Meet Our Team

Sarah Cunningham

Certified Yoga Instructor, LCSW, Founder of Whole Family, Inc. and the Whole Life Wellness Studio

Imprisoned by anxiety for far too long, Sarah made a conscious decision one day to turn toward her fears rather than continuing to run away. In doing so, the monsters produced by irrational beliefs and self-doubt suddenly looked very different to her. She found that the powers holding her back were an illusory manifestation of her own anxieties. Through this revelation, Sarah realized that her job was to empower others with this insight that allowed her to heal and, as she likes to say: “transform the hunted to the hunter.”

Sarah’s therapeutic approach is to develop strength through identifying the fears, beliefs, and choices that hold us back. By facing and overcoming our own monsters, Sarah helps put to rest all that limits your potential. This strengths-based therapeutic methodology carries over to her yoga practice and teaching.

Sarah has provided strengths-based therapeutic services to the children and families of Chicago since 2007. Before moving to Chicago, Sarah lived in Colorado where she began her studies in the field of psychology and social work. There, she piloted an Early Childhood program building upon her Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) training as well as her expertise in school and childcare consultation. Sarah continued this work after moving to Chicago while training DePaul University psychology doctoral students in using these evidenced-based approaches. At DePaul, Sarah became a trainer in Teacher Child Interaction Training (TCIT) and has traveled throughout the Midwest training schools in effective classroom management.

Sarah completed both the CPY Registered Yoga School 200-hr Power Yoga and the Yoga Sculpt Teacher Trainings in 2013. Sarah works passionately to support others in obtaining their own wellness by combining the healing arts of both Eastern and Western medicine. With a holistic approach, Sarah seeks to support others in finding their own balance of health both physical and psychological. If you're looking for change, come to one of Sarah's yoga classes prepared to challenge yourself because it is her belief that if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.

In the spring of 2013, Sarah completed a comprehensive Kids Yoga Teacher training with Lila Learning. Her children's classes combine yoga, games, dancing, music and more! Each session is focused on empowering children to gain awareness of self, both emotionally and physically. In addition to providing a positive and supportive opportunity for physical activity, children will learn a variety of therapeutic skills including self-regulation, breathing, and mindfulness. Sarah loves to provide children with a fun and stimulating environment where they can nourish positive self esteem and translate that experience masterfully into their lives beyond their yoga mats.

Through Whole Family, Inc., Sarah continues to work tirelessly with both family and school systems in an effort to promote positive environments in which children have the opportunity to reach their full potential, to be resilient, and whole.

Meghan Jane Stegemann

B.S. Secondary Education, Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher, Registered Yoga Teacher

Meghan first began her yoga practice at the local YMCA with her mom in 2001.  She kept up with her practice while studying at Indiana University and completed her first Teacher Training at CorePower in 2013.  Meghan is a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher and licensed educator who has worked with preschoolers, elementary aged children and teens since 2009.

Meghan’s teaching style utilizes yoga tools, stories and play to provide children with the opportunity to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally, helping them to connect with themselves and others with compassion, understanding and clarity. In 2014 Meghan traveled to Tuscany, Italy to complete her 500-hour Yoga Alliance Family & Community Yoga Teacher Training.  In addition to teaching developmentally-appropropriate, playful and engaging yoga and mindfulness education classes at the Whole Life Wellness Studio, you can find Meghan leading yoga classes at area preschools and elementary schools as well as at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness.  She also leads classes in pre/postnatal yoga, vinyasa yoga, yoga bootcamp, and yoga sculpt with weights. Find out more at www.mjyogafit.com

Emily Katz

LCSW, Certified Yoga Instructor

Emily first stepped into a yoga studio in the spring of 2011, looking for a new way to get a good workout. After her first class, Emily was hooked, finding for the first time since dance, an exercise that not only kept her coming back but one that fulfilled her mind, body, and spirit. Having grown up as a dancer, Emily found a strong parallel between dance and the flow of breath to movement in yoga. Emily never wavered in her dedication to her yoga practice, as it had become her own therapy after a long day of work – a place to quiet her mind through breath, to sweat out the negativity and to find peace through mindfulness and a supportive community. In October 2013, Emily completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training.

Emily is also a graduate of Loyola University’s Master of Social Work program where she focused on mental health, specializing in children and families. Emily has extensive experience working with substance use issues, generalized mental health, disruptive behaviors and family issues, with adolescents and young adults being her primary population of concentration. Emily has received training and consultation that allow her to offer Trauma-Informed Therapy modalities. Emily's practice is expanding to include mindfulness, body-centered work and yoga as part of treatment to enhance therapeutic outcomes. Additionally, Emily has provided clinical supervision to graduate level MSW interns in the urban, non-profit settings. Emily’s treatment approach consists of Cognitive Behavioral and Relationship-Focused therapy where she provides non-judgmental and safe support to the individual client and families with self-esteem issues, anxiety, ADHD, adjustment challenges, school difficulties, anger management and mood disorders.

Emily enjoys sharing the therapeutic benefits of yoga with middle school and high school students at Whole Family Inc.

Carla Primero

Licensed Yoga Teacher and Health Coach

Carla is a wife, mother, and multifaceted teacher of health, fitness, and wellness.  With a deep passion for creating a balanced life she has been successful in various forms of fitness, from a boot camp coach and pole fitness instructor, to teaching Reformer Pilates.
 
In 2009, she took her first yoga class in search of something to ease stress, and mix up her workouts.  Her love for yoga was instant, as it was another gateway to more knowledge surrounding health and wellness.  A year later, Carla completed CorePower Yoga's 200-hour certification, followed by their Yoga Sculpt, Hot Power Fusion, and Real Ryder Teacher Training Programs.  She currently instructs Barre, Spinning, Yoga Sculpt, and Vinyasa Yoga.  The most beloved part of being an instructor is witnessing her students become stronger, and accomplish what they thought may have been impossible. The intention is to not just witness her students improve, and challenge themselves, but to also have fun!
 
Because of the mental, and emotional benefits of yoga and fitness, she took it one step further.  Carla began to pay close attention to how one can take care of their body from the inside out.  A cleaner diet and healthy habits became a lifestyle--a lifestyle that mirrors the positive results of mindful movement through yoga, and in fitness.
 
In 2013, Carla began her journey to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  As a Holistic Health Coach, she guides her clients into creating a more balanced life that suits their individual health goals and needs.  In awe of how amazing the body is meant to feel, Carla's passion for a whole balanced life is constantly evolving.

Naomi Zelin

Registered Yoga Teacher, LPC

Naomi’s yoga journey began in 2010 after a snowboarding injury landed her in the hospital with a fractured spine. Naomi discovered that when she used yoga as a method of physical therapy that it was not long before she began to feel a better connection with her mind, body, and soul. Since childhood Naomi dealt with low self-esteem and poor body image, it was not until she found yoga that she began a journey to self-love and acceptance. Through yoga Naomi has been able to heal herself from the inside out. Since then she has set her intention to help heal others by helping people find the courage to set their demons free and find unconditional self-love. Naomi completed her yoga teaching certification in October 2013.

Naomi also received her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Mental Health from Adler University. She specializes in working with individuals suffering from substance abuse, depression and anxiety. It was in her Masters program where Naomi began to create and develop yoga therapy programs for non-for-profit clinics on the Westside of Chicago. In addition, Naomi has traveled all over the world studying yoga in places like Nepal, India, Cambodia and Indonesia. Through this experience, Naomi has been able to integrate her Western studies with Eastern philosophy. Naomi’s treatment approach focuses on Cognitive Behavioral and Existential Theory, with an emphasis on helping her clients find meaning and contentment in their lives.

Becky Meiselman

Registered Yoga Teacher

Becky discovered yoga in 2002, while in college in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. In 2011, Becky completed her first Teacher Training at CorePower Yoga in Chicago, and has since studied with a variety of master teachers in a wide range of styles. In 2015, Becky traveled to India where she embarked upon her 500 hour Yoga Alliance training in the Tantric Lineage. Becky is an active facilitator in the CPY Power Teacher Training programs and loves supporting students in their journey on the yogic path. Becky believes that yoga is much more than just a physical activity, and the lifelong practice of living yoga off the mat requires commitment, study and focus. Becky’s classes are physically challenging, yet layered with options suitable for all levels. Expect a lighthearted, customizable experience with a strong emphasis on alignment, intention and purpose.

Natalie Hurdle

Registered Yoga Teacher

Natalie was dragged into the practice of yoga against her will while studying theatre. She dreaded the daily hour of torture for months... until one day something clicked, and she fell in love. The balance, growth, and joy she found in her practice completely altered her worldview, her life plans, and her relationship with her body. Even more than the physical practice, the philosophy of yoga and its application to her life off the mat inspired a new path and purpose, and brought joy to her life. She teaches Power, Hot, and Yin yoga and has led multiple teacher trainings with CorePower Yoga. Natalie’s classes encourage mindfulness, compassion, and a light heart. She is honored by the students who share their practices with her.