Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read about our teachers. The vision for Toula is a yoga studio dedicated to offering yoga to the whole family. Toula means "divine light" in Greek. (Just watch, or watch the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and see for yourself!) Yoga has been a light in my life! Just getting on my mat and moving my body mindfully, and using my breath as my guide helps me see clearer when things get dark, confusing and twisty in life. It's a way to connect back to my true self despite any distractions that might come my way. Our intention at Toula Yoga Studio is to open up the practice of yoga to more people; all 8 limbs of yoga which also includes focus and meditation.
Toula Yoga studio offers quality instruction for individuals of all ages and abilities to develop strong, healthy bodies; calm, content minds; and receptive, open hearted spirits, which will help them become fully present in their lives and the world around them. I've been doing yoga since 1999 while living in Dubuque, IA, where I was a High School German teacher & coach, and in graduate school. I still hold an Iowa teaching license and you might catch me subbing once in awhile in many of the school districts in the Cedar Rapids/Mount Vernon area. Yoga was a life changer for me and gave me the courage to create a completely different life for myself. I moved back to Cedar Rapids, where I grew up, in 2002 and have been caring for my three daughters full time ever since.
Deciding to do something for myself, I found Marsha Nieland in 2004 and started to immerse myself in every yoga class, workshop and training I could. Marsha has also led me to many other wonderful yoga teachers and I've been lucky enough to have accumulated over a thousand hours of formal classes, workshops and trainings; plus hundreds of self-directed yoga studies. But who's counting! This is just the beginning! Marsha is my main teacher and I've also studied with Mathew Sanford (Adaptive Yoga), Dana Robinson (prenatal & baby/tots yoga), John Friend (Anusara & Sridaiva), Moses Brown (Philosophy & Therapeutics), Desiree Rumbaugh, Amy Ippoliti, Martin Kirk (Anatomy), and many others. I'm a licensed teacher through The Anusara School of Hatha Yoga and have been teaching public yoga classes since 2008. I specialize in private & corporate lessons and have taught at many businessses including Cargil, Lil' Drug, VanMeter, Raining Rose, and Schneider Electric. I've designed classes especially for people over age 60, Men Only, Athletes, Kids and Expectant mothers. I'm happy I found yoga and its benefits when I was in my 20's, but I would have loved to have found it even younger! I aspire to lead the youngest and the oldest, and the most "non-traditional" students into the healthy habit of a regular yoga practice. Namaste.
I have tried various styles of Hatha yoga over the years before finding "seriously fun" Anusara yoga. The principals of alignment to enhance poses and the playful attitude resonate strongly with me. Taking what I learn on the mat through my own practice has enriched my life off the mat; physically, mentally, and spiritually and I want to share that experience with others. I graduated from Marsha Nieland's Teacher Training Program in January 2010. I have participated in workshops with John Friend, Martin Kirk, Moses Brown, Desiree Rumbaugh, Amy Ippoliti, and Betsey Downing. I am also a RYT 200+ through Yoga Alliance. I encourage my students to have fun and experience the joy in their own yoga practice.
My yoga practice started 8 years ago- invited by a good friend to attend a yoga class, I wasn't sure what I had signed up for, but was super excited after my first hour in practice and I was "all in". The classes I attended really encompassed the full philosophy of yoga and that resonated with me.
In the summer of 2015, I took a deep dive into studying yoga. Colleen Yee and Rolf Gates were my inspiration and I started learning more about all 8 limbs of this ancient, beautiful, time tested practice. In the winter of 2016, Andrea Parks, a long time friend, and someone I consider family and an inspiration, asked me if I would like to do a 200 YTT. The timing was perfect and with the noted enthusiasm on my part, my family and friends gave me the support I needed to start my training. I graduated as a Cloud Nine Yoga Teacher in July of 2016 under the careful instruction of both Andrea and Erin McGuire. I also had the most amazing benefit of being mentored by both Sarah Cram Driscoll and Maria Dummermuth during my time in training. Cloud Nine Yoga is new to Iowa and based out of California with studios located in the western United State and Hawaii. Erika Faith is the founder and she is an amazing soul!
I teach a variety of classes at 3 different studios in Cedar Rapids and Mount Vernon. My classes are Hatha yoga based, and include Hatha Flow, Beginner's Yoga, Yoga and Mindfulness, Restorative Yoga, and Yin Yoga. Excited to announce that "Bed Head" yoga is back- 6am on Wednesday mornings at Rolling Hills! I love morning time- always up early to rejoice in the quietest part of the day.
I most recently, started my own business called "Many Masters Yoga". An avid photographer (nature and yogis) , Boho yoga jewelry designer, and yoga instructor, it has been a super fun start up business!
On a more personal note, I am the very proud mother of 2 amazing and creative children- Julian and Grace. We are a close knit group of that love to create, cook, travel, and just hang together.
The minute I dipped my toes into the world of yoga with beginner classes I was hooked! In 2017 I completed my training to become an RYT 200 Yoga Alliance Certified Instructor through the Cloud Nine Yoga School in Iowa at Toula. My passion is teaching Hatha style yoga in a relaxed atmosphere so that all feel welcome and safe to appreciate and enjoy the physical, mental, and most importantly the spiritual benefits the practice of yoga brings to each individual.
Like many people, I wish I would have discovered yoga much earlier in life, but I am fortunate to experience the benefits of it now. I work with the breath, proper alignment, and weave inspirational themes and positive messages into my Vinyasa Flow class while incorporating a sense of humor and fun. My training consists of three yoga immersion courses and a 200 hour Anusara teacher training.
After lovingly teasing my husband about his "stretching routine" in 2002, I decided to get on a his mat and give yoga a try. It was love at first down-dog! Since that time, I have been on my own mat for countless hours, and with a leap of faith, took my interest in yoga to the next level with immersing myself in Anusara yoga immersions and teacher training with my world class instructor, Marsha Nieland. My journey has led me to enjoy anatomy lessons with Martin Kirk, to study Yoga for the Mind with Dr. Betsy Rippentrop, and has given me the honor of studying under Dr. Judith Hanson Lasater, earning my certificate in Relax and Renew(R).
Welcoming and super supportive, I invite my students to a challenging, yet uplifting practice as a way to encounter their being wholeheartedly. When I am not practicing yoga, you'll find me offering my hands gardening native plants of Iowa, quilting, playing chess with my three children, and dreaming of visiting my family in Greece.
ERYT-500 teaches Kundalini yoga at Toula Yoga in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She has taught yoga extensively worldwide for nearly a decade. She is a Cloud Nine Yoga Teacher Trainer. With a passion for being a Soul on Fire and lighting up people's lives, her programs show others how to reach beyond their perceived limitations and into unlimited possibilities. Her work as a spiritual navigation coach has led thousands of people from fear to living their purpose. With a degree in psychology from Coe College, she is a reiki master, theta clearer (clearing beliefs in the subconscious mind) and soon to be author.
Yoga is integrative wellness that allows students to practice connection with their mind and body. I share my passion with many students to help them gain flexibility and mobility again. I’m very passionate about finding beauty and art in exercise. I am active in pursuing aerial silk and deepening my practice of life with prayer.
As a long time student of yoga it was the physical practice that brought me here but it is the mental and spiritual practice that keeps me here. With a desire to grow and share I completed a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training through Power Life Yoga, studied MBSR, Children's Yoga, and Restorative Yoga. Yoga gives me more LIFE on and off my mat that I crave. I have found a passion deep down inside that I can't wait to share with you!
Raelene Newton (Swore) is a native of Cedar Rapids, although she has lived and traveled all over. She is a mother of two, wife, daughter and sister to many. She has an expansive family and always says she was, “raised by a pack of hippies.” She has studied herbal medicine gaining a Certificate in Western Herbalism, studied at The New York Botanical Garden received a Horticulturist Certificate, and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Mount Mercy University. She most recently graduated from Cloud Nine Yoga Teacher Training with her 200 hour-RYT. She teaches Hatha Vinyasa Yoga, enjoys challenging her students and engaging their minds. She hopes to share the mat with you and that you leave with fat heart.
I began practicing yoga in 2009 and received my 200-hour certification in July of 2016 from Cloud Nine Yoga School at Toula. I balance my body and mind through yoga and love to share and teach these benefits with my students. I have found that a regular yoga practice brings a sense of grounding and peace to life. I hope to share the many benefits of yoga with others looking for balance too.
I have been practicing yoga on and off for years. In the last 5 years I began to practice more regularly. I had some different events happen in my life that made me feel like I needed something more. I signed up for a class at Toula and was hooked to start practicing more often. I found getting on my yoga mat and just breathing helped me get through these times. I decided I wanted to learn more about yoga and help others in their own yoga journey so I began my 200 hour teacher training through Cloud Nine Yoga and graduated in July 2016. During my training we focused mainly on Hatha yoga. I enjoy teaching mindful and slow flow yoga classes. I believe that yoga is a never ending "improving your life" journey. Yoga has been a great tool for myself and I would like to share my practice with anyone who would love to learn more about yoga. I believe yoga is not just about doing the poses, but improving your mind and spirit.
I enjoy spending time with my husband and two beautiful children. I like to travel to new places, spend time with family and friends.
In search of a workout to compliment running, yoga was suggested and after one class, I was hooked! With a dance background, the flow of vinyasa was very natural, but the idea of working to explore the mind, body and spirit connection was new and quite a challenge! I love all there is to know about the body's mechanics and have a degree in health sciences so yoga teacher training drew me in easily. I completed my 200 hour certified yoga teacher training at Corepower in 2010. During my yoga journey I ran across many pregnant mamas, myself included, and felt there was much more to know about the woman's body during this time of change and growth and wanted to explore more. In 2013 completed Blooma's Prenatal Yoga teacher training and Birth Doula training in Minneapolis, MN. My passion for teaching and alignment is a full body experience; beginning with yourself, nurturing and loving you first and embracing all the changes that life may bring. Prenatal yoga offers this wonderful mind, body, spiritual AND baby connection. It is an honor to be a part of the mama's journey into mother hood! Come visit me with baby on board or after baby arrives in a Baby and Me Yoga class. I love watching little ones grow!