Stephanie (E-RYT) is a resident of Virginia Beach and is the owner and founder of Collective Yoga in Virginia Beach. Collective Yoga’s motto is “Yoga for EVERY BODY,” and their mission is “to help you feel amazing inside AND out.” Stephanie teaches various classes every week ranging from gentle yoga, to Hatha yoga, to an energizing flow class. She also guides yoga and meditation for various corporate clients around the country.
She completed her yoga teacher training in Virginia Beach in 2015, earning her 200-hour RYT certification. She has also completed an additional 500 hours of training with Tara Stiles, the founder of Strala Yoga. Strala Yoga is a feel-good yoga that allows for a certain freedom in moving and flowing. “Strala is a way of being, moving and healing, that helps people connect with how they feel, move how it feels good, and handle challenges with ease.” Movement in Strala starts with your breath. “Every inhale opens and creates space, every exhale relaxes and lets you move easily into the space you create.”
Stephanie’s style of guiding is encouraging, calm and relaxing, allowing for plenty of freedom to move how it feels good for your body, while still focusing on practicing safely. The pose is not the goal or end of the journey, all of the movements around the pose matter just as much! Stephanie believes that how you are on your mat is how you are in life, so SMILE, BREATHE, and RELAX!
Handstands ;) I travel when I can, and you can often find me sky diving in tandem, taking care of my family, or working behind the bar at The Cheesecake Factory!
- Any mini-yogis or furry yogis running around?
Yes! My little mini Joie. She's such a joy to my life. I began as "Auntie,” then "Auntie Mommy,” and now I'm blessed to know I've earned the title as "Mom" in her life.
- What is your favorite pose?
Natarajasana: Lord of the Dancer Pose. It's such powerful, elegant balancing pose. I enjoy feeling into this posture, and accepting that some days my body is not in rhythm and my dance is a little off beat.
- Who is your yoga inspiration?
I'm inspired by all the yogis around me. I practice at many different studios, and I find that every instructor has something to offer me each time I step on my mat. Mostly, the ladies who were by my side during my training. Thank you.
- If you could practice anywhere on Earth, where would you practice?
- Tell me a joke..
What does an astronaut do to get ready for a party? They plan-et.
Catherine is an ERYT200 instructor and has been leading chair, and traditional yoga classes since 2014. Recently, (July 2020) Catherine completed the Yoga For All training with Diane Bondy and Amber Karnes. This program provided invaluable information that broadened her knowledge and sparked her imagination to create variations of sequences that can be adapted into anyone’s practice.
Yoga found me at the time I needed it most in my life. Back in 2009 I was practicing gentle yoga regularly on the beach when I lived in Newport, RI. I learned firsthand about the mental benefits of yoga as I had a demanding job and needed something to relieve the stress. My instructor Shelley Duncan was the light I was looking for! She made every moment of practice so enjoyable, so freeing! I eventually found myself going beyond the gentle classes at the beach and immersing myself in a variety of practices, including Power Yoga.
After starting a family and moving to Virginia, running became my daily only form of meditation, but I still yearned for the Yin to my Yang! I taught a Stroller-based fitness class three times a week so that I could exercise with my children in tow. Longing for something more than just high intensity workouts and neighborhood runs I found myself at Collective practicing again. Soon after practicing regularly for an entire year, it led me to complete my RYT 200 hr with Alex Clarke of Teall Transformation Yoga.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve never taken a yoga class that I didn’t enjoy. I’m extremely grateful for every instructor that I have practiced with and can not wait to continue sharing the gift of yoga with others! Including my two little girls, Lia & Grace!
Susan S. Shaffer, RYT 200
# of years practicing yoga: 5
# of years teaching yoga: 3
favorite style(s) of yoga to practice/teach: vinyasa, gentle flow and yin
Susan has been practicing yoga for 5 years, and came to the practice as a holistic method of facing Perimenopause. Inspired to take her practice further and gain more knowledge, she completed her 200 Hour Teacher Training with Breathe RYS in Norfolk, Virginia.
She feels that yoga, in many ways, changes lives, and really believes the first asana she ever did was the beginning of her journey to becoming her most authentic self. What she would like to, and hope to, bring to her classes is the very thing she has always loved about a yoga class: getting to a place physically, mentally or spiritually that she has not been before. She wants students to experience something new; whether it is simply doing their downward dog more correctly or finding the ability to do a headstand. She loves when students find something within themselves to empower them.
Often in this day and age, after a certain point in our lives, we stop challenging ourselves. She wants students to have fun and give themselves some much needed attention and love that is often quite lacking in other types of physical activities. The best part is that in this time of play, they will likely start to work through some emotional blockages and possibly gain some mental clarity and insight without even trying, knowing or intending to! She hopes to simply be a vessel that will aid her students down a path to becoming their most genuine self.
Originally from Seattle, she has travelled extensively over the years due to her husband’s Navy career. Eventually she landed in Hampton Roads where she is a Fitness Trainer for the US Navy at Naval Station Norfolk.
She has been practicing yoga for about 12 years. 3 years ago when an opportunity arose on base to start a yoga program for the Navy community, she jumped at the chance.
She completed her 200 hour training at Collective Yoga this past spring 2019, and joined the Collective team shortly thereafter. She strives to create a safe and beautiful space to explore your body’s movement with fun and creative classes for all levels.
In her spare time, you can find her on the tennis court, and enjoying her new French Bulldog puppy, Louie.
Doug discovered Asana in 2007 while recovering from a knee surgery. Amazed with the body's initial response, he grew to learn the effects of yoga extend well beyond the physical.
A 2011 graduate of Amanda McMain's 200-hour teacher training at LHAA and in 2016 of Erin Smith's 300-hour program at the Om Place, he is by day a licensed mechanical engineer working to design environmental building systems aimed at human comfort and sustainability. This integration of disciplines yields a unique perspective in sharing both mindful and technical aspects of yoga, intending to empower students in the discovery of their own practice.
Catherine Lawson is a local kindergarten teacher and yoga instructor. She began her yoga journey 3 years ago with a Harry Potter themed yoga event at Collective Yoga. Catherine received her 200 hour yoga training through Collective Yoga and is influenced by all the great teachers at the studio. She teaches Restorative Yoga every Sunday 10:30-11:30 am.
Jarett’s inner yoga journey began as an exploration of the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
Born in Toledo, Ohio he graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1985, joined the Navy in 1987 where he was stationed at NAS Oceana and served upon the USS John F. Kennedy during Operation Desert Storm / Shield. After an honorable discharge from the service, he graduated from Regent University with a Master’s degree in Business and a Master’s degree in Government.
Jarett is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and a Grandfather. He has served on the Board of Directors for Saint Jude Children’s Hospital, and other non-profit organizations that serve the community.
He completed his Yoga Teach Training in March of 2020, from Breath Yoga Center, Norfolk and his Yin Teacher Certification from Arhanta Yoga Academy, India.
Karen believes that yoga is a lifestyle, and in that sense, she has been a yogi her entire life. She first found the physical practice after her second son's birth. Yoga helped her transition from the stress of a corporate management job to homeschooling her young children. She found herself evolved into a calmer, self-loving, compassionate, and relaxed version of herself and is passionate about sharing that gift with others. On a physical level, yoga has helped her through several injuries, surgeries, and even bouts of depression.
It is Karen's passion to help others improve the quality of their lives. She believes that it is her mission in life to accomplish this through healthcare and yoga. She acknowledges that each person is different and unique in their respective way. Guided by a strong sense of interconnectedness, Karen makes an effort to honor, offer compassion, and work to understand every individual's needs to make yoga safe and accessible. Her firm belief that yoga is for everybody is evident in her teaching and approach.
With over 750 documented hours of training, Karen has enjoyed teaching yoga since 2005. She completed her 500-hour teacher training with YogaFit and has completed several specialty trainings, including yin, restorative, seniors, prenatal, yoga therapy, yoga for larger bodies, therapeutic back yoga, yoga for eating disorders, chair yoga, and trained at two ashrams in Rishikesh, India. She enjoyed three years traveling as a master trainer for an international yoga company leading teacher trainings.
When Karen is not on her mat, you can find her spending time with her family, chocolate lab, and two cats. She enjoys kayaking, working in cardiology with insurance and finance, and working diligently to maintain a 4.0 in graduate school at Regent University.
Jennifer first found yoga in college as a way to cope with stress and introduce exercise into her busy schedule. It took no time at all for her to realize yoga is a powerful way to improve all parts of her life- physical, mental, and spiritual. She completed her RYT-200 training in August of 2018 and began teaching in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama.
In the spring of 2019, she embarked on an eight-month trip to Europe, at the end of which she moved to Virginia Beach and found Collective Yoga! Her teaching style is demanding; she strives to provide every student with the effective tools to challenge themselves and build their practice. She does her best to reach each student at their own individual skill level by making every pose accessible to all. In her spare time, you will probably find her outdoors- hiking, swimming, or camping; unless it’s winter in which case she will be inside under a cozy blanket drinking tea and reading a good book!