Meet Our Teachers

Get to know our amazing instructors. We’ve assembled a team of highly talented and knowledgeable teachers from all different yogic backgrounds and lineages, giving you the opportunity to try out different styles and find what suits you best. Many of our teachers are also available for private, one on one yoga sessions to help you better explore your personal practice.

 
 

Azi Tavassoli, Founder of Easy Day Yoga

Azi's desire to help people heal and realize their self-worth is deeply rooted in her childhood. As a child, she dreamt of having a place of healing where she could host people and share her many blessings with them. Later in life, she discovered an ancient teaching which allowed her to connect with her childhood calling. Everything came to fruition after she completed a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation. She decided to leave her high stress career and to dedicate her life to the path of yoga and meditation. Azi's vision for Easy Day Yoga was drawn from her professional background in Psychology, French, and Persian literature. It's her belief that one is a yogi not just on the mat, but that mindful practice of yoga must be integrated off the mat and into our daily lives.

Azi teaches Meditation and Vinyasa classes.


Christie “Kanta” Haran MA, C-IAYT, e-RYT500, YACEP, LMT

Christie began her Yoga journey in 1994 when she attended a Yoga retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA.  She had been practicing as a Mental Health Counselor, but found the physical, mental and emotional benefits of Yoga so powerful for herself and others, she decided to become a Yoga Instructor.  In 2000, she earned her teaching certification through the Integral Yoga Teaching Academy at the Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham, VA.  She returns often to the Ashram to serve on the staff of Teacher Trainings.  Christie has studied and practiced several styles and traditions over the years.  She loves teaching and practicing Hatha, however, you will see her on her mat at Easy Day in many different classes!  In addition to a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Sports Psychology,  Christie is certified as a Yoga Therapist by the International Association of Yoga Therapy.  She is also a Certified Stress Management Coach, a Certified(pending) Life Coach,  and a Licensed Massage Therapist, specializing in Thai Massage and Reconnective Energy Healing.  In her group and private sessions, she blends the benefits of these modalities to create a unique experience for each client/student.  As a Yoga Therapist, she focuses on the therapeutic qualities of Yoga and enjoys sharing the healing benefits of yoga with clients who have physical, mental, and emotional challenges. KANTA, her spiritual name, given to her by her Guru (teacher), Sri Swami Satchidananda, means lovely, brilliant, and lustrous.

Kanta teaches both Gentle classes and Mindful Yoga 4 Stress Reduction.


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Gretchen Schutte 

Gretchen began her wellness and yoga journey in 2006 when she started practicing yoga as a method of stress relief. As her practice grew, she knew she wanted to share the gift of yoga with others. Gretchen's education started with a Vinyasa Yoga training and grew to include Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra. At the root of her classes are tools that help you navigate your day with more ease. Her intention is for you to take the movement, breath, and mindfulness you learn on the mat out into your life to navigate your day with a sense of calm.

Gretchen teaches Gentle classes.



Jamie Markle

Jamie is an ERYT-200 certified yoga teacher who began practicing yoga back in 2004-ish, when her arm was twisted by a good friend who was all like "yoga is going to change your liiiiifffffeee." Jamie made fun of all the Southern California yogis, with their mats under their arms, sippin' lattes acting all spiritual and stuff. But, as all good stories go, it took only one yoga class and the rest is history. After she moved to Northern Virginia she enrolled in yoga teacher training at Flow Yoga back in 2013 after sitting on the idea for far too long, and she's been teaching non-stop since then. Because, seriously...why wait? Over the years she has taught handstand workshops, several assists + adjusts workshops with her badass friend Marcia, anatomy for 300 hour teacher training modules, and then eventually began to co-lead 200 hour teacher trainings with Marcia at various studios around Northern Virginia. She believes in her heart of all hearts that she was born to teach and practice yoga, to always be a student herself, and to passionately share what she knows along the way.

Jamie teaches Vinyasa & Slow Flow Stretch.

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Joanna Martin

Joanna began her yoga journey in 2013 while living in Vero Beach, Florida. She started a consistent Vinyasa practice and hasn't looked back. At the outset, her practice was all about the physical postures and exercise, and has since evolved into much more. After relocating to Ashburn in 2014, she walked into Easy Day Yoga and found her new yoga home. With Easy Day offering a strong variety of classes, she found a new passion for the Yin side of things under the guidance of wonderful instructors Leena Lowe and Denyse Peterson. Yin affords us an opportunity that we don't often take; to be still and listen! Joanna completed her 200 hour teacher training at Easy Day in June 2017 and was blessed to further her studies of yin/restorative yoga by completing the zen zone workshop with Denyse Peterson in October 2017. Off of the mat, Joanna is a full time genetic counselor with a BA in psychology and a Master of science in Genetic Counseling. You will find her at the gym in the early morning and at easy day almost every night of the work week! Joanna has been working the front desk at Easy Day since 2014 and is so humbled to now be guiding her fellow Easy Day-ers through their practice!

Joanna teaches Restorative Yin classes. 


Juli Briskman

Juli’s yoga journey began in 2007 when she took her first practice at the gym where she taught group fitness.  Sore from a previous hard work out, she walked away with no pain.  Already looking for a balance to her hard cardio workouts and classes she had been teaching for 15 years, Juli found it with yoga.  Her personal practice carried her through a depressing overseas tour and the end of a bad marriage.  She became a certified teacher in 2010 and RYT 200 Certified in 2011.  She has taught classes and workshops in gyms and studios throughout the county and dabbled in family and kids yoga.  An avid outdoors enthusiast and runner, Briskman focuses on connection and recovery.

Juli teaches Vinyasa classes.


Kate Thuss, Studio Manager & YTT Director 

After living with depression and anxiety for most of her life, Kate sought solace on her Yoga mat, and the simple truth is, it was her practice that put her back together again. After some major life changes and upheaval, she healed her heart with Yoga and it didn’t take long before she realized she wanted to help others do the same. In the winter of 2014 she studied at the Integral Yoga Teaching Academy at Satchidananda Ashram and received her certification to teach. Since then she has trained in LifeForce Yoga for Depression & Anxiety with Amy Weintraub, iRest Yoga Nidra with Karen Soltes, and Yoga Psychology via Ashley Turner’s Yoga.Psyche.Soul 500 Hour program. Kate is an E-RYT 200, YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) and is currently pursuing certifications in Anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff and a second 500 hour program with the Himalayan Institute. Her desire is to hold the space for others to meet themselves wholly on their mats — for Kate, it’s not about what you look like in a pose, it’s about how you feel. In her classes you can expect to spend some time with your breath, practicing Pranayama, moving either gently or vigorously (though always with intention) through your asana, and then settling in for a Yoga Nidra practice to bring it all into balance at the end. 

Kate teaches Hatha & Gentle classes.


Lisa Lermitte

Lisa’s intention as a teacher is to help students find deeper connection in their yoga practice and more authenticity, passion, and ease to all parts of life. Her teachings come from a very intuitive place and are always tailored to who is present. Lisa gracefully and intentionally weaves together challenging and restorative poses into her classes to promote balance, strength and growth for each individual. She personally understands the benefits of yoga for stress, discomfort and balance in the mind, body and soul. She also has a specific passion in the birth world. As a mom of 4 beautiful souls, she believes in empowering women through encouraging them to listen to their intuition and to trust- themselves, their bodies, and their babies. Lisa received her 200RYT and Prenatal/Postnatal certification in 2011 and continuously learns in order to best serve others in her greater purpose- to help people become healthier, happier, and more whole. 

Lisa teaches our Prenatal classes. 


Michelle Caples

Michelle’s love of yoga began over a decade ago. Attending her first class with a small group of friends and family, she was originally drawn to the physical aspects of the practice. With her background in dance, she loved the full body movements and the focus on both strength and flexibility. It was on her drive home after practice one night, that she realized yoga was capable of so much more than just the physical. For the first time she realized her mind wasn’t racing. It wasn’t thinking about the past or worrying about the future. At that moment she knew it would become a lifelong practice. Over the years she has been fortunate to practice many styles of yoga with inspiring teachers and students. In 2017 she decided to take her practice to the next level by taking part in Easy Day Yoga’s teacher training program. With the support, guidance, and friendship of the teachers at Easy Day, she earned her RYT-200 certification and she is forever thankful for their encouragement. She enjoys spending her free time with her amazingly supportive husband, their beautiful son, and their super sweet dog Sophie. Yoga has helped bring balance and peace to her life and she is excited and grateful to be able to help others on their own personal journey.

Michelle teaches Vinyasa classes for all levels. 


Michele Trufant 

I came to yoga as a way of life rather late in life. I began a Bikram practice nine years ago and there was something about the moving into stillness that got to me. About three and a half years ago i went to my first vinyasa class and that was it; i was in my teacher training with Rolf Gates within four months. As i retired from 16 years of training race horses, I began my journey as a yoga practitioner and teacher. I love the freedom and the empowering nature of a vinyasa practice and added with daily meditation, there has been a growing joy, peace, and understanding in my life.

Michele teaches powerful Vinyasa and Rocket classes.


MJ Seo

MJ (Minjung) believes the practice of yoga supports the cultivation of pure contentment and joy through the experience of a deeper connection with the body, mind and spirit.

MJ began her 200 Hour Teacher training in 2016 with LifePower Yoga and continued the 85 Hour Prenatal Teacher training from Beloved Yoga under Maryam Ovissi and Vasanthi Srinivasan. She continues to delve into the knowledge and philosophy of yoga through personal practice, studies and trainings.

MJ believes that yoga is a tool of empowerment for expecting mothers. Through nurturing the bond between mother and child, MJ supports a reconnection of a mother’s body and mind. In her Prenatal classes, she creates a safe environment for practitioners to explore the physical and emotional transitions of the journey of pregnancy through listening to the guidance of the breath and body.

MJ teaches Prenatal Yoga.


Nancy McGovern

Nancy got into yoga more than 5 years ago while looking for a fitness class at a local gym. She quickly found that her years of ballet training made many of the poses feel like “home” in her body. She had a desire to attend teacher training, but the schedules of her 3 active children made it seem like a daunting task. As her children became more independent, Nancy finally saw a window of opportunity. She completed her 200 hour teacher training in June of 2017 and since, has taken further Yin/Restorative training as well as workshops for teaching children’s classes. Nancy has a special interest in working with youth as well as in furthering her studies in Mindfulness. Although Nancy is new to teaching yoga, she has been teaching children for 25+ years through her business, “Dance To You,” which teaches creative movement, tumbling and now, yoga in area preschools.

Nancy teaches Gentle classes, as well as Vinyasa.


Parry Dale 

Parry came to yoga following a car accident and subsequently various means of physical therapy and chiropractic interventions to address ongoing spinal pain. A good friend recommended Bikram yoga and she engaged in Bikram over about a year and a half before discovering vinyasa yoga. After her first vinyasa class, she knew she had found her yoga preference and never looked back. Vinyasa has served as a therapeutic, creative, inspiring home base from which to grow a devoted practice. As a classroom teacher by day for now over two decades, little by little, yoga became an opening for a deposit in the self and an unspeakably rich opportunity for reflection. Coming to the mat at the end of the day felt like home. Resolved never to teach yoga and perfectly content as a student, Parry did not plan to ever take teacher training. She believed teacher training could not make her love yoga any more than she already did. Confronted with an emotional and spiritual renaissance, she realized one day it was time to teach – after all, teaching is what she knows. How could she not bring one of her greatest passions to others as a voice of support for whatever their personal journeys may be as they step on their mats? Parry completed her teacher training at Easy Day Yoga and could not be more thrilled to practice in the community in which she teaches – yoga is a lifelong practice and we are all in this together.

Parry teaches Vinyasa classes for all levels.


Renee Vanessa

Renee walked into the doors of Easy Day Yoga Fall of 2014.  Her very first class at EDY was a Yin class led by Leena Lowe. After leaving the studio, she felt an unusual lightness in her steps and a calm and peaceful state of mind. On top of that, she had the BEST night sleep EVER!!! Needless to say, that is what started her passion for the Yin practice. Renee was part of the hustle and bustle that is unfortunately a common characteristic of Loudoun County moms who shuttle their kids to and from practices, attend frequent after school activities, as well as weekend events. She was living her life on autopilot one day to the next.  

Thru stillness and deep breathing, Yin offered her the opportunity to shut down from her daily activities to find inner peace, mental clarity and continued undisturbed sleep. She welcomes her students an opportunity to follow this path to stillness, peace of mind and full body relaxation. Renee completed her 200-hours of Teacher Training at EDY Fall 2017 and received continuing education units for Yin + Restorative Immersion December 2018. She embraces a lifestyle of continuous learning and will always be a student of the practice. She is also extremely grateful for the loving wisdom, guidance and support of her two favorite mentors Leena Lowe and Christie Kanta Haran.

Renee teaches Yin classes.


Sheri Matthews

Sheri is an ERYT-500, a certified Yoga Therapist through IAYT specializing in PTSD, addiction and trauma, and a Holistic Recovery Coach. She is a cancer survivor, essential oil junkie, foodie and believes that laughter and humor is the best medicine. Sheri fell in love with yoga over 20 years ago as a way to heal her body from running injuries and has been teaching almost 10 years now. 

There’s something so magical about watching people be in the present moment, breathe, move and challenge themselves without judgment. Over the years her practice and teachings have shifted. Her passion and specialty is not only teaching yoga, but also meditation and mindfulness. Especially to those dealing with chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and addiction. 

Sheri teaches Vinyasa classes.


Susan Greene

Susan started her yoga journey over 15 years ago. She started out taking classes at gyms and watching yoga DVDs. But it wasn’t until 2005/2006, that the real “awakening” took place. That was when she took her first yoga class at a true yoga studio. Since then, her life has been transformed. She received her 200-hour certification for Prana Flow® from Samudra School for Living Yoga affiliate program with Maria Garre. Susan has had the wonderful opportunity to study with master teachers like Shana Meyerson, Cora Wen, and Shiva Rea. She is inspired by Vinyasa styles of yoga (like Prana Flow & Baptiste) and incorporates them in her classes but honestly loves all limbs of the yogic path. In 2011, she attended the OM yoga Women Cancer Survivors Teacher Training with Tari Prinster in New York City. The amazing experience was humbling nevertheless it increased her desire to serve and give back to her community. Through yoga, Susan would like to be a source of healing in the world. Although she is still a work in progress, yoga has given her the strength inside and out to live each day with compassion and a positive outlook. Susan notices how yoga calms her soul and only wishes to share that with her students. She teaches with the seasons combining her knowledge of the Chakras, meridian lines & Ayurveda. Susan teaches Goat Yoga classes in Loudoun County and is also a Reiki Master as well as a Licensed Master Esthetician.

Susan teaches Vinyasa classes.