|Christina “Vani” Renschen is a Yoga Alliance Registered Advanced Yoga Teacher, RYT500, e-RYT200, Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP), Thai Yoga Bodywork Specialist, and owner of Loudoun Valley Yoga. She began practicing yoga in 2009 and quickly fell in love with the balance, both physically & mentally, it helped her find in life. A highly driven Type A personality, Chris found a newfound sense of peace and a way to quiet her mind through consistent yoga practice. She also began to see the long term physical benefits of her practice in dealing with years of 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 and continues to live a very full and active life. 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 and staunchest supporter, Chris took another leap in 2013 and opened Loudoun Valley Yoga. In 2018, she completed her Advanced Teacher Training earning her RYT500 Certification with Loudoun Valley Yoga’s Integrative Flow Program. And the journey continues…
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, RYT500, 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 Folan’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. Her teaching gradually transformed from a challenging, flexible flow to a slower, deliberate, hatha/flow fusion. Currently she sees yoga therapy clients one-on-one and teaches alongside the LVY team in both teacher training and workshop settings. She does not believe in a one-way-fits-all approach to yoga and celebrates the opportunity to help students discover their own inner guidance. Her current research and teaching interests revolve around human anatomy, functional movement therapy, and somatic yoga for pain management.
Jessi hopes to create informed healing experiences through her approach, which has been influenced by both holistic and biomedical perspectives. She is honored to work with our studio’s talented group of teachers and appreciates the melding of many different perspectives which make the yoga community diverse and accessible to everyone.
|Michelle Schroeder, RYT500, E-RYT200, first came to yoga over 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 framework for evolution at the level of the heart, mind and soul, bringing everyone closer to the best version of themselves. Michelle earned her RYT 500 at Beloved Yoga in Reston and completed a personal mentorship with the founder of the studio. Additionally, she is certified in Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Contemplative Yoga, and Trauma Informed Yoga.
Since beginning her teaching journey in 2014, she has taught classes in Yin, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin Yang, Beginners, Gentle, Restorative, and Yoga Nidra. Michelle believes that by cultivating strength, release, and realignment, we can empower our bodies to become more supported and resilient. Creating a balance of stability and ease within the body can have a profound ripple effect throughout the layers of our being; enabling us to feel calmer and more centered mentally and emotionally, as well as physically. With kindness, curiosity and commitment, yoga can help everyone feel happier, safer, and more at peace, both in their own bodies and in the world.
|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.
|Terry “Gita” Meyer, RYT500, never imagined that she would be a yoga teacher, even though she has practiced yoga off and on for more than 35 years — the last 15 years more seriously. Her 200-hour Integral Hatha yoga teacher training at Satchidananda Ashram in 2012 accomplished her goals of deepening her own practice and becoming more knowledgeable about the eight limbs of yoga. Notably, actually teaching yoga was not one of her goals, but to her surprise and delight, she also 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. She continues to be amazed at the transformative power that yoga can have to reduce stress and improve overall fitness and mental focus.
Terry completed her 300-hour training at Loudoun Valley Yoga in 2018, and despite learning so much in LVY’s comprehensive program, she is once again humbled to realize how much there is left to learn. She finds that when you approach each practice with Shosin — or a beginner’s mindset — with openness and eagerness and a lack of preconceptions, even when working on the fundamentals, you can keep the practice fresh and new.
|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