I started practicing yoga when I was working in the corporate world about 16 years ago. I found it to be a great way to stretch and release stress while also building strength. Since my first yoga training experience at Level 1 training with Baron Baptiste, I've since completed a 500-hr yoga training and comprehensive Pilates training. I have also attended hundreds of hours of additional training and workshops including, Ashtanga Yoga, Universal Yoga, Yoga for Athletes, Yoga Life Coaching, Yoga Body Bootcamp, Booty Barre, anatomy and numerous Pilates conferences and trainings.
There are so many ways to practice and there are so many other aspects of yoga to explore deeper like pranayama and meditation. I love how teaching yoga consistently brings me out of my comfort zone, and opening my first studio has definitely challenged me even more. Like many others, the physical practice of yoga was what first drew me in. And while I still love practicing yoga asana, whether it be playing in arm balances or inversions, or a more restorative practice after triathlon training, I love yoga even more for the mental and emotional benefits. Yoga is a daily practice for me and constantly challenges me to draw inward and focus on what my body and mind need, balancing strength with agility, stability with mobility, and most importantly, effort with ease. Pilates Equipment workouts are my go-to for strength and complement my yoga practice and triathlon training perfectly.
My heart’s desire is to empower you to be the best that YOU can be. Whether it be starting a yoga practice for the first time, learning that one fun posture you’ve always wanted to try, recovering from injuries or building strength, it is one of my greatest privileges to play a part in your journey.
When I’m not at the studio, I enjoy competing in triathlons and spending time with family and friends. Our family loves to travel and views the world as a wonderful and limitless place of possibilities and food to savour!
Jill fell in love with fitness and movement as a child studying ballet and other forms of dance from a young age. She trained at the School of Russian Ballet in Bermuda where Moira Stott started her dance training as a child and young teen. Jill’s performing experience includes six seasons with Bermuda Civic Ballet where she performed corps de ballet and soloist roles in ballets such as La Sylphide, Les Sylphides, Giselle, La Peri, Sylvia, Symphonic Dreams, and Memories. Today, she remains passionate in promoting age-appropriate movement for children as the Director of the Young Children’s Division of Capital City Dance Center in Urbandale.
With over 20 years of choreographic and dance instruction behind her, Jill is excited to translate her passion for dance and movement into Barre Fusion Pilates classes, as well as developing individualized Pilates programs for students at Spark that effectively address their unique needs. Jill was inspired to teach pilates 3 years ago by Amanda Garcia, of Studio 3 Pilates in Johnston, Iowa.
Jill graduated with high distinction earning Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Dance from the University of Iowa. Jill has completed STOTT PILATES mat, barre and pilates equipment training, as well as Injuries and Special Populations training. She is also trained to teach STOTT PILATES Zenga, which is a fusion of ballet, pilates and vinyasa yoga on both the reformer and the mat.
A love for dance and musical movement has always been a part of Noelle's life. She has studied and performed in Scottish Highland Dance for seven years, competing in the Quad Cities Highland Games. She has also studied under Jill Andrews in the adult ballet class at Capital City Dance Center. She was introduced to Pilates mat eight years ago and became firmly convinced of the benefits of a regular practice. Noelle has completed Stott Pilates essential and intermediate mat training at the SweatShop Health Club in St. Paul MN. She is excited to share her love of health and fitness through teaching Pilates Barre and Pilates mat classes. When not in dance class or teaching Pilates Barre, Noelle can be found enjoying hot yoga classes at the Spark studio, relaxing with a book and music or pursuing her love of Starbucks!
Penny has 5 years of yoga teaching experience and has earned her 400 hour teaching certification through James Miller Yoga. She has been practicing yoga for 8 years. In addition, to her certifications, she has attended a number of workshops in a number of yoga styles. She is Stott Mat and Reformer trained as well.
She has been teaching group exercise classes for 18 years with the YMCA and has a passion for helping people reach their potential!
In addition to group exercise, she is also a High School Varsity Dance team coach. She and her Husband Erik have 3 children and 2 dogs and her favorite yoga pose is half moon!
Rachel discovered yoga at age 14 as a dance student at North Carolina School of the Arts. After practicing yoga for 15 years, she received her 200-hour teaching certification through James Miller Yoga in Iowa City, IA, in 2011. Studying again with James Miller in 2012, she earned her 300-hour teaching certification and was among the first group of teachers to be certified in Adamantine® Yoga. She has continued her training through workshops with various renowned yoga teachers including Max Strom and Jim Bennitt.
From 2012-2014, she owned and operated Tula Yoga in Des Moines, but has found that she much prefers teaching over business ownership. In addition to teaching at yoga studios, Rachel has taught at corporate fitness centers, dance studios, rock-climbing gyms, and Yoga in the Park at Gray’s Lake.
A spirited and energetic personality, Rachel brings playfulness to every class. She delights in her students’ breakthroughs and enjoys giving every student personalized instruction. She cultivates a sense of community among her students and offers support through the learning process.