John - Director/Instructor
A yogi known for spellbinding instruction in the hot room and friendly chats at the front desk, John shines his light at all three studios. He wonders what you would do if you could do all you could, and reckons the 105F way should free you to could and inspire you to would.
Mike - Director/Instructor
Hailing from Indiana with deep Hoosier roots, 105F Director Mike Lewis brings his insightful approaches to both yoga teaching and small business operations. From studying finance at Notre Dame on to Navy logistics, his professional trajectory as a commercial banker was happily rerouted by attending teacher training and opening the first 105F facility in 2001. After 13-plus years as a Bikram teacher, Mike's informational classes reflect his focus on explaining the finer points of each posture's expression and benefits. He also ensures each studio operates efficiently, working closely with the heating systems and consistently upgrading amenities. Mike's free time is spent on his hobby farm in Indiana, where raising livestock, growing sustainable crops, and "tinkering" are his main occupations.
Maura - Director/Instructor
Formerly a recreational runner, Maura took took her first Bikram Yoga class in 2005 at 105F. Little did she know, this class would change her life forever! Inspired by her post-Bikram buzz, soon she was planning her entire day around yoga! By 2006, she had quit her corporate job in sales and went to teacher training that fall with the intentions of opening a yoga school and energizing other people, the way she fell in love with Bikram Yoga. Five years later in 2011, she spearheaded the opening of the third 105F studio in the South Loop at Dearborn Station. When she's not exchanging smiles and teaching classes at her unofficial "home studio" at the South Loop, Maura is busy emailing newsletters and arranging events, as well as ordering fun 105F-inspired gear for the school's three yoga boutiques.
Gianna - Instructor, Workshops
On a recommendation, Gianna walked into her first yoga class as a means to heal her back and joint pain and to end her two year streak of sedentary living. The results she experience were astronomical and unexpected. After just a few weeks of practice, Gianna’s pain levels had noticeably decreased; within a year of practice she was off lingering ADHD medication, anti-depressants and sleeping pills. Two years into her practice she began advanced asana training and by year three was a certified Bikram teacher. Gianna competes in asana championships placing first regionally and nationally and second internationally. She continues to train and progress to improve her practice but also her teaching. “My goal in competition is never to beat the other yogis. My objective is challenge. In challenging my physical practice, my knowledge of the body and postures greatly improves allowing me to better help my students in their yoga journey.” Gianna holds advanced asana training sessions, advanced classes and workshops for all leveled practitioners worldwide.
Carey - Manager/Instructor
A Chicago-born yogi, Carey came to hot yoga at a time of great personal change. He has been practicing for over ten years and teaching for eight. When not in the hot room, Carey teaches writing at Columbia college. In his creative time, he experiments with the effects of movement and it's results on the language of the body.
Conni - Instructor
Stressed and miserable from her business travels and corporate career, Conni, who initially perceived yoga as "yoga schmoga", reluctantly took a class at a health club on the advice of a friend. Immediately afterward she decided she wanted to attend again, as all the males in class had attractive posteriors -- and she innately rocked a bow pose. Three weeks later, Conni found herself as one of 105Fs first students in 2001 at the Wicker Park location, and soon was taking classes from Mike and John regularly, as she loved both the educational and social aspects of the studio. Ultimately, after a pivotal personal event, she decided that the time had come for her to do something meaningful that helped others, and attended Teacher Training in Spring 2003. Even after more than a decade of teaching, Conni considers herself privileged to witness her student's physical, spiritual, and emotional evolution as they move through their practice. She also is absolutely delighted by the fact that she can put her shoes and sock on while standing on one leg.
Katie - Instructor
On a whim, Katie began practicing Bikram Yoga during Summer 2006 while attending graduate school in Italy, and has never looked back! Though she did earn an MBA, she soon realized that her true passion in life was hot yoga. Upon moving to Chicago in early 2007, the Bears lost the Super Bowl, her car was towed, she located the nearest Bikram studio, landed a job and found an apartment. In exactly that order! Making raw-vegan-organic-sustainable lemonade (yogi sarcasm) from life's lemons, Katie left her corporate job as the Recession hit to complete the intense 500-hr Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Fall 2008. After 4 years of teaching Bikram Yoga at several Chicago-area studios, Katie expanded her yoga education by becoming a 200-HR Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) through Yoga Alliance in 2012. At that same time, Katie was honored to join the 105F team. Katie finds most of her inspiration and energy from interacting with her students, especially the new ones. She strives to find a balance of discipline and humor in all of her classes -- after all, if you're coming to hot yoga, you should have fun! In addition, she approaches teaching by focusing on technique and alignment so that the yoga can be accessible to all practitioners, regardless of skill or experience. Beyond teaching hot yoga, Katie enjoys whiskey, cooking and sports (in another life, she'd be an ESPN analyst). Please feel free to chat her up about any of the above!
Jon - Instructor
Jon is very happy to have discovered this yoga. In 2005, his sister (also now a Bikram Yoga instructor) took him to his first class at Wicker Park 105F. After a humbling 90 minutes (and after sitting out more than half the class) he had no idea what hit him. Roughly one year later, he made it in for his second class. Jon had just transitioned from a very physical line of work into one far more loose and sedentary. Initially the appeal in coming to class was the sweat, always associating sweat with hard work and useful endeavors. What started as an appeal to satisfy a daily physical requirement quickly evolved into a deeper awareness of how the body works and an understanding of how habits can affect his practice. He couldn't get enough it! After moving and changing jobs, the yoga stuck. No matter where he traveled all over the world, there was always a Bikram studio to go to--each with qualities both unique and universal. Jon continued to teacher training, and soon thereafter, trained competitively to fine tune posture mechanics and get a sense of the bigger picture: stillness, breath, economy of movement, self acceptance, and through all of those things, self actualization.
Alicia remembers her first Bikram class like it was yesterday. She reached for her heels in hands-to-feet pose and couldn't believe what she was seeing. Her shins....they were sweating! Five years later she moved to Chicago and decided to search for that b word yoga... backram... backrum... barum-something yoga. And then, she found it -- Bikram yoga. She's been making her shins sweat ever since! Over the years this practice has become more than she had ever imagined it would be. It's a gateway to developing her awareness of self, especially her habits, attitudes, and state of health. Ultimately it has helped her realize the power she has to change. Experiencing this transformation within herself and in others has been one of the greatest gifts in her life!
Kiley - Instructor
Between two decades of competitive soccer, over five years of wakeboarding, and four full marathons necessitating two total ankle reconstructions, the time had come for Kiley Enmark to find an equally challenging but less injurious activity. A friend said to her, “Kiley, I know you, try Bikram Yoga.” In 2009, after recovering from another two marathons and two more total ankle reconstructions, Kiley realized that she enjoyed a daily and sometimes twice daily yoga practice. Inspired by her physical, psychological, and spiritual transformation, Kiley attended Teacher Training in the spring of 2011, and, in May of 2012, left the grind of the corporate world to teach Bikram Yoga full time. 2014 saw her take advantage of the unique experiences afforded as a Bikram yoga teacher, as she spent the year traveling and teaching throughout Asia and Australia. Kiley is so grateful for the opportunity to teach the yoga that she loves, and would like to see you in the hot rooms of 105F very soon!
Charles - Instructor, Yoga Nidra
Looking for a way to warm up, Charles took took his first ever in January, 2011.
What was at first just a way to relax quickly became a regular part of his life. After being inspired by the amazing teachers at the school, as well as the changes he began to notice within himself, he packed up for 9 weeks and went to teaching training in L.A in April, 2012.
Since graduating he has enjoyed teaching all around Chicago
Charles has competed in the Illinois Regional Asana Competition and went on to compete in the 2013 and 2014 USA Nationals. He looks forward to training in the future.
Charles is also certified to teach Amrit Yoga and a certified meditation facilitator using the Yoga Nidra technique.
Rena - Instructor
Although her first class was almost her last class, as Rena left the studio without any intentions of returning, the teacher said "See you tomorrow," and sure enough, she was back the next day! Call it magic, or a serendipitous intervention, but Rena is grateful for yoga being brought into her life over 12 years ago! Throughout her 10 years of teaching various kinds of yoga, and over four years of teaching Bikram, she has learned that yoga is for everyone, and everyone gets something a little different out of the 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Rena has been all over the world teaching, and has seen that yoga is truly universally beneficial!
Lizzie - Instructor
Hailing from a small town in Missouri, Lizzie stepped into the hot room in January of 2008. She started this endless journey struggling with weight and body image issues, anxiety and panic attacks, and is living proof of the healing benefits of Bikram for both the body and the mind. Teacher training in the spring of 2013 deepened her understand of the postures and the body, and her love of the practice, and she is determined to share her passion, energy and genuine love of yoga with you. Lizzie also bartends, plays guitar, sings, acts on occasion, cooks really edible food, rides her bike every chance she can and has two cats, Mr. Excitement and Ling Ling, who haven't tried the yoga but are huge fans of stretching.
Melissa - Instructor
Don't sweat the small stuff" is the strongest lesson Bikram yoga has taught Melissa Lagalo. Mel walked into her first Bikram class seven years ago with a knee injury caused from many years of running, looking for a workout that wasn't going to further injure her joints. Ultimately she found that Bikram makes her a much better version of herself. The mental and physical strength that she has gained through her practice helped her so much in her personal and professional life that she decided to become a teacher in 2010. Mel teaches with the idea to inspire people to live better. She hopes that her mindful yet energetic class will help eliminate that nasty word "can't" from your practice...and your life! Mel continually stresses that we all CAN do Bikram -- and if there is ever a day that is in question, you can count on her to be there with some encouraging words and a big, sweaty post-class hug to remind you that it is all just yoga!
Ian - Instructor
Ian McLaren started his Bikram Yoga practice here at 105F and has been teaching here since he was certified in 2008. Over the years, his practice has helped him start to heal some knee issues and to develop a more nuanced understanding and awareness of his own body. He’s fascinated by human movement and is continuously working to expand his understanding of the way the human body is designed to move as well as its capacity to heal itself. In addition to teaching at 105F, Ian also works as a professional actor and photographer at ianmclarenphotography.com.
Colleen - Instructor
Colleen found Bikram Yoga over 16 years ago when a friend brought her to class knowing that it could help with her chronic lower back pain. Skeptical that yoga could help repair years of wear and tear from playing soccer and competing in triathlons, Colleen realized that the Yoga not only helped to relieve her back pain, but also relieved some minor arthritic aches and stress knots that she also accumulated in her shoulders throughout the years. When presented with an opportunity to attend teacher training in the Spring of 2008, Colleen was excited to learn more and dig deeper into what Yoga could do for herself and how she could bring the Yoga to others. Her time teaching has awarded her with more benefits than she had ever expected, and she feels fortunate to be able to share the Yoga with the 105F Yoga Community.
Kate - Instructor
Kate Dugan-Benlarbi has been practicing and teaching Bikram yoga for seven years. She fell in love with the yoga on her first class, and still loves the way this practice makes her feel- each and every class. Beyond the physical benefits, Kate really loves the way the yoga helps her deal with stress and keeps her balanced, especially being the mom of two young children! What she loves about teaching is all the great information she gets from watching her students as they practice. She loves being a part of a such a great community of yogis!
Danielle - Instructor
With a genuine appetite for exploring the world; be it bouldering in the Italian Riviera, island hopping off the southern coast of Turkey, caring for elephants in Thailand, or skydiving over the Swiss Alps - Danielle is always on the lookout for the next adventure. Her passion for Bikram Yoga led her to Acapulco where she became a certified instructor in the spring of 2008. While she continues to teach yoga, she concurrently works in the financial industry for a leading investment bank. With over 12yrs of experience, she enjoys her role as an underwriter of financial institutions. When she's not traveling, teaching yoga or leading a portfolio review, she'll find an excuse to entertain friends and family in the comfort of her home. Always eager to embrace those around her, there’s no better way to engage in conversation than by asking about Monty, her charming french bulldog.
Elizabeth Birnkrant has been practicing Bikram yoga since 2011 and teaching since 2013. She is originally from New York City, and has lived in Chicago since 1996 when she moved to attend The University of Chicago. Elizabeth is also an actor, and is the Company Director and an instructor at Black Box Acting. She is endlessly grateful to Bikram yoga for giving her a means to develop greater focus, strength, hope, and increased peace of mind - and for the opportunity to introduce others to this extraordinary practice.
Kathryne - Instructor
Jim - Instructor
Jim has a passion for what he does, and believes that everyone can live a healthy and happy life. He began practicing Bikram yoga while living in New York City 2001, and admits it wasn't love at first sight. He struggled with quieting his mind, hated the heat, and couldn't stay still. Jim gave Bikram Yoga another shot the following winter when the heat and hot water went out in his NYC apartment, and hasn't looked back. At the time, he was working long stressful hours as a CPA and quickly discovered the many physical and psychological benefits of Bikram, including relief from the daily stress of work leading to neck and shoulder pain. Jim evolved his yoga practice and finally decided to attend Teacher Training Spring 2010 in Las Vegas in order to share this unique method with other people. He strongly believes that Bikram Yoga offers an ideal way to both nurture the body and help with the stress and demands of daily life.
Ashley L - Instructor
Ashley is a self-proclaimed student at heart, yogi forever, and wanderlust for life. Coming to Chicago from Phoenix, Arizona in 2013, Ashley's Bikram Yoga journey started three years prior because of undiagnosed chronic pain. During that time she found the ability to listen to the body and use her own sense of intuition to help subside the pain. With intentions to help others dealing with similar issues, Ashley continued on to Bikram's Teacher Training in 2012. She loves to learn, especially about anatomy, mind, and emotional health with a consistent practice of yoga. Ashley recently got certified to teach yin yoga and mindful meditation, and she is excited for what there is to come next!
Claire - Instructor
Claire started her Bikram yoga practice in 2010 at 105F. Like many, she walked into her first class having absolutely no idea what to expect. “I can't say it was love at first sight, but I went back the next day… and the next….” She found that she was drawn to Bikram yoga because every little improvement she makes, and every centimeter she gets deeper into a posture, is a result of her own hard work, determination and effort.
Four years after Claire started practicing at 105F, in spring of 2014, she went to Bikram’s teacher training. Teaching has given her an entirely new appreciation of this yoga—“it’s a chance to observe how the shared sweat and energy of the classroom helps everyone, together, to build a stronger connection between mind and body.” Simply walking into the hot room gains Claire’s deepest respect of her students. She believes that each person is beautiful and strong, and she hopes to foster everybody to see for him or herself. When not doing yoga you may hear about Claire flying on the trapeze or jumping high on a trampoline. Claire lives by doing what you can, when you can, she believes in being barefoot and smiling at strangers, and maintains that chocolate is a breakfast food.
Liz- Yin Instructor
Liz began her yoga journey several decades ago when she lived in South
America. While in Chile, she had the amazing opportunity to take private
hatha classes taught in the middle of a fragrant eucalyptus grove. After
practicing different styles of yoga over the years, she completed several
teacher trainings and now enjoys sharing yoga with people of all ages from
toddlers to seniors. Liz became a certified Yin Yoga teacher in the spring of
2014 and loves guiding students to go deeply inward and practice stillness.
Michelle - Office Manager
For over ten years, Michelle has brought her talents to 105F as the accountant and office manager. In 2003 she began her practice at the Wicker Park studio, becoming a dedicated student after her very first class, as she fell in love with the yoga's physical challenges and mental relaxation. Her favorite posture is standing bow because, as she explains, "It never fails that I find somewhere new to go." Michelle lives in Naperville with her husband and their two Brittany Spaniel dogs.
Angie - Front Desk
Alternative health care has always been a passion of Angie's, and she worked for two holistic clinics prior to joining 105F one year ago, when she actually started practicing Bikram yoga. From the very first class she was hooked - not only was she physically happy, but mentally as well. It's also the most humbling and rewarding discipline she has ever done. Angie thinks it is amazing to be a part of a team that "practices what they preach"!