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EMPOWER Yoga Teacher Conf Chicago Logo

Your

Teachers

EMPOWER Your Yoga Teaching and Life

Sept 23 – 25, 2022  |  Chicago, IL

I feel Elevated! I also feel good about the decisions I am making, vs the turmoil I was going through before.

The conference was an opportunity to be surrounded and inspired by fellow yoga teachers and presenters covering many topics of value, whether you’re a teacher, practitioner, and/or have a business.

Eva Montalvo - YTC ELEVATE 2022

Aya Nikole-Cook

Aya Nikole-Cook

Owner Haji Healing Salon

Aya-Nikole Cook is a mother, an artist/designer, a 14-year yoga instructor, Shamonic Reiki Master Teacher, Ritual + Nidra Priestess, Spiritual Herbalist Apprentice and the sole owner and Wellness Curator of Haji Healing Salon. As a wellness professional Aya has made a name for herself, while creating expansive practice space and employment opportunities for over 50 healers since 2015. Aya has been featured on the cover of Yoga Chicago and on the pages of Voyage Chicago, The Red Eye, Southside Weekly, Block Club Chicago and the Hyde Park Herald. She’s been a guest on multiple podcasts, interviewed by Jen White for WBEZ, featured on channel 5 NBC news and contributed to the new book YOGA AS RESISTANCE by Dr Stacie C.C. Graham. In 2022 Aya was named a Black Creativity Innovator by The Museum of Science and Industry for her innovative wellness practice with Haji Healing Salon.

Aya joyfully goes wherever she is called and she is delighted to answer the call to rise into a space of mentorship, inspiring and supporting the next generation of wellness curators and healing practitioners.

Aya’s Class: WE HEAL TOGETHER :: Building and Sustaining Community Healing Spaces

Amy Zellmer

Amy Zellmer

Editor in Chief of MN Yoga+Life Magazine

Amy Zellmer is an award-winning author, speaker, TBI survivor, and Editor-in-chief of MN YOGA + Life magazine.

She began her career as a professional photographer in 1996 and ran a successful studio until 2014 when she suffered a life-changing traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a slip and fall on black ice.

Since then, she has published four books that focus on concussion and TBI, and began publishing The Brain Health Magazine in 2019. In addition, she is a former contributor to Huffington Post and Thrive Global.

In 2022 She relaunched MN YOGA + Life magazine and is thrilled to be brining a sense of connectivity to the Twin Cities wellness community.

Amy has a passion to spread the message that yoga is for every BODY, regardless of size or ability, and a mission to raise awareness about the devastating consequences of TBI. She has her 200RYT and is in the process of completing her 500RYT. She is also certified in trauma-informed yoga, LoveYourBrain yoga, and Yoga For All. Amy is also a Reiki Master.

Amy’s Class: Empower Yourself to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Ashton August

Ashton August

Founder of YogiApproved

Ashton August is the founder of wellness website YogiApproved.com as well as YA Classes, the top-rated online yoga and fitness platform where every class a member completes helps plant a food-producing tree.

Ashton’s Class: Uplevel Your Yoga Teaching Career & Merging Mindfulness and Spirituality with Business

Allison Rissel

Allison Rissel

Founder Yoga Teacher Conf

My passion and inspiration for helping yoga teachers is contagious and I harness this to inspire other yoga teachers to overcome self-doubt and burnout. I am dedicated to assisting yoga teachers to connect with their authenticity, enabling them to become powerful leaders of transformation in their yoga communities.

I became a yoga teacher in 2006. In addition to my master’s degree in exercise physiology, I have completed over 2,000 hours of formal yoga and yoga therapy trainings. I use my knowledge and experience to guide yoga teachers along their yoga teacher journey, supporting them through the mental, spiritual, and physical challenges that they face.

I am the co-founder of the North Dakota Yoga Conference, the 406 Yoga Conference and the Yoga Teacher Conf.

I’m an extroverted optimist, I use she/her pronouns and I love hiking, skiing, and connecting in nature with my husband, Sean.

Allison’s Class:

Crystal Gray

Crystal Gray

Founder of Yoga Goddess Academy

Crystal Gray, E-RYT 500, YACEP, is the creator of the Crystal Gray Yoga Method. She supports lightworkers, empaths, and spiritual seekers to find balance and create the life they dream of through yoga, meditation, and “all things woo” in her online membership and app.

She has led online yoga teacher trainings and courses for over 4 years and loves building community with students all over the world! Crystal has brought her soul-peeps together in-person on numerous retreats in places like Costa Rica and Peru and is the co-creator of the Yoga Teacher Conf – EMPOWER in Chicago.

When she’s not working in her yoga biz, you can find her strolling through the woods on her 20 acre organic farm with her daughter, husband, dog, and three cats or cooking up something fresh from the garden!

Crystal’s Class: Hands On Adjustments & Modifications

Emily Ridout

Emily Ridout

Founder of Emily Ridout AstroYoga

Emily Ridout is an AstroYoga specialist committed to sharing astrology-yoga-mind-body connection with the world. She is a professional astrologer and yoga teacher, and she loves making the esoteric accessible and applicable to everyday life. She has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Yoga Journal, and InStyle, and offers astrology, yoga, and AstroYoga private sessions, memberships, courses, and teacher trainings. Join her to learn about your chart, gifts, and tendencies in Astrology Academy! Connect with her through her astrology and yoga website, online readings, or on Instagram.

Emily’s Class: AstroYoga Flow: Align Your Practice with Cosmic Order

Hansa Knox Johnson

Hansa Knox Johnson

Yoga Therapy Trainer and Owner PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala

Hansa is an ongoing student of Kripalu Yoga. Over the years, she has studied with many other teachers who have offered insights and depths into the path of yoga. Hansa developed the belief that the body is the silent communicator of the Spirit. She utilizes yoga, yoga cikitsā, āyurveda, massage and homeopathy as venues to facilitate Spirit connection. She has taught in many locations including universities, hospitals, churches and at other studios, yoga training programs and yoga centers. She has her own studio, PranaYoga and Ayurveda Mandala in Denver, where she teaches yoga classes, yoga teacher training programs and a yoga therapy training program. Hansa has served as past president of Yoga Alliance, Yoga Teachers of Colorado, served on the Board of Kripalu Center and American Yoga College. She served on the Standards and Accreditation Committees for the International Association of Yoga Therapy and currently serves on their Board. Learn more about Hansa at http://www.pyamandala.com.

Hansa’s Class: Āsana: a Metaphor for Life

Jaimee Ratliff

Jaimee Ratliff

Yoga with Jaimee

Jaimee Ratliff is a certified yoga & meditation teacher, truth seeker, storyteller, community architect, changemaker, international retreat leader and wellness entrepreneur. Her chief mission is incorporating more inclusivity in the wellness space: a space where every human being understands the importance of nurturing their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Jaimee’s Class: Launching Your 5-Figure Retreat

Jen Pansa Rohr

Jen Pansa Rohr

Founder Rohr Wellness

Jennifer Pansa Rohr is an industry leader in health and wellness. Her passion is to provide people with tools for transformation of mind/body/spirit with yoga and doTERRA essential oils. Jenn and her husband Jim Rohr L.Ac lead a global team of health and wellness professionals who are on the same mission to transform the collective consciousness through alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture, sound and plant wisdom. You may recognize her from her online yoga classes on YogiApproved, the cover of Yoga Journal or her last Hawaii retreat featured in Forbes mag.

Jen’s Class: The Art of Private Yoga

Jimmy Chan

Jimmy Chan

Eye Am a Disciple Monk to 34th Generation Shaolin Monk and Abbott Shi Yan Ming from USA Shaolin Temple NYC for 25 years, while also a Disciple to the late Old School Taoist Healer Shi Cun Wu Shifu for 30 years.

Eye have been a living, breathing, hands on healer, teacher, artist for my entire life! As cliché as it may sound, this is truly all that eye know! As a healer, my work delves deep into the art of bodywork including Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Therapy, Sacro-Cranial Therapy, Deep Tissue Corrective Postural, Chakra Scrubs, Cupping, Trigger Point Therapy, QiGong, Reiki and Documentary Film Producer just to name a few! As a teacher, eye teach all mentioned above but also TaiJi Quan, Basic GungFu, Meditation, Over All Fitness (general and professional level), and Tennis. Eye have literally clocked in at least 200,000 hours while traveling the globe to do what eye do best, SHARE THE GIFT CHI (Qi)!

My interest in Sound Therapy began as a child long before it received the label of “Therapy”. Eye could hear, see and feel things that would be considered mystic spiritual practices. Those voices and vibrations would lead me to write 9 books of spiritual poetry (2 books are published and available online across the globe). My choice instruments represent the 5 elements (Gongs, Nepalese Singing Bowls, Drums, Didgeridoo, and other various exotic instruments).

Jimmy’s Class: Ten Gates to Heaven Essence of Sound Bath

Kali Om

Kali Om

Yoga Kali Om

Kali Om has been teaching yoga since 1998 and is author of the 2018 book ‘Beyond the Mat: Don’t Just Do Yoga – Live It.’ She is also adjunct professor of Yoga at Depaul University. She completed 200-, 500-, and 800-hour trainings with her guru, Sri Dharma Mittra. In addition, she studied five times in India with Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and is also certified to teach pranayama (breathwork), meditation, Hormone Yoga Therapy for Menopause, Prenatal yoga, Yoga Nidra, Psychic Development, and yoga for seniors. She leads retreats, workshops and teacher trainings locally and abroad, and is a columnist and cartoonist for Yoga Chicago magazine.

Kali’s Class: Living Your Yoga According to the 8 Limbs

Kalpana Nimkar

Kalpana Nimkar

Kalpana Nimkar, PhD is a retired corporate professional with a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. She is also a certified yoga teacher, wellbeing coach, reiki practitioner and Ayurvedic wellness counselor.

Kalpana’s Class: All About Chakras!

Leticia Apablaza

Leticia Apablaza

MindFuel In Motion

Leticia Apablaza is a certified meditation teacher and The Me Time Journal creator. Ms. Apablaza started her personal journey and spiritual practice eight years ago after being fed up wishing life could be easier, comparing her life to others, and yearning to break free and be herself. Once she decided to surrender and do the inner- work by dedicating time, energy, and resources to “unlearn” what was not working for her and replace it with self-care practices, developing a morning ritual, dedication to movement, enhancing a meditation practice, reading, and journaling every day; she started to experience significant shifts. Through discipline, consistency, and commitment, she experienced a transformation and breakthroughs; she discovered her passions and purpose. She also realized that the mind is where everything starts and ends. “When our mindset changes, our actions, habits, and patterns changes, and that’s when we can live the life we are meant to live full of passion and purpose!” MindFuel In Motion was Ms. Apabalza’s creation to provide experiences through her engaging workshops, bring more mindfulness to the workplace and offer guides and tools to strengthen mental fitness.

Leticia’s Class: Celebrate Your Wins MindFuel Workshop

Nancy Gerstein

Nancy Gerstein

Founder of Motivational Yoga

Yoga and meditation teacher, author, and entrepreneur, Nancy Gerstein is the founder of Motivational Yoga, a will and intention-based practice that devotes yoga’s limitless mind-body potential and philosophy to live a more joyous and meaningful life. The principles of Motivational Yoga help guide students to find their own self-motivating charge through spiritually strengthening practices that bolster personal growth and action development.  Nancy’s classes feed body and mind, encouraging yogis to make conscious choices about how they direct thoughts, energy, and focus to live the best life they can.

Nancy is the author of three books for yoga teachers including Motivational Yoga: 100 Practices for Strength, Energy, and Transformation and Guiding Yoga’s Light

Nancy’s Class: Heart of Yoga: Teaching Pranayama

Nicole Sopko / Gopi Om

Nicole Sopko / Gopi Om

Founder Gopi Om

Gopi Om (Nicole Sopko) first discovered yoga by chance and was instantly intrigued. She attended her first training with the sole intention of learning more about the practice, but, despite being a lifelong introvert, found the teachings of yoga to be so transformational that she began teaching in 2005. Since that time, her practice has grown under the guidance of her beloved Guru, Sri Dharma Mittra, who gave her the name Gopi.

Gopi’s Class: Considerate Conduct for Yoga Teachers

Rebecca Sebastian

Rebecca Sebastian

Podcast Host of Working in Yoga

Rebecca Sebastian is a long-time yoga teacher, 10- year yoga therapist, co-founder of a yoga non-profit, she owns an accessible and inclusivity-focused yoga studio in Davenport, Iowa, and is the host of the podcast Working In Yoga. She is a passionate writer on yoga and participates and loves all things yoga and the yoga industry. She believes that through writing and communication we can all lift each other up and share what lights us up with the world.

Rebecca’s Class: Leadership For Yoga Teachers

Swati Mhaske

Swati Mhaske

Founder Hemaveda

Swati is an Ayurveda Physician with a Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery from India with honors and also holds a Masters in Pharmaceutical Medicine from India. She is the founder at HemaVeda Ayurveda at Crystal Lake IL, where Swati practices Ayurveda and Panchakarma.

Swati’s Class: Self-care with Ayurveda

Swami Yatidharmananda

Founder of Swami Chidananda Sevashram

Swami Yatidharmananda is a globally recognized Yogi from India and is the founder of Swami Chidananda Sevashram. The Sevashram is a Socio-Spiritual Organisation dedicated to the life and teachings of Gurudev Swami Chidanandaji.
 
He conducts workshops on Relaxation and Meditation, Sings Kirtans and loves to share inspiring stories of his life transformative journey. He has also developed unique and impactful programs that heal, empower and transform you to tackle challenges in day to day lives.
 
He dedicated himself to the service of his Guru, Swami Chidanandaji, and was blessed to be with him 24×7 for many years. He had the rare opportunity and blessing to observe one of the greatest saints that left an indelible imprint on his life. Four years later, in the year 2000, he received Sannyasa Diksha. Having received so much unconditionally, urges him to share this anecdotal wisdom with one and all.
 
In July 2015, he set out on his own and founded Swami Chidananda Sevashram with the blessings of Gurudev Swami Chidanandaji of Sivananda Ashram. It is a monastery for the modern world where people of all ages and backgrounds can live on the principles and practices of Ayurveda for the body, Yoga for the mind and Vedanta for the soul. It also brings together revered teachers from around the world for sharing knowledge and wisdom on various wellness based activities.
 
In 2015 Swami Yatidharmananda got an opportunity to participate and speak at the Parliament of World’s Religions at Salt Lake City, Utah. From April 2016 to September 2016 he also undertook a tour of USA and Europe to commemorate the 100th Birth Centenary of Gurudev Swami Chidanandaji where he shared the teachings from the life of his Guru as a tribute. In this trip, he participated in the 2nd International Day of Yoga at the UN headquarters, New York.
 
In 2016, he travelled extensively each year to the US and Europe for conducting workshops on relaxation & meditation which are extremely popular there. In 2018 He was invited to conduct workshops at the Toronto Parliament of World’s Religions. He also sings devotional music and conducts Kirtan making it very meditative for the soul.
 
Since September 2020 Swami Yatidharmananda is serving as the General Secretary of Swami Sivanand Seva Samiti, and living in the company of Swami Premanandaji and Swami Atmanandaji, the direct disciples of Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj at the Sivananda Ashram, Ganeshpur, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, India.

Swami Yatidharmananda’s Class: Bliss Within: A Retreat on Yoga Nidra

Tami Galbreath

Tami Galbreath

Tami is a trauma informed yoga teacher specializing in restorative yoga. Teaching restorative yoga through the lens of trauma has helped Tami create spaces where her students feel understood, supported, rested, and able to heal.Tami believes we are often so busy we forget to slow down, and this beautiful restorative yoga practice allows us the opportunity for that needed rest.

You can often find Tami watching her beloved Notre Dame football team with her husband, playing with her dogs, or hanging out with her daughter. She is active in her community supporting women through organizations of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness.

Tami’s Class: Restorative Yoga with Just Your Blanket

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