Our Team

UP believes that a strong team of teachers, leaders and practitioners is a recipe for growth and success.

UP Owners

Dave Giacomin

Dave Giacomin

Head of Adventure | Owner

A native of Washington, DC, David Giacomin worked in corporate IT sales for 20 years before deciding to try and make a living by doing what he loves, adventure. Surfing, climbing and outdoor excursions have been a staple for Dave for many moons. He climbs ice, rock and alpine routes whenever possible. His true passion is in high altitude mountaineering and ice climbing. Some of his summits include Mt. Rainier, Illiniza Sur, Illiniza Norte, Cotopaxi, Mt. Whitney, The Grand Teton and 15+ 14,000 ft peaks in Colorado. Dave has been trained as a single pitch instructor from the American Mountain Guides Association and has been the chairman of the Washington, DC section of the American Alpine Club for the last 9 years. Dave looks to help others find healing and personal growth in the outdoors.

Erin K. McNamara, LICSW, LCSW-C

Erin K. McNamara, LICSW, LCSW-C

Head of Healing and Wellness | Owner

Erin McNamara knew she wanted to help and heal people from a young age. This knowing led Erin to get her Bachelor’s in Psychology and her Master’s in Social Work. Erin has spent her 17-year clinical social work career working with the families and children of the District of Columbia. Additionally, she has worked in private practice. Erin began her practice of yoga over 10 years ago and was initially drawn to the physical practice. But yoga soon revealed its healing benefits and Erin found it necessary to practice amidst the stress and vicarious trauma of her social work profession. Yoga helped Erin to find balance and calm and it may be safe to say that she has been able to stay in her profession due to the healing practice of yoga. Realizing all that yoga is and how much it can benefit people, Erin decided to continue her journey into healing others by taking her Yoga Teaching Training. Erin hopes to offer her students all the benefits of yoga both on and off the mat. Erin has a particular interest in trauma-informed yoga and plans to continue her journey by combining her clinical social work/mental health profession and yoga.

UP Yoga Teachers and Meditation Leaders

Lisa Glassman

Lisa Glassman

Senior Yoga and Aerial Yoga Teacher

In my own quest for happiness, I realized being outside in the sun and music are essential. Being showered in live music, the notes, the vibrations, the collective energy, is truly healing. Listening to music requires the use of your whole brain, it stimulates more neurons, turns active potentials into electricity that runs through the whole body. Music brings me great joy and allows me to stay present, more fully, more often. Today, utilizing nature and sound as much as possible, I use a combination of massage and movement therapy to help clients not only feel better in the moment but continue to improve into the future.

Ashley Erickson

Ashley Erickson

Yoga Teacher

Ashley applies a therapeutic approach to all her teachings and is multifaceted in what she offers. These include (but are not limited to) hatha, vinyasa, power, gentle, meditation, and chakra healing. She also specializes in yoga for anxiety, depression, mental focus, and chronic pain. 

Kirsty Little

Kirsty Little

Aerial Teacher

Kirsty Little strives to find honest organic movement in the aerial form. Formerly a circus professional based in the UK for two decades, she collaborated with various entities, including The Royal Opera House and The Gandinis, and performed at the V&A and The Royal Courts of Justice in England, and various locations worldwide. Inspired by the contemporary world she has moved her aerial work into the field of Live Art using personal concepts to influence form. She recently directed/performed the successful attempt at the World Guinness record for the most Aerialists choreographed on Silks.

Dave Cohen

Dave Cohen

Yoga Teacher

Dave started his public service career as both a volunteer and career Firefighter/EMT in Montgomery County, Maryland at age 16, eventually accepting a position in Federal Law Enforcement and remaining an active volunteer in the Fire/Rescue service. Along the way Dave learned of the stresses associated with high-risk emergency response careers and the need to deal with the effects on the mind/body. Although physical fitness is typically an important part of law enforcement or fire/rescue wellness program, when Dave started his own Yoga practice 14 years ago, the mind/body connection was often overlooked. Dave observed that there would be numerous benefits to First Responders of all types from practicing Yoga. Dave is a 200 hour RYT and has been a certified Maryland State EMT since the late 1970’s. Dave holds a BS in Fire Science from the University of Maryland.

Monya Cohen

Monya Cohen

Yoga Teacher

Monya began her own yoga journey more than 15 years ago and discovered the value of mindfulness and yoga in her own life.  Monya believes in the healing transformation of yoga and is dedicated to bringing a unique yoga experience to her students.  Yoga is the perfect antidote for depression, anxiety, trauma and many other physical and mental barriers to achieving a fulfilling life.  In addition to teaching yoga to adults of ages and mobility levels, Monya teaches yoga to pre-teens and incorporates yoga and mindfulness in her clinical practice.  Monya is expanding her yoga skill set as she embarks upon certification as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist.   When not taking or teaching a yoga experience, Monya practices as a licensed psychologist in Maryland and works with middle and high school students with emotional disabilities.

  • RYT 200-hour, Inner Axis Yoga, Reston, VA
  • RYT 200-hour Radiant Child Family Yoga, Sterling, VA
  • 95-hour Radiant Child Yoga, Sterling, VA
  • Level 1 & 2 Reiki Certification
  • Level 1 iRest Yoga
Kasia Sobieraj

Kasia Sobieraj

Yoga Teacher

Kasia discovered yoga in 2015 while participating in Spartan Races. After achieving her goals in obstacle racing she wanted to move on something else, something that would challenge her in a different way. Coming from stressful restaurant management she found her escape in calmer settings. Wanting to deepen her practice, learn more about history and to understand what’s behind the physical practice she completed 200 YTT at Yoga Heights in May 2018. Teaching since 2017, Kasia is also certified in Yoga Sculpt, HIIT and bootcamp instructor. Her students can expect well rounded powerful class with focus on grounding and core work.

Matthew Lyons

Matthew Lyons

Yoga Teacher

About seven years ago, a friend invited me to a Bikram Yoga class. I am not fond of heat and humidity, to put it mildly, but I accepted the challenge. I practiced Bikram Yoga four to five days a week for almost two and a half years. Though I enjoyed the challenge of this particular approach, I sought to broaden my practice. While I physically need the Yang side of the asana practice of yoga, I was more attracted to the subtle side — namely Yin, Restorative, Yoga Nidra — as well as meditation. The inspiration to teach struck me in 2016, and I completed my 200-hour RYT Vinyasa Yoga teacher training and a 100-hour Yin Yoga teacher training in May and June of 2017, respectively. Subsequently, I have received training and certification in Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga. I began teaching in the summer of 2017. In May 2018, I left my congressional affairs job at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and have focused exclusively on teaching yoga and meditation. I am a life-long learner (read: yoga nerd) and continue my study and practice of the many limbs of yoga.

Natalie Weinstein

Natalie Weinstein

Yoga Teacher

My sister was living in Hilo, on Hawaii’s Big Island. When I first visited her, I was introduced to the magic of the Islands. It’s hard to pinpoint how I knew I would be back, but I did. After practicing yoga for over a decade, I wanted to deepen my practice, took a leap of faith. I left my job and went to complete my 200hr yoga teacher training at the Maui Yoga and Dance Shala. For me, yoga and nature are interconnected and I wanted to study in a place that reflects this. I am an introvert, so I never thought that I would use the training to teach, just to learn more about the practice. I was wrong. The day after completing my certification, the lead instructor asked me if I wanted to sub a class and I said yes. Upon returning to Washington, DC, I started teaching right away and never looked back. As a teacher, the ability to make someone’s day better through practice has stuck with me—it’s why I keep teaching and expanding my offerings.
Edie Fortuna

Edie Fortuna

Yoga Teacher

Edie has been teaching yoga since 2004, beginning with a Sunday night community hot yoga class at Charm City Yoga in Baltimore (now YogaWorks).  After over 10 years with Charm City Yoga, she taught hot vinyasa at Evolve Yoga and Wellness in California, Maryland for 6 years and now is grateful to offer a socially distant outdoor yoga class with UP.  She has also taught Yoga of Running workshops, beginner yoga, yin, and prenatal classes.  She believes that a regular yoga sadhana is not only an investment in your own well-being, it’s an act of kindness that benefits everyone in your life.

UP Substitute Teachers

Hannah Davis, LGSW

Hannah Davis, LGSW

Yoga Teacher

A move across the country, led Hannah Davis, LGSW, RYT200, to begin practicing yoga in 2009. Surrounded by the picturesque views of mountains in Phoenix, Arizona, she found yoga provided her with a way to connect movement and breath and deepen the connection to self. As a way to share yoga and its power with others, Hannah went on to get her 200-Hour certification from Sky House Yoga in Silver Spring in 2017. As a social worker, Hannah has extensive experience working with youth and families of diverse backgrounds. In 2016, Hannah founded Vikara Village, a nonprofit helping middle and high school students deal with the challenges of everyday life. This innovative program brings together yoga and arts to help youth develop a healthy sense of self, community and belonging. Hannah has completed Street Yoga’s Trauma-Informed Yoga for Youth Training and Surviving Assault: Yoga Essentials as Early Intervention Following Assault or Trauma. Hannah received her Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland – Baltimore and is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker in Maryland and DC.