Staff List

 

Chris Gordon has been teaching yoga classes and workshops for the past 20 years. He is Owner/Director of Big River Yoga and is also a healer, specializing in Thai Massage and leads Thai Massage Trainings in the twin cites and beyond. Chris delights in his meditation practice and loves being active. He enjoys bicycling, running, and gardening. In his classes, Chris applies the ancient teachings of yoga to everyday life. He is passionate about teaching, is clear, down to earth and reverent.
Geraldine is a teacher; it is her calling. She has taught Health and Wellness in public schools for 25 years before beginning her second career as a yoga instructor and Thai body worker. Her educational career combined with the teaching of yoga results in well-planned classes accessible to all levels. She is able to meet individual student needs on the fly and create unique modifications when necessary. Geraldine is passionate about self-care and healing through movement and breath practice that is accessible to every body. Outside the studio you can find her creating memories with her family and friends in a variety of ways; good meals shared, live music experiences, travel, and watching hockey…yes, she is a hockey fanatic!
Liz Wentworth began her exploration of the science and art of yoga about 11 years ago with a dear friend and an open heart. In 2008 Liz began her 200 hr. level training at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis and is now a certified yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance. This journey has continued to bring new opportunities and revelations of the complexity, beauty and grace of the human body, mind, and spirit. Liz aims to teach a class that emphasizes self-trust and love, true body alignment (both inside and out), and holds the space for her student's own personal development. Her personal practice and teaching style is influenced by many people, experiences, & styles including:  Kripalu, Kundalini, Prenatal, Vinyasa flow, and dance/organic body awareness & movement.  Classes are steeped in breathwork, asana, & meditation.
Ben is athletic by nature and and has been a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor for over 15 years. He brings his experience of body mechanics and exercise science to his yoga classes, balanced with his sensitive, caring and humble spirit. His classes are challenging, uplifting, and approachable, as he takes you beyond the physical aspects of yoga, and brings you into your own sacred space. When Ben is not teaching classes or working with clients, he is spending time with his family and doing things that make him feel happy such as cooking, reading and being in nature. Ben is excited to be teaching Tone & Flow mixed level on Tuesday night and be part of the Big River Yoga community! 
Gretchen felt a pull to yoga for its ability to nurture the body, mind, and spirit in a compassionate, loving way. She found her way to the Colorado Eldorado Mountain Ashram where she studied Shambhava Hatha Yoga and has been teaching since 2003. As a mother of two, Gretchen's yoga practice serves as a retreat from the day-to-day; an opportunity to indulge in self-care and self-love. Her classes encourage turning inward to allow your inner light to shine and your inner wisdom to guide. When we are in union with our natural state, we live a life of balance and harmony, free from negativity and dis-ease. She brings intention, passion, and big love to her yoga practice and encourages her students to do the same.
Nora loves to take life by the reins and is passionate about health; believing our bodies have unsurpassed wisdom. She supports a sustainable model of health through food, lifestyle, spirituality and holistic medicine. Nora holds a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and currently works to improve health equity and food justice in Minneapolis. Additionally, she is a 200hr certified yoga instructor from Big River's Yoga for Conscious Living Program and she has studied health coaching, Ayurveda and holistic nutrition sciences. Often, you can find Nora on her mat at Big River Yoga, riding her bicycle, enjoying the outdoors, getting creative in the kitchen or sipping a cup of chai tea.
Steph is a native New Yorker who relocated to The Twin Cities in November 2009. She has been practicing Yoga since 1991 and teaching since 2003. Her first teaching certification was from OM Yoga NYC with additional studies/certifications in Prenatal Yoga, Yin Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Yoga for Children, and Anatomy for Yoga Teachers.

Although initially beginning her Yoga practice in the Ashtanga and Vinyasa traditions, she was in a car accident in 2004 and this caused her to reestablish her practice as more of a restorative and rehabilitative modality. Steph's classroom teaching style especially blends Vinyasa and Iyengar techniques with a strong emphasis on anatomy and kinesiology.

She is also a writer, proud mom of healthy fraternal twin boys-- born in 2010, and starting in summer 2015 will begin coursework towards a masters degree in Integrative Health Coaching.

Annie Kiel is an E-RYT, trained at O2 Yoga in the Boston Metro Area. Teaching beginner through advanced vinyasa yoga, she pays particular attention to alignment and safety as students move from posture to posture, connecting breath with movement, while finding stillness in mind. Annie strongly believes yoga is a lifelong practice which cultivates better awareness on and off the mat. She encourages students to focus inward and to be active participants in creating their own experience by listening to their bodies. She holds a MA in Gender and Peace Building, a MPH in Global Health, has been attuned in Reiki Levels I and II, and completed training as a Health and Wellness Coach in spring 2017. In 2013, Annie co-founded Firefly Yoga International, a nonprofit which uses yoga as the public health intervention for survivors of trauma: www.fireflyyoga.org
Leona started practicing yoga in 2005, and received her RYT 200 hour certification through Chicago’s Yoga Now in February 2011. Leona is passionate about sharing the empowering message of yoga. Her own practice continues to get her in touch with her inner strength and knowledge, constantly reaffirming that by cultivating self-awareness and self-compassion we find our own innate power to heal. Leona teaches her students how yoga can be used to connect to their inner healer both on and off the mat. Whatever your level or reason for practicing, Leona looks forward to sharing some breath and laughter with you!
Christine has been teaching yoga and meditation for the past 18 years. Her primary studies within the Ashtanga vinyasa system and the Iyengar method serve as the bedrock of her practice and teaching style - she has studied extensively with senior teachers including Sri K. Pattahbi Jois, Richard Freeman, Rodney Yee, Angela Farmer, and William Prottengeier. Christine's classes are infused with breathwork, energy locks, movement, humor, and fun. Her intention is to provide a space that supports the healing process, build strength and balance in body and mind, and foster compassion toward self and other.

Christine holds a BFA in dance from the University of MN, two yoga teacher certifications, and a master's degree in Global Policy. She lives just across the Big River in Saint Paul with her husband (Todd), 11 year-old son (Eero), and dog (Tuck) To learn more about her work visit www.thrivemindbody.com.

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