Shauna’s vision for Simon Says Yoga is a place to feel at home with teachers who really pay attention and give care to each student; a place to improve inner and outer strength, bringing balance and calm into your every day life.… and for all who come to be able to nurture themselves; to achieve more flexibility and a balance between strength and softness.
The studio has come to be a gathering of community, a place to be inspired, to take time to breathe and rejuvenate.
Simon Says Yoga is truly a family creation, with custom made wooden creations by Shauna’s husband and son, Stefan and Zach, and hand dyed clothing and bolsters made by Shauna’s daughter, Shabd. They all came together to thoughtfully design a natural, handcrafted environment for people to be able to feel warmth and clarity in their surroundings and in themselves.
When you visit our studio you will leave feeling energized, balanced and with a sense of peace in your life.
Meet Our Instructors
Beginners Yoga, Senior Yoga, Kids/Teen Yoga, Sign Language
Shauna discovered Yoga at age 17 in a search for self discovery and an experience apart from the norm. She lived in a Yoga community (ashram) for over 20 years, traveling to India several times and truly integrating the practice of yoga into her everyday life. She brought up her children from birth with Yoga and Meditation as a building block in order to face the challenges of life with the tools to live an insightful, mindful and peaceful life.
Shauna is a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher, is an eRYT (approved to teach other teachers) and has certifications in Sivananda Yoga and YogaFit. In addition, she has Kid’s Yoga Certificates in Calming Kids Yoga, Budding Yogis and from the Asheville School of Yoga.
Amy is a 500 hour registered Yoga teacher, and has been practicing yoga since childhood. She has an advanced teaching certificate from OM Yoga Center with Cyndi Lee.She was also certified by Judith Hanson Lasater and Roger Cole to teach Restorative Yoga, by Tari Prinster to teach OM Yoga for Women Cancer Survivors, and by Bec Conant to teach OM Prenatal Yoga.
Anne has been practicing yoga for 30 years. She is a 200 hour registered teacher who received her training from Thrive at Simon Says Yoga and a certification from Peggy Cappy’s Yoga for the Rest of Us. Anne focuses on working with seniors and those who are recovering from injuries by providing adaptive modifications when needed. With her encouraging teaching approach, Anne focuses on her students’ strengths in order to support their personal journeys throughout each class.
Devon has been leading flavorful Zumba classes since 2011. Class participants can expect to move to fun and heart-warming music from a wide variety of genres. When she’s not having a blast dancing, she is working on her Master’s degree in Acupuncture.
Ghita Von Bonsdorff
Ghita von Bonsdorff moved to the DC area in 2008 from Finland. She has a background in salsa dancing and has performed with salsa and reggaeton groups in Finland. In DC, she got hooked on Zumba and became an instructor in 2012. She is also a certified Zoca instructor who has totally fallen in love with the African-Caribbean dance fever! Ghita’s classes are high energy and fun~
Vinyasa Flow Mixed Level
Emily first came to yoga as a teenager and has joyfully returned again and again. Her playful classes feature dynamic postures that can be made accessible to all participants, alignment-focused cues and adjustments, and intelligent sequences that promote a strong, centered, and nimble practice. Emily is certified at the 200-hour level in the Vinyasa tradition.
Super Gentle Yoga
Gayatri has been practicing yoga for more than a decade. She specializes in yoga for kids — from toddlers to teenagers, prenatal yoga, and baby and me yoga. Gayatri has an intuitive understanding of how yoga can address the needs and concerns of the populations she works with and adapts her classes to meet students right where they are.
Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra – iRest
Gretchen considers yoga to be the perfect path for lifelong learning and personal growth, and feels that our bodies provide rich terrain for such studies. Having studied with yoga teachers of diverse traditions and styles, Gretchen’s classes are eclectic in nature, and reflect her experience teaching a variety of populations such as kids, teenagers, prenatal moms, and mid-lifers like herself!
Mixed Level and Intermediate Pilates
Gurjeet has been practicing the Pilates method for eight years and is certified through the 700 hour plus Articulate Eye teacher training program. She enjoys sharing the experience of strength and sense of well being that Pilates brings.
Vinyasa Flow Level 1/2
Kate received her 200-hour yoga teaching certification fromTranquil Space in Washington, DC. She believes that our experiences on the mat have so much to teach us about our lives off the mat. Her style is nurturing and creative, and she encourages her students to evolve in their practice in their own way, at their own pace.
Vinyasa Flow 1/2
Sandy believes we practice yoga to take care of ourselves. We come to yoga to explore a healthy range of movement, get stronger, calm down, energize and have fun. Yoga should feel good. There is no“one size fits all” with yoga. Everyone’s body has it’s own special circumstances and needs. Sandy teaches a breath initiated movement style of yoga with modifications and challenges offered through out class.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga Level 1/2, Level 2
Jen is a 200 hour registered Yoga Teacher and certified Pilates instructor. She has been teaching healthy and healing movement for nearly 20 years. She received her certification from The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO in 1993 and has studied ashtanga, vinyasa flow, and hatha yoga. Jen brings a kind heart and a keen eye to her classes, creating a generous and yet disciplined environment.
Vinyasa Flow Level 1
Jill has been joyfully practicing yoga since 1996 and is both certified as a Budding Yogis kids yoga instructor as well as a RYT at the 200-Level through Inner Domain. She brings a combination of playfulness and depth to her kids classes and a challenging and rejuvenating environment to her vinyasa flow practice.
Jocelyn Khalifa (Joci)
Joci feels so fortunate to work with children and yoga, her two loves. She is a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher with a specialization in children and families. Joci has taught Preschool 13 years. She believes that all children are innately intelligent, joyful, and spiritual. Through mindfulness and yoga we can support them in maintaining their unique connection while creating calm and encouraging self-awareness and self-confidence.
Hatha Flow Level 2
Cathy has been a yoga instructor in the DC area for more than ten years. She loves what yoga focuses on: the infinite possibilities for self-transformation, physical and spiritual strength, and appreciation for life. Cathy identifies her approach as one of exploration, a search for inner-balance, and being in touch with one’s body. She feels yoga can release the tension that can accumulate in the body and mind due to the realities of living in today’s fast-paced world. Her own practice has helped her to be more resilient and flow with the challenges of life. Cathy’s classes are centering, grounding, challenging and spiritual.
Mat Pilates Mixed Level
Jocelyn began her Pilates training in Fuse Pilates with Mariska Breland in 2010 and completed her Comprehensive Pilates certification with Body, Art and Sciences (BASI) in 2012. In 2008, she had the great honor of studying Ashtanga yoga with Sharath Jois in Mysore, India. Jocelyn is a PMA certified Pilates instructor and leads challenging and thoughtful classes.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga Level 1/2
Juli spent many years putting her body through the paces with competitive sports and physical fitness regimens before arriving on the mat. She teaches an energetic and challenging, yet safe and alignment-focused Vinyasa flow and believes humor and a sense of fun always have a place in yoga.
Beginner’s and Intermediate Mat Pilates
Julie has been practicing pilates for over 10 years and is completing her 725 hour teacher certification program through Body Precision, a renowned pilates studio in Bryn Mawr, PA. She tries to ensure that for every student pilates enhances strength, balance and agility, and also invigorates the mind. Her interest in how pilates can keep us healthy and supple as we age, inpsired Julie to become a licensed Pilates for Buff Bones® instructor.
Beginners Yoga and Back to Basics Yoga
After spending a year long residency at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Leyla became a Certified Yoga Instructor in 1998. Since then, Leyla has been fortunate to teach yoga to at a variety of locations including Glen Echo Park, Whitman Walker Clinic, the FTC, and the Supreme Court. Her progressive teaching style allows each student to move deeper into their practice within a supportive and compassionate atmosphere. Leyla choreograph’s her class to flow while at the same time providing clear alignment cues to create a safe atmosphere for each student to feel their inherit strength and light.
Strength FusionKendra is a certified personal trainer, pilates and yoga instructor. She also does nutrition coaching, and has successfullyhelped clients acheive their fitness/wellness goals through a comprehensive and holistic approach to health.Kendra has her own wellness personal training business, and works with clients individually as well as in small groups.
Vinyasa Flow Level 1/2, Beginners Yoga
Lika was drawn to yoga as a way to maintain flexibility and strength and soon discovered the full power of yoga, as a path to becoming a more balanced, compassionate and happy person. Lika teaches vinyasa flow style yoga, focusing on creating a comfortable, safe and non- competitive space.
Rise and Shine Yoga
Stephanie earned her 200 hour yoga teaching certificate at the Mindfulness Center in Bethesda. As an avid triathlete, Stephanie initially found yoga as a means to build physical strength and flexibility. She quickly realized that yoga brings so much more to life and now practices daily to bring balance and presence to each day. Stephanie enjoys an alignment based practice with some vinyasa sequences built in to build heat and energy.
Beginners Yoga, Back to Basics
Sarah began yoga to help recover from a knee injury after many years of professional modern dancing took its toll on her body. She found not only a physically healing practice but also tools to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Sarah completed her training with Max Strom, and has assisted him with teacher trainings in DC, VA and PA. Sarah’s teaching style is both gentle and invigorating, emphasizing alignment and breath-initiated movement. Her ultimate intention is to deliver a safe and challenging practice, allowing students of all levels to take their own journeys of self-inquiry and move toward more ease and greater balance, on the mat and in their lives.
Rise and Shine Beginners Yoga
Aymara Ayala (Aymi) is currently studying to be a Speech Language Pathologist at the University of Maryland. Aymi completed her teacher training last June and enjoys sharing the gift of yoga with students of all ages. Aymi loves teaching early morning classes!