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

Kiersten Anderson

As a competitive distance runner who overcame a series of career ending injuries, Kiersten found Pilates a lifesaver. From her first lesson, she was drawn to the mind-body connection as well as the precision of each movement. Not only did practicing Pilates help to fully heal any lingering injuries, it made her stronger and more flexible than ever before. Wanting to learn everything she could about Pilates, Kiersten completed the Beginner and Intermediate Mat Training through Beacon Pilates in the summer of 2019 and is currently enrolled in their Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training Program. She is now a Comprehensively Cerified Pilates Instructor, completing the program in January 2021. She is incredibly grateful to be studying under the direction of Lisa Yakel who is a constant source of knowledge and inspiration. Kiersten is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for Pilates with others, and watch as it changes their lives, just as it did hers. A lifelong learner, she also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The College of Saint Rose, and has completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.

Barbara Carpenter

From a young age ballet played an integral part in Barbara’s life. The fundamental disciplines of dance were deeply embedded within her. As an avid “mover”, Barbara enjoyed playing tennis, was a long distance runner and committed to a regular exercise routine in the gym but something was missing. To improve core strength and stability within her framework, she tried Pilates and found the missing link in her training. She was passionate and became fervent about her Pilates practice, so much that she wanted to share her enthusiasm with other. As a Comprehensively Certified Pilates Instructor, having received her certifications through Beacon Pilates, Barbara truly values the benefits of the program and continues to practice and expand her abilities and knowledge. Her commitment to Classical Pilates has come full circle as she now derives satisfaction in guiding students into an exercising program that is life changing.


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

Pauline discovered mat Pilates classes in 2003 and was hooked right from the start.  In 2012 Pauline became mat certified by a national association and began teaching classes at a local gym.  She quickly realized she needed more in depth training and turned to Power Pilates.  In 2013 she became beginner & intermediate mat certified.  Pauline holds several other group fitness certifications however Pilates has always been her favorite class to teach and preferred form of fitness.  Wanting to continue learning about the Pilates Method she entered a training program through Beacon Pilates and became comprehensively certified in 2015.  Pauline has a communications degree from the University at Albany.