About our Yoga Instructors
Deanna Spear, RYT-200, Studio Manager
Deanna started her yoga journey shortly after becoming a new mom. She struggled with anxiety for years and began suffering from anxiety attacks while pregnant with her daughter. Devoting time on her mat allowed her to overcome her attacks and learn different ways to calm the mind and body. In 2017 she earned her RYT 200 from The Chicago School of Yoga and has specialized training in Kids Yoga through Zenergy Yoga. She teaches class that physically move the body, promoting strength and confidence, while incorporating self-care skills that are easy to use off the mat. With a background in dance Deanna brings a firm understanding of the body and how too easily modify, allowing yoga to be accessible to all. “I want my yoga students to feel good after class!”
Gail Morales, RYT-200
Gail has been practicing yoga for over ten years and has been teaching for six. She obtained her 200-hour RYT from Reflections Yoga Studio. For the first seven years she focused mainly on asanas and flows. It was later that she decided to delve deeper into yoga to learn more about philosophy and explore the different paths. This past year has been one of transformation. Not only because of Covid, but to work on herself and her mindset. During this time, she became a Reiki Master and took coursework in native American culture (Teaching of the Seven Elders and Shamanism), astrology, and even learned how to play the harmonium. She intends to incorporate the knowledge she gained into her classes and workshops. What has been even more fulfilling is her path and love for Bhakti Yoga. For Gail, life is about living in the present moment and with gratitude for the gifts and lessons learned. Gail is also certified in chair yoga, restorative yoga, sound healing, and meditation.
Dana Fortner, RYT 200
Dana came to yoga over 20 years ago as a disconnected young adult and quickly fell in love with the practice. After several years working as a recreational therapist, she took a hiatus from her career to reassess where best to focus her energy. The thought of studying to become a yoga teacher had been a reoccurring thought for over a decade, and she decided that she should start paying attention to what her inner voice was communicating.
“I believe that connecting with others is the most powerful thing we can do as humans. It's what brings us together, makes us feel less alone, and helps us find our place in this world. Helping others find the connection between the mind and body opens one up to what is and what could be. Yoga is a beautiful way to integrate the physical and mental aspects of being human.”
Beth Carpenter, RYT 200
Beth has been practicing yoga for five years. After the birth of her third child she decided to give it a try and immediately fell in love. When she walked into her first yoga studio she was home. In 2019 Beth received her 200 hour yoga certification and started teaching vinyasa flow at Reflections Yoga Center in Homewood. Her love of yoga is rooted in the belief that the practice is carried far beyond the mat. What she's learned from yoga has intrinsically changed the way she moves outside of the studio.
Maura Therese, RYT 200
An educator by profession with a passion for Wellness, Maura loves to learn and help others. Maura's personal experience with yoga has led her to earn her RYT 200 with additional specialized training in Restorative Yoga. Whether in movement or stillness, Maura's classes support your growth in your unique yoga practice. Discover a balance of effort and ease, find grounding, build resilience on your mat and carry it with you into your everyday life.
Megan Schmelter, RYT 200
For Megan, yoga has always been about how you feel and not about how you look. After years of cultivating her own practice and self love, she is thrilled and beyond grateful to be able to share techniques and postures with students that empower and inspire the same feelings in them. With a burning passion for psychology, helping others and universal connectedness, Megan cannot wait to delve into the community and help even one new friend improve their daily functioning and peace. “Namaste and I can’t wait to meet you!”
Bryanhdi Flagg-Olgen, RYT 200
People of color aren’t majorly represented in mainstream yoga. So it came as a shock to me when I took my first yoga class in 2017 and the class was led by a Black woman, and we were flowing to a hip-hop/R&B playlist. From that first class I was hooked, and I knew that yoga was something that I would need to create space for in my life. In 2021, I completed my 200-Hour Hatha Flow Teaching Certification with The Tree Yoga Cooperative whose mission is to uplift BIPOC by using yoga as a tool for liberation. It was a life changing experience that I will be forever grateful for!
In my classes you can expect a chill yoga flow mostly to the tunes of 90s/2000’s R&B. You will be encouraged to listen to your body as a way to create a deeper understanding of yourself. It is my hope that you can take what you learn about your mind, body, and spirit on the mat and apply it to your everyday life!
Joanne Carmody, RYT 500
Joanne's yoga journey began over 20 years ago, to clear the "chatter" in my mind. She earned her 200 and 500 RYI in 2011 / 2015. from Moksha Yoga in Chicago. Joanne has been teaching yoga for over 12 years and is also certified in: Restorative yoga, Yoga for Cancer survivors, and Trauma recovery.
Joanne's maturity, wisdom and love of teaching yoga helps students to feel safe and comfortable in her class. Today there are so many distractions and drains on our being, especially with social media and technology. Her classes will bring you into the present moment and help you to fully become immersed in your Yoga practice feeling renewed and calm.
Each class Joanne teaches, contains a combination of: poses, a class theme, readings, breath synchronized movement and meditation and calming soothing yogi music.