July 31 Day Retreat at Farfields Farm in Afton, VA

Join us for a farmside RECHARGE full of sun, healthy cuisine, meditation, movement + yoga and conversation about what it means to sit in the middle.

Farfields is full of natural beauty and summer treats like blackberries, apples, fresh mint, soy-fed organic eggs and lake swimming after the program.

Sitting in the Middle

Sitting in the Middle

Click HERE to reserve your spot and receive a pre-program survey.

Farmside Frolicking, Wine + Design and IX Art Park

Daily Classes at The Yellow
Thursday Evenings + Saturday Mornings at IX
Family Recharge THIS Sunday at Farfields!
Yogic Wine + Design, Thursday July 21
Sitting in the Middle Recharge, Sunday July 31
Join us at The Yellow Door: A Mind Body Lab
110 Goodman Street in Belmont, Charlottesville, VA

*All classes are 1-hour and guests are welcome to arrive 10 minutes before class for tea and health chats.
Monday: 7am Energizing with Brittany
5:30pm Energizing with Natalie
Tuesday: 7am Grounding with Sarah
5:30pm Grounding with Erin
Wednesday: 7am Energizing with Brittany
Thursday: 7am Grounding with Sarah
Friday: 7am Grounding with Erin

Payment: $10/class or $25/month, 30 days from purchase.
Pay or bootstrap us here

$25 a Month for Mind Body Project Classes, Charlottesville

Come as you are to The Yellow.  No experience or yoga pants required.  All ages and levels.  Growth Mindset encouraged.
Location: 110 Goodman Street in Belmont, Charlottesville, VA
(See what’s going on behind the yellow door, around the corner from La Taza and Mas.)Schedule:
*All classes are 1-hour
Monday: 7am Energizing with Brittany
5:30pm Energizing with Natalie

Tuesday: 7am Grounding with Sarah
5:30pm Grounding with Erin

Wednesday: 7am Energizing with Brittany

Thursday: 7am Grounding with Sarah

Friday: 7am Grounding with Erin

All guests are welcome to arrive 10 minutes before class for herbal tea and mindful health chats.

Payment: $10/class or $25/month, 30 days from purchase.
Pay here or use the MindBodyOnline App.

RSVP to erin@themindbodyproject.com

Accupuncture with a TWIST.
Our programs at The Yellow are made possible through a partnership with acupuncturist extraordinaire, Geoff Cox. Geoff not only relieves pain via acupuncture but teaches evolvees how to change movement patterns to remain pain free.  (Maybe…even ready for 7am mindful fitness programs?!)Book him via the MindBodyOnline App or email geoffrey.s.cox@gmail.com
*Geoff’s sessions not included in the $25/month rate
The Mind Body Project offers
mindful fitness programs to help communities thrive.
To infuse a bit of calmness, clarity and happiness into your school, company or special event, please give us a chance!  We offer breath + movement programs like yoga for the inflexible, brain breaks for children and outdoor community fitness in our Yellow space or off-site.

Experiences include:
-Day-long team-building recharges
-8-week Intro to Meditation + Yoga for the office
-Mindful classroom movement for teachers

*Mark your calendars for our
July 17 Family Recharge and July 30th Big Kids Recharge



Erin's Hatha

What’s behind the Yellow Door? 
We’ve had such a blast during our soft opening! Our Schedule is now set.
RSVP to erin@themindbodyproject.com or MindBodyOnline App.

Schedule as follows:
7am Monday-Friday (M, W: Energizing)
5:30pm Tuesday (T, Th, F: Grounding)

Location: 110 Goodman St in Belmont, Charlottesville.
(Yellow Door, around the corner from La Taza and Mas)

All our classes are open to all-levels, and our team encourages you to listen to your body. Our classes change based on the day and incorporate the practices of Yoga, Pilates, Body Weight Resistance Training, Aerobics and Meditation



Drop-In Rate is $10 a class,
and starting from July 1st:
monthly rate option*: $25 *“all you can breathe and move”
This rate will only apply for summer.

*Classes start at 7, come earlier for tea or later as you need, being mindful of other guests.

How did “entrepreneur school” start out?

Our team is really grateful we’re getting the summer to join together in person after a year and a half of working across different time zones. Natalie and Brittany are taking a sabbatical from their commitments in Beijing and Sarah has moved down to Charlottesville from NOVA to join Erin in a summer of structured company building. We have a variety of goals and dreams to accomplish this summer, but we’re so excited that we’re given the amazing opportunity to learn through valuable academic and experiential modules, receive feedback and mentorship and have access to a valuable co-working environment surrounded by the most supportive and driven peers. We, of course, are missing our third co-founder, Alyssa but she’s manning our Beijing operations in order to keep infusing much-needed mindfulness and healthy habits there.

Brittany and Sarah have some thoughts to share on the beginning of the program so far.



(@our new Yellow Door space in Belmont)

Brittany’s reflections.

We’re all in this together.
It’s hard for me to believe I left Beijing only a short time ago to fully invest my time, energy and soul, in the growth and development of The Mind Body Project this summer. I’ve found such joy over the past 5 months facilitating and co-organizing our Beijing community events, but taking a pause from the vibrancy of China to dive back into an environment of learning and challenge at The University of Virginia’s i.lab (innovation lab) startup accelerator program at The Darden School of Business, called out to me so strongly, I knew I had to be there. I now see the beauty in a break from the go-go-go lifestyle I’ve led over the last year. Over the past two weeks, we’ve heard from a wide range of entrepreneur speakers across many industries, gotten a crash course in Pitching, Authenticity, Human Factor Engineering, a two-day workshop in Venture Design, and a week-long presentation and multi-venture collaborative project in Branding. We’re amongst 26 other start-ups ranging across the board all in different stages of life and company development, and diverse backgrounds and interests. The cohort has an overwhelming vibe of support, light-heartedness, and grit. One of our classmates– who’s helping vulnerable refugee populations– even took time out of his day to give us a step-by-step financial planning crash course and Excel Maximization presentation in order to save us from jumping too quickly to just purchase software programs. Sharing resources, lunches, attending each other’s fundraisers and fitness classes, sitting for ’bouts of meditation’ during the day has already brought about this “we’re all in this together” spirit, I’m feeling good about what’s to come.


meditation with our groups

Release in the form of tiny needles & the color yellow.
What has also made me smile: celebrating my birthday by trying something out of my comfort zone: Acupuncture followed by Chakra Opening Yoga at Common Ground Healing Arts, a non-profit wellness center committed to engaging with the whole community. Fear of sitting still in pain has stopped me before, but I’m pretty amazed by what the experience brought up, some surprising tears, a huge release of tension and a general sense of well-being over the following days. The chakra class focused on “yellow,” and though I need to do a bit more research on this particular spot on the body, my lower back felt incredibly opened afterward. These experiences a nice reminder to keep “leaning into” discomfort and to not avoid the unknown. The day rounded out with cooking a simple vegetarian coconut Thai curry (that fed us for days) and MBP Beijing facilitator video conference training. I’m grateful to those in my life for making this a birthday one I’ll never forget, with meaningful connections in my small tribe of dear ones.Fighting jet-lag and re-acclamation to the US has not been super easy-breezy but laughing, bending, downward-dogging, meditating, and going for long walks has been helpful. My first mantras for the summer, “Be open to the new.” and in relation to my time, energy, and connections: “Strive to go deeper, rather than wider. ”



Sarah’s insights 

Our first week was filled with guest speakers sharing their entrepreneurial stories and advice, and group projects testing out their theories. I could go into detail about all that, but I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it, so I’ll leave that on hold and tell you about our very first speaker. Rick Kulow is a renowned entrepreneur in the Food and Health Industries – he discovered and marketed Essential Fatty Acids -think fish oil pills. He told us entrepreneurial anecdotes and advice like, “Entrepreneurship is a life skill….You’re trying to influence the actions of people in the real world” and “Learn Accounting!” He dropped some fancy phrases like, “Always make sure you are extending your runway.” Interestingly, when asked what one thing he would have done differently in his career, he said, “Meditate more.” HA! How awesome was that for The Mind Body Project team to hear? In a room filled with really smart ideas that are almost all tangible products, he expressed a need for our product! Not something you can touch, but that you can feel, and hearing that made us feel pretty good.

I can only speak for myself when I say it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Feelings of joyous pride in what we’re doing here, but also wondering how we are going to make the most of our time… The excitement of a new city – Charlottesville is awfully charming! It’s a little bit of a lot of different things! Some moments of self-doubt, but the dominant feeling is a good one – one that causes a chain reaction of other good feelings and emotions. Gratitude. My family and friends have shown me so much love and support as I’ve taken this leap of faith. They’ve shown me that they believe in what we’re doing and in me, and that makes this whole experience a lot less scary – so, thank you.


FREE Wellness Programs in Charlottesville

Yoga for all

Yoga for all at our new Charlottesville space

  1. We are offering free classes through next Friday at our brand-new space in Belmont. Join us at 110 Goodman St A3, yellow door! Schedule as follows:
    M-F 7am-8am: Breath, Movement and Tea with Rotating Teachers.
    ALL levels, no pressure, no class description; show up with the intention that you will get exactly what you need!

Tuesday 5:30pm: Healing Hatha with Erin

RSVP to erin@themindbodyproject.com and feel free to contribute bootstrapping funds to our start-up.

*We also want to name our Yellow space, pictured in this post  Winning name receives FREE classes all summer long!

2. Common Grounds Sit-A-Thon Saturday, June 11 from 9am-7pm.  Multiple sits with practitioners from various community organizations.
The Mind Body Project will lead a singing bowl coherence sit at Noon. Please consider making a donation to the experience.

3. Retreat Week at IX runs June 12-19.  Multiple Daily programs offered by local Charlottesville teachers. The Mind Body Project will be offering Brain Breaks for the Family and Outdoor Community Fitness on Saturday, April 18th.

4. FREE Wednesday Yoga 6:30pm with the Contemplative Sciences Center + Common Ground in the UVA Amphitheater, now through August 3rd. All levels. Please bring a mat or a towel, no RSVP necessary.

The Mind Body Project offers
mindful fitness programs to help communities thrive.
To infuse a bit of calmness, clarity and happiness into your school, company or special event, please give us a chance!  We offer breath + movement programs like yoga for the inflexible, brain breaks for children and outdoor community fitness in our Yellow space or off-site.


Yoga at Juvie and Inova Hospital System

I don’t know how to begin this message, so gratitude seems like a reasonable place to start.  I am grateful for having the courage to tell the story of the Mind Body Project and for each of you for playing a part in the journey.  I received a lot of support and grounding feedback from the last newsletter, and my biggest challenge is deciding what to share today, and what will have to wait.

I would like to offer two beautiful experiences that happened this past week:

Last Wednesday, Julia J von Briesen and I taught Week 2 of trauma-informed Yoga to adolescent males at the Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center in Charlottesville, VA.  Offering this incredible experience was no easy task.  Julia reached out to BRJD in February to inquire about teaching yoga, and we were welcomed by an open team of administrators who totally get the mind-body connection.  With the team on board, Julia reached out to Common Ground Healing Arts to assist with the business side of things, since The Mind Body Project was still in the process of registering our company; it really does take a village.  (As a point of clarification, BRJD did not donate funds, but is paying for this pilot program.  I got a bit excited about our partnership in the last newsletter, and realize this may have been unclear.)

For one hour a week, Julia and I bring movement, breath and healing to a group of youth who have experienced all ranges of trauma, have never done yoga, but are somehow open to receiving instruction from two curly-haired, bowl-ringing, funky tights-wearing girls who ask them to think and move in ways they have never experienced.  For all of us, the experience is deep.  We can sense pain in the room and in their bodies, but for sixty minutes, we are all totally equal, focusing on ourselves and sharing our energy.  These moments are timeless, and the intensity is so real.  After only two weeks, we have had reports of the youth integrating self-soothing techniques into their lives, and experiencing more openness in their bodies.

Last Saturday, Sarah Crane and I were invited to Inova Fairfax’s administrative offices to run a Yoga and Your Brain Workshop for employees.  This initiative was launched because our good friend, Sara Goode, suggested us to her colleague, who also happens to be a Yoga teacher.  (Score!) Five women with a variety of physical and life challenges attended the workshop because it looked “different” from Yoga programs they had seen in the past.  (MBP is shaking things up!) Many of them were interested in the brain-body connection, and wanted to experience yoga in a non-intimidating environment.

Hosting their first co-led class together, Sarah and Erin adapted the experience for all body types, allowed guests to bring their unique challenges into the experience and flowed alongside guests to build an energy that transformed a windowless workout space into a warm and glowing container of light.  Looking at Sarah after the program, I knew we had created something special, meeting guests where they were at, and giving them a gentle nudge to let go, just a little.  At the end of the program, one of our guests commented that it was the best yoga class she had ever taken, because of the individual attention, team dynamic and feeling of non-judgment, which allowed her to appreciate her body in a new way.

I’m offering these experiences to plant a seed that yoga may not be what you think.  It’s not about wearing the right clothes (there wasn’t much spandex), or being able to touch your toes (we didn’t even try) or even remembering to breathe (we gave lots of reminders), it’s about having one life and one body, and being willing to seeing how far you can go.

Thank you for allowing me to share.  Our programs and target market are beginning to narrow, but we are still offering a range of programs to individuals, companies and institutions, to best understand how to create felt sense programs that can be adapted on a larger scale. Or more simply, we intend to help people to help themselves feel good and expand this model.

For more resources, you may be interested in:
The Whole Brain Child (Neuroscientific Strategies for Children)
Buddah’s Brain (The Science Behind Meditation and more)
Mindfulness for Beginners (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
Search Inside Yourself (Google’s Business Case for Mindfulness)

Upcoming Community Events:
Wednesday, June 1-Wednesday August 3 @ 6:30pm FREE Yoga in the UVA Amphitheater.

Saturday, June 11 9am-6pm: Common Grounds Sit-A-Thon.  Erin will lead a coherence breath singing bowl meditation at Noon, and a variety of local practitioners will guide sits.

June 12-19: Charlottesville’s totally free RETREAT WEEK at IX Art Park.
Saturday, June 18 @ 11am + 2pm: The Mind Body Project will lead a Brain Break and Community Exercise for the Whole Family as part of Retreat Week.

2016 Evolution + Incubation


(Click to Enlarge)

At the iLab this summer (UVA’s 10-week incubator for 24 start-up companies) we will create a strong business plan to support these life-changing programs.  The curriculum is based largely on Alex Cowan’s Venture Design Process, and we will have access to a variety of entrepreneurs and professionals from the Darden School of Business and Batten School of Public Policy at the University of Virginia.

Sarah, Erin, Brittany and Natalie will each take leave from their jobs and travel to Charlottesville to fully invest in making this company viable.  (If you would like a tax deduction for supporting us via our non-profit partner, please consider attending or donating to our Common Grounds June 11 Sit-A-Thon team.)

Bootstrapping Updates:

  1. We have set up our business Paypal and can receive support OR checks to: The Mind Body Project 110 Goodman St. A3 Charlottesville, VA 22902
  2. We have raised $10,090/$14,300 for summer education and community programs, 70% there with a week to go!
  3. We will open our doors to our Charlottesville space and begin classes on June 1. (Still no name but located at 110 Goodman St. in Belmont.)


A financial contribution to The Mind Body Project supports bringing mindfulness into schools and communities, so that individuals develop clarity, happiness, and an inner-peace that radiates throughout the world.

What is The Mind Body Project?

just lego

#neuroplasticity: the potential that the brain has to reorganize by creating new neural pathways to adapt, as it needs.

The mission goes a little something like this:
The Mind Body Project brings non-intimidating, science-backed, smile-infused mindfulness programs to REAL people who want to evolve. Our goal is to bring mindful practices into institutional elementary education.

What is Mind Body Project mindfulness?
-Breathing techniques to calm the nervous system
-Movement that meets and transforms mood
-Real-life connections + stories suited to each unique environment
-Non-judgmental facilitation that inspires self-growth
-Training and facilitation for teachers to develop a self-practice and use their skills to teach students

Click HERE to learn more.