Mona earned both the 200- and 500-hr. CYT/RYT (Certified/Registered Yoga Teacher) certification from Prairie Yoga Institute, where she also taught Mindful Flow. Her interest in the mind-body connection began as an undergraduate late-blooming competitive swimmer and led to a minor in physical education with an emphasis in all-things-aquatic. As a choral conductor linking gesture to understanding and meaning, Mona continued to explore the intersections among mind, body, and spirit, culminating in her Ph.D. dissertation on what she calls “physical metaphor” and later, through her yoga practice which began in 2008.
Making space is a common theme in my yoga classes because it has very real applications on and off the mat. When we make space in the body, we find freedom to move differently and we discover new mobility or strength. When we make space in the breath, we change our mood and energy level and encounter a sense of wholeness and balance. And when we make space off the mat, we do two important things: we let go of that which no longer serves us and we allow something new to come into our lives. to lead.
Ramona Wis, "The Conductor As Yogi: From Holding Space to Making Space"
Mona has studied with Tricia Fiske, Marinda Stopforth, and Linda Troutman and has taken workshops with Nicolai Bachman, Tias Little, and Jules Mitchell as well as yoga anatomy (online course) with Tiffany Cruikshank of Yoga Medicine. At North Central College where she is a Professor of Music, Mona taught yoga to the swimming and diving team, developed an honors seminar, “Yoga On and Off the Mat: Practice, Principles, and Leadership,” and has presented workshops to the MSPAS (Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies) cohort as part of their lifestyle medicine course. Her article “Breath, Body, and Being: A Yoga-Inspired Choral ‘Practice’” was published in the October 2021 mental health focus issue of The Choral Journal and she is a regular blogger for ChoralNet under “The Conductor as Yogi.”
Mona is drawn to the ways in which movement—physically, spiritually, or psychologically—can bring people forward to better understanding and a healthier, more creative, and more hopeful existence.