Ivy's Holistic Arts 

Yoga * Barre & Pilates * Yoga Therapy * Holistic Health & Wellness 

Ivy (Ishvira)- Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist, Reiki Practitioner, Holistic Health Coach & Ayurveda Wellness Counselor, Thai Yoga Bodywork Practitioner, Pilates/Barre Instructor, Spin Instructor and Breast Cancer Survivor!

About Me??  Well, I like to stay in the background (and if you know me you probably would not of guessed this), however, I have learned through my Yoga practice and Breast Cancer experience to let go of that fear of judgement so here goes....
I have lived a very messy life, nothing pretty and comforting.  In fact when I met my husband, Brant in my early 20's I was so drawn to his beautiful Wisconsin family and the way he grew up because it was so different than my experience.  When I was young I could only dream of support, love, compassion, and nourishing since it was not what I was brought up in.
I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone.  Funny how I gravitated towards another small town when I was raising my two children (who are now strong responsible and caring adults) and love it but at that time it made me miserable.  I had a difficult childhood full of trauma, negativity and abuse.  During those younger years and into adulthood I cared for my brothers and my mother, as a result I learned to do things on my own, take care of others and disregard my own needs of self-care and nurturing.  I also learned very well how to mask and stuff my feelings leading to some very destructive behaviors one of  which was an eating disorder.  At the age of 16 I was sexually assaulted.  I didn't tell anyone.  I felt I had no one to turn to and I didn't.  That experience combined with my family life further pushed me away from my true self, my true nature and into a very guarded emotional individual.
As a child I was always barefoot, loving nature, loving animals, swimming, collecting pretty stones, drawing pictures of animals & trees, and such a "happy go lucky" kind of kid.  I was always having those moments of "deja-vu" and was super sensitive to the feelings of others even if I didn't know them.  I just knew things....to me this was natural and normal.  I remember thinking quite often why doesn't everyone else know this??  Things would just come to me and as I would say them I began to get some interesting not so positive reactions so I learned to say nothing.  I felt a strong connection to the elements of fire, water, earth, air and space and was at my best, balanced and content, peaceful and with clarity when connected to these vibrational gifts of the universe, gifts of God.  As I grew up these interests were not supported and then into my adulthood I became focused on my own family and trying to provide them with the support and comfort I didn't have as a child. 
I liked to move.  At 17 I began taking a jazzercise class (yes, I am that old) and at 18 started teaching aerobics at a Women's Workout World.  Moving made me feel connected to myself again, made me feel better about myself and basically, "burned the crazy off" that I could not get out of my head. My interest and passions became stronger as I turned to self-study reading every book I could find on movement, nutrition, and fitness.  I later pursued more formal education such as a Personal Training Certification, specialty fitness training and continued on this path for years until I found YOGA.  And, I was hooked!  I happened to be at a fitness conference, at that time there were not many yoga classes around (big difference from current times) and I decided to try this "Yoga" thing.  I was blown away!  I had never moved my body in such a way that wasn't jumping all over the place and yet I really felt that I had worked my body BUT the biggest difference was my MIND!  I FELT SO CALM mentally.  The way I felt after that Yoga class reminded me of being in nature....being connected, peaceful, content, relaxed and yet somehow energized.  It was a place I liked, a feeling I felt comfortable with, a place where my past didn't define me and it made me feel .....like me again. 
As my thirst for knowledge continued I put my all into self-study and more formalized training developing my gifts and skills as a Yoga Teacher so I can share them with you.  Self work can be a difficult journey and it has taken me a long time to get to this place I call me...my true nature...my true self.  I spent years studying the structural nature of Yoga, still interested in our human energetic vibrational nature I began to study the Chakras (energy centers of the body), Reiki, Meditation and other energy modalities. 
It wasn't until I had Breast Cancer that I began to see and feel the shift within myself as the culmination of my life experiences and my studies came more fully together. 
Once again I delved into self- study (most of the time while I was in the Chemo chair during treatments or resting from them at home) on nutrition for Cancer treatments, and more formal education on Yoga for Cancer and Yoga Therapy for Specific Health Conditions.  I developed a program for those going through Breast Cancer treatments and beyond called "Pink Warrior" to help guide them through their journey.  And, for the first time I decided to fully immerse myself in Yoga, Meditation and soul searching for 16 days in Costa Rica with my teacher Dani "Vani" from Prana Yoga School. This was the time my deep sacred healing began.
With healing and survival came my purpose in helping others to heal, to find peace, to support them to rise to their best self and to live life to the fullest.  Our Yoga classes meet you where you are at on the mat and our focus is on the needs of the individual.  Our classes bring in the elements of nature by using sounds, crystal bowls, essential oils (not in all classes), and Yoga practices that work with the seasons of the year.  Breathing techniques are given to help in your every day life stresses as well as more specific classes focusing on certain health conditions.  We are a small studio but we have a BIG HEART and are here for you. 
I now know to put self-care and compassion for myself first so I can be completely present for others. (this is why you will often see pictures of me hanging out in nature connecting so I can be there for you 100%)  Sure, I am still human and experience fears, insecurities and such as many of you do but the big difference is NONE of that anxiety, stress, or fear controls me anymore.  It is not a part of me, it does not define me, it just happens and then it is gone. 
I am content with my perfectly, imperfect self and I am enough.  I know we all say it but....do you actually believe it??  I never did.  I do now.    
And, I would love to support you on your life journey.
Shanti (Peace)
Ivy

- Currently finishing 2 1/2 years of  Yoga Therapy Diploma studies through the Prana Yoga School with Dani McGuire in Indiana.

- 300YT  Sattva Yoga Vinyasa Certification through Prana Yoga School 

- Certified Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Intergrated Nutrition through the State University of New York Purchase College - School of Liberal Arts

-  Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners

- Certified Y4C Yoga for Cancer

- Certified Yoga for Breast Cancer & Beyond

-Currently writing a book on my Breast Cancer experience

-  Registered/Certified Yoga Alliance 500RYT  Yoga Teacher since 2002 - Teaching since 1994

-  AFAA Certified Personal Trainer

-  AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor - Teaching since 1982 * Formats include;  Cardio-boxing, Step, Interval, Circuit, Bootcamp, TRX, Core Training and Spin

-  Certified Spinning Instructor

-  Pilates Mat and Core Trained - Teaching since 1999

-  Barre Instructor - Trained by Balanced Body

-  Certified Thai Yoga bodywork Practitioner with Zenergy Massage & Bodywork of Green Bay, WI and Thai Bodywork of Chicago, IL

- Certified Reiki 1, 2 and Master Practitioner

-  American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid Certification

- Certified Personal Fitness Chef from the Spencer Institute

-  Other Trainings:  Energy Work, Meditation & Breath Work, Stress Management, Clinical Acupressure, Youth Yoga & Fitness, Sports Nutrition

-  Free Lance Writer:  Co-Author of "The Fitness Manual" for the Fox Valley Park District in IL, Fort Health Source, Whitewater Press, and misc fitness establishments in IL

-  Community Charity Involvement:  Relay for Life, W3-Whitewater, PADA, and others

-  Pink Warrior Program:  A program developed by Ivy to help Breast Cancer Survivors through their journey.....Together We Are Stronger!

 

 

 

Exercise can be fun and safe when taught correctly.  Ask questions........And make sure you find a qualified caring instructor!

Remember - it is not about what your body can or can not do...it is about finding the balance between challenge & comfort.

Your Health is Everything!