha class and will frequently be found telling her students to “listen to their own bodies.” Krista teaches a joy-filled class and always loves when her students leave a little more peaceful and relaxed then when they came in. On the weekends you may find Krista going on bike rides, hikes, or cross-country skiing with her husband and kids. Krista received her RYT-200 through Sky House Yoga and is so grateful for her teachers and all she has learned through them.
E-RYT 200, RYT 500
Kath’s approach to yoga is gentle and inclusive. Her classes emphasize safe alignment in poses, the development of strength and flexibility, breath awareness, and relaxation practices. Kath is an ongoing student of yoga therapeutics, and has training in yoga for trauma survivors, chair yoga, restoratives, and yoga nidra. Her goal is to offer her students the skills and confidence to take their yoga practice home.
NASM CPT, CES, CCES
Catey is a Certified Personal Trainer, Correctional Exercise Specialist and Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist. She is an RYT200 with specializations in Vinyasa Flow, Hot Yoga instruction and Yoga Sculpt/Cross Training formats. Catey’s goal is to inspire her students and clients to push past any fears and weakness with their mind and body to discover the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of implementing a safe, corrective and beneficial movement routine. She believes in the importance of using a variety in movement approaches to fit the individual’s needs and goals. Catey’s Certifications are with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the Cancer Exercise Institute and Yoga Alliance.
Peter Mosher has practiced and taught yoga, meditation, qigong and tai chi in the Washington area since 1972. He trained in Kundalini Yoga and meditation from 1972 to 1992, teaching it for 25 years. He began the practice and study of mindfulness meditation in the early 90’s and has continued meditation practice and study with Tibetan and Zen teachers. He began Tai’ Chi in 1992 and studied with various teachers and studied qigong intensively from 2000 – 2007. He has been teaching at Blue Heron Wellness since shortly after it opened. He has taught at the World Bank, N.I.H. and other organizations in the Washington area. He also used his knowledge of these practices in his career in mental health, especially in psychiatric rehabilitation work.
His approach is to teach each practice, whether it is yoga, tai’ chi, qigong, or meditation as a mindfulness practice that can be applied to all aspects of life to improve mental and physical health, spiritual growth, and help people find a path out of suffering to happiness and enjoyment of this life.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Claudia began her formal yoga training in 1984. It was there that she spent 10 years assisting and teaching along side some of the most noteworthy teachers of our time. She traveled and studied with Pattabhi Jois (creator of the Ashtanga Yoga System), she was one of the first to graduate from Rod Stryker’s ISHTHA Yoga Teachers Training, she assisted Erich Shiffman for several years, and also studied and taught at Forrest Yoga. While at USC completing a Masters degree in Social Work, she taught yoga to students and faculty alike. She integrated her skills as a therapist and yoga instructor developing corporate stress reduction programs, working with oncology patients at Children’s Hospital, and teaching yoga to artists and performers. In 2005 she received certification in Anusara Yoga. Claudia’s classes reflect her rich background of yoga experience as well as the love and dedication to her life-long practice of yoga.
After working many years at various desk jobs, Kirsten transformed her life, found a new direction and she now leads mixed-level vinyasa flow yoga classes in her community. From her own personal yoga practice, Kirsten has experienced great benefit and has observed remarkable change and growth in her mind and body, finding new confidence within herself. She wishes to share these benefits with others. Kirsten trained with YogaFit, and is a registered teacher with Yoga Alliance. She is certified as a Vinyasa Flow Yoga Instructor, training with Stephanie Keach in Asheville, NC. In addition, Kirsten is Budding Yogis certified and teaches kids and teen yoga. Her classes emphasize movement, breath, and mind-body awareness.
Kathy is a graduate of Blue Heron’s 2010 Yoga Teacher Training program. Kathy enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others and inspiring others to greater well-being.
Sarah, RYT 200, has been a student of yoga since 2000. Based in deep appreciation for the transformative power of yoga in the midst of life’s adventure, her classes are infused joy, sensitivity and empowerment. She is a graduate of the Willow Street Yoga Center Teacher Training Program and holds a certificate in Yoga for Conscious and Sacred Birthing.
Janet has been practicing and teaching Pilates since 2006 and brings her experience as a personal trainer and fitness coach into her classes. She received her certification from the Pilates Institute of America and has continued her studies of Pilates by attending various trainings and workshops. It is Janet’s passion to help others achieve a strong, lean and balanced body.
Lauren Richardson, ERYT 200, Lauren discovered yoga over twenty years ago as a way to balance her athletic pursuits, passionate heart and overall curiosity of being. After practicing a variety of styles, she trained with Jonny Kest in the Ashtanga tradition. She teaches a dynamic series of sequenced postures that flow together to promote mobility and healing in the body, focus and ease in the mind and awareness and connection with the breath. She enjoys working with all ages and abilities and believes that yoga meets you where you are, as it is both therapeutic and invigorating. In addition to working in studios, Lauren has had the opportunity to share the benefits of yoga with children in camps, schools and as a training element of many athletic teams. She has directed yoga teacher training programs for the past 5 years at multiple centers and continues to learn and grow from her inspiring student trainees.
Lauren has been a student of yoga since 1997 and completed her 200-hour training at Blue Heron in 2012. She draws from a variety of styles in her teaching and believes yoga helps us to be more ourselves. Her classes emphasize breath, grace, and that delightful intersection of steadiness and ease. Lauren lives with her family in Silver Spring and teaches Hatha, Tweens and Kundalini yoga.
Courtney is a graduate of the Blue Heron Wellness yoga teacher training program. She is inspired by the notion of yoga as a modality of self-care. As such, she encourages her students to embrace their time on the mat as time spent doing something good for themselves and reminds them to have fun with the practice. Courtney’s classes blend sequences of dynamic movement with alignment instruction, deep stretches and restorative postures, providing students opportunities both to challenge themselves and to experience the stress- and tension-relieving benefits of yoga practice.
Sherry has been a practicing massage therapist for over ten years. She is a graduate of The Baltimore School of Massage. She has experience working in a variety of settings. She has worked extensively with seniors, worked with parents and caregivers teaching infant massage, in corporate offices, health fairs, and wellness retreats doing seated massage. Her toolbox includes techniques from Swedish, deep tissue, myofascial and Thai massage. Sherry believes that massage and yoga belong together, and are two of the best things you can do for yourself! She considers herself blessed to be doing what she loves!