Welcome to the Yogi Class of 2020! We will Meet Starting in September of 2019!

We are absolutely thrilled that you are a part of this very special teacher training. To our knowledge, it is the first of its kind in focus, scope, and integration. We will train you to be leaders in making yogic and contemplative practice psych-sensitive and accessible to so many more. Here we go!

Calendar of Training Events (details being added Regularly)

Join us on Facebook for discussion with your classmates!

Room to Breathe YTT Fall 2019
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Pre-Training Assignments

Pre-Training Assignments for Module 1: Going Deeper---Introduction to Psych Sensitive Yoga

  • Read The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga, Wei and Groves, pages 1-100.

  • Read Healing Trauma Through Yoga (Emerson).

  • Establish a personal practice of at least 10 minutes per day.

  • Acquire the textbooks for the training (see below).

  • Bring a journal that you will use to record your thoughts/experiences during training.

  • Look over the schedule for the first module and make appropriate arrangements with work/school/home so that you can attend fully and take care of yourself too.

  • Write a short response paper to submit to the teachers regarding what you’re hoping to learn in this training.

  • Prepare a short (few minute) talk on what yoga means to you. You’ll present this to the group during the first module.

  • Bring at least 3 questions to our first session. Could cover anything about training or yoga!

Required Reading

Recommended Reading (don’t worry too much About this for now!)

Eastern Body, Western Mind (Anodea Judith)

Yoga for Wellness (Gary Kraftsow)

Yoga for Transformation (Gary Kraftsow)

Goddess Guidance Card Deck (Doreen Virtue)

Attached (Levine and Heller)

Self-Compassion (Neff)

Yoga Anatomy (Kaminoff)

The Secret of the Yoga Sutra (book 1) (Pandit Rajmani)

The Practice of the Yoga Sutra (book 2) (Pandit Rajmani)

Mudra Deck

Awakening Shakti (Kempton) * note that there is a separate audio for the guided meditations

When Things Fall Apart (Pema Chodron)

Fail, fail again, fail better (Pema Chodron)

The Body Keeps the Score (van der Kolk)

Waking the Tiger (Levine)

Your Body, Your Yoga (Clark)

Yoga of the Subtle Body (Little)

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Campbell)

The Hero Within (Pearson)

Bhagavad Gita (trans. Mitchell)

Meditations from the Mat (Gates)

Book of Awakening (Nepo)

Ayurvedic Home Remedies (Lad)

Yamas and the Niyamas (Adele)

The Heart of Yoga (Desikachar)

recommended Sources

Yoga International

Yoga Glo


American Viniyoga Institute

International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT)

Meet Your Fellow Trainees (in no particular order)


Samantha Allweiss, LCSW, is a social worker and therapist in RefugeeOne’s Wellness Program. She obtained her Master of Arts in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, specializing in mental health care with international populations. As the Manager of Clinical Operations in the Wellness Program, Samantha provides trauma-informed and strengths-based individual and group therapy services for youth and adult clients, oversees daily operations of the program, and engages in research projects to understand best practices with trauma-exposed populations. She also coordinates psychiatric appointments, offers culturally-sensitive psycho-education sessions, and provides medical case management to clients with complex health and mental health needs. Samantha has also served as a part-time faculty member at a local university that focuses on non-traditional and first generation students. Aside from regular yoga practice, Samantha enjoys reading, writing, climbing, and running with her energetic mutt, Madison. She looks forward to deepening her understanding of the mind-body connection as a strategy for healing from prior traumas and using this knowledge to better serve new immigrant populations from the Middle East, East Africa, Eastern Europe, Central America, and Southeast Asia as they adjust to life in Chicago.

Meet the Faculty!


Serena Roschman (lead trainer): I have studied yoga and several traditions of meditation for over a thousand hours with some of the most renowned teachers throughout the world. My teaching is primarily informed by my studies with Gary Kraftsow, Leslie Kaminoff, and Pema Chodron. I consider myself a lifelong student of yoga and continue to train extensively to keep my classes intelligent, fresh, and inspired. I have completed rigorous advanced teacher training in Viniyoga with Gary Kraftsow. I have taught yoga in studios, boardrooms, retreat centers, and one on one settings. In 2015 I cofounded Room to Breathe, a public yoga studio within Center (psychotherapy). I work with therapists and other healthcare providers to ensure that programming is compassionate, clinically supported, evidenced based, and accessible to all. In addition,  I am now a graduate student at Northwestern University studying how yoga can be integrated into the US Healthcare system.


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Natalie McGreal: I am a teacher who specializes in trauma informed yoga, yoga for addiction recovery, and restorative applications of yoga. I have logged thousands of hours as a teacher and even more as a forever student of yoga. I currently teach full time, and maintain a regular schedule of group classes and long standing private sessions. Along with receiving my advanced 500 hour certification, I was trained in clinical massage therapy at The Soma Institute in Chicago in 2007 and in the art of Thai massage at The Sunshine School in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2011.


Sara Buxton Sara is the owner of Room to Breathe and Director of Center. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Sport Psychology Consultant. She works with adolescents and adults, athletes AND non-athletes. She specializes in solution focused work to help individuals overcome obstacles, gain personal strength and clear vision of their goals and plans for attaining them. She believes in the healing power of connection between mind and body. Her work involves cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, mind-body work, acceptance and commitment therapy as well as many other solution-focused skills. Sara is recently certified in Yoga-Informed Therapy, and is currently training to become a certified Yoga Teacher. She is a graduate of Adler University, where she earned her Masters in Counseling with a Specialization in Sport and Health Psychology. She is a 2010 graduate of University of Vermont, where she played four years of lacrosse. She pursued the field of Sport and Health Psychology driven by her experience as an athlete, working through injury, developing leadership skills, and forming great compassion in creating a space for athletes to meet their full potential mentally, physically and emotionally.


Steph Bour: I'm Stephanie, a french-native, Chicago-based yoga teacher. Yoga found me 10 years ago when I was working in the corporate world in Paris, my home-town. The practice of Vinyasa and Integral yoga in the lineage of Satyananda Saraswati, helped me to offset stress, find balance in my daily life, and connect to my deep intuitions. Deeply moved by the practice, I felt the need to share the incredible benefits I've received. I truly believe Yoga and Meditation are powerful tools for healing transformation and sparking the creativity we all have in us. With over 500 hours of training, including 200-hours certified by Moksha Yoga Chicago, and 95-hours certified Prenatal Yoga teacher by Amala School of Prenatal Yoga, both certified by the Yoga Alliance, I keep my passion and curiosity drive with inspiring teachers such as Uma a-Tuli, Tias Little, Gabriel Halpern, Leeann Carey, Mia Park and many more. I also have completed additional training in Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra, a powerful ancient Tantric technique of guided, progressive relaxation. As a teacher, I strive to establish a safe, nurturing and loving space to support my students on their own journey to awareness, empowering them to feel good in their body and mind, and find their inspiration to grow.

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Renee Zambo My name is Renee Zambo, and I am a Registered Yoga Therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists. I work with the patients at WholeHealth Chicago, in community centers and work spaces throughout Chicago, and in the homes of my private clients. My goal is to help people feel better through movement, awareness, breathe, and meditation.

I began teaching in 2010, and fell in love with meeting students from all walks of life and with different needs. My interest in Yoga Therapy began almost immediately, as I felt the need and desire to make the benefits of Yoga accessible to a larger population. In 2013 I started my three year training with Integrative Yoga Therapy. Training with IYT has provided me with an immense toolbox of Yogic practices that I use frequently while teaching and within my own practice.

Today, I teach patients and students with chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease, Musculoskeletal conditions including Osteopenia/Osteoporosis, past or recurring injuries, functional ailments such as digestive disorders, migraines, or blood pressure, as well as conditions involving anxiety, sleep disturbances and depression.


Amber Cook Amber is a yoga teacher who creates a safe environment for students to discover their bodies physically and emotionally. To begin, Amber guides students mindfully through intelligent physical alignment and breath awareness in strong vinyasa and hatha classes. By cultivating this exploration in the classroom her students discover deeper vitality and happiness. By sharing her own evolving story, Amber next guides her students to honor their personal authenticity and to feel more present, free, and confident. Then, grounded in your body and breath you are free to travel beyond the physical into your profound truth. Amber is there to support you on your journey to the truth and joy that lie within your heart.

Having taught yoga now for 10 years she still feels she is learning all the time. With over 2,000 hours of trainings with many amazing teachers, leading 200 hour teacher trainings herself, and facilitating numerous retreats around the world she believes it is important to always be a student. She walks into every classroom, every conversation, every experience with humility. 

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Nicole Vitale Nicole’s intention as a teacher is to meet her students where they are and guide them through creative practices that help cultivate mindfulness and connection. In particular, she believes that simple, evidence-based practices, such as slow movement, deep breathing, and sensory meditation, can be a wonderful adjunct treatment for stress and anxiety. Nicole loves to bring people together and her classes foster a sense of community and support. Nicole specializes in adapting yoga to the individual, and she is grateful to have witnessed the physical and emotional transformation that occurs when students practice regularly.

Nicole has studied yoga and meditation for thousands of hours, completing advanced teacher training with Rich Logan in 2014. She has done specialized study in the therapeutic application of yoga, in particular for those with chronic anxiety. Nicole continues to study and practice extensively to keep her practices well-rounded and intelligent.