Our Stories

Hannah Allerdice Bricker (Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher 200HR, 500HR, pending requirements for 800 & 1000/HR) has been practicing for 17 years, and teaching Dharma yoga for 10 years (serving as a mentor for his trainings for the last five years), conflict resolution for 15 years and stress management for seven years. She and the others on this team helped bring Sri Dharma's teachings to Washington DC and form the Dharma community here. She teaches adults, college students and children and has taught in a wide range of settings (universities, studios, community organizations, schools). Before this, Hannah earned a PhD in Political Science, taught International Relations and Comparative Politics and researched comparative social policies for refugee resettlement. She worked with the Lost Boys of Sudan on her dissertation. She and her partner have two little beautiful kiddos and Franklin, our distinguished dachshund. Hannah loves to share Kirtan music.

Aqeel Yaseen (Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher 200HR, 500HR, 800HR) indulged his life-long curiosity by independently investigating computer science, mathematics, and anatomy and physiology while in high school. His interests lead him to an internship with NIH conducting clinical research in the department of Neurological Disorders and Strokes. Clinical depression, insomnia, and anxiety made academic endeavors challenging, but studying mythology, metaphysics, and social and political philosophy proved both stimulating and personally fulfilling. Through necessity, he began practicing and studying yoga and various meditation techniques. After completing five teacher training programs, and teaching yoga and meditation in a variety of venues and populations he is enthusiastic about sharing the benefits of steady practice.

Emma McGonigle (Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher 200HR) is a deeply committed  aspirant on the path of Yoga. A mother of two growing boys, motherhood has been truly transformative and humbling. She is learning and practicing Dharma Yoga, particularly the ethical rules and theknowledge, in her daily life. She holds a BA in Psychology from Shepherd University and MA in International Development from Gallaudet University. She is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and attempting fluency in nonprofit management. She previously worked with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine researching development and fundraising opportunities. In 2014, Emma had the joy of completing her 200HR Life of a Yogi Teacher Training with Sri Dharma Mittra and began teaching regular classes in several DC yoga studios, including classes in ASL.

Mary Riner (Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher 200HR, 500HR, pending requirements 800HR) writes stories, connects people, and sells the schools and organizations that are changing the face of education in the US and the world. She founded her first non-profit in her early 20s while she was in graduate school studying ancient Greek philosophy. She then went on to create and run a national marketing campaign for a major think tank to mobilize public pressure on behalf of better education for the poor. When her own children became school-aged, Mary got active in local school reform efforts, organizing parents to turn around her neighborhood public school and leading a grassroots-to-grasstops initiative to bring the highest performing charter school network in the nation to DC. She lives in Washington DC with her three children and has been doing yoga for almost 30 years, but feels that her practice did not really take off until she walked into a Dharma yoga class in March 2011. She is now a dedicated student of Sri Dharma Mittra, a graduate of his 500-hour Life of a Yogi teacher training program, and is fulfilling the requirements of the 800-hour.

Brittanie DeChino (Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher 200HR, 500HR, 800HR) has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. She began teaching yoga in 2005 to her colleagues in the conference room of their Music Law Firm in New York City. Since then, she’s earned a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology (GWU), taken multiple 200-hour teacher trainings, and completed her 500- and 800-hour programs with Sri Dharma Mittra. She has served as faculty on Sri Dharma Mittra’s Life of a Yogi Teacher Training program in NYC, Director of Teacher Training at Flow Yoga Center in DC, and more recently assists in VETOGA Teacher Training. She is also an adjunct professor of Stress Management at GWU and a licensed Real Estate Agent. Brittanie is living a life of service and is thankful for the opportunity to seek Self-Realization while on the path of a Householder. She is forever grateful for the support of her family, especially her partner, Christopher, and their dog, Molly.


Kolleen Bouchane (Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher 200HR) is a development policy and
advocacy expert who has worked for two decades with advocates around the world to achieve
access to education, essential medicine, water, sanitation and other services necessary for the realization of economic and human rights. She served with the U.S. Army in Somalia and South Korea and holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington and an MA in War Studies with a focus on Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London. Kolleen has 200 hours of yoga teacher training from Flow Yoga Center in Washington DC and is currently completing 200 hours through the Dharma Yoga Center in New York City. She is Board President of the Global Campaign for Education U.S. and recently founded Pinwheel Strategies, an organizational strategy and leadership coaching firm premised on the idea that no one needs fixing. We all already have everything we need to succeed and do our work with joy.

Justin Blazejewski’s (Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher 200HR, 500HR, 800HR) introduction to
yoga began in 2007 while he was searching for different exercises that would help with a back injury he sustained while serving in the Marine Corps. During the first year of his yoga practice he observed how yoga helped heal the physical, mental and emotional burdens he carried traveling in and out of war zones. In 2008 he attended his first yoga/kirtan retreat in Bali, Indonesia, which proved to be the turning point in his spiritual practice. Soon after, Justin began to find clarity, calmness and intuition in his life. This led him to find his Guru, Sri Dharma Mittra at a small humble yoga studio in the heart of New York City. He immediately enrolled in the "Life of a Yogi" teacher training to deepen his practice of yoga and self-healing. After graduating from the 200-hour teacher training program, Justin immediately realized he was given a gift. A gift he could share with those around him,especially those who were carrying similar burdens of war. Since 2008 he has completed his 200, 500, and 800 hour Dharma Mittra Yoga, Amrit Method of Yoga Nidra Masters training, and Acro Yoga level 1&2 teacher trainings. Justin’s mission is to help others and share the powerful healing benefits of yoga and meditation to military and veterans. Justin is founder of VETOGA, a non-profit offering yoga, meditation, and the healing Arts to military, veterans, and their families.

Dan Chen is a consultant and practices eight-limbed classical yoga as taught by Sri Dharma Mittra.