Esther Gutiérrez-Sloan (Fitness Walks)
Esther is ACE certified and is trained in Total Body Training Systems. She is a popular presenter, having led land and water workshops and SALSArobics exhibitions nationally and internationally, at fitness industry conventions, resorts, health clubs, wellness centers, hospitals, dance studios, recreation centers, fund raising events, conferences, and ethnic festivals. She is a sought-after motivational speaker and presenter in the educational industry, continually presenting at elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges and universities, for students and faculty alike. Her presentation topics include Hispanic heritage celebration, cultural diversity, physical education, language arts, communication skills, and building relationships.
Gordon Lock (Tai Chi)
A popular tai chi instructor on Chicago's north shore, Gordon Lock first started learning the Yang style Tai Chi Chuan in Hong Kong when he was very young, and continued his training on the west coast of the United States, the Midwest, and Taiwan. In addition to practicing the traditional Tai Chi Chuan (Yang, Chen, and Sun styles), he is a certified instructor of Tai Chi for Arthritis; a program supported by the Arthritis Foundation of Australia, Arthritis Care of the U.K., and adapted by the Arthritis Foundation of USA.
Patricia Nakon (Yoga)
Patricia Nakon is the co-director of Whole Journey Northwest Yoga. She has been instrumental in designing Northwest Yoga’s workshops, apprentice program, and retreats. A certified yoga instructor and Reiki master, Patricia finds great inspiration in the teachings of T. Khrishnamacharya, TKV Desikachar, and Hawayo Takata.
An accomplished teacher, Patricia is precise and clear in her approach. Her students rave about her ability to weave her own wisdom into the teaching experience. Students new to yoga and experienced students alike find they can follow her direction with an inward focus.
Patricia infuses her gentle guiding style with elements of energy healing and guided imagery. Students often comment that they feel more aware of their energetic state and more connected to their own natural healing power after experiencing her classes.
Steve Nakon (Yoga)
Steve Nakon, founder and director of Whole Journey Northwest Yoga, is an inspiring teacher and health advocate. A popular conference presenter on yoga, meditation, health, and wellness, Steve has presented at conferences as diverse as Yoga Journal Grand Geneva Conference, Green Yoga Conference, and the North American Vegetarian Society Conference.
Drawing on his training in many healing modalities, including yoga, meditation, ayurveda, and macrobiotics, Steve presents sold-out workshops at the Chicago Botanic Garden and around the country. A graduate of the Kushi Institute, certified yoga instructor, and member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, Steve finds his greatest inspiration in the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya, TKV Desikachar, and George Ohsawa.
Steve's approach to practice honors the individual while bringing the ancient teachings into a modern context. He has the ability to connect to his students at a deep level, understand their needs, and develop and adapt practices to create and maintain balance. Steve believes in the harmony between spirit and nature and is committed to creating a sanctuary for his students in every class and consultation.