Street Style: Patricia Cortes & Laura Hoyos

Patricia Cortes: a licensed acupuncturist and Laura Hoyos: a yoga instructor in ALexandria, VA

This is the perfect Street Style shoot for Mother’s Day, not just because it’s of a mother, daughter, and granddaughter, but because this family captures the essence of what it means to be connected and love unconditionally.

I first met Patricia and Laura ten years ago in a women’s circle I was participating in. They are from Colombia, South America, and so we practiced many of the ancient rituals of their culture in our circle, from creating an altar with all the great elements (water, fire, earth, air) represented, to singing traditional mantras, to using a talking stick when it was our turn to share and listening with intention and compassion when others would speak.

Over the years, I have gotten to know not only Patricia and Laura but their entire extended family, with some relatives in the U.S. and some in Colombia. Patrica is one of five siblings and she has four children, and four grandchildren, along with a slew of nephews and nieces. She doesn’t look like she is old enough for that, but it’s true! Their extended family is warm, generous, open-armed, fun-loving, accepting, inclusive, passionate, and dynamic. They stick together and support each other through hard times and take pleasure in each other’s company. They love to cook, dance, travel, explore, and they love to talk and share about what’s important in life. I feel so blessed to have this family in my life and to be part of it in some way. They truly represent what it means to be a family.

Both Patricia and Laura are healers in their own right. Patricia is a licensed acupuncturist, and Laura is a yoga instructor who graduated from the Mind the Mat 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program. Patrica is a member at Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga and frequents our classes. She loves both Pilates and yoga as self-care practices. Together, Patricia and Laura also run Ancestral Knowledge Retreats in Colombia and work with reputable shamans from the Amazon who are highly respected as healers in their native culture. On these retreats, they take participants to beautiful areas of Colombia and share their knowledge about healing practices such as sweat lodges, herbal remedies, plant medicines, massage, acupuncture, and yoga. I have been on these retreats and have always come back entirely rejuvenated. I love listening to their newest creation, the Ancestral Knowledge Podcast.

Patricia & Laura were styled by Kiskadee  | 📸:: Sarah Marcella Creative




How do you spend your time? [Patricia] I love to cook and spend time with my friends and family. [Laura] I love to travel and take day trips with my husband and kids, especially in nature.

Neighborhood: Del Ray

How long have you lived in Alexandria: Three years

What is your hometown? We are originally from Medellin, Colombia – South America!

What brought you to Alexandria? [Patricia] To share life with like-minded friends, who are like sisters. [Laura] I come to Alexandria from South America to visit my mother at least once a year for a few months. I did Yoga Teacher Training at Mind the Mat in 2017.

What would surprise people about you? [Patricia] I am an amazing multi-tasker and usually have many projects and activities going on at once. I am able to accomplish a lot in one day. [Laura] My age! I’m 28 years old but many people tell me that I am an old soul and am very clear about what I want in my life. Most of my friends, and my husband, are older, although I am able to relate well with all people.

You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? [Patricia] People. I love connecting with people at the heart level and making deep connections. [Laura] I am very efficient. I got that from my mom. When I set my mind to do something, I am able to do it quickly and well.

Favorite cocktail: [Patricia] Mojitos. [Laura] Pina Colada, although honestly I rarely drink cocktails.

Last book read or movie seen: [Patricia] Movie: Roma. Book: Acupuncture Is Like Noodles. [Laura] The Silence of the Heart by Paul Ferrini. It’s a wonderful book!

Guilty Pleasure: [Patricia] Ice cream. I love it, but don’t consume it often. When I do, I do not feel guilty! [Laura] Ice cream. I don’t feel guilty at all when I indulge. I have learned to enjoy the things I like and not overdo anything. These small pleasures are what life is all about.

Phrase you overuse: [Patricia] Amazing. [Laura] One word: Awesome.

Facebook or Instagram? [Patricia] I am just getting into social media. I would say I use Facebook more. [Laura] Instagram.

Latest binge-watch: [Patricia] I do not watch a TV series or TV in general. I would love to follow a good one but usually decide to spend my time doing other stuff. [Laura] Does my phone count? lol.

Bucket list travel destination: [Patricia] Italy, to know the land my boyfriend is from. [Laura] Greece. I have dreamed of going since I was a little girl.

If you only could have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? [Both] Wine





Define your style in three words or less: [Patricia] Stylish, casual, and comfortable. [Laura] Comfortable, cute, and Bohemian.

The go-to piece in your wardrobe: [Patricia] Pants with a nice blouse and high heels, or stylish shoes. [Laura] When in doubt, leggings and boots.

Favorite trend ever: [Patricia] Modern hippy. [Laura] Bohemian

Favorite current trend: [Patricia] Classic and romantic at the same time. [Laura] Modern hippy.

Beauty product you can’t live without: [Patricia] Argan Oil. [Laura] I don’t know if this counts but coconut oil. I use it on my skin, my hair, as make up remover and on my kid’s booty, LOL.

Favorite fragrance: [Patricia] My natural smell, or Grace body cream. [Laura] Essential oils of all kinds.

Heels or flats? [Patricia] Heels. [Laura] Flats.





Favorite room in your home: [Patricia] My bedroom. [Laura] Living room

Antiques, modern, or a mix? [Both] Mix. We love the combination of rustic and modern.

Last item bought for your home: [Patricia] Textile wall hanging. [Laura] We are collecting all clay and handmade dishes, mugs, and bowls. Whenever we see one, we add to the collection.

Next planned purchase: [Patricia] Rugs for my acupuncture practice. [Laura] A new laptop.

Favorite way to entertain: [Both] Good music, delicious food, and lots of jokes.

Clutter-free or well lived-in? [Patricia] Clutter-free. I cannot function if things are messy. [Laura] After encountering Marie Kondo, my perspective on cleanliness will never be the same. Definitely clutter-free.

Wallpaper — yes, totally modern or no, so dated: [Patricia] There are some modern ones that look good, but I prefer something very original hanging on my walls. [Laura] I have not decided. My husband is an artist/painter and loves to do murals. Anytime I see a nice wallpaper he tells me, “I can just paint that.”





Your go-to work-out: [Patricia] The perfect combination is yoga and Pilates at Mind the Mat! [Laura] Crunches and squats. It’s hard to get a full workout in these days with a 3-year-old and a 7-month-old.

Most fun way to exercise: [Both] Dancing.

Group exercise or solo: [Both] Group

Fitness goal: [Patricia] Flexibility, strength, cardiovascular endurance. [Laura] Feeling strong, energized and in balance. My goal is to be able to devote time to myself and my physical health at least three times a week.

Proudest fitness achievement: [Patricia] Keeping myself in balance is a constant process that requires discipline and good habits. I do a good job of this in general. [Laura] Does giving birth naturally to two babies count? LOL.




Favorite spot in Alexandria: [Both] Del Ray!

Last purchase in Alexandria: [Patricia] The gorgeous dress that I am wearing in the photos at Kiskadee. [Laura] A Mind the Mat tank top.

Best coffee / happy hour / date night spot: [Both] Del Ray Cafe

Favorite charity: [Both] Tenants & Workers United

Favorite annual Alexandria event: [Both]  Well Ray Festival



  • 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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