Mind the Mat would not exist if it were not for Sara. It’s true. The whole thing was her idea. She already had an established and successful business on The Avenue in Del Ray. So successful, they moved to a new location to accommodate more people. Sara and I first met because she was looking to fill her new business with a Pilates teacher or Physical Therapy office.
“But what are you going to do with the old space?” I asked.
“I’m thinking of turning it into a yoga studio” she replied.
Luckily, she trusted me enough to align with my Pilates methods and asked me to join her. But I had doubts. I was nervous and scared and not ready to open a new business. But Sara never flinched. She showed no fear. She was even-keeled, matter-of-fact and encouraging.
“We are doing this.” she said, “And it is going to be successful.”
That’s Sara. She is strong and fearless, gracefully supportive, and completely steadfast. Sara is the foundation, the rock, the pillar, and the true founder of this extraordinary community.
If you think about it, SHE is Mountain Pose in yoga — the foundation of all standing poses — tall, still, and grounded. If you think about it even further, she IS yoga.
Outfit and accessories, Kiskadee | Photography, Sarah Marcella Creative | Location, Greenstreet Gardens
How do you spend your time? Hanging out with my 6-year-old son, practicing yoga, teaching yoga, of course, working at Mind the Mat, traveling with friends, spending quality time with loved ones, studying and reading about health, well-being, and spirituality.
Neighborhood: Del Ray, Alexandria
How long have you lived in Alexandria: 15 years
What is your hometown? Grand Rapids, Michigan
What brought you to Alexandria? A job after attending law school at William & Mary
What would surprise people about you? That I used to be a lawyer. LOL! Or that I used to live on the second floor above Kiskadee many years ago when Kiskadee was just on the first floor. Darby and Neil let me pick out clothes when they were closed and pay for them later; Saturday nights were expensive for me!!
You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? Being invisible
Favorite cocktail: Margaritas (at Taqueria Poblano)
Last book read or movie seen: “The Big Sick” (it was hilarious!)
Guilty Pleasure: Definitely anything chocolate with peanut butter
Phrase you overuse: Wow
Facebook or Instagram? I use both, but prefer Facebook
Latest binge-watch: “This Is Us”
Bucket list travel destination: Spain, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Yellowstone National Park, Sequoia National Park, and the redwood forest.
If you only could have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? Coffee
Define your style in three words or less: Bohemian Chic
The go-to piece in your wardrobe: Skinny blue jeans
Favorite trend ever: Back when, I was crazy for stirrup pants and long sweaters with a long string of beads. I also loved bell bottoms!
Favorite current trend: Skinny blue jeans
Beauty product you can’t live without: Apricot Oil (I literally use it everywhere — from head to toe)
Favorite fragrance: I love oils, so I would have to say a combination of essential oils including any of the following — lavender, Ylang Ylang, wild orange, bergamot, peppermint, and sage. I use them like perfume.
Heels or flats? I like how heels look, but love how flats feel.
Favorite room in your home: My bedroom
Antiques, modern, or a mix? Mix
Last item bought for your home: An antique table from Random Harvest in Old Town
Next planned purchase: A commissioned painting of my son and me
Favorite way to entertain: Definitely dinner party with friends
Clutter-free or well-lived in? A bit of both, though I tend towards clutter-free.
Wallpaper — yes, totally modern or no, so dated: Yes, totally modern
Your go-to work-out: Yoga, yoga, yoga, every day and once a week cardio routines and weight lifting with my boyfriend
Most fun way to exercise: Yoga
Group exercise or solo: Group
Fitness goal: Resisting sugar
Haven’t yet, but might be willing to try with coaching / encouragement: Megan Brown’s Friday morning Hot Pilates class. LOL!
Proudest fitness achievement: Birthing a baby! Ha! I am a doula and see women birth all the time. It is much harder than any workout.
Favorite spot in Alexandria: I have so many favorites, but one of my favorites is Greenstreet Gardens (both locations)
Last purchase in Alexandria: Clothing at Kiskadee
Best coffee / happy hour / date night spot: Again, I have so many favorites but Virtue in Old Town is one of them.
Favorite charity: RunningBrooke
Favorite annual Alexandria event: Well Ray Festival
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.