Robert began practicing yoga in 2006 as a sustainable way to strengthen and calm his mind and body. In 2010, Robert worked with patients from pediatrics to pro-athletes in Rush Hospital’s radiology department until his passion for preventative care lead him to teach yoga full time for companies like PepsiCo, Google, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Manduka, Uber and many more. Robert believes yoga is meant to meet you where you are. Each class he encourages everyone to explore your present practice. Yoga can be challenging mentally just as it is physically, even restorative classes. However, once you center and focus the mind, your possibilities are endless!
Laurie has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and her love for yoga and it's healing effects have taken her to India and Indonesia to deepen her practice. She is Yoga Calm certified, completed her 200 hours yoga teacher training, and a practicing licensed psychologist. She creates classes that build strength and openness in the body. Holding postures a little longer and slowly stretching the muscles. Her hope is that you will experience a challenge and deep relaxation in her classes and have a few moments of stillness both in the body and mind. She supports her students with gentle guidance. Laurie wants to bring the healing effects of yoga to individuals who may not traditionally seek out yoga as well as the experienced yogi.
Marie has been practicing yoga for nearly 10 years and completed her 200-hour teacher training with the Yoga Center of Minneapolis in 2017. Considering herself a “forever student,” Marie regularly attends various yoga trainings, including trainings in anatomy, yin yoga, meditation, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga for recovery, and trauma-informed yoga, and is currently working on completing her 500-hour teacher training with Yoga Medicine. Marie’s goal as a yoga teacher is to help students cultivate an internal awareness of their own unique experience to feel more at home in their bodies and more present in their minds. Marie also strives to teach in a way that is inclusive of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
Zenzele Isoke is Associate Professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has been practicing meditation in the Insight Tradition since 2005 and has been an active member of Common Ground Meditation Community since 2014. Zenzele incorporates mindfulness techniques in university classroom settings, specifically in the advanced undergraduate course Pleasure, Intimacy, Violence that she co-created with the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education and the University of Minnesota Women’s Center. She is author of Urban Black Women and the Politics of Resistance, a book-length study of black women’s contemporary activism across the spheres of black queer resistance, hip hop politics and the politics of black feminist homemaking. She is published widely across the fields of African American studies, geography and political science. Zenzele faciliates our monthly Meditation for People of Color.
Instructor:Ben Connelly teaches meditation and mindfulness across the United States. He is a fully authorized Soto Zen lineage holder and also teaches in many secular contexts including police training, chemical dependency recovery and wellness groups. Ben writes for Experience Life and Tricycle magazines and is author of three books for Wisdom Publications including his latest, Mindfulness and Intimacy. Ben facilitates of our Mindfulness Meditation series.
Hello I’m Scarlett. I started my yoga journey when I hesitantly took a class ten years ago and I have not looked back since. Originally I started my career path to become a nurse, but my curiosity for yoga rapidly grew to become my first love and passion. I love to inspire and grow with my students. As a teacher and student I’m always learning and expanding my knowledge in yoga. I travel when I can, but when I have free time you usually find me on my yoga mat upside down somewhere. Namaste!
Jessica began practicing yoga in 2010 and completed her RYT-200 at The Yoga Center of Minneapolis in 2013. Through the practice, she found healing from an eating disorder. Jessica is currently studying Yoga Therapy through the YogaWell Institute with Chase Bossart, Dolphi Wetergren and Kevin Kortan. Her dedication to teaching is anchored by a confidence in the tools yoga provides. It’s important for her to build relationships with her students and hold space for them to have an experience on all levels: body, mind, emotion & breath. .
Femi is currently a medical student at the University of Minnesota, where his intention is to serve as a bridge between Eastern and Western healing modalities for both mind and body.
Femi is also a nationally certified massage therapist, Shaolin Kung Fu black belt, and former Division 1 athlete. He has been practicing yoga and Buddhist meditation since 2004. An avid practitioner of both traditions, he completed yoga teacher training in 2013 at Your Yoga in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
At Common Ground, he helped start the center's men’s circle, is a member of the Inclusivity Advisory Council and People of Color (POC) sangha steering committee. Of particular interest to him is how an embodied yoga & dharma practice can be utilized to meet the challenging needs and deep wounds of our modern society.
Rachel became a yoga teacher to be the teacher she never had: plus-sized, body positive, and anti-diet. It's her mission to share yoga with people who don't think they look like yogis or who might feel uncomfortable practicing due their size, age, gender expression, sexuality, physical ability, or experience. She invites each student to honor their unique practice and celebrate the body they have right now. Rachel is an RYT 500, a Yoga For All Certified Teacher, and is an Accessible Yoga Ambassador. She is eating disorder sensitive, queer and trans-friendly, and a part of the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement.
Anne found the practice of yoga over 10 years ago and remains committed to being a lifelong student. She’s trained and taught yoga in Costa Rica, and has practiced all over the world.
Yoga has fostered a deeper connection to herself and she hopes to encourage that same connection within her students. When she’s not practicing or teaching yoga, you can find her hiking, listening to live music, cooking up something fun in the kitchen, or spending time with friends and family.
Jaya Stenquist completed her teacher training with Radiant Life Yoga. Her classes are for all people, backgrounds, and bodies and aim to reduce anxiety, manage pain, and support mental and physical health. Her practice ranges from vinyasa, to restorative, to kundalini, and all influence her teaching style.