Aleasa drove past the 532Yoga sign everyday for months often thinking, “I need to try that one day”. That one day soon came after a life-altering event that left her seeking renewed purpose. She found that purpose through Suzanne Leitner-Wise’s RYT200 teacher training program. Practicing asana and meditation daily helps Aleasa to maintain mental clarity, physical ease and spiritual balance. Her teenage daughters are SOOOO happy that yoga allows their mom to be “centered” and reminds her to practice her yoga when she questions them about their studies and friends…LOL. Aleasa feels a personal calling to share the practice of yoga with those who may not normally have access to or consider the benefits of yoga and therefore gears her teaching of alignment based flow towards those beginning their yoga journey and those “seeking”.
After years of training as a martial artist, Ginny found her true inner warrior in yoga. The beauty of yoga inspired her to start her journey in 1998, and that path was Ashtanga. Desiring to deepen her understanding of yoga, Ginny took her formal teacher training through Suzanne Leitner-Wise's teacher training program, where her horizons were broadened to include studies in Iyengar and Viniyoga. Ginny continues to further her yogic education at every opportunity, and is a certified Rocket Yoga teacher -training under David C. Kyle, and is currently working towards her 500ryt under the Svastha teachings of Dr. Ganesh Mohan. She has augmented her practice with various wonderful workshops including David Swenson, Doug Swenson, David Keil, Tias Little, Carolyn Blumely, Katherine Buddig, and Simon Parks among others, and she brings all these wonderful flavors to her students. Ginny’s style is fun, powerful and adventuresome, while offering many options, adjustments, modifications and variations- so every class is suited to every level and ability. The goal is an enjoyable experience that grows each individual’s practice. When not in a yoga pose, Ginny is a hardcore knitter and a muralist.
Holly began a dedicated practice of yoga in 2004 following a lifetime of training, teaching and performing as a professional dancer, choreographer, movement artist, and athlete. She studied a variety of styles including Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Anusara, Prana Flow, Rocket, and vinyasa. After developing an appreciation for the grace and depth of the classical practice of yoga and teaching techniques as taught by Sri Dharma Mittra, she completed her 200-hour teacher training under his guidance at the Dharma Yoga Center in NYC. She hopes to share some of his wisdom in order to help students deepen their connection to the body and mind through the classical practices of yoga. Her classes offer both accessible and more vigorous/adventurous pathways for discovery, exploration, concentration and inspiration, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Holly lives her life according to all 8 limbs of yoga and maintains a daily personal yoga practice including asana and meditation, yogic diet, daily reading and spiritual study. She hopes to give students an opportunity to find their own pathway toward greater joy and peace in their lives and bodies during this lifetime while having fun along the way.
Maia comes from a dance background and discovered yoga in the gym in the early 2000’s with an inspiring Vinyasa teacher. Through years of studio classes, Yoga unfolded new paths for variety, mental discipline, challenges, spiritual practice and always somewhere else to go. Convinced teacher training would deepen her practice, Maia completed a RYT200 program with Suzanne Leitner-Wise and Mary Richards at 532YOGA in early 2013. She is teaching alignment based flow classes in Alexandria and Arlington, sharing the benefits of a strong foundation to build beautiful asana and life-affirming practices.
Colleen took her first yoga class in 2012, and was instantly hooked on the positive effects on not only the physical, but also the emotional and mental bodies. Wishing to deepen her practice, she enrolled in Suzanne Leitner-Wise’s 532Yoga teacher training program and earned her RYT-200 in 2014. Colleen loves how yoga has the capacity to challenge the individual physically and mentally in a neutral and non-competitive environment. Her classes are characterized by Vinyasa flow sequences that promote strength and flexibility while still being accessible to all practitioners. When not on her mat, Colleen can be found indulging her travel bug with her husband, spoiling her dogs rotten, or on the back of a horse.
E-RYT500, BWY, BYTA, TMT, AYC, RCYA, CERTIFIED ASHTANGA and ROCKET Teacher, Member of IYEA and IYNAUS, DIRECTOR of 532YOGA TEACHER TRAINING, A REGISTERED YOGA SCHOOL WITH YOGA ALLIANCE SINCE 2003. Suzanne was a Presenter at the First Annual Yoga Alliance Conference in Palm Springs, 2011, is a YA House of Delegates Member and is a Manduka Mats Ambassador. Suzanne has been a full time Yoga Teacher in Alexandria, VA since her arrival to the USA in 2000. Having studied with many different wonderful teachers and styles in both England and the USA, Suzanne has the natural ability to adapt postures to suit each individuals capability, as well as to teach pranayama and meditation according to the requirements of the individual or class. Suzanne's teaching style is based on her two-year Iyengar Yoga training and is influenced by her love of movement and challenging, whilst respecting, the body's range of motion and the mind's resistance. Suzanne has conducted numerous workshops and retreats, both nationally and internationally,has lectured for companies and organizations such as the National Institute for Health and has written various published articles on yoga. Suzanne worked with the Institute for Justice in 2010 in the successful overturning of SCHEVs trying to impose regulations for Registered Yoga Schools in Virginia. Suzanne's Clients have included Senator Mark Warner, The Department of Justice, The Department of Defence, Inova Healthsource and The World Bank. Suzanne is also a published artist and poet, a PADI-certified diver, soul-mate to Paul and the mother of two extraordinarily wonderful sons. Suzanne opened 532Yoga in April 2012.
Jeni began her journey in 2006 studying Ashtanga Yoga at the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Norman, OK. Since then, she has developed a deep love for the Dharma Yoga tradition for its calming, loving nature and focus on self-realization. She strives to stay as adherent to the Dharma tradition as possible in her Dharma classes. Her Flow classes will have a more hatha/vinyasa feel which draws from her Ashtanga background. All of her classes play music that do not distract or detract from the practice (unless it’s pure Ashtanga in which case no music will be played in respect to the tradition). Her goal is for every student to leave the studio feeling empowered, refreshed, at peace and receptive to all that life has to offer. Having been an athlete most of her life, Jeni loves to explore the connection between Yoga and functional movement which is evident by her interest in rock climbing and Crossfit. She completed her teacher training in vinyasa flow in Washington, DC and is grateful for the opportunity to share her passion with others.
Justin Blazejewski (Mayur)
Justin began practicing yoga to help with a back injury he received while serving in the Marine Corps. He quickly realized the physical benefits of yoga when his back pain disappeared completely. Justin dove into a daily yoga practice for a few months then attended a yoga/kirtan retreat to Bali with Alanna Kaivalya and Dave Stringer that was the turning point in his spiritual practice. Soon after Justin found his guru Sri Dharma Mittra and immediately enrolled in the "DMY Life of a Yogi" teacher training in NYC to deepen his practice with no expectations of teaching. After graduating from the 200 hour Teacher Training program Justin immediately realized he was giving a gift of representing Sri Dharma. Justin is now a RTY-200 and 500 hour certified Dharma Mittra Yoga teacher and feels blessed to be part of the Dharma Mittra family and is grateful to teach in the spirit of his guru. Justin's classes consist of the Dharma's Shiva Namaskar Vinyasa sequences with pranayama, mediation, and Yoga Nidra. He strives to mimic his Guru Sri Dharma and be a vessel of light for him through his teaching.
Mary Richards has been a yoga practitioner since 1992. She has studied primarily in the Iyengar tradition with extended forays in vinyasa practices. Mary has been a student of Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT, for more than a decade; she assists Judith at workshops around the United States and is a certified restorative yoga trainer. Mary has also had notable learning experiences with other senior teachers including Angela Farmer, Victor Von Kooten and Gary Kraftsow. Mary's alignment-based asana instruction is oriented toward therapeutic modification. She is passionate about sharing with others her knowledge and experience of asana to preserve and restore joint function. Her instruction is informed by her personal practice of more than two decades, the teachers who have guided her, and more than 400 hours in physical therapy to treat a serious injury to her left knee sustained while hiking. She is also guided by perspective and understanding gained in credited coursework in anatomy, physiology, biology and kinesiology. She has been teaching group and private classes since 2002.
Melanie has been working out in some form or fashion since she was born. Using her childhood living room as an obstacle course, she not only “entertained” her parents, but also quickly learned how much fun she had moving. She followed her need for all things fast and joined the Army after college. Fast-forward 26 years…. As a retired Army Officer serving 15 of her 20 years in Special Operations, Melanie understands first-hand the importance of being physically and mentally ready to meet any challenge. Additionally, she learned (the hard way) that balance is a necessity. This led her to yoga and Suzanne Leitner-Wise's 532Yoga teacher training program. Through this amazing journey, she learned how transformative, challenging, and uplifting yoga could be. Melanie earned her Masters Degree in Bio Chemistry/Human Nutrition and practices nutrition in the local area. Supporting others in finding happiness is her passion – she does this through teaching Yoga, coaching CrossFit, practicing nutrition….and cracking the occasional non-PC joke.
Lauren Carstensen is a travel and yoga enthusiast, with a passion for studying biology, anthropology and sociocultural evolution. She started practicing yoga in high school as a supplement to swimming and cross country, but soon found that it was much more than stretching: it was a haven to quiet the mind and manage life's stress and anxiety. LC practiced throughout high school and college until she realized that a yogic course of study was the next adventure she needed to take. LC loves sharing what she feels passionate about during restorative yoga integrates her experiences traveling and studying by telling short stories and anecdotes during relaxing stretching. She is a graduate of 532's 200 RYT program.
Lewis began his yoga practice in 1999 while seeking ways of handling the discomforts associated with IBD. Initially drawn to the benefits offered through a regular asana practice, Lewis began to explore the other limbs of the Raja Yoga path leading him to complete his RYT 200 hour training in 2010. Having been blessed with the wealth of resources offered by the growing Yoga community in Alexandria and DC, Lewis has been returning the favor by sharing his understanding of the practice by instructing a few classes a week. Lewis tries to keep the teachings simple and accessible by offering variations of classical Raja yoga with inspirations drawn from the Sivananda, Ashtanga, Dharma, and Jivamukti yoga traditions.
Chris came to yoga through DVDs and a living room floor at the age of 14. After years of sporadic practice Chris finally went to a “real” class. Shortly after that, yoga became a part of daily life and a journey of experimentation, taking classes with different yoga teachers and styles. After graduating from his training program, he was inspired to switch his academic studies from the fine arts to health. He holds a MS in Health Promotion management from American University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist.
Leah took her first yoga class in 1998 and began teaching in 2000. Since then she has been developing her own practice and honing teaching and observation skills. In 2005 she took her first Iyengar Yoga class and fell in love with the method. In 2009 she became RYT200. Leah continued to practice and participate in trainings and classes offered by John Schumacher, Lois Steinberg, Joan White, Manuso Manos, Abhijata Sridhar, Juliana Fair, Bobby Clennell and many other Iyengar yoga teachers. From 2013 to 2016 she completed her apprenticeship and training, and in 2016 became a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Leah focuses on her students as she helps them develop body awareness and through that gain stability and balance, and build strength and flexibility. She studies Vedic philosophy and strives to apply the teachings of BKS Iyengar on and off the mat. She is also a mother to a lovely 3-year-old boy and a wife to a supportive husband.
Jennifer is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Suzanne Leitner-Wise's 532Yoga teacher training program. She found yoga almost ten years ago and fell in love with the way it helped her deal with the emotional, physical and spiritual stress of being a Washingtonian. Jennifer believes that yoga helps the whole person and she incorporates that belief into her challenging traditional Iyengar-based alignment and Vinyasa flow classes. She believes a yoga practice is a celebration of exactly where you are in life and she loves helping her students revel in that yoga bliss through 532Yoga bachelorette, wedding, birthday, shower, office and children's parties. Through individualized instruction and hands on attention, Jennifer helps her students reach their own joyful potential. She lives her happiness in such a big way that you can’t help but leave her classes feeling spiritually and physically uplifted! As a mother, she has experienced the bonding benefits of practicing with her children and she loves sharing the gift of yoga with little yogis and their parents.
Exercise and team sports were always a part of Le’s life while growing up in South Florida. She started practicing yoga after suffering serious injuries as an adult, without the easy “bounce back” of her younger days. Wishing to avoid prolonged use of pain killers to help her through recovery, Le returned to her roots. In conjunction with her dad’s traditional Vietnamese medicine and martial arts influences, Le began a yoga practice that helped her regain strength and durability. It also brought new physical and mental challenges, as well as extreme joy. Ready to explore the endless benefits of yoga practice and philosophy, Le became a certified yoga instructor through Suzanne Leitner-Wise’s 532Yoga teacher training. She started teacher training with a sense of curiosity and adventure into unchartered territory, and then increasingly grew a deep passion to share, nurture, and inspire other students to transform their lives. Le loves motivating her students to experience breath, movement, alignment, strength, and flexibility, accompanied by great tunes. She has taught yoga and meditation to military members and families, State Department, USAID, and the 532Yoga family. When she’s not practicing yoga or law, you can find Le traveling, hiking, and enjoying food all around town.