|Chris “Vani” Renschen, MA, E-RYT200, Owner of Loudoun Valley Yoga. Chris is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher and Thai Yoga Bodywork Therapist. She began practicing yoga in 2008 and quickly fell in love with the “balance” it helped her find in her life. A highly driven Type A personality, Chris found a newfound sense of peace and a way to quiet her mind through her yoga practice. She also began to see the long term physical benefits of her practice in dealing with her chronic back pain. After an extensive spinal surgery in 2005, Chris’s surgeon told her of the many limitations she would have for the remainder of her life and of the many surgeries to be faced in her future. Much to everyone’s surprise, Chris has surpassed every expectation.
Chris attributed all of these positive changes in her life to yoga and decided to become a yoga teacher so she could share her own personal experiences with others facing similar challenges. She obtained her 200 hour certification in Integral Hatha Yoga from the Swami Satchidinanda Ashram in Buckingham, VA. It was there that she was given the spiritual name “Vani” (an incarnation of Saraswati – goddess of wisdom, art & music).
In 2012, Chris took an amazing leap of faith and took an early retirement from her highly successful career in the classified IT world and she never looked back. Thanks to her loving husband (her staunchest supporter), Chris took another leap in 2013 and opened Loudoun Valley Yoga. With profound gratitude toward her family, her fellow teachers and the wonderful community at LVY, Chris continues to find inspiration through the journey, exploration and teaching of yoga.
|Alexandra Patton, RYT200. Physical and mental well being have always been important to Alexandra. She grew up in ballet studios, which taught her the importance of discipline, strength and well-being. However, it was not until she found yoga that she felt truly connected and content with her body. Alexandra took her first Ashtanga Yoga class while living in Florence, Italy pursuing a Masters Degree. The class was candlelit with expansive windows that opened up over the River Arno. She still remember show intimidated she felt as a beginner, walking into an unknown. Looking back Alex could not be happier that she took that first step into this journey.
In 2012, Alex completed the 5 week long 200-hour certification at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat on Paradise Island, Bahamas. This immersion and exposure to the classical philosophy of the Hatha Yoga gave her a greater understanding of the practice that she is continually eager to share. She is devoted to the practice and have found that it is rewarding and effective to incorporate the teachings of multiple yoga traditions, plyometric exercise and dance technique into our own lives.
|Barb Hamel, RYT200, began practicing yoga in 1980 as a college freshman with the help of a $2.95 book in the campus bookstore. Despite her initial disbelief that anyone could actually touch their toes while seated or standing with straight legs, she stuck with it and quickly discovered miracles are possible! Her personal practice deepened with the invention of the VCR and Rodney Yee videos, and really took off when she began taking yoga classes at the local YMCA 20 years ago. Barb began teaching at the Y, and has completed a variety of yoga trainings, including YogaFit, several weekend workshops with Desiree Rumbaugh, and most recently a 200 hour yoga certification training at LVY with Jessi Hughes. Barb believes yoga is for everybody. She’s witnessed the positive impact of yoga both in her own life and others, and is excited to join the LVY team.|
|Cindy “Chandra” Kopciak, RYT200, has been practicing yoga and incorporating its philosophy into her life since the age of 15. At that time yoga was not as readily available as it is today so watching “Lilias Yoga and You” on PBS was a way to connect to yoga and Lilias Folen’s kind manner was inspiring and contagious! Cindy has studied at Yogaville, an ashram in Virginia which incorporates the teachings of Swami Satchidanada and Integral Hatha Yoga. She has completed Integral Yoga Teacher Training, Yoga & Meditation for Children, Yoga for the Special Child and Yoga for Seniors. Cindy’s caring and gentle technique are well suited to leading students of all levels.|
Kimberly “Santoshi” Nelson, RYT200. Balance to body, is what brought Kimberly to yoga. Balance to body, mind and spirit is what keeps her coming back. Being a runner who rarely stretched for over twenty years, you can just imagine how tight and unbalanced many of her muscles had become. Bending over to pick up something dropped on the floor brought a groan, and so did looking over her shoulder at stop signs. Not looking forward to a life of limited mobility, the search for balance and ease began. Her daughter recommended yoga class. Begrudgingly, to appease her daughter, Kim went to her first yoga class. From that first class, Kim felt a small change and hope. Over the next several months, the more she practiced, the more she wanted to practice and learn about yoga. A desire to share what she had found with friends and family led her to train and obtain a 200 hour yoga teacher certification, with Denise “Sumuki” Moore at Loudoun Valley Yoga. She is excited to join the LVY team and share yoga practice with individuals coming together as a community.
|Jessica “Odette” Hughes, MS, Yoga Therapist, E-RYT500, found formal yoga practices at the age of 19, and began a life-long journey as a teacher and as a student. She has completed 500 hours of formal training in vinyasa and Prana Flow yoga, a style rooted in the teachings of Krishnamacharya, ayurveda, and tantra (hatha yoga). She completed an M.S. in Physiology and Integrative Medicine at Georgetown University in 2015 to deepen her understanding of the inner body and is currently immersed in a second M.S. in Yoga Therapy (2017).
Jessi’s approach has been influenced by a variety of perspectives, both holistic and biomedical, with which she hopes to create informed healing experiences. She takes great interest in Ayurvedic Medicine, yogas sister science, as well as other manual therapies like thai massage. Her teaching arises from her experience in these areas, as well as committed personal practice and an appreciation for art in all forms.
|Michelle Schroeder, RYT500, came to yoga ten years ago as a stay at home mom looking to bring balance to her stressful lifestyle. She discovered that, not only was yoga a system to release physical tension, it also offered a holistic framework for cultivating inner peace, acceptance, kindness and strength. Michelle completed her 200 RYT at Beloved Yoga in Reston. She also completed an additional personal mentorship with the founder of the studio, with a particular focus on Hatha yoga. Michelle’s teaching style has been compared to doing yoga with your sister. Her focus is on making yoga accessible and compassionate for every body and ability. She is always excited to deepen and expand her knowledge of yoga, taking a particular interest in anatomy and alignment, along with the quieting practices of yin and restorative yoga. Michelle is excited to be a part of Loudoun Valley Yoga and looks forward to helping students discover yoga in their own bodies.|
|Sue Miller, RYT200 – Sue’s first experience with yoga was in 2005 and she has practiced Hatha Yoga and other Eastern modalities of yoga ever since. Through life’s ups and downs, yoga has sustained her and propelled her toward self discovery, healing, and ultimately peace. Sue feels that it is a gift to be able to share what she has learned with others so they may find the same amazing peace and road to healing and spiritual growth.
Her background and training is through Integral Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Dahn Yoga, with a little flow and Kundalini mixed in. She has studied the Chinese system of meridians, acupressure points and the energy body. Healing the mind and body by using your own mind, breath and energy is a powerful technique. She incorporates all of these components of yoga into a comprehensive experience of healing. Sue feels deeply blessed to live in this beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain community and to share her love of yoga with you all. She tries to bring an open and grateful heart to every situation in her daily life.
|Denise “Sumuki” Moore is a Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (experienced yoga teacher with more than 500 hours of training), and has taught in a variety of venues for the past 24 years, 20 years full time. She owned and directed Leesburg’s first yoga studio from 1996 – 2000. Drawn to yoga at an early age, Denise’s studies began with books and a college course. She has attended numerous teacher trainings at Yogaville – Beginner, Advanced and pre-natal yoga and completed the Integrative Yoga Therapy program taught by Joseph LePage. She has attended numerous workshops from various yoga schools and is strongly influenced by the alignment of the Iyengar tradition which has allowed her to have a sustainable, injury-free practice for over 25 years.
Her philosophy for teaching is to maintain a personal practice grounded in the 8 limbs of yoga and is guided by the wise words of her teachers, that asana (pose), is to be adapted to the student, not the student to fit the pose. She combines ongoing studies and practice to create and offer workshops and private classes presenting the wholeness of yoga, for a healthy balanced life.
|Terry “Gita” Meyer, RYT200, never imagined that she would be a yoga teacher, even though she has practiced yoga off and on for more than 30 years — the last 10 years more seriously. When she signed up for Integral Hatha yoga teacher training at Satchidananda Ashram in Yogaville, VA in 2012, it was to take the next step and deepen her own practice. To her surprise and delight, she discovered she enjoys sharing her love of yoga asana, as well as the physical and mental benefits of a regular yoga practice, as a teacher. Upon graduation, she immediately began teaching yoga to high school girls as part of the athletic curriculum at Foxcroft School and was amazed at the transformative power that yoga can have to reduce stress and improve overall fitness and mental focus. She is excited to become part of the teaching staff at the Loudoun Valley Yoga sangha.|
|Tim Hutchinson, E-RYT200, returned to yoga in 2005 after a 20 plus year hiatus from the practice. Tim enrolled in a 200 hour Prana Flow training program in 2008 led by Maria Garre and Julia Kalish and in 2011 another 200 hour Training at Flow Yoga with Julia Kalish and Marcia Hoffheins. He has had the opportunity to continue studies in workshops with Doug Keller, Tim Miller, Maria Garre, Marcia Hoffheins and Kelli Adkins.
Tim believes and works in his classes to try and convey the idea that the practice is available to anyone and that we all can benefit should we choose. His classes are his fusion of several styles that allow the student to participate and learn and hopefully benefit, no matter whether this is their first class or have been practicing for a decade.
Always a student, sometimes a teacher Tim is inspired and very thankful for all the people, teachers and students alike that share the practice of yoga with him.
yogash chitta vritti nirodhah