About PiE

I was asked in a yoga teacher training class, when do you feel most alive? I had never evaluated my habits, patterns and life choices with such perspective. It was clear in everything around me, in my career, friends, music, art and even my travels. I found the most joy when I was connecting with others. The word “yoga” means union, and simply put it’s when we become more self-aware and feel unified in our mind, body and life.

Walking into my first yoga class I had no idea what to expect, or how much it would change the way I experienced my life. There was no major breakthrough or mind-blowing epiphany in that moment; I just knew that I felt a hell of a lot better than I had in a while. Over time the practice moved beyond the physical posture (asana), and became a mental and emotional support.

What I learned on my mat started to transcend into every aspect of my life. I started to cultivate a deeper understanding of myself and that understanding naturally created a deeper level of compassion and understanding for others. The practice provided me with the tools necessary to ease the suffering I faced, and I became passionate about sharing those tools.

So why focus the PiEproject in Aurora and Kane County? I knew I wanted to invest back into the community and the people that helped shape who I am. Aurora was the first place I called home after moving from Germany in 1994. The swift move was a big emotional and social adjustment, which I felt allowed me to be more open minded and able to connect with others from various walks of life. My desire to work with people, even in some difficult circumstances lead me to a career with Kane County Court Services in 2007.

In 2016, I took a big leap of faith after completing my first required yoga certification and resigned from Kane County Court Services. I was blessed to be given an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the yoga industry by teaching and managing a local studio. After a few more certifications and after overcoming some unforeseen life obstacles, I was ready to launch the PiEproject.

The PiEproject Foundation is a business driven to create change. It is a MOVEMENT designed to impact the way people connect to themselves, their lives and each other, for this is yoga!

Jennifer Gullang

What began as physical fitness, quickly evolved into a lifestyle change. After 10 years working for the Court System her passion for yoga took her down a new path. As she set out on her new career, managing and teaching at a local yoga studio, she started to see some of the barriers and needs within the industry. She is driven by the belief that yoga can be a platform to impacting the optimal health of not only an individual, but an entire community. Her desire to influence the social identity and culture of yoga by increasing access and resources that clearly define the benefits of this powerful system has brought to life ThePiEproject.

Melina Landry

Melina began her yoga journey 15 years ago, practicing to supplement her dance training. She completed her yoga teacher training 3 years ago and began sharing her yoga practice with others. By teaching community based classes and volunteering at a Cook County Correctional facility, Melina’s desire to be involved in community outreach programs grew. Her mission to bring health and wellness to undeserved communities brought her to The PiEproject. With a unique background in dance and medical sciences her style incorporates mindful fluid movement and therapeutic assists. She is excited to incorporate her background, love for yoga, health and wellness as she continues through medical school.

Shaun Emerson

For over twenty-five years, Shaun was engaged in a variety of corporate and entrepreneurial businesses. Most recently, he has dedicated his time to non-profit initiatives serving in board leadership positions. Seven years ago, Shaun was introduced to the transformational practice of yoga. Moved by the philosophy and the power of the practice, Shaun completed teacher training and has been guiding classes for over four years. Shaun believes ThePiEproject will be a force of change in the communities it serves.