Yoga

Our yoga and Pilates classes offer the tools to help you achieve a high state of focused performance and wellness. Drawing from ancient and modern practices, our yoga instructors are some of the best in Milwaukee and will help identify your latent strengths and develop them to full capacity. From beginner to advanced yoga classes, we offer a variety of styles and levels to keep your practice inspired, balanced and challenged. During the warmer months, join us for rooftop yoga and take pleasure in the fresh air, sunshine and an inspiring view of the city.

yoga milwaukee

Styles And Levels

From beginner to advanced yoga classes, we offer a variety of styles and levels to keep your practice inspired, balanced and challenged. more »

Yoga Therapy

Reconnect with your physical, emotional and spiritual bodies and begin a journey focused on realizing your progress toward achieving greater health and well being.  more »

Prenatal Yoga

A comprehensive prenatal yoga program designed to promote flexibility, muscle toning and strengthening, as well as improve balance and circulation throughout pregnancy.  more »

Your Yoga Instructors

Alicia Hitzler, Yoga Instructor at Invivo

Alicia Hitzler

RYT

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Alicia Hitzler - RYT

Registered Yoga Teacher

Alicia has been practicing various forms of Hatha Yoga since 1999. She completed her Yoga teacher training at Kanyakumari Ayurveda Education & Retreat Center in 2007. She practices the integration of Yoga into all areas of her life to gain a deeper understanding of herself and the world. Alicia’s commitment to Yoga has been a life changing experience for her; a lifestyle. Because of the impact it has on her, she wants to share it, which is why she teaches. She also wants her students to have the best experience possible, making safety her priority. In her classes Alicia focuses on safety and alignment through sharing with her students her understanding and exploration of yoga and anatomy, breath awareness and breathing practices (pranayama), strength and stability, as well as relaxation. She believes that when the body is aligned—then we are aligned holistically through the mind and spirit.

Alicia accomodates her students by providing modifications for all levels, as appropriate. She enjoys integrating vinyasa sequencing into her classes, and adds various levels of pose exploration to challenge students at their diverse levels of practice. She also incorporates the singing bowl in her classes as an initial grounding to begin each session and releasing meditation to conclude the practice.

Alicia Hitzler is registered with Yoga Alliance.

Q&A with Alicia Hitzler

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?
A. I have been teaching yoga since 2007 and practicing since 1999.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. Hatha is the foundation for the style I teach. I am inspired by the heart-opening, strengthening, and advanced-sequencing practices of Baptiste and am influenced by the variety of workshops and retreats I attend. I have degrees in art and English, and I like to integrate those into my teaching; to me, sequencing in a yoga class is an art and using the right words helps to clarify alignment to guide students through the practice.

Restorative yoga provides a balance to the flowing, athletic personal practice I have and I share that with my students in the form of Restorative Yoga Workshops. I also lead workshops in Yoga Trance Dance, another area of yoga that is joyful, liberating, fun, and a great workout.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. Life is a journey and so is my practice. Like many yogis I was brought to the practice for the physical benefits and then realized that I was benefiting in other ways as well. Yoga allows me to find grounding, contentment, joy, and peace. I feel grateful that I am able to feel the full benefits that my commitment to my personal practice provides, partnered with the overall connectedness to humanity through compassion and lovingkindness. This is what brings me to my mat.

Q. What can a new student expect?
A. I appreciate when a student informs me if they are new to the practice, or are nursing an injury, or have any other physical or emotional limitation. We all have limitations in life and sharing our vulnerabilities with others can be liberating especially when in a supportive environment.

A new student can expect to feel challenged and capable in my classroom. I feel it is important to add lightheartedness to the practice and have the ability to laugh at ourselves and experiencing surrender. This prepares our mind and body for growth. I am attentive to, and a student of correct alignment. I feel it is important to guide students into postures that challenge and release, while feeling supported through the use of props as needed, to promote a positive and safe experience.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. I love that yoga is becoming more mainstream and accessible. If the practice of yoga and its accessibility can cause us all to stop and take one full deep breath, the big picture can only result in beauty, peace, and happiness.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. My goals are to practice what I teach and to teach what I practice. I feel that being my most authentic physical and mental self supports my goals.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. Milwaukee is full of beautiful spots! It is apparent as long as I am willing to open my eyes and see! I enjoy being in nature in our city. It is a blessing that nature is so accessible to Milwaukeeans; the openness of the lakefront, and the solitary experience that can result at Lakeshore State Park, and the smells and sounds of nature along the Milwaukee River.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Milwaukee has so many quality restaurants! I have a few “go to” places on my list that keep me coming back including Cempazuci, Beans and Barley, Cafe Corazon, Roots, and Bel Air. I also love checking out new restaurants and especially appreciate those that offer vegan options!

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Besides yoga…I enjoy running, cycling, and walking; reading for myself and with my daughter; and cooking/eating healthy meals. When I can integrate any of those things with people I care about, life feels good!

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Yoga. The answer does lie within. When I let go of all tensions, remove obstacles and face whatever it is that causes me stress, I am able to find that release, and I am able to find that through both my yoga and meditation practice.

Amy Kerley, Yoga Instructor at INVIVO Wellness, Milwaukee, WI

Amy Kerley

RYT

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Amy Kerley - RYT

Amy Kerley found and fell in love with yoga while living in Maui, Hawaii many years ago. In 2000, Amy completed an intensive yoga teacher training at The Yoga Tree in San Francisco, and she has been teaching ever since. Her classes, and her personal practice, draw on many different styles & influences including yin yoga, restorative, vinyasa flow & mindfulness meditation, to create a unique, and deeply relaxing experience for the students. Her true passion is offering students an opportunity to slow down, to learn how to relax in the midst of discomfort, and to unplug from the fast pace of life that we all experience. She continues to study with her favorite teachers, attending a number of silent yoga & meditation retreats each year, as well as numerous classes & workshops.

Q&A with Amy Kerley

Q. How long have you been a yoga instructor?
A. 8 years.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. Yin yoga, restorative yoga, gentle flow, mindfulness meditation…Helping those with anxiety & depression, high stress, and/or just general “busyness” find relaxation and a sense of well-being through yoga.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I have practiced and taught many different styles of yoga, but my current love and passion is helping people to slow down, which can mean so many different things. I found that a combination of yin and restorative yoga and a mindfulness meditation practice, helped me more than anything else ever had with my own issues with anxiety and depression. I have personally benefited so much from this style of practice that it is now the primary thing I feel moved to share with and teach others.

Q. What can a new client expect?
A. A new client or student can expect many things in my class. It will be deep and slow, with lots of focus on the breath. I will invite the student to slow down and tune into their body, there will be lots of long held, deep stretches, and a bit of active yoga. I like to make the students laugh as well! My class is great for all levels of students, all ages, and those with injury or pain in the body.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. Well, I’m not sure if it’s an industry trend, but I do find it fantastic that a lot of people, both students of yoga & teachers, are beginning to realize that yoga is so much more than just a physical practice. Here in the west, yoga did come in through the door of fitness, and of course it IS a wonderful physical practice, but it is also about meditation, learning to listen to yourself & your body, learning to be more calm in the world. Yoga can be used therapeutically for so many different things, and people are catching on to that.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. I am always trying to stay centered and calm in an increasingly difficult world, that is an everyday practice or “goal” for me. Beyond that, I am trying to eat gluten free as often as possible, as recommended by both my doctor & my acupuncturist, it is a challenge but I am working on it.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. Anywhere along the lake…

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. There are so many!! I like eating brunch at Roots, and dinner at The Rumpus Room.

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Spend time with my son & husband, practice yoga, make art.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Yoga, yoga, yoga! Meditate, take a hot bath, go power walking.

Biz Casmer, Yoga Therapist and Instructor at Invivo

Biz Casmer

PYT, RYT, ACE-CGFI

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Biz Casmer - PYT, RYT, ACE-CGFI

Professional Yoga Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher

Biz has been teaching yoga for six years and practicing for over ten and enjoys dedicating her time and energy to sharing yoga with her students. Biz is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (500 hour) through Integrative Yoga Therapy. She is also a certified Pre and Post Natal Yoga Instructor through Global Yoga Center in Chicago, a Certified Group Fitness Instructor through the America Council on Exercise (ACE) and is currently pursuing her 1000 hour Professional Yoga Therapist certification through Integrative Yoga Therapy. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business, Advertising and Spanish from the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, MN and recently let go of her corporate career to focus her energy on helping people get closer to their true self through the practice of yoga. In addition to practicing and teaching yoga, Biz enjoys running, spending time with her husband and two dogs and partaking in just about any activity outside when the weather is warm!

Biz specializes in Yoga Therapy for back care, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression, women’s health and pre/post-natal. If you are interested in working with Biz for private yoga therapy, please visit the front desk to schedule a consultation. biz@invivowellness.com.

Q&A with Biz Casmer

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?
A. Just over 6 years, and practicing for about 12.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. Yoga Therapy, Mindful Vinyasa, Yoga to strengthen the core, pre and post natal yoga (including Mom & baby Yoga!) and Chakra based practices to open/balance our energy centers.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I began my yoga journey in a health club and practiced “competitive yoga”! Because of my overly flexible body, I ended up injuring myself and learned to love the therapeutic aspects of yoga instead. This changed my personal practice as well as the practice that I share with my students. I understand the importance of energizing and heating our body, but like to balance that with fluid movements to keep our mind and body mobile and hopefully free from injuries.

Q. What can a new student expect?
A. A new student to my group classes can expect a balanced class including body scans/awareness, breath, energy-body work (mudras/chakras), core work, a theme of some sort and definitely meditation. A private yoga or yoga therapy client can expect the same – just catered specifically to their special needs/injury/illness.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. Not recent, but as of late I have been very connected to the nutritional side of healing.Through the guidance of nutritionists, body-workers and friends I have been changing my personal eating habits and working really hard to cleanse my system. I have been sharing this with my group classes and private clients by leading yoga practices that cleanse different systems and organs in our body. I am finding that complimenting yoga with nutritional cleansing has been incredibly helpful for me and I love sharing what I have learned with my students.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. My personal wellness goals are to continue to find balance between work, family/friends, my personal time and my yoga/meditation practice. This will be a lifelong journey/wellness goal!

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. Anywhere along the lakefront. I love being near the water and we are so blessed to have such a beautiful lake in our city!

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Juniper 61. It is a walk from my house and somewhere that my husband and I like to go to get a good meal and unwind.

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Spend time with my husband and 2 pups, move – either yoga, walking or running and travel to new places.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Run, walk, meditate or enjoy an at-home yoga practice. Or – watch HGTV…for as long as humanly possible.

Catey Ott Thompson, Yoga Teacher at INVIVO Milwaukee

Catey Ott Thompson

RYT

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Catey Ott Thompson - RYT

Catey has been teaching Pilates Mat Classes for 11 years. She received her Pilates-based mat certification from Kane School of Core Integration in 2001. Catey is an AFAA certified personal trainer and has a MFA and BFA in dance from UW-Milwaukee. She has seriously studied yoga for 11 years, is in the AFPA Prenatal Exercise Certification program, and is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for Catey Ott Dance Collective. She has been dancing since age 4, performing professionally since 1995, and has been teaching movement to students of all ages for 25 years. She recently returned to Milwaukee after 14 years in NYC.

Q&A with Catey Ott Thompson

Q. How long have you been an instructor?
A. I started teaching dance at a ballet/tap/jazz studio when I was 14, at the same studio where I first started dancing at the age of 4. I have been teaching ever since….25 years.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. My teaching mission, voice and eye involves a unique blend of dance (ballet and modern), Pilates, yoga, fitness, and creative movement. I teach all of these classes independently, but the overlapping of goals and concepts keeps everything fresh for all of the students in each class style. Working with private clients with special needs and overcoming various injuries myself, brings me to see details in the body’s movement patterns and think of the body as a whole.

Q.What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I first loved dancing/performing, and then found that teaching allowed me to earn some funds while doing what I loved. Pilates, yoga and personal training first came into my life to improve my own dancing and to overcome injuries, but eventually I deepened my studies of these forms both to earn a living and to help/inspire/share with others the joy of health and moving…spiritually and physically.

Q. What can a new student/client expect?
A. Warmth, honesty, curiosity, non-judgement, a smile, a laugh, funny imagery, sometimes singing rhythms, and a bit of hands-on adjustments. I offer up lots of variety within a certain theme of movement, within a familiar structure, in order to keep the mind sharp from new learning while balancing the body with just enough repetition to see results.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. I feel that fitness trends have a lot of pros and cons. They are good when they can inspire folks to do new things. It is concerning, though, if the mainstream waters down a form so much that it loses integrity.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. Balance…always. My favorite way is to think about the elements of life and their energies in terms of earth, air, fire, water and ether. I have always had a LOT of fire, and also air and ether. I have felt more earth since meeting my husband, Jeff, 6 years ago, and now feel even more earth since moving back to Milwaukee this past May after spending 17 years in and out of New York City. Being a mother has brought a lot of water to my life, too…FLOW….with my 10 month old son.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. The LAKE!

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. My home kitchen when my husband makes dinner!

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Dance and choreograph, ballet class, zumba, yoga, swim, and do Pilates with lots of props.
I love to play with my son…go for walks, sing to him and snuggle. I like it very much when my husband joins us. Oooh…that is more than three!

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Go to the cafe. Listen to music. Since I spend so much time in my body, relaxation is to find rest for myself. Restorative yoga is actually the best for me to really rejuvinate.

Heather Burkart, RYT and Certified Ayurvedic Educator at INVIVO Milwaukee

Heather Burkart

RYT

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Heather Burkart - RYT

Registered Yoga Teacher, Certified Ayurvedic Educator and Panchakarma Technician

Heather is a Registered Yoga Teacher trained in the Kripalu tradition and is listed with Yoga Alliance. A native of Chicago, she specializes in meditation, yogic breathing and prenatal yoga. She is also skilled in Ayurveda (Yoga’s sister science of holistic health and wellness) and received her training at Kanyakumari Ayurveda in Glendale, WI. A Certified Ayurvedic Educator, Panchakarma Technician and an intern Ayurvedic Practitioner, she focuses on women’s/maternal health, diet, nutrition and herbs. She offers Ayurvedic body therapies in the spa at Invivo. Her personal practice is Annapurna Yoga & Ayurveda.

Q&A with Heather Burkart

Q. How long have you been an Ayurvedic specialist?
A. I was certified as a Panchakarma Technician in 2011 after a year of extensive training and internship at Kanyakumari Ayurveda (Glendale, WI). By that time, I already had foundational Ayurvedic training and was a Certified Ayurevdic Educator. Currently I’m completing my internship for Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. My training and internship in clinical practice enables me to do in-depth consultations and offer body therapies for a wide range of health concerns.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. I specialize in Pancharkarma (seasonal detoxification) treatments that I offer at Invivo, nutrition, herbs, and specifically women’s health including pre- and post-natal, and of course natural skin care.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I was introduced to Ayurveda through Yoga and discovered they were a powerful combination. Studying with various teachers from the East and West has helped me create my own gentle style that is highly personalized for every client. I rely on my training for method and techniques and intuition guides my attention.

Q. What can a new client expect?
A. Just before the treatment, we’ll discuss particular needs and sensitivities if any so I have an idea how to customize their treatment. I use a variety of aromatic oils infused with herbs (made from all natural ingredients) that promote balance in body and mind. I choose oils depending on their dosha – or skin/body-type. Clients do not have to know what their type is before treatments; I’ll help them understand what theirs may be.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. For one, I’ve noticed more attention on all natural skin care products as consumers become aware of the adverse effects of synthetic and chemical ingredients. What we put on our skin enters our system much faster than anything you put in your mouth. Ayurveda uses food-grade products – meaning you could eat them. Consider Ayurvedic oils as food for your skin: pure organic oils infused with a balancing formula of herbs for each body-type. They smell fantastic as well.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. I’m always working on maintaining a regular routine. I find it the most challenging aspect of Ayurveda and is important in staying well grounded. It means daily practices like yoga and meditation in the morning, eating meals and sleeping at the appropriate times every day. I feel good at the end of the day if I can accomplish those few not-so-simple things.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. I love the lakefront in summer… and any park near it. Seeing the many shades of green against the blue of the lake and sky makes me happy.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Right now probably Riverwest Co-op, a recent find for me. It’s unpretentious, community-oriented and makes a mean mock-tuna salad and tempeh rueben sandwich!

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Cook delicious food, be around plants and my cats, and draw or paint.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. As little as possible. I’m still working on the art of doing nothing. I particularly like to relax on the front porch with my husband. We sit back and look up at the trees and listen to the wind rustle the leaves of the trees overhead.

yoga invivo milwaukee

Jamie Mullen

RYT

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Jamie Mullen - RYT

A long time practicing yogi, Jamie received her certification from the Integrative Yoga Therapy program at Haleybird Yoga and Natural Wellness Studios. She has worked extensively alongside yoga therapist Tina Romenesko, assisting in weekly Yoga Therapy group classes as well as sharing her passion for gentle yoga with the members at the Washington Park Senior Center.

Q&A with Jamie Mullen

Q. How long have you been a yoga instructor?
A. I completed my 200-RYT training through Integrative Yoga Therapy at Haleybird Studios in October, 2013.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. My approach to yoga is to integrate all aspects of our being, not just the physical body, but to include our emotional, energetic and spiritual bodies as well. This gentle approach to the practice incorporates movement, meditation, mudras and breathwork.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. Wanting to take care of my complete self really brought me to where I am today. Taking time to breathe, move and relax each day has been vital to the well being of my complete, true self.

Q. What can a new student expect?
A. Whether the client is an experienced yogi or someone who has never practiced, everyone can expect to feel well taken care of. In my classes, we move mindfully and with care so that we allow ourselves to bring balance and nourishment to our body, mind, and spirit.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. I’m not really a trend follower, but one item of note that I am excited about, is that the use of complimentary and alternative medicine/therapies are being recognized by schools such as Harvard, Stanford and Duke. To have reputable, conventional schools become involved in alternative therapies, such as yoga, is a real advancement for our profession.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. Since training and becoming a yoga instructor, I have found that I have not been regularly attending the classes from the teachers that helped me to come to love the practice. So I am taking time to allow myself to attend these classes at least once a week. Though personally I practice each day, I love the feeling of community in a group class.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. That would probably have to be the lakefront. In the summer, I will ride my bike there in the early mornings and practice. It is so peaceful and there is plenty of space. I love being near the water.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. I can’t say I really have a favorite as my husband is an amazing cook and I enjoy so many different cuisines, but I guess I would say when I need my island fix, I head over to Ono Kine Grindz in Tosa.

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. In order, creating jewelry is my greatest passion next to yoga. Traveling to warm, tropical locales. And I enjoy baking with cookies, scones and biscotti being my specialty.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. I like to sit in meditation and breathe. Often my dog will join me on my mat which also aids in releasing stress.

Maria Bello, Yoga Instructor at Invivo

Maria Bello

RYT

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Maria Bello - RYT

Registered Yoga Teacher

Maria is a certified and registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. She also has formal training and certification for Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga. Maria regularly attends workshops and teacher intensives to continually enhance her knowledge and teaching. She emphasizes the linking breath with movement. Her teaching style builds strength, flexibility and self-awareness. She encourages her students to listen to their bodies and attend to proper alignment during her challenging, but fun-filled classes.

Maria has dedicated herself to a life of balance, awareness and compassion. She has a tremendous amount of gratitude for this practice and has devoted herself to learning how to use the practice of Yoga to heal, empower and inspire others!

Mariah Strandal INVIVO Milwaukee yoga instructor

Mariah Standal

RYT

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Mariah Standal - RYT

Mariah found yoga in 2007 when she was 16 years old. With a passion for psychology and Eastern philosophy, she dedicated most of her energy at the University of Wisconsin in Madison working for research labs studying the effects of contemplative practices on well-being. Her exploration in these fields have led her to pursue integrative modalities of healing, of which her strongest interest is in the wisdom of the Eight Limbed path of yoga.

Currently, Mariah is continuing her training in the 500-hour program with Scott Anderson of Alignment Yoga in Madison, WI. Alignment Yoga is an accessible style of hatha yoga designed with the physical and mental tendencies of Westerners in mind while maintaining authenticity towards yoga’s cultural roots in India. Drawing inspiration from Tai Chi as well as yoga, Mariah’s teaching style blends the use of mindfulness, imagery and breathwork to facilitate embodiment. Her goals are to help her students feel at-home and grounded in their bodies so they can access innate sources of vitality, and through this find the empowerment to manifest transformation in their own lives.

Q&A with Mariah Standal

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?
A. I started teaching group classes in autumn of 2013.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. I am trained in and teach Alignment Yoga which is a blend of Hatha, Eischens and Iyengar traditions.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. When I started becoming more serious about yoga, I fell in love with the fire and flow of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. As my practice developed, I noticed that I had an aversion to stillness. I began to inquire about my motives and found that there is so much to be gained from drawing back, rooting down and sitting still. I often times call my practice “Middle Path Yoga” in that I make a constant effort to ride the ever-changing wave between extremes.

Q. What can a new student expect?
A. My classes emphasize bringing the mind from the clouds back into the body and into the present. Embodying the ethics of Eight Limbed Path, we always begin practice with meditation followed by a gentle awakening of the deep core muscles and variations of surya namaskar. More challenging postures are taught in a progression, so you may encounter a headstand but we will always study the building blocks, inviting space to experiment and experience the benefits of each posture.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. I find it important to consider yoga in the West and its overemphasis on asana (physical posture), which happens to be the third of eight limbs comprising the Ashtanga yoga path. Traditionally, the first two limbs (internal and external ethics) were studied extensively prior to the practice of asana. Without a solid foundation in nonviolence and compassion, the practice can easily become another form of materialism. That said, it makes perfect sense that we would be drawn to asana, a practice that facilitates embodiment, because as a culture we are so disconnected from our bodies. Media teaches us our bodies are not good enough, our jobs and lifestyles are sedentary and fast-paced. We are dying to reconnect, and this practice is innately nourishing.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. My current wellness goals are to develop a regular aerobic and strength training routine on top of my dedication to yoga and meditation. I love to ride my longboard, rollerblades and bicycle in the warmer months. When it’s cold, I love to snowboard when I can, bundle up and take walks outside, and practice yoga in a heated room.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. The majestic Lake Michigan speaks for itself.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Choosing a singular place is no simple task, but I must say Café Corazon in Riverwest is the home of my all-time favorite *vegetarian* burrito.

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Besides yoga, I am a self-taught graphic designer and an avid cook. I also see a LOT of live music.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Among my arsenal of de-stressing techniques, meditation + yoga are at the top. I’ve recently been exploring the world of essential oils and aromatherapy and finding solace in the effects. Then there is always journaling, reading, talking it out, dancing it out, puppy therapy, wilderness therapy and everything in between…including margaritas when necessary.

Nicole, Eull, Yoga Instructor at Invivo

Nicole Eull

CYT

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Nicole Eull - CYT

Certified Yoga Teacher

Nicole discovered yoga in 1998 in Washington, DC while in graduate school and has practiced various types of Hatha yoga including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anasaura, Sivananda, Vinyasa Flow, and American Power Yoga. She completed her 250-hour yoga teacher training and certification with Gaia Budai in Miami and taught classes in the Miami area until relocating to Milwaukee in the summer of 2008. Nicole is also a licensed health psychologist and founder of the HODI Center. She integrates yoga and meditation principles into her therapy sessions while bringing relaxation and stress management skills into her yoga classes.

Her classes are friendly and fun with a focus on awareness of the body and the breath. She encourages her students to create a dynamic practice and work towards progressively more challenging poses. She believes that yoga teaches discipline, patience, self-acceptance, physical awareness and mental clarity which translates to a healthier happier life. Nicole enjoys travel, cooking, organic gardening, reading, SCUBA diving, watching movies, singing in the car, and talking with friends across the country. Nicole has also received a speciality certification for Prenatal Yoga through Global Yoga in Chicago, IL.

Pam Nelson Ashtanga yoga instructor Milwaukee INVIVO

Pam Nelson

CYT

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Pam Nelson - CYT

Pam is a certified yoga instructor through FYB Yoga, formerly based in Mequon, Wisconsin. Pam received her certification in 2004 and since then has taught many classes integrating Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga and Yin Yoga. Following her training, she continued to work for Debra Hennesy and her FYB Yoga Teacher Training school as an educator where she had the unique opportunity to deepen her personal yoga experience while continuing to explore the teacher/student relationship. Pam enjoys teaching invigorating classes with attention on physical alignment and breathwork that allow all to benefit from from the practice no matter what their limitations may be. When not practicing or teaching yoga, Pam works as a children’s clothing pattern maker at Florence Eiseman Company. She also loves spending time exploring her home neighborhood of Bay View with her husband and daughter.

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?
A. I received my certification in 2004 and taught at several local studios until 2008 when I took a hiatus to focus on my family. I have also worked as an instructor for a local yoga teacher training school.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. Vinyasa flow influence by Ashtanga. Yin Yoga. Multi level classes.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I started in the early 90s as most people do ~ I bought a video and began a home practice. Shortly after, I attended regular Ashtanga and power yoga classes. I became very driven to achieve my idea of yoga perfection. I decided to enroll in a teacher training program and directly after I injured myself pushing into an inversion. It was a total wake up call. Luckily, the director of the YTT program encouraged me to go through with the training despite my limitation. My yoga education gave me a new compassionate perspective toward myself and my students. Yoga is the JOURNEY and not the destination. I fortunately recovered from my injury. I continue to have a great love of challenging yoga but I’ve learned to add plenty of moderation and intuition to my practice.

Q. What can a new student expect?
A. I really like to challenge my students while focusing on proper alignment and using hands-on adjustments as needed. I’m a strong believer in listening to the inner voice and knowing how to safely explore a challenge but also knowing when to take the modification.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. Yoga should be practiced by anyone no matter what his/her limitations.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. It’s hard with daily work, family and social obligations to carve out time for physical fitness. I’ve had to really fight to make it a priority. My mantra is the following quote from Jim Rohn “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. The Beach

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Odd Duck! The dal is addictive.

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?

A. Besides yoga, I’m a bit of a tattoo collector. I also love spending time at the beach and taking in live local music whenever I have the chance.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. I spend a lot of time with amazing family and friends. I’ve been truly blessed.

Paula Biasi, Yoga and Pilates Instructor at Invivo

Paula Biasi

CYT

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Paula Biasi - CYT

Certified Yoga Teacher, Certified Pilates Instructor

Paula is a certified yoga instructor through Kanyakumari. She has been practicing since 1997 and has studied Anusara, Iyengar and Ashtanga styles of yoga. She has been teaching full time since 2006 and shares her knowledge of this practice as an instructor at INVIVO, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Danceworks, and Yama Yoga. Her classes are taught with an emphasis on mindful anatomical alignment, presence of mind, and humor so that all activities in life can be done with more awareness, energy and health.

Paula holds an BA in Dance and Performing Arts with a minor in Holistic Health from Prescott College and an MFA in Dance from UW-Milwaukee. Currently, Paula is a full time student studying to be a Physical Therapist Assistant and will also graduate as a Certified Pilates Teacher in December of 2012. For the past ten years she has worked as a professional modern dancer, teaching and performing for various companies, schools and choreographers.

Q&A with Paula Biasi

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?
A. 6 years

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. Alignment based yoga for injury prevention and rehabilitation

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. As a professional dancer my lifetime of physical training has been based on alignment to find greater facility and ease of movement. But because of the rigors of the profession I have endured and healed from many injuries. I hope to help others prevent injuries and heal their bodies so they can find more enjoyment in life.

Q. What can a new student expect?
A. A new student of yoga can expect clear step-by-step instructions from me. They can expect to learn how to adjust the yoga poses so that they work for their body because we are all different and come to the practice with strengths, weaknesses and our own history.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. I generally try to avoid or ignore “trends.”

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. I am constantly trying to learn more about the body and movement so that I can help my students to help themselves. I am currently pursuing my Pilates teacher training and am going to school to become a Physical Therapy Assistant.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. I love to hike the east and west river trails. The tall grasses, wildflowers, river and woods help me to forget, for a while, that I live in a city. I also like Doctors Park and Grant park.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Oh boy. It’s hard to choose. I like Roots and appreciate that they use local ingredients. I really love Transfer and Via. They have the best pizza. And Cempazuchi for Mexican fare.

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Ride my bike, bake, dance.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Anything physical…bike, run, dance, take a yoga class. Also cooking while listening to 60’s soul music. The combination makes me happy. I get to make something delicious and creative while getting down.

Rebecca Schuster, Yoga Instructor at Invivo Wellness, Milwaukee WI

Rebecca Schuster

RYT

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Rebecca Schuster - RYT

Q&A with Rebecca Schuster

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?

A. About a year and a half.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. Vinyasa.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I fell in love with the different varieties of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations that I was introduced to in college.

Q. What can a new patient/client expect?
A. A challenging but accessible class where breath and movement becomes linked. I make sure to give modifications in every pose but also the option to take the pose deeper for the more experienced yogi(ni).

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. Yin yoga which is a version of restorative yoga that is becoming rapidly popular. It is a nice contrast to the active and fast-moving vinyasa styles of yoga to include in everyone’s weekly practice or for winding down at the end of the day.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. I love the beach at Atwater Park, I love spending summer afternoons there.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. That’s a hard question but I’ll have to admit my love for EE Sane pops to mind first.

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Attending yoga classes, long walks with my dog and cooking/baking.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. An at-home restorative or yin practice!

Shari Comstock, Yoga Instructor at Invivo

Shari Comstock

RYT

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Shari Comstock - RYT

Registered Yoga Teacher

From gymnastics to dance, Shari has been a student of movement all her life. Her passion for mind-body harmony has led her to yoga. In January of 2005 she was certified and registered through the Yoga Alliance teacher training program at the Nosara Institute in Costa Rica. She is excited to continue her growth of the mind-body connection by teaching and exploring yoga.

Q&A with Shari Comstock

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?
A. 6 years

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. Restorative/Healing yoga and Vinyasa Flow.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I enjoy a wide variety of yoga styles dependent upon the needs of my mind and body at the time. I began my practice focused on Vinyasa Flow and other yang (active) focused styles because I was young and energetic craving challenge and movement. In the past several years, I have moved to a more restorative and yin (passive) style of yoga practice to balance the activities and need for stillness and surrender within my life. I believe that yoga is way of being and living. The appropriate style of yoga we practice will change depending on the needs of our body and mind at that time. We must listen to our intuitions and change our practice to maintain a sense of equilibrium and wholeness.

Q. What can a new student expect?
A. Restorative/Healing – focuses on breath, relaxation and gentle movement. Class begins with pranayama (breath work) to focus and calm the mind, followed by a thorough release of muscles and joints through passive poses and gentle movement. Each class will end with an extended savasana, in order to fully restore and rejuvenate the body and mind. 
Vinyasa Flow – focuses on linking breath with movement. Class begins by slowly warming up the body in preparation for Sun Salutations, inversions and arm balances. Each class will end with a healthy savassana to fully actualize the practice.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. I am most interested in the use of Yoga to address medical needs, both physical and mental.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. Balancing both Yin and Yang within my life by staying in tune with what my mind and body needs. Currently, I’m following a more gentle and restorative practice to balance out intense involvement in roller derby.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. Other than the Yoga Studio at Invivo…I would have to say, the small stretch of road that connects Lake Shore Drive with the entrance to Lake Park Bistro. It’s beautiful at all times of the year due to the dramatic curves in the road surrounded by thick foliage and an old concrete bridge.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Riverwest Co-op


Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Play/cuddle with my dog “numchuk”, Roller Derby, Any type of Bodywork/Movement class (Yoga, Pilates, Dance, Trapeze, Martial Arts, etc.)

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Breath…to balance out the intensity of roller derby.

Tina Romenesko, Yoga Instructor at Invivo

Tina Romenesko

PYT, RYT

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Tina Romenesko - PYT, RYT

Professional Yoga Therapist & Registered Yoga Teacher

Tina Romenesko, PYT/RYT, is a Professional Yoga Therapist and Teacher, and has been studying and practicing yoga for over 30 years. Her focus is on the therapeutic potential of yoga to heal body, mind and spirit.

Tina is a certified YogaMotion instructor (200 hour) and completed her second 200-hour certification with Tias Little at Prajna Yoga, in Santa Fe New Mexico in 2006. Both of these trainings, along with a strong and dedicated personal practice, have provided a deep foundational study of yoga alignment, philosophy, meditation and breath technique that are the basis for Tina’s classes, workshops and private sessions.

In 2007, Tina completed her Yoga Therapy certification (500 hour), with Joseph and Lillian LePage of Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT). Tina specializes in the study of mudras, or hand gestures, used in meditation and practice and recently received an advanced certification in Mudras, Pranayama and Bandhas from IYT.

As a yoga therapist, Tina works with clients dealing with a wide range of issues including cancer, heart disease, stress related imbalances, hormone issues, skeletal issues, injury, life transitions and just about anything else – helping clients look past their diagnosis and symptoms to remember wholeness and healing.

Tina’s other passion is poetry – she often reads poetry in her yoga classes as an intention, revisiting lines throughout the practice to merge imagery and feeling states of being at a deeper level.

Tina can be contacted via her website at yogatina.com.

I drew on what I had learned from Tina constantly throughout the 18 months since my diagnosis with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. I truly felt the connection between body, mind and spirit and I’m convinced there is no better guide and mentor than Tina for a journey such as this. – Carol S. Appleton, WI.

Q&A with Tina Romenesko

Q. How long have you been a professional yoga therapist and teacher?
A. I have been practicing yoga for 34 years, way back before it was trendy! I earned my first 200 hour certification in 2001 and have continued to study with a variety of teachers since then. My two main influences have been Tias Little, with whom I have studied intensively since 2004, qnd Joseph and Lillian LePage of Integrative Yoga Therapy where I earned my 500 hour certification in 2007.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. I am primarily a yoga therapist – specializing in helping clients look past their diagnosis and symptoms to remember wholeness and healing. I have worked with a wide variety of issues including cancer, heart disease, stress related imbalances, hormone issues, skeletal issues, injury, life transitions and just about anything else.

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. My yoga practice seems to be constantly evolving, since I first stepped on a mat. My current style of teaching reflects my strong belief that yoga should be a balance of the physical, psycho-emotional and spiritual aspects of the practice and the importance of balancing all three, which is why my class is called Yoga for Body, Mind and Spirit!

Q. What can a new student/client expect?
A. My classes and private sessions are very alignment focused in the physical realm – with lots of instruction, verbal cuing and adjustments/modifications. I always include breathwork, deep relaxation, and meditation, along with an intention in the form of poetry or an affirmation.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. My current passion is the mudras, or hand gestures, and how they can enhance the postures as well as meditation and breath. The other trend that I’m excited about is the increased awareness of the subtle energies of the yoga practice, like chakras, elements and pranavayus. Certainly mudras are a part of that also. I find it encouraging to see more Westerners realizing that the physical realm is only one third of the yoga practice.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. I recently adopted a gluten free diet, which has made a huge difference in my digestion and energy level. I practice breathwork and meditation daily and am focused on balancing strength, flexibility and awareness in my yoga practice. I need to do more cardio in the winter – so that is my New Year’s resolution – to get to a spin class and do the elliptical more consistently.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. The Seven Bridges trail at Grant Park in South Milwaukee. It is a very special place for me that combines the expansiveness of the lake with the coziness of the trails winding through and around the ravines of the park.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. La Merenda on National Avenue for tapas and a good glass of Rioja wine. It reminds me of my 3 summers in Spain studying Hispanic Literature.

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Bike along the lakefront. Go to the Milwaukee Art Museum and wander. Take in an obscure foreign film at the Oriental or Downer theaters.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Pranayama – or active breath work. I think developing a consistent breath practice is essential to maintaining wellness in body, mind and spirit. I love to ride my bike in the summer and snowshoe in the winter. My other passion is poetry – reading it, writing it, and sharing it with others.

yin yoga instructor milwaukee invivo

Zack Ferguson

CYT

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Zack Ferguson - CYT

Zack’s yoga journey began 16 years ago when he and a friend decided to take a yoga class for a credit in college. They signed up for the class because they thought it would be a great place to meet girls. The ratio was favorable, but it turned out that one of the loves of his life he ended up meeting was yoga!

Yoga has been a key component of Zack’s overall health, fitness and wellness ever since that moment. He continued to practice at various health clubs, before finally deciding to go for his yoga certification which he completed in January of 2012. He has been teaching several classes a week spanning multiple formats ranging form Vinyasa Flow, Yin, Power Yoga and Mindful Movement.

His yoga practice and philosophy is rooted in achieving a total health and wellness of the mind, body, emotions and soul. He likes to picture our health as a 4-legged table that is comprised of the before-mentioned components: each component helping to keep the table of health in balance. If one of these legs becomes unstable or is missing, our health as a complete picture loses focus and becomes wobbly.

He believes through a yoga practice the mind, body, emotions and soul are given a complete workout, resulting in an overall picture of health and wellness. While cardio and strength are an important part of wellness, yoga targets balance, flexibility and mental clarity as well as cardio and strength depending on the form of practice. Simply put…the Complete Workout!

Today’s world continues to take from us and we continue to give, often resulting in a feeling of emptiness and a void. In Zack’s teaching, he focuses on having students open up their hearts, minds and souls so they can be poured into and filled from both their yoga practice and the energy and passion from the other participants in the space. When leaving class, the students are recharged, refreshed and revitalized and ready to once again enter the world and give freely of themselves to others.

Besides being a yoga certified instructor, Zack is also an AFAA certified group exercise instructor and a Mad Dogg Athletics certified spin instructor. He enjoys the variety of several forms of exercise and encourages his students to branch out and try something new, creating balance in their lives.

Q&A with Zack Ferguson

Q. How long have you been a yoga teacher?
A. I began practicing yoga 16 years ago and have been teaching for the past year and a half.

Q. What areas do you specialize in?
A. Vinyasa Flow, Yin, Power Yoga, and Mindful Movement

Q. What brought you to your current style of practice?
A. I practice several forms of yoga because depending on how I am feeling on a particular day, my body might need a different style of yoga than the day before; either something more restorative or fast paced and challenging.

Q. What can a new student expect?
A. A new client can expect to feel welcome in class whether they are just beginning their yoga journey or have been practicing for several years. Modifications of poses are always given so a new student will feel comfortable and a returning student challenged if they so desire. Regardless of ability, students will feel ready to reenter the world with a sense of renewed sense of energy, love, self and life.

Q. What recent industry trends have you found most noteworthy?
A. The combining of classes as has been the case with spin and yoga. In one session you are able to get a great cardio workout with spin, along with the strength, balance, flexibility and mindfulness components that yoga provides. This creates balance in wellness as each style of class is on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Q. What are your current personal wellness goals and how are you addressing them?
A. My current personal wellness goals involve taking time for my workouts, yoga and mindfulness apart from teaching. Being a yoga/fitness instructor can consume you and leave you feeling empty if you are not careful. For me, taking yoga classes as a student is important so I can refill and pour into my students when I am teaching.

Q. What is your favorite beautiful spot in Milwaukee?
A. The lighthouse just south of the Marcus Amphitheater looking back towards downtown.

Q. What is your favorite place to eat in Milwaukee?
A. Screaming Tuna

Q. What are your top three favorite things to do/hobbies?
A. Playing guitar and writing music, any form of exercise and spending time with friends and family.

Q. What do you do to de-stress?
A. Unplug from the world and technology and get out into nature!