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.
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.”
Brian is a professional actor (SAG/AFTRA & AEA) and has been practicing Yoga since 2000. He came to Yoga thru actor training as a purely physical discipline. Over time his practice evolved, infusing life on and off the mat with a deeper sense of mindfulness, awareness, and gratitude.
Brian’s approach is accessible and direct; he believes that Yoga is for everyone. Classes with Brian are fun, often sweaty, and always a journey to somewhere new.
Brian is a Yoga Alliance 200 RYT recognized instructor (TULA Yoga, Chicago). Instagram: @briangreyyoga #namastrosé
Bri is a Chicago native who grew up practicing yoga with her mom. Her practice really blossomed at Yoga Now, as a student, in her early 20s. A chaotic home life and busy school schedule drove Bri to her mat and yoga became her daily self-care practice. It was at this time that Bri recognized the power of yoga as a method for healing. After completing her Bachelors in Psychology at University of Illinois- Chicago, Bri moved to Las Vegas in 2014 where she decided pursue a 200-Hour certification at Sin City Yoga. This training included prenatal guidance and Thai massage workshops. In an effort to combine her interest in psychology with a passion for yoga, Bri gained a Trauma Informed Yoga (TRY) Teaching Certification under Joyce Bosen in 2017. At this point her unique teaching style began to unfold. Bri’s classes focus on connecting to the breath, identifying areas of tension in the body, and directing energy to those spaces in an effort to alleviate suffering. Yoga inspires Bri to look inward and reflect and she uses that to curate creative themes for classes that include thoughtful sequencing and plenty of space to surrender. She hopes to engage your senses through music and sound bath exploration, herb burning, and essential oil application. She also incorporates the use of safe, hands on adjustments. Bri’s classes are challenging, yet balanced, and are often playful. Last year, Bri received her Reiki II Certification under Tiffany Ketchmark and utilizes this knowledge and training both on and off the mat. In addition to teaching at Yoga Now, Bri has taught yoga at Cook County Jail and The Rape Crisis Center. Bri is receiving her Masters in Social Work with a specialization in mental health and groups from Loyola University in May of 2020 and plans to incorporate yoga in her future work as a Clinical Therapist.
Brittany is a small town native who grew up on the east side of Michigan. Ambitious to break free from her roots where she was a competitive cheerleader and gymnast, she endeavored on a new journey to obtain a degree in advertising at Western Michigan University. Soon after graduating WMU, Brittany found herself seeking a life full of adventure so she packed her bags and moved to Chicago where she found her true passion in yoga.
Her journey began on the shores of Lake Michigan when a friend invited her to an outdoor yoga class at the Belmont Harbor. Immediately, she felt at peace and re-connected with her body, a feeling she hadn’t experienced since she was a gymnast. Soon after this, she started to develop her personal practice.
Brittany’s practice has helped her through some rather difficult times but mostly, her yoga practice has helped her become a stronger, more confident and all around happier person.
As her passion for yoga strengthened, it was clear that it was time to broaden her yoga education as well as share the practice that changed her life with those around her. She went on to complete her 200HR Yoga Teacher Training in December of 2018 and has been teaching and sharing her love of the practice since April of 2019. That fall she completed Jason Crandell’s, Art of Vinyasa Yoga Sequencing workshop, and acknowledges that there is always more to learn both as a teacher and a student. She continues to embody yoga in both her personal and professional life through continued education.
Brittany’s priority as a yoga teacher is to help students nurture their mind, body, and spirit by passionately guiding them through an intelligent, mindful, and safe asana practice.
Cathy Leggett was first introduced to yoga as a part of her classical ballet training during high school. She rediscovered yoga as an outlet for stress relief while working on Wall Street and pursuing her MBA at the University of Chicago. Her classes are meditative with a focus on strength building, relieving corporate world stress (opening the neck, shoulders, hamstrings etc.) and building self-awareness. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with Amy Beth Treciokas at YogaNow and is working to complete her 85-hour Prenatal certification through Blooma.
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.
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.
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.
My yoga journey started 7 years ago. At first it felt strange and uncomfortable and I found myself resistant to the very things I now am cultivating and crave in my practice. Chanting, mediation, and mindful movement are my hearts deepest calling that I will continue to answer fearlessly.
I completed my 200 hour training in a more spiritually orientated yoga discipline in the spring of 2017. Yoga means so many things to me and continues developing with my life in many ways. The core values grown from it are love, connection, and community.
For the past 3 years I have been teaching a combination of hatha, vinyasa, yin, gentle, and more recently practicing developing and teaching bhakti and kundalini. My personal path has also led me to a whole food plant based lifestyle for the past 2 years and cultivated a deeper interest in an ayurvedic diet and hygiene.
I hope when people practice with me they feel free to experience and receive laughter, lightness, strength, peace, and love. I teach from the heart with my biggest inspirations being derived from mantras, music, art, dance, and nature. I strive to give students space to experience their own journey on their mat, creating a deeper connection with themselves not only physically but through connecting to the body and breathe, mentally and spiritually.
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.”
Molly grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where she learned gymnastics, ballet, tap, jazz, clog dancing, basketball, swimming, volleyball, softball and track and field. Movement has been a consistent part of her life.
She was first introduced to yoga in the 8th grade. Her basketball coach had all of the team members take a class to decrease stress and anxiety before an upcoming tournament. Given her background in gymnastics and dance, yoga came naturally to Molly and she has loved it ever since.
Molly began practicing yoga on a regular basis in January 2016 in Little Rock, AR. She had recently returned home from Spain where she had lived for one year. Yoga allowed her to reground and stabilize after being away at college and living abroad.
In November 2017, she started her 200 hour teacher training with Sherri Youngblood’s Sage Yoga School, and graduated in April 2018.
Molly practices and teaches Vinyasa Yoga. She hopes you will enjoy her class and learn a little more about yourself through soul-enriching flows.
Monica Kowalski is a Forrest Yoga & Mindful Meditation Teacher as well as
a Shamanic Healer who has been a yogini since 1998 and has studied
various energy healing modalities since 2009.
The intensity of Ana Forrest’s training deepened Monica’s years long
moving meditation practice by bringing her Shamanic sensibility to a very
modern practice of Yoga. Monica asks you to tune into your unique
physical & energetic abilities and needs without judgment; combine
movement with breath to renew energy and feel a sense of
accomplishment; all while keeping a sense of humor. You are an amazing
being of light. Let her help you shine brighter!
Petra has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. A passionate windsurfer and snowboarder, she first
was introduced to yoga as a healing practice after a sports accident that resulted in a back injury. Years
of physical therapy and other treatments remained unsuccessful. After her first class of Forrest Yoga, the
pain was gone. Petra understood then that there was something special about yoga and she started a
regular yoga practice that allowed her to improve focus and balance, strengthen her body, and prevent
further injuries. Over the years, Petra tried out different types of yoga, deepening her practice in
Forrest, Hatha, and Vinyasa Yoga. She took the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Amy Beth Treciokas
at Yoga Now, where she currently teaches Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga. Outside of her yoga practice, Petra
works as a sustainability advocate. With a PhD in Sustainable Urban Planning, she advises, researches,
and teaches on urban sustainability and environmental psychology.
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 teaching certification and completed her RYT-500H with Inner Peace Yoga Therapy based in Durango, CO. Her slow flow classes are therapeutic, inspiring, and accessible to all levels. She aspires to encourage students to find their own comfort and inner strength as they grow in their practice to embody their full potential.
Meditation has been one of the most transformative parts of her daily yoga and mindfulness practice. She is passionate about sharing her theme and ceremonial focused meditation workshops and Sound baths with students. These workshops express her experience and knowledge gained through self study, yoga therapy studies, as well as experiences traveling and studying mindfulness abroad.
As a certified Karuna Reiki Master/Teacher, Tiffany is passionate about, and committed to, helping others through this healing energy. Reiki has been an amazing life changing experienced that she is thrilled to share with those looking for alternative and complimentary therapies to enhance their own health and emotional well-being. She offers individual sessions and attunments.
Tiffany is currently studying Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, and is enrolled in an Ayurvedic Practitioner program with Ananda Ayurveda based in Willowbrook, IL. The course has been and incredible experience that has taken her own Yoga and mindfulness practice to a deeper level. She is beyond thrilled to share this ancient knowledge with her students and clients in class, and private therapeutic settings.
In her free time, you will likely find her traveling, cooking, or enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.