A.J. Jones, "Arjuna"
Owner & Director, E-RYT 500
A.J. Jones is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 Hour level (E-RYT 500). A.J.'s Sanskrit name, Arjuna, was given to him by his teacher, Sri Swami Asokananda. He is named after the Arjuna from the great Indian epic, and revered yogic scripture, the Bhagavad Gita.
A.J. has attended the following teacher training programs: Integral Yoga Basic Hatha, Integral Yoga Intermediate Hatha, Integral Yoga Advanced Hatha, Integral Yoga Meditation, Integral Yoga for Stress Management, Jivamukti Yoga Method, Manju Jois Ashtanga Primary Series Teacher Education Intensive, and the Dharma Mittra Yoga Advanced Teacher Training.
A.J.’s first step along the yogic path was at the age of 13, when he decided to become vegetarian, for no other reason than that it seemed the right thing to do. At 16, he took another step when he came across the Bhagavad Gita in a collection of his Father’s books. After this, he immediately began a lifelong study of yogic philosophy. He continued by studying meditation and yoga asanas (poses) through various books, though intimidated by the idea of a yoga class. A.J. put this idea to the back of his mind, as someone who could not even touch his toes, he mistakenly decided yoga classes were for more flexible people.
For the next few years, A.J. practiced sporadically, picking up meditation and hatha yoga for short sprints, and then dropping back into a normal teenage routine. Just over 10 years ago, A.J., with encouragement, took his first yoga class and fell in love with the practice. He quickly began taking a yoga class every day, sometimes twice a day, rekindling his interest in meditation and yoga philosophy. After a year of feverish practice, he decided the next step was to become a teacher himself and devote his life to studying and passing on this ancient tradition.
After two years of teaching yoga full time, A.J. opened our beloved studio in March of 2008, where he teaches daily classes. A.J. approaches the responsibility of teaching with professionalism and care. He has a wonderful ability to help students take their practice to the next level and approach postures in an non-intimidating way.
A.J. was raised in the Hampton Roads area and has lived there all of his life. He is registered with the Yoga Alliance as a 500hr experienced registered yoga teacher. He has attended formal teacher trainings with Satya Greenstone, Swami Asokananda, David Life and Sharon Gannon, Dharma Mittra, and Manju Jois. A.J. is forever grateful to these teachers for their inspiration and knowledge.
Alexa Mosquera-Rivera, "Devi"
RYT 500, E-RYT 200
Alexa is a RYT500, E-RYT200 teaching yoga to beginners and seasoned students since 2010. She was introduced to yoga by a good friend over 15 years ago and her own practice began. She was immediately drawn to that sense of calm, inner peace, and joy that a continuous practice awakened in her.
In 2009 she found Atma Bodha Yoga Studio and enrolled in the teacher training program under the guidance of her teacher A.J. (Avery Jones, Owner of ABY) to become a certified yoga instructor teaching Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. She never turned back! Since completing her initial certification, Alexa went on to complete other teacher trainings in Chair Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga: The Primary Series, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yin and even Laugha-Yoga! She has also attended various workshops on meditation practice and techniques, and pranayama practice and techniques.
Alexa enjoys teaching and introducing people to yoga. Her wish is to share with her students the practice of yoga whether it’s on a mat, sitting in a chair or laughing in hopes that it can bring a sense of joy and peace in their lives as it has done for her and they in turn can spread that joy and peace with others. Alexa also holds an MBA and loves to travel. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband Chris and their adorable cockapoo Echo.
“To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders”. – Lao Tzu
Neleh Barcarse Poletsky, "Padmamukhi"
Neleh is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 Hour level (RYT 500). Neleh's Sanskrit name, Padmamukhi, means Lotus-Faced.
In the Fall of 2013, Neleh completed her 200 Hour Teacher Training at Atma Bodha Yoga. She was so enthralled in her study of Yoga, that she immediately enrolled in Atma Bodha's 500 Hour Teacher Training, where she graduated in the Spring of 2014.
She is a kirtan enthusiast and you may hear her rhythmically striking the kartals or devotionally leading chants while strumming the ukulele. She believes that the vibration of certain sounds, music, mantra recitation and chanting promotes the healing of the mind and body and often plays the singing bowl as part of the yoga classes she teaches.
Shane Sawsiengmongkol, "Siddhartha"
Shane was born in Thailand, grew up in Washington DC and moved to Hampton Roads when he attended college at ODU.
He first came to yoga for the physical benefits and feels that he stayed with yoga for the spiritual benefits and quieting of the mind.
Shane graduated from ABY 200 Hour Teacher Training with AJ in 2015. When he's not doing yoga, Shane enjoys cooking, playing ukulele, and snowboarding, and surfing.
Janice Barrera, "Jyoti"
Janice Barrera is a registered yoga teacher at the 200 hour level
(RYT-200). She completed her yoga teacher training at Atma Bodha Yoga
studio in 2017. Janice's Sanskrit name, Jyoti, means divine light,
radiance, and brightness.
Janice began practicing yoga about 4 years ago when running and high impact
activities took a toll on her hips and body. She knew she needed a low
impact form of exercise and figured she would give yoga a try. She
initially started at Atma Bodha Yoga, but tried other studios as well
during her first year of practice. She always kept coming back to Atma
Bodha for the chanting and meditation that transformed her life. She soon
realized that yoga was more than just exercise as it began to benefit her
mind and emotional health. Each morning that she did yoga she felt renewed,
had more relaxed days at work, and was able to handle stress with increased
ease. As a pediatric physical therapist she also saw the benefits that this
could have on the children she treats. All of these physical and mental
benefits prompted her to become a yoga teacher and attend continuing
education courses for therapeutic yoga for children.
In her free time Janice enjoys practicing yoga, playing with her
three dogs, and spending time with her husband outside kayaking, hiking,
and relaxing on the beach.
"Anyone can practice. Young man can practice. Old man can practice. Very old man can practice. Man who is sick, he can practice. Man who doesn't have strength can practice. Except lazy people; lazy people can't practice Ashtanga yoga."
SRI K. PATTABHI JOIS