Yoga can become quite personal. As you open the layers of the body that are blocked or constricted where heaviness & darkness lie, vulnerability comes to the surface. Ask yourself--How can ’I’ get through this without fleeing? How can ‘I’ create lightness and ease in discomfort? Yoga has taught me to not run—to breathe in a moment of vulnerability or tightness so that freedom, clarity and acceptance can come. My job as a teacher is to help plant the seed that the student will continue to water so that all their beauty will blossom, grow and shine.”
As a plus-size yogi, I believe that Yoga is truly meant for anyone! If you can breathe, you can practice. I have always been taught – and firmly believe that yoga is about function over form. Meaning, just because you may or may not be able to reach the same depth as your neighbor, it doesn’t mean you aren’t reaping the same benefits as they are. Yoga, is all about modifications and finding what fits best for your body. The yoga journey began in 2013 as a student under Caitlin Quigley. It wasn’t until I developed my practice that I found myself and my true calling – to become a yoga teacher. Yoga absolutely liberated me and a few short years into my practice I began my 200-HR teacher training program at Ganesha Yoga & Adventures in Fitness in Chicago, Illinois. Upon graduating, I worked closely with Curvy Yoga’s Founder; Anna Guest-Jelley where I learned even more modifications for all body types and became a Certified Curvy Yoga Instructor. While it’s important to know that you may not fall in love with yoga your very first practice, I believe everyone deserves health and happiness!
An international yoga teacher trainer and author, blossoms from an extensive
background of research, study, and direct experience of therapeutic avenues to balance & mend the relationships between the mind, body, and Spirit. Presently rooted in the state of IL serving the growth and expansion of the aerial yoga industry in the Chicagoland area, she frequently travels to new studios in other states and countries to support the global movement of the gifts of aerial yoga as well as stand up paddle board yoga.
She is certified as a nutritional therapist, personal trainer, equine massage therapist, aromatherapist, Reiki master, Thai bodyworker, and 200-hour yoga instructor. Her extensive comprehension of optimal alignment, spiritual understanding, and energetic sensitivity lends to
her authentic presence as a heartfelt, humbled leader in the aerial and SUP yoga industries. Holly is committed to her path as an educator, healer, and facilitator of empowering
Three years ago is when I found Bikram yoga and the love for the physical and mental challenge that yoga brings, and the awareness one must have. I give yoga full credit for turning my gut health around, something I struggled with for year before finding balance. As I began to practice more, I began to heal and I was able to connect more with myself than I had before. When I’m not teaching yoga, I work full time as a Producer with a podcasting group called RadioMD, and spend a lot of time with my pup, Koda. I am a firm believer in engaging all of our human senses, and try to live and teach in a way where people can always find a connection with themselves, where the mind and body are always in sync and teach how to get there, one breath at a time.
From the very first encounter with yoga there was a deep understanding that this was going to be a forever path and purpose. Yoga has been the one constant when everything else changes. The personal growth and transformation is proof that Yoga works and sharing that with others is the ultimate happiness and higher purpose to serve the community while creating friendships and a safe space to explore.
Booty & Core
Samantha is the owner of BYOM, Bring Your Own Mat LLC. She believes in wellness and fitness as a combined and continued lifestyle! After losing almost 100lbs she became an instructor herself to motivate others to live their healthiest life and to have fun while doing it! Certified in Inferno Hot Pilates, Yin Yoga, Booty & Core, Barre and Bareless Barre, she will bring the yang with the yin.
Holly fell in love with yoga because of the sense of connection she felt every time she came to her mat. Yoga helped her to live her life in a way that was full and authentic, and she felt called to share the benefits of yoga with others.
Holly began her teaching journey in Chicago. Her desire to deepen her teaching and personal practice led her to continue her yoga education in California, Bali, Australia and Guatemala with Laughing Lotus Yoga and the Kula Collective. Her classes range from creative and dynamic, to calm and introspective, with an emphasis on making yoga accessible to everyone.
Holly leads yoga teacher trainings and continuing education courses both locally and globally, and enjoys sharing yoga philosophy, meditation and lifestyle practices through workshops and events.
When she’s not on the yoga mat, she enjoys exploring forests with her dog, singing, dancing and working with textiles.
Hatha Sound Healing
I have been practicing power vinyasa yoga for 15 years. But I didn't truly fund my practice until July of 2018 when my husband, Pat, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While finishing graduate school, I became full time care taker for my husband while he underwent chemo and radiation therapy. For one hour a day, yoga gave me the time and space I needed to become open, raw, and deal with the emotions I was afraid to confront off the mat. But through my asana practice I felt strong and powerful, and it gave me the courage to continue to fight. A year after Pat was declared cancer free, I began my yoga teacher training. I completed my 200/300 hour yoga teacher training with Edge Yoga in Naperville. My classes combine playful sequencing, lighthearted spirit, all bound together with strength building and powerful intentions to help my students deepen their practice.
Power Vinyasa Flow