OUR TEACHERS

Robin French – Owner

Robin combines her athletic knowledge with her kind nature and teaches classes that are challenging yet lighthearted. Her classes are filled with positive vibes, intelligent sequences, and a sense of play! While a sweaty power yoga flow is definitely her jam, she also believes yoga is about so much more than the poses we practice. Robin inspires her students to live their best lives off the mat and welcomes everyone that walks into her studio with open arms, an open heart, and an open mind.

Robin began teaching in 2009. She has her 200 hour certification with Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and her 500 hour certification with Wild Abundant Life. Before opening her studio she attended the business school at the University of Iowa, where she was a collegiate swimmer and team captain, then worked in the Sales & Marketing departments for two large corporations. Her love for business was infused by her passion for yoga during her first teacher training. It was then she began dreaming of owning her own studio. In 2012, Robin decided to take a leap of faith and opened Bare Feet Power Yoga in Chicago’s West Loop! She currently resides there with her son, husband and dog.


Ali Brashler – Studio Director

797ea089-4d11-47a1-8626-524d5a268445Ali Wadsworth began practicing yoga in college as a way to reconnect with the natural movements that she loved growing up competing in gymnastics and cheerleading. Soon after she began practicing yoga it became apparent that it had far more benefits than just increased flexibility and a great workout – yoga became a powerful outlet in her life as she continued to sculpt a stronger body and develop a more open mind.

After graduating from Indiana University in 2010 Ali began working in the yoga industry and later received her Registered Yoga Teacher 200 (RTY200) hour certification through Yoga View in Chicago in 2012. In the summer of 2014 she studied under Debbie Williamson and Wild Abundant Life to become a Certified Yoga Assistant. Ali is now an ambassador for Lululemon and has studied under Seane Corn, Kathryn Budig, Rachel Brathen, Ray Long, Sianna Sherman and many amazing yogis in the Chicago community.

Ali primarily teaches Vinyasa yoga with an emphasis on alignment and believes that yoga is for everybody! In class she always addresses the mind-body connection that can turn daily stress into a tool for self growth. Ali feels that yoga has brought about positive change in every aspect of her life and loves to share the transformative power of yoga with others.


Erin Smid – Student Relations Manager

A Chicago native, Erin first fell in love with yoga as a great workout and a way to decompress. She had no idea it would change her life. Yoga became her constant companion, following her from law school in Virginia, to practicing law in New York and Chicago, to her work with the National for Forest Service in New Mexico, to anywhere she could take a down dog or a dancer’s pose! The freedom, healing and empowerment that it brought to her life drove Erin to follow yoga to Florida to receive her 200 hour CYT (Debbie Williamson/Wild Abundant Life) so she could share yoga like smiles- openly and with everyone. Erin teaches powerful yoga as a springboard for a life filled with boundless love, health, awesomeness and authenticity. Her passion for yoga is contagious, inspiring everyone from her dog to her dad to her dry cleaner to practice with her. Come to her classes prepared to sweat, play and challenge your personal edge!


Julianne Farrell – Community Coordinator

After twenty plus years in the Chicago event planning industry and hours of standing on her feet, Julianne Farrell, was drawn to teach yoga as she saw its ability to reduce stress, rid the body of chronic pain, become leaner, joyful and empowered to lead a vibrant lifestyle.

 A graduate of Deborah Williamson’s Wild Abundant Life 200 and 500 Hour Teacher Trainings, Julianne is exhilarated by her ability to connect with others and honored to share in their journey.  Her feet our firmly rooted in a dynamic Vinyasa flow where body, breath and movement create a powerful and playful landscape.  Yet her heart lies in the profound healing gifts of Yin and Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Meditation.  She gracefully nurtures the weary mind, body and spirit into living an ageless life of wellness, passion and authenticity on and off the mat through self awareness, acceptance and transformation!  Apart from teaching studio classes; she loves learning more about others by volunteering in service to our community, grabbing a cup of tea and chatting about a good read, conducting personal training lessons or sitting down for an afternoon of discovery with a private life coaching or chakra reading session.

Erin Gams – Weekend Manager

After spending years calling out yoga poses to her dog, Erin is thrilled to be teaching humans! Erin attended her first yoga class as a teenager and dabbled in a variety of yoga practices in later years. In 2013, Erin discovered Bare Feet Power Yoga as a way to compliment her CrossFit training. Soon after completing a 30 day challenge, she was immediately hooked. Each class left her feeling stronger, more focused, and empowered from the inside out. In April 2015, she completed her 200 hour CYT from Wild Abundant Life under Debbie Williamson. Erin’s classes are challenging, playful, and at the same time heartfelt and inspirational. Students in Erin’s classes are encouraged to sweat, breath, flow, and above all else, have a great time!

 


Bradshaw Wish

Bradshaw Wish has been a performer, gymnast, & amateur dancer his entire life. While attending college at Temple University, Bradshaw was known around campus as the guy who could be seen dancing and tumbling at all hours of the day and as part of the Temple University Cheerleading Squad, he received several accolades for his hand-standing & tumbling abilities.

In 2013 Bradshaw received his 200 YTT through Wild Abundant Life, led by Deborah Williamson. Since then, he as also received his Budokon teaching certification, led by master martial arts and yoga teacher Cameron Shayne. Bradshaw had taught a plethora of workshops from inversions, specialty flows, to Yoga for Loss and Grief. He also leads international yoga retreats.

For Bradshaw, the physical practice of yoga is simply a vehicle to create a deeper connection within oneself and to those around them. He cultivates a space were all students are welcome, from beginners to seasoned practitioners. Bradshaw’s classes are filled with laughter, mindful sequencing and most importantly a message of self love.

 


Jeff Martini

jeffpicJeff Martini began practicing yoga when his mother introduced him to it when he was a child. He wants to give his students the experience of transformation during class, giving them the tools to be the heroes in their own lives. They will feel as if they have been picked up and wrung out, eliminating all perceived barriers to self-actualization. He hopes to integrate his training as a physical therapist with his knowledge and practice of yoga to maximally enable people to become directors in the stories of their lives.

Jeff graduated from Northwestern’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in 2013, and completed his 200 hour certification with Wild Abundant Life three months later. Since then, his experience with physical therapy and yoga have intertwined and reflected off of one another to the point where he’s occasionally unsure which one he’s doing or if they’re really that different after all. He’s continually amazed at how much the two fields have in common, one validated through empirical research and the other through hundreds of years of practice. Jeff uses all available tools to embolden people to improve their health, engage their community, and follow their bliss.


Nici Lawicki

If you are looking for a class full of smiles and laughter along with an energetic flow you have come to the right place.

Nici found pure happiness along with the connection she was searching for the first time she stepped on her mat. She will have you grinning ear to ear in chair pose, giggling in boat pose, and wanting more in goddess pose. Join her and find the connection to your mat all over again.

 

 

 


Joleen Chrisman – Graphic Design

Joleen has been practicing yoga for about 4 years. It all began as a way to loose or maintain her weight per her doctors recommendation. Not being an athletic person outside of riding her bike, yoga was a big challenge. It slowly began to change her body, mind & life.

Joleen started her teacher training in March of 2015 and finished her certification in May of 2015 from Yogaview Chicago. Yoga, to her, is about loving yourself, it helps you see that you are capable of so much, and that you are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

 


Bethany Evon

bethany picIt was love at first CHATURANGA!

With a background in dance, Bethany was always searching for a way to feel challenged, stretched and invigorated. She discovered yoga and the void that had once been missing from her life was instantly filled. Yoga has changed her life on and off the mat and created a passion and practice she wants to share with everyone she meets. Bethany received her RYT200 in April 2015 and quit her job to teach full time 5 months later. With an inspired passion to teach and provide a healthy space for growth and learning, Bethany truly believes yoga benefits everyone.

Intimidated, searching for that “missing piece” or longing for a place to sweat, stretch and flow? Bethany’s classes will teach you to breath, move and sweat all while keeping a light heart and playful mind.


Siobhan Carey

Siobhan started regularly practicing after college when she found herself working demanding jobs in finance and marketing. Prior to life in the professional world, Siobhan lived a very athletic and active life. She was a diver for 4 years on the Swimming and Diving team at the University of Pennsylvania and played lacrosse in highschool. Yoga was an outlet to get upside down and out of her own head during a challenging time in her life, and over time the practice grew into passion. She completed her first 200hr at Yoga Flow SF and began assisting at the studio right after graduation. A new job took her back to Chicago where she put teaching on hold as she dug into another corporate gig. Fast forward 2 years and Siobhan could not ignore her enthusiasm for yoga any longer. She left her job in March of 2016 to teach full-time. To continue her education, Siobhan recently completed Level 1 and Level 2 Baptiste trainings. She also trained with Ali and Robin during the apprentice program at Bare Feet and is volunteering with the Africa Yoga Project in Nairobi in June 2017.

Siobhan enjoys inspiring others to challenge themselves physically, mentally and spiritually, with a little laughter and maybe even some chanting along the way. Her goal in class is to put those practicing at ease and encourage them to try new things–to improve their practice, on and off the mat. Siobhan loves building relationships and connecting with others, and sincerely hopes that her classes offer an opportunity for students to connect better with themselves and the world around them.


Victoria Cohen

Victoria Cohen is an engineer and type A exercise enthusiast who discovered yoga 4 years ago as a vehicle for thoughtfulness, awareness, and inner peace.

Victoria believes that precision in yoga can help guide students into the right version of the pose for their body while maintaining structural integrity to gain the maximum physical and emotional benefits that yoga has to offer. She loves the energy that yoga ignites in our souls and values the sense of grounding and calm that come with our practices. She thinks that yoga is a beautiful way to move the body and mind to create new layers of flexibility in all aspects of our lives.

Victoria received her 200 HR Yoga Teacher Training through Bare Feet Power Yoga and lives just blocks from the studio in the West Loop with her husband Tommy. She previously worked for PepsiCo for 5+ years but found a passion in yoga and is making it a full time career. When she isn’t on her mat or teaching you can find her at home testing out new recipes or visiting her family in Southern California. Victoria is so excited about becoming an even bigger part of the BFPY community!


Julia Kandlik

Julia began practicing yoga in graduate school, and it soon became a transformational power in her life. She views yoga as a lively and creative outlet to help herself and others to connect through authenticity.

Julia brings a mix of intensity and playfulness to her classes in order to make her students feel challenged while still having fun. She is inspired by the natural healing powers of yoga and is enthusiastic about bringing yoga to people of various ages and walks of life.

Julia graduated from Rush University in the summer of 2013 with a masters degree in speech-language pathology. In June of 2016, Julia received her 200 hour RYT through Bare Feet Power Yoga. Julia relates her work with children and their families to her practice in yoga and believes in living yoga on and off her mat in order to engage with the various communities she is a part of.


Exavier Pope

We are always practicing yoga. Our awareness of that practice is what allows us come alive in the present moment, experience true freedom, and ignite power and joy we can spread off the mat.

Exavier’s fun and challenging classes stir up awareness as well as the passion in students to manifest their highest selves. Exavier received his 200-hour teacher certification through Bare Feet Power Yoga, is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance, and is also a Certified Teacher’s Assistant through Wild Abundant Life. Yoga is an integral part of Exavier’s “worldwind of activity” as media personality, content creator, writer, Fortune 500 speaker, award-winning attorney, thought leader, and tastemaker.

Exavier’s audacious mission is to inspire the lives of 10 million people globally through love, synchronicity, unbridled optimism and yoga. In his words, “We stir the magic elixir for world shifting movements.” Teaching yoga for Exavier is part of his continued evolution of greatness, redefining boundaries, and truly embracing the rich pavement of life’s journey.


Sam Reyes

Fear of passing gas prevented Sam from stepping into a yoga studio for the first year.  She grew up in LA as a terrible, but enthusiastic surfer and life-long foodie.  She ran her own baking business and booked and publicized concerts and festivals, which allowed her to develop happy moments for others.  She started practicing yoga casually to stretch out between workouts and build balance for surfing.  Sam fell in love with yoga after completing a 40-day challenge, which turned her practice from purely physical to holistic by incorporating meditation, community, and living yoga off the mat.  Practicing helped reduce anxiety and increase self-acceptance while packing in a sweat session.  Sam wants to continue creating happy moments for others on their mats.  She challenges her students to push their physical limits while bringing levity to class with humor, sweet tunes, and a big sweaty smile.

Sam received her 200-hour RYT certification through Bare Feet Power Yoga and Hands-on Assisting certification through Wild Abundant Life.


Joy Tapias

Joy found joy in yoga.  She began practicing yoga in 2008 as a way to relieve stress. She fell in love with yoga not just for the stress management but for the happiness and peace it brought to her life.  As her practice grew, she knew that she wanted to share the joy and harmony she found in yoga with others.

Joy completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in July 2016 at Bare Feet Power Yoga in Chicago and is a certificated yoga teachers’ assistant.  She enjoys teaching a fun and invigorating class to beginner and advanced yogis.  Yoga is for everyone no matter where you are.  Joy has had amazing teachers along the way and is thankful.


Maggie Umberger

Originally from North Carolina and a Tar Heel at heart, Maggie’s first excitement about yoga came from a love for dance. She found that she could move in similar ways and experience the same kind of joy on her mat that she did on stage dancing. She studied yoga intensely throughout her time at Chapel Hill, and the passion she had for yoga and all the physical benefits it brought steadily grew as she found that everything on her mat translated into lessons she was learning about the world.

She moved to Chicago to work in advertising after graduating from UNC but felt a disconnect where yoga used to take precedence and was then falling into a side hobby. In 2016 she joined aSweatLife, a health and wellness publication and healthy living community in Chicago, so that she could fuse her passion for yoga and all things fitness with her passion for growing a community (and make a living doing it).

Maggie loves to lead anything from vigorous vinyasa flow to high intensity & strength classes to restorative deep stretch yoga – she simply enjoys sharing her love for a sweaty class and what it can do for you both physically and mentally. In her classes, she hopes to inspire her students to be curious, to judge less and feel more.


Joanna Zabiega

Joanna is happiest surrounded by trees or water and frequents her yoga mat to experience that same inner serenity. Just as nature can be powerful but also nurturing, Joanna seeks to incorporate that dynamic fluidity into her classes. Joanna started yoga on a whim while living in Jacksonville, Florida as a way to lose weight. She was soon hooked by the intense workout, incredible stress relief, and endless mind opening opportunities.

After returning to her hometown of Chicago in 2016, Joanna completed a 200 hour certification with Bare Feet Power Yoga that same summer. Joanna seeks to inspire others through yoga and help students realize their true inner awesomeness. Joanna sees yoga as a possibility for endless learning about oneself, how the body works, and one’s connection to others and the universe.


Rajiv Nathan

 Rajiv ‘RajNATION’ Nathan doesn’t drink coffee–instead, yoga is his caffeine! Come for the energy, stay for the vibes. He blends beats and rhymes with movement to get you to expreeeessss yaaaself on your mat. As a rapping yogi, he’ll also probably drop some dope lyrics during your Chaturanga. Word.

He received his RYT200 from Bare Feet Power Yoga in Chicago, IL, and is a certified Yoga Assistant. He gives props to Ali Wadsworth and Robin French for their tutelage in the yoga game.

When he’s not on the mat, find him running his own business, making music, or talking someone’s ear off about WWE pro wrestling.

 


Kenya Butts

Kenya began practicing yoga in 2006 as way to find peace and calm in this hectic world. She found peace and patience on the mat. Kenya found herself always in a yoga class she enjoyed the challenge of yoga and how it made her body and mind feel. In 2009 Kenya decided that she wanted to spread her love of yoga to others. Kenya completed her first 200hr yoga teacher training at Corepower Yoga. And as a lifelong learner Kenya decided to continue her thirst for knowlegde and completed a second 200hr yoga teacher training through Pure Yoga lead by Allison English and Jim Kulackowski and a 500hr teacher training through the Darshan Center lead by Jim Kulackowski. Kenya loves everything about yoga and knows that when life gets hectic she can always get on her mat and everything will begin to make sense.

 


Edith Rodriguez

 Edith (Pinchy) was a hairline away from a running injury when she came into BFPY via an Amazon local deal.

Edith openly shares with her students her physical limitations that resulted from a brain surgery she underwent as a teen, but she believes that the limitations do not define her. Instead, she uses them to encourage any self- doubters that yoga is for everyone. Her practice has made her a stronger runner, and improved her physical capabilities.

Edith became a teacher to share with everyone the benefits of keeping an ongoing yoga practice. Although she enjoys creating challenging flows, she’s known to crack jokes while you’re sweating it out. Edith is a Chicago native whom lives in Pilsen with her three pups: Layla, Chewie, and Chloe.

 


Brian Kates

In early 2015 Brian serendipitously found TACFIT after searching for a more sustainable way to reach peak physical conditioning. For much of his adult life, he has focused on endurance sports that are hard on the body, from distance running to adventure races. Coupled with high stress from a demanding finance career, Brian eventually quit his job in search of a more balanced approach to life and focus on overall wellbeing. TACFIT allowed him to heal his body while still fulfilling his desire for high intensity exercise. Brian completed his certification as a TACFIT Field Instructor in August 2016 and now teaches group classes and private lessons, in addition to managing his own consulting business.

Check out Brian’s class if you want to turn up the intensity level of your workout while still being kind to your body. This no-ego approach to training is grounded in ancient practices like yoga while leveraging modern discoveries in sports science. Smart and thoughtful, TACFIT will test your fitness while leaving you feeling great at the end.