Jen Coluzzi is a Philadelphia native who recently found her way down to Lexington. She has been practicing Bikram Yoga since 2003 to keep up both her physical and mental well being. She went to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in the fall of 2010 in San Diego after working for many years as a personal assistant and in restaurants. Shortly after training, she began teaching full time and managing studios.
Jen has taught at lots of studios in the PA/NJ area, as well as other studios along the east coast. With the addition of Yin Yoga training in 2018, she teaches multiple styles of classes. She brings compassion and levity to her classes, being able to help the newest student feel comfortable while advancing the practice of a more experienced one.
Caroline got hooked on yoga in 1996 after a five day intensive workshop she attended in the Himalayas. The Iyengar teacher challenged the participants to practice six poses every day taking one day off each week then to see how they felt after 6 months, one year, two years … Caroline took the bait and found a teacher in her own personal practice as she discovered that her own attention to practice became her teacher. Her practice grew tremendously when she became a student of the Advanced Studies/Teacher Training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco from 2006 until completion in 2008. She had the opportunity to apprentice with Senior Teacher Janet McLeod whose depth of practice and light wit she admires. Caroline has enjoyed teaching beginners since 2008.
Susan Dixon first tried yoga when she was a high school senior. The deep relaxation and flexibility that she felt after an hour of stretching and breathing felt wonderful, but Susan was hooked by the yoga teacher’s affirmation that yoga is accessible to everyone at every age. Since then, Susan has taken classes with teachers in France and the U.S., experiencing various styles of hatha yoga. In 2017, she completed an interdisciplinary 200-hour teacher training with Ann Hunt at Evolve Yoga in Maryland, an affiliate of the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. Susan is thrilled and honored to share her yoga at Center of Gravity. Her intention is to assist students as they cultivate physical strength, deep relaxation, and balance through a slow flow vinyasa. Susan lives in Lexington with her middle-school-aged son and yoga-curious cat. She teaches French and Francophone studies at Bridgewater College and travels to Paris and Rome whenever she can.
Susan became interested in yoga after retiring from 31 years of teaching elementary school and found that yoga benefited her other interests: hiking, tennis, golf and gardening. Her passion for yoga evolved into a desire to share yoga with others and a search began for further yoga training. After taking several classes with Yoga Fit, Susan received her 200 RYT with Marianne Wells in Costa Rico. Inspired by reading Rolf Gates’ Meditations from the Mat, Susan began searching for a workshop lead by Gates and ended up taking a 300-hour training with him to receive her 500 RYT. She has taken many workshops and trainings over the past 5 years including Yoga Therapy with Gary Kraftsow, Yoga for Depression and Anxiety with Amy Weintraub, Meditation and Yin Yoga with Sarah Powers, Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater, and Freedom Yoga with Erich Schiffman. Each training/workshop has contributed to the mindful style of yoga that Susan enjoys teaching. She would like to thank Rolf and all the other teachers for their wisdom, guidance and inspiration during their time together on this amazing, transformative yoga journey.
Amy did not fall in love with yoga right away; rather, it was something that grew on her with time, kind of like that climbing, flowering vine you plant that creeps along for years then finally flourishes. She started in her late twenties as a somewhat reluctant attendee, simply because it worked for her schedule, but as the years went by, Amy began practicing more regularly and yoga became something she began to cherish, instead of merely an exercise routine that worked with her children’s school schedules. Her early teachers were in Charlotte, NC, all amazing teachers with completely different styles which shaped her yoga practice today. When she and her family moved to Lexington in 2014, she practiced even more regularly and became certified in Grounded Kids Yoga in 2015, leading her to teach yoga to children and teens ages 2-18 at various schools in Rockbridge County. Amy obtained her 200 YT certification with Karen Thomas and Liz Reynolds (daughter of COG’s very own Susan Evans) in Charlottesville, VA, in April of 2018. Continually learning from the fabulous teachers at Center of Gravity, Amy enjoys creating vinyasa classes for adults that provide a fun, light-hearted, sustainable environment while maintaining the integrity of yogic traditions. A 25-year veteran of the early childhood classroom, Amy now works at Washington and Lee in the Mudd Center for Ethics and the Office of Community-Based Learning.
Alisa moved to Virginia in 2015 from her beloved home of Rhode Island. Seeking community after the transitional move, Alisa found her way to yoga. In her yoga practice, Alisa enjoys experiencing a wide variety of teachers and gravitates towards playful, athletic, and flowing classes. She completed her 200 hour teaching training at The Center School of Yoga in Harrisonburg, VA with Suzanne McCahill Perrine in 2018. In teaching, Alisa aims to encourage students to experiment and to not take themselves too seriously. She firmly believes that there is no such thing as being bad at yoga or a perfect pose. Initially, the physical aspects drew her to yoga, and Alisa will always have a special place in her heart for arm balances and inversions, but the internal aspects have kept her curious through teacher training and beyond. When she is not practicing yoga, Alisa enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and walking her tiny dog, Donny.
Kristen began her love of movement in a dance studio at a very early age. She at one time thought she would study to be an architect but discovered the design of the human body was even more fascinating. Dance led her to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she earned a B.S. in Athletic Training. After several years at home raising 4 daughters, Kristen returned to UNLV to earn her Mat Work I and II Pilates certification. In 2011, she joined the group exercise staff at Washington & Lee University teaching Pilates. In 2017, with the youngest headed to kindergarten full time, Kristen accepted a position as Health and Wellness Manager at Kendal at Lexington, a continuing care retirement community.
Over the years she has continued her Pilates education with workshops in “Pilates for Golf”, “Pilates for Stress Management” and reformer certification. She is also a certified Barre Above Instructor, American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor, ACE Functional Aging Specialist, and in the process of earning her 200 hr Yoga certification.
Kristen teaches a high energy, playful class with a strong focus on form. When not on the mat, she enjoys being with family and friends, travel, wine tasting, cooking, hiking, and being on the water.
Mukanday Moore has maintained a personal practice of Kundalini yoga (exclusively) for some 38 years. She has a way of simplifying the technology of Kundalini Yoga that supports and encourages brand-new students and challenges seasoned practitioners, alike. Some of her local students have been with her for over 10 years. And her private one-on-one students receive personalized guidance with care and respect that supports and stimulates their growth.
Step into a new level of experiential yoga for an awareness of what else is possible on the mat!
Mukanday was fortunate to meet Yogi Bhajan in the Spring of 1983. Living a yogic lifestyle since 1979, she is eager to share her enjoyment of Kundalini yoga, vegetarianism, and wholistic practices. Certified Level 2 of the Radiant Child Yoga Program, established by her long-time friend, Shakta Kaur Khalsa, Mukanday use to teach in local public schools and at Quaker summer camps. Certified Level 1 with IKYTA (International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association ) she’s moving into her 24th(?) year of teaching, she’s even taught at the renowned YogaJam Festival for 4 years. Mukanday just enjoys Kundalini yoga!
As a Physical Education teacher for 18 years, I discovered yoga through group fitness. At that time, to enhance my job as a coach and teacher at Hollins University I became an aerobics instructor, certified through the American Council on Exercise. I began coaching and teaching at Washington & Lee University as the Head field Hockey coach and the assistant Women’s Lacrosse coach in 2001. I have taught yoga, aerobics, CPR and women’s health classes at the University level.
My training in yoga is through Yoga Fit, a company founded with the goal to bring yoga to the masses. The goal of Yoga Fit is to demystify yoga and create classes that are practical, user friendly and understandable to all levels. Although I came to yoga for the physical benefits, I have been impressed and pleased with the mental benefits. The ability to de-stress, control breathing and have a deeper sense of well-being has been significant and enjoyable.
As someone with an active interest in contributing to the local area, I am excited to begin this next chapter of my involvement in the Lexington and Rockbridge community. Currently serving on the board for Hull’s Drive-In, I have been a member of the Natural Bridge Volunteer Fire Department, and have also created a summer camp called Camp PLAY, focused on bringing active movement into the life of youngsters.
With over 20 years’ experience as a coach, I love to exercise with others and inspire others to get moving. While my specific training in yoga has been important, my teaching degree, classroom experience and coaching experience are what make me enjoy creating a fun and inspiring yoga class. I live on a small farm in Natural Bridge with my husband Mike and two children. My personal enjoyments include reading, riding horses, and being in the outdoors.
Karen has been teaching Tai Chi at The Center of Gravity for 5 years. A lifelong teacher, Karen brings her experience in education to her Tai Chi class. Her Sun Style classes help students to develop their own Tai Chi practice into a moving meditation, resulting in increased strength, balance, flexibility, and mental well- being.
Karen’s introduction to Tai Chi began at the Lexington YMCA. It did not take long for her to discover that she wanted to go deeper into the practice of Tai Chi. She earned Tai Chi for Health Institute certifications in Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Beginners. Desiring to advance her own practice, Karen continued her training with Master Trainer, Meghan Bryant, of Charlottesville. She was accepted into the week-long The 73 in Depth master class taught by Dr. Paul Lam, founder of the Tai Chi for Health Institute. Currently, she is studying with Sifu Dan Jones, of the Moving Stillness Tai Chi Chuan and Healing Arts Studio, in Michigan. This training enables Karen to go beyond hand and foot placement, and to explore the depth and principles of Tai Chi with her students.
Karen has always been a seeker interested in science and philosophy. She began taking yoga in 2000 not only as a way to become more flexible and calm, but also because of its connection with meditation and spirituality. She enrolled in a 200 hour teacher training with Anna Pittman in 2003 to deepen her practice and because she wanted to bring more yoga to Lexington.
Karen has been teaching yoga since 2003 in the Lexington area. She went on to receive her 500 hour certification with Anna Pittman, and has also studied with Tilak Pyle, Paul Grilley, Shiva Rea, and Sarah Powers. She continues to explore present moment awareness as a central principal of her teaching and her own practice. Karen is married with two spirited young sons and spends as much time as possible immersed in the natural world as a forester with the Commonwealth of Virginia and is one of three co-owners of the studio.
Seren McClain is from Fredericksburg, VA, and she’s a senior Business and Biology double major at Washington and Lee! Seren is certified in levels I and II of Pitaiyo, a combination of Pilates, Tai Chi, and yoga. She has worked at American Family Fitness and numerous dance studios in her home town, but she is excited to teach Pitaiyo here in Downtown Lexington.
Center of Gravity Owners
Wendy Cobb Orrison