Courtney Riley

I see yoga as an incredible instrument for looking at the connection between the body, mind, and spirit.  My journey on the mat began in 1996 as both a physical supplement and mental relief from the stress of my athletic training and university activity.

Yoga became my way of life in 2001 when an injury from a season of triathlons and adventure racing left me unable to walk without pain. Yoga healed and aided me in understanding that I am more than an athlete. I realized that if yoga could heal me physically and connect me into my soul and a deeper sense of my truth it would certainly do that for others. It was at that moment, when I found that I want to be a vehicle for such awareness. I want to serve as a guide to others on their journey in discovering and actualizing their authentic self.

I am a yoga instructor, massage therapist, an ironman, a multi-sport outdoor adventure guide, energy worker, a Thai Yoga therapist, a skier, a surfer, heart rate coach, a personal trainer, and I love to cook! I grew up in the North Shore of Chicago and went to Lake Forest College completing a Bachelor’s degree in studio art and theatre and a minor in religion.

I treasure working with people and using my skills to nurture them into pushing beyond their own expectations. My mission is to hold a space in which a person can feel safe and free to look inward and find the compassion and discipline to activate their inner awareness; their “inner knowing.” My aim is to challenge people physically while helping them to confront their emotional and physical belief systems; in order to gain the courage to act and live in accordance with their authentic voice. The perceptions one holds internally become the lens through which you view the world around you. I believe that, what is going on inside of you will manifests itself outside of you. Your practice is an opportunity to turn up the heat, to gently place yourself inside small situations of chaos and witness your reactions. Seeing how you respond to things on the mat reveals how you respond to life off the mat. Your Practice is the perfect time to confront your tendencies and identify the things about yourself you wish to shed and the things you wish to celebrate.

My teaching is influenced by my passion for athletics and a desire to surrender into and accept the mystical and magical unknown of life. I adapt my classes to all levels. They vary from challenging ashtanga-influenced vinyasa flow classes to restorative and therapeutic classes that combine different proportions of asana, pranayama, and meditation. My classes encourage students to bring a softness and grace to their practice while building strength and endurance.

My education began in 2001 with a 200 hour teacher training at Moksha Yoga Studio in Chicago. Since then I have completed a 300 hour professional program with Yogaworks in Los Angeles, a 600 hour massage therapy program in Chicago at the New School of Massage, a 200 hour Thai Yoga Massage program at the Chicago School of Massage, a 3 year Energy healing program in Kansas City at Core Star Healing School, and this year I completed 10 years of study with Rod Stryker with becoming a certified Para Yoga teacher. I am fascinated with learning and at the end of October will complete a year long course at the International Institute of Nutrition to become a certified Health Coach. I am currently running and building a business taking people on outdoor adventure yoga retreats in such places as Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Africa, and Costa Rica. I look forward to hosting retreats that take people out of their normal everyday routines and provides them with a connection to nature and a reconnection into their natural rhythms of life.