Workshop: Self-Awakening Yoga

February 25th from 1:00-5:00 with R. Bobby Ducharme


Self-Awakening Yoga provides simple techniques that enhance the free flow of prana to promote physical and emotional healing, self-discovery, and spiritual evolution. It also teaches how to release the body’s inefficient, painful patterns and to access unknown potentials through kinesthetic inquiries.

When artist and professor Don Stapleton discovered yoga, it marked the beginning of a journey into the awakening powers of prana--the energy of yogic purification--and the natural spiritual and healing properties of his own body. After 30 years of extensive yoga training, an accident left him with a severe injury to the spine. Faced with the challenge of physical recovery, Stapleton drew upon his knowledge of yoga to create a series of exercises that allowed him to recover freedom of movement, release emotional blockages, and unleash his spiritual and physical potential.


Self-Awakening Yoga is the synthesis of Stapleton’s practice. More than 100 exercises--from focusing on the breath to accessing primal sound--show how to unlock the wisdom and power of prana to engage the body’s healing powers. His simple exercises and meditations focus on natural movements that encourage body awareness. Participants learn how to listen to what the body is saying before engaging in any specific yoga postures. Self-Awakening Yoga takes yoga back to its roots as a creative learning process and an expansion of consciousness, not just a technique for health and fitness.

Duration 4 hours - 4 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $60/48 early bird discount by 2/11 Sign up here!

About R. Bobby Ducharme, RYT 200/500

Bobby believes that yoga is for every body, a powerful practice for healthy living today.

Bobby found yoga as an adult in 1999 with Mary Pafford in Ukiah, CA. Relocating to Providence in 2002, he practiced at Eyes of the World for seven years before taking the teacher training with Tom Gillette. He has taught at Breathing Time Yoga, Miriam Hospital, Eyes of the World and his own studio, The Heart Spot.

He was given the Sanskrit name Bhavanam by Don and Amba Stapleton to honor his RYT-500 achievement. He continues to study with master teachers Richard Freeman, Judith Lasater, Josh Summers, Theresa Murphy and is always seeking more knowledge of yoga.

Bobby is also a theatre artist, and has acted in plays for Perishable Theatre, The Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theatre, Epic Theatre and Counter Productions Company.

His classes focus on the balance of breath with body movement, to create a sense of profound well being.

Prenatal Yoga Workshop

March 10th from 2:00-5:00 with Maura Wilson Schneider

This training will give instructors a basic understanding of the special needs, strengths, limitations, and counter indications of the pregnant body. We will explore the physical changes to a woman's body during each trimester of pregnancy and the ways prenatal yoga can prevent and alleviate discomforts. We will discuss the broader benefits of a prenatal program and issues that may arrive when pregnant students attend general population classes.

Duration 3 hours, 3 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $45/36 early bird by 2/24 Sign up here!

About Maura Schneider, E-RYT200, RPYT


Maura has been teaching yoga since completing teacher training at Integral Yoga Institute at Yogaville in 2010. She draws on this traditional background and her love of Vinyasa yoga to create instruction that is both grounded and playful.

Maura completed her prenatal teacher training through Journey yoga in Arlington in 2014. She now leads a program in Fredericksburg with classes and workshops to empower and strengthen mamas before childbirth and help to build a sustainable community of support for parents and families.

In addition to prenatal and other adult classes, Maura teaches preschool yoga and has led parent and baby massage and yoga workshops.

Off the mat she is mama to budding yogis, Arden and Ingrid, and partner to Matt. She is also the creator and director of Tell Fredericksburg, a monthly true storytelling event.

Part 1: Ayurveda —Theory

March 24th from 2:00-5:00 with Anne Petrov

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Join guest teacher Anne Petrov for two enjoyable workshops:

Ayurveda is for everybody. And yoga students, especially, will find an empowering way to reach optimal health and vitality for themselves and their family members through observance of simple, common sense Ayurvedic practices.

Part 1—Theory: Described in the ancient Vedic texts, Ayurveda is a dynamic, complete medical science from India. Ayurveda is meant to be practiced in the home. It is pragmatic and common sense, rather than esoteric. Everyone can benefit immensely from a working knowledge of Ayurveda. This course is designed to help simplify the basic concepts and give participants a useful working knowledge of the basic principles of Ayurveda. Participants will assess their own Ayurvedic dosha after attending this class. We’ll enjoy our own spiced Chai and rich prasaad and give out recipes for both.

3 CEC's or Yoga Teachers, $45/36 early bird discount by 4/7. Sign up here!

Part 2: Ayurveda — Practice

March 25th from 2:00-5:00 with Anne Petrov

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(Lecture from Part 1 is required for Part 2)

Part 2—Practice: Participants will review the concept of Ayurvedic dosha as a starting point for this class that puts Ayurvedic principals into practice. Nutrition is the basis for health. But a food or spice that is healthy for one person (pacifying, nourishing) may cause complications for another person (over-stimulating, not assimilating). The properties such as heating, cooling, aggravating, in addition to taste (rasa) of common fruits, vegetable, grains, spices, will be explained from the standpoint of Ayurveda. This will allow participants to assemble a delicious template of foods, spices and Ayurvedic practices and observances that help to give optimal health and wellbeing. We’ll enjoy our own spiced Chai and rich prasaad and give out recipes for both.

3 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $45/36 early bird discount by 4/8. Sign up here!

About Anne Petrov, E-RYT500

Anne lives within walking distance of the Sivananda ashram in Orleans, France. She did her teacher training, advanced teacher training and sadhana intensive at the ashram, where she also teaches and does ayurvedic massage. Her ayurvedic studies include:

Ayurvedic Cooking and Health: Certification course with Doctors Kulkarni (Sivananda Tyrol Center, Reith Austria, 2011) Ayurvedic Medicine and Massage: Certification course with Escuela de Cultura Ayurvedica, Barcelona (2014) Courses with Angela Hope Murray and Dr. Kamlesh. Sivananda Yoga Center and Ashram, France.

Bhagavad Gita: A Beloved Song

April 8 from 2:00-5:00 With Maryam Ovissi


One of the most powerful stories in history, the Bhagavad Gita, shares a conversation. This conversation takes places in the center of a Battlefield. Reflective of the pivotal moments of our lives, The Gita reminds us to pause, ask and listen. The Bhagavad Gita is part of The Mahabharata, which is considered one of the greatest epic literary works of humankind.


Join Maryam for an afternoon of discussion and contemplation. She will offer an overview of the six paths of Yoga and look at how The Gita speaks to four of these paths: Karma, Jnana, Raja and Bhakti as well as illuminates the Schools of Samkhya, Vedanta and Yoga. You are encouraged to read Stephen Mitchell's version and consider highlighting a few sections that resonated with you.

Duration 4 hours, 4 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, 60/48 early bird discount by 3/25. Sign up here!

About Maryam Ovissi, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, YACEP

Maryam Ovissi believes, "Yoga is the most powerful system that gives power back to the indivdual to find their freedom, moving from the inside- consciousness!"
Maryam has had the honor to be the owner and director of BelovedYoga- a flow based yoga studio and wellness center located in Reston and Great Falls, Virginia, for over 10 years. BelovedYoga has been a powerful nucleus in Reston & Great Falls for over 9 years, partnering with Cornerstones on many community projects as well as creating an annual event~ Love Your Body; Northern Virginia Yoga & Wellness Day ~ at the Reston Town Center every June.

Maryam Ovissi became an avid student of yoga in 1999, after studying privately with Simin Yahaghi, her first yoga teacher, in California. Since 2001, she has been teaching Hatha, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Prenatal and Mom & Baby classes. Maryam is a certified yoga instructor that has done numerous trainings including her 500 hr Teacher Training under the tutorledge of Bhekaji Lynch. She has continued to study with reknown teachers in the world of Yoga. Maryam co-developer of the BelovedYoga Teacher Training Programs: 200 hr Immersion, 300 hr Advance Teacher Training and the BelovedYoga Certification Program. The BelovedYoga School meets the standards set by Yoga Alliance and is a member school of International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Asana and the Chakras: Part 1

April 22 from 1:00-3:00 with Elizabeth Finnan

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Join Elizabeth for an exploration through Asana and the Chakras. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which literally translates to spinning wheel. These spinning wheels are the 7 energy centers in our body. These energy centers influence all aspects of our lives, including our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. When the Chakras are in balance, we are in perfect health and are connected in positive ways to others and the world around us.

In Part 1 of this workshop, we will learn about the Chakras and their meanings, including the relationship to the spine, organs, elements, seed sound, color and mental states. We will learn how to use asana as a tool to activate, balance and manage the energy body.

Duration 2 hours, 2 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $30/24 early bird by 4/8. Sign up here!

Asana and the Chakras: Part 2

April 22 from 3:00-5:00 with Elizabeth Finnan

In Part 2, the second portion of this workshop, we will delve a little deeper into the chakras tools and complete an introspective exercise on our current state of being. We will flow through a short vinyasa chakra tune-up and explore how to develop asana sequences for each chakra with demonstration to the class. We will conclude with a beautiful chakra balancing meditation.

Duration 2 hours, 2 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $30/24 early bird by 4/8. Sign up here!

About Elizabeth Finnan, C-IAYT E-200/500 RYT YACEP 

Elizabeth has been teaching professionally for over 8 years and practicing for over 25. Her first yoga practice was with Desikachar trained teachers and more recently trainings included teachers trained by Desikachar’s father, Krishnamacharya. This yoga lineage has a focus in yoga as therapy which aligns with the Viniyoga tradition, adapting the practice to the person, rather than vice versa, making her classes accessible and enjoyable to people of every fitness level. She infuses her knowledge of both yoga and Ayurveda to help her students achieve whole health and well-being. Elizabeth is also a certified Reiki Master and an Advanced Practitioner of Integrated Energy Therapy. She is a member of Yoga Alliance, Yoga International, AFAA, and the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Butterflies in the Belly: Asana and the Inner Body

We tend to associate the physical practices of yoga with muscles and bones. Asana and pranayama also massage the body from the inside-out. Each movement that we perform in asana -- and every breath we take -- has a physiologic effect on the organs. During our practice together, we will explore the relationship between the movements of the spine and the abdominopelvic organs. By expanding our awareness of how the actions of the respiratory and musculoskeletal systems change conditions in the inner body, we increase our capability to identify and release obstacles within us, literally and figuratively, that contribute to bodily discomfort and emotional pain.

In this workshop we will learn about the internal organs and how the alignment of the organs is affected by and affects the movement of the outer body. This workshop includes active and restorative pose practice as well as pranayama techniques. Sign up here!

Duration: 4 hours, 4 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $60/48 early bird by 4/22

About Mary Richards, M.S., C-IAYT, e-RYT500


Mary began practicing yoga in 1992, and teaching in 2002. For over 10 years, Mary studied primarily in the Iyengar tradition with additional study in other lineages. In 2002, she attended her first workshop with Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT. Mary felt an immediate resonance with Judith's work; she has studied regularly with her ever since. Mary assists Judith at various workshops around the United States and serves as her lead therapeutics and anatomy teaching assistant. Mary and Lizzie Lasater, M.Arch, yoga instructor and Judith’s daughter, also share a series on Lizzie’s YouTube channel entitled “Today’s Anatomy Question,” which features dialogue and demonstration of anatomical concepts and principles pertaining to asana. Mary, Judith and Lizzie are currently co-developing a digital movement literacy course, which will launch in December 2017.

Mary's teaching and practice are informed by her deep, abiding interest in and study of anatomy and kinesiology. Mary has completed credited coursework with labs in anatomy, physiology, cadaver dissection, kinesiology and biology. Additionally, she graduates on July 23, 2017, with a master's of science in yoga therapy at Maryland University of Integrative Health. She has also completed volunteer observation hours at physical therapy facilities specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine. Mary is passionate about sharing her experience in yoga therapeutics and other healing modalities to help others cope with -- and ideally, prevent -- injury to the joint segments of the body, especially the weight-bearing joints of the lower extremity.

Mary has been married for over 20 years. She and her husband have a son and daughter. They live in Alexandria, Va., where Mary teaches syllabus-based classes, sees clients privately, and trains body workers and yoga instructors.