UYTT Instructors

jill.trainingJill Loftis

Jill began practicing yoga as a way to make peace with her body after childbirth. Her true spiritual evolution began when she discovered the teachings of Goswami Kriyananda and the Temple of Kriya Yoga. Through the profound impact of extensive training through the Temple, she was able to find meaning, purpose and healing in her life, while still being fully engaged in her dharma of mothering three children.

 training.jillWhile still in training, she began teaching at Bethany Hall, a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. In 2008, this work inspired her to open Uttara Yoga Studio in Roanoke, VA, with the vision to create a safe and sacred space to share the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the practice. The Uttara community has blossomed beyond her dreams into a diverse group of yoga practitioners and seekers. The Studio now includes 200- and 300-hour yoga teacher training programs, and a program to mentor new yoga teachers.  Jill radiates a fierce, nurturing presence that will challenge you to explore the limits of your body and mind, and yet feel supported and held in a safe space so you can meet yourself with honesty and an open heart. Her yoga classes weave together Kriya Yoga with her studies under many gifted yoga teachers, particularly Kim Schwartz, Gabriel Halpern, Andrea Boyd and Jeffrey Cohen.

Jill teaches yogis of all ages ,and has brought the practice to local preschool, elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as a number of local colleges and universities.  She is a Barratt Breath Institute individual and group Breathwork practitioner. In addition to yoga classes, she leads workshops and weekend trainings on a variety of topics, including meditation, stress reduction, life transformation, and astrology. She leads retreats locally and internationally, and is looking forward to hosting her next retreats in India in March of 2017, and in Scotland in 2018.  She writes the Astrology column for THIS! magazine, and is Adjunct Faculty at Roanoke College, teaching a course on yoga.  Keep up with Jill via her blog,

justWendiSMWendi Wagner
Wendi Wagner completed her RYT 200 in 2014 through Uttara Yoga’s Teacher Training program and has been teaching at Uttara since 2010. She has a background in movement and dance education, with an undergraduate degree in Dance from James Madison University and MALS/MFA through Hollins University.

wendiPoseShe has studied Anusara Yoga with Deirdre Smith Gilmer; Jivamukti Yoga with Mary Brown, Andrea Boyd and Sharon Gannon; and Yin yoga with Richard Gartner. Currently she is working toward a 500 hour certification with Katie Silcox focusing on Tantra and Ayurveda.Studying the teachings of the Yoga Sutra, she explores the journey from outer to inner knowledge and cultivating freedom through daily practice and meditation.

 chrisChris Pohowsky – Chris is a Certified Rolfer®, and is a Lead Instructor for’s Advanced Myofascial Techniques series. Chris is passionate about competitive cycling, running, climbing, paddle boarding and yoga; his outdoor athletic pursuits go hand in hand with a strong interest in personal well-being and injury prevention. Chris has been teaching Yoga Anatomy for the past six years and enjoys a functional, cooperative, and hands-on approach to anatomy seminars, offering workshop participants a solid foundational experience from which to develop their own practice. Chris has a full-time private practice in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he also spent 8 years on the faculty of the Blue Ridge School of Massage and Yoga.

Kimberly Vest
Kimberly has been practicing, studying and teaching yoga for the past 35 years. A Salem, VA native, she lived in Seattle, WA for many years where she owned her own yoga studio. Kimberly teaches many different styles of yoga with her foundational training rooted in the Integral Yoga tradition, and she is a direct student of Sri Swami Satchidananda.

While living in Seattle, Kimberly trained and studied in the Viniyoga tradition. This approach to yoga evolved out of the teachings transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar of Madras, India. Vini means to adapt and through this training she became very skillful at adapting classes to the needs of her students. After returning to Virginia, Kimberly began teaching at Uttara and has continued to study and grow. She completed a nine-month yoga immersion in Anusara yoga, as well as trainings in Hanna Somatics and Yin Yoga. Most recently, Kimberly completed her 500-hour training and is E-RYT 500 through Yoga Alliance. These trainings continue to expand her understanding of the energetic and spiritual nature of the practice of yoga, as well as expand her ability to serve her broad range of students throughout the Roanoke Valley. Kimberly travelled to India in 2017 and 2019 so that she could cultivate a deeper understanding of the origins of yoga philosophy and the teachings that she makes a part of her daily practices.