Rachael McGowen - forrest style vinyasa yoga

Rachael McGowen completed the Ana Forrest 200-hour Forrest Yoga teacher training in 2010 and has since also completed the Forrest Advanced teacher training. She's currently working toward a 300 hour certification in Iyengar and yoga philosophy. Her teaching is most heavily influenced by Forrest Yoga because it is designed specifically for healing the aches of Western bodies and has a heavy focus on breath, healing, hands-on teaching, addressing injuries, alignment, and embodying spirit - all while being delighted by a fun, challenging, and intensive physical practice.

She recently moved to Charlottesville from Brooklyn, where she taught at Bend and Bloom, and has also taught in San Francisco at The Mindful Body, Yoga Tree, Innerstellar, and Moksha, along with working with numerous regular private clients. She encourages her students to focus on a specific intention with every practice, and to also incorporate these intentions into their lives off the mat. Rachael has also completed many workshops and trainings by other teachers in, among others, anatomy, pre and post-natal, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and therapeutic yoga. Rachael is not only an agent for transformation of her students, but through her work in environmental sustainability. 

Johannah Dottori - gentle yoga

Johannah was a co-owner of A Place to Breathe, a long-standing yoga studio in Ivy, where she has spent the last 8 years helping students explore the many benefits of a gentle yoga practice. After closing it's doors to regular classes Johannah wanted to continue her offering of Gentle Yoga and joined the Santosha team in January 2019. In 2002, Johannah was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with her second child.  Now cancer free and a mother of two girls, her focus on health has expanded to sharing her love of yoga and meditation. Becoming certified in yoga at the age of 49 has allowed Johannah wonderful insight in teaching those students who are new to their yoga journey or long-time practitioners who yearn for a gentle practice. Johannah brings her expertise in providing productive and meaningful classes, workshops, and retreats to help students feel safe, slow down, and go within. In her own words, “The practice of mindful yoga and meditation brings balance to our busy lives – it is as simple as that.”

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catherine mcmahon - Vinyasa yoga, yin yoga

Country girl, surfer girl and yogini unite. It’s all about balance and play for Catherine. Forever inspired and challenged by living her yoga off the mat and around the world, Catherine's teaching embodies a philosophy that celebrates the beauty of life, the human body and nature. She believes that the path to contentment in body and mind lies strongly in the power of connecting to the energies, cycles and rhythms of the universe. With movement, breath work and meditation in her teaching and her own practice she hopes to help guide others in this direction.

A graduate of The Asheville Yoga Center’s teacher certification, she has taught in the Charlottesville area since 2013. She is also the founder of Mango SUP & Yoga Adventures. Catherine travels annually to her "second home" of Costa Rica to surf, practice yoga and experience the country’s incredible beauty. In addition to studio classes, teaching at music festivals and offering retreats, Catherine teaches stand up paddle yoga with her company. If she’s not in the studio, you’ll find her paddling or practicing on her board, surfing in Central America or simply lazin’ in a field. As an E-RYT (1000+ teaching hrs), she continues on her insatiable path of learning attending workshops and studying under the guidance of her favorite teachers including Shiva Rea, Leslie Kaminoff and Clara Roberts-Oss. She is currently working towards her 500hr certification. She is full of gratitude for all of her teachers and feels extremely blessed to be a part of the yoga community in Crozet and beyond.

She can be reached at mangoyogaadventures@gmail.com

Kay slater - kids yoga

Kay attended her first Hatha yoga class in 2002 hoping it would make her more flexible.  What she found instead was a place on her yoga mat to slow down, stretch and de-stress from a career in corporate finance.  Yoga has been a part of her life, in some way, ever since.

She completed the Karuna Teacher Training Program in 2014 at A Place to Breathe in Ivy. Karuna means compassion and is the foundation of her approach to yoga. Teaching children’s yoga, Kay finds the joy and curiosity kids share around the simplest of yoga poses to be inspiring.  They reinforce the value of keeping things simple and more importantly, having fun.

Kay begins working on her 500-hour training in 2019 at the Surya Chandra Healing Yoga School.  

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ashley Holland - vinyasa yoga, meditation, slow flow vinyasa

Ashley took her first series of yoga classes (kundalini yoga actually!) many moons ago when she was living in Madrid studying abroad. That journey eventually led her to Vinyasa Flow back home in the states and she was in love.

Ashley completed a 200 hour training with Vidya Heisel in Ubud, Bali in 2013 and then did her 500 hour YTT in 2015 with Cyndi Lee of OM yoga who she considers to be my primary teacher today. Her fusion of yoga poses and Buddhist philosophy is something Ashley tries to incorporate in every class. Keeping it real and encouraging folks to stay open and find balance in the craziness of their lives is something she strives to do. Ashley opened Santosha Yoga with Chloe Watkins in 2017 to bring their love of yoga westward of Charlottesville!

Favorite pose?

Ardah Chandrasana - half moon is a great mix of balance and beauty and there are so many variations. That and I always get excited about handstands!

Why do you teach yoga?

 To share with people around me the physical and mental benefits that yoga has allowed me to feel!


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Chloe Watkins - vinyasa yoga, heated yoga, yin yoga

Jay Brown says, “family life is the yogic cave” and it is this idea that echos in Chloe’s personal practice and in her teaching. Drawing inspiration from everyday activities - raising a small family, juggling jobs and tasks and making ends meet - Chloe seeks the wisdom in our mundane experiences. Her aim is to provide her students the tools with which they can begin to notice the intricacies and joys of their lives as they are today - not as they are on instagram or social media - the good, the bad, and the indifferent.

Chloe was trained in 2012 at PURE Yoga in New York City under Yogi Charu and KayKay Clivio. She has been blessed by many incredible teachers over the years including Terrence Monte, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Kathryn Templeton. Inspired to help build a yoga community in her beloved hometown of Crozet, VA, Chloe co-founded Santosha Yoga with Ashley Holland in 2017. She cherishes Santosha as a "home" open to all seeking well-being in body, mind and spirit and strives to help her students discover the contentment in the entirety of their life experience.

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maggie robertson - vinyasa yoga, heated yoga

How long have you been practicing and how did you find Yoga?

I dabbled in Yoga purely as exercise when I was in college. It was in graduate school that I found I was drawn to the mental and spiritual side of Yoga, it grounded me and left me feeling calmer during a stressful phase of my life. I have done ALL types of Yoga and truly don't dislike any. I finally landed in a Baptiste Affiliate studio in Pennsylvania and fell in love with Power Vinyasa. I find that it gives me the exercise piece that I enjoy but also allows me to settle in mentally and leave feeling more connected and relaxed. 

Favorite Pose?

Headstand (or anything really where I am upside down). Inversions challenge me physically and mentally and leave me feeling refreshed. 

Why do you teach Yoga?

I love to feel connection with my students, adults and children. I know the benefits I have seen in my life from practicing Yoga and hope to pass that along to as many people as possible!

If you could have a superpower what would it be (and why)? 

To be able to fly! I think it would feel freeing, fun, AND would allow me to travel anywhere/anytime.

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elizabeth poole - mat pilates

Elizabeth graduated in 1998 with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from Medical College of Virginia. She has spent her career working in outpatient settings with a variety of patients. In 2001 she began training in women’s health to include treatment of pelvic pain, incontinence, post hysterectomy rehab and post natal rehab. The benefits of training the core muscles with these patients led Elizabeth to seek further education in this area. She took her first Pilates mat work class in 2014 and began using the method in patient treatment with remarkable results. This quickly led to starting mat work classes in the PT fitness facility allowing PT clients to continue their Pilates practice and to serve a larger population. Elizabeth finished her mat work training in 2015 and became certified as a mat work instructor. In 2016 she opened a private Pilates studio, Foundations Pilates (Foundations-pilates.com), to further serve the Crozet community. Elizabeth is passionate about Pilates as an exercise method and enjoys sharing this passion with her PT community and Pilates community. Along with her PT and Pilates practice Elizabeth enjoys exercise and adventure races with friends, and spending time outdoors and camping with her husband, two boys and dog. Elizabeth can be reached at foundationspilatesllc@gmail.com.

Joanna Hughes - vinyasa yoga

Joanna has been practicing yoga since 1998 primarily in the Ashtanga tradition.  She completed 200 RYT in vinyasa flow with Cyndi Lee.  Yoga has been pivotal in sailing thru the responsibilities of raising 4 children and working as a nurse.   By taking lessons learned on the mat and applying them to the challenges of everyday life, she would like to help others tap into their own compassion, wisdom and stillness. 

The Class:

A practice of basic yoga postures with special attention paid to alignment and breath allowing for an unfolding and flowing experience.  Using a combination of heat  producing asanas as well as restorative poses this class has at its core, a goal to help the student experience a sense of balance and equanimity.

Mia hamza - vinyasa yoga, myofascial release

How long have you been practicing and how did you find yoga?

I started doing yoga as a young teenager with my mom at our local gym. I've been practicing consistently since then - over a decade! 

Favorite Pose?

My all-time favorite pose is supine pigeon with a twist. 

Why do you teach yoga?

I teach yoga to connect with my community, to creatively express, and to separate the forest from the trees. 

If you could have a super power what would it be (and why)? 

Teleportation would be my superpower of choice, because there's so much beauty in the world and so little time to see it all! 

Caitlin Pitts - vinyasa yoga

How long have you been practicing and how did you find yoga?

I have been practicing for 22 years! I happened to go to a yoga class in college taught by an older lady who wore death metal t-shirts and read to us from her very detailed Iyengar notes as she taught. I loved the focus and challenge andcalmness all at the same time.

Favorite pose?

My favorite pose at the moment is a seated twist, Ardha Matsyendrasana. I love twists in general; they feel so good in my back and spine, and bring me mental and emotional and physical release!

Why do you teach yoga?

I think I teach because I want to help give other people the therapeutic experience that I get from doing yoga. I always feel centered, grounded, relaxed, and like a better version of myself at the end of a yoga practice, and I want to let others have that experience, too.

If you could have a super power what would it be (and why)?

To laugh more! Is this a superpower? It should be!

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wendy reid - vinyasa yoga, yin yoga, barre

How long have you been practicing yoga?

I took my first class over 20 years ago after moving to London to train as a school teacher. During my first year, I had a baby. Yoga gave me a place to be where I found my inner strength and balance whilst juggling being a mother and busy student.

Favorite Pose?

I love all inversions! I find them challenging and playful, they push me out of my comfort zone. 

Why do you teach yoga?

I have taught many different classes in the fitness industry from Pilates to dance and my passion always lay in helping people to recover from injuries and strengthen through movement and nutrition.  Becoming a Yoga Teacher has taken this to a whole new level, the mindfulness and movement teaches the yogi to listen to the body to prevent and heal injuries.  I am at the beginning of my journey as a yoga teacher and I am embracing the balance between teaching powerful Yang classes and slow meditative Yin classes.

If you could have a super power what would it be (and why)?

I was going to say flying but a more achievable super power would be that one day I could walk on my hands.