Street Style: Alyia Gaskins

Alyia is one of those people who exudes radiance. Being in her presence just feels good because she is kind, curious, open, enthusiastic, and fun. She truly cares, and knows how to ask questions and really listen to what you have to say. Alyia has passion and purpose in her life, both on a personal and a professional level. She came to my ‘mommy and me’ yoga classes last summer with her baby boy, and I could tell just how much she loved being with him, being his mama. Her love for her son fuels her purpose in life which is to help build more equitable communities. That’s why she is running for Alexandria City Council! Alyia’s own experience as a child was less than ideal. She speaks openly about this on her website She doesn’t want her son or other children to have to go through the same thing and is deeply invested in making sure all children in the city of Alexandria have access to a great education, food, housing, and health care.

Calling all parents! Please join Alyia on Tuesdays from 8pm to 9pm via Zoom to talk about what you desire for your kids in the city of Alexandria: register here. She wants to hear from you!


Alyia is styled by Mint Condition and makeup is by Ky Washington.
📸 :Sarah Marcella Creative



Alyia Gaskins is a candidate for Alexandria City Council. She lives on the West End and is a tenacious fighter for families and healthy communities. As an experienced public health expert city planner, Alyia has worked on hunger policy at D.C. Hunger Solutions, the health team at the National League of Cities, and managed an affordable housing investment program at the Center for Community Investment. She is currently a Senior Program Officer at a national philanthropic organization focused on ending homelessness. Alyia lives in Cameron Station with her husband Greg, their son Ezekiel, and their beagle, Riley.

How do you spend your time? My days are filled with playing with my son Ezekiel, working to prevent and homelessness for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and campaigning to be the next member of the Alexandria City Council.

Neighborhood: Cameron Station

What is your hometown? Pittsburgh, PA

What brought you to Alexandria? My husband and I moved to the area after I accepted a job working for an anti-hunger organization in D.C. Growing up, I remember visiting my uncle who lived in the area. We choose Alexandria because we thought it would be a good place to eventually build a family and because of those early trips to Alexandria.

What would surprise people about you? In high school, I was the varsity lacrosse goalie

You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? Flying

Favorite cocktail: Old Fashioned

Last book read or movie seen: Trolls World Your

Guilty Pleasure: Haagen Dazs Spirits Irish Cream Brownie Ice Cream

Phrase you overuse: Wonderful

Facebook or Instagram? Instagram

Latest binge-watch: HGTV Rock the Block

If you only could have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? Wine (Merlot)




Define your style in three words or less: Elevated Color

The go-to piece in your wardrobe: My glasses. I recently purchased three new frames (green, floral, and leopard). They add such a fun pop to any outfit.

Favorite trend ever: Bright colors, it’s my signature.

Favorite current trend: Leggings and a fancy top for ZOOM meetings

Beauty product you can’t live without: I love a good face mask. I try to do one once a week.

Favorite fragrance: I don’t have one

Heels or flats? Heels




Favorite room in your home: The kitchen. We love cooking together and having family dance parties in the kitchen.  

Antiques, modern, or a mix? Mix

Last item bought for your home: Baby gates. My son will be one in April and is walking.

Next planned purchase: A ball pit for my son

Favorite way to entertain: I love to cook. There is always room for one more at my table.

Clutter-free or well-lived in? Clutter-free but still warm and cozy

Wallpaper — yes, totally modern or no, so dated: Every time I watch HGTV, I get excited about the possibilities of wallpaper and bold prints, but I have to admit I don’t have any wallpaper in my house.




Your go-to work-out: Peloton ride with Alex Toussaint

Most fun way to exercise: Spin Class

Group exercise or solo: Group exercise

Fitness goal: Walk every day

Haven’t yet, but might be willing to try with coaching / encouragement: Ninja warrior course

Proudest fitness achievement: Running a 5K




Favorite spot in Alexandria: Jones Point Park

Last purchase in Alexandria: Take Out from Fat City Kitchen (City Kitchen)

Best coffee / happy hour / date night spot: Best Coffee – Cameron Café, Favorite Happy Hour – BRABO, Favorite Date Night – Taqueria el Poblano

Favorite charity: The Fund for Alexandria’s Child Holiday Sharing Program

Favorite annual Alexandria event: Alexandria Art Festival


Learn more about Alyia on her website,


  • The latest from Sara
co-owner, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500 | Mind the Mat
Sara VanderGoot, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500, is Co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates and Yoga and Director of Mind the Mat Yoga Alliance certified teacher training program. Sara is an experienced Registered Yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. She studied Interdisciplinary Yoga with Don and Amba Stapleton in Nosara, Costa Rica and at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Sara is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, licensed by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Sara has been practicing massage therapy, including specialties Prenatal Massage, Postpartum Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Thai Yoga Massage, in Del Ray, Alexandria for over 15 years and a yoga instructor for 7 years. At Mind the Mat she specializes in Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Core Yoga, Mommy and Me Core Yoga, Partners Yoga, and Hot Flow Yoga. Sara frequently acts as a birth companion for many of her clients, doing massage and yoga during labor and delivery to facilitate comfort during both medicated and unmedicated births. Before becoming a massage therapist and yoga instructor, she was a lawyer in the Washington D.C. area and found that the healing practices of massage and yoga brought a balance to her life that she had been searching for.

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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