Instructors

At Circle on the Square, we want you to have the best experience possible. To achieve this, we have some of the best and most caring instructors from the area. Below you can read about our instructors and get to know them a little before you come to a class. Namaste, SatNam, Love, Bliss, & Blessings


Instructors

Azim Curtis Miller

Azim Curtis Miller

Azim Miller is a mentored leader of the Dances of Universal Peace, and a member of the Ruhaniat International; the governing spiritual body overseeing the Dances of Universal Peace. He is wholeheartedly committed to the principles of modern-day Universal Sufism of the Christi lineage as put forth by master musician and Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Khan, Samuel L. Lewis, and his Spiritual teacher and mentor, Allaudin Ottinger. He is also greatly inspired by Ram Das, Mother Krisnabai, Hidayat Inayat Khan, Vilayat Khan, Pir Zia of the Sufi Order, and countless other illuminated beings, who all strive to raise the hearts of humanity through music, dance, and singing.

Acknowledging the universal truths which are at the roots of all true spiritual paths of the Heart. Azim brings his love for music, singing, chanting, and group practice to the events he hosts at the Circle. A wide variety of sacred musical styles are offered weekly at “Sufi Night at the Circle” which is co-hosted by wife, Samira, and monthly at the Dances of Universal Peace.

Azim applies the words of Joe Miller to his events, “it can’t be taught, but it can be caught.” Azim says “the single most important aspect of offering these get togethers is that someone truly experiences their faith in a full-bodied way beyond concepts and syllogism, that it is “caught.”

About Azim’s Classes

Dances of Universal Peace

From the beginning of time, sacred movement, song, and story have brought people together at times of seasonal ceremony and celebration, as a part of everyday life and life passages. The Dances of Universal Peace are part of this timeless tradition. People gathering together to create harmony and beauty within their lives, the lives of others, and in the world at large. The dances utilize secret phrases from the world spiritual traditions. We circle together to explore, be uplifted, share, and celebrate our true human divinity. Dances of Universal Peace is movement, music, meditation, increasing joy, love-light consciousness, and swimming in the sea of infinite love. Come for a beautiful afternoon of practice and gather in a single circle, in love, harmony, and beauty. No experience is needed; no partner is needed. Just YOU. It all begins with you. Join us on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 3 p.m. for this enlightening experience!

Sufi Night at the Circle

Join Azim and friends each Tuesday night for music, singing, and chanting in the tradition of Universal Sufism, non-dualism, and the Christi lineage of Sufism. Breath work, single mantra, and sacred phrases from the worlds traditions are explored in an esoteric way. Tuning ourselves towards and with nature is a primary influence. Using music and vibration to open the channels of the heart, and quiet the mind. Allowing time to fully realize the power and breadth of theses practices and sounds. Sufis are the mystics of, and from all Eras and Ages, the keepers of truth, and those who seek to spark the awareness of the divine in all of humanity. No experience is needed, and maybe some will be gained.


Christine Rogers

Sant Amara Kaur (Christine Rogers) RYT50

Sant Amara Kaur empowers people with strength, purpose, and Destiny through Kundalini yoga and sounds of the Universe. She has been practicing yoga since 2008 and teaching since 2010. The gong is incorporated into classes to provide healing and the ultimate relaxation experience. Sant Amara Kaur earned her first RYT with Beth Spindler and Teach to Inspire. She continued with Kundalini training with Ravi Singh and Ana Bret. She also has trained to play the Gong with Mehtab Benton. Her teaching experiences include places such as the YMCA, Teach to Inspire, Sunstone Yoga Studio, and currently at Circle on the Square.

Sant Amara Kaur believes everyone should have the opportunity to practice yoga and has taught various times at the Missouri Hotel and Carol Jones Women’s Shelter.  She also provides workshops by donation to raise money for the National Alliance for Mental Illness Southwest Missouri (NAMISWMO).

About Christine’s Classes

Revitalize and Heal

This is a restorative yoga class. It complements any yoga practice, and it is perfect for anyone recovering from an injury, with arthritis, or dealing with high stress levels. Students relax in comfortable restorative poses that heal. Techniques are designed to bring awareness to the breath and quiet the mind. There is liberal use of props, which do the work of holding poses and makes this practice accessible to virtually everyone. Beginner Friendly!

Restorative Yoga

This class focuses on stress reduction. Through relaxing and awareness of the breath, stress is greatly reduced, which allows healing to happen. Benefits include: lower blood pressure, better circulation, reduced muscle tension, improved digestion, and better sleep. To enhance the healing process, Sant Amara Kaur will play the Gong during Shavasana. Beginner Friendly!

Kundalini Yoga and Gong

This class is an all-levels class to bring awareness and open you to your full potential in life. Kundalini incorporates breath work, mantra, Kriyas (body prayers) that work on every level in every way. Both Sunday and Saturday classes include a 20-30 minute (it varies class to class) gong session for healing and relaxation. A great class to bring energy to your day as well as awareness to your inner self. Beginner Friendly!

Kundalini Yoga and Gong

Kundalini yoga is referred to as the yoga of awareness as it promotes consciousness.

Kundalini is the most delicate, most sacred, and most potent force in the universe. It is considered a form of feminine, shakti energy that dwells dormant in each of us, awaiting awakening. Once awakened, this energy clears energetic and emotional blocks. This process allows each of us to prepare ourselves for our individual path and Destiny. It is an innate desire for union, and a process beyond any human effort and determination.  In other words, it is a manifestation of grace always tender, intelligent, and nurturing.

Those of us that practice Kundalini yoga are working to restore health to our physical, spiritual, and emotional selves.

Kundalini yoga applied with the sounds of the gong revitalizes the immune system and nervous system, as well as relieves stress. It works on all levels to heal and promotes positive change to the practitioner almost immediately.

Because of the intimate relationship between sound frequencies and chakras, the gong is a powerful instrument for opening and balancing the flow of energy through them.

The gong creates a sound almost tangible to touch.  The sound waves of the gong penetrate deep which heals, purifies, and balances on all levels.

Each Kriya is a sequence of postures and techniques that stimulate Kundalini energy. They have been researched by ancient yogis to have an impact on the mind, body, and spirit in a positive way.  Kundalini yoga provides the basic tools each one of us needs to be “healthy, happy, and holy.” Yogi Bhajan brought this amazing style of yoga to the United States. He believed everyone has the right to be healthy, happy, and holy.

Aquarian Sadhana (occasionally)

Kundalini yoga tribes throughout the world practice Aquarian Sadhana. Yogi Bhajan gave this practice in 1992 and said, “Group mediation not only adds to individual effort, but multiplies it.” Aquarian Sadhana is practiced by Kundalini yoga tribes throughout the world. This Sadhana practice prepares our mind, body, and spirit to shine in the decades to come. Join us at Circle on the Square every Sunday morning at 6 a.m.   The class will consist of approximately 45 minutes of Kundalini practice, 62 minutes of chanting, and 7 beautiful mantras. We hope to see you there!


Candace Faith Fruge

Candace Faith Frugé, MA, LPC Qigong/Art Therapy/Kundalini Yoga

Calm your mind, relax your body, nourish, and honor your spirit. Release mental and emotional patterns or blockages that are inhibiting your growth and wellbeing. Through true acceptance, listening, and understanding, Candace can help you find peace, love, and joy. In this process, you can heal trauma, enhance your creativity, and experience optimum performance in all aspects of your life and relationships. Join her now in creating a healthy and thriving relationship with yourself and with others. Enjoy being alone, enjoy being with others, and enjoy being yourself. Be content and fulfilled!

Candace specializes in mind and body balance, including mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Her treatment approach is the result of over 25 years of mind-body and Eastern therapeutic and energetic practices, including Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine, Mindfulness, Acupressure, as well as western approaches of Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Interpersonal, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Expressive Arts Therapy.

With her holistic approach, issues that have plagued you for years can often be released fairly quickly; thereby uncovering new healthy patterns, peace, and joy. We are holistic beings that can only truly be healed through holistic approaches. Be Peace, Be Love, Be Joy, and Be Free!

About Candace’s Classes

Paint Your Process

Process painting is about paying attention to your experience (your process) while you paint, instead of focusing on the painting (the product). It is a way to use paint to: play with your inner child, tame your inner critic, listen to your intuition, and acknowledge, express, and release emotion. Vision and reveal your path! Express what can’t be said in words and more… it’s your process! Paint, play, and discover in a safe and accepting environment! In this group session, we will practice with the unconditional space of being for ourselves and for each other. No experience is necessary!

Qigong and Kundalini Yoga for Aligning, Integrating, and Creating  

My classes are a culmination of my life and therapeutic work to this point in time. It can most closely be called Qigong, although I may incorporate terminology and practices from other Eastern and Western Therapeutic Arts.

For the purpose of this class, Qi or Chi is defined as matter on the verge of becoming energy, and energy on the verge of becoming matter. We work with this “in-between” space from which all things arise. It is a timeless, boundless, and infinite space. We work with what arises in the moment.

In this class, you have the opportunity of deepening or awakening your awareness of your being at all levels of existence or manifestation. It is an opportunity for integration and alignment. We engage in meridian/channel opening stretches, movements, meditations, intentions, and guided imagery for healing our wounds. We clear mental, physical, and emotional blockages, while uncovering/aligning with our true nature and our ultimate selves. We will also have the opportunity to explore the Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic ways of viewing ourselves, our environment, and our relationship to such. In both of these models, an individual being is seen as a microcosm of the planetary and universal macrocosms. Through this approach, we can see and learn to work with the underlying processes that affect us and our world.

This class is a safe container to explore yourself, and it is beneficial for many things on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Come as you are! Let’s connect, explore, learn, and grow!


Cheryl Hemmert

Cheryl Hemmert RYT500

Cheryl Hemmert has practiced physical yoga asana for over a decade and taught for 5 years. Her specialities include Kundalini yoga, Yin yoga, and basic Hatha yoga. In addition, she is a senior teacher trainer for Ravianayoga.

Cheryl was the aerobic program director for World Gym and won the 1990 Body Building title for Ms. Vancouver – All Natural. She also studied Tibetan Buddhist meditation on The Big Island of Hawaii at the Nechung Temple in Wood Valley, where she lived for 13 years before moving to Springfield. Here she took her first Yantra yoga class with Lama Lobsang. Lastly, she has also trained in Theravada Buddhist meditation with Aya Dipa, Tantra Yoga at Teach To Inspire, and most recently Kundalini Yoga with Ana Brett and Ravi Singh.

She finds great joy in sharing her energetic practice. “I love how vibrant and alive it makes me feel.” She teaches techniques to help students not only attain, but to sustain a higher level of energy, happiness, and sense of stability. In this way, she enjoys guiding others in learning techniques to reduce stress, achieve mental clarity, and increase happiness or comfort in their own bodies.

When guiding students, she attempts to move energy and create a relaxing space for healing to happen, through vibrational sound concerts. Her instruments of choice include large symphonic gongs, crystal singing bowls, and chimes. She also mixes in dynamic movement and mantras, as a cornerstone of her practice.

Her lifelong dream is to travel to India and visit the historic sites where famous yogis have meditated in caves and reached enlightenment. She will pursue this venture in September 2017, when she travels to northern India to trek in the foothills of the Himalayas with guide Yogi Amandeep.

About Cheryl’s Class

Spirit Rising Yoga (All Levels)

This is a community class that borrows from a variety of yoga disciplines to engage your whole body in building your flexibility, balance, reflexes, and stamina. It includes dynamic movement and Pranayama (breath regulation, chanting, and meditation). Beginner Friendly!

The body is the physical manifestation of enlightenment, if you can learn to actualize it.


Daniel Rasmussen

Daniel began his interest in holistic health in 2014. He earned his personal training certification, which led him into a career in fitness and exercise through functional health. After working for awhile with the YMCA and other small community health centers, he found that he was personally interested in bringing mindfulness and awareness to the exercises themselves. His main ambition was to allow people to do more than simply become healthy with exercise, but to also explore mental and physical connections with themselves, establishing a relationship between their body and lives.

About Daniel’s Class

Mindfulness in Motion

This is a donation-based, premier class in fitness, health, and wellness. This class presents an approachable opportunity for integrating awareness, balance, discipline, focus, patience, and resilience. We can do this through balancing breathing, comprehensive calisthenics, passive proprioception, and static, strength-based exercises through a complete-body workout. Each hour long class begins with ten minutes of becoming limber and warm, followed by thirty minutes of exercise (with breaks), another ten minutes of becoming cooled and relaxed, and, finally, ten minutes of meditation and “settling.” Preparation for class is simple: arrive well hydrated, bring a nutritious snack, or have a meal planned for afterwards. Mindfulness in Motion brings an alternative style to exercise by introducing meditation into your workouts. What are you choosing for yourself in fitness, in health, and in wellness? Beginner Friendly!


 Georgia Robben

Georgia Robben

Georgia Robben is a local artist, who graduated from Missouri State in 2005.  At the age of 13, her work was picked as the logo winner for the Christian County Library. She has continued to have her work displayed in and around Missouri. She also has completed a dream of having her personal work in a comic book with other Missouri artists. She aspires to show everyone they can reveal the artist within!

About Georgia’s Class

Art With Georgia

Get your creative energy flowing by participating in our series of art instruction classes, guided by Georgia Robben! Using your imagination and the provided art supplies, we will give you a comfortable and tranquil space to both create and share your works of art. Have an abstract idea? Want to express yourself through experimentation with color, form, shapes, and texture? We will explore different projects and crafts each week to allow you to dive into a medium and find a creative approach that best fits you as an individual. The art class emphasizes different styles, artists, methods, and movements throughout history. We will be using paint, drawing, and craft supplies of all kinds. Watercolor pencils, markers, oils, chalk pastels, sponges, organic materials, and anything else you can think to make a part of your projects will be provided! Beginner Friendly!

Learn to Draw

In this art series, work with charcoals to put your drawing skills to use! We will focus on bettering our understanding of space through the use of highlights and shadows. This class is made for all levels and ages. Instruction, tips, and tricks are provided by Georgia Robben to assist anyone with a desire to build their skill set and grow. Drawing subjects include still-life subject matter and human-body models, where one can artistically observe how people and objects interact with their space. All supplies will be provided for you! However, feel free to bring your own if you have favorites! Beginner Friendly!

Dream Catchers

Learn the history and meaning of this special artwork from the Cherokee and Lakota cultures! After we learn about the significance of the dreamcatcher, we will make our own using hoops, jute, string, beads, and feathers. If you have your own favorite bead or stone, we can show you how to work this into your hoop. Bring a special trinket with you to represent the spider who wove the web! Parents, if you have a child under age 6, it will be best to accompany them as this requires some precision with making the web. Beginner Friendly!

Mud Dye Resist Process  

Join us and paint designs on cotton or cotton-blend fabric with mud. All dyes are created out of tea or purchased locally. Once the mud has dried, we will then use the dyes to paint on around the mud. We welcome guests to take their work home with them, after class is finished, but creations must dry for 24 hours before washing. With proper care, the mud should wash out, leaving the original color of the fabric and the dyes we used to showcase the design! Beginner Friendly!


 Jasper Allen

Jasper and Scott

Jasper has been a part of the local drumming community for 18 years, where he decided to assist and lend his time in leading a drum circle for the Springfield area. He is joined with Scott, who has 12 years of experience in this dynamic form of expression, which blends music, rhythm, people, and culture.

About Jasper and Scott’s Group

Rhythm n’ Groove

Bring your tribal, expressive vibe and get your groove on with this free-form, community drum circle. Basic instruction is available to beginners per request and extra instruments are available. Fair-weather events shall be fireside in the backyard. For indoor occasions, please bring a rug or blanket to help keep the hardwood floor loved and protected in this fragrance-free venue. All donations go to Circle on the Square for venue and space purposes! Beginner Friendly!


Jen Kilgore

Jennifer Kilgore

Jennifer moved to the Springfield area a little over 20 years ago, where she decided to stay and start a family. After 10 years of personal practice, she discovered the wonders of Kundalini yoga and meditation in 2014. She was so moved by the Kundalini practice that she took the plunge and decided to become a certified teacher. She studied under Ravi Singh obtaining her 200-hour certificate. At the present, she is excited to share her love for Kundalini yoga and meditation with others. She lives by the motto “breath is life.”

About Jennifer’s Class

Restorative Yoga

This restorative yoga class focuses on breathing, mantra, elevating energy, and takes students on a deep inner journey. The focus of the practice is to use slow movement to gently transition into the poses and postures, where students can deeply stretch and open the core of their bodies. Relax your muscles, combat stress, and take advantage of props like blocks or straps to help give the body support. Add passivity and peace to your active, busy life. This restorative practice is facilitated by Jen Kilgore. Beginner Friendly!

Kundalini Yoga

Wanting to grow spirituality, physically, and mentally? Kundalini allows you to integrate several types of yoga into one satisfying practice. Find your truth and center by learning vigorous, energetic breathing exercises to summon your breath of fire. During the course of one hour, use enligthening mantras, paced meditation, and active movement to elevate your awareness to new spiritual heights. See how easy it is to unlock and uncoil the energy within! This Kundalini practice is facilitated by Jen Kilgore. Beginner Friendly!


Tiffany Sand

Tiffany Sand

Tiffany Sand is a local artist and registered nurse, who has been creating art for over 20 years. She is dedicated to using a Holistic approach toward healing and has expanded her nursing and art training to include Reiki. She is currently studying Aromatherapy and Herbology. Tiffany is the owner of Creative Mind Happy Soul where she uses bright, bold colors to spread the message that “a Creative Mind + Happy Body = Happy Soul”. She specializes in intuitive art and mandalas, and has dedicated her journey to teaching others about improving their wellbeing through art and other creative endeavors. She believes that anyone and everyone has a creative spark inside just waiting for a little breath and that art is a healing tool.

About Tiffany’s Class

Mandalas: Learning to Draw and Create Mandalas

Want to learn how to create a mandala? Please join Tiffany Sand for a wonderful class on how to create mandalas. There are many benefits to creating mandalas including reducing stress, calming your mind and emotions, increasing focus and concentration, and sparking that creative light. These are only a few of the many benefits from working with and creating Mandalas. In this class, you will learn a brief history of mandalas, their many benefits, and how to create your own beautiful mandala. All supplies provided, just come as you are. Beginner Friendly!


Guest Instructors

Beverly Vanover

Beverly Vanover, MS, LPC, DCC, NCC

Beverly joined Senior Life Solutions in April 2016. As a program therapist, she is committed to addressing the emotional and behavioral health needs of patients. She graduated from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR with her Master’s of Science degree in Community Counseling. Beverly has one daughter and currently resides in southwest Missouri.

Beverly’s experience in the field of mental health includes working as a therapist in outpatient, school-based, hospital, therapeutic day treatment and intensive outpatient environments with children, adolescents, adults, and the geriatric population. Beverly is experienced in facilitating psychotherapy, psychoeducation, and 12-step program groups for children and adults in the community, as well as in an institutional setting.

Beverly has a passion for learning about and working with individuals who have issues related to relationship addiction, regulating emotions, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and anger management. Beverly approaches management of mental health issues from a mindfulness perspective. She teaches clients about relaxation and living mindfully in the moment. These concepts have the potential to provide relief from worries about the past and the future. They can also enhance our ability to experience life, as it is, in a meaningful and peaceful way.

Beverly is a novice guitar player. She enjoys live music, traveling, festivals, walking, photography, reading, and relating to others.

About Beverly’s Class

Codependent No More

Codependency is characterized as a lack of relationship with self caused by seeking love and validation outside of oneself. Together we will experience healing the wounds of relating to self and others by recognizing and giving ourselves unconditional love.


Kari Schlak, RYT500, RPYT

Kari has practiced and studied yoga for a decade. She has also been teaching for several years. Motivated by motherhood and the unique stresses, challenges, and sometimes isolation that comes with the path of parenting, she pursued her first yoga teacher training with Beth Spindler of Teach to Inspire. Through deeper study, Kari dove into a path focused on bringing the amazing benefits of yoga and community to those in any stage of parenting and pregnancy, as well as to children and those who seek a playful approach to deeper understandings of yoga.


Karin Gardner-Brown

Karin Gardner-Brown, Children’s Art Specialist

Karin Gardner-Brown is a coach, trainer, and early childhood educator. She has over 25 years of experience working with young children, parents, and early childhood educators. She brings a positive, strength-based approach to all aspects of her career. Karin’s philosophy centers around respect for the individual, and an understanding of the child, family, and classroom in order to support and educate individuals, families, and educators. Her strong belief that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to intervention and education, allows for creativity and responsiveness when developing strategies for learning and behavioral change.

About Karin’s Class

The Blank Slate

What would a class solely devoted to a child’s creativity look like? What would happen if we started out by asking children, “What do you want to make, learn, explore?”
 
This class truly values the ideas of the child. In this class, the teacher or facilitator will follow the lead of the children, helping them investigate, plan, and create….
 
The Blank Slate is a program that is truly committed to encouraging and nurturing creativity in children. We will go on a journey of exploration, discovery, and creation. The children will provide ideas and those ideas will come to life. The teacher will be the facilitator, who helps children express ideas, make suggestions, plan, and put their plans into action. The class may end with a finished product, a work in progress, or an in-depth exploration of a specific topic. Whichever direction the class takes, the children will make discoveries, problem solve, and explore possibilities.
 
This program also appreciates and depends on the involvement of parents. Hopefully, parents will become just as excited and engaged in the projects as the children!
 
What will be asked of parents?
  • To keep an open mind!
  • To show respect for your child’s abilities and ideas.
  • To have a willingness to let the child take the lead in planning and creating.
  • To share your expertise in specific areas that could make the children’s ideas come to life! There may be the need for woodworking, sewing, etc., and we would love your help.
  • An acceptance that this class focuses more on the process than a finished product – your child will not be coming home with any cookie cutter crafts or worksheets, but he or she will be learning much more than what rote activities can teach.
* This class is targeted to children ages 4 to 6 years old, but can be adapted to any age.

Paulina Doran

Paulina Doran

Paulina is currently completing her Bachelors of Art in psychology and writing at Drury University, where she plans to eventually pursue user-experience research and obtain her Master’s degree in human-computer interaction. Currently, she does independent contracting with companies like UserTesting and UserZoom, participating in studies for UX design, development, and research. She is the vice president of the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta at Drury, which is an international english honor society and an active member of Psi Chi. In addition, she also has interests in clinical counseling with a focus on the mental and psychological health benefits of positive psychology tools. She is currently a facilitator and general intern at Circle on the Square.

About Paulina’s Class

Chronic Illness Support Group

This is a support group that focuses on the potential to thrive in life, while managing and balancing chronic illnesses or physical disabilities. Learn new, positive coping mechanisms that can be implemented at work, school, or in day-to-day relationships, while connecting and sharing with others that are on similar life journeys. The nine-week group meets Saturdays at 3 p.m.


Shanda Kloster

Shanda Kloster 

Shanda is a modern-day, medicine woman and intuitive healer. She is a certified holistic health coach and Reiki master. She is also Quantum-Touch and Thought Field Therapy certified. Currently, she is working on her Naturopathic & Master Herbalist degrees.

About Shanda’s Class

Guided Meditation and Shamanic Drumming

This is a one-hour guided meditation, sound healing, and shamanic drumming experience.
Our lives are like branches, which can become intertwined with many things. Searching and traveling further from the root source, we become twisted.

Find your center and become grounded. Release it all, and let go. Recharge and renew. Gain information here in this space, while becoming anew. Get lost to the sound of the buffalo drum, and travel to the depths of your soul.

This is an intuitive-led gathering, where chanting and singing bowls may be included. Please come to experience, to explore who you are, to relax, or to travel afar!

The imagery we go through and the places we travel bring great answers. What do the messages and medicine brought by God, your guides, and one’s highest self (through animals, nature, and more) mean to you? We will take it back to how it all began. Beginner Friendly!