Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown and Sara VanderGoot.
Megan is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation. She has been practicing PT & Teaching Pilates for 15 years. She is a mother, co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga, director & creator of Hawt Pilates Teacher Training. Her favorite thing to do is goof around. Yet her commitment to her students and her skill set in the field is no joke. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in Sports Medicine, Megan went on to receive her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy and eventually her Doctorate degree in the profession. After practicing as a PT for a few years, she accidentally found herself in a Pilates class and was awed by the method. She pursued her certification through Polestar Pilates, a company founded by a physical therapist. Although Pilates was never part of the plan, the method changed the way she treated patients, positively re-directed her career path and enhanced her own active lifestyle. In 2008 she partnered with another health care professional to create a unique Pilates and yoga studio that caters to everyone by offering skilled instruction for a variety of populations. Customized Pilates instruction is her specialty--she designs classes based on clients needs: athletes, new moms, rehabilitation or just for fun (why be serious all the time?). Pilates + Yoga is the best of both worlds, hence the creation of Mind the Mat studios providing classes for all—in every walk of life.
Sara VanderGoot, CMT, e-RYT 200, e-RYT 500, RPYT co-founded Mind the Mat Pilates and Yoga. She studied Interdisciplinary Yoga with Don and Amba Stapleton in Nosara, Costa Rica and at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Sara completed her Prenatal Yoga Training at Blooma in Minneapolis. Sara is registered through internationally recognized Yoga Alliance as a e-RYT 200, e-RYT 500 and RPYT. Sara is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and licensed by the Virginia Board of Nursing. She specializes in working with moms during and after pregnancy and attends births as a doula. She completed her doula training with experienced midwives in Colombia, South America and is knowledgeable about modern birth practices as well as ancestral birth practices and plant medicines. Sara has been practicing massage therapy, including specialties in Prenatal Massage, Post-pregnancy Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Thai Yoga Massage, in Alexandria for 20 years and has been a yoga instructor for 10 years. At Mind the Mat she specializes in Prenatal Yoga, Post-pregnancy Core Yoga, Mommy & Me Core Yoga, Flow Yoga, Hot Flow Yoga and Deep Stretch. One of Sara's favorite things is teaching in the 200 & 300 Hour Mind the Mat Yoga Teacher Training programs, which she began developing in 2013. Before becoming a massage therapist and yoga instructor, Sara earned her Juris Doctorate from William and Mary Law School and was a lawyer in the Washington D.C. area. She found that the healing practices of massage and yoga brought a balance to her life that she had long been searching for. Sara also has a B.A. in English Literature from University of Michigan and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins. Writing is her favorite hobby! Most importantly, Sara has a 7 year old son named Andrew who is her sunshine. She is beyond grateful for the beautiful community of clients and colleagues she has been blessed to be a part of over the last 20 years in the wellness profession and in the neighborhood of Del Ray where she resides.
Before opening Mind the Mat, in their private practices, 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, joint stability, 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, are new to a practice, and for advanced students looking for an extra challenge.
Mind the Mat is committed to hiring instructors with excellent teaching skills and credentials. All of our instructors hold certifications in Pilates and/or yoga and many of them have additional training in physical therapy, nutrition, nursing, massage therapy, prenatal and/or postpartum fitness, therapeutics (yoga/Pilates for rehabilitation), and more!
Mind the Mat was created to spotlight individual teaching styles and to celebrate unique backgrounds and expertise.Our instructors and clients make Mind the Mat feel like home. Every teaching style is unique.