Nick Beem, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, KMOG studio co-owner

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Nick grew up in Evanston, where he is currently raising two young children of his own.  He started practicing yoga in 2000 as an antidote to the head-centrism of college. He found it to be a beautiful combination of spiritual practice and exercise, a way to contemplate cosmic ideas as they manifest in the particular pleasures and pains of your human life.   

When not teaching, running the studio or parenting, Nick likes to contemplate the fruitful intersections of yoga, Buddhism and science.  He explores these ideas weekly in his newsletter Within Us and Without Us on Substack.  His weekly classes aspire to this integration, mixing science and yoga philosophy with inquiry-oriented yoga practices.

Nick has extensive experience working with beginners, men, couples, emerging adults, the chronically stressed, and those seeking to make yoga and meditation part of their daily routine. He is a certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT) through the International Association of Yoga Therapy. View his full resume here.  In spring 2022, Nick trained at the Kripalu School of Outdoor Leadership and now leads weekly outdoor experiences of communion with the lakeside lands around Evanston.

Nick has a degree in Computer Science from Brown University, where he also studied the theory and practice of Buddhist meditation. Other influences include the Chinese arts of tai chi and qigong, the somatics of Lisa Clark and Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen, improvisational theater, West African dance, artmaking, communing with nature, and cooking.

Lela Beem, E-RYT 500, RPYT, C-IAYT, studio co-owner

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Lela began her yoga practice in 2001 and has been teaching group and private Hatha and Prenatal yoga full-time in the Chicago area since 2005.

Lela has had the fortune to offer therapeutic yoga tools to trauma survivors, cancer survivors and individuals with chronic pain. Lela has also served as director for the therapeutic yoga program at the Rice Child + Family Center in Evanston, a residential foster care center for at-risk 6-14 year olds. She has also worked as a wilderness instructor for adjudicated youth, an after-school program director, and an English tutor for children ages eight to eighteen here and in Thailand and India.

Lela is co-founder of the Amala School of Prenatal Yoga, which specializes in training health professionals how to teach prenatal and postnatal yoga. As a mother herself, she is dedicated to creating a welcoming, educational environment for new and expectant moms and couples at Grateful Yoga. She is a graduate of UMASS Amherst, a certified Kripalu yoga instructor and a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner. Lela is a certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT) through the International Association of Yoga Therapy

Lela is currently enrolled in the three-year Somatic Experiencing program. Inquire to learn more about recieving practice sessions! Her additional interests include learning to swim, spending time in nature, baking and planning family adventures.

The Dynamic Duo

Nick and Lela are both certified Kripalu Yoga instructors and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapists. They have also trained extensively in vinyasa yoga with Tom Gillette.  They are both Level 1 Certified ParaYoga® teachers, a Himalayan lineage under the guidance of Rod Stryker. Lela and Nick are both Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Providers, which means that teachers who take workshops or trainings with them can recieve CE units through Yoga Alliance.


Rhoda Miriam, E-RYT 500

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As founder of Yoga for Slow Living™, Rhoda has been encouraging students and clients to slow down since 1993. She specializes in facilitating techniques for managing stress, chronic pain and anxiety disorders like PTSD. The practices on her CD, “Relax with Rhoda” offer ways to sustain a calm mind and a relaxed body.

Rhoda holds the Yoga Alliance 500-hour experienced teacher designation (ERYT500). She has earned advanced certifications as a professional-level Yoga teacher from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, as an iRest® Yoga Nidra teacher from Richard Miller at the Integrative Restoration Institute, and as a Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga trainer from Judith Hanson Lasater. She is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner and mentor. Additionally she has been certified by the Arthritis Foundation and trained by the National MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society.

Along with offering group classes, workshops and trainings in Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga, Rhoda conducts private sessions in therapeutic Yoga, guided Meditation, and relaxation therapy in person and by phone. Her unique series, “The Art of Mindful Slow Living,” offers guidance and mentoring to help individuals learn more about how to experience healthy, harmonious and happy lives.

To find out more, visit Rhoda’s website at www.yogaforslowliving.com.

Corinne Peterson, MPH, LMT, NCTMB, RYT

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Corinne has been teaching yoga since 1994. She received her first yoga instructor certification through the Temple of Kriya Yoga (1995) and a subsequent certification as a teacher and yoga therapist through the American Viniyoga Institute (2006). Corinne is certified in iRest® Yoga Nidra through Richard Miller, PhD, of the Integrative Restoration Institute. She has also received specialty yoga training for specific challenges, including: Trauma-Sensitive Yoga through the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute (founded by Bessel van der Kolk) and Yoga of the Heart – Cardiac and Cancer Certification Training (with Nischala Joy Devi). In addition, she has been a nationally certified massage therapist since 1997 and holds a Masters in Public Health in the area of health education and promotion.

Margie Newman, RYT 200

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Margie Newman is a Kripalu-certified yoga and meditation teacher who is deeply interested in the science and neuroscience of yoga. Her teaching emphasizes breath awareness as a path to mind-body connection.

Margie first came to yoga over 20 years ago for the movement practice, and then, like so many of us, she stayed for the mind-body connection. Her curiosity about how yoga and meditation could change our nervous systems in profound ways led her to study how ancient yoga texts and practices align with modern neuroscience.

As a creative director and speaker coach for large events, Margie incorporates pranayama (yogic breathwork) and meditation to help speakers find a more calm, confident presence onstage and overcome fear and anxiety related to public speaking.

Margie has been honored to attend meditation trainings with Pema Chödrön at Omega Institute and with Thich Nhat Hanh at Blue Cliff Monastery, as well as yoga teacher trainings in the Kripalu tradition led by Yoganand Michael Carroll, Stephen Cope, and Sudha Carolyn Lundeen.

Margie is currently completing her 500-hour training at Kripalu and looks forward to being a lifelong student of yoga.

Lisa Devi, E-RYT 500

lisa ujiiye headshotLisa began her yoga journey when she was 10 years old. Her father encouraged the path of yoga, and has been her biggest supporter ever since. In 2012, she took a workshop with Seane Corn that profoundly transformed her life. It was from then on that she knew her dharma (purpose and passion) was to expand awareness, leading beings through self-discovery on how to find the teacher from within. By facilitating this discovery, her intention is to help all cultivate this beautiful tool of awareness into their everyday life and passions, and to explore their consciousness potential for wellbeing.

Lisa completed her 200-Hour training with Kripalu, and her 500-Hour advanced training with Moksha. Through many trainings, some of the most influential and inspiring teachers she has practiced with are Seane Corn, Ashley Turner, Shiva Rea, Kino Macgregor, Tias Little, Aadil Palkhivala, Kim Wilcox, and Gabriel Halpern.

p>Lisa is also a Qigong Teacher, Sound Healer, and Kirtan musician. She incorporates all three of these practices, bringing a unique blend of healing into all of her classes.

“I believe that sharing the knowledge of mind, body, and spirit relationship is the most empowering gift you can give someone.” ~ Lisa Devi

Stacia DeSalvo

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Stacia DeSalvo began teaching yoga in 2014. Inspired by the healing and transformative nature of the practice, she studied vinyasa yoga under the guidance of Jill Mockaitis and David Duerkop and completed a 200 hour training at Spring Yoga and Fitness. Since then, she has continued her education with multiple trainings in different styles including trauma sensitive yoga, kids yoga, and restorative yoga.

Stacia believes that yoga creates and supports positive change from the inside out for all individuals. Her mission is to guide students in the exploration of both their yoga practice and themselves and she believes that physical expression can lead to abstract understanding. She encourages her students to look inward and discover the lessons that the body can teach us through intentional movement and challenging poses.

Sarah Westbrook

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Sarah is a highly skilled Yoga Therapist specializing in poor posture due to injuries, lifestyle and movement habits. She has a deep interest in spinal imbalances, scoliosis, hypermobility and pain patterns. Sarah excels at quickly identifying posture and movement dysfunction. She has over 10,000 hours of clinical experience and training adapting yoga poses to meet the highly different needs of unique bodies.

Sarah teaches a modern yoga practice informed by exercise science and tailored to each student’s anatomy. In class you will use props to gain entry into otherwise inaccessible poses and feeling states. We’ll move slowly enough to explore which cues are relevant to your anatomy. You will learn good alignment to break bad movement habits, and you’ll learn how to listen your body to avoid injury.

Classes are small so you can ask questions. Sarah will emphasize stability and balance within a healthy range of motion. With good alignment, the body and mind find enough support to open up, relax and let go.

Sarah has a thriving yoga therapy practice at Heartwood Center in Evanston, IL.

Find out more at: www.YogaTherapywithSarah.com


The yoga therapy components of Nick's, Lela's and Rhoda's practice are based on training from the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy school, not derived from their status as RYTs with Yoga Alliance Registry.