Student Spotlight

Kristi Pagenkopf | November 2017

Kristi Pagenkopf | November 2017

As I push my way through my mid-forties, a life spent skateboarding and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu combined with a detachment of observing the state my body waMy immediate response, when asked to be the student spotlight, was - absolutely not! Not because yoga and Inner Fire Yoga haven't positively impacted my life and health, but because I recently struggled with my dedicated yoga practice and even attempted to walk away from my mat permanently. Lightbulb - maybe others have doubts and struggle with their practice as well, so here is my story...

I lost a bet to a member of Inner Fire Yoga and the payout was taking a class with her. That's how I ended up in my first yoga class on a cold January morning back in 2009. Trainwreck would be the best way to describe my first class. I was turning 40, stressed out at work, overweight and evidently not in very great shape. I remember desperately trying to survive the class, trying not to pant, cry or knock anyone over. The remainder of the class has subsequently been blacked out of my memory. I left this first class a hot mess and collapsed in my car afterword, thankful that my debt had been paid and I didn't have to return and embarrass myself again. Low and behold, as I began pulling out of the parking lot I found myself calculating when I could return for my next class. I was completely and utterly hooked.

Seven months after practicing regularly life threw me a curveball. My youngest daughter had just left for college. I was dealing with an empty nest and some medical issues that had to be addressed. I felt great, had tons of energy and was in phenomenal shape thanks to my regular yoga practice. In October, I went to the hospital for some tests, fully expecting to get the dreaded phone call and cancer diagnosis based on my symptoms and medical history. I was not expecting to receive a call from my physician saying, "Congratulations you are healthy as a horse and pregnant." WHAT???!!! Ron and I had struggled with infertility for many years. It was our shameful secret and we had completely given up on having another child. Words cannot express my feelings upon receiving that call and I get all teary-eyed just thinking about it. Thanks to the support, encouragement and wonderful teachers at Inner Fire Yoga I kept up my regular yoga classes all the way up until my zen yoga baby, (Emma) was born. It was hands down, the easiest pregnancy and Emma was a sweet healthy baby. These rewards came from yoga. 

From that point forward I kept putting my mat down at Inner Fire Yoga, continuing to reap the mental and physical benefits of my regular practice thanks to the outstanding teachers and staff at IFY. The vibe of my tribe was awesome, family was fantastic, job was great, everything was good and life was on cruise control. 

Seven years after practicing regularly, life decided to throw another curveball. Hurricane Matthew hit Florida and the most divisive presidential election was underway. My family had to watch from thousands of miles away as our oldest daughter and grandson lost everything to this powerful storm. It was devastating and humbling to be so far away and unable to protect our family. For the first time in eight years I felt weak, my foundation was shaking and it was hard to find solace and strength in my yoga. During this same time, the D.C. political machine was in full swing and getting more hateful, violent and consuming with each passing day. I saw the kindest, most intelligent people I know become unrecognizable to me. I began avoiding, unfollowing, unfriending people to escape getting sucked into the negativity. Nothing felt safe or sacred anymore. It was everywhere and even showed up at yoga as well. My foundation crumbled and my yoga was broken. 

I decided to hit my 1,000-class mark and pull the plug on yoga altogether, maybe giving Zumba a try. So earlier this year I quietly hit the 1K goal, rolled up my mat and checked out of yoga. I found myself hitting the gym, running, biking, taking spin classes with the hopes of igniting another fire. I even cheated on IFY and tried another studio in town (gasp). These things couldn't hold a candle to one yoga class at Inner Fire Yoga. After a few months of pouting and boycotting my daughter told me I should get back to Inner Fire Yoga. This summer, with her voice in my head, I began my journey back to my mat and practice with a revived focus and outlook. My new goal is to forge a path forward together by recognizing, honoring and respecting the light in each other and finding something in common...even if it's just a great yoga class. 

So that's my story on finding yoga, losing yoga and coming back to my mat in the back row of the hot room at Inner Fire Yoga. This is where I share my space, practice and breath with new students, regular students and teachers watching our yoga stories unfold. s in, was catching up with me. After complaining to a good friend about chronic aches and pains he invited me to a Power Flow class at Inner Fire Yoga. That class simply re-engaged a yoga practice that had lain fallow since my mid-twenties. As I slowly started to address the aches and pains in my physical body on the mat, I began to realize that there were deeper issues that needed my attention. I began to address my lack of observing and caring for my physical self. Yoga taught me the importance of following the instruction of the teacher in the room, and more importantly, making an effort to be still and listen to the teacher inside of me. Those simple acts have made a profound impact. The last few months I have found myself drawn to the precision and cadence of the 26 and 2 Hot yoga classes. Recently my focus has been on the moments and space between the asanas; observing the impact that mindfulness in my practice on the mat, and how that affects the greater practice that is life. I am slowly learning that I have a choice and can choose to respond and not just react; both to the way I feel after standing bow (my personal nemesis pose) and to the things, large and small, that "trip my trigger" off the mat. I am deeply grateful for the community that is Inner Fire Yoga, to all those who practice and teach. It is a luxury to be able to practice alongside each of you. 

Charitable Giving

$ 102,995

The amount Inner Fire Yoga’s community has raised to date for charity!

Since the beginning in 2002, we have taken very seriously our values of compassion and kindness and our mission to bring well being to our wider community.

Honorary Yogis

An Honorary Inner Fire Yogi is an essential member of our community who has completed at least 300 classes at Inner Fire Yoga. The time and dedication exhibited by these yoga practitioners has been key to the growth and success of our yoga studio. With gratitude we honor these most inspiring role models with a hand beaded glass bracelet in the color of the achievement level. Those reaching 1000 classes receive an Amethyst bracelet.

1000+ classes

Mary Kay Roseneck, Ryel Estes, Erinn Morris, Draga Gakovich, Debbie Godchaux, Ann O’Brien, Diana Howell, Susi Hassert, Natalie Betz, Joan Bliefernicht, Karen Rigsby, Janet Pruett, Esther Bach-y-Rita, Janice Binter, Debi Peak, Tom Jeffson, Wendi Joseph, Richard Porst, Karen Erstad, Kim Brilowski, Lynn Kirsch, Marit Sathrum, Diane Coughlin, Kate Schmitz, Bonnie Raimy, Lauren Werner, Amy Hallenbeck, Sue Hogg, Suzanne Gaulocher, Tim Tullis, Sue Vraga, Noelle Neumann, Barb Kirby, Ravi Ballamudi, David Birchler, Michael Ward, Nati Israeli, Amy Roland, Vicky Meyers, Lance Carlson, Ida Pajunen, Lynn Diener, Lisa Danford, Katherine Vieau, Megan Kling, Michael Pare, Mary Woodward, Alena Eichenseher, Ken Kloes, Randall Skalet, Amy Dowd, Dr. Ruddy, John Brown, Jeff Kanne, Tina Morshcauser, Sean Ward, Claire Bergman, Hope Henley, Adrienne Leslie, Eric Sullivan, Matt D'Amour, Laura Lob, Sandra Bredeson, Stephanie Robert, Sandra Anderson, Dawn McCluskey, Barbara Stenson, Mary Tullis, Jennifer Collins, Tiziana Serafini, Dixie Bird, Maira Rivera, LaRynda Thoen, Dianna Murphy, Karen McShane-Hellenbrand, Jill Karofsky, Tony D'Alessandro, Joy Pontrello, Marilyn Barbian, Bill Kokott, Teresa Santulli, Leslie McAllister, Keesia Hyzer, Laura Patterson, Caroline Spencer, Mary McNicholas, Kristi Pagenkopf, Solomy Ntambi, Elise Comello, Debra Oaks, Erika Hanson, Elizabeth Kanne, Sonja Olson, Christine Brophy, Margery Biel, Amy Bina, Shannon Smith, Erica Johnson, Penn Vieau, Mike Knetter, Ruth Litovsky

900+ classes

Samira Musah, Diane Schmidt, Mara Loveman, Nanni Welter, Ellie Haberl Jay Sundu, Mary Teirney, Megan Senatori, Beverly Buhr, Theresa Brown, Kurt Lin, Jerry Gobeli, Mary Tullis, Dixie Bird, Anna Gemrich, Sandra Eugster, Sheila Hart, Josie Howell, Lisa Kerr, Kim Groshek, Victoria Schiller, Michael Hoefferle, Chris Dahlk, Judy Schultz, Judith Gundersen, Lisa Naughton, Jane Bernstein, Zoe Sumnicht, Holly Bobula, Sara Anstaett, Li Li

800+ classes

Neil Skinner, Judith McCue, Kim Brilowski, Lynn Kirsch, Kendra Hogan, Diane Coughlin, Mary Beth Brooks, Dawn McCluskey, Paul White, Thomas Smith, Maria Millern, Jill Cassid, Lisa Witkowski, Suzanne Way, Elissa Parker, Liz Preston, Connie Bettin, Katie Norcross, Kelly Snider, Karl Harter, Michelle Mettner, Jennifer Gardiner, Nancy Nankivil, Sandra Homburg, Lizzie Ryan, Susan Conway, Susan Ertl, Craig Berchtold, Jennifer Stark, Jolene Kornely, Teri Parris Ford, Laura Berghahn, Carol Ricker, Jesse Craig

700+ classes

Pat Barone, Eric Lemke, Alana Martin, Sandra Ashford, Janet Quamme, Michelle Reynolds, Angie Carlson, Ravi Ballamudi, Aaron Thompson, Rachel Carlson, Julia Rubin, John Majer, Bob Brooks, Sandy Herrmann, Anya Zhikhareva, Grace Miller, Rachael Cameron, Clare O’Connor, Tina Okada, Claire McNicholas, Nan Meier-Singer, Charlene Zhu, Ron Bote, Chris Dahlk, Josie Howell, Judy Genin, Laura Wade, Audrey Brown, Anne Schoenemann, Dewey Bredeson, Tonia Feiner, Suki Warda, Kim Lemmer,Laurie Osterndorf, Jennifer Stark, Mary Ann Reale, Meredith Turany, Dan Tyler, Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, Nora O'Reilly, Ann Corcoran, Amy Everson, Justin Rivas, Katie Boyce, Jennifer Fetterly, Johnathan Ivry, Rob Roquitte, Winnie Chan, Todd Cieslak, Jennifer Sauer, Ally Hrkac, Belinda Mucklow, Danielle Delaney, Sarah Jefferds

600+ classes

Megan Brown, Elizabeth Doering, Kasia Darling, Michael Underwood, Kathleen Kay, Carl Welter, Erin Paul-Schuetter, Kathy Ginn, Anita Adams, Stan O’keefe, Natasha Karassina, Amy Fields, David Lincecum, Scott Lamps, Gretchen May, Michael Kitts, Caren King, Darsi Foss, Susan Kitts, Mary Crowe, Jasmin Kristianto, Lauren Millar, Christina Sheehan, Jackie Rose, Rob Roquitte, Jonathan Ivry, Brenda Smage, Cathy Rotter, Arati Shrestha, Sarah Nelson, Nastassja Petermann, Sue Massey, Pamuk Bilsel, Stephanie Okada, Colleen Volker, Betsy Delzer, Debra Alton-Fassbender, Becky Hoffman, Karen Sandler, Edward Corcoran, Karen Knetter, Mary Hoefferle, Lynne Dennis, Kate Lucey, Nancy Crull, Mary Kuypers, Archana Shrestha, Rose Nadler, Jennifer Bosben, Joni Nowak, Nalini Rao

500+ classes

Carol Chvala, Glenn Rhodes, Bess Huddle, Michael Ward, Rachael Rivard, Melanie Thiel, Emily English, Sarah Glazer, Joe Meehean, Lauren Werner, Jessica Dias, Abby Potter, Emilia Kruzel, Jennifer Bayuk Yednock, Natasha Wick, Becky Arbaje, Mike Phillips, Michele Jasik, Sophie Miller, Jacqueline Schumacher, Lisa Nachreiner, Sonya Kessinger, Carol Floyd, Chantelle Thomas, Jan Hummel, Siggi Sigmarsson, Gayle Divelbiss, Melanie Jacobs, Kim Moreland, Dan Rubenstein, Rob Lottridge, Sara Yeo, Evelyn Munoz, Jane Antonovich, Hadley DeJaynes, Brianna Buhr, Jayne Deutmeyer, Sonia Olson, Yasaman Rezai, Joni Shahrani, Katie Miller, Hally Marlino, Bruce Wampold, Jill McNaughton, Lisa Ramsden, Brandi Funk, Laura Dattilo, Margaret Ntambi, Carly Hodes, Rassamee Kahrs, Evelyn Andersen, Patricia Terry, Ana Brand, Rikelle Shold, Michael Kling, Karen Knetter, Erin McInnes, Julie Rimkus, Nathan Dowd, Nancy Gutknecht, Ed Corcoran, Melissa Vaughan, Elizabeth Huge, Janell Squire, Kathy Pynnonen, Yukiko Dawson, Norah Ntambi, Anna Ferrara, Maria Marunich, Sara Misurelli, Brian Turany, Gavin Tullis, Susan Geer, Sarah Fink, Michele Erikson, Heather Fortune, Emily Pfontenhauer, Jenya Grinblat

400+ classes

Nicole Borges, Mauricio Lopez, Laurie Alexander, John Majer, Colleen Cleary, Mira Shimabukuro, Larry Nash, Meghan Wanzek, Julia Malcolm, Wayne Au, Carrie Newton, Sharon Osterloh, Tsela Barr, Elizabeth Roesler, Jessica Dias, Gail Baker, Joe Paprocki, Iliana Castillo, Susan Masterson, Susan Masterson, Lisa Cappelli, Gayle Love, Faith DaSilva, Jayne Glad, Lucy Kay, Marian Thompson, Gayla Divelbliss, Siggi Sigmarsson, Kim Nestler, Pamela Schneider, Lisa Rambaldo, Carol Prochaska, Vanessa Covi, Rachel Pfeiffer, Karen Sandler, Laura Phelan, Amy Osorio, LT Kirschner, Carly Dachis, Sara Turner, Laura Paprocki, Heather Hopke, Keith Dalby, Kaitlyn Skalet, Meredith Turany, Bethany Allen, Sherry Clyce, Lisa Rickert, Walter Dickey, Reka Sundaram-Stukel, Julie Logue, Stacia Corona, Chris Vaughan, Dawn Reininger, Jennifer Lanzendorf, Pamuk Bilsel, Katy Boyce, Sara Austin, Paige Tullis, Julia Stanley, Margaret Ntambi, Jessica Winkler, Angela Archiquette, Gigi Cohen, Nora O’Reilly, Lisa Ferrazzano, Mark Melin, Sue Massey, Karen Ostrov, Jody Shaw, Mary Hoefferle, Joe Kolafa, Erin McInnes, Ania Walecka, Wesley Kavelaris, Mary Leonard, Danielle Scott, Heather Fortune, Melissa Brumm, Mandy Gennerman, Jessie Vaughan, Charo Detcheverry, Stephanie Dalbesio, Kathleen Twist, Michele Erikson, Aaron Reich, Helen Kinsella, Annie Levihn, Lisa Kisling, Ginger Pocock, Rick Baker, Cathy Durham, Rachel Bergmans, Rich Schumann, Amy Lee, Heidi Nelson, Amy Heckmann, Bonnie Concordia, Michelle Grosch, Claire Macdonald, Tristan Verbeten, Chuck Angevine, Annelise Gehl, Nora Latos, Edith Chan, Bruce Wunnicke, Julia Dorosz, Johnny Wertz, Susan Madigan, Libby Gerds, Diane Doering, Micaela Orgaz, Ben Braun, Sarah Peters, Karyn Riddle, Ken Adler, Adam Sinclair, Jenn Smith, Erin Ogden, Kara Flynn, Peter Moyers, Samantha Garlock, Taylor Disch

300+ classes

Erik Schneiderhan, Todd Newell, Amrita Sandhu, Steven Eiring, Jacolyn Hudson, Elizabeth Roesler, Karin Medall, Becca Keleher, Yoonsook Ha, Sara Buckman, Martin Fencl, Erin Stein, Rahel Holinbeck, Judy Fitzgerald, Bruce Harville, Krista Wilson, Tina Greupner, Bill Daily, Sara Schill, Andrea Bach-y-Rita, Jeff Ylvisaker, Katie Hargrove, Rachele Malek, Scott Brown, Meghan Glazer, Rose Webber, Pamela Bradley, Marci Nuckolls, Meg Groves, Abby Hall, Teri Ford, Lauren Brown, Julia Fixel, Karen Chisholm, Darcie Kunder, Emily Livesey, Chris Maddox, Kim Patullo, Pam Hart, Darlene Vander Hoop, Sophie Shafer-Landau, Vanessa Bodley, Michael McCluskey, Scott Erstad, Kyoko Fuse, Jessica Gartner, Carol Philipps, Meisha Leibson, Stacey Meanwell, Abby Hall, Lizzie Wortham, Prit Smith, Heidi Gaugert, Colleen Hathaway, Carol Philipps, Ellen Bins Nordgren, Al Gurman, Katrina Stuntebeck, Maria Novak, Beth Nachreiner, John Hav-Chapman, Katie Hustad, Julie Linnen, David Vereide, David Roland, Kyle Foust, Alex Gianturco, Maureen Bohlen, Fiona Sastrodihardjo, Angela Hellenbrand, Kyle Foust, Eric Anderson, Brad Bohlen, Madison Snider, Eric Okada, Bao-Kim Le, Katie Hustad, Julie Waddell, Jennifer Nicklay, Carly Snider, Maxine Knetter, Shadow Backus, Allie Schrank, Madison Snider, Lizzie Netesheim, Matthew Wolff, Margaret Ntambi, Karl Whitemarsh, Jody Shaw, Emily A. Clark, Monica Dillenbeck, Steve Sauer, Carolyn Lorge, Amy Throndsen, Stephanie Moomjian, Luann Tribus, Jean Uhlmann, Ann Haberl, Katie Henry, Jeanne Grist, Kristie Pulvermacher, Katia Schindler, Michelle Frehner, Walter Meanwell, Carolyn Lorge, Kaitlyn Hetzel, Javier Barquin, Karen Turek, Erika Flaherty, Allie Dienger, Alison Kilkelly, David Reinhard, Jamie Hawkins, Carol Shufro, Nadine Connor, Alison Kilkelly, Claire Peterson, Rachel B., Jeff Ford, Allison Lebwhol, Brad Owens, Betsy Clough, Doug McIntosh, Chris Hager, Brenna O'Dea, Stacy Borman, Jessica Ace, Kris Eiring, Georgia Curry, Jenny Jeong, Kerry Helmer, Meg Newlin, Chris Hager, Susan Huber Miller, Jamuna Shrestha, Shaun Hernandez, Glorily A. López, Eric Raimy, Shelbey Metcalf, Kali Rivas, Nicole Dunn, Reid Tice, Sarah Alt, Melanie Buhr-Lawler, Jim Deering, Amanda Todd, Li Chiao-Ping, Christine Gartler, Michelle Marking, Allison Blegen, Erin Barbato, Genna Kuypers, Leah Owens, Tom Fuchs, Ben Reynolds, Lisa Atkins, Amber Evenson, Erika Ford, Jill Ellefson, Joel Chesebro, Sarah Maughan, Regina Whitemarsh, Lisa Stefanik, Denise Gomez, Brian Stannard, Anne Morgan

Personal Revolution

An Inner Fire Yoga Personal Revolutionary is an inspired and dedicated yogi who has achieved a group goal to practice a set number of yoga classes per week for a period of time. Usually this goal is 4 or 5 times per week for 2 or 3 months. Inner Fire Yoga typically offers this effort as a group 3 to 4 times per year. Those who achieve their Personal Revolution receive a medal. Students are energized and transformed from the experience!




Twice a year, Inner Fire Yoga will select two yoga students to receive a three-month unlimited yoga scholarship. This program was initiated as a result of a generous donation by a dedicated Inner Fire Yoga member with the request that the fund be used to help a student who would otherwise not be able to afford to practice yoga at Inner Fire Yoga. Inner Fire Yoga now continues to support this biannually scholarship in kind.

Current Deadlines

November 1, 2017 & June 1, 2018

How often are scholarships awarded?

There will be two scholarship beneficiaries two times per year for a total of four 3-month unlimited yoga scholarships.

How do I nominate someone?

You can nominate yourself! Or, if you know someone who would greatly benefit from a regular yoga practice at Inner Fire Yoga, but would otherwise not be able to afford to pay for a 3-month membership, then please send an email to us and tell us about this person, and why you think they should receive this scholarship. It is that simple. We ask that the person you nominate will know in advance that you are nominating him/her, that the person has agreed to participate, and that he/she will be expected to practice a minimum of 3 times per week during the scholarship term (starting the day of the award unless exception is requested) in order to maintain the scholarship for the duration of the three months. We ask that you qualify these facts in the nomination. See “Scholarship Nomination Questions” below.

How are recipients chosen?

Our management team, comprised of Marit Sathrum (Yoga Teacher and Owner), Michael Hoefferle (Manager), Sarah Fink (Assistant Manager and Yoga Teacher) and Erika Ford (Marketing Manager), will review the email scholarship nominations and reward the scholarships to the person we deem to be most qualified. The recipient of the scholarship will be anonymous to our community: we will not publish the name of the scholarship winner, but we may publish the scholarship recipient’s testimonials (anonymously, unless otherwise specified by the recipient).

Request for Nominations Email from Inner Fire Yoga

An email will be distributed to our community approximately one month prior to the expiration of the current scholarship term, requesting nomination emails. Please respond before the expiration date for your nomination to be considered for the next scholarship term. If the person you’ve nominated is not awarded for the next term, the nomination can be re-submitted for the following term. Re-submittal for each scholarship term is required for continuing consideration for the next scholarship term.

You Can Contribute!

You can help a person who truly “needs” yoga but is unable to pay for membership, someone who will experience the beautiful and transforming benefits of a regular heated-yoga practice, the same that you have, by donating to the “Inner Fire Yoga Community Scholarship Fund” at anytime, simply by stating to the receptionist that you’d like to make a donation to the IFY Community Scholarship Fund. These donations will fund $300 at each new scholarship term (bi-annually) to pay for one of the 3-month unlimited-yoga scholarships. 


Your Name *
Your Name
Scholarship Applicant's Name *
Scholarship Applicant's Name
Has your applicant agreed to the scholarship process? *
Is your applicant ready to dedicate ASAP to a minimum yoga practice of 3x per week during the term of the scholarship? *