Breathing Space Family Yoga instructors incorporate training from many different styles and schools of yoga but all share a love for the practice and passion for sharing it with yogis of all ages.
Jen brings a sense of joy and playfulness to her classes – both the adult and kids classes – and hopes to offer her students freedom she finds in yoga. She founded Breathing Space to create hub for family yoga on Capitol Hill and share her enthusiasm for age- and developmentally-appropriate poses, games, and songs with yogis of all ages.
Like so many, Jen first came to the yoga mat because of an injury, seeking nothing more than to feel better and balance her body for running. She comes back to the mat because yoga invites her to embrace her body and mind with all its imperfections and then to look beyond them to the greater Self.
After thoroughly enjoying baby yoga classes with her daughter during maternity leave and being unable to find an Itsy Bitsy class that fit her schedule after going back to work, Jen stumbled on a listing for Itsy Bitsy Yoga facilitators training . . . and signed up. She has since trained with Budding Yogis, ChildLight Yoga, Yoga 4 Classrooms, and YoKid to offer classes to families and children of all ages. Jen’s work with children inspired her to complete adult yoga teacher training at Willow Street Yoga in 2010 and train in Prenatal Yoga with Janice Clarfield.
Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY). She is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) through Infant Massage USA and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
In addition to working with children and families in Washington DC, Jen is excited to teach others to share yoga and mindfulness with children through ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms Professional Development Workshop.
Jessica LaGarde has been teaching creative movement in the metro area since 2005 and is passionate about helping children discover and explore their bodies and the world around them. She was trained by Joye Newman, MA to teach preschool creative movement for Kids’ Moving Company, a Bethesda-based creative movement studio. In 2017, she completed her Baby & Toddler Yoga Teacher Training through Childlight Yoga.
In addition to working with preschoolers, Jessica is a registered massage practitioner and is trained in infant massage instruction. She has practiced massage for over eleven years and taught massage as part of Potomac Massage Training Institute’s professional training program. Outside of the movement space and massage room, she enjoys cooking, knitting, sewing, gardening and exploring the outdoors with her daughter.
Natalie received her RCYS teaching certification in New Orleans under the instruction of Aruna Kathy Humphries. Natalie has been a yogi since childhood and deeply understands the profound impact yoga has on children’s lives. Her classes combine yoga poses and breathing exercises with music, dance, crafts, and a healthy dose of silliness! Before becoming a children’s yoga instructor, she was a professional dancer and dance teacher. She found yoga to be a more healing and positive practice in her own life, and decided that was what she truly wanted to share with children. She also firmly believes children are natural yogis!
Rachel Gooze has been exploring yoga since 1998, mainly learning about physical asana practices and breathing techniques. Over time she deepened her study and this learning process continues to support self-discovery and a desire to share the practices with young children and caregivers. Rachel is deeply grateful to her many teachers (and their lineages of teachers) of yoga asana and philosophy, including Rexx Samuell, Hari-Kirtana Das, Pleasance Silicki, Jennifer Mueller, and Nisha Ahuja. Rachel completed a 200-hour vinyasa yoga teacher training in 2013, and is also a certified ChildLight Yoga Baby & Toddler instructor. During pregnancy, Rachel continued her regular yoga and mindfulness practice and, after her daughter was born in 2016, breathing and moving with the baby became a daily source of joy and discovery. This, in combination with her work as a public health researcher studying the well-being of early childhood educators, motivates her to bring wellness practices to caregivers (parents and teachers), babies, and children.
Rebecca Gitter, E-RYT, RCYT, brings a sense of humor to her classes and focuses on meeting her students – of any age- exactly where they are. Rebecca has been teaching early childhood yoga on Capitol Hill and around DC for over a decade. She completed her initial training in 2006 at the Yoga Center, Columbia, MD. She has continued her studies by completing specialized trainings in prenatal, postnatal and children’s yoga, including Budding Yogis, Childlight Yoga, Itsy Bitsy Yoga, Radiant Child, Yokid, and Yoga for the Special Child, YoKid. Sharing yoga with kids and caregivers in the DC metro area in studios, schools and community centers, as well as with her own two children, always leaves her smiling and inspires her personal practice. When Rebecca isn’t teaching, you might find her on a trail – hiking biking or being walked by her dog.
Tiffany Bishop is a lifelong dancer who was introduced to the Ashtanga style of yoga by a university dance professor. Decades later, she is still practicing, and a move to London gave her the opportunity to turn her interest into a career. She is certified as a children’s yoga teacher from Karma Kids Yoga in New York and YogaBugs in the UK. After several months teaching kids in nursery and primary schools, she embarked on the life-changing journey of studying with Jamie Clarke, Dulce Aguilar and The Yoga People where she received her 200 hour teacher training certification in Ashtanga Vinyasa and Rocket Yoga. Her classes are energetic and engaging for yoga students of all ages.
Helena was drawn to yoga a decade ago as a way to relieve stress from a fast-paced Capitol Hill job. She continues to be amazed at the peace, self-regulation, healing, joy, and power that can come simply by going to the mat. Yoga has been instrumental in her journey as a mom, and she considers her children, Ellie and Nicky, as her greatest teachers. They are a daily reminder to BREATHE, act from a place of love, share your whole heart, maintain a sense of wonder, and see the little light in others. Helena is certified through Childlight Yoga, and owes her love of kids and family yoga to the mentoring, training, and teaching start she got at Lil Omm.
Meredith began her own yoga practice over 15 years ago – first to get a little exercise and later to try to find sanity and balance despite a stressful job as a consultant. She stuck with yoga thanks to a welcoming and vibrant yoga community. Early in her practice she was drawn to an alignment-based school of teaching, connecting to a clear and thoughtful way of articulating poses, an invitation to participate fully and creatively in everyday life, and the fact that laughter on the mat was not only tolerated, but encouraged. She has continued to grow and share her love of the practice ever since. When her first son was born in 2013, she started to take infant, then toddler classes, and her family has continued the journey together. Meredith carries a sense of playfulness into her classes for both children and grownups, and is excited to share with students of all ages the joys and challenges that yoga reveals both on and off the mat.
Allie has been a member of the Breathing Space Kids Yoga Summer Camp team since 2017. She loves exploring parks, playground, and museums with campers of all ages. Allie has been working under Jen and the other instructors to learn, create, and teach a variety of yoga activities aimed at helping kids explore movement and mindfulness in meaningful ways.
In addition to helping out at Kids Yoga Summer Camp, Allie is a secondary education teacher. She spent four years teaching middle school and now teaches English at a high school in Northern Virginia.
Cindy Kim, MSW, LICSW is a psychotherapist working in private practice in downtown Washington, DC providing individual and couples therapy. While she’s been in practice for over ten years, she started to specialize in maternal mental health shortly after having her first child. Two children later, Cindy can attest to just how tough it all can be – getting pregnant, staying pregnant, being pregnant, giving birth, and then having to keep a baby healthy, much less making sure he or she grows up to become a decent human being! It’s tough to access good emotional healthcare when you’re preoccupied with your baby’s needs. And yet, you know that the health and well-being of your child depends on the health and well-being of his or her mama. Cindy has a passion for bridging that divide – supporting moms, babies, and families.
Lindsay has been teaching kids yoga since 2017. She is both a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and a registered children’s yoga teacher that embraces kindness and compassion. Lindsay also spent a year in education at Fusion Academy teaching middle and high school students with learning differences in a one-on-one setting.
Her children and teen yoga classes help young people understand the importance of being kind in their thoughts, words, and actions to both themselves and others. Lindsay helps kids recognize their inner strength to practice being calm and still to connect more confidently to the world around them. Lindsay values creating a loving, caring, and kind environment for children and youth to explore the practice and benefits that yoga has to offer. Her students are her greatest teacher!