Ana LaBagnara is a group fitness instructor and certified yoga instructor passionate about sharing her love for fitness with the Memphis community.
Ana immigrated to the United States from Ukraine almost 15 years ago and instantly fell in love with Memphis. “You can’t meet a stranger here,” she says. Ana wasn’t into group fitness back then and only used her gym membership to run on the treadmill. When The Kroc Center opened in 2013, she joined and tried her first yoga-based class — a combination of yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. “I quickly found the yoga-style class to be a great form of exercise and self-care,” Ana remembers.
After a few years of regularly enjoying the classes, the instructor asked Ana if she was interested in becoming a fitness instructor.“ I always thought you needed special skills and talents to be a fitness instructor. I was so shy then and had to overcome this challenge.” Ana dove into teacher training and loved it, feeling more confident in herself and her skills. She started teaching at the Kroc Center in 2015. During her time with the Kroc Fitness team, Ana has taught BodyBalance, Barre, Prenatal Yoga, Senior Yoga, Mommy and Me, and Beginner Yoga classes. She completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training in 2020 while continuing her yoga practice to find fitness during two pregnancies and recovering from C-sections.
Ana joined the YogaSix team in November 2022 as a yoga instructor, where she now teaches Hot Sequence, Restore, and Sculpt and Flow (HIIT) classes. She loves the community she has found at YogaSix, where students can be challenged or find a place to unwind after a long day at work. She has also spent time teaching as a volunteer yoga instructor at the Perdue Center of Hope, teaching yoga to homeless women recovering from addictions. “When I teach my classes, I want my students to feel the same way I felt when I came to Memphis — welcomed, accepted, loved, and part of the community without feeling judgment. If you can move through space, you can find a fitness program that is right for you.”
Now, as a mom of a four and six-year-old, Ana is even more grateful for her fitness practice as a way to be her best self. “When I show gratitude and pride for my body, I can bring better energy to my family. I am physically and emotionally stronger and become relieved of stress and worries.”
Learn more about class offerings at the Kroc Center at Krocmemphis.org, at Yoga Six at Yogasix.com, or on Instagram @yogasix_downtownmemphis!
By Zoe Harrison
Photo by Tindall Stephens