The Renkon Studio teacher tribe is comprised of some pretty incredible humans. They’re all real people with big, full lives who are passionate about sharing their yoga with our community. Each of our teachers are professionally trained, certified yoga instructors committed to ongoing education to ensure they’re constantly prepared to invite you to a new level of learning, connecting, and experientially integrating the limbs of yoga into your life. While asana is at the core of what we offer, we are committed to providing a yoga experience beyond simply moving your body. Each of our teachers strives to connect with each person present in order to intuitively adjust their class to ensure each client’s needs are met and deeply supported.

Barb Woods

Barb has been practicing yoga for more than 30 years; some years more than others as her life/work balance shifted one way or the other. Each time she has returned to yoga, she has felt its abundant benefits to her body and soul.

Barb appreciates the opportunity to participate in the Renkon Yoga community as it’s studio manager. Contact her with and questions or concerns about your account with us or any other needs regarding the studio and your yoga practice.

Barb is also our Vibrational Sound Licensed Practitioner and is an accomplished with utilizing a structured modality for sound-based healing therapy. She offers individual therapy sessions as well as Sound Meditation classes at the studio.

Barb loves offering this pathway to deep relaxation that is both therapeutic and deeply enjoyable.

Becky Beucher

Becky has been practicing yoga for over ten years and recently completed her 200 RTY Program with Olivia Rosseau Yoga. She had heard of yoga as a teenager and dabbled in high school and college but began her disciplined practice following a full year of physical therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic treatment for sciatica. She was frustrated by her primary care doctor’s initial prescription of pain medication to treat her physical pain and excited to learn how she could manage chronic pain with physical activity and breath, which lead her to yoga and other forms of physical exercise. Becky cross trains yoga with rock climbing and running and appreciates how each form of physical exercise feeds into the other and helps her to maintain a strong and healthy mind, spirit, and body.

She embraces the eight limbs of yoga, and works to intertwine yoga meditation, mindfulness, discipline, creativity, ethics, and morality into her life and her asana (physical) practice. She embraces energy work and enjoys integrating a creative flow in juxtaposition to sequenced movements in her asana practice. She believes that yoga offers an imaginative space where one can both step outside of and into themselves by letting go in order to create and know something new and perhaps more true. Becky has experienced first hand how what you do and how you practice on your mat reflects who you are off the mat. She aims to support her yoga students in transforming themselves through yoga. She views yoga as an incredibly powerful way to navigate this life, and she believes deeply in the power of community to facilitate this journey.

Becky is also an Assistant Professor of Secondary Literacy Education at Illinois State University. She is currently self studying the yoga movement in education and works to inform teachers of the benefits of yoga for themselves and their students. When she is not practicing yoga or teaching classes at ISU, Becky gardens, travels around the country and world, shares tea with friends on her porch, spends time with her family and friends, goes on long hikes and runs, and stays abreast of the news. Renkon has been a yoga home for her since it’s opening, and she is honored to join the Renkon tribe.

Headshot of Brad Stefl - one of the co-owners of Renkon Yoga Studio in Bloomington Normal

Brad Stefl, co-owner

Our beloved Brad is a heart centered human with a passion for life well lived. He’s a creative visionary and musician who loves helping others learn through meaningful, tangible experiences.
Brad began practicing yoga as a complement to his running which steadily became a regular practice with an Ashtanga teacher and eventually became a piece of his Ironman cross-training plan. Since then, it has evolved into an exploration of Spirit and study of more esoteric and philosophical aspects of yoga in addition to a continued physical practice on the mat.
Brad loves the physical and mental practice that yoga offers and looks to ignite that passion in his students as well. Cultivating an internal awareness of both body and mind is a driving force behind Brad’s practice and the way he approaches teaching and sharing yoga with others.
Brad will complete his 200-hour yoga certification through Pranakrya School of Yoga Healing Arts in October of 2018 and has already begun course work needed to become 500-hour certified.

Bridget Pettit

Bridget began her yoga journey in 2010 through an intro to yoga class. She has been practicing since and loves the improvement in her physical strength, focus and patience.

Bridget strongly believes everyone has a right to take up space, move in a way that feels good, and to love themselves as they are right now. Loving oneself in this moment is not easy but can start with releasing energy trapped in the body. Through the practice of yoga, Bridget found a vehicle for her own journey to self love.

Her passion for Buti Yoga led Bridget to pursue the goal to deepen her yoga practice. Graduating with her 200 hour yoga teacher certification in 2019, Bridget invites you to join her in a playful Vinyasa style flow. She encourages each person to embrace who and where they are. She is committed to being part of a community full of diversity, acceptance, and support. Her classes will have you moving, sweating, laughing, and smiling.

Bridget a Bloomington-Normal native, works full time at State Farm. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, two cats, reading, and trying new recipes.

Courtney Hattan

Courtney first came to the mat in 2009 when a friend recommended that she try yoga as a way to ease pain from a lower back injury. Over the years, she noticed that her body felt healthier and stronger through her practice, but also came to appreciate (and depend on) the meditative aspects of yoga.

Courtney earned her RYT-500 certification from Tranquil Space in Washington, D.C., completing a thesis on yoga and the lower back. Courtney primarily teaches vinyasa yoga classes, offering an encouraging and nurturing environment in which yogis can deepen their practice and benefit from hands-on assists. She guides students through creative, rigorous sequences, providing the space for students to safely explore their edge.

Debbie Pauken

Debbie Pauken

Debbie found yoga later in life at age 45 in 2012 when she was invited by a friend to attend class and she immediately felt at hOMe. As a previously self-diagnosed type-A nervous nelly, she attributes yoga to the transformation of herself into a place of authenticity, acceptance, self-love, peace, and calm which she always felt curious about but didn’t know how to achieve before finding yoga.
Never had Debbie imagined how much yoga could change her life, having such a positive impact to her mind, body, and spirit. Prior to yoga, Debbie was one who aways seemed to fight the current, swimming against it, but after yoga, she felt at ease as she started going with the current of life. With this attitude, life became easier, calmer, and she lost her “black cloud” that had previously seemed to follow her.
The lesson was that life, nature, Mother Nature, God, Creator, etc was “with” us, not against us and together we could manifest the life we want. Just be being still. Just by listening. Just by letting go. Letting go to the current of life is the key to living. It might have been late to get started, but timing seemed perfect and she has been attending classes and workshops ever since.

Wanting a deeper connection with yoga, Debbie completed her 200-hour certification through Pranakriya School of Healing Arts in 2018. She is also 1st degree Reiki Trained in Usui Tradition.Debbie believes yoga class doesn’t have to be a high impact, fast-paced, and/or high energy to be beneficial. In fact, she believes when life is already throwing that insanely fast pace in our faces, the yoga workout can become a work “IN” to be mindful; slowing down to the rhythm we all crave, but rarely give ourselves. Some of us don’t even know how to be slow and deliberate in our actions and thoughts. Can this be the goal of our “practice?” And can we give ourselves the gift of quiet minds, authentic souls, and loving hearts especially towards ourselves which provides us the tools, then, to take it into the world for others?

Debbie believes every small change can impact the world positively and she has personally experienced this change since yoga. Yoga is a way to connect with yourself, your class, and the world around you in ways you cannot do without yoga. Nothing compares to sharing yoga with like-minded people in a safe space. And yoga provides a safe space to breathe deeply, feel deeply, let go, and move the way you need to move. Not only that, but yoga gives tools to take into the world to provide a yoga state of mind anywhere, anyplace on an as-needed basis.

This is the gift her teachers gave her and Debbie would love to give this to her students. She has been on a lifelong journey to find herself and hopes that she can lead others into the same path of finding themselves in the journey of yoga; on the mat and off.

When not practicing yoga, Debbie enjoys her empty nest by spending time traveling the world and riding motorcycles with her husband, caring for her pets, reading, sitting on her porch swing, watching sunsets, walking, and laughing much.

Debbie was proud to be part of the inaugural class at Renkon studio. She fully embraces its philosophy that yoga is for EVERY body and she looks forward to sharing yoga with and learning from its students while leading classes there.

Headshot of Hannah Kerrigan, one of our certified yoga instructors in Bloomington Normal

Hannah Russell

Hannah began practicing yoga in 2009 during college after hearing from her chiropractor that it may help with pain resulting from her scoliosis. It didn’t take long to develop a love for yoga and begin to experience not only the physical benefits from her practice, but also mental and spiritual benefits.

After moving back to her hometown, Bloomington, Illinois, her personal practice grew with the help from local and experienced instructors. The Pranakriya tradition deeply resonated within her, which led to obtaining her 200-hour Pranakriya yoga teaching certification in 2017. Kerrigan’s personal yoga practice brings her tremendous joy and empowerment. She considers it an honor and privilege to be able to share this within and throughout her community. When she’s not doing yoga or preparing to teach yoga, you can find her singing and writing songs, riding her bike around town, rock climbing, gardening, and cooking.

Mark de Veer

After a decades long absence, Mark rediscovered Yoga in 2008 when the pain from an old spinal injury became progressively severe enough for him to consider surgery. While waiting in a surgeon’s office for his fourth consultation, he spied a wall poster of a young woman in an “up dog” asana with the caption, “You Are As Young As Your Spine”. He decided then and there that Yoga, not surgery, would be his best treatment option. Mark has since discovered not only Yoga’s healing benefits from acquiring a stronger core and balanced joints, but also its power to relieve stress, thus offering a path to wholeness in both mind and body.
Mark completed his 200 hour Teacher Certification through the Pranakriya Institute of Yoga Healing Arts in 2018. He welcomes the opportunity to share his experience with others through the communal studio practice of Yoga.
Mark has practiced real estate brokerage locally since 1991, and is currently president of DEVEER & ASSOCIATES, INC., an investment real estate brokerage firm doing business throughout the mid-west. In addition, Mark has a background in music and theater having been a “show biz gypsy” along with wife, Connie, for over 25 years.
Melanie Appel

Melanie Appel

Melanie began practicing yoga in 2013 as a form of exercise, but quickly realized the benefits of yoga extend far past the mat. She credits her daily yoga practice for feeling strong and free in her body as well as helping her cultivate a stronger sense of self off the mat.

In 2018, she completed her 200 RYT with the Pranakriya school of yoga. After years of personal study and practice, Melanie is excited to share what she has learned about movement and the mind body connection with her students as she continues to learn and grow both as a teacher and practitioner of yoga.

Melissa Rusk

Melissa started yoga as a compliment to running and lifting weights many years ago, which evolved into a fiery physical practice of almost 20 years. The past few years she’s shifted gears by embracing yoga’s lunar/zen/chill out side, deepening a lifelong meditation practice, and studying and embracing restorative yoga practices.

Melissa is a yoga nerd, loving to study the 8 limbs of yoga. She is certified as a ERYT-200 and continues to further her knowledge. After receiving her RYT from Prairie Yoga with deep dive study/thesis on meditation, she went on to receive certifications in: Yoga and Psychology (Ashley Turner), Urban Priestess (Ashley Turner and Sianna Sherman), Functional Nutrition (mindbodygreen), Yoga4Cancer (Tari Prinster), and Mindful Yoga for Cancer (Duke Integrative Medicine/Kimberly and Jim Carson), and Meditation/Mindfulness (Ashley Turner).  Additional studying/deep dive workshops include yoga philosophy, other yoga linages, anatomy, somatics, pranayama, chakras, chanting, dharma and sutra talks, yoga medicine, and last but not least, asana. Currently, she is completing training to be a certified meditation teacher via Chill Chicago.  She has been a mentor for a yoga teacher training program and continues to mentor new local yoga teachers.

Melissa’s teaching philosophy is simple- she does her best to meet you on the mat and offers her wisdom and her heart to those on their own yoga journey. ‘If you’re willing to laugh, simply breathe and be present, and enjoy your practice, then I roll out my yoga mat and welcome you! The space I hold is sacred for those willing to learn and I am honored to share my yoga with you.’

Melissa is a self-proclaimed imperfect human (aren’t we all!?). Her house has dust bunnies to slay, piles of laundry to conquer, and her bath tub likely has a wine stain from a relaxing night (or three). She loves to read and learn, travel and experience life, cook and create/appreciate art, gaze at the moon and stars, and cater to the needs of her kitties.

Rachel Hockenberry

Rachel Hockenberryhas been practicing yoga since 2011. While the physical benefits of an asana practice align with her health and fitness lifestyle, Rachel has benefitted most from the mental and emotional stability that a well-rounded yoga practice provides, as well as a heightened sense of oneness with the universe and all its beings.

Inspired by the transformative effects she experienced over the course of years of practice, Rachel completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in June of 2018, and has begun her 300-hour advanced certification with Pranakriya Yoga. Rachel believes in the power of a regular yoga practice to transform the body and the mind.  With the physical practice encompassing only a fraction of yoga, Rachel incorporates meditation and breathing techniques into her classes. She trusts in the ability of a holistic yoga practice to bring us closer to ahimsa, the practice of nonviolence toward all living beings.

A professional musician and music educator, Rachel received her doctorate in French horn performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and is currently the French horn professor at Illinois State University.

Sarah Nannen - one of the owners of Renkon Yoga Studio in Bloomington Normal.

Sarah Nannen, co-owner

Sarah approaches yoga with the same innovative and playful spirit she embraces in life. Her dynamic background as a yogini, author, grief coach, military veteran, birth doula, and mama-to-four allows her to integrate the deepest wisdoms and thoughtful practices into a yoga experience that is as accessible as it is powerfully relevant. Sarah has braided together a diverse field of practices and traditions to provide a safe, individualized, and empowering invitation to experience a deeper connection to Self and a welcoming community through yoga.

Sarah is a student of humanity who finds meaning in empowering others to find their best life — one that feels true and fully aligned with what makes their heart and soul sing. Sarah is a Pranakriya 200 hour RYT who began her journey with yoga in 2007 in a southern California studio after finally mustering the courage to take a class. Over a decade later, Sarah continues to come to yoga as an ever-deepening practice of coming home to her most-true self. Through yoga, Sarah has learned to practice swadyaya (self observation without judgment) that has shifted the way she lives, loves, and sits with her experiences.

Sarah is so delighted to share with Central Illinois her practice and vision for a community-focused yoga studio rooted in the power of human connection.

Tom Carroll

Tom Carroll began his yoga journey over 20 years ago following a men’s retreat he attended with Gabriel Halpin – owner of Yoga Circle in Chicago.  The Iyengar style taught alignment, safety and began a personal exploration into the true meaning of yoga. The yoga philosophy paired with his master’s in clinical psychology has enabled much of Tom’s success in life.

In January of 2018, Tom completed his 200-hour training with the Marianne Wells Yoga School and attended a Yin Yoga weekend retreat later that year.  In 2019, he completed additional training on restorative yoga. Tom’s yoga classes include mindful meditation, breath work and yoga philosophy.

Tom enjoys many styles of yoga – yin, slow flow, hot, and restorative.  Living mindfully “off the mat” is the focus of his teachings, and his yoga journey.

Are you a Yoga teacher interested in joining the Renkon team?