Cara Chang Mutert, E-RYT500, founded The Yoga Lounge in 2004, and with the strong support of the community and dedicated instructors, we are approaching our 15th year. After more than 25 years of study and training, Cara is considered a senior yoga instructor, leads international yoga retreats and created her own Yoga Alliance approved 200-hour teacher training program. 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 her master teachers, who inspire and encourage her continued growth and learning. In addition to directing and teaching at the studio, Cara has taught yoga at McHenry County College for the past 11 years, 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.”  Leslie teaches Vinyasa Yoga on Tuesday, Thursday at 9 a.m. and alternates on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. She is also co-leads The Yoga Lounge Retreats with Cara.

jonhalfmoonJon Uidl began his yoga journey in 2006 at The Yoga Lounge and is now a 500-hour certified yoga instructor. He trained at Moksha Yoga Center, Chicago with Daren Friesen, Kim Wilcox and Rich Logan, and at Prajna Yoga, Santa Fe, NM with Tias Little. He continues to study with master teachers Gabriel Halpern and Tias Little. He teaches Gentle Restovative on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and Mindful Vinyasa on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and monthly Yin Yoga on the first Friday of each month. Jon also assists and mentors our 200-hour Teacher Training program.

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 and Slow Flow on Saturday at 7:30 and 9 a.m. and mentors and assists in our Teacher Training program.

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. and leads and teaches Anatomy for our Teacher Training program.

Eileen Filler is a long-time student of The Yoga Lounge and has trained and practiced at the studio for nearly 10 years. Eileen, who is also a Registered Nurse, brings her knowledge of anatomy, yoga, reflexology, reiki and other energy work to her teaching, along with her valuable experience working with seniors struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s as former Day Program Manager and Intake Coordinator at Family Alliance for the past five years. Eileen’s teaching style reflects her understanding of working with seniors and focuses more on restorative, therapeutic aspects of the practice. She is a certified Laughing Yoga instructor and has nearly completed her 200-hour teacher training at The Yoga Lounge. Eileen teaches Chair Yoga on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. and Gentle Restorative on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m.

Dorothy Robin is a RYT-200 with Yoga Alliance and earned her 200-hour certification from The Yoga Lounge. Dorothy has been practicing yoga since 2001 and teaches a gentle Hatha yoga style with a focus on alignment, breathing, and mindful awareness. She is currently continuing her education with Judith Hanson Lasater, studying advanced Shavasana and advanced Yoga Anatomy.  In addition to teaching Yoga Basics at The Yoga Lounge on Mondays at 8:30 a.m., she is also currently teaching workplace yoga at Motorola Solutions and at other area businesses.

Carina Vowels In the spring of 2017 Carina celebrated the completion of her first 200hrs of yogic studies with Megan Grace and Keith Borden at Perennial Yoga Wisdom School in Madison, WI. Carina’s tenacious curiosity brought her to yoga and is what allows her to continuously unearth new ways to perceive the world. She wants to share her curiosities with others by cultivating an ever-present field for questions regarding the movement of the body, the intricacies of the mind and the mystery of the spirit that lives in all beings. Her enthusiasm for the use of props to enhance asanas allow her slow flow Vinyasa style to be accessible to all students. She is enchanted by the way each of the elements manifest throughout the practice of yoga and honors these phenomena by encouraging a playful yet reverent space to experiment. Carina teaches the 5:30 p.m. All-Level class on Tuesday nights.

Jori Toman has been practicing yoga since 2010.  Believing she only wanted and needed the physical benefits of yoga, she practiced quietly and discreetly in her home.  It wasn’t until she attended her first yoga class that she realized there is so much more to gain from yoga. “I didn’t think I was interested in anything spiritual or meditative, but I was so mistaken.  It’s actually exactly what I need.”  For the past 5 years, Jori has built a passion for taking and teaching aerial fitness classes which led to her motivation for practicing yoga.  “Yoga balances me out physically and mentally.” Jori has nearly completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program at The Yoga Lounge. “Every single one of my instructors has provided me with amazing knowledge that I will use in my yoga journey as a student and as an instructor.  With an open heart and an open mind, there is always more to learn.  I am forever grateful for and humbled by my yoga practice.” Jori teaches the 7 p.m. Strength & Stretch class on Wednesday nights.

Lori Hanson is a 200-hour certified Yoga Instructor through the Lotus Yoga Center.  She taught at The Yoga Lounge for many years, and we are welcoming her back to teaching at the studio after long hiatus. She is also a certified 4th Degree Reiki Master/Teacher, holds a blue belt in Tae Qwon Do and a certified mat pilates & kick boxing instructor. She is currently teaching Beginning Yoga on Wednesday mornings at 8:30 a.m.

Theresa Hay Bio coming soon!

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 …


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. After many years of pushing my body to its limits it began to push back.  I need an outlet for my mental and physical well being.  Yoga has given me the total package. The need for us all to slow down and breathe is priceless at any age.

Gina McGuire is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor through the Lotus Yoga Center and the Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Centre.  Gina has had the opportunity to study under Gabriel Halpern 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.” Gina shares her knowledge of Yoga Therapy our 200-hour Teacher Training program.

DSC_0091Katherine 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.”