Christie Kanta Haran
Christie Kanta Haran, MA, Certified Yoga Therapist, e-RYT-200, RYT 500, Thai Yoga Massage Therapist. Christie began her Yoga journey in 1994 when she attended a Yoga retreat at the Kripalu Yoga and Retreat Center, in Lenox, MA. In 2000, she earned her teaching certification through the Integral Yoga Teaching Academy, in Buckingham, VA. Christie has studied and practiced many different styles and traditions, but enjoys teaching and practicing Hatha. In addition to the physical and mental benefits of Yoga, Christie loves learning about the tradition, philosophy and science behind Yoga and includes these teachings in her classes. As a Yoga Therapist, she focuses on the therapeutic qualities of yoga and enjoys sharing the healing benefits of yoga with clients who have physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Christie has her Master's degree in Counseling and Sport Psychology and is also a Certified Stress Management Coach, Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, and a Level 1 CrossFit Trainer. KANTA, her spiritual name, given to her by her Guru (teacher), Sri Swami Satchidananda, means lovely, brilliant, and lustrous.
I came to yoga as a way of life rather late in life. I began a Bikram practice nine years ago and there was something about the moving into stillness that got to me. About three and a half years ago i went to my first vinyasa class and that was it; i was in my teacher training with Rolf Gates within four months. As i retired from 16 years of training race horses, I began my journey as a yoga practitioner and teacher. I love the freedom and the empowering nature of a vinyasa practice and added with daily meditation, there has been a growing joy, peace, and understanding in my life.
Azi is the founder of Easy Day Yoga & Meditation. Azi's desire to help people heal and realize their self-worth is deeply rooted in her childhood. As a child, she dreamt of having a place of healing where she could host people and share her many blessings with them. Later in life, she discovered an ancient teaching which allowed her to connect with her childhood calling. Everything came to fruition after she completed a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation. She decided to leave her high stress career and to dedicate her life to the path of yoga and meditation. Azi's vision for Easy Day Yoga was drawn from her professional background in Psychology, French, and Persian literature.
It's her belief that one is a yogi not just on the mat, but that mindful practice of yoga must be integrated off the mat and into our daily lives.
Denyse Peterson is one of the first in the nation to receive a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy from Maryland University of Integrative Health and is certified as a Yoga Therapist by The International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is registered with Yoga Alliance as E-RYT 500 and a provider of continuing education (YACEP). Her certifications include: Relax and Renew Trainer, Reiki Master from the Usui Shiki Ryoho lineage for over 10 years, NASM Personal Trainer, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, ACE Group Fitness Instructor with over 30 years of experience and is currently pursuing her Ayurvedic Coaching certificate. Denyse is the owner operator of Virginia Yoga Therapy, LLC and also works as an Adjunct Faculty member and Clinic Supervisor in the Yoga Therapy program at Maryland University of Integrative Health. Denyse fully believes in the healing power of yoga for physical, emotional and mental health. She has experienced relief from fibromyalgia with her practice and witnessed amazing results with her students and clients. She loves sharing her passion of yoga and a healthy lifestyle and is grateful for the opportunity to never stop learning. She enjoys walking her dogs, stand up paddle board and reading.
Leena first discovered yoga in 2009 when her college roommate, and newly-indoctrined yoga instructor, visited her and encouraged her to try yoga. After just one private lesson in her basement, Leena knew she had discovered something that was going to help her regain strength and flexibility that she had lost t0 many years of illness from rheumatoid arthritis. Little did she know then that yoga also was going to provide a pathway for a spiritual journey that continues to lead her to places of unlimited welcome and unconditional grace. After sampling many classes in varying styles of yoga, Leena found her home in the heated power vinyasa studio. It was there that she reconnected with her physical well-being and regained a sense of inner strength and peace. After 4 years of practicing heated vinyasa , Leena pursued her 200-hour teaching certification with Rolf Gates and currently is embarking on the next 300 hours of training with Rolf, together with a small community of friends and fellow yoga instructors. Leena also is going to an immersion weekend workshop for teachers in YIN yoga this winter, and is excited to bring that practice to her students and to her own mat. Leena credits and is immensely grateful to Suzy Thompson for the practicum coaching she provided during her 200 hour training with Rolf, and a handful of other instructors along the way who encouraged and supported her during her training. When she’s not on her mat, you can find Leena with her husband and twin teenage boys, and assistant coaching her son’s travel soccer team, where she also enjoys sharing her passion for yoga with young athletes.
Sheri is a Lover of Life, a Self-Love and Wellness Coach, Therapeutic Yoga Instructor, Fitness Enthusiast and Spiritual Seeker.
Sheri has enjoyed practicing yoga over the past 15 years as a relief from her love/hate relationship with running. She found yoga as a great compliment to running as it helps with flexibility, strength and aids in healing from injuries. She also found a love for Bryan Kest early on in his Power Yoga Series. I do believe it was the cut-off jeans!
Sheri is a RYT-500 and has completed a 750-hour Yoga Therapy program. She has committed just as much time to being a student as she has a teacher. Sheri has committed herself .to the path of yoga, wellness, fitness, and spiritual healing. She provides her clients with the knowledge, gifts and tools that she’s learned which can transform their lives the way they have hers.
Sheri uses these principles in her daily life and work: Movement, Breathwork, Meditation, Nutrition, and Life Style/Habits. She teaches with these principles as her foundation, creating safe classes and private lessons that flow with intention and purpose. This way, the practice becomes a moving meditation, deepening your connection to your mind, body and breath.
Sheri has a profound love for food and cooking. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen experimenting with all styles of food. She also has three adorable fur kids, aka Chihuahuas.
Kate Bharati Thuss
Kate is a Reiki Master and Integral Hatha trained RYT-200. She specializes in working with people living with depression and anxiety, though she enjoys working with anyone who is in pursuit of living a more balanced and joyful life. The gentle practices of Reiki & Yoga have been an integral part in her own well being and recovery from depression, and she’d love to share the tools and techniques she’s learned to help you manage your mood more effectively. She’s available for both Reiki and Yoga sessions privately here at Easy Day Yoga.
Kate came to yoga several years ago looking to learn how to better manage work stressors and ended up beginning a larger, unexpected journey that continues to transform her life both on and off the mat. She is a certified 200-hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher currently working on her 500-hour Yoga Medicine advanced certification with Tiffany Cruikshank. Kate enjoys practicing and learning about all types of yoga, and is especially interested in integrating accessible anatomy information and therapeutic benefits into her teaching. Her classes are meant to offer an opportunity for relaxation and enjoyment while introducing students to a compassionate experience. Kate believes yoga provides a safe place for exploration of mind, body and whatever else might find its way into the practice that day.
Nancy McGovern onto yoga more than 5 years ago while looking for a fitness class at a local gym. She quickly found that her years of ballet training made many of the poses feel like “home” in her body. She had a desire to attend teacher training, but the schedules of her 3 active children made it seem like a daunting task. As her children became more independent, Nancy finally saw a window of opportunity. She completed her 200 hour teacher training in June of 2017 and since, has taken further Yin/Restorative training as well as workshops for teaching children’s classes. Nancy has a special interest in working with youth as well as in furthering her studies in Mindfulness. Although Nancy is new to teaching yoga, she has been teaching children for 25+ years through her business, “Dance To You,” which teaches creative movement, tumbling and now, yoga in area preschools.
Michelle’s love of yoga began over a decade ago. Attending her first class with a small group of friends and family, she was originally drawn to the physical aspects of the practice. With her background in dance, she loved the full body movements and the focus on both strength and flexibility. It was on her drive home after practice one night, that she realized yoga was capable of so much more than just the physical. For the first time she realized her mind wasn’t racing. It wasn’t thinking about the past or worrying about the future. At that moment she knew it would become a lifelong practice. Over the years she has been fortunate to practice many styles of yoga with inspiring teachers and students. In 2017 she decided to take her practice to the next level by taking part in Easy Day Yoga’s teacher training program. With the support, guidance, and friendship of the teachers at Easy Day, she earned her RYT-200 certification and she is forever thankful for their encouragement. She enjoys spending her free time with her amazingly supportive husband, their beautiful son, and their super sweet dog Sophie. Yoga has helped bring balance and peace to her life and she is excited and grateful to be able to help others on their own personal journey.
Michelle first came to yoga ten years ago, looking to destress from her life as a stay at home mom. What began as a way to release tension became the path of a lifetime. She found that, far from being just a physical practice, yoga provides a compassionate training ground for evolving heart, mind and soul, bringing you closer to the best version of yourself. Michelle earned her RYT 200 at Beloved Yoga in Reston, and completed an additional personal mentorship with the founder of the studio. Since graduating, she has continued learning with teachers such as Doug Keller and Maria Garre, and completed a teacher training specializing in Restorative Yoga with Cyndi Lee. Michelle is currently attending RYT 500 and hopes to continue to learn, grow, and serve her students better. Michelle believes the ultimate journey of yoga is one that brings each person closer to their true nature, with compassion, joy and humor. She encourages students to learn, laugh and discover more about both their bodies and minds on the mat. Michelle teaches her students with the goal of nurturing a kind heart and open mind, which can benefit everyone both on the mat and in the world.
Joanna began her yoga journey in 2013 while living in Vero Beach, Florida. She started a consistent Vinyasa practice and hasn't looked back. At the outset, her practice was all about the physical postures and exercise, and has since evolved into much more. After relocating to Ashburn in 2014, she walked into Easy Day Yoga and found her new yoga home. With Easy Day offering a strong variety of classes, she found a new passion for the Yin side of things under the guidance of wonderful instructors Leena Lowe and Denyse Peterson. Yin affords us an opportunity that we don't often take; to be still and listen! Joanna completed her 200 hour teacher training at Easy Day in June 2017 and was blessed to further her studies of yin/restorative yoga by completing the zen zone workshop with Denyse Peterson in October 2017. Off of the mat, Joanna is a full time genetic counselor with a BA in psychology and a Master of science in Genetic Counseling. You will find her at the gym in the early morning and at easy day almost every night of the work week! Joanna has been working the front desk at Easy Day since 2014 and is so humbled to now be guiding her fellow Easy Day-ers through their practice!
MJ (Minjung) believes the practice of yoga supports the cultivation of pure contentment and joy through the experience of a deeper connection with the body, mind and spirit. MJ began her 200 Hour Teacher training in 2016 with LifePower Yoga and continued the 85 Hour Prenatal Teacher training from Beloved Yoga under Maryam Ovissi and Vasanthi Srinivasan. She continues to delve into the knowledge and philosophy of yoga through personal practice, studies and trainings. MJ believes that yoga is a tool of empowerment for expecting mothers. Through nurturing the bond between mother and child, MJ supports a reconnection of a mother’s body and mind. In her Prenatal classes, she creates a safe environment for practitioners to explore the physical and emotional transitions of the journey of pregnancy through listening to the guidance of the breath and body.
Jennie was introduced to yoga in her twenties through various home videos, as a way to stretch after her gym workouts. When Jennie took her first vinyasa studio class, she was amazed that subtle adjustments with a word from the instructor could completely change the way a pose felt, and that each class left her with a feeling of energetic calm. It wasn’t till years later, after a steady vinyasa practice had helped her maintain mobility through several tick-born illnesses that Jennie truly appreciated what an important part of her life yoga had become. She knew she wanted to help others find this path to physical and emotional wellness, so in 2016 completed a 200-hour teaching certification with Marcia Hoffheins, Kelly Armstrong and Colleen Clement, and has been teaching since. When not on her mat, Jennie loves cooking, gardening or just relaxing with her husband of 19 years, their two teens, and pup.
In 2009, I'd just moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts and was prepping to begin my first year as a high school English teacher. A good friend encouraged me to come to yoga with her. And so we went. The studio offered heated vinyasa classes. No idea what that meant. Unprepared, with NO towel of any kind, I distinctly remember sweating so much that I was wiping my face on my pants in every single downward-facing dog. In savasana, I lay there trying to piece together what I had just experienced, and the teacher said something to the effect of (I paraphrase): "We constantly have to work to accept and love ourselves, to stop being so critical. It's daily work." In high school and college, I struggled greatly with my body-image, and on that summer evening in '09, I was preparing to begin a new and highly stressful job. The yoga class and the teacher's message resonated, so I promised myself I'd give yoga a chance. I tried out more classes at the sweaty studio in Cambridge. I began to learn that the very nature of yoga, as a daily practice, can become therapeutic, can lead to compassion for and more acceptance of one’s self, body and mind. From what I could tell, a practitioner is never actually done with yoga. Didn't take long before I was hooked. Even so, years of soccer and running and months of constantly standing on horrendously hard floors (...my teacher friends, you know) made the ideas of 'open hips' and 'strong arms' feel like improbable and impossible fantasies. Resting half-pigeon made me feel one hundred percent angry - like, why are we here, "easing into" this torture? I kept showing up to my mat. In 2011, I moved to Washington D.C. where I practiced at a number of great studios: Flow, Yoga District, and Epic Yoga. And then in 2013, I moved out of DC-proper and decided to do a 200-hour teacher training at Inner Power Yoga. Several years have passed since that training finished, and it's only now that I feel like I'm beginning to understand why I did it and what it's given me. I love classes that are challenging and energizing just as much as they allow me to reset and find some quiet--to really listen--and so these are the classes I try to create. I structure classes around key elements of classical vinyasa, a tiny bit of Ashtanga, and more recently, some Rocket. Classes are playful and also feature (no bias here) great music. I spend a ton of time creating playlists. Ultimately, I want students to feel they have space to experiment and discover, to try new postures and transitions, to grow and deepen their own practices. As students increase strength and flexibility through a physical practice, my hope, too, is that they learn to feel more grounded, more aware of their bodies, more confident. I am a big believer in the transformative qualities of yoga. It's changed my life.
Parry came to yoga following a car accident and subsequently various means of physical therapy and chiropractic interventions to address ongoing spinal pain. A good friend recommended Bikram yoga and she engaged in Bikram over about a year and a half before discovering vinyasa yoga. After her first vinyasa class, she knew she had found her yoga preference and never looked back. Vinyasa has served as a therapeutic, creative, inspiring home base from which to grow a devoted practice. As a classroom teacher by day for now over two decades, little by little, yoga became an opening for a deposit in the self and an unspeakably rich opportunity for reflection. Coming to the mat at the end of the day felt like home. Resolved never to teach yoga and perfectly content as a student, Parry did not plan to ever take teacher training. She believed teacher training could not make her love yoga any more than she already did. Confronted with an emotional and spiritual renaissance, she realized one day it was time to teach – after all, teaching is what she knows. How could she not bring one of her greatest passions to others as a voice of support for whatever their personal journeys may be as they step on their mats? Parry completed her teacher training at Easy Day Yoga and could not be more thrilled to practice in the community in which she teaches – yoga is a lifelong practice and we are all in this together.
Tessa offers a unique yoga practice that explores how the voice, rhythm, sound and silence affect the mind and body. She is a lifelong musician and began practicing yoga during 2008 in search of relief from chronic pain, also lifelong. Her interests and expertise lie in the use of voice and music to affect and rewire the nervous systems of the body. From straightforward to complex and overwhelming issues, Tessa seeks to offer practitioners simple and accessible tools for the gentle and consistent cultivation of wellness in body and mind.
Body and Sound Flow (is this good?)
This class is accessible to practitioners of all levels and offers education on the voice as a tool for regulating - or influencing - both mind and body. To begin, we explore a gentle flow through asana to awaken and release tension within the body. We warm up the voice during this movement with gentle sounds, and then begin to exercise it with more acute attention once the body has come to stillness in a comfortable seated position. Using sound or sanskrit mantra, the vocal practice deepens and elongates breath, having tangible effects on the brain and nervous systems. Often we will create and relish in the sounds of beautiful LIVE music together.
Over 5 years of dedicated study, Jayme's yoga journey has transformed from a purely physical practice to one dedicated to mental focus, on the mat and more importantly, out in the world. Jayme has formal training and mentorships in Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Rocket yoga, and is a registered RYT200 yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance. Through additional specialized trainings and workshops, Jayme has developed a unique proficiency in advanced postures including arm balances, floating transitions, and inversions. Jayme also has a dedicated seated meditation practice.
Jayme's classes are designed to be an environment where a student can expand the bounds of their practice, no matter their level, and have fun while they're doing it. Outside of class, Jayme enjoys AcroYoga, gardening, cooking, podcasts, and hikes with her dog.