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Susan Mondi Bowen

Susan Mondi Bowen

Susan Mondi Bowen (E-RYT500, YACEP, Certified Sound Healer; Certified Integrative Reflexologist) is the studio founder and has been teaching integrated methods for human change and transformation for 20 years.. Susan has studied, practiced and teaches her classes from more than 20 various yoga styles and physical healing modalities.

When taking a class with Susan, you will receive personal attention, suggestions for enhancing your practice through anatomy instruction and self-awareness. Susan weaves her class sequences with instructional tips, science-backed ancient techniques and humor. As a curious student, you can expect to learn foundational and advanced yoga methodologies that will rock your world. Susan will challenge students as her greatest teachers challenged her.

As a Longevity Specialist, Susan advises and teaches students the target practices and modalities that improve life today and can enhance healthspan and lifespan.
Susan’s recent greatest adventure was white water rafting 185 miles in the Grand Canyon. Her go to music playlist is anything Imagine Dragons.

Ugonma Fontaine

Ugonma Fontaine

Ugonma (RYT500; E-RYT200; YACEP). She has studied/ taught Vinyasa Flow and Kundalini styles of yoga for over 10 years. Ugonma is a Teacher Trainer at Thrive and Reiki Master/Teacher. She leads Reiki Trainings and yoga classes for non-profit organizations, NIH, and Children’s Hospital. Ugonma is a Haitian American Shamanic Energy Medicine Practitioner trained through The Four Winds Society, Munay Ki Rites Giver, Reiki Master, 500 Hour E- RYT, and KeyNote Speaker recently featured in The Feather Magazine, Wandering Yogi Podcast, and Reflect and Reset Renaissance. Ugonma brings an element of open heart and powerful transformation to her classes, trainings, and events. She believes yoga is a path to self-transformation, peace, and joy.
Daniele Lorio

Daniele Lorio

Daniele Lorio (RYT500) walked out of her first yoga class 14 years ago, and the elation she felt told her that yoga was a practice meant for her.  Daniele comes from a home steeped in the visual arts and, at 15, went to conservatory for classical voice and later opera. After many years of rigorous preparation, regimentation, and riding the emotional roller coaster of a performing artist, she finds solace, clarity, and acceptance on the mat.

In Daniele’s class, her students’ inner wisdom is honored in practice. She endeavors to create a space that is both physically and emotionally safe for her students. As a singer, Daniele has used her body and voice as a tool to create bonds between people and to help move listeners through music. Yoga, too, is an instrument by which we may grow together and help one another to realize a kinder world.

In Daniele’s classes, you can expect to move, build strength, get to know yourself, and smile.

Felicia Piacente

Felicia Piacente

As a life-long teacher, Felicia’s (RYT500; E-RYT 200) passion for teaching and learning shines through in all of her classes, workshops, and progressive series. She is an advanced yoga practitioner who is able to make students feel welcome and at ease. She is highly involved in teacher development and mentoring, and is a Teacher Trainer at Thrive. Felicia teaches hot vinyasa and core vinyasa classes and loves breaking things down for beginners in vinyasa flow. She has a popular following in workshops such as arm balances, inversions, and deep explorations of intermediate to advanced yoga poses. She understands the importance of balance, inner peace, and revitalization, and has even gotten many students at the studio knitting — discovering the meditative properties of her other favorite passion! Felicia’s classes are highly energetic and provide direct instruction, authenticity, and fun! Felicia took her first yoga class in 2006 and immediately found what she was looking for—a physical challenge, a spiritual comfort, and relaxing aftereffects. She knew she had to share this with others, and enrolled and completed her 200- and 300-hour training programs at Thrive. She has been teaching exclusively at Thrive since 2009.

Mary Rivas

Mary Rivas

Mary Rivas (RYT500) signed up for her first in-studio yoga class (at Thrive!) 5 years ago to help relieve prenatal issues during her second pregnancy. After having the most amazing experience, she couldn’t wait to be back after the baby was born. Mary loves coming into the studio for class, especially now that her 3 children are a bit older, but she never misses a chance to open her mat up at home. She says that the time spent playing on her mat at home helps bring inspiration to her fun vinyasa sequencing.

Mary’s prenatal classes are focused on four main elements: anatomy, connection with baby, self-love, and community. Her teaching style is designed to provide mothers the tools and techniques to tap into the power and strength they already possess.

Her vinyasa classes have been influenced by former years of ballet and a natural love for being upside down. Which means expect a strong dynamic flow with some advanced posture play. Like her prenatal class, she aims to bring body awareness and empowerment to all students ranging from a curious beginner to a seasoned yogi.

Jane Stelboum

Jane Stelboum

Jane (E-RYT500) has trained at Duke University’s Integrative Yoga for Seniors, Brain Longevity® Therapy Training offered by the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). In 2012 she founded Sarasvate, Yoga Designed for the Brain, whose mission is to help prevent Alzheimer’s. Jane is also a Teacher Trainer at Thrive. Jane enjoys giving students the ability to align in a pose and connect to how it feels in their body and breath. Her teaching style is challenging but accessible to all — with an emphasis on alignment and compassion for the body. She tries to reach students right where they are. Her classes include hands-on assists to help with realignment and are experiential, incorporating music, gongs, singing bowls, writings, yogic concepts, and themes. Her mother introduced her to yoga and meditation as a kid, and that in and of itself is special for her.  She’s continued to practice yoga her entire life. Still, it wasn’t until she found Thrive that she really integrated yoga into her life, starting with the 40-day program, then teacher training, and through the many wonderful workshops offered at Thrive. She knew she felt the impact of yoga on her life when her friends and family noticed the changes that she had felt. Jane is here to pay it forward and share.

Katie Kecman

Katie Kecman

Katie (RYT500; Reiki I & II certified; Thai Massage certified) is a Health Education Specialist and gives health education seminars and webinars on various health topics and implements wellness and fitness programs for employees in offices. She also teaches chair yoga and meditation sessions for the employees and has been teaching yoga for over 6 years at multiple locations. She has a passion for teaching hatha, vinyasa, yin, and restorative yoga. When she is not doing yoga, one of her other favorite activities is lifting weights. Her favorite poses are hip openers and heart openers.

Alyson Gluecksmann

Alyson Gluecksmann

Alyson (RYT500) began practicing yoga in her early 20s at a time when she was working in a corporate job and running a lot. It was just the complement that she needed to undo the stress of work and the impact of running. It wasn’t until she became a mom, though, that she really started to prioritize and value the time on her yoga mat. Alyson believes yoga has the unique ability to challenge physically but also to calm mentally and emotionally through all of life’s transitions. She loves to teach powerful flow classes that build strength and explore the ever-changing edge in physical abilities. To complement those classes, she teaches yin, which is a gateway to exploring the inner landscape while deeply soothing the body.

In 2012, Alyson completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Inner Strength Studios in Watertown, MA. Since then, she has completed an additional 500-hour yoga teacher training with David Vendetti and the Yoga Liberation Front training program. She has participated in many weekend workshops for continuing education, including prenatal training, hands-on assists, sequencing, and others. She has also completed an additional 70 hours of training in yin yoga and continues to study that format. Alyson holds a B.S. in Mass Communication from Boston University and an M.S. in Health Promotion Management from American University. She is a mom to two beautiful, active boys that keep her very busy. When she has time to herself, she loves to be outside. The beach and local hiking trails are her favorite places to wander. She enjoys reading all things yoga-related, as well as true stories of inspirational people in the world.
Lalita Vayavananda

Lalita Vayavananda

Lalita has been practicing yoga since 2008 and earned her 200-hr YTT certificate in 2016. Her older brother introduced her to yoga, and in her first ever yoga class she remembers being hungover from going out the night before; let’s just say it wasn’t the best experience. The seed was planted and from then on, her journey with yoga and meditation began evolving and became a consistent part of her life which she continues to cultivate even now. Initially, she saw yoga as a purely physical exercise regimen which became a substitution for monotonous workouts on machines. It wasn’t until she experienced life-changing events where she would then discover the all encompassing benefits of yoga for mind, body and spirit. Lalita’s enthusiasm for her practice and for sharing yoga to others are influenced by the teachers and communities that characterize various studios, the skills that are taught and learned in yoga class, and the magic that happens on the mat which are all transferrable to leading an authentically harmonious life.

Since becoming a certified yoga teacher, Lalita has since completed various trainings in Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, IL, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. These certifications include Yoga Therapy Rx Level 1, Sound Healing Practitioner, Professional Thai Massage Therapy Level 5, Pre and Postnatal Yoga, Perinatal Education and Feng Shui. Lalita is a full-spectrum birth worker and has experience as a labor coach in assisting births, supporting loss, and providing volunteer doula services for vulnerable populations. Outside of teaching at Thrive Yoga, she is a Senior Crisis Hotline Counselor for a non-profit mental health organization and has two bright and lovely young children who take up all her time. She enjoys being in beautiful spaces, exploring nature, learning, tapping into creativity, partaking in new experiences, and resting.

Nathalie Chang

Nathalie Chang

Nathalie (RYT200 + Reiki I and II) teaches thoughtful vinyasa flow style classes using creative sequence sets with the goal of having students feel renewed and alive! Nathalie focuses on nurturing her students through their practice in order to help them achieve greater mindfulness and increased body awareness. Through fluid movements and self exploration paired with the breath, her vinyasa classes create a space for energetic alignment to take place. 

As she currently pursues the RYT500 certification at Thrive, Nathalie is expanding her practice to Yin Yoga and also teaches at Senior Living Facilities and Memory Care homes in the area.   

Outside of yoga, Nathalie enjoys spending time with her family, taking care of her home and garden, and exploring the flow of creativity through writing, dancing, painting, and photography. 

Ashira Lavine

Ashira Lavine

Ashira (RYT-500, Licensed Massage Therapist, Professional Breathworker, Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapist, and certified in: Reiki I & II, Meditation, and Alchemical Alignment for Trauma Resolution)) is a holistic healer, mindfulness teacher, and coach with extensive trauma training. She is passionate about supporting people with emotional, physical, and spiritual transformation. Her favorite methods for change are breath and bodywork and she loves teaching mindful movement and meditation.

Ashira has made a career based on her intuition—reading bodies, voices, and energy for 25 years, as a Special Agent/Criminal Investigator and Deputy Director for the Federal Government, a world champion poker player, and a competitive fighter. She now lives a heart-centered life and has been told loving-kindness is one of her greatest superpowers. She adores animals and spending time at her family farm in West Virginia. 

Alexis Baden-Mayer

Alexis Baden-Mayer

Alexis Baden-Mayer (RYT200) started taking yoga in 2003 at the dance studio where she taught ballet. Yoga, breathing and meditation became her refuge in 2016 when she had to give up teaching ballet to fulfill her responsibilities as a sandwich generation caregiver. After her parents passed away, she decided to deepen her yoga practice in the Thrive Teacher Training.

Alexis’s yoga classes benefit from her decades of dance training and teaching experience. What she knew about how to align the body from dance has been enhanced by what she has learned about the body’s energy centers (chakras) from yoga. Her creative sequences help students of all levels increase strength, balance and range of motion. Alexis is a playful and supportive teacher who lives for those aha moments when everything clicks and students find their power.

Come to Alexis’s classes to deepen your understanding of your body, get fit and explore breathing and meditation exercises to activate the rest-and-digest functions of the parasympathetic nervous system for stress relief.

Elizabeth Elliott

Elizabeth Elliott

Liz Elliott, RYT 500, completed 300-hour training at Thrive. Liz’s love of yoga is complemented by her background in dance and her deep commitment to healing as a registered nurse for many years. As a Yoga Anatomy specialist and teacher trainer at Thrive, she makes complex ideas simple by connecting anatomy concepts to poses and movement on the mat. Liz encourages students to practice with intention, to experience the connection between body and mind, and to deepen awareness of energy and alignment in the body.

Liz has advanced training in Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga, and practices Reiki and Sound Healing.  Liz also regularly swims with US Master’s Swim Club. Liz enjoys time with her two college-age daughters when they are in town, and with her husband, their Labrador, and three cats.

Reigna Celeste

Reigna Celeste

Reigna is a certified yoga instructor and trained in the Thrive Yoga School. Expect to have laugh out loud fun and be inspired to enjoy the experience of each pose!  Reigna builds sequences to an attainable peak pose that will surprise you!
Reigna’s journey began in the vibrant city of San Francisco, California, where she was born and raised. Her early years were filled with the rich cultural experiences of the Bay Area. As she grew older, she found herself drawn to the energy and diversity of the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) region. Reigna’s passion for the arts led her to Howard University, where she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts. Upon graduation, Reigna set her sights on Atlanta,and embarked on her acting career while also laying the foundations for her family.

Her path led her back to the DMV area focusing her energies on her spiritual growth and adopting a dedicated yoga practice. Over the span of 7 years, yoga became not only a physical activity but also a guiding force that influenced her mindset and daily life.

Reigna’s creative spirit knew no bounds. Her unique approach to life was characterized by an incorporation of sensuality into everything she did, adding a distinctive flavor to her artistic endeavors and personal connections. Alongside her individual pursuits, Reigna’s bond with her sisters flourished. Together, they formed a 70s-inspired band called The Gem Fatales, bringing their harmonious voices to stages and reviving the spirit of the era.

Despite her bustling career and artistic commitments, Reigna remained steadfast in her role as a devoted mother. Raising six children demanded a delicate balance of time and effort, a testament to her unwavering commitment to both her artistic passions and her family. Her creative essence, seasoned with sensuality, has left an indelible mark on everything she touches, be it her yoga practice, her musical performances, or the nurturing of her children.

Beth Bruening

Beth Bruening

Beth’s background is heavily movement based. She trained as a pre-professional ballet dancer through high school and attended college for professional dance in New York, where she also studied Bartenieff Fundamentals, Kinesiology, and injury prevention. She earned scholarships to study with the Jose Limon Dance Company two summers in a row. There, she was introduced to yoga for conditioning and was drawn to its egalitarian approach to movement and the ancient wisdom that approaches every facet of life with joy and patience.

Beth trained at Flow Yoga Center in DC in 2014, where she received her RYT200 and has largely taught community classes for the past 9 years. You can expect a focus on the deep connection between breath, movement, and emotional regulation throughout the asana.

A long term goal of Beth’s is to pursue yoga therapy certification and work with the terminally ill as they make the transition between worlds.

Beth is currently pursuing her 500 hour certification with Thrive, which will be completed in May 2024. She is a poet, runner, and lover of the world of fragrance.

Above all, she loves to connect with her students and facilitate growth and self-discovery.

Meg Flannery

Meg Flannery

Meg, RYT 200, is an eclectic Yogini who began meditation as an adolescent to manage chronic illness. If she’s not in the studio or home spoiling her pets, you may catch her on a hike or at a local venue attending a concert like AJR, Trevor Hall or Imagine Dragons! After diving deeper into the Yama & Niyamas in college, realization hit hard and fast that Yoga was the path she was meant to follow. She truly believes Yoga is for all bodies and holds a deep passion for Trauma Informed work, helping students stabilize their Central Nervous Systems. As a teacher, she is honored to help students piece together their unique practice. Asana with Meg tends to be on the gentler side most days, allowing students to explore their limits while inviting deep emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual release. Expect to integrate complementary practices such as Pranayama, Meditation Techniques, Crystal Healing & Aromatherapy for a well-rounded practice.

Willow Pogue

Willow Pogue

Willow (RYT-200, Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master-Teacher) offers more than just a physical practice. Through a rich blend of presence, embodiment, and heartfelt joy, Willow’s classes are an invitation for you to connect deeply with yourself. Her passion and experience shine through her unique, creative sequences that encourage exploration “outside the box.” Expect an invigorating flow with ample options to suit your level, balanced with breathwork and meditative practices that will leave you feeling revitalized from the inside out.

With over 10 years of yoga and meditation experience, Willow has experienced firsthand the inspiring benefits that these practices bring to our lives. She completed her 200-Hour Vinyasa Yoga Training in 2020, and continued her education through advanced study in Alignment-Based Yoga with Annie Carpenter and Tantric Hatha Yoga with Rod Stryker, in addition to frequent silent meditation retreats up to 4 weeks in length. As a Licensed Massage Therapist and a full-time student pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Nursing, Willow brings a refreshing and holistic approach to her teaching that aims to support health, vitality, and vibrancy on every level.