Jefferson Ave

Amy Brinkman

Twist Yoga Lounge

It’s amazing when one can find their passion and make it their work. My job as a yoga teacher does not feel like a job at all. I get to play every day. Having worked in the past as a medical social worker, school social worker and therapist, my love for fitness and yoga was always there, but it finally clicked one day to bring them all together in this incredible way of living… yoga. Thinking only with our minds was what I thrived on teaching to others when I worked in the helping profession. I separated the physical body from the thinking mind and didn’t see the connection until I began to really surrender to my yoga practice. While at first it was just a way to “stretch out” after a day of lifting, it has now truly become a way of living. The harmony of bringing together... Read the profile >>

Caroline Yasuda

Caroline Yasuda – Running Coach If you knew me when I was a teenager, you’d never expect me to be voted “most likely to complete a triple marathon!” Although my running buddies kid me about it now, my first real “sport” was actually tap dancing! Dancing definitely takes a great deal of coordination, strength, flexibility, and endurance (oh, yes it does!), but I didn’t come running until relatively late in life (my mid 30s). Before then, I “power” walked only for my cardio workouts. But when a friend invited me to support her sister by running a 5K for MS, I knew I couldn’t say no. Her niece was to be at the race as the sponsor child. That special, happy 5K changed my life because I realized for the first time that there’s more to running than just going out... Read the profile >>

Fabian Aquino

Orange Theory Fitness

25 years old. Still an opportunity to be immature. Or any opportunity to reach for GREATNESS. Its crazy to be the youngest of the ambassadors, but I'm used to it :) Growing up I was the youngest, the shortest, slightly the puggiest? Haha. But I always wanted to be more! And I why not? I was a wrestler, footballer and baseball player growing up. I never looked at these sports as an opportunity to play at the next level. I just liked to hit some guys and it was legal. Fun right? When I was 16 years old, I noticed my attention wasn't so much about the field or baseball diamond, I wanted to know when we were going to the weight room next! And that's where it all began... I was addicted. my life became school, weight room, school , weight room. Each week envisioning a new goal. And... Read the profile >>

Jennifer Adams

Living Yoga, 1222 North Eola Road, Aurora, IL 60502.

When people ask, “Where did you grow up?” I like to say, “Well, I was born in Springfield, Ohio but I began to grow up upon moving to Chicago in 2000!” I moved to Chicago with a mere $148 to my name! Something so deep within me moved me to Chicago. I was 26 years “really young” with a lot of hope, faith, BIG ambitions, dreams, ideas, inspiration, a strong will and work ethic! Upon moving to the Chicago area, I took a job working with a Chiropractor in Naperville where I was working as a Licensed Massage Therapist. It was in Naperville, Il where I met photographer, Marian Kraus. Together we opened, L’Artiste2, A Gallery of Integrated Arts. A space which would house Marian’s Photography and my Massage Therapy Practice and Yoga Studio. Being the avid runner... Read the profile >>

Jill Griffiths

Core Power Yoga

Jill moved from Colorado to Naperville in 2005. Trying to weather the Chicago winters Jill found herself drawn to hot yoga. After stumbling into a Bikram class she soon became hooked. Jill was so convinced of yoga’s ability to heal the body and mind that she began her yoga mission and became certified in Hot Yoga and Hot Power Fusion in December of 2009. In addition to being certified with Corepower, Jill completed her level one training in Vinyasa with Baron Baptiste. Jill lives with her husband and two daughters in Naperville, where she practices yoga regularly, in addition to running and cycling. Jill completed her first marathon in Paris, France in April 2013. Jill doesn’t consider her work a job, it is more of a life work fusion. “I feel so lucky to wake up every day and... Read the profile >>

Ken Jones

Yoga By Degrees

Ken Jones took his first hot yoga class in the winter of 1997 in New York City. But it wasn't until a friend invited him to try Yoga by Degrees in 2011 that something stuck, and he felt like he had come home. Needing to lose a tremendous amount of weight, Ken grew tired of his gym workouts and came to yoga to strive for a healthier, happier body and mind. Finding a newer leaner body through his practice, Yoga has transformed his life for good. He enjoys the results of Yoga Sculpt in order to strengthen his asana practice. He is certified in both Power Vinyasa and Yoga Sculpt and also teaches Restorative throughout the Chicago Land area. Off the mat Ken is a Pianist and Music Director for Theaters and is an Adjunct Faculty member at Roosevelt University. He hopes to bring awareness and... Read the profile >>

Mary Ellen Schoenjohn

Years ago, after a long run, a friend confronted me with, “Why do you run so much? Are you running from something?” I have pondered this question over and over through the years, typically while running. As a runner who has been committed to the sport for over 30 years, I can answer that I am not running from but running to. Some of the greatest gifts have come to me through running. Beyond the physical, spiritual, and social rewards, running has offered a world of experiences. After I graduated college, I ran to connect with friends, stay in shape, and compete. I worked as a college advisor, teacher, and enrollment manager. Once during a run, I met some people from Colorado Outward Bound School. Running brought me an opportunity to complete a 91 day course... Read the profile >>

Stephanie Norris

Bar Method

I took my first Bar Method class in June of 2009 and knew it was something that was going to be part of me for the rest of my life. Before Bar Method, I had always been an avid exerciser and a former marathon runner, but no matter what I did, I always had the tendency to bulk up. Workouts had also always been challenging because I suffer from scoliosis pain. A one-hour, non-impact, total body workout that was going to change my body and help manage my back pain sounded too good to be true! Within my first 2 weeks of taking class, my daily back pain was gone, and I was hooked. Within a month, I was working the front desk at the Bar Method Chicago Lakeview studio, and within 6 months I was beginning my training to become a certified Bar Method instructor. In 18 months I was down 20 inches... Read the profile >>

Toula Smith

Breathe, The Art of Yoga

From Chaos to Calm: For twenty years as a runner looking for an emotional outlet and the calm to overcome my anxiety. I was continually disappointed. While running was an excellent exercise, time and again, it left me with an adrenaline high. Rather than a feeling of calmness, I would have the driving feeling of more was needed. This vicious cycle of more is better and yet never feeling satisfied was getting the best of me. In searching for the calm that I desperately needed, I found Yoga...and it was life-changing. This new experience and calming sensation that I found is like a morning breath of fresh air. Breathe, The Art of Yoga was born out of my genuine desire to help others get out of the vicious cycle and the chaotic lifestyle and enjoy life's experience in a whole new way. I... Read the profile >>