Workshops for Yoga Teachers and Students

“ But somehow you are more human than you were, or you feel more humane, more capable than when you came in.” — Toni Morrison

All curious students are welcome! There is always something more to learn, and diving deep into a subject with an enthusiastic teacher at the helm is a joy. As a student, attending a workshop can bring you to a better understanding of the deep roots of this ancient practice. When guest teachers come to share their area of expertise it’s an excellent chance to learn something special.

Yoga Teachers earn CEU’s for Yoga Alliance: 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. Yoga teachers always want to deepen their knowledge and collect new insights to share with their classes.

Build a Loving Relationship with Meditation:

Tips, Techniques & Tools

Sunday, October 27th from 3:00-5:30


The meditation saga continues at Art of Balance Yoga. It’s wonderful that you fell in love, but now you want to build a loving relationship with meditation. You want it to have your back, to be there for you in good times and bad - you’re looking for reliability, patience and support. Please join Elsa for more insight and experience with meditation. The first workshop is not required to attend the second. Yoga teachers earn 2.5 CEU’s.

Workshop 2 will include:

Differences between Thinking and Awareness
Different Types of Meditation
Mindful techniques and tools for a consistent practice
Moving Meditation: Short asana practice


About Elsa Nicholson, E-RYT 200

She began meditating a few years ago to relieve stress and combat negativity her life. Her inner journey led her on a path of self-discovery and personal growth. She began on her path with meditation feeling very alone and frustrated with trying to meditate and failing to maintain a consistent practice. Her curiosity with meditation began by attending many meditation workshops with Don Hoes at the Science and Spirituality Center in Virginia. In her quest to know more about meditation she has learned from books and podcasts, met with others who practiced meditation, and persevered with her own practice. Elsa has taken this practice to heart, to the core of her being, and with her passion for meditation she can inspire others to do the same!

Meditation Series — Come to one or all / $35 each

1. For the Love of Meditation: An Introduction / Sept 29th 3:00-5:30pm

2. Building a Loving Relationship with Meditation: Tips, Techniques & Tools / Oct 27th 3:00-5:30pm

3. Happily Ever After: Maintaining your Meditation Practice (Date: Nov TBA)

Hormone Yoga Therapy

with Anne Petrov

Saturday November 16 from 10:30-12:30am


Anne Petrov returns with Hormone Yoga Therapy!
Developed by Dinah Rodrigues, a 92-year-old Doctor of Psychology from São Paulo, Brazil, and yoga practitioner since the 1960s. She developed hormone yoga therapy (HYT) to help women and men re-balance their endocrine system and help deal with diabetes, burnout, menopause, pre-menopause, and a variety of other hormone-related health issues.

Hormone Yoga Therapy 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: fatigue, anxiety, depression, hair loss, dry skin, decreased libido, hot flushes, dry mucosa, etc.

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.

Open to all yoga students and teachers: 2 hours/2 CEU's for Yoga Teachers/$30-$25 by 10/31/19


About Anne Petrov, E-RYT500

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 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.


Glad Tidings: A Mini Retreat

Asana, Pranayama, Restorative & Yoga Nidra for the Season of Light

With Mary Richards

November 17th from 2:00-5:30

As we approach Thanksgiving and the end-of-year holidays, it’s helpful to cultivate space for ourselves so we can fully enjoy the activities of the season. We may think we don’t have time, or that our responsibilities can’t wait. Perhaps we believe we are behaving selfishly when we take a break from errands, social commitments, and other responsibilities. However, we know that we feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually when we dedicate time to practice self-care. 

Let’s hold space for ourselves. Join Mary for an afternoon mini-retreat devoted to healthy movement, supported rest, and introspection. Over the course of 3.5 hours, she will lead our group through a multi-layered practice:

Active Asana series / Pranayama series / Break for Ayurvedic chai and prasad / Restorative Yoga series and iREST Yoga Nidra practice 

Please bring your mat, an eye cover (e.g., eye bag, washcloth), water, and your favorite fuzzy socks. In the spirit of the season, this course is pre-holiday treat for the body, mind, and soul. Cheers!

 About Mary Richards, M.S., C-IAYT, E-RYT, YACEP

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.

$50 - $42 by 10/31/19

Veterans Yoga Project aT Art of Balance Yoga:

Mindful Resilience Training

for Trauma Recovery


Dec 7, 2019 9 am - 6 pm - Dec 8, 2019 9 am - 5:30 pm

$425 / 15 CEU’s


Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery is an evidence-informed, clinically-tested yoga program that was developed specifically for veterans recovering from posttraumatic stress and other psychological difficulties.  It is an evidence-informed, in that practices have been chosen and adapted based on clinical and neuro-scientific knowledge about posttraumatic stress and its treatment.  It is clinically-tested, in that it was developed based on feedback from hundreds of veterans and active-duty service members receiving treatment at residential and outpatient treatment programs.  Mindful Resilience has been successfully integrated into mental health and addiction treatment programs for veterans and active-duty military across the US and Canada.

In the Level One teacher training, you will explore:

  1. The development, course, and consequences of trauma-related disorders

  2. The psychotherapeutic treatment of trauma-related disorders and how yoga fits into an integrative treatment approach

  3. Special considerations and cautions when providing yoga therapy to veterans and other trauma-affected individuals

  4. Specific practices, guiding principles, and resources found to be helpful for veterans coping with trauma, including a detailed treatment manual with an empirically-informed, clinically-tested 12-week protocol, and access to a downloadable electronic copy (pdf) of the Mindful Resilience Yoga for Veterans Recovering from Trauma practice guide.

This Veterans Yoga Project training consists of a balance of practice and lecture/discussion.  At the end of the training, participants will understand the symptoms of post-traumatic stress and other trauma-related disorders, how those symptoms are related to underlying neurobiology, and how to use this understanding to most effectively teach individuals recovering from trauma.  

For registering CEC’s with Yoga Alliance, Dr. Libby is listed as the YACEP and the course name is Mindful Resilience Training.


Anatomy 300TT Weekend - March 2020


Teach People, Not Poses: Fundamentals of Posture and Asana-based Therapeutics

March 21-22, 2020 with Mary Richards

(Full weekend for Teacher Trainees only)

Join Mary for a weekend intensive that focuses on the anatomy, kinesiology, and techniques of postural assessment and asana modifications. We will work together to cultivate one of the key technical skills that enables safe, healthy instruction of asana: our sight, or power of observation. 

Many of us adjust to living with residual effects of acute injuries, chronic pain, and repetitive strain. Many of us come to asana classes in search of relief from such situations. To safely guide others in asana, especially when people come to the mat for relief, we need to understand what is typical and atypical in terms of posture and movement. Our study of the body’s form and function helps us understand what we are seeing, feeling, hearing, and sensing when we are guiding others in their practice of asana. A deep understanding of anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology also helps us develop an extensive sensory and descriptive vocabulary. In turn, this experiential vocabulary helps us connect to the many layers of our being and offer instructional guidance with clarity and accuracy. 

Day 1: Fundamentals of Posture — 10:00-5:00 

We will learn about and observe the bony landmarks of posture in seated, standing, and supine positions. We will discuss how the body — in particular, the joint segments — translates forces of load and movement. We will practice observational strategies in asana, so we can identify what captures our visual attention. We will practice techniques to trace that initial visual “grab” along its energetic course. Then, we will work with props, language, and other learning tools, to foster balance and ease in posture, on and off the mat. 

Day 2: Fundamental Principles of Asana Therapeutics — 9:00-12:00

Day 2: The Physiology of Stress and Rest — 1:00-4:00

We will conclude the weekend with a session dedicated to a science-informed, tradition-based discussion of stress and rest. It’s tempting, especially when face to face with a chronic pain situation, for example, to want to “do something” to get rid of the pain. Emerging pain science data shows, however, that mindfulness practices such as yoga nidra and restorative yoga, mitigate stress and create conditions for healing to arise. Oftimes, rather than doing exercises, we actually need the time and space to receive information from our bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits. Thus, after our dialogue, we will settle into receptive practices designed to cultivate awareness and presence. Be sure to bring a light cover for your eyes. (We have some to share and for sale.)

Physiology of Stress and Rest module open — $50

Certifications for Yoga Teachers

Scroll down to learn more

Pranayama Certification @ Beloved yoga

April 3-4-5, 2020 from 10 AM - 5 PM

Led by Jafar Alexander, 500 E-RYT, C-IAYT
25 hours (18 weekend hours + mentoring) / Investment: $400 ($350 by Mar 5)


Pranayama is an essential practice on the yoga path as outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra. However, training in how and when to use appropriate breathing practices beyond Ujjayi is hard to find in many yoga teacher trainings. Beloved Yoga has developed a specialized 3-day training to help you better understand breathing mechanics and the anatomy of breath, how to use and teach breath practices in asana, how to use breath practices in a contemplative practice, and how teachers can skillfully incorporate pranayama into personal practice, group yoga classes and one-on-one settings.

This workshop is open to yoga practitioners interested in deepening their yoga practice and yoga teachers looking to add a new skill set to their teaching toolkit.

 To obtain the Beloved Yoga Pranayama Certification you will need to take the full weekend course - 18 contact hours, write a reflection, record a 10 minute led pranayama session, and a mentoring session with Jafar. If you choose to only take the weekend modules you will obtain 18 CEUs and will not receive the Beloved Yoga Certification.


About Jafar Alexander — E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, YACEP

Jafar's belief is "Yoga is yoga. No need to complicate it, it's quite simple. Breathe, move, and find your way to silence. Everything you need to know is right here... Atha!" His devoted study of Yoga has made him a multi-dimensional teacher who is able to playfully weave stories with expert sequencing and thoughtful philosophical inquiry all in one asana, making his classes what he likes to call "Yogasanas - keeping the Yoga in the Asana!"

Jafar uses his diverse and comprehensive understanding of the yogic tradition to guide practitioners in individual sessions, group classes, weekend workshops, master classes, and teacher training programs. Jafar’s energy and presence brings yoga theory to life as he encourages yogis/yoginis to find space, allowing for movement, which leads to freedom from attachment. He truly shares his yoga practice and passion through a connected journey of self-awareness, conscious breath, and physical strength.

He is the Director of the 200 hr BelovedYoga Flow Teacher Training and co-leads the BelovedYoga School, 500 & 800 hr programs. In Summer 2014, Jafar helped expand the BelovedYoga School to Europe and will continue to offer workshops and training abroad and at home. He believes the greatest way to practice yoga is off the mat and in 2013, he was invited to be a part of Lululemon's Ambassador Program.

Trauma-Informed Yoga Certification

May 15-16-17, 2020 from 10 AM - 5 PM

Led by Maryam Ovissi, C-IAYT & Heather Hagaman, MA, C-IAYT

30 hours (20 weekend hours + 10 mentoring) / Investment: $400 ($350 by April 17)


A 30-hour training program for yoga teachers, body workers, therapists, medical professionals, substance abuse counselors, social workers, teachers and first responders.

This is a one-of-a-kind training that blends the ancient wisdom of Yoga with the modern science of Trauma recovery. Yoga has recognized the necessity of befriending all the layers of our being to achieve peace in this life. The greatest path to healing from trauma is through the process of befriending the whole being.

We will share the modern history of trauma and dive deeply into the science of how all the body’s systems are impacted. We will illuminate the Yogic perspective on trauma through a discussion based on key segments of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras that speak directly to trauma and to the process of finding harmony with trauma and therefore one’s self. The nervous system and the brain structures will be studied, both through the framework of modern medicine and the Yogic energetic model. You will learn about advances in neuroscience and epigenetics that have given us a better understanding of how trauma changes our nervous system, brain development, self-regulation, and capacity to stay focused and in tune with others. This understanding is outlined in The Polyvagal Theory. Through our combined experience of over 25 years of work with clients, we have tested yoga tools and found how effective they are in transforming despair into hope.

You will learn yogic tools to guide the journey into wholeness for all people. “We are on the verge of becoming a trauma-conscious society. Almost every day one of my colleagues publishes another report on how trauma disrupts the working of the mind, brain and body.” said Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk, MD, leading authority on Trauma Recovery.

At Beloved Yoga, we take this data seriously and we work tirelessly to develop and apply more effective ways to keep Yoga safe and therapeutic, whether in a group class or a private session. We strive to guide all teachers to become trauma-informed in order to create the safest and most accessible yoga experiences. Heather and Maryam are now offering the latest, innovative evidence-based training that demonstrates the necessity of the integration of Yoga into the treatment of trauma healing. This three-day training blends philosophy and science with a clear application of yogic tools. You will walk away feeling empowered in how to create a safe and grounded environment for all populations.


  • Understand the vagus nerve, Polyvagal Theory and HPA axis

  • Gain insight into modern trauma theories and perspectives

  • Understand trauma through the lens of the philosophy of Yoga, including the Pancha Maya framework

  • Learn self-care methods in working with trauma and address secondary traumatic stress

  • Gain insight into special populations, i.e., addictions, recovery and first responders

  • Learn about the effective tools of bilateral mind-body stimulation

  • Learn how to use Yogic tools to create safety and stability for clients

  • Learn effective use of breath work in grounding and self-empowerment

  • Learn the use of contemplative practices and affirmation work

Weekend Schedule:

Friday: The Science & Philosophy of Trauma, Part 1

Saturday: The Polyvagal Theory & Trauma Informed Yoga Methodology

Sunday: Trauma-Informed Yoga Methodology and Applications


  • All modules will have lecture, discussion and practical experience incorporated.

  • To obtain the 30 hr Beloved Yoga Trauma-Informed Yoga Certification you will need to take the full weekend course - 20 contact hours, and have a mentoring session with either Heather or Maryam, submit a reflective paper on 5 take aways and lead four trauma-informed Yoga sessions or demonstrate how you are integrating the trauma informed yoga tools into your work/practice. If you choose to only take the weekend portion and not do the additional required work, you will obtain 20 CEUs.

Required reading: The Polyvagal Theory Handbook by Dr. Stephen Porges;

Recommended reading: Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD From the Inside Out by Susan Banitt; The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk & Overcoming Trauma through Yoga: Reclaiming the Body by David Emerson.


About 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 renown 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.


About Heather Hagaman — E-RYT500, MA, C-IAYT

Heather Hagaman MA C-IAYT is the Director of Beloved Yoga’s  Befriending Therapeutic Programs with a specialization in Trauma and Recovery in Reston.  She has a Masters in Psychology from Marymount University and is a board certified Yoga Therapist.  Heather also holds a Certification in Trauma Sensitive Yoga from David Emerson and Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk (Kripalu).

Heather is a pioneer in the new field of Yoga and Trauma Recovery. This emerging field utilizes Trauma Informed Yoga and Meditation to help people start to move beyond PTSD, Addiction, Anxiety, and Depression and start to build fulfilling lives.  There are numerous studies now that show that Yoga compliments addictions and trauma recovery.  Heather has worked extensively with psychotherapists and health practitioners to assist clients in reaching their wellness goals.

Heather believes that recovering from trauma requires healing of the mind, the body and the breath. Yogic tools help the person to stay present, breathe and grounded rather than to reach and run to the outside world for an instant fix. By creating a non-judgmental and confidential environment, Heather holds sacred space to help her clients connect and feel safe in their own bodies. This space encourages clients to experience inner connections and a way back to wholeness. Clients are given enormous control in their sessions and are encouraged to approach their practice with curiosity and mindfulness.

Yin Yoga Certification

June 26-27-28, 2020 from 10 AM - 5 PM

Led by Jafar Alexander, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, and Maryam Ovissi, E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, C-IAYT, YACEP


25 hours (18 weekend hours & 7 hours mentoring) / Investment: $400 ($350 by May 28)

Beloved Yoga has developed a unique Yin Yoga program that keeps its roots in the philosophy and practice of Yoga. The traditional Yin model, based on Taoism, (yin/yang/Tao) will be mirrored by the Gunas of Yoga (Tamas/Rajas/Sattva) in this workshop. In addition to exploring Yoga philosophy as it relates to Yin Yoga practice, teaching skills will be developed as you gain insight into the Beloved Yin Yoga Intelligent Sequence, which includes instruction in teaching methodology as you learn the traditional Yin Yoga poses. These skills can be used to sequence your own personal Yin Yoga practice or to teach Yin Yoga classes.

An in-depth study and discussion on fascia and joints will be the primary focus of enhancing your understanding of anatomy. There will also be time allocated to exploring the vibration of silence and stillness in personal practice and in teaching.


  • Observe 5 Yin Yoga classes

  • Teach 5 Yin Yoga classes

  • Attend 1 private mentoring session with an Art of Balance Yin Yoga mentor: Lili Robins or Jen Martin

Upon completion of the mentoring program requirements, you will receive a Yin Yoga Certificate from Beloved Yoga.

This workshop is open to yoga practitioners interested in deepening their yoga practice and yoga teachers looking to add a new skill set to their teaching toolkit. The 30-hour Yin Yoga Certification counts towards Yoga Alliance continuing education hours.

Required Reading: The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark

To obtain the Beloved Yoga Yin Yoga Certification you will need to take the full weekend course - 18 contact hours, and a mentoring session with either Lili of Jen. You are required to observe 5 Yin Yoga classes led by different teachers, teach 5 Yin Yoga classes, and write a reflection paper. If you choose to only take the weekend modules you will obtain 18 CEUs and will not receive the Beloved Yoga Certification.