ERYT-500, Owner/Director, LYC
Jiwan Shakti Kaur (Julie Eisenberg) ERYT-500 started practicing yoga in the mid-1990s as a way to decompress from a stressful job. Over the years, as her practice deepened and evolved, she began to understand yoga as a tool of personal transformation and empowerment. She is a Kundalini Level 2 Teacher and Professional Teacher Trainer with the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI), with advanced certifications in therapeutics and other modalities. Jiwan Shakti opened Lighthouse Yoga Center in 2013 in her home community of Petworth, DC as a way to share the teachings of yoga with the residents of her diverse neighborhood. Outside the studio she has taught yoga to DC’s homeless population and low-income Spanish-speaking immigrants in Washington, DC and is involved in many community and civic organizations. Her classes, retreats and trainings are energetic, spiritual and often powerfully transformational.
Brian discovered Kundalini Yoga on accident, walking into a studio in 2012 and taking the first available class that evening, which happened to be an awesomely strange mix of meditation, postures, chants and movement. He found it utterly magical — “Wait, so you make these hand movements, breathe in a certain way, close your eyes, and say these words, and you can feel like this, all the time?” — and became hooked. He’s been taking Kundalini classes ever since, building it into his daily life, and completed his 220-hour KRI Level I Teacher Training at Lighthouse. He has a love for heart-based kriyas and meditations — “These should be taught all over DC, everywhere!” — and might have been a dog in a former life, as he loves nothing more than walking through Rock Creek Park every day and chasing a soccer ball. Brian’s classes are both energizing and relaxing at the same time, and are geared towards building awareness, and connecting ourselves with our true selves.
When Evan was dragged by a former girlfriend to his first yoga class in 2010, he was just hoping to get some exercise and maybe relieve some muscle pain. What he found was SO much more: a profound awakening to the power of linking breath and movement to calm the mind and heal the body. Evan’s yoga journey has weaved through a range of styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Forrest. After completing his 200hr Teacher Training with Abby Dobbs in DC, he began teaching in 2017 to share his love for yoga as a way to feel the body, move energy, and let go of patterns that don’t serve us so we can make choices that are in alignment with our “highest self.” Evan’s classes are inspired primarily by Forrest yoga, blending flows, holds, deep breathing, and bodywork, with intentions rooted in yoga philosophy that we can practice on the mat and take with us into everyday life.
Nandi Gabremedhin is a KRI Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Instructor, graduate of Lighthouse Yoga Center’s KRI Teacher Training Program. Nandi took her first yoga class more than 11 years ago in a Saturday program at her son’s school. With that first class she felt more positive, peaceful and happy. As her practice developed, she felt there was still something missing - she wanted to learn to meditate, which led her to Kundalini Yoga & Meditation. Initially she thought she’d just take classes for herself, but then knew fairly soon she wanted to become a teacher to share the benefits of which she so abundantly received. Through her own practice and teachings, Nandi found that Kundalini Yoga has been a way to dig deeper and uncover more of herself and her own power, becoming more focused and disciplined in developing her spirituality. Nandi’s classes facilitate experiences for individuals to find their own power, overcome personal challenges, shed the old skin and grow anew by uncovering the divine energy within and illuminating peace, light and love that inspires others thru example and energy.
A yoga teacher for more than 15 years, Kati has practiced, studied and taught a rainbow of yoga traditions including hatha, vinyasa, and Iyengar. Through her yoga journey, she has developed her own unique teaching style that focuses on connection to the breath and attention to alignment. She addresses the individual needs of each of her students, creating a challenging but safe environment for everyone to experience the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of yoga. She has a deep commitment to the practice of Kundalini yoga, and is a Level Two Certified Teacher by the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). Kait's goal as a yoga teacher is to channel her enthusiasm and energy to empower others to live a life with peaceful minds and hearts filled with love. She believes that through a committed practice, people can get in touch with the essence of who they really are.
Looking for a strength building workout on a fall morning in 2008, Emily accepted the invitation of a friend to attend a yoga class. She began attending yoga classes regularly because—as many yoga students quickly discover–it felt so good. Somewhere along the way the age old practice began transforming her body and mind in ways that she didn’t even known to ask for but for which she is immensely grateful. Emily is a full-time yoga teacher with over 1000 hours of training in yoga techniques including asana (poses), restorative yoga, yoga nidra (deep relaxation), meditation, pranayama, energy healing, and yoga philosophy. She is also dedicated to a daily self-guided study and practice on the mat and in the world. Emily brings a warm and steady tone to her classes, and finds great joy in seeing students leave with a greater sense of mental and physical space and increased access to the inner source of knowing. Emily’s classes are inspired by her teacher Dharma Mittra and what he has shared with her from his 50+ years of teaching yoga.
Audrey has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years. She first took a kundalini course in college in southern California, but didn’t start regularly practicing yoga until several later when she developed a vinyasa practice. She completed a 200-hour interdisciplinary yoga training at Nosara Yoga Institute in 2007 and taught vinyasa for several years at Petworth’s Yoga House Studio, where she delved more deeply into kundalini classes. Audrey completed her 220-hour KRI Level I kundalini teacher training at Lighthouse Yoga Studio in 2017. She particularly enjoys the practice’s emphasis on pranayama, meditation, and cultivation of inner strength, as well as strength and spine-opening. She also enjoys dabbling in yin, restorative, and hatha. Outside of yoga, Audrey is in the communications field and dotes on her dog.
Tara took her first yoga class for college PE credit in 1999 and it was (cliche but true!) love at first down dog. She went on to complete teacher training at Willow Street Yoga Center in 2005 and has taught over 5,000 hours of yoga since then. She is best known in the DC area for her highly praised continuing education Restorative Yoga Teacher Training program and her Restorative Yoga weekend retreats. In Tara's weekly classes you can expect clear, encouraging and lighthearted instructions that will help you explore poses and sequences in new and interesting ways. Whether you are brand new to yoga or have been practicing for many years, you will find just the right amount of challenge and inspiration. Everyone leaves her classes feeling empowered, joyful, and grounded. To learn more about Tara, visit her website: www.taralemeriseyoga.com.
Megan is an E-RYT with Yoga Alliance and a member of The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Her study and practice of yoga are informed by her experiences with rehabilitation, theories of traditional anatomy and Anatomy Trains®, along with the application of techniques from kinesiology and movement therapy. Since becoming a yoga teacher in 2005 Megan has worked with students who have moderate to severe injuries and chronic conditions.
Colleen is a devoted yogi, lawyer and labor and human rights advocate. She believes in the power of yoga to create social change and harmony. Her yoga classes seek to open the hearts, minds and inner intelligence of her students to realize the positive impact and peace that they can have in their own lives and in the world around them. Colleen has practiced Forrest, Kundalini and Hatha yoga for over 10 years.
Suzanne considers herself a life-long student of yoga and is passionate about sharing the transformational power of the practice. As a child, she found her grandmother’s yoga books and was intrigued by the postures, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she committed to a consistent yoga and meditation routine. She is infinitely fascinated by the yoga and has lived and studied at two of the country’s leading yoga retreat and education centers, Yogaville Satchidanda Ashram and Kripalu Center of Yoga and Health. Suzanne completed a 220-hour Kundalini Yoga certification at Lighthouse Yoga, a 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga certification with Faith Hunter and studied contemplative prayer at the Shalem Institute. Yoga is Suzanne’s prayer, energy boost, stress buster, fun challenge, confidant and so much more. She believes yoga is a technology that uplifts us and help us feel at home in our bodies, so that we can live as mindfully powerful beings.
Hillary (Tera Kirti Kaur) first discovered yoga when she was 16 and explored Hatha and Vinyasa before falling in love with Kundalini in 2013. She completed her KRI Level 1 certification in 2017 and Yoga for Youth teacher training in 2016. Hillary is passionate about sharing her love of yoga with others and enjoys discussing the unique experiences that happen on the mat and as the practice starts shaping other aspects of daily life. She sees yoga as both an escape from the pressures around us and a way to connect with ourselves and with the world around us in a different, deeper, and more spiritual way. In addition to her daily yoga practice, Hillary draws inspiration from her family—in particular her son, Elom—bike rides, and walks in nature.
Meredith began her own yoga practice over 15 years ago – first to get a little exercise and later to try to find sanity and balance despite a stressful job as a consultant. She stuck with yoga thanks to a welcoming and vibrant yoga community. Early in her practice she was drawn to an alignment-based school of teaching, connecting to a clear and thoughtful way of articulating poses, an invitation to participate fully and creatively in everyday life, and the fact that laughter on the mat was not only tolerated, but encouraged. She has continued to grow and share her love of the practice ever since. When her first son was born in 2013, she started to take infant, then toddler classes, and her family has continued the journey together. Meredith carries a sense of playfulness into her classes for both children and grownups, and is excited to share with students of all ages the joys and challenges that yoga reveals both on and off the mat.
Melanie Williams (they/them) is a yoga teacher and self-love advocate, called to create profoundly accessible spaces for self-inquiry by integrating mindfulness and adaptive movement practices with the spirit of social justice. They believe that the goal of yoga, as of life, is collective liberation and in turn challenge contemporary yoga practitioners to dismantle the systems and beliefs that hold us all back. In addition to regular group classes and private sessions, Melanie teaches workshops that explore queer identity, body image, pleasure, and agency, trains new teachers in adaptive teaching methods for all bodies and abilities, co-leads the Yoga & Body Image Coalition, and administrates trainings internationally for Accessible Yoga. They’ve been called a “tour-de-force of encouraging radical self-love” (DC Refined) and listed among the “top thinkers and activists in the field of body positivity” (OmStars). Melanie’s classes are alignment-based, adaptive, and trauma-informed. Experimentation with props and pose variations is encouraged. They live in Silver Spring with their partner and a polydactyl kitty named Matcha.
Rebecca’s journey with yoga and meditation began more than twenty years ago when she took precepts with the Zen Buddhist Society of Compassionate Wisdom, finding that a vigorous yoga practice was the only way to keep her chattering mind quiet on her meditation mat. As those practices expanded into helping her with the stresses of school, and, later, work and family life, she has been exploring the benefits of her practice on and off the mat ever since. Forever a student, she brings a beginners mind and an awakened heart to her practice and teaching. Compassion, empathy, humor and joy are at the core of all of her classes. Her focus is on alignment and mindful movement with breath in both a traditional hatha as well as vinyasa style.
Mila discovered the true physical, mental and emotional benefits yoga and Pilates while recovering from a knee injury due to a ski accident. Through both practices she could heal her body, mind, and spirit and found each to be in sync with her personal style of exercise. After experiencing the healing benefits, she totally "nerded out" on these practices through training in four types of yoga (Yin, Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative) and Pilates. She loves to using the disciplines to help herself and others strengthen their physical bodies and as well as connect to the body/ mind experience through the breath. Her teaching philosophy is heavily influenced by Sarah Powers, Judith Lasater and Tara Brach.
Kristina (Karuna) Maze is a local yoga instructor with years of experience teaching beginner-, intermediate-, and advance-level students traditional asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation/relaxation techniques. She weaves elements of Sivananda, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Jivamukti yoga styles, as well as modifications to poses, into her classes. For the past decade, Karuna has hosted yoga satsangs, where she leads chants (kirtan) and cooks a glorious feast of vegetarian fare--usually with ingredients grown in her gardens.
María Elena Montero is a graduate of Willow Street Yoga’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. She first discovered yoga as way to manage back pain, but quickly fell in love with the simple connection to breath. María Elena is deeply committed to sharing Yoga as a healing resource for dis-eases of the body and soul, and if a single word could describe her practice, it would be joy. María Elena guides her students in a way that is at once thoughtful & fun, infusing joy, humor and strength in her practice and in her teaching, remembering that all you ever have to do is breathe (and eat chocolate).
Keith B. Robinson, RYT-200, fully embrace yoga in 2017 when he decided to enroll in yoga teacher training (YTT). Started his person yoga exploration in 2009 after 15 years of Kung Fu & Tai Chi training and is also a Reiki practitioner. Graduated from YTT with Breathe for Change in December 2017 and Willow Street Yoga Center teacher training in August 2018. He is known for bringing the fun to the mat via the breath and body alignment.
A life-long athlete and fitness enthusiast, Eric found yoga (or, rather, yoga found Eric) in his late 40s. Yoga has brought much-needed balance to his mind and body. His love and passion for the many gifts that yoga has to offer led him to complete his 200-hour yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He believes passionately in the power of Kripalu Yoga to connect mind and body, and inspire openheartedness and self-discovery. Eric has taught vinyasa-style classes, fundamentals classes as well as both gentle and vigorous classes. As a Kripalu-trained teacher, each of his classes includes meditation, pranayama, and asanas. Off the mat, Eric spends time with his family in Costa Rica, volunteers regularly with the shelter dogs at Humane Rescue Alliance, and holds down a day job as a lawyer at Fannie Mae.
Lisa Lauxman stumbled on a six-week special Beginner's Yoga class when she was seeking something to help with balance and flexibility as she ages. Previous yoga experiences had been through gyms where she was a member. What a difference a yoga studio experience makes! Lisa found so much more, she found a community where following the breath and aligning the body create balance in one's life. To advance her yoga journey, Lisa completed her RYT-200 training at Willow Street Yoga in Takoma Park, MD and is a lifelong learner at heart so has completed a Restorative Yoga training with Tara Lemerise. She seeks to live a yogic life through meditation practice and the asanas. Lisa hopes to provide such balance for others through her classes and have fun!
Billie Meyer studied Pilates in Aspen and Boulder, CO, mainly to manage her chronic neck and shoulder issues. She fell in love with the Pilates philosophy of working from the inside out to create full body movements, focusing on core muscles and mental connection to create strength with flexibility, better alignment and balance, and the ability to move more effectively and enjoyably in everyday life. She became a Certified Pilates Instructor at the Pilates Center in Boulder and has been teaching for over 19 years. Besides teaching traditional Pilates, Billie enjoys working therapeutically with people who are dealing with injuries or illnesses that cause difficulties in movement, supporting them in returning to their favorite activities with confidence and joy. She has taken many advanced workshops to support this type of work, and recently became certified in the Pink Ribbon Program for breast cancer post-rehab exercise. Billie has a BFA from CU/Boulder and likes to garden, hike, cook for friends and zydeco dance. Occasionally she makes costumes for dancers and trapeze artists.
Kathi has been a dedicated meditation and yoga student for over three decades. She believes that the power of yoga is in connecting the breath and the body in mindful movement. Kathi completed her RYT200 training at the Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring MD. She teaches an alignment-based Hatha yoga flow class and endeavors to make the practice accessible to all bodies. Kathi’s classes focus on connecting our breath with our bodies, and she will help you make adjustments and/or use props as necessary to enhance your experience in the yoga poses.
RYT-200, Studio Manager
Jazmín’s classes are a combination of Sivananda flow and her own personal experiences and learnings throughout the years as a former professional ballerina. Her class starts with a series of Pranayama (Kapalabati and Anuloma Viloma breathing exercises), continued by a flow of a structured combination of asanas (postures). She offers her classes in English, Spanish and French, and will be ready to teach a multilingual class anytime it’s necessary. Jazmín migrated to yoga after more than ten years as a professional ballerina and ballet teacher. Once she discovered yoga and started feeling the benefits, both physical and spiritual, of the practice, she dove in to explore different techniques. Moved by her passion to learn and teach, she completed her teacher’s training course at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp in Montreal in 2017. She is also the Studio Manager at Lighthouse.