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.

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, $40

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 & Practice of Yin Yoga + meditation

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

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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, $48 / $40 early bird by 4/20 — 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!