Lauren James
Yoga Program Coordinator:

Lauren is the studio manager of the McFetridge Yoga & Fitness Studio, as well as a yoga teacher, fitness instructor, and certified personal trainer. Gaining her 200 RYT certification from Prairie Yoga, her training emphasizes alignment and mindful movements. She turned to yoga in college out of curiosity and with a focus on fitness. Her practice flourished while in graduate school and training for half-marathons and a marathon. She gravitated toward restorative yoga to complement the strenuous running schedule. The practice of restorative yoga allowed her to truly get in touch with her physical state and taught her how to mentally slow down. After years of exclusively practicing restorative yoga, she eventually added vinyasa yoga to her practice and she continues to practice (and teach) both styles of yoga regularly.

Yoga has taught her how to turn inside when negativity surrounds her. Yoga has taught her that her voice has a right to be heard and to speak her truth. Yoga has taught her the importance of slowing down and mindfulness. Yoga has taught her how to be a happier version of herself. This is why she teaches yoga to others: in the hopes that other people can find the happiness, gratitude, self-love, and kind heartedness that she learned on her mat.

Pamela Paul
Yoga & Pilates Instructor:

Pamela Paul is an east coast transplant who has always relied on dance and movement to heal what ails her physically and spiritually. She studied for 10 years at the New York Theatre Ballet's training school and performed for seven years as a member of the Chicago-based retro dance troupe The Revelettes. She began teaching Pilates after a career in architecture and design and holds a 500-hour certification in classical Pilates via Core Pilates NYC. Since becoming a mother at the age of 40, Pamela gained a deeper appreciation for meditation and mindfulness and thus pursued a 200 hour yoga certification from Bloom Yoga in Chicago. In her classes, Pamela encourages playfulness, hard work, and self-acceptance. She strives to make every client feel great in their body regardless of gender, age, injury, size, and ability. When not teaching or parenting, Pamela enjoys seeking old treasures at flea markets and expanding her knowledge of movement and healing arts.

Olivia Piazza
Fitness Instructor:

Olivia Piazza has been a group fitness participant at Northeastern University in Boston for three years. Taking several classes a week, she soon fell in love with sculpting and how it resulted in positive changes in both her mind and body. Now after months of training, she has achieved her goal of becoming an AFAA certified group fitness instructor. Olivia is excited to create sculpting classes that are challenging for herself and for her participants. She hopes to show her participants that sculpting is rewarding, fun, and for everyone!

Tristan Krohn
Yoga Instructor:

From an early age Tristan found great joy in moving and working with the human form. Group sports in adolescence through strength training into adulthood he found new inventive ways to put his body to work. Finding yoga in college as an off day activity for power lifting he began his long winding road journey inwards. The physical form is swell and all, yet the introspective yoga practices reignited the zest and heart fire to his life's progress. A bachelor's degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from UIUC satiated his hard science hunger for understanding while his current process of self study in yoga feeds his soul's appetite.

Eve Danner Lentz
Yoga & Fitness Instructor:

Yoga has been a part of Eve's life for over 25 years. She has taken various styles of yoga workshops & classes throughout the years, completed a Rolf Gates 200 hour teacher training in 2009, a 300 hour teacher training in India in 2019, and regularly attends yoga workshops.

Yoga has helped Eve get stronger, become more flexible & calm. It has encouraged her to be in the present moment, and to become more mindful, in daily life. Yoga has taught her how to connect with her breath. There is no end, or perfect pose in yoga. It is always about self discovery.

She loves connecting movement to breath, and she incorporates different styles of yoga in both her teaching & her practice. Mediation is part of her personal practice. She believes that also enhances your daily life. Eve is also a world traveler, and loves animals & nature.

Tiffani Lawrence
Dance Instructor:

Tiffani has been a dancer since before she can remember. She recently moved to Chicago from Kansas City, where she grew up and has danced since she was 3 years old. She received both a Dance degree and an Education degree from Kansas State University. She began teaching dance classes for younger students when she was 12, and hasn't stopped since then! Tiffani has experience teaching ballet, tumbling, tap, jazz, musical theatre, and modern to dancers both young and old. She believes in the power of dance to improve students both physically and mentally, and she fuses both her dance experience and education training into her program for young dancers.

Melissa Schwenk
Yoga Instructor:

Melissa Schwenk (RYT) began her practice of yoga after time in the culinary industry left her body and mind in need of positive changes. Through yoga she continues to discover a space for clarity of mind and the deep understanding that we are all connected. She completed her 200 HR hatha yoga teacher training with the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Organization in Grass Valley, CA. She has also completed a 95 HR children’s yoga teacher training with Mission Propelle here in her beloved city of Chicago. Melissa brings a sense of playfulness into her teaching whether with children or adults. Melissa believes that when we connect to our breath and show compassion for ourselves, we can dissolve barriers within and to the world around us. Melissa believes there is beauty in silence and always strives to make each class accessible to everyone.

Becca Levy
Yoga Instructor:

Everyone deserves the opportunity to work hard, play hard, and rest deeply. Becca serves her students with thoughtful and balanced practices and aims to utilize her compassionate nature to help practitioners be their most brave and caring selves on and off the mat. In class with Becca, you can expect thoughtful breath work, skillful flows, and dynamic music to bring you into the present moment.

Becca also believes that yoga is a powerful tool for empowerment and connecting our minds, bodies, and hearts that young people are especially in tune with. Becca has experience teaching young people from toddlers to teens, and does so with the same respect and joy that she teaches adult classes.

Becca completed her 200 Hour certification through Yogaview Chicago and her 95 Hour Children’s Yoga Certification through Mission Propelle. She is so grateful for her mentors and peers who continue to shape her practice and teaching every day!

Peter Norman
Tai Chi Instructor:

Peter began the study of Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong in the late 1980s. Tai Chi is sometimes called a moving meditation and Peter was initially attracted to the slow, relaxing movements of the form as a way to counteract stress, keep his body flexible, and develop internal energy. As his practice of the ancient healing arts as deepened, his body has become more relaxed, more integrated and more grounded, his mind more calm, and his spirit more lively and compassionate. Peter has taught Tai Chi and Qigong classes in Chicago and the northern suburbs for over 10 years. He is a member of IMAAHE (Internal Martial Arts Association for Health and Enlightenment) and continues to study Tai Chi and Qigong with Master Sam Tam and Daoist Qigong with Eva Wong.

Monica Kowalski
Yoga Instructor:

Monica is a Forrest Yoga & Mindful Meditation Teacher as well as a Shamanic Healer who has been taking yoga classes since 1998 and studying various energy healing modalities since 2009. Studying with Ana Forrest for an intense 200 hour month deepened Monica’s years long moving meditation practice by bringing her Shamanic sensibility to a very modern practice of Yoga. Monica asks each individual to tune into her/his unique physical and 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. In the Forrest tradition, she encourages you to make your body delicious to inhabit and do at least one thing each day to delight your spirit. You are an amazing being of light. Let her help you shine brighter!

Leah Ellenbogen
Yoga & Fitness Instructor:

Leah Ellenbogen is a 200 hr-RYT certified Forrest Yoga teacher. She discovered this discipline while doing a favor for a stranded friend in California; she gave him a roof over his head (and his piano!) and he gave her yoga classes every night after work. Never one to wait for adventure to come to her, Leah had already explored parts of Europe, South America, India, and most of the United States, but as it turned out, yoga in her living room turned out to be the most transformative experience yet! Forrest Yoga has a tendency to bushwhack right through the status quo of our lives and sheds light on the things we’ve kept in shadow, whether consciously or subconsciously.

After just a month of practicing, Leah was much lighter, both physically and spiritually, and free of the lower back and knee pain from previous sports injuries. Within six months she moved out of that house in California and headed out on the road to find her teacher. She trained in Santa Monica with Ana Forrest, the creator, in 2011 and has been loving, living and teaching this form of yoga ever since. As Ana says, we all share a responsibility to “mend the hoop of the people,” a Native American saying that refers to connecting all beings to each other, themselves, and the world. This practice offers a path to Beauty, that you might live in Beauty, and know the Beauty in yourself. Come explore your inner space with Leah, every Friday night!

Jeanne Lee
Pilates Instructor:

Jeanne Lee has a background in figure skating and Pilates. She comes to us with STOTT Pilates training and wants to help you connect your mind and body with functional fitness. Jeanne believes anyone can do Pilates, and works actively with the three synchronized skating teams at McFetridge. She has a hands-on approach and can help you learn more about your body as you explore movement to bring strength and stability to your everyday life.

Anne Marie Tirpak
Yoga Instructor:

Anne Marie started practicing yoga in the early 90’s at a health center near her Cleveland home and then with Patricia Walden’s Iyengar VHS tape. Decades later and without her trusty tape, working VCR or Patricia Walden encouraging the finding of equanimity within a pose and practice, Anne Marie has enjoyed practicing in Chicago neighborhood studios and in her own living room. She has attended Yoga Journal Conferences, practicing with Sean Corne, Ana Forest, Gary Kraftsow, Tias Little, and Aadil Palkhivala, and enjoyed transformative retreats at Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires.

Recognizing the joy that yoga created in her and desiring to delve more deeply into the breadth of yoga, Anne Marie embarked upon her 200-hour teacher training in September 2014, earning her Yoga Alliance teacher certification in 10 months. Though asana brought her to Bloom’s 200 hour teacher training program, the richness of Yoga’s Eight Limbs has captivated her, and she hopes through her teachings – and her life- that these philosophies are accessed.

Anne is currently not teaching at McFetridge to spend time with her family. She will be back on the schedule soon.

Karina Lepeley
Yoga Instructor:

Karina feels great when she does yoga. When she doesn't feel great, she at least feels calm and centered. When she doesn't feel calm and centered, she at least feels like she can persevere with all other feelings until the wind dies down and the storm passes.

Karina is a RYT 200 teacher teaching Gentle, Restorative, and Vinyasa yoga classes. She enjoys yoga's philosophical and spiritual aspects as well as the physical asanas. She received her 200 hour Hatha teacher training from Bloom Yoga Studio's Teacher Training program in Chicago, IL where she learned the value of self-reflection, student safety, and the inspiration on ongoing practice. Her teachings focus on safe alignment, connecting breath to movement, and encouraging students to make the practice their own by using props or modifying poses to fit their needs. Karina holds a Bachelor's of Science in Wellness and Alternative Medicine as well as a teaching certificate in the Alexander Technique. Karina just complete her Prenatal Yoga teacher training.

Karina is currently not teaching at McFetridge to spend time with her family. She will be back on the schedule soon.

Kara Lyons
Yoga Instructor:

Kara has been a lifelong lover of movement and physical fitness. As a runner she was initially drawn to yoga for the physical benefits of improving flexibility and strength, but she quickly discovered that yoga provided her the tools to quiet her mind and feel connected to her body. Kara decided to step into the seat of the teacher to deepen her practice and share the beautiful benefits of yoga with others. She completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Zen Yoga Garage in May 2018. Kara’s goal in class is to improve the mind-body connection through breath and organic movement as well as to create a space of gratitude and self-love for her students. Kara wants her students to leave class feeling a little lighter and a little brighter. When not on her mat Kara works as an occupational therapist in the acute care setting. She enjoys traveling, reading, being outdoors and spending time with friends and family.

Kara is currently not teaching at McFetridge to spend time with her family. She will be back on the schedule soon.

Mark Hale
Martial Arts Instructor:

Mark's involvement in the martial arts was first and foremost as a means of self-defense. As a bi-racial child, growing up in certain neighborhoods was not always pleasant. Although Mark had seen martial arts in movies and on television, he quickly understood at an early age that there was “Hollywood” fighting, and “real” fighting. This is important to note, because many martial artists do not differentiate between the two. In his experience, the techniques that are “pretty” or “intimidating” aren't the ones that really work. The best techniques are simple, quick, and brutally effective against an attacker.

Cindy Jovanovic
Yoga Instructor:

Cindy is a lifelong athlete, a former attorney and a six time Ironman Triathlon finisher. Having practiced yoga for 21 years, Cindy began teaching five years ago while taking her first of multiple yoga teacher trainings. Certified in hatha, vinyasa and yin styles of yoga, Cindy has also studied various forms of meditation under several renowned teachers and is a certified Reiki-Master Teacher (Usui and Holy Fire II) and a certified Bach Flower Essence practitioner. Employing various styles of yoga, meditation and pranayama, Cindy skillfully weaves the themes of mental and physical wellness as well as self-empowerment and self-acceptance throughout her classes while adapting the physical practice to suit all levels and all bodies.

Deanna Roberts
Yoga Instructor (Sub):

Deanna Roberts, Yoga Teacher and Movement Analyst, GL-CMA, RYT 200
Deanna has long been passionate about the interplay of breath, body movement, and creativity. She has studied movement in a variety of fields, including Laban Movement Analysis, Dance/Movement Therapy, and Yoga-Informed Psychotherapy. She has been practicing yoga for about 10 years and obtained her yoga teacher certification from Bloom Yoga Studio. Deanna emphasizes body awareness, as well as functional and expressive body movement to help individuals find healing, train more efficiently, and balance the busyness of everyday life. She aims to creatively focus on breath, mental health, postural alignment, and ease of movement in all of her classes. Deanna believes yoga is accessible and can benefit anyone who is open to getting on their mat and giving it a try.

Tyra Notorangelo
Yoga Instructor (Sub):

Yoga has been a part of my life since 2001. I completed my 200 hour Teacher Training in 2009. As a teacher, I love to combine creative sequencing, a spirit of playfulness and a dose of inspiration to help you deepen your practice. As a student I enjoy taking all styles of yoga as well as many different teachers. I am forever a student and believe that yoga is a journey and that is why we call it a practice, there is no end to learning and growing. I take a personal and individualized approach to teaching yoga, influenced by my own experience as a practitioner of Vinyasa Flow yoga. The basis of my teaching philosophy is that yoga can benefit all body types; if you can breathe, you can benefit from yoga. The base of my classes is a focus on breath, while leading students through a series of asanas. The sequence and intensity of the class vary in accordance with students’ experience and energy. My classes are accessible to beginners, while also challenging for intermediate students – with individual attention paid to each student.

Kathleen Matuszewich
Yoga Instructor (Sub):

Kathleen grew up in Chicago and spent most of her early life dancing. She was introduced to yoga by a college dance professor and initially practiced as a way to relieve some of her body aches and pains. As her dance career faded, her interest in yoga moved from merely physical to more. Eager to deepen her study of and relationship with yoga, Kathleen completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in June 2015 at Bloom Yoga Studio. She teaches yoga as she taught dance, with a respect to its function and form, a playful willingness to explore, deep curiosity and joy.

Jennifer Thornton
Yoga & Pilates Instructor (Sub):

Jennifer is a fully certified Yoga and Pilates Instructor who began teaching in 2009 after a ten year career in event planning and producing dance, theater, and film. She received STOTT PILATES certification in matwork and equipment, as well as coursework in Injuries and Special Populations, and was certified at the 200-hour level in Yoga from Moksha Yoga Center. Jennifer has a playful yet detailed teaching style, and she especially loves working with beginners, older adults, and those recovering from injury. She believes a combination of Pilates and Yoga allows students to uncover the most stable, tension-free, and mindful version of themselves. Jennifer discovered her love of movement at an early age, performing and competing in dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading throughout her youth. She has danced in numerous commercial and charity events around Chicago. Jennifer also enjoys cooking, cycling, running 5ks, traveling, and organizing a block club in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago with her husband Adam.

Olivia Myers
Yoga & Fitness Instructor (Sub):

Olivia got her first taste of yoga when it was a required class for her dance company. Like most forced participation, she loathed those early Saturday morning planks and down dogs (looking back on it now, she understands the hatred sprung from her lack of upper body strength). It wasn’t until she started attending classes at CorePower in college and met other inspiring yogis that yoga began to click. She began to fall in love with the mind-body connection that she was creating within herself that she decided to pursue her 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2015. The strength, balance and growth she has experienced through her practice is something she hopes her students find in her classes.

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