April Teacher Feature – Tricia Fiske
By Libby Scanlan
Tuesdays, 9:30am-11:00am – Hatha Yoga
Tricia Fiske is a teacher’s teacher. If you have the good fortune to find yourself in one of her classes you most likely will be practicing alongside any number of yoga teachers, most of whom have been taught at some point in their teacher training by Tricia herself. Indeed, her sphere of influence in the Chicago area is not small as she has been teaching, primarily in the western suburbs, since the late 90’s and teaching teachers through Prairie Yoga Teacher Training for over 10 years.
Tricia began her earthly journey in Kalamazoo, Michigan moving to Carpentersville, Illinois when she was 2 years old. Eventually her family landed in Elgin where she attended St. Edward High School and then SIU Carbondale where she studied photography. She transferred to Columbia College in Chicago where she graduated with a degree in English. After a series of entry level jobs, she took a position in the photography department at Arthur Anderson (now Accenture) in Chicago. She worked there for a number of years, marrying and having her son, Eric. The early 90’s found her single and looking for a change so she set up housekeeping in Glen Ellyn and became a certified personal trainer and NIA instructor. In 1997, with her personal training business booming, she became intrigued with the yoga class being taught prior to one of the NIA classes that she taught in downtown Chicago. She started to make it a point to attend her class early simply to watch the yoga practice. The teacher-Daren Friesen. The class-Ashtanga. Daren encouraged Tricia to join the class and eventually became her teacher in the very first Moksha Yoga 200 Hour Teacher Training. In 2000 she started studying with her mentor and inspiration, Rod Stryker, and is now Level 1 and 2 certified in ParaYoga (the 5th person in the world to become level 2 certified!) Tricia’s teaching is precise, purposeful, and transformative. Her low key and accessible presentation creates a class experience that is both comfortable and challenging. Attend one of her classes and you will clearly understand why she has become one of the most respected and admired teachers in the Chicago area. Tricia currently lives in Glen Ellyn with her husband, James Daley, and their two cats.
How yoga changed my life: After an unexpected life change, I became full of self-doubt. Yoga helped me see myself clearly again and understand that when things happen, they often bring about profound but powerful change bringing you in line with your Dharma.
Yoga philosophy I try and instill in my students: We are all divine, ALL of us. We have our personal Dharma, live it to the fullest, never apologize for who you are. We are not here to “heal”, we are here to live.
Most influential teacher: Yogarupa Rod Stryker
Is inspired by: Rod Stryker-he is the real deal. He lives his yoga.
Five words to describe my teaching style: Spiritual, energy focused (pranic), subtle, krama (intentionally place), dharmic
Favorite pose: Sarvangasana- Shoulder Stand
Least favorite pose: Parsvakonasana- Side Angle-it’s hard!
Personal practice: An hour meditation with pranayama, (almost) daily. I attend two yoga classes a week, and do a cardio workout 4 times, weekly.
People would be surprised that I: Read action mystery novels (especially like the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child). My husband and I are addicted to PBS mysteries.
I want my students to: Realize that they are already who they are seeking to be
Guilty pleasure: A good Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)
Favorite color: Pink and blue
Favorite pig out food: Dark chocolate
Dream vacation: Italy
Personal hero: Yogarupa Rod Stryker
Proudest accomplishment: Making a living doing what I love.
Favorite Halloween costume: Princess
Most profound teaching moment: I was teaching at Healthtrack Fitness Center in Glen Ellyn the day the towers went down in New York (Sept. 11). The class was packed, no one wanted to stay home alone. At first I was worried about “what” to teach, and then I realized that wasn’t why everyone was there. We all wanted community and our yoga practice gave us that.
How do I see yoga changing in the next few years: I see Yoga going the therapeutic route, being more accepted by health practitioners as a method for healing body and mind, particularly in the area of trauma.
How do you spend your spare time when not enriching the lives of others through yoga: I love the Morton Arboretum just to hang out. My husband and I enjoy going to the movies a lot, my son is a drummer, so music is also a big part of my life. I read a ton of mystery novels. (Yeah for the library).