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Meet the Instructors

Barbara J. Spietz

Educational consultant and teacher of dance, physical education, health, yoga and physical management

  • Dance Educator at International, National, Regional, State and District levels
  • American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
  • Illinois Alliance for Arts Education
  • Very Special Arts International
  • Masters of Science degree in Adapted Physical Education from the University of Illinois
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Health with Dance Specialization from
  • Wisconsin State University
  • Post graduate studies from Illinois State University, National Lewis College and Xavier College in:
    • psychology
    • addiction/drug education
    • conflict resolution
    • rational emotive therapy
    • cooperative learning
  • Yoga Alliance 500 Level
  • Yoga Chicago
  • International Association of Yoga Therapists
  • Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science Philosophy
  • Initiate of and teacher training from Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy
  • Very Special Arts teacher trainer in dance for special populations Illinois and India
  • Yoga Alliance 500 Level
  • Physical Management and Yoga Instructor
  • Reiki I and II

Renee Chwaszczewski

Renee is an associate instructor for Awakenings. Renee began her interest in yoga in 2002, after a friend referred her to it as a great way to relax. After a couple of years of studying under Barb, she decided that she would like to become an instructor. Renee finished her 200 hour certification with Lotus Yoga Center in 2005 and is currently working toward her 500 hour certification. She is a RYT 200 with the Yoga Alliance, and an active member of Lotus Yoga Teachers Association.

Renee enjoys teaching to all age groups and is now teaching at studios, park districts, chiropractic
offices, schools and private homes. She feels yoga is a great way for people to explore themselves, and
the world around them.

In addition she is a Reiki Master of the Usui lineage, and has attended several workshops on alternative
healing modalities.

Jaquelyn Cotey

Jaquelyn is a welcome addition to Awakenings bringing a strong fitness approach to yoga. She has a degree in communications and is a certified YogaFit instructor. As part of her training Jacquelyn has studied under the tutelage of Barbara and is working on certification in Ashtanga Yoga and Personal Fitness Training. Her belief is that optimum health can be achieved through the combining of a peaceful/focused mind and a hard working body with a dedicated and open spirit.
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