Amy Beth Treciokas
Amy started Yoga in high school with a Sivananda Yoga class at her suburban Boston high school where she also studied the Bhagavad Gita in English class. She ran Varsity track on the state championship team and was Bay State All Conference in cross-country, and figure skated. She was Salutorian of her high school class and studied music from an early age, starting with piano at age 6. She learned piano for 11 years, flute for 6 years, and cello for 3 years.
She studied molecular biology at Princeton University, earning a B.A., where she was a soprano soloist in the Glee Club and on the Varsity Sailing team. She toured Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, and Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Austria and France with the Princeton University Glee Club. She won the Alvan T. and Viola D. Fuller – American Cancer Society Research Fellowship for Cancer Research in 1987. She was a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Fellow at Cornell’s Medical campus in Manhattan as a Ph.D. candidate in Immunology. She has also done graduate work in Physiology.
After graduate school, Amy worked as an actuary at Towers Perrin, and at Shand, Morahan, and Company (now Markel Corp.), earning an Associateship in the Society of Actuaries, and becoming a Member of the Academy of Actuaries.
She resumed her yoga studies as an adult in 1993 at the Evanston Athletic Club with Kim Schwartz of the Temple of Kriya Yoga. Amy then studied with Suddha Weixler of Chicago Yoga Center who introduced Amy to Ashtanga Yoga, and told her about the founder of the Ashtanga Yoga system, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji). Amy went to Mysore, India for the first time in December 1996, for the first of 14 trips to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson, Sharath Rangaswamy at the yoga shala in Mysore. In 1999, she was granted authorization to teach Ashtanga Yoga. She was a direct student of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from 1996 until 2009. Amy also studied with Manju Jois, Guruji’s son and with Dena Kingsberg in Bali, Tim Miller and Lino Miele, Graeme Northfield, David and Simi Roche, and Radha Warrell in Crete, Greece. She completed Teacher Trainings with Suddha Weixler and Tim Miller. While in India, Amy found kirtan, call-and-response chanting the names of the Divine in Sanskrit.
She received her RYT-500 from the Himalayan Institute and is certified at the highest level through Yoga Alliance (E-RYT500). She is also certified in Hormone Yoga Therapy for Menopause and Yoga for Diabetes by Dinah Rodrigues (IYTA). Amy has also studied Reiki, and is a Reiki Master. She has completed a vision quest with a Native American elder.
On July 8, 2003 Amy founded Yoga Now in Edgewater, then on March 25, 2006 moved Yoga Now downtown to 742 N. LaSalle, a new all eco-friendly studio. She teaches Ashtanga Yoga, Bhakti Vinyasa Flow and Yoga Teacher Trainings. She also leads her band, Amy and the Bliss Tribe in monthly kirtan. She teaches yoga and leads kirtan at Bhaktifest Midwest, Sukhava Bodhe and other festivals.
In 2012, Amy was selected to be part of the first cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program in Chicago, where Warren Buffett was the graduation speaker. In 2013, Amy was selected to join the Inner City Capital Connections program (part of the Initiative for the Competitive Inner City). In 2014, Amy won an award at the Enterprising Women of the Year Conference in Sarasota, FL. Amy is on the Board of Directors of the Princeton Club of Chicago.
Alyson Lyon, Founder and Manager of Bright Light, is a Chicago 200 RYT and Reiki Master Teacher (Usui lineage). Alyson has been practicing yoga since 2005, is a member of Yoga Alliance and has taught Yoga in both Chicago and Costa Rica since 2013. She has been practicing Reiki since 2014 and is an Affiliate Member of the Reiki Membership Association. Alyson also completed the Meditation Course at the Zen Buddhist Temple in Chicago. Additionally, Alyson holds a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Studies both from DePaul University. She has a background as an educator and professional performer. Alyson is passionate about wellness, creativity and being a source of positivity in the lives of others. Website: www.brightlight.love, IG: @brightlightchicago
Amanda started practicing yoga her first semester of college, at a 10 p.m. class designed to help students de-stress. She immediately loved it and four years later she completed the 200 hour Teacher Training program at Yoga Now with Amy Beth Treciokas.
She loves teaching Yoga Basics and Vinyasa, but most of all she enjoys sharing yoga with others.
Bill has been studying Ashtanga Yoga since 1999 and teaching it in Chicago since 2000.
Since taking his first Ashtanga yoga class with Lisa Hill in 1999, he knew that this precious, ancient practice would be a very important part of his life going forward. He would go on to practice with Lisa, and later went on to meet and study with Suddha Weixler (Chicago Yoga Center), Tim Miller (www.ashtangayogacenter.com), Lino Miele (www.linomiele.com ) and was fortunate to have met and practiced with Dena Kingsberg (http://www.dena.net.au/) during her visits to Chicago. All of these wonderful people continue to have profound influence on Bill’s life, practice and teaching.
“I simply wish to pass along this precious system as my teachers taught me…as Sri K Pattabhi Jois passed it along to them. I hope that students are inspired to practice with consistency and devotion, following the method accurately. The importance of this can not be stressed enough.”
Bri is a Chicago native who grew up practicing yoga with her mom. Her practice really blossomed at Yoga Now in her early 20s. Bri moved to Las Vegas in 2014 where she decided to get her 200 hour certification at Sin City Yoga. In addition to her 200 hour, Bri is also certified in prenatal yoga. Inspired to combine her passion for yoga with her work at a local rape crisis center she decided to become certified in trauma recovery yoga as well. Bri is passionate about mental health and well-being and is preparing to attend graduate school in the fall to receive her Masters in Social Work. Enjoy a juicy sivasana adjustment and groovy playlist in Bri’s classes.
My aunt dropped me off at my first yoga class on the South Shore of Boston when I was 14. I remember the room was hot, dimly lit, and filled with adults who knew how to move. As I fumbled awkwardly on my mat, I remember wondering why my aunt had thought this would be a good idea. Nonetheless, I liked that no one in that class seemed to judge me – a girl whose eating disorder and depression had left her completely disconnected from her own body. In that utter bewilderment, I was totally hooked.
During my college years, I found a home in Ashtanga Yoga of Charlottesville where I studied with Jennifer Elliott, Ty Landrum, and Katie Tully. I then went on to complete my first 200-hour Foundational and Advanced training under Ana Forrest. While in grad school for Epidemiology, I continued learning with Daniel Max and Magi Pierce in their 200-hour Vinyasa training. Most recently in 2018, I trained with my first teacher and mentor Cat Kabira in Bali: completing her Biodynamic Yin & Yoga Nidra training and her Biodynamic Energy training. I’m currently in the practicum stage of this work based in craniosacral therapy and shamanic healing.
Yoga – once an ‘escape from the real-world’ for me – is now an exploration of how to bring the practice into the many phases of my daily existence. The practice has given me community while living in many different cities, and a compass in living through states of grief, depression, and anxiety. I teach Forrest, Vinyasa, Yin, Yoga Nidra, with attention to anatomy, feeling, breath, core, and a bit of humor woven throughout. I offer hands-on adjustments and modifications for all levels of practitioner, and I believe that yoga truly is for every body.
Erin Michalowski is a 200 RYT Hatha and Vinyasa certified instructor who received her YTT under Amy Beth Treciokas at Yoga Now in 2019. Erin began ballet dancing when she was five years old, and continued dance in conjunction with pilates throughout college, until injuries required her to find a new outlet for the joy she finds in movement. Erin has been practicing yoga since 2009, and now seeks to create a classroom environment full of empathy, compassion, spiritual engagement, and fun with her students. She also holds a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management from SIT Graduate Institute (2014) and a Bachelor of Arts from Hope College (2010). Erin is passionate about sustainable development and social justice and is always looking to create wellness in the lives of others. She enjoys organic urban farming and cooking, creating holistic and non-toxic body products, and lives by the beach in Edgewater. Instagram: @yogierinmickel
Eva started down the path of yoga by accident in 2001, seeking a brief escape from the corporate world with a week-long spa experience. It happened to be ‘Ashtanga Yoga Week’ at the spa; by the end of the week, she had completed the primary series and was hooked on yoga. Since then, Eva has traveled extensively to seek out and to study with senior teachers both in and out of the Ashtanga system, with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and R. Sharath Jois US Tours, teacher training from David Swenson and Tim Miller and in-depth studies with Rolf & Marci Naujokat, Chuck Miller & Maty Ezraty and Tim Feldmann & Kino MacGregor. While her focus is Ashtanga yoga, she recognizes that each body is different, and works with each student based on their respective approach to their practice. Eva firmly believes the yoga practice is therapeutic and healing and transmits this accordingly. She is indebted to all her teachers for their guidance, support and endless patience.
Francelia Serrano Chavez
Born and raised in Texas, Francelia began practicing Yoga in 2007 as part of a cross-training exercise while she trained for her first half marathon. She fell in love with the practice and knew this would be a lifelong passion. After experiencing firsthand the benefits of yoga, in 2013 she received her 200hr Soul Awakening Yoga teacher training certificate from Southtown Yoga Loft in San Antonio, Texas. In 2016 she moved to Chicago and shortly after she found Yoga Now studio and enrolled in Yoga Now’s Teacher Training. Francelia received her 200hr Yoga teacher training certificate at Yoga Now and is now a registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. What started as a hobby soon became a way of life. Francelia is known for her authentic and genuine teaching style. She aims to provide a space where people are given the opportunity to discover the truth in transition, and the sense of lightness you’re looking for in your practice. She loves to combine creative sequencing, playfulness and spirituality in her classes.
Out of the studio, Francelia works for a nonprofit organization in a program which supports the youth with disabilities as they prepare for future transition into jobs or higher education.
Giana Gambino is a yoga teacher, health coach, and arts administrator based in Chicago. Having discovered yoga at 17 years old as a method to boost her mood and find community, she continually turned to the practice throughout the next decade. While pursuing formal studies in the arts, yoga became the most important tool to help manage the stress and anxieties of graduate school and working in the non-profit art world. Giana fully recognizes the power of yoga to help facilitate healing and after 10 years as a dedicated student, pursued teacher training in Costa Rica in 2015. Focusing on Hatha, Vinyasa, and Restorative yoga, she has cultivated a teaching style that is lighthearted yet technical, with emphasis on anatomy and alignment. She hopes students will walk away feeling grounded and have a better understanding of themselves. As an advocate for alternative and integrative approaches to health and wellness, Giana continued to grow her practice with a health coaching certification in 2016. She sees herself as a guide, helping others to facilitate their own healing while supporting them in doing so. With both yoga and health coaching, Giana believes in meeting students and clients where they are and building them up to make the often intimidating process more approachable.
Giana is currently working on her 500 hour yoga certification with Janet Stone, focusing on bhakti, meditation and restorative yoga. She is teaching throughout Chicago, and works with clients one on one. Additionally, Giana currently works for the Chicago Park District programming theatre for Night Out in the Parks.
Gwen is a Chicago based yoga instructor helping students discover their authentic self, and develop a feeling connection to body and emotions through Forrest yoga.
Forrest Yoga strengthens and centers you as you connect to your core. Heat, deep breathing and vigorous sequences sweat out toxins while long holds in a series of poses help flush, oxygenate, and rejuvenate every cell.
Forrest Yoga does not require strength or flexibility; it only requires that you bring a willingness to learn how to feel authentically and respond honestly, thereby allowing you to feel fully the spectrum of human emotions. With practice, you will begin to trust your innate intelligence, investigate your edges, and begin a healing path toward more fully integrated senses and experiences.
After years of running, weight lifting, karate, and biking, Gwen has turned to practicing Forrest yoga and has completed over 500 hours of teacher training with Ana Forrest (qualifying her to teach beginners to intermediate). Gwen brings compassion and strength to her students’ physical and emotional injuries building upon her skills as a music therapist. Interested in each student’s growth, she challenges you to overcome your personal barriers that keep you dulled or numb as you discover a more energetic being, a freer self, and a more joyful connection to life.
Jack started working at Yoga Now in Oct. 2010 upon returning from a summer internship on a farm and community center in southern Indiana studying permaculture, yoga, healing and working the farm and farmers markets. Jack worked desk at Yoga Now for a year and took the teacher training RYT 200 hr in spring of 2012. Jack began practicing yoga in 2008. For him It brings a connection to a deeper peace, stillness and strength. It is Jack intention as a teacher to help his students find their own empowering heart, mind, body, spirit connection. He was first attuned to Reiki in 2010. Reiki has been a tool for spiritual awakenings and insight for Jack. He offers private Reiki healings. A Reiki healing is meant to replenish drained energetic spaces and bring back your highest potential. Jack hopes his healing practice helps others receive their own true potential in clarity. Jack offers regular yoga classes and Reiki classes at Yoga Now, private sessions are available by appointment.
Jen Gorman is a scoliosis and spinal fusion patient, advocate, and teacher. She teaches yoga for scoliosis, yoga for spinal fusions, back care yoga, and strength training in the Chicago metropolitan area and nationwide. She is passionate about inspiring people to live healthier and happier lives!
Jen was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of eleven. Less than a year later she underwent spinal fusion surgery where bone from her right iliac crest fused her thoracic vertebrae (T3-T10) secured by a Harington rod. Jen danced professionally in high school and then attended the University of Notre Dame where she studied accounting. She became a Certified Public Accountant and then quickly returned to dancing professionally. Although these experiences differed significantly physically, her back was sensitive regardless of whether she sat all day or danced all day. She frequently experienced a certain level of discomfort and pain.
Jen began practicing yoga to balance her body from the many hours of dancing. She discovered that yoga combined with other methods of cross training allowed her to manage and all together avoid pain. Eventually, she found her way into a yoga for scoliosis class and then a yoga for spinal fusions class in New York City. These classes brought to light an even deeper understanding of her body as well as the effects of scoliosis and her spinal fusion.
Jen has studied yoga with and assisted classes for Elise Miller Browning, Allison West, and Deborah Wolk. She is proud to be a teacher, member, and founding officer of the highly esteemed Samamkaya Back Care & Scoliosis Collective in New York City. She is a Teacher Trainer with Elise Miller Browning’s Yoga for Scoliosis Program and also holds the following certifications: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Functional Movement Systems I and II, as well as TRX Suspension. Learn more about Jen at www.scoliosisandbackcare.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer started practicing yoga to help strengthen, improve flexibility, and prolong her career as a professional ballet dancer. After leaving her ballet company of 16 years and pursuing a freelance career, she decided to dive into her yoga practice on a much deeper level to help her with the stresses & unpredictability of this new life. Jennifer signed up for her 1st teacher training with Core Power Yoga and since then has attended numerous trainings, workshops, and festivals around the country including her recent trip to India where she trained under Kia Miller and received a RYT 200hr with Radiant Body Yoga. Jennifer enjoys bringing her lifetime of dancing into her classes with a challenging, creative and fluid approach and likes to combine various styles such as vinyasa, restorative/yin, meditation, kundalini, pranayama, and chanting.
“My goal is to encourage everyone to find their own inner strength & peace to continue growing and moving forward in life.”
Jennifer was first introduced to yoga in a 10th grade health class and quickly grew interested in the practice. It wasn’t until years later that she began to deepen her practice in order to better cope with stress. Inspired by the effects yoga had on her life, Jennifer wanted to share this practice with others. She completed her RYT 200 hr. training at Yoga Now Chicago under the tutelage of Amy Beth Treciokis. Jennifer also received her prenatal yoga teaching certification at Blooma in Minneapolis with Sarah Longacre and Stacy Seebart.
Jennifer seeks to provide a fun, playful and safe yoga practice for her students and hopes they can discover new and wonderful things about themselves in the process.
Julie began teaching yoga in 2003 after discovering the therapeutic effects of yoga during a difficult pregnancy and wanted to help others. A few years later she completed her 200 hour RYT certification at Yoga Now and was introduced to Ashtanga by her teacher Amy Beth Treciokas. She expresses her gratitude and love to Amy for allowing her to continue to learn and practice with her over the years. Julie has drawn much inspiration from her teachers Bill Shapleigh and Jessica Aiken who inspire her on a daily basis. She has been fortunate enough to practice with Sharath Jois and Eddie Stern and learns more about this beautiful practice every day. Julie strives to share the tradition of the practice and encourage the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of yoga in her classes.
Kristin is a professional yoga instructor, dance artist, and writer. Driving her work is the philosophy that creative and embodied practices can be vehicles for personal transformation, and can help people feel more alive and at home inside of themselves. Kristin’s classes emphasize mindfully strengthening the body with proper coordination while regulating the breathing and mental focus. Kristin studies ashtanga yoga under the instruction of Sharath Jois and yoga philosophy under the instruction of Yoganand Michael Carroll.
Mandy has been practicing yoga for over a decade. Once an avid long distance runner, she took her first class at a small studio to learn the basics and improve her cross training routine while training for races. A few years ago, an injury permitted Mandy to continue her long distance running activities. In a search to heal herself, she came back to her yoga practice. Mandy had the desire to do a teacher training program ever since she stepped into a yoga studio. However, time and life always got in the way. After talking to friends and some serious planning, she thankfully found the 200hr yoga teacher training program at Yoga Now and studied with Amy Beth Treciokas. Mandy is now on a path to gain a deeper understanding of the yoga practice and how it applies to different populations.
Mandy currently works for the Massage Therapy Foundation as their Communications Manager. In June 2012, she received her Master’s Public Health (MPH) degree from DePaul University. During her time in the program, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the program newsletter as well as the Program Representative. Mandy also holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences degree from DePaul University. She is currently attending the University of Illinois at Chicago in for the Masters in Rehabilitation Sciences program and plans to continue on to receive her PhD. Besides practicing yoga, Mandy enjoys biking, dancing, a good glass of red wine, and making healthy treats for friends and family.
Matthew Berean, RYT-200
Matthew’s first foray into the exploration of the body was as a competitive rower. It was during these early years that he was introduced to structured yoga practice as a means of maintaining a healthier body. Over many years of strenuous training, Matthew experienced a cumulative list of injuries which began to adversely affect his ability to train competitively. It was while coaching collegiately at M.I.T. that he was introduced to Rolfing® Structural Integration.
Most recently, he completed his 200 hour yoga teacher training through Tias and Surya Little’s Prajna Yoga program, and is currently working towards his 500 hour teacher training with Prajna Yoga. He teaches group yoga classes along with the anatomy portion of the teacher training at Yoga Now in River North. Matthew also offers single and multi-day workshops and retreats. For twenty years through all of this, Matthew has continued to teach and coach rowing to varying age and ability levels in individual, group, and clinic settings.
He is tremendously grateful to have had the opportunity to study with and receive teachings from many experienced meditation teachers and Tibetan Lamas for more than twenty-five years. He uses all of this experience to help clients learn how to fundamentally change the way that they relate to others, to themselves, and to their world.
Maureen has been practicing Yoga for about ten years. She discovered Yoga while pursuing a career in Acting and Stage Combat, two other huge passions in her life. Sun Salutations and Asana quickly became an essential part of her process before rehearsals and performances. She found that Yoga not only warmed up her body and aligned her with her breath, but it also brought her a sense of calm and a strongly connected focus. All of these benefits have been integral in her career as a movement oriented performer. Soon, Maureen realized that Yoga brought that same sense of calm and connection into her ever-busy daily life as well, which is a wonderful blessing! She started developing her home practice, studying books on Yoga, and began taking more classes. This journey led her to discover Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga, which in turn brought her to completing her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Now Chicago with Amy Beth Treciokas, a long time student of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Maureen is very grateful to be on this path! Yoga continues to teach her about connecting deeper to that peaceful inner soul space where love and acceptance live; about seeking truth and joy in the present moment no matter what judgments there may be; and about cultivating a fierce warrior spirit both on and off the mat. Maureen hopes to share this with her students. “Be Love. Be True. Be Warrior You.”
Samantha has been practicing yoga since 2012, when she started taking weekly vinyasa classes at her university in Boston. She intensified her practice when she moved to Chicago for graduate school at Northwestern University, practicing at Chicago School of Yoga with Daniel Imhoff and Stephanie Bustillos. She discovered Yoga Now in 2016 and immediately fell in love with the Ashtanga system. She completed her 200hr teacher training in the spring of 2017 with Amy Beth Treciokas, Yoga Now founder and a long time student of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She also interned with Elizabeth Srail during her teacher training. She finds a sense of balance and grounding through the Mysore style of practice that keeps her calm during her stressful days as a PhD student. She founded NU Pose Yoga club at her university in the spring of 2017 to build community, reduce stress, and improve the wellness of other students, staff, and faculty at Northwestern through the practice of yoga. She enjoys teaching practitioners of all levels and working one on one with students to deepen their practice. She hopes to pass on the teachings of her amazing mentors and continue to learn and grow in her own yoga journey!
Shannon Connell Fischer
Shannon Connell is a certified Vinyasa Yoga teacher, and has also studied Ashtanga yoga. She recently moved to Chicago after living for 8 years in New York City where she owned her own yoga studio, The Fierce Club. Over the past 15 years, Shannon has studied and practiced Hatha, Bikram, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga and found that the open, vigorous flow of Vinyasa yoga was where her heart and creative energy thrived. Her classes are a combination of traditional yoga poses as well as interesting and fun Vinyasa flows that are designed to strengthen, detoxify and challenge you to go within. Shannon’s philosophy is real world, her music rocks (she makes a new playlist for every class) and her creatively flowing classes ask you to tap into your inner child to play, expand and enjoy while giving you a challenging workout. Shannon lives what she teachers: be in the world AND of it, in a never-ending dance of intensity, integrity…and fun.
RYT-500 / Reiki Master
Tiffany began her exploration of Yoga in 2009 as part of a health and wellness challenge at work, and instantly fell in love. She now sees her yoga practice as an essential part of her daily life, as it has aided in both a physical and emotional transformation. After experiencing all the positive changes in her body, mind, and spirit, she decided to take the next step. This led her to Yoga Now Chicago where she completed her RYT-200H with Amy Beth Treciokas who studied under Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. As her passion for teaching continued to grow, she decided to work toward her advanced certification and completed her RYT-500H with Inner Peace Yoga Therapy based in Durango, CO. She is currently enrolled in the RYT-1000H Yoga Therapy certification program with Inner Peace and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with her students.
Her classes are therapeutic, inspiring, and accessible to all levels in efforts to encourage students to find comfort and inner strength as they grow in their practice. Her intention is to help students embody their full potential and to tap into their own inner peace and happiness.
Tiffany, a certified Reiki Master/Teacher, is passionate about and committed to helping others through this healing energy. Reiki has been an amazing life changing experienced that she and is thrilled to share with those looking for alternative and complimentary therapies enhancing their own health and emotional well-being.
In her free time, you will likely find her traveling, cooking, crafting, spending time with friends and family, laughing, or enjoying the outdoors.
Tim started yoga in late 2016 and knew after his first class, this was the path for him. The euphoria he felt from class was something he wanted to share. So much so, that he turned around from his continuing his efforts to join the New Jersey State Troopers after working towards that his whole life, to teaching yoga to help spread that euphoric feeling. Enjoy a powerful, but grounding full body flow, to energetic sounds where you can be free.