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Renee Downing E-RYT 500, YACEP
I was born and raised in Delavan, but moved to Southern California in 1998 to pursue a career in art. Having dealt with chronic pain and mental illness since age 12, I knew from the advice of doctors that managing my overall health would be crucial to living a fulfilling life. However, I had to sow quite a few wild oats before I was ready to face such a reality.
My career in the health and fitness world started in 2002 when I became certified as a personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Working in a gym was fulfilling for quite some time but the more I experienced the trials and tribulations of life, the more I started craving something beyond physical health. I wanted emotional and spiritual health as well.
I started practicing yoga in 2009 but I didn't take it seriously until 2011 when I found Yoga Shakti in Huntington Beach. Almost every time I walked through the doors of the studio I felt a sense of peace and joy. I felt like I had found what was missing in my holistic health management. I enrolled in Yoga Shakti’s 200 hour teacher training program with Diana Pipaloff and Jnana Nanda Bharati and completed my 200 hour RYS in May of 2013. I was so addicted to the changes that were occurring in me both as a teacher and as a student that I began Yoga Shakti’s 300 hour training a few months later, completing 500 hours of teacher training in December 2014.
Throughout my training, the connection of mind, body and spirit, experiences of death and birth, and just plain growing up led to a desire to be back with family and to bring what I have found so uplifting and healing to the people in my hometown. My home studio was more than just a yoga studio. It was a community of students and teachers striving to be better people, treating each other, the environment and all creatures with respect and love, and working to create greater awareness all around and I really wanted to recreate that in Delavan.
The training I received at Yoga Shakti was intense. My ego and my Self was completely disassembled and rebuilt on a stronger and more compassionate foundation. That may sound like fluff to some people but for me, yoga is a lifestyle. I feel calmer, stronger, more confident and clear minded than I ever have before because of what yoga has taught me. It is so powerful that I have to share this experience with as many people as possible.
Cindy Conlon RYT 200
I believe that my path to yoga is quite typical. I was a dancer and athlete, and felt that yoga might be a good addition to my fitness program. I knew nothing about yoga, but was encouraged by a friend to give it a try.
I left my first yoga class feeling taller, calmer, and more vibrant, and curious about learning more about this ancient practice. I discovered that yoga is much more than a fitness regimen, and I began to incorporate its many lessons into all areas of my life. My goal now is to share these benefits with others, hoping that everyone can experience a deeper sense of wellbeing and joy in their daily lives.
I completed level 2 teacher training at Yogaview in Chicago, Illinois, and studied yoga and meditation in Pune, India. I am also certified through the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, California (200-hour RYT).
I have over twenty years of experience teaching adults in both university
and community settings. I have a Ph.D. in education from Northwestern
University and a law degree from the
Kelly Jensen, RYT 200
Yoga came into my life a few years ago after struggling to lose weight with every fitness regimen I tried. Years of hard work left me frustrated and ready to give up on taking care of myself because it felt hopeless. But then, I put my mat down on the floor. When I tuned out the world for 75 minutes of movement, I found real compassion for myself and what my body was able to do.
Yoga has given me the gift of caring for myself and respecting my own limits and boundaries. It’s allowed me to focus on myself and my needs in a way nothing else ever has. It’s also gifted me with energy and passion in my life outside of my full-time day job working at home for an online book website.
My 200-hour training was done right at Yoga Hohm, where I developed a teaching style best described as strong, yet nurturing. I believe deeply that every body can do yoga and that the most powerful part of one’s practice is accepting and embracing the idea that each day our bodies and our minds are different.
Michelle Sherman, RYT 200
I realized yoga was more than just a physical practice after attending my first class. It is a practice of balancing the body, mind, and soul. The peaceful feeling I felt after class was something that could only be duplicated by more and more yoga. So I began to attend classes regularly, and I even got one of my friends to enjoy practicing as much as I did. The more we went the more my interest grew and my spiritual journey was just beginning.
In 2015, my interests led me to become a certified Reiki practitioner. With that I learned more along the lines of chakras, and energy healing.
Kristi Schramski, RYT 200
When a friend asked me to check out yoga with her, I said, “sure, I’ve always wanted to try yoga!” My preconceived idea of what yoga was about was basically stretching. My previous exercise programs were mostly high impact aerobics and weight training. After my first class, I realized yoga was so much more than just stretching! I left that class and knew right away I found something I really enjoyed and could do forever. Yoga is a mind/body connection, and bringing balance to the mind and body is not only challenging but amazing!
There are days when my mind says, ‘”yes” but my body says, “no”. I have learned to listen to what my body is telling me and give it what it needs. Connecting the two brings balance as each day is not the same, so the body is therefore different in its abilities. Since practicing yoga, I feel stronger, calm, relaxed, and even taller with improved posture. I am a full time Dental Hygienist and posture is crucial to prevent aches and pain in my neck and back.
My 200 hour teacher training was done at Yoga Hohm where I took that first yoga class. I am excited to share what I have learned with family, friends, and even my dental patients! It’s easy for me say, “you need yoga!”
Nadine Harris, RYT 200
323 E. Walworth Ave. Delavan, WI 53115 firstname.lastname@example.org