Meet Your Teachers

Every one of our teachers is deeply interested in your wellbeing. As a compassionate guide and intelligent leader, each teacher presents his or her own unique perspective on the ancient art and science of yoga. You will feel free to grow and explore your potential in a safe and kind environment.


Rachel Coppola
Originally from New Jersey, Rachel moved to Chicago in 2007, and has happily been teaching yoga since 2009.

Rachel’s classes emphasize clarity of alignment, a steady connection to the breath, and a mindful investigation of what qualities we are truly cultivating in our practice. Rachel challenges herself to weave in as many aspects of all that is yoga into each class. While drawing from her professional dance career to inform her intelligent sequencing and creative movement, her classes are dynamic and inspiring. She allows her intuition to guide her as she watches her students and encourages them to observe themselves with curiosity, beginners mind, compassion and great self-care.

Her kind and gentle manner is well suited to leading students of all levels. It is her greatest wish that all who share a practice with her feel the transformative powers of yoga both on and off the mat.

Restorative-Gentle   |  Friday   |   10:30-11:45am
A rare opportunity to relax, unplug, and reset. You will contemplate and go deep inside to restore and nourish the mind, body, and soul. This class utilizes props to support the body and decompress the nervous system and combines gentle movements, meditation, and yoga philosophy.

Level 1-2   |   Sunday   |   11:00am-12:30pm
Level 1-2   |   Wednesday   |   9:30-10:45am

Rachel’s classes are a cross between Vinyasa Foundation and Vinyasa Flow. Appropriate for beginners as well as those with an ongoing practice. All are welcome as there is always a strong emphasis on breath and alignment. The creative sequencing found in her classes are often built around surya namaskar (sun salutations) and are likened to a dynamic dance, where postures are connected through the breath for a transformative and balancing effect. Classes build heat, endurance, flexibility, strength and always end with a deep relaxation. You can count on hearing some great music to inspire physical, energetic, mental, intuitive, and pure bliss states of consciousness. She takes great care to provide a supportive environment, encouraging the link between mindful body movement and the breath and a greater sense of oneness with all beings.

Lane Fenrich
Lane first tried yoga twenty years ago as a way to relieve back pain. By the end of his first class, he was hooked! Within months, he was practicing everyday and had never felt so comfortable in his body. His love for yoga has only grown over the years and is evident in his joyful, always evolving approach to teaching. His classes combine close attention to alignment and the breath with a lighthearted athleticism that is never doctrinaire.

Level 1-2   |   Friday   |   8:00-9:15am
This Friday morning class is a "down-dog free zone," constructed especially for students who want to avoid bearing weight on their hands for one reason or another. Check it out! Even if love downward facing dog, it's a nice class to add to your weekly mix!

Jancy Jerome
Jancy came to yoga for flexibility and strength, but what she found was her breath. She has loved running all of her life and found that her body was becoming increasingly more inflexible. She began practicing yoga; it strengthened her body and brought back the fluidity that she had been slowly losing. Jancy also found that yoga brought an awareness and consciousness to her practice that began to flow into her life. She received a 200-hour yoga certification with Suddha Weixler of the Chicago Yoga Studio. She also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation and Health that helped her teach and work with children. She teaches yoga to both children and adults. She offers a warm and inviting class that will allow students of any age to reap the many benefits of yoga.

Level 1-2   |   Saturday   |   9:00-10:15am
Jancy teaches a vinyasa class with basic to intermediate poses with an emphasis on alignment. Her class offers a practice that will open and create space in both mind and body. Each class will have students connect with their breath and themselves, and bring flexibility and strength to the entire body. Jancy’s goal for her students is to leave class feeling refreshed, both mentally and physically.

Jenny Kaufman
Jenny has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and teaching for the last 15. Her initial 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification is from The Chicago Yoga Center, additional certification with Judith Lasater in Restorative Yoga at Om Yoga in NYC, and finally a 500-hour Yoga Alliance certification with Sharyn Galindo at North Shore Yoga where she assisted teaching the 200-hour course. Within those teacher trainings are dozens of workshops, festivals and immersions with various master yoga teachers/celebrities. She currently serves as the Program Manager for Yoga Six in Chicago and assists in various advanced trainings and clinics for Yoga Six throughout the Midwest.

Mindful Vinaysa Level 2   |    Thursday   |   9:30-10:45am
The goal of Mindful Vinyasa is to create a practice that utilizes the components of a Vinyasa yoga class while flowing with more awareness. We will utilize space to slow down, tune inward, and practice mindfulness by maintaining proper alignment throughout each posture. The hope is that students leave this practice feeling energized, refreshed, inspired, and safe.


Theresa Paine
Theresa has participated in all kinds of physical activity throughout her life, but has always returned to yoga ever since she discovered it in her teens. There was something special about the practice, something transformative about coming to the mat to move and breathe in community with others while simultaneously turning inward and discovering.

Theresa believes that what makes yoga so special is its holistic approach to the being; using the breath to initiate movement that links body, mind, and spirit. She aims to empower you to cultivate self-awareness through an alignment-based, breath-focused practice. Regardless of what draws you to the practice of yoga, she believes that by listening to your inner-teacher each time you come to your mat, you have the potential for limitless self-discovery.


Daniela Val
Daniela first began practicing yoga while pregnant with her first daughter. Daniela now takes pleasure in creating sequences that help others connect the mind and body through movement linked to the breath. She believes that yoga should be accessible to all and strives to help others find who they are on the mat to help carry them forward on their journey off the mat. Daniela's passion for health and lifestyle off the mat includes food and nutrition. She has completed certificate programs as both an integrative nutrition health and wellness coach and culinary nutrition expert. Her business "re.fresh" combines yoga, nutrition, and cooking to help others reconnect, listen to, and make positive choices for their unique and constantly evolving bodies. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and dog in Evanston.

Gentle Basics  |  Tuesday  |  10:30-11:45am
This class is perfect for the absolute beginner, or for those who prefer a more mindful pace. Primarily a breathing class combined with movement, we will focus on range of motion and circulation, body awareness, and rhythmic breathing. Careful transitions and longer, restorative style postures complete this well-balanced practice.

Level 1-2   |   Thursday   |   8:00-9:15am
Traditionally, yoga is considered a morning practice. This class will wake up, energize, and strengthen the body using the various sun salutations and yoga poses. Leave with a sense of clarity and grounding to move forward with your day. 

Tracy Walsh
Tracy came to yoga through prenatal classes when she was pregnant with her first child and living in Los Angeles. Gurmukh Khalsa’s classes were so transformative, that Tracy went back to L.A. to do her prenatal teacher training with Gurmukh years later when she was living in Chicago and had a second child. Tracy co-owns and operates Lighthouse Yoga with her husband, Thomas. She is a graduate of Northwestern University where she was a Performance Studies major and is an ensemble member of Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago. She has studied Yoga for the Special Child with Sonia Sumar, who created the program for her own daughter. Tracy and Thomas continue to study with this inspiring teacher whenever they can. She and Thomas teach yoga to adults with developmental disabilities at Progressive Careers and Housing in Olympia Fields. Tracy worked in the Special Education Department at Hubbard Woods School and ran an after school drama club there as well. She now does yearly, week-long yoga residencies at Crow Island School and Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka.

Courtney Winkler
While living and traveling in India and Nepal in 1990, Courtney was fascinated to experience yoga in its birthplace. Yoga became a part of her weekly regimen from 1994-96 while she prepared for her first marathon (completed in Sakura, Japan). In 2005, after having had four children, Courtney experienced extremely high blood pressure and was put on a beta-blocker. She felt, in her heart, that there were self healing practices that she hadn't found yet. This inspired her to enter a 200-hour teacher training course with Darren Friesen. After a year of asana, pranayama, meditation, and an overhaul of her nutritional habits, she was able to stop taking her blood pressure medication and has stayed off of it and maintained healthy blood pressure ever since. Courtney completed her 200-hour training in 2008 and is currently finishing her 500-hour training with Sharyn Galindo. Courtney's goal is to help her students listen to their bodies and to find the key to what they need most on any given day. Her classes focus on building strength (body and mind), vinyasa (breath synchronized movement), and fun. She lives in Evanston with her family.

All Teen Yoga (11 and Up)   |   Thursdays   |   9.5-10.10   |   4:45-5:45pm
6-week Sessions Registration Required

This class offers a great experience for students who have practiced yoga or are new to yoga. The students will learn about the philosophy of yoga and the poses, meditate, and encourage each other. Laughter and cheering are always heard coming from the room.

Level 1–2   |   Wednesday   |   12:00--1:00pm

Thomas Zwergel
Thomas began his yoga studies in Evanston in 2001 with Sonia Sumar, creator of Yoga for the Special Child and long-time student of Sri Swami Satchidananda. Although Thomas began teaching in 2002, he has continued to study with Sonia and develop his own unique approach to the practice and teaching others. Born in Baltimore, MD and raised in Evanston, IL, Thomas attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR after graduating from Evanston Township High School. In Portland, Thomas was introduced to the practice through friends and found it very helpful to support his then more traditional fitness regimen and long-distance running. After an injury, he turned to yoga to address the ailment and has since been pain-free.

In addition to the physical benefits of the Hatha Yoga practice, he found that the philosophical teachings helped to explain many of the questions he had been asking since a child. Thomas continually strives to incorporate teachings that speak to life’s greater questions of why we are here, where do we come from, and where are we going into all of his group classes and is a core element in the Teacher Training course of study offered at Lighthouse Yoga.

Gentle Yoga and Breathing   |   Saturday   |   12:30-1:30pm
This class is similar to the Gentle-Basic class in focus and pace. In addition to the combination of movement and breathing, anyone looking to expand their knowledge will receive clear and detailed instruction on proper yogic breathing and awareness techniques for careful application. Specific breathing practices such as 1:1, 1:2 ratio of inhalation to exhalation and alternate nostril breathing are also explored.

Gentle-Basics   |   Wednesday   |   5:00-6:15pm
This class is suitable for all levels. If you are brand new to yoga, a seasoned practitioner looking for modifications for an injury, or simply enjoy moving slowly in the practice, this is the perfect class. There will always be an emphasis on alignment and breath awareness as well as learning to listen to the feedback from your body.

Level 1-2   |   Monday   |   9:30-11:00am
Level 1-2   |   Tuesday   |   8:00-9:15am
Level 1-2   |   Wednesday   |   6:30-8:00pm
Level 1-2   |   Saturday   |   2:00-3:30pm

This Hatha Yoga class, incorporating a meditative focus, breath awareness, and deep asana exploration, will include sun salutations, standing and balancing postures, invigorating backbends, and therapeutic forward folds. This class will leave you relaxed, energized, and ready for anything.