was exposed to yoga in 1996 through his first spiritual mentor Jeri Lucas, who continues to inspire him today. With a growing love for the practice, James participated in the 2001 Ana Forest teacher training. In 2003 he traveled to Kiev, Ukraine for a four-month intensive training in Universal Freestyle Yoga with Andrey Lappa. After a couple years of teaching and studying in Chicago, he took an 8-month sabbatical to study with the beloved Dharma Mittra in New York, NY. His interest in Ayurveda then took him to Albuquerque, NM. There he studied Ayurvedic Medicine at the Ayurvedic Institute with the renowned Dr. Vasant Lad, M.A. Sc. James is also an ordained reverend through Ron Brown Grayson, PhD in Universal Studies, co-founder of Source Legacy.
a former wrestler, massage therapist and clerk at the Chicago Board of Trade, began his studies in Yoga, Tantra and Ayurveda in 1997. Jim has completed teacher trainings with Daren Friesen of Moksha Yoga Center which draws heavily from the Krishnamacharya lineage, apprenticed with Gabriel Halpern of the Yoga Circle (a studio in the Iyengar tradition), spent two months in Kiev with Ukrainian Yoga master Andre Lappa for an intensive in Universal Yoga, and in 2002 began a close apprenticeship with Rod Stryker, founder of Para Yoga, in the Himalayan tradition which continues to this day. Jim has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, Chicago Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Breathe and Yoga Chicago. He’s also a popular presenter at the Yoga Journal Grand Geneva Conference and the Midwest Yoga Conference and teaches workshops nationwide.
is an acknowledged senior student of the yogic arts, certified and trained by the internationally acclaimed Hatha Yoga Master of Yogarchaya BKS Iyengar, whose life work has been his inspiration. In 1985, Gabriel founded the Yoga Circle in Chicago. He has been on the De Paul University theater faculty for the last 23 years. Marriage and two children provide additional grounding and joy in his life. After more than forty years of continuous practice and study and three trips to India, Gabriel’s teaching is a celebration of all that is yoga: science, philosophy, art, and mystical mentoring.
has traveled the world studying and teaching massage therapy and Yoga. He has been on faculty at the Chicago School of Massage therapy and The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Rich has also been a guest speaker on Western massage techniques at the Auyurvedic College in Mysore, India. A serious student of Yoga since 1998, teaching since 2001 and a meditation practitioner since 1978, Rich incorporates his knowledge of anatomy and physiology with a unique understanding of spirituality in the modern world. Rich has studied at the prestigious Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Madras, India with TKV Desikachar among others presiding, The Atma Vikasa in Mysore with Yogacharya V. Venkatesha and wife Acharye Hema, The Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Center near Dharamsala with Sharat Arora. Rich’s significant teachers have been, Kim Shwartz, Tias Little, Aadil Palkhivala, Gabriel Halpern and Anna Forrest. Rich has also assisted Tias Little in workshops as well as his Esalen retreat in 08. He continues to study at the Yoga Circle under the tutelage of the enigmatic and brilliant Gabriel Halpern in the Iyengar tradition. Rich has an eclectic teaching style focusing on the seeming basics to allow for a deeper practice by sitting in some poses for extended periods and moving through other postures smoothly with deliberation attention on placing ourselves in the pose as opposed to habitual patterns and gravity running the show. A mindful practice is focused on, bringing us to the edge of ‘experience’ to ‘witness’ the moment unfold and realize it is us who is the unfolding.
Katie Rowe Mitchell
was introduced to yoga by her grandmother and a cheery group of spandex-clad ladies at her local community center. Due to her background in gymnastics, she was immediately drawn to yoga’s physical challenges. Katie quickly realized that yoga served more than just the body. Years later, the practice gently guided her through a lumbar spine injury giving a fresh perspective on alignment principles, patience, and acceptance in the process. She discovered a deep connection between conscious moving, breathing, and emotional well-being. Her practice reminds Katie to be playful and approach her relationships and daily experiences with compassion, gratitude, and love. She believes that yoga softens the exterior and gives courage to receive what life offers. In her classes, Katie guides her students on their own unique journeys to be open, connected, and simply feel better. Katie completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2009 at Yogaview and her 85-hour prenatal yoga teacher training in 2014 from Bloom Yoga Studio. She is grateful to be part of Chicago’s vibrant yoga community!