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ISABEL ESCH
TEACHER

I decided to become a yoga teacher after my freshman year of college. I grew up as a dancer and so I have always been someone who feels grounded through movement. During my first year at UW-Madison, I started to practice yoga more regularly, and the combination of breath and movement grounded my life through a period of change.

I love to teach at Inner Fire Yoga because there are new yogis walking in and out of our doors all of the time. Especially during this time of year, newcomers to Madison are looking for a new routine and they bring great energy into our space. Our yogis are passionate and hungry to learn. They are willing to try new ideas and postures.

One of my favorite parts about teaching yogis at Inner Fire Yoga is seeing the emotional experience take place throughout practice. I LOVE people who show emotion in their practice. People who aren’t afraid to laugh out of joy in Sculpt or use an audibly textured breath to release emotions during a flow of Sun A. I love when I’m teaching in a room and I can feel the intention oozing out everyone. This is what brings me back to my mat and back into class to teach.


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DAR VANDER HOOP
TEACHER

Hi Every Body!

I want you all to know that after all this time, I still look forward to seeing you each day and getting on the mat. If I knew in 1970, when I took my first class at the UW Dance Department, that this would be a lifeline throughout my life, I could not even imagine it. Life happens as we are busy making other plans….


I see you and know you, (especially your body); although I may not know your name(it’s a Boomer thing.) it continues to be my joy and pride to meet you in the hot room each and every day.

Teaching yoga classes and workshops and teacher trainings across the globe for over 40 years is one of the greatest joys of my life. It wasn’t until Inner Fire Yoga, where I had the auspicious opportunity to teach yoga full time and live my dream.This single studio has allowed me to raise my son alone and have free time for him while maintaining good health, and continued inspiration as a single mother to stay the course.

After teaching/taking over 15,000 classes over these many years at Inner Fire Yoga, and many other places, I realize how amazing this personal growth and disciplined journey has been. At Inner Fire Yoga I’ve been able to expand my knowledge of so many yoga forms and philosophies through our unique and amazing teachers in-house and world-class guest teachers who visit the yoga room and give their gifts; including Max Strom, Theresa Murphy, Wade Morrissett, Rolf Gates, Esak Garcia, Bryan Kest, senior Anna Forrest teachers, and many more. I am so grateful to be at the center of so much yoga and growth.

I am deeply honored and humbled by this gift and my continued ability to give it back to you.

Oh, and I’ve also done many other things in life. I worked as an advertising executive in LA for a magazine publisher (LA WOMAN), a TV producer and talk show host, a publisher, writer and journalist, a fashion editor, a model and actress, a social worker in Paterson NJ, a professional modern dancer in San Francisco, a world traveler. In New Mexico I was a nationally syndicated columnist on finding love through newspaper tele-personals (a precursor to Match.com and facebook). Currently I’ve been organizing my lifelong writings and trying to put them into some shape, in order to publish a memoir. I’ve lived in the courts of kings, and in humble abodes. I’ve been deeply in love a few times.

My entire beloved family passed away in 14 months in 2011. Life is amazing and full spectrum. I get up every day with gratitude. My only child is 26; a sensitive, brilliant, and heartfelt human who amazes me each and every day.

Recently I am deeply interested in mindfulness and Yin Yoga, and expanding more and more as a human and teacher.

I am off to the 10-year celebration of BhaktiFest in Joshua Tree National Monument, on to LA,( as you read this,) and, of course, there will be some Hollywood glitter and fun involved.
 

Namaste my dear dear fellow human beings.
Breathe, Feel, Flow and … Keep it REAL..

As Always,
Dar

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Mary Kay Roseneck
Sales Representative

What are some things Inner Fire Yoga may not know about you?
I was an Art and Design major in college. I love doing anything creative! I’ve spent lots of time decorating all the beautiful homes I have lived in. I also adore baking and tweaking recipes to make them my own, sending off a platters of cookies to friends. I used to be an avid runner. I have run over 10 marathons and many halves, but yoga is better for me now!  

I practice Hot Yoga when I travel. I have done it in so many cities and it is just amazing; the same, but different! I’ve practiced in NYC, Brooklyn, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Paris, Chicago, Milwaukee, Charleston, Ormond Beach: next on my  list are Key West and Cancun!
 

Tell us about some jobs you had before teaching at Inner Fire Yoga?
Babysitter, Print shop, Memorial Union, Commercial Artist, 26 Years with US Cellular Corporate and Government Sales, NOW First Weber Realtors. LOVE IT!!!
 

What is your favorite place to visit or vacation?
My home in Florida, on the Atlantic side, beautiful beaches, NYC to see my oldest daughter and Washington, D.C. to see youngest daughter at college. I love D.C., so pretty and historic. I love St. Augustine Florida, may be my next home! Oldest city in the United States.
 

Favorite movie or tv show and why?
The Great British Baking Show, love it!  We watched all the episodes and then watched them all over again...can’t get enough of it. I tried some of the recipes and they were challenging. Mary Berry yeah!
 

Favorite concert?
Madame Butterfly and Les Mis, does that count?
 

Favorite things to do when you are not at Inner Fire Yoga?
Spend time with my daughters, we have fun no matter what, but shopping is always good.  I love to hike, my husband and I just went to Mirror Lake State Park, so gorgeous! Anything active!

 


Erica Gullickson

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1. What are some things Inner Fire Yoga may not know about you?

I started doing yoga when I returned from my first adventure to South America. I had been carrying a backpack and living a fairly nomadic lifestyle for about a year and my back HURT. I knew I needed to do something about it, so I joined yoga. I fell in love with it and my back felt more strong and flexible than ever. I noticed my posture improving and people began to comment on how healthy I looked. I continued to practice yoga diligently for about a year alongside cardio and strength training workouts, but then I was itching to return to South America. I decided to go on a backpacking trip for 1.5 months by myself. This backpacking adventure brought me to Torres del Paine. During my hike there, I carried my full backpack (which weighed about 45 pounds) the entire time during the day and did yoga every morning and every night. To my surprise, my back NEVER hurt during my entire backpacking journey!! I love this practice for the physical and mental health it has brought into my life.

2. Tell us about some jobs you had before working at Inner Fire Yoga?

I have had many jobs ranging from working at McDonald’s to working as an Outreach Coordinator in pre-college programs. Each job I have had has taught me something new, and I always end up meeting amazing people along the way. One of my favorite jobs was teaching English in Chile, which then led me to teaching Spanish long-term as a sub at a high school for about a year. I have always enjoyed working with children and cannot get enough of their uplifting energy, inquisitive nature, and unique perspective of the world.

3. What is your favorite place to visit or vacation?

A place that will always be in my heart is Chile. I have spent about 1.5 years living in Chile and traveling to a few other countries in South America, so I have been fortunate enough to meet and stay connected with many people who live there. I consider them my second family. Viva Chile!!

4. Favorite movie or tv show and why?

Currently, I have been watching Drunk History. I enjoy it because it’s funny, but I also have been learning a lot of history that we were not taught in school.

5. Favorite concert?

Last year when I was working at Inner Fire Yoga, the members of Beats Antique came in to do yoga before their show. I did not recognize them, but was chatting with them asking what brought them to town. They told me they were doing a show at the Majestic and they were the members of Beats Antique. My face must have lit up when they said it because they ended up putting my name plus one on the entry list for the show that night. The show was incredible and the artists were so friendly!

6. Favorite things to do when you are not at Inner Fire Yoga?

I love to spend time outside and to be active. This summer, I am playing Ultimate Frisbee and have been having a lot of fun with it! I think it’s important for adults to focus on play outside of work, so this has been a nice way to channel my inner child and play outside during the summer. I also love to cook (and eat of course!) and very much enjoy getting fresh ingredients from the farmer’s markets around Madison and cooking a new dish.

 


Hannah Moran

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What are some things Inner Fire Yoga may not know about you?
I was born in Madison, but I lived in the UP of Michigan from 2001 until 2016, when I moved back to Madison. My junior year at Northern Michigan University, I produced a 120-minute documentary film. My favorite snack is cheese and crackers -- I'm actually drooling just thinking about it. My next dog is probably going to be a St. Bernard, because they're big and drooly and dopey and I love all of them. I've been told I have a knack for accents and funny voices. I'm a Virgo, so I prefer plans and order to chaos and spontaneity. The following things are on my bucket list: start/join a band, write a novel, live in a foreign country, grow my own vegetables, and run a small business.

Tell us about some jobs you had before working at Inner Fire Yoga?
I worked at a public radio station for 3 years, where I operated the sound board, announced news and weather, hosted jazz music shows, and produced podcasts. When I moved back to Madison, I was an Office Administrator for a software company, then I was a Social Media Coordinator for a cosmetology school. Now I am a Development Projects Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy, and of course you can always find me behind the front desk at Inner Fire on Sunday evenings.

What is your favorite place to visit or vacation?
Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My dad grew up just outside of Boston, so he used to vacation on the Cape as a kid, and now he carries on the tradition with us! I've probably gone over a dozen times in my life (including once while I was in the womb, I'm told) and it never gets old. The freshest clams you could possibly imagine, lazy beach days, late night games of Cards Against Humanity, the proud LGBTQ+ community in Provincetown, the humbling experience of whale watching, and spending quality time with family and friends -- my little paradise!
 

Favorite movie or tv show and why?
I love pretty much any Marvel movie. The classic battle of good vs. evil really just tugs at my heartstrings. I love the playful banter between characters, too. My personal favorite is Thor and the Hulk in Ragnarok -- so goofy. The complex universe is really fun to watch, what with all the different kinds of mystical creatures and their special abilities. I also love the clever nods to classic comic book stories, which I normally don't catch -- luckily my fiance is a comic book dude and he explains them to me.

Favorite concert?
One of the best concerts I've ever seen was Mumford and Sons at Okeechobee Music Festival in 2016. They're an incredibly tight band, and so passionate and honest every time they play. I wasn't a real fan until I heard them live. They really take you on a ride, and the fans are pretty wonderful so the crowd always has amazing vibes. I saw them a second time at Austin City Limits later that year -- just as good as the first time!

Favorite things to do when you are not at Inner Fire Yoga?
I like to hang out with my wonderful fiance, David, and my two perfect dogs, Quinzee and Jitterbug. I love good food, good beer, and great friends, so I can also be found frequently at restaurants, breweries, and the Union Terrace enjoying the company of the people that I love. Other hobbies include making music, experimental cooking, journaling, and dancing in the moonlight.

 

WINNIE CHAN

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Tell us about why you began practicing at Inner Fire Yoga:

I started doing yoga in 2013, when I was having a rough time in my life. I broke up with the love of my life, who I thought I would marry. I had no job, no car, and no money. For a couple years, my friend Tracy tried to get me to come and practice yoga.

When I was at the lowest point in my life and I felt like I had nowhere to go, somehow faith brought me to Inner Fire Yoga. I started doing yoga for trade and soon after that I became a receptionist. Practicing yoga gives me peace and helps me slow down and enjoy life. I have to say I don't know what I would do without yoga. Everyone who comes here has their own story. Especially, now, Inner Fire Yoga studio is like my other family. I have built so many relationships with everyone here. I feel like I could never leave!

Tell us about some jobs you had before working at Inner Fire Yoga:

Something you might not know about me is that I am a jack of all trades. I was a bank teller after college, and then I worked at AAA for 6 years as a travel consultant. After my undergraduate degree I went back to school to become a cosmetologist. Meanwhile, I was a bartender, hair stylist, and barista. I was working five jobs at one point. It was crazy, but good and kept me happy and out of trouble.

What is you favorite place to visit or vacation?

One of my favorite places to travel is San Diego, or anywhere with water.  As a Leo, I'm a fire sign and water really calms me down. I have been to Hong Kong, Jamaica, Punta Cana, Tokyo, and all different parts of U.S.

What is your favorite concert?

I am a cheapskate, and I don't go to a lot of concerts. I do enjoy attending The Kissers, an Irish band, every year.  But if someone wants to take me to a concert, I won't say no.  

What are some things Inner Fire Yoga may not know about you?

I act very American, but deep inside of me I am very Chinese. I grew up in Hong Kong until I was 14 years old. I try go back to visit every 4 or 5 years. I speak fluent Cantonese. Things I like to do are hanging out with friends and coworkers. I love taking short weekend trips and go paddle boarding. I also love to hike, dance, and go boating in the summer. I also love cooking!

 

SARAH JEFFERDS

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Sarah has been working at Inner Fire Yoga since 2012. She’s our Thursday night receptionist at West, makes all of our Honorary Yogi bracelets, sends out our charity donations, runs payroll and much more. She has also taken nearly 800 Hot 90 classes since 2011!!!

What are some things Inner Fire Yoga may not know about you?
I am a total animal lover! Our family includes 5 dogs (3 Australian Shepherds and 2 Whippets), a cat (who thinks she's a dog!), an African Gray Parrot, and assorted tropical fish. My daughter is a senior in college in Montana and my son is a senior in high school, so my husband Craig and I will be "empty nesters" soon. It might be a good time to get some more pets to fill the void! :)

Tell us about some jobs you had before working at Inner Fire Yoga?
Besides greeting clients at the front desk every Thursday evening at Inner Fire, I process the payroll for the West and Campus Studios. In addition, I work full-time as a Client Relations Coordinator at Sauk Point Veterinary Clinic. My previous jobs have included being a preschool teacher, owning a small business, and working as a dietitian with diabetes patients.

Favorite place to visit or vacation?
Anywhere outdoors (preferably near mountains and water!) where I can totally unplug with my family.

Favorite movie or tv show and why?
I don't watch much tv, but I currently LOVE the show, This is Us. I can't get through an episode without crying.

Favorite concert?
I really enjoyed seeing the Indigo Girls in concert last year. It was an intimate setting and they really connected with the audience.

Favorite things to do when you are not at Inner Fire Yoga? Hiking, camping, baking, cuddling with my dogs, and relaxing with friends with a glass of wine.