Annie Cumming, PT, DPT, RYT, CPYT, has over ten years experience as a yoga teacher leading both private and group based asana classes. In addition to earning her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Annie has advanced training in pelvic floor conditions related to pain, bowel and bladder health, and pregnancy. Her holistic approach to wellness allows her to integrate a cohesive blend of evidence-based clinical research, manual therapy, mindfulness, and breath practice into patient care and yoga classes. Annie is passionate about working with the whole person, not just the symptoms, to support living more fully in your body for an engaging healthy life.
Bhairvi's passion for yoga started over ten years ago. The mind-body benefits of yoga have helped her heal from recurring neck and back pain, allow her to stand taller and make her feel younger than her actual age. After experiencing the countless benefits yoga offered on a physical, mental, and emotional level, Bhairvi wanted to share the practice with others.
Since completing her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2010, Bhairvi has been teaching private, group, and children's yoga classes. In her sessions, she creates a non-competitive, welcoming environment, allowing her students to honor their body's wisdom and safely move through the poses. She focuses on breath awareness, integrity of the physical alignment, and the connection between the mind, body, and breath.
Bhairvi continues to enhance her knowledge as a teacher and practitioner by studying and attending workshops, through her own yoga practice, and from the students and clients she is blessed to be teaching.
Britt Chemla Jones
Britt Chemla Jones has been studying yoga for over 20 years and teaching for 15 years. Her teaching style is calm and fluid, with emphasis on precise alignment and steady mindfulness.
Britt had some early exposure to yoga as a child growing up in Europe, but it was in 1992 that she started practicing in earnest while at university. Yoga may have started as a simple college elective course, but it immediately turned into a lifelong obsession! Britt later moved to Houston where she studied for eleven years with senior Iyengar Yoga teacher George Purvis. She obtained her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from The Yoga Institute in Houston Texas.
In the last two decades, Britt has studied several different styles of yoga: Iyengar, Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga and Restorative Yoga. As a teacher, she honors these varied styles and traditions and weaves them into her classes.
These yoga studies happened simultaneously with a successful career in the arts. Britt worked at nationally renowned art museums, auction houses, as an art consultant and college professor.
In 2012, Britt moved to Illinois with her husband and their two young sons.
When Cassie Rodgers found her way to the mat in 2005, she was equally attracted to both the physical and energetic effects of yoga practice. After her 200hr certification from Moksha Yoga in Chicago, she has never stopped being a student. Her studies eventually brought her to the Tantric yoga tradition, a method that incorporates the subtle aspects of pranayama and meditation along with the asana (poses) to expand the internal experience.
Cassie skillfully crafts her classes by guiding students to connect to themselves on a more subtle level, yet feel challenged safely, facilitating a state of balance for both body and mind.
Cassie has been dedicated to supporting and empowering women with yoga as an experienced pre/postnatal yoga specialist since 2007. She offers group classes, private lessons, couples classes and workshops including Yoga for Labor. She has been training teachers to specialize in the perinatal life stage in Chicago since 2010. She is co-founder of Amala School of Prenatal Yoga, which offers an 85 hour teacher training in Chicago.
Also a skilled photographer Cassie offers her talents to fellow yogis for personal and professional use and to expecting mothers as a birth photographer. To learn more about Cassie visit www.anandawithin.com.
Chuck’s background as an athlete brought him into contact with yoga a number of times during his life – as an Olympic style archery competitor and as a competitive cyclist. But he truly opened and committed fully to the practice in order to help rehab from a serious cycling accident. Not only did yoga “bring him back” from a broken body, but also helped to heal his mind and spirit.
For Chuck, the inward journey during asana practice is a beautiful meditation which brings him fully into the here and now, accepting the present and all that it offers. Yoga is now a calling for Chuck and the more he practices the more he grows to love and embrace it.
Chuck is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance and teaches Ashtanga based Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga. Chuck brings to his classes a feeling of spaciousness and lightness and offers the student the time to fully explore the inward journey during asana practice. He endeavors to uplift, inspire, and bring joy to the yoga experience.
Debbie stepped onto the mat for the first time in 2000 when her husband suggested they try a yoga class together. Initially looking for the physical benefits of yoga, she began to realize how much more the practice brought to her life. A life-long educator, Debbie became certified to teach children through YogaKids International in 2006 and began to bring the benefits of yoga to children and to children with special needs from preschoolers through teens. She added adults to her teaching practice in 2011 after earning her 200 hour certification through Blue Sun Yoga. Debbie also holds a certification in Dr. Loren Fishman's method of yoga for osteoporosis and shares that in her Yoga for Optimal Aging workshops. Debbie is an E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) with Yoga Alliance and enjoys bringing the joy, peace, strength, focus, balance, stability, and flexibility of yoga to people of all ages and abilities.
Each class Debbie leads centers around a theme and includes gentle opening to prepare the body for safe practice, efforts to join mind, body, and breath, and flows designed to help the student gain strength, flexibility, balance, and awareness. She encourages each student to move into poses and flows with their individual abilities in mind.
Debbie is thankful for the support and encouragement of her husband David, her family and friends, and her mentor, Wendy Sadler.
Certifications include CYKF (Certified YogaKids Facilitator), RCYT (Registered Children's Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance), Certified Yoga Instructor (Blue Sun Yoga), and RYT 200 (Registered Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance).
Recent trainings include Yoga Therapy Training with Geri Bleier, Yoga Anatomy Training with Ray Long, Wisdom Warriors Workshop with Desiree Rumbaugh, and Yoga for Posture Improvement - Essentials for Healthy Aging with Gill Solberg.
Daniella first began practicing yoga in 1996 in Brazil, while in college studying Psychology. After moving to the US in 2014, she continued her practice and eventually completed her 200 hour teacher training in Pittsburgh.
In 2016, Daniella obtained a Masters degree in Psychology, where she researched a mindfulness-based method, including yoga and meditation as core techniques, to enhance self-regulation.
Daniella's classes are mindful, thoughtfully-created, and centered on an intention. When creating classes, she considers both ancient yoga concepts and practices, along with the most recent neuroscience findings.
Daniella utilizes all 8 limbs of hatha yoga as guidelines for a mindful and meaningful practice on and off the mat. Her background as both a yoga teacher and counselor allows her to craft classes that help people connect with themselves, their body, and their feelings. Her aim is to share the practice and its benefits, while making yoga accessible to everyone.
I first tried yoga in 2002 seeking stress relief, but found so much more. It didn’t take long before I realized that yoga was a wonderful complement to my gym workouts and cycling. Eventually I began to understand the mind/body connection and learned to apply yogic techniques to everyday activities. I wanted to share this passion for yoga with others so I immersed myself in teacher training. I truly believe that yoga is for every body regardless of age, weight or gender and that everyone can benefit from a regular yoga practice.
My goal is to teach with compassion, sensitivity and motivation. I strive to make my classes accessible and enjoyable to practitioners of all levels through very mindful cueing and pacing. I remind class that yoga is not about turning your body into a pretzel but rather finding a mind, body, breath connection and seeking your fullest potential on the mat. Many of my students tell me I have an infectious enthusiasm but I try to keep it real through humor and teaching students how to weave yogic lessons throughout other aspects of life.
I am an E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) with Yoga Alliance. I have completed extensive studies and hold additional certifications in Restorative Yoga, Therapeutic Aspects of Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Athletes, Yin Yoga, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Reiki. In 2013 I created Not Your Mothers Yoga™, a program for high school and college athletes. I enjoy melding what I have learned through my teachers in these different types of yoga to create classes that incorporate a variety of styles. Off the mat I am the lead coordinator for Glenbrook High School District #225’s robust staff wellness program and I build the master schedule for Glenbrook North. I have been known to incorporate yoga into the workday and have been found teaching a yoga posture partway through a long meeting. To learn more about me, my classes, workshops and other offerings please visit www.debbiewoodsyoga.com.
Erin Ipjian is the owner and founder of Evolution Yoga, where she teaches several group and private yoga classes every week. Erin first began practicing yoga in 2002 and, over time, has developed a deep appreciation for the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of her time on the mat. Erin is a former attorney who had a sense that her true calling might lead her down a different path as she found herself immersed in yoga philosophy books alongside legal texts. Eventually, she began studying yoga more formally and opened Evolution Yoga in 2014 to share the practice with others.
As a teacher, Erin leads a well-rounded, flow yoga practice that is physically challenging, yet mindfully paced to allow for exploration and refinement of the poses. Her classes interweave practical and modern day applications of yoga's contemplative practices, a strong knowledge of anatomy, and an emphasis on the breath. She thoughtfully and creatively sequences her classes to ensure that her students can safely challenge themselves in an environment that is fun, supportive, and free from judgment.
Erin holds an E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) certification with Yoga Alliance. She obtained her 200 hour certification from Moksha Yoga Center. She has trained with and is influenced by teachers from a variety of yoga traditions, including Aadil Palkhivala, Gabriel Halpern, Gary Kraftsow, Jason Crandell, Rod Stryker, and Tias Little. A lifelong learner, Erin is dedicated to her continued study of yoga.
Erin’s ultimate goal is to assist her students in reconnecting to the place of strength, clarity, freedom, and ease already within themselves. She finds immense joy in sharing the practice of yoga with others.
John, a former Chicago Public Schools Early Childhood Administrator and Kindergarten teacher, began his study of yoga in 2016 at Evolution Yoga under the guidance of Erin Ipjian. His passion and love for yoga were clearly evident from his first practices. Originally he took up yoga for the physical qualities, but soon after, discovered how the practice affects not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well.
John's teaching comes directly from his daily experiences on his yoga mat. He is grateful to be an avid student of Jim Bennitt and James Tennant, owners of Tejas Yoga, and is strongly influenced by their approach to vinyasa krama (intelligent sequencing) and the application of Ayurvedic principles in the physical practice. In 2018, John completed his Yoga certification in a year long, 250-hour teacher training program at Tejas Yoga in Chicago. He has been influenced by and trained under teachers including Rod Stryker, Gabriel Halpern and Cassie Rodgers.
John's practice can be physically demanding; however, it will always have an emphasis on breathwork and meditation, helping to unite body, mind and spirit.
Over more than 15 years of practice, I have learned that yoga is much more than just a physical exercise. It is a practice of compassionate discipline, breath, meditation, energy work, as well as asana (yoga poses). In all my yoga classes and in our private sessions you will experience a unique blend of strong alignment based asana practice, mindful meditation, Kira’s Bliss essential oils, and pranayama (breath work). The meditation you will experience in my classes is not trying to transform you from being who you already are. Instead you will become more aware of exactly who you are, and your truth in every moment. Mindful meditation will help you hone an ability to be present in life no matter how challenging. All my classes will link your practice on the mat to your life. The yoga practice, to be effective, does not start and finish on our mats, but is part of everything we do, and everything we are. Therefore, you will often find meaningful friendships and human connections being formed in classes. To learn more please visit www.kirasbliss.com
Linda Van Spankeren
Linda first discovered yoga when a friend presented her with a mat as a birthday gift many years ago. That simple gesture became the gift of a lifetime as yoga steadily grew to become the presence in Linda's life it is today. Initially drawn to the benefits of asana, she progressively saw beyond. Linda believes the deepest rewards of the practice lie within its spiritual foundation which inspire a heart-centered, peaceful existence.
Linda completed her 200 hour training at Chicago Yoga Center in 2009 as a means of deepening her personal practice and gradually began teaching in the community. She aspires to create gently paced, well rounded practice accessible at all levels, and feels blessed to share the path of yoga with others on the journey.
After two decades as a stay at home mom of 4, Liz turned her passion for fitness and nutrition into a career. Certified as a Personal Trainer, Yoga, Barre, and Group Fitness Instructor, as well as a Holistic Nutritionist, Liz helps students and clients find their own path to health and wellness.
Liz discovered yoga in her late teens and found it life changing. A former student of ballet and modern dance, yoga became a new outlet for her love of movement. Ongoing practice gave Liz a sense of grounding and self-awareness that has helped her navigate the many different, and in some cases very unexpected, directions in which life has taken her. Liz credits yoga with putting her on a path of spiritual discovery, connecting her even more deeply with her religious faith. Liz feels that yoga is the ultimate form of self-care. The breath work, mindfulness, strength, flexibility and joint mobility gained through practice are central to any health and wellness journey. Most importantly, yoga is accessible to all ages and fitness levels. Liz is incredibly grateful that yoga found its way into her life.
The quest for truth and beauty have fueled Polly’s journey from her earliest memories to the present moment. Polly’s last 15 years as a Yoga Instructor and Shiatsu Practitioner have been a deep exploration into the health and deep wisdom of the body, mind, and spirit.
Polly’s passion is expressing the loving-kindness, compassion, light, and beauty inherent in the spirit through her teaching. This is the meaning of “Shree” – luminosity, shining, and brilliant.
Polly began this journey into the wisdom of yoga when she completed the teacher training program at the Himalayan Institute led by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait at the Glenview, Illinois Ashram in 1999. Polly was initiated into the lineage of Swami Rama of the Himalayas by Pandit Rolf Sovik with her own personal mantra in 1999. Polly also studied with Sandra Anderson of the Himalayan Institute. Sandra Anderson and Rolf Sovik are authors of the book, “Yoga: Mastering the Basics”.
Polly is deeply committed to teaching all 8 limbs of Raja Yoga (also known as Ashtanga Yoga): Yamas (Restraints), Niyama (Observances), Asana (Posture), Pranayama (Control & Expansion of Energy through the Breath), Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyana (Meditation), and Samadhi (Self- Realization). These practices help us to gain control over the body and the mind for the purpose of living a mindful, conscious, joyous and purposeful existence.
Simultaneously Polly also attended the Ohashi Institute, studying under Sensai Wataru Ohashi, and became an AOBTA Certified Shiatsu Practitioner and Instructor. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork which is based on thousands of years of Chinese Medicine and works on the acupressure points and stretches for the Chinese Medicine Meridians in the body. She has been a Shiatsu Practitioner since 1999 and taught Shiatsu at the Zen Shiatsu School in Evanston since 2001. Polly then became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2003.
Polly was a founding member of the Integrative Medicine Program for North Shore University Health System at Park Center in Glenview since 2000 and currently gives Massage Therapy and Shiatsu Sessions there. For the last 13 years Polly has seen the healing power of Yoga and Bodywork in treating very ill patients with a variety of symptoms – Oncology patients, Cardiac patients, and many patients with Auto- Immune Disorders. Polly’s journey into the healing arts grew out of a desire to develop a philosophy for living that promoted healing for herself and others, thereby contributing to the greater good.
Polly’s teachings bring the wisdom from both traditions – Yoga and Chinese Medicine into her meditation classes.
Polly’s ongoing studies include the Ashtanga Primary Series with Sharyn Galindo, Pranayama with Sri O.P.Tiwari of the Kaivalyadhama in Lonavia, India (near Mumbai), and Pranayama with Paul Dallaghan of Yoga Thailand.
Polly specifically teaches Yin Yoga Classes, Ashtanga-based Vinyasa Flow Classes, Hatha Flow Classes, Gentle Yoga Classes, Therapeutic Yoga Classes and Meditation Classes. Polly also conducts Gong Immersions (Sound Healing Workshops) with her partner, Chuck Frenkel, in which she plays ancient Himalayan Singing Bowls and chants the Sanskrit mantras.
At this juncture, Polly’s great joy is to combine her gifts as a healing artist with her gifts as a performing artist by singing the sacred Sanskrit Chants from the Yoga Tradition, while playing Tibetan Singing Bowls, Harmonium, or Piano. In this way, Polly combines sound healing with sharing the philosophy of the great Wisdom Traditions of Yoga and Chinese Medicine.
Polly is honored and thrilled to be teaching at Evolution Yoga. As we walk the path of yoga together we truly do “evolve” as human beings. Polly is also available for Shiatsu Sessions and Massage Therapy Appointments at Evolution.
Please join Polly in her yoga and meditation classes for an experience in deep personal exploration.
When Vicky first stepped onto a yoga mat over ten years ago, she knew she would be a yogi for life. Feeling inspired by an amazing yoga community and lovely teachers, Vicky enrolled in Nature Yoga’s Teacher Training program in Glencoe. She studied with the always awesome Paul Weitz and Mark Lerro and received her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification. Since then she has taught Vinyasa and kid yoga at various studios in the northern suburbs. Also, as a marketer by day, Vicky is excited about bringing the many benefits of yoga into the corporate world. She is not shy about asking executives to step into a pyramid pose or leading them through a guided meditation. Besides yoga, Vicky is passionate about her adorable (and mischievous) little girls, marathon running, brewing kombucha, napping, and being silly when appropriate and sometimes when it is not!