Staff

Shawn Parell (E-RYT 500) – Program Director

Shawn was introduced to yoga at 12 years old, and the practice has been her guiding force ever since. After almost a decade of teaching, today Shawn’s life reflects a tapestry of sacred learning – weaving together over a thousand hours of teacher training in multiple lineages, an academic foundation in poetry and religious studies, study within the geographical heart of yoga, and a vital daily integration of living yoga’s ancient traditions and contemporary innovations.

While her work is ever evolving, Shawn’s teaching is rooted in the open system of Prana Flow: Energetic Vinyasa, a synthesis-oriented approach to living yoga created by her teacher, Shiva Rea. Born from the traditions of classical yoga, Bhakti, Tantra, and Ayurveda, Prana Flow integrates various forms of spiritual embodiment practice to reveal yoga as a full-spectrum flow of unity consciousness. Shawn is honored to serve as an assistant to Shiva and mentor for the Samudra: Global School for Living Flow teaching collective. She is also a student of Insight Meditation and is trained in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, Reiki, Thai Yoga Massage, Yin, and Restorative Yoga.

With gratitude and dedication, Shawn offers 200 and 300-hour teacher training programs, leads retreats and workshops worldwide, and teaches regular classes in Washington, DC. She is a catalyst of the annual DC Global Mala, part of a worldwide event that raises awareness and funds for issues such as global warming, fair trade, and equal education opportunities – and serves as Director of Programs for Anahata Grace, an international nonprofit organization committed to bringing yoga and other wellness services to communities in need.

Angela Cerkevich, RYT, M.Psy – Founder

Angela is a full time yoga teacher and doctoral student in George Washington University’s Department of Professional Psychology. She sees clients individually for yoga therapy, and offers workshops in yoga for anxiety, insomnia and trauma. Angela has spent the past eight years studying the therapeutic application of yoga and is trained in Life-force yoga for Mood Management and Restorative Yoga, Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Integrative Restoration (iRest/Yoga Nidra).

In an effort to utilize yoga to make a real-world impact in peace, reconciliation and healing from life’s traumas, Angela created the non-profit organization, “Anahata International,” whose mission is to assist with the self-healing of high risk populations and communities affected by trauma, by teaching strategies for empowerment and self care using yoga and meditation. Anahata International has trained yoga teachers in Rwanda to use yoga as a tool for community healing, provided retreats for U.S. Veterans, and provides programming to at risk populations in the Washington, DC area.

Angela regularly consults with clinicians eager to incorporate yoga practices into their private practices. She is also part of the training faculty of Greenleaf Integrative Strategies, an organization that provides resilience training to governmental agencies whose personnel are deployed to countries in crises and conflict and are exposed to high-risk situations.

She has assisted in the facilitation of iRest /yoga nidra at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. She has also led workshops at the National Institute of Health, Georgetown University’s Psychiatric Department, American University’s Department of International Affairs, the Washington School of Psychiatry, and local corporate venues and homeless shelters.

Alaina Sadick Goss (E-RYT 200, RYT 500) – Communications Director

As a yoga teacher with a parallel life in the world of nonprofit marketing and outreach, Alaina joined the Anahata International team as Director of Communications in 2011 and is honored to help make the organization’s impactful work a reality. Alaina has been a dedicated practitioner of yoga since she turned to it to ease pain and regain physical strength after a car accident over a decade ago. Inspired by the perspective she gained from her experience, she joined a teacher training program in 2010 and has been enthusiastically learning and sharing ever since. She completed advanced training in Yoga as Therapy in 2013 and particularly enjoys teaching yoga for those working to overcome illness. She teaches weekly public and private classes including a cancer recovery class at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in DC. Alaina is grateful to have had the opportunity to directly serve communities affected by conflict as a part of Anahata’s international teacher training programs.

 

Jennifer Atala (RYT-200) – Volunteer

Jennifer is a Palestinian-American with an international development career that has traversed conflict-affected situations from Palestine to Afghanistan.  She found yoga upon returning to DC in the early 2000s for graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies following a period working as the international advocate for the premier civil rights organization for Palestinian citizens of Israel. She kept returning to her mat, finding yoga to be the only source of stillness and balance in her life. Inspired to learn more, she joined a teacher training in 2011 with the goal of deepening her practice and sharing the joy of yoga with the same communities she seeks to support in her work as an international development professional. At that time, she was thrilled to learn about the work Anahata conducts with trauma-affected populations around the world, and could not wait to help in any way she could. Jennifer is honored to support such an amazing team, inspired by Anahata’s mission, impact, and dedicated staff.  She teaches weekly classes in the DC metro area, more information about which can be found at www.asfurah.com.