MEET THE TEAM
Owner - STOTT Certified Pilates Instructor & Certified Yoga Teacher
Katie has always loved movement in any form; from chasing her sister to dancing in the living room, but it wasn't until college that she made it a career choice. In 2001, she got certified to teach cardio kickboxing as a means to stay in shape and have fun. She loved her stage in front of 70+ students and hasn't stopped teaching since.
Katie is trained and certified in TRX, Power Plate, Stability Barre and completed her 200hr Corepower Yoga training (also studied under Shiva Rae, Twee Merrigan and Richard Freeman), but it wasn't until she found STOTT Pilates that it all seemed to fit together. The clinical components of Pilates, as well as the education she received while working for a physical therapist in Australia have become a staple foundation for each and every client. She realized that no matter what the fitness level of a client, foundation is the most important component to movement. Working from a solid foundation can decrease risk for injury, as well as amplify results during ANY movement. Movement is so much more than what it once was to Katie; movement for movement's sake. Movement is a way to live a healthy life.
From teaching 70+ people in kick-boxing class to working privately with A-list celebrities, Katie has had a long road of education in biomechanics and anatomy of movement with all sorts of body types and limitations. No matter what the style of training, she teaches with the same base ideals for every session; movement coaching. She is passionate about the education and preservation of our bodies. She enjoys teaching her students how to work from their deep muscles and gives major emphasis on HOW to move properly for each individual body. 'One size fits all' doesn't works for her and she is here to find what fits for you to have a happy, healthy life.
Pilates Instructor / Nutritionist
The Pilates method helped Margi recovery from a hip injury. Her pain diminished and mobility improved, but more importantly, Margi learned how to move efficiently and naturally. This experience inspired Margi to obtain her Pilates Instructor Certification through Balanced Body.
Margi is also a Master Nutrition Therapist, advising clients for the last ten years. She has found Pilates to be a perfect compliment to good nutrition, for whole body health and staying active. Margi is a member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, and Nutritionist for Exodus Women’s Fitness Retreats.
Margi and her husband, Scott recently moved to Palm Desert from McCall, Idaho, Outdoor enthusiasts, they enjoy biking, golfing, and skiing. Most mornings you’ll find them hiking with their Chocolate Lab, Annie.
According to Margi, “Pilates helps me do everything better!”
Yoga Instructor / Health Coach
Alison has dedicated more than 30 years to the education and teaching of movement of the body. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Sports Medicine from San Diego State University, a CPT from the American College of Sports Medicine and E-RYT200 and YACEP from Yoga Alliance. Alison has earned advanced certifications in Yin, Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga as well as the principles of Ayurveda and Meditation.
The founder of Sundara Yoga and Mindful Wellness, Alison combines the ancient wisdoms of yoga, Ayurveda and meditation with the ideals of modern science to her teachings. Classes and programs are designed to give participants tools to utilize in daily life to improve overall health and well-being. Signature programs include Self Care in Times of Transition and Living Life on Purpose. Alison has been teaching yoga in the Coachella Valley since 2011and part of the Eisenhower Wellness Institute staff since its inception.
Alison loves to cook and read, and take adventures especially in nature. She is the mother of two sons in their twenties who have taught her all about packing her toolbox for life off the mat! She and her husband reside in Indian Wells and enjoy life on the road in their motor coach; proving you really CAN do yoga anywhere!
Valentina moved to the U.S at the age of 17 from Caracas, Venezuela, to attend college in Pennsylvania. Having an extensive background in dance and gymnastics, she has always been passionate about movement and self expression. She obtained a Zumba Certification in 2015. “I was first introduced to yoga during my college years, I completely fell in love with the practice and overall well-being I felt after each class. After practicing yoga for several months and teaching a few classes, I decided to dedicate my life to studying and sharing my knowledge and passion for yoga”.
In 2017, she obtained her first ‘Yin Yoga’ Certification which guided her deeper into her own understandings of consciousness and self awareness. She is now a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance after obtaining a 200 hour certification with Desert Yoga Therapy. “Yoga has changed my life in many ways, making me more conscious of the powers we have to control our own thoughts and actions. Yoga is an experimental practice, my mat is my sacred place and I find myself living and learning every single day. When I teach, I strive for my students to feel comfortable, supported and motivated to have a healthier and happier lifestyle. I want to inspire them, impacting their lives in a positive way.” Through her practice, she discovered yoga’s unlimited healing powers, adding meaning and a sense of purpose to her life.
She is passionate about practicing and teaching different styles of yoga such as Trapeze Yoga, Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Chair Yoga, Restorative, Yoga Sculpt and meditation. She also teaches Dance and movement classes like Zumba, Aqua Aerobics, Dance Fusion and Ecstatic Dance.
Leesann’s interest in healing through movement began as a child who loved to dance and was able to overcome a life threatening heart condition. She earned a dual Bachelor of Arts Degree from Sonoma State University in Dance and Theatre, graduating with honors. She continued her education at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, focusing on Dance and Theatre as healing modalities. She has taught theatre and dance to all ages, creating original performance pieces for my students. She is an accredited Montessori teacher, and has shared her love of movement in the classroom with many students.
Leesann began her dedicated Hatha Yoga practice in 2009. She became a Bikram Yoga teacher in the Spring of 2011. From 2013-16, she was fortunate to be able to represent the state of California at both the State and National level for USA Yoga, in the 50+years Division. Her yoga journey continues to deepen and evolve. She is a student of Yin Yoga founders Paul and Suzee Grilley. Leesann has completed over 300 hours training with them in Yin Yoga and Meditation. She is also involved with Sarah Powers Insight Yoga Training Program. Additionally, Leesann holds a certification in Trauma-Informed Yoga with Hala Khouri and Kyra Hagaland, as well as Uprising Yoga founder Jill Ippolito.
Leesann’s inspiration and joy comes from witnessing the expansion and healing of those around her. To better meet the needs of her students, Leesann continues to research the science of neuro-plasticity in relation to our brains and myofascial bodies. This exciting study holds profound implications for our health as well as a re-definition of the aging process. This passion of Leesann’s has led her to create Ahvana Blue Yoga, a program dedicated to healing and growth through yoga, nurturing the integration of mind/body connection in the aftermath of traumatic experience. She looks forward to sharing this yoga journey with you, namaste!
Johnny Yuhas is a registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance and is a member of the International Yoga Federation. He is a dedicated practitioner of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, and studies under the direction of Saraswathi Jois at the Sri K. PATTABHI JOIS ASHTANGA YOGA INSTITUTE in Mysore India. Additionally, he has completed RYT200+ hours in the Ashtanga Vinyasa System with the Association for Yoga and Meditation in Rishikesh, India as well as 100+ hours with the Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, California. His work as a Registered Nurse in Southern California supports his passion for offering donation-based yoga study and practice. In 2012, Johnny was honored as a lululemon Ambassador in recognition for his philanthropic work in the Coachella Valley. He is the founder of "Poses for the People", a community yoga fundraiser that benefits the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine. Johnny’s classes serve all levels of yoga practitioners. He is passionate about making yoga accessible to all people both intellectually and financially. He remains dedicated to preserving the authenticity of yoga fundamentals as transmitted by his teachers in the tradition of Parampara (direct lineage). Additionally, he draws on nursing theory in translating principals of caregiving and offers a strong focus on anatomy and physiology as they relate to the practice. Johnny is currently working towards his doctoral degree as a family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner and considers the yoga room an interdisciplinary workshop to support holistic healing and wellness. His classes are designed to embrace all levels, are student-centered, interactive, and thought provoking.
Elise moved to California over ten years ago from London, England and worked in corporate banks. She has over twenty years teaching experience in the fitness industry with many different disciplines and is certified in Yoga, Pilates, Personal Training, Reiki Master, Meditation, and much more.
Elise is passionate about health and the power to self heal. She has also given lectures on true nutrition, Yoga and meditation.
In her free time Elise likes to create different art forms and hike around California.