Teaching Since: 2014
I practice and teach yoga: To empower others to make changes that improve their health and wellness. I’m grateful for the deep connection and awareness yoga brings every day. One of my favorite things about the practice is the constant discovery, learning and addiction to progress.
What to expect from Veronica's classes: Veronica’s outgoing, warm and friendly nature carries out into her teaching. Her classes are challenging across all levels, and you can expect to leave feeling renewed, alive and with a new respect for your body's abilities.
Styles: cYoga, Ashtanga, Hatha
Chris developed a daily yoga practice as a means to repair his mind and body from caring for an ailing parent. Soon after his first class, he began practicing multiple hours a day fascinated by the healing aspects of the practice. Chris is trained in cYoga and multiple other Hatha Yoga systems. In 2018, Chris purchased the Lab from his most formative teaching influence and Lab founder, Carmen Aguilar. Forever a student of Yoga, Chris is honored to share the practice with the teachers and students at the Lab. His enthusiasm for the practice, seeing all levels of students progress and many forms of music are evident in each class he shares.
Started Teaching: 2015
Why I practice and teach yoga: Yoga has taught me how to be in the present during practice and in other experiences, set aside time and space for my mind and well-being, and appreciate how a physical awareness can translate to mental awareness and vice versa.
There are few things more rewarding than seeing someone leave my class happier, more fulfilled, and eager to continue their yoga journey.
What to expect from Karina's class: Creative and challenging sequences with options for all practice levels, individual attention, interaction and encouragement, and fun!
Lisa found yoga in 2014, when she was searching for a form of exercise she could enjoy. What she discovered was so much more - the stillness and mind-body connection she felt called to her. In 2018, Lisa received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Amber Cook, who emphasized the principles of intentional theming, alignment and breath.
Lisa is an avid daily practitioner and forever a student of yoga. Since finding The Lab, she has become a regular student there and has a passion for exploring different postures and their effect on the breath, mind and body. Lisa is excited to be able to fuse the thematic style she has learned at The Lab with her personal style. Her favorite part of any yoga class is that shared pocket of silence and peace right after Savasana. Lisa’s goal is for every student to learn something - whether it is small or big, physical, mental or spiritual, every time they step foot on their mat.
Styles: cYoga, Gentle Yoga, Ashtanga
Teaching Since: 2015
Why I practice and teach yoga: I practice yoga because it has helped me connect with my body in a positive way. It's a tool that has allowed me to shift a once consistently negative self perception, to one of appreciation and empowerment as I gained strength and flexibility over time.
Yoga has also allowed me to better observe my mental space and connect with my intuition or higher self. A journey that was initially physically focused has lead me to a path of inward observance and exploration, which I will always be grateful for.
I teach yoga because I love being able to to positively connect with students and encourage them (especially those who are new to yoga) to simply try. It's one of my favorite things to see a student's surprised at what their body is actually capable of! I also deeply value developing relationships with my students and being able to see their practices and their lives evolve over time.
What to expect from Ali’s class: An encouraging, welcoming class focused on connecting with the breath and safely exploring the body's limits. Pose modifications and props are provided so practitioners of all levels feel welcome and are able to benefit from an intentionally designed sequence.
Teaching Since: 2017
Jayme has been practicing yoga since 2007 and completed her teacher training at The Lab in 2017. While yoga was initially an injury prevention and recovery tool for her as a competitive track and field athlete, it steadily grew into the backbone of her daily movement practice as she competed in other sports and she completed her doctorate in physical therapy. As a competitive athlete, she has encountered many injuries and is familiar with the ups and downs of a body’s ability to adapt to and perform movement. She also utilizes yoga in her professional practice as a physical therapist, integrating yoga into her patient treatments while working with patients across all ages and abilities. After working with many styles of yoga she was drawn to the CYoga style due to its focused attention to peak poses that leads to mobility gains that carry through your practice long term. Jayme specializes in adapting yoga for all mobility needs and particularly enjoys working with each individual student to meet their goals. Jayme believes yoga is for everyone and looks forward to contributing to your movement practice through her classes at The Lab.
Styles: Hatha, Iyengar
Teaching Since: 2015
Why I practice and why I teach yoga:
1. To feel strong, stable, and confident in every way.
2. To use the body as a learning device to expand perception of which the physical eye is incapable.
3. For the wholly satisfying feeling of sharing what I love!
What to expect from Maya’s class: An intelligent, thoughtful sequence that utilizes props creatively, explores dynamic stretching and mobility, and focuses on alignment and breath.
Style: Hatha, Ashtanga
Teaching Since: 2016
Why I teach yoga:
1. Helping others find and celebrate their inner confidence
2. Witnessing the excitement when a practitioner reaches a new goal
3. The satisfaction and calm written across students faces at the end of an excellent practice
What to expect from Karen’s class: Thoughtful, intelligent sequences leading to new strength and stability. Tons of chances for inversions and arm balances. Physical and mental peace sprinkled with a bit of sweat!
Teaching Since: 2018
Valerie has always been active and a lover of intense workouts, but yoga never crossed her mind until she suffered a knee injury from running.
In April 2011, she sought out yoga for its therapeutic benefits and stumbled into her first ever yoga class at a local studio— which just happened to be The Lab Chicago. Immediately she was hooked. Loving both the physical and mental challenges of the practice.
Valerie is partial to cYoga because of the sequencing; how each class is different and poses are ordered in a logical progression warming students up for peak poses. There is always something new for each student to try or to continue working on.
Almost seven years after her first yoga class, Valerie decided to start teaching so she could help others along their yoga journey make progress in their practice.
Teaching Since: 2018
Lizzy Diaz-Ortiz completed teacher training with Carmen and Moises Aguilar in 2019 and teaches cYoga classes at the Lab.
Lizzy is a perpetual student of yoga. She seeks to empower students the way yoga helped her through multiple injuries and pregnancy. Yoga has taught Lizzy that growth and progress are not measured by what is accomplished rather by consistent dedication and persistence.
When not on the mat, Lizzy is an experienced banking professional working on diversity and inclusion. She is a former Amateur Iron Chef winner and former Vocalist.
Style: Hatha, Vinyasa
Caitlin Coan graduated with her BA in Rhetoric and Communications from Dominican University in 2014. She took the plunge to become a certified yoga instructor and received her 200 hour RYT certification in April of 2015. In January 2017, she took flight and became a certified Aerial Yoga Instructor. The last three years of teaching has been the most amazing journey, she is forever grateful to have made a career out of her passion!
I love that I am able to pay forward the never ending benefits that yoga has brought to me as an individual and that I have been given the opportunity to share my passion with the yoga community.
Style: Hatha, Vinyasa
Sarah began her practice in 2006 while she was expecting her first daughter. She believes each person at every age has the potential to make a positive impact in our world. Sarah earned her 200-hr certification from Moksha Yoga in Chicago, completing the program with more than 700 hours of training.
Style: Hatha, Alignment based
Allie teaches precise fun sequences chock-full of a kind energy. You'll learn to slow things down and move with intention, so you can build strength and improve balance, and get a healthy dose of self-care. A practitioner from her early teens, her primary influencers are Jason Crandall, Janet Stone - a firm base of teachers that have helped establish strong roots in the yoga practice. When she isn't teaching, Allie is a landscape architect in the West Loop and spends quality time with her dog.
Style: Hatha, Turbodog & Forrest
Steve Emmerman's classes are a fun and playful arena in which students are brought to face, and overcome, their limitations. Students bravely embody their inner Warrior and shatter their "I can't" beliefs, allowing them to walk through the changes they seek, both in their lives and in their practice, with steadiness.
He experienced the powerful healing gifts of this practice firsthand when through dedication to his yoga he was able to mend the devastating effects of a neck injury, incurred at age 15. He brings his gift of sight into the classroom, seeing his students clearly and expertly guiding them to deep physical & emotional openings.
Steve worked extensively with Ana Forrest from 1999 to 2012. He was one of Forrest Yoga’s original Guardians and helped to create its Mentorship Program. After leaving Forrest Yoga, Steve and his wife Talya Ring pioneered an approach called Turbodog Yoga, a strength-building practice based on the latest scientific understanding of how muscles lengthen and open. He has worked extensively training new yoga teachers, mentoring experienced teachers, and has travelled around the world leading workshops, trainings and retreats.
Nicole is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT) certified in multiple different Hatha yoga disciplines. With thousands of classes taught in various styles and a having recently completed cYoga teacher training with Carmen Aguilar, she is ecstatic to share positive space at the Lab with fellow teachers and students.
An athlete all her life - playing volleyball, soccer and marathon running – Nicole was devastated after a volleyball injury that led to two ACL knee surgeries and difficult rehabilitation. Yoga has brought tremendous healing, strength and awareness in her life. She believes in the power of connecting the mind and body through the breath.
When she is not practicing or teaching yoga, she studies German at the Goethe Institute downtown and plays the clarinet in the Lakeside Pride symphonic band.