Yoga Instructors

Yoga means “to yoke” or create union. It is a system of psychological and physiological self-disciplines, which lead to a re-balancing of the body and mind. Yoga has innumerable physical, mental and spiritual benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, lengthening and toning muscles, and encourages self-trust and confidence. For more class information please click on the schedule page.

jenewert3Jennifer Ewert, Director

When Jennifer started doing yoga for increased energy in 1996, she also realized how calm and centered she became as a result. She began with self-study at home, which led to a class with a friend. She became captivated because of the teacher’s ability to connect her to this wonderful ancient practice, inspiring Jennifer to become a Certified Yoga Instructor in 1999.

After teaching yoga at venues throughout McHenry County, Jennifer wanted to share her love of yoga more widely and was compelled to open Akasha Yoga Center. “Yoga can help to reduce stress and provide focus, enabling us to function more effectively and live more peacefully. It’s benefits are immeasurable.”

Jennifer’s classes draw from years of study with many teachers, resulting in her ever-evolving organic style. Her experience allows her to adapt her class plans depending on the needs of the individuals participating. Her ultimate goal for each participant is a rich, deep meditation at the end of each class in order to attain a sense of peace.

Kirsten Bray

Kirsten came to yoga through the physical practice, yet every time she left her mat something began to change. A mother of five, she finally found time to calm her mind and do something that filled her soul. Yoga has given her a refuge to come back to a calm center.

In her classes you can expect fun challenging sequences that will leave you feeling empowered and strong. Kirsten is a registered yoga teacher and loves sharing her passion for yoga. As an emergency room nurse, she witnesses patients who live in stress and chaos in their physical health and in their spirit and seeks to teach yoga as a way to find ease amidst the chaos.

Kirsten is living the good life with her family in Crystal Lake. When she’s not on the mat, she’s breaking a sweat at Orange Theory, spending time with her grandbabies, or deep into her next book.

Angel Cress

Angel began practicing yoga in 2007 at a fitness center. She continued to practice asana on and off for ten years. After giving birth to her son in 2017, she wanted a job doing something she enjoyed. And so she began the journey to becoming a yoga instructor.

During this journey, not only did she learn of the great depths and traditions of yoga, but she also learned a great deal about herself. She received her 200 hour certification in Hatha Yoga from Akasha in 2018.

Angel believes yoga has the power to transform and empower everyone. Through teaching she hopes to inspire her students to live lives full of peace, love and equanimity.

Emilie HoffmanEmilieHoffman3

Emilie loves sharing the practice of yoga and helping people discover the best version of themselves. After practicing yoga for many years, Emilie decided to enroll in the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program in the Fall of 2013 to further her knowledge and personal practice of yoga. Her intention for the program was to learn as much as possible and enjoy the ride. Her journey through training taught her more than she could have imagined.  She learned how to listen to her heart and live in the present moment…wonderful lessons to learn. Now, Emilie enjoys teaching others how to cultivate peace within themselves through her restorative classes.

With only three tools, your breath, mind and body, it is her hope that she can help others find inner peace…find love, happiness and gratitude, even on the darkest of days.

Jim McDonell

Jim attended his first yoga class in 2005 and was hooked. After spending years going to health clubs he was surprised to find that yoga can be a full body workout and doubly pleased when his lower back pain disappeared. Over time he came to realize that yoga also provided stress relief from his corporate job and raising teenagers.

He took Hatha Yoga teacher training at Akasha Yoga for the personal purpose of really understanding yoga and asana. Jim soon found he wanted to share his enthusiasm for yoga and humor in his classes.

Becky Miller

Becky Miller

Becky was first introduced to yoga in 2003 when a coworker suggested they take a class together. Immediately hooked, she continued to take various classes and started a home practice with DVDs. Drawn in by the physical poses, she soon learned to connect with her breath and the practice became so much more. Noticing the profound effect on her overall health and well-being, she committed to a daily practice and began to study yoga philosophy. In 2015 she decided she needed to share the gift of yoga and enrolled in the 200-hour yoga teacher training program at Akasha Yoga Center, which she completed in 2016 as well as a 25-hour childrens yoga teacher training through Sweet Feet Yoga.

Becky loves to share what yoga has to offer with as many people as she can: a calm mind, improved health, comfort in one’s own skin and harmony with one’s self and others.

Kelly Pokharel

Kelly began attending yoga classes in 2003 out of curiosity. That curiosity quickly grew into a passion for yoga. Drawn in by the sense of calm and balance she felt after each class, Kelly found the strong desire to share the experience of yoga with others. Kelly completed her 200-hour teacher training with the Himalayan Institute in 2009 and is a certified Hatha Yoga instructor. She also completed the Global Yoga Center’s prenatal yoga training in 2009. Kelly credits her yoga practice with helping her through a difficult time in life and seeks to make yoga accessible to all. She believes yoga can transform lives by awakening aspects of ourselves that have been buried by daily life.

Laura Schultz_2Laura Schultz

Laura first was introduced to yoga in 2005 after practicing with a Rodney Yee video in her basement.  As her practice began to evolve and deepen, she knew that she had to share with the world how awesome yoga can make people feel. In 2013 she completed her teacher training at Akasha Yoga Center and now is a 200-hour RYT through Yoga Alliance.

Laura’s class style explores connecting to each individual’s personal truth by bringing awareness to body, mind, and spirit.  She knows how important it is for each student to feel empowered and wants everyone to walk away with that sense. Laura believes in the power of breath and movement in order to transform one’s life.