Inspiring Teachers

Inspiring Teachers

Professionally Trained Teachers with Years of Experience: Discover the Difference

The teachers at Mountain Spirit Yoga are professionally certified and bring years of experience to their classes, in order to offer a safe and transformative experience for their students. 

Dedicated to the craft of teaching, they regularly seek advanced training to expand their knowledge, and also continue to deepen their personal practice.

“I feel safe and confident in my yoga practice because the teachers at Mountain Spirit Yoga are sensitive to their students’ strengths and limitations, and are ready to suggest individual, appropriate modifications to movements and postures.” – Ruth

Carla McAdams, E-RYT500, RPYT

Yoga has woven a path of practice, study and self-realization throughout Carla’s life since she was young, leading her to teach yoga in 2000 and open Mountain Spirit Yoga in 2007. Drawing from many styles of yoga and several years of teaching experience, she crafts in-depth classes that are safe for her students to explore movement in their bodies, while creating stillness in their minds and compassion in their hearts. Carla is professionally certified by the Kripalu Center of Yoga & Health at the 200 and 500 hour levels. From her passion to bring yoga to diverse populations, she pursued advanced certifications in Prenatal Yoga (Himalayan Institute and Pranakriya Yoga), Yoga for Back Care and Scoliosis (Elise Browning Miller), and Yoga Therapy through Body Balance Yoga with Jenny Otto. In addition, she completed a Yoga for Seniors training through CarlaPoseSMDuke Integrative Medicine and holds a Chakra Yoga Teacher certification with Anodea Judith (Sacred Centers). She teaches each year in the yoga teacher training program at Sol Yoga in Frederick, MD, and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Off the mat, Carla’s passions include dancing, gardening, immersing herself in nature, and traveling – anywhere, anytime.

Margy Smariga, E-RYT500, CYT

Margy is an experienced yoga teacher and certified yoga therapist trained in the Viniyoga tradition. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with Bagheera Yoga/PruYoga and began teaching in 2005. Realizing that she wanted to specialize in the therapeutic applications of yoga, she began studying with Gary Kraftsow and the faculty of the American Viniyoga Institute (AVI). She commuted to California for four years to complete AVI’s 500-hour advanced teacher training and a second 500-hour yoga therapist training. In addition, she has completed professional trainings in yoga for seniors and yoga for cancer. Margy is on the faculty of AVI’s teacher training program and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is honored to share her love of yoga with others and to help individuals of all ages and abilities discover the many benefits that yoga offers them. For more information, visit

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Audra Monk, ERYT200

Audra has studied yoga since 2000 and began teaching in 2002.  She earned her teaching certification from Sun and Moon Yoga Studio in Virginia.  She has studied yoga for kids, pregnancy, and seniors.  She believes that yoga is for everybody and encourages students to recognize that our bodies change each and every day; to accept where they are in their bodies at any given moment, be gentle with themselves, and –most of all- to have fun!  Audra brings a lighthearted style to her classes that are infused with all of the things she holds dear:  nature, her husband and children, her pets and the world around us.  To her, everything is connected and yoga makes those connections more vibrant.

Kaylah McCourtney, RYT200

Kaylah stepped onto a yoga mat for the first time in the early days of motherhood. Practicing yoga became a way to heal from the inside out and ignited a passion within her to share these tools with others. Kaylah’s teaching style is compassionate, graceful and authentic – reflective of her own yoga journey. Her methods have been shaped and informed by personal experience on and off her mat, as well as the variety of training programs she has participated in over the last seven years, including: 200 hours of training and certification through YogaFit, an ongoing pursuit of her 300hour RYT in Prana Flow, leadership training with Off the Mat Into the World, and Centered Coach training and certification through Centeredbeing. Kaylah’s mission is to guide, support and hold space for the process of healing and transformation that is possible through yoga. Her classes will challenge you to dive deeper and deeper into your own experience, embodying courage and compassion as you learn from the best teacher you will ever know – your Self.

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Kandi Austin, RYT200

Kandi completed her 10 month, 200 hour, Yoga teacher training at Yoga Center of Columbia in October 2007.  She ‘s completed 16 hours of Sanskrit training with Vyass Houston founder of the American Sanskrit Institute. “Sanskrit is as much like music as language, bringing the mind into a beautiful flow.” You may find laughter in some of her classes as she integrates 12 hours of training in Laughter Yoga with Karen Ricagno. She is a certified pre-natal yoga teacher thru her studies with Janice Clarfield at Kripalu. She is a Level III Reiki practitioner and teacher. She has, most recently, received her certification in Sacred Childbirth with Reiki. It is her goal to lead you on a beautiful journey of transformation, as she leads her classes through the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of yoga. With a reflective attitude, mindfulness and balance, she connects with students hearts, inspiring them to express their yoga from the inside out. For more information, visit Kandi Austin Yoga.

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Linda Franklin, RYT200

Linda’s classes reflect an interest in self-discovery through body awareness and guided meditation, based on where her students are now. Her gentle style and voice invite students to discover and then explore the place where they are at that moment, in an atmosphere of complete acceptance. Linda began her own yogic journey in 2008 at Mountain Spirit Yoga. She left her first class with two thoughts: “Why didn’t I know about this earlier?” and “I am going to be a yoga teacher one day.” In 2013 she received her teaching certificate from the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and was honored to mentor with Carla McAdams in teaching yoga to Seniors. An experience with a terminally ill relative led her to explore the healing effects of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra with Jennifer Reis, which she is now certified to lead. Linda has also applied yoga to her other passion, handbell ringing, and has taught workshops on “Yoga for Practice and Performance”, and “Yoga for Safe Ringing” for the Handbell Musicians of America.

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Mary Barton, RYT200, Certified Pilates Instructor

Mary is certified at the beginner and intermediate levels for mat Pilates classes by Power Pilates.  To enhance her teaching, she became licensed in the Buff Bones program to strengthen bones and improve balance. Her Pilates Plus! class incorporates principles from that training and is accessible for students with osteopenia/osteoporosis, as well as for all students working to improve their bone health.  Mary is also a certified Prana Flow yoga teacher at the 200 hour level, and has specialty training in Restorative Yoga with Shannon Paige. Her teaching is precise and suitable for beginners, yet individually challenging for intermediate students.

Julie Kaus

Julie Kaus, RYT200

Julie is a Psychotherapist, Registered Yoga Teacher, Wellness Educator and aspiring Ecotherapist. Her style of teaching focuses on the healing aspects of a yoga practice. She views yoga & psychotherapy as journeys to “wholeness” and self-discovery. Her classes combine yoga philosophy and earth wisdom; the physical & emotional benefits of the yoga postures; breathwork & stillness to foster emotional release and relaxation. Julie received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and has been in the mental health field since 1986. For more information go to Other interests include leading wellness retreats & workshops for women and nature & yoga hikes.

Cain Yentzer

Cain is an expert in the science and practice of Tai-Chi. Educated in Washington D.C. at the Great River Taoist Center and in the Republic of China at The National Tai-Chi Ch’uan Association, he has since gone on to teach in both the Far-East and West. His greatest pleasure is helping others in finding true healing and inner peace.

Jessica Atwell, RYT200

Jessica is a registered 200 hour yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She completed a six-month, vinyasa-inspired training with Mind the Mat in Alexandria, VA in February 2015. She has done further study in prenatal & postpartum yoga as well as restorative yoga. Yoga is infinitely healing to Jessica, and the impact her practice has had on her personally is the motivator to lovingly hold space for others to experience life change through yoga, too. Her favorite classes to teach are gentle, slow flow, and restorative, and she also has a passion to work with moms to be, new moms, and those who are “new” to the practice of yoga. She believes that yoga is accessible and will benefit any person, regardless of life path or experience. In each class or workshop with Jessica, participants will find a calm, inviting environment where all are welcome to relax, explore, and reflect.

Alison Kennedy, RYT200

Alison is a warm, compassionate, and playfully engaging teacher with 17 years of professional experience in childhood development. Certified in Child Light Yoga, Alison also holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and enjoys incorporating her love of yoga into her daily interactions with all the special kids in her life.

Staff MSY

Our Saturday and Sunday morning moderate yoga classes are taught by our MSY instructors. Below is the schedule for the Late Fall Session 2018:

11/17 – Mary
11/24 – Jessica
12/1 – Miyako
12/8 – Ali
12/15 – Jessica
12/22 – Julie
12/29 – Jessica
11/18 – Margy
11/25 – Audra
12/2 – Carla
12/9 – Mary
12/16 – Audra
12/23 – Carla
12/30 – Mary