Cara Jepsen has been publishing her writing since junior high school. Her byline has appeared in The (UK) Guardian, Salon, Brink.com, Billboard, Book, Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, NewCity, and Crain’s Chicago Business. From 1993 to 2013 she was the media columnist for the Illinois Entertainer, and for eight years she wrote the Chicago Reader's Days of the Week Calendar. She's written film and music criticism for the Reader and music criticism for the Chicago Tribune. She also contributed chapters to DK's Real City Chicago guide and to SPIN Underground USA.
A former filmmaker, she has taken bows at the New York Film Festival, and her video "Public Enemy" appeared on the WTTW-Channel 11 program "Image Union."
Her radio essays aired on the WBEZ-FM program Eight Forty-Eight, and she was a yoga columnist for Conscious Choice magazine and a vegetarian food columnist for The Local Palate. She was also a music columnist for the Windy City Times. Her "Beyond the Mat" column as well as her India diaries, restaurant reviews and cartoon, "On the Mat," are featured in Yoga Chicago magazine - where her work has appeared since 1998.
She holds a B.A. in sociology and communications from Lake Forest College and a Master's Degree in journalism from Columbia College, where she was a recipient of the Follett Fellowship.
Cara Jepsen (Yogi Kali Om), ERYT-500, teaches Dharma (vinyasa) Yoga, traditional ashtanga vinyasa yoga, back care yoga and yoga for anxiety and depression. She is a disciple of Sri Dharma Mittra and was a direct student of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from 2000 to 2008.
A former triathlete, she began practicing yoga after her mother died. She believes that regular practice can help people weather rough patches with dignity and grace - and keep them grounded when things are going well. A vegetarian since 1987, she began teaching yoga in 1998. Since then, she has devoted her life to the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
Cara completed 200-hour 500-hour and 800-hour advanced teacher trainings with Dharma Mittra in New York City. From him, she received the spiritual name of Yogi Kali Om. Cara is the first and only teacher in Chicago to have completed all four of Sri Dharma's teacher trainings; in addition, she edited his teacher training manual and has assisted him on retreat. She has also completed teacher trainings with Suddha Weixler and Manju Pattabhi Jois and has done training in Therapeutic Yoga and Yoga for Seniors at the North Carolina School of Yoga.
She has made five trips to Mysore, South India, where she spent over ten months studying with ashtanga vinyasa guru Pattabhi Jois and his family. She has also spent two months studying with Pattabhi Jois in America.
Her other primary teachers are Chandra Om and Lino Miele. She's also studied with a long list of other master instructors. Her articles about these experiences are archived at the Yoga Chicago website, which is also where her restaurant reviews, India diaries, her "Beyond the Mat Column" and her cartoon "On the Mat" can be found. Her work has appeared in Yoga Chicago since 1998.
She divides her time between Chicago, Raleigh, and New York City.