Cara Chang Mutert, E-RYT500, founded The Yoga Lounge in 2004, and with the support of the community and great instructors, the studio is now in its 13th year. She earned her 500-hour advanced certification from Prairie Yoga, studying with Lori Gaspar, Gabriel Halpern, Tias Little and Judith Hanson Lasater and her 200-hr. certification through the Temple of Kriya Yoga, Chicago, studying with Kim Schwartz and David Lipschutz. She continues to study with both Tias Little and Gabriel Halpern who inspire and encourage her continued growth and learning. After 25 years of study and practice, Cara is now leading destination yoga retreats and her first teacher training program this year. In addition to teaching at the studio, Cara is in her 10th year at McHenry County College as adjunct faculty, creating and instructing the first credited Yoga courses at the college. Cara extends her deepest gratitude to all her teachers, students, family and friends for their love, support and encouragement.
Leslie Dallas completed her teacher training May of 2009. She studied with Silvia Mordini from Total Body Yoga, Mundelein. “Stepping onto the mat was like coming home. Yoga became my own personal time for emotional and physical well-being. I found that through Yoga my body and spirit were transformed helping me to become more dedicated to living my life fully and in the present. My teaching style is Vinyasa Flow which I mix with the loving, heart based practice of Anusara Yoga, and the strength based practice of Ashtanga Yoga. My classes tend to be upbeat but serious, fun yet challenging. My goal is to touch everyone with the freedom, fun, power and sweetness of Yoga.” She teaches Level 2-3 Yoga on Tuesday, Thursday at 9 a.m. and alternates on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m.
Jon Uidl recently completed his 500-hour training at Moksha Yoga Center, Chicago, studying with Daren Friesen, Kim Wilcox and Rich Logan and continues to study with master teachers Gabriel Halpern and Tias Little. He teaches All-level Yoga on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Tight Guy Yoga at 7 p.m. and alternates Level 2-3 Vinyasa with Leslie on Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Nancy Loessl is a RYT-200 whose love of yoga began when she started taking classes as cross training to running. Nancy was very quickly “addicted” to yoga and wanted to learn more, so she enrolled in the teacher training program at the Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center, Palatine. Her training is based on traditional Hatha yoga as founded by Swami Rama in the Himalayas in India. Nancy completed her 200-hour certification in September 2011. She enjoys teaching all-level classes giving options to make it just right for each student. Nancy teaches All-Level 1-2 on Saturdays at 9 a.m. and on Mondays at 8:30 a.m.
Denise Yager began practicing yoga in 2000, completed her 200-hour training at Kalitrea in 2004 and has been teaching yoga ever since. Her interest in making yoga accessible has led her to teach classes for everyone from young children to senior citizens. The teachers who continue to have the biggest influence on her teaching style include Jill Thomas, Gabriel Halpern, Paul Grilley, Rolf Gates, and Susi Hately. She has attended workshops on yoga for seniors, yoga for osteoporosis and yin yoga and has taught anatomy to yoga teachers in training for the past five years. She enjoys developing a warm and friendly class environment that supports brand new students while challenging experienced practitioners. Denise teaches Yoga Basics on Fridays at 8:30 a.m.
Laura Brown has been a dedicated student of The Yoga Lounge for the past four years and received her 200 hour teacher training certification from Prairie Yoga in Lisle. She has studied with Lori Gaspar, Gabriel Halpern, Tias Little, Cara Chang Mutert and Jon Uidl. Her practice and classes have an alignment, strength and movement-based slow flow flavor to them designed to stretch the body’s limits while remaining healthy and safe. “Yoga has changed my life and my body-it brings me the mental toning and physical calmness that I have never experienced before. It has truly become a powerful thread in the weave of my daily life and I can’t imagine my life now without yoga!” Laura has been artist and teacher for 25 years. She is currently a practicing painter, an intuitive, a level 3 Reiki Master and skilled in psychic hygiene and clearing modalities. She has lived her life wholly committed to healing, body mind and spirit. Laura teaches Sunrise Yoga on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m., All-Level on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. She will also be teaching the 6-week Beginning Yoga session on Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Thank you to all The Yoga Lounge teachers past and present, who have contributed to the strength and growth of our yoga community. Below are instructors who continue to share their time and energy to support us …
YOGA LOUNGE SUBS:
Robin Grover My passion for yoga has developed out of a desire to experience every type of activity I can. I worked in the fitness industry at Health Bridge Fitness Center for 11 years and before that taught aerobics at a local club. I need an outlet for my mental and physical well being. I have enjoyed swimming, running, biking, boxing, skiing, weight training and yoga over the years. I felt that I needed the activities like running and weight training to give me the desired effect on my physical body. After many years of pushing my body to its limits it began to push back. I began experiencing body aches and pains that made me seek out doctors and physical therapists. Yoga has given me the total package. It pushes me physically and mentally and I am in the best shape of my life. The need for us all to slow down and breathe is priceless at any age.
Heidi Peters completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training certification from the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago and has been teaching in McHenry County for more than 12 years. “I feel very fortunate to have studied under Kim Schwartz who was a student of BKS Iyengar. My meditation studies were directed by David Lipschutz. My classes are designed to cultivate awareness of breath and posture as well as mindful meditation to dissolve away the tensions that can manifest from our minds to our muscles. My yoga practice began in college at Southern Illinois University, when I was taught by an 80 year old teacher from Mysore, India. She was so full of life’s energy, humor, and compassion. She had a profound impact and me. I’m truly honored to be teaching. The biggest reward for me has been observing the transformation that can occur in others through the practice.”
Katherine Ellinghausen has been studying and practicing yoga since 2005 and began teaching at The Yoga Lounge in 2007. “Yoga has been life changing for me and while my on the mat skills have grown, it is my off the mat life that has changed the most in the last 8 years. I started doing yoga as a complement to running in search of balancing my physical body. Shortly afterwards, I realized that it was a balance in my emotional body and heart that I was seeking. I love teaching because of the connection with other yogis. It’s fun to make up new sequences and teach playful classes, but the most rewarding part for me is making relationships with lovers of the same discipline and being a small piece of other’s journeys. Yoga has opened up so many doors, windows and other worlds to me, and the discipline is a never ending one. I will always have more to learn and there is no danger of reaching the end!”
Grant Tucker As fate would have it, Grant moved next door to the Yoga Lounge in 2007. This prime proximity to the studio turbocharged his yoga practice. What began as an interesting form of exercise evolved into a versatile and potent way to lessen stress, increase energy, and achieve a better sense of balance amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Becoming a yoga instructor is the result of a passion for the practice as well as predisposition to teach as Grant comes from a long line of teachers. For his 200 hour certification, Grant trained at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago, where he continues his yogic studies. The yoga teachers who have most influenced Grant’s style are Daren Friesen, Gabriel Halpern, Tias Little, Aadil Palkhivala, and Cara Chang Mutert, whose compassionate commitment to her students inspired Grant to become a teacher himself.
Ky Gott “I have been an English teacher and Guidance counselor for 29 years. My passion for teaching began at age 13 when I began teaching swimming lessons at my hometown YMCA. I continued teaching everything from water exercise, to aerobics, to martial arts. Earning my black belt in 1982, I taught and practiced the martial arts for 14 years. Ultimately, the toll on my body was too much and as fate would have it, was introduced to yoga which offered me the same spiritual, philosophical, and physical discipline enhanced with the additional element of healing. I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training in October of 2012 and have been graced to study with Gabriel Halpern; I have been influenced by Rich Logan, Joy Antipow and Cara Chang-Mutert who has modeled for me the open spirit and strong community Yoga is. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Yoga Lounge family.”
Gina McGuire is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor through the Lotus Yoga Center and the Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Centre. Gina is also a certified K-9 grade school teacher. She has had the opportunity to study under Gabriel Halpern of Yoga Circle, Chicago, and has helped patients with Yoga Therapy, both in hospitals and privately. “I was brought to yoga by a friend in 2004 after undergoing cancer treatment. I fell in love with the way yoga made me feel; full of life and young. I believe yoga is for every ‘body’ and I hope in my classes to touch lives.”