Lead Teacher – Yoga Teacher Training


mary hilliker 2

Mary Hilliker, RDN, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT

“The journey begins with a  focus on you and your personal practice  as a means for understanding and living yoga.  From that foundation, you will learn and practice the most important skills for teaching so that you can facilitate yoga for individuals and groups.”




Mary Hilliker, RD, E-RYT 500, has been a student of yoga for over 26 years and a teacher for 18 years. She has over 4200 hours of teaching experience.

Mentoring and teaching practitioners and teachers in the yoga tradition is a passion for Mary. Working in administrative and faculty roles for the American Viniyoga Institute over the past 8 years, Mary co-taught the 200 hr. Viniyoga Wellness Instructor Training Program in 2012 in Warrenville, IL and was lead teacher for the program in Wausau, WI in 2014. She has been faculty with the Viniyoga Therapist Training for 2012, 2014 and will continue as Curriculum Coordinator for the 2016 program. She coordinated the 2009 Foundation for Yoga Therapy Training. One of her most interesting projects with the American Viniyoga Institute has been coordinating a strategic alliance with Aetna, Inc. to pilot and evaluate the Viniyoga Stress Reduction Program™.

Mary credits her teachers and their training programs for her development personally and professionally: a 200 hour hatha yoga teacher training with Elizabeth (Chandler) Patric, and 500 hour Viniyoga Teacher Training (2006) and Viniyoga Therapist Training (2009) with Gary Kraftsow. She continues to study annually with Gary Kraftsow.
Mary owns and operates River Flow Yoga, LLC in Wausau, WI, a yoga teacher training school approved by the WI Educational Approval Board. She is also a partner in 5 Koshas Yoga & Wellness, a yoga and wellness studio in Wausau, WI, where she provides individualized Yoga Therapy and teaches general, senior and therapeutic classes, workshops and retreats. She has a special interest in helping each student reach their full potential even in the face of challenging health conditions or life-changing situations.

A 30+ year career in public health nutrition and wellness influences Mary’s work and her ability to build bridges with traditional and complementary health care providers, senior services, schools and employers. Her practical approach and ability to think of people in a multi-dimensional way helps her make yoga accessible for a variety of individuals, groups and community settings.

What students in past 200 hour yoga teacher trainings said about Mary:

“Your grace as well as your gentle, playful nature created a fun and loving environment for us to learn.”
“You bring so much experience to your teaching…You have been so nourishing and encouraging and that set the tone for the class.”
“Thank you for your kind mentorship.  I appreciate your guidance and honesty.”
“Viniyoga is opening a whole new way for my yoga practice.  Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience.”
“A wealth of knowledge that she shares well with very little ego involvement!  A very gracious, caring person.”
“Mary excels in teaching. She brings an unparalleled level of expertise to the training and delivers the information in practical, relatable and often humorous ways.” -Jennifer Ransom
“Mary is a great mentor and instructor. Her experience and wealth of knowledge is so valuable. She is very professional and willing to share.” – Maria Gulan

Mary incorporates experienced Certified Viniyoga Teachers and Viniyoga Therapists as guest teachers for some training segments, including:

Heather Van Dalfsen, MEd, E-RYT 500, Certified Viniyoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist-in-Training

Jane Wengert, RYT-200, C-IAYT, Certified Viniyoga Therapist

Andrew Beaumont, PhD, MD, RYT 200, Neurosurgeon, Meditation and Yoga Teacher

Bill Miller, RYT-200, Certified Viniyoga Wellness Instructor, Trained in Low Back Care, Veteran’s Yoga Project

Pauline Zweck, RYT-200, Certified Viniyoga Wellness Instructor

Renee Peterson, RYT-200, Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher

Jay Coldwell, RYT-200, Certified Viniyoga Wellness Instructor, Student of Vedic Chant

Mary Kluz, RYT-200, Certified Viniyoga Wellness Instructor

Steve White, E-RYT 200, RYT-500, Certified Viniyoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist

Maggie Kessel, E-RYT 500, Certified Viniyoga Teacher