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!

Sherry Stikeleather

RYT 200 Yoga Instructor

A transplant from Michigan to Virginia, where I have resided, worked and played for the last 24 years. Wow time flies when your having fun. Passionate about recycling, teaching, learning, yoga, volunteering and fun! 
We love to ride motorcycles and spending time at Kerr Lake.
I have been a physical therapist assistant for 24 years and have taught yoga for just a year.
Yoga allows to heal the whole person, mind, body, soul and not just the physical. Yoga is an ongoing process of learning and I love being a student of Life!

 Love, Peace and Gratitude.​

Steve Kuehl

RYT 200 Yoga Instructor


Steve Kuehl has been a dedicated yoga practitioner for over a decade, and a RYT-200 certified teacher, having completed his training at Yoga Source in Richmond in 2008.  His formal training provided a balanced blend of Ashtanga and Iyengar-based instruction styles that serves as the foundation for his own teaching.  From the time of his teacher training to the present, Steve has offered a Karma yoga class at has place of work, introducing 100’s of students to the practice as a community service.  Steve has experimented with a wide variety of yoga styles and has participated in a number of workshops where he has been inspired by many national teachers.  Steve is currently working toward his 500-hour certification with Beryl Bender Birch of the Hard and the Soft Yoga Institute, having completed an advanced summer intensive teacher training in 2010.  Steve’s teaching style reflects well his training and experience, with a focus on coordinated movement and breath, grounded with alignment-based instruction and designed to yoke the body, breath and mind.


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.  

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. 

     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.  

Christine Griggs

 E-RYT-500 Yoga Instructor


Christine was born and raised in France.  She traveled and lived all over the world with her husband and 3 children before settling down in Newport News in 1998. She’s an avid long-distance runner, aspiring writer and a trained multilingual translator.  She’s a freelance interpreter for the Virginia Court system.

When Christine stepped into her first yoga class in 2006, she knew she’d found what had been missing from her life.  She became a certified Yoga-Fit instructor in 2008 so that she could teach an ongoing weekly free class to the community at her church. 

She became a RYT-200 through the IHH Integral Yoga program in 2010 and a RYT-500 with the Rolf Gates 500-hour Vinyasa Training in 2011. 

She is now training instructors as a member of Zenya Yoga Academy’s Teacher Training’s faculty.  She teaches at Zenya, One Life Fitness and WMUMC.

Yoga is her gift to her community.  She wants to make this transforming practice available to everyone.  She loves the balance of Vinyasa and Yin Yoga, her 2 favorite yoga styles, and believes in creating a safe relaxing environment, as well as a mindful rejuvenating practice that allow us to live our best lives on and off the mat.

She believes in a healthy, balanced, compassionate lifestyle: live consciously, feed your spirit, take the time to be still and enjoy the moment, be generous in your words and actions, don’t take yourself too seriously, always have a dream and, when you reach your dream, get another one.  This is the key to true happiness. 

 




Joe Charsagua

RYT 200 Yoga Instructor


Joe Charsagua was born in the Panama Canal Zone and as a child of a career military father traveled the world before settling in El Paso, Texas where he graduated from high school. After graduating from West Point, NY, Joe served 30 years in the Army and retired from active duty service in 2010. In 2005, Joe was exposed to yoga while stationed in Los Angeles, CA and was immediately attracted to the physical aspects of yoga as a way to complement his physical training regimen and provide alternative forms of physical fitness. Since then Joe has come to realize how yoga provides a holistic approach to living and now enjoys its many aspects to include meditation and yoga philosophy. To deepen his understanding and experience of yoga Joe enrolled in the Zenya Yoga Academy in Newport News in 2011. Joe graduated from the program and attained his Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200-hour level certification. Joe is currently studying for his meditation teacher certification in the American Meditation Society.  Joe is enthusiastic to share the gifts and benefits of yoga and meditation he has enjoyed with others and help them progress along in their respective journey to improve themselves and better their lives.

OM Shanti - Namaste

Meet our team of Yoga Instructors


 Del Snyder

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

Del has been teaching Yoga for almost 11 years and has been a student of yoga for over 15 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 14 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.






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!

                    Deborah “Dede” Anderson
                         RYT-200 Yoga Instructor

With a hometown of New York City, and relatives with a creative and entertainment passion, Dede grew up surrounded by the ability to be creative and expressive.  Although she has several creative outlets, the mere grace and movement of the body through Dance became her favorite.  She has studied Modern, Improvisational, African, Jazz and Salsa dance forms.  While taking Jazz classes in NYC at the Broadway Dance Center, Dede was part of the group that warmed up the NYC Marathon Runners before their annual race.  At a young age she was approached to go on tour abroad with an African Dance troupe, and later paired with a partner creating Salsa routines for Latin Dance events.

 Dede found Vinyasa Yoga at a time when stress and anxiety filled her life.  Her discovery that it also had graceful, flowing movements combined with calm, focus and self-empowerment through yoga created a newfound love and stability that helped her to avoid the usual medical application for stress and anxiety.  She also found it filled something that was missing. 

Here in her home of Hampton Roads, Dede attained her RYT-200 Yoga Instructor Certification through Yoga Alliance and her training through Zenya Yoga Academy in Newport News, VA.  She followed that with Barre Training expanding on the incorporation of Yoga in another format. In addition to teaching at Garden of Zen, Dede has taught at Zenya, and a major corporation as part of their Wellness Program.  Areas of Vinyasa, Gentle Yoga, Workplace Yoga, Chair Yoga, her self-designed Yoga Dance and Yoga Barre are her main interests, but she continues to learn. 

As a glad member of the Garden of Zen family, she loves to share what has aided her in combating stress and anxiety in traditional and new ways to help others find the calm, strength, well-being and balance we all seek and need. 


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.





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
.

MARY SNYDER

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



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

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      © Garden of Zen Yoga Studio, LLC  2013