FLEXIBILITY NOT REQUIRED
Briana has been teaching in one form or another for more then 20 years. She turned to yoga because of chronic back pain stemming from degenerative disk disease in her 20's. Yoga was a game changer and has helped her manage chronic pain and stay mobile. She has traveled the world both as a teacher and a student. Some of her teachers include Jason Crandell, Manju Jois, Paul Grilley and Simon Park.
Jenna Smithwick fell in love with hot yoga at CHY, and while her adventures took her other places she is happy and grateful to call CHY her "yoga home" since 2013. Jenna originally began her yoga journey for the same reason many of us do: to gain a little more flexibility and to feel a little more mobile, but quickly realized there was a lot more to love about the practice than being able to touch her toes!
Joan is a New Englander by birth but has lived all over the United States, as well as Japan. She attended the United States Naval Academy, and is a career Navy Supply Corps Officer. While living in San Diego, California she took a nasty tumble while skiing that left her with permanent lumbar disc damage. She quickly realized the rehabilitative benefits of practicing yoga and the more she practiced the more she came to appreciate the mental benefits as well.
Jessica Brink RYT 200
After practicing yoga at home for many years Rena joined Chesapeake Hot Yoga as a way to balance crossfit and cycling. She found that yoga not only helped to prevent injury but also relieved the stress that comes with an active lifestyle. Wanting to deepen her practice Rena went through CHY's RYT 200 teacher training program. She now enjoys bringing that same balance to others.
Kathryn (Kat) Kelly started practicing at Chesapeake Hot Yoga in 2013. She fell in love with the studio, and how yoga improved her physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. After years attending classes, she completed her 200-hour teacher training in October 2016. Outside the studio, Kat is an opera singer and private music teacher and performs regularly in Hampton Roads and beyond. She is so grateful for her CHY family and the privilege of guiding others on their yoga journey.
Emily is currently 30 years old, other than yoga she loves the beach, the mountains, and loves to spend time outside whenever she can.
Chloe began her yoga journey at Chesapeake Hot Yoga to help reconnect her mind and body. Chloe fell in love with the practice of yoga and its benefits and completed her RYT 200 at CHY. Chloe is a graduate of James Madison University and is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. She loves the beach, acro yoga, being on the water with her family, reading, and snuggling her sweet new nephew.
Rebecca has faithfully practiced yoga since 2007, earning her E-RYT 200 certification and teaching students yoga and meditation at CHY since 2012. Rebecca is a certified Level 1 iRest Yoga Nidra teacher trained with the Integrative Restoration Institute, and studied trauma sensitive yoga instruction with the Warriors at Ease Foundation. With gratitude, she created and led a yoga program for the in-patient PTSD program at the Hampton Veteran’s Hospital for over 3 years.
Emily Renee found yoga in 2012, but it wasn’t until '17, after battling chronic back & sciatic pain, she decided to become an instructor, hoping to share the physical/spiritual/healing benefits of yoga. She's completed her RYT200 & RYT300 @ CHY. Emily's a self-proclaimed free spirit, upbeat mother of 2 who studied Adolescent Psychotherapy at Argosy University. When she’s not teaching yoga, Emily's an actress/director, gardener, & artisan soap maker. Finding joy every day in making others smile.
Valeria has been teaching yoga since 2015 and is currently working to complete her RYT500. A writer, researcher, owner of Do a Shot of Yoga subscription box, military wife, mother of 3, and stepmother of 3 more, she loves to build strength, quiet the mind, and find much needed stress relief on the mat. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to help others find what they need from their personal yoga practice at Chesapeake Hot Yoga.
Ryan found Yoga about 8 years ago & was immediately in love! Hot Vinyasa is her favorite, she loves the intensity and heat, it helps her body stretch, strengthen, & find flexibility. She completed her 200 and 300hr RYT trainings at Chesapeake Hot Yoga, & is extremely enthusiastic about sharing her love of Yoga. When not practicing Yoga, she’s a Certified Public Accountant, enjoys working with small & large businesses. She lives in Grassfield with her wonderful husband,2 amazing kids, and dog.
A Groupon brought Dawnette to CHY in 2014 & she's never left! Yoga has brought positive physical and mental change, and has helped bring balance to her life as well. A neck injury in high school has always caused her pain, but through yoga she has found strength & stability, something that she never thought she'd have again. Dawnette is a special education teacher, married with two grown children.
Natosha Gorski grew up in Brush, CO. She played Division I Volleyball at the United States Naval Academy & served as a Surface Warfare Officer while on active duty. She's currently working at a defense contracting firm. Natosha found yoga following the birth of her 2nd child. While she came for the workout to return to her pre-pregnancy weight, yoga quickly became essential. Natosha lives in Chesapeake with her husband, children. They have two Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs & tuxedo cat.
Jenn dabbled in yoga during her youth but didn't start taking it seriously until 2002. At the end of 2009, she completed her 200 hour training here at Chesapeake Hot Yoga. The 500 hour training soon followed right alongside her friend and studio owner, Briana Ward. Jenn left CHY in 2012 due to a military assignment to Germany. Traipsing around Europe was lots of fun, but now that the military life is over, Jenn is tickled pink to have made her way back to her yoga home in Chesapeake.
Maggie started her yoga practice in 2018 to help manage pain but quickly realized that it benefited every other aspect of her life. She completed her RYT-200 at Chesapeake Hot Yoga in 2020. She has her RN and is currently in school focusing on parent and infant health. She enjoys spending time outside, reading, and relaxing with her family.
Stacey was introduced to yoga when her mother began teaching over 20 years ago, however, her practice did not become regular until 2012. She attended the 200 Teacher Training at CHY in 2014 and completed the 300 Hour Training in 2016. For Stacey, yoga cultivates a calmer mind, stronger breath, a clearer perspective, & an opportunity to combine healthy progress with fun on the mat. She enjoys exercise, being outside, & exploring with her super cool husband, two silly kids, and sweet Labradoodle.
I was dragged kicking & screaming into yoga after a knee injury that kept me out of the gym. Stillness, quietness, & a new pace was (sometimes still is) difficult for me. Yoga was not love at first sight; it was a gradual process. My mat is my sacred space, my calm and peace, in an otherwise chaotic world. My hope is that I can serve as a reminder to others that it doesn’t matter how you get to your mat, just show up, and find your peace.