I’m a Chicago native. In a prior life, I was a recording engineer and faculty member at Columbia College Chicago. After moving to Lake Geneva in the early 2000s, I got involved with Yoga; first casually, then decided to go for my 200 hour teaching certificate with Lori Gaspar at Prairie Yoga in Lisle, Illinois. This led to an apprenticeship with the iconic Gabriel Halpern at the Yoga Circle in Chicago. With serendipity playing a huge role, I find myself back in my former neighborhood, Old Irving Park.
Personally, I’m excited to build a business with a sense of “place”. A place where we can meet, restore and rejuvenate in a really cool space.
I’m also a sailor, gardener and author, with wildly varying degrees of skill.
Jen comes from an athletic background formerly being a collegiate gymnast and has always had some sort of passion for physical fitness. It wasn’t until the last several years that yoga has come into her life and she quickly fell in love with all aspects of yoga. The mind body connection, the physical aspect, the challenges and just how good yoga makes Jen feel is so much of what she loves about it and why she wants to share it with others. Jen is currently working towards her 200 hour training and has various certifications including personal training, YogaSculpt, cycling, Pilates, PiYo and others. Jen looks forward to sharing her yoga journey with others and can’t wait for her students to walk away from class feeling strong, energized and refreshed.
Sarah sought out yoga to literally bring balance to her life after several bouts with severe vertigo. Bikram and power yoga brought that equillibrium, as well as a calmness and centeredness to her family life. This energy breathed new life into her running. It all led Sarah down the path to learn more and become a teacher. She now guides her students through fun, energizing classes where they can be serious about their yoga, but they don’t have to take themselves too seriously. Sarah enjoys watching her students change and challenge themselves from class to class, whether beginning or practiced yogis. She’s inspired by the many ways yoga seeps into each person’s life– first through the postures, and then off the mat.
Silvita Diaz Brown
Silvita Diaz Brown is a certified Yoga instructor, movement teacher, choreographer and dancer. She holds a BFA in Dance from UDLAP (Puebla Mexico) and a MFA in Theatre with a Movement Teaching Diploma from York University in Toronto.
Silvita obtained a 200 hour Yoga certification from Chicago Yoga Center in 2009.
For Silvita, “Yoga has been the blessing of my life!”
A long time student of Eastern philosophy and religion, as well as psychology, Jennifer found yoga to be the missing piece tying together the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of human experience that have always interested her. She says, “During 16 years of practice I have been fortunate to study with senior teachers trained in Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Anusara yoga.
I completed my 200 hour RYT teacher training with Global Yoga and Wellness Center, under the guidance of Rhonda Kantor, hatha and prenatal yoga instructor and Rita Knorr, certified anusara instructor. I have also completed the Street Yoga teacher training, focused on teaching yoga to underserved populations. When not teaching yoga I am likely taking a yoga class, playing with my dog, hanging out with my 3 children, singing loudly or cooking”.
Hatha yoga teacher Tami Robinson was born to help people discover themselves and live their purpose through yoga. Whether students seek to build strength and confidence, relieve stress, work on a therapeutic issue, or embody yoga philosophy, Tami’s students welcome courage, balance, stability, and grace by working with her heart-centered, integral approach to teaching yoga. Best of all, they feel the physical, mental, and energetic growth that helps them have a bigger impact in the world. They start showing up in class and in life with greater capacity to move through challenges and a deeper desire to make a difference. With over 30 years of practice, seven years of teaching experience, a 500-hour teacher training certificate from Iyengar teacher Bryan Legere, and time studying with Jehangir Palkhivala in India under her yoga belt, Tami continues her education by apprenticing with Gabriel Halpern and taking regular workshops with Jehangir and Aadil Palkhivala.
In addition to teaching yoga, Tami has invested 20 years in an award-winning career in national security research and analysis, and currently runs her own business helping people and organizations lead more inspired lives so they can have a greater, more positive effect in their communities and the world.
With an intention to serve others Juliet has spent many years working in the school systems, foster-care and non-profit world serving youth and adults. When she encountered her own personal obstacles she realized she needed a tool which would allow her to gain inner peace, energy, fearlessness and strength to continue to give her 100% in her service towards others. After attending her first yoga class she left feeling like she had found the answer. The practice of yoga has taught her how to live life with more compassion, acceptance, non-attachment, gratitude and love. Her goal is to make yoga accessible to all. She wants to empower her students to explore their full potential for accessing inner peace, physical strength, love and mental clarity both and on and off the mat. You can expect her classes to be a flowing mediation with a strong emphasis on alignment and the relationship between the breath, body and mind. She completed her 200hr certification at Yogaview in 2012 and is currently enrolled in Moksha’s 500hr program.
Paula has been practicing and studying both yoga and AcroYoga since 2009. Combined, both practices continue to teach her about patience and how to be a better person.
She became a Certified Yoga and AcroYoga teacher in March and November of 2013, respectively.
You’ll find that through sharing her practice she cultivates a space to foster freedom, growth, and strength of the body and mind. Paula continues to study yoga, bodywork, and acrobatics as often as she can and is grateful for the teachers that have guided her in her path. Though she may be petite, she is probably one of the strongest vegan women you’ll ever meet.
Olinka was born in Ukraine and moved to the US in 2009. Her yoga journey started a few months before she left her home country with an amazing teacher named Shalinder Negi, who studied at the Shivananda Ashram in Rishikesh. Since that time she knew she wanted to be a yoga teacher. Upon moving to the United States, Olinka maintained daily personal practice for three years until she found Alternative Health Group yoga studio.
Patrick’s first yoga experience was over nine years ago as part of his movement training in the UC San Diego graduate acting program. Since then, Patrick began studying at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA with master teachers Ganga White and Tracey Rich, and completed his 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher Certification with the Yoga Alliance in 2015. He enjoys teaching a variety of classes that are both challenging and restoring, focusing on the relationship and alignment of breath, body, and mind; transferring energies, balancing asymmetry, embracing polarity.
Patrick encourages all his students and peers to follow their breath and find and celebrate their personal yoga; to approach each pose with a beginner’s mind of playfulness, curiosity, and compassion; to use the physical asana practice as a tool to expand their consciousness of heart and spirit. He is currently studying under Gabriel Halpern and developing his therapeutic yoga sessions. Patrick also enjoys playing drums and percussion and can be found tapping out rhythms in various live music classes and with his band.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Ana started practicing yoga in hopes of relieving the physical and mental stress caused from years of working as a professional cook. After a leg injury, she found that her recovery was exponentially faster once she returned to the mat, which inspired her to become a yoga teacher. She received her 200RYT teacher training certification at It’s Yoga in San Francisco in 2008. She has been practicing daily ever since.
Her practice has completely changed her life, helping her find more balance, acceptance, and connection. This transformation has inspired and encouraged her to transition from her former stress filled work environment into a more wellness focused one, where she can share the love for the practice.
As a yoga teacher, she encourages her students to be compassionate and kind both on and off the mat. Her classes are a balanced mix of physical postures, breath work, meditation and relaxation and she strives to assist her students in bringing their yoga out of the classroom and into their lives.
She has furthered her yoga education by completing trainings in Kid’s Yoga and Yoga to Transform Trauma, and is excited to be currently pursuing a Therapeutic Yoga Certification with Integrative Yoga Therapy. She hopes that these trainings will assist her in her desire to offer yoga to everyone, regardless of their physical, emotional, or mental limitations.
Ana is also very passionate about delicious and nutritious foods and the connection between nourishment, health and happiness. She is always looking for new ways to combine her love for yoga with her love for food.
Karen Plumley has been teaching Hatha yoga for 7 years and practicing for more than 10 years. Karen graduated from Global Yoga with a 200 hour certificate in 2008. She has since studied with and has been inspired by Judith Lasater, Tias Little, Rod Stryker and Gabriel Halpern. She recently completed a 150 hour certification in Yoga for Survivors, taught by Laura Kupperman, specializing in yoga for those with cancer or in any stage of recovery from cancer. Karen has also been working toward her 500 hour certification through Prairie Yoga in Lisle IL. She hopes to one day become a Yoga Therapist.
Karen’s classes tend to be more gentle, or moving at a slower pace than regular vinyasa classes. She likes to bring alignment cues into her classes, but also allows time for quiet introspection, to encourage tuning into the breath and body. She also adds in pranayama (breath work) and meditation on a regular basis. Karen works hard to provide a class with intelligent sequencing so that students are prepared for more challenging poses and can leave class feeling good!
Outside of class, Karen is a full time mom with two teenage boys who are very active in sports. Needless to say, Karen savors moments of peace and quiet anywhere in the trees and forests of the Midwest!
Debby Fries Studio Manager/Instructor
Debby found her way to yoga to balance the stress of a high powered advertising career. Having practiced for 12 years she enrolled in teacher training and never looked back. Graduating in 2014 from Yogaview, she studied under Tom Quinn, Claire Mark, Quinn Kearney and Geri Beiber and has been teaching for 2 years. Her classes have a vigorous flow set to inspiring, non-traditional music stimulating the body and soul while enlightening students to the power of breath with their movement. She is rewarded daily by the positive changes yoga brings to both herself and her students.
Sam Bianchini is a 500hr RYT advanced yoga teacher and healer. She has studied for many years with yogis, healers, and medicine carriers from traditions all over the world.
Sam’s yoga classes are warm, inspiring, poetic and soulful. She draws extensively from the teachings of Tantra, Ayurveda, and Forrest Yoga, and encourages an equal and harmonious balance of spiritual fulfillment and worldly fulfillment. She is known best for her communal classes that are held in the style of a deeply spiritual ceremony. Her classes are strong, yet gooey, deep, meditative and loving. She absolutely loves sharing yoga and the secrets of unlocking the body as a pathway to the Soul, and looks forward to sharing with you.
Reeny is a 500 RYT, has been a passionate practitioner of yoga for over 17 years. She is involved as both teacher and assistant teacher trainer for Prairie Yoga’s 200 and 500-hour yoga teacher training programs. Reeny received her 500-hour yoga teaching certificate from Prairie Yoga in 2008 and her 200-hour yoga teaching certificate from Moksha Yoga in 2001. Originally trained as a dancer, she reflects her love of movement, imagery, and language in her yoga classes. Always a student, Reeny enjoys studying yoga with all the excellent local teachers in the Chicago area (Lori Gaspar and Bob Whittinghill) as well as national teachers (Tias Little and Judith Lasater). During the summer months, in addition to practicing and teaching yoga) you will find Reeny sailing on Lake Michigan with her husband and family.
Ania / Social Media Coordinator
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