Owner & Founder
Lisa Bertke founded the Prana Yoga Center in 2001 to serve as a multi-disciplinary center for students to experience authentic yoga as physical practice, and, as an ancient spiritual system that can serve as a catalyst for personal transformation and fulfillment.
Her extensive training of the past 20 years includes yoga, ayurveda, and meditation. She is a Parayoga Level II certified, ERYT-500 under the direction of Rod Stryker, and is a certified Ayurveda Specialist graduate of the Himalayan Institute, a board certified program of the National Association of Ayurveda Medicine. She continues her studies at Prairie Yoga and with many modern, relevant yoga masters such as Tias Little and Doug Keller and many more.
Her passion and reverence for the practice of authentic yoga is unending and the immense power it has to change lives. Lisa has a Human Resources Degree from DePaul University, and lives in St Charles, married with three amazing sons.
Tom started teaching in 2011 after completing the 200 hour teacher training program at Prairie Yoga. Tom continued advanced teacher training receiving 500 hour certification with Prairie in 2014. Tom continues his yoga study attending workshops with master teachers and being a mentor in the teacher training program at Prairie.
Tom teaches hatha yoga and somatic yoga classes at Prana. Tom’s classes focus on alignment, breath work and developing awareness. His classes are appropriate for all levels of students from beginners to seasoned practitioners.
Tom also teaches yoga to youths at the Juvenile Justice Center and has taught yoga for cancer patients and yoga for beginners.
Jenny Bergold (Jagatjeet Kaur) has been practicing yoga for eighteen years and teaching for eight. Jenny discovered yoga to calm the body and strengthen the mind. Jenny has her 200 Hour Hatha certification from Heaven Meets Earth Yoga in Evanston, IL and her 200 Hour Kundalini certification from Spirit Rising Yoga in Chicago, IL. Jenny’s classes focus on the mind and meditation, healing the body through asana, and uplifting the spirit through inspiration. Jenny grew up in Elburn, IL and has a son in 4th grade who loves yoga just as much as her.
Global Family Yoga, Children’s Yoga Teacher Training Primary Faculty
Mira Binzen graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1991 with a degree in child psychology. She received her teacher’s training certificate from Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in India in 1999. She is certified to teach both children and adults, and is registered at the 500-hour level with Yoga Alliance. Before moving to Chicago, Mira was a Yoga therapist with the Integrative Medicine Program at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital and has been teaching classes to children, families and adults for many years. For her, the heart of Yoga is discovering the self through joy and laughter. Her education, experience, and deep commitment to improving the lives of children and families are combined to create a training program of the highest quality.
As a developmental therapist traveling through India in the mid-nineties, Mira was exploring Yoga for her own interest when an ‘aha’ moment changed the course of her professional work.
She discovered the practice to be an exquisite way for both children and adults to integrate their sensory experiences while cultivating awareness, balance and openness in both body and mind. This initial insight sparked a passion that continues to burn brightly as she shares the timeless teachings of Yoga with students of all ages and abilities.
She continues to pursue the path through a dedicated personal practice and continuing study with Yoga luminaries Richard Miller, PhD, Yogarupa Rod Stryker and the spiritual leaders of the Sivananda centers and ashrams worldwide.
Her blend of playfulness and professionalism provides an engaging, safe and joyful experience for all. Her education, experience, and deep commitment to improving the lives of children and families are combined to create a training program of the highest quality.
Kathryn has been practicing yoga for more than 10 years. She came to yoga initially for the physical practice and ended up coming away with much more that she had imagined! She has become very dedicated to her practice after going through some recent changes in her life. These life changes lead her to focus on her practice and learn to go inward to find peace on and off the mat.
Kathryn teaches classes with a straightforward approach, combined with a sense of playfulness. She hopes to inspire students to look within to find true happiness. She has completed the 200 hour teacher training program with Prairie Yoga in Lisle. Kathryn continues to volunteer as a mentor to the teacher trainees in the training program at Prairie Yoga. She lives in St. Charles with her husband and two daughters.
Marianne Woods Cirone is a writer, yoga instructor and creator of the Integrative Cancer Review. She came to yoga in the 1980s to reduce her stress from grad school. She has taught yoga for cancer survivors exclusively since 2003, holds a y4c certification and trains yoga teachers on cancer-focused yoga. She received her 500-hour certification at Ritam Yoga with Saul David Raye and 200-Hour from the Temple of Kriya Yoga and Moksha Yoga. Marianne received an MS in Health Management and an MFA in Writing. Marianne enjoys reading and biking.
Charisse Crisci is a heart-centered Yoga & Feminine Embodiment Educator, Women’s Circle Facilitator & Self-Development Mentor for individuals experiencing life transition and challenge. She is known for her non-dualistic approach and ability to create a safe environment for deep, powerful, inner transformation.
As a mentor for women and men, she developed a platform for guiding clients using yoga, breath, sound and body-based movement to tap into the body’s intelligence for release of stress, tension and patterns held deeply within the layers of the body and mind.
Since 2004, she has been studying and practicing yoga and holds multiple certifications in yoga, Thai yoga bodywork, yoga for therapy, trauma-informed yoga, reiki and energy healing. She currently studies astrology and imbues it into her sessions, classes & workshops. Dedicated to the yogini path, she embodies the ancient teachings into her daily life and relationships.
Completing her BA in business and MA in finance, she was led to work in the corporate field for 12 years until she found her true calling. Since 2007, she has been establishing her private practice in the healing arts. It is through her deep life process of depression, anxiety, health challenges and struggle with living in this world that led her to yoga, metaphysical studies and holistic healing. She continues to be inspired to learn and considers herself a lifelong student.
Charisse teaches a strong, devotional flow-style practice that will deeply nourish, replenish and regenerate you on all levels. She skillfully leads students deep into the heart, allowing space for reflection, contemplation and healing at the more subtle layers of the body-mind-heart. She offers a dynamic, somatic approach leading students through the body’s inner landscape and expanding the mind’s perception and deeper self-awareness.
As a Thai Bodywork Specialist, her therapeutic sessions open energy channels and awaken & activate crystalline structures within the body to support higher vibrations and expansion of consciousness. Clients feel a deeper inward connection promoting inner harmony, peace and well-being on the physical, mental and emotional level.
Charisse is deeply committed and devoted to the divine mother and studies the mythology stories through all traditions. She facilitates women’s circles guiding them through feminine embodiment and shakta practices known to be healing and transformational. She enjoys traveling and is looking to facilitate retreats and co-create with other teachers.
Sue Dziuban spent years competing in running races, marathons and triathlons to the point her body combined with her advancing age was simply not holding up. Sue had done yoga for years, but only intermittingly in the winter for the “stretch” to offset her overuse issues. It wasn’t until her body was showing prolonged injuries that she began doing yoga religiously and as a method of healing. During this period, Sue learned more, and her practice became deeper. This desire to learn led Sue to completing her 200-hour teacher training. She loves the physical portion of yoga, but has benefited greatly from the mind, body, spirit connection.
Sue teaches a wide variety of classes including restorative, hatha, flow and yoga with weights. Her years of competing in endurance events has provided her with a strong anatomy and movement base. This knowledge has helped her teach students in a variety of classes at the Living Well Cancer Resource Center where she donates her time. Having a strong interest in proper nutrition and health, Sue also volunteers with Fox Valley Food for Health (FVFFH) on a regular basis. FVFFH provides healthy meals for the seriously ill.
Sue works as a travel director in the meeting and incentive travel business. This takes her out of town quite often, and yoga is a mainstay in hotel rooms. She also is a race director for two local half marathons. “I love to travel, explore and be active and combining them to do adventure vacations is my passion.” Sue lives with her husband Mark in Geneva, and on any given day you can see her walking her two Golden Retrievers, MJ and Bobby, or out on her bike enjoying the outdoors. Mark and Sue have 5 combined children and 4 grandchildren that mostly live out of state and keep them on the move in their off time.
Dr. Rachael Fabbi
Dr. Rachael Fabbi is passionate about natural medicine and treating the whole person. As a licensed chiropractic physician in the state of Illinois, Dr. Fabbi is able to practice natural medicine. Dr. Fabbi is a board certified chiropractic internist and certified in family practice by the American Board of Chiropractic Internists in association with the American Chiropractic Association.
She has pursued several hundred post-graduate training hours in family practice, midwifery and the treatment of internal disorders with natural medicine. Dr. Fabbi utilizes natural medicines such as botanicals, herbs, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, hydrotherapies, acupuncture, gentle chiropractic manipulation, and physical and massage therapy.
Dr. Fabbi graduated cum laude from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois. Additionally, she graduated summa cum laude from Columbia College Chicago.
ChildBlossom & Prenatal Yoga Teacher
Erica is an open hearted, spirited teacher committed to making a difference in children’s lives. She has been practicing yoga, wellness, and education for over 10 years and has always found the practice of movement and breath to be healing and transformational.
As a certified Learning Behavioral Specialist with a master’s degree in education, she is familiar with the social and emotional needs of children as they navigate the challenges of today’s world. She is also certified in brain education yoga and is currently enrolled in 200 level yoga teacher training and applies this knowledge to Childblossom classes.You can find educational and parenting resources at childblossom.com.
Erica enjoys traveling to new places and spending time outdoors with her husband and two daughters. She supports parents and children through coaching, private child therapeutic yoga sessions, and energy healing. Contact her at Erica@childblossom.com for more information.
BA, E-RYT 500 YACEP
Tricia has been a student of yoga since 1997, began teaching in 1999, and has been studying exclusively with Para Yoga founder Yogarupa Rod Stryker since 2000. Tricia is a Level II Certified Para Yoga instructor and is primary faculty at Prairie Yoga Teacher Training.
Tricia came to yoga after an unexpected life change that left her full of self-doubt. Yoga helped her see herself clearly again and understand that when things happen, they often bring about profound but powerful change aligning you with your dharma.
Tricia’s teaching style is energy focused, built on vinyasa krama (meaning “to intentionally place”) and based in Spirit.
Tricia loves mystery novels and PBS mysteries. She lives in Wheaton, IL with her cats Lily and Jake.
Acknowledgements: I honor my teacher, Rod Stryker, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute, and my Tradition, for guidance, experience, and direction, for encouraging me to take a leading role in healing and transformation both individually and globally.
Louise Hague has been a student of yoga over 19 years ago, as it has helped her immensely through injury and depression. She attended teacher training at White Lotus Foundation in 2002 and has earned 200 RYT certification through Moksha Yoga and trained with other renown teachers as Tricia Fiske, Judith Hanson Lasater, Leann Carey and Paulie Zink. Louise is also a certified Culinary Nutrition Consultant through the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.
“Yoga is about exploring the physical experience and the journey within and this is the experience that I create for students through poses, breath work, and relaxation. Through the practice, we discover our true nature and peace within.”
Louise lives in St. Charles with her husband, Gregg, her daughters Erin, Lizzie, and Emmeline, and the family dogs, Coco and Oliver. She enjoys running, gardening, nutrition and healthy cooking and volunteer work with Fox Valley Food for Health.
Seeking attunement of body-mind-spirit, Kristen Kauke began her personal practice of yoga in 1999. Time on her mat offers tools to live a more balanced life off the mat. Kristen earned her 200-hour CYT with Deborah Williamson of Wild Abundant Life in 2013. She has also trained with Rod Stryker and Rolf Gates. In the fall of 2016, she completed training in yoga-informed psychotherapy. This training has inspired her to offer mind-body work such as Eat Breath Thrive. Taking a class led by Kristen, you can expect to experience a strong, yet smooth vinyasa flow, while being encouraged to get out of your head and connect with your self.
Outside of Prana, she teaches yoga to teens at the Youth Detention Center in Geneva. Off the mat, she works as a private therapist and lives in St. Charles with her husband and two sons. Kristen was honored to be one of Kane County’s 2016 Women of Distinction for her clinical and community work.
Julie’s desire to heal herself began in her early twenties, when she decided to search for the root cause of her years of suffering. She has been a practicing dental hygienist for 30 years, but her passion for holistic living exploded in 2009 when she became an Integrative Nutritionist Practitioner. In 2011 she became board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) and currently works with clients helping them heal and explore with an emphasis on Ayurvedic practices, self-care, nutrition and yoga.
Julie has always been physically active and was a dedicated runner and black belt in Tae Kwon Do. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that she started practicing yoga to relieve her back and wrist pain from dental hygiene and knee pain from her extreme sports. To her surprise, breathing and being still was more challenging than any marathon or extreme sport she had ever tried. Instantly intrigued, Julie dove in and hasn’t looked back ever since. In 2016 Julie recieved her certification for Yoga Sculpt from Core Power Yoga as well as her 200 RYT in Rhode Island from Live Love Teach. Yoga has not only brought her physical exercise to another level it has become the missing link to her life long journey to heal her mind, body and soul. Julie teaches a challenging dynamic Vinyasa style flow with a strong emphasis on the breath. It is suitable for all levels as her belief is based not on skill but rather showing up and honoring where you are that day.
Julie’s mission is to make a difference in the world by educating, inspiring, and creating a safe environment for her students to learn and explore possibilities within themselves one breath at a time.
Julie resides in Geneva with her three beautiful daughters which are in college and starting out in their careers. Her largest role in life has been being a mother and raising three conscious, healthy, strong, independent young ladies. Watching them grow up and mentoring them through life has been her greatest joy.
This next section of life for Julie has an emphasis on personal growth and exploration as she continues to dive deeper into her yoga practice and meditation, her new found love. She is presently enrolled in a 6 month primordial sound meditation through Deepak Chopra and hopes to incorporate and share all of her passions with her students.
Noreen has been studying and practicing yoga for 15+ years and earned her first 200 Level certification in 1998 from the Temple of Kriya Yoga of Chicago. After several years of teaching, she received her second 200 Level with Moksha Yoga of Chicago and later with CorePower.
Noreen has developed a unique practice style which builds strength and tone of the physical body and maintains the authentic practice of yoga. Noreen is also a certified Ayurveda Specialist with the Himalayan Institute. Noreen is a lifelong athlete and has been training, competing and coaching since the young age of 8. She has trained hundreds of swimmers, cyclists, baseball, football, track, dancers, volleyball players and more.
With over 35 years of study and experience helping athletes achieve their personal goals, she supports students’ in finding their power and to embody ease and grace on an off the mat. Noreen’s hope for all students’ is that the practice of yoga will bring a beautiful and joyful life. She lives in Batavia and is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters, Teagan & Kali.
Bhante Sujatha Peradeniye
Sujatha Peradeniye was born in Kandy (Sri lanka) in 1967 and is the youngest of two children. Even as a child, he knew that he wanted to be a Buddhist monk. At age 11, his parents gave their permission for him to enter the monastery. Sujatha was trained under the school’s ordination teacher, the Venerable Dhamawasa Thero and Venerable Muditha Thero.
The Blue Lotus Temple practices the Theravada tradition of Buddhism, which is regarded among its practitioners as the lineage closest to the original form of Buddhism. The Teravadan tradition was brought to Sri Lanka around 250 B.C.
Sujatha came to the United States in 1997 and lived in Michigan for four years before settling in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Before arriving in the US, he lived and taught in Australia for four years. He is studying psychology in order to better understand American culture and broaden his understanding of the human mind. He hopes to help blend traditional Buddhist teachings with American culture. His approach to teaching is easy-going, ensuring that beginners can easily understand how to properly practice meditation and understand Buddhist teachings.
Kirtan & Sound Healing, Harmonium Instrumentalist
American born and raised, Harmony spent the past 10 years on a spiritual path living between the Holy Grail India and spiritual motherland of Bali.
Harmony’s career commenced in high-end salons, in one of the wealthiest zip codes in America, the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. Her upper echelon clientele included various high-fashion icons, celebrities, and magazines, such as W, Elle, Marie Clair, Vogue, to name a few. Due to demand, Harmony soon found herself bi-coastal working out of Salon Prive in Los Angeles and with the likes of superstar colorist Tracey Cunningham, Neil Weisburg, and more.
After 15 years, one would say Harmony hit a “career-high,” swiftly followed by an all-time personal low — a sudden onset, life-threatening illness requiring immediate hospitalization. This near-death experience drastically reshaped the course of her life as she knew it. When modern medicine failed her, Harmony desperately pursued a last-resort type deal with the “Divine Spirit” — subsequently, miraculously healing and shifting gears in pursuit of a spiritual, more meaningful life.
For the past 9 years, Harmony has worked on developing her unique connection to the Mantra’s. She has learned by directly experiencing the powerful nature of these sound vibrational prayers.
She has studied with Masters of Kirtan in India and in Bali. She has also studied Indian classical music which has opened her reality to a whole new world.
Harmony plays a instrument called a Harmonium. This is considered a wind instrument as the left hand creates the wind and the right hand plays the instrument which looks like a piano. She is a trained piano player which gives her hands the mobility to create hypnotic sounds.
Harmony offers not only Kirtan and Sound Medicine, she also offers Sacred Haircuts and other forms of healing that is focused on liberation and freedom. For more information on Harmony please visit her website www.harmonypolo.com
Harmony has traveled the world extensively, working with international clients and offering healing “Mantras” along the way. She recorded and released a studio album along with a remix of Sat Siri. Currently, she is creating her next phase of newly developed Mantra, rooted in Indian Classical music.
Forrest Yoga, Certified Yoga Tune Up, MBA
Sarah Pomaro found yoga just in time to save herself from her too busy schedule: working full-time, going to school for her MBA, and trying to keep up a home. She barely found time to take care of herself.
In 2005, she completed her first yoga training in Forrest Yoga. Since then she has continued her professional education in Forrest Yoga, expanded and became a Certified Yoga Tune Up teacher, Roll Model Method instructor and personal coach, and launched her own business, Breathe, Grow, Change.
Sarah lives in Geneva with her husband Randy and two young sons Fritz and Rex, and loves to adventure all over. When not on an adventure you’ll find her in her garden or kitchen.
Libby Scanlan started practicing yoga 12 years ago as a way to balance the demands of motherhood and modern life. She is a 200 and 500 hour RYT through Moksha Yoga Chicago and Prairie Yoga.
Her teaching has been influenced strongly by Rod Stryker, Daren Friesen, and Tricia Fiske among many other amazing teachers she has had the good fortune to study with. Libby strives to provide her students with well rounded, creative, and insightful yoga classes that both challenge and support
Joe is a beloved Prana instructor who, after years of practicing yoga to improve his golf game, was encouraged to become a yoga teacher because of his endearing personality. His teaching style is rooted in the fundamentals and accessible to all levels, great tunes and every student leaves with a smile.
Joe earned his teaching certification from the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA and teaches both vinyasa flow and Hatha. He also donates his time teaching at Living Well Cancer Resource Center.
When not golfing or teaching yoga, Joe has been a trader at the Chicago Board of Trade since 1984. He lives in St. Charles with his wife, Kathy. His philosophy: “In my mind it cannot be any simpler: if you want to look good and feel great, then do yoga!”
Vicki Tsafogiannis has an undoubted conviction that everyone needs yoga in their lives. She has been fascinated with and devoted to yoga her whole life and really came to realize it in her first formal class in 2001. Since then she has practiced at home, gyms, studios, and abroad. In 2006, Vicki happily completed a 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification at It’s Yoga in San Francisco with founder Larry Schulz and has been teaching classes all over Chicago since. Some of the most powerfully influential and inspirational teachers she has practiced with include Seane Corn, Jason Nemer, Tias and Surya Little, Aadil Palkhivala, Jim Bennitt, Gabriel Halpurn and many other wonderful local teachers.
Vicki’s classes are very deliberate flow classes with a lot of emphasis on grace, flow, alignment, and most of all feeling good in your body. You will do some breath work, a lot of movement standing, seated and supine, and rest easy at the end connecting with your practice and yourself. You will feel strong, supple and quiet.
RYT 200, BBA, MSIB
Catherine Wagner started taking vinyasa flow/power yoga classes at the gym in 2001. She’s been passionate about yoga ever since and is known as a yoga evangelist to her friends. It took teacher training in 2011 to enlighten her to the concept that there is more to yoga than taking a class.
A business woman, Catherine is the founder of WagsWords, a social media marketing company that specializes in small businesses. A graduate of Prairie Yoga’s registered yoga teacher training in Lisle, IL, Catherine teaches alignment based hatha yoga using the Prana Yoga Center’s rope wall system every Sunday at 9:30 am and regularly subs for other teachers.