Our Teachers

Nicole Shanksnicole

I have been practicing yoga since my teens. I went back and forth with my dedication to yoga when I was young, but as I got older it became something I looked forward to every week and eventually every day. Then my interest kept growing as I went to workshops and met more teachers that inspired my practice.

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Lissa Stallings-Boone

I know my yoga roots began at age 4 with training in classical ballet. Ballet and Yoga share a special likeness as Living-Arts. I continued dance training for 13 years. Moving from young adult to adulthood, I found the need to move my body and maintain my optimal level of health and wellness. I did this through differing forms of physical activity.

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Gary Brandt
T’ai Chi

T’ai chi is a beautiful and graceful art form. There is also great power that comes from relaxing and aligning the body with gravity. T’ai chi is described as “stillness in motion” and as a “moving meditation”.

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Sara Catlett

As an advocate of natural healing and massage therapy, I have found that the steady practice of yoga goes hand in hand with body and energy work. I began practicing yoga as a way to relieve heavy anxiety, as yoga brings peace to the mind and relieves stresses held within the body.

Shortly after completing my education in massage and energy therapy, I finished my 200 hours of training in Saint Louis, MO, in May of 2015. I am currently certified in singing bowl sound therapy, Pranic Healing and level two Reiki and incorporate these aspects into my teachings. I plan to become 500 hour certified in the future, as yoga is called a practice because we are never done learning.

As a natural wanderlust, I am always on the move, seeking new adventures and traveling constantly. I find so much joy in seeing the earth’s beauty and learning about myself along the way. I have led yoga classes at music festivals, which is a huge passion of mine. I find incorporating yoga with dance and music creates an abundance of healing.

I look forward to where my yoga journey continues and all the people who come to the mat to practice with me.

Love Always,




Emma Donovan

As many yoga students do, I came to yoga for the physical benefits of strength, balance, and flexibility. Over time, I realized that yoga was more than a way to simply maintain optimal physical health, and began to come to yoga more and more for the greater spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being it brought to my life during my time as a busy college student.

In July 2014, I took the leap to complete a yoga instructor training in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga through It’s Yoga in Nicaragua. Now a college graduate and certified yoga instructor, I am eager to share yoga as a path to happiness, wellness, and well-being with others.




MaryMary Housman

I started my yoga journey after retirement from the business world. After working in an office environment for 30 years, I found I had joint pain in several areas of my body. A friend suggested yoga and so began my yoga journey. The practice of yoga healed my body, increased my flexibility, balance and strength.

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Sara Tucker

Sara is a Recreational Therapist, RYT 200, Air Force wife, and the dog mom of two puggles. Sara attended her first yoga class with her mom as a teenager and instantly fell in love; however, it took many years to build a consistent practice. She was working a stressful job in acute psych and found that practicing yoga was the perfect way to decompress the day. Drawn to yoga for the peace it provides the body and soul, and the physical benefits it provides the body were just an added bonus! True to her Recreational Therapist roots, Sara teaches a body conscious, trauma-informed class offering lots of options to make the practice safe, accessible, and enjoyable to all bodies.

Sara graduated from the 200 hr teacher training at Yoga Connection (Tucson, Arizona), a Yoga Alliance registered school, in 2015. She studied Kriya (Hatha) Yoga under Priscilla Potter (Swami Mahatarananada), Julie Williams, Tracy Gordon, and many other beautiful souls. Sara loves to lead the path to gentle and beginning hatha, slow flow vinyasa, yin, and restorative practices.

“If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” – Krishnamacharya







Surya Rakta Wellness • 1400 East B Street • Belleville, IL 62220
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