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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Yoga Mini-Spotlights

Leanne Roque and Yoga 4 All Bodies

At Yoga 4 All Bodies, the priority for founder Leanne Cusumano Roque is to help her students alleviate suffering and increase joy through yoga. ​​All students are welcome and poses can be adapted for all body types. ​As a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and an IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist, Roque focuses on making poses accessible to all while creating a warm, positive space for practice.

​ ​Students focus on proper alignment and technique ​to grow systematic intelligence​, which means they live more comfortably in their body and self. Students build strength, flexibility and equanimity and improve overall health. Roque has been practicing yoga since 2006. A friend suggested she give it a try. “Although I had no idea what to expect, a book I read suggested starting when I could practice every day for six months. I waited until I could make that commitment, and started. At the end of six months of daily practice, I knew yoga was an incredible gift. I found yoga addresses the entire person—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual,” notes Roque.

She found that a regular practice grounded her, and made her stronger and healthier than she had ever been in her life. For several years, she explored different yoga traditions—from Bikram to Vinyasa to Hatha to Anusaura. When she discovered Iyengar yoga, she knew she had found a tradition and practice that would change her life. According to Roque, “Iyengar yoga has been a constant companion and help as I have navigated various injuries and life transitions. It has allowed me to have a positive influence on my ongoing health and well-being.” ​Students at Yoga 4 All Bodies range in age from 25 to 75 and come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders. Many people who walk through the door have tried other types of yoga classes but haven't yet found a match for them, sometimes due to physical matters. ​Students, whether practitioners or practitioner teachers, also find Yoga 4 All Bodies when they want to understand why they are doing what they are doing, what the effect is of a sequence or a particular pose, or how to sequence a personal practice.

When asked why she enjoys teaching yoga, Roque beams. “​I love-love-love when a practitioner gets to know their own body better and is then able to care for themselves in a way that brings long-term well-being. It is very exciting to see students have that breakthrough.”

Location: 12021 Creekbend Dr, Fairfax County Pkwy, Reston. For more information, call 703-297-2224 or visit

Raj Yoga and Upcoming Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training 

Raj Yoga Center opened as a community owned nonprofit in 1975 with one focus—to teach and share Kundalini yoga. Known as the “yoga of awareness”, Kundalini yoga offers innumerable physical, spiritual and mental benefits, and can be practiced by all ages and abilities.

Some of the rewards Kundalini offers include increased flexibility, stress management, body and mind awareness, healing, aura expansion, strengthening the spirit and uplifting the mood. Kundalini is being explored in memory research (see as it activates different parts of the brain, as well as in the expanding field of sleep research.

Beginning this fall, Raj Yoga will offer a 220-hour course of Kundalini Yoga Level One teacher training program, from September through May. With 180-hours of classroom instruction in a well-defined curriculum will include topics such as: Kundalini Kriyas and meditations; asana, breath, mudra and mantra; awakening consciousness; yogic and western anatomy; yogic philosophy; the origin of Kundalini Yoga; humanology and yogic lifestyle; and the role of a Kundalini Yoga teacher.

Participants are encouraged to explore their creative potential, transform themselves, while they elevate others. The Aquarian Teacher Certification program is open to yoga students ready to become teachers—from beginner to advanced—and those who wish to immerse themselves in the science and art of Kundalini Yoga. Payment plans are available.

The Center offers evening classes Monday through Thursday and morning classes on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. For those unable to sit on the floor during class, chairs and alternative instructions are offered. The center spreads its love and respect for yoga by opening its doors to volunteers, guest teachers, workshops and concerts.

Location. 22821 Silverbrook Center Dr., Ste. 160, 2nd Fl., Sterling, VA. For a full list of events and classes, go to, and for updates on classes, specials and Kundalini research, follow them on Facebook.

Bikram Yoga

             Bikram Hot Yoga Riverdale Park, Takoma Park and Ivy City have joined the “movement movement” and offer a range of wellness classes and services at their three locations. Bikram Yoga, which offers many health benefits, is complemented by other classes such as Inferno Hot Pilates, LifeStretch and Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST). Bikram yoga is perhaps the perfect sequence of strengthening and lengthening exercises. But when it comes to building the healthiest tissue, variety is key. In addition to a regular Bikram class, practitioners should start to add classes into their regimen that work specifically on strengthening or lengthening, depending on which “movement medicine” they need more. Practitioners that are flexible but not strong tend to lack stability in end-range motion. These clients should be incorporating Hot Pilates to help build core strength and stability. Practitioners that are strong but not flexible should be training the fascia. Roughly half of the body’s flexibility is trapped in this body-wide net that connects and surrounds muscles, bones and joints. LifeStretch is a 60-minute functional mobility stretch class with a variety of flowing pain-free mobilizations designed specifically to manipulate, lengthen, realign, reorganize and rehydrate the fascia. This non-heated class can be enjoyed with any of our membership packages. FST is an assisted stretch which targets the fascia. FST also targets the entire joint and joint capsule, using traction to remove restrictions. Benefits include increased range of motion, muscular balance and symmetry, improved physical performance, reduced pain and risk of injury, and improved posture and circulation. A 30-minute intro stretch can be booked for just $30.

Locations: Riverdale Park, 6202 Rhode Island Ave., Ste. 200, Riverdale Park, MD; Ivy City, 1510 Okie St., NE, Washington, DC; Takoma Park, 7324 Carroll St., Takoma Park, MD. To see the full class and workshop schedule, visit

East Meets West Yoga Center

East Meets West Yoga Center is a premier studio located in the Tysons Corner/Vienna, Virginia area, with individuals coming from all over the greater metro area to enjoy the life-changing benefits of yoga. Under the thoughtful and skillful leadership of owner, Dawn Curtis, East Meets West Yoga Center has been bringing the practice of yoga as well as education about yoga to the community for more than a decade as of this past July.

They provide a safe, tranquil and supportive environment to practice, allowing individuals to open to the possibilities of what could be. Even their website is full of information for those looking to begin a practice with practical information about the things a new yoga enthusiast might need to feel comfortable with this new lifestyle. This includes classes in gentle yoga as well.

It is important to Dawn and her teachers that yoga be made accessible to everyone. This has been an important component of their work since opening a one-room studio in 2006. In the preceding years, they have grown into their current location of 5900 square feet, with 4 different studio spaces and 20 teachers.

East Meets West Yoga Center’s staff of teachers and educators is a community of knowledgeable, dedicated yoga practitioners with years of experience. These teachers are open to offering a variety of yoga styles, to allow each student to flourish.

Location: 8227 Old Courthouse Rd., #310, Vienna. For more information, visit


July 2021


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