Todd Boman took his first yoga class in 2001, on the recommendation of a friend, after moving to Chicago to pursue a fast-paced career in visual design. After some time, Todd discovered Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga was a physically demanding practice that he had not initially bargained for given his initial yoga experiences, which focused on relaxation. The challenge of the practice, however, was something that inspired him and became an aspect of yoga that he gravitated toward.
In 2005, he traveled to Mysore, India, the home of Ashtanga Yoga, and practiced at the K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute with Guruji, Sharath and Saraswati. While practicing in the West, he felt confused and overwhelmed by all the options and information that was available about yoga. However, the veil lifted when he came to Mysore; he felt the authenticity of the practice and he knew he found true yoga.
The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system links a series of postures together through conscious breath and points of focus. Guruji emphasized three main points for practice: Vinyasa, which is the system that links movements to breath; Tristhana, which are the three points of attention during the practice including the posture, the breathing, and the gazing points; Lastly, in the Yoga Shastra, it is said that God dwells in our heart in the form of light, but that light is shrouded by six poisons: desire, anger, delusion, greed, envy and sloth. When yoga is practiced with dedication and enthusiasm over a long period of time the heat that is generated will burn away these poisons revealing the light of our inner nature.
After annual stays at the KPJAYI and with Sharath’s blessing in 2008, Todd began teaching Ashtanga Yoga in traditional Mysore style, where the individual student learns directly from the teacher, rather than teaching to a larger group of students. Learning in this manner benefits the student in that it is possible for one to gain independence and confidence in their practice as and that becomes personal when it is transmitted from guru to student and committed to memory. In the daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga, one can turn inward, gain insight, and become proficient in its methods, thereby reaping the many benefits the practice brings. For this to be accomplished, a slow, steady and dedicated approach is best.
During his stay in Mysore in 2010, Todd had the privilege to assist Sharath teaching in the shala. His direct experience learning, not only asana but also the Ashtanga teaching method with its hands on adjustments has firmly grounded Todd as a student and teacher. Todd received his Level 2 Authorization which will allow him to teach the Primary and Intermediate Series. Todd is honored to share his direct experience of Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore with the community of students in Chicago, contributing to what is a happier and healthier community of practitioners.
Megan has always been curious about the power of the mind and mental health. She spent her college years studying psychology, but when her usual methods of coping with the ups and downs of life began to fail, she turned to yoga in hopes of finding balance and peace of mind. After experimenting with a myriad of different styles, Megan found Ashtanga in 2012. She was drawn to the beauty of this silent, meditative and physically challenging type of yoga, and soon developed a dedicated daily practice.
In 2014 she received her 200-hour certification from Moksha Yoga Center. The following year she eagerly journeyed to Mysore, India, to study for one month with Sharath Jois at the Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. Megan currently helps teach the Mysore program at Moksha Yoga Center under the guidance of her dear teacher Alexia Bauer. She loves sharing the method that has helped broaden her awareness and change her life into one of greater stability, lightness and fulfillment.
As a teacher, Megan provides nurturing yet strong adjustments that guide the students to carefully deepen their practice. Her aim is to help students form and maintain a regular practice that gives them the space to explore the many physical, mental and spiritual benefits that yoga has to offer.
It was in Belgrade, Serbia, Gordana’s home country, where she took her first yoga class in 1996. A yoga book inspired her to search for the meaning of the word yoga and her curiosity led to a three-year journey of practicing Hatha Yoga.
Various circumstances in her life resulted in her practice laying dormant for many years. It wasn’t until she moved to the US that her practiced was re-awakened and Moksha Yoga Center became her home. She practiced with different teachers there and, one of them, Jim Bennitt inspired her to continue deeper exploration of yoga through Teacher Training.
In 2010, Gordana completed Mosksha’s Teacher Training program under the tutelage of Daren Friesen. Having taken workshops with master teachers such as Tias Little, Aadil Palkivala, Rod Stryker, she was led to Ashtanga practice Mysore style one morning.
In the silence of self-practice with the patient guidance of her teacher, Todd Boman, Gordana found her true practice. Daily practice was teaching her how to synchronize mind and body, overcome habits, relax within discipline, be open and fearless, and to find sacredness in everyday life. She discovered something that was always available, inexhaustible, and impossible to posses.
In 2011, Gordana met Richard Freeman and read his book, The Mirror of Yoga, which was the reaffirming moment when she decided to work towards teaching the Ashtanga practice. Gordana has been teaching since 2010 and she feels she is just beginning.
In 2013, she traveled to Thailand, India, and Nepal drawn to search for the roots of yoga, meditation, and Buddhism. She spent 7 weeks practicing with R. Sharath Jois in Mysore India, which helped her to reach a deeper integration of the Ashtanga practice. In Nepal, she studied Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and Buddhist philosophy.
Gordana continues her daily practice with Todd who teaches her courage, dedication, discipline, and trust every day with his own example. As a teacher she aspires to inspire and guide students to go deeper within and search for more balance and depth in both yoga and life. Gordana challenges both herself and her students to rethink what asana is about and work on marrying asana and meditation.