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In 2007, during his sophomore year of college, Stephan received an introduction to yoga by his favorite dance professor. While it wasn't 'love at first pose', Stephan noticed that there was a joy he felt after leaving the mat. He also noticed that yoga helped manage his stress and anxiety. 

 

Stephan has been a long-distance runner his entire life. He started to practice yoga more regularly in 2011 when he began training for his first half marathon. Through consistent practice, he gained a body and breath awareness that helped him feel prepared for race day. After some exposure to a few different styles of yoga, his mindset shifted from yoga being part of his fitness routine, to a desire to cultivate a yoga practice. 

 

Having completed his 200-hour teacher training at Yoga Now with Amy Treciokas in spring 2020, Stephan is a firm believer that yoga is for everyone. It is that belief that calls him to introduce and teach others a practice that continues to inspire and excite him each day.

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Stephan Young

Virtual Yoga Instructor

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Danielle discovered yoga at eighteen and was immediately smitten with the way in which the practice combined strength, release, focus, and a sense of self-care—all aspects she found reflective of dance, her initial passion and lifelong dedication. As a dancer and dance instructor, yoga initially served as a form of cross-training and restoration. Her career as a professional dancer in Chicago was strung together by various injuries due to the toll dance takes on the

physical body. In need of rehabilitation, Danielle dove deeper into her yoga practice, and what was once merely a form of physical care, quickly evolved into a platform for self-expression, spirituality, and soulful transformation. The yogic mindset, practice, and lifestyle revolutionized her life, and she felt called to guide others looking to walk a similar path.

This journey led Danielle to complete her 200hr certification at Passion Yoga School in Costa Rica, followed by the BYFP mentorship program under Ali Brashler. She has continued her education through studying Ayurveda, pre/postnatal yoga, mobility, Shamanic philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, astrology, and the tarot. Danielle has thrived as an instructor in Chicago, serving her community through weekly classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga and Studio Three. Her power vinyasa style combines athleticism, fluidity, and creative transitions to challenge the body and ignite the spirit. Her love of all things mystic inspires the soulful energy she brings to each class. A born motivator, Danielle aims to leave her practitioners feeling empowered and revitalized by creating a space where true physical and spiritual transformation is possible.

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Danielle Wilson

Humboldt Park Yoga Instructor

A Speech-Language Pathologist and yoga instructor with certifications in both RYT 200 and SUP yoga (Stand Up Paddleboard ). One of her missions is to continue to integrate yoga and therapeutic services to address patients’ goals and behavior while facilitating love and happiness internally and externally for all humans in the community.

 

Allyson enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, environmental conservation, activism, supporting all forms of art, and traveling in her spare time. She does believe laughter with a compassionate non-judgmental persona is the best medicine. 

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Allyson McKell

Humboldt Park Yoga Instructor

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 lives in Austin, TX and works as a Grant Compliance Coordinator for a non-for-profit organization based in Chicago, IL.

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Francelia Serrano

Virtual Yoga Instructor

Anna began her professional career in public accounting, but quickly made a change to mission-oriented work in the nonprofit space to fulfill her passion for youth advocacy. She works to build empowering school communities around Chicago’s young people.

 

Anna became a certified Yoga Instructor in 2016, and she currently teaches at DePaul University’s rec center. She strives to foster equitable and accessible spaces—particularly regarding mental health, mindfulness practices, and self-love. By combining her love for yoga and passion for mental health, she hopes to cultivate a community of inclusivity, so that all feel welcome to find healing on and off their yoga mat. She is honored to share space with the Humboldt Community. 

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Anna Del Castillo

Humboldt Park Yoga Instructor

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Rachael began practicing yoga with an MTV Yoga DVD in 2002, but truly deepened her practice when she discovered Ashtanga yoga in 2012 while living in Montgomery, Alabama. Ashtanga is a transformative practice, which has taught Rachael that anything is possible with patience, dedication, and determination. She believes that yoga is the uniting of consciousness in the heart and has the power to unite. She earned her 200 Hour yoga teacher certification at Yoga Now in 2016.

 

Rachael is a librarian and writer by trade and works in market research and business development in Chicago. Rachael has lived in Chicago and Homewood for most of her life but loves to travel the country and the world. You can follow her yogi adventures @WokeChi_Rachael, gluten-free eats @SenzaGlutenChicago, and crystals/jewelry making @crystals_by_ray.

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Rachael Altman

Virtual Yoga Instructor

Magda has been a registered nurse for eight years and has been a certified yoga teacher for five years. She is also currently an apprentice meditation teacher. With a service focus, she has worked in the food industry, hospitals, and clinics. Her interests include AcroYoga, aerial dance, daily meditation, and dog walks to Humboldt Park. 

 

Magda’s hope is to create a fun space to inspire movement, mindfulness, and enJOYment utilizing yoga and meditation. She is in awe of the mysterious quantum field and in love with the possibility it yields to love and to create. 

 

She knows, however, that it is not about her titles or experience. It is all about the practitioner and helping that individual find their own growth and transformation. 

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Magda Saez

Humboldt Park Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Shelly discovered the Western modality of yoga in early 2005 and has been building her practice in conjunction with other activities such as rock climbing since then. Over the years, she has worked to infuse her yoga practice with the elements of yoga she learned growing up in an Indian household, which includes an emphasis on the mind-body connection through breath practice and meditation.

 

She also firmly believes that the goal of yoga is to find an internal sense of peace and well-being, which can be achieved by learning how to release your internal stressors and to let go of criticizing your body. Respecting that each day on the mat (or grass) is different and letting go of self-judgment is key. She approaches teaching yoga from a lens of inclusivity and accessibility and looks forward to continuing to make yoga open to all.

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Shelly Sital

Humboldt Park Yoga Instructor

I started yoga as my own physical therapy to help alleviate pain from scoliosis. I found a passion for it as the pain went away and I became stronger and more flexible than ever before. My passion grew as I found that yoga can be easily paired with psychotherapy, and is relevant to my field of study. And finding the most loving, open, and incredible human beings through the practice of yoga solidified its presence as a foundation in my life.

 

What excites me about Woke: being able to connect with like-minded people, give back to the community, and heal alongside everyone involved. I'm excited and honored to be a part of something greater than myself that will have a tremendous impact on the community! I'm excited to share love and light, and I feel that this opportunity is aligned with my highest good, the highest good of the collective, and my soul's mission here on Earth.

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Zino Ikulu 

Humboldt Park Meditation Instructor

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As an intuitive guide channeling her gifts into meditation, Amiee is a student of the heart.  She is based in Chicago and lends a wealth of knowledge from her studies at Esalen Institute, Essential Light Institute, and Jeannette Meek: Spiritual Development Center.

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Amiee Tomlinson

Virtual Meditation Instructor

Mary Kate Vanecko is a Yoga Sculpt instructor from Chicago. Her workouts center on mind-body connection, mobility training, and muscle endurance work. 

As a former Division I lacrosse player, she loves to merge strength training with dynamic yoga sequences (usually to hip hop music) for a one-of-a-kind workout. Mary Kate strives to help people shift their mindset around exercise from something they do to look differently to something they do to celebrate having a body that can move! You can find her classes on YouTube.

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Mary Kate Vanecko

Virtual Yoga Instructor

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Sarah is a tech innovation leader & yogi from Birmingham, Alabama.

 

On a mission to bring the powerful tools of yoga to under-resourced Chicago neighborhoods, Sarah created the non-profit start-up initiative Woke Chicago; a compassionate response to COVID-19's destructive impact to Black Americans.

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Sarah Ford

Woke Chicago's Founder

Jacquie is a Chicagoland native currently residing in Medellín, Colombia, as a second grade teacher.

 

She fell in love with yoga after an injury, and it played a major part in her mental and physical healing. In 2018, Jacquie became a certified yoga instructor and teaches on the roof of her building in Colombia, as well as to other educators and staff at her school.

 

Outside of work and yoga, Jacquie enjoys singing and playing ukulele, practicing various styles of Latin dance, and exploring different places, especially in nature.

 

Her favorite part of teaching yoga is connecting with students and challenging their minds and bodies to promote inner peace.

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Jacquie Burgoon

Virtual Yoga Instructor