Katie started practicing yoga in 2003, in hopes of healing a chronic injury from her former life as a dancer. Through the practice and study of yoga, she continues to discover not only freedom from chronic pain, but healing on a deep emotional and spiritual level. From this perspective of personal transformation Katie is eager to share the gifts of a consistent, intelligent yoga practice with others.
Katie completed her yoga teacher training certification at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago, Illinois. She has completed more than 1000 hours of teacher training with master teachers from around the world, and finds tremendous joy in learning. She is grateful for her generous teachers and healers including Kim Wilcox, Tias Little, Erin Cowan, Gabriel Halpern, Lucien Caillouet and Daren Friesen. Katie holds an MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA from Loyola University Chicago. She continues her studies in meditation, asana, pranayama, philosophy, and somatics. Katie has particular interest in restorative practices, pain management and therapeutic yoga, and inspiring mindful and joy filled lifestyles.
As a teacher, Katie aspires to create a safe space in which students can practice this transformational work with awareness, honesty, and integrity. Her classes are tailored for the growth of her students, and always include focus on healthy and safe alignment, connection with the breath, and the powerful use of heartfelt intention.
Todd Boman took his first yoga class in 2001, on the recommendation of a friend, after moving to Chicago to pursue a fast-paced career in visual design. After some time, Todd discovered Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga was a physically demanding practice that he had not initially bargained for given his initial yoga experiences, which focused on relaxation. The challenge of the practice, however, was something that inspired him and became an aspect of yoga that he gravitated toward. In 2005, he traveled to Mysore, India, the home of Ashtanga Yoga, and practiced at the K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute with Guruji, Sharath and Saraswati. While practicing in the West, he felt confused and overwhelmed by all the options and information that was available about yoga. However, the veil lifted when he came to Mysore; he felt the authenticity of the practice and he knew he found true yoga. The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system links a series of postures together through conscious breath and points of focus. Guruji emphasized three main points for practice: Vinyasa, which is the system that links movements to breath; Tristhana, which are the three points of attention during the practice including the posture, the breathing, and the gazing points; Lastly, in the Yoga Shastra, it is said that God dwells in our heart in the form of light, but that light is shrouded by six poisons: desire, anger, delusion, greed, envy and sloth. When yoga is practiced with dedication and enthusiasm over a long period of time the heat that is generated will burn away these poisons revealing the light of our inner nature. After annual stays at the KPJAYI and with Sharath’s blessing in 2008, Todd began teaching Ashtanga Yoga in traditional Mysore style, where the individual student learns directly from the teacher, rather than teaching to a larger group of students. Learning in this manner benefits the student in that it is possible for one to gain independence and confidence in their practice as and that becomes personal when it is transmitted from guru to student and committed to memory. In the daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga, one can turn inward, gain insight, and become proficient in its methods, thereby reaping the many benefits the practice brings. For this to be accomplished, a slow, steady and dedicated approach is best. During his stay in Mysore in 2010, Todd had the privilege to assist Sharath teaching in the shala. His direct experience learning, not only asana but also the Ashtanga teaching method with its hands on adjustments has firmly grounded Todd as a student and teacher. Todd received his Level 2 Authorization which will allow him to teach the Primary and Intermediate Series. Todd is honored to share his direct experience of Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore with the community of students in Chicago, contributing to what is a happier and healthier community of practitioners.
Jennifer has been practicing yoga since 2000, and is passionate about sharing the practice of yoga with others. Yoga has played an integral role in the unfolding of Jennifer’s path, the one constant along her journey through careers in finance and consulting, graduate studies in business administration, travel around the world, and the leap to self-employment as a professional actor, voice artist, and life coach.
After years of being a student of yoga, people began asking her to teach them, so she enrolled in the Teacher Training and In-Depth Studies program with Daren Friesen at Moksha Yoga. Jennifer knows in her heart that teaching yoga is a part of her dharma of service in the world, and she continues to be inspired by studying with master teachers including Aadil Palkhivala, Sara Ivanhoe, and Alie McManus. Jennifer also loves Bhakti Yoga and eagerly participates in all the mantra, kirtan, and chanting experiences that she can. In 2012 Jennifer founded Yoga for Triathletes, which offers specialty yoga classes to help triathletes balance the body and focus the mind to create an edge for intense training and racing.
In Jennifer’s classes, students will find a mindful practice that is grounded in breathing and intention. The practice flows through artfully sequenced asana, pranayama and meditation to clear the distractions of the mind and energetic blockages in the body creating space to discover the peace and wisdom that is naturally within us all.
Born and raised in Flint, MI Amber is a world traveler, animal and music lover. She has overcome serious physical injuries, including fractured vertebrate, through her yoga practice. Amber has also experienced peace of mind from anxiety and PTSD through the practice. Amber’s class focuses on the subtle aspects of the practice by incorporating meditation, alignment, breath, and mindfulness in a vigorous class. She uses intention as direction with an emphasis on cultivating the student’s awareness of what they personally need from their practice. Through practice, Amber believes passionately that yoga reveals one’s true nature and purpose for being (dharma). With this awareness, the student opens up to experiencing the world in a more honest and joyful way.
Mary Kay passionately believes that yoga is for everyone…all ages and body types, and that we all must just “start where we are”, every day, and every moment. She approaches yoga as a process of self-discovery, acceptance, and transformation that builds strength, stability and flexibility in the body, the mind and the spirit. Focusing on alignment and the breath, Mary Kay helps students attune to the intelligence in their own bodies, feeling and gaining awareness of what is right for them at any given moment…both on and off the mat. Believing that yoga should be practiced with a sense of play and deep enjoyment, Mary Kay helps her students keep a smile in their hearts as they discover what is possible.
Mary Kay is a Moksha Yoga trained and Yoga Alliance certified teacher at the 200- hour level, and almost through her 500-hour certification. Mary Kay is grateful for the teachers who have influenced her approach to practice and teaching, particularly Daren Friesen, Aadil Palkhivala, Tias Little, Gabriel Halpern, Rich Logan, and Kim Wilcox. Mary Kay has interned under the direction of Gabriel Halpern at the Yoga Circle, working one-on-one with students addressing specific healing goals. Mary Kay also practices Vipassana meditation. Mary Kay is a graduate of Northwestern University, and holds a Masters in Design from the Institute of Design at IIT. Mary Kay is an artist/designer, mother, and grandmother, who credits her yoga practice for her excellent health, and the unbounded creative energy that fuels her very blessed life.
Betty Olson (500hr CYT) began her journey as a dancer/choreographer and it did not take her long before she was determined to find a deeper understanding in the movement. Her path led her to Chicago from Kansas City in 2001 obtaining a MA in Dance/Movement Therapy from Columbia College Chicago. Upon graduation she found a lot of joy working in an in-patient psychiatric unit bringing movement, meditation and body awareness to the patients. Devoting her time to understand movement Betty enrolled in Moksha’s exceptional Teacher Training program under the guidance of Daren Friesen and was certified in the fall of 2010. She continues to further her studies through workshops with Master Teachers, such as Tias Little, Ashley Turner and Leeann Carey. Betty’s classes focus on the individual, brining awareness to the mind-body connection. Through vinyasa, breath-syncronized movement, she supports the student’s individuality and helps facilitate growth with non-judgment. Betty donates her time by teaching a yoga class to help sponsor the Ride for AIDS Chicago. She believes in supporting her community and does a fundraiser yearly. Betty did her first ride with RFAC in 2010 and is excited about the next ride and fundraiser in July 2012.
PaintedYoga™. The idea of combining yoga and painting first came one summer, while I was watching my boys paint with their fingers on huge blank watercolor papers. As toddlers, they had fun stepping all over the painted papers – a pure expression of their creativity. In my heart, I know it’s now time to bring the idea to life and share this wonderful experience to rest of the world.
Merging my passions for both art and yoga, I started Painted Yoga™ to inspire creativity and encourage others to express and rediscover themselves through art and the practice of yoga. One of a kind canvas paintings are created using the body and the practice of yoga as art media.
I have been practicing yoga for eight years and also a martial artist. After getting injured in Tae kwon do, yoga helped me to recover emotionally and physically. I then decided to become a yoga teacher to share the healing and physical benefits of yoga to others. My classes are a lively mix of balance, strength and flexibility, focusing on alignment and breathing.
Thank you. Remember, there’s always an artist inside of us. Art and Yoga don’t have to be perfect, that’s why it’s called a ‘practice’.
Founder and Creator
Rooted in classical yoga as described in the ancient Vedic texts, Moksha Yoga Center provides an interdisciplinary approach that includes physical postures, meditation, breathwork and more. Featuring three locations that offer classes seven days a week, we invite you to practice and experiment with multiple styles taught by skilled and intuitive instructors. Revitalize with asana, and dig deeper through our workshops with world-renowned master teachers, expert lectures whose topics range from ayurveda to classical Indian art, and our internationally recognized 200- and 500-hr teacher trainings. While you’re here, enjoy bodywork, a fully-stocked yoga boutique, and a tight-knit community to explore and expand your personal practice.
Alie has studied yoga and meditation for almost 20 years and has been teaching for more than 13. Alie’s passion for yoga has led her to Bali, Thailand, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Greece, and across the United States studying with the world’s foremost teachers and eccentrics.
Natalie teaches Tantric Hatha Yoga. She firmly believes through a deeper connection with body, mind and spirit, yoga helps us to identify and overcome whatever is keeping us from living our best life. A path of deep healing is not an easy one. It can be painful and at times seem to move at a snails pace, but as Natalie has and continues to learn, it is so worth it. Yoga gives us the tools to cultivate new perspective and a sense of peace and serenity. Natalie believes regular practice of asana(physical practice), pranayama(breath work), and meditation(awareness without focus) helps to reveal and brighten the light that lives within each of us.
Recently, Natalie took a pilgrimage to India for the Kumbh Mela (a sacred gathering at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswathi rivers) with master teacher Rod Stryker and his teacher Pandit Rajmani Tigunait of the Himalayan Institute where she was initiated into the Tantric Sri Vidya lineage. Other teachers Natalie has been fortunate to study with are, Daren Friesen, Gabriel Halpern, Aadil Palkhivala, Tias Little, and Gary Kraftsow.
Natalie teaches mindful and inspired classes that are rooted in self-acceptance, gratitude and love. Natalie’s goal for each class is to create a space for her students to cultivate and realize their own intentions, and to connect with their light and the teacher within. Teaching brings Natalie joy, and she wants to share that joy with all people!
When Natalie isn’t teaching she is working as a massage therapist, taking walks, hanging out with cats, learning about Ayurveda, reading, and thinking about what to make for dinner.
Nina Gaglio has been practicing yoga for over a decade and teaching for four years. She is trained in traditional Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga, and has a background in Iyengar yoga. Nina completed Moksha Yoga Center’s, 200-hour Teacher Training Certification Program, in 2006. In addition to her yoga experience, extensive studies in both Eastern and Western philosophy and professional anatomy training, Nina is a certified Holistic Health Counselor. She studied with groundbreaking pioneers in the field of nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is accredited by Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and by the American Association of Drugless practitioners. She continues to explore her knowledge in yoga and philosophy through regular trainings, seminars, workshops and self-study with master teachers. A number of influential teachers have had a profound impact on Nina’s teaching and life, including Aadil Palkhivala, founder of Purna yoga, Seane Corn, co-creator of the Off the Mat, Into the World programs Gary Kraftsow, Director and Senior Teacher at the American Viniyoga Institute. Nina is dedicated to cultivating the direct experience of physical, mental and spiritual freedom. She believes that yoga provides a practice for being present through life’s challenges, celebrations, victories and defeats. “When done with a graceful balance of alignment, effort, surrender and focus, yoga postures transcend their physical and health benefits to become metaphors for life and living.”
Janine has been practicing yoga since 2006 and completed Moksha Yoga Center’s 200-hour Teacher Training Certification Program in the spring of 2013. She came to yoga seeking personal healing and transformation and with diligent and passionate practice, gained deep awareness, acceptance and transformation. She desires to nourish an empowering experience for all of her students, so that they too may restore and make the changes they seek in their lives; ultimately progressing towards their best life.
She personally believes that high quality instruction is essential to meeting the needs of all of her yoga students. She takes the time to create intelligently sequenced asanas; transforming awareness from the physical to energetic. Her classes ask students to bring awareness within and find peace through intention, honesty and action – students should expect to be challenged within a warm, intelligent and supportive environment. Because she values excellent teaching, she has studied and practiced with some of most brilliant instructors Chicago and the world has to offer: Daren Friesen, Gabriel Haplern, Rich Logan, Kim Wilcox, Alie McManus and Amber Cook; along with visiting Master Teachers: Aadil Palkhivala, Saul David Raye, Kino Macgregor and Ashley Turner.