Nancy McGourty, RYT 200
Nancy began her yoga practice in 2010. After about two years of “dipping her toes in” she began to practice more regularly. She was originally interested in yoga as a way to increase strength and flexibility, but soon began to appreciate the mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of a regular yoga practice. In 2016, Nancy received her 200-hour certification through Prairie Yoga, and is Reiki Level 2 certified. Nancy encourages students to listen to their bodies, and focuses on alignment to create a safe space for students to grow in their yoga practices. Nancy enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, and exploring the many wonderful restaurants in Chicago.
Monica Bright, E-RYT 500
Monica’s passion in life is to teach. She holds an M.A. in Elementary Education and has spent a career of over 15 years teaching young students, thus acquiring the skills to disseminate information in a clear and concise manner. With a dance background of more than 20 years and studying extensively in the area of biomechanics in movement and anatomy, Monica has a passion for the human body and understands the human form on a considerably deeper level found in the intelligent sequencing of her classes. Her love of yoga and movement and a desire for continued education led her to Kerala, India, where she participated in advanced training in the Tantric lineage. As a life-long student she is committed to traveling across country to train exclusively with master teachers in the industries of yoga, biomechanics, functional movement and physiotherapy. She continues to intensify her knowledge by visiting various movement studios and has acquired 2000+ hours of continuing education and recently completed another 300hr training in biomechanics & pain science. She has co-led multiple Yoga Teacher Trainings, continues to facilitate workshops and leads anatomy trainings at studios in Chicago. Her classes are infused with reflective theming; challenging, yet accessible, balanced sequences; and soulful music. Monica invites you to come to your mat, tune into your breath, and create a moving meditation within your own body.
Dina Lekas, RYT 200
Dina is a 200 hour certified yoga instructor and has always been involved with physical exercising. Her journey began with years of practicing weight training and aerobic training. She came to yoga to diversify her exercise practice and quickly fell in love with the emotional and spiritual release yoga brought to her hectic life. Prior to yoga she was a busy corporate executive managing a sales department. Very stressed and working many hours per week she recognized there was something missing. Continuing with her yoga practice she quickly discovered she could shed the stress and anxiety of work on her mat. She began teaching yoga to her friends and family. Observing the changes in serenity and balance yoga brought to her first students, she quickly realized she wanted to pursue her passion for yoga on a full time basis. Yoga has brought a sense of calming, compassion and gentleness into her spirit. Dina is eager to share her devotion to yoga with those around her.
Ann Rinderer, RYT 200
Ann was introduced to the physical practice of yoga in her early teens. It wasn’t until her early twenties, however, that she found something special through her practice. She first got back into yoga to escape, but she actually found herself. Ann views the practice of yoga, as a way of life. She believes in living and breathing yoga on and off of the mat. She enjoys sharing her own life lessons and stories in class, and creates an open and welcoming environment for students to feel safe and supported. Ann helps students to feel, notice, and observe with love rather than fear and attachment, with a focus on guiding the breath. She is a good teacher of balance, and her intention is to help students find a connection with their authentic selves and true purpose.
Dani Sittloh, RYT 400
Dani has been on the yogic path for over twenty years. Her journey began as she traveled the Midwest with a Reebok Master Trainer to help facilitate Flexible Strength Workshops in 1998. Her love for yoga as a physical activity, stress relief modality, and a necessary stretch after long runs has continued and taken on many forms over the years. In 2012, Dani received her Hot Power Fusion 200 hour and Power Vinyasa 200-hour Certifications through CorePower Yoga. She has been facilitating teacher training programs, workshops and teaching classes ever since. As a Reiki Master and Teacher and CranioSacral Therapy Practitioner, she incorporates the combined philosophies of the practices into her classes. Dani’s biggest loves as a teacher are to incorporate mindfulness, authenticity, compassion and acceptance for the self in the present moment to each class. She looks forward to meeting her students on their mats with a smile.
Gail Morales, RYT 200
Gail is a Reiki Level 2 practitioner, is certified in Yoga Nidra, Sound Vibrational Healing, and Chair Yoga. She loves the serenity and peacefulness of a good walk in the woods, camping, or a restorative yoga class, but also loves the adrenaline of zip lining in a cave, rock climbing or riding a horse. She lives sort of a yin/yang way of life, and to the very fullest.
Maria attended Barat College obtaining a BFA in Theater & Dance. She pursued dance with several Chicago-based dance companies, then returned to her childhood dance studio, Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts where she enjoyed a 30 year career serving as a dancer, choreographer, instructor, Production Manager, Assistant Director and Artistic Director. Maria has pursued her love of the spiritual healing arts by studying the art of metaphysics at the Johnnie Coleman Institute, and with Shamanic Astrologer Kelly Beard, where she fined tuned her skills in astrology and its impact on the body's and soul's vibrations. Maria has worked to awaken, accept and manifest her ability to share and teach her spiritual gifts, by studying at various workshops, primarily in Sedona, AZ, Mt. Shasta, CA, and Chicago, IL. She maintains a personal practice at various yoga studios in the Chicago area, is a certified Reiki Master, and has participated in full moon ceremonies and community Reiki events at SoderWorld in Willow Springs. Maria says, “I have had the privilege of sharing my healing gifts of Reiki light, compassion, enlightenment and encouragement with many. I look forward to the opportunity to share my special healing light with you."
Kate Woltzen, RYT 200
Kate, a mother of two, started practicing yoga as an initiative to commit more time to self-care. She quickly found how much of a positive impact her practice had on life, both physically and mentally. After developing a regular yoga practice, she knew she wanted to dive deeper into her own practice to ultimately share it with others. She completed her 200-hour teacher training at Southside Om. Kate has been teaching around Chicago in various schools, studios, and health clubs. She aims to provide a safe space for students to explore and deepen their yoga practices.
Dawn Hayman-Romero, RYT 500
Practicing yoga since 2006, Dawn has experienced the many benefits of yoga, both on and off the mat. Yoga has complemented and enhanced her other activities, keeping her strong, flexible, and mentally tough. Her desire to share the benefits of yoga led her to teach. Dawn's style is modern, athletic, upbeat, accessible to all, and suitable for all levels to build strength, flexibility, and balance. She has practiced in Hawaii, Florida, Afghanistan, Texas, Iowa, and has finally returned home to Chicago. In 2016, she received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Surya Yoga. Since then she has she has earned additional certifications in Yoga Warrior (Trauma Sensitive Yoga & Yoga for First Responders), Connected Warriors (Volunteer Yoga for Veterans), and Yoga for Amputees. Dawn is a U.S. Army veteran, triathlete, and marathon runner.