***“Please get your Yoga practice from this wonderful person. She knows what she is doing. Linda has studied with the best teachers and can design a practice that is right for you… “your own yoga,” direct intimacy with Life in every way.” — *Mark Whitwell: Heart of Yoga****
Experience The Totality of An Authentic Yoga Experience…Yoga as it was meant to be taught.
Offering Hatha Yoga And Mindfulness Meditation For The Fox River Valley: Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, and Elgin.
Be it in small group classes or private one-on-one sessions, students have described their Metta Yoga experience as dynamic, inspirational, thought-provoking, and life-changing. Linda’s classes are for beginners who are seeking authentic yoga with a meditative emphasis, for those who want more than what a public yoga class can give them, and for dedicated practitioners seeking to expand their practice on a deeper level.
Whatever your path, Linda Karl has the years of training, practice, and experience to guide practitioners in all aspects of Yoga and meditation practice, bringing together body and mind, heart and soul. Yoga teacher mentoring and Yoga retreats in India also available.
Daren Friesen is the director and founder of Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago which is the largest yoga center in the Midwest. An enthusiastic student and passionate teacher, his challenging style of vinyasa flow incorporates asana, pranayama, mudras, bandhas, and kriyas. Having studied with renowned teachers in the states and masters and gurus in India, Daren encourages students to use traditional elements and techniques to overcome the pull of opposites (duality) and to develop one-pointed attention. Through one-pointed attention, one discovers the keys to accessing true health and vitality. Daren’s classes offer provocative insights and opportunities for personal growth through his unique blend of a classical yet innovative approach to practice.
Gabriel Halpern holds a BA in Philosophy, an MA in Health Psychology, and was trained at the Iyengar Yoga Institutes in San Francisco and Pune, India. Gabriel has practiced since 1970 and gives workshops nationally. He is the founder and director of the Yoga Circle in Chicago, IL since 1985. For over twenty years he was a core performance faculty member at De Paul University’s Theater Department. In 2011, he was awarded the Elder/Mentor of the Year by the Mankind Project. Just this July, his Yoga Circle was voted the “best traditional hatha studio” by Chicago magazine. Owing to the direct influence of BKS Iyengar and over 4 decades of continuous study Gabriel’s teaching is all that is yoga: zeal in practice, science, art form, lifestyle, and mystical mentoring.
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.
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.
Rich Logan has traveled the world, studying and teaching massage therapy and Yoga. He has been on faculty at the Chicago School of Massage therapy and The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Rich has also been a guest speaker on Western massage techniques at the Auyurvedic College in Mysore, India. A student of Yoga for over 11 years and meditation practitioner since his teens, Rich incorporates his knowledge of anatomy and physiology with a unique understanding of spirituality in the modern world. Rich has studied at the prestigious Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Madras, India with TKV Desikachar presiding. Rich’s significant teachers have been Kim Shwartz, Tias Little, Aadil Palkhivala, Gabriel Halpern and Anna Forrest. Rich has also assisted Tias Little in workshops as well as his Esalen retreat in 08. He currently interns at the Yoga Circle under the tutelage of the enigmatic and brilliant Gabriel Halpern in the Iyengar tradition. A word from Rich on what to expect in his class: "I teach as best I can to the level of the student. We hold poses longer than most average classes. I tend to focus on standing poses in my level 1-2 classes. My level 2-3 class is more oriented to movement and getting into some challenging advanced work. All my classes incorporate some theme whether Spiritual Mental or Physical. I encourage students to do their own deeper work, i.e. emotional energetic. In the end I want you to find out what works best for you, but be open to the suggestions that come your way.”
In 1996, Erin was living in New York City, pursuing a career in theatre and film, racing all over, hoping to be “in the right place, at the right time.” After a couple sleepless years, her health suffered, the joy within her drained, and she was simply no longer herself. Eventually, a fortunate twist of fate led her to Dharma Mittra’s yoga studio. There, at last, she took a deep breath and learned to sit. Soon, she was attending class regularly, developing her own practice, and once again feeling alive in her own skin. As her practice continued and deepened, she was eventually brought back home - to herself and the Midwest. Since her first class years ago, Erin knew that she would be a lifetime student and dreamed one day of teaching. In 2004, she completed the Moksha Teacher Training Program and has since found two teachers who continue to inspire her practice, her teaching, and her life – Aadil Palkhivala and Tias Little. Her studies with Tias Little have taken her to the Upaya Zen Center, nestled in the mountains of Santa Fe, NM, where she completed Prajna Yoga’s 200hr training and will pursue the 500hr level. In September 2009, Erin looks forward to her fourth week-long Purna Yoga training with Aadil Palkhivala at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago. As a teacher, Erin aspires to give her students the gift she has received from her teachers, the guidance to turn inward and connect with one’s own inner light and joy, not only to enhance the life of the student, but the world we all share.
I’m proud to say I’m the oldest teacher on the Moksha staff. Years of intense play: sports, dance, horseback riding, skiing and triathlons - not to mention parenting! - have kept me fit, but life itself takes its toll no matter how hard you work at defying age. My firm belief, however, is that if there is a fountain of youth, it’s yoga. I’ve taught since 2000, and have seen how yoga is truly limitless in its ability to keep us in compassionate touch with our bodies, our selves. I did my initial training with Ana Forrest, then Daren Friesen, and many other master teachers. My style is so eclectic I hesitate to label myself, but the closest would be vinyasa flow. Core strength, reverence for the breath, respecting one’s natural range of motion, and always seeking for the sense of flow are essential to my style. I love language and music and incorporate Sanskrit and poetry into my classes. Being a psychotherapist, I value the addition of yoga to my healer’s toolkit.
Blanca began her training at Moksha Yoga Center in 2003 at the young age of 18. It was her mother who first inspired her to to pursue the path of yoga and has supported her journey ever since. From that point on she has studied with master teachers Shiva Rea in Vinyasa flow, and aliginment based Iyengar from Aadil Pahkivala. Her recent study with Astanga teacher Kino Macgregor has sparked a passion for the astanga practice. She has dedicated her daily practice to this traditional form. Blanca has a degree in dance from Columbia College Chicago and also intensively trains the Brazilian martial art capoeira. It is no surprise to experience a blend of these beautiful practices within Blanca’s creative vinyasa flow classes. Her priority as a teacher is to offer a space where her students can deepen their practice, receive a balanced practice of pranyama, asana, and meditation and leave class with an overall feeling of ease and wellbeing.
Lance Hoagland has been a teacher of yoga for over 10 years, studying yoga with a variety of teachers and styles. Lance has completed his 200hr Teacher Training Certification with Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago, IL. Having spent 2 months practicing Astanga Yoga in India last year, he has been influenced by the teachings of Ansuara and Power/Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Lance has taught in Salt Lake City, Seattle, New York and Costa Rica. Lance is a certified AFAA personal training instructor and was the lead yoga instructor at the acclaimed Canyon Ranch SpaClub in Las Vegas before moving to Chicago.
Laura has been practicing yoga steadily since 1996, originally as a means to ’escape’ the chaos and flux of her personal life. Over the years, her yoga saw a transformation from the idea of ’checking out’ of daily life to one of ’checking in’ to one’s capacity for self-knowledge and centering. The base of her yoga experience lies in the Iyengar method, which establishes a keen awareness of proper alignment and posture in asana. However, her discovery of the art of yoga would begin when she stumbled upon Astanga, Vinyasa, and Universal Yoga - each of which emphasizes a progressive flow/sequence of asana to open to deeper possibilities. Through realization of the physical benefits of yoga, Laura eventually became intrigued with the science of yoga and started exploring the sacred texts, which provided a refreshing outlook on life and the interconnectedness of all beings. Those aspects are incorporated into her eclectic Vinyasa teaching style, which Laura describes as creative, compassionate, challenging, and inquisitive. “I like to lead a class with a balance of the physical and psychological, the spiritual and the perceptually real. My main focus as an instructor is to engage the mind in the moment, and encourage students to individualize the teachings, to remove any obstacles that keep them from feeling or enjoying their practice. It’s also not uncommon to develop a healthy sweat during a vigorous class!" Certified and formally trained through Moksha Yoga Center’s teacher training program, Laura has been instructing since 2001. Designing a lifestyle that nurtures expression, growth and creative endeavors has been crucial to her as a working artist and graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Laura was a founding member of TENbyTEN magazine, a Chicago-based arts and culture magazine that is independently published and the dwellingseries, which strives to provide alternative viewing experiences in unique settings for artists. She is also a vegan who manages a Whole Foods Market store, a job with the pace, stress, and responsibility that she claims provides ample opportunity to exercise the principals of yoga in a public forum. “I feel fortunate to be in a position to affect so many people (corporately and in the community) with my positivity, shoppers and employees alike, and I’ve learned a lot about human nature working in a grocery store for 10 years.” Laura’s favorite things Pose: Ekapada Rajakapotasana ~ King Pigeon Mudra - Sanmuki ~ Closing off the Senses Yoga Soundtrack ~ tablas or downtempo Influential Artists ~ Robert Rauschenberg and Antoni Tapies Treat ~ dark chocolate Let your Inner Light radiate upon others so that you may see your beauty reflected in the world.
Wade first encountered the power of yoga in the late 90’s while traveling around the world. Since then, it has become his passion to discover alternative techniques for furthering growth of mind and spirit and for healing the body. He has been teaching since 2000 and is certified in Ashtanga/Vinyasa yoga, which still serves as the foundation of his practice and teachings, though over time he found that he connected more deeply with the unification of the breath and the creative unfolding of the asanas in Vinyasa Flow. He also holds certifications in Thai massage, Intuitive massage, Touch for Health, and is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher via the Yoga Alliance. Wade has studied with master teachers in Asia, India and the U.S. and is always excited to share his new discoveries with his students. Wade’s classes offer a unique fusion of styles derived from his travels and from the inspirations of great teachers like Dharma Mittra and Rusty Wells. His meditation and Advaita studies in India with Ramesh Balsekar and in the U.S with Dorje Kelsang have enhanced his intuitive nature and enriched him as a teacher. Seva is also an important part of his practice, he is a board member of Peoples Connection NGO and he organizes charitable events and classes for those in need throughout the year. Wade strives to find innovative ways to keep his students and community motivated and connected, and whether through teaching a class, workshop, retreat or a teacher training, the inspiration he receives from his students is what keeps his love for yoga alive.