Meet Mike



Mike is a flooring contractor by trade, and a yogi by choice. Currently, Mike teaches Hot Yoga, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga classes, while still maintaining a daily practice. Divorce drew him to yoga, but the benefits are what encourage him to continue practicing yoga on and off the mat.

Four years into his personal practice, the natural progression was to attend teacher training with Suddha Weixler at the Chicago Yoga Center.

Mike is currently a 500RYT and started teaching in 2013. At fifty some odd years old, he says that he is in the best place he’s ever been in his life.


His mantra is: “Through yoga we re-establish the mind–body–spirit connection, allowing us to live more fully in the present.” As a father of three, Mike is adamant about being physically, mentally, and spiritually fit for the future. The strategies he learns while practicing yoga help decrease stress and bring him peace. Whether you are a first-timer or a life-timer, Mike invites students to join him on this journey.

Meet Cherise


How did I get started teaching yoga?

I studied Kriya Yoga for several years to learn how to be a Swami downtown Chicago and one of the requirements was to be able to practice Astrology and teach a Hatha Yoga class. In 2000 I started teaching yoga and realized how much fun it was. Every class was different, and even if the same student came, everyday each student would also be different. There is so much growth available teaching and learning about yoga. Our physical wellbeing affects our quality of life and yoga can assist with being able to ensure we are healthy as possible, mentally, physically and emotionally.

After several years of teaching I decided get my 200 and 300 hour training through Universal Spirit Yoga under Poonam Gupta. However, my father was my first yoga teacher and I often wish I paid more attention when he was teaching me as a child. Later on, I also took  several teacher trainings and intensives and really appreciate being able to practice this ancient art in a modern world. Previous training for Zen Shiatsu Massage Therapy, Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch Therapy, Crystal Healing Therapy, Biofeedback, Ryfe Therapy, Sound Healing, Cranial Sacral Therapy and Meridian Therapy have all helped my practice as well as how I teach. Studying with Poonam and learning more about the benefit of Ayurveda and it’s connection to Yoga has helped me to see how the practice can enhance any area of your life. 


What are some of the benefits of practicing yoga?

The benefits to yoga are too many to mention here. Just on a physical level, yoga has helped me with chronic back pain, headaches, and increased my ability to concentrate and focus and sustain energy throughout the day. Life is demanding, especially as we get older the more responsibilities we may take on. The practice of yoga assists with dealing with life stressors, and creating a physical strength to draw from. 

Advice to people who want to get started but don’t know how?

People often say they don’t want to try Yoga but it looks too hard. That is completely understandable, especially if you have only seen the more advanced forms on youtube.  I tell people that modifications are always offered, and personally experiencing injuries really helps to give me a broader perspective of how to share this practice in a way that will benefit the practitioner.

Meet Stefanie

Meet Stefanie, Yoga Instructor

Thank you or reading our blog, which is just one of the ways we try to stay connected with our community. In this blog you will meet Stefanie, one of our Yoga Teachers and Yoga Teacher Training co-leads.

Stefanie began her yoga practice in 1998 to increase her physical health, mental clarity and emotional stability.
She received her 200 hour certification in 2011 through Chicago Yoga Center and is an E-RYT Registered Teacher with Chicago Yoga Alliance.

Stefanie believes that each student has the ability to transform their lives from the inside out.
She teaches a variety of styles including classical Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram and YIN.

Her Vinyasa class emphasizes a creative flow linking breath and movement with some longer held poses.
The longer holds allow for more alignment cues which gives the body and mind time to open up.

Stefanie is very grateful for the gift of yoga.

Stefanie also owns and operates Ginkgo Ltd., a landscaping company in the suburbs. Please visit www. for more information. 


Meet Heather


What is your favorite yoga quote? 

“Yoga teaches us to cure what can’t be endured and to endure what cannot be cured.”~ BKS Iyengar


What do you do when you are not teaching yoga? 

When not practicing yoga, working my full-time gig at Jewel (since 1985), or spending time with my boyfriend (Mike) and kids, You can find me indulging in reality TV, eating Mexican food or sushi, making plans to travel MORE or sleeping.





What is your favorite pose?

Malasana everyday! No matter what, I do malasana (yogi squat) DAILY. So many benefits: increase circulation to the hips and pelvis region. Stretches, thighs, groin, ankles and tones core. Great for digestion and elimination.You can find me doing this in almost every class I teach, in the kitchen, at work or just randomly out and about.

Savasana (corpse pose) is a favorite too. Because this is where we let the hard work from our practice settle in and provide the most benefits. This is where I can create space for rest and silence.

Tell us more about you

I’ve taught at various studios in the western suburbs: vinyasa, yin, family yoga, kid yoga, partner yoga, couples yoga. I’ve also taught at retreats and at workshops. Most recently, I’ve taught people from all walks of life at Goat Yoga. It was great to see people who came for the goats, but stayed and engaged in the practice of yoga and some have even continued on their yoga journey.

Meet Elizabeth



How did I get started with yoga?

I took my first yoga class in 2005, it was a Bikram class. Prior to finding yoga, I exercised at a health club, doing pilates, spin, treadmill, kickboxing, etc, on almost a daily basis. I’ve exercised my entire life.

When I started yoga, I was raising 3 young children so my physical and mental health were very important to me. It helped me to be a more effective and patient parent.  

After my first yoga class, I was hooked. I liked the challenge of the hot 90 minute class. I also liked the more direct connection to the body that yoga provides unlike any other physical activity. At the time the Bikram class was perfect for me because the repetition of the sequence allowed me to really digest that particular practice/ sequence.

I eventually left the health club setting and became a fulltime yoga student.

I was getting everything I needed through yoga.

How did I get started teaching yoga? I began teaching yoga in 2009

After 3 to 4 years of serious daily yoga practice. I felt that I had to move forward with my own individual practice. The best way for me to do this was  to go to teacher training. I wanted to learn more about the yoga asanas. I wanted to learn to teach others so I could share my passion with them. I also knew I would grow as a person by leading yoga classes. It was the next step for me. A win win adventure.


What are some of the benefits of practicing yoga?

The benefits are endless. The thing that keeps me hooked on yoga is the mind & body union. The spiritual aspect eventually becomes appealing as we. You maintain or gain physical health, and mental/ emotional peace and health. I use every yoga practice to bring more peace and love into my body & soul. I never leave a class feeling worse than when I came to class. You create space in the body and mind during yoga and through yoga, and it makes you a healthier and happier person. Ultimate goal, to be a better human being and to display love and light to those around you. Besides that you will gain strength and flexibility!

Advice to people who want to get started but don’t know how?

The key is to have the spark or desire to start. If you have that desire, your yoga journey has already begun. Come try a class, ASAP. Try every style level 1 class, take daily classes, ask questions. Once you join the community, there are many people who will share knowledge with you. It’s a welcoming environment. You just have to show up.