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our founder + owner

Our founder Alia Khan grew up in Austin, TX, and found yoga after barely surviving the NY Bar exam in 2008. Alia was about to begin her life as a stressed-out corporate lawyer, and was freaking out just a little ... but after that first class, she knew that yoga was just the tool she needed to maintain balance (and sanity!) in the midst of her demanding new career. Alia is now a happily recovering attorney turned entrepreneur, and still uses her yoga practice to maintain much-needed balance in her busy life.

Much of Alia's journey as a yoga student involved coming up with creative ways to modify the practice and its poses to fit her body. She's always had a curvy body with tight hips and back muscles, and often felt left out in yoga classes because teachers couldn't offer her guidance on how to adjust the poses to her body, and would instead just tell her to skip it and wait til the next pose. So she started coming up with her own variations and creative ways to use props to make the poses work for her, and now that she's a teacher, she loves sharing those tips and tricks with her students!

She has been teaching since 2012, and from day 1 her mission has been to teach all of her students how to use yoga to feel their best physically, mentally, and emotionally. She's also passionate about making all of her students feel comfortable on the mat by keeping her teaching secular and relatable to everyday life, and by incorporating options and instructions into her teaching that will work for ALL of the bodies in her classes. 

She opened her first yoga studio in DC in 2015. As a studio owner, she's dedicated to creating a community where all bodies feel welcome, safe, and included - especially those that have had negative experiences with movement or fitness in the past! She makes it a point to meet or connect with every new client who walks through the doors or joins us online, and is genuinely thrilled to welcome each new student to our practice. And she can't wait to welcome you too!

our founder

our managers

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trish o'brien
community manager + teacher

When Trish first began practicing yoga a decade ago, she considered yoga as an ‘add-on’ to other workouts and exercise routines. But the practice worked its magic on her over time, and eventually she stopped viewing yoga as solely exercise. Only then did yoga become a major source of joy and peace in her life. The focus a yoga practice demands became one of her essential tools for stress-relief and grounding, and the way yoga transformed her relationship with her body and mind eventually led to her becoming a registered yoga teacher (RYT 200). 

For much of her life, Trish felt that she was in opposition to her body, working against it or trying to force it to be one thing or another. Through her yoga practice, she has learned how to recognize that her mind and body are one. Her goal as a teacher is to support her students through their own revelations and transformations, help them feel empowered and at one with their bodies by using engagement and alignment cues that will encourage self-correction and self-study, and create a safe space for them to heal and grow.

 

She is so happy to be working and teaching at a studio like Oak + Lotus, where the focus is always on how a pose feels rather than how it looks, and the teachers and students have created an inclusive community and practice for all bodies so that more people feel welcome in the yoga world. The more yogis on this planet, the better!

 

In her non-yoga life she enjoys seeing live music, vegan baking, volunteering, and watching movies while cuddling with her cats.

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jamie fine
operations director + teacher

A transplant from California (most recently), Jamie has been an active yogi for more than a decade–which she credits with helping her get through years of graduate schooling across the U.S. After moving to Austin at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, she’s now had the opportunity to really enjoy settling into and getting to know an amazing community of fellow Austinites. In addition to helping manage Oak + Lotus, Jamie is a certified Yoga Nidra instructor, and is excited and grateful to offer this unique, transformative practice to others, as it has been central to her own yoga journey for years.

 

Outside of yoga, she is an avid reader, hiker, and spin and yoga enthusiast. She enjoys spending time with her partner, their two cats, and any friends and family she can find. She’s a coffee and queso addict, an animal lover, and a huge fan of big belly laughs. You can catch her around the studio for lunch classes on weekdays, Nidra on Wednesday evenings, and book club every last Sunday . . . but other sightings in the Oak + Lotus wild are also common. Come say hi when you have a minute! :)

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Claire is from south Houston and relocated to Austin in December of 2022. She graduated from Texas State University in 2017 and was an elementary  teacher for 5 years. Claire began practicing yoga about a decade ago, but has only recently made it part of her everyday life. 

 

In May of 2023, Claire decided to listen to her heart’s desires. In doing this, she found herself at Oak + Lotus Yoga for a drop-in class after not practicing for some time. The experience made her realize how much she loves and values yoga, but more importantly, practicing with Oak + Lotus made her feel safe–and she immediately felt at home. Claire feels that the staff, vibe, and O+L’s unique approach to yoga are what sets it apart from studios she has previously been to. 

 

In her free time, Claire enjoys writing poetry, lifting weights, spending time in nature, and loves to be with her husband TJ and fur baby Petra.

claire halstead
social media + marketing manager

our teachers

our teachers

our managers
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Pam took her first yoga class over 23 years ago, 7 months pregnant with her first son! Over the years yoga has been her favorite way to unwind, meet interesting people, and just feel better in her body. 

Pam completed her Trauma Informed Hatha Flow 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2018. She has since completed more than 120 hours of further study in functional anatomy, yoga lifestyle/ethics, and offering accessible yoga for aging bodies, people with different abilities, and supporting the "yoga for all" philosophy.

She is certified in Prenatal Yoga and particularly enjoys offering spaces of calming support to pregnant students, empowering them to feel connected and strong during pregnancy and while planning for the marathon of childbirth and parenthood! Pam, E-RYT200, has taught yoga around Austin since January 2019 at various yoga studios, community centers, offices and parks. Building community with students in South Austin, close to home, is the most rewarding part of teaching yoga. In a culture where faster and bigger is what is often most valued as progress, the radical act of slowing down and paying attention to the body and breath is the core of Pam’s yoga practice. Slow down, pay attention and you’ll never miss the sweet spots in yoga and life! Pam's other interests include getting tattoos, live music shows, eating delicious food, sewing, knitting, gardening, and movies on the couch with her family.

Pam Schumacher

Mindi fell in love with yoga after moving to Austin 6 years ago, but she truly developed her practice during the 2020 lockdown after a running injury.  In addition to fully appreciating the mental and emotional lift yoga gave her during this tough time, she immersed herself in learning how different poses can heal and strengthen the body after trauma.

 

She carried that interest in yoga as therapy into her teacher training with Practice Yoga Alliance in 2022, and then into her prenatal training upon becoming pregnant with her daughter Lucy in early 2023. Teaching prenatal yoga while also being pregnant was invaluable in knowing what aches and pains to target and what modifications to offer through all stages of pregnancy, as well as what emotions to stay attuned to on the journey. 

 

Along with yoga, Mindi owns her business, Time and Place Photography, and enjoys singing with her 90s / 2000s cover band, Konami Code, around Austin. She's a sucker for kombucha, black coffee, and martinis, and can often be found binge-watching the Great British Bake-Off with her husband Tom.

Mindi Westhoff

Jen started going to yoga while in college to find relief from her body tension and anxiety. At the time, she wasn’t sure just what it was about yoga but she knew she felt amazing after class. Over time the consistent yoga practice connected her more to her body, improved her life outlook and overall well being. Just a few years after practicing Jen received her first ever yoga teacher certification in 2015. She has been studying yoga and the mind-body relationship ever since. As a curious yoga nerd, she has taken various yoga related trainings and has even completed her 500-hour yoga certification through Yoga Medicine with Tiffany Cruikshank. Jen is drawn to anatomy, functional movement, myofascial release and supporting the nervous system to lead healthy fulfilled lives. In Jen’s classes she cultivates a safe environment for students to become more curious and explore their bodies through mindful breath and movement to find a sense of clarity and ease throughout their day and life. 

Jen is originally from Chicago as she moved to Austin in 2019 to pursue her master’s in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. She started her own acupuncture practice in Austin, Radiant Acupuncture, and enjoys treating women’s health concerns, anxiety, depression, and pain. When she’s not treating patients or practicing yoga, Jen loves getting out into nature by walking the trails in Austin and taking a dip in Barton Springs. She also can be found bonding with her cat Baloo and savoring a good latte!

Jen Brown

Brannin first started practicing yoga in 2005 as a way to deal with stressful life situations. He exclusively favored higher intensity, heated styles of yoga until introduced to both Yin and Restorative Yoga many years later, while also adding meditation into his personal practice. 

 

Wanting to pass on what has been so beneficial to him, Brannin started teaching in 2018. He has accumulated over 1000 hours of formal teacher training, and being a life-long student, plans to continue down that path. While Brannin appreciates the physical and psychological benefits of yoga, he’s very grateful for the community and connection found among fellow yogis. 

 

Brannin is originally from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. After spending time living in Vermont and Colorado, he has called Austin home since 2013.

Brannin Lancaster
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Christina Liu

Christina is a native Texan that loves spending time with others - especially outside. Growing up as a soccer player and relatively energetic person, she always found it difficult to sit still in yoga classes. But eventually, she leaned heavily on practicing yoga when she started living on her own and working full time in the Midwest. After moving back to Austin in 2021, she started practicing regularly at Oak + Lotus.

 

This eventually sparked an interest in learning more about yoga, which led her to participate in yoga teacher training and become a certified yoga instructor at the end of 2023.

 

Outside of the studio, you can find Christina visiting new food trucks, trying new arts + crafts, or hanging out with her pet rabbit, Halloumi!

Kaileen McHugh

Kaileen has been practicing yoga for several years, but took a break from her mat while juggling grad school, work, and chronic illness. She found Oak and Lotus in early 2022 through a friend, and immediately felt comfortable in the space. In July 2022 she joined the work study team, where she worked the front desk for a bit and then transitioned to working on the studio’s website.

Kaileen believes that yoga should be accessible, and is always happy to help folks figure out ways in which to make yoga more comfortable through the use of props and pose variations. As someone managing chronic pain, she knows how difficult taking a class involving physical activity can be. She encourages people to simply show up, and take the time to listen to their body’s needs- whatever it may be that day.

During the day she works as an economic development coordinator. If you take her class or see her around the studio she loves to discuss all things urban planning, her latest art project, or about her cats.

our work study team

work study program
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rachel obstfeld

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hannah sukany

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mary sales

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oriana lopez

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alex pena

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corie wells

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alejandra cruz

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