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DISCOVER LOTUS GARDEN

Our Story and our Team

It’s been a life of great joy, fulfillment, and countless lifelong friends. It's certainly been a wonderful journey! - Uddhava, director of LGMC

Lotus Garden Meditation Center has been serving the Fair Oaks, Carmichael, and greater Sacramento community for over 35 years. We have offered classes in meditation, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, Nia, vegetarian cooking, organic gardening, Ayurveda, and more. We have had hundreds of thousands of people from around the world and from all walks of life pass through our doors and have witnessed the power of these ancient practices to transform lives for the better! We look forward to meeting you, whether that means virtually or in-person.

 
MEET OUR TEAM OF TEACHERS 
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April Underwood,

Yoga

April has been practicing and teaching various styles of yoga and fitness since 1991 and is trained and certified in Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Forrest Yoga, Pilates, and various other fitness disciplines. She is also a post-rehabilitation specialist, working with clients recovering from injuries with the practices of Yoga, Pilates, and massage therapy. April is a teacher of teachers; her intuition and experience create an environment where each student feels comfortable, guided and supported.

Becky Rowe,

Yoga & Meditation 

Becky began her practice in 2002 and is passionate about passing on the teachings, lifestyle and benefits of yoga and meditation that have proved so deeply satisfying in her own life. She strives to give others the experience and tools to attain deep and lasting peace, relaxation and contentment to combat the daily grind and mental anxieties.

Gena Foreman,

Yoga, Yoga  Nidra

Gena Foreman has over 25 years experience as a student, teacher, and mentor. Her classes are a balanced fusion of informed fundamentals with attention to breath (pranayama) and healthy energetic alignment.  Her instructions are clear and concise, offering modifications to address injuries or the special needs of her students.  Gena is a 500-hour Yoga Alliance approved teacher.  She has also earned her certifications in Yin, Restorative and Yoga Nidra.

In addition to teaching weekly classes, Gena leads retreats, immersions, 40-hour Yoga Nidra certifications, and 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Trainings.

Harsha Gandhi,

Yoga

Harsha’s yoga practice dates back to her childhood, as her father encouraged his children to start each day with yoga. She completed a course at the Yoga Institute in Mumbai, India and completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program at the Himalayan Institute In Honesdale, PA. Harsha has over fifteen years of teaching experience in the Sacramento area. She teaches traditional Hatha Yoga, and her classes focus on the Mind-Body connection as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra. She guides her students in developing strength and serenity of both the body and the mind.

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John Florian,

Yoga

Teaching since 2009, John has witnessed yoga’s ability to heal the body, mind, and soul in himself and his students over the years. While encouraging rest when needed, his classes challenge both body and brain through dynamic sequences to allow students plenty of opportunity for growth. His quirky sense of humor and eclectic musical taste add a fun twist to his classes. John started his practice as a way to counter a stiff and flabby body due to his sedentary life. Thinking that yoga was all about stretching, he was surprised at the amount of strength and discipline the practice required. With effort and dedication to the practice, he eventually reconnected with his toes - and himself.

Lisa Rogers,

Yoga

Lisa teaches yoga with the background of having a PhD in Human Physiology. Applying this knowledge, which is still evolving, to the physical practice is of great benefit to avoid injury and to offer modifications for different body types and health states. Lisa gives detailed alignment cues to set your body up in the pose safely, prompting you to be present for the journey of getting to the pose along the way then letting you experience whatever the pose offers you. She believes the Mind-Body connection is one of the most important features of Yoga. The skill of being able to read one’s own body sensations, to be able to discern the effects of beneficial effort from effort that is going to strain and injury is invaluable, on and off the mat.

Cheryl Tunnicliffe,

Yoga & Meditation

Cheryl has been practicing yoga since 2000 and began teaching in 2003. She received her Yoga Alliance certification after studying under April Underwood and has since studied with many teachers, such as Maty Ezraty in Hawaii. Cheryl has always enjoyed the exploration of movement, breath, sound, and the healing arts. Cheryl finds much joy and purpose in creating space for students to experience the innate healing process of yoga.

Sita Neely,

Yoga

At age 75, Sita is an inspiration, bringing over 50 years of experience as a certified Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health and Wellness Consultant! She is also a talented musician, vocalist, and composer. In her classes, students learn to use Yoga as a tool in helping to minimize illness and reduce the risk of injuries, while releasing physical and mental tension in the mind and body. Sita's classes help to increase flexibility, strength and productivity, and reawaken one's ability to greet life with renewed joy and serenity. Her warmth and care for each student shines through in her teaching. Seniors and those looking for a slow and healing practice will LOVE her classes

David Mitchell,

Chi Gong

David Mitchell is a retired Air Force and airline pilot who discovered the healing power of Chi Kung during his battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2011 and 2012. David trained in Santa Cruz with Lee Holden, of PBS TV fame, and completed his Chi Kung instructor certification in June, 2013. He is passionate about sharing the practice of Chi Kung with others.  You will enjoy David's encouraging and gentle manner and love the feeling of balance and energy that Chi Gong brings to your body.

Marty Khatib,

Tai Chi

Marty is currently a radiology director, trained as an attorney, and is a certified Chi Gong and Tai Chi Instructor.  Marty practices and teaches a form of movement meditation rooted in traditional Chinese medicine.  His philosophy which he hopes his students will benefit from is to, while enjoying a reasonable workout, create space between their thoughts and the present moment leading to the ability to experience improved physical and emotional health and ultimately true inner peace.

Li Li Lee,

Tai Chi 

Li Li Lee comes from a long line of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. When she graduated high school she began studying Tai Chi from her Father, but finding it too slow for her youthful energy, she became a dancer instead! She later came to appreciate the power of Tai Chi and embraced it as a lifelong practice. She hopes to help you experience the vibrancy and peace that Tai Chi can awaken! Get to know Lee Lee a little better in this video.

Destiny Eurkus,

Yoga

Destiny’s extensive yoga training includes studying under Ana Forest (all advanced trainings), Shannon Wells, Doug Swenson, as well as training in Yoga Works, Restorative Yoga, and The Yoga Tune Up Method. She has taught several 200hr teacher trainings in the Sacramento region and the Bay Area, and has designed teacher trainings for multiple yoga schools. She also specializes in CranioSacral Therapy, Integrative Tissue Work, and Empowered Spirit Coaching.

Destiny’s deep love of nature, ceremony, and shamanic studies is at the heart of her teaching. With both confidence and humility, Destiny helps each of her students in their personal journey to wellness, drawing on the healing & wisdom from her own experience of unraveling addiction, chronic pain, and self-limiting patterns. She is passionate about all she offers and is committed to walking the path of her beliefs and visions.

Uddhava dasi,

Director

Uddhava dasi is the director and founder of the Lotus Garden Meditation Center and Lotus Garden Yoga Studio. She started the meditation center in 1991 and it has continued to grow with the dedicated help of many.

 

Uddhava dasi began studying and practicing the ancient Vedic teachings, specifically Bhakti Yoga, 47 years ago at the age of eighteen. At that young age, the subject of yoga was intriguing and felt a perfect fit as she was becoming increasingly interested in self-discovery, spiritual knowledge and meditation.

 

At that time, she began a practice of mantra meditation, became vegetarian and was reading the yoga teachings, contemplating the deeper meanings of life. It was becoming clear that this was the journey she wanted to make her life course.

In 1970’s, Uddhava dasi had the great fortune to take up the serious study of the Vedic teachings under the guidance of her Spiritual Master, which she continues to do today. It was then she was given the name Uddhava devi dasi, which means “the servant of the friends and servants of God.” 

 

Uddhava holds a 200-hour RYT certification and has taught the practice of yoga asanas and meditation in a wide range of venues, from yoga studios and country clubs to cancer centers, prisons, drug rehabilitation and crisis centers. Giving the gift of yoga to others has been a lifelong passion.  She now focuses primarily on teaching meditation and yoga philosophy. Hers is an effort to simply pass on what she has been able to capture and apply in her own life from the path of yoga. All the work and efforts of maintaining the Lotus Garden Meditation Center are a labor of love and an effort to share the countless gifts and benefits yoga brings with others.

 

It’s been a life of great joy, fulfillment, and countless lifelong friends. It certainly has been a wonderful journey!

Sami Doyle,
Yoga

Mother of four, yoga therapist, and Ayurvedic wellness coach, Samantha Doyle, is known for her gentle, simple, and effective approach to behavior change.
 
Samantha is the founder of Live to Serve Academy in Australia, a health and wellness platform that aims to educate and inspire people to live a vibrant, meaningful life. Having worked with thousands of women, across 10 different countries over the past decade, her offerings aim to serve the whole person - helping people find life and purpose beyond their health challenges. Her unique method has shown notable success with healing emotional eating and other complex patterns of behavior. Samantha has shared the stage with influential industry leaders such as Dr. Robert Svoboda, Amadea Morningstar, and Dr Vignesh Devraj.

Andrea Keller,
Yoga

My personal practice began in 2003, after experiencing a running injury. It began as a physical practice, but has developed into so much more. Yoga has helped me heal from past trauma and taught me how to be in and appreciate each moment. Yoga brings me balance, peace, joy, and connection. It helps me balance and maintain my body, allowing me to enjoy many other physical activities. I am an outdoor enthusiast who loves to run, hike, paddleboard, snowboard, and weight train.

 

I am an experienced and certified 200 hr RYT, and began teaching in 2011. I am certified in the Vinyasa style, but have also studied and teach Hatha, Yin, and Hot Yoga. I am also trained in trauma informed yoga, sensitive to the needs of people suffering from PTSD and anxiety. 

 

I truly believe that yoga is for everyone and every body. My classes are tailored to the students who show up, offering space and options for all levels and body types. Join me on your mat, I will meet you where you are, and help guide you along your personal practice! 

Rupanuga das,

Meditation

Rupanuga das has been practicing meditation for the past 30+ years and started teaching at Lotus Garden when he and his wife moved to Sacramento from Ojai CA in 2001.  Music is a passion for Rupa and as a child growing up in difficult situations, he found it a way to cope with the challenges that life presented. Later in life as a stressed-out IT worker, he found music and meditation together in the form of Kirtan and was immediately able to dove-tail his musical abilities and find a deep meaningful inner peace that transcended anything he had previously experienced. Rupa has an informal, yet informative teaching style that makes learning meditation easy and comfortable for anyone from beginner to advanced. Rupa also helps those who want to learn to play their guitar for meditation and can often be found teaching a free “Singing Mantras with Guitar” class at the meditation center.

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Our admin staff works behind the scenes to keep the wheels spinning! 

A huge part of Lotus Garden's success is owed to the energy of volunteers. We send a special thanks to the many friends who give of their time, talents, money and energy to contribute to the Lotus Garden community! This spirit of service has the power to transform our world.

Namaste