Brittany Leiva-Thomas's journey with hot yoga began in early 2018 when she purchased a 30 day membership at the Hot Yoga Tysons studio. Never having been exposed to hot yoga before, she naively committed to herself that she would complete a 30 day challenge in order to make the most of the deal. After 30 days and 30 classes, she found herself deeply committed to the mental, physical, and spiritual practice of this particular style of yoga. In the time since, she has continued the practice and is intensely grateful for the benefits it has provided and the new friendships it has fostered.
Brittany studied Psychology and Economics at the College of William and Mary. An entrepreneur, she currently lives in Arlington, VA and spends the time that she isn't practicing yoga running her small businesses. She hopes to support USA Yoga's dedication to community outreach and its mission to spread awareness about the benefits of yoga.
Clara McGrail has been practicing yoga for more than a decade. She began as a hobby to balance out her training in classical ballet. She has experience in marketing and strategic communications. Clara currently works for a consulting firm in Washington, DC.
Nahoko Nakayama's journey to a stronger, healthier, and more conscious self-began in 2005 when she happened upon a Hot Yoga studio in her local community. She was intensely drawn to the mind-body liaison in Yoga and has been practicing regularly for 13 years. As a result, she has achieved athletic feats that have surpassed all preconceptions. Nakayama began competing at the national level in 2017 and has placed 1st for Mid-West Regional in 2018. Later this year, she will compete at the international level in Beijing.
An avid educator in the daytime, Nakayama has taught Japanese immersion Program at Fox Mill Elementary School in Herndon since 1991. Coupled with her professional experiences in Yoga, she strives to become an instructor and to promote the world of yoga to our rising youth as well as 50+ yoginis.
Lisa Pafe has been practicing yoga since 2006. She is a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga teacher (RYT 200), and a USA Yoga Federation Senior Athlete and Senior Women's Division champion (1st place Virginia in 2016, and 2nd place Virginia in 2017). She teaches a variety of yoga, including Vinyasa, Spa Yoga, and Yin and is a committed Bikram Yoga practitioner. In addition, she is a doTERRA Wellness Advocate.
Her professional background includes nearly 30 years of experience in project management, marketing, business development, sales writing, training and public speaking. She is currently vice president of Lohfeld Consulting Group, a successful business development consulting firm that helps companies win government business. For the past six years, she has served in elected roles on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) National Capital Area (NCA) Chapter which has 1,400+ members. Her roles have included Speaker Series Chair, Vice President, and currently President.
She holds a BA from Yale University, MPP from Harvard University, and MIS from The George Washington University. She speaks regularly at a variety of professional conferences, delivers professional webinars, and provides training in effective sales writing techniques. She is a frequent guest writer for Washington Technology and a popular LinkedIn Publisher.
Lisa continually seeks to share the physical and spiritual growth she attains through yoga and meditation. Balance, flexibility, strength of mind and body: we need these attributes even more as we grow older.
Lisa has joined specifically to promote outreach to senior athletes, she wants to help USA Yoga Federation share how yoga and yoga competition keep you healthy, happy and young at heart!