Teacher Highlight: Gina Reynolds

Gina has been here for a few years now and has been a pleasure to work with and to have on the team. She is very responsible, reliable, and always willing to help out whenever and however she can, from subbing classes to working behind the desk! I get the sense that she understands the importance of her role on the team in supporting the community as a whole, no matter how small, and that is always highly appreciated. She is super-smart, fun, and very dedicated to her yoga practice. She teaches with sheer enjoyment and she has an ability to pass along that joy to her students - even when you are doing something especially challenging in class. Her energy and presence is always warm and comforting and I always feel like I am being supported in her classes (again, no matter what challenge she is offering you :)

I’m so happy to have Gina at TULA and I look forward to continuing to support her on her yoga journey, as she has always supported us.

Here’s some more about Gina:

Hometown: a very small town in Pennsylvania called Boswell. Which is not where the aliens crashed. That's Roswell, in New Mexico. (I've been asked that more than a few times.)

Favorite Color: All of them. I love bright colors.-

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Favorite Yoga Pose: Inversions. Especially forearm balance with all the leg variations.

Least Favorite: (Why) Chair. It's always hard and I'm never comfortable. There are other poses that I've disliked in the past but grown to love such as double pigeon and gomukhasana, even though they're both still really intense for me. Other poses have grown on me over the years, even if "love" isn't quite the right word for them like dolphin and goddess. But I've disliked chair from day one, my relationship with it hasn't ever improved.

Sign: Aries. A fire sign.

Favorite Place: Home! With my husband and dogs and cat, and books and piano and wine, and brightly colored walls and rugs and a large dining room table to welcome guests.

Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride. A childhood favorite that I still enjoy revisiting from time to time. I've seen plenty of good movies as an adult, but nothing that I've seen as an adult has stuck with me like the movies from my childhood. Though I am aware that it doesn't pass the Bechdel test. And the last time I watched it, I was yelling at Princess Buttercup to at least pick up the sword and throw it to Westley while he wrestled the Rodent of Unusual Size in the Fire Swamp.

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How do you define Yoga? The word "yoga" means union or yoked, and yoga is comprised of 8 limbs, one of which is the physical asana practice. The majority of my yoga practice is dedicated to asana practice. I love physical poses that can be restful or vigorous or thoughtfully challenging, depending on what I need. Through the practice of physical postures, I've grown in my exposure to the other limbs including pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation). Although the other limbs are not given as much attention in classes as the physical postures, I was nonetheless slowly exposed to the other branches over the years. I didn't learn about them in an organized way until I started reading about yoga philosophy and enrolled in yoga teacher training. In trying to explain how yoga has helped me and why I love it so much, I realized that a lot of the benefits I've taken from my practice fall under the other limbs. Yoga has helped me be present in the moment, without focusing on the "why did I...?" (the past) or "what if..." (the future). Difficult poses have helped me focus and concentrate. Achieving poses that I didn't think were possible for me has taught me that a lot of barriers are self-imposed. Holding uncomfortable poses has taught me to breathe calmly through mild discomfort. (Never pain; yoga poses should not be painful.) I've taken all of those lesson off the mat and out into the world. I apply them literally or figuratively to situations at work, in my relationships and in my personal life. There's more to yoga than just the postures. If you stick with the practice long enough, you'll gain a lot more than just the ability to stand on your hands. Those benefits will likely come even if you're not initially conscious of the ways in which the practice is changing you.

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Why do you teach Yoga? I love practicing and want to share the practice with other people. I want everybody to discover and love this amazing thing that I love. I also enjoy the performative aspect of leading a public group class. It helps me satisfy that acting bug that I never quite shook even after my short-lived attempt at becoming a professional actor. I also love the creative and solitary aspect of putting together a sequence, crafting a class to prepare the body for whatever peak pose I have planned. In short, teaching is a lot of fun.

What would your last meal be? Sushi, red wine, vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge.

The band you can't live without? I enjoy listening to music without really knowing a lot about it, so my favorite musicians are nostalgia based. I inherited my love of Barry Manilow from my mom and I discovered Billy Joel through my dad's cassette tapes.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do? Hawaii has been on my bucket list for years. I'm finally going to Hawaii in 2019, not just once, but twice! My husband and I have been planning a trip for a while to Maui and Kawaii, and that's happening later in 2019. I was invited to speak at a legal conference in Honolulu about immigration consequences of criminal convictions. The conference is at a resort on the beach in Waikiki! I am very excited about my 2 upcoming trips to Hawaii.

When you aren't teaching yoga, what can you be found doing? I have a full time job as an immigration lawyer at Hernandez & Reynolds, LLC, where I'm also a partner. When I'm not at work or teaching yoga, I'm typically attending yoga class or at home reading, hanging out with my cat and dogs, playing piano, or watching Netflix.

Three fun facts we don't know about you? :)

1. I was a majorette in high school. I still have my batons somewhere. Every couple years, usually when I'm moving and stumble across my batons, I go into the yard and twirl for a bit to see how many of my old tricks I can still manage.

2. I love bright colors. You can probably tell that somewhat from my yoga clothes, but I also have bright colors painted on the wall in every room of my house, and have done so in every home that I've owned and even some rentals when I could get the landlord's permission. My office has one wall painted a warm deep gold. My childhood bedroom was painted pink at my request; it was the perfect girly 1980's bedroom, complete with brass headboard and homemade pink quilt and heart-shaped pillows. I've been surrounded by bright colors ever since.

3. I've been to 3 countries in the Americas, 3 countries in Europe and exactly 0 countries on any other continent. I aim to slowly change that. Though I really do love travelling within the US and Mexico.

You can find Gina at TULA on Mondays at 6:30pm and Tuesdays at 6:30am. You can also find her on Intsagram: @ginareyn

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Teacher Highlight: Paige Armstrong

I first met and got to know Paige as a student that would come to yoga religiously each winter that she spent in Chicago (she spent her summer months in Michigan teaching kayak lessons). She immediately became a part of our yoga family and we would miss her each year when she would leave us - but she would always return! Then, one winter, she came back - to stay this time - as not just a student, but as a yoga teacher!

I can tell that Paige is strong, not only just physically, but she has a quiet resilience that I can see through and through. She is kind, funny, and wonderfully quirky. I can also tell that she loves yoga. She is like a sponge, ready to soak up all that this yoga journey can offer her and she is clearly passionate about sharing all that she learns with us, through her teaching. She is a newer teacher, but is already exploring yoga beyond poses and the physical practice and she is already a bright light in this crazy yoga world :)

We are honored that Paige has chosen TULA as her yoga home and we are excited to have her continue to grow with us.

Here’s a bit more about Paige:

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Hometown: Stanton, MI.

Favorite Color: Light Pink.

Favorite Yoga Pose:

Can’t Choose! Supported and Unsupported Malasana (Yogi Squat) because it feels good on my hips and Astavakrasana (Eight Angle Pose) because it’s super challenging and fun.

And definitely, Supported Savasana (“Shavasana”, Final Resting Pose) because I love rest.

Least Favorite: (Why)

Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose). I have yet to find ease in this pose and usually experience pain and/or shortness of breath.

Sign: Gemini...That’s probably why I have answered most of these questions with multiple answers. :)

Favorite Place:

Local: The woodland trails of Mackinac Island, MI.

International: Ubud region of Bali, Indonesia.

Favorite Movie:

Can’t Choose! I love Harry Potter, Captain Fantastic, and Patti Cakes equally, but for different reasons.

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Why do you teach Yoga?

I teach Yoga because I love it. I love the way it makes me feel, and the healing it has brought into my life. I want to help students find their own breath, alignment, healing, and “Yoga” within. I also teach because I learn as much from students, if not more, then they do from me. Teaching Yoga adds depth, humility, challenge, and patience to my own practice. In becoming a “Yoga Teacher,” I have become a lifelong student.

How do you define Yoga?

Simple definition: Yoga = Meditation... + Moving + Self Study + Compassion Training.

Not so simple definition: I was taught that Yoga literally means union of mind, body, and soul. This can be somewhat esoteric, so I like to think of the Yogic path as moving meditation, self study, healing, and compassion training. When the ultimate “Yoga” is achieved, there will be no attached description or distinction. Rather, an ease in oneness with everything that we currently perceive as separate. I have experienced a small taste of Yoga in that space between the thoughts during practices such as meditation, nidra, and vinyasa. We commonly use the word “Yoga” to describe what is actually the tools to help us achieve Yoga, such as asana (yoga posture) and pranayama (breath extension). I say that I am a Yoga teacher because that is the common language, but I would assert that I can only teach tools to achieve Yoga. Union of mind, body, and soul...well, that comes from within.

What would your last meal be?

Fresh ackee and saltfish with fried breadfruit, oat dumplings, fried green plantains, naseberry, and soursop juice with lime, all from Jamaica. Yes, all in one dish. It’s truly amazing.

The band you can't live without?

I'm not sure what my favorite band is, but I really love Ali Farka Toure’s music.

Most empowering moment?

The present moment. ;)

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do?

Bali, Indonesia or Maui, Hawaii. I would practice and teach yoga, take surf lessons, and help and learn to build sustainable food systems.

When you aren't teaching yoga, what can you be found doing?

Listening to podcasts, reading, journaling, and eating great local food.

Three fun facts we don't know about you? :)

I am fascinated with hip hop dancers and would really love to learn this beautiful movement someday.

I want to eventually become a therapist who blends mindfulness, movement, meditation, outdoor recreation, and nutrition with modern psychology.

I write free form poetry. It does not abide by any academic rules.

You can find Paige at TULA on Mondays at 5:15pm and Fridays at 6:30am & 8:30am. You can also connect with her on Instagram @liveahimsalife 

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Teacher Highlight: Kristie Kahns

I recently asked the teachers for a few descriptive words to describe their teaching/classes and Kristie said: Intentional, Precise, Sequential and Introspective and I couldn’t more! Although she’s only been here a few months, she has already made a big impression on our students and on me! Her classes are very deliberate, quiet, but with many challenges to strength and concentration with a welcome sprinkling of yoga philosophy and story-telling. I have a feeling, in her classes, that there is a lot of yoga wisdom beyond what she is cuing and much more that she has to share with us all. I am so grateful that Kristie is a part of our community and I cannot wait to get to know her better and learn more about yoga from her.

For now, here’s a bit more about Kristie:

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Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Favorite Color: green

Favorite Yoga Pose:

Least Favorite: (Why)

I don’t like to label postures in this way, but I do particularly love Utthita Parsvakonasana. no practice feels complete without it.

Sign: Virgo

Favorite Place: 
Plaza Blanca, New Mexico

Favorite Movie: Book?
(I hardly watch movies!) Recently finished reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Totally great book. His book This is How You Lose Her is one of my favorite books.

How do you define Yoga?

A roadmap for navigating one’s inner life. More specifically, yoga is a set of practices meant to create a healthy body and mind, provide guidance for mental and emotional well-being, and ultimately reveal a clearer version of oneself and one’s purpose. And the rich traditions and history of the practice of yoga provides more than enough to stay curious about this path of life we are all on.

Why do you teach Yoga?

I truly enjoy sharing the benefits and intricacies of the asana practice that have kept me engaged and inspired for so many years. Part of the yoga practice is the transference of knowledge, and I am humbled by the opportunity to share what I’ve learned through my own practice and study. It offers a chance to build community in a really unique and empowering way.

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What would your last meal be?

Ethiopian food

The band you can't live without?

super tough question. I’m a music lover, and listen to so much music. but an all-time favorite is The Roots.

Most empowering moment?

When the photo book that I self-published (a photo essay of the Ashtanga Primary Series) was featured in Yoga Journal in Australia, Japan, and the US. That was a very proud moment.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do? 
I’d travel to Cusco, Peru and spend time exploring the Sacred Valley of Peru, including Machu Picchu.

When you aren't teaching yoga, what can you be found doing? 
Photographing! I work as a freelance photographer, and I also teach photography for After School Matters. Besides that, I go out to a lot of music shows.

Three fun facts we don't know about you? :)


I’m a really big basketball fan.


I studied dance when I was younger, and wanted to be a professional ballet dancer.


I trained capoeira for several years with Gingarte Capoeira Chicago, but injuries led me to yoga.

You can find Kristie at TULA on Mondays at 9am, Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 5:15pm and Sundays at 5pm. You can also connect with her at https://www.kristiekahns.com

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Student Feature: Shirley Kienitz

I just love Shirley. I also kinda want to be her. She’s a bad-ass small business owner/pioneer/entrepreneur (Wolfbait), an awesome mom of two girls, she’s talented AF (has her own clothing label, BruiserEst2003), and she’s just plain COOL. I would describe her as a ‘fearless ray of sunshine’. I am so happy that I get to see her so much at the studio and that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her better over the last few years.

If I can’t be Shirley, maybe I can convince her to be my BFF? :)

From  Whitney Bradshaws  OUTCRY portrait series.

From Whitney Bradshaws OUTCRY portrait series.

Here’s a bit more about Shirley……..

Hometown: I am a pilots daughter so there were many homes in many towns. Chicago has had my heart for a long long time though.

Sign: Libra

Favorite Color: Emerald Green

Favorite Movie: Is it Delicatessen? Or UHF? Depends on my mood.

What would your last meal be? My Dads Famous BBQ Spaghetti, or My husbands Shrimp and Grits, or a Phillys Best cheesesteak from next to the car wash. All delicious.

What brought you to yoga? A need for mental and physical well being, as well as calmness that my kooky life does not otherwise contain.

What brought you to TULA? Tula is the most welcoming, inclusive, positive, happy place I have ever practiced at!

What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)? I like balancing poses because they are fun and I laugh when I fall down! Same with inversions. Eagle arms has probably saved me from becoming Quasimoto, so those are my top 3.

Shirley in a Bruiser original!

Shirley in a Bruiser original!

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice? I am more present, whether at home with my kids or working at Wolfbait. I also have more strength and patience, 2 things you can never have enough of.

What is your Least favorite pose (and why)? Back bends, because my back DOES NOT BEND!

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga? Breathe, and look inward, it's a personal practice that helps me live intrinsically.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity? It's usually errands out of necessity, but if I could do anything it would be to commune with nature. A hike or a bike ride in a forest preserve is ideal.

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you:

I am an open book so it's hard to come up with anything that is not common knowledge...

1) I studied acting in NYC before going to fashion school in San Fran.

2) I sign the alphabet with my hands when I am nervous or claustrophobic.

3.) I love old footage and narration, Ken Burns RULES!

Shirley and her family.

Shirley and her family.

Student Feature: Christine Cikowski

Christine is just so beautiful. I love seeing her smiling face coming in to yoga - and she’s always sooo happy about it! :) As an owner of a restaurant (Honey Butter Chicken - highly recommend!) I know that she works really hard and needs this yoga reprieve. I am so grateful that I have gotten to know Christine over the last several years. She’s quite a bad-ass and one of my fellow buisness-owner HEROS. Thank you for helping to make TULA such an amazing community!

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Here’s some more about Christine:

Hometown: Chicago

Sign: Virgo

Favorite Color: ALL OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME.

Favorite Movie: Changes like the seasons. Really enjoyed La La Land and Moana more recently. (Strange, because I don’t typically like musicals.)

What would your last meal be? Fries with limitless dipping sauces.

What brought you to yoga?

Wanting a deeper connection to and between my body, mind, and soul.

What brought you to TULA?

Initially I just lived in the neighborhood and it was the closest studio to my house, but I quickly grew fond of it. Since, I’ve moved and I still go to Tula! Small studio nature, friendly teachers, great retreats, neighborhood feel, online classes = WINNING

What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)?

Triangle Pose. Something about stretching down, to the side, and up at the same time makes me feel like a starburst. I also have low back and hip issues and triangle pose seems to not only not hurt, but also soothe and open those areas.

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice?

Being more present, most importantly - especially in my body. So much of my life is spent in my head, on the phone, in busy kitchens, and crowded restaurants. Yoga gifts me time to reset and reconnect to only myself - to work my body, to strength my heart, to let go. No matter how tired I am when I walk in the studio, I always leave with positive buzzy energy and a more grounded sense of self. I often joke that going to yoga is like going to my church, but it’s not far off in theory.

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What is your Least favorite pose (and why)?

Fire Log - but only because my hips and fire log are in direct conflict with each other I use block props to do the pose and to work on opening my very tight hips safely, but yeah - I sort of feel like fire log and me are like two people in a relationship who like each other but simply just aren’t compatible.

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga?

Yoga is a practice that is learned over a long period of time, over a lifetime. Let it take you on its journey. Ya probably aren’t gonna do side crow your first day - let the poses come to you as you are ready. Also - focus on your own relationship with yoga, not others relationship with it. Your yoga is your own - own it, and don’t worry about what poses, mantras, classes, clothing, body shape, or status other people have.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity? Brunch :)

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you:

- I love gardens and plants and farms but I’m a total black thumb.

- I have a tattoo of a Yosemite pine tree from my Tula yoga retreat.

- When I was first starting to cook professionally, I sliced my thumb open from cutting a sweet potato and got 13 stitches. I also have no feeling on the side of my thumb now. #cheflife

Christine and her Yosemite tree.

Christine and her Yosemite tree.

Student Feature: Gifford Kasen

Gifford has been attending classes here since 2015 and his dedication to his yoga practice is admirable. Even when we don’t see him for a few weeks here and there, he always returns with a renewed energy. I have enjoyed getting to know Gifford better and as a fellow small business owner (even in a totally different industry) I find that we have a lot of the same challenges (and wins!) He recently tattooed a beautiful wildflower piece on my arm - if you haven’t seen it, ask me! Besides the beautiful work, he was extremely easy to work with and chat with for 6 hours! I highly recommend him……

I’m so happy that Gifford is a part of our community and if you see him around the studio, maybe ask him (nicely) to play the sax for us sometime :)

Here’s some more about Gifford……

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Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sign: Aries

Favorite Color: ummm, I guess I'm more into color combinations. That being said, warm and cool green combinations.

Favorite Movie: The Lobster

What would your last meal be? My Dads Kung Pao Tofu

What brought you to yoga? Life. Stress. Back Injuries. A decade plus of tattooing.

What brought you to TULA?

At first, accessibility, it being a block away from work. After regularly attending for several years I'd say I really enjoy the diversity of classes and the sense of community I get. It's also nice to get feedback from teachers I've been going to for a longer period of time. Even in the "easier" classes I think they find ways to try to challenge me (sometimes the challenge is trying to take it easy, ha!).

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What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)? Right now, standing balance poses, because I have a really hard time with them. They humble me every single time.

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice? I feel great! All of my old injuries don't bother me. My neck and hands don't feel cramped up all the time anymore, and long hours working don't seem to bother me. Mentally, I generally feel much better focused and my anxiety levels are pretty low. I don't want to get too much into my personal life, but I'll say that I started yoga six months into opening a business, and If I hadn't started a yoga practice I don't know that I would have had the skills needed to deal with the stress of it.

What is your Least favorite pose (and why)?

Half splits/splits. Just can't do it. Haven't made any progress on it. An old injury makes it hurt if I try to push it.... I don't hate it, I like to keep trying it, but it is like a brick wall that shows me my limitations.

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga?

Try a handful of different teachers/classes and see what works for you. And of course, enjoy yourself!

What is your favorite after-yoga activity? Usually grabbing some lunch at the Chicago Diner before I start my appointments for the day.

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you:

1. Gifford is in fact my first name, It was my Grandmother's maiden name.

2. I own Logan Square Tattoo and am a full time artist there.

3. Before I was a tattooer, I played the saxophone in some jazz and blues combos. I probably won't play the saxophone for you, even if you ask nice.

You can find Gifford at Logan Square Tattoo or on Instagram @futureteller

Gifford with his dog, Utah

Gifford with his dog, Utah

Student Feature: Rachel Kyne

I cannot say enough awesome things about Rachel. She is just a joy to be around. She is always smiling, always mindful and present, always kind and thoughtful. She is literally the reason why I built TULA. Thank you, Rachel, for showing up everyday. We are a better community because of you.

Here’s a bit more about Rachel.

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Hometown: White Rock, British Columbia

Sign: Total Gemini.

Favorite Color: Phthalo blue

Favorite Movie: Empire Records

What would your last meal be? BC cedar smoked salmon and blueberries!

What brought you to yoga?

I started doing yoga at home as a teenager while struggling with anxiety and depression. I also wanted to become physically stronger. During university I worked at a health store/yoga studio in Vancouver and got much deeper into my yoga practice—but unfortunately for the wrong reasons. My mental health had deteriorated and I found myself doing physical yoga practice to lose weight, which is not a good situation for someone with anorexia. I ended up having to take a break from yoga for many years while I worked on my recovery.

What brought you to TULA?

I started coming to Tula in 2016 in an effort to keep myself stable and healthy while writing my PhD dissertation and digesting the aftermath of a very painful breakup. I was terrified I was going to fall back into the eating disorders I had finally kicked, and I needed to learn how to be with myself kindly. I tried a class at Tula after biking past it. The first time I walked into the studio I felt safe. It means a lot to me that there are no mirrors in the studio, that people of all ages and sizes do yoga here, and that every teacher at Tula focuses on the interior aspects of yoga.

What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)?

Dancer. It requires you to find your balance, open your heart, and stand strong, and then be able to laugh at yourself when you fall on your face.

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice?

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There are too many too count! I have a much greater ability to investigate what I’m feeling and to sit with it. I can actually feel my body now. There’s a condition called alexithymia that a lot of people dealing with eating disorders and other mental illnesses have; it means you can’t determine what you’re feeling or what sensations mean. Spending time on my mat or sitting quietly in meditation has enabled me to sense what my body is doing and how that relates to how I’m feeling—like if my chest is so tight I can’t draw breath I might find myself experiencing panic. Yoga has also enabled me to sit with joy more, and to accept love.

What is your Least favorite pose (and why)?

Double pigeon! My hips cannot deal.

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga?

Be patient and stop beating yourself up for not knowing the poses. Try lots of different classes and teachers—there are so many different ways of doing yoga.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity?

Floating home listening to a Harry Potter audiobook and then making a mess cooking something.

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you:

- I’m the middle of 5 kids

- My spirit animal is my dissertation advisor’s Airedale, Kazoo, who I’ve been looking after for 6 years. We have a lot in common—she’s delighted by life, has the attention span of a toddler, and finds the world deeply confusing.

- I have degrees in painting, creative writing, and English lit.

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Student Feature: Trisha Raines

I actually don’t know Trisha very well personally, but I do know that she has been a member of our community since March of 2016 and is here A LOT. I also know (from teachers) that she has a dedication to her practice that is pretty rare and she’s quite a bad-ass when she gets on her mat (so I have no doubts that she is also a bad-ass in life :). We are always happy to see her when she walks in our doors and we are lucky to have her as a TULA student.

Here’s some more about Trisha!

Hometown: Longview, Texas (a very small town in East Texas)

Sign: Virgo

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Favorite Color: Black

Favorite Movie: “Rushmore” and “Steel Magnolias”

What would your last meal be? Either tacos, nachos or raw oysters. If I’m being fancy, I would go all out with a tasting menu with wine pairings at a three star Michelin restaurant.

What brought you to yoga? I’ve had two spinal surgeries and deal with chronic pain and lasting nerve damage in my limbs. I started practicing yoga seriously almost four years ago for pain management and the resulting stress associated with chronic pain. However, while I started yoga to manage pain, I’ve continued practicing for many reasons – yoga has given me confidence, strength and an outlet to challenge myself and grow.

What brought you to TULA? I really lucked out with Tula. My husband and I had just relocated to Chicago, and I was looking for a yoga studio that was near our apartment and easy to get to after work. I started taking a few classes and really liked the instructors – especially Rhiannon, Mara, Cassie and Kathryn. I tried a few other studios but kept coming back to Tula. Now, I can never move!

What is your favorite yoga pose and why? I have a few. I’m currently enjoying Pincha Mayurasana (forearm stand), which I’ve been working on for more than a year now. When I can get into the pose, it makes me feel so strong and powerful. I also think tripod headstand is just a lot of fun. Another ongoing favorite is Malasana – it’s a pose where I can close my eyes and just relax.

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice? The flexibility and strength I’ve gained has played a huge part in my pain management – it’s much more tolerable since I’ve added yoga to the mix. And as I mentioned above, practicing yoga has improved my confidence and pushed me to challenge myself. I never thought I could hold myself up in a headstand!

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What is your least favorite pose (and why)? Dhanurasana (bow pose) and Parsva Virabhadrasana (reverse warrior). Both are just very uncomfortable to me.

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga? I’m going to paraphrase Rhiannon here: slow down and pay as much attention to the transitions between poses as you do for the final pose itself. Also, really listen and respond to the instructions from your teacher – which muscles to use, your posture, where to focus your eyes, etc. Once you really start putting those instructions into action, the quality of your practice will greatly improve.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity? During the week, I usually hang out with my husband, making dinner or catching up on a television show. After my Saturday class, I like to grab coffee and a pastry. If I can fit it in, a soak with Epsom Salt is also ideal.

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you:

1. I’m a cinephile and love horror movies.

2. I have webbed toes!

3. I lived in D.C. for almost ten years and worked for a member of Congress. I’m proud that I helped get Obamacare passed.

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Virtual Audio Classes

We are excited to announce the initial launch of Virtual Audio Classes! Here’s what you need to know!

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  • You can access these classes by going to our website and logging in under “student access”

  • Go to our class schedule calendar

  • Look for the blue ‘listen’ links under the class name (note: these will all be PAST classes)

  • Listen to your favorite classes from where ever you are!

  • It is open and free to all students now, but will soon be only available to members

  • Over the next few weeks, we will be working on getting more classes up and improving audio quality

  • Please give us feedback about this feature! Since it is just in Beta, we are requesting feedback to make it even better!

Find out more this feature and why it was created HERE.

Here’s to taking your home studio with you!

Maile & the TULA Team


Student Feature: Stanton McConnell

David Duerkop referred Stanton to TULA and there is rarely a week that has passed since 2016 when we haven’t seen him. He is just the nicest guy. Always has a smile and a kind word to share! And I love it that he always shows up to the photo session classes - we have a lot of pictures of him doing yoga! :)

Here’s a bit more about Stan….

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Hometown: Dixon, IL, USA

Sign: Virgo

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite Movie: Mission Impossible--to choose just one! A few of my actual faves are Zoolander, It Follows, Hook, and Carrie.

What would your last meal be? Mexican and al fresco

What brought you to yoga? I first tried yoga because of a Groupon, and I was hooked after a month.

What brought you to TULA? The diverse teaching styles and personalities make for a real community here, and the people are passionate without pretentiousness. It was the obvious choice for me to become a member here.

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What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)? I really dig half moon--it's a challenge for me depending on the day, but I feel like it gives me clarity and length everywhere in the body. I'm always stoked to hear malasana (frog) called. Hopping on the lily pad always lightens the mood in the room, and I love how it accesses deep in the hips while also relieving the spine.

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice? Yoga helps me in too many ways to count. Aside from the obvious physical benefits and tight booty, it has helped me with sleeping, singing, dancing, breathing, and staying present in stimulating environments. It makes me a better performer.

What is your Least favorite pose (and why)? I can never find comfort in restorative poses on my back with the bolster or blocks.

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga? I would say to embrace how incremental the progress is and to not force anything. Eventually, you notice improvement.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity? If I can, I like to slow roll to some good coffee and food at Gaslight. When you can see and feel the sunlight coming in, it's the perfect environment to feel your body recover, taking in nutrients and the coffee drug.

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you:

-I speak French and Spanish.

-I used to be a lifeguard on a nude beach. It also had a volleyball net, and people would be playing on the sand completely naked--except for their kneepads LOL!

-I love singing and writing songs.

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Student Feature: Anna Eley

Anna started attending classes here in 2012. As of writing this, she has attended 702 classes here. We have seen her grow tremendously in her yoga practice and have been also lucky enough to have gotten to know her personally over the years. She is not only an amazing student of yoga, but also an amazing human being and we are so grateful everyday that we get to call her our friend.

Here’s a bit more about Anna:

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Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI.

Sign: Sagittarius

Favorite Color: mustard yellow

Favorite Movie: Back to the Future

What would your last meal be?

chicken thighs with lots of garlic and onion, sweet potatoes and kale and I giant bowl of ice cream with almond butter and dark chocolate

What brought you to yoga?

i was interested in trying something new and staying healthy during the winter when i'm not as active outside

What brought you to TULA?

i wanted to support a local business and after i took my first class i immediately felt at home at Tula- being new to yoga i was nervous to try it but everyone was so inclusive and welcoming.

What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)?

pigeon pose is my favorite, i tend to have tight hips from biking and pigeon always feels so good (especially if the teacher gives an adjustment- that's the best!)

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What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice?

i feel more balanced overall. yoga has taught me to be more patient with myself. i've also built a lot of strength and flexibility over time and the breath work has benefited me a lot in all areas of my life both physically and emotionally- it's pretty great!

What is your Least favorite pose (and why)?

i hate back bends and i hate camel the most. not sure why, it just doesn't feel good and makes me anxious

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga?

be patient with yourself, there's no hurry. find teachers and times of day that you feel comfortable with. yoga is challenging in many ways so know that you are challenging yourself but it is worth the work. i always feel better in all areas of my life when i am practicing regularly.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity?

i am an early morning yoga person so i like to come home and have coffee and oatmeal after class

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you:

1. i am a proud 4 season chicago biker

2. i love doing jigsaw puzzles

3. one of my life goals is to visit every National Park in the U.S.

Student Feature: Meighan Depke

Meighan took her first class at TULA in April of 2012 and has been a regular ever since. Meighan is one of the many students at TULA that I can't wait to see each day. She has an amazing yoga practice and dedication, and a practical, yet optimistic and cheery, outlook on life. When she comes to yoga, she always brightens up my day! I'm so happy that Meighan has chosen TULA as her yoga home and I'm honored that I have gotten to know her over the years. 

Here's some more about Meighan:

Hometown: Lakewood, Ohio (outside Cleveland)

Sign: Aries

Favorite Color: Sometimes orange, sometimes green, never mixed.

Favorite Movie: Dr. Zhivago. I cry every time. 

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What would your last meal be? As in I’m dying? I think I’ll skip food and have a Mezcal Negroni at Reno. Make that 2. 

What brought you to yoga? Well…this is a tough one. Seven years ago my younger brother was dying and I was out East a lot helping to take care of him. We were very close. My sister dragged me to yoga one day, to “relax”, since it was a very stressful time. After my brother passed, the grief was intense. It was like my mind and body had become disconnected and I was watching everything from somewhere else. I found that yoga was the only time I didn’t feel this way, so I continued to go. Eventually my mind and body hooked back up I guess, but yoga continued to be a time when I didn’t feel any of that intense pain.

What brought you to TULA? I was a Groupon yogi for about a year taking classes all over..some good…some not so good. I realized that I needed to be less anonymous and find teachers that I consistently liked. Tula was a natural choice since it was the closest studio to my house, and I had tried it out several times and liked it. 

What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)? Headstand, because it’s a bit scary to be upside down but also fun, and at my age it makes me feel like a badass!

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice? The benefits (or lack of them) are most noticeable when I DON’T practice. Suddenly I’m creaking in the morning and getting nothing done. My body and mind start to separate again. Yoga makes me feel physically and mentally refreshed. I’m always telling my friends to take yoga…the older you get, the more you need it.

What is your Least favorite pose (and why)? Bridge. And I don’t know why. Maybe because it is always at the end of class and I’m tired? I just always get that “ugh, bridge!” feeling. I’ll do one. Then the second and then some days I can’t muster the third!

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga? Don’t compare yourself to others and go slow, especially if you are older. I’ve had plenty of injuries and the oder you are the longer they take to heal.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity? Well, if I didn’t have to go to work, I think a walk and some iced coffee would be an excellent idea.

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you: 

1. I can nap anywhere. If I’m tired, I can lay on the ground wherever I am and sleep. It’s a great skill.

2. I have 2 different colored eyes which probably isn’t noticeable in downward dog.

3. I’m a big traveler and perhaps a bit too adventurous for my own good. I’ve been attacked by rabid dogs in Tibet, bribed my way into Zaire (Republic of Congo) with whiskey and cigarettes, and hiked in the mountains of Yemen after 9/11 (this still irritates my boyfriend who I left at home with my 2-year old). I’m more responsible now, but I continue to drag my family to out of the way destinations where we usually get stuck in some shitty little town on Christmas. That’s when my daughter will say, “can’t we just do what other families do on vacation?”

Teacher Profile: Hannah Keene

Hannah completed the first year of TULA teacher training in 2016 and has been around ever since. I actually don't know Hannah, personally, very well. What I do know is, that every time I see her, I am reminded that energy is real. Her energy is bright, beautiful and positive and I feel it when she walks in the room. She leads her classes from the heart, she always makes you feel comfortable and welcome and I am so very proud and honored that she chose to be a part of the TULA community.

Here's some more about Hannah: 

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Hometown: Salida, Colorado

Favorite Color: swampy greens!

Favorite Yoga Pose: Marichyasana I

Least Favorite: (Why) Lotus isn’t necessarily my least favorite but it is the pose that I struggle with the most in my personal practice.

Sign: Sun in Cancer/Rising Aquarius/Moon in Libra

Favorite Place: Norway has been my favorite place I’ve traveled but I am homebody, I love my home studio.

Favorite Movie: The Thing! When I grow up, I want to be like Kurt Russell.

Why do you teach Yoga?

I teach because part of my practice is service. Giving back to my community is very important to me, especially through yoga. I struggled when I first started practicing but I had teachers who held me accountable and encouraged me. I have such love and gratitude for them. They showed me how to be the teacher I now want and hope to be for my students. One who is gracious, patient and kind.

How do you define Yoga?  

Yoga, for me, is a practice in being present. A way to slow down and catch up with yourself. It is a practice to build trust in yourself and in your intentions. But it’s also a place to hold space for other people. In practice, we come together, in one room, working out whatever it is we need to work out and we’re doing it together. That is powerful and there is nothing else quite like it.

What would your last meal be? A hot cup of coffee and an entire peach cobbler.

The band you can't live without? Songs Ohia, PJ Harvey and Electric Wizard

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Most empowering moment?

Sometimes, getting out of bed everyday feels like the most empowering thing I’ve done but let’s go with finishing college and becoming the first person in my family to earn a Master’s degree.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do? I’d love to go back to the UK and travel the countryside.

When you aren't teaching yoga, what can you be found doing? Drinking coffee and reading!

Three fun facts we don't know about you? I used to be a Magician’s Assistant, I read 52 books a year and I’m a poet.

Hannah teaches Restorative Yoga on Sunday mornings at 9am and Gentle Yoga on Wednesday mornings at 10:30am.

Teacher Profile: Kathleen Katsikeas

Kathleen was referred to TULA by Natalie. When I first met her, she seemed shy, but I could tell she loved her job and was very knowledgable. Her classes are on the more gentle side and she is always mindful of different body types and the different modifications that people may need. Whenever I take her class, I leave feeling like someone just wrapped my body in a warm, soft blanket and, to me, that's what yoga is suppose to feel like. :)

Here's a bit more about Kathleen!

Hometown: I split my youth between Lemont (a southwest suburb), and Evergreen Park (the southside of the city)

Favorite Color: Green

Favorite Yoga Pose: Fish (Matsyasana), I love the heart opener/back bend combo.

Least Favorite: (Why)  Hmm, maybe handstand. Because of an old shoulder injury, I have trouble getting into it (there’s definitely some fear there). It’s very humbling. 

Sign: Gemini

Favorite Place: Ireland

Favorite Movie: Fried Green Tomatoes 

Why do you teach Yoga? Because yoga has given me such an affirming, empowering, and healing relationship with my body, I hope to embolden my students on their journey too. I had many beautiful, grounded teachers who held space for me, and I hope to do that for my students in their practice. 

How do you define Yoga?  A healing, grounding practice of connecting the mind, body, and spirit.

What would your last meal be? There are these things called Rainbow Rolls where you put a bunch of delicious veggies in a rice spring roll wrap, and then dip into peanut sauce. That would 1000% be my last meal.

The band you can't live without? Perfume Genius 

Most empowering moment? When I first realized that I didn’t need other people’s validation or approval to thrive. This is a continual practice, if I’m being honest.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do? Paris, visiting friends and drinking an espresso while people-watching. 

When you aren't teaching yoga, what can you be found doing? Reading. I have always been a huge bookworm. There’s something so magical about reading other people’s worlds.  

Three fun facts we don't know about you? 

1.   I love to write short stories and poetry

2.   I have been with my partner since high school

3.   I am a coffee addict that is always trying to switch to tea ;)

Kathleen teaches at TULA on Thursdays at 5pm (Gentle Yoga) and Fridays at 8:30am. You can also view her other offerings and full calendar here: http://www.kathleenkatsikeas.com

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Student Feature: Valdis Vitayaudom

Valdis (aka Victor) was our #1 attending student in 2017 - attending 325 classes! And he's on track for being #1 in 2018 as well! I guess it helps that he lives just a few houses down from TULA. His energy and incredible dedication to yoga is admirable, so choosing him for our very first Student Feature was an easy choice. I ask him all the time who are his favorite teachers or classes and he always replies that he likes them all - he just loves yoga. Here's a little bit more about Victor and why he's one of our most interesting and cherished students.

Hometown: Too many because I’ve moved often during my childhood.  Logan Square is my longest residence for two decades. Doubling down here has been a therapeutic counterculture to my parent's pursuit of their ideal home.

Sign: Gemini. Enough said and maybe too much already.

Favorite Color: Orange because I’ve gotten over gray years ago

Favorite Movie: Too many, but owe it to yoga for clearing my plate of thoughts into the present possibilities rather than explore cinema. So I would have to say documentaries about food/environment is my new love.

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What would your last meal be? Any great 3+ course vegetarian meal will do (preferably Michelin star). I respect the chef that much more for bringing out the flavor from produce. It’s a difficult feat to manage.

What brought you to yoga? A book about Kundalini. 

What brought you to TULA? GasLight Coffee hours are later on weekends than weekdays so I didn’t have a place to journal my thoughts. I thought I'd try TULA's 8am Saturday class one morning instead of walking around the neighborhood. 

What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)? Ones where one hand is grounded and the other finger tip pierce the sky. I like to imagine a beam of energy sent to the universe.

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice? Posture. Body alignment is so important to the flow of blood, nerves, chi, prolonging the joy of life. That and absorbing more yin to balance out my yang.

What is your Least favorite pose (and why)? Tree pose because my balance it’s off. Interesting how yoga knows me so well with its ability to transmute between the physical, mental, and spiritual like a philosophers stone.

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga? Relax and Breathe.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity? My contrarian reply would be cooking breakfast for the kids before morning class. It is a creative kind of time stress management. Yoga gives me a natural high with its post rewarding sense of accomplishment for me to unwind from during yoga. This way I have less thoughts and more in the present during class with less post worries to get them to school on time.

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you: 

- In Logan Square, I’ve done extensive camping indoors in the most comedic ways.

- My wife was by my side the entire time so she’s quite a trooper and I love her for accepting me with all my faults to guide me toward the light.

- I always known I can learn more from others early on in childhood but just recently starting to learn to drop my filters so I can try better process my kids viewpoints to embrace them as they are.

Victor's family. 

Victor's family. 

Why you should add Private Yoga Sessions to your Group Practice

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I'll admit private yoga sessions used to be a mystery to me. I didn't understand why I should pay almost 3x (sometimes 4x) more than a group class for a one person yoga class -- that is until I tried it. I learned so much in private sessions and my practice, not only advanced, but I was better able to identify what my body needed from the practice. 

We are very happy to announce that we will now be offering private yoga sessions (when the studio is not running regular classes) with a variety of TULA teachers at a variety of times.

So why should you take private yoga session? Here are some that I think are the most important:

-Getting into yoga for the first time or getting back to yoga after time away: Working solo with a teacher is a great introduction to the practice. You can ease into (or back into) group classes with a better understanding of alignment, modifications and pace that your practice should take for your body. 

- Learning Proper Alignment: Whether this is the first yoga class you have ever taken or your 1000th, working one-on-one with a teacher will allow you to gain more specific alignment recommendations based on your body's individual uniqueness. Proper alignment is key to avoiding injuries and helping to ensure a safe and life-long yoga practice. If you have been practicing awhile now, you may be developing bad habits that you are unaware of, the extra eye of a private session can bring these to the forefront and then corrected to support a safe practice. Weed through poses that 'just don't feel right' for your body with modifications, discussions and adjustments. Working with an instructor will set a solid foundation for your practice, novice to seasoned. 


- Delving deeper into your practice to support specific yoga goals: Maybe you have a specific yoga goal and you want to be able to work on this goal in group classes, but are not sure how. During a private session, an instructor can teach you how to modify your practice to continuously support that goal (whether or not that is the focus of a group class). For example, you may want to strengthen your core -- in a private session, a teacher can teach you how to properly engage your core in common yoga poses, add them to your yoga toolbox and bring into your practice, whenever/where ever you practice. 

- Working on a particular advanced yoga pose: It's likely there are poses you really want to accomplish, such as getting into Crow, exploring inversions or arching into a scorpion, whatever pose has you challenged the most. Working one-on-one with a teacher, may just allow you to finally nail that advanced posture!

- Getting out of a Yoga rut: Maybe you have been practicing awhile and your practice has plateaued? Maybe you are in a yoga rut and don't know where you take your practice next? Our teachers can give you individualized suggestions on how to spice up your practice. For example, adding a 'jump-through' to your chaturanaga, adding a tripod headstand to your wide-legged forward fold, etc. What's so awesome about yoga is that it is never really  'mastered'...... there is always another thing to learn from this beautiful practice.......

Ready for your first session? Sign-up for a Private session now and we will take off an additional $10 off your second session*! 

Sign-up HERE

* Second session must be booked in the studio to receive the discount. 

Owner Highlight: Maile Wicklander

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Well, I hope this is not obnoxious of me, but I decided to highlight myself this month! 

Here are some some facts about me!:

Hometown: Fresno, Ca. 

Favorite Color: Purple, always. Lately, yellow. 

Favorite Yoga Pose: Triangle, Pyrimid, Malasana, Goddess. 

Least Favorite: (Why)  Hero's pose - it just doesn't work with my body.

Sign: Libra

Favorite Place: Chicago. As a California girl, I fell in love with this city, the seasons and the people. 

Movie: The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Sixteen Candles - Basically any teenage angst movie from the 80's. 

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Why do you teach Yoga? I don't! I love yoga. I just don't think teaching would suit me. I love the practice, I love being a studio owner, and I love yoga people. 

How do you define Yoga?  Calming of the mind, releasing of the body. 

What would your last meal be? Tacos and/or sushi. 

The band you can't live without? The Cure.

Most empowering moment? 

October 1, 2011. The day that I opened Tula's doors. It was the biggest risk I have taken in my life and well worth every tear and every dollar. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do?  

I would go back to Hanalei Colony Resort on the north side of the island of Kauai, Hawaii where Andrew and I were married 14 years ago (in March) -- we haven't been back since. 

Alex, the Borkie (Bichon- Yorkie). 

Alex, the Borkie (Bichon- Yorkie). 

When you aren't practicing yoga, what can you be found doing? Cooking, reading (or reading cookbooks!), watching netflix, drinking wine, doing puzzles, hanging out with my family and dog. 

Three fun facts we don't know about you? :)

1. I LOVE black jelly beans. 

2. I have a master's degree in Psychology. 

3. I was a 'goth' girl in high school. 

Me, Andrew, Leila (12) and Kai (10).  

Me, Andrew, Leila (12) and Kai (10).  

Teacher Profile: Chris Morehead

I honestly don't even remember how Chris was referred here. It's also hard to remember how long he has been here (2 years?) It seems like he's been here from the beginning since he so seamlessly integrated into our community and so quickly became a student favorite. I really don't remember him NOT being here.... 

I do remember that when I first met him, I knew he would make a great addition to the TULA team. He had arrived to his audition about 20 minutes early and was sitting on the sidewalk outside the studio, book in hand. He was just lovely. Kind, enthusiastic and I could tell right away that he had that perfect mix of practical sensibility and strong work ethic mixed with the free-spirit, bohemian vibe that every good yoga teacher needs.

His classes are well-thought out, well-paced and have a good mixture of challenge and ease and genuinely come from the heart. We are very lucky to have him at TULA. 

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Here's some more about Chris:

Hometown: Seneca, Missouri

Favorite Color: Depends on the day?

Favorite Yoga Pose: I don’t think I have a favorite… if I do, it changes often. Maybe handstands?

Least Favorite: (Why)  I have a love/hate relationship with Hanumanasana. Some days I can get into the posture with hardly any prep, other days it’s just a big no. It is just one of those shapes where I really have to rely on the breathe to be there for any period time.

Sign: Leo (roar)

Favorite Place: Home, where my dog children are.

Favorite Movie: Hocus Pocus

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Why do you teach Yoga? I teach yoga for the same reasons I practice… to connect people to something deeper whether that be a physical feeling, or a breakthrough mentally or emotionally.  In our society, we are conditioned to numb ourselves to certain thoughts or feelings. We put up these armors or build layers when we are confronted with an uncomfortable feeling or thought because we are told it is not okay to be sad, or angry, or uncomfortable. When people come to my class I want them to observe and be present with all of their thoughts and feelings, to truly feel it, experience what is there, to have a conversation with it… so that, maybe, in the future we step away from holding things in and can begin learning from the information that is being shared. 

How do you define Yoga?  My practice is constantly evolving and shifting, and yoga is such a broad term that I feel there could be so many different ways to answer this. For me, it is a deep intimate conversation with myself, a way for me to stay connected to the universe or nature. I do not move to certain dogma or “style” I move the way my body is being called to move in that moment.

What would your last meal be? Hmmm idk… I’m still dying to try one of Pie, Pie My Darlings' cakes, but I refuse to just buy a slice -- I want the whole thing!

The band you can't live without? Waaaaayyy too many options

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Most empowering moment? I’m not sure if this is really an empowering moment but maybe very humbling? When I was in college at the University of Arkansas, I was a part of the equine program. We had our own breeding facility and as student employees we were lucky enough to head this program under two women that I have so much respect for, Dr. Nancy Jack and Kathy Jogan. Anyways, my first year I was able to witness my first birth which happened to be twins, a rarity in horses. The mare had minor complications and we had to step in and assist the birth, it was so incredible to see such a powerful being to trust us to bring her babies into this world. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do?  I’m not for sure… Bali? 

When you aren't teaching yoga, what can you be found doing? 

Being lazy with my pups :)

Three fun facts we don't know about you? 

1.) I bit my tongue off when I was 2  

2.) I was Pre-Vet in college but working as a vet tech changed my mind :)  

3.) I have worked in a variety of fields in my short life but my favorite was training Arabian horses 

You can find Chris at TULA on Tuesdays at 10am, Wednesdays at 6:30am and Saturdays at 8am.

You can also follow him on Instagram @chrismoreyoga

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Bali 2017

Our home in Bali, Naya.

Our home in Bali, Naya.

Our first retreat on the other side of the world is complete. Over a year and a half of planning, worrying and nervous anticipation is over. In the first few days I have been back, people are asking "how was it?"  Well,

....it was amazing, glorious, life-changing....

and also so much more that is simply beyond my vocabulary to be able to describe with any semblance of accuracy.  

One thing I have learned on each yoga retreat that I have attended is that no matter how picturesque the environment, no matter how many luxuries are afforded to us and how much we pamper ourselves on these trips, what really makes a retreat, are the people.

Our yoga shala view.

Our yoga shala view.

It always comes back to the community of people that have decided to come together and make new memories.

I will always have a special place in my heart for these yogis that made this retreat exactly what it was meant to be. 

I believe that what makes a good yoga teacher is not just  the ability to design a well-sequenced yoga class, or how many sanskrit words they know or their mastery of the the of the most complicated yoga poses. What makes a good yoga teacher is so much more.

Natalie and Rhiannon are amazing yoga instructors because yoga simply lives within their hearts.

We were all so privileged that they were able to share this beautiful gift, in this beautiful place, with all of us. 

I am forever grateful to both of you.

We have to do this again. Look for details soon for a trip in 2018.

Steps to our rooms. 

Steps to our rooms. 

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Our group. 

Our group. 

Flower mandala made by the staff of Naya.

Flower mandala made by the staff of Naya.

Daily offerings to the Gods.

Daily offerings to the Gods.

Love BALI!!!

Love BALI!!!

Swinging bed. 

Swinging bed. 

Dragonfly joined us for dinner. 

Dragonfly joined us for dinner. 

Hanging orchids.

Hanging orchids.

Our 4th Annual Yoga in Yosemite Trip

Our 4th year running this trip faced quite a few challenges. From record-breaking snowfall causing our typical trailhead to still be closed, to a bear living in our regular camp-site, we were all reminded that nature rules and we are all just privilaged visitors to this beautiful place.

Overall, despite all the last minute changes, we all experienced the best of what this place has to offer -- breath-taking views, physical challenges that tested us beyond what we previously thought we were capable of, the refreshment of dipping in a creek flowing with melted snowfall, bonding over campfire chats and, above all, being immersed in all of nature's quiet wonder. 

Interested in joining next year's trip? Our registration is now open! Click here for all the details. 

Lastly, here are few pictures from our trip!