Our Teachers

The process of becoming an Iyengar-certified teacher is rigorous, taking place over years and under the close supervision of highly trained and experienced teachers. Certification has progressive levels, with higher ones requiring study at the Ramamni Iyengar Memorial Insitute in Pune, India. 

Our non-Iyengar-certified teachers have years of experience and a more diverse practice we respect. We're excited to be adding them to our roster.

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Sandra Pleasants

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Sandra is an Intermediate Junior III Iyengar teacher. She is privileged to have studied at the Iyengar Institute several times as well as attending every Iyengar convention since 1987. Her primary teachers are Gabriella Giubilaro, Patricia Walden, and John Schumacher.

She served on the board of the IYASE as both treasurer and president, and has written several asana columns for the Association's magazine and Samachar.

Sandra discovered yoga in her early 50s. She is now in her mid-80s and after bilateral hip replacements in 2009, continues to practice and teach and explore life. Her life experience as mother of five and grandmother of eight gives her an accessibility that allows her students to feel simultaneously challenged and supported.

Mary Bridle

Mary has been practicing yoga in the Iyengar tradition for 33 years and teaching for about 20 years. Her primary teachers include Joe Adlesic, Sandra Pleasants, Siegfried Bleher, and Kevin Gardner. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, having achieved this December 2014.

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Mary's 48 years as a practicing occupational therapist provides her with a thorough understanding of how the human body, mind and spirit work in health and in ill health. Her experience working with people of all ages with a wide variety of challenges including injury and disease, acute and chronic, orthopedic, neurological, psychiatric and psychosocial gives her a profound appreciation of human resilience and capacity for healing.

This knowledge and experience infuses her teaching style allowing her to explain why a particular instruction is given as well as how to implement that instruction. She adapts the poses to accommodate individual students' physical limitations within the class context. She is vigilant in listening and watching for both verbal and non-verbal cues from students to help her respond to their needs and maximize their participation. She is patient yet persistent, helping her students achieve their potential. Her teaching is characterized by consistent, meticulous, and serious attention to detail and alignment, leavened by a sense of humor so her classes are fun as well as instructive.

At Iyengar Yoga of Charlottesville Mary teaches a range of classes from Gentle yoga to Level II. See the schedule and class descriptions. She is also available for private instruction.

Amy Stewart

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Amy began her yoga practice in 2002 to aid in recovery from a running injury, and found that asana is a wonderful metaphor for all of life’s challenges. She has studied Iyengar yoga with Shaaron Honeycutt, Mary Bridle, Sandra Pleasants, and Joe Adlesic. She regularly attends workshops with senior Iyengar teachers.  She has taught yoga since 2012, and in 2016, after 5 years of study and practice, she completed Introductory 1 and 2 assessments and is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. 

Amy loves introducing students to the precision, beauty and challenge of Iyengar yoga, and finds joy in learning from her students.

Carol Gardner

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Carol began her study of yoga in San Diego, where the first class she took was an Iyengar class. Over the years she has tried other styles but always returned to Iyengar style yoga for its precision and attention to detail. She also appreciates the Iyengar focus on the safety of the students. After moving to Charlottesville in 2010, she began to study at Allied Yoga with Mary Bridle. Not long after, she began teacher training with Sandra Pleasants and Shaaron Honeycutt. She has also participated in several workshops with senior Iyengar teachers. Carol passed her Introductory 1 and 2 assessment to become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher in the fall of 2016. A mother of 3 children, she finds a regular yoga practice provides a sense of emotional well-being that is critical in a hectic life.

Anne Barkley

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Anne has 12 years experience teaching yoga in Charlottesville, Virginia and in Ithaca, New York. She has a graduate degree in Dance with study of anatomy and kinesiology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She attended teacher training with Theresa Rowland in New Jersey, as well as many years of yoga study with teachers in California, Virginia, and at various locations on the East Coast. Anne believes everyone can benefit from the practice of yoga with enhanced flexibility, strength, better health, and increased energy. 

Sara Agelasto

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Sara's classes are grounded in her deep respect for the wisdom of the cycles of nature and her curiosity about the capacity of the human body. As a scientist, she is drawn to the precision of the Iyengar Yoga Method and has practiced yoga for almost 20 years. Sara began studying with Sandra Pleasants in 2002 and was certified to teach yoga in 2004. Sara apprenticed with Senior Iyengar Teacher, John Schumacher, for 5 years and after an intensive training with Sandra and John, she successfully passed two assessments to become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher in September 2015. Through her work developing the Yoga Media Site, iHanuman, Sara has had the opportunity to study with and record dozens of teachers from around the world. Sara is also a dedicated student of Nutrition, Clinical Herbalism, and Traditional Medicine. Sara creates a safe, inviting environment for students of all levels to increase their strength and flexibility.

Holly Korab

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Holly has studied yoga since 2003, spending the first 10 of those years under the direction of Lois Steinberg, one of Iyengar’s senior-most teachers. Holly fell in love with the precision of the movements and the possibility for deep, lifelong growth in the discipline. Following Lois’s example, and as a certified Iyengar instructor, Holly developed a teaching style that encourages students to focus inwards so they become aware of their own physical abilities and possibilities. When a student does so, Holly believes that yoga can become meditation in action, yielding gifts of strength, flexibility, healing, and peace.

Renée Lorton

Renee is a RYT 200 certified yoga instructor.  She has been a student of yoga for over 15 years and has been teaching since 2015.  

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Renee began her yoga studies seeking relief from chronic back pain after extensive injuries from horseback riding accidents that intensified with years as a desk-bound and travel-bound executive. She decided to seek alternatives to pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures to help cope with and alleviate pain.   She discovered yoga while living in San Francisco and began attending classes at Rodney Yee’s studio, Piedmont yoga in Oakland, Ca.   With yoga, Renee found a path to both address her injuries and enlighten her to the vast benefits of yoga.  Once Renee discovered how to live with significantly less pain and a much happier life through the practice of yoga, she decided to dedicate her next career to helping others alleviate pain, enjoy freedom of movement, and help quiet their mind.  

Since moving back to the east coast in 2006, Renee has trained with a series of senior Iyengar instructors including John Schumacher, Lois Steinberg, Kimberly Williams, and Siegfried Bleher.  Renee continues to deepen and refine her practice with Iyengar teacher training classes and workshops and attends Rodney Yee’s teacher trainings and intensive workshops 2-3 times a year.  

Renee began teaching yoga in 2015 after her move to Charlottesville, VA.  She became a Certified Yoga Instructor in 2016 (RYT 200) and currently teaches at Yoga Cville and NOWyoga in Charlottesville,  and also offers private and semi-private lessons at Twisted Fox Yoga, her home studio in the beautiful countryside of Free Union, VA.

Rebecca L'Abbé

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After many years of studying and performing ballet and modern dance, the gift of yoga provided a natural transition to stay strong, creatively curious, and mentally disciplined minus the stress of competition. She began her teacher training at the Iyengar Institute in San Francisco, but was sidelined by a back injury that had its roots in years of dancing. Yoga was the cornerstone of her recovery, not only on a physical level, but through years of careful loving care from teachers who helped her to overcome her fears about reinjuring her back, realign her body from years of compensating, and regain confidence. Rebecca received her teaching certification through YogaWorks at Yoga Source, Richmond, VA in 2003. Her primary instructors there were Sandra Pleasants and Jennifer Elliot. Additional certification includes training to teach yoga to people with Multiple Sclerosis.  Most recently she has obtained the necessary skills to teach Yin Yoga.  She continues to study hatha yoga in Afton, VA with Sandra Pleasants and yin yoga with Biff Mithoefer. Her teaching is informed by many streams of interest including dance, an ongoing study of physiology and anatomy, and a sense of humor.

 

Jocelyn Kitchen

Jocelyn has been a student of Iyengar yoga since 1998. Over the past 4 years she has taught in Poughkeepsie, New York; Oxford, England; and Lawrence, Kansas, where she earned her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification in 2014. While exploring other methods of yoga, she has continued to deepen and develop her practice through mentoring with certified Iyengar instructors and attending workshops with senior teachers. Over her twenty years’ experience working as an educator in elementary and middle school, she has learned to marshal the energy of a classroom while recognizing each individual student’s needs. 

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Jocelyn firmly believes that at any phase of life, a regular yoga practice can be a transformative experience that allows one to enjoy greater equanimity both on and off the mat. She hopes to be able to instill this belief in her students and provide them the tools and confidence to patiently pursue and sustain their own practice. 




 

Julia Schneider 

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My first yoga practice took place in my high school dorm room in 1979. I studied from a book called Richard Hittleman’s 28 Day Yoga Plan. After a few practice sessions, it was clear to me that yoga was much more than mere physical exercise. In 1992, I began Iyengar  yoga classes at Unity Woods in Bethesda with John Shumacher. John remains my primary teacher. I have had the opportunity to study with many renowned yoga teachers in the Iyengar tradition and I have maintained asana and pranayama practice while raising my 3 (now grown) children. In truth, the practice maintained me! I have moved back to the area and I'm a grandmother who loves hiking, yoga and studying the natural world and most recently Herbal Medicine through Sacred Plant Traditions in C’ville.

I have a 200 hour certification through CHI (Casey Health Institute) in Rockville MD. Certification program through Senior teachers: John Schumacher, Lisa Walford, Marla Apt, and Kathleen Pringle. 

Also 100 hour Yin Yoga training at Yandara in Baja Mexico.

Mostly I am a passionate student of the great Art and Science of Yoga.