Staff - Yoggic

Meet our staff

Jesus Villanueva

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela.
Which neighborhood do you live in? Andersonville.
Training/Certifications: 500 Hour Teacher Training, Vinyasa Yoga School, Rishikesh, India. Certified Yin Yoga Teacher, Kripalu School of Yoga. Baptiste Institute: Level One / Journey into Power. Baptiste Institute: Art of Assisting.
Since when have you been practicing & teaching yoga: Practicing since 2012 and teaching since 2017.
What’s your favorite pose? Trikonasana. I can really gauge how centered I am (or not) when I do this pose. It gives me the sensation of both grounding myself and expanding tall and high!
The pose I have a complicated relationship with: Eka Pada Koundinyasana II
Yoga gives me: Choice and possibility.
When I wake up I: Drink coffee & make breakfast for my family.
When I teach I feel: Humbled.

Rachel Hessen

Hometown: Detroit, MI
Which neighborhood do you live in? Lakeview
Training/Certifications:
200 Hour Certification from YogaWorks in California, currently attending my 300 Hour Yoga Training with Advanced Yoga Teacher Training to become 500 Hour Certified
Since when have you been practicing & teaching yoga: Practicing since 2007 years and teaching since August 2010.
What’s your favorite pose? Folks think I am a little crazy when I say this, but side plank. It requires both strength and balance, fierceness and grace.
The pose I have a complicated relationship with: Hero’s Pose… that shape never gets easier for me!
Yoga gives me: Gives me the opportunity to move in a way that creates space in both my body and mind and inspires precision, focus, and self-awareness.
When I wake up I: I zip out the door to teach an early class or go for a morning work out with my boyfriend. Then it is back home and straight to the coffee maker… I enjoy a cup (or two) as I straighten up the home and get ready for the day ahead. I am grateful for the rare days I wake up with nowhere to be right away and can enjoy a leisurely morning of coffee and chatting with my super awesome guy.
When I teach I feel: Grateful for the opportunity to offer students a practice that allows them a time and space to take of themselves, inside and out.

Sandy Jocoy

Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Which neighborhood do you live in? North Center
Training/Certifications:
200 RYT, Certified Baptiste Teacher
Since when have you been practicing & teaching yoga: I have been practicing since 1999 and teaching since 2014.
What’s your favorite pose? Ardha Chandrasana (half moon)
The pose I have a complicated relationship with: Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel)
Yoga gives me: Connection and grounding
When I wake up I: Usually wish I could sleep longer
When I teach I feel: Like I’m part of something bigger than myself.

Eurika Jankauskaite

Hometown: Vilnius, Lithuania.
Which neighborhood do you live in? Lincoln Square.
Training/Certifications:
RYT 200, RPYT, Certified in Restorative Yoga.
Since when have you been practicing & teaching yoga: Practicing since 2005, teaching since 2016.
What’s your favorite pose? It changes from time to time along with the needs of my ever-changing body. Parsva Balasna has been my long-time fave, it really facilitates in ironing out all nooks and crannies in my upper body as well as allowing to get playful with balance in a single leg lift.
The pose I have a complicated relationship with: Arm balances have been particularly challenging, due to a repeated wrist injury, to the point that I have stopped practicing them all together for the time being. They do not serve my body in any way and I am so proud I made peace with it so that my body and my practice does not have to suffer.
Yoga gives me: Sense of wholeness. Peace in my mind and strength in my body.
When I wake up I: Cuddle my baby.
When I teach I feel: Connected, inspired and empowered by everyone sharing their beautiful practice with me.

Kirk Hefford

Hometown: Toronto Canada.
Which neighborhood do you live in? Morris Illinois.
Training/Certifications: 300 hour RYT, Registered Nurse.
Number of years practicing & teaching yoga: Practicing 2 years, teaching 1 year.
What’s your favorite pose? Eagle.
The pose I have a complicated relationship with: Urdva Dhanurasana (Wheel).
Yoga gives me: Inspiration, energy and alignment.
When I wake up I: Make coffee and read for a bit. Then it’s off to gym or yoga practice.
When I teach I feel: Inspired and grateful to be able to share such a deep mind, body connection.

Caitlin Kalosky

Hometown: Nashua, New Hampshire.
Which neighborhood do you live in? East Lakeview.
Training/Certifications: 200 RYT.
Since when have you been practicing & teaching yoga: I have been practicing yoga on and off since 2010 and have been teaching since spring of 2016.
What’s your favorite pose? Tree pose is one of my all time favorites- I love the symmetry to life, the need for solid ground to build roots and stand tall, the ability to grow and take up space.
The pose I have a complicated relationship with: Pigeon pose and I don’t always get along, but when I feel supported with block and bolsters, it can be a juicy and restorative pose.
Yoga gives me: Energy, the freedom to explore and wonder.
When I wake up I: Read a daily affirmation from my You Are Beautiful calendar to set the tone for the day.
When I teach I feel: Like I have a purpose and I am doing exactly what I should be doing in life.

Lorenzo Bongiovanni

Hometown: Birmingham, Michigan.
Which neighborhood do you live in? East Lakeview.
Training/Certifications: 200-HR Teacher Training at Center For Yoga in Detroit, MI.
Since when have you been practicing & teaching yoga: I’ve been practicing since 2013, and teaching since 2018.
What’s your favorite pose?Eight-Angle Pose, I love practicing/teaching arm balances.
The pose I have a complicated relationship with: Frog Pose… Really tough on the hips.
Yoga gives me: Confidence, Balance, Self-Love.
When I wake up I: Make a nice breakfast, take a few rounds of Sun A, and listen to new music.
When I teach I feel: Centered.