Teachers have been carefully selected for their diverse backgrounds, life experience, and training, providing a rich and thorough exposure for students of House of the Gathering Yoga School.
Lead Teachers of the House of the Gathering 250 Hour YTT
hilary buckwalter kesti, MA, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Hilary Buckwalter Kesti is the owner/founder, and a lead teacher at House of the Gathering Yoga School. Her specialty within the HGYS YTT is Depth Psychology & Meditation.
As an experienced yoga teacher, she has taught over 2,000 hours of yoga and meditation at studios, retreats, resorts, private sessions, and through Community Ed. Hilary received her 200 hour certification in Naam Yoga in Joshua Tree, CA in 2008, and her 500 hour certification in Hatha Yoga at Yoga North in Duluth, in 2009. Hilary is also a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.
In 2010, Hilary traveled to India to study at Santosh Puri Ashram in Haridwar, India. While at the ashram, Hilary was immersed in the local culture, as well as the classical yoga tradition. She studied the chakras, participated in a Vedic fire ceremony, visited Hindu temples, and took a dip in the Ganges. As a yogi and a teacher, Hilary steadfastly honors the deep yoga traditions of India and remains faithful to the lineage of Hatha Yoga of the Himalayan Tradition of which she is a part.
In 2012, Hilary completed her first Masters degree in Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) at UMD. She completed her second Masters degree in Depth Psychology (Jungian and Archetypal Studies) from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California, in 2018, and is presently in her third year of courses working towards her doctorate degree.
As a trauma survivor, yoga teacher, and budding depth psychologist, Hilary remains curious about the connections between soma and psyche, and how healing and wholing happen on both an individual and collective level. In that spirit, Hilary enjoys weaving together the yoga tradition with depth psychology as a pathway for healthy and whole living; combining meditation, asana, and yoga philosophy with work on the shadow, soma, psyche, dreams, typology, and archetypal psychology.
The curriculum at HGYS reflects this passion and Hilary has developed programming that unites mind, body, spirit, psyche, and our vast Earth in a holistic and interconnected way. This groundbreaking work is a cornerstone of the yoga teacher training program, and also what makes HGYS stand apart.
At present, Hilary is taking a Teaching Mindfulness Meditation Certificate course with the late Buddhist and Yoga teacher Michael Stone, through Yogacampus. Hilary is also certified in Spiritual Direction through the Benedictine Monastery at the College of St. Scholastica, and offers private sessions in yoga, meditation, and spiritual direction. Hilary resides in Duluth with her family and a menagerie of animals. A self-professed foodie, she is passionate about green living, self-reliance, whole foods, and herbalism, all of which infuse her teaching and the curriculum at HGYS.
erika Fryklepak, MA, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, YACEP
Erika Fryklepak is a lead teacher at House of the Gathering Yoga School. Her specialty within the HGYS YTT is Yogic Thought & Philosophies.
She is an experienced yoga teacher, having taught over 1,000 hours of yoga and yogic lifestyle classes, workshops, and retreats in a variety of settings including studios, community centers, numerous corporate settings, resorts, and private homes. Erika is also a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.
Erika’s practice and teachings are gentle and devotional in nature. Profound connection and healing can occur through regular breath work, accessible postures, and integrating yogic thought into daily living. She experiences yoga asana as an opportunity to deepen awareness, explore the edge between strength and flexibility, and as preparation — and metaphor — for the spiritual aspects of yoga practice.
At 10 years old, Erika participated in her first yoga class (at The Meditation Center in NE Minneapolis, part of the Himalayan Tradition of Hatha Yoga), the lineage she serendipitously ended up studying within as an adult. It was another decade before her next yoga class, which was at Mahamudra Tibetan Buddhist Centre in New Zealand, an experience which inspired and spurred the beginning of a regular meditation and breathwork practice.
Academically, Erika studied at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where Erika earned a BA in Women’s Studies, with minors in Philosophy and Professional Writing & Communication (2004); and a MA in Advocacy & Political Leadership (2006). She wished to “make the world a better place” and set her ambitions toward community organizing and lobbying. After a time, Erika shifted her vision and studied to become a yoga teacher. Trainings at the 200 hour level and 500 hour level were completed (2010) with Yoga North in Duluth, Minnesota.
Erika has recently become a student of jyotish (Sanskrit translates to science of light), or yogic astrology, which has continued to deepen her ability to see the connection to every thing around her, to see the light in others, and to trust the patterns of the universe as truths unfold to our understanding.
In her personal sphere, Erika lives on some acreage north of Duluth with her husband and two children where they make daily treks into the wild areas, are regularly wowed by animal sightings, enjoy gardening, exploring plant medicine and earthing practices, and thrive while listening to the wind in the trees.
Erika is proud to be a founding faculty member, and co-lead teacher here at House of the Gathering Yoga School.
Kyle Leia Heyesen, MA, RYT 200
Kyle Heyesen is a lead teacher at House of the Gathering Yoga School. Her specialty within the HGYS YTT is Trauma-Informed Yoga.
Kyle began teaching yoga in 2002. She has two 200 hour level teacher training certifications. The first, from Sun Moon Studios in Mankato, MN, which focused on a variety of traditions, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Kundalini and Hatha, and focused heavily on the asana component of yoga. The second, was at Yoga North in Duluth, which focused on the Himalayan Tradition of Hatha Yoga and was rich in yogic philosophy.
Kyle is passionate about learning and has taken many workshops, including with world renowned teachers David Swensen of Ashtanga, and Desiree Rumbaugh of Anusara. She is also a lover of writing and published poet of the book Grace Intoxicated. She weaves poetry into her yoga classes as a way to open consciousness and connect individuals with something greater than themselves. She believes both yoga and poetry can be instrumental in healing and transformation.
As the poet Hafiz says, “write a thousand luminous secrets upon the walls of existence so even a blind person knows where we are and joins us in this love.” She believes in humanity and our ability to know & love ourselves more deeply in order to connect with and love others profoundly. For what greater gift is there in this life than that!!
She has training in trauma-informed yoga from Firefly Yoga International and the Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY). Kyle has taught at Yoga North, the Duluth Area YMCA, UMD Psychology Department, trauma-informed yoga at the Human Development Center, at the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, Yoga for Runners at the Duluth Running Company, Yoga for Kids, and a variety of open classes in the community.
Additionally, she has partnered with the 6th Judicial DWI Court to develop a 12 week healing-centered, trauma informed curriculum aimed at equipping people with addictions with an understanding of factors that may contribute to addiction: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma, secondary trauma exposure, stress, brain science, epigenetics, and inherited family trauma. The program embeds yoga and mindfulness practices as practical ways to transform trauma and experience well-being amidst the difficulties of life.
Kyle has further training in Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction. She has a Master's in Social Work and work full-time at St. Louis County Public Health & Human Services as the supervisor of the Planning Resource & Organizational Development (PROD) unit leading in the development, implementation and coordination of effective cross-departmental and interagency systems approach to achieve agency goals and effective service delivery.
Additional Incredible Teachers in the 250 Hour YTT
Angela Krick, MH, RYT200
Angela’s health and wellness journey began while teaching English in South Korea in 2006 when she was introduced to traditional fermented foods. She has been fermenting ever since, teaching fermentation and selling her version of Kim Chi at local markets and other venues.
Once back in Minnesota, Angela began practicing yoga as a pursuit of health and wellness while incorporating awareness and healing. She completed her 200 Hour certification with Yoga North in Duluth, MN and a 45 Hour Prenatal Training with Blooma Yoga in Minneapolis. Her favorite parts about Yoga are breathing, meditation, stillness and mantra. Angela’s teaching practice is designed to be taken from the mat out into Life.
As a natural outgrowth of her studies, Angela found herself discovering the traditional healing knowledge of Herbalism. Recently, she completed a Master of Herbalism program with Gigi Stafne, ND, MH. Today she continues to study with renowned practitioners in the field including Matthew Wood and Phillis Light in a Holistic Herbal Assessments Course, as well as an advanced clinical program from the School of Evolutionary Herbalism taught by Sajah Popham, who takes students beyond the physical and into the spiritual connection of humans and plants.
Angela also stays busy mothering three beautiful children, tending her extensive gardens, making medicine and walking the woods of Northern Minnesota.
Emily Ostos, RYT200
After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northwestern State University of Louisiana,Emily traveled the world waiting tables from Alaska to Venezuela (her birthplace). While living in Ecuador, a friend introduced Emily to Sun Salutations. She was hooked.
In April 2011, Emily travelled to Uttarkashi, India for her yoga teacher training at the Sivananda Kutir. Nestled in the Himalayas and along the Ganga River, she discovered that there was more to yoga than the perfect chaturanga and Sun Salutation.
After her training, she dove deeper into the anatomy and physiology of yoga. Emily then studied with Sadie Nardini, a guru of biomechanically sound yogic instruction. For Emily, weaving the balance between philosophy, anatomy, and physics became an art; a dance celebrating true connection and this comes through in her teaching style.
Emily’s love for what yoga can do for the mind and body, how it can uplift the spirit, cannot be contained. She feels that she must share this beautiful practice.
Outside of yoga, Emily is a Licensed Massage Therapist, server, dog mama, veggie lover/gourmet vegan home chef, adventure seeker, singer, artist, and dancer. Emily presently teaches at JEM Yoga and Muggymoose, both in Duluth.
Katie Olson, RYT200
Ten years ago Katie walked into her first yoga class. It was a life changing moment that has led to a deep dedication to the practice of Yoga. Her practice and teaching are based deeply in resting, breath work, the art of slowing down, and being in the present moment.
In January 2016, Katie was certified to teach Hatha Yoga at PadmaKarma Yogashala in the jungle of Kerala, India by Padma Nair. Since learning the ancient roots of yoga in its homeland, Katie's teaching business is named The Traveling Yogini. The main purpose is to serve people where they are.
Katie sees yoga as a way of life and loves to share the calmness and balance yoga brings to her life with her students who range in age from 2 to 84.
Katie received a Bachelor's Degree in Multicultural and Global Studies with an emphasis on Gender Studies from Montana State University - Bozeman, completing her degree in Bangalore, India where she attended the university of Indian Culture.
Katie currently teaches in Knife River, at elementary schools in the Duluth area, gives private lessons, and even teaches a yoga class on a moving train through the Northshore Scenic Railroad called “Yoga Train.”
Michelle Cartier, RYT200
Michelle Cartier is a co-owner of Runa Yoga, and has been practicing yoga since 2005. She is a certified yoga instructor and a graduate of Yoga Center of Minneapolis' 230 hour program. Michelle has also completed over 45 hours of prenatal teacher training with Blooma Yoga in Minneapolis.
Michelle teaches yoga, breath work and stress reduction classes around the Duluth area including at schools, hospitals and area corporations as part of their health and wellness program. She also co-facilitates the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program through Essentia Health and has attended a 6 day Teacher Training MBSR Intensive through the University of California San Diego's School of Medicine.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Physiology with an emphasis on Cardiac Rehabilitation from The College of Saint Scholastica.
Michelle has also been a passionate supporter of the local farming community and sustainably produced food systems. She has served on the Lake Superior Chapter of the Minnesota Sustainable Farming Association.
It is her strong belief that optimal health and wellness is achieved when the mind and body are both treated as one and supported through an active and healthy lifestyle.
Miriam Hanson, RYT200
A native of Duluth, MN, Miriam spent 17 years away, obtaining her cum Laude BA in Spanish and Portuguese with a minor in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, and living for 12 years in Honduras. She taught as an elementary school teacher, and then started and built her own bilingual school in the Caribbean. Miriam found yoga in the Caribbean as a way to keep herself connected and present. As a world traveler, she has been a student in yoga classes all over the world, which has broadened her perspective and complemented her practice.
Miriam's TT200 was on the island of Roatan with Martha Berry School, originally from Catalunya, Spain, now residing in the US. With Martha's worldly view, Miriam was able to find her voice and personal power in guiding Vinyasa. After discovering Yin Yoga, Miriam has come to embrace this style, and has taken Level 1 and Level 2 certifications from Michelle Pietrzak-Wegner. Miriam is drawn to the Tao-focused nature of Pietrzak-Wegner's teaching.
Miriam currently teaches at Runa Yoga, and has offered special meridian-line study in-depth workshops in various studios in town. She also enjoys collaborating with musicians to craft a special Yin + Ambient Healing Sound class.
Miriam believes in the power of yoga to transform us out of the suffering of daily minutia and self-obsessions to bring us freedom through breath, asana and spiritual practice. Miriam has guided multitudes of yoga classes, teaching internationally and in Spanish, Italian and French. She enjoys the fellowship and community of yoga, as well as the opportunity to nurture a loving space of breath and movement.
House of the Gathering Yoga School is also honored to have a PHENOMENAL group of guest instructors.
Dr. Shannon May
Dr. Shannon is a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist in Duluth. From the common cold to chronic disease, she addresses a full spectrum of health concerns and empowers clients in returning to and maintaining optimal health. Dr. Shannon earned her Naturopathic Doctor degree and Master’s of Acupuncture at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, where she received in-depth training in: adjunctive cancer care; chronic disease; women’s health; and pediatrics and primary care utilizing acupuncture, herbs, homeopathics, nutrition, and lifestyle management. She is registered as a Primary Care Provider through the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.
After earning a BA in International Studies from University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD), Dr. Shannon served for 2 ½ years with the U.S. Peace Corps in Cameroon, Africa. It was through her work to create sustainable organic agriculture and educate families about disease prevention in this community that she deepened her passion for and commitment to living in sync with natural rhythms. Dr. Shannon grew up on a lake in the woods near Hackensack, MN where she spent summer days eating fish from the lake and vegetables from the garden. She is thrilled to be in the Duluth area where she can share her love of natural beauty with her patients, her husband Charles, and their two children. Dr. Shannon is committed to slowing down with her family, practicing qi gong and yoga, and exploring the four seasons in all their glory. She enjoys good friends, fresh local food, and music.
Deborah Adele, MA, ERYT500
Deborah Adele has made the yamas and niyamas familiar words with her groundbreaking book The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice. Bringing yoga’s ethical concepts into daily use, she has reinvigorated the conversation about ethical living in yoga communities internationally. Her book has been translated into Russian and Japanese and is also being used in coaching, addiction, and prison communities. Deborah holds trainings in Kundalini yoga, Hatha yoga, and Meditation. She is also trained as a Gestalt practitioner and a Somatic educator. Deborah has an MA in Theology and a background as a business owner and consultant.
Jodi Christensen, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, CSE, CMT, Reiki Practitioner
Jodi's education in healing arts began in 1998 at the Utah College of Massage Therapy. She is also a certified practitioner of Reiki and Quantum-Touch. She continued her education with Yoga North ISYI where she completed the 200 hour, 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training, and Yoga Therapy Certification. She has also received training as a Clinical Somatic Educator. Most recently she earned certification with Himalayan Institute's Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist Certification. She is the office administrator at Yoga North ISYI and loves working full time in a yogic environment. Yoga is a practice she finds to be profoundly healing of body, mind, and spirit; bringing the other healing modalities she's learned into one self-empowering practice that simplifies and encompasses the healing potential we all carry within.