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 international yoga retreats and a 200-hour teacher training program. 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.”  Leslie teaches Vinyasa Yoga on Tuesday, Thursday at 9 a.m. and alternates on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. She is also co-leads The Yoga Lounge Retreats with Cara.

jonhalfmoonJon 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., Beginning Yoga on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and alternates Level 2-3 class on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. He also teaches monthly Yin Yoga on the first Friday of each month and assists in our 200-hour Teacher Training program.


nancy1nocropNancy 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 mentors 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 the Anatomy portion of our Teacher Training program.

Eileen Filler is a long-time student of The Yoga Lounge, and has practiced yoga for almost 10 years at the studio. 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 is currently teaching Chair Yoga on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m.

Amberly Cencula began her study of yoga with Cara in 2009 at McHenry County College and has continued to practice yoga at The Yoga Lounge ever since. She began her 200-hour teacher training journey at The Yoga Lounge in 2016 and is now teaching All-Level Yoga on Thursday nights at 5:30 p.m. Amberly has a gentle, yet athletic style, and as a full-time massage therapist, she brings her in-depth understanding of the body and its musculature to her teaching in hopes of helping others while sharing her love of yoga. “No matter how much I have resisted yoga in the past or taken lengthy breaks from my practice; the universe keeps sending me back to my mat. There is always room to grow at whatever speed or style that fits your current season of life. The goal is to learn how to navigate through our ups and downs honestly, authentically and true to our genuine nature. By sharing and practicing yoga with others, I feel energized by my tribe of like minded individuals. Yoga continually provides significant life lessons for all of us, whether we are on or off the mat.”

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.


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 …


robin1Robin 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.

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.  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!”

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.” Gina shares her knowledge of Yoga Therapy our 200-hour Teacher Training program.

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 over 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. Together, the created the internationally recognized Kriya certification program. It was a wonderful experience to train with students from all over the world. 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. The biggest reward for me has been observing the transformation that can occur in others through the practice.”

Karen Fuchs has been a student at The Yoga Lounge for many years and completed her 200 hour teacher training at Akasha Yoga last year. Karen loves introducing yoga to people who have never tried it or feel they can’t do it. Starting with the basics and props, she likes to challenge people to learn and continue to practice by offering variations of poses to accomplish their goals. For Karen, yoga has been a positive element, helping her through the many ups and downs in her life, and her goal is to be a good role model for anyone considering yoga at any point in life.