our instructors

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 2.59.10 PMAlleah Erica Clarke

With passion to help those around her to reconnect to their breath, Alleah chose the journey to become a Yoga Teacher to help students connect to their inner Guru. Receiving her 200-hr Vinyasa and Hatha training from Embrace Yoga DC with Faith Hunter, her 95-hr Children’s Yoga Teacher training with YoKid… Stretch Your Limits, and 85-Hr Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training with Ladan Judge and Dawn Curtis of East Meets West Yoga Center, she is elated to share her smile, energy, and love for yoga with the women, children and families. Having experienced a loss of a precious love one, Alleah has made it a life long commitment to help women have healthier pregnancies, stronger bodies, and foster bonds between mommy and baby. Working with prenatal and postnatal students, combines her immense love of yoga, healthy living, and the beauty of Mommyhood. with her love for children, all while having fun. All make a great recipe for making her inner child happy. With much gratitude, her shining light bows to your shining light.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 3.11.44 PMAriele Foster

Ariele Foster, PT, DPT, E-RYT 500 is a physical therapist, yoga teacher, anatomy faculty for yoga trainings, and environmentalist with a passion for intelligent, creative instruction. Ariele grew up practicing with her grandmother (who still teaches yoga in her late 80s!), and started teaching yoga in 2001. Her interdisciplinary classes (trained in Kripalu, Anusara, Vinyasa, and Therapeutics) are enriched by biomechanical smarts, great playlists and humor. Dr. Foster specializes in manual and orthopedic physical therapy, incorporating yoga into rehabilitation plans. For more information, see sacredsourceyoga.com and follow at facebook.com/SacredSourceYoga and instagram.com/ariele_superstar

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 2.59.31 PMCarolyn Walkley

Carolyn guides students through gentle movement, breathing techniques, and meditation to soothe the spirit and mind, as well as the body. Her classes provide you with a supportive environment for allowing yourself to “just be.” Carolyn discovered yoga in college. Years later, while working in Afghanistan, she began to rely on yoga as a tool for managing stress and emotions, eventually inspiring her to share yoga with others. Carolyn completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training with Faith Hunter in 2011.

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 3.00.08 PMErica J. Ford

Erica is a communications consultant by day and a yogi at all times.  She came to yoga as a student in 2006 seeking stress relief from the pressures of her consulting career and found it as soon as she extended into her first warrior pose.  Yoga has helped Erica not only cope with work, but with a number of health challenges associated with having polycystic ovarian syndrome, sleep apnea, and carrying an extra 100 pounds of weight on her body. With the help of yoga and the support of her doctors, she made it to the other side, but did so with the realization of the power of yoga and the role it played in her quest for a quieter mind and better health. This conclusion led Erica to earning her 500-hr teacher certification from Faith Hunter Yoga so that she could bring what she’s learned to others while helping them have a good time too.  She firmly believes in the beauty and strength of every individual – and brings that perspective to class.  She is registered with the Yoga Alliance and the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 3.25.45 PMFaith Hunter

Faith, Owner of Embrace and a Louisiana native, has a passion for beauty, movement, love, and soul freedom. Faith is a E-RYT 500-hr registered and certified instructor, the creator of embrace your flow Yoga Teacher Training Program (registered with Yoga Alliance 200hr & 500hr programs), and has been training yoga instructors for many years. In her quest to share her passions and eclectic yoga teaching style, Faith incorporates her Louisiana upbringing, yoga philosophy, modern mystical sounds, and the purity of breath to awaken and ignite the spirit of flow in the body and soul. Faith is known to infuse the principles of shraddha (faith), ishvarapranidhana (surrendering to the Divine), nada (sound), and ashima (endless/without boundaries) into her teachings. She is the creator of life and yoga concept, embrace your flow, a philosophy that speaks to awakening and honoring the divine energy of life (prana) that flows through your soul, and using that force to live a passionate life. Faith has been called “Spiritually Hip & Fly” because of her dynamic transformational spirit and soulful modern approach to the practice of yoga. In addition, Faith was on the May 2010 and June 2011 covers of Yoga Journal, September 2010 cover of OmYoga and Lifestyle in the UK, and has appeared many other magazines and publications over the past several years as a model and contributing writer (click here to view). Faith is a social activist, freelance writer, yoga podcaster, and the mommy to four playful pups.

HMYogavilleAug09(Cropped)Holly Meyers

Holly became a certified instructor in 2008 after practicing yoga for 15 years. Drawing from contemporary Vinyasa, classic Hatha and traditional Kundalini yoga, Holly’s classes empower the body and mind through Asana, Pranayama, Chakra work, meditation and intention setting. She is passionate about sharing stories of personal challenge – and tools for resilience – to encourage anyone experiencing hardship or struggles. Holly blogs about yoga’s tools for everyday life on The Urban Yoga Den (http://urbanyogaden.wordpress.com/). She is grateful for her yogic influences: Swami Satchidananda, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Faith Hunter, Seane Corn, Anodea Judith and Jai Uttal.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 3.00.28 PMGretchen Schock

Gretchen empowers students through creative exploration of yoga to achieve balance and enhance their quality of life. She believes in fostering a safe and nurturing environment for students of all levels to explore their yoga practice. Best known for her challenging vinyasa yoga classes that incorporate strength and a enthusiastic expression of movement; students love that each week the yoga class is unique with a diverse sequencing of poses to keep every student’s interest regardless of ability. Gretchen completed her 200-hour yoga certification with Faith Hunter and has also studied with master teachers Shana Meyerson, Seane Corn and Dana Trixie Flynn. She also holds a BA in Musical Theatre with a Dance minor. Before becoming a yoga instructor she taught dance and worked in development/fundraising for non-profit theatre companies. When she isn’t on a yoga mat Gretchen can be found running after two energetic boys, one of her boys is on the Autism Spectrum. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog www.CocktailMom.com.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 3.01.24 PMKristin Adair

Kristin Adair believes deeply in the transformational power of yoga to awaken mind, body, and spirit. Kristin discovered yoga after wandering into a class at her college gym more than a decade ago. It has led her on a winding path through graduate school and a professional career, around the world and back, and into the extraordinary role of teacher, where she continues to learn with every breath. Today, through her creative and energetic vinyasa flow classes, she seeks to inspire her students to meet their divine inner teacher and take yoga off the mat and into their lives and the world. Kristin completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2010 through Tranquil Space Yoga. She offers gratitude to all of the incredible teachers with whom she has studied, including Seane Corn, Darren Main, Shiva Rea, and Alanna Kaivalya. She is committed to seva (service) and weaving yoga and activism in her daily life and teaching.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 3.01.44 PMNatalie Sisto Means

Athlete-turned-yogi, Natalie first came to her mat after injuries from collegiate sports left her unable to exercise in the ways she knew how to. Through yoga, she learned not only how to care for her body, but also how to calm her anxious mind in the midst of our fast-paced lives. Natalie teaches a vinyasa flow style practice based on classical sequences and postures while incorporating creative transitions and variations. In her classes, you can expect to link breath to continuous movement, practice pranayama (breathing exercises), and find your personal edge in a playful environment while flowing to the day’s playlist. Her students have described her as an energetic, powerful, and nurturing teacher. Natalie completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training under the guidance of Faith Hunter and is working towards her advanced 500-hour certification. When not on her mat, Natalie works as a Strategy Consultant for Accenture and serves public service and nonprofit clients.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 3.07.51 PMRob Beilfus

For Rob Beilfus, yoga is more than an activity or hobby that he fell into somewhere along the way and practices every once in a while. Rob’s journey these past few years has been one of life-altering enlightenment. Yoga has literally changed the way he lives, facilitating a happier and more productive life. That’s why his passion is so immediately apparent to his students. For years Rob suffered from a herniated disc and debilitating sciatica. Forget vigorous exercise – he had trouble even walking short distances. Within a year of starting a regular yoga practice, Rob was much stronger, the pain was much less and he had lost 60 pounds without altering his diet, and realized the power of yoga when it’s fully incorporated in his daily routine. His journey of discovery continues today, but now it’s to the benefit of anyone who wants to learn from someone who knows how difficult that first step can be. Rob hopes to inspire those who fear yoga is too hard . . . to help them realize that yoga is a journey taken one day at a time. He received his 200 Hour training through Faith Hunter’s embrace your flow YTT.

Samaa Claiborne

Trauma has the capacity to create life’s greatest blessings. For Hatha and Vinyasa instructor Samaa, one such blessing was attracting yoga. In short, yoga became a way to self-soothe and peel away layers once used to distract from honoring a more authentic presence. With that discovery, she decided that she needed to become a teacher and help share this phenomenon with others. While spending time on the mat, one of many “aha” moments surfaced and became the echoing voice for how and why she practices yoga: “Yoga is not in the asanas but in the breaths between the asanas. When we inhale and exhale deeply we are sustaining life with our breath. We create the very essence of opening and allowing. And when we are open and allowing we are practicing mindfulness. By sustaining the breath we are able to remember to be gentle with ourselves and to be ever so tender with the actions that follows the breath.”

Samaa recently completed her 200-hour yoga certification with Faith Hunter. In addition to teaching traditional Vinyasa, she also teaches Yoga for Belly Dance, yogaFIT for weight management, and Healing Touch Yoga -an exploration of how we heal ourselves by healing others through touch.  In addition to being a certified yoga instructor, Samaa is a certified level one Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner and will be receiving her certification in holistic health coaching Dec. 2013. Appreciating the mobility that yoga offers, Samaa is currently working to create a visible, fun, and simple framework where yoga can be accessible to any one, anywhere, and at any time. She encourages others to come away from their thoughts and into their bodies in order to better assess their physical vitality, emotional and mental stability, and interconnectedness with others. She inspires to be a life long student by learning from her best teachers -her students!

Guest Instructors

Crystal Moore

Crystal has been a professional educator for more than a decade. Beginning as an elementary school teacher, she began training teachers to help them improve in the classroom. Crystal brings this profound understanding of humans as learners to the yoga mat, where she helps her students embrace their bodies and grow in their power and grace. Acute illness first brought Crystal to her mat; her encounters with the divine keep her coming back. Yoga has provided her with an abundance of faith in the power to transform the mundane into something extraordinary.

 

Hari-kirtana das

Hari-kirtana das has had a life-long interest in yoga and yogic mysticism, beginning his study of yoga philosophy and meditation as a teenager. The devotional philosophy of bhakti yoga eventually provided the foundation for Hari-kirtana’s practice and he was formally initiated into the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition of Krishna bhakti, with its emphasis on kirtan, mantra meditation and the study of spiritual philosophy, in 1978. He spent the better part of the following four years living as a renounced yogi in various ashrams and spiritual communities. Hari-kirtana expanded his yoga practice at the Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City in 2007 and became a certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher in 2009. He currently holds an 800-hour teaching certification, speaks regularly at educational institutions on the relevance of traditional spiritual philosophy to life in the modern world, and teaches classes and workshops at yoga studios in Washington DC and throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Shawna Renee

Shawna Renee believes yoga has the power to transform lives when you approach each practice as a metaphor for life. Her sequences are created to help students uncover the dynamic connection between their physical being and emotional and spiritual selves. In her classes, every pose is not only and invitation to create strength and flexibility in the body, but also an opportunity to apply those same principles to life off the mat. Shawna Renee invites her students to celebrate the inherent duality that is present in us all by challenging them to search for their edge and to receive the peace that is promised when the physical body is exhausted, thus leaving room for our true nature to emerge from a relaxed and meditative state. Shawna was trained by Faith, and earned her 200hr certification in 2009.

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