Meet the Imagine Leaders

Imagine teachers and event guides volunteer without pay.  They each have a story that reflects their passion and/or experience, knowledge or expertise for whatever event they are offering as an act of gracious service to the community.

Each guide embodies the Imagine vision of unlimited welcome, learning, sharing and respecting stories and the gift of integrating body, mind and soul.  Check out the Harvard Health article on the clinical benefits of volunteering here.

Yoga Instructors

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Cathy Norman

Cathy is a Hatha Integral Yoga instructor (RYT 200) and has studied mindfulness and meditation practices through her yoga training and the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction 8 week course and studied with Dr. Susan Carol Stone (UVA Mindfulness Center). She is a certified to teach mindful yoga to children and families (Budding Yogis). She also completed training at the Shalem Institute in leading contemplative small groups and retreats. She is currently teaching Hatha Integral Yoga at Prosperity Eating Disorders and Wellness Clinic in Herndon and at her private studio near Bluemont, VA. Cathy is also a Virginia Master Naturalist and includes images from the natural world as part of each yoga practice.

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Jami Obermayer

Jami is a meditation and yoga instructor with a Ph.D.  in Sociology and a Graduate Certificate in Professional Counseling. She conducts NIH-funded research on mindfulness-based practices applied to health behavior interventions and has completed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training. Jami currently teaches both group-based classes and private-sessions for adults and children in the greater DC area.  She brings a gentle and strong meditative presence to her yoga teaching.  Jami is passionate about Bhakti Yoga and will be providing special Kirtan offerings in the future.

 

 

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Nitin Dogra

Nitin has been practicing pranayama (breath therapy), mindfulness and restorative yoga since 2008. It was then he turned toward mindfulness and yoga to aid his healing journey with very serious allergies. These practices have been a significant part of restoring Nitin to health. Nitin started a community called the Living Well project within AT&T where he works to share these skills with others. His weekly class started with 6 people and has expanded to 1500 people. In 2015 he was awarded the “Do One Thing” Champion award by AT&T. Nitin has now expanded the “Living Well Project” to the larger Northern Virginia community.

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Fara Nezhad

Fara is passionate about the calming and restorative power of yoga for mind, body and soul. She is currently in the Imagine Hatha Yoga Training program assisting with Serenity Hatha Yoga and Restorative Yoga as part of her practicum.  Fara has three wonderful adult children and a beautiful granddaughter. She believes in the power of community to help create lasting friendships and bonds. She is fluent in English and Farsi and welcomes any opportunity to learn about new cultures and languages through intentional friendship and relationships. She is the founder and CEO of Pars Global Business Services LLC, with a focus in providing administrative, concierge and event planning services to individuals and businesses including project management, computer operations, office management and entrepreneur training.

 

Mindful Meditation Instructors

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Bob Lawrence

Bob is a seasoned mindfulness meditation practitioner who has recently taught a number of mindfulness stress reduction classes that introduce mindfulness and demonstrate the benefits of regular meditation practice. Bob has completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (University of Massachusetts Medical Center-Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn) and integrates mindfulness into his commute, profession and relationships. Bob very much enjoys sharing his experience with the “miracle of mindfulness” and showing the positive influence that learning these skills can have on all of our lives.

 

 

Hiking Guides

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Ron Meister

Ron has been a lover of nature and an outdoor enthusiast for the last few decades and back in 2009, left an 18 year career in information technology so he could pursue his dreams and passions in nature and the outdoors on a full time basis. Currently, he works as a Sr. Park Ranger for NOVAParks at Algonkian Regional Park. In addition to his day to day duties, he runs all of the parks guided kayak tours and also started the Algonkian Nature Preserve which is a long term labor of love of his. You can read more about the ANP by going to http://potomactrail.org scrolling down a little ways and clicking the graphic of a little girl looking through a magnifying glass.

 

 

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Rick Butland

A native of Southern California, Rick learned to love the outdoors, and spent many enjoyable days backpacking and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains and Mojave desert.  After a stint in the Army,  stationed in Arlington, Rick adopted Virginia as his new home, and currently reside in Sterling.

When planning and leading hikes, Rick’s philosophy is to choose moderately challenging hikes, balanced with something rewarding and fun, like a spectacular view, a dip in a swimming hole, or a visit to a winery.  The pace of his hikes tend to be less intense than many; Rick believes the point of a hike isn’t simply to get to the end of it as quickly as possible, but to take some time to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds, and to enjoy the company of our fellow hikers. Professionally, when not hiking/camping, Rick enjoys good music/concerts, bad movies, books, cooking/baking, travel, fitness, slowly and painfully updating my home, and looking for new and interesting ways to scare himself.

 

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Bertha Sanders

Bertha is passionate about spending time in nature for reflection and soulful renewal. She is committed to mindfulness practice including yoga, meditative hiking, mindfulness meditation and intentional retreating. She is an educator in the Fairfax County Public Schools and guides with a passion for inclusive hospitality and a deep commitment to intentional community as a journey inward, together and outward. Bertha has a B.A in International Business with emphasis on Latin America and a Master’s in Cross Cultural Teaching. She has lived and traveled in different countries and is currently working with Fairfax County Public Schools.

 

Mindful Painting with Meditative Nature Walk Leader

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Erika Maxwell

Erika has been an artist since she can remember because creating art is as necessary for her as breathing. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA, she used her strong imagination and creative thinking as a graphic designer for over 25 years. When she is not painting you can find her sipping tea in the sunlight, hiking with her dog, kayaking in the Potomac river, reading a good book by the fire or laughing with her children.

 

 

Intentional Small Group Leaders

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Jo-Ann Dominique

Jo-Ann has 10 years of experience as a professional Mediator, Facilitator and Conflict Coach within the federal sector of the government.  She is certified to use a variety of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) tools, practices and processes to include, Mediation, Facilitation, Conflict Coaching, Training, Climate Assessments, Consultation, Conciliation and Cooperative Problem Solving.

 

 

Mindful Eating and Nutrition Leaders

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Stephanie Segretto

Stephanie Segretto (M.ED, AADP, IHC, Pn1) is a certified life and wellness coach, veteran educator, amateur chef, and ownder of Inspired Living LLC.  You can follow her kitchen creations and musings/inspirations on Instagram @inspiredlivingllc or learn more about her personal journey for optimum happiness and health at http://www.inspiredlivingllc.weebly.com.