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.

 GailGail Steele
Introduced to yoga during a prenatal class in the early 1990’s, Gail has been teaching in Roanoke since completing her 200-hour teacher training program in 2008.  Her enthusiasm has been sustained by continuing study, including Asheville Yoga Center’s Your Yoga advanced  teacher training and Cyndi Lee’s OM Yoga teacher training program.  As a natural outgrowth of her interest in the many strands of yogic tradition, Gail was certified as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Yoga  Specialist by the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, and studied Ayurvedic  therapies in India and New Mexico.  Since 2010 she has been the owner of Blue Ridge Ayurveda LLC (  Gail regards Ayurveda as the font of yoga therapy and a natural component of integrative health care, and has immense appreciation for the tools it provides to help us realize connection to self and spirit.