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About

Meet the instructors

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant discovered yoga after years of suffering from back pain.  After her last round of physical therapy, she decided to look for a more holistic approach to her chronic back issues. She began taking yoga classes at Crofton Yoga.  Within a few months, the pain had almost completely disappeared. Two years later Stephanie completed her 200 hour  Yoga Teacher Training Certification from the Pranakriya School of Yoga Healing Arts. She later received her 300 hour advanced certification from the Pranakriya School of Healing Arts.

When Stephanie is not teaching yoga, she is a radio news anchor for WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C. Stephanie is married to Retired Navy Submarine Captain Richard R. Bryant who currently works as a Program Manager for an engineering firm. The couple has four children; Richard Jr., Christian, Kendall, and Gabriel.

Stephanie has a B.A. in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University and an MLA in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University. Stephanie is also an avid jogger who has run over two dozen half marathons.


As a scientist and a fitness & wellness enthusiast, Nicole E. McNeil Ford, Ph.D. uses yoga for healing of the body as well as the mind. Breathing, movement, and meditation are integral parts of the yoga practice that Nicole incorporates into every class. 

Nicole completed yoga teacher training in 2015 (RYT-200) at The Mindfulness Center in Bethesda, MD. In 2012 she completed a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course at NIH based on the teachings of Jon Kabat Zinn that incorporated yoga asanas, meditation, and pranayama.

Nicole holds a Ph.D. in Cancer Genetics and Human Genetics, as well as an M.S. in Biology, both from Howard University, and a B.S. in Zoology from Connecticut College. She has worked at the National Institutes of Health for over 20 years. Originally from Massachusetts, she currently lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland with her husband, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.


Dawn Valentine has spent more than two decades practicing different styles of yoga, along with herbalism, meditation, reiki, and spiritual teachings.

In 2018, Dawn decided to share her practice by completing her 200-hour program with Faith Hunter. Her journey has expanded into Thai yoga massage and yoga therapy with Brandt Passalacqua, creator of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy.  

Dawn’s classes are designed to promote healing through self-empowerment. She utilizes creative therapeutic sequencing to facilitate healing emotions from anxiety, depression, or trauma. Unlike traditional group classes, you are the master of your journey, and she accompanies you by providing the tools you desire as you journey into health and healing.

Tuning into Breath, body and movement!
Try Yoga!