Yoga has been completely life-changing for Ari. Being a life long runner and athlete, she has always been focused on maintaining a healthy physical and mental lifestyle, however yoga took it to the next level. In 2010, while suffering from a three week migraine caused by stress and tension from her job, she found herself on her very first yoga mat. She was amazed at how yoga changed her mind and spirit as much as it did her body. It was love at first asana! Not knowing how she lived without yoga before, she fully immersed herself in the study and practice of yoga. Ari completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training with Mimi Rieger and a 50-hour Rocket Vinyasa teacher training with David Kyle. Her mission is to share the bliss of yoga with students to help manage stress through powerful and dynamic sequences, while maintaining focus on the breath and safe alignment. In Ari’s class you can expect a sequence that really gets you moving, sweating, twisting and integrated to the mind-body connection. She incorporates traditional Ashtanga and Power Yoga techniques into her teaching style to provide a sequence of basic foundation poses, yet adding a playful atmosphere for more challenging poses and arm-balances.
Dance and athletics were prominently in Ariel’s life since the age of three, and were always an outlet for stress, as well as a way to embrace her creativity. With a degree in-and passion for, Psychology and Kinesiology: Ariel strives to bring her love for the mind-body-spirit and soul connection, to her fun-loving, energetic vinyasa flow. After five years of practicing yoga – Ariel decided to obtain her 200 hr YOGA Teacher Training with Faith Hunter Yoga, in order to be able to tie in her knowledge of all the fields of her vast experiences, and share her practice with others. Also certified as an athletic trainer through The American College of Sports Medicine: Ariel’s desire lies in giving people an empowering, challenging, heart and soul awakening, effervescent flow -each time. Her focus is on sharing the energy of the universe and the divine- together on the mat, in order to build our community, relations, and hearts a bit stronger- through the practice of yoga.
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.
After practicing yoga casually for a few years, Carl was inspired to complete his 200-hour yoga teaching certification with Faith Hunter after sharing yoga with some of his high school students at the DC charter school where he teaches. Carl has witnessed firsthand the transformative power that yoga has had amongst those students, who come from all walks of life, for whom yoga has not only helped to cope with stress and increase concentration in the classroom but also to improve mental health and lead to a more mindful way of living. A life-long learner, Carl is committed to sharing the joys of teaching and learning, both in the classroom and on the yoga mat.
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.
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.
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, cover of Sweat Equity Summer 2014, and has appeared on the cover and in the pages of 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.
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.
Edgy, unique, enthusiastic! Jackie Garcia has been with Embrace since the start and couldn’t stay away from these yogis after experiencing the spiritual, mental, and physical benefits of practicing yoga, guided by the Embrace instructors. She’s the current studio manager and when she’s not managing the studio, she’s making pictures (http://www.jackiegarciaphotos.com). Jackie has a strong passion for art, music, fitness, and animals. Currently, the colorful mom of two even more colorful parrots.
JT Roy has been a student of Yoga for the past 20 years. She believes every being, young, old, athletic or not can benefit from a yoga practice in body, mind and spirit.She began her journey in the basement of JJ Gormley, founder of Sun and Moon Studio’s in Arlington, VA; she then moved to DC and continued her practice at UnityWoods Yoga in Woodley Park; in the fall of 2013 under the calm and grace of Faith Hunter, she completed her 200 hour certification and is now a certified “Yogi Dealer” TM! JT is inspired by the inclusion of B K S Iyengar practice and teachings and his honesty and compassion for the “Western Body.” To each student she meets she offers Namaste.
Kimberly “Kymmi”Hayes has been dedicated to health and well being throughout her career, first as a medical administrator and now as a yoga instructor. Kimberly’s deep knowledge of anatomy and physiology allow her to consult with her students to ensure their practice is safe, challenging, and meeting their own goals for their personal practice. Kimberly teaches a Hatha-Vinyasa style and completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Shakti Mind Body Studio with Faith Hunter (Washington, DC). Kymmi incorporates different types of music and world beats to make her classes fun an inviting.
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.
Yoga became a part of Lauren’s daily life in 2010. After a short time, she realized the profound spiritual element of the practice along with the benefits to both mind and body. After completing her 200 hour teacher training with Faith Hunter in 2014, she desired to share the benefits of the practice with the Embrace community. Lauren’s personal life offers the opportunity to travel both domestically and internationally. During these trips Lauren practices at studios gathering new ideas and inspiration that both enrich her teaching style. With a focus on positive energy, stress relief and mind/body connection, Lauren guides her students through a challenging and well-balanced Vinyasa all-levels class.
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.
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.
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.
Veena Susan is a certified yoga instructor looking to share the practice of yoga with others in a positive and nurturing environment. Her practice leads people towards a deeper level of fitness, healthier lifestyle, and peace. She currently holds a 200hr Yoga Teacher Certification from Faith Hunter’s Embrace Your Flow and has been with the Embrace family since it’s doors opened in 2011. She enjoys teaching a vinyasa slow flow focusing on alignment and breath work. Susan occasionally subs for Embrace’s Restorative and Level 1-1.5 flow classes.
Heidi Kelley, RYT 200, has studied various styles of yoga in her 15 years as a yogi: Iyengar, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, etc. Regular practice and the love of helping others led her to come full circle to being a yoga teacher. Yoga has enabled her to become more at peace, more self aware and more balanced. She brings a playfulness to her classes and likes to encourage her students to challenge themselves in their practice and try new things.
Ivana’s teaching style is influenced by her teachers and mentors from several lineages, especially Rocket, Dharma Yoga, Prana Flow and Budokon. When teaching, she pays a lot of attention to proper alignment, as well as the breath, and helps her students understand the importance of being aware of how we breathe – on and off the mat. Ivana is also a personal trainer and life coach. She is passionate about helping people achieve their goals, be it in health and fitness or other areas of life. Her multifaceted expertise allows her to take a holistic approach in helping people create an optimal balance for the body, mind and spirit. She believes that if we want to achieve a permanent improvement in our results, we have to start by changing our mindset and our attitude. And this applies to our yoga practice as well!
Megna Raksit has been a dancer and yogi all her life. She learned to sit in lotus before she could walk and spent most of her school years either practicing, performing, or teaching Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance discipline. Megna found her passion for fitness as an undergraduate at Duke University, where she studied Cognitive Neuroscience and also discovered Rocket yoga. Megna’s yoga practice is rooted in traditional Ashtanga but is known to be a bit rebellious from time to time. In her rare moments off the mat, Megna muses about life, love, and fitness on her blog, megnapaula.com.