Priya Jhawar
Founder and Director

My mother was the first person to spark my interest in yoga, meditation and spiritual practice. Just as she grew up watching her mother’s devotional practices, I too grew up watching and learning as my mother performed her daily puja, japa and study of shastras. At a young age, I became fluent in Hindi, studied classical Sanskrit texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, and started to learn about yoga philosophy. After completing my training and certification in classical Bharatanatyam Dance, I began to cultivate an asana practice (the physical postures of yoga) in 2001. Throughout law school and in my career as a business litigation attorney, the practice of yoga helped me to stay balanced and grounded, especially amidst the throes of corporate life. Having fought many long and hard battles in and out of the courtroom, yoga taught me the beauty of surrender. In 2009, after significant life events spurred me to rethink my dharma and life purpose, I decided to leave the practice of law to delve deeper into my own sadhana and the practice of teaching, with the goal of helping others realize the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that yoga has to offer.

I continue to train with my guru, Shri R. Sharath Jois, in Mysore, India. I have made multiple trips of extended study to Mysore and received Level 2 Authorization and the blessings of my guru to teach the Ashtanga Yoga method. I formerly apprenticed with KPJAYI Certified teacher, Angela Jamison, assisting in her yoga shala in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and have been studying within the Ashtanga tradition since 2004. I am forever grateful to all those who have instilled within me deep love and dedication for the Ashtanga Yoga practice.

Catherine Hartshorn

My daily Ashtanga yoga practice began in 2013 while studying at the University of Virginia with John Bultman. I immediately fell in love with the sequential and mindful nature of the practice. My six years of teaching experience then began by assisting John in Mysore classes and workshops. After graduating, I booked a one-way ticket to Mysore, India, to study with Sri R. Sharath Jois. In 2018, after several trips to Mysore, Sharathji granted me Level 2 Authorization to teach. My travels took me to Bali, Indonesia, where I lived for five years and assisted Mysore classes with Damien de Bastier and Andréa Drottholm. In 2022, I moved back to my hometown – Alexandria, VA – to teach Ashtanga yoga in the Washington DC area.

The more that I explore yoga, the more I realize that I will forever be a student. I’m grateful for the places, people and experiences I’ve encountered along this path, and I strive to guide my students in the same way that my teachers did for me.

Ashley Reed

My journey with Ashtanga Yoga began in 2009 when I stumbled into a beginners workshop at Yoga Yoga in Austin. Having no idea how this practice would soon change my life, I moved to Washington, D.C. in 2010 and joined Flow Yoga Center where I continued to delve deeper into my practice. After five years on the east coast, I moved back to Austin and made my first pilgrimage to Mysore in November of 2015, where I studied for three months with Sri R. Sharath Jois at KPJAYI. I spent the following eight months practicing with Priya at AYA before returning to Mysore again in October of 2016 for another two-month extended study. After coming home to Austin, I began an apprenticeship with Priya, alongside Erin, and continue to learn and grow under her mentorship and guidance. In December 2017, I made my third trip to Mysore to study with Sharath ji, and received Level 2 Authorization and his blessing to teach during my time there. I am immensely grateful for this path and the opportunity to share the practice with others.