J. Renée DeTar, MA, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, YACEP spent summers on her grandparents farm in southeast Kansas, grew up in Wichita, and was introduced to the healing arts at the age of twelve by her mother, who took her to a chiropractor & acupuncturist after a severe neck injury. She collapsed on the softball field at the age of 21 and spent a long year recovering from spinal meningitis. Recovery "exercises" were limited to meditation, breath work, and mental concentration for many months. After a 40% weight loss, her physician advised bodybuilding as a means to regain muscle mass. The owner of the local gym, a retired Olympic power lifter, taught her to create strength and power with proper body mechanics and, after a period of dedicated training, led her to win a statewide competition. She discovered during her intense physical training that her mental practices of concentration and meditation accentuated all of her physical endeavors, but even more, shaped her character through focus, determination, and sense of priorities. She went on to graduate from Wichita State University completing her Bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders & Sciences, her Master's degree in Liberal Studies and post graduate work in Counseling & Educational School Psychology while working in the Sports & Kinesiology Department teaching Pilates and Yoga. She has owned and managed several yoga studios, created the first Midwest yoga school to be accredited by Yoga Alliance. She was hired to create and implement a leadership-mentor oriented yoga school in the United Kingdom. While conducting all her yoga teaching activities, in addition to owning and managing a real estate agency, Renée has continually contributed her talents to athletes and sports teams to enhance not only the physical aspect of the game, but to bring mindfulness through concentration, breath and meditation, to support the family culture of a winning team.
Renée is a skilled certified yoga therapist, (International Association of Yoga Therapists), who combines her 40 years of Iyengar yoga experience with more than 16 years of training yoga teachers and 15 years of studying and practicing The Pilates Method. She customizes yoga teacher trainings for studios who add the Great Yoga Wall as a therapeutic tool and for yoga and Pilates on the Wall classes. Her methods involve a unique and highly effective fun approach to healing the whole person. She studied Ayurveda (panchakarma) in Kerala, India and uses all of the yoga sciences found in Ayurveda, along with her Iyengar-influenced yoga practices, breath and meditation as taught by the Himalayan Masters, to cultivate awareness and promote healing transformation and focus. Her private clients and students range from those new to yoga, to teachers in training, to amateur and professional athletes, to the elderly.
Renée began her formal Iyengar yoga teacher training with Bobbi Goldin, Intermediate Iyengar teacher from Miami, Florida founder of the Yoga Institute of Miami and then with Iyengar Senior teacher Aadil Palkhivala, and has years of continuing education in yoga therapeutics under his tutelage. During her 20 years under Aadil, Renée assisted him at Yoga Journal conferences, in workshops, and yoga teacher trainings in the United States, Hawaii and London, England. She completed Structural Yoga Therapy Training in 2000-2002 under the tutelage of Mukunka Stiles. She studied at the Peaceful Meadow Retreat to learn healing techniques and herbology, based on the work of Hanna Kroeger. She went onto develop her skills of medical intuition with Dr. Norm Shealy, and uses the work of Caroline Myss in her trainings. She continues to refine her skills and knowledge of advanced mediation practices under the guidance of Pandit Rajmani Tigunait and Dr. Rolf Sovic, PhD, at the Himalayan Institute. Renee continues her Iyengar studies with Bryan Legere, Intermediate Level III (founding partner in The Great Yoga Wall), Paula Tortalano Self, Advanced Level 1 and her very first teacher, Bobbi Goldin, Intermediate Level III.
Renée is the founder and President of The Institute of Interdisciplinary Yoga Studies, the first yoga school recognized in Kansas by Yoga Alliance in 2000. She has cultivated an immense interdisciplinary team of faculty members over the years hosting the most world-renowned yoga teachers into the Midwest. Faculty members include Bobbi Goldin (Iyengar), Rod Stryker (paraYoga), Erich Schiffmann (freeForm), Aadil Palkhivala (Iyengar/Purna Yoga), the late Mukunda Stiles (Structural Yoga Therapy), Shiva Rea (Vinyasa Flow), Gary Kraftsow (ViniYoga), Doug Keller (Anusara/Yoga Therapy), Judith Lasater (Relax & Renew), Doug Swenson (Ashtanga), David Williams (Ashtanga), Tiffany Cruikshank (Vinyasa Flow), Liz Lark (Vinyasa Flow), Seane Corn (Vinyasa), Ricky Tran (Vinyasa) and Raymond Long, MD (BandhaYoga)....and the faculty continues to expand. She also volunteers at the Himalayan Institute and continues with her annual pilgrimage and retreat to fine tune her meditation practices during the time of Swami Rama's Maha Samadhi.
Currently, Renée is focused on training advanced yoga teachers in yoga therapeutics, as is now the Director of KC Yoga Therapy in Kansas City while completing her studies in Ayurveda. She travels all over the world assisting studio owners and training teachers, who want to implement the use of the Great Yoga Wall in their studio classes. Renée is married to David Schafer, has two children, David and Jamie, and has recently become a grandmother. She is an avid Kansas City Royals baseball fan.