Myunghwa Choi

Prenatal/PostpartumYoga Instructor

Pilates/Dance Instructor​​


Myunghwa was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea.  There, she met her husband, who was stationed there as a language analyst working for the United States Air Force.  After getting married, she followed her husband to Virginia, where she encountered many new life changes and challenges.  Leaving her home country, including all of her friends and family, was not easy, but she eventually overcame the homesickness by teaching and attending Yoga classes.  The peace she found with yoga was very valuable and refreshing, and instilled in her the balance and resilience she needed to adapt to a radically new change of life.  Myunghwa has a teaching background in Pilates, ballet, and rehabilitative and myofascial pain syndrome training.  As she began her first job as a Pilates instructor, she has confidence in her teaching efficacy and aims for clients' improvements above all else.  She is very excited to join the Garden of Zen team and cannot wait to share the peace and love she experiences in Yoga with everyone.
Basic Comprehensive(Reformer, Chair, Cadillac, and Mat) Pilates Certified
Mind and Body Ballet Pilates Instructor Certified 
Fitnessyoga Certified Yoga Instructor for Pregnancy(Prenatal & Postnatal)
Rehab Trainning Specialist in Korea
Royal Academy of Dance(RAD) Intermediate Certified



Martine Hutton

RYT- 200 Level Yoga Instructor


Martine has a passion: restoring physical and mental balance to all her students through therapeutic yoga exercises led by a warm and caring instructor.  Since her earliest years growing up in France, Martine has always enjoyed sports (aerobics, tennis, Jazzercise, and fifteen years of yoga), but when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer, she found her calling.  As her daughter slowly recovered, Martine was drawn to therapeutic yoga, taking her 200 hour yoga certification at the Glenmore Yoga and Wellness Center in Richmond, focusing on a gentle yoga designed for students recovering from illness, surgery or other health considerations.  Martine adapts her classes to ensure that all of her students can safely practice poses that develop strength, increase range of motion, and enhance self-esteem and wellbeing.  Martine strives to ensure that all her students leave her class stronger, both physically and emotionally.  

Meet our team of Yoga Instructors


 Del Snyder

E-RYT 200, PRYT(Prenatal), YACEP Yoga Instructor, Studio Owner

Del has been teaching Yoga for 12 years and has been a student of yoga for over 16 years. She received her 200 hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher certification with Yoga Alliance) from the Institute of Health and Healing in Newport News. In August of 2010 she received her E-RYT (Experienced) Certification through Yoga Alliance.  She is also certified through Yogafit and Om Mamma Prenatal School in Richmond to teach Prenatal/Postpartum classes.

During the past 16 years she has attended many workshops and experienced many styles of Yoga. Del is also a Certified Bootybarre Instructor and teaches the Bootybarre I Class at the studio.

Del is a wife and mother of three; she is also a proud grandmother of two beautiful grand daughters.

She is passionate about yoga and hopes to share the gift of yoga and it's many benefits in her community.  She continually seeks to grow as a teacher and student of yoga.  She is committed to teaching with safety and body awareness. There are wonderful benefits to a Yoga practice, clarity, spacious opening, grace, free-flowing energy, well-being, strength, and flexibility among many -- she is delighted to share this powerful and healthy practice with you.






MARY SNYDER

B.S. Exercise Science, Ace, AFPA, YogaFit, TRX, R.I.P.P.E.D., and MadDogg, BootyBarre Certified​​


Mary has always led an active lifestyle, though moving back to the States after four years Overseas to begin Middle School in Yorktown, VA, was a bit of a culture shock. Throughout the following years, Mary could not quite seem to find her niche and bounced from recreational sport to sport, until finally during her Freshman Year of high school she took up Tae Kwon Do and long distance running. After obtaining her Black Belt and logging hundreds of miles, Mary decided that the physiology and even psychology behind exercise and well-being was just too alluring to ignore, and before long, she was enrolled at VCU in Richmond, VA, in order to earn her B.S. in Exercise Science and Minor in Psychology. In 2006 while still at VCU, Mary was certified as a Personal Trainer and Yoga instructor and has been training clients and teaching classes ever since.

Prior to and upon graduation in 2009, Mary has served in various commercial, corporate, private and even medical wellness facilities, training individuals from all walks of life; at-risk youth, individuals recovering from injuries and even teaching yoga classes geared towards endurance athletes. Her passion, however, is working with clients to maintain physical and emotional balance and well-being.

​With her background in yoga and her own personal experience with running, backpacking, and climbing, Mary’s expertise revolves around functional training – for everyone. Mary works with clients to pinpoint muscular imbalances and helps them to develop more body awareness – because to Mary, developing body awareness and strength geared towards functional movement is essential to avoiding injury and staying fit. Mary was also recently certified as a Lifestyle Educator through FirstLine Therapy, and works with clients wishing to make lifestyle changes through engaging in healthier eating and increased physical activity.

Certifications

B.S. Exercise Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, August 2009
TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) Group and Private Instructor Certification, September 2012
R.I.P.P.E.D (Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometric, Endurance, and Diet), May 2012
FirstLine Therapy Lifestyle Educator, March 2012
ACE Personal Trainer Certification, December 2009
AFPA Personal Trainer Certification, March 2006
Adult and Child AED/CPR and First Aid,  December 2011 
MadDogg Indoor Cycling Certification, November 2010
YogaFit Level 1 Certification, June 2007

 ​​BootyBarre Certification,  February 2015

     

       



      ​      Joe Charsagua

                  E-RYT 200 Yoga Instructor, YACEP
       
      “Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim.” This quote from B.K.S. Iyengar exemplifies how yoga can impact your life. Joe Charsagua is a retired military veteran who was exposed to yoga toward the end of his military career and was immediately attracted to its physical aspects as a way to complement his physical training regimen and provide alternative forms of physical fitness. Through his yoga practice, Joe enjoys a holistic approach to living and enjoys its many aspects to include meditation and yoga philosophy. In 2011, Joe became a registered yoga instructor through Zenya Yoga Academy and shortly after became a certified meditation teacher with the American Meditation Society.  Joe is enthusiastic to share the gifts and benefits of yoga and meditation with others and help them progress along in their respective journey to improve themselves and better their lives.

      OM Shanti - Namaste

       

      Frances Uhrich

      RYT 200 Yoga Instructor


      Born in Fife, Scotland, Frances has traveled across and lived overseas for many years through her career with the British Government. Some 20 odd years ago in Scotland, Frances attempted her first yoga class in order to find an alternative exercise option for running outside in the rain. Upon recognizing the challenge of a yoga practice and the various limitations she experienced (Touch my toes -is that a joke? Hold a Downward Facing Dog? I don't think so!) a newly humbled and inspired Frances began to seek as much knowledge for her own personal yoga practice as possible. Upon moving to Washington D.C. where she met and married her husband, a move to Newport News, VA granted the opportunity to take the next step and enroll in the RYT-200 Teacher Training at Zenya Yoga Academy. Her motto? Forever a student of yoga, on and off of the mat, you can take your practice with you wherever you go - at home, in a studio, or just sitting outside in quiet meditation!

      Heather Johnson

      Group Fitness YMCA 2008
      Booty Barre 2014
      Group Exercise YMCA 2016
      Ballet Barre SCW 2016
      CPR BLS/BFA 2017

      I love encouraging others to attain their fitness goals. During my career in electrical engineering (automotive, fossil fuel power generation, ABS and Traction Controls, and Naval Nuclear Instrumentation), I began to realize that our personal whole-package needs daily care. This whole body care includes not only mental, but our emotional, spiritual, and physical health; Each of which is interrelated and equally important.
      I ran track in High School and returned to running, eventually coaching 7 years of Couch to 5K YMCA programs and the 5K and Beyond Program. I also taught Deep and Shallow Water Aerobics for 7years. Once we relocated from NY to VA, I recertified and presently teach Powercut, Abs, and Barre Classes. I run one to two half marathons a year.

      My philosophy for fitness is to set new goals, challenge yourself beyond what you believe you can do, have fun, make and deepen friendships by helping others along the path to improved health, and to keep it fresh. 




      Nancy Geary

      500-ERYT, YACEP, Tai chi for arthritis,
      Silver Sneakers certified
      CLY - ChildLight certified, Prenatal certified
       
      Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Nancy Alicia Geary settled into Hampton Roads in 1994 with her husband and two sons. She discovered yoga  in 2008 after two years of physical therapy due to a back injury from a car accident. She quickly realized the plentiful benefits of yoga for the body, mind and spirit. Yoga was the answer to her life-long interest of being health conscious and physically active but not competitive. Her interest evolved from practicing locally to exploring yoga techniques in studios worldwide while traveling with her husband, always packing her mat wherever the destination. Nancy's passion and belief in yoga shines 100% and her energy comes from teaching others  and promoting yoga.  Nancy is a Zenya Yoga School Alumna and a York County School employee. She meditates daily, studies Sanskrit, and enjoys singing to Kirtan and traveling
      .

      Audrey Smiddy

      RYT 200 Yoga Instructor

      Audrey is a York County local with serious adrenaline issues (skydiving, anyone?), and a passion for serving others. Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at the age of eighteen, Audrey was determined to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits and natural remedies into her treatment. A few months later in January of 2009, she began her first yoga class. Originally intending to use yoga as not only a compliment to her medical treatment, but also as a way to stay fit as an aspiring airline stewardess, she was surprised to instead find her niche in the serenity and incredible journey that was yoga. 

      Trading in her travel aspirations in for an RYT-200 (Registered Yoga Teacher through Zenya Yoga Academy) in the Spring of 2013, Audrey has committed her life to serving others through yoga. Additionally, she has since enjoyed five years of health far exceeding the grim predictions of her doctors, and is entirely confident she has yoga combined with a healthy lifestyle to thank for her success in combating Crohn's disease. 

      When Audrey is doing something other than lounging around in Scorpion Pose, you'll most likely find her afloat in her kayak, playing fetch with Aziza (the mystery mutt), or seeking out local adventures with her loved ones. She couldn't be more excited to be a part of the Garden of Zen family, and sincerely looks forward to traveling through this yoga journey with you. 

      CHRISTINE GRIGGS

                               ERYT-500, YACEP
      Christine Griggs was born and raised in France. She traveled the world with her husband John and their three children before settling down in Virginia in 1998. She is a multilingual translator and has used her skills throughout her travels to volunteer with refugees, work as a foreign languages teacher, a Virginia Court interpreter and a freelance translator.
      When she discovered yoga in 2006, she found the universal language that would help her on her mission: to empower others to find the magic within them and share it with the world. Her trainings include Yoga Fit, the Swami Satchidananda Integral 200-hour training, and Rolf Gates' 500-hour Advanced Vinyasa training. She learned Vipassana meditation at the Theraveda Buddhist temple of Wat Pasantidhamma.
      She is an ERYT-500, YACEP Yoga teacher and is constantly sharpening her skills with trainings and independent studies. 
      She is passionate about the Truth of Yoga and has developed those 3 Core beliefs:
      Yoga is much more than a physical exercise, it is a practice of wholeness. In her classes, you will be guided into awareness and transformation of all the parts of your being.
      We don't just practice yoga on the mat, we take it into our lives. It is very important to her to teach her students practical skills that they can USE in their everyday lives
      ANYONE can do Yoga. She is very passionate about making yoga available to everyone and designed her Chair Yoga classes for that purpose.
      All her classes reflect and integrate those 3 core beliefs: they are inspirational and provide a safe caring environment, as well as a mindful rejuvenating practice interwoven with yogic principles that empower her students to live the lives they are meant to live.
      She teaches yoga classes and workshops in her community in Virginia, as well as during her travels. She is a founding faculty member of Zenya Yoga Academy, where she has been training hundreds of teachers since 2011. Her specialties are Vinyasa, Yin and Chair Yoga. She also specializes in Yoga Fundamentals, Yoga Nidra, Chakras philosophy, Methodology of Yoga, Class Sequencing, Mindfulness and Meditation, Lifestyle and Ethical principles of Yoga and Buddhism and how to incorporate them into our lives.
      She is the author of Yoga with a French Twist; a Journey through the Chakras. Within hours of being live, it was a #1 New Amazon Release!
      She is still traveling the world, enjoys running, hiking, reading, writing, talking and learning about spirituality, spending time with friends and family, watching British shows, sitting in her meditation garden listening to the sounds of nature. She also deeply believes in Spiritual Activism, taking care of our environment, protecting animals and fighting for justice for our children and those who don't have a voice. Follow your heart!
      She is modeling her life to the rhythm of Rumi's quote: Allow the beauty of what you love to become what you do."
      You can find more on her website www.yintraveler.com

      Valerie Hollar

      RYT 200 Yoga Instructor


      Valerie Hollar, a registered RYT200 certified teacher with the Yoga Alliance, found her love of yoga after looking for a way to relieve stress when life dealt her some crazy curve balls back in 2013. Air Force wife, and working mother of 4, she needed to find something to create time for herself. She visited a local studio for an intro to hot yoga class, and the rest is history. Initially starting a hot yoga practice, she found her love for all types of classes and all things yoga. Yoga helped her learn to manage and overcome PTSD and anxiety without the need for medications, as well as helped her find a better way to deal with her crazy day to day routine. Completing her 200 hour certification was a no brainer after that.
      Valerie wants to share the joy of yoga with each person she meets through invigorating vinyasa style classes, linked with fun upbeat playlists that will challenge both the mind and the body. When not teaching yoga you can find her around town taking classes whenever and wherever she can, working as a paralegal during the day, and playing super mom. She looks forward to helping you find your love of yoga whether it’s the first time rolling out a mat, or you are a seasoned yogi. Her specific areas of interest include vinyasa, yoga for kids, restorative and yin, yoga as a treatment for anxiety and PTSD, and yoga for stroke recovery.
      Valerie’s philosophy is “Get on your mat every day, even if for only 5 minutes, and let the magic find you.” She looks forward to meeting you and practicing with you soon!

       Kim Thompson
        RYT-200 Yoga Instructor

      Kim was born and raised in Yorktown, VA and now resides in Poquoson, VA with her husband. She grew up dancing (ballet, tap, jazz, and many more styles) and has always had a passion for movement. So when Kim attended her first yoga class in college, it was a natural fit. She continued to develop her personal yoga practice throughout college and graduated from Liberty University with a degree in accounting in 2013. Seeking to deepen her practice and find balance in both her career and lifestyle, Kim began her yoga teacher training in 2016 and became a RYT-200 Yoga Instructor in 2017. After years of nurturing a passion for yoga, meditation and mindfulness, Kim is eager to share this passion with the community in her hometown. Kim enjoys teaching Vinyasa style yoga classes that focus on both building strength and clearing stress. She believes that a yoga class should generate positive energy and cultivate a strong connection between the mind, body, and spirit.

      Megan Pupilis

      RYT- 200 Yoga Instructor

      Megan discovered yoga in 2004 after discovering she was pregnant with her first son. Yoga helped her calm the stress and nerves of being a 1st time mom while also helping to speed recovery time and aid the body’s ability to “Bounce Back”. A few years and 3 kids later, she decided she wanted to teach and share the amazing benefits of yoga with others. Megan began her yoga schooling at Dragon Fly studio in Fort Walton Beach Florida, where she studied with many gifted tutors such as Laura Tyree, Bryan Kest, Doug Keller, Stephanie Keach and Felicia McQuad. She recently just received her Personal Trainer Certification and a specialty certification in Fitness Nutrition through the American Council on Exercise. Megan leads a variety of classes with a passion for instructing powerful, dynamic, flow classes that combines her long held love of movement and strength with the practice of yoga. Megan believes yoga is about challenging yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone while also having fun, practicing humility and patience, and honoring your body for what it CAN do. Students in Megan’s classes learn to face their divine “kick booty” power within while exercising their mind, body, and spirit.


           Becky Waters

                       RYT 200 Yoga Instructor

      YWI – Yoga Warrior International Certified Instructor


      Becky is a retired educator who taught elementary education and special education preK-high school, worked as a building level administrator, and ultimately became a teacher educator.  As a consultant trainer for ETS, she trained teachers and administrators in 43 of the 50 states.  Being married to a career Navy man allowed her the experience of living and traveling many places across the U.S. and Europe and provided her with a tremendous awareness and appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism.  She has been a Yorktown resident for the past 30 years.  

      Becky discovered the benefits of Yoga several years ago as she was searching for relief from chronic back pain.  She quickly found that yoga is much more than contorting the body into poses – it is a way of life blending mind, body, and spirit.  She completed her 200-hour training at ZYA in Newport News and has recently completed the YogaWarriorsInternational™ training, hoping to take her Yoga practice to a higher level working with wounded warriors and caretakers.  Becky adapts her classes to meet the needs of her students, focusing on helping students find their center and improve their strength, flexibility, and balance.  

      © Garden of Zen Yoga Studio, LLC  2013

      Cully Thieman

      RYT-200 Yoga Instructor, 



      Cully received his RYT 200 from
      Samma Karuna School of
      Awakening & Healing
      in
      Koh Phangan, Thailand
      He is also helping at Garden of Zen with our Social Media post.


      Lee McMillan

      RYT 200 Yoga Instructor


      Lee is active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard having served as a Health Promotion Coordinator where he experienced his first yoga class.  He has always enjoyed health sciences and fitness including various outdoor activities such as running, bicycling, and kayaking.  He returned to a regular practice of yoga after traditional rehabilitation failed to produce results following a skiing accident in 2016.  Lee is a graduate of teacher training at Zenya Yoga Academy, is a certified first aid and CPR instructor, and completed the TRX FORCE® Operator Course.   He completed his BBA at Averett University (Danville, VA) and MAEd at Argosy University (Honolulu, HI).  His yoga journey is representative of a passage from Yoga Vasistha, “Who am I who speaks, walks, stands, and functions on this elaborate stage known as the world?  I should find this out.”