Childhood nickname: Bossy Rossi (I swear it isn’t true…now get back to reading!)
Hometown: Lewiston NY, a small town just north of Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River. It is the kind of town where you played ghost in the graveyard in an actual 1800’s era graveyard and climbed trees and jumped off the front porch with a trash bag tied to your wrists hoping it would help you to fly.
Where was that photo taken? In Dhaka, Bangladesh. I never thought I wanted to go to Asia, but now that I’ve started, I don’t want to stop. I have been to Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Nepal and Thailand, and there are about a hundred other places I want to go.
Best yoga experience: Impulse, drop-in class in Savannah, Georgia. Warming up, I could see that the students were seriously strong and flexible—far more than me–and I thought “this might really suck.” It didn’t though. I don’t know whether it was the groovy music, the instructor’s tie-dyed pants, or her encouraging us to “let it all hang out!” in her perky southern accent, but even though I couldn’t keep up for much of the class, I didn’t care. She made me feel like a rock star, no matter what rebuttal the mirror would have offered. I left feeling peaceful, inspired and wanting tie-dyed pants.
(she/her) Co-Owner, Yoga & Yoga Therapy
Worst yoga experience ever: Yoga class where the instructor repeatedly told us to “feel the burn.” I am all for experiencing the sensations in my body as a practice yoga, but “feel the burn” is too 80’s aerobics for my taste.
Job prior to becoming a yoga teacher: Get ready for the excitement…insurance broker. I spent 25 years making sure that businesses small and large were protected in case of fire, injuries or lawsuits.
Training: I completed a 200-hour certification with Suddha Weixler of the Chicago Yoga Center. I am also certified to teach HeavyWeight Yoga, and have completed the 800-hour Professional Yoga Therapist program with Joseph Le Page’s Integrative Yoga Therapy. Further studies include Functional Yoga Therapy with Maria Mendola, Trauma-Informed Yoga Therapy with Genevieve Yellin, Yoga Nidra with Indu Arora, and Chair Yoga with Sherry Zak-Morris. I graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Masters in Human Nutrition and am a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
Why you decided to chuck a perfectly good career to open a yoga studio: The world, or at least the north side of Chicago, doesn’t need another yoga studio. The ones that exist now do a great job with their students. But although every yoga teacher and studio owner I know will say that yoga is for everyone, it may not always feel that way to the beginner.
There are intimidation factors that keep people from walking in the door for sure. But there are also subtle cues once you are there that say “yoga is not really for you.” Some people don’t want to learn Sanskrit or chant in order to try yoga. Or come to a “beginner’s” class in which you try a headstand. Or be told to feel the burn. What we are trying to do at Ganesha is to respect you and to offer yoga in a very accessible way, with awesome instructors who help you figure out how to make yoga work for you.