Workshops for Teachers and Students of Yoga

At Art of Balance Yoga we believe “once a student always a student”! All curious students are welcome and Yoga Teachers earn CEC’s for each hour of training. Throughout the year we have workshops on a wide variety of subjects on topics that are relevant for the yoga teaching profession, including new trends in yoga anatomy, trauma sensitive teaching, and the ethics of Yoga, as well as core subjects in Yoga Philosophy, Teaching Methodology and Techniques. We offer some Ayurveda workshops and special classes, plus teachings on the subtle subjects — Chakras, Pranayama and Meditation. There is always something more to learn, and diving deep into a subject with an enthusiastic, expert teacher at the helm is a joy.

Hormone Yoga Therapy

April 5, from 5:30-7:30 with Anne Petrov


Anne Petrov joins us for an Ayurvedic Weekend with her Hormone Yoga Therapy workshop. This practice is a natural treatment for hormone problems using yoga, breath, and visualization. The exercises of HYT help reactivate hormone production and, as a consequence, help to reduce many symptoms related to hormone imbalance such as: hot flushes, dry mucosa, fatigue, anxiety, depression, hair loss, dry skin, decreased libido, etc. And Menopause brings a wide variety of symptoms that may be treated via a holistic approach that includes HYT.

Dinah Rodrigues, a 91-year-old Doctor of Psychology from São Paulo, Brazil, and yoga practitioner since the 1960s, developed hormone yoga therapy (HYT) to help women and men re-balance their endocrine system and help deal with menopause, pre-menopause, diabetes, burnout, and a variety of other hormone-related health issues.

In this workshop we will learn and practice the full 30 minute daily sequence designed by Dinah Rodrigues for hormonal balance. Attention will be paid to the various glands and how the exercises stimulate these glands. A handout with the different postures will be given to aide participants who wish to practice at home.

April 5, 5:30-7:30 /2 CEC's for Yoga Teachers / $25 / Sign up here

Ayurveda: Theory & Practice

April 6 from 1:00-5:30 with Anne Petrov


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.

Short Break: We’ll enjoy our own spiced Chai and rich prasaad and give out recipes for both.

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.

Duration 4.5, 4 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $60/50 early bird discount by 3.30.19 / Sign up here

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Anne Petrov, E-RYT 500

She 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.

Anne was certified as a Hormone Yoga Therapy teacher by Dinah Rodrigues in 2014. Her Ayurvedic studies include:

Ayurvedic Cooking and Health. Certification 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.

Asana and the Chakras

April 7 from 1:00-5:00 with Elizabeth Finnan


Join guest teacher Elizabeth Finnan for an exploration through Asana and the Chakras. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which literally translates to spinning wheel. Chakras and our understanding of them go back to the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutras. In modern times, we understand these spinning wheels as 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 the first half of this workshop, we will explore the roots of the chakra system and explore the evolution of our current day 7 chakra system. We will review the meanings of the chakras, 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.

In the second portion 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 in(take out in) with demonstration to the class. We will conclude with a beautiful chakra balancing meditation. You can learn more about Elizabeth and YogE Wisdom here.

Duration 4 hours, 4 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $60/50 early bird by March 31 / Sign up here


Elizabeth Finnan,  E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, YACEP 

Elizabeth has been teaching professionally for seven years and practicing for over 25 years. 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, and AFAA.

Bhagavad Gita: A Beloved Song

April 27 from 2:30-5:30 with Maryam Ovissi

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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. Sign up here.

Duration 3 hours, 3 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, 45/36 early bird discount by 4/20

Maryam Ovissi, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, C-IAYT, 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.

Learn more about Maryam and BelovedYoga here!

Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga

May 4 from 1:00-5:00 with Lauren Rogers and Lili Robins


What Yin allows us to do as practitioners is take our over-stimulated senses and repurpose them, closing the eyes, releasing our touch and being still, and listening inwardly to the rhythms of our breath and the pulse of our heartbeat. This can be very healing to the nervous system while it teaches us about ourselves as we learn to focus our attention to one point and hone the senses and prepare for meditation. Instead of multi-tasking as is our want, in Yin Yoga we are now simply mono-tasking, yet that’s not as simple as it sounds. With practice, concentration becomes well-honed because the poses are held for some 4-10 minutes and the poses are mostly done on the floor, allowing gravity to assist in the gentle transformation of the body’s connective tissue: fascia, ligaments, and cartilage.

In this workshop we will practice Yin poses, learn how to build an intelligent sequence, and teach to a group.

We will take a look at the philosophy behind Yin Yoga and explore the Sutras that describe Samyama, the process of one-pointed concentration, contemplation and meditation and becoming completely absorbed with the flow of energy. Open to all students and teachers of Yoga.

Duration: 4 Hours, 4 CEC’s for Yoga Teachers, $45 / sign up here

Butterflies in the Belly: Asana and the Inner Body

May 5 from 1:00-5:00 with Mary Richards

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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.

Duration: 4 hours, 4 CEC's for Yoga Teachers, $60/50 early bird by 4/22 — Sign up here


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. Learn more about Yoga With Mary Richards here!