Instructors

Kathleen Wright
Meg Barber
jordan burkhardt photo
Jordan Burkhardt
Teresa Heit-Murray
Kristen Kepnick
Donna Prenta
Connie Zdenek

Kathleen Wright

Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher

Kathleen Wright is the founder and director of the Garden of Yoga, and cofounder of Yoga Circle and Wild Onion Yoga in Chicago, Ill. Together Kathleen and Patricia Layton founded the Bhavana Institute for Yoga and Ayurveda.

When at the tender age of 15 she was given and read the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi she began her pursuit of Yoga. The principle of nonviolence led her to her studies. In 1974, Kathleen began her formal studies of Yoga under the direct guidance of Swami Veda Bharati of the Himalayan Tradition. She began teaching in 1976. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Movement Education from the University of Minnesota, and is a 1983 graduate of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco’s two-year state-certified vocational teacher training program.

Kathleen has studied many times in Pune, India with the Iyengar family, including B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar. Recently she attends classes with Abijata Iyengar and lectures with Prashant Iyengar, Professor Edwyn Bryant and Ramanand Patel. She has helped host the Iyengar’s on visits to the United States during national and regional conventions. She continues to work with community efforts to spread the Light of Yoga.

Kathleen is a nationally certified Iyengar Yoga instructor at the Junior Intermediate level, and an experienced certified Yoga Therapist and Certified Ayurvedic Educator. She is a beloved teacher known for her love of Yoga and her keen and compassionate eye recognizing and working with students’ abilities and possibilities. She continues to serve as a mentor and teacher to many of the Chicago area’s top Yoga teachers and the Yoga community at large on local and national levels.

Meg Barber

Since 1999, Meg has experienced yoga as a valuable tool for centering, stress reduction, inspiration and relaxation. She also believes that yoga increases wellness while improving the quality of life. With this in mind, she believes that yoga should be made available to people of all abilities.

Meg’s yoga teaching experiences include beginning, continuing, partner, aqua and restorative yoga. She has created and hosted a number of workshops including yoga for the lower back, practice at home, new moon reflections and yogic philosophy in the workplace. She completed her 200 hour Hatha Yoga studies in 2004 with the Temple of Kriya Yoga, her 300 hour studies under the Iyengar tradition in 2012 at the Bhavana Institute for Yoga and Meditation and Yin Yoga in 2018 with Sandra Carden.

Meg has also been a student of astrology since 1999. Her studies include time at the Temple of Kriya Yoga and has also complete Applied Astrology Level 3 with Debra Silverman Astrology. She reads charts and also hosts seasonal circles with astrological themes.

Meg is a Reiki Master Teacher and Red Tent Facilitator who has also trained in Meditation, Dowsing, Aroma Point Therapy (APT), Universal Laws and Dream Analysis.

Jordan Burkhardt

Registered Yoga Teacher 200Jordan discovered yoga while attending college at the University of Oregon in 2011.

As a high school gymnast and springboard diver, he saw it as a way to continue to promote his overall fitness and flexibility. Little did he know, he would end up finding a deeper spiritual connection with his body, mind, and soul and ultimately fall in love with the practice.

After getting into a car accident on his bicycle a few years later, which left him with chronic back and neck pain, he found himself coming to yoga as a means to reconstruct and realign his body to heal his injuries. Yoga became a daily practice for him and through mindfulness and body alignment he was able to relieve himself of what was once constant pain and discomfort.

Once he experienced this first hand, he decided to become a yoga instructor so he could provide others with the same healing and spiritual benefits that he found in his practice. So he obtained his 200 hour certification in 2019 through Palms Together Yoga. after practicing for 9 years.

Jordan provides a well-rounded class, beginning with meditation, breathwork and setting intentions, followed by gentle warm-ups for the entire spine and then flowing into a more active vinyasa, ending with a deep relaxation. Jordan strives to construct his classes for all experience levels but does like to provide you a chance to give yourself a bit of a challenge.

He is thrilled to be a part of this new collective format and is looking forward to seeing you on the mat.

Teresa Heit-Murray

It is such a joy and blessing to have found yoga. Strength and relief from back pain and stress is what Teresa came to yoga for in her 20’s. She found a kind and very knowledgeable teacher, Rosalia Holt, who was in her late 70’s. Rosalia encouraged her to see the community, fun, ease  and other gifts of yoga as well. She encouraged Teresa to become a teacher. Teresa teaches in a way that helps individual students find what works for their unique anatomy in a fun and accepting community of yogis. Teresa has found yoga has the potential to help with posture, skeletal alignment, muscular strength, pain reduction, joint mobility and even a more positive outlook on life. Teresa also teaches a weekly online meditation as part of a mindfulness sangha.

Teresa is a Registered Yoga Teacher having completed her 200 hour Pure Yoga training in 2010. she is completing her work to become a RYT-500 through the Prairie teacher training. She has completed a thesis on Yoga with Scoliosis to help her own path of healing as well as others. Teresa is certified in Yin Yoga with Paul Grilley, Prenatal, Yogakids and Strength and Stability with Lori Gaspar. She has many hours studying Yoga for Scoliosis with Dr. Loren Fishman, Elise Miller and Nancy Fox. She also has special training in healthy back solutions with Gabriel Halpern.

Teresa teaches Hatha, Restorative, Yoga with Scoliosis, Intro to Yoga, Yin, Somatics and Vinyasa Flow styles of yoga. She works to incorporate new ways of approaching yoga poses with healthy curiosity and interest in yoga for life. Teresa continues to study with William Hunt, Tias Little, and Leslie Howard for pelvic floor and Linda Troutman for somatics and Lori Gasper.

Teresa loves nature, has a teen daughter, dog and husband who go camping with her and long walks. She also loves art and dance.

Kristen Kepnick

Kristen has studied Iyengar yoga for over a decade and recently became certified at the Introductory Level. She is an avid traveler, and being far from home made her realize how fortunate she was to have access to many qualified Iyengar yoga teachers in the Chicago area. Ultimately, this is what led her to consider becoming a teacher herself. She hopes to share her love and enthusiasm for yoga with beginning students, as well as encourage continuing students to dig deeper into their practice.
Kristen feels everyone can benefit from a yoga practice and in the classroom, she aims to provide careful instruction in a fun and lighthearted atmosphere.

Donna Prenta

The path of Yoga supports the fluctuations of the mind, body, & spirit. There is a depth of relaxation guiding the student towards peace and equanimity. Donna’s caring and gentle approach leads the student  towards this space. She has taught retreats, public & private classes since 2005.  

She is dedicated to the path of healing.

Connie Zdenek

Laughter and work are what Connie Zdenek likes to bring to her traditional Hatha Yoga classes. Her introduction to yoga came in 1991 in Tucson, Arizona, at the local park district. Though she was enthusiastic immediately, it was years before Yoga assumed a prominent place in her life. Her classes include a variety of asana, with the hope that students will experience that which goes beyond muscular exercise of the asana practice. Connie completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and a Meditation Teacher Training at the Temple of Kriya Yoga. She completed her 500-hour teacher certification at the Bhavana Institute and, with over 1000 teaching hours, is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200-hour level with Yoga Alliance. She continues to study with her beloved teachers: Kathleen Wright, William Hunt, Janet MacLeod and Kim Schwartz.