Owner, ERYT-200, RYT-500
Jan Crerie founded Body Grace Fitness and Yoga in 2001. She has brought her passion for group fitness and health to students since 1990 as a dedicated cardio and strength-training teacher.
Jan was diagnosed in her late twenties with depression and found that exercise, coupled with therapy, helped her gain a new and happier outlook on life, so much so, that she wanted to share her love for fitness with others and began teaching. She accidentally found yoga in 1999 at a conference where she was learning how to teach indoor cycling, but quickly discovered that sitting on a bike was not for her. She snuck into a yoga workshop to give her bottom end a rest and fell in love!
Jan started incorporating the mind/body philosophy into her fitness classes, as well as going deeper into a private practice. She loves the worlds of fitness and yoga and believes they can complement each other beautifully. She earned her RYT through YogaFit in 2004.
Jan is registered as an experienced Yoga Teacher; American Council on Exercise group and personal trainer since 1994; and a Relax and Renew Yoga teacher. She has had the privilege of training with many amazing teachers along the way, but her biggest influence is her own life journey - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and sharing that with her students. Mix in a variety of music genres, some laughter, and a relaxed, supportive atmosphere, and you will have found yourself in one of Jan's classes.
When Jan is not teaching or running the studio, you might find her walking in the woods with her husband, Bob, and their German Shepherd, Zella, or visiting with their two grown daughters, and two grandsons. She nourishes her soul at the beach and really loves trees!
Kathy believes that yoga holds many gifts for people in all stages of life. Guiding students in breath awareness and gentle movement, her classes promote vitality, strength, flexibility and balance. She invites students to experience yoga as a grounding, centering space, and believes that yoga can lead us gently and mindfully towards meeting physical challenges and more deeply, life’s challenges, in a more self-connected, calm and thoughtful way. Her classes are often themed with the weather, seasons, and holidays as a way to reflect the interplay between yoga and life itself. She embraces Hatha and Ashtanga yoga and continues to broaden her yoga knowledge through ongoing training with master teachers, and always, her students - the best teachers of all!
Carolyn loves how yoga is a journey of discovery that can open insights into us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Carolyn received her 200-hour teaching certification in June 2014. She is currently a IAYT year two student with Susi Hately's Functional Synergy 1000-hour yoga therapy certification program that emphasizes functional movement - bio-mechanics and body education within the context of yoga - and the use of breath, movement and stillness to help individuals draw greater awareness to their movement and tension-holding patterns both on and off the mat. Carolyn loves the therapeutic aspects of yoga - particularly how students can find more ease in body and mind if they are empowered to move better and more functionally, even as they build strength and stability through their practice. Carolyn has found her passion in helping students discover how to nurture what’s working and quiet what’s not working, and in the process mindfully integrate this awareness into their day, and discover a deeper connection to themselves.
Carolyn has also trained with Amy Weintraub on how yoga tools can help balance mood, including depression and anxiety; Carolyn is a certified Level 1 LifeForce Yoga® practitioner and has assisted Amy at trainings that guide practitioners to a calmer, more focused state of being.
Carolyn feeds her soul through laughter with her two boys, running with friends, connecting with community and discovering the self through yoga's gifts.
Melanie-Joy H. Dorn
Melanie began taking yoga classes in 2008 and has been hooked ever since, finishing her 200-hour teacher training through YogaFit in November of 2014. She teaches Vinyasa style yoga, focusing on bringing the breath and body in harmony during her classes. She is amazed at how therapeutic deep breathing can be both mentally and physically, and continues to read everything she can about the breath - our life force. Melanie credits yoga for helping her remain calm through life’s difficulties, and enjoys sharing her practice with others.
Melanie has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for as long as she can remember, currently working at Fair Oaks hospital with adults who have had strokes or traumatic brain injury, have Parkinson’s disease, voice disorders, head and neck cancer, and/or swallowing disorders.
Melanie enjoys experiencing her two passions, yoga and speech therapy, together when she teaches yoga at The Stroke Come Back Center right here in Vienna, or Vocal Yoga to patients with voice disorders at the hospital. Melanie loves that both yoga and speech have breath as their foundation.
Melanie has lived in Vienna for over 20 years with her husband, Bill, who also enjoys yoga, and their three children. She loves spending time with family and friends, reading, sending snail mail, cycling, and carpooling (really). Melanie is thrilled to be a part of the Body Grace community.
Rheema has been practicing various styles of yoga for nearly ten years, and feels that it is an essential part of her journey in the “flow of life." She began her yoga teacher training with Little Flower Yoga, Croton-on-Hudson, New York, in order to bring yoga to her preschool classroom. The positive effect yoga had in her classes revealed how centering and grounding it can be even for the littlest of students. She completed her RYT 200 hour certification from the Kripalu School of Yoga, in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, in 2014. This experience changed the way she sees herself and others, and learned that compassion for one’s self and for others leads to a sweeter, happier life. Rheema’s intention for her students is keeping the body safe and encouraging her students to explore their yoga practice, in their own unique way.
Rheema is currently working on her RYT 500 hour yoga certification with the Kripalu School of Yoga and Ayurveda, and has recently discovered that she is as happy teaching her students meditation and mindfulness as she is teaching the physical aspects of a yoga practice.
Rheema has a passion for Classical Pilates Mat. Although she has practiced various styles of Pilates for over ten years, the classical sequence designed by Joseph Pilates remains closest to her heart. She is certified through the Equinox Insitute for Pilates, which belongs to the Pilates Method Alliance. Her teacher is Lilia Browning Cohen, who was trained by master teacher Romana Krysanowska, a student of Joseph Pilates himself.
Rheema teaches her students how to perform Pilates mat effectively by helping them to build a start position from the ground up, and by teaching them how to use the breath to fuel mindful movements which strengthen the core and lengthen the muscles.
Lisa received her 200-hour teacher training at Sun and Moon Yoga Studio in Arlington, Virginia in 2013.
Lisa experiences yoga as an exploration and a journey to self, and is constantly amazed by what is uncovered on the yogic path. Each day, each pose, and each breath provide the gifts of new perspective and deeper connection. Lisa shares this sense of discovery and joy with others as she guides them through the delightful practice of yoga.
Diane views yoga as a better-late-than-never-found treasure in her life—and something meant to be shared. She discovered her yoga practice at age 40, realizing that having four babies and working full-time (as an economist) had taken a toll on her own physical and emotional fitness. Yoga quickly took over most of her personal fitness routine as well as her general outlook on life, and she decided to become a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) so she could share it. She and Jan first met when they trained together with the YogaFit School. When Diane was still developing as a yoga teacher, she started a donation-based yoga program called Giving Yoga which raised thousands of dollars for charitable health causes. She also did what most thought impossible, leading “bipartisan yoga” classes in committee hearing rooms on Capitol Hill (where she worked at the time). Today, Diane continues to work full-time as an economist (now for a business-focused, nonprofit research organization) and part-time as a public policy professor (at Georgetown University and George Washington University), and her four kids are mostly “grown”—and she is proud to note that her oldest daughter is a yoga teacher, too (in Charlotte, NC where she lives and works as a data scientist).
Diane’s favorite master yoga teachers who have profoundly influenced her continuing yoga education and practice are Donna Farhi (of New Zealand) and Erich Schiffmann (of Venice, California). She teaches in a relatively slow-flowing vinyasa style that integrates elements of Ashtanga (sometimes labeled “power”) and Iyengar (emphasizing alignment) yoga, and promotes core strength, flexibility, balance, and grace. She likes to “go with the flow” in the sequencing of poses, so that no classes are ever the same, and she encourages students to feel the poses develop and blossom very organically and intuitively, from the breath to the body, and from the inside out. Diane’s goal in every class she leads is to have students leave their mats feeling stronger, more “spacious”—and generally, more comfortable inside their own bodies.
Emily began practicing yoga in 2001 at Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan under the teachings of Swami Satchidananda. Immediately, she felt more connected, peaceful, and resilient. Along her journey, she has practiced Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram, Pre-natal, and Mommy and Me yoga in many different settings. Wanting to deepen her understanding of the process that was happening both on and off the mat as a result of yoga, she enrolled in teacher training. Emily is a RYT-500 hour Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor. She has worked with Pandit Ragmani Tigunait, Rod Stryker, Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Max Strom, Dharma Mittra, Rolf Sovik, and recently finished her 500-hour training at the Himalayan Institute.
Yoga continues to help Emily see life with clarity and enables her to remain an observer in the midst of a hectic life. Yoga helps her let go and let the change come, to bend and not break.
Emily is inspired every time she teaches yoga. She loves to see the courage it takes to be on a mat and fully present, and the compassion it takes to be exactly where you are and how you are. Emily’s classes cultivate an inner awareness and self-compassion. Through mindfulness and the breath, we access our inner teacher allowing for clarity and self-understanding, and enabling us to act rather than react in our day-to-day life and relationships. Emily’s intention as a teacher is to inspire and guide students to an experience of inner awareness in hopes of spreading more light in the world. She is honored to be able to share yoga and its benefits with others.
Stan has been an AFAA certified group exercise instructor for over 20 years. During that time, he has taught classes at various clubs in the Northern Virginia area. His style could best be described as “high energy, upbeat and fun,” both in cardio and strength/conditioning classes. It is his belief that working hard and fun can coexist.
Some of Stan’s accomplishments to date include being a three time regional medalist in the U.S. National Aerobic Championship; appearing in various aerobic videos; appearances as the guest/presenting instructor at various clubs, charitable events, and schools in Virginia, Maryland, and New York.
When not teaching classes, Stan can usually be found on the bike trail with his wife training for the next upcoming century (100 mile) bike ride or a week long biking vacation, or at his church leading fitness activities and/or singing.
Stan looks at his ability to lead others to a better fitness level as a gift, one he is willing to share whenever possible.
Beth attended her first yoga class in 2007, and was drawn to the approach yoga takes in combining body, mind and spirit. Inspired by her first yoga teacher, she took her first YogaFit teacher training in April 2011. She obtained her 200 RYT Yoga Alliance certification in November 2011 with YogaFit. Thru yoga, Beth has had an increased interest in the therapeutic benefits of yoga and is currently pursuing her 500 RYT Yoga Alliance certification with YogaFit with an emphasis on yoga as therapy.
While her teacher training focused on vinyasa flow, Beth enjoys combining various yoga style elements including gentle, restorative, and yin yoga as well as flow. Beth describes her style of teaching as calm and relaxed, welcoming smiles and humor into the yoga practice. Her classes emphasize a balance of strength, flexibility, and mindfulness and often offer modifications to encourage students to find accessibility that is right for them in yoga poses. Beth emphasizes that modifications don’t necessarily make a pose easier but rather modifications make the pose accessible for where you are at that particular time.
Beth considers herself a continuing student of yoga and enjoys learning and sharing that learning with students. When not teaching, Beth enjoys tennis with friends and plays on several tennis leagues in the area year round. Playing golf has also become an activity that Beth enjoys as it allows her to spend time in the outdoors. She also enjoys cooking, and learning to try something new now and then.
Gratitude, Love and Respect. Rita’s Yoga journey began more than a decade ago, when her then mid-teens son established a family Yoga practice, following a television Yoga instructor. Throughout her journey, family and friends of a younger generation have led her and been her companions in discovering and expanding her experiences of the love and joy of being first a Yoga practitioner, and now an RYT-200 Yoga Instructor. Rita and her daughter walked the path to becoming instructors together through the YogaFit teacher training system. They finished their 200 hours of training in the spring of 2018, having begun together in September 2016. During the years of continuous training as an instructor, Rita has been grateful to be a Yoga instructor in multiple care settings, with students ranging from age five at church camp, to 98 years young in an independent living health and wellness center. Rita was introduced to Body Grace through her daughter living in Vienna for evening Yoga classes. In a beautiful unfolding of her journey, Rita is now an evening class Instructor for Body Grace and continues to work to make the joy and love of Yoga accessible to everyone. She seeks to make her classes places of Ahimsa and Santosha: love and mutual respect for ourselves and all others, ever mindful that the present is a gift of living our lives fully, a gift that only we can give ourselves.