Empowering You!

One of our biggest and most important values in our culture here at Mind the Mat is empowerment. Our goal is to empower ourselves to heal with movement, empower ourselves to solve problems, empower ourselves to foster a growth mindset, and live free from fear, toxicity, and self-doubt. When our team sits down to program workshops, we look for people with ideas who emulate and foster our values. Here are a few unique empowerment curated in-person outdoor workshops. Let’s safely lift ourselves up with others around us and dive into these unique, specialized workshops from these amazing women!

Self Defense with Olivia Sheldon

Olivia is an Alexandria yoga, exercise, and martial arts legend! She was actually my first yoga teacher back in 2004. I have been a major fan ever since (ok, I am actually obsessed). She has been teaching this self defense program for over 20 years, and we are lucky to have her guest teach this workshop for us.

A black belt in Karate, Olivia will teach you:

  • • Defense strategies on staying safe
  • • Vulnerable target points on attackers
  • • How to escape grabbing techniques
  • • Physical, hands-on training: basic, effective strikes
  • • How to be empowered and to fight back

We’ll meet Olivia at Chinquapin Park in Alexandria on Saturday, April 24 at 2pm. Pre-registration is required as numbers are limited. Click here for more information.



Yoga for Runners with Caroline Dietch

Caroline recently completed her 500 hour yoga teacher training during the pandemic. She is also our Director of Yoga Teacher Training here at Mind the Mat, and she knows Alexandria loves to run! If you are an active runner, biker, or swimmer, and you’re looking to find an effective and safe way to lengthen your hamstrings and quads while opening your hips, this workshop is for you.

Caroline will teach effective stretches and exercises that empower you to open your hips, hamstrings, and quads effectively and safely in order to let the body move more freely.

Studies show that yoga improves running times along with reducing stress, aiding weight loss, and easing pain. Holding challenging poses builds tenacity that will pay off on the road. Yoga poses give runners more than just strong bodies – the poses help build mental endurance. The strength and flexibility developed in the core, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors can help you run more efficiently and stay injury-free.

Meet Caroline at Chinquapin Park on Sunday, May 7 at 1pm. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Click here for more information.



Pilates Fundamentals with Amanda Cataldo

I heavily recruited Amanda to teach Pilates at MtM. She is a speech pathologist by trade, which means she is extremely good at communicating and cueing! Amanda, like Caroline, too, completed my signature HAWT Pilates training, a Pilates method meets functional mobility and therapeutic exercise approach.

As you’ve probably heard, Pilates is an exercise system that supports your spine and develops your deep core muscles. This workshop is a great starting point for beginners or those who want to enhance their experience in one of our mat, Hot Pilates, or Pilates Boot Camp classes. You will learn the basic principles of Pilates that are designed to help participants develop lean muscles, establish core strength and stability, and heighten mind-body awareness.

Research and scientific studies have demonstrated that Pilates aids in easing low back pain, improves posture, and increases strength and flexibility. We want to empower you to prevent and heal your own injuries!

Meet Amanda in Arlington (yes, we can cross Four Mile Run and travel to Arlington!) at Washington-Liberty Highschool on Saturday, April 17 at 11am. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Click here for more information to sign up.




  • The latest from Megan
Megan Brown, physical therapist, Pilates instructor, mother and co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga in Alexandria, VA, likes to goof around. Yet her commitment to her students and her skill set in the field is no joke. After graduating from University of Virginia with a degree in Sports Medicine, Megan went on to receive her Masters in Physical Therapy and eventually her Doctorate in the profession. Although Pilates was never part of the plan, the method changed the way she treated patients, positively re-directed her career path and enhanced her own active lifestyle. Customized Pilates instruction is her specialty–she designs classes based on clients needs: athletes, new moms, rehabilitation or just for fun (why be serious all the time?). Pilates + Yoga is the best of both worlds, hence the creation of Mind the Mat studios providing classes for all—in every walk of life.

Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.

Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.


2214 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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