Our Teachers

Jenny

Jenny Gates, owner of Gates To Yoga, first discovered yoga in 2010 through her mother. After finding how this practice created new ways of positive thinking and living, along with the many benefits yoga brings mentally and physically, she decided to deepen her knowledge with yoga teacher training not long after.

Gates To Yoga was established in 2013 with a goal to assist students on their yoga journey. Through Gates To Yoga, Jenny hopes to bring the same source of inspiration and self-love to her students that she received through her own teachers.

“My goal is to help students get started with the practice of yoga through simple, effective ways that I learned from all of the teachers that I trained under, the teacher that I found within myself, and the teachings that continuously come from my students.”

Jenny is also a certified level two Reiki Practitioner and is currently studying for a degree in Occupational Therapy. She has a love for the outdoors, you can always find her hiking or out on the river!

Kelsie

Kelsie has had a passion for mindful based movement ever since she was a kid - her first love being Tarzan at age 4 inspired her to climb trees and play with shifting her body weight onto her hands. This obsession with going upside down influenced her parents’ decision to put her into gymnastics.

After incurring several injuries, doctors forced Kelsie to retire her beloved sport of gymnastics at the age of 14.  To help heal her body but still find expression in movement, Kelsie discovered yoga at 15 and avidly practiced until she decided to become a yoga teacher herself. At age 19, in 2015 she became a 200 hour RYT focusing in Vinyasa. Since then Kelsie has become a Reiki master, taken many workshops in other yoga practices such as: Yin, Restorative, Trauma Informed Yoga, Barre, Meditation, Pilates, Weight Training, Buti Yoga and most recently in Authentic Movements where she is undergoing her 500 hour certification.  She has been teaching for 5 years and within that time has been working with all walks of life: children to senior citizens, beginners to advanced yogis, those with physical and mental injuries, professional athletes and people who just want to learn more about what yoga has to offer physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Kris

Kris began her yoga journey 15 years ago after discovering how yoga helped with a particularly challenging time in her life.  She took her first training to become a teacher in 2010 and continued with additional trainings eventually moving into the business side of yoga.  Kris is an ECYT-200 Yoga Teacher as well as a CYT-500 Yoga Therapist. Kris opened her own studio in 2015. EssentialZen Yoga Studio in Aurora Ohio is a beloved community studio where all students feel welcome.

In 2016 a 2nd EssentialZen location was born in Solon Ohio through a partnership with Signature of Solon Country Club. Now spending the majority of her time focused on managing the business and staff she only teaches a few of her favorite classes.  Yin, deep longer held stretches, is a favorite as well as from crystal bowl meditations.  Personally, she enjoys spending time outside during all seasons of the year, a newfound joy in cooking, and anything to spend time with her family. Her husband, Tom, can be found at the studio often building, creating, and fixing things. They have 2 kids, 2 horses and a doodle dog

Stay tuned for upcoming classes from these amazing teachers!

Dana

Dana has dedicated her life to studying, practicing, and teaching sacred ways for over 13 years. She is a 500 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher, Spiritual Guide, and Intuitive Messenger who has studied with astrologers, psychics, and healers.  Since 2007 Dana has been on her path as a channel for healing through yoga, positive psychology, meditation, divination, astrology, Reiki, ceremony, psychic readings, and counseling.
Dana proudly lives her life guided by seasonal cycles and planetary rhythms. She blends these elements with philosophy and weaves them into inspirational sessions for her students, clients, and community gatherings.  Her intention is to guide others on their soul’s journey for the highest good and help empower people to create positive change in their lives. Dana is passionate about healing ourselves and the planet we all share.

Nikki

"I started practicing yoga in high school with DVDs. As yoga grew more popular in my early 20s, I started attending classes in studios.  All throughout my 20s I have invested in education leading me to yoga without even knowing it! My first venture was getting certified as an Esthetician at Casal Aveda Institute. There I learned about Chi, Chakras, Essential Oils and that beauty starts from within.

After Aveda I decided to add a Massage Therapy Certification, which provided me with 14 months of intensive Anatomy training. I also began digging deeper into spirituality. There I found the balance that is yoga. The balance of the physical and the mental. I realized how important they both are in ourselves and the collective as a whole. I always had the desire to share this with the world. 2019 I decided to follow the arrow I was so naturally on and I started my first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. I was certified in January 2020. During my experience in YTT and also working at a very true Yoga studio, I gained a whole new appreciation and respect for the Yoga practice.  All of my training and passions have come together and I am here, ready to provide leadership for my fellow humans as we navigate through this life. I have started community Yoga in my home town this summer in an effort to shift our culture from the inside out. If we want to change the world, we must first begin with ourselves. I am absolutely fired up and ready to bring Yoga’s true roots to the people in our communities.  My style is strong, precise and spiritual. While holding poses for longer periods, we achieve a deeper experience and we are able to reach our own full personal expression of the Body, Mind and the Spirit."