Teachers 



ALEXANDRA (ALEX) KISITU


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Aloha! I am Alexandra Kisitu - Alex, for short. I have been dancing all my life, and specializing in tribal fusion bellydance for the past 11 years. I had the privilege to spend the past three years in Honolulu dancing with the Shakti Dance Movement, a professional tribal fusion dance troupe. Along with my passion for belly dancing, I am also a yoga instructor. I received my 200 yoga teacher certification at Tula Yoga Wellness through Yoga North in 2014. I believe that dancing and yoga are some of the best pathways to a balanced body and mind. I enjoy teaching both belly dance and yoga, and I look forward to having you in class! 

Alex teaches frequent Bellydance Workshops

 

ANN BLACKBURN


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At 19, I found yoga as a way to access my inner strength and voice while going through some difficult times. My practice has continued to support me over the last 35 years. My husband Dan and I have co-owned Tula Yoga & Wellness since March 2012. Our mission is to make yoga & wellness within everyone’s reach and to create a space where people reconnect with and be themselves. I am a life-long student, have been teaching for 10 years, and completed my Yoga Therapy certification (C-IAYT) through Yoga North’s International SomaYoga Institute in 2016. I weave yoga practices, Ayurveda, and energy work through my life and into all of my classes, private sessions, and workshops. My purpose is to help my students/clients find their inner strengths, and tap into their brilliance. My hope is that you walk away from our time together filled up rather than depleted. We are so powerful when given the awareness and tools. I am blessed to share this work with my family and community.

Ann’s classes: Monday (9:30-10:30 AM)-Slow Flow, Wednesday (12:00-1:00 PM)–SomaYoga, Thursday (9:30-10:45 AM)–Slow Flow, Sunday (8:30-10:00 AM)–Tula Yoga

 

AUTUMN ONELOVE


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Namaste, Sat Nam! I am a lifelong student of yoga. I’ve received so much healing from the practice and study of yoga (self-love, trusting my inner voice), which is what inspires me to share and teach yoga. I am trained in Vinyasa, Hatha, Raja and prenatal yoga. I am inspired daily from the tradition of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

As a teacher, I work on creating a safe place for my students to be, explore, move and breathe. I work on connecting students back to their wisdom, inner voice and intuition that always knows. Throughout my class you will experience fluid movements, breath, sound and guided visualization. As a teacher, I honor and trust your inner voice. I am here to be only a guide during your yoga journey.

Outside of teaching and practicing you will find me caring for mamas and babies as a Postpartum Doula, devotional singing with my husband, painting mandalas and walking amongst the trees.

Autumn is currently a substitute teacher at Tula and leads special Yoga Flow & Sound Bath events with the Ayurvedic seasons

 

BETH GILES


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I discovered Nia in 2004 and it has transformed my body and my life. I am a Nia Black Belt Instructor, who has been teaching full time since 2014. My passion and purpose in life is to share the joy of movement and the Nia practice with people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. I teach eight Nia classes a week, plus I offer workshops, dance parties, and one-on-one movement sessions in the Twin Cities.

I thrive on the fun and freedom of dancing Nia and empower my students to move in their bodies’ way to feel better, improve their stamina, strength, ease, and personal outlook. Dancing Nia is energy medicine for a healthy, joyful and loving life. For more information check out my website.

Beth’s classes: Tuesday (9:30-10:30 AM)–Nia

 

BETH ONWARD


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I grew up in a very holistic household, and came to alternative health and wellness at a very early age. Experiencing illness myself and within my family is what guided me to explore helping others find wellness through yoga and other holistic approaches. I believe it is crucial to meet your body where it is each day, in each class. I bring an element of lightheartedness to my classes that makes me a favorite wherever I teach. Being drawn to help more people and in larger ways and fulfill my passion for travel, I co-founded Global CitiZen Retreats; a retreat company that gives back through service work, fundraising, and much more! You can find more information about that here.

Beth’s classes: Sunday (10:15-11:15 AM)–Aerial Yoga, Tuesday (7:30-8:30 PM)— Candlelight Aerial

 

BRIANNA DARLING


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Yoga teacher is one of the many titles I proudly and joyfully claim (some of my other top picks are: mother, priestess, Shamanic Minister, wife, daughter, sister, artist, and donut-lover). After leading a yoga club in high school and teaching sun salutations to a group of orphans as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania I took the plunge and journeyed through a number of teacher trainings. To me, yoga is self-care, self-love, inquiry, and freedom explored and realized through movement and stillness. I believe there is nothing more healing than becoming still so we can connect with the wisdom embedded within the body. I teach Yin and Yoga Nidra on Sunday evenings- a class I’ve been teaching for a few years and absolutely adore. I also teach workshops laden with ritual and organic movement that are centered around the cycles of nature. Visit my website for more information!

Brianna’s class: Sunday (5:00-6:15 PM)–Yin & Yoga Nidra

 

BRIGETTE LYNCH


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I’m a creative and curious person, drawn to the intertwining of all things involving design, art, health and wellness, movement, personal development and human interaction. In 2017, I signed up for Yoga North’s 200-hr SomaYoga program as a means to give structure to my study. I found in my practice tools for reducing pain physically and mentally, a deepening of resiliency, trust in my body, and ways to rejuvenate. The self-help junkie in me was hooked and I completed the 500-hr SomaYoga Therapy Program. My hope as a teach is to offer the tools I’ve learned in connecting with the mind, body, and spirt as a practice that supports physical and mental well-being. I hope to hold space and provide inquiries for exploration in becoming your own best teacher and cultivating more ease in your whole body. I encourage students to get curious and find the movement that works best for their body each time as a way to honor their connection with their Self. All provided with kindness, compassion, and hopefully a little humor!

 

CATHERINE SQUIRES


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I recently completed Yoga North’s 200-hour training program, and am excited to continue teaching Soma yoga at Tula. Yoga has been a lodestar for me during many periods of my life, and I decided to make the leap to becoming a teacher to solidify my commitment and deepen my learning. I enjoy geeking out about the philosophies and sciences of yoga, somatics, birds, and books (which is not surprising since I am also a professor at the University of Minnesota!) and love sharing stories.

Catherine is currently a substitute teacher.

 

CRYSTAL HARRIS


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We are human beings, not human doings. Crystal (she/her/hers) believes in the transformative and healing power of resisting all the eternal messages about “doing” and nourishing our inner authentic “being.” Through her yoga classes, she invites you to join her in a radical self-care practice of slowing down, deepening our breath, and being present with our emotional, physical, mental, and energetic bodies. When not practicing and teaching yoga, Crystal can be found exploring other avenues for community healing or grassroots education for social change, attempting photography, or painting in her studio.

Crystal’s classes: Wednesday (5:00-6:00 PM)–Vinyasa, Sunday (6:30-7:30 PM)–Vinyasa, Sunday (7:45-8:45 PM)–Candlelight Yoga

 

DAN BLACKBURN


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I’ve been a student of health and wellness since I can remember. Having a deep curiosity of the human body and physiology brought me to the Body Therapy Institute 30 years ago to pursue massage therapy and became a deep tissue therapist in Raleigh NC with an emphasis in chronic and acute pain. I had the pleasure of teaching deep tissue technique for a time and been blessed to learn from great leaders in body work including Rick Rosen, Michael Shae, John Latz and Paul St. John. I left my practice to pursue a career with Whole Foods Market and move home to Minnesota in 1995 to marry my high school sweetheart. My admiration of eastern culture and alternative health have remained constant. I recently completed the 500 hour training in SomaYoga with Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute. My wife, Ann, and I have been supporting people’s goals of wellbeing for over 25 years and we are the co-owners of Tula Yoga Wellness. We have three kids each of whom give me pause to reflect on the many blessings and opportunities in life.

Dan’s class: Saturday (8:00-9:00 AM)–Tula Yoga

 

ELIZABETH EILERS SULLIVAN


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I am a Certified Yoga Therapist C-IAYT, SomaYoga Therapy Trained along with advanced studies in SourcePoint Therapy and a certification as an Ayurveda Yoga Specialist. I blend my passion for optimal health and full potential to support your next best steps on your path to wholeness and remembering your divine brilliance. There is no greater healer and teacher than your higher Self and being in an intimate connection with the blueprint for human health to support your fullest potential. From simple daily practices of Ayurveda to energy medicine and energy pattern changing protocols, meditation and the whole eight limbs of yoga; I draw on these ancient tools and newer modalities to support your healing and help you remove blockages that have held you back. I write for Yoga International and other publications where I am motivated to share these tools with all ages to support health and potential! I teach and see clients at Tula Yoga & Wellness and also teach with Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute training teachers. Find more information about me here.

Elizabeth teaches workshops and class series.

 

GRANT FOSTER


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I first found SomaYoga in the late summer of 2014 and have been a devoted practitioner ever since. At the time I was debilitated by injuries to my spine and hip socket, which re-appeared quite suddenly when the limits to my understanding collided with my actual condition. Within the span of a few weeks I went from not feeling my injuries to loudly sensing how deep they were. Once I realized and accepted where I was, I also saw there was so much I needed to learn. After a half year of searching for ways to mend myself I discovered Tula with its brilliant offering called SomaYoga. I immediately recognized the marriage of somatics and yoga. With almost no thought I signed up for the 200 hour SomaYoga training. There I found the means to reshape myself and have discovered endless fascination with all of the forms I take. From the moment I first accepted I could no longer function, acceptance formed the paving stones of my recovery. It begins when the mind is still and quiet and perched to observe without altering. From there the body starts to become re-enchanted. Check out my website here.

Grant’s classes: Monday (10:45-11:45 AM)–SomaYoga, Friday (12:00- 1:00) — Tula Yoga, Friday (1:30-2:30 PM)–SomaYoga 

 

GRACE PANIAN


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I fell in love with my personal practice in 2016 after experiencing the mental, physical and spiritual healing power of yoga. As my personal practice began to deepen, I was inspired to complete a yoga teacher training. I received my RTY-200 credentials in Rishikesh, India in May 2018. My philosophy teacher always emphasized “We all are students, and we always will be” no matter where I am in my personal practice or teaching, I will never stop learning. I learn just as much from my students as they learn from me. My goal is to have students walking out of class more at ease, calm, connect to their true self and to the universe. To me, yoga is literally a way of living, bringing more awareness to the body, mind and perception.

Grace’s classes: Tuesday (7:15- 8:15 PM) — Slow Flow, Tuesday (8:30- 9:30 PM) — Candlelight, Wednesday (8:30- 9:30 pm)— Candlelight

 

JACLYN SEMLAK


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Yoga leaves me restored and rejuvenated, which is how I hope my students leave after each class. I believe that practicing yoga is just that–a practice, in which we are continuously growing, learning and discovering. I have been practicing yoga for 8 years and teaching for 7 years. I took the training after realizing how much yoga supported my physical and mental well-being and I wanted to learn more. I teach 4 and 5 year olds during the week as a Preschool Teacher and lead Vinyasa classes with adults on the weekends. My teaching style is light hearted and fun. My classes incorporate music that matches the stage of the class. We begin and end with calm, restorative postures and flow through a more challenging sequence in the middle. There is a yoga practice out there for everyone and we all need to find the right fit for us. Coming together in a community and taking time to practice self-care is a gift we give not only to ourselves, but to all those we encounter.

Jaclyn’s classes: Thursday (7:20-8:20 PM)— Vinyasa, Saturday (9:15-10:15 AM)–Vinyasa

 

JACQUELINE VLIESTRA


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Yoga has taught me how to thrive. I took my first yoga class at the suggestion of a friend, who said it would improve my posture. I quickly fell in love with Asana, relishing a newfound sense of strength and mastery in my body. I had little interest in the philosophical aspects of yoga, yet I began to notice unexpected internal shifts as a result of my sun salutations, warriors, and downward dogs: I was more peaceful and less prone to judgement; stressful situations felt less stressful; I was more present, grateful, and joyful. To my surprise, what began as a purely physical practice slowly turned into a life-long path of embodiment and growth. 

I have been teaching yoga since 2009, and I’ve specialized in teaching yoga for mental health since 2012. Taking the SomaYoga 500 hour training has given me wonderful new tools to empower students physically, mentally, and emotionally. In every class, my goal is to help students build awareness, stability, and self-kindness. When we cultivate these qualities on our yoga mats, they have the potential to blossom and transform our everyday lives. Visit Jacqueline’s website

Jacqueline’s class: Thursday (6:00-7:00 PM)— SomaYoga

JESSICA WINTERS


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I was introduced to yoga in 2006 and instantly fell in love with how felt after my practice; strong, flexible, confident, relaxed and compassionate toward myself. My yoga practice is as an essential part of my life. My goal is to encourage everyone to begin their practice and open themselves up to the possibility of change in their lives.
I started my 200 Hour Teacher Training in Huntington Beach California at Yoga Shakti Wellness Center and finished it here in Minnesota through Green Lotus Yoga and Healing Centers and from there I went on to complete the 500 Hour Teacher Training through Yoga North International Soma Yoga Institute here in Saint Paul and Duluth Minnesota.

I have taught in a variety of settings and maintain a daily personal yoga practice, in studio and at home. I aim to bring humor, support and a non-judgmental attitude into class to show everyone that a yoga practice is a fun and valuable experience.

Jessica’s classes: Monday (6:00-7:00 PM)–Vinyasa, Tuesday (9:30-10:30 AM)–Tula Yoga

 

LIANA DANG


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In 2011, I first found yoga as a way to manage stress. Over the years of practicing yoga, I developed a deeper connection and understanding of my true nature. Yoga has helped transform the way I move, breathe, think and feel in this ever changing chaotic dance called life. Just like diamonds, I believe that human beings are multifaceted beings. Yoga is what creates union of our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, impactful selves all existing on many planes. I love helping people of all walks of life and sharing yoga is apart of my mission here. I received my 200 RYT from Green Lotus Healing Center and teach Hatha (gentle), Vinyasa, and meditation. I also enjoy spending time foraging in the woods with my wife, and dog. I consider myself very blessed to have the opportunity of sharing a practice with you. May we return to peace and love, blessings.

Liana’s class: Tuesday (9:30-10:30 AM)— Tula Yoga

 

MARY KLINE


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When I was a competitive dancer, I recall standing backstage before a performance, clinging to the curtains with anxiety. At times my heart would beat so loudly, I could barely hear the announcer call my name or category over the house speakers. Typically that anxiety dissolved away after stepping on stage and allowing myself to get lost in my favorite escape. Dancing continues to force me out of my introversion, and allows me the freedom to express myself through movement and music.

Interestingly, that anxiety has never entirely gone away. I experience a little of it before every Zumba class, and it allows me to relate to new students who may have apprehensions. My hope is that every student, whether their first class or whether they’ve been coming to Zumba for years, feels free to be themselves. I’ve never stopped being passionate about dance, but the beauty is now-it’s not about competing, but connecting.

Mary’s class: Monday (6:00-7:00 PM)— Zumba

 

MELANIE HARPER


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I’ve always been drawn to physical movement, and enjoyed practicing flexibility and balancing. In 2010 I started going to a weekly yoga class. I help special needs children in elementary school and attended a Yoga Calm training. It inspired and resonated with me deeply, so I pursued the Yoga Calm certification. I teach an ongoing Yoga Calm class at Tula on Sunday mornings. The children’s enthusiasm and energy is delightful, it’s a fun class.
I explored going to a variety of classes at Tula, which led me to taking the 200hr Soma yoga training by YogaNorth, and recently I went through Yin Training. I teach hatha series to staff at school.
It’s an honor to continue learning and sharing the experience of yoga with children and adults. I love the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual connection that yoga brings through breathe, movement, relaxation, and community.

Melanie’s class: Sunday (11:30-12:30 PM)–Yoga Calm (ages 4-10)

 

NANCY GIGUERE


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Because I began practicing yoga when I was in my late 50s, I’m especially interested in working with older and “non-typical” students. I firmly believe that there is a practice for everyone. I have completed 500 hours of training with Scott Anderson of Alignment Yoga, along with additional training in somatics.
I teach Gentle Yoga, a kind of “laboratory class” during which we explore the mind-body connection using techniques derived from asana, somatics, and other movement practices.
The mind-body connection is a “two-way street.” We know the mind affects the body, but we often forget the body also affects the mind. As we deepen our relationship with our body and become more at home in it, we become more fully human and more fully ourselves.

Nancy’s classes: Tuesday (10:45-11:45 AM)– Gentle Yoga

 

NANCY HERZOG


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I’ve always loved fluid, creative, and holistic movement. I was a gymnast, dancer, and devotee of Pilates, but when I started practicing and studying yoga, a whole new way of moving and being opened up to me! In 2005, I decided to combine my love of movement and education, and set out to earn a variety of mind-body fitness certifications and began teaching classes around the Twin Cities.

Now, I develop and teach my own fusion classes – my Slow Flow class offers a blended-approach to movement, including Hatha yoga, Pilates techniques, and simple Tai Chi. Using instrumental music to enhance the mood, soften and slow down, my class provides an opportunity to stretch, strengthen and leave feeling centered, agile, calm and open. I don’t give any hands-on adjustments during class, so everyone can feel, explore, and learn how to move within their own safest range of motion. I love to see people leave class feeling centered, renewed, and open.
To learn more, visit my website.

Nancy’s class: Saturday (10:30-11:30 AM)–Slow Flow

 

SAMANTHA LEWIS


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I view Yoga as a holistic way to gain and maintain mental and physical health. I believe that everyone can benefit from this practice. In my personal practice I try to focus on connecting the asanas (the physical poses), the prana (breath), and my psychological journey in order to create the most beneficial and relevant experience. I have been practicing Yoga for about 8 years and received my teaching certification (200 hr) in August 2018 through the Devanadi School of Yoga and Wellness in Minneapolis. I graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in dance in 2019 and I weave that knowledge through my practice and my teaching. I am a life-long student and I am excited to guide you through this beautiful practice. 

Visit Samantha’s website 

Samantha’s class: Monday (8:30-9:30 PM)–Candlelight

 

SANDY MIGHELL


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I am a Certified Black Belt instructor in the Nia Technique, and a Certified Qigong Instructor in Supreme Science and Organ Cleansing (Medical) Qigong. My classes have been described by my students as being “like a spa treatment for the body,” “rejuvenating”, and “grounding”.

Through the harmonizing body awareness practices of Nia and Qigong, we make possible the transformation of our cell tissue by infusing it with positive conversation, good energy, conscious motion and our own sense of authenticity. I have been sharing my movement practice for 11 years in yoga studios, recreation/community centers, YMCAs, spas, pilates studios, government facilities, corporations and in countless private and small group venues. I would love to have you join me for class.

Sandy’s classes: Friday (11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)-Nia, and Qigong class series

 

SARAH TURINO


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I’ve been teaching various forms of movement for 14 years now as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and yoga instructor. Because I’m trained in a bunch of modalities, I try and meet each person wherever they are on their journey.

My hope is that you can connect and move with your body in a way that feels just right for you, because the body is a part of the body.mind.spirit chain. Your body is where you sense, feel and move. It is how you give and receive physical love. Your body, needs to be loved and cherished. The body is your best teacher – and I am simply a guide to help you connect, honor and move yourself with loving kindness. I teach two classes here at Tula: Bootcamp with Soul which combines strength, cardio and mobility and is taught in gears so you can customize the workout to make it work for you. Sunrise Yoga which helps you greet your day with a blend of SomaYoga and SlowFlow. For more information, visit my website.

Sarah’s class: Thursday (11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)-SomaStrong Class Series

 

TAWANA STOCKER


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I have always loved to dance. And by no means would I consider myself a professional. I just love to do it. Dance makes me feel so happy! It's the one time I truly feel like myself and can express it, and also allows me to get out of my comfort zones. Whether it's my goofy self, my sexy self, or even my passionate self. All of it comes out when I dance and it's the best feeling ever. So when I took my first Zumba class I was obsessed. As much as I love to dance, I was not the best at staying fit. With Zumba, I was dancing, working out, and having fun all at the same time. There were no judgements, no ego. Just the music, the moves, and the positive vibes. And that is what I strive to bring to my class. I want my students to have fun, feel good, and of course get that workout in while working it!

Tawana’s class: Wednesday (10:45-11:45 AM)-Zumba

TERESA REID


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Whether I am facilitating, coaching, mothering or mentoring, I consider myself an advocate of en-LIFE-enment. With a passion for movement and metaphor as paths of liberation, my offerings blend my love of dance, somatic inquiry, archetypal and depth psychology, earth based wisdom, and whole systems healing. Through powerful, embodied explorations of deep purpose, I support others in awakening awareness, summoning resilience and choice, and welcoming wholeness home; one step at a time.

Having lived a life guided by curiosity, wonder, and in service to the unknown, I have learned to trust in the wisdom of my body, rest in the questions rather than the answers, and ponder rather than claim to know. Free form, conscious dance is my primary practice, along with weaving ritual, connecting with nature, listening to dreams, and activating my imagination through creative writing and art.
It is my great honor to share and breathe and BE in this dance of life with you.
To learn more about my offerings, visit my website.

Teresa’s classes: Two Saturdays per month: 5:30-5:30 PM-SomaYoga, 7:00-9:00 PM Dancing Freedom, and Rhythm of the Year workshops.