Yoga House Chicago

Melanee Cooper

In my previous life, I was a gallerist in the contemporary art world for 22 years. Although I have been practicing yoga for over ten years, my true journey down the yoga path began when I met my guru, Ruzika Weisen, seven years ago. Ruzika (71 years young) has practiced yoga since the age of 14, and has studied with B.K.S. Iyengar and Guru Dev (Amrit Desai) from the Kripalu Ashram. A former scientist and brilliant scholar, Ruzika has taught me meditation techniques, prananyama, asana & yoga philosophy. She has made an indelible impact on my yoga practice, which has transformed my life. I decided to pursue my teaching certification at the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, founded by Brahamandand Don Stapleton, PHD and Amba Stapleton, formerly from Kripalu. It was the perfect match for me.

The Nosara Yoga Institute is a yoga utopia. The interdisplinary teaching, with a good dose of chanting and yoga sutras, resonated deeply within me. I was completely aligned and knew this was where I was supposed to be. It was at Nosara that I had the clarity to change my gallery into a yoga studio. Immediately upon arriving home, I transformed the gallery into YOGAHOUSE. My intention has always been to give back to my community, share my passion of yoga and help make positive changes in the world. YOGAHOUSE is for every body. And every body needs a home both literally and metaphorically.

I have studied with master teachers Erich Schiffman (Freedom Style Yoga & author Moving Into Stillness,) Gary Kraftsow (Viniyoga) & Seane Corn (Vinyasa Flow) and I continue to learn from the wonderful teachers here at YOGAHOUSE as well. I also have my associate teacher certification from YOGAKIDS with Marsha Wenig. Working with Cross Cultural Solutions, I have volunteered teaching children English and yoga in China, India and Africa, as well as in the Chicago Public Schools. I recently completed 100 hours of Experimental Yoga Anatomy for the Multi-Dimensional Being with Sarah Tacy at Nosara Yoga Institute in December 2010.

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