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
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.
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.
My personal practice began in 2003, after experiencing a running injury. It began as a physical practice, but has developed into so much more. 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!
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.
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.
Elise began teaching Yoga in 2019 and is trained in a variety of styles including Yin. She is an E-RYT 200 hour registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and completed her certification through Transformative Yoga with Gena Foreman and Stacy Whittingham. She continues her education by attending workshops and trainings and received Yoga Nidra certification from Gena Foreman in 2021.
With a BA in Creative Arts, she is inspired by dance and art and facilitates movement that encourages awareness, self discovery, and expression.
As an advocate for meditation and yoga as a sources of healing, Elise teaches from a place of compassion, inclusivity, and service.
Anatoly has been practicing yoga for more than 20 years and teaching for 7 years. He received his 200-hour training and later taught Anusara yoga, which combines elements of traditional yoga philosophy and pranayama, Ashtanga asana practice and anatomically-based alignment. Anatoly then spent several years studying and teaching Iyengar yoga.
In his teaching, he emphasizes alignment, taking care of injuries and injury prevention, and creative approaches to poses.
Kat Sholan Sun,
Kat Sholan Sun has been committed to her personal hatha yoga practice since1996. She completed her first 100-hr Anusara style yoga training in 2003, then a 700-hr Iyengar style training in 2005, and has had the great blessing to study with a wide range of teachers and styles since that time.
Kat has been teaching yoga consistently since 2012, and teaching in Sacramento since 2014. Her class offerings have evolved into a slow rhythmic practice - focused on breath, embodiment, alignment, present moment awareness and gratitude. She is excited to share the power of this transformative practice with others on their wellness journey.
Kat Sholan Sun was first introduced to Hatha yoga in 1992, while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. She committed to the Hatha yoga practice in 1996 when she found her first teacher, Richard Freeman, while living in Colorado. In 2000, she was introduced to her teachers Tias and Surya Little, and also had the good grace to study with Patricia Walden while living in Boston during graduate school from 2000 to 2002. She completed her first 100-hr Anusara-style yoga training in 2003 with her teacher Maritza in Mill Valley, CA, then a 700-hr Iyengar-style training from 2004 to 2005 at Piedmont Studio with Rodney Yee, Richard Rosen, Maritza and Clare Finn. Since that time, she has had the great blessing to study with a wide range of teachers and styles.
Kelly Fitzgerald-Holland, Nia
Kelly Fitzgerald-Holland holds a black belt in The Nia Technique. Since 1994, Kelly has been studying African-inspired dance and other movement forms, including belly dance, Sufi techniques, tribal-dance, tai chi, and yoga.
She began her study and practice of Nia in 1999, and was certified as an instructor in the Nia Technique in 2004. Kelly creates a non-judgmental atmosphere in which to encourage, inspire, and support each individual’s pursuit of body, mind, and spirit wellness.
Dawn has been practicing mantra meditation for about 25 years. Finding it to be the most priceless gift, she is always grateful for the opportunity to share it by passing it on, as it was received. She began teaching at Lotus Garden about 8 years ago and believes there is nothing more worthwhile than sharing this ancient wisdom and authentic practice with others.
Dawn is also a certified yoga instructor that has over a decade of experience teaching hatha yoga and meditation in drug and alcohol recovery programs. The positive transformative effect meditation has on people’s lives is something Dawn has witnessed first hand countless times. There is nothing better!
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.
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 friend and servant 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!
Virtual and Video Library Teachers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.