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!
Email: joan@corepilatesalbany.com

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.
Email: pauline@corepilatesalbany.com

Genii Rutherford

Genii Rutherford, RYT, has been a teacher since she played school with her dolls. Teaching is her Dharma. Genii has been teaching yoga nonstop for four years since she was asked to teach a Beginner's Class. Genii completed a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Lauren Jay Toolin and an additional 200+ hours in Yoga Ed., Kids Yoga, Street Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and MELT Hand and Foot Treatment and MELT Level 1 Instructor. Always a student, Genii loves to learn new approaches to teach yoga and wisdom from all schools of yoga. Her greatest teachers have been the students she has had the joy of teaching. Off the yoga mat Genii also teaches stand up paddling or SUP and SUP Yoga.  A graceful klutz, the first time Genii got on a paddleboard it was an "Ahaa Moment". Genii has introduced SUP and SUP Yoga to over 65 people from The Kayak Shak on Fish Creek and LLBean's Outdoor Discovery School. She is a retired school librarian having taught 38 years at a suburban high school and elementary school.

Stefanie Walsh, PT, DPT, cert. MDT, PMA- CPI

Stefanie is a Power Pilates comprehensive- trained Pilates instructor as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy.  She first began practicing Pilates in 2003 when one of her figure skating coaches encouraged her to utilize this as a means to improve her on-ice performance.  Within only weeks her power, speed, endurance and flexibility had improved and the only change was the addition of Pilates.  Stefanie went on to become a professional figure skater for Disney On Ice where she continued to apply her Pilates knowledge towards the development of her skating performance.  When she retired from figure skating she went on to graduate school at Clarkson University where she completed her Doctorate of Science in Physical Therapy.  At the end of her schooling she completed two internships in Pilates-based rehabilitation, one of which in Manhattan, NY where Pilates was first introduced to the U.S.  Today she is an outpatient orthopedic physical therapist with a specialization in Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (McKenzie Method) which largely focuses on improving dysfunctional movement of the spine as well as other joints.  Her passion for Pilates is deeply rooted in her belief that with the appropriate exercise, progressions, modifications, tension and anatomical positioning, your life can improve in countless ways.  With the guidance of knowledgable teachers you can truly develop strength in ways you never knew before. She is eager to work with clients in a wellness setting where she can aid in peoples' well-being while helping them feel strong, confident and powerful.  

Cheryl Williams

Cheryl received her Pilates Mat Certification at Core Pilates NYC in 2015 and her Power Vinyasa yoga certification in 2016. Cheryl recently relocated to the Albany area after having been a Fashion Industry professional living and working in New York City for 12 years and most recently working in the wellness community in her hometown of Elmira, NY. She has always been active in competitive athletic activities from gymnastics, softball and swimming as a child and throughout high-school to traditional training at gyms throughout her college years and twenties. She was introduced to Pilates & Yoga in 2011 and was immediately captivated by the way they strengthened the muscles in her entire body, which other forms of exercises hadn't. She continues to be inspired by the way both modalities realign, motivate, and improve all body types and that they work for beginners to experts! Cheryl loves teaching Yoga & Pilates, the mind-body connections they create and building relationships with her students. She is also an Usui Reiki Master, using the healing technique on clients to bring them physical and mental relief. She offers one on one sessions and provides attunements for individuals and groups.
Email: cheryl@corepilatesalbany.com