Meet our team!
Barbara has been an active practitioner of asana and meditation for 16 years. She has been teaching yoga in Helena for 9 years and owned a popular $5 studio. Barbara loves to play with functional and natural movement within the framework of a flow yoga practice. Using biomechanic principles to challenge the traditional yoga “script”, she aims to create a sustainable, life long practice for herself and her students. Classes include gentle movement, flow, supported poses, and meditation. Be prepared for a challenging class, in body and mind, to uncover your movement behaviors.
Deb moved to Helena in October 2010 and discovered Dancing Lotus Center and Oula in January 2013. She hasn’t looked back. Never one for indoor activities, Deb couldn’t believe how hard she fell for Oula. While it’s an amazing workout, it was the people that kept her coming back. She soon found she wanted to deepen her connection with Oula and the Tribe, so she became a certified instructor in November 2016.
Deb is a fierce advocate for women’s and LGBTQ issues. She is on the board of The Friendship Center and volunteers many hours each year supporting causes she cares about.
When not volunteering or Oulaing, Deb spends her time hiking, camping, backpacking, or snowshoeing with her four-legged kids and her fabulous husband (who has often called himself an “Oula widow”). You can also find her enjoying a local beer at the Blackfoot or a glass of wine at The Hawthorn. If you see her, ask her about Oula. She’d love to recruit you!
Movement Therapy, OULA
Jamie rediscovered her love of dance while in graduate school for counseling and has been teaching dance and movement therapy for over 15 years. Jamie is currently in private practice at The Lotus and teaches OULA, Oula.One and Movement Therapy. I have always been a dreamer, a dancer, a poet. My journey has been about remembering the symbolic language of old, the language of the psyche, the spirit, the soul. “If we begin to get in touch with whatever we feel with some kind of kindness, our protective shells will melt, and we’ll find that more areas of our lives are workable.”-PEMA CHÖDRÖN
Kathryn was born and raised in Helena, MT. After graduating, she spent time in Washington and Oregon, but eventually moved back to her hometown, Helena. Kathryn discovered Nia shortly after returning to Helena in 2007. It was a breath of fresh air in the fitness world. Having grown up with dance, primarily classical ballet and jazz, she knew it was something that needed to be in her life on a regular basis and that she needed to share it with others. Kathryn completed her Nia white belt in 2010, and her OULA training in 2011. She has also completed her Nia Green Belt (October 2011) and Nia Blue Belt (April 2013). “I love to move! Dance is a total mind-body-spirit conditioning, which keeps us whole and in the present.”
Megan finished her 200 hour teacher training in 2017. After over a decade of dedicated practice, she found herself turning frequently towards yoga as a mode of healing, exploration, and insight which lead her to the teachers seat. With a geographically varied background in conservation, youth development, and emergency response, she enjoys working with diverse populations and learning from life experiences. Her classes focus on linking mindful movement with breath and provide space for students to build their own practice based on self reflection and discovery, utilizing the mat as a life laboratory. As an avid climber, runner and writer, she loves the offerings of the Helena area and is excited play an active role in the yoga community.
Micah is a Montana native who found The Lotus through OULA in 2015. Micah teaches OULA and Oula.One and works behind the scenes making sure the space is clean. After being a part of the Lotus community for 2 years she is very excited to expand her involvement in making sure the space is at it’s very best. She will now work on special projects like coordinating events, updating the space, and replying to the general email. If you see her around the studio she is available to answer questions or help with technical assistance. She believes deeply in our mission to support the entire being, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual through movement and therapy.
Michelle calls Helena her home. She is a Montana native moving from Plentywood to Helena at a young age. Michelle gives Oula a lot of credit for getting her out of her shell she so desperately wanted to break. She discovered Oula the summer of 2016. She loved it from the start. In November Michelle discovered The Lotus. She ventured in for the first time to participate in another instructor’s certification class. She instantly fell in love with the tribe and the supportive and nonjudgmental atmosphere.
She had been contemplating on becoming a certified instructor but did not take the leap until her husband had told her he liked to watch her in class. He said she looked so happy and carefree. After hearing this, she knew what she needed to do. She received her certification in May 2017 and cannot wait to share the joyful experience of Oula with you.
I am a Montana girl to the core! Born and raised right here in Helena, outdoors is where I want to be! I love hiking our amazing local trail systems, camping, and most importantly, spending some good quiet time fly fishing during the warm spring and summer months. Winter brings good skiing opportunities with my lovely little family. Other than that, I love to spend time in all of the little local shops throughout downtown Helena.I started dabbling in Oula in October of 2017. The first thing that elicited me into coming back was the “tribe” vibe that everyone in the room put off. It was so welcoming and accepting! But I must say, once I tried Oula Power I was HOOKED! With the tag line “find you inner warrior”, it allows you to do just that. Meeting my body where it’s at in the moment, tapping into beast mode, and digging deep to find my warrior, for me is the ultimate release. Every day I walk into class I can feel that I am a little stronger, both physically and mentally. There is no judgement, no comparison when you walk through the doors of the studio. If there’s competition it’s against yourself, pushing yourself to be at your best, just trying one more push-up or one more squat than the last class. Talk about some healthy competition!
Sue Dostal is a new 200 hour RYT. She began her yoga practice 19 years ago to learn how to breathe, find peace, and enjoy the physical practice. Finally, teacher training called her heart and has exposed her to the many facets and benefits of yoga that she would love to share with you, through breath, meditation, philosophy, and asana.
Tyler Setlock, RD made the journey from Colorado to Montana a little over two years ago and has been a Helenian ever since. He holds a 200-hour certification in power yoga which he attained in while pursuing education in the field of nutrition. He presently practices in the field of health as both a Registered Dietitian and a yogi. Though spreading knowledge of good health and wellbeing is no small task, teaching yoga to all those willing has been a joy. It is his goal to continue to foster and share a sense of balance and contentment both on and off the mat.
Caitlin McWilliams, MS, E-RYT, is a Yoga Therapist/Teacher who uses the physical, intellectual and spiritual practice of yoga to process trauma, lift out of depression, and balance anxiety. She has practiced yoga for over 15 years and taught in studios throughout Washington DC, Denver, CO and now Helena, MT. She has run her own non-profit providing yoga and wellness services to vulnerable populations, has a Masters in Community Development, and is halfway through her Masters in Social Work which she will complete Winter of 2019.
Claire approaches teaching with humble confidence. Having spent years reconnecting to her self through movement, self-care and meditation, Claire invites her students to honor themselves and to tap into their beauty, strength and capacity to heal and grow. Join Claire on Saturday mornings for a challenging flow class designed to love and nourish.
Keely was born and raised in Helena, MT. Finding her passion for yoga at the age of 18 after suffering from low back and sciatic nerve pain she quickly realized yoga was more than just poses. As she started developing a deeper connection not only on a physical level, but also on a mental, emotional and spiritual level she knew she wanted to go to school and learn more. She got her 200YTT In Bozeman, MT in 2015 where she started teaching shortly after. Having so much compassion and love towards all beings on earth it was no surprise she fell in love with helping others find their own journey through yoga. She is always finding new opportunities to weave all the limbs of yoga into her own practice, as a teacher and into her daily life. Keely recently traveled to India to continue her love and education where she found an eco-friendly organic vegan ashram and got her 500YTT. Keely is excited to be back in Montana and to teach and share all the tools and practices of yoga that she has learned during her stay in India. Her teaching style is gentle and introspective while she embraces the interconnectedness of body, mind and breath. With her playful personality and passion for yoga she encourages people to grow in their practice and in life by meeting students where they are now and inspire them to explore their full potential.
Tia Wilkins first began to practice yoga while in college. Tia was drawn to yoga because she fell in love with exploring the mind-body connection. Yoga has shifted how Tia walks through life, reaffirming the powerful impact self-care can have on one’s sense of self. Tia hopes her classes give students the space to cultivate their own yoga practice, as well as foster an environment in which students feel supported and empowered to take to their daily life what they have ‘found’ on the mat. Tia’s challenging flow class includes vinyasa, supported poses, somatics, and meditation.
Yoga, Movement Therapy
LeAnn is new to teaching yoga and movement therapy. She is an endurance athlete (triathlon and ultrarunning) and finds joy in the contrast of more kind, gentle, and playful movements in yoga asana. She is an explorer of poetry and interested in all things neurobiology. In yoga, LeAnn believes in exploration of the subtle movements to build strength and create neural pathways for movement variation. LeAnn finds Movement Therapy to be an accessible way of developing awareness of the body’s knowledge and capabilities.
Julia is a teacher and practitioner of theatre, a history nerd and now thrilled to be starting her yoga teaching chapter with The Lotus, especially with a prenatal class. A toddler-mom herself, she believes growing humans is hard work and mamas can benefit from both restoration and strengthening elements of yoga.
Indigo first began practicing yoga in 2006 while recovering from multiple injures due to over exertion. When her injures healed she realized that yoga had profoundly altered her perception of the world and the world of fitness. She continued to deepen her commitment to her practice in Ashtanga yoga and in 2010, when she moved to Seattle, was introduced to Baptist yoga. This sparked in interest in teaching which she pursued all the way back to Montana. Indigo’s’ class will offer a unique flow combining the multiple styles she has studied with a focus on core strength and breath. Expect to be challenged, inspired and empowered through movement and awareness.
Jenny has been a yoga enthusiast for many years. She found the Lotus in 2015 after moving to Helena. Once there, she felt at home and was so excited when she was able to join in the YogaNerd teacher training. She enjoys yoga classes with focuses on breath, movement and meditation and believes yoga can be an amazing tool for finding our truest expressions of our selves. When she’s not practicing yoga she can usually be found experimenting with her sourdough starter or enjoying the outdoors with her family.
Terri is a native Montanan who loves sharing her grateful heart with those around her. She resides in Helena with her husband, Eric and black lab, Cabbi. Terri loves to be active in the outdoors, running, hiking, biking, and paddle boarding. As a recent graduate of the Lotus 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, she is thrilled to begin the journey of taking her practice to the studio to share with others.
Spiritual Life Coach
Barb’s passion is mercy. Helping people apply a merciful framework as they learn more about themselves is one of her strengths. She’s raised a daughter as a single Mom, experienced trauma, surgeries, life threatening illnesses, stressful jobs in private and public sectors and even understands groups that have possible cult like systems. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Relations from Westminster College and moved to the Bay Area of California for 10 years where she studied breath and body work, while working in the private sector managing construction. She’s also worked in adult probation and parole and intensive case management for people with severe mental illnesses. Barb’s lived in Helena for 22 years with an interruption to live in Boulder Colorado for a year, studying meditation. She also has trained in “Hakomi”, an approach emphasizing mindfulness during sessions and includes the body as well as the unconscious systems during each session.
Clients are supported during appointments to slow down so that their sensations, feelings and thoughts can be noticed and gently acknowledged and embraced. She calls this (from one of her trainings) “Inner Disarmament”. Anyone doing 12-step work will find that Barb has a rich knowledge of that paradigm as well. Drawing on her own trauma recovery path as well as her spiritual practice, Barb takes great care in making sure her clients find their own inner and outer resources as they explore their emotional, mental and spiritual worlds.
Spiritual Life Coaching is inclusive of the whole person. Clients have opportunities to gently become aware of how their bodies speak to them, and how their thought patterns may be influencing them in productive or counter productive ways. Combining these helps people gently examine their inner belief systems and try on new ways in a safe, resourced and merciful setting. Once people have a merciful understanding of themselves and their unconscious, healthy choices and life affirming beliefs begin to emerge and give rise to an increased resilience that can become the new “normal”.
MS, ATC, CHES, Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist
Emily is one of the facilitators for the monthly Child Loss & Inferility Support Group, a group she helped form after losing her first child in 2016. She and her husband have lived in Helena almost six years and love adventuring with their son Miles and dog Greta. Emily is also a small business owner, a fitness instructor, and is passionate about health and helping people find their passion.
Doula & Childbirth Educator
Sheri is a former nurse with over 20 years experience including obstetrics. After being a stay at home mom for a few years until her children were in school, she certified as a birth doula through Doulas of North America (DONA) in 2013. She has been working as a birth doula, childbirth educator and birth/newborn photographer since then. Her passion is informed and empowering choices in childbirth with the understanding that pregnancy and birth being a normal physiological process are unique to each individual and each birth. Recently, Sheri completed a lactation course which now allows her to provide breastfeeding support. Sheri’s objective in providing these services is to minimize the fear in childbirth so that birth memories will be precious. Along with her husband and two children, Sheri moved to Helena from Alaska in 2016. When she is not witnessing the miracle of birth, Sheri can be found gardening,
Ravi Devpriya Kaur
Ravi is a non-binary, queer teacher with a passion for self-empowerment, community, and the healing power of nature and plants. They still believe in magic. They are an herbalist, a holistic nurse, a paramedic, and a health educator, and hold a 200-hour YTT, Trauma-Conscious (TCYM-T), and Yoga for Social Justice teaching certificates. Ravi run an herbalism and health education business called The Sovereign Health Project in their spare time. Their yoga pays particular attention to self-knowledge and chakra balancing, world healing through radical self-acceptance, and using the space of yoga and meditation for exploration and release of negative energies and thought patterns. Ravi is an avid gardener, climber, hiker, skier, and kayaker/rafter, and is originally from the East Coast, but calls Montana home. They have a partner, two dogs, a few fish, and dozens of plants.
Mari Hodges began learning the Alexander Technique due to chronic back and neck pain, which she was able to overcome. She is passionate about helping others to discover mindfulness of the whole self and the ease, well-being and freedom of choice that come with practicing the Alexander Technique. Mari earned her Alexander Technique certification with the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) at Escuela de Técnica Alexander Buenos Aires and is an active member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique as well as the Asociación Argentina de Técnica Alexander. She is also an Art of Running instructor certified by Canadian champion and AT teacher Malcolm Balk. Mari dances tango and Brazilian dances, which she spent many years teaching, plays the violin and enjoys running. Mari’s continuing studies include non-violent communication, mindfulness, neurobiology and chronic pain prevention. Mari is available for private Alexander Technique classes by appointment. For more information about Mari and the Alexander Technique, please visit http://www.discoverease.how.