Contemplate Life with Yoga

Sign Up

Wednesday 12/1/2021 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Wednesday 12/8/2021 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Wednesday 12/15/2021 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Wednesday 12/22/2021 8:00 am - 9:00 am

Prana - everything you want to know!

Donation-based class

Wednesdays @ 8 am, November 10 to December 22

Led by Maryam & Susan

Join us on Wednesdays at 8 am, starting November 10, for a philosophical discussion to bring meaning to our life. In this 6-week series, we will explore Prana, the heart of all Vedic, Philosophical and Tantric teachings.

Prana is the hub of the wheel. The spokes are all the ways we engage with Prana to get it to move kindly in the direction towards peace. 


November 10: What is Prana? How to know Prana? Know the Gunas.

November 17: Is Prana the breath? Know thy breath and know Prana.

December 1: Prana & Self Care with Yuki Riley

December 8: Prana, food and Ayurveda with Ileana Gonzales

December 15: Prana & the Upanishads: focus on specific verses

December 22: Prana & Right Action with Glenna Tinney

Maryam Ovissi

Maryam Ovissi, Trauma-Informed Yoga Therapist & Yoga Teacher



"Yoga is a proven system and philosophy that provides tools for the individual to develop a self-care routine that meets them where they are. As a teacher, I am only the guide.”

~Maryam Ovissi

This philosophy is the foundation of Maryam Ovissi’s approach to wellbeing and has guided her through more than two decades of work in the yoga and health industry. Maryam is the founder of Beloved Yoga, a studio and wellness center operating in Northern Virginia since 2005. Her vision for making Yoga accessible for all came to fruition in February 2018, with the opening of the flagship location of Beloved Yoga: A Sanctuary for All, a serene, safe, multi-studio space in Reston, Virginia. Maryam’s passion for sharing the original teachings of Yoga with reverence, integrity and accessibility for all is what motivates her to be of service to the Yoga commUnity.   

Maryam is a certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and under the tutelage of Bhekaji Lynch, she received her 500-hour Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) accreditation with Yoga Alliance. Maryam’s personal mission as a teacher of Yoga is to provide an opportunity for her students to have access to tools that allow self-healing, self-empowerment and self-realization. Her unique style provides space for multi-level practitioners to journey through Yoga in group, semi-private and private classes. In her private Yoga teaching, Yogic tools are offered that serve the person and their personal intentions.

“Transforming trauma into teachers is one of the greatest secrets for discovering peace and happiness in this life. In my opinion, Yoga is one of the most effective tools to support this transformation. “ ~Maryam Ovissi

Moved by the declining mental and physical health statistics of Americans today, Maryam created Beloved Yoga’s signature Befriending Yoga Therapy program to offer classes that serve a range of clients and a variety of health conditions. Trauma-informed teachers offer private and semi-private classes designed for a variety of health issues including lower back pain, hip and knee replacements, spinal fusions, invasive surgeries, traumatic physical injuries, chronic conditions, emotional stress and mental imbalances from cognitive to stress-induced confusion. Maryam’s specialties in trauma lie in her experience with medical trauma, including invasive surgeries, cancer and all the layers of treatment around cancer, as well as complex medical conditions that create medical trauma. Maryam co-developed Befriend the Journey with Cancer with Anu Kaur.

Maryam received a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Arts Management from Boston University in 1998, and soon thereafter she became an avid student of Yoga. She began studying privately with her first teacher, Simin Yahaghi, in California. Maryam has been teaching Hatha, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Prenatal and Baby & Me classes since 2001. She honors the lineage and teachings of Sri Krishnamacharya through her principle teachers, the Mohan Family. Maryam upholds the principle that the Yoga practice is a personal and individual journey and not a one-size-fits-all practice. Although A.G. & Indra Mohan, Dr. Ganesh Mohan, Bhekaji Lynch continue to serve as her main teachers, she claims nothing can replace the gifts and wisdom born forth by showing up for herself every day through Sadhana (personal practice). She stays committed to the path of the student.

Recognizing the need for teachers who offer safe instruction and instill the ancient teachings of Yoga, Maryam founded the Beloved Yoga School in 2008 to offer teacher training programs. Under the guidance of Maryam, the Beloved Yoga School offers Yoga Alliance registered trainings and Approved Professional Development programs by IAYT, including a 200-hour teacher training, a 300-hour advanced teacher training, a prenatal teacher training, and the Beloved Yoga Certification Program: Trauma-Informed Yoga, Pranayama & Yin. The Beloved Yoga School meets the standards set by Yoga Alliance and is a member school of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Maryam’s love expands to embrace the creative spirit. She serves on the board of the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art and the Southgate Community Center and is on the Advisory Board of the Gender and Policy Center, George Mason University. Maryam makes time to explore creativity in her own life through writing poetry and mark making. She released Soundscapes to Contemplate, a compilation CD of her poetry set to conscious electronic mantra music by artist and producer Saeed Younan. In 2020, she published Care of the Whole Self: Yoga Inspired Tools to Befriend the Self. Visit her website to learn more:

Susan Smith Knoblauch

Susan is a certified Yoga instructor (RYT500) and certified Relax and Renew restorative yoga teacher. She has been practicing yoga since 1995, trained for 22 years in the Iyengar tradition (a form of hatha yoga based on the primacy of physical alignment of the body in the poses using props (blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, bolsters, etc.) to assist the student attain proper alignment . She has modified the Iyengar approach using the principles of Viniyoga training (since 2012) to adapt the various means and methods of practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of each individual - giving each practitioner the tools to customize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation .

Susan has been teaching since 2004. She teaches Hatha, Hatha Flow, Restorative styles of yoga, and pranayama (breath work). Her main teachers include Anne Wutchiett ,and other senior Iyengar teachers at Unity Woods and Maryam Ovissi at Beloved Yoga.

I am dedicated to guiding you in your discovery of your body-mind-spirit connection through alignment, breath,  movement, and meditation.  I think of myself as more of your guide than your teacher  to adapt the many tools of yoga to your interests, unique condition and therapeutic needs   - giving you the tools to customize your journey on the yoga  path toward self-discovery and personal transformation.

Have a question?

Please complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.