Teachers & Classes
Samira, an ACE certified instructor, was first introduced Pilates in 1983 and belly dance in 1985. She was a dance major at the Philadelphia University of the Arts. She has been teaching fitness and movement since 1986 and continually deepens her Pilates, belly dance, Bollywood dance, pedagogy, injury prevention and sports conditioning knowledge through workshops, training and research.
She is a published and often quoted fitness expert, and has a DVD workout! Passionate about clearly presenting proper technique, her classes combine depth, with humor and enthusiasm. Samira’s dedication to health, fitness and wholistic well being results in classes that are both physically and emotionally effective and rewarding.
Rhia is a yoga instructor and professional dancer in the DC, MD, and Northern VA area. With over a decade of experience in the field of yoga (and dance), her classes are aimed to be accessible for all levels, ages, and physical capabilities.
Rhia holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the American University, advanced-level certification in Thai yoga bodywork from the Thai Institute of Healing Arts, a 200-hr certification from Charm City Yoga and is registered through Yoga Alliance. She advocates for diversity and accessibility in both yoga and the arts, and is known for her playful spirit, strong emphasis on alignment, and ability to cater to individual needs in any given class.
Pilates is a mat based exercise system proven to address postural problems, increase core strength, prevent injury, create strong muscles, refine coordination and balance through body awareness, while also building functional strength and endurance. All classes are multi-level, and will be carefully led, for your desired effort level. You will work your abs and back a lot, and we won’t stop there. These Pilates classes are part of our morning energizing series!
Pilates & Stretch
Pilates & Stretch classes will combine multiple traditions. This class will work your abs and back through movement and stabilization exercises for core strength, in a quick warm up format for the beginning of the class. The majority of the class will be flexibility exercises for the whole body from various practices, including focus on postural muscles, functional fitness, stress release and pain relief. You will finished feeling taller, relaxed and refreshed. These are part of our afternoon unwind curriculum.
The energizing morning yoga classes taught during this retreat are based in the practice of hatha yoga — the main objective being to create a balance of the interacting activities of the body, mind, and energy. Classes will be geared towards the needs of attendees, though you can always expect pranayama (breathwork), creatively interwoven philosophy, and a physical asana practice that is both challenging and accessible. Afternoon yoga classes will be focused more on release, breath and relaxation.
Belly dance, or Raqs Sharqi (dance of the East) is a fabulous low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by everyone! Versions of belly dance have been a part of folk dance, religious ceremonies and family celebrations since before written history. This ancient art can trace its origins to the dances of the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean before it became the solo performance art we are more familiar with today.
Learn the basic steps and isolations for belly dance. Enjoy authentic, traditional and modern music along with rich cultural information. Basic vocabulary and moves will be taught, which will include lifts, drops, undulations, slides and circles. We will build on that knowledge and put together mini combinations to get you dancing!
Self- Myofascial Release
Fascia is the connective tissue that’s interwoven throughout our body (particularly our muscles) and looks like a spider web OR fuzz-like kind of consistency. When fascial build-up and adhesions occur—when there is a tightening or restriction in one place—due to in-activity, injuries, or other circumstances, pain and dysfunction in distant and seemingly unrelated locations can occur.
In this all-levels class, we’ll unwind and release muscle trigger points and these sticky fascial adhesions with tools (such as tennis balls or RAD Roller balls to experience more fluidity in our bodies. With tools and a sequence you can take home with you, this class will serve you long after you leave Morocco.
Students will be paired up and working on one another. Nuad Thai/Nuad Boran, also known as Thai Massage/Thai Yoga Massage in the U.S., is a form of bodywork that incorporates the therapist’s palms, thumbs, elbows, knees, and feet to provide acupressure that targets the body’s energy (‘Sen’) lines. Stretching and joint mobilization are also incorporated which result in a meditative flow between giver and receiver. Together, these actions release stagnant energy, muscular tension, relieves headaches, digestive disorders, anxiety, and soft tissue strains/injuries. Thai Yoga Massage, practiced on a mat and in comfortable clothing, is often been described as having someone do yoga to you.