YOGA

photo credit: Freddy Reyes, Jr. 

photo credit: Freddy Reyes, Jr. 

ANNIE SHIEL, (E-RYT) is a trauma-informed vinyasa yoga teacher who believes in the power of conscious movement for self care, healing, and empowerment. Inspired by her own years of practice in power vinyasa, prana flow, ashtanga and rocket yoga, Annie teaches a dynamic, intuitive flow with a strong emphasis on personal empowerment and the freedom to move how your body wants to move. Annie is the co-founder of True U, an organization that empowers adolescent girls through yoga, mindfulness, and other self discovery tools, and is the founder of Beats Pray Love, a donation-based community event series bringing together yoga, live music, and fundraising for social justice issues. Annie is a 200-hour trained vinyasa yoga teacher with additional training in trauma-informed yoga and bringing mindfulness practices to incarcerated and vulnerable youth. When she's not teaching, Annie works in human rights policy.

Find her online: annieshielyoga.com // FB AnnieShielYoga // IG @annieshiel 

JENNIE LIGHT (RYT) is the founder and owner of Bluebird Sky Yoga. Jennie started practicing yoga nearly a decade ago while living in Colorado and was immediately hooked on the fluid movements that reminded her of her days dancing growing up. Yoga has remained an integral part of her life because it allows her to disconnect from the stress of daily life, connect with an incredible global community of compassionate people, and see the world more clearly.

Across Jennie’s years studying yoga, she has fallen in love with many different lineages, in large part because of the diverse and inspiring teachers who have passed through her life. Through her classes, Jennie seeks to encourage students to grow as her teachers have done for her. As a former radio show host, music is a central component of each of her classes. Jennie completed her 200-hour Vinyasa and Power Yoga training with Mimi Rieger, 50-hour Progressive Ashtanga Vinyasa (Rocket) training with David Kyle, and 60-hour Primal Yoga® Flow training with Liz Arch.

Expect thoughtfully sequenced classes influenced by the Ashtanga tradition and infused with playful sequencing, funky variations on traditional poses, pranayama, and on some occasions martial arts (from her Primal Yoga® Flow background).

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DEBRIANA BERLIN: After 15 yrs in corporate sustainability and 30 yrs doing yoga, yoga won! I'm the yoga teacher for the United States federal government in Washington DC, teaching or advising at the U.S. Senate, U.S. Department of Health, Homeland Security, EPA, NASA, and other agencies. Teaching stressed out feds to "hurry up and relax" has led me to weave Vinyasa Flow with interactive poses and meditation techniques that quickly center students. I've taught over 1,000 classes with this method.

"If you don't take care of your body, then where will you live?"

Still, I experience shock and awe daily over toxic yoga mats, and so I launched Kiss The Sky - sustainable performance yoga mats made in the U.S. - gokissthesky.com. Kiss The Sky teamed up with a venture-backed NYC team in 2015 to invent a sensor covered yoga mat that provides real-time feedback on your practice. The possibilities for transforming yoga with data are endless!

Previously, I worked on the leadership team of the EPA, ran Earth Day, lectured on climate change at Yale, had an awkward moment with President Obama, spilled wine on billionaire David Koch, swam with sharks in Palau, and danced until the sun came up at Burning Man.

HEATHER HONSTEIN is a Yoga Teacher living in Washington, D.C. with a dedicated classical yoga practice that includes spiritual discourse, chanting mantra, pranayama, meditation, relaxation and asana postures to open the body and mind. The roots of her practice reside in the teachings of Sri Dharma Mittra and the Jivamukti Method of Yoga. In 2013 she completed the ‘Life of a Yogi’ 500 hour Advanced Teacher Training with Sri Dharma. She recently returned from several months in India where she completed the first ever Jivamukti Yoga 300 hour Teacher Training to be hosted in India. There she studied directly under Sharon Gannon and David Life, with the guidance of Lady Ruth, and Jules Febres who facilitated this life-changing immersion. Residing in an ISKCON Ashram under the direction of Radhanath Swami, she considers this time immersed in the yogic way of life to be invaluable on her path of realization and sharing these practices with others. In 2013-2014 she was Executive Director of the non-profit Yoga Activist (yogaactivist.org) where she coordinated outreach yoga classes in underserved yoga communities, leading Trauma Sensitive Yoga teacher trainings as well. Heather also teaches Restorative Yoga and Trauma Sensitive Yoga, incorporating these principles of relaxation and sensitivity into her studio classes. In addition to studio classes, Heather also assists with the Yoga District Teacher Trainings, sharing the wisdom of her teachers with aspiring Yoga Teachers. With tremendous gratitude and humility Heather considers herself a perpetual student of this practice, experimenting with old and new styles of yoga sequencing and meditation techniques. Heather welcomes students of all levels and walks of life to take part in a practice inspired by her teachers that is both steady (sthira) and joyful (sukham). Come worship in the temple of your own body and be receptive to the limitless knowledge already contained within in your heart and soul. Namaste

DEBRA PERLSON-MISHALOVE'S classes are taught in the vinyasa style and are creative & playful. You will sweat, go deep and get nourished!   Debra is the Creative Director and founder of Flow Yoga Center.  Flow has been featured in the Washington Post, NY Times, Yoga Journal, Wall Street Journal, NBC and NPR and serves yoga and meditation programs to over 2000 DC residents each week with the mission of offering wellness, spiritual nourishment and balance to our community. Debra created Flow as a model of sustainability, a business that strives to minimize its collective environmental footprint and maximize its participation in social justice and community building. Through partnerships and special events, Debra and the Flow community raises thousands of dollars each year for various charities.  Debra serves as an organizer helping facilitate the DC Global Mala and Metro DC Yoga Week.

NAOMI GOTTLIEB-MILLER 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. 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 two amazing kids, Milly and Archer, 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 over 10 years. To find out more about Naomi, check out her website: http://www.conscioushealthymama.com

DEAN HIVELY is a certified Level 1 teacher of AcroYoga. He has studied AcroYoga for five years, attending numerous regional trainings and also performing with Acrolesque. Before coming to yoga he had a long history of training in kung fu, including buddah palm, animal styles, chi gung, and lion dancing. The kung fu taught him a profound respect for the human form and its relation to the universe through connection with energy and body mechanics. By day he is an environmental research scientist.  

The AcroYoga practice combines the grace of yoga with the excitement of acrobatics and the joy of working in community. AcroYoga frees us from the assumed barriers we put on ourselves and our bodies, beginning with challenging the fundamental concept that our feet need to be on the ground. By embodying the roles of base, flyer, and spotter we develop skills in communication and trust, along with developing our physical yoga practice. Dean has a laid back and positive approach to life and teaching. His classes emphasize safety, form, and the energetics of partnership. His goal is to promote joy, amazement, and comfort in community.

Inspired by her yoga teaching grandmother, Liselotte ("Lilo") Foster, ELISE FOSTER began practicing yoga at a young age. In 2011, Elise "flew" for the first time in Meridian Hill Park and immediately fell in love with AcroYoga and it's lineage of 3 different elements - yoga, acrobatics, and the healing arts. Like nothing else she has experienced, AcroYoga has the ability to transform lives - it can free one's playful spirit, create community, and cultivate trust and communication. 

As a certified AcroYoga teacher, Elise aims to bring the joy, power and healing energy that AcroYoga brought into her life to others. In addition to AcroYoga teacher training, she has completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training in Tantric Hatha Vinyasa in India, Thai Yoga Massage training in Thailand, 5 Element Thai Massage training, and is Reiki level 1 certified. She strongly believes in the power of AcroYoga's holistic approach to a partner practice and continues to develop her skills in all three elements of the practice. 

In addition to being a teacher, Elise is also a performer. In April of 2014, she began performing with her good friend and fellow AcroYoga teacher, Dean Hively, in an acrobatic-burlesque duo. Since it's inception, Acrolesque has performed dozens of shows in the DC area, as well as at Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada, at AcroYoga's Divine Play Festival in Portland, Oregon, and as roving performers at Beats Antique's Creature Carnival. 

LILI is a Certified Level I teacher of AcroYoga®. She has studied AcroYoga for four years, and yoga since 2001. She has benefited greatly from the mentoring of many amazing teachers and would like to give some of this generosity back to her community.

The practice of AcroYoga combines the mindfulness and self-awareness of yoga within the context of a community. It allows the individual to explore human emotions and connection through play. Through the vehicles of acrobatics and Thai massage we develop sensitivity and break boundaries with the support of others.

The three roles of base, flyer, and spotter allow us to connect with different aspects of ourselves. These roles challenge us to develop better communication with one another ultimately developing deeper connection and trust. The physical practice helps to develop more flexibility, strength and balance as we lift each other into the air as we did when we were kids.

Lili loves the practice and sharing it with others. She believes that this practice can be a great catalyst for personal transformation. Her aim is to create an environment that fosters a safe space for this to occur and ultimately to quote her teacher training moto; “To empower life change and inspire connection through joyful play and healing love.”

MANISHA TARE has been a long time student of yoga exploring various styles of asana as well as meditation and chanting over the years. She finds that these practices help to ground and align her while navigating life. She appreciates active, expansive practices, though her heart truly lies in the more restorative, meditative, and yin aspects of yoga that bring a sense of perspective, energetic balance to the body and mind, and an experience of the expansion of time. Her own need to slow down amidst a hectic lifestyle has made her gravitate towards these practices even more. In class, her receptive presence creates a safe environment for students to access their bodies, explore their minds, and enter into the wisdom space of their own hearts. She has immense gratitude for all her teachers for reminding her of the power of presence and is so appreciative of the opportunity to share her devotion to the timeless teachings with students.

Manisha is also an occupational therapist who ffers craniosacral therapy, private therapeutic yoga, and coaching to help people move towards holistic wellness. Her craniosacral therapy training is through the Upledger Institute, and she has completed two 200 hour yoga teacher trainings in the hatha and vinyasa flow styles, as well as a prenatal teacher training with Yoga For Two. She studies, practices, and teaches in Washington DC. Learn more about Manisha at http://fallingleafwellness.net/

MERIDETH VAN SANT Merideth is a founder of True U Girls, and has brought yoga + mindfulness to underserved populations through the United Nations, National Girl Summits, and Girls Inc. She is owner of 405 YOGA,  a power flow studio located in cities across the continental U.S., and has served as part-time faculty at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Merideth consults with national government agencies as well as nano business models in the nation’s Capitol. Merideth holds a Masters of Science degree in human development from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelors of Science in human environmental science.  Merideth’s work focuses on adolescent resiliency, health and wellness through traditional power modalities, and is a trained power flow and Rocket yoga teacher.

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DANIEL STEINIGER has been an adrenaline junkie since the day he was born. Whether it was riding his big wheel down any hill he could find as a kid, playing soccer, snowboarding, dancing to house music, mountain biking, rock climbing, running or competing in triathlons, physical movement has always been a way for him to quiet the mind and tap into his inner Self. After his second back surgery from snowboarding, he found his way to yoga as a way to try and prevent back injuries from occurring in the future.

Initially, Daniel’s interest in yoga was purely as a means to become more flexible and increase core strength. After a life-changing awakening experience in the fall of 2012, something in his heart told him there was more to yoga he needed to learn. In January 2013 he enrolled in his first 200 Hour teacher training at Yoga District. A few months later he saw a screening of The Highest Pass at a film festival in Washington DC. The yoga teacher from India featured in the documentary, Anand Mehrotra, spoke after the screening. Anand’s words and fierce presence resonated with Daniel on a very deep and personal level. In April 2014 Daniel attended Sattva Yoga’s Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India, led by Anand earning Daniel his RYT 500. Since then he has been back to India numerous times to continue deepening his practice under the guidance of Anand. In November 2016 he completed Sattva Yoga’s first Master’s Level training. Daniel also completed Baptiste Yoga’s Level One Training in February 2015.

“The Sattva practice resonates so deeply because I feel like I’ve been doing it my whole life. As a teacher, I love teaching this practice because it gives me the freedom to experiment and I get to incorporate two of the things I love most in life: music and physical movement. My goal as a teacher is to provide space for all of us to return to our youthful, childhood innocence – loving unconditionally and having fun.”


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JACK BLACKFELT has abandoned the fast life of hardcore and self-gratification to find a path to peace which allows for questioning the road signs on the way. He has kept a steady meditation practice since 2004 and is a self-teaching student of Buddhism in the Threravada / Insight Meditation Community tradition. Though not formally trained as a dharma teacher, he has received some tutelage in New York City from Josh Korda of Dharma Punx NYC. He co-facilitated that group's monthly "dedicated practitioners class" for a year after returning from a three-week pilgrimage to the historical Buddhist sites Northern India. He has led DC Rebel Dharma Punx here in Washington since June of last year, after moving here from New York. Centering on the relationship between mind and the body, and utilizing the teachings of the Buddha in a contemporary context, he hopes to offer a radically beneficial way of engaging with life's complexities where they start - in our relation to them.

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LUCY PLAUGHER began practicing yoga and meditation in 2006. Over the past decade, Lucy has discovered the transformational benefits of yoga and meditation both on and off the mat. With the intention of sharing these gifts with others, Lucy completed her 200-Hour Teacher Training with Kori Strobl of YogaWorks, a 50 hour Yin Yoga training with Yael Flusburg, and is also Reiki level 1 certified. Lucy has worked with students of all levels and abilities, and creates a safe space that encourages her students to move mindfully, breath deeply, and honor their own body and journey with courage and compassion. Off the mat Lucy works in community health, is a feminist, artist, bike enthusiast, and pie maker.

CHANTAE POLITE completed her training at Yoga District’s Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200 hour) Intensive training in Outer Banks, North Carolina. Chantae' has worked with children and teens for over five years through different mentorship, outreach, and art therapy programs. She uses compassion and playfulness to help others build awareness and self-confidence. Her classes tend to include music and are practiced in a "non-heated" to a warm temperature of about 75 degrees. Chantae' has studied Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga, Dharma Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Chair Yoga and breathing and meditation techniques. Just breathe and let your light shine!