Our Team

Our talented group of teachers, trainers, and coaches are eager to help you reach your goals—join us for a group class or schedule individual sessions to meet your needs.

 
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Kristina Reese — Manager, Lead Teacher

(E-RYT 200, RYT 500) Kristina began her yoga journey as a recovering college athlete—looking for a more mindful way to move her body. She has a passion for empowering people to accept themselves, cultivate their creativity, and connect with their own inner teacher. Through group classes, workshops, festivals, and social media—Kristina shares yoga, meditation, and energy healing with all who are willing, including athletes, youths, first-timers, aging yogis, and more.

Working with Kristina, you can expect to find confidence and peace—confidence that comes from approaching and overcoming new challenges, and peace as you accept and love yourself exactly as you are in the moment. Ideally, you’ll leave with a smile, too. 

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Yoga Strength & Flexibility

  • Meditation & Breathwork

  • Establishing a Morning Routine

  • Embracing Positivity

  • Teen/Youths

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Maria LUdEke — Lead Trainer

Maria is a NASM certified Personal Trainer and certified Barre Instructor. A lifelong athlete, Maria competed at the collegiate level in basketball and cross country at the University of Illinois. In addition to teaching many local running clubs, she has taught rock climbing, windsurfing, and water skiing in Switzerland. These experiences have convinced her of the value of total body fitness. Passionate about movement, she is continuously researching new ways to to integrate creative exercises into routines. Her training programs help people feel their best while achieving their goals. She strives to transform an individual's exercise dread into confidence and results.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Cross-training

  • New Runners

  • Finding Exercise you LOVE


    DANNAH CASTO - YOGA (HOT)    Dannah  discovered Yoga in college as an outlet to relieve stress, find motivation, and re-center.  Her passion for Yoga emanates from her background in nutrition as she believes that Yoga can help align the mind, body, and spirit to find a healthier state of being both on and off the Yoga mat.  The power of movement driven by breath has brought strength, self-discovery, and purity to her own practice; benefits she, in turn, imparts to her students. Dannah completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification through Island Salt Air in Galveston, Texas and is a Yoga Alliance RYT-200. Dannah’s teaching experience is with Hot, Bikrama, and Vinyasa style and believes the heated studio calms the mind while expanding the potential to find more depth in each posture.

DANNAH CASTO - YOGA (HOT)
Dannah discovered Yoga in college as an outlet to relieve stress, find motivation, and re-center. Her passion for Yoga emanates from her background in nutrition as she believes that Yoga can help align the mind, body, and spirit to find a healthier state of being both on and off the Yoga mat.
The power of movement driven by breath has brought strength, self-discovery, and purity to her own practice; benefits she, in turn, imparts to her students. Dannah completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification through Island Salt Air in Galveston, Texas and is a Yoga Alliance RYT-200. Dannah’s teaching experience is with Hot, Bikrama, and Vinyasa style and believes the heated studio calms the mind while expanding the potential to find more depth in each posture.


  LOLA 'GLOW' PITTENGER — YOGA & REIKI    Lola  began the practice of yoga on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil while studying abroad in college. The combination of beach-fresh air, thousands of native fruits and vegetables, and the balancing effects of yoga gave her the BEST platform to believe in her truth. There, through yoga, she discovered self-love for the first time and has been fueled to preach and teach about it since.  In addition to being an experienced and 200-hr certified yoga teacher, Lola is an intuitive life coach and counselor, Reiki Master, EFT practitioner, and producer of her own essential oil skin care line, Glow by Lola. After receiving her Master’s in Bilingual Education, she discovered her love of teaching others how to heal themselves from within.  Her teaching style is generally tender and fluid, with a large emphasis on calling the spirit back into the body.  She channels and cues the elements of nature in all classes and her "special sauce" is her singing voice and aromatic essential oils. She loves to soothe students with sound and bathe them in love!

LOLA 'GLOW' PITTENGER — YOGA & REIKI

Lola began the practice of yoga on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil while studying abroad in college. The combination of beach-fresh air, thousands of native fruits and vegetables, and the balancing effects of yoga gave her the BEST platform to believe in her truth. There, through yoga, she discovered self-love for the first time and has been fueled to preach and teach about it since.

In addition to being an experienced and 200-hr certified yoga teacher, Lola is an intuitive life coach and counselor, Reiki Master, EFT practitioner, and producer of her own essential oil skin care line, Glow by Lola. After receiving her Master’s in Bilingual Education, she discovered her love of teaching others how to heal themselves from within. Her teaching style is generally tender and fluid, with a large emphasis on calling the spirit back into the body. She channels and cues the elements of nature in all classes and her "special sauce" is her singing voice and aromatic essential oils. She loves to soothe students with sound and bathe them in love!


  VALERIE WRIGHT — YOGA (HOT)    Valerie  has been growing in her yoga practice since 2011. In the beginning, for her it was more about powering through the poses and ‘checking it off’ her weekly exercise schedule. In fact, the savasana time at the end of each yoga practice felt more like an “adult time out” than the meditative, relaxing state it is meant to be. Funny how the very thing she was trying to avoid (calmness and stillness of the body AND mind) was exactly what she needed. Valerie became a nurse in 1999 and has always had a passion for teaching. In 2009 she obtained her Masters in Nursing Education and began teaching the next generation of nurses. In 2016, Valerie graduated with her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. To celebrate the completion of her education journey, Valerie signed up for a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica – specifically  Marianne Wells Yoga School . This training certified her as a 200-RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) with the Yoga Alliance – an internationally-recognized credential that she feels honored to have obtained. Valerie had no idea how much her yoga training would transform her life.  For the first time, she experienced the calmness and stillness that yoga so generously offers and now has a passion for sharing that practice with others.

VALERIE WRIGHT — YOGA (HOT)

Valerie has been growing in her yoga practice since 2011. In the beginning, for her it was more about powering through the poses and ‘checking it off’ her weekly exercise schedule. In fact, the savasana time at the end of each yoga practice felt more like an “adult time out” than the meditative, relaxing state it is meant to be. Funny how the very thing she was trying to avoid (calmness and stillness of the body AND mind) was exactly what she needed.
Valerie became a nurse in 1999 and has always had a passion for teaching. In 2009 she obtained her Masters in Nursing Education and began teaching the next generation of nurses. In 2016, Valerie graduated with her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. To celebrate the completion of her education journey, Valerie signed up for a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica – specifically Marianne Wells Yoga School. This training certified her as a 200-RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) with the Yoga Alliance – an internationally-recognized credential that she feels honored to have obtained. Valerie had no idea how much her yoga training would transform her life. For the first time, she experienced the calmness and stillness that yoga so generously offers and now has a passion for sharing that practice with others.

  SARAH GRAHAM — STUDIO AMBASSADOR    Sarah  is goal-motivated and detail-oriented member of our team, currently focused on helping students acclimate and feel at home in the studio. In addition, she is board certified in Integrative Health Coaching. Using mindfulness and client-centered goals, she helps individuals to implement health-related behaviors to improve overall well-being.  Sarah is gifted in encouraging and empowering others to cultivate a more aware and nurturing lifestyle.

SARAH GRAHAM — STUDIO AMBASSADOR

Sarah is goal-motivated and detail-oriented member of our team, currently focused on helping students acclimate and feel at home in the studio. In addition, she is board certified in Integrative Health Coaching. Using mindfulness and client-centered goals, she helps individuals to implement health-related behaviors to improve overall well-being. Sarah is gifted in encouraging and empowering others to cultivate a more aware and nurturing lifestyle.


    CHRISTINA RUIZ — YOGA    Christina  is originally from Puerto Rico and moved to Champaign in 2012 to pursue a master’s degree in Animal Science. During her time in grad school, she regularly attended yoga classes at the university’s recreation center. Christina completed her yoga certification in May 2018 and is also trained in mindfulness meditation (20-hr training program). The practice of yoga and meditation have helped Christina grow self-kindness and self-love. She is inspired to cultivate a deeper sense of compassion and understanding with herself and people around her.  In her classes, she encourages students to become aware of their body and connect with the breath as she gently guides them through the asanas using detailed alignment cues.  Students who attend Christina’s class can expect meditation, pranayama, and asanas with variations. As a teacher, Christina aspires to deepen her knowledge and expand her teaching skills. She also hopes to one day teach yoga to Spanish speaking communities.

CHRISTINA RUIZ — YOGA

Christina is originally from Puerto Rico and moved to Champaign in 2012 to pursue a master’s degree in Animal Science. During her time in grad school, she regularly attended yoga classes at the university’s recreation center. Christina completed her yoga certification in May 2018 and is also trained in mindfulness meditation (20-hr training program).
The practice of yoga and meditation have helped Christina grow self-kindness and self-love. She is inspired to cultivate a deeper sense of compassion and understanding with herself and people around her. In her classes, she encourages students to become aware of their body and connect with the breath as she gently guides them through the asanas using detailed alignment cues. Students who attend Christina’s class can expect meditation, pranayama, and asanas with variations. As a teacher, Christina aspires to deepen her knowledge and expand her teaching skills. She also hopes to one day teach yoga to Spanish speaking communities.

  CHRISTINE JANAK — YOGA    Christine  is a certified yoga teacher, aerial arts instructor, and performance artist based in Urbana, Illinois. She has loved to move, dance, and play since her first dance classes as a child, and the meditation skills she learned at a young age have undoubtedly helped her face all of life’s ups and downs with perspective, gratitude, and grace. When she was introduced to yoga in 2009, she knew right away that this transformative and healing practice would be a life-long journey. She graduated from UIUC with a B.A. in Spanish Language and Translation in 2013, and began her Yoga Teacher Training shortly after. Christine draws from elements of the Ashtanga, Kripalu, and Kundalini lineages in her teaching and personal practice. She encourages students to connect with their inner guides and explore the practice in their own way, and  she loves showing students that they CAN do what they previously thought impossible.  When she’s not teaching yoga, aerial silks, dance, or fire performance, she can be found spinning hoops, eating fire, and standing on her head on stage with the C-U-based band Sun Stereo. Follow her on Insta @christinejanak and on Facebook: Christine Janak Yoga & Performance Art.

CHRISTINE JANAK — YOGA

Christine is a certified yoga teacher, aerial arts instructor, and performance artist based in Urbana, Illinois. She has loved to move, dance, and play since her first dance classes as a child, and the meditation skills she learned at a young age have undoubtedly helped her face all of life’s ups and downs with perspective, gratitude, and grace. When she was introduced to yoga in 2009, she knew right away that this transformative and healing practice would be a life-long journey. She graduated from UIUC with a B.A. in Spanish Language and Translation in 2013, and began her Yoga Teacher Training shortly after. Christine draws from elements of the Ashtanga, Kripalu, and Kundalini lineages in her teaching and personal practice. She encourages students to connect with their inner guides and explore the practice in their own way, and she loves showing students that they CAN do what they previously thought impossible. When she’s not teaching yoga, aerial silks, dance, or fire performance, she can be found spinning hoops, eating fire, and standing on her head on stage with the C-U-based band Sun Stereo. Follow her on Insta @christinejanak and on Facebook: Christine Janak Yoga & Performance Art.


  TAYLOR TURESKIS — BARRE    Taylor  grew up in Monticello, IL and graduated from Illinois State University with her degree in Organizational and Leadership Communication this past December. She is the Event and Volunteer Coordinator at Cunningham Children’s home in Urbana. She has always had a passion for fitness, health & helping others. Becoming a group fitness instructor was a dream of hers for many years, until she finally made it a reality in May of 2018 when she was certified as a Barre Above Instructor.  She loves to bring upbeat music, electric energy, and a whole lotta sweat to the barre. Helping others get a great workout in and have fun, while practicing self love & becoming their greatest self is her goal in the class room.  She looks forward to continuing her fitness journey and eventually becoming certified to teach other group fitness classes.

TAYLOR TURESKIS — BARRE

Taylor grew up in Monticello, IL and graduated from Illinois State University with her degree in Organizational and Leadership Communication this past December. She is the Event and Volunteer Coordinator at Cunningham Children’s home in Urbana. She has always had a passion for fitness, health & helping others. Becoming a group fitness instructor was a dream of hers for many years, until she finally made it a reality in May of 2018 when she was certified as a Barre Above Instructor. She loves to bring upbeat music, electric energy, and a whole lotta sweat to the barre. Helping others get a great workout in and have fun, while practicing self love & becoming their greatest self is her goal in the class room. She looks forward to continuing her fitness journey and eventually becoming certified to teach other group fitness classes.


    MARY WOLTERS — YOGA (HOT), MEDITATION    Mary  has been practicing yoga since 1997 and teaching since 2001. She has studied with master yoga teachers from around the world. Mary has taken teacher trainings with various well-known instructors since 2001 (such as Deb Lister, Daren Friesen, Gary Kraftsow of Vini-Yoga, Seane Corn, Natasha Rizopolous, Scott Blossom, Ashtanga yoga teachers: Kino McGregor, and Lino Miele). She has been most inspired by several prana vinyasa flow teacher trainings with master yoga teacher Shiva Rea. Mary completed her Yoga Alliance Certification through Moksha Yoga School in 2007 and continues to take a regular pilgrimage.  Committed to the process of learning, she believes that we are all students of what our life has to teach us.  In 2012, Mary took an informal study of hot yoga with Bhakti Norma under the lineage of Bishnu Ghosh. She has loved how the practice of hot yoga has helped her cleanse and purify her body over the years. Sharing knowledge of yoga’s 5,000 year old tradition gives her great joy. She loves to incorporate the knowledge of the past (asanas, meditation, bandhas, mantra and mudras) with what is relevant in the here and now.  Mary is also a Licensed Massage Therapist and an accredited Thai Yoga Massage Therapist since 2005. “Lazy Man’s Yoga”, as it is referred to in Thailand, is a form of partner yoga that combines gentle stretching, acupressure, and breath work in one beautiful and meditative experience. The effects of Thai Yoga Therapy include more energy and a deep sense of relaxation.  In January 2009, Mary founded Green Yoga Spa with her business partner, Nelson Beck. One year later, they expanded the spa from one to four treatment rooms. In July 2011, Mary was trained in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy: the deepest, most luxurious massage on the planet, delivered by the feet. More recently she has found the flow of effort and ease not only on the yoga mat, but also in balancing work time and relaxation time. Yoga has helped her find balance in the real life practice: being present and grateful for the awesome present of being fully alive!

MARY WOLTERS — YOGA (HOT), MEDITATION

Mary has been practicing yoga since 1997 and teaching since 2001. She has studied with master yoga teachers from around the world. Mary has taken teacher trainings with various well-known instructors since 2001 (such as Deb Lister, Daren Friesen, Gary Kraftsow of Vini-Yoga, Seane Corn, Natasha Rizopolous, Scott Blossom, Ashtanga yoga teachers: Kino McGregor, and Lino Miele). She has been most inspired by several prana vinyasa flow teacher trainings with master yoga teacher Shiva Rea. Mary completed her Yoga Alliance Certification through Moksha Yoga School in 2007 and continues to take a regular pilgrimage. Committed to the process of learning, she believes that we are all students of what our life has to teach us. In 2012, Mary took an informal study of hot yoga with Bhakti Norma under the lineage of Bishnu Ghosh. She has loved how the practice of hot yoga has helped her cleanse and purify her body over the years. Sharing knowledge of yoga’s 5,000 year old tradition gives her great joy. She loves to incorporate the knowledge of the past (asanas, meditation, bandhas, mantra and mudras) with what is relevant in the here and now.

Mary is also a Licensed Massage Therapist and an accredited Thai Yoga Massage Therapist since 2005. “Lazy Man’s Yoga”, as it is referred to in Thailand, is a form of partner yoga that combines gentle stretching, acupressure, and breath work in one beautiful and meditative experience. The effects of Thai Yoga Therapy include more energy and a deep sense of relaxation.

In January 2009, Mary founded Green Yoga Spa with her business partner, Nelson Beck. One year later, they expanded the spa from one to four treatment rooms. In July 2011, Mary was trained in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy: the deepest, most luxurious massage on the planet, delivered by the feet. More recently she has found the flow of effort and ease not only on the yoga mat, but also in balancing work time and relaxation time. Yoga has helped her find balance in the real life practice: being present and grateful for the awesome present of being fully alive!


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