Yoga & Yoga Therapy

with Erica Bentley

Welcome, All!

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Be well,

Erica she/they*

*what is this and why does it matter?

In case you're wondering...

Like many Americans, I initially approached Yoga as a physical practice- an alternative to the gym, which I found boring. I practiced with varried regularity until early 2017, when I threw myself into yoga (and farming) as a means to stay sober in early addiction recovery. I quickly experienced the benefits of connecting my body, mind & spirit, and soon felt called to facilitate space for others to grow into their own potential as well. I began my formal training by spending 6 months living & studying in India and returned to the US with a great determination to provide safe, healthy & accessible Yoga to every body whilst honoring Yoga’s traditional roots.

I am fully certified by the IAYT as a Yoga Therapist, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve a wide variety of people, from many walks of life. As a person in active recovery myself, I specialize in working with folks in addiction and trauma managment, growth & recovery. I am certified as a level 2 Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist and I have countless ongoing hours of independent study and research. I am also currently studying to be certified in IL as and Alcohol & Drug Counselor, with the intention of deepening my ability to integrate East & West therapuetic models.

I am passionate about social justice and it's interweaving with Yoga. I recognize my role in, and how I benefit from, white supremecy and colonialism and I work diligently to unlearn and relearn how to be. I am fortunate to now make my home on the traditional lands of the People of the Council of Three Fires; here I am an active member of the Chicago Alliance Against Racial & Political Repression, focusing on the Campaign to Free Incarcerated Survivors of Torture. I strongly support and partake in reimaginging public safety & wellness and investment in community resources, helping people ourselves and each other. I believe that we as a society can create a system that is built around equity, prevention and rehabilitation, as opposed to control, oppression & punishment. I also volunteer with Prison Yoga Chicago, humbly sharing Yoga with the people incarcerated in Cook Co Jail and serving as an executive board member.

Along with all this, I really enjoy cooking (and eating!) plant-based food, riding my bicycle, wandering walks with my partner & dog, general silliness and spending as much time as possible outdoors.