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TransformationStarts With You
Woman Being Free

About our Yoga Instructors

Nancy McGourty, RYT 200
Studio Manager

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 is a mother of two, and enjoys traveling, music, art, 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.

Grace Manning, RYT 500

Grace is a yoga teacher, licensed massage therapist, and a mother of three. She started teaching yoga in 2008 and completed her 500 Hour Yoga Certification from Tejas Yoga Chicago in 2015. Grace practices and teaches yoga with alignment and light-heartedness in mind, bringing awareness to habitual movements and unnecessary tension. Her classes take a playful approach because she understands peak postures can be the source of great ecstasy as well as disheartened despair. Her classes can challenge the body as well as the mind’s attachment to what it perceives as a necessary engagement.

 Erica Rose, RYT 200

 Erica Rose began teaching yoga and meditation in 2011 pursuing her passion for integrating creativity, art, intuition and body/mind wellness. As a student she has trained in a variety of styles of yoga, meditation and energetic techniques focusing primarily on Vinyasa, Hatha, Resorative, Yin Yoga and Reiki. She has studied with Sarah Powers, Ty Powers, Paul & Suzee Grilley, Gerhard Gessner and many other influential teachers in a variety of disciplines. She uses a multidisciplinary and sensory focused approach as a guide to opening channels of inner creativity, authenticity and healing from within. Erica is a mother of two, and works as an artist, creative empath coach, and adjunct for DePaul University. She leads workshops and retreats that focus on unveiling, unfolding and expressing authentic inner creative energies through movement, meditation, intuition and art. She enjoys hanging out in nature, music, art, collaboration and connection. Erica Rose is a Reiki Master and certified meditation instructor. 

 Esther Robson, RYT 200

Esther started practicing yoga in 2002 in a fitness center and knew that there had to be more to yoga then just a mat on a gym floor. She began to practice yoga with a private instructor who transformed her life, her mind and her body. She was encouraged to pursue her teacher certification and completed her RYT 200 in 2004 and began teaching Hatha Flow and immediately fell in love. Esther has practiced many yoga styles from Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram to recently taking a more gentle approach with a focus on mindfulness and breathe. When not on the mat, Esther has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and appreciates the perks of discounted hotel rooms, as traveling is one of her passions.  Originally from Little Italy in Chicago, Esther has lived in Evergreen Park for 21 years with her husband and 4 year old lab, but she will always be a city girl at heart. She didn’t know when you marry a South Side boy you never leave the South Side.  

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 Lanier

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. 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.

Kenya Butts, RYT 500

  Kenya began practicing yoga in 2006 as way to find peace and calm in this    hectic world. She found peace and patience on the mat.  Kenya found herself  always in a yoga class. She enjoyed the challenge of yoga and how it made  her body and mind feel. In 2009, Kenya decided that she wanted to spread her  love of yoga to others. Kenya completed her first 200-hour yoga teacher  training at Corepower Yoga. As a lifelong learner, she decided to continue her thirst for knowlegde and completed a second 200-hour yoga teacher training through Pure Yoga lead by Allison English and Jim Kulackowski, and a 500-hour teacher training through the Darshan Center lead by Jim Kulackowski. Kenya loves everything about yoga, and knows that when life gets hectic she can always get on her mat and everything will begin to make sense.

Jessica Clarke, RYT 200

Jessica has been practicing yoga for the last 20 years. As a busy mom of five, she finds yoga to be the perfect way to connect the mind and body. She believes that yoga is for everyone, and that if you give it a try, you’ll be able to see the many benefits beyond just the physical. Jessica’s classes are designed for all levels, and she encourages students to deepen their practices by teaching them that there’s more to yoga then the postures. She received her 200 hour certification at Revival Yoga, and is excited to share her passion for yoga with others. Jessica's goal is for her students to leave her classes feeling better then when they started, and to carry that feeling out into their everyday lives and share it with others.