Annalisa grew up with the feeling that there was something missing in her life, something meaningful and important. In an effort to find out what was missing, she has tried out a number of behaviors, actions, and experiences. From late-night shenanigans as a young teenager, music festivals, extracurricular clubs, honor roll, long periods of isolation, working as a bartender and server, and obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Macro Social Work – Leadership and Social Change from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Annalisa has learned that experiences can serve as tools for spiritual growth and moksha (freedom), rather than systems to create fixed and rigid identification.
Annalisa’s first introduction to Yoga was in 2011 as a sophomore in high school. She joined her mother for a 6-week Introduction to Yoga workshop at Yogaview in Wilmette, Illinois instructed by Megan Dunne Krouse. Due to poor treatment of body and mind, Annalisa experienced a mild-moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the summer of 2014, just before she planned to leave for her first semester of university. Experiencing a TBI at a young age opened Annalisa’s eyes to how much she had taken for granted as a relatively healthy teenager before the injury. There were difficult moments during the recovery process where Annalisa re-learned how to walk, read, write, problem-solve, and socialize. During the recovery process, Annalisa turned to Yoga. Previously, Annalisa had seen Yoga as an exercise. This time, she focused more on the restorative healing, breathing, and meditation aspects of Yoga while she focused on reconnecting body, mind, and spirit. Annalisa lost consistency with her yogic practice when she entered university. The summer after graduating from undergraduate school, Annalisa began practicing at Amara Yoga & Arts studio in Urbana, Illinois. She participated in a Work/Study Program with the studio that lasted for two years. At Amara, Annalisa completed her first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification in May 2020 with trainers Linda Lehovec and Luna Pierson. Annalisa moved to Chicago in August 2020 and soon after joined Moksha Yoga Center’s Work/Study Program as well as the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Program led by studio owner, Daren Friesen.
Annalisa’s classes encourage inner work and self-contemplation. Annalisa incorporates vinyasa, or breath-synchronized flow, into her classes to connect students with their natural creativity. Annalisa’s classes address the multidimensional levels of our being: the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Chosen Charity: National Alliance on Mental Illness
Guided by the experiences of those living with mental health conditions and rooted in equity, NAMI Chicago educates to fight stigma and discrimination, fiercely advocates for our community, and shares hope, connection and expertise with people on their mental health journey.
Certified Yoga Teacher / 200hr: Amara Yoga 2020
Certified Yoga Teacher / 200hr: Moksha Yoga 2021