Meet the Instructors!
Get to know the brilliant minds who will be sharing their brilliance with you!
Katia is a passionate AcroYogi, global changemaker and multi-lingual world traveler. Coming from a dance background, Katia discovered yoga and AcroYoga when studying in Argentina. After playing and developing communities in France, Brazil, Costa Rica, and the US, she went back to Argentina to get her Level I Certification from AcroYoga International. Katia believes AcroYoga creates profound physical, emotional and spiritual growth, all through loving kindness and playfulness. Katia loves to base and fly, creating a harmonious balance of strength and high energy, softness and elegance. When not upside-down, she is working hard with NuMundo to build a network of sustainability & wellness centers around the world.
Diego is an energetic soul that loves movement and play. Born in Caracas, Venezuela where he started practicing and teaching Acro. In 2014 he moved to Panama in search of a new adventure with a set goal of growing the Acro community. He completed his Acro teacher training with Acro Revolution in Hawaii on 2015 and since, with passion and dedication, Diego has transformed the Acro yoga community in Panama. He now teaches classes every day, performs regularly, has hosted several workshops, takes Acro to community events, and integrates Acro with other disciplines such as SUP yoga and slackline.
Acro has taught me to relax and to be strong. To communicate better within my own body and with other people. All this seems worth doing and so I Learn, Play and Fly...you could too.
Paula Bui has been practicing and studying Yoga and AcroYoga since 2009. Each practice continually teaches her about patience and how to be a better person. She became a Certified Yoga and AcroYoga teacher in March and November of 2013, respectively. And then because she is always a student, she went on to complete her AcroYoga Level 2 certification. Paula is a practicing Thai bodyworker, freelance interpreter, and certified badass vegan baker. Community is kind of a big deal, so she figured what better way to celebrate it than organize a festival?
Mateo J. Daniel
Mateo is a tumble-monkey mad scientist of movement, joy & human potential based in Austin, TX. His classrooms are safe, supportive playgrounds where students are free to get weird, and encouraged to experiment with connection, levitation & open communication.
Armed with over a dozen certifications and known for his fun, easily accessible approach to the movement arts, Mateo is a favorite on the festival & workshop circuit. Whether you’ve come to study Acro, Slackline, Yoga, Massage, Meditation, Dance, or Samurai-inspired roughhousing, you’re sure to crack a smile, break a sweat, and blast through a few limitations.
To connect, reach out directly : email@example.com.
Kat is a Chicago based actor, yoga instructor, and acro yogi. These are the three great loves of her life; she's pretty sure her love is all they need, but she also got pieces of paper just in case that was important. Because commitment. Her MFA in Acting is from The Ohio State University, her yoga cert is from Yogaview Chicago and acroyoga cert is from Acroyoga Montreal. Before she found these loves, Kat flirted with ballet, hip hip, jazz, and tap dance and had a long term relationship with martial art Tang Soo Do, as well as running, swimming, and pilates. She thinks fondly of all those past loves, but hasn't seen them in a while.
Chris has been a part of the Chicago Slackline community since 2013, and has been slacklining for 6+ years. He is an organizer of the BREATHE festival where for the past three years he has been involved with teaching slackline workshops.
Paul Fowler is the Director and Co-‐Founder of Blue Lotus Thai Healing Studies, one of the premier Thai bodywork training programs in the country. He has been teaching Thai massage and meditation for well over a decade. Paul’s classes are laced with wisdom, humor and stories from the Buddhist culture of Thailand. His light-‐hearted and confident approach to the subject as well as his caring attitude toward his students have made him a much loved and sought after teacher in Chicago and beyond.
Jim Gilligan will turn your world upside down! He began practicing Yoga in 1988 and as a RYT200 certified instructor started formally teaching Yoga in 2012. He Founded AcroYoga Ann Arbor in 2012 and became Michigan’s first certified AcroYoga teacher in 2014. He teaches playshops, weekly Jams, and classes. Jim is also a certified AYFit trainer. In addition to AcroYoga and AYFit, Jim and his acro partner, Sue Booth founded SUP AcroYoga in 2014, bringing their land acro skills to a new level atop a standup paddleboard!
Alyssa Hill is a certified AcroYoga Montreal teacher, who completed her level 1 and 2 training in 2010. She moved to Minneapolis in 2009 and started AcroYoga Minneapolis because, after training and learning Acro in St. Louis for several years, she didn’t have anyone to play with in Minneapolis. She loves teaching AcroYoga so much she turned it into a job. She currently works for herself as a massage therapist, trained in Thai Massage and Therapeutic techniques, and as an AcroYoga teacher. AcroYoga Minneapolis is run by Alyssa Hill and Jude Ortiz. For more info about AcroYoga in Minneapolis check out www.acroyogampls.com or our Facebook group, AcroYogaMPLS.
Alyssa will be assisted by Jamie Risner
Amy Impellizzeri is a force of movement and fitness. She is the co-developer of AYfit and its lead trainer, teaching courses internationally. Amy is an AcroYoga® Immersion and Level II Teacher, a Core Conditioning Teacher, & CPT. She presents regularly at Yoga Journal® Conferences & festivals in her nurturing, challenging, & fun style.
Amy will be teaching with Eddie Salguero
Christine is based in St. Louis and spends her days teaching yoga, AcroYoga, and leading yoga teacher training programs. When she's not teaching or training, she's probably either dancing on aerial fabrics, spinning poi, or singing songs. She is an advocator for conscious evolution with the mission to simply "heal and love". She feels blessed to have landed into the arms of the acro community and be a part of this growing tribe of playmates.
Part AcroYogi - Part Ninja - Part Scientist. You can find Stephen in the lab during the day and on the mats at night. Currently a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ramiro Mota & Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros, Stephen teaches the fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense techniques at Mission MMA in Chicago. He derives great pleasure in studying the intricacies and nuances of human movement and behavior. Stephen found the AcroYoga community 2 years ago and fell in love with its potential to create mindful connections in partnership and with the greater community.
Max Lowenstein & Liz Kong
Traveling AcroYoga/Yoga/Acro-fit Instructors with passions for health and wellness. Both Vegan and Registered Dietitians. Max is an ACE-certified personal trainer and Liz works monthly as a clinical dietitian. We travel the country teaching AcroYoga, yoga, and handstands at conventions, festivals, retreats, and weekend-long workshops. Based in Dallas, Texas, teaching privates, 3 weekly classes, and leading yoga teacher trainings at The Yoga Movement Dallas.
Sarah B. McLaughlin
Sarah is a graduate of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, Blue Lotus Thai Healing Studies, and Zen Shiatsu Chicago. She travels to Thailand every few years to continue study with master teacher, Pichet Bonthumme. She has also completed extensive study, and will continue to pursue education in Chi nei Tsang (Taoist Abdominal Massage), and visceral manipulation.
Jessalyn is never happier than when she's up high and upside down! After many years of training as a gymnast and cheerleader, she discovered AcroYoga, circus acrobatics, and flying trapeze. She has been avidly practicing and teaching acro for the past 8 years, and is currently studying at Pitch Catch School of Acrobatics. Jessalyn's specialties are flipping, whipping, flying super high, and making handstands on people!
Jessalyn will be teaching with Glen Saunders
Dan Plehal is an acrobat, yogi, teacher, and theatre director based in Chicago, specializing in Vinyasa and AcroYoga. He received his 200-Hour certification from Nature Yoga Sanctuary in Chicago and has been practicing yoga since 2007. He trained in acrobatics with the FLIC Squola di Circo (circus school) in Torino, Italy, the Accademia dell-Arte in Arezzo, Italy, and the Aloft Loft in Chicago. He is also the co-founder and co-artistic director of two theatre companies: Aura Curiatlas Physical Theatre which performs throughout the US, and Red Dot Theatre Company which performs throughout Europe.
Brandon Joe Rutten
Brandon is a Registered Yoga Teacher and has been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years. In 2008 he was introduced to Thai Massage and Acro Yoga and fell in love with their rich and transformative qualities. It is his mission and passion to welcome others to grow within their own practice toward a deeper sense of mindfulness that benefit both the physical and mental states of being. Brandon builds a fun and encouraging environment with classes that are designed to be accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Brandon is entirely grateful to all of his teachers and students who remind him that he is and always will be both.
Brandon will be assisted by Tony Law
Tatiana Cira Sanchez, a life-long dancer/yogini/performer/renaissance woman of Shaktimuse is a Chicago-based Certified AcroYoga.org teacher since 2008, training, teaching and cultivating community through her combined love of yoga, acrobatics, and Thai Massage. Versed in over 20 years as a modern/ flamenco dancer, musician, healer, arts/outreach educator, Tati is one of the few 200hr+ Certified Universal Yoga/Dance of Shiva Teachers in Chicago. Her eclectic style focuses on empowering every individual to explore alignment, breath, stillness, self expression/awareness in order to inspire and explore inner strength, trust, communication, loving kindness, and play.
Paul began his Thai Massage and Yoga practice over twenty years ago in Santa Monica, California and has helped thousands of people find greater health and wholeness through the benefits of these healing arts. He has studied and apprenticed intensively with numerous teachers, including Saul David Raye and Pichest Boonthumme. In 2000, Paul founded The School of Thai Yoga Therapy, and co-founded the Chicago School of Thai Massage in 2007. Paul holds Advanced Certification in Thai Yoga Therapy, a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, and is a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance.
Joe is both a certified AcroYogaMTL teacher and a 500 hour certified yoga instructor and has been teaching both since 2011. His additional interests have had him traveling and studying Taoism, shamanism, various forms of energy work and Thai Bodywork. More recently Joe graduated from professional circus school in 2016 and spends his time pursing his passions not just as a ground acrobat, but as a circus aerialist, hand balancer and a cyr wheel performer.
Teacher Line-up subject to change