Paula first began practicing Pilates in 2003 to improve muscle tone. However, she quickly fell in love with the way she felt after a Pilates session, invigorated and light, as though weight had been lifted off of her joints! She credits Pilates with teaching her how to use her newly found muscles more efficiently in everyday life, such as bending, and squatting without pain and with renewed vigor. Paula enjoys sharing her practice with others in hopes that they will enjoy the many revitalizing benefits of Pilates for years to come.
I grew up in a tiny ranching community in north-central Texas. Competing in multiple sports during high school contributed to my need to remain on-the-go as an athletic adult. I took my first yoga class in 1995 at the NYC Road Runner’s Club. I fell over, did the wrong poses, and laughed. A lot. I continued to use yoga as a supplement to my running routine for several years, relying on yoga to help me rehab during my numerous running injuries. When I moved to Chicago in 2010 I was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga. I was able to clear my mind in a way that I had only wished running would allow. I traded in my running shoes for a yoga mat. Using my breath with each movement put me into a moving meditation that made the time on my mat the best part of my day. My family and I moved away from Chicago for a year in 2013 and I found myself rethinking how I approached my yoga practice. I made the decision to deepen my personal practice by obtaining my teaching certification. I sought out "Live, Love, Teach" because of the approach the founder, Stacy Dockins, uses to make each class personal to the individuals in the room. To truly see what each practitioner needs during a class I have to remain completely in the moment. This has proven to be a different , very beneficial, type of meditation for me. When you come to my class you should expect a challenging flow that focuses on moving with your breath. I love to modify and adjust, making yoga accessible to anyone who is willing to roll out a mat and breathe. My hope is that people leave my class with a clear head and a sweaty body. Namaste ya’ll.
MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS
David Duerkop teaches a Vinyasa style steeped in basic yoga fundamentals but often sequenced in creative ways. He will encourage you to have fun and challenge yourself while honoring your individual needs. David fuses old school fundamentals and traditions with new school sequences and music to create a lighthearted, fun and supportive environment for self discovery through yoga. He has taught thousands of yoga classes and completed multiple trainings and certifications with Rusty Wells, Baron Baptiste, Manju Jois and the beloved teaching faculty of yogaview.
Shelly began practicing yoga in 1998. Shelly was an avid runner, running 7 days a week and was drawn to yoga because it was something that could provide physical transformations and at the same time was calming to the mind and body. Eventually, Shelly gave up running and yoga became her focus. She is now a dedicated student of Ashtanga yoga and the Mysore practice. Along the way Shelly has practiced many types of yoga; Vinyasa, Bikram, Anusara, Dharma Mittra, and Forrest. However, Ashtanga yoga resonated with Shelly due to it's challenging physical poses as well as the mental component of the Mysore practice. Shelly also enjoys teaching yoga to kids. She loves their enthusiasm, laughter and focus while trying to balance in tree pose (vrksasana) or acting like a snake in cobra (bhujangasana). Shelly is a RYT-200 teacher, and is thankful to have studied with Amy Beth Treciokas at Yoga Now and her current teacher Todd Boman and Alexia Bauer at Moksha Yoga. Shelly also has had the honor of practicing with master teachers David Williams, Kino MacGregor, Eddie Stern, and Sharath Jois.
Kristen is a choreographer, dancer, Pilates Instructor, and arts administrator based in Chicago, IL. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Florida State University. There, she assisted and trained under Dr, Tom Welsh, a leading Dance Scientist and Pilates instructor, learning many of the holistic benefits of Pilates as a cross-training method. She earned her Pilates Certification through Balanced Body University in 2014 and received her Pilates apparatus certification through Core Chicago Pilates in 2016. Kristen teaches dance and Pilates classes in both open and private settings while continuing her work as an arts advocate and educator through international dance festivals, non-profits, universities, and as an independent artist.
Beth has been inspired to understand the human body since she was a teenager. She’s taught and tutored Anatomy & Physiology at the college level for over 20 years, and worked as a professional massage therapist in an integrative healthcare practice for 15 years. She was a performing modern dancer in high school, college and graduate school; socially, she likes ballroom, swing, and especially Argentine tango. Movement is clearly the key to health and the joy of life; Pilates is a perfect way for Beth to share her experience with her students, continuing to learn from them and with them.
After studying economics in graduate school and spending a decade in the fast paced world of floor trading, Alex decided to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Alex founded Spring in 2006 and has overseen the company’s growth from a small Pilates studio into a diversified fitness center. Alex's business philosophy is to find activities and training methods that he thinks are effective, engaging and complimentary and then bring in expert teachers to teach those methods at Spring.
Alex grew up in Europe where he spent weeks at a time in the mountains hiking and skiing, he was a multi sport athlete, and remains an avid rock climber, surfer, skier and snowboarder. Alex is also the father of a 7th grader and a newborn, and it is very important for him to be able to engage with his sons in the sports and activities they choose. Alex has a deep respect for functional fitness, which for him includes strength, mobility, power, endurance and balance coupled with skill, technique, mental focus and enjoyment. Alex trains clients the same way he trains himself, using methods drawn from Gymnastics, Pilates, TRX, Kettlebells and Yoga.
Todd Boman took his first yoga class in 2001, on the recommendation of a friend. Todd shortly after 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 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.
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.