Meet our incredible staff of teachers at Down Dog Yoga, and get to know what inspires our instructors to share the practice they love with our DDY Community.
Patty is convinced that she did not find yoga – yoga found her! An avid marathon runner, Patty suddenly found herself stalled with a knee injury that would require surgery and months of rehabilitation. In 2002 upon the urging of a friend, Patty took her very first yoga class with none other than Baron Baptiste himself! Patty was instantly hooked on Baron’s powerful flow and immediately knew her life was about to change forever.
More than a decade later, thousands of yogis have flowed through Patty’s flagship studio in Georgetown,experiencing Patty’s transformational teachings inspired by her teacher Baron. It is not unusual to see her students lined up to secure a spot in her packed classes.
Patty and her Down Dog studios have been featured in numerous publications, including Yoga Journal, National Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine and several other publications.
Shannon Sharma (von Burns) has been a full-time yoga teacher and mentor for 18 years. She is a yoga therapist that specializes in spinal injuries and conditions, and is a masterful teacher’s teacher. Her mission is to teach how to love and be loved – first by the self, and then by the world.
Shannon has been trained by some of the most beautiful hearts and minds in the world of yoga today. Her body of work focuses on streamlining yoga, and cultivating the absolute best from her students. She makes each and every student’s goal her goal, and she is as committed to their success as they are.
Her favorite students are the ones that show up and submit to the practice, because she is a firm believer that the practice is the teacher. She is approachable and kind, and welcomes each and every one of you to come explore the benefits of yoga, and the love that awaits you.
Debbie walked into Down Dog Yoga in 2010 intending to take advantage of a free week of classes and then jump right back into her regular exercise routine. The week ended, and she has never left!
Having spent 20 years in Division 1 athletics as a player and head coach at George Mason University, the strong physical practice of Baptiste yoga drew her to the mat, and the continual inquiry inside that practice keeps her coming back. Debbie went on to complete Level 1 & Level 2 training with Baron Baptiste, as well as her 200hr teacher training with Rolf Gates. Debbie is in ongoing mentorship with her teachers at DDY, and serves as Lead Teacher for our Herndon teaching team.
Debbie wants her students to feel freedom to be themselves, let go of doubt, and explore new ways of living and feeling fully expressed and alive.
Colure first began practicing yoga as a way of coping with chronic headaches and neck pain. Almost immediately, her pain subsided, and feelings of stress and anxiety disappeared. As her practice developed, she knew she’d found her life’s path. She quit her 9-5 day job, immersed herself in the study of yoga, and hasn’t looked back since.
Colure has been teaching yoga since early 2012. She has completed her 200hr teacher training with Down Dog founder Patty Ivey as well as training programs with Christine Northcote of Full Circle Yoga in Florida and several trainings with the Baptiste Yoga Institute. Behind the scenes, she works as Down Dog Yoga’s Marketing Manager.
Colure loves how her yoga practice has empowered her to live life with grace, presence, confidence, and equanimity both on and off her mat. She is committed to making a difference; to being impactful and of service, as a yoga teacher, and a human being.She is so grateful to be a part of this incredible DDY community.
Alex began his yoga journey in 2014. While searching for a new career path, he found himself signing up for the 30-Day Throw Down at DDY Herndon. After a month of consecutive asana practice, he knew he had found a passion unlike anything he’d dreamt of. He began to immerse himself in the DDY community, which he now calls home. Alex began working the front desk as a GEE in Herndon, and learned about the operations side of the business. He then teamed with Becca Anderson to help open up DDY Clarendon as a Studio Manager.
It was during this time he finally became aware that his love for the practice was something to be shared with his friends and family. After a conversation with DDY’s founder Patty Ivey, Alex entered into a studentship at DDY,and started to put his self study knowledge into action.
In April 2016, Alex taught his first community class, and has been teaching ever since. He is proud to be a part of the inspiring DDY community, and he’s excited for the opportunity to share his love of this practice with his students.
Jennifer stumbled onto yoga as a marathon runner eager to add stretching to her daily routine. She got hooked on the challenge of Power Yoga in 2003 when she stepped into Down Dog Yoga literally as it opened its doors. While it was the intensity of this heated practice that answered her body’s (and mind’s) need for a physical challenge, it was the transformative and healing power of this practice that took her by surprise and nourished her spirit. For as much as she enjoys pushing the limits, this practice slows her down and grounds her in the moment.
Jennifer started teaching in 2007 when she completed DDY’s 200hr Teacher Training with Patty. Since then, she has completed a number of boot camps and trainings with Baron Baptiste, including Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. She also completed a 200hr training with Rolf Gates in 2011.
Jennifer sees the practice of yoga as a continual process of learning and self-discovery, no matter your experience level. Her classes are designed to wake you up and take you to your edge. When she’s not in the studio, she is traveling the globe seeking out adventure and yoga.
Alisa first tried yoga over 10 years ago in attempt to balance her life as a Ph.D. student. Since then, she has studied yoga therapy for the structural system, and learned to teach and apply therapeutic principles of healthy alignment to yoga, posture, gait, the anatomy and physiology of movement, breath, and mindfulness.
Her passion lies in designing classes that, in an injury-free manner, improve her students’ yoga practice using an individually based approach, which contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
Alisa is excited to be returning to her roots at Down Dog Yoga, where she first began her yoga journey over a decade ago, and is so grateful to be a part of this vibrant and inspiring community.
ERICA DE VOS
Erica began practicing yoga intermittently in 2003, but it was not until she found Down Dog Yoga in 2008 that she began to practice regularly, and fell in love with both the practice and the DDY community.
Erica became a classroom assistant in 2010, and went on to complete Down Dog’s teacher training program in 2010, and a 200 hour training program with Rolf Gates in 2011. Erica began teaching in 2013. She often wonders what took her so long to find the confidence to teach.
“This practice challenges me to move beyond what is comfortable, and I’m continually surprised by what I am capable of – with practice – both on and off the mat.” Erica is committed to sharing with others the possibilities available through practice.
Catherine first started practicing yoga in 2010 to fulfill a physical education requirement in college, and couldn’t be more grateful for the life-changing results the experience inspired. She soon discovered a Baptiste Yoga studio in the Finger Lake region of New York, where she fell in love with the mental and emotional release that she felt after a powerful, physical practice.
In the summer of 2013, Catherine moved to DC, found Down Dog Yoga, and has been fully immersed in the community ever since. She attributes DDY to igniting her journey of personal growth, making friends feel like family, and DC feel like home. She loves teaching for DDY, because it allows her the opportunity to give back to the community that’s given her so much.
Catherine completed her 200-Hour Teacher Training through the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, having attended Baptiste Level 1 and Level 2 Trainings, as well as Art of Assisting and Advanced Art of Assisting programs.
Claudia first found yoga in 2004 when it was prescribed by her doctor to help alleviate lower back pain caused by competitive soccer. Upon starting school at Georgetown University, Claudia found Down Dog, and discovered that Baptiste Yoga not only helped heal her body, but quieted her mind and calmed her anxiety from school.
Claudia completed her 200-hour Yoga Teaching Certificate from Down Dog Yoga in 2013 and continued to complete Level 1, Level 2, and Art of Assisting with Baron Baptiste over the following two years.
Claudia strongly believes that yoga is for every body and that the Baptiste practice allows people to leave feeling strong, supported and free.
Renee took her first class at Down Dog Yoga in 2008. At just 16 years old – overweight and totally foreign to yoga – it was definitely not love at first sweat. But something about DDY and the Baptiste practice kept pulling her back in. At first sporadically, and building over the years, Renee began to practice more regularly, eventually hitting her mat daily during her breaks from Wesleyan University. She was hooked.
After graduating and returning to the DC area, Renee enrolled in DDY’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in the Fall of 2014. Through her training and the transformative nature of the DDY practice, she has experienced immense strengthening and softening. Not only has her practice allowed her to feel strong in her body, it has also given her tools to quiet anxiety, and continues to inspire openness – both in her mind and with those around her.
For Renee, DDY consistently offers a home base she can return to – to reset, sweat, and connect to this powerful community.
Kelsey’s first exposure to yoga involved a Rodney Yee Power Yoga DVD and a Hawaiian beach mat back in 2004. While she went on to take a class from time to time, yoga was not a consistent part of Kelsey’s life until after college. After years of competitive swimming and NCAA rowing, Kelsey finally found DDY in 2013 while searching for a vigorous but low-impact workout. What began as a “refreshing break” from sports became a powerful mainstay in Kelsey’s life.
Kelsey joined the DDY team in 2014 as a member of Karma Krew, then worked her way onto the front desk staff. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with DDY in 2016, and began teaching the community class later that year.
She is so excited to now be joining the teaching team on the regular schedule, and is deeply committed to bringing out the best in her students and herself.
Jess grew up playing competitive soccer, until a knee injury sidelined her indefinitely. As a way to stay active, a friend suggested she try yoga. Jess took her first Baptiste Yoga class at Down Dog Yoga with Kerry Waters in 2012, and she’s been part of the community ever since.
Jess received her first 200-hour teaching certificate from Core Power Yoga in 2013, and completed Down Dog Yoga’s 200-Hour Leadership Training with her mentors, Patty Ivey and Alice Riccardi, in May 2015. She has since gone on to attend Level One and Level Two trainings with the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, and is currently pursuing her Baptiste certification.
Jess is thrilled to be a part of the teaching team at Down Dog, and is grateful every day for the myriad ways this practice has transformed her life. Off the mat, Jess resides in Northwest DC with her daughter, Carleigh.
Hannah was introduced to various forms of yoga through her 20+ years of studying dance, but fell in love with her yoga practice when she discovered DDY in 2015 while looking for a way to get in shape for her wedding. She got more than she bargained for though, when she not only accomplished her goal of looking svelte for her big day, but also found strength and compassion for herself through this powerful practice; it was one of the best wedding gifts she received.
In 2016, Hannah completed her 200-hour Teacher Training with Patty Ivey at DDY, and is excited to continue her life-long yoga journey and training with the DDY Yoga community!
When Hannah isn’t at DDY, she’s either teaching yoga, dance, or English to teenagers at Fusion Academy in Washington, D.C., rehearsing and performing for her dance company, Word Dance Theater, or practicing her gluten free cooking and baking skills for her husband and loved ones.
Melissa first began practicing yoga in 2004. A friend brought her to DDY, and she fell in love with the sweaty, vigorous, leave-it-all-on-the-mat practice. All she knew was that this practice made her feel vibrant and alive, and she wanted more of it in her life.
Melissa completed her 200-Hour Teaching Training with Patty Ivey, has attended Baptiste Levels 1 and 2, and participated in an extended mentorship program for teachers with Rolf Gates.
Melissa sees yoga as a method of healing and helping people live into their fullest selves. She teaches her students to feel and understand how alignment in their body brings alignment into their lives.
Melissa is thrilled to be a part of the team at DDY and have the opportunity to share her passion with her students in a community she loves.
Kate took her first yoga class in a neighborhood gym in 2010. In 2012, she began a consistent practice at Down Dog Yoga and found her home in this community. She discovered that while she was drawn to yoga as a way to build physical strength, it was the mental and spiritual benefits she experienced that kept her coming back!
In 2015, she completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training through Down Dog Yoga with Patty Ivey. It was an incredible opportunity to learn more about her practice, and to deepen her involvement in the Down Dog community.
Kate is excited for the opportunity to share her love of yoga as part of the DDY teaching team, and to continue the important work of self-inquiry and growth both on and off her mat.
Like most yogis, Sandy fell in love yoga the first time she hit the mat, 25 years ago in San Francisco. Since then, she’s practiced many different styles of yoga, including Sivananda, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, and Baptiste, with many inspiring teachers nationally and internationally.
In 2014, Sandy took her study of yoga to the next level, and registered for teacher training. She earned her 200-hour certificate in order to deepen her practice, and share her love of yoga with others.
Aside from her passion for yoga, Sandy also has a passion for literature, and has taught at universities for many years. Because of that, you might catch her calling “dead bug pose” the “pose of Gregor Samsa” (after Kafka’s Metamorphoses) instead. Both laughter and pleasure are an integral part of her classes, along with self-reflection, introspection, and joy.
Megan first discovered Down Dog Yoga in 2009 as a chance to spend more time with a friend, and enjoy a challenge that differed from and complemented her triathlon and martial arts training.
Not long after Megan left for college, she developed a Bikram Yoga practice at a local studio, but continued to practice vinyasa flow at home. After graduation, she began practicing at Down Dog Yoga as a way to cross-train and move in a more natural way.
Upon completion of her 200 hour teacher training in April 2016, Megan knew she had found a true passion for teaching and for yoga. She hopes to bring a sense of body awareness and freedom to every student she interacts with.
Shannon first stepped onto the yoga mat as a collegiate swimmer. In an effort to improve her physical performance, she found that yoga’s benefits went far beyond that, increasing her muscular flexibility and nourishing her spirit.
A classroom teacher by training, Shannon has found her strength is in teaching the physical body, either as a certified Personal Trainer or yoga instructor. She completed her 200-hour teacher training at Inner Strength Studios in Boston.
Shannon’s classes emphasize enjoying the process of the practice, even in moments of intense physical and mental challenge. She believes that physical and spiritual flexibility on the mat are key to leading a healthy life off the mat.
Like many people, Jeanne stumbled upon yoga at her local gym. An avid equestrian who had spent her life riding and competing horses, Jeanne finally found herself “saddled” with a lower back injury as a result of the years she spent in such a demanding sport. Jeanne took the advice of doctors and friends, and decided to give yoga a try. And there was no turning back…
All Jeanne truly sought from a yoga practice was a way to stay physically active without the pain she had then grown accustomed to. Very quickly, however, she developed a passion that ran far deeper than just the physical practice. She began to make emotional and spiritual connections that put an entirely new perspective on life.
Over the years, Jeanne has had the pleasure of learning from many esteemed teachers, both nationally and locally. One of the most important discoveries along her yoga journey was the actual exploration she did through various styles of yoga. From Baptiste to Prana Flow to Ashtanga, she always came back to her roots: Baptiste Power Yoga. Jeanne is a 200-hour RYT, and has been teaching yoga since 2005. She’s been a regular at DDY since 2008, and on the teaching staff since 2009.