North Branch Yoga Instructors

Click a name and read the bio:

Joe Arden
Certifications:
RYT200a
Why I practice Yoga:
I took my first yoga class in 2004 on a whim. It changed me. I saw that yoga truly promotes whole health: physical, emotional, and intellectual. It is a lifelong practice. The yoga asana practice promotes strength and flexibility. Incorporating breath and meditation helps to reduce stress. The study of yoga philosophy promotes a healthy lifestyle, allowing the student to recognize and let go of their egos, promoting kindness, calmness, and acceptance.
Why I teach Yoga:

For me, teaching yoga is my karma yoga or selfless service. While I do charge money for some classes, my primary motivation is to volunteer to teach for underserved communities. This includes senior citizens, cook county jail inmates, and low-income communities.

Betina Cregg
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Mary Herman
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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.

Aimee Noffsinger
Certifications:
200 Hour RYT
Rainbow Kids Yoga
BER, Decrease Attention-Getting and tantrum behaviors: practical solutions
Yoga For Special Needs, Yoga in My School
Why I Practice Yoga:
I practice yoga to feel good. It strengthens and stretches my body and clears my mind. It allows me to center and ground myself in what is important in life, so I can be a better person. Yoga keeps me healthy and happy.
Why I teach Yoga:
I hope that my love for yoga and the arts can provide kids with a foundation for a growing practice and the ability to self express themselves so they can be the very best version of themselves. And because kids are fun.

Ania Plachta
Ania first found yoga in her 20’s in an attempt to keep fit. Having a backround in dance she was intially drawn to it’s discipline, movement and beauty, but was quickly struck by how good it made her feel. She tried many other forms of fitness but always found herself back on her mat, not only because of the physical benefits but because of the positive emotional and mental effect it had on her life. As a hairdresser of 22yrs the thing she loved most about her trade was her ability to make her clients feel better about themselves and that is the thing she misses the most. She received her 200RYT teacher training certification at Bloom Yoga Studio in an attempt to marry 2 things she loves; yoga and having a positive effect on peoples lives. She hopes that every class she teaches promotes physical wellness, mental clarity and stimulates creativity and inspiration in her students. She has a passion for learning and is consistantly exploring different styles of yoga, and since graduating from Bloom she has gone on to become a Level 1 Healing Fire Reiki practioner and a certified Yoga Nidra Instructor. When not on her mat, Ania enjoys going to the movies, cooking, decorating and all things nerdy.

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.

Donna Stiles
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Michelle Underhill
I began practicing yoga in 2001, completed teacher training at Heaven Meets Earth Yoga Studio in 2016 and in 2017 I completed a Yoga for Self-Regulation and Trauma course with Hala Khouri. I am a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) and a Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorder Professional (CODP). In the summer 2020 I will graduate with a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling.

I started practicing yoga in 2001 after suffering anxiety attacks from the September 11 terrorist attacks. Shortly after adopting a regular yoga practice, the scoliosis back pain I had lived with since age 16 disappeared. Yoga is a lifestyle that keeps me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically fit. Yoga guides how I treat myself and others and helps me keep my inner light shining bright.

Using a trauma-informed approach, I love to gently guide students to connect with their true self, to others, and to the universe while cultivating mental clarity, finding inner peace, improving physical strength and increasing flexibility. Recognizing the therapeutic benefits of yoga in mental health treatment, my passion is bringing yoga to people suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression, or trauma.