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Courtenay S. Brown, E-RYT 500, YACEP®

Founder & Owner

A former avid runner (now avid cyclist), Courtenay took her first yoga class in 2007, after getting hurt training for her first marathon, when a physical therapist recommended it as a great way to cross-train. “After my very first practice, the moment I got up from the mat, I felt overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude. I felt like I had an encounter with God.” That sense of gratitude continued to prevail and 13 marathons later, she discovered that yoga was the perfect way to cross-train for life. She completed her 200-hour certification in 2014 and her 300-hour certification in 2019, both under the guidance of her Guru Dana A. Smith at Spiritual Essence Yoga. 

Courtenay is a Reiki Master,  Vibrational Sound Therapy Certified Practitioner, and Purpose Coach. She is the creator of Gospel Yoga Flow ®, a vinyasa flow, geared to creating a "worship experience" on the mat. Gospel Yoga Flow ® focuses on strengthening the spirit and the mind, as much as the body. 

A book editor/publisher by profession, she holds BA and MA degrees in English. She is also a wife and proud mother of two daughters. She is a member of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance and the International Association of Reiki Professionals.


Courtenay Brown


Our Teachers


Tonya Lewis, RYT

CTO

Tonya’s yoga journey began over 10 years ago. At the time she was heavily into sports and sought yoga as a compliment to her workouts. She began to practice at various studios, but didn't feel connected to the practice right away and assumed yoga was not for her. Tonya completed her 200-hour teaching certification in 2018 at Spiritual Essence Yoga. Her mission is to share her love of yoga and sports to help others experience the best health possible. 

Theresa Speed, RYT

Senior Architect

Theresa started her yoga journey in 2015 when it was offered through the wellness program at her job. Her love for yoga grew so much that she developed a desire to teach. She completed her 200-hour teacher certification in July 2018 at Embrace Yoga DC. She wants her students to view yoga as more than a workout but a practice that can be used everyday.

Sybil Buchanan, RYT

RYT - 500

In 2017, during her quest to find stillness, Sybil found yoga. Initially, she thought a diligent practice was all about building a stronger body, but soon found out she was becoming mentally stronger. As a result of her two-year practice, Sybil found that she could finally quiet her mind enough to hear her true self speak.

Her epiphany led her to want to share the gift of yoga with others and become an instructor. Sybil completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher training at Shabach Yoga in 2020.

Caprice Nathaniel, RYT

CTO

Caprice began her yoga journey in 2004 while taking a class in her local gym. Although she was immediately drawn to the “flow”, she became conflicted due to her Christian faith. In 2018 she combined her love of teaching children and yoga by becoming a certified children’s yoga instructor through Kidding Around Yoga (KAY). She also discovered Gospel Yoga Flow® (GYF) at Shabach Yoga and became a certified GYF instructor in 2019. She completed her 200-hour training  at Shabach Yoga in 2020. Caprice believes true wellness can only be achieved through healing of our physical, mental and spiritual body.

Rachel Johnson, RYT

CTO

Rachel began her yoga journey in 2018, seeking relief of body aches and to increase flexibility after medical treatments. Over the course of time, she has discovered that yoga as a lifestyles offers so much more for the mind, the body and the spirit. In order to deepen her practice and share her love of yoga with others she received certification as a Gospel Yoga Flow® instructor in 2019 and completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher training at Shabach Yoga in 2020.

Talaya Simpson

CTO

In March 2021, Talaya will complete her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training under the direction of her Guru, Courtenay S. Brown, at Shabach Yoga. 

Stacey Lewis

CTO

Stacey’s yoga journey started in 2019 at Shabach Yoga Studio during a time of intense grief and loss - including the deaths of her parents in back to back years, close relatives, and family friends. She found solace both on and off the mat through equanimity of body, breath, mind, and spirit setting her on the path to physical and emotional healing. Stacey began Yoga Teacher Training in 2020 under the guidance of her teacher and mentor Courtenay Smith-Brown. Known as the ‘peaceful’ yogi, Stacey is Reiki II attuned and increasing her knowledge in sound and energy healing modalities. She is a student at the Integrative Institute for Nutrition and founder of Legacy House of Love Inc., a 501c3 established to build up the community and create safe spaces for healing through education and wellness. Stacey enjoys spending time with family and friends, including her husband and 3 children, singing karaoke, reading, bike riding, and taking pictures in nature. 

Trenace Richardson

CTO

Dr. Trenace Nikki Richardson

Trenace took a yoga classes here and there in the past, but in 2018 she found Shabach Yoga through a Google search and her life has not been the same. As a Christian minister, international speaker, and vocalist, Trenace had been led to believe that yoga and all things associated with it were not of God. By simply daring to experience yoga for herself, Trenace had a God encounter that has brought her faithfully back to her mat ever since.

In March 2021, Trenace will complete her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training under the direction of her Guru, Courtenay S. Brown, at Shabach Yoga. In her spare time, Trenace enjoys nature walks, biking, running, hiking, singing, reading, and spending time with her husband and two children.