Meet our Teachers

“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.”     — Confucius

Lili robins, E-ryt200/500

Personal Goal: I want to help each person I teach realize their full potential for well being and healthy balance of mind, body and spirit.  

Lili began teaching in 2010 as a Les Mills Body Flow instructor at Sport & Health in Stafford. In time she began to practice and study more yoga, and realized the depth and the benefits were seemingly unlimited. She completed her 200 yoga teacher training at Healing Arts and Yoga Center in Fredericksburg in May, 2012.

Lili completed her 500-hour advanced training in April 2015 with Beloved Yoga in Reston, Virginia. Through this training many tools of yoga therapy were learned and applied in sessions with private clients using the healing benefits of mindful movement, breath work, and meditation from the gross to subtle layers of the being. In September 2017 Lili became a certified yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). In May 2016 she also completed a Yin Yoga certificate training with Beloved Yoga.

Jennifer Martin, e-ryt200

Yoga is a full body, mind and spirit practice, providing a place for true self-knowledge to emerge.  On my mat, I have learned to have patience, respect and love for my body, imperfections and all. I hope to help my students find those and other qualities within themselves.

Since my late teen years, I have always been interested in fitness, health and yoga.  I dabbled in yoga along with fitness for many years until moving to Maryland in 2003 and found The Yoga Center of Columbia.  While there, I studied Power Vinyasa Yoga, Alignment based yoga and I also studied a little Ashtanga Yoga.  In 2007, I moved to northern Virginia, where I continued to pursue yoga at the Health Advantage Yoga Center.   While taking weekly classes, I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training and I received my instructor certification in 2008.  I am registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT.  I have completed the Radiant Child Yoga trainings, level 1 and level 2.  

I am a certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a certified group exercise instructor with Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and I am a certified spinning instructor.   


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Jan is native of Buffalo NY and has recently taken root in Fredericksburg VA to be with her family. She found this beautiful practice called yoga after taking a class one day and resonated with its holistic benefits so much that she began a self-study to learn more. This led Jan to pursue trainings and become certified as an RYT200/500 yoga teacher through Healing Arts and Yoga Center.  She believes that yoga is unique to each individual and encourages students to form their own expression of each a pose. When teaching she reminds students to develop first an inner awareness that will relate and then connect to an outer awareness. Jan also believes yoga is a heart centered practice on and off the mat and we should try to live with that focus. Jan continues to learn and grow in yoga. She has support on this journey from a very loving family.

In the summer of 2017 Jan completed her 100 hr Self Awakening Yoga Certification through the Nosara Yoga Institute.

Her motto: Practice a karmic-filled life with compassion, love, and patience with ourselves and with others. 



Yoga has been a part of my life since 2008. After reading an article suggesting yoga for sciatic pain relief, I decided to try it. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the first 1 or 2 classes, but somewhere after the 3rd I realized I was leaving class feeling uplifted and energetic. Within a few weeks the sciatic pain was gone, and I found myself craving my yoga classes. Yoga has helped me grow stronger, more flexible and inspires me to live each moment more mindfully.  I received my RYT200 in 2012 with Ren Fields of Healing Arts and Yoga Center.  I continue to be a student of yoga and am grateful for the wisdom my teachers have shared with me, and particularly enjoy the teachings of the late Makunda Stiles and his yoga for therapy studies. My hope is that students step off the mat feeling refreshed, happy and balanced.

The yoga therapy components of my teaching are based on my Structural Yoga Therapy 22 hour Certification, not derived from my status as an RYT-200 with Yoga Alliance Registry.

Elsa Nicholson, RYT200

Elsa Nicholson was an avid runner and boot camper, but after many years of dealing with running related injuries, she started practicing yoga with the intention of finding an activity to "stretch" until she could return to running. Her yoga journey began as a participant in daily Instagram Ashtanga challenges where she discovered a creative outlet for her yoga practice.

"Yoga has changed everything for me. It's made me more confident, strong, and balanced. It has given me a whole new outlook on the world and my own life. Yoga has humbled me and reminded me that truly anything is possible with patience, practice, and love."

Elsa graduated with her 200RYT from Latitude Yoga Co. Her favorite quote is "Ride the energy of your own unique spirit." — Gabrielle Roth. Elsa's primary focus as a teacher is: Give students the space to find freedom, inner strength, balance, and flexibility so they can discover their own unique yoga journey on and off the mat.

Elsa is also a Registered Dietitian and is looking forward to working with the community teaching mindful eating practices and providing students with tools for weight management through yoga.

Lauren Rogers, RYT200

In 2002 I began taking yoga classes as a low impact way to improve my physical health.  Being much more academic than athletic, yoga appealed to my need to understand the world, my mind, and my body on a deeper level. I quickly fell in love with how I felt physically and emotionally each time I came to my mat. My personal practice has taken me through many styles and I have grown to love a strong, alignment focused approach.

As the years passed and I found a strength and athleticism I thought I had lacked, I ventured into other forms of exercise including Group Ex classes and strength training. In 2015 I decided to become a certified PiYo Live Instructor in order to help others find the strength and connection I had, while bridging the gap between the fast paced, fun environment of the Group Ex setting and my love for yoga.  

Lauren completed her RYT-200 in June 2017 at Art of Balance Yoga. She plans to help her students strengthen their practices in both traditional and Group Fitness settings. She is also certified to teach Kettlebell AMPD and Barre Above and also runs a successful natural health and wellness business. 

Rachel Novak, RYT200


Rachel began practicing yoga at the suggestion of Dr. Yvonne Villarreal, integrative practitioner at Embracing Health in Stafford, due to concerns of adrenal fatigue. As someone accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle, she was initially skeptical about being able to “slow down” enough to benefit from the practice. Coincidentally, a local nonprofit organization had just begun offering weekly classes to educators at Lafayette Upper Elementary School in Fredericksburg, where Rachel teaches fifth grade. It was here that she was first introduced to Lili Robins, who would eventually become her mentor and dear friend.

It didn’t take long for Rachel to notice the improvements to her physical health after beginning a regular yoga practice. More surprising, however, were the unexpected changes to her mental and emotional well-being. Having struggled with an eating disorder and body image issues in the past, she had always maintained a conflicted relationship with her inner self. Through yoga and meditation, that relationship began to strengthen and grow. As she became more at peace with herself, she began interacting with and responding to the world around her in a different way. She began to feel empowered in a way that she hadn’t realized was possible. She knew that she had to share this incredible practice with others, as she understood that yoga truly is for everybody – and every body.

Rachel completed her RYT-200 in June 2017 at Art of Balance Yoga. She is so grateful to have been a member of AoBY’s first ‘graduating class’ and is so honored to be joining the amazing and supportive AoBY family. She hopes that her classes will inspire others to discover the beauty and tranquility that yoga offers to all. 

Maria Smith, RYT200

I fell in love with Yoga when it entered my life during my last year of college, in my native home town of Sao Paulo, Brazil. After that first introduction, and a few years later in 2004, I returned to it and have been practicing ever since. Yoga was my most powerful ally through my trying years as a young military spouse and new mother, many difficult moves and challenging life transitions. In my case, Yoga and Meditation proved to be the most effective practices to treat and keep depression and anxiety at bay. I believe in the power that Yoga has to change lives. It truly is for everybody, and for every phase of life. Modern Science is finally catching on with this ancient wisdom, and through research, has been proving what we practitioners already knew – that Yoga does work! It is not uncommon today for a health care physician to recommend Yoga, Meditation, Relaxation, Breathing Exercises and Mindfulness as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Yoga’s benefits to physical, spiritual and mental health, inspired me to continue to pursue my second passion in the field of Psychology and Counseling, as I am currently working on a Paraprofessional Counseling Certification. 

I like to see how students get stronger in their practice as they are able to grow in strength, alignment and body awareness, and ease of movement and breath. And I love to focus on empowering people to find their own Yoga. As I like to say: “How does your body wear your Yoga?” 

I am very humbled and honored to be part of the Art of Balance class of 2017, where I received my RYT 200-hour certification. It has been my second home for the past two years of my life. There is much love and nurturing here. I look forward to keeping on growing together. Namaste

January Slater, RYT200


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Michigan State University 1998 Bachelor of Animal Science Global College of Natural Medicine 2012, Bachelor of Holistic Health Certified Nutritional Consultant Certified Holistic Health Practitioner Caduceus Institute of Classical Homeopathy 2013, Yoga for the Special Child Certification 2014, 200hr Bhakti Yoga Certification 2015 Yin Yoga Certification 2016, The Center of Light Sound Healing School 2016


Yoga for the Special Child 2014-Present: Creative Kidz Café, Saratoga Springs, NY Co-founder of a non-profit teaching art, music, movement, and yoga to children with autism and other different abilities. Teaching standard Hatha style poses, progressing into sequencing poses, eye exercises, chanting and meditation. Adult Vinyasa classes for fundraising Yoga for Every Child Yoga Mandali, Saratoga Springs, NY 2016 Healthy Living Market Café 2016 Teaching regularly scheduled kids yoga classes. Teaching standard hatha style poses, progressing into sequencing poses, eye exercises, chanting and meditation. Yoga Teacher Hot Yoga Queensbury, Queensbury, NY 2015-Present Yoga Mandali, Saratoga Springs, NY 2016 Teaching regular weekly scheduled classes, Sculpt yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Beginners yoga, Gentle yoga, Yin yoga, Restorative yoga classes. Yin Yoga, Sound Healing, Meditation and Reiki workshops 2016-Present Hot Yoga Queensbury, Queensbury, NY Bloom Yoga and Wellness, Jamestown, NY Namaste Yoga, Saratoga Springs, NY Dandelion Studios, Stillwater, NY The Center for Clarity, Compassion and Contentment, Burnt Hills, NY Berkshire Yoga, Dance and Fitness, Pittsfield, MA Lead groups through Yin yoga, Restorative yoga or specialty yoga class using guided meditation, Crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bowls, bells, gongs, and other harmonizing instruments along with vocal toning and mantra singing. Reiki applied during Savasana or throughout with partnership.