- Q Blog
Allison English is a certified Forrest Yoga Instructor, National Manager of Education and Content for Pure Yoga Teacher Training and a Faculty Teacher Trainer at Pure Yoga. She has completed over 1,000 hours of training through the Foundation and Advanced Forrest Yoga Teacher Certification Programs. She was voted "Best Yoga Instructor – Chicago" in 2008 and has regularly appeared in publications, blogs, and fundraising events as a leading yoga instructor in the Chicago community and around the country. Continuing to advance her teaching skills and intensify her personal practice, she regularly travels around the United States to attend workshops, teacher trainings, and intensive practices with her guru Ana Forrest. Allison’s classes focus on connecting to the strength of the core, deepening the flow and energy of the breath, and realizing the power of a yoga practice to transform her students in mind, body and Spirit.
She has experience teaching to a wide variety of levels, assessing physical limitations, and tailoring yoga to prevent and treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. Compassionately constructed pose sequences in combination with guided breath-work and expert hands-on adjustments will take you on a fantastic journey through the joys of a yoga practice – awakening your senses, opening new space in your body and enlivening your Spirit.
In his nearly 18 years of Yoga study, practice and teaching, Jim Kulackoski has devoted his life to the study and principles of Vedic Science. He holds degrees in Vedic Science and Ayurveda from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Theater and Dance. His areas of expertise also include Classical Languages including Sanskrit and Classical Latin. His yoga studies include Ashtanga, Iyengar, Sivananda with master teachers such as Dharma Mitra, Richard Freeman, Andre Lappa, Tias Little and Ana Forrest. Jim has been initiated into several major systems of meditation including: Kriya Yoga and TM-Sidhi and Jin Gui Qi Gong. He is one of few Westerners to have achieved an advanced level in The Jin Gui Qi Gong system, as well as one of few outside of India to be recognized in the Rudhra/Siva Sampradaya tradition of yoga.
Renee Diamond has been a leader in the field for over 25 years. She was hand picked by the founders of Equinox to be a part of the opening team. Renee is a certified yoga teacher, Reiki practitioner, Budokon sensei, dancer and athlete. Renee is known as a "teacher's teacher". Her passion for education and total embodiment of a healthy lifestyle manifests in her authentic and inspiring teaching approach. Renee's diverse background provides a rich and stimulating experience for her students. Her motto: Seek grace under pressure.
Michael Day has acted on Broadway and toured over a dozen countries with several modern dance companies. He brings 30 years of teaching and practice experience to his unique inwardly guided approach to teaching Vinyasa Flow styles of yoga. He is strongly influenced by his teachers: David Swenson, Nancy Gilgoff, Manju Jois and Jon Kabat-Zinn to name a few. Michael has taught yoga and meditation in schools, hospitals, and corporations as well as having taught yoga and movement at SUNY for 7 years. He has been an Equinox Yoga Instructor for 10 years.
Angela Leigh found yoga three years ago and has not looked back, she experienced an instantaneous affinity and connection to the practice of yoga on and off the mat. Angela received her 200 Hour Certification under James Brown, a leader in the Teacher Training industry. She then went on to attain her 500 Hour Certification through YogaWorks under her mentor Kia Miller who was able to offer an in depth training into the subtle body. Angela is an athlete who’s grown to love and respect the physical and spiritual influences yoga has provided her. An innate teachers’ teacher, Angela loves being a part of her students’ journey as they embark upon their path and guiding them through their practice individually and compassionately. Angela’s classes are alignment focused sprinkled with elements of yoga philosophy and lead with an intention to give the students to freedom to dive into a deeper connection with their body, breath and spirit.
George Kosmitis, a Chicago Native was always training to be bigger, faster, and stronger. In 1999, when stepping onto a mat for the first time, he learned a true lesson, humility. After getting married in 2008, his wife encouraged him to go through a teacher training. Reluctant at first, he enrolled in a 200-hour program. At first, it was very difficult, but the challenges inspired him to continue, which is when he discovered a grand lesson; it’s only yoga. From this moment, he decided to dedicate his career to yoga. George, RYT500 E-RYT200, is honored to be part of Pure Yoga’s amazing teacher training team, where students will find their deeper dimension. Experience George’s class, and you may discover self-empowerment, internal strength, a higher height, true calmness, yearned freedom, deep frustration, love and anger, a great release, and possibly a new dedication. It may even happen in the same class. George strives to lead students in discovering that all of these experiences contribute to how we grow.
Trained in all aspects of yoga by Kofi Busia, the world’s highest ranking Iyengar teacher, Christopher’s instruction is both technical and steeped in philosophy and theory. Combining Eastern philosophies with allopathic knowledge he guides you, the practitioner surely and calmly to the best version of your essential self.
Bonnie, a native of SoCal, found yoga at the request of a physician at UCLA. It was love at her first downward-facing dog. She has studied with renowned teachers including Max Strom; Chuck Miller; Dr. Larry Payne; Bryan Kest; Steve Ross; Rodney Yee and Dave Swenson. A yoga instructor since 1997, Bonnie is a staff instructor with Equinox. She has also served as an instructor for Toyota, Google and corporate fitness clients including Honda, Mattel, and Paramount. Bonnie has also served as Yoga Trainer to the Disney Tri-Team, repeat champions of the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Bonnie is designated E-RYT500/T500 by YogaAlliance.
DeAnna Anderson has been teaching yoga since 2001. She enjoys other styles of yoga but her first love is Jivamukti and she participated in the first month-long Jivamukti residential teacher training program in 2003. She has taught internationally and is the Founding Teacher of Karmany Yoga, one of the first donation-based studios in Texas. DeAnna is known for her spunky wisdom and compassionate humor, encouraging teaching style and generous hands on assists as well as her eclectic mix of music and DJ skills. DeAnna is grateful to all of her students, past and present for the wide variety of experiences and lessons that have brought her to where she is right now and will continue to provide insight and wisdom for the future.
Jason has trained in many styles of yoga and started in 1999. He began his hatha yoga journey at The Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. From there he traveled to Taos, New Mexico where he spent a few years enveloped in the Bhakti Yoga tradition at the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram. Jason currently teaches hatha yoga in the Anusara style and is always continuing to grow and evolve his practice. Jason feels blessed to study Anusara with his teacher, Christina Sell; he greatly enjoys leading local Kirtans and sharing in the Spirit of celebrating the Heart.
Buddy Macuha is a leading master trainer with more than 20 years of teaching experience in the fitness and yoga industry. Buddy’s yoga practice began as a way to achieve balance while training for the National Aerobics Championship. Yoga facilitated the essential mind/body connection and reenergized his body, providing balance to the extreme physical and emotional demands of athletic competition. As his competitive days came to a close he deepened his study of yoga, cultivating mindfulness and enhancing his life “on and off the mat”. His wish is to help other yoga practitioners find similar health and self-discovery with each class.
Movement and performance have been an integral part of Buddy’s professional life, and today he trains, motivates and inspires his students to greater physical wellbeing. Drawing from his experience as a gymnast, dancer, personal trainer, competitive athlete, holistic body worker, martial artist, and actor; he applies this diverse background to his teaching style. His classes are famous for being motivating, having the best music, and bringing people to new levels of fitness. He is currently finishing his degree in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University.
Alex Iglecia, MA is a teacher, trainer, mover and shaker working at the intersection of human development and body-mind training. Alex teaches and coaches across a spectrum of modalities, ensuring that your practice carries meaningful impact into your life.
His focus is the transformative and healing benefits of movement and his background includes research during an MA in Conscious Evolution and advanced studies in Yoga, Yoga Tune Up®, UZAZU Energy Dynamics, Freediving, Personal Training, MAT, Clubbells, Kettlebells, Self Defense & Martial Arts. Alex is also the founder of The Epic Workout®.
San Francisco yogini Michelle Myhre (ERYT 500) believes that the practice of yoga will meet you where you are at, and take you on a wondrous journey of embodiment and self-knowledge. To keep the practice accessible to all levels of student, Michelle teaches Yin, Hatha and Alignment Based Vinyasa Yoga. A long-time kama aina Hawaii resident, Michelle owned and ran a yoga studio in Maui for several years before returning to the mainland. She currently teaches classes on the Peninsula and San Francisco, and loves teaching internationally. Michelle is a contributor to Elephant Journal and The Magazine Of Yoga, although most of her writing is found on her multi-media yoga website, “Devil Wears Prana”. Michelle’s classes are challenging yet accessible. You may find yourself in compromising positions with a crystal clear mind. This is your edge. Your restrictions are respected. Your body is safe. You're having a great time. This is yoga.
Keith Erickson, RYT-500 Hours/ERYT-200, has been teaching yoga full time for eight years. Voted one of the Peninsula’s top two yoga teachers in the Daily News 2010 People's Choice Awards, his energizing vinyasa flow classes emphasize fluid transitions in rhythm with the breath. Each session is a moving meditation with positive intentions and great music. An avid traveler, Keith has spent more than a year in India practicing yoga, vipassana and shiatsu. He has led workshops and retreats in India, Japan, California, Hawaii and The Bahamas. Formally trained by Yoga Arts of Australia, Keith’s informal training continues with each breath and every practice.
Teaching since 1999, Claudia Fucigna began her studies of yoga while receiving a BA from NYU. She went on to India to study and earn her certification from the Benares School of Yoga. While in India, she practiced Sri K Patthabhi Jois’ system of Ashtanga in Mysore and worked for a shelter home in New Delhi, India where she taught yoga to street children. In the US she continued her studies with Dharma Mittra, David Swenson, Richard Freeman, and Jivamukti, eventually leading to her certification through Sonic Yoga and Karma Kids Yoga in New York. She has brought the benefits of yoga to multiple settings from Equinox Gyms to studios in Tokyo, Japan, nationwide retreats, public schools, children with disabilities and shelter homes. She is honored to continue the tradition of inspiring students to finding joyfulness, compassion and health through the medium of yoga.
Kate Duyn Cariati has taught a wide range of styles and levels since she started teaching in New York City in 2004. Since relocating to Los Angeles Kate has become well recognized for her unique approach to sequencing at Equinox. Kate is also featured on Exercise.com as their yoga expert, demonstrating and instructing a library of 100 asanas as well as serving as the poster girl for the Yoga Journal’s iPhone Yoga Application. Her classes are known for their creative sequencing, free flow acro-athleticism and eclectic soundtracks. In her classes, she is known for guiding students to new depths while maintaining a sense of humor. She seamlessly weaves yoga philosophy, mantra, pranayama, meditation and movement.
Rebecca Pacheco is a yoga teacher, writer, and creator of OmGal.com, voted Best Yoga & Fitness Site in the 2010 Intent Web Awards. She began practicing yoga at the age of 16 and teaching others at age 20, while studying abroad during college, in various foreign countries, including India. For the past decade, Rebecca has worked with students of all levels, including beginners and experienced yogis, professional and amateur athletes, ballet dancers, corporate executives, community leaders, children and teens, people with injuries or disabilities, and more. A master-level teacher at the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute for several years, Rebecca now teaches classes and workshops in Boston and beyond. Her strong, articulate, and inspiring teaching style is influenced by many types of yoga, including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kripalu, and Vinyasa. She has appeared in national ad campaigns for Reebok, Ryka, and New Balance and is an ambassador for Lululemon. She is on the advisory board for YogaEarth and a contributing “voice” for Intent.com. In addition to yoga, she is an avid runner (she ran the Boston Marathon in 2009), Boston sports fanatic, nature lover, and supporter of organizations that benefit at-risk youth.
Marc Mcdonald began studying yoga in 1998 while working as a spin instructor and private trainer. The following year he completed his 200 hour training as well as an Ashtanga intensive with David Swenson and Kathy McNames. When Sport Club/LA opened in Boston in 2000, Marc joined the team as yoga and spinning instructor. He was then promoted to Group Exercise and Pilates Manager. Marc also became very involved in opening the Mind Body Studios at SCLA and ultimately helped the program double in size. During the time Marc became involved in Budokon, a martial, yogic and living arts program. Over the next three years he would become the regional master teacher, building a strong following in the Boston area making in one of the major training cities. In 2009 March opened Om Warrior, a culmination of many years of study both in front of and behind the scenes. The studio became a platform for which he would incorporate his various talents into one idea – teaching both Vinyasa Flow classes and his signature class – OmWarrior power. Marc teaches with an open mind and this is his second teacher training @ Equinox.
Carrie began her Pilates career in 1996 and was certified in by Romana Krysanowska in 2001. She taught privately in Los Angeles and London. After receiving her second certification from Power Pilates, she joined the Power Pilates Teacher Training team in 2005. She also managed two Power Pilates studios located inside Equinox Fitness Clubs in Los Angeles. Carrie became PMA Certified in 2007. In 2008, Carrie and a partner opened BACE, a Pilates and fitness studio. At BACE, Carrie developed a comprehensive Pilates teacher training program that has become the national training program for Equinox. Carrie is now the National Pilates Training Manager and Regional Pilates Manager (Southern California) for Equinox. She has presented workshops for Pilates on Tour, and currently is a presenter for the Pilates Method Alliance conference. Carrie is also the Pilates model for the current Toesox ad campaign.
Patricia Kreiner is the Equinox Pilates Institute Lead Teacher Trainer for the New York Metro Area. She began practicing Pilates in 1999 to rehabilitate an ice dancing injury. Patti received her Pilates Certifications from the PhysicalMind Institute and Power Pilates, and her Ball Fitness certification from Resist a Ball. She is affiliated with AFAA, IDEA, and PMA.
Gretchen Allabach came to Pilates by way of dance while enrolled at North Carolina School of the Arts. Following graduation, she became a Certified Pilates Instructor and moved to New York City. She has been teaching Pilates since 2006 and has been a Pilates Coordinator with Equinox since 2009.
Benjamin Degenhardt has established himself as one of the most sought-after Pilates instructors at Equinox in New York City and is proud to be a founding faculty member of the Equinox Pilates Institute. He has been involved in the Pilates world for more than a decade in addition to his extensive dance and movement teaching background. While performing as a dancer with acclaimed choreographers, he studied the Pilates method with master teachers in Europe and New York, and later, decided to fully transition into the fitness world. Benjamin is truly passionate about Pilates and its ability to improve people’s lives. He is thrilled to be able to share his passion and knowledge with new teachers through this program.
Kristen Matthews has explored her passion for movement through many years of gymnastics, diving, and dance. She earned her Pilates teaching certification from Power Pilates in New York City in 2003. Kristen takes her students through custom programs built on the integrity of the classical technique. She continues to expand her knowledge of the body as she believes the real learning begins once you’re certified. Along with taking workshops, Kristen has studied anatomy with Irene Dowd, Thai massage in Thailand, and completed a Yoga Alliance 200-hour certification with Yogaposer in the spring of 2010.
Lilia Browning is Equinox’s Washington DC Lead Pilates Teacher Trainer. Since 2009, she has been teaching Pilates privately and for group fitness at Equinox. Lilia studied to become a classical Pilates instructor under the tutelage of Romana Kryzanowska (2004) and Power Pilates (2010). Lilia also holds a BFA in dance and has years of experience as a professional Martha Graham Contemporary Dancer.
Maura Barclay’s fitness career started as a junior olympic gymnast, then she earned two natural body building titles and became professional fire fighter. Her personal training career spans for nearly two decades. She worked at the prestigious Equinox fitness clubs in Los Angles as a Group Fitness Manager which gave her the opportunity to become a Teacher Trainer in a martial art called Budokon, Yoga and Yoga Tune Up®. She teaches embodied anatomy for national Pilates and Yoga training programs, is an accredited continuing educator for ACSM, ACE, Yoga Alliance, Pilates Alliance and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is enjoying her position at Tune Up Fitness World Wide where she is their Director of Training and Continuing Education and bringing Yoga Tune Up® to the world of CrossFit.
Entering the fitness field was a natural progression after years of gymnastics and cheerleading. Naturally athletic, Lashaun’s true passion is, and always has been, fitness and now yoga. Lashaun has been teaching movement, fitness and yoga classes in Boston, New York City and in her hometown, Whitefish, Montana, for over 20 years at prestigious studios and clubs including Equinox Fitness Clubs. At Equinox, as the National Creative Manager of Group Fitness, she works to mastermind the wildly popular signature programs that Equinox is known to deliver and developed a number of acclaimed workouts as well as her signature classes: Cardio Boot Camp and Sculpt, The Microsculpting Workout and Free Flow Yoga. Addicted to self development and learning, Lashaun continues her training with top experts and fitness professionals to develop multiple skills from a wide array of disciplines including fitness, sports conditioning, yoga and conscious movement. Among other training credentials, Lashaun is certified by many organizations including NSCA, CHEK, International Association of Yoga Therapists, and Yoga Tune Up® specializing in fitness, lifestyle choices, yoga, core strength, flexibility training and youth fitness.
Keith Irace has been active in the fitness industry for 20 years, establishing himself as one of the top Group Fitness Instructors and Trainers in the country as well as holding a number of management positions including his current position as the Area Manager for Group Fitness for the twelve Equinox fitness clubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. Keith’s sold-out classes can be described as challenging, precise, fast-moving and fun. His “all-are-welcome” attitude, sense of humor and intelligent cueing combine to create a class experience that has earned him a stellar reputation in Los Angeles. In addition to his ACE, GRAVITY GTS, BOSU, Kettle Bell, Equinox Fitness Training Institute, Schwinn, Cycle Reebok and Johnny G Spinning fitness certifications. He is also part of an elite team of trainers whose workouts are available at www.ITRAIN.com and can be seen on www.LiveStrong.com
Jeffrey is an International Fitness Presenter, Reebok Master Trainer, Schwinn Master Trainer and an Area Group Fitness Manager for Equinox Fitness Clubs. With over 20 years of experience in the Health and Fitness industry Jeffrey has conducted training workshops around the world and is recognized as a top fitness educator, instructor and personal trainer who is known for his creative choreography and motivational teaching. Jeffrey holds multiple nationally recognized certifications from the American Council on Exercise, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Jeffrey has stared and appeared in over 20 fitness videos and also on numerous television shows including Fox's "Wake up New York", "Good Day LA" and NBC's "The Today Show." As a fitness writer he has contributed articles, workouts and quotes to numerous magazines such as GYM, SHAPE, SELF and GLAMOUR.
Robert Sherman is president and owner of F.I.T., Inc., and Area Group Fitness Manager for Equinox Fitness Clubs. His over 28 years in fitness has led him to be a much sought after speaker, trainer and consultant for programming for fitness and wellness facilities and conventions throughout the United States and internationally. Robert was named as one of the top 100 fitness trainers in America by Men’s Journal and Allure Magazines and was selected by the Washington Post newspaper as one of the best fitness instructors in the Washington D.C. area. Capital File Magazine recognizes Robert as the “Power Trainer” in Washington, D.C. He holds a BA degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Maryland, and is a Gold Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor by ACE, AFAA and ACSM.
Lisa Wheeler is a Global Master Trainer for Body Bar and National Creative Project Manager of Group Fitness for Equinox. Prior to Equinox, Lisa served as Education Manager and Global Master Trainer for Reebok University. She has a BA in Dance/Theater and is certified by NASM, ACSM, ACE, AFAA and The Physical Mind Institute. She was awarded Best Female Presenter and Best Original Class by ECA. A professional dancer in NYC, Lisa continues to choreograph, perform and teach around the world. She has appeared in over 25 fitness DVDs, can be seen on ExerciseTV, one of the hosts of The Method Fitness Show and is currently the host of the Westin Workout fitness segments on SPG TV. She has presented fitness programs for numerous TV shows including the NFL Channel, CNN Headline News, The View, Good Morning America, The Today Show and QVC. Behind the camera, Lisa has choreographed over 200 DVDs and serves as Choreographer/Assistant Director for Fit Vid Productions and Lionsgate Films, whose clients include Denise Austin, The Biggest Loser, Dancing with the Stars, Fame, Dirty Dancing and American Gladiators. As a part of Gaiam/GT Media, she choreographs for The Firm, Jillian Michaels, Kettlenetics, Step 360 and consults on program/product development. Lisa co-authored two New York Times National Best Sellers and is a Contributing Editor for Shape Magazine.