Pleasance founded lil omm yoga, a community yoga studio in Washington, DC in 2008 after burn out from her years as a teacher and administrator in the DC Public & Charter Schools. “Do what you LOVE and LOVE what you do” is Pleasance’s life mission and mantra. She believes yoga is TRULY for all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. She is honored to have worked with many DC community organizations and non profits, led yoga & wellness retreats for yoga students, college students, moms groups and organizations. Pleasance is a graduate of The Institute of Integrative Nutrition & a co- founder of the National Kids Yoga Conference. Pleasance teaches weekly yoga & wellness classes, coaches and supports women seeking happiness, truth and well being in life and in their work. She co-teaches a “ Mindful Explorations” class at George Mason University & mentors female entrepreneurs. She is deeply inspired by her yoga & meditation teachers; Max Strom, Erich Schiffman, The Mohans, Erin Maile O’Keefe, Pema Chodron & Karen Maezen Miller. She is mama to Saylor & Milo, her children whom she adores.
Jen is a native New Yorker who moved to DC in 2009, after 14 years of living and practicing yoga in NYC. She began her journey into yoga in 1996 to help combat the stress of life as a NYC public school teacher, and since then has made yoga an integral part of her world. She completed a Vinyasa Yoga Teacher training, where she was trained to teach in both Prana Flow yoga and Power yoga styles. As a mother of 2, she's become well-versed on how to modify for pregnancy and post-partum yoginis. She has led classes with kids, teens, and adults and loves sharing what yoga has given her. Her teachings embody flow and mindful movement, while also attending to alignment and breath. Her yoga teaching influences include Shiva Rea, Lauren Hanna, Jonathan Fields, Twee Merrigan, David Regelin, Jessica Lazar and Rob Hess.
Michelle fell in love with yoga in 2005, when she sought to relieve the stress of wedding planning and to find balance as she transitioned into a brand new stage of her life. She completed her 200-hour vinyasa yoga teacher training in 2007. Michelle enjoys cultivating a spiritual connection through her asana, pranayama and meditation practice, but as a busy mama, has had to learn to take her practice “on-the-go” to the playground, parking lots and pre-school. Michelle is the mom to two beautiful boys, Jonah and Elias, who taught her the most about connecting to the breath, the bittersweetness of impermanence, and the ability for the heart to hold more joy than ever thought possible. As a yoga teacher, she encourages her students to uncover and embrace their inner wisdom to empower them to lead a more truthful, conscious and passionate life. She has also completed Itsy Bitsy Yoga Training for Tots and Tykes and Conscious Birthing Prenatal Teacher Training.
As a certified Kripualu teacher, Dena approaches yoga with the belief that it is accessible and beneficial to all, no matter our age, experience, or level of physical activity. Through her own personal practice, Dena continuously finds joy, gratitude and contentment. The physical, emotional, and mental challenges she faces on her mat help her to meet similar challenges in daily life. Dena has over 10 years of experience as an educator, working with children and adults, incorporating yogic practices in her classrooms. She also teaches yoga classes for preschoolers, complete with breath work, meditation practice, postures, and relaxation.
Gayatri Rauch has been teaching yoga and ayurveda classes in the DC Metro area since 2007. She teaches all ages - from babies to seniors - and especially loves working with expectant and new mothers. Gayatri completed yoga teacher training during pregnancy, and developed a deep understanding of how yoga can support women and families during this amazing phase of life. Since 2007, she has been in residence at the Shanti Yoga Ashram in Bethesda, where she studies yoga in daily life with her guru, Vyasa Deva. In addition to yoga, Gayatri teaches infant massage and the "Ayurveda at Home" series, (applying ayurvedic principles in daily life).
When Sonja first encountered yoga, it was as if she were re-united with an old friend who reminded her of the true meaning of life. Since then, a committed practice has helped her work through both emotional and physical pain and has also encouraged her to nurture qualities of compassion, gratefulness, and peace within herself. In the summer of 2009, Sonja traveled to India to study the yogi life at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram. At the ashram, she immersed herself in a devotional life of yoga and meditation, and experienced an even deeper understanding of the power of yoga. Sonja hopes to provide students with a safe opportunity to explore themselves, and to support their discoveries. She emphasizes yoga as a physical, emotional and spiritually healing practice in a unifying, non-dogmatic way. Sonja completed her first 200-hour teacher training in Washington, DC and finished her second training with Max Strom in August 2010.
Karen Maezen Miller is a wife, mother, Zen Buddhist teacher, and author of several books including Momma Zen, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life and whose writings have appeared in anthologies including The Mindfulness Revolution and The Best Buddhist Writing 2011. She is a nationally recognized speaker and retreat leader.
Amy Dara Hochberg's classes will improve your focus, soothe and rejuvenate your mind, body and heart, and enable you to live more fully both on and off the mat. She encourages you to tap into your intuition with mindful playfulness as she guides you through poses using concise verbal cues, nurturing tactile guidance and the use of props to seek the dynamic balance between effort and ease. Amy Dara includes appropriate challenges at your own pace, with consideration of physical issues. In addition to group classes, she specializes in one-on-one sessions with students dealing with physical issues, from injuries to chronic ailments and cancer. She has been teaching yoga since 2000, earned several certificates, and is registered with the Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. More information about Amy Dara’s background and work can be found at www.amydara.com.