Jarad Barkeim


Jarad first moved to La Crosse in 1998 to pursue and later receive a degree in science education from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  It was here that he took his first yoga class and remembers not being able to reach down below his knees with his legs straight, not being able to sit up cross-legged, and his whole foot cramping when asked to point his toes!

He grew up in nearby Trempealeau, WI, and from an early age was very active in athletics where he learned about the work and discipline necessary to progress in any skill.  Later, he would apply that same hard work and discipline to the study and practice of yoga.  Unfortunately, stretching with mindfulness was not a part of high school athletic practice and so found himself very inflexible and unaware of his body when he took that first yoga class.  Almost immediately, Jarad was inspired to pursue a yoga practice that could transform his mind and body…or at least help him sit with his legs crossed!  Eventually, he landed at The Yoga Place for a class with Chris Saudek and later decided to sign up for a full session.  

But, the desire to travel and experience new places was strong and Jarad yearned to work outdoors.  He started building wilderness hiking trails for the US Forest Service in California and traveled during the off season.  While he took classes at The Yoga Place when he was back home, he also took Ashtanga and Iyengar classes in California, Anusara classes in Flagstaff, Vinyasa and Bikram classes in Vermont, and a unique style called Universal Yoga in Seattle.  He learned a lot from each of the styles, but realized that no other class felt as authentic and grounded in the knowledge and experience of yoga as the Iyengar classes he had taken at The Yoga Place.   The attention to alignment and the progressive system of integrating mind, body, and breath would help him eventually put his hands on the floor with his legs straight.  And more importantly, the classes at The Yoga Place would help him improve his mental and physical well being immensely.

Given his education and experience as both a teacher and a coach, teaching yoga was a natural fit.  Jarad began training to become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher with Chris Saudek around 2008 and started teaching classes at community centers and libraries.  On the flattest piece of ground they could find, he also taught weekly yoga classes to the wilderness trail crews he led in California!   In 2012, Jarad moved back to La Crosse permanently for a position as project manager at a unique place called Kinstone where he helped develop the local megalithic park and permaculture demonstration site.  With his newly stable living situation, he soon began teaching weekly classes at The Yoga Place and became was certified in Iyengar Yoga in 2015.  

As well as the expert guidance from Chris and the teachers at The Yoga Place, Jarad’s home practice has been instrumental in providing a foundation from which he teaches from.  He currently teaches a Dynamic Practice class focused on creating mobility through movement, and building strength without sacrificing form.  Playfully, he encourages students to work hard yet intelligently while they move through the sun salutations, integrate their core in abdominal poses, and sometimes balance on their hands.  

Currently, Jarad also is co-owner of Coulee Region Ecoscapes, LLC, a local ecological and community based landscaping company.  Off the mat and off the clock, he can be found in the mornings with a cup of coffee in his hand harvesting his breakfast veggies from his community garden plot, boiling down maple syrup in his front yard, or picking elderberries in the Community Food Forest at the local Y.

Come join Jarad at The Yoga Place in his Dynamic Practice on Sunday mornings at 9:00am!

Jennie Williford CIYT

Jennie Williford (CIYT Level 3) is a transplant to LaCrosse via Montana, Illinois, and originally Texas. Throughout her life moves and 5 trips to India, Jennie has acquired a well-rounded and multi-faceted approach to Iyengar Yoga since her start in 1998. Jennie loves the experimental and explorative nature of yoga in accessing deeper knowledge of the Self on every level. The practice of yoga can be intense and introspective, however as practitioners we can be light-hearted and open-minded in our discipline. Jennie is intrigued by the philosophy of yoga and hopes to share this depth of subject while teaching the physical and mental benefits that come from the practice of posture.