Susan Mondi Bowen
Susan Mondi Bowen founded the studio in 2005 and has instructed yoga, stress reduction, and meditation for nearly 20 years and has lived a healthy lifestyle for more than 30 years. Susan became a boutique fitness and wellness entrepreneur by creating Thrive Yoga after several life events made it clear that her professional trajectory was successful, but her life was lacking freedom and vitality. Thrive Yoga received a lot of press and media attention in 2005 due to the uniqueness of a yoga center in the DMV. Susan was also given accolades for her business acumen and was awarded seed money for Thrive through the StartRight! Women’s Business Plan Competition.
Susan has received awards as a business leader in Maryland, including awards in leadership, entrepreneurship, and community giving by the City of Rockville, Rockville Economic Development (REDI). She has been awarded runner-up Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 through the Maryland Women’s Business Center.
Susan’s personal story of creating Thrive Yoga has been featured in The Washington Post, The Gazette, WUSA News, and various local newspapers and TV news.
Susan (E-RYT500, YACEP, Certified Sound Healer; Certified Integrative Reflexologist) has created training curricula that integrate yoga with complementary science, philosophy, and spirituality techniques. Susan’s experience in teaching integrated methods for human change and transformation spans more than 17 years and 15,000 hours. Susan has studied and practiced more than 20 various yoga styles and physical healing modalities. Susan is a public speaker and corporate wellness trainer, specifically in stress reduction and shifting paradigms from stress to joyful living.
Susan’s broad experience, sense of humor, and natural charisma are represented in her classes via technical alignment instruction, creative sequence variations, and the latest research on being human and playful storytelling.
Marcy Braverman Goldstein
Marcy Braverman Goldstein, Ph.D. studied neuroscience and psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Rochester until a fascinating class about Indian traditions opened the door to more compelling ways to understand consciousness. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as a Religion and Women’s Studies double major, Marcy entered the Religious Studies doctoral program at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her formal training in Sanskrit and was immediately riveted by its mellifluous sounds and intricate grammar. Her translation skills were refined during an immersive language study program with Dr. B.N. Pandit in New Delhi, India. In 2003 she completed her dissertation, a historical study of Sanskrit terms about possession, madness, and devotional experiences in Āyurvedic texts, Hindu poetry, and Tantric literature.
Marcy began teaching Sanskrit, and the history and philosophies of yoga in the 1990s. To design her courses, she draws from her training at UCSB and in India, and twenty years of yoga practice including a 100-hour Yoga Immersion. Previously at Davidson College and currently at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she teaches courses such as “History of Yoga from 2500 B.C.E. to the Ever-Changing Modern Moment.” Since creating the Sanskrit Revolution in 2012, she has taught at more than three dozen yoga studios, teacher training programs, yoga fests, and conferences nationally.
Marcy’s passion and goal is to help people discover the fascinating linguistic foundation of yoga.
She also leads online courses on the History of Yoga. Options for courses can be accessed here.
Felicia Piacente, E-RYT 500, completed her 200-hour training in 2009 and 300-hour in 2012, both through ISHTA Yoga under the direction of Alan Finger, Sarah Platt Finger, and Susan Mondi. She received prenatal yoga and level 1 Thai Yoga Massage certifications in 2010. Felicia has been teaching weekly classes, master class progressives, and workshops at Thrive Yoga since June, 2009. Her high-energy style incorporates pranayama, grounding, power asana and relaxation to all student levels.
Jane Stelboum, E-RYT200 and RYT500, earned her 500-hour training here at Thrive Yoga through a collaboration with ISHTA Yoga, NYC from 2009-2012. She completed Duke University’s Integrative Yoga for Seniors training and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Jane has been teaching at Thrive since 2010 and leads a weekly class for aging adults at the Ben Gaither Senior Community Center. She loves introducing our Rookies to the joys and benefits one can find from yoga and regularly teaches the Yoga for Healthy Backs 4-part series so people can learn to practice in a way that is safe for their own bodies and conditions. Through Sarasvate, a company whose mission is to prevent Alzheimer’s, Jane conducts Yoga Designed for the Brain workshops at senior living communities and centers, provides professional and personal caregiver training. She has shared her workshops at yoga studios and wellness centers at studios in our region, NY and Florida, and teaches Mindfulness for Clear and Creative Thinking to corporations and organizations. Her workshop is now part of the Thrive teacher-training curriculum. She has been a featured speaker and/or panelist at conferences and events including the Smithsonian’s Yoga as Lifestyle Medicine Symposium here in D.C., the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC) Annual Conference on Long Island, NY, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) Educating America Tour on Long Island, NY, and the Mid Atlantic Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) in Baltimore.
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.
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.
Liz Elliott, RYT 500, E-RYT 200, completed her 300-hour training at Thrive Yoga. 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. 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. 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’s classes connect breath to movement and are an invitation to find gratitude in the everyday and an opportunity to uplift the spirit and have fun on the mat. Expect gentle encouragement to go within and listen while you improve flexibility, balance, and strength, and deepen concentration and focus.
Liz is certified in Reiki Level 1 & 2 and Level 1 Sound Healing. She has advanced training in Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga. She loves to learn and improve her skills about all things yoga, and often participates in weekend workshops. Liz is always reading at least one yoga book. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Nursing at the University of Maryland. You’ll also find Liz in the pool, as she 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.