Our Staff — the "Beyond Zen Tribe"
Bridgette Clark, Studio Owner, Instructor and Massage Therapist
Bridgette has long held a passion for movement, health & fitness. At Purdue University she earned a BS in Movement in Sport Science. Her education includes Power House Pilates and a full comprehensive training through Pilates Chicago. She has been teaching Pilates for 15 years and has consistently observed the power of Pilates to heal, re-balance & revitalize one’s body and spirit and is committed to bringing her clients positive results. As a licensed Massage Therapist, she strives to integrate her knowledge of anatomy and pain management in to her Pilates and Yoga classes. She believes in the power of knowledge and strives to empower each of her clients by educating them and bringing them greater body awareness in order to develop realistic, individualized strategies to create positive, lasting healthy changes.
Cathy Roe, Instructor
Cathy Roe has been a leader in the dance and fitness industry for over two decades, pioneering fitness and dance education through her instructional videos and DVDs since 1990 and producing over 150 films which sell internationally. She has been named a master teacher by numerous educational institutions, and has been the recipient of many choreography awards, including the prestigious New York Film and Television Award for her choreographic work while at Hong Kong Television. Her credentials also include acting as Dance Director for the University of Hawaii–Hilo, teacher/choreographer for Hong Kong Television, adjudicator for numerous competitions and last but not least, the hardest job of them all….dance and fitness studio owner and director. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Dance Education, certifications include Group Fitness (ACE),Yoga, Pilates, Barre and Zumba.
Cathy is the owner and artistic director of Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance Competitions.
Eric Gingerich, Instructor
The physical practice of Hatha and Ashtanga yoga found Eric Gingerich 2 and a half years ago while living in Shanghai, China. One of his best friend’s would not stop talking about (and doing) "the practice." Finally, one sunny day out on the track of the international high school where he was an English teacher, Eric attempted the practice with his friend. For whatever reason, he did not really enjoy it. He was, however, impressed, that his friend could kick himself up into handstand. Yes, he used wall support, but still!
Just before the Chinese New Year, 2015, that same friend introduced Eric to a Hatha yoga teacher he had met on a silent retreat. Eric remembers two things from his first "real" experience of yoga: first) the teacher was kind, always smiling, and from India; second) he was completely exhausted by the end of the one hour class and experienced a taste of pure stillness in savasana. That, or he might have just fallen asleep, but he felt better than he had at the beginning of the class.
Soon after, Eric had a year membership to the studio and tried nearly all of the classes. He feels he was fortunate and blessed to have his first teachers be from India—these were not necessarily RYTs, but instead people who grew up practicing yoga. Through his teachers, Eric was introduced to far more than the asana aspect of yoga. This exposure ranged from yoga philosophy, meditation, pranayama, vegetarianism (though his Ashtanga yoga teacher did eat meat), and various stories and lessons from the Hindu religion.
It was a lot to take in, and all of this new exposure did not come without some internal conflict. It also came with feelings of inner confidence and a slowly developing awareness of the body, thoughts, and emotions, as well as where Eric most commonly held tension (the neck and shoulders!). Upon moving back to Indiana at the end of January, 2016, Eric decided to investigate all of this a little bit deeper by becoming a certified yoga teacher.
Eric is excited to teach a class he’s calling "Foundations of Hatha Yoga." Hatha yoga is simply the physical aspect and breathing exercises of yoga. Where it differs from vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga, though, is in it’s focus on alignment and correct muscle engagement, as well as a more intentional use of props and the holding of postures for longer periods of time. Because of the expansive nature of modifications in the asana practice, this class really is for everyone. It will also be useful for those looking to slow down and revisit postural alignment so that they can bring this knowledge into their vinyasa practice.
Ellie Kraska, Studio Manager and Instructor
Ellie began her Pilates career with a love for the beauty and strength of movement. After a collegiate soccer and ballet career she sought a way to continue her active lifestyle and a way to meld the strength and length her muscles had come to love. Pilates allowed Ellie to find a new dimension of muscle control and strength, quickly turning into a passion and career. She acquired a full certification in BASI Pilates, a contemporary program which blends the Pilates exercises with a focus on the individual body and its present needs. Ellie blends her knowledge of Pilates, Yoga and Dance to bring a unique balance of physically challenging and mentally engaging practices, focusing on the connection between the body and mind. Ellie is thrilled to be a part of the Beyond Zen community.
Jennifer Parker, Instructor
Jennifer has always been inspired by the power of the body and what it can achieve when you challenge yourself. She has participated in many activities from team sports to horseback riding. After the birth of her son, she reconnected with her love of ...yoga. As the owner of The Lucky Lotus, a yoga jewelry line available at Beyond Zen, she encourages living a yogi lifestyle. She wants to share with others the way yoga can change lives by allowing the power of practice to guide you through life's journey. Breathe, be present, let go of judgement and expectations are key aspects of her practice that she encourages her students to focus on. She believes yoga is a great escape that can be reached just by stepping on your mat. Heavily influenced by music of all kinds, she finds value in playing many different genres of music during her classes. Jennifer has been trained through YogaFit and earned her Aerial Ascension Yoga Teacher Certification through Shanti School of Yoga. She is excited to be part of the Beyond Zen family and is eager to share the love, joy and fun she discovered through her personal practice.
Judith Johns, Instructor
I have been a member of Pilates Method Alliance and a Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates teacher for 3 years and a Yoga Alliance member and Registered Yoga Teacher 200 for 2 years. My major focus is anatomy and body alignment .Both Pilates and Yoga are exercises for a lifetime with emphasis on posture, body function, strength, balance and body/mind consciousness. My Pilates clients range from beginners to very advanced. Many of my clients are current or former athletes. I teach all Pilates equipment as well as mat classes. In addition I am a Pilates Pre/Post Natal specialist. Both Pilates and Yoga can assist in preventing injury by body awareness and balancing the body with focus on deep body muscles and structure. A background as a nurse clinical specialist assists me with teaching clients with medical issues ranging from joint and spine to fibromyalgia etc.
The yoga that I teach is restorative emphasizing body movements to strengthen and release areas of the body that are tight or causing discomfort.
Kristy Howell, Instructor
I am motivated and inspired by intentional, functional movement and I believe in honoring your body where you are in the present moment. My goal is to give clients a great high intensity, full body workout and have them be able to KEEP COMING BACK because their bodies feel good and are pain free. My teaching style is uplifting, motivational, and challenging while giving great attention to form and offering modifications for all levels. My classes are informed by ongoing study in multiple disciplines, international travel, and meditation.
Natalie Kilheeney, Acupuncturist
Natalie Kilheeney, BA, MATCM, L. Ac., DIPL. OM, is a Licensed Acupuncturist and herbalist certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) as a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, the board’s highest achievement. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and graduated with a master’s degree from the renowned Yo San University of Traditional Chinese medicine in Los Angeles, California. During her program, she finished 3,375 hours of classroom education and clinical training. She also completed an extensive residency program at the Venice family Clinic Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center, working side by side with MD’s, Nurse Practitioners, and other health care practitioners in Integrative pain management. Natalie also worked at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, California, as an assistant wellness coordinator for detoxification and cleansing retreats for Dr. Maoshing Ni.
Since graduating in 2013, Natalie studied under an acupuncturist with over 16 years of experience and administered nearly 6,000 acupuncture treatments covering a broad range of health conditions in internal medicine and health restoration. She continues her private practice and holds a special interest in pain management, stress reduction, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, migraines, and fertility. She has been a guest lecturer on medical panels and in community seminars on topics including pain management, nutrition, emotional health, and insomnia. In addition, her scope of practice includes qigong, meditation, tai chi, and various energy healing techniques.
Natalie grew up in Southwest Michigan and after Acupuncture helped her successfully on her journey, she was inspired to share her passion with others. She is fully committed to understanding and supporting each individual on their own path to wellbeing and is known for her gentle healing techniques, and compassionate nature.
Natalie is married to her husband Nick and has a beautiful German Shepard named Bodhi. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, biking, yoga, zumba and spending quality time with her family.
Patty Thornton, Instructor
As a PMA certified instructor, Patty discovered this modality in l999 and has been passionate about Pilates ever since. She began her journey with a Physical Mind Institute certification and became the first certified instructor in South Bend, Ind. Since then, Patty has attained certifications in areas that include mat, reformer, cadillac and small equipment from such acclaimed institutes at PHI Pilates and Balanced Body.
Having been involved within the fitness industry for the past 26 years, Patty considers helping her students attain their fitness goals among her highest priority. As an AFAA certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer, along with being a 200- hour certified yoga teacher from YogaFit, Patty continues to expand her knowledge by regularly attending workshops and conferences around the country.
Mary Lord, Instructor
I taught school for 30 years! Most of my time was spent at Prairie Vista Elementary School. I started coming to Beyond Zen 1 1/2 years ago. I fell in love with Restorative Yoga and from then on I was hooked! About 6 months ago, because of the wonderful support from the tribe at Beyond Zen, I started to dream of teaching yoga. I started my training to earn my Yoga Teacher Certification and I am excited to follow my dream! I think we continue learning something new every single day. No matter your age nor life experience, there is always something new to be taught. That is what keeps us young! I am so excited to be part the of Beyond Zen Tribe and their positive atmosphere! Beyond Zen Studio is my happy place!
Anitra Bollenbacher, Massage Therapist
I was inspired to become a massage therapist by my husband who is a migraine sufferer. I believe that the body is amazingly knitted together and everything is connected in some way. My passion is to be able to help those who either need to just relax for an hour or alleviate the pain and discomfort from tight muscles. I am certified in Pre-natal Massage, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point and Reflexology.
Rae Kujawski, Massage Therapist
From a young age Rae has been surrounded by healers, from hospital nurses to Reiki Masters, who taught her the power of the body-mind connection.
While attending art school in CA she recognized her passion for working with her hands, and, after graduating went on to look for a way to combine what she learned in art school with what she wanted to learn about the human body. She was pointed in the direction of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, where she was able to train in both Eastern and Western modalities of healing, and, with this training has become evermore inspired and motivated by the healing power of touch.
Today Rae is a licensed Bodywork Therapist specializing in Craniosacral Therapy and whole-body assessments, with training in three types of Cupping Therapy and moxibustion. Her work has taken her through Chiropractic and Chinese Clinical settings where she has worked with acute and chronic conditions, postural balance, injury prevention, lymphatic drainage, and psychosomatic conditions.
She believes that we all have the ability to heal ourselves when we realize where and how we hold onto stress or trauma. Her work is to bring clients to a space where they can know, feel, and cultivate their own physical and mental healing processes.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Massage Therapist
Tara Hennig, Instructor
Tara fell in love with Pilates during her 15 year career as a professional dancer. She received her BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University in Indianapolis, after which she danced professionally in the Gregory Hancock Dance Theater, and Carnival Cruise Lines. For 13 years she travelled the world on many CCL ships as Dance Captain managing and performing in multimillion dollar production shows. Pilates made such a huge difference in in her balance, performance ability, strength, and endurance, extending the length of her dance career. After retiring in 2013 she decided to make it her new career choice. Tara recently completed her BASI Pilates comprehensive teacher training. Her main focus in her practice is proper muscle recruitment, form, and mind and body connection and balance.
She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge, and honored to be a part of the Beyond Zen family.
Monte Aukes, Massage Therapist
Monte Aukes is a Massage Therapist with 12 years experience. He offers a Medical Style Massage, which is deep tissue, but “not painful” and is very effective for pain, stiffness and injuries. Cold laser therapy, castor oil packs and other complimentary treatments are included as-needed at no extra charge, adding great value to his service!
Monte is also skilled at Manual Lymph Drainage, which is great for nutritional detoxing, pregnancy, puffiness, skin care, energy and more. His level of certification qualifies him to work after surgeries too, such as face lifts, to remove swelling and bruising, while speeding recovery.
Skin care is another professional trade that Monte offers as an Esthetician level Cosmetologist. He is planning to offer facials, peels and sugar hair removal at Beyond Zen; so be sure to ask him about it.
Monte’s had a strong personal interest in the natural healing arts for many years. He’s knowledgeable about herbs, chi gong, meditation, philosophy and so forth. So if you’re looking for something useful and don’t quite know what you’re looking for; be sure to strike-up the conversation during your session! He can be very helpful.
Cassie Seal, Holistic Physical Therapist
Meet our new Holistic Physical Therapist, Yoga Teacher, and Craniosacral Therapist
Cassie Seal, PT, DPT, RYT-200 has been practicing Physical Therapy for over 10 years and has advanced training in Craniosacral Therapy, Somatoemotional Release, Visceral Mobilization, Acupressure, and Yoga Therapy. In addition, she has also studied Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine and has developed a unique approach to body work that blends eastern and western traditions as well as focuses on the body’s own innate healing abilities to facilitate healing on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. It is a process that encourages her patients to go within their own bodies to deepen their own physiological awareness, and take the steps necessary to heal from a multitude of acute or chronic complaints. Sessions include listening to the patient’s inner wisdom, providing hands on therapies to address tissue tone and structural balance, and/or neuromuscular re-education exercises and yoga asanas to retrain the body’s movement patterns. The end goal is to facilitate movement of blocked energy patterns that allow for positive movement strategies and release of stuck emotions and belief patterns.
Cassie has extensive experience in the treatment of chronic and acute joint problems, orthopedic injuries, arthritic pain, headaches, migraines, Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis, neck and back pain, stress and tension related disorders, whiplash injuries, and trauma injuries. She is available at Beyond Zen on Wednesdays starting in October, 2017. Private sessions are available and may include any of the above manual therapies and or individualized yoga therapy instruction depending on each individual’s needs. Please contact or go online to Beyond Zen’s website for scheduling inquiries. For personal inquiries or questions,
Cassie may be reached at 574-514-8413.
Tiffany Stanfield, Yoga Instructor
I have been teaching yoga for almost 5 years, I completed my 200 hour training and have accumulated over 2,000 hours in teaching. My teaching involves hands on adjustments to help students maintain the integrity of the spinal structure while finding the ability to lengthen and strengthen the muscular body. I myself spent many years trying to find the solution to my pains dealing with severe scoliosis and it was yoga that gave me the ability to open up my life to better control over my body and live pain free. My hope in teaching yoga is to have an ability to teach others the same awareness and strength over the mind and body to live more fully.