RYT, ACE-Certified Personal Trainer
Living with painful headaches and joint instability, Cynthia began studying yoga and strength training to improve her own well being in 2003. Wanting to share this same sense of freedom and make yoga accessible to as many people as possible, she received her 200-RYT certification from Feel Your Best (FYB) whose philosophy is the “Person not the Pose.” Upon graduating in 2005, she began teaching a gentle, benefits-oriented teaching style that incorporates Iyengar (alignment), Ashtanga (power), Viniyoga (therapeutic) yoga. Over the last 10+ years, she’s lead alignment-based, accessible yoga classes that balance effort with ease. She encourages conversation, individual discovery as well as ways to personalize the yoga practice. Cynthia’s worked with clients of all fitness levels, abilities, and ages.
Ever inquisitive, she continues her yoga education through personal study, workshops and conferences. She’s certified in Chair Yoga with Stacie Dooreck’s SunLight Yoga and certified in Core Functional Fitness with Hope Zvara. As a certified ACE Personal Trainer, she brings functional movements, postural strength, and healthy range of motion to her yoga classes. As a certified TRX instructor, she enjoys teaching accessible fitness classes on the suspension trainers. As a certified NETA Wellness Coach, she shares ways to add healthy habits and reduce stress in everyday life. She’s also a member of Yoga Alliance.
Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Prior to teaching, coaching and consulting full time, she worked in corporate marketing and communication departments in several industries for 23 years.
To give back to the yoga community, for the past 10 years she has donated her service and talents at Yoga Journal Conferences around the USA.
Q&A with Cynthia Akey
Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?
A. I have been teaching yoga since 2005 and practicing since 2003. But I found my first yoga book when I was 13 and started practicing some of the asanas. It opened a whole new world.
Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. I specialize in alignment-based practice and have experience teaching gentle, therapeutic, restorative, chair, yin, vinyasa, corporate, yoga for runners/athletes and yoga for beginners.
Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I came from a place of pain – migraines and joint instability. Being hypermobile, I sought structure and strength and was drawn to Iyengar yoga and its use of props to make it accessible. I am fascinated with intentional energy and breathwork incorporating these into each pose. As I age, my practice continues to evolve to better suit my daily needs.
Q. What can a new student expect?
A. A student can expect to approach each practice with a beginner’s mind and awaken personal “a-ha” moments. I specialize in uncovering the subtleties of asana, pranayama and meditation. In each class, I encourage discussion and offer moments for individual discovery so that each student may make the practice their own. To ensure classes are accessible, we’ll use props – wall, chairs, bolsters, blocks and straps. Mindful modifications and hands-on adjustments will be provided.
Q. What recent industry trends have you found noteworthy?
A. I’ve seen a shift from a practice of personal development and self-reflection to one of action and activism. While yogis are here to inspire health and wellness, we can awaken and transform our hearts, minds and community.
Q. What are your current wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. Balancing work and life. Too often we overextend ourselves to do more. Currently, I’m focused on mantra, meditation, pranayama, making time for reflection and some quality sleep.
Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. I spent the last few years living in a land-locked city in northern California. I really missed Bradford Beach and Lake Michigan. I love to watch the waves and walk on the sand. It’s a great place to meditate and renew my spirit. I missed the seasons too – so it’s great watching the trees leaves change colors.
Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. So much has changed in the past few years while I have been away. It’s been fun to rediscover the Milwaukee area. I really enjoy Blue’s Egg because breakfast is my favorite meal.
Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. I love to travel with my husband, spend time with my cat who behaves like a dog, and learn anything. I also enjoy being creative – with food, jewelry, graphic design, and event planning.
Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. To reduce stress, I visit my “beach” – in person or just visualize it. I like to get some exercise – walking in nature, riding my spin bike, or practicing yoga and pranayama. I’m a fan of old movies and musicals. So a cup of tea and “Hello, Dolly” help me laugh and smile.