Heidi Kenty, RYT-500, has been practicing yoga since 2004 when she began as a student at CNY Yoga Center in Syracuse, NY. Heidi found an instant love once she started her personal practice and soon became eager to explore the philosophy of yoga in greater depth. She felt centered and surrounded by an immense sense of peace after each class that was undeniable. This led her to New York City, where she completed her 500 & 200-hour Life of a Yogi teacher training immersions with the legendary Sri Dharma Mittra in 2014 and 2009, respectively. Heidi maintains the tradition of living the life of a yogi and leading by example, including observation of a yogic lifestyle and maintenance of a vegetarian diet. She has a passion for and feels fortunate to be able to share the knowledge gained during her journey thus far, including the Yamas (ethical rules) and Niyamas (observances) as the foundation of any yogic practice. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to bring her teaching style to Sage Yoga in Damascus. Heidi would like to express deep love and gratitude for her beloved teachers along this path, Sri Dharma Mittra, Saraswati Om, Andrei Ram, and Lisa Sarick. As the owner of Sage Yoga, Heidi is enthusiastic about continuing to cultivate a sense of community as well as provide an atmosphere for personal growth and well-being for her students. She looks forward to meeting each and every one of you-see you on the mat!
Michelle Allen embraced the Yogic lifestyle after graduating from college with a passion for dance performance in 2001. She is 500 hr RYT certified from Charm City Yoga in Baltimore, MD studying under Kim Manfredi. Her classes are a high-energy, Vinyasa (flow) styled structure filled with fun-loving energy, an introduction to the spiritual path and great music. She aims to create strong, family-like relationships with each of her students based on their individual needs and desires. She hopes to help her students strengthen their connection between the body and the breath, while allowing them the freedom and compassion to accept each practice as part of their life-long journey!
Dorota Presnar‘s journey into yoga began in 2007 and in 2013 she completed her certification through Thrive Yoga in Rockville, MD. Currently she is pursuing her 300-hour teacher training and she couldn’t be more excited to continue her adventures with yoga. Dorota wants to share the benefits of yoga with others and help them discover and continue their own journey. She enjoys watching her students grow and loves how much she learns from each person she encounters in her classes. Yoga benefited Dorota in many ways, both physically and emotionally, and she has a deep desire to share that with her students. She is very enthusiastic, encouraging, and strives to keep her classes fun. Dorota likes to find creative ways of modifying poses to incorporate movement and help her students find connections with their body and breathing, while heightening awareness. Her classes can be challenging, but she also makes them fun and everybody can find something that will suit their body and their mind.
Linda Evans brings a joyful approach to yoga, creating a supportive class environment and encouraging mindfulness and alignment. As a former Montgomery County Public Schools music teacher, she blends her talents for teaching with her love of yoga. Linda Evans, RYT 200, completed her Yoga Teacher Training at The Yoga Center of Columbia in 2008, Anusara Immersion in 2010, and Anusara Teacher Training at Willow Street Yoga in 2012. Linda has been practicing and studying yoga since 1996 and shares a deep connection with her teachers. When Linda is not practicing yoga, she enjoys a game of tennis or a bike ride on local country roads.
Jessica Apo (E-RYT 500, RPYT, Teacher Trainer) Jess teaches with enthusiasm and compassion allowing students to honor their own practice and explore like no one else is looking. Her crystal clear instruction and strong alignment cueing keeps students safe and present. She encourages students to pay close attention to their own experience by feeling breath, body, and energetic movement as a way to surrender to their moment. Her students have the opportunity to explore their “edge” through awareness and connection to their own spirit. Her passion for yoga and fun loving attitude shine through in her classes! Visit Jess’ web page to find out more about her retreats at Soular Awakening
Carolyn Smith (E-RYT200, RYT500) has been a dedicated yoga practitioner since 1998 and teacher since 2006. While her teaching background has always been heavily focused on proper body mechanics and alignment, her interest in a more therapeutic approach to yoga was born from her experiences working with students over the years. Recognizing that a “one size fits all” approach is not appropriate for every body, she began studying biomechanics and functional movement with Jenny Otto and Body Balance Yoga® in 2012. In 2015, Carolyn completed an 800-hour yoga therapy-training program with Body Balance Yoga and teaches public and private classes with an emphasis on functional movement. Carolyn is working towards certification as a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) with a vision of combining yoga therapy with massage to further help her students regain and retain natural mobility.
Padma (Wanda Perkins) is an Integral Yoga teacher who received her 200 hour certification at the the Satchidananda Ashram in Yogaville, VA. Her class focuses on the subtler aspects of Yoga, such as mind and body awareness, yogic breathing, sound energy, and meditation. In her personal practice, she has explored many styles of yoga since her first Sivananda class in 2003, and has found she is drawn to traditional styles. She loves learning and talking about yogic philosophy, and finding ways to integrate yoga into all aspects of life. She is continuously realizing and enjoying the many benefits of yoga, and is grateful for the opportunity to share these with her students.
Chris Calvelli began her practice over a decade ago when she was seeking the physical benefits of yoga. She immediately found herself on a path to learn more about its spiritual aspects and traditions. Inevitably she sought a path to Prana Flow teacher certification with the intention not only to learn for herself, but to share the transformative power of yoga practice with others. In her classes she creates a fun, inviting and balanced atmosphere incorporating mindfulness, breathing techniques, physical strength and flexibility. In addition to teaching yoga, Chris is also a mother of two teenage boys and has co-authored a spiritual trilogy, “33 Chapters of Life.”
Elaine MacDougall completed her 200 hour Teacher Training certification through Jala Yoga in Shepherdstown, WV. She is interested in the practice of Vinyasa and Yin Yoga, holding poses for longer periods of time to intensify the stretch and find quiet and stillness in the body. Her classes include a variety of asanas (poses) for all body types and levels, a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere, and elements of aromatherapy to help soothe the soul. Elaine also teaches writing at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Community College of Baltimore County. She enjoys integrating her love of poetry into her yoga practice.
Kelly Adams began her yoga journey in 2008. Since then, she has adapted a healthier lifestyle and is able to find more peace and balance in her everyday life. Kelly completed her 200-hour teacher training with Charm City Yoga during the Summer of 2013 and is currently enrolled in the 500-hour teacher training program at Charm City Yoga as well. Her nurturing and peaceful energy helps students to relax in challenging poses. Her Vinyasa flow-style classes focus on building balance, strength, and flexibility. She encourages students to embrace self-acceptance and hopes to help them find some inner peace.
Tara Lemerise, E-RYT 200, was expecting the Ashtanga Primary Series but ended up in a restorative yoga class instead. From then on, she was hooked on restorative yoga. The sweet sense of tranquility she experienced in that class was a big part of what inspired her to complete teacher training at Willow Street Yoga in 2005. She is now known for leading deeply calming and nurturing restorative yoga practices. Tara’s intellectual curiosity, strong understanding of anatomy, and skillful use of props helps students optimize the healing power of restorative practice. Everyone leaves feeling more joyful and more at ease after each class.
Laura Micewski began practicing yoga about 15 years ago at the Navy base gym in Charleston, SC. At first it was a complement to her hobby of long distance running, but over the years, yoga gained more prominence in her fitness lifestyle. She completed her 200 hour certification in 2014. As an instructor, she is excited to bring yoga to everyone, and the aim in her classes is to promote awareness of alignment, integration of motion and breath, and for each participant to cultivate compassion, gratitude, and joy for their own place on the journey.
Kirsten Schrader was introduced to yoga in 2002-it was a beautiful community of yoga instructors. Her first yoga teacher taught and moved the class through our experiences as well as her own. This helped all of us grow through yoga. Through the years, Kirsten was encouraged to become an instructor and share her passion of yoga and what it has meant to her. She has often said that her mat is a safe place. No matter what chaos was occurring within her life, she could find safety on her mat. She wants to bring students together to share the gifts and joy that she has received from yoga through that same feeling of safety. Her ultimate training has taught her much about anatomy and how to bring yoga to each individual’s needs. Come join her for fun, relaxation, and to remember yourself. Kirsten received her RYT200 Certification from Body Balance Yoga in July 2014.
Christina Sweeney is 200 RYT in Prana Flow Yoga and trained under Maria Garre in Frederick, MD. In addition, she is also Yoga Fit-certified. Christina is a full-time certified NSPA Personal Trainer, Level 3 Balanced Body Pilates Instructor, and has been a group fitness instructor in different formats for the past fifteen years. She also has been the Yoga and Pilates Trainer for the Washington Nationals Baseball Team for the past two seasons. This is her fourth career and has no intention of changing it because she embraces flexibility and movement in her life! Christina discovered that yoga helped balance out all the athletic activities, she participates in and found that it made her body functional & ready for all her athletic endeavors. Most of all, the internal drishti (gaze), peacefulness, and strength of the practice made her fall in love with the yoga path as a whole. With her varied training background, Christina helps students to focus on breath, alignment, physical strength, and flexibility. Christina takes a hands-on approach to teaching though both verbal cuing and physical adjusting while at the same time creating a challenging and safe environment for students at all levels.
Kim Harpster has been a student of the yoga discipline and path for over 15 years. After experiencing the healing powers of yoga, she wanted to bring this knowledge to as many people as possible. In 2013, she completed her Prana Flow 200-hour teacher training with Maria Garre and in 2014, completed her Prana Flow 300-hour training once again under Maria Garre (Frederick, MD). Kim enjoys providing a safe and inspired space for her students to connect to their bodies and spirit. When not in the studio, Kim enjoys her other passion in life – horses.
Katie Iciek came to yoga in 2013 as a runner looking for relief from physical tension. Originally drawn to the asana practice, Katie grew increasingly interested in meditation and the subtle body. She has been hooked ever since and is currently pursuing her 200 teacher training at Thrive Yoga. Katie’s classes include playful asana, dynamic pranayama, and deep meditation. She encourages students to explore each pose and make the practice uniquely theirs!
Jessie Echard found her way to her mat after years of athletics. She was recruited by the University of Maryland to throw hammer and discus on the track team, where she became a team captain and all-ACC thrower. Then Jessie graduated and for the first time in her life, she wasn’t part of any team or athletic community. Searching for something to fill that void, she found her way into a yoga studio. While she was initially drawn to the challenging asana practice, what she found was so much more than a sport replacement! Jessie still loves her sweaty asana practice, but she’s drawn to the other benefits of yoga as well. Since beginning her 200-hour YTT, she’s begun to explore the powerful benefits of meditation and pranayama. While she wasn’t initially planning on becoming a teacher, it became the natural next step when so many teammates, friends, and co-workers started asking her to teach them. Jessie now looks forward to sharing her energetic practice with others, while encouraging them to listen to their bodies and stay present. How beautiful it is to share this gift with the world!
Gina McConkey has been an avid physical fitness enthusiast her entire life. From gymnastics to yoga, she has long been committed to a healthy exercise regimen for both herself and others. Gina has also had a lifelong desire to help others spiritually, and loves to share her compassion for others through teaching yoga. Gina has a BA in Human Services, received a YogaFit Kids Certification through YogaFit Training Systems Worldwide, Inc. in 2009, and alsoacquired a 200 Hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training Certificate through Thrive Yoga’s Teacher Training Program in 2013. Gina enjoys teaching a vinyasa flow; linking breath with movement in her classes. She hopes to get to know her students well, and hopes they learn to love their mind, body, and spirit daily, both on and off the mat. She offers freedom in her classes for each individual student to listen to their own bodies and be gentle when needed, yet support to further themselves when desired in order to continue to advance their own individual practice. Gina welcomes those into her class with an open heart and open mind and helps to create balance in their lives through safe yoga practices, smart fitness, and the importance of having fun.
Julia Schneider’s first yoga practice took place in her high school dorm room in 1979. Wishing to get in shape for an Outward Bound Adventure, she checked out a copy of Richard Hittleman’s “28 Day YOGA Exercise Plan”. After a few practice sessions, it was clear to her that yoga was much more than mere physical exercise. In 1992, she began Iyengar classes at Unity Woods in Bethesda with John Shumacher, who remains her primary teacher. Since then, she has maintained a daily practice and progressed through higher levels of yoga and pranayama while raising her three children. In June, she welcomed her first grand baby girl, Lucy! Julia is most grateful to have had the opportunity to study with many renowned yoga teachers in the Iyengar tradition over the years and loves sharing what has been so wonderfully shared with her.
Jason Snow, RYT 200, completed his teacher training in Raja Yoga in Montezuma, Costa Rica. For Jason, yoga is the exploratory journey toward self-discovery. His practice and teachings are strongly influenced by his Mom (who is also a yoga teacher) and Bryan Kest. Presence and connection to the breath are the foundation to his classes. Jason also likes playing music and traveling slow. His life motto is: “It’s not what we’re doing, it’s how we’re doing it!”
Sharon Baharoff, RYT-200, has loved exercise since her late teen years. Yoga was always an attraction because of a natural flexibility but never having taken a class in a studio before 2012, it was just a way of stretching after weight lifting. After her first in-studio class she left feeling suddenly taller, was hooked on asana and became a regular. Before long she knew that yoga was much more than stretching and that she needed yoga in her life every day. She then set out to discover what yoga was really about and enrolled in yoga teacher training at Charm City. Her love of yoga taught her that she will always be a student, even as a teacher. She takes workshops regularly and is enrolled at Charm City for her RYT-500. “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
Julie Heatherly, RYT 200, started her yoga journey like many, for the physical aspect of the asana practice. She soon became aware there was so much more to yoga. She has embraced the spirituality and philosophy of her yoga practice. Her classes, while flow in nature, also concentrate on the mindfulness of the practice. Her goal as a teacher is to pass on not just the asana practice but yoga as a whole. She loves to practice with sense of fun and positive energy. She continues to study the practice of yoga for her own self-awareness – svadhyaya.
Alison Heilig (RYT200) completed her teacher training at Thrive Yoga in Rockville, MD. She’s also an RRCA-Certified Running Coach, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) and Women’s Fitness Specialist (WFS). In early 2017, she’ll expand her yoga teacher training by studying under Sage Rountree. Alison – an ultra-marathoner, obstacle course racer, triathlete and all-around fitness enthusiast – was initially drawn to teaching yoga due to her desire to share all the benefits of yoga with others to help them move better and feel better in their own skin. She believes it’s possible for each of us to maximize our own potential in a compassionate and self-loving way rather than through harsh treatment and judgment. Alison’s classes are grounded, empowering and fun. When she’s not teaching yoga or coaching endurance athletes, she’s writing about it as a regular fitness and mind-body contributor for Fit Bottomed Girls & Fit Bottomed Zen.