Teacher Bios

Nancy Allen, E-RYT 200 and RYT 500 – Alignment Based (formerly Anusara Inspired) Yoga 

Nancy Allen is a long time yoga practitioner and a 2005 graduate of the Willow Street Yoga Center teacher training program, 200 hours (Takoma Park, MD), and 2016 graduate of Sun and Moon Yoga program, 500 hours (Arlington, VA). She continues to study with Desiree Rumbaugh, Andrew Riven, Doug Keller and other wonderful yogis. Nancy is a student of Thich Nhat Hahn and has attended a number of retreats with him, both in this country and abroad. Nancy provides clear direction and individual attention to students so they can discover their own capacity for alignment and joy in every pose.  She receives regular referrals from area doctors, chiropractors and massage therapists because of her reputation and her attention to the individual student. Nancy continues to inspire and be inspired by her students, and is always in the process of learning herself.

Paul Webb, E-RYT 200 and RYT 500. Paul found his way on to the healing path of yoga in 2008 through the recommendation of Dr. Laura Robert, as a way to relieve stress and keep his blood pressure under control. In 2011, Paul completed the Kripalu School of Yoga 200 hour Teacher Training and began teaching yoga in Lynchburg. Soon thereafter, cancer interrupted his life. After surgery, complemented by a practice of restorative yoga, he returned to teaching.
In 2014 Paul attended “Yoga of Heart: Cancer and Cardiac Certification” taught by Nischala Joy Devi to develop his ability to work skillfully with cancer and cardiac patients. He has also completed the OM yoga 200 hour Teacher Training, restorative and meditation teacher training, and is currently completing his 500 hour certification through the Integral Yoga Academy.
Paul teaches with a deep compassion for the people with whom he is working. Using tools of his training and all his personal experiences, he guides students toward health, acceptance and contentment. Paul is deeply grateful for his teachers and mentors and for every student who crosses his path through the joyful experience of sharing yoga together.

Jan GrayJan Gray, STOTT Pilates – I started practicing Pilates a bit by accident!  My husband was the only bidder on a 6 week beginner class at a silent auction. As he noticed himself becoming stronger, he suggested I take the classes.  So I did and I was hooked!  I have always been active.  One of my earlier careers was working as a wilderness Outward Bound instructor.  I rowed a raft on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, managed my own online store selling women’s athletic clothing, and ran eight marathons.  After a few years of participating in Pilates as a student, I enrolled in a comprehensive STOTT Pilates Mat and Reformer class.  The next step in my development was training on the Stability Chair, Cadillac, and Barrels, along with an Injuries and Special Populations course.  My certifications date to 2006 and I take continuing education every year to keep my training up to industry standards and the certifications current. In 2009 I became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and am working to earn the Fitness Nutrition specialty. I love that Pilates has a powerful and positive impact on persons of all ages and fitness levels.  When not at JRY, I can be found making kitchen linens in my handweaving studio on the second floor of Riverviews.

11170309_10204104683157369_2089950420427672656_oAnne Alfieri, RYT 200. Anne completed her RYT 200 hour teacher training with Cyndi Lee in 2015, and has also completed teacher training in Yin Yoga and Pranayama (breath awareness and manipulation). She has been practicing yoga in Lynchburg since 2005, primarily with Nancy Allen, but has had the opportunity to attend workshops and classes with many other wonderful teachers. Anne is a strong believer in the benefits of yoga, finding joy, strength, and mindfulness in the practice, with a passion for continued learning and sharing her love of yoga with others. Her teaching is hands on, using the breath and clear instruction to find openness and strength in each yoga pose, while ensuring safe body alignment. She has a background in accounting and serves in a volunteer capacity for many organizations in the community, and she complements her yoga practice by regularly swimming with the Master’s swim team.

IMG_2775Ellen Mackey, RYT 200. Since being diagnosed with scoliosis in her teens, Ellen Mackey has been aware of the importance of strengthening her body and maintaining flexibility. It was through this personal experience that she discovered the benefits of both massage therapy and yoga. Ellen has a Masters in Education with classroom experience at the Middle School level as well as Community College instruction with Adults returning to the classroom. She completed her RYT 200 hour teacher training with Cyndi Lee in 2015, and has attended multiple workshops with Cyndi Lee, received Yin Yoga teacher training with Corina Benner, studied mediation with Sally Kempton at Yogaville, and attended a Kripalu weekend with Richard and Dana Faulds. As a Certified Massage Therapist and Hospice Team Member, Ellen brings a knowledge of anatomy along with the gentleness of compassion to her teaching. She strives to share with her students the healing qualities of yoga ‐ the union of breath, body, and mind.

945598_10200736412005659_1741555391_nSteve Simpson, RYT 200.  Steve’s interest in mediation and yoga began in the early 1970’s with the Transcendental Meditation movement. He later became involved in martial arts, studying Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do and Shito Ryu, which led him back to meditative practices for the purposes of to improving mental focus, reducing mental stress and and increasing physical reaction speed. Steve earned Ea Dan rank in Tae Kwan Do and served as chief instructor and manager of two TKD schools.

In 2010 he experienced a significant shift of perspective. As a result, his meditation practice deepened and he began a serious exploration of yoga – quickly realizing that a highly-physical asana series often led him into meditative states.  Steve studied under Helen Maxwell at the Bedford Yoga Center and received his RYT 200 Certification in May, 2016. His favorite classes to teach are vigorous vinyasa flow classes and mindfulness meditation sessions – as different as these seem on the surface, they may lead to the same place.

936391_4829129281235_761242654_nMaureen Webb, R-HYI 225 – Holy Yoga.  Curious about what her husband found healthful and helpful in yoga, Maureen began her own practice in 2009 with teacher Nancy Allen. A Faith Community Nurse course in 2010 brought evidence regarding the health enhancing discipline of yoga that paralleled her personal discovery of the body, mind, spirit connection – that greater flexibility in body led to a relaxed mind and an open spirit better able to hear God’s voice. Maureen continued her studies under local yoga instructors until interest and opportunity led her to pursue certification as a Holy Yoga Instructor in 2015. Maureen instructs alignment based yoga, set to Christian music, that combines breath work, movement and meditation on God’s Word. Her goals are to encourage experiential worship, and to create compassionate, caring classes where students can connect to Christ and each other.  (Please note: Maureen is registered with Holy Yoga, as opposed to Yoga Alliance).

Teaching Yoga

It doesn’t matter who or what set in motion
the wheel of stars across the sky, a divine spark
resides in each of us. If you’ve ever blown on embers
and watched them flare, you know what it is

to teach yoga, to see the spark catch and burn
in every student. The earth and all its beings
abide in each of us – the moon’s pull on the tide,
the ebb and flow of our shared breath.

How can we not be humble when in any moment,
we are as much student as teacher?

  – nancy allen