Teachers

Look for the mark. Only the world's most knowledgeable, rigorously-educated earn Iyengar Yoga Certification; a sign of excellence, clarity and depth of understanding.

Students can expect safe, methodical, insightful instruction in the hands of the most skilled teachers in Champaign-Urbana. 

Our teachers' experience is measured in decades, not hours.

 
 
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Lois Steinberg

CIYT Advanced 2*, C-IAYT**, Ph.D. 

engaging. dynamic. vigorous.

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Director Lois Steinberg, Ph.D., is one of the world’s most experienced yoga instructors, awarded the Advanced Junior 2 certification by B.K.S. Iyengar himself. She is a teacher of teachers, sought after worldwide to instruct workshops, and serves as a member of and assessor for the Certification Committee of IYNAUS. Lois Steinberg’s teaching is infused with enthusiasm to share the knowledge and acumen that have come through her sustained 40-year practice and study of the tremendous work of the Iyengar family. She strives to emphasize and exemplify whole-body transformation through the joy of regular immersion in practice. As a teacher, she is direct, dynamic, clear, focused, engaging, gently humorous, and an invaluable resource for understanding the healing potential of yoga. Lois is the author of numerous books and articles and is widely respected for and consulted regarding her considerable knowledge of therapeutics. Her understanding of the relationships between asana and health is among her many gifts as an instructor, as is her desire and capacity to attend to the needs of individual students. | More about Lois | email

Anne Adams

CIYT*, C-IAYT** 

clear. focused. fun.

Anne Adams has been an Iyengar Yoga practitioner since 1988. She began her studies at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. Anne subsequently spent two years at Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute, in Pune, India, for which she is everlastingly appreciative and profoundly grateful. Upon returning to the US, Anne mentored with Lois for four years and began teaching in 1998. In her teaching, Anne strives to encourage and inspire each individual to take on the difficulty of yoga practice in order to experience the resulting benefits and joys. She has immense regard for the transformative power of the work. | email

Barb Bair

CIYT Intermediate 1*, C-IAYT** 

encouraging. inspiring. caring.

Barb started yoga practice as a teenager when she was inspired by her mother’s practice.  She has studied with Lois since 1993.  At IYCU, she assists in Women’s Essentials, Yoga Therapeutics, and teaches Iyengar Ignite, Gentle, and Intermediate classes.  She also teaches English as a Second Language and speaks Spanish.

Jeanine Berlocher

CIYT*, C-IAYT** 

perceptive. gentle. thoughtful.  

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Jeanine has been studying yoga with Lois Steinberg since 2000. She is certified at the Introductory I & II level. Jeanine teaches and assists in yoga classes for students age 50 and over. She is interested in helping people to overcome physical and other obstacles to building a healing, sustaining yoga practice. Jeanine has a master's degree in biology, worked for the Illinois Natural History Survey, is a home health care assistant, and reports on nature and the outdoors through her blog, Velo du Jour. 

Jerry Chiprin

CIYT Intermediate 1*

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observant. skillful. calm.

Jerry Chiprin hails from Chicago where he took his first Iyengar Yoga class while recovering from a bicycle accident that resulted in multiple physical injuries and a traumatic brain injury. Realizing Iyengar Yoga was not only fun, but was also aiding in his ongoing recovery, Jerry began his own practice. Shortly after, Jerry relocated to C-U to study regularly with Lois at IYCU. With Lois’ guidance, he deepened his practice, continued improving his health, and began assisting Lois in a variety of classes including the Women's Essentials, Healing, and Therapeutic classes. This experience grew into becoming a CIYT and teaching at IYCU where he taught Men’s Essentials, Ignite, Intermediate, and the specialized healing classes for knees, low back, and neck & shoulders. He also taught Iyengar Yoga at UIUC. Jerry studied at RIMYI in Pune, India, and has attended IYNAUS conventions. After an extended leave, starting in 2015 when he moved to Chicago to teach yoga and explore his passion for travel, Jerry has returned full time to living in Urbana and continuing his studies with Lois. Prior to yoga, Jerry was a pension actuary and has a degree in Actuarial Science from Drake University. Jerry’s favorite students are athletes and those who think they are “too stiff to do yoga”. 

Gwendolyn Derk

CIYT Intermediate 2*, C-IAYT**

spirited. rigorous. creative.

Gwen began practicing yoga while studying at UCLA. As a beginner, she felt like she was missing the point in the vinyasana style flow classes. Then she stumbled into an Iyengar Yoga class with Marla Apt. This class completely defied what she thought a yoga class should be. Coming from a physiology background, she was impressed by the teacher's knowledge of anatomy. Gwen made rapid progress in asana and learned much more about the actual subject of yoga. After being introduced to more challenging poses, she yearned to perfect them. She knew that the Iyengar classes were providing superior instructions and adjustments allowing her to maximize her progress. Gwen was hooked! She continues to use yoga to deal with the stress that medical school and everyday life brings. Gwen finds Iyengar Yoga to be the most efficient way to stay physically and mentally healthy. She continues to thirst for more knowledge and is humbled by the level of reflection and compassion that teaching Iyengar Yoga brings to her own practice. | http://gwendolynderkyoga.com/classes.html

Lorraine Finkel-Lopez

CIYT*

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playful. sincere. intentional. 

Lorraine first encountered yoga in 2008 during a Tibetan Buddhist Pilgrimage through India. She continued to study different styles of yoga in her hometown, San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2012, she discovered Iyengar Yoga at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Institute in Dharamsala, India. She fell in love with the teaching style and the depth of the practice. Soon after, Lorraine moved to Champaign-Urbana and joyfully discovered Lois Steinberg and the environment of IYCU. The dedication shown by Lois and the rest of the IYCU faculty inspired Lorraine to take her practice seriously. Eventually the desire to help other people understand their bodies and spirits led Lorraine to teaching Iyengar Yoga. Lorraine works as a music teacher and enjoys working with children. She also enjoys dancing and playing Latin music.

Santhosh Kumar Gajendran

CIYT*

sincere. respectful. demanding.

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Santhosh's schooling at 'Dayanand Anglo Vedic' planted the seed of yoga during his childhood. As an adult, the seed took root when he attended yoga classes in 2014 at Iyengar Yoga Champaign Urbana (IYCU). Santhosh was impressed by the quality and dedication of the teachers at IYCU and became a regular student. In 2017, he began studying under Lois Steinberg. Under the tutelage of Lois and Becky Meline, Santhosh earned his certification as a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher in 2018. Continuous study and practice of yoga allows Santhosh to fully appreciate and relearn the value of being present in order to alleviate the human condition of suffering. He enjoys sharing the knowledge gained through his practice with his students, enabling them to advance in their own yoga practice. Apart from yoga, Santhosh spends a significant portion of his life with computers as a Software Engineer and enjoys yoga as a means through which he can work with people.

Penny Hanna

CIYT*, C-IAYT** 

attentive. compassionate. thorough.

Since the late 1980s Penny has studied Iyengar Yoga with Lois. During that time, she taught high school full time, and attended graduate school. Penny has since retired from the social studies classroom, and devotes more time to learning, practicing and teaching yoga under Lois’ guidance. Penny has attended lectures, workshops, and classes conducted by B.K.S. Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar, Ramanand Patel, Rajiv and Swati Chanchani, Stephanie Quirk, as well as regular study with Lois. Penny instructs the 50+ Intermediate classes and substitute teaches/assists in the Women’s Essentials and Yoga Therapeutics classes.

JR Lill

CIYT Intermediate 2*, C-IAYT** 

keen. unflappable. equanimous.

In 2011, friends introduced JR to IYCU where he took classes from Lois, Becky Meline, Jerry Chiprin, and David Yearwood. The setting at IYCU allows him to learn from Lois’ domestic and international visiting students. This cross-pollination of knowledge encourages continuous improvement and refinement through practice. After studying under and with Lois and the IYCU staff for 3 years, JR’s studentship evolved to a point that allowed him to gain experience from assisting and teaching regular classes. JR finds this work both demanding and encouraging. In the fall of 2015, JR became a CIYT through IYNAUS. Outside of IYCU, JR studies Community Health at the University of Illinois and shares an organic garden plot at Meadowbrook Park with his wife Jenny.

Becky Meline

CIYT Intermediate 2*, C-IAYT** 

precise. challenging. patient.

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Becky began studying with Lois in 1999 and teaching at IYCU in 2004. She was fortunate to attend the 2005 Iyengar Intensive at Estes Park, Colorado where B.K.S. Iyengar shared his deep wealth of knowledge through talks and asana/pranayama classes. She attended Geeta S. Iyengar’s classes during her visit to IYCU in 2001 and at the 2007 IYNAUS Convention. In 2008, Becky studied with Geeta and Prashant Iyengar at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute, in Pune, India. Becky currently teaches Iyengar Ignite, Intermediate 1, and assists in the Yoga Therapy classes at IYCU. She serves as a member-at-large on the Iyengar Yoga Association of the Midwest (IYAMW). 

Maggie Taylor

CIYT*

integrity. humor. heart. 

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Maggie Taylor has learned that yoga is a practical tool for well-being and healing. She has been practicing yoga for more than half of her life and teaching it since 2005. Her development as a yoga practitioner and teacher continues through her studies in Iyengar Yoga. Maggie credits yoga’s healing benefits and her yoga teachers’ offerings for helping her through many physical and emotional challenges ranging from a teenage battle with eating disorders, grieving the loss of her mother, recovery from back surgery, and many small things in between. She is honored to pass on this "old world medicine" to her students so that they too can use it as a tool for well-being in their own lives.


*CIYT - Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher

**C-IAYT - Certified International Association of Yoga Therapists