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our team

south austin yoga studio

alia j. khan

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alia0628

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!

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pam schumacher
operations manager + teacher

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pamyoga

Pam took her first yoga class 20 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 60 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.


Pam joined the Oak and Lotus team December 2019, waited out the pandemic shutdown, and is delighted to return to teach again, plus take on the role of Studio Operations Director.
 

Pam's other interests include getting tattoos, live music shows, eating delicious food, sewing, knitting, gardening, and movies on the couch with her family.

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taylor fox
social media manager + teacher

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thetaylorfox

Taylor hails from San Antonio, where she got a degree in Cultural Studies and began a 10+ years library career. These days, she prefers living at a slower pace and spends her days writing and recording music, practicing yoga, reading, learning languages, and trying her darndest to cook. In addition to teaching at Oak + Lotus, you'll see Taylor managing the marketplace and helping folks get signed in and checked out.

Taylor began practicing yoga in 2015 on a whim. New to Austin and overwhelmed with downtown rush-hour, in yoga class she waited out the traffic and found feelings of peace and power. She decided to take her practice and self-study to the next level through Austin School of Yoga in 2019. Taylor is a registered yoga teacher (RYT 200) and is trained in Vinyasa, Hatha, and Trauma-Informed Yoga. Her goal as a teacher is to guide all levels of students to their own strength, joy, and inspiration.

our studio managers

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trish o'brien
community manager + teacher

When Tricia 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, Tricia 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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bobby davis

Bobby initially began practicing yoga in 2011 as a cross training modality to balance long distance running.  It quickly became apparent that yoga is much more than a stretching exercise, and in 2017 he decided it was time to deepen his understanding of yoga and completed his RYT-200 teacher training.  He’s been teaching in his free time ever since and absolutely loves it!

 

In 2014, Bobby also decided to give CrossFit a try, and immediately saw a dramatic change in his asana practice.  Building strength through functional movements made poses feel more stable, and the proprioception that he gained from yoga asana made his strength practice safer and more intentional.  In 2019, Bobby became a CrossFit L1 trainer and began coaching in his free time in addition to teaching yoga.  As a result, Bobby draws from his experience in the gym to cue safe alignment and muscular engagement in his yoga classes.  His classes are a balance of mindful movements designed to safely increase range of motion while building strength and stability.

 

Bobby’s day job is in information technology, so he fully understands the need to counter all of the rounding forward over our devices that many of our days often demand.  He and his husband moved from Kansas to Austin in 2020 for the warm weather and fun vibes!  After living in Austin for a couple of years, they decided to make Austin their forever home and bought a house in South Austin.  You can usually find them running around Lady Bird Lake, canoeing, or eating their way through the fantastic food scene here in Austin!

our teachers

Francelia

francelia serrano chavez

A native of Texas, Francelia discovered Yoga in 2007 as part of a cross-training exercise and ended up loving how Yoga strengthened her mentally and physically. In 2013, after many years of practice, Francelia received her 200-hour Soul Awakening Yoga Teacher Training certificate from Southtown Yoga Loft in San Antonio, Texas. 

 

After finishing her teacher training, she moved to Oaxaca, Mexico where she practiced Yoga in Spanish, planting the seed to take this practice to her own community. Upon her return in 2016, she moved to Chicago and shortly thereafter found Yoga Now Chicago studio where she received an additional 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training certificate under Amy Beth Treciokas. She also teaches Restorative, Meditation, Yoga for Kids, and Bilingual Yoga. Francelia is a registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance.

 

Francelia’s classes provide a space where people of all shapes and abilities have the opportunity to discover the truth in transition and the sense of lightness they seek in their practice. All of Francelia’s students from beginners to advanced feel completely comfortable moving at their own pace and ability levels. In her class you will experience creative sequencing, playfulness, and spirituality. She helps students explore meditation by practicing breath work, body movement synchronized with breath and stillness.

 

Outside of the yoga studio, Francelia works as an accountant for a nonprofit organization in Chicago, IL. She also enjoys traveling and spending time with her dog Chicago.

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stephanie scutari

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abcdstephanie

Through a rare opportunity, Stephanie was able to work full-time while obtaining her 200-hour Vinyasa training from Brooklyn-based studio New Love City in November 2020. She recently stepped back from her eight-year career in financial services to fulfill her dream of pursuing a creative career (which includes teaching yoga!).

 

Stephanie’s love of movement runs deep. A former ballerina, she enjoys being in the wild (aka leaving her home) to rock climb, bike, hike, ski and explore the aerial arts. Her favorite days are spent outdoors, connecting with nature. She is a lifelong learner, and her hobby list is a mile long.

Her goal as a teacher is to create a safe space to empower students to find self-expression and joy through movement, to encourage them to laugh at their mistakes, and maybe do something a little weird every now and then.

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courtney hans

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thecountesscoco

Courtney has been teaching yoga since 2013. She earned her 200-hour yoga teaching certificate in 2013 and is currently enrolled in a 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training. She is recognized by Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 200 and YACEP.

Her first yoga experience was in 2001 in New Orleans after having finished college where she studied Sanskrit, Hinduism, and Zen Buddhism among other subjects. She took very little notice of yoga for the next 10 years but then was hooked. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Courtney’s teaching style is alignment-focused and she loves teaching people who are looking to explore movement and learn more about themselves through yoga. As a self-proclaimed athlete (running and hiking - Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker, Class of 2015), Courtney encourages safety and observation to create a sustainable practice.

 

Courtney has taught various styles of yoga and workshops in Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; along the Appalachian Trail; and Austin, TX.

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alex pena

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Alex moved to Austin in 2017 to pursue her PhD in Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Her journey in yoga began during her early years of college and has steadily progressed. Finding opportunities to be mindful and active is something Alex always strives for and appreciates.

When not practicing yoga, Alex enjoys exploring local coffee shops, breweries, music venues and restaurants or playing with her two dogs. Her passion for education and building inclusivity in the community also lends opportunities for Alex to volunteer with local non-profits that service children with disabilities. Alex came across O+L in 2020 pre-pandemic. The energy of the studio, accessibility to poses and props, friendliness of the team, and the amazing music playlists have kept her coming back to practice. The sense of community and healing that O+L inspires encouraged her to join the team.

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mary sales

Mary is new to Austin and is ecstatic to have found Oak + Lotus. She graduated from a small liberal arts college with a degree in Spanish and Psychology in May 2022, and moved to Austin from the Chicago suburbs in August to complete a year of service with AmeriCorps. Her program is called Literacy First, in which she works as a reading tutor for Spanish-speaking elementary students to foster educational equity. In her free time, Mary loves to sing and is a member of SoCo Women's Chorus. She also enjoys going to concerts, reading and watching plays, going to the movies, journaling, and spending time with her cat, Astro.

 

Mary began practicing yoga a couple years ago through online videos, but was seeking a yoga community to practice with. She resonates with the idea that yoga is a form of self-care and appreciates how Oak + Lotus's teachers and members share her values of inclusivity and acceptance. Working and taking classes at the studio feels like the perfect complement to her current journey of emotional healing and self-discovery. She hopes you find as much peace, support, and safety in practicing yoga here as she does!

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oriana lopez

Oriana Is an ATLien who is drawn to hot weather. She moved to Austin in 2019 to pursue a master’s degree at UT (hook ‘em!), and will graduate in May 2023. She spends most of her life sitting on her bum as a student and is so grateful to Oak + Lotus for giving her the space to move her body and take time to relax. She’s new to the studio, so please introduce yourself- she always welcomes restaurant recommendations!

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heather becvar

Heather has been seeking a new yoga community since moving to South Austin from Long Island, NY at the beginning of 2022. She found Oak + Lotus by chance, and immediately fell in love with the studio upon taking her first class with Trish.

Many years ago, Heather started her yoga journey in college when she had the opportunity to take yoga to fulfill her PE credits. Through the years, she has found herself diving deeper into her yoga practice to find peace and solace while navigating grief and anxiety. She finds yoga to be healing for both the mind and body, especially when paired with Kirtan. 

 

When Heather is not practicing yoga, she is either drinking coffee, playing music, or supporting underserved populations in the Austin community through Goodwill Central Texas mission services.

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hannah sukany

Hannah is new to Austin since 2021 but has been an official “Texan” since 2008. She came to Baylor University (once a Bear, always a Bear! Sorry, Longhorns) to get her Masters degree in Social Work and still practices Social Work for her career.

Yoga has become a necessary relief from the stress of her career and life. She has found ‘what feels good’ for over 10 years, thank you Yoga with Adrienne for the introduction. She happened on Oak + Lotus in February and was immediately drawn to the inclusive and warm environment. Finally a yoga studio that didn’t practice “competitive yoga.”

 

When she isn’t practicing yoga, she is chasing two doggos through the greens of Austin, consuming as much Indian food as possible, or likely adventuring and exploring local music and breweries.

our work study team

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