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Amplifying the AAPI Wellness Community

Updated: 7 days ago

Happy AAPI Heritage Month! AAPI Heritage Month is celebrated annually in May and is a time dedicated to honoring the rich and diverse cultural heritage, contributions, and experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. AAPI Heritage Month serves as an opportunity to recognize the vital role AAPI individuals and communities have played in shaping American history, culture, and society. It also provides a platform for raising awareness about the unique challenges and triumphs faced by AAPI communities, promoting inclusivity, and fostering understanding and solidarity among all Americans.

Chicago is blessed with incredible wellness instructors from the Asian American community. Among them, the AAPI Club, AAPI Club is a community driven organization that cultivates, supports, and aims to open doors for the AAPI community, BIPOC and it’s allies. They are compiling a central list of AAPI Instructors, along with ways to experience their classes and offer support. Find the expanding list at Additionally, if you know someone who would like to be listed, feel free to share the same link

Below are some of the featured instructors from Move with AAPI!


Eric Cervantes

A proud member of the AAPI and LGBTQ2IA+ communities, Eric [he/him] is the founder of AAPI Club, a community-driven organization that cultivates, supports, and aims to open doors for the AAPI and BIPOC communities and their allies. He serves as a lululemon® ambassador and as a Resident Movement Coach, and he teaches fitness and wellness classes throughout the city of Chicago. Link to schedule:

Manny Garcia

Manny is a yoga teacher, movement coach, public speaker, and a founder/owner of The Collective Yoga Co-op in Chicago, IL. Manny’s teaching style is technical and precise; his goal is always for you to understand what’s going on in the body before taking shapes or exercises deeper. Manny’s teaching path is dedicated to accessibility and inclusion. His studio, The Collective Yoga Co-op, opened in January 2023, and is dedicated to centering and uplifting LGBTQ+ teachers and teachers of color. They partner regularly with local grassroots organizations to support various causes in Chicago. When not teaching yoga, you can catch Manny at the dog beach with his pup Kaia, eating ice cream on a patio, or planning his next travel adventure. Link to schedule:

Claudine Beeson

Out of simple curiosity about this 1,000-year-old healing system, Claudine began practicing yoga in 1999. After just one yoga video, she realized two things: she had neglected to get in touch with her body and she truly did not know what it was like to breathe. By being accessible, attentive and articulate, Claudine helps her students learn to do what they never thought their bodies could do. Claudine teaches weekly classes, customized private one-on-one sessions, corporate yoga and hosts retreats and workshops. Link to schedule:

Erika Samaniego

A former NBA dancer, Erika is a fitness and dance trainer. As a group fitness instructor at Midtown Athletic Club and SALT Fitness, she primarily teaches Barre, which led her to teach other formats such as Strength, Dance Cardio and Yoga Sculpt. She is also the owner and founder of Erika Mae Fitness, LLC, where she trains clients on how to use proper technique and form to prevent injury while working out. Erika uses her dance background to condition dance teams to improve their dance skills and execution. She strives to educate and empower clients and dancers to find that mind/body connection, and to move safely and with purpose.

Wikanda Visessurakarn

Wiki carried her passion with her all the way from Thailand and started to spread her love for dance here in Chicago in 2023. A certified Zumba Instructor for 6 years, she had brought a variety of rhythms into her classes and created a unique vibe for her students. She loves to inspire others to be themselves by expressing their uniqueness through music and movements. A certified Zumba instructor. Her classes will leave you energized and smiling all day.


Blog Provided By: Eric Cervantes, Founder of AAPI Club

AAPI Club is a community driven organization that cultivates, supports and aims to open doors for the AAPI community, BIPOC and it’s allies. AAPI Club’s vision is to become a cultural and wellness hub in Chicago that creates events and experiences that answers to its mission and purpose.

Learn more here:

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