Enlighten Wellness Yoga Directors
Tanja Bullock Bisesi, PhD, ERYT, YACEP
A dancer, singer, writer, and teacher of teachers, Tanja has drawn on yoga practice and philosophy for over four decades to balance body-mind, reduce stress, inspire self-inquiry and awaken spirit. She holds an E-RYT 200, RYT 500 and YACEP from Yoga Alliance and a PhD in Educational Psychology with concentrations in communication, human development, neuropsychology and health promotion. She has taught courses on learning and teaching at the university level, designed local and statewide assessment programs and published in the areas of pedagogy, educational assessment and research methodology. She is a certified Pilates instructor and has trained in Yoga for Seniors at Duke University. Currently, she teaches EnCore, a core and alignment-focused yoga-class series for stability, which grew out of her own experience with overuse-related, chronic back pain. She teaches regular classes in the community and her private studio, Enlighten Wellness Yoga. She is also trained as a Lifestyle Coach for Diabetes Prevention through YMCA of the USA and provides private and small-group, yoga-informed lifestyle coaching to those at-risk for Type II Diabetes. As an artist, she is interested in practices that inspire and enhance the creative experience and offers workshops on Yoga for Creativity toward this goal. Tanja serves on the faculty of both basic and advanced yoga teacher training programs at The Essence of Yoga Center for Self-Inquiry in Richmond, KY and Nourishing Heart Yoga in Bloomington, IN, providing modules on Writing as Practice, Yoga for Creativity, Yoga Research Methods, Learning and Teaching Methodology, and Yoga for Diabetes Prevention.
Mark Bisesi, MD, RYT
A diagnostic radiologist with special expertise in cardiopulmonary imaging, a guitarist, and a longtime yogi. His asana and meditation practice grounds his daily life and informs his yoga teaching. Mark practices for stress relief, body-mind balance, and creative inspiration. As a physician, his yoga instruction focuses on guiding students toward balance in their bodies, an enhanced sense of well-being, and a healthier lifestyle. Mark’s yoga classes include lifestyle enhancement through better health and wellness habits as well as those addressing the special challenges of athletic teams and musicians. Mark’s professional work as a radiologist and applied anatomist draws on modern cross-sectional imaging techniques such as MRI, CT and ultrasound. He shares anatomy and pathology with computer-based images to complement traditional anatomic and kinesiological approaches, and to help yoga practitioners and teachers better understand the body’s structure and function during asana and other forms of yoga practice. Mark is inspired by contemporary yoga research, particularly brain function correlates of practice, and offers his thoughtful perspective on this body of knowledge as a part of his teaching.
Enlighten Wellness Yoga Teachers
Originally from Anderson, Indiana, Erin discovered her love for yoga at the Mount Madonna Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California where she lived and taught first grade for five years. She grew up doing dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading. When she started practicing yoga around 23 years old it felt like coming home. She holds a 200hr certification and teaches a class based on Ashtanga, the eight limb system. She considers yoga an art and a science that connects us to our greater source. Her asana classes always include other facets of the eight limb practice. The asanas are done as a meditation in motion that are mindful and nurturing experience for the body, mind, and spirit. Erin moved to Bloomington in 2011 to attend the Associates of Integrative Health for certification in massage therapy. In 2013 she received Level 1 and Level 2 training in lomi lomi, the sacred art of Hawaiian massage. In 2016, Erin also certified in Myofascial Release and added a new layer of knowledge to her bodywork. She likes to integrate her deeper awareness of the body’s many functioning systems into yoga class. She loves being a massage therapist and yoga instructor because it is a career path that embraces lifelong learning, wellness, and acceptance of others wherever they are at in their journey.
Kirsten Sword became a dedicated yoga student in an effort to manage chronic pain. Her yoga practice has helped her rebound from disabling complications of a hereditary connective tissue disorder. Until middle-age, Kirsten had thought of herself as reasonably athletic and unusually “flexible," but clumsy and unlucky with regard to injuries and miscellaneous health issues. The gradual accumulation of mysterious symptoms and lack of medical understanding led her into a cycle of progressive de-conditioning in her late thirties. When movements hurt, she stopped doing them, until she was spending her days dictating her work in a zero-gravity recliner, losing her mobility and the use of her hands, and facing numerous spine and joint surgeries. Given a poor prognosis even with surgery, she opted to see how far conservative management could take her. The gentle, therapeutically oriented practice she learned from Tanja Bisesi and Amanda McMaine has helped her defy medical expectations. Kirsten has found that a regular, gentle yoga practice has helped retrain her postural habits and address autonomic nervous system dysfunction in ways that injury-specific physical therapy could not. As a teacher, she aims to share the benefits of body and breath awareness and the slow, steady remodeling of muscle stabilization patterns. Her practice is especially oriented toward the management of connective tissue laxity and joint hyper mobility, but will be useful to anyone seeking to learn to move with safety and stability.
Denise was first drawn to yoga to deal with chronic back pain, but she soon found that the calming and centering aspects of yoga kept her coming back to the mat. She finds great self-care and nourishment in the practice of yoga. Denise is a psychotherapist in her other life, and she sees yoga as a perfect complement to her professional practice. For Denise, yoga is primarily about inner awareness and change, created through the relationship that is built between the body, the mind and the breath. She sees yoga as a way to put everything else on hold and connect to your inner life. There is no judgement in her yoga, only a practice of witnessing ourselves in the moment. It is her passion to share the positive, transformative effect yoga has had on her life with others.
Lilly's yoga journey began in Bloomington in 2010. During her last semester in school she attended classes offered through Indiana University. She immediately fell in love with the feeling of connecting with the body and breath. She also found relief from lower back pain and a renewed sense of presence in her life. At that point she became dedicated to the practice and knew she wanted to continue studying yoga. In 2014, while living and working on a horse farm in Kentucky, Lilly chose to attend the yoga teacher training program offered at Lexington Healing Arts Academy under the direction of Amanda McMaine, who studied in the Iyengar tradition and whose teaching style applies a thorough understanding of the principles of kinesiology. Drawing from the imagery of nature, wherein Lilly finds a place of comfort and refuge, she loves to share the spiritual aspects of yoga through a meditative teaching style. Lilly teaches with the intention to link subtle body movements with the breath, in order to guide students to a deeper awareness and integration of their body-mind-spirit through the practice.
Lily has been an active member of the Bloomington yoga community for the past 10 years. Her teaching style focuses on alignment, safety, personal empowerment and community development. Lily recently completed her RYT 300 under the guidance of Amanda McMaine.
Allana has been teaching Hatha Yoga in Bloomington community since 1988. Allana began studies of anatomy as a painter and modern dancer, quickly realizing how knowing the body from the inside-out enhanced her dancing, her yoga practice and, ultimately, her teaching. Dance teachers, Bill Evans and Vera Orlock increased her awareness of developmental movement principles and applied kinesiology through work with the Bartenieff Fundementals, explorations in Body-Mind Centering and contact improvisation. Other important teachers include, Donna Farhi, Emily Bogard, Deane Juhan, and Liz Koch, Bruce Ruben and Master Ghanshyam Jayangakar. Allana was teacher, performer and choreographer with Windfall from 1986-1997, offering classes in yoga, creative movement, modern dance, tap, aerobic dance (A.C.E. certified) and conditioning. She credits many of her Windfall colleagues for furthering her knowledge and creativity. She was adjunct faculty at IU CLLC from 2007-2009 and Dept. of Kinesiology from 1991-2006, where she initiated classes in yoga for credit in 1992, teaching literally thousands of classes to thousands of students during her 18 year tenure. Allana is author and illustrator of A Yoga Handbook, utilized by her students since 2000. She received certification in Pilates mat work in 2007 and has been developing conditioning classes that blend Hatha Yoga with Pilates-based Core work. Allana has taught widely in the Bloomington community including Yoga for Artists at the John Waldron Arts Center, People’s University, Bloomington Parks and Recreation and Stonebelt.