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

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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
retail manager

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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
they're teachers too!

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trish o'brien
community manager

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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.

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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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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nicole diaz

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Nicole has been teaching since 2017 after a decade of practice when a therapist recommended yoga to manage depression and anxiety. It was a helpful tool throughout the years as a social worker for children and adolescents overcoming abuse and trauma, so while she started her 200 hour YTT for personal development it became apparent that she loved teaching because empowering students with skills to cultivate a sense of calm off the mat gave her joyful purpose. 

 

Her goal as a teacher is to encourage students to be curious about their body and breath, bringing humor and judgment-free space to utilize their yoga practice to develop inner strength, vitality and peace. Nicole received her teacher training with Barbara Ruzansky at West Hartford Yoga in Connecticut and has participated in numerous trainings and workshops with national teachers who have inspired and influenced her, including Candace Cabrera, Ellen Heed for Functional Anatomy, Sharon Salzburg on Mindfulness Meditation, and trauma-informed teaching with Hala Khouri. Nicole has taught various styles of yoga: gentle, power, restorative, vinyasa; yoga hikes and workshops in New England, the Caribbean, and Costa Rica. 

 

Nicole’s other interests include traveling with her husband to National Parks, sharing her Boston Terrier’s antics on doggie Instagram, re-creating tapas she devoured while solo hiking Spain’s Camino de Santiago, and volunteering with Refugee Services of Austin.

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ida zuniga

Ida found Oak and Lotus shortly after moving from South Texas- Rio Grande Valley in May, 2021.  Being far away from home for the first time, the team members made her feel welcome and helped create a safe space for her.  She loves how yoga helped her to slow down the pace when jumping from patient to patient with her full-time speech therapy home health job.

 

Ida considers Oak and Lotus to be a huge blessing to her because it has already opened many doors in such little time.  She would like to extend a big thank you to Alia for bringing this unique yoga community together during a time when we all need it most.

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lisa brannan

When not working the front desk on Thursday nights, Lisa is in a space of creation. Whether it’s exploring new interests and ideas or creating space, she loves to explore with curiosity and an eye for change. This translates to home renovation as a newbie DIHerselfer, holding Sisterhood Circles and dreaming up new ways to build and foster community in her business and personal life.

After a long hiatus, Lisa is stepping back into yoga practice to ground all the air she holds while learning to step back into presence and body. Oak + Lotus was a comfortable place to become a beginner again, with a like minded community to surround and support in this new beginning.

our front desk team

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alex pena