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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 7 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.

Lina Freeman

Lina Freeman

Aerial Yoga Teacher

Lina Freeman started her yoga journey when she was 4 years old at Willow Street Yoga. Ever since then she has valued physical excise. She discovered aerial yoga about 2 years ago at Yoga Fusion! Lina completed her 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training Intensive at Thrive Yoga. In addition, she received her aerial yoga level 1 and 2 certifications from Transcend Wellness and Yoga. In her free time she likes to read, play with her dogs, and volunteer. A practice with Lina will be refreshing. Her attention to grounding, meditation, and breathe work will shine through her classes, when appropriate. In a vinyasa flow expect to work up a sweat. In an aerial class the poses and use of the hammock will be based on the level of students in the class. 

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.

Amanda Sawit

Amanda Sawit

Yoga Teacher

For Amanda, the practice of yoga is a return home, a chance to reconnect with her body, mind and spirit, and an opportunity to feel safe, secure and grounded in her own being. She loves designing and practicing strong, dynamic sequences that open the body and quell the over-active mind. Amanda takes a playful and affectionate approach to the practice and loves to hold space for, and witness, the same elation and freedom that can be unlocked and nurtured within each student.
Nazia Kahn

Nazia Kahn

Aerial Yoga Teacher

Nazia has an amazing passion for life and flying through the air in silks. Join her for powerful aerial yoga classes weekly.

Carissa Marks

Carissa Marks

Aerial Teacher

Aerial Yoga Instructor | Garden Educator | Artist | Activist

“Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root'” -Angela Davis

Caitlin Wall

Caitlin Wall

Yoga Teacher

Caitlin began practicing yoga while living in Colorado under the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. She received her 200-hour certification from Dragonfly Yoga in Virginia, along the banks of the Rappahannock River, and uses her yoga to promote awareness and engagement with the natural world. A yoga retreat to Zion Canyon National Park crystallized her desire to share this engagement with others and begin her teaching journey. A deep connection to the earth guides her practice, and she is dedicated to offering a vinyasa practice that is both joyful and peaceful. In addition to practicing and teaching yoga, Caitlin enjoys running and triathlons.

Ariel Rubens

Ariel Rubens

Yoga Teacher

Ariel is an enthusiastic and passionate yoga facilitator. As a musician, gardener, fitness coach, and yogi at heart, Ariel intentionally integrates his diverse experiences into his sessions. Born in Florida and living abroad for most of his life, Ari’s path has led him to “the Capital of Yoga” Rishikesh, India, where he completed his advanced Teacher Training course in Ashtanga Vinyasa and Hatha (RYT-500). Since 2013, Ariel has been helping people become the strongest, healthiest, and happier versions of themselves as a yoga teacher, fitness trainer, and loving friend. Seasonally, he leads yoga retreats and workshops in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Currently, he happily works with private clients in the DC area and teaches multiple styles of yoga and meditation classes. Ariel is driven to do it all with ‘Ahimsa’, compassion.   

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.

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.

Carmelle Levia

Carmelle Levia

Yoga Teacher

I discovered the joy and freedom of yoga in 2009. I was recovering from a repeated stress injury in my left shoulder and a broken heart. Right away the practice made me feel more alive. I became less depressed and more optimistic. My body grew stronger and more limber. I lost weight and slept better. In 2011 I started teaching, slowly unearthing the bliss of sharing my passion with others.

My yoga journey began with the Power tradition and over the years I explored Vinyasa, Hatha, Kundalini, Yin and Iyengar practices. Today I teach a fusion of these styles, incorporating some free movement and mantra in my classes as well.

Yoga is my lifeline. It is my meditation and my prayer. It is my passion. Through intention, breath and movement we unite mind, body and spirit, restoring us to our native state of wholeness. Each day that we choose to practice we embody radical self-love and self-expansion. Thank you for choosing to walk this path to wholeness with me.

Jacklyn McMillian

Jacklyn McMillian

Yoga Teacher

Jacklyn’s yoga practice found her. Jacklyn took her first yoga class, a heated vinyasa, not really knowing what yoga was. What she was introduced to was the breath, the heat, the fluidity of movement and music. She was hooked. Being present in that space, required complete focus and effort that quieted the mind and brought a feeling of peace and release that has stuck. As a licensed clinical social worker, Jacklyn found that yoga can one of the many paths to healing, growth, and expression. Drawn to the strength and resilience needed for the practice, Jacklyn uses a Power practice as a means for training for life off the mat. In her classes you can expect to be challenged through postures, pace, and energetic music to fire up your energy and dial you into sensation.

“There is nothing more compelling to me as a teacher and student than being so immersed in the body, so immersed in the present moment, that we let go of the aesthetics, we let go of the outcome, and we just fully lean in to what our bodies can do and feel when we simply show up.”

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
Sean Buchholz

Sean Buchholz

Yoga Teacher

Sean Buchholz is a musician, web designer, artist, and yoga teacher from Terre Haute, Indiana. Sean came to yoga as a means to improve mobility and flexibility some years after an injury sustained while in the Army National Guard. Since then, he continues his practice in order to find balance in between school work, freelancing, and spending time with his wife. Sean’s favorite yoga practices blend physical strengthening and stretching with internal reflection and meditation. Sean completed his RYT-200 Yoga Teacher Training at Sky House Yoga in 2016.

Shervon Laurice

Shervon Laurice

Yoga Teacher

Shervon was first introduced to yoga in high school while in New York City. It was there that the seed of self-discovery was planted which has continued to grow and call her back to the mat time and time again as an adult. Shervon’s commitment to personal practice led her to complete a 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher (RYT) certification in 2012 and a 50 hour advanced Yin Yoga Teacher Training in 2016. Shervon enjoys teaching Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin and Restorative yoga styles to beginners, athletes and advanced students alike. Her background as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) inspires her approach as a teacher. The practice of yoga, similar to the process of counseling, allows one to look within to build self-awareness which informs daily life. Yoga has a beautiful way of clearing the mud away from the lens with which we see ourselves. Shervon is committed to nurturing the seed of self-discovery and personal growth in every student as it unfolds on and off the mat.

Tracy Buro

Tracy Buro

Yoga Teacher

Tracy has been practicing yoga for over a decade. She was originally drawn to the practice as a way to Connect to her deeper self and manage her anxiety. Tracy soon found the power of connecting breath to movement, mind to body, and soul to spirit. In class, Tracy offers the opportunity to explore your own connections in yoga, to push your boundaries, and most importantly, to have fun! Her classes are lighthearted, candlelit, and uplifting. Tracy enjoys making her Yoga classes a powerful external expression of the inward journey, with plenty of space to play and let go of limitations and judgments. Come flow!

UP Substitute Teachers

Atticus Mooney

Atticus Mooney

Yoga Teacher

Atticus is a free spirit that flows through her practice. Join Atticus for creative classes and sensational soundtracks.

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.

Jenna Paoletti

Jenna Paoletti

Yoga Teacher

Yoga is a journey to more fully inhabit our own bodies. When we can love every bit of who we are, we are more able to love those around us. Jenna originally came to her yoga practice informally when she was 16 years old. Little did she know, that overplayed Crunch Fitness DVD would begin a transformation of mind, body, and spirit. Throughout her life, Jenna has struggled with eating disorders and anxiety resulting from childhood obesity. Through her own yoga practice, Jenna has discovered not only her physical strength and emotional power, but also the spirit of joy that comes from releasing guilt, pain, and fear on the mat. It is her hope that every yogi leaves the mat with a sense of awe and wonder of what their spirit in their body can accomplish. Jenna works with DCPS as a music, movement, and early childhood teacher. She completed her 200 hour Hatha Yoga teacher training with Charm City Yoga (now YogaWorks) in Baltimore, MD.