Instructor Highlight: Charlotte and Falon

This weekend's Yogini guides

Photos by Sandi Moynihan

Washington, DC - “Crazy things happen when we let ourselves be vulnerable,” advises Falon Sweeney, one of the two Grip The Mat instructors to lead yoga at this Saturday’s sold-out yoga social event, “Grip The Mat’s Soul & Spirits Presented by Sprindrift.”

If things go as Falon has planned, “crazy things” might happen. Soul & Spirits Presented by Spindrift is an experience created to break people out of routine and shake things up. It’s a time to feel all of those pent up emotions and let loose in the company of great people!

Over 150 tickets have sold to this one-of-a-kind yoga event at Big Chief in Ivy City. With every dollar benefitting the Potomac River Keepers Network, the event offers a feel-good experience attendees can feel proud of.

If anyone is left wondering whether they are capable of joining the yoga social fun, co-instructor Charlotte Bowden encourages, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” For anyone who still isn't sure, tickets to the 2-hour open bar social hour are available on the event page.

Learn more about the two DC-based Grip The Mat yoga instructors who will guide this weekend’s soul-thumping Vinyasa yoga. You may be surprised at what you find!

Meet Charlotte & Falon

How They Came Into Yoga

Charlotte’s First Experience: In college at the gym.

I remember there was a guy next to me who had also never done yoga before, and we both laughed at some of the things the instructor was asking us to do - not because they were funny, but because we both were struggling so much.

Falon’s First Experience: In high school with her dad.

I took my first yoga class in Hanover, MA at Open Doors Yoga studio with my dad when I was a freshman in high school.

Why they started teaching


Charlotte’s Reason: Community.

I knew I wanted to start teaching almost immediately after I started practicing in DC. I realized I had found a community that I wanted to become more involved in, and that teaching was an opportunity to learn more, remain accountable,  and practice some creativity.

Falon’s Reason: Service to others.

During my senior year of college at the George Washington University, I took an unconventional spring break trip to India with my best friend Monica. In India, we supported her family's non-profit, India Children's Angel Network (ICAN) by teaching for a week at one of the Orphanages the charity supports. As part of our lesson plan and as active yoga students, Monica and I taught basic yoga poses to the orphans. While I was teaching, I remember so clearly the girls being in tree pose, and thinking to myself, "Wow, I can actually do this - I can make the world a little bit better of a place by teaching yoga." After the trip, I made it a goal to get certified and start teaching within the next six months. Teaching has transformed who I am down to my deepest roots, and I thank the girls at the Home of Hope for that.

Their favorite Washington, DC hangout:

Charlotte’s Choice: Logan Circle

I love the roof of my house in Logan Circle. It's a little bit slanted so yoga is interesting, but it's great for hanging out with friends and just enjoying the sunset.

Falon’s Choice: Lincoln Memorial

The back of the Lincoln Memorial - early in the morning and late at night, and even during peak tourist times, there is a sense of calm and serenity amidst bustling DC life.

Their “other” job

Charlotte’s full-time: Commercial Banking Research Analyst

“It's more interesting than it sounds.... most of the time. :)”

Falon’s full-time: Strategic Communication Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton

Why They Teach for GTM

Charlotte: Authentic interactions.

My favorite part of GTM is getting to meet new people from all over DC who are just looking to have fun. There's no pretenses, no rushing to the mat before practice and then rushing out right after practice is over; instead, people come together to enjoy their practice and each other.

Falon: Community.

The community, hands down. When I come to a GTM event, whether I'm teaching or attending, I always connect with the most awesome people. The other GTM instructors and staff are a huge part of this community, and I always feel so warm, happy, and connected after leaving a GTM event.


Favorite Post-Yoga Treat

Charlotte: Whatever is in my path..... but if you've ever heard me talk about the OMG bars at Baked & Wired (pictured above), you know those are my one true love in life.

Falon: A green juice or a smoothie - basic, I know, but truly so good for your mind, body, and soul.


Parting Advice to You

Charlotte: If you can breathe, you can do yoga.

Falon: Don't be afraid to show up.

"Maybe you bought your ticket to GTM but are hesitant to come because your friend bailed. Or maybe you're tired after work and don't feel like an hour of yoga + socializing. My best advice is to do it - to show up, do what you wouldn't normally do, do what's uncomfortable and see what kind of magic happens. We've all been there, but you never know who you'll run into at these events, and you might just get to know yourself a bit better. Crazy things happen when we let ourselves be vulnerable."


To learn more about Soul & Spirits Presented by Spindrift, visit the event page.