“If you can breathe, you can do yoga”
Practicing for 20+ years and teaching for 10+ years, Donna’s professional training consists of a 500 hour, Yoga Alliance, Registered Yoga Teacher Certiﬁcation (500RYT). She is currently a Senior Master Trainer for Yogaﬁt, Yoga Educator at Carthage College, and Owner and Director of Peace Tree Yoga in Burlington, WI.
Peace Tree Yoga offers daily yoga classes, as well as workshops, special events, and annual retreats that promote a healthy lifestyle and personal growth for individuals, private, and corporate clients.
Focusing on the need to nourish the individual while creating a place for everyone, Donna teaches welcoming, playful, rejuvenating classes that offer opportunities for building strength, connection to self, promoting balance, and inducing physical and mental relaxation. Empowering participants to move towards wholeness through mindful effort and surrender is a key component of her classes. Donna believes that becoming your own best friend, cultivating a joyful spirit, and discovering vibrant health through ﬂowing movement and breath can guide all to a healthier way of experiencing life.
I began practicing yoga when I was a junior in high school. It was a weekly activity my mom and I could do together in a time when many relationships start to struggle. Needless to say, our relationship has only grown deeper and our love of yoga has too. It continues to be something we do together twelve years later.
When I went off to college I really started to practice and is in fact one of the hardest classes I took and my only “C”- I struggled learning all of the sanskrit! From there I moved to Madison and my practice became a constant in my life. Taking at least once class a day, I was exposed to many styles, teachers and philosophies.
Two years ago, my husband and I moved to Burlington, and I went into panic- WHAT AM I GOING TO DO!? My husband recommended I discover my personal practice. This lead me to dive head first into a more full practice within the eight limbs of yoga. I am excited to be teaching others as I continue to expand my own learning and practice.
During the week, I am a seventh and eighth grade science teacher. My husband Ryan and I, also welcomed Calvin into our lives in February 2016. Due to his arrival, I also began my path of “Mommy Yoga”. I began with prenatal yoga and have expanded into ‘Mommy and Me’ as well. Being a new mom and a yogini have been great complements to each other as I explore this new part of my practice.
With so much Love!
“Peace begins with a smile!”~ Mother Teresa
My intention as a Yoga teacher is to share Yoga with the world! I want to help people see the light that Yoga can bring to their lives through mindful movement and self-appreciation. I hope to teach the importance of finding the breath and staying present in each moment.
In my eyes, Yoga is stepping on my mat and instantaneously feeling centered and calm. It is a safe zone free from the busy world buzzing all around me. It is a space free of anxieties and fears. Yoga is a way of life in which I will always be a student, forever learning new things on my journey through life. Yoga is learning to let go and just be… be present, be who you are, be anything. Yoga is love.
I teach vinyasa flow Yoga. I describe it as flowing through poses, moving with the breath, creating a mind body connection. I opt for everyone to move at their own pace connecting with their breath. I like to offer many variations for poses letting everyone get the most out of every pose by making it their own.
I believe that anyone and everyone can practice Yoga. I strive to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable during the classes that I teach. I hope for students carrying an open mind, ready to learn, grow, and be playful with their practice. I think one of the hardest parts of Yoga is just making it to the mat; once you’ve made it there, it’s all just practice. For those who are new to Yoga or those who have been practicing for years, Yoga can offer light in your life, learning to calm the mind, connecting with the body, and cultivating a happy heart.
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you are correct.”
In 2005, I went to my first yoga class as a skeptic thinking it wouldn’t really count as a workout. Boy was I wrong! Not only was I building strength and balance, but I also loved the way the classes got me out of my very self-critical head and helped me find a peaceful place within my body where I could learn to accept myself. So began my journey onto the path of yoga and the experience of “letting go”. Letting go of judgment, competition, and expectations.
In 2016, I achieved my YogaFit 200 hour certification and became a National Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) with Yoga Alliance. I am a lifelong student and continue my yogic journey practicing daily.
In 2018, I stepped outside my comfort zone and taught goat yoga and kids yoga! Everyone should experience goat yoga and the joy of animals and nature. I found my passion is teaching kids yoga. To be able to lead a group of kindergarten students into a quiet, peaceful place for a minute or two is pure joy and awe inspiring. Five-year-olds being still for a length of time – Now that’s yoga at its best!
I usually give each student a printed inspirational quote to carrying with them through the week. My hope is to inspire students on and off the mat to continue their “yoga practice” throughout their everyday life so that each person can find peace and harmony in whatever life brings them.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” -Fred DeVito
This is a truth I have been taught time and again through life and through yoga. We must be willing to break out from our shell, to grow, to allow our own beautiful light to shine through. At times this breaking is scary, painful, and full of uncertainty but beautiful and full of life at the same time. My wish is to help those willing to break open, find and connect with their true selves. Through yoga and pranayama (the art of working with our breath) we are able to find our oneness, our bliss and find our way along our path and be rooted in the present moment. I wish to share with others my own light and to create a safe place by designing my classes to keep the present moment within our hearts and find freedom in letting go and letting it all be. My classes are a blend of vinyasa flow and alignment focused hatha yoga. A place for everyone to practice and discover what their body is seeking that day.
My own practice of 12 years has lead me down many paths, at times I didn’t trust the journey. But, when I allowed myself to let go and to simply be lead both on and off the mat is when my life and my practice began to open up. Yoga has guided me through both turbulent and joyous times since I first starting practicing at the age of 15. From my parents divorce, a big move during high school, the loss of loved ones, pregnancy, labor and delivery of my daughter and the moments of animal rescue that are oh so bittersweet. There is so much to discover on the 8 limbed path of yoga and I wish to share it all with the world.
I hope this love and dedication shines through and reflects in my classes and inspires others to open themselves up to what life has in store for them. I am passionate about my own practice and about being given the gift to guide others in theirs. This place of service is where I feel most grounded. Most inspired. For while I may be on the mat leading the class I find that each and every student is leading me. Teaching me. I have been blessed in many ways and continue to breath in all that the universe has to offer.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
“Do the things you are afraid to do. Do the things that feel big. Do the things that show what you’re made of. You have the power to step into your magnificence.”
I first began practicing yoga in my teens. My practice did not become consistent, however, until my 30’s. At first, yoga was a way for me to build and maintain strength, flexibility and balance. Then after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue in my early 50’s, I discovered that yoga began to bring calm to my body, and balance and clarity to a life filled with stress and anxiety. It has allowed me to let go of self-doubt and the pieces of the past that no longer serve me. I now come to the mat to find my center and discover peace and contentment in the present. My practice has allowed me to find a gentle and peaceful path to health and wellness. As an elementary teacher, I am always looking for teachable moments to help my students. Yoga has helped me learn to be the recipient of my own teachable moments. Yoga has become my way of living.
On January 1st, 2018, I posted on Facebook that for the new year I wanted to set a goal that would push me out of my comfort zone. That goal was taking Level 1 training. I took Level 1 in January that year and have not looked back. Since then I have taken several other trainings including prenatal, kids, props, seniors and Levels 2-4. I only have 2 more classes to take to complete my 200 hours.
My passion is to help others to find their balance and center and to surrender worry and anxiety. I want my students to know that there is a way out of dis-ease and that yoga can be a path to health and wellness.
“True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.” — Aadil Palkhivala
I first starting practicing in the Fall of 2012. And soon fell in love with the physical and spiritual benefits I experienced each time I was on the mat. Mostly for my own use and somewhat looking ahead to my future I decided to become an instructor. It is my goal to provide classes in retirement communities, senior centers, and nursing homes while keeping myself in tune as I face the aging process.
I began my instructor journey in the Summer of 2015 completing Level 1. Nervous yet excited to share my practice I “dug my heels in the mat” and led my first class in January 2015.
I currently substitute for the Gentle Yoga classes offered at Peace Tree Yoga and help out at various other off-site locations.
In addition to Level 1 training, I’ve completed Level 2 &3, Senior Yoga, Props Training, Kid’s Yoga and Yoga Lean. As time permits I continue to expand my skill and knowledge to share with others.
Yoga truly is a way of life in Mind, Body and Spirit.