Meet Our Staff
Yulia preserves the principles of Amrit yoga, developed by yogi Amrit Desai, which is a dynamically active and deeply meditative approach cultivating awareness of the life force energy (prana), which leads to integration and lasting transformation. Yulia helps students reveal a deep connection between body, breath, mind, heart, and spirit. Yulia ends each class with an integrative relaxation of Yoga Nidra (psychic sleep) to help students connect with their deep heart’s intensions and prayers. This deeply meditative yoga practice will turn your yoga mat into your refuge.
Tanja Bisesi, Ph.D., RYT-200
I became a serious student of yoga almost 20 years ago. I consider myself a Yoga Lifestyle Educator, exposing my students to both ancient and modern principles and practices toward the goals of connecting with breath, enhancing self awareness, integrating mind-body-spirit, optimizing experience, and living a more enlightened and joyful life. I have a special interest in helping students of all ages adapt yoga to their unique needs and intentions.
I have 13 years of yoga and Pilates experience, and 23 years of jazz, modern, and ballroom dance experience. I have taught regular classes in Washington, DC, Providence, RI, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have served as a guest artist/instructor in over a dozen cities throughout the United States. I prefer to use a blend of nurturing humor, energy, and experience to make my classes challenging yet so much fun!
Gayle loves the fact that yoga is accessible to all ages and abilities. She has witnessed the therapeutic and healing value of this ancient tradition transform lives. She received her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification in 2009 through City Yoga in Indianapolis and is currently the director the yoga and Pilates programs at the YMCA. Her classes float from exploring the inner landscape to connecting to something greater than oneself discovering a gentle strength that can move mountains.
Gloria takes the wisdom of all her teachers over the past 30 years and finds the common thread between their teachings, integrating that into her practice. She gives this back to her students through a “moving as mediation” practice -- growing from a giant, inner sunburst out in all directions. Creating space, running midlines and grounding down to grow up are all common themes.
I began practicing yoga when I was in college to quell the stresses of life and still find my practice the balance I crave in life. I explore in my practice and my teaching introspection with a focus on the breath. How can I do this pose safely and mindfully? I encourage my students to “hear my words, but listen to your bodies." I enjoy mini vinyasa flows and include restoratives during each session.
Bill has taught yoga at the YMCA since 1993, but he tries to bring a “beginner’s mind” to his practice. He believes there is always somewhere new to go in the poses, some new avenue to explore, and his classes start from the premise that we’re all in the adventure together. Bill’s approach is eclectic, but he draws most from the Iyengar school of hatha yoga with its emphasis on fundamentals, especially on careful alignment to avoid injury. He has taught both Level I and Level II classes and has led workshops on “Moving Mountains: Yoga for Strength”; “Travel Yoga”; and “Yoga for Cyclists.”
LuAnne has taught hatha yoga at the Monroe County YMCA for more than 20 years. Her own practice and her teaching is influenced by Iyengar emphases on good alignment, intelligent use of props, and deep exploration of many classic asanas. LuAnne’s workshop teaching has included “Yoga for Travel” and “Building a Home Practice."
I have been practicing yoga for more than 10 years at the YMCA and trained to become an instructor in 2012. My classes focus on connecting movements to the breath, proper alignment, balance, and strengthening and lengthening the muscles through the yoga poses. In the classes I lead, we work on creating a kind and welcoming yoga community where participants can find a sense of relaxation and calm. I enjoy using yoga props to assist participants, allowing the body to ease into the poses for greater comfort and structural alignment. In 2014 I finished the 200-hour certified yoga teacher training program at Lexington Healing Arts Academy under the instruction of Amanda McMaine.
I have practiced Hatha Yoga for over 20 years. My classes focus on breathing into the subtleties of posture, balance, and flexibility, to make the heart of Yoga accessible to all, regardless of age, physical limitations or past experience. My goal is to lead my students to a place of peaceful self-awareness that will help them to move with confidence throughout their daily activities.
I have practiced yoga for 26 years, teaching at the Y for 17 of those years, and have found great benefit to my own fitness through the practice. I enjoy sharing these benefits and my experience with students of all ages. My classes keep students moving through a gentle, flowing practice. We begin with easy stretching and movement, followed by deeper practice of the yoga asanas, or poses. Each class finishes with a long, relaxing cool down.
Diane Thayer, E-RYT 500
Diane loves yoga and shares her enthusiasm for it with her students. She defines yoga as a practice of mindfulness, the attentive unfolding and fine tuning of each moment. Every class explores the "music" of yoga--the rhythms of the body; the melodies of the heart; the joyful harmony of body, mind, and spirit. Each class also attends to breath and alignment as means of opening energy channels in the body and experiencing ease and comfort in the poses. Diane celebrates the yoga insights and the successes of all her students. She has been teaching yoga and training teachers for 30 years.
I have been teaching Hatha Yoga for almost 30 years. During this time I have developed a style which is an eclectic mix of Iyengar, Desikachar, Anusara, and Restorative Yoga. Although I have had many teachers along the way, my main teachers have been Judith Lasater, Rodney Yee, and most profoundly all of my students. Join me in the deep exploration of the structure, alignment, and core integration of the poses. We will seek out the awareness and true balance of the body, mind, and breath, which is essential to the practice of yoga.
Mary Yoke, M.A., M.M.
Mary has been teaching yoga for over 25 years, mostly in the NY city metropolitan area. She has received extensive training in the Kripalu style of yoga, and has attended 28 workshops (some for as long as a month) at the Kripalu ashram in Western Massachusetts. Mary is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology at I.U., where she teaches classes for Health/Fitness Specialist degree majors. Mary believes in the power of yoga to help create equanimity, wisdom, and wellness, and to provide a healing reservoir of inner strength for the challenges and joys of life.
I started practicing yoga and martial arts in 1997 when I came to college. In 2003 I was given the opportunity to teach martial arts, yoga, Pilates, and fitness courses for Indiana University’s, Department of Kinesiology. I earned my Master of Science in Kinesiology from IUB in 2008. I’ve been teaching physical activity classes for over ten years now and I’m excited to be able to work with more of the community through the YMCA programs. I try to challenge my students each class, while also reminding them to always move with the rhythm of their breath, while maintaining proper form and alignment.