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.
Brandice has fun practicing yoga in some form everyday to clear away the physical and mental debris that accumulate from an active urban life and as a process for cultivating awareness. As a certified YogaWorks 500RYT instructor, Brandice's classes flow from the inspiration of Ashtanga Yoga while being grounded in the precise alignment of the Iyengar tradition. "My yoga practice and teaching are an evolution of deeper heart centered practices as well as from the deep intention of being of service to others. While the physical benefits of yoga are delicious and undeniable, it is the reflection and rest that comes from a continual yoga practice that I value most, value most and aspire to prioritize.
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.
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.
Michelle is a Birth Doula, Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner, Certified Prenatal Yoga teacher, Certified Postnatal Yoga teacher, Certified Baby Signs instructor, and Certified Kids Yoga teacher. She also teaches families about babywearing and cloth diapering.
Michelle first joined the LO family as a Baby Signs® instructor back in 2010. Once her children grew out of signing, she was looking for a new way to connect with them when she went to a Holistic Moms Network meeting. The topic? Yoga! Her children took to yoga immediately and brought yoga back into her life.
When I was twenty I started practicing yoga - always open and curious to the many different styles available in Southern California. I was very busy living the life I carved out for myself and keeping yoga quietly waiting. The healing and self discovery aspects of yoga kept calling until I just could not ignore my practice. Life became more complicated and I just needed to nurture myself in a way that kept me connected to what I knew at the very core of my being - that this life is an incredible gift full of love and loving and should be lived fully. So I left my work powerhousing the business industry and began humble steps of deep study and discovery leading me to my teachers Yogarupa Rod Stryker and Panditji Rajmani Tigunait. I began teaching in Amman, Jordan in 2005 and continue to blend my love of connecting with different people and my love of practice together by teaching in the DC area and anywhere a plane can take me. I believe that yoga is a life practice and open to everyone of all ages and all situations and simply offer the teachings that have brought light to my life.
Simultaneous change in both her personal and professional life brought Sylvia to yoga over a decade ago. It helped restore some balance and peace in an otherwise challenging time. Her practice later deepened with prenatal yoga. After the birth of her first son, and a decision to leave work in the non-profit community, she found the rewards of practicing with her little boy as well. Sylvia received her children’s yoga training through YoKid and Radiant Child. She studied with Sun & Moon Yoga's In-Depth Program & Blooma's Prenatal. For Sylvia, yoga is a never-ending circle of giving and receiving that sustains and unites us on and off the mat; she hopes to pass this inspiration onto others during her classes.
A yoga practitioner since 2008, Neda completed her teacher training through Budding Yogis in 2010 as a first grade teacher looking for a fun and active way to keep her students connected and calm. After years of teaching in both private and public school systems, she led a toddler play group in Glover Park founded by Pleasance and Rayna. She is thrilled to be able to tap back into her business degree as lil omm's studio manager & marketing consultant.
Hayley Ann is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, and is internationally certified to teach Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. She found her way to the mat in 5th grade after purchasing a yoga book on sale at Borders. In high school Hayley Ann began to teach yoga to fellow students as a way to complete her gym class credits. After high school she began traveling the world living in Colorado, Chicago, Italy, Costa Rica, and Amsterdam. Each place she traveled to has influenced her teaching style. Hayley Ann decided that her true calling was as a yoga teacher while living in the Jungle of Costa Rica. There she managed a yoga retreat center teaching yogi’s & yogini’s from all different walks of life. After over 10 years of working with students Hayley Ann strives to help each individual find their own yoga. Her style is a blend of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Prana Flow. Hayley Ann enjoys breaking down one or two concepts each class, then diving into free flowing movement. This style will allow students to refine their practice while still keeping their body and breath flowing. When coming to class students should expect a warm temperature (75-85 degrees), eclectic music selection, and heating asana. Come with an open heart and find your edge. When Hayley Ann is not teaching, she is living like a wandering yogini enjoying cooking (and posting recipes on her website: http://raisingoats.squarespace.com/), hiking with her pup LuLu, reading, and deepening her own practice.
Dhyana believes in a holistic and integrative approach to healing the body, mind and spirit. With over 15 years of experience, she is a certified restorative and children's yoga teacher, a licensed Reiki practitioner, and a Holistic Health Coach. She is dedicated to teaching children and adults on the autism spectrum and with developmental delays. She is currently pursuing her healing passion to become a professional yoga therapist (500 PYT). Dhyana believes yoga brings a sense of harmony, peace and compassion to one’s life journey. Dhyana is a native of Colombia and is a world traveler. She speaks Spanish and French fluently.