North Branch Yoga Instructors

Click a name and read the bio:

Joan Anundson-Ahr
Certifications:
RYT 200 Himalayan Yoga and Meditation
Certified Medical Assistant, Orthopedic
Why I practice Yoga:
Sitting comfortably in stillness, to listen to the stream of our intuitive knowledge, requires a strong and flexible body and a mind that can transform distracting thoughts into beneficial Self Realization.
Yoga has passed down the tools we need to be successful in this life long practice that leaves us feeling relaxed and energized and Awake!
Why I teach Yoga:
The time spent practicing on my mat has given me the gift of accepting my challenges as sign posts pointing the way to evolve. I teach to share this spirit of adventure with the North Branch Yoga Community!

Tabitha Carney website
Certifications:
I am a vinyasa yoga teacher who regularly moonlights teaching kundalini & gentle/hatha yoga. I completed teacher trainings at Yogaview and Spirit Rising Yoga. 
Why I practice Yoga:
I practice yoga because it makes my heart sing!
Why I teach
Yoga:
I teach energetic and joyful vinyasa yoga classes with an emphasis on alignment and mindful awareness. My vinyasa classes are “serious yoga play” that will inspire you to try new poses and develop a deeper connection to your body….it’s not the final asana that makes you an advanced yogini, it’s the ability to embrace all your physical and asana challenges with lightheartedness and laughter.

Lucia ‘LoveJoy’ Cigan website
Certifications:
RYT-200, AOBTA-CP, RTT
Why I practice Yoga:
I practice yoga to heal my body mind and spirit. I practice to slow down, connect, to be soft with myself, and to take time to play. And I practice to create a blissful oasis from the drudgery of the everyday grind and harshness of our reality. I believe connecting with our true spirit unlocks magic!
Why I teach Yoga:

teach yoga because I love sharing my lifelong yoga journey and extensive therapeutic yoga technique to spread healing and wellness in my community!

My Mission and Call to Action

My intention, with love and respect to my lineage, is to be a beacon of healing in our community. I will continue my healing practices, and to evolve my being; and I’ll continue teaching people how to heal themselves and each other through sacred self-care, and through service to community. By connecting with our body, mind and spirit, as well as with each other, together we will amplify the shift happening on our planet; into the vibration of Love!

Here’s how you can help in this mission, get involved in and be of service to your community, join in collaborations of healing, create, gather, practice self-love and sacred self-care, seek out wisdom to share for the highest good of all!

-Peace and Light to all beings on Earth. Namaste, Lucia

Anne Dutro
Certifications:
RYT-200
MA (elementary education) — 2004
BA (journalism) — 2001
Why I Practice Yoga:
Yoga feels good. I love the rush of blood to the head in down dog, the calm, grounding sensation in child’s pose, and the challenge of both strength and balance needed to hold tree pose. Yoga keeps me curious about the healing arts, anatomy, and physiology.
Why I teach Yoga:
Helping people of all ages and abilities feel good in their bodies is rewarding. The goal after yoga is to feel more relaxed, and stretched out from your fingers to your toes. I want to set students up for success so they want to return to class and enjoy the benefits of a consistent practice.

Cynthia Gran
Certifications:
-Certification, Hatha Yoga Instructor, Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science & Philosophy, 1986
-Resident for four years at the Himalayan Institute
-Prana Vidya, Level 2 Training, Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International
-Diploma in Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Institute, Robert Svoboda
-Study of Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda and Holistic Health in U.S., Europe and India
-Yoga Alliance Teachers’ Association, Founding Member, 1999: E-RYT 500
-Ayurvedic cooking
-Ayurvedic education and individual consultations
-Meditation and Yoga Nidra
-Gentle, introspective, mindful practices (Prana Vidya)
Why I practice Yoga:
It makes me a better person. My adult life has been dedicated to yoga, meditation and ayurveda.  For me, the three are inseparable and their persistent lessons are intertwined into my life. I endeavor to move ever inward toward balance and the goal of yoga.
Why I teach Yoga:
I don’t presume that I do. Yoga is greater than me and I only represent the long-standing, ancient Himalayan Tradition which is alive and moves through me. I was instructed by my teacher to begin leading classes, it wasn’t my idea. If I teach, it is only what I have studied, practiced and experienced. I have taught various ages and abilities in studios, private homes, schools and medical settings. Practicing yoga improves the way we treat ourselves and others. In my experience, people expect yoga to be therapeutic for body, mind and spirit and I try to lead folks toward inner peace.

Constance Heuer
Certifications:
200 Hour Teacher Training from Heaven Meets Earth Yoga
Why I practice Yoga:
I practice yoga because it helps me clear my mind and feel strong in my body.
Why I teach
Yoga:
I teach yoga because I love helping others and making them feel good. I love to hear that my class has helped another person deal with physical or mental ailments.

Felicia Holtz
Certifications:
I am certified to teach Radiant Child yoga. I have practiced yoga in many ways for 20 years.
Why I practice Yoga:
I have been a licensed massage therapist since 2000 with a passion for studying the mind and body. Yoga asana (physical postures) have allowed my massage practice to thrive despite the demands put upon my body. The depth of knowledge gained from this ancient practice is endlessly fascinating to me. I love coming to my mat and always finding something new.
Why I teach Yoga:
Children today face a complicated world. Explicitly teaching a child to feel his breath, or to feel her strength is the best way I know to empower that child to not be overwhelmed by the world. Yoga is good for all people, but the effects for children are exponential. Being able to teach these skills is an honor and a privilege.

Liz Larsen
Certifications:
RYT-200
Why I practice Yoga:
Simply put, to be good to myself. Yoga has helped me take ownership of my overall health and well-being. At a young age, I was introduced to breathwork and from there my practice grew. My physical asana practice has since become an extension of my mindfulness and meditation practice. Additionally, I find the human body to be endlessly fascinating!
Why I teach Yoga:
For all the reasons I listed above. To help people find the ways yoga, pranayama and mindfulness can enrich their lives—whether through healing, or simple play and exploration.

Certifications:
E-RYT 200, focus in Vinyasa Yoga and experience in Yin
Why I practice Yoga:
My yoga practice is an extension of my meditation practice. Focusing in the asanas gives me a physical way to challenge mindfulness!
Why I teach Yoga:
There are so many beautiful pieces to the peace we can find through yoga. I teach to help others understand the connections in all that we do on our mat, especially upside down! I hope to pass on the wisdom from my own teachers that has helped me find joy in every pose.

Certifications:
RYT 200, certified massage therapist, Reiki level III, certified Thai bodyworker, level 1 Qigong instructor
Why I practice Yoga:
In the early 90s, my mother invited me to her yoga class. I said, “Yes, when is it? At 6:30am tomorrow.” That was the beginning.
Since I was a child, I always loved being physically active. I loved to ride my bike, I loved to dance, I loved to play tennis, I loved to ice skate. I studied Tai Chi and Tae Kwon Do. Ice dancing was my passion.

Now Yoga is my passion. It helps me to balance my very physical life. I have been a massage therapist for almost 30 years and I would have had to quit a long time ago if it weren’t for yoga.
Why I teach Yoga:
I started teaching yoga in the mid 90s because my teacher asked me to sub her class. My classes evolved to being simply restorative and stretching, yin yoga. My intention is to help people to feel better. Teaching is one of the ways that I can help people to feel better.

Kristen Tanakatsubo
Certifications:
RYT-200, Power Vinyasa, Kate Quinn, Park Ridge, IL. 2014
Why I practice Yoga:
Yoga has taught me mindfulness both on and away from my mat. I can come back again and again and always learn something from the asana practice – refining alignment, discovering strength or weakness I didn’t know I had, or challenging myself to maintain an even, expansive breath.
Why I teach Yoga:
Teaching has been an amazing gift of sharing the practice of yoga with the community. I’d like everyone to leave class feeling better than when they came in!

Michelle Underhill
Certifications:
RYT-200
Why I practice Yoga:
The moving meditation of yoga relaxes my body and mind while developing mindfulness, strength and flexibility.
Why I teach Yoga:
I am a substance abuse counselor and I recognize the therapeutic benefits of yoga in mental health treatment for addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. My goal each class is to gently guide students to blossom and connect with their true selves, to others, and to the universe while achieving physical strength and flexibility.

Kim Weber
Certifications:
200-hour teacher trainings with Yogaview and North Shore Yoga
Insight Yoga Training with Sarah Powers, Certified for Teaching Teens, Global Family Yoga, Yin Yoga Training with Paul Grilley, Mindfulness Meditation Training with Sharon Salzberg, I have practiced ashtanga, anusara, Iyengar, yin, vinyasa and hatha yoga. My teaching reflects the influences of all those styles.
Why I practice Yoga:
I have been practicing yoga for fifteen years and teaching for seven. Stretching the body and deepening the breath have helped energize my spirit while quieting my mind. It grounds me in the present moment and reminds me to stay there.My practice is about maintaining balance.  And if you can keep that balance while on your head or hands or one foot, that’s nothing but icing on the cake!
Why I teach Yoga:
Yoga has opened my sight lines about life itself. It is affirming, supportive, creative and grounding. I want to share my experience of yoga with others and grow from their experience as well. A room full of like-minded people moving and breathing together raises vibrations. We can contribute to an overall increase in the vibration of this planet–and stretch our hamstrings at the same time!

Nicole Welner
Certifications:
RYT 200 hour training at Heaven Meets Earth Yoga
Radiant Child Yoga Training Levels 1-3
Why I practice Yoga:
After 15 years of practice, yoga has continued to become so much more. Part of that journey included completing my RYT 200 hour training at Heaven Meets Earth Yoga in June of 2014. This is where I really began to become more aware of, and experience, other limbs of yoga in addition to the asanas I had always concentrated on. I am constantly working to integrate the practice into my personal, family, social, and work life. It is about balancing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being on and off the mat. I am learning to slow down, to see what is and begin to move through my daily life with less force. This is quite challenging working full time as a middle school teacher and as a mother of two young girls. It is about taking the time I need, and creating the space needed in order to flow through life. And as my life continues to change I am blessed to have my yoga practice to help guide me.
Why I teach Yoga:
I enjoy sharing the benefits and joy of yoga, especially with those close to me. My two beautiful daughters and I playfully practice yoga together exploring poses creatively and making the practice our own. Seeing the importance of yoga in my parenting and teaching motivated me to complete the Radiant Child Yoga Training Levels 1-3 in the Spring of 2014. Sharing this practice with other families through the Family Yoga classes helps create and build a community which includes all generations.