About Our Instructors /

Below you can find more information about our instructors


- "Pilates enhances the mind, the body and the spirit"

Lisa M. Yakel (owner) has over thirty years in the dance and fitness industry.  She earned a B.A. in Dance Performance from Russell Sage College, performed with local dance companies, including Maude Baum & Co. and Dance Eclectic, taught at local dance studios, and Russell Sage College and choreographed for numerous school productions.  Lisa also founded In Motion School of Dance, as well as taught fitness classes for many years at The Sweat Shop of Albany.

Discovering the Pilates Method was an "a-ha" moment for Lisa...sensible movement. It gave her an empowering awareness of her body and mind and truly connected the two. While dancing and teaching fitness classes Pilates helped Lisa stay injury free. The Method had such a profound affect on her that she became Mat Certified through The Physical Mind Institute in 2001 beginning her journey of teaching her passion. Yearning for more knowledge she became Comprehensively Certified through Power Pilates of NYC in 2003. She had the blessing of learning the Method from Bob Liekens, a Master Instructor and 2nd generation teacher. Lisa credits Jeanette Somner for nurturing both her knowledge and love for the Method. Lisa believes that Pilates is more than just an exercise program - it is a Method that is the foundation of all movement. It inspires her to watch people gain strength and stamina in ways they never did before. In 2106 Lisa became certified to be a Teacher Trainer for Beacon Pilates Teacher Training Program. Teaching future instructors has added a whole new dimension to Lisa's practice and she finds it very gratifying to be part of their journey. 

Lisa is committed to the teachings of Joe Pilates and is passionate about sharing it with her students!

Contact Lisa for more information at 518-727-0271
Email: lisa@corepilatesalbany.com


Joan Coffey is a Comprehensively Certified Pilates Instructor having received her certification through Power Pilates in New York City in 2003.  Joan has had teaching experience in the Pilates Method since that time, has taken numerous continuing education classes through Power Pilates, and is continuing her love of teaching Pilates at Core Pilates of Albany.  While Joan's formal college education is not in physical fitness, her lifelong interest and activities have always centered around various forms of physical fitness.  These activities include alpine skiing (including teaching), cross country skiing, sailing, aerobic & weight training exercising, bicycling, hiking, swimming and tennis.  Once Joan discovered the Pilates Method in 1999, it has remained her number one favorite form of physical fitness.  She incorporates this method in every other physical activity, and encourages her students to do the same - the "Pilates Mind" is always present!

Pauline Morris M.S.

Pauline specializes in Pilates, corrective exercise, and women’s health. Pauline holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Concordia University in Chicago. She studied corrective exercise and how it corrects movement compensation and imbalances to improve the overall quality of movement during workouts and everyday life. Pauline is a classically trained Pilates instructor through Beacon Pilates as well as a Women’s Health Pilates Certified Instructor through The Center for Women’s Fitness with the following areas of expertise: Pre and Postnatal Pilates, Diastasis Recti Recovery, Pilates for Menopause, Buff Bones®, and the Pink Ribbon Program Post-Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise. Pauline also holds several certifications for Group Fitness through the Athletics and Fitness Association of America, TRX, and the Pilates Suspension Method.  

Melissa Pettograsso

Melissa Pettograsso has always used movement as a vehicle for expression and self-healing. Her introduction to yoga helped to deepen her mind-body connection and led her to receive her certification in yoga and yoga therapy. After receiving her certification, Melissa was personally inspired to create a program for parents and caregivers of medically fragile children. Her program, which was embraced by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, used therapeutic yoga techniques that brought awareness to the importance of self-care and mindfulness in everyday life.

In 2019, Melissa earned her Pilates mat certification through Power Pilates. Most recently, she began her journey as a certified Reiki practitioner under the instructor, Toni Craft.

Chelsea Rossi

Chelsea is a senior at Siena College, graduating Spring 2023 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Marketing. Growing up in Albany, she was a competitive dancer and was introduced to Pilates when she was 14 years old. This sparked her interest in wanting to become a Pilates instructor and to learn more about the method. In 2022, Chelsea received her mat certification through Beacon Pilates, trained by Lisa Yakel. She is excited to begin her teaching career and to continue with her journey in Pilates!