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!


Ali Brashler – Manager & Lead Educator

Ali 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.


Julianne Farrell – Community Coordinator & Educator

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.
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Erin Gams – Assistant Manager & Educator

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 – Educator

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 – Educator

Jeff 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 – Instagram Account Manager

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 since 2012. 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.

 


Joanna Zabiega – Student Relations Manager

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.

 


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.

 


LaVal Inman – Studio Maintenance Manager

After many years of suffering a debilitating work-related disability and concomitant health issues, the Universe answered LaVal’s most sincere prayer. “Physician heal thyself .” “Go take yoga .” On May 4,2012, using an almost expired Groupon, he attended his first yoga class and his healing began.
LaVal completed his RYT200 certification and the Bare Feet Mentoring Program in 2017, LaVal appreciates and enthusiastically incorporates meditation and hands on assisting in his classes. He is also our Studio Maintenance Manager and a Karma Crew member so he spends a lot of time preparing and stocking Bare Feet’s locations as well as welcoming and assisting staff and students. To LaVal it’s working at BFPY is more than a job – its an opportunity and JOY .
Self-healing, in thought and purpose, is vital LaVal to live his optimal BeYoutiful life. Yoga, meditation, cycling and mindful nutrition have been essential in LaVal’s recent dramatic weight loss. LaVal’s just getting started and believes the best is yet to come.

 


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 Frazier

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.

 


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.

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Brian Chan

The journey to yoga for Brian has always been rooted in balance. From finding balance in yoga class, to using yoga to find balance in life, yoga has helped Brian discover a greater sense of inner peace and to reach beyond his physical and mental limitations.

Lessons learned through practicing yoga have helped Brian improve in connecting with the patients he sees in his practice as a pharmacist as well as in finding new challenges as a rock climber. Yoga has provided the opportunity to view life through a more colorful perspective.

Brian draws inspiration from his own practice to bring an invigorating, yet grounded perspective to his yoga teaching.  BFPY is where Brian’s love for yoga first manifested. He is 200 HR RYT certified through BFPY and completed his mentorship under Bradshaw Wish.

 


Jamie Norris

Jamie fell in love with yoga in high school. She remembers leaving her first class feeling both humbled and empowered; she was drawn to the physical and mental challenges that yoga provided and was automatically hooked! She became curious about the magic behind the physical practice of yoga and obtained her 500-hour certification in Therapeutic Yoga. Following her certification, Jamie became an apprentice at Bare Feet Power Yoga, where she combined her knowledge of therapeutics with the power of flow.

What Jamie loves most about yoga is the opportunity it gives her to push her limits, explore, and play! She always encourages her students to try new things, tune in, and have fun with their yoga practice.


Audrey Bliss

As a lifelong dabbler in exercise and adolescent organized sports, Audrey struggled to coordinate her awkward monkey limbs and stay motivated in any particular physical activity. Until yoga came along – yoga always felt good.

Little did she know that walking into Bare Feet Power Yoga in 2014 would significantly alter every single aspect of her life. Not only did yoga open her body, but also her mind and her heart.

Audrey’s passion for expanding her yoga knowledge coupled with her desire to share the power of yoga with others (and lifelong dream of being a DJ) ultimately led her to complete her 200-hour RYT certification through Bare Feet Power Yoga in October 2017 and mentorship under Robin French.

What Audrey loves the most about yoga is that it is every where, for every body, every moment, and the practice is never complete. Audrey hopes to be a guide for students in their process of finding strength, acceptance, and love within themselves.

From washing the floors and working the front desk for Karma Crew, to practicing multiple times a day (not even for stickers!), Audrey loves being a part of the Bare Feet community and is always seeking for ways to continue to grow as a student of yoga and explore all of the ways we are connected to one another and ourselves. Stay woke.

 


Tom Swanborn

A foot injury from running brought Tom to yoga, and the Bare Feet community, in the fall of 2014. He went in looking for a short term stretching solution for his injury but ended up staying for the long run (pun intended).

It didn’t take long for him to realize that yoga was much more than stretching. He loves the concept of “one stop shopping” when it comes to the benefits of yoga. Taking care of the mind and body all at once. He really enjoys the up-tempo classes that produce lots of sweat while providing muscle tone, added flexibility, energy and a positive mindset to take on the outside world. All of which he strives to provide in his classes.

His passion has been contagious. His wife and children practice yoga regularly and appreciate the benefits as well. They are willing participants in Tom’s practice classes at home. Their hectic lives always seem a little calmer on the days when they’ve practiced yoga.

Tom completed his 200 hour teacher training at Bare Feet in the fall of 2017 and completed his mentorship under Ali Brashler.

 


Jenna Friebel

Looking for more tools to help deal with her anxiety and depression, Jenna discovered yoga when she moved to Chicago after graduate school. She dabbled in it for a few years, then found her home at Bare Feet Power Yoga when she moved to the West Loop in the fall of 2016. She fell in love with the BFPY community and discovered yin and restorative yoga. She became a part of the BFPY Karma Crew, checking in students and washing sweaty towels, before gathering the courage to pursue teacher training.

Jenna completed her 200-hour RYT certification through Bare Feet Power Yoga in Spring 2018. Shortly after, she mentored in yin, restorative, meditation, and power vinyasa under Julianne Farrell. Her classes embrace the slower side of yoga and encourage mindfulness while remaining challenging. She hopes to help her students on their own journeys to self-empowerment and self-love through yoga. She’s also always happy to give a book recommendation (she’s a librarian by day) or share a cute cat photo (she fosters kittens).


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.