Private Yoga and Well-being Sessions with Pleasance

NEW in 2015!  Private yoga and well-being sessions are a unique way to have your practice supported in for own home or office.

For this hour, Pleasance will work with you individually on your health, well-bring, and spiritual practices.  Based on her work as a yoga teacher and holistic health coach, instruction might include yoga, meditation, self-care, nutrition, aromatherapy, deep meditation, or setting up a sacred space in your own home or office.

A totally unique, customized experienced based on your needs as they are today and help you to release stress and tension while addressing any health concerns you may have.

These private sessions are intended for students of all levels and ideal for postpartum families and students who need a gentle practice, or students who have injuries and are not able to attend regular studio classes.

*If your home or office is not available, we can work on finding studio time.

1 session- $125
3 sessions- $300
5 sesssions- $465

Limited slots are available in 2015.  Please e-mail any questions to


Call for Donations: Go Give Yoga

By: Rhiannon Landesberg

On January 13th I will have the honor of traveling to Haiti where I will help lead a yoga training for young adult yoga teachers. I will also be leading children's yoga classes to children living in orphanages as part of my work with an international yoga non-profit, Go Give Yoga, which strives to share yoga and mindfulness tools to empower children and adults in impoverished communities.

When I travel in January I would like to bring a suitcase of goodies for our youth. These items will include mats, snacks and art supplies for our yoga sessions. If you have any interest in donating see below for a list, anything is greatly appreciated!

-large suitcase(s) you are willing to donate
-used yoga mats
-cliff bars (Luna or Kind bars are also great)
-dried fruit and turkey jerkey
-art supplies (Crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, construction paper, coloring books, etc.)

Please leave all items for donation for pick up by January 10th, 2015.

If you are interested in donating more than the above listed items, your monetary donation can help to provide more training for Haitian teachers and more yoga classes for Haitian children. We also work to combat hunger by providing the children we work with healthy and nutritious meals. $1 can provide one hot meal for a child in our program. $200 provides a month of hot meals for each child after yoga class and $2,880 can fund healthy meals for children up to a year.

Please help us work towards a sustainable future for Haiti's children. Visit Go Give Yoga if you are interested in learning more or getting involved. 


Referral Rewards @ LO

Have you heard about Referral Rewards?  It's our little way of saying thank you for referring your friends and family to lil omm.

# of Friends You Refer Reward
1 $5 off workshop, session, or multi-class pass
3 $15 off workshop, session, or multi-class pass
5 Free Workshop
10+ Private Yoga Class for Up to 4 People

When you refer a friend to LO, make sure they list you as their reference on their waiver. ALL new students MUST fill out a waiver.

Want to re-gift your reward to someone else?  E-mail their contact information, including e-mail to 


Make Time for "Me Time" Yoga this January

By: Holly Clay-Smith

“Finally it’s my time,” writes Washington Post journalist and author Abigail Trafford,”a time to refresh, revive and re-imagine one’s life.” 

Changes reaped by changes: illness, children leaving the “nest,” retirement can feel disorienting; in our culture, few rites-of-passage mark intersections of roads taken and the ones ahead. Me Time Yoga honors these cultivatable cross-roads. It’s for the me, who wants to make the journey ahead rich with meaning.

Join us starting on Thursday, January 8 at 5:30 pm for a 4-week session of Me Time Yoga. To unearth potential and nourish ideas, we’ll do yoga, play, dance and connect. Embodying our inner resources, we’ll find ourselves getting unstuck and loosening joints, mindsets and buried sources of inspiration.

Engagement and interaction bring dreams and masked talents to the surface. Yoga, creative group expression, collaboration circles, and just plain fun are on the Me Time Yoga menu, a guide to a feast of possibility we prepare and enjoy together.

Open to the Possibilities, expand in community.

Click here to register or email for more information. 


New Year's @ LO

Ring in the New Year, lil omm style-- healthy, safe, and fun for the whole community!

First, join us for our New Year's Eve Family Parties!  A sell-out event year after year, families count down to the New Year.  

Our first party is for families with children 0-3 years from 4-5pm.  Enjoy age appropriate family yoga for all levels, music, snacks, and refreshments.  Cost: $30/family.  RSVP

Then from 5:30-7pm families with children 3 and up are invited to a rockin' New Year's Eve class complete with pizza dinner!  Cost: $50/family.  RSVP

For our adult yogis: you've toasted in the New Year at midnight. You've resolved to practice yoga more diligently, both on and off the mat. You wake up on the first morning of 2015 and realize that you've made your resolution without a game plan.

Here's how to begin: roll out of bed, throw on a few layers of stretchy comfy clothing, have a nourishing breakfast, and head over to lil omm for Amy Dara's annual Detox n' Rejuve workshop @ 11am, recently featured in Washingtonian Mom magazine!  Check out the article, 18 Winter Family Activities to Do in Washington.

Reset your intention with an invigorating flow of asanas and pranayama to detoxify your body, mind and soul. Then relax deeply into meditative yin and restorative poses to reenergize your being and recommit to your true self, creating space in your heart and mind for new possibilities in 2015.  All levels and prenatal welcome.

At 2pm, Holly leads New Year's Day Circus Yoga for families with children ages 5 and up.  Enjoy a vinyasa based family practice spiced with novel versions of acro and circus yoga + theme-based mindfulness.

On Friday, 1/2 @ 7:30pm Pleasance leads our women's Winter Retreat at lil omm. Based on Sarah Avant Stover's, The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life we learn to live in harmony with the seasons and live optimally!

David leads a Handstands YogaLab on Saturday, 1/3 @ 2:30pm.  In this 1-hour focused workshop, we will closely break down the mechanics of a hand stand in a safe, supportive, and methodical way.  Some yoga experience is necessary, but open to various levels. Even if you never thought this pose could possibly be part of your practice, come to enter into the path toward this powerful pose and feel more stronger and confident in your 2015 practice.

New to Yoga or looking for ways to support your current yoga and well-being practice?  Pleasance leads 2 new offerings: a new Hatha Yoga Session, starting Tuesday 1/6 @ 9:45am at lil omm as well as Private Instruction.  More info about Private Yoga & Well-being Instruction at your home or office.

Jen Young will lead Yoga Basics, a 4-week intro to vinyasa on Wednesday mornings at 9:30am.  Childcare is available.

Jessica Lusty leads Dance with Daughters on Saturday, 1/10 @ 5:30pm.  Together with our daughters we give physical expression to our goals and intentions in 2015.  Enjoy simple, guided movement plus free exploration!  Join us!


lil omm's Student Scholarship Fund

lil omm yoga was created out of a need for a community-based family yoga center that offered yoga classes and workshops for prenatal mamas, postnatal families, and the ever-changing stages of childhood and parenting.

As we grew, neighbors found our classes inviting, warm, and well-balanced. They requested more classes for our adult yoga and meditation program. We’ve been able to add many gentle, slow flow, curvy, and restorative options. At lil omm, there is truly something for everyone at almost every hour of the day.

I’m pleased to share lil omm’s newest program: the lil omm scholarship program. This program's purpose is to provide free or discounted classes to new and returning students. I KNOW how powerful yoga and meditation are for healing, and I have leaned on my practices to get me through many tough times. There are enough obstacles to making yoga part of your life, and I hope that through this program, we can make our community more accessible to all who are interested.

If you know someone who needs yoga, please send them the link to this page.  If you are someone who needs yoga, please let us know a little bit about you using the form below, or click here to download a paper form and send it to:
Pleasance Silicki / Lil Omm
4708 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016.

You can also email the form to

Please feel free to email me if you’d like to make a donation to the program.

During this season of gratitude, I am thankful to have each of you as a member of the lil omm community. I hope you will help me get the word out about this program so that we can help more people benefit from yoga when they need it the most.

Om shanti,


Lil Omm Scholarship Program Information

To apply for the lil omm scholarship program, please complete the short form below. Once your information has been reviewed, I will set up an account for you. You will be able to sign up for classes, just like any other student, and check in normally. I will place the class credits into your account, based on what we have agreed upon. I hope this process is simple and stress-free.

If your circumstances change, please let me know (you can email me at or call 202-248-6304 and I’ll adjust your discount). We’re so glad to have you as a part of our community!


Your name:


Phone number:

Street address:




Age (optional):

How did you hear about lil omm?:

Have you been to lil omm before?:

Please briefly describe why you are applying for financial assistance:

If you are just interested in receiving a discounted class pass/membership, how much can you afford to pay per class or per month? (optional):

What types of classes are you interested in?

Are you seeking a solo adult membership, or will you also be needing childcare and/or classes for other family members?:


Mindful Return: Support for New Moms Returning to Work

Lori Mihalich-Levin, a member of the lil omm community since taking prenatal classes with her second child, knows well the struggles new moms can face upon going back to work after maternity leave. Disappointed by a lack of good resources about how to do this return in a calm and empowered way, Lori founded Mindful Return to help new moms make the experience of returning to work less stressful and anxiety-ridden.

On Saturday, February 21 at 7pm, Lori will be leading a new workshop designed to help pregnant and new moms take steps toward planning their own mindful return to work after maternity leave. Here are her answers to some common questions about the workshop:

At what stage should I take this workshop? When I’m pregnant? On maternity leave? Back at work?

ANY of these times is perfect. If you are currently pregnant, learning and getting ready now will help you plan ahead and help you connect with other new moms in the same situation, helping to make your return less daunting. If you are already on maternity leave – but perhaps trying to avoid thinking about going back – now is the time to get some reassurance that you can do this in a peaceful, radiant way. And if you’re already back, you could probably use some extra positive voices helping you get through the day. This workshop is for all of you.

This isn’t my first return to work after maternity leave. Will I still benefit from this workshop?

Absolutely. Every return is different, and perhaps there things that could go better for you the second time around. After my first baby, my return went relatively smoothly; after my second, I had the feeling that 1 child + 1 child = 85 children…and I thought I was drowning. It was my second return that inspired me to create this workshop, a blog, and an online e-course. If this isn’t your first return, I also invite you to join the workshop as a voice of experience.

What will we cover during the workshop?
During our two hours together, we will focus on the following four themes to help make that transition back to work go more smoothly:
  • Creating a mindful mindset for return
  • Mapping out logistics (including child care, pumping and not pumping, sick days and the unexpected)
  • Turning maternity leave into an empowerment opportunity at work
  • Building supportive communities to help you in your return

If you had just one piece of advice for new moms heading back to work, what would it be?
Community matters. When I went back to work, there was an unspoken rule that I wasn’t supposed to talk about how hard it was. Or that I was struggling. Or that I had changed and grown as a person and employee. There were plenty of other women in my office who had gone on maternity leave and returned, and yet I felt isolated. Then one day after my second return to work, I sat down with a colleague who had just recently come back herself after maternity leave. We shut the door and found so much power in talking about our shared experiences. I was inspired to form a “Returning to Work Community” at my office that now meets monthly for lunch and has a Google+ page for sharing experiences and advice. More than anything it’s been connecting to other returning-to-work mamas who have made the difference in my life. So my advice is to reach out. To connect. To find other women in your community who can say “me too.”

Join us on February 21st at lil omm!

Lori K. Mihalich-Levin, JD, founder of Mindful Return, is mama to two beautiful red-headed boys (ages 1 and 3) and is the Director of Hospital and GME Payment Policies at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).


Why Yin? Why Now?

During this busy time of year, it can be hard to make time for all the opportunities our community has to offer. But sometimes, the opportunities we think we don't have time for are what we need the most.

Starting this Friday (11/21), Elissa Margolin will be leading a 3-part yin yoga series designed to help participants restore and renew in the midst of the hustle and bustle the time of year is known for. 

Here is what Elissa has to say about the value of yin in her own practice and what she hopes to offer those who will join her for 1, 2, or all 3 of these workshops: 

"My yoga practice has gone through many evolutions over the years, but right around the time that I discovered yin, I was particularly excited about Ashtanga. I was working one-on-one with an Ashtanga teacher in Vietnam, and I looked forward to a good, cathartic sweat in all of my practices. In the midst of a very busy work life holding a position that took most of everything I had, I was left with little time for me, and my time to move and sweat was particularly precious. Then, as now, I craved physical activity; with limited time, I looked to yoga or a run or a tennis match or an ultimate Frisbee game to achieve the same goals: quiet my mind, energize my body, and reset. I was categorically uninterested in a yoga practice that was slow, or restorative, or yin-like, as I thought it couldn’t possibly achieve that same flushed out, worked over bliss I was looking for.

As I left Vietnam to head to DC, I took a 2-month layover in Bali to attend my first yoga teacher training. My teacher there- an incredible athlete and yogini and mom- began to weave yin practices into our training. From my first exposure, I realized this was exactly the balance I needed. I was challenged in ways that I hadn’t expected, and often in ways that were more profound, or more intense, than my vinyasa practice had ever challenged me. I was hooked.

When I started to teach yin, I discovered that the sense of serenity and balance that I found in the practice was amplified when I taught. And I have a feeling the 10 months of in-the-womb yin practice also had an impact on my son… he has been showing me the art of patience and peacefulness since he was born!

Yin provides an opportunity to explore our edges- physical, mental, and emotional. It challenges us to become acquainted with and stretch our limits- real and perceived, to strengthen our tenacity and simultaneously soften into ourselves.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to nourish yourself with this practice… take some time amidst the hustle and bustle to rest in quiet and stillness, and learn tools to tap in to your own oasis of calm."

Join Elissa on 11/21, 12/19, and 1/16 to explore this practice as a gift to yourself at a time when we often think of others. 

Each workshop is $30/person, or pre-register for all 3 for only $80. You can register here or contact us for more information.


Teacher Feature: Geneva Moss

Geneva Moss is one of our fabulous family yoga teachers. Certified as a Budding Yogis Kids and Family Yoga teacher, she is thrilled to share the light and healing of yoga, meditation and pranayama with all ages. She teaches our Walkers, Jumpers & Me class (see the video below to learn more about this new offering) and our Yoga for Parents & Tweens Sessions

In this post, you'll learn a little bit more about Geneva, her yoga practice, and what you can expect at one of her classes. 

What's your favorite yoga pose? 

That really depends on the time and day! I always get a kick out of any pose where I find myself upside down. Vrishikasana, or scorpion pose, is one of my favorites. I like the change in perspective and thoroughly enjoy the play of strength and balance.

Describe your yoga classes in three words:

Personal - I teach to the students’ needs and capabilities,
Committed - I am dedicated to being clear and concise - with intelligent sequencing and accessible meditation and pranayama,
Connected - my goal in teaching is to help my students connect to their mind, body, and energy and bring awareness to their own inner teacher.

What is your favorite part of teaching yoga to kids?

Kids are immediately aware of themselves. They are honest and fearless in their openness. I love that! I often say that our children are our best teachers. They teach us how to be completely present to what is happening now and they ask us to challenge our assumptions and habits of seeing ourselves and the world. They also love us completely for who we are - teaching us to see ourselves in our true nature.

Can you share an easy way that parents and caregivers can integrate yoga into their daily routine?

The best way to bring yoga into your daily routine is to just make it happen without challenging yourself to make it perfect. When you find yourself on the floor, practice some of your favorite poses. Yes, your children might crawl on you, the dog might bring you his favorite chew toy and you might even find yourself practicing next to a pile of laundry. That's life and I encourage you to embrace yoga as part of your life and not something separate that you can only get to once a week in a yoga studio. Make it as accessible as possible.

What would you tell a parent considering taking a class with their child at lil omm?

I would say "What a great idea!" Yoga is a wonderful way to bring the family together and taking care of ourselves. Yoga is not something outside of ourselves or our range of capability. Our kids are natural yogis. They understand that yoga is so much more then doing the pose. It's about opening the heart, increasing our sense of well being and increasing self-awareness. Make time for it! As much as possible. Open up to the possibility of what happens when we get together and practice.


Prenatal Yoga: Use Your BRAIN Part Four - Twists

Written by Michelle Brady

Edited by Sarah Vogel

Guest Writer: Erica Statman, D.C., D.I.C.C.P.

We had such an amazing experience working with an expert for our post on backbends that I wanted to ask another thought leader to share her insights on twists and prenatal yoga.

Dr. Erica Statman, known as Dr. Erica, is a well-respected chiropractor practicing in Fairfax, Virginia. She is well-known and beloved in the Northern Virginia natural birthing community. Below are Dr. Erica’s thoughts on this group of poses and their connection to prenatal yoga:

“A question I am often asked by my pregnant patients is how their level and types of activity may need to change as time goes on. Women are becoming more aware of the many wonderful benefits of prenatal yoga; increased flexibility and strength, mental alertness and calm, the relief of aches and pains and better circulation to name but a few. Women are generally advised to avoid twisting postures during pregnancy. So the question naturally arises: are all twisting postures contraindicated? The answer seems to be “no.”

An important matter of pregnancy to understand is that during its course and the postpartum period, the body undergoes many changes. One of these changes pertains to the ligaments. Due to increasing levels of estrogen, progesterone, and relaxin, a general laxity occurs in the ligaments and joint capsules. And while this is a necessary development, because it allows for spreading of the pelvis during labor and birth, it also sometimes causes unwelcome musculoskeletal instability and pain beforehand.

So, how do twists impact the body during pregnancy? On the positive side, twists can stretch and release the tension in spinal muscles that can build up by being in the vertical position all day. However, there is a concern that by deeply twisting and locking the low back into position such as in the pose called Parivritta Parsvakonasana (or revolved side angle pose) that this may put undue pressure on the abdomen and potentially interfere with blood flow to the fetus (Davis 2014). Twisting repetitively may also change the tone of the suspensory ligaments of the uterus such as the round ligaments and may possibly contribute to in-utero constraint and less-than-ideal fetal positioning later.

So, what can be done to get the benefit of twisting poses without creating problems for baby?

1. Take twists of short duration. Because the body's tissues are already lax, stretches that are shorter in duration allow for comfortable lengthening without imposing instability.

2. Practice open twists. Open twists allow for gentle movement, modification and free movement of the increasingly pendulous abdomen.

3. Listen to the body. If a woman ever feels short of breath, dizzy ,or feels pain in the soft tissues of the abdomen, this may a sign that there is undesired pressure on the large blood vessels in the abdomen or over-stretching of abdominal muscles, respectively. If either of these sensations occur, it is time to release the pose and take a restorative break. When in doubt about a pose, skip it.

As in all areas of care, I recommend that my patients take prenatal yoga classes from instructors who are specially trained to teach pregnant women and for whom it is their major area of interest. Whenever possible, I prefer women go to a class where they can receive individualized attention to make sure that their form is correct and to avoid injury. I believe it is important for instructors to give clear recommendations about twisting positions during their classes and to give mothers homework so that they can progress in their practice of yoga throughout the course of their pregnancies.”

Dr. Erica’s thoughts on twists is a valuable tool for pregnant students as they use BRAIN to evaluate incorporating twists into a prenatal yoga practice:

BRAIN for Twists During Pregnancy

Benefits: Releases tension in the spine, promotes movement and openness.

Risks: Can cause abdominal pressure, interfere with uterine blood flow, contribute to in-utero constraint and negatively impact fetal position.

Alternatives: Practice open twists, hold twists for a shorter amounts of time, limit the number of twists in a yoga practice.

Intuition: Consider the risks and benefits of a twist based on how you are feeling and how it may affect the health of you and your baby.

Nothing: What if you did not do this pose? You could move into another pose or ask your instructor for a modification.

This is the last post in our 4-part prenatal yoga series. Writing this series has been a wonderful learning experience. The pregnant body is a wonder, and I feel that it is important for both prenatal yoga teachers and students to feel safe and informed as they practice. The asanas that are taken and taught should be considered carefully, and as always, BRAIN can be a constant and comforting companion.

I am so grateful to all who have assisted and contributed to our labor of love. My hope is that this series will help prenatal yoga teachers feel educated and empowered to offer safe and thoughtful classes that will benefit their students.

Check out the other posts in our prenatal yoga series:
-Use Your BRAIN

Michelle Brady is a mother to three, a birth doula, prenatal yoga teacher, and certified HypnoBirthing practitioner. In addition to being a birth worker, she offers various yoga and education classes to mothers and their growing families in the Washington, DC metro area.

Sarah Vogel is a communications professional, yoga teacher, prenatal and postnatal fitness instructor, and most important, mom to a 6-month old son. She strives to help her students reap the benefits of yoga and fitness in a safe and empowering environment.

Dr. Erica Statman has owned and operated Maimonides Chiropractic for 15 years. She is a Diplomate in Chiropractic Pediatrics through the International Chiropractors Association and Palmer University since 2008. She is also an instructor for the functional physiology technique called Total Body Modification and is certified in acupuncture. Outside of her practice, Dr. Statman enjoys teaching elementary school life sciences at Gan Israel Academy.