What Students Say About Mia Cutler

Here’s what students had to say about Mia Cutler. Mia teaches on Mondays 5:15pm, Fridays 8:15am, and Saturdays 9:30am. You can also read some advice from Mia (and more about her).

“Mia is one of my favorite yoga teachers. Besides her kind and calming voice, every class is different. She makes an effort to get to know the people who are attending her class. She asks about their level of practice and if they have any injuries. She utilizes this information to create the ultimate yoga experience. Over time, she has become clear about the skill levels of her students which allows her to push them to the appropriate place. In addition to this, she customizes her music so that it is never the same and sometimes theme related which is fun. Nothing makes me happier than coming to Reach and having Mia welcome me at the door. At that moment, I know that I am about to share in another excellent yoga adventure.”

“Mia is a kind and gentle soul. Yoga with her is a great workout, but it’s not just exercise. She genuinely cares for her students and wants them to enjoy yoga as a mind, body and breath experience. She has moved up the challenge of the practice to keep pace with the progress that the regular core of students have made. I’ve been in her class for years.”

“Among the many excellent and devoted yoga teachers available in the North Shore, Mia stands out. She is exceptionally knowledgeable, creative and thoughtful in the design and presentation of her classes. Mia welcomes all levels to her classes, and teaches joyfully and gracefully. Her cues are precise, helpful and delivered with good cheer. The smiles on the faces of we students leaving the studio after one of Mia’s classes speak volumes for her substantial contributions to our practices.”

“Mia has such a peaceful presence. I enjoy her yoga classes and appreciate the sequences she cues, but perhaps most of all I benefit from the tranquil, supportive sound of her voice. She always has a genuine smile and honest dedication to her students. She is a gift!”

“I love Mia! She’s a kind, empathetic, knowledgeable yoga teacher who makes me feel like I’ve given my body & my mind an enormous gift. I always leave her classes feeling just a little bit better about myself. She’s actually my favorite teacher. Plus, she has killer playlists!”

“I love yoga with Mia on Friday mornings!”

“Mia Happy Yoga. Need i say more? Mia depicts the word happy. Her classes are always upbeat, with well-edited tunes, fun sequencing that opens up your entire soul and always many laughs. Her soothing voice reminds us to ‘try less hard’ and just be ok with where you are. She is so kind and caring and i feel lucky every time I’m in her presence. She and her teaching are both really special, i adore her.”

“I can describe Mia in one word … that word is ‘brilliant. Mia is the most phenomenal, caring, gifted and intuitive teacher and she brings her beautiful brilliant spirit to every class she teaches. I feel so grateful to have the good fortune to experience her light at Reach as often as I can.”

“Mia’s positive energy, happy smile, and come as you are attitude make her class a welcome retreat every time I have her as a teacher!”

“Mia Cutler is my favorite yoga practice teacher. Her warmth, cheerfulness, and serious focus without taking herself too seriously make her a joy to be with. Her classes have a wonderful free and friendly atmosphere which I attribute to Mia’s personality and her personal interest in every yogi in the room. Also, I find her sequences, which can be quite challenging, make sense and allow me to be totally immersed in the experience.”

“Mia has a contagious enthusiasm that she brings to each practice. She makes it a point to personalize her interaction with students, whether it’s a compliment regarding their practice or simply a small detail in their life, I always leave the studio with a kinder attitude to be begin my day.”

“I love practicing with Mia! Through her creative sequencing, thoughtful cuing and subtle humor, Mia creates a warm and nurturing environment. I always leave her class with a smile on my face and a feeling of balance in my body.”

“I’m hesitant to say too many nice things about her, because Mia Cutler is a yogi’s best kept secret and I’d like it to stay that way. She is about the most knowledgeable and prepared instructors you will ever meet. While she may not be the flashiest or the one with the cool Instagram account, she brings to the mat a wealth of experience that in many ways is beyond approach from most every other instructor I practice with. Moreover, she’s always looking to improve my practice as well as hers and together over the years we’ve both benefited from our mats being in the same room. Her sequencing challenges my brain twice as much as my body and often times, it not just leaves me invigorated when I roll up my mat but gives me purpose to take that practice out of the studio. On top of that, she’s about the happiest person I know, and that’s contagious!”

“Something I think that is very difficult that Mia does is to bring alignment cues into a challenging flow practice. Coming from the Iyengar tradition, I can appreciate these cues that teach us more about what we are doing. It’s obvious Mia continues to learn as she teaches, I know that isn’t easy either. Mia’s classes are challenging but she is always reminding us to accept what our limitations are on that day, and that those limitations can change and ease. She does this kindly. While initially she may appear kind of “loosey-goosey”, it’s quickly obvious under there is a steel will. Mixing & balancing out that drive and steel will with fun, humility & acceptance is a great gift to us as her students.”

“I love Mia’s Saturday morning class! Her combinations are complex, her cues are perfectly given and I enjoy her choice of music. The class is challenging and fun, and I always leave class feeling awesome!!”



Try Less, Pay Attention More – guest post by Mia Cutler

This is a guest post by yoga teacher Mia Cutler. Mia teaches Mondays at 5:15pm; Fridays 8:15am; and Saturdays 9:30am. You can also read what Mia’s students say about her teaching. 

My motivation to practice is continually supported by the students I teach each and every day.  I am moved daily by what I see in studios across the north shore!

Practicing yoga is a gift I give to myself. Yoga has and continues to shape my life.  

Initially, I found the practice made me feel better physically … I gained strength and flexibility.  When I look back over the years, the benefits are so much more OFF the mat than ON the mat.  ON the mat is where I practice who I want to be OFF the mat.  It is that special place that is mine, and only mine, to practice being present, letting go, finding acceptance, being curious and open to feelings that arise, and aware of my thoughts and patterns.

I practice kindness and empathy towards myself, so that I can bring that into my daily life towards others. I also practice forgiveness towards myself for areas of my life that I feel I need to work on to be a better and kinder individual.  And, that it is a ‘practice’ is so complete.  There is no ending to the practice, no personal record, no pushing harder, getting faster.  It is what it is … today.  And tomorrow is another time to practice.   The ‘asanas’ are still important but the life scope of the practice is so much wider.  

These are some of the photos in a series I created called ‘The Tadasana Series’. I wanted to show that all yoga poses have value and that the practice of yoga is accessible to all. No need to think you must learn how to do a handstand or headstand. Standing rooted in Tadasana (mountain pose) leaves one feeling balanced, centered and strong.

As a teacher, I see so many students trying too hard to ‘get somewhere’.  There is nowhere to go.  The poses will come. What you are looking for will arrive someday, probably with less effort on what you are seeking and more effort in just being.  

That’s my whole gig: Try less … pay attention more.  Slow down enough to notice and be patient and your practice will ‘advance’.  It is healthy to have a goal … but that goal is not the end game.  It’s the journey to get you there…that’s the practice.  

Don’t get me wrong!  WANTING to do a handstand is an awesome thing, but a handstand is a yoga pose … it’s not yoga. The quiet, stillness, strength, patience and space that are created on your mat through regular practice … that’s advanced yoga.  

An advanced asana does not translate to an advanced yoga practice.

My favorite yoga quote is from the  Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.2: yogah citta vrtti nirodhah. A translation is, “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.”

The practice of yoga quiets the mind so it can rest in a state of stillness and tranquility, to experience life as it is, reality.

Some Q&A With Mia

Q. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Montreal, Canada and spent my formative years on a horse farm outside of Toronto.  My memories of life on the farm are filled with years of riding, hard work (feeding and mucking the stalls of 23 horses before school each day) and a feeling of outside spaciousness…open fields, solitude and quiet. It was truly a gift from my parents when we moved there only because my older sister wanted a pony :))  

Q. What was your first job?

I was 14 and built mink cages, in a farm field, during the summer.  It was hot and I wore thick gloves while cutting heavy wires to piece together these  cages on a mink farm.  They had 11,000 mink.  I got lots of scrapes up and down my arms and had an excellent farmer tan!

Q. How do you occupy yourself outside yoga?

Such a good question!!  One of my two children went off to college this year and I am savoring the next two years with my daughter before she flies out of the nest too!  I enjoy gardening and spent 7 years attending the School at the Chicago Botanic Garden to receive a Garden Design Certificate.  I design and install a couple of gardens every year for clients.  It’s not my main gig, but I love it!!  

I spend a good portion of my time cooking!  I love trying new recipes and adore all of my cookbooks.  I usually have a glass of red wine in hand, while I’m cooking. I LOVE red wine.  Big, bold and round …

I recently adopted an 8wk old puppy, Greta, from PAWS and quite frankly, I’m exhausted.  I knew what I was getting into though, and am happy to have another soul in this house besides our two cats. They all bring us so much love.


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Guest Blog Post: Practice, Patience, Time

This is a guest post by yoga teacher / communications lead Mallory McMunigal. 

Have you ever left class thinking … wow, that was challenging. The teacher called out cues you wanted to follow, but your body and brain couldn’t seem to get on the same page to accomplish the task at hand. You watched the teacher demonstrate flawlessly and then you peeked up at the student two mats in front of you, and they appear to be effortlessly defying gravity, and you think ‘Well huh … If they can do it, why can’t I?’

Well the truth is, you can. And even though it may sound cliche, the student you’re admiring was in your very shoes not too long ago. The only difference – they took the time to learn.

The practice of yoga is about surrendering our ego, and tuning in to the sensations within us. And the beauty and struggle of this is … it’s different every day. You might roll out your mat one day, nail every arm balance thrown at you, feel strong and powerful through the standing sequence, and take every vinyasa. You leave feeling accomplished, full, and ready for another challenging class. And then the following week you’re fumbling your way through a similar class, barely deciphering right from left, taking child’s pose at any possible moment.

It’s all about practice, patience, and more than anything it’s about time.


Think about the things you’re really good at. Did you have the same level of competency the first time, or first 10 times, as you do now? My guess is probably not. Practice. I challenge you to show up in your practice and do just that, practice. Really show up, be present just as much mentally as you are physically. Let the teacher be your true guide for the time you’re together.


Things don’t always go the way you planned. Sometimes things get forgotten, sometimes things get rushed, and sometimes things don’t happen at all. I challenge you to accept this. Time spent on the mat is an incredible way to learn and refine patience. Allow what you learn to blend into your day to day life. Step back and observe.


I’m busy, you’re busy, everybody’s busy … How on earth am I supposed to perfect my yoga practice? You’re not. Yoga isn’t going anywhere. No matter your level, there’s always something new to work on or fine-tune, something to re-learn or take a look at from a fresh perspective. Some days, weeks, or even months it might feel like two steps forward, one step back and that’s OK. I challenge you to let go of what you think your practice should look like, or where your practice should be and let time do its job. You show up, put in the work, and over time you’ll see and feel the benefits of your practice.

Mallory McMunigal teaches Tuesdays, 1:15-2:15pm, Vinyasa Level 1-2 … beginning this Tuesday 2/13/18.

Six Ways to Save Money on Yoga

Everyone wants to maximize the value of their money. And paying for yoga is no exception.

Have you considered all your options to practice yoga economically? Here are six ideas: 

  • Home practice is the least expensive way to go. Invest up front in a mat and a few props, and use a yoga app or even free videos on YouTube to guide you.
  • At Reach and other studios, watch for free community classes, or classes for charity that may ask for a donation of $10 or less per class. You will find these occasionally on our website under Events.
  • Most studios (including ours) feature a special for new students. Some offer a first class free, or a week or more of unlimited yoga for a vastly discounted price. At Reach, we offer two weeks of yoga for only $29 (that’s less than $4/day). (Hint: If you haven’t practiced at a studio for twelve or more months, ask if you can take advantage of the new student special again to sample newer classes on the schedule. You might get a positive response.)
  • Be sure to ask for a senior or student discount if you qualify. At Reach, seniors are 65 or older. Students are 23 or under (whether or not you are enrolled in a school).
  • If you plan to practice up to once each week, at least every month or so, consider buying classes in groups of 20. At Reach, you can save up to 20%, or the equivalent of 4 free classes. And the classes are good for a year. Can you share a group of 20 classes with a family member? Sure you can. Just ask at the desk.
  • If you expect to practice 2 or more times per week, or at least 7 times per month on average, consider our monthly membership for $117/month. That’s less than $4/day. Members also save on yoga gear and gifts from the boutique, and can bring first-time guests for free. Learn more here

If you have feedback or need information or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. We sometimes can arrange special discounts if you can contribute to our community. You can email me at dani@reachyogaglencoe.com, and I promise I’ll get back to you quickly.

In the meantime, here’s a summary of our payment options. I hope it’s useful.

Dani, Student / Owner, Reach Yoga

4 Mistakes to Avoid at Reach Yoga

I clearly need some additional photos of myself to use in these blog posts. This is me with my kids in Italy last summer.

I was working on some information for students new to Reach Yoga when I realized that a lot of what I was writing applies to every yoga student. Even me. (Okay, especially me.)

So … here goes: My list of four mistakes you’ll want to avoid when it comes to your yoga practice.

Delaying gratification. Yes, yoga is a long-term investment in strength and overall health, and can even promote a healthy weight. But our darn human brains! If we think of yoga that way, we’re less likely to show up for class. So don’t delay gratification. Think about how good you feel immediately after a yoga class. That’s what will get you to the studio door. And beautifully, the long-term benefits will accrue anyway.

Failing to schedule. Do you have tons of free time? If not, then if yoga isn’t clearly spelled out on your agenda, you aren’t likely to prioritize your practice. Put it on your calendar, with a repeating appointment for your favorite class(es). If life intervenes and you can’t make a regular class, **reschedule** to an almost-as-good class instead of just deleting the appointment. And you get that time right back, right? You reap the reward of additional energy to pursue your goals and interests.

Spending too much money per class. Of course you may pay however you like. AND if you drop $20-25 for every class, you may find that you are very very choosy about which yoga classes you take … and that you do not practice as much as you would like. Instead, consider buying 10 or 20 classes at a time, or sign up for a membership. When you are getting some classes essentially at no cost, you are likely to show up more often, and experience more yoga along with its associated benefits. See payment options

Thinking of yoga as a workout. Yes, any yoga class will help your fitness level, and some are downright challenging. But if you think of yoga like that, you might stretch too far or try too hard (risking injury), as well as miss out on some of the most important benefits of yoga.  Instead, hear and heed your teachers when they say, “Listen to your body.” And enjoy the mental benefits of the practice along with the physical ones. 

See you on the mat. Here are upcoming classes

Dani, Student / Owner, Reach Yoga

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