Meet Our Teachers

All of our instructors are RYT certified Grade A awesome teachers.
Susan Burns
Susan BurnsCo-Owner, RYT 200
Susan had been practicing yoga for over a decade before receiving her 200 hour yoga teacher training through Pulsation Yoga. Susan’s practice originally started as a supplement to her distance running, but over the years she realized she got much more from yoga than simply stretching and strengthening, and it has become her central focus. She emphasizes a balanced practice to build strength, stamina and peace through a flowing style suited to her students’ needs, while pushing them to their highest potential.
Sandy Smith
Sandy SmithCo-Owner, E-RYT 200
Sandy has been working at and teaching classes at Pulsation Yoga for 4 years. As a graduate of Pulsation Yoga’s 200 hour yoga teacher training program, a Professional Certified Coach, and certified in Precision Nutrition, her knowledge and experience runs deep. Sandy primarily teaches Basics and 101 classes for our studio, assisting those new to yoga to build a regular yoga practice by focusing on the foundations of poses and alignment. She is also a Wellness and Weight Loss Coach, bringing the benefits of yoga to her clients to develop strength, breath/body connection, and appreciation of their bodies regardless of where they are on their journey.
Alison Tseng
Alison TsengCo-Owner, RYT 200
Alison’s yoga experience is centered around Ashtanga and Anusara based practices. She started to practice simply as a way to get exercise, but as time went on yoga became critical in helping to deal with her General Anxiety Disorder. As a teacher, Alison strives to help students feel and see the benefits that yoga offers their mind, their self-confidence, and their lives, even when they step off the mat. She believes it is important to build strength, flexibility, and balance through proper alignment. She tries to inspire a sense of community that creates a fun, rejuvenating, and relaxing environment.
Kathy Simonek
Kathy SimonekE-RYT 500, Anusara® Certified
Kathy co-founded Pulsation Yoga. She has been a student of yoga since 2003 and started teaching in 2004. She received her 500ERYT January 2011 and is certified in Anusara Yoga®. Kathy’s classes vary in style but they always carry a spiritual centering and theming throughout. In every class she incorporates therapeutic oriented yoga, and emphasizes alignment so all the students feel safe.

Kathy has had multiple spinal surgeries including a lower lumbar fusion. She spent years discovering modifications for her own practice and teaches students to follow their own path so they leave feeling good about themselves. She often sees students for private therapeutic-oriented sessions.

Jim Simonek
Jim SimonekE-RYT 500, Anusara® Certified
Jim co-founded Pulsation Yoga. He has been practicing and teaching yoga 15 years along with his co-founder wife Kathy. Jim was a remodeling contractor for 30 years and discovered yoga when he was 49. He turned to yoga to rebuild his body and his mind from the demands and stress in the remodeling industry.

Completely healed through yoga, Jim is known for his enthusiasm, playfulness, and encouragement to all of his students. He is well recognized for his arm balances and inversion poses. Congratulations to Jim on his recent Anusara Yoga® certification.

Amy Whalen
Amy WhalenRYT 200
Amy has enjoyed practicing yoga for many years. She completed Pulsation Yoga’s 200 hour teacher training program in August 2016 and brought her knowledge and enthusiasm to the studio as an instructor. She draws from her experience in personal training, coaching high-school gymnastics and health club management to create fun and creative classes that will leave students feeling good and inspired about their practice.
Atha Panou
Atha PanouRYT 200
Serving as a Director of Human Resources for a few decades while being actively involved with my sons lives, community and social activities, I craved yoga. I dedicated early mornings to my home practice. In 2016 I organized a wellness month for my colleagues. The students felt invigorated, focused, energized, and great. From this experience, the seed of “Hatha with Atha” was officially planted. At the urging of my friend I enrolled at Pulsation studio to receive formal Anusara Yoga certification training. The training was amazing. I am honored to be joining the “kula” that Jim and Kathy Simonik have created and look forward to contributions my classes will be able to make to the community. My style is a flow sequence highlighting the 3 A’s action, attitude, and alignment. I chuckle when people tell me that they are too “hyper” for yoga or too stiff or worried about the way they will look. That’s how I sounded in 1994, now I’m limber, calm and look like a yogini. It’s a new chapter to a great story.
Carol Crawford
Carol CrawfordRYT 200
As Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga, writes in The Mind: If we can master the use and command of the mind, we can enjoy this world to live truthfully, gracefully and prosperously. Carol invites, practitioners to learn tools for developing a healing relationship with mind, body and soul. Join Carol Crawford (Sahejpreet Kaur), certified Kundalini and Hatha Yoga teacher, as she guides you through a series of pranayama, gentle Kundalini yoga kriya, gong relaxation, and meditation. Meditate, befriend your mind, connect to your soul, and discover your true self.
Cary Marchese
Cary MarcheseRYT 200
After practicing yoga for over 11 years, Cary completed her 200 hour RYT with Pulsation Yoga in 2015. She prefers an alignment based yoga, feeling it keeps your mind present and connected to your body throughout practice.
Cary teaches an athletic style class with a sense of playfulness, encouraging students to explore their edge physically and mentally through poses and thoughtful themes while reminding them to listen to their bodies and providing modifications when necessary. By the end of class she hopes each student feels improvement in their mind and body, walking out the door with a new sense of strength, empowerment and a lightness in their heart.
David Bonness
David BonnessRYT 200
David began practicing yoga in 2012 after a year of surgeries on both eyes to save his vision left him legally blind and severely depressed. The following year while attending a rehabilitation program for individuals who are visually impaired he began to lead a small group in the evenings for yoga and shortly after decided to become a yoga teacher. In 2016 David completed his RYT 200 hour Teacher Training at Pulsation Yoga.
David firmly believes that so long as you have the drive to learn and overcome your limitations that you will achieve what you set out to do, be it to regain what you have lost or discovering something about yourself you never realized before.
Eve Swire
Eve Swire RYT 200
The physicality of yoga sparked Eve’s interest long ago, but her practice blossomed when she began to experience yoga’s holistic benefits for body, mind and spirit. Fascinated by what yoga has done for her in terms of stress reduction, increased awareness, balance, strength and flexibility, Eve has found a passion in trying to help others.
Eve’s classes will always offer a physical challenge but her focus is the search for meaningful individual accomplishments rather than competing with an idealistic standard. Eve incorporates breathing and meditation techniques into each session to improve focus and mindfulness on and off the mat. She has a special love for the yin element of any pose.
Eve completed Pulsation Yoga’s Teacher Training Class in 2015. She is forever challenging herself to learn more, to relax and to accept.
Kat Graham
Kat GrahamRYT 200
Kat turned to yoga in 2009 as a way to connect with community and move her body. She enrolled in the RYT 200 program through Pulsation Yoga and completed it in 2015.
In addition to practicing and teaching at Pulsation Yoga, Kat regularly attends workshops and classes to expand upon her training. She has practiced and studied various styles of yoga including Anusara, Iyengar, vinyasa flow, alignment based, restorative, and yin.
She focuses her teaching on finding the right combination of flow, alignment, breath, and meditation. She strives to create a welcoming atmosphere for all in her classes and hopes to inspire others to find mindfulness outside of the classroom and in their daily lives.
Kathy Pomerleau
Kathy PomerleauRYT 200
Kathy has been consistently practicing yoga for the past five years and has recently received her RYT 200 certificate from Pulsation Yoga’s Teacher Training School. She is thrilled to be part of the Pulsation Yoga family. In addition to being an Anusara based yoga teacher, Kathy is a licensed physical therapist. Her 19 years of clinical experience, primarily in outpatient orthopedics, is a wonderful complement to her yoga training.

As a runner for 28 years, I became interested in yoga as a means to increase my flexibility. With consistent practice, I realized that yoga was much more than stretching. Yoga not only began to restore the imbalances in my physical body, but also began to touch the deeper layers of my mind and spirit. With a dedicated yoga practice, I became healthier, happier and better at managing the daily stresses of life. I am excited to guide you in your journey to wellness.

Kathryn Larsen
Kathryn LarsenRYT 200
Kathryn completed her 200-hour teacher training with Kathy Simonik in June of 2018. She comes to Pulsation with an extensive background in teaching movement of various kinds, including dance, group exercise, and other physical activities geared toward a diverse population of students. She has taught dance to special needs children and adults, singers/performers, gymnasts. Additionally, Kathryn specializes in adapting movement and exercise for adults with cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges.

Alignment and injury prevention are key components to her style of teaching, and the use of the breath and mindfulness both bring a therapeutic aspect to her classes, which has shown itself to be especially beneficial to her clients in the mental health field. In Kathryn’s classes she encourages people to “leave judgment at the door and just enjoy being you!”

Lin Li
Lin LiRYT 200
Lin has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and a student of Kathy and Jim Simonik for 8 years. Lin has created more space and freedom in her physical body and in her heart through her yoga practice that also inspires her to live a more mindful life. The yoga journey has helped her grow stronger and more flexible on and off the mat. She enjoys every moment of this journey and would like to share it with everybody. Lin is here to help the others find their own journey safely and mindfully. Lin completed her RYT 200 with Kathy in 2014. Lin teaches Level 1, Level 1-2 and Yin/Restorative yoga.
Linda Yatsko
Linda YatskoRYT 200
Linda comes from a dance background and grew up studying at her mother’s dance studio in Grand Haven, Michigan. After moving to Chicago she became a member of the Joel Hall Dancers, a professional jazz dance company.
Linda’s first experience with yoga was taking Ashtanga yoga classes at Chicago School of Yoga (formerly NU Yoga). She later moved to the northwest suburbs and began taking classes with Jim and Kathy Simonik. Linda completed the teacher training program at Pulsation Yoga in 2015 earning her RYT 200. Linda has been practicing yoga for close to 20 years. She currently teaches at both studios.
Megan Miller
Megan MillerRYT 200, RYT 500
A teacher since 2008, Megan has 200 hour RYT certifications in Forrest and Anusara Yoga and is wrapping up a 500 RYT Iyengar Influenced Advanced Teacher Training, and is is certified in Levels 1 & 2 Yoga for Golfers.
Megan’s classes are uplifting and energetic, yet embrace calmer, reflective moments too. Each class is themed and interlaced with breath work, philosophy, creative, progressive sequencing leading to an apex pose, the use of props therapeutically and as tools to make postures more accessible, playlists that are an eclectic mix.
Megan works to help students personalize their practices by modifying poses and mindfully progressing to deeper and more challenging poses when they’re ready. Rooted in alignment principles, she wants to help students develop wise, knowledgeable, instinctual practices and find balance, harmony, and peace on and off the mat.
Nadiya Dnes
Nadiya DnesRYT 200
Nadiya has been a student for many years and continues to learn. She started out in the Astanga style. Nadiya completed her 200 Hour Anusara Teacher Training in 2003. Nadiya frequently incorporates breathing techniques to enhance the class. She has been teaching for Pulsation Yoga since we opened our doors in Arlington Heights.
Patricia Airoldi
Patricia AiroldiRYT 200
Patricia’s first experience with hatha yoga was to improve her flexibility on recovery days from her training as a runner and triathlete. Being prone to injury, yoga helped her to be more aware of her body and understand her limits. What started as an aid for her sport activities, soon became a passion. She is a graduate of Pulsation Yoga’s 200 hour yoga teacher training, and primarily teaches yin yoga. Patricia’s deepest desire is to serve the students in a compassionate manner helping them to feel better about themselves in all aspects of their being.
Sheila Kessler
Sheila KesslerRYT 200
Sheila is a 200-hour RYT. She practiced yoga frequently for many years before committing to a daily practice following numerous losses in 2011. She completed her teaching training with Kathy Simonik in 2015. Sheila’s approach to her personal practice and her teaching includes equal parts alignment and personal growth, and extra humor. Sheila’s goal for her students and herself is to unleash limitless mindful awareness that translates off the mat. Sheila commits to her students and her own practice by participating in continuing education. She has studied with Elise Browning Miller, Gabriel Halpren, Nancy DL Heraty, Noah Mazé, Mark Holzman, Todd Norian, and Desireé Rumbaugh. Sheila has a special interest in yoga for scoliosis, having a fused scoliotic spine herself. Her encouraging attitude illustrates her belief that yoga truly is for everyone. Sheila teaches Level 1-2, Yin-Meditation, and is a rotating teacher for the Yoga 101 series.
Val Markovska
Val MarkovskaRYT 200
My curiosity about yoga sparked my, on and off, relationship with it. I have practiced different types of yoga and have been always drawn to the philosophy and spiritual aspect of it. I came to Pulsation Yoga after joining 20 people, I have never met before, on a trip to Sedona 3 years ago and everything unfolded from there. I have developed a consistent personal yoga and meditation practice that have enabled me to improve my life in many ways. I took the 200-hour RYT at Pulsation in the Anusara curriculum and graduated in 2017. I am grateful for having the opportunity to teach at Pulsation yoga. I enjoy practicing and teaching classes that are mindful, playful and ones that open and challenge the heart, mind and body. I am, and always will be, a humble student as I strive to learn, expand and share the beauty and wisdom of yoga.