THE AYR FAMILY
Alicia is a dedicated student and teacher of Ashtanga yoga and a student of meditation under the direction of her teacher, Patricia Buxton. Alicia was drawn to the traditional and systematic approach of Ashtanga which inspired her to open Ashtanga Yoga Richmond in 2006. Thus was a community created. After years of daily practice and traveling east, west, north and south to study with many respected teachers in the Ashtanga lineage, Alicia found what she was seeking in the unexpected form of meditation, right here in Richmond. Alicia has been working under the guidance of her meditation teacher, Pat, for several years and continues to be devoted to her daily Ashtanga practice. She is grateful to have the direct experience of both forms of practice as a means of waking up and creating more space and freedom in her life.
Kyra was introduced to yoga in 1999 and immediately felt a strong connection to both the practice and the philosophy. She found her love for Ashtanga yoga while living in San Diego where she was fortunate to develop a daily practice under the guidance of Tim Miller. It is this daily practice, along with invaluable instruction from leading Ashtanga teachers, over the years, that has prepared and encouraged her to delve into yoga as a life practice.
Kyra sees the purpose of any yoga practice as waking up to who we really are and devotes her time and energy towards that end. She is particularly grateful for the teachings of Mooji and Pat Buxton which continue to point her towards truth.
After over 20 years of practicing many styles of yoga adjunct to running, cycling and dancing, Gina is grateful to have discovered Ashtanga yoga in 2006. She was immediately drawn to the practice and its meditative and transformative qualities.
Gina aspires to bring a warm and playful teaching style to the traditional Ashtanga vinyasa system as students explore their practices. She is particularly interested in the beneficial effects of Ashtanga yoga on aging, from middle age and beyond. Teaching at AYR informs her own practice, as she is continually inspired by students to delve more deeply into its subtleties.
In 2007, Gina received her 200-hour RYT designation from Yoga Source and has had the opportunity to participate in workshops with Michael Hamilton, Michael Gannon, Tim Miller, and Kino MacGregor. In addition, every day spent on her mat has been a precious opportunity and gift for growth, humility, and self-discovery. When not practicing or teaching, Gina can be found enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two of her most influential teachers, her children Gavin and Gabriella.
Leigh is an Adjunct Professor at Richmond's Virginia Commonwealth University, a senior Mysore teacher at Ashtanga Yoga Richmond, a certified Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Consultant, and an artist. She is dedicated to her daily Ashtanga and meditation practices as well as her continuing studies as a trained death doula.
The subcurrents of living death and the psychosomatic interaction inherent in Ashtanga yoga are woven into the fabric of all of Leigh’s teaching modalities, her poetry, her other artistic expressions, and her daily life.
With profound gratitude she recognizes those teachers who continue to impact her life expression: Rolf and Marci Naujokat, Sharath Jois, David Frawley, Alaknanada Puri (Gangotri), and Pat Buxton.
Mandie has always enjoyed physical fitness, but after the birth of her second child she was looking for something more to combine physical, mental, and spiritual health. It was then that yoga found her. Asana, pranayama, and meditation became an everyday part of life not long after her first practice.
In 2010 Mandie completed her 200 hour YTT at Glenmore Yoga and Wellness. Since then she’s taught Beginner to Intermediate Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga yoga. Over the past year Mandie has developed a deep respect and passion for her Ashtanga practice. She is excited to focus her practice, studies, and teaching toward the tradition of Ashtanga yoga.
Born and raised into the Ashtanga Yoga Richmond family, Jill Wiedeman is an elementary school teacher and visual artist turned yoga instructor. She came to the practice in 2013 after seeking a path towards greater self-healing, and promptly fell in love with the meditative movement of ashtanga yoga. Trained under Alicia Golden, Kyra Haigh, and Brinson Leigh Kresge, she was also blessed with an opportunity to practice in India last year.
Eager to help others transform their lives through yoga, Jill works to create a positive environment that meets all students where they are. She leads a rigorous but bright practice that emphasizes breath work and meditative movement to strengthen mind-body connections and alleviate anxiety.
Hilary discovered the joy of yoga during the nine years she spent living in Los Angeles. It was the pregnancy and birth of her first child in 2011 that led her to pursue formal teacher training. She found her practice to be an amazing gift as she prepared for birth and adjusted to motherhood and wanted to share the benefits with others. While living on the west coast, she had the opportunity to learn from amazing teachers and her teaching style draws from a variety of inspiration.
Hilary is also a formally-trained birth doula and feels passionately about supporting women through empowered birth. She brings her vast knowledge of pregnancy and birth to her classes and particularly enjoys the community that prenatal yoga creates. Prior to transitioning to yoga, birth and motherhood full-time, she taught elementary school for 6 years and has a Masters in education. To contact Hilary for doula services: ompoweredbirth.com
Heidi started practicing yoga in college as an “easy” extra credit. Little did she know that extra credit class would shape her adult life. She has been practicing yoga for the last 22 years.
Heidi received her 200-hour teacher-training certificate in 2005 under the guidance of Ashtanga teacher Jennifer Elliot and Iyengar teacher Sandra Pleasants. She spent time in Mysore, India, learning from the beautiful and inspiring Saraswathi, daughter of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Like Saraswathi, Heidi took time off from teaching to focus on another aspect of her yoga practice: the birth of two beautiful children. After an extended maternity leave, she’s excited to be back teaching prenatal yoga at her home, Ashtanga Yoga Richmond. She brings her first-hand knowledge of what it’s like being a pregnant yoga practitioner to her students. Centered breathing, some honest-to-goodness stretching making space for that baby, and a bit of laughter can go far.