Our Instructors

Juliana Olmstead – Studio Owner

I took my first Bikram yoga class in 2004, during a summer break from college. I had been a ballet student since I was little and had dabbled in lots of different yoga styles, but I had never experienced anything like Bikram yoga! I was usually bored in yoga, but Bikram was much more exciting. It wasn’t easy, but I couldn’t wait to try it again.

I was so busy with school and dance that I wasn’t able to commit to the practice right away. For a few years, I was in and out of the studio – I’d sneak in a few classes when I had a week off, and then disappear for months. I’m sure it drove my teachers nuts! When I finally made the time to go do yoga more often, I saw a huge difference in my life. I got stronger and more flexible, which was nice, but I also felt much calmer and happier. I had always been a very type-A, competitive person – and let’s face it, I still am – but with yoga I started to feel more relaxed and happier about myself.

In 2010, in the middle of grad school, I decided that my engineering program was not right for me. I wrapped things up, went to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, and never looked back. I taught classes in California, Maryland, Vermont, Massachusetts, Alabama, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Virginia before coming to rest in Rhode Island, where I taught for several years before opening my own studio.

I moved to Bristol shortly after opening the studio and I absolutely love the area. (So does the dog – you’ll find me walking downtown with her on a regular basis.) I’m thrilled to be part of such an amazing community and I hope to be here for many more years!

Allison Estes

In my 3rd year of college, a Bikram Yoga studio opened up right across the street from my apartment. A friend from work urged me to take my first class and I showed up with high expectations of myself and low expectations of the class. I had no idea what I was in for! I couldn’t believe how challenging the class was, and how amazing I felt afterwards. I’d never been more proud of myself. After just a month of regular practice, I could really see the differences in my life. I made better choices with food, sleep, and even the people I chose to spend my time with. And I had NOT been making good choices beforehand. I began rearranging my schedule to fit in more classes and never went anywhere that didn’t have a Bikram studio. I needed my yoga! When I graduated from college and returned home to South Dakota (No Bikram!), I knew it was time to get to training. I had to take this yoga with me everywhere and spread the love.

I truly believe that the yoga saved me from myself. The person I am now is the best person I can be. I owe so much of that to the yoga and much more of it to the wonderful people I have met along the way. Being part of the studio in Bristol is the next leg of my glorious yoga journey; I am thrilled to be here! I know you will be too. I believe that anyone can use this yoga to find strength and peace, and to become their best “self.” See you in the hot room!

amie savasana

Amie Lieberman

Amie began her yoga teaching career in Florida, where she worked for several years. One day she answered a call for Bikram yoga teacher in Rhode Island, not realizing that she was about to leave her warm, sunny home for the worst New England winter in recent history! Fortunately for us, she did NOT pack up her bags and run away screaming, and she has settled in to Rhode Island beautifully.

Amie’s yoga class is strong and a lot of fun. You’ll work hard, you’ll sweat, and you’ll probably laugh too. Her favorite topics outside of yoga are Disney World and dinosaurs, so feel free to strike up a conversation with her about one of those things!

Ariadne Greenberg (Core & Balance, Restorative Yoga)

Ariadne began teaching in the late 1980s. Before and since she has studied and trained in a wide variety of styles with teachers from many lineages: Iyangar, Viniyoga, Kripalu, White Lotus vinyasa, Ashtanga vinyasa, and Shivananda, among others.

Her style, however, shows more influences than yoga study and practice: six years of academic study of Philosophy, two years graduate study of Exercise Science, almost twenty years working in fitness, including running her own training and yoga business, a year and a half in the book stacks of the Library of Congress, eight years in the library of the National Gallery of Art, and 7 years as a stay at home parent. (Some of it overlapping…. she is not 103). If asked she will tell you that the foundational principle of her practice is that understanding and compassion must meet in action, and that kindness is what she values most.

Ariadne lives in Barrington, with her husband, teenage son, and a standard poodle named Napoleon. Her older son is at Brown. She enjoys reading, feeding the birds, and baking.

Ariadne teaches at many studios around Rhode Island and we are delighted to have her join us for our Restorative Yoga class. You can get to know her through her blog at www.ideafit.com/blogs/ariadne­greenberg.

Bill Fairchild

Bikram yoga is my favorite of all of the systems I’ve tried for a couple of reasons. I like the mirrors, as difficult as it is at times to look at myself. In my years of Tae Kwon Do training we had mirrors to help us with alignment for technique. Technique is important. Alignment is important. I like the heat. I like the repetition of the sequence. I can practice anywhere in the world and in any language. To me the practice is more meditative because I don’t need to listen to the verbal cues from the instructor. I know what they are every time.

I believe the system works best as it was created. I hope to help students go beyond their edge whenever they are ready and progress no matter what that means. I want them to feel safe. Prana moves best in a safe environment. I get excited and a bit animated. I want us to all have fun while we work hard.

For the last 3 years before I retired from my first professional career, I added “standing head to knee” as one of my goals to my annual business plan. My senior bosses just kind of rolled their eyes. But when it was announced I was retiring, they mentioned standing head to knee in the internal memo to all of the group in the northeast! I like the tremendous strength and focus that the posture requires. I have almost 38 years until I’m 100, so I should have it by then!

Glenna van Nostrand

I’ve been practicing Bikram yoga since 2012. During a two month trek across India, a friend suggested that I should try taking a hot yoga class. (I am a total heat & sun worshipper.) Before then, I’d never been one to gravitate towards a particular exercise routine, so finding this physical outlet was a true blessing. I remember trying a 10 day introduction package and going to class each day. I was amazed at what happened in just those 10 days. I became stronger, more flexible, and happier, but I also gained discipline, focus, peace, and better boundaries with myself and the people around me.

After practicing religiously for two years, I completed the Bikram Spring training in 2014. I’ve taught in Providence since then & look forward to continue teaching and traveling in the future! I’m very much interested in energy work and alternative healing. In addition to Bikram, I practice Qigong, Reiki, and color// sound healing therapies. I have a small aura photography business called Bright Future. Recently I attended a seminar with Peter Levine on Trauma Healing and Somatic Experiencing at Kripalu. I look forward to sharing this beautiful practice with you. It is powerful + transformative and will permeate all facets of your life.

Lisa Louro

I was always athletic when I was growing up. I had so much energy and I loved to stay active. That all changed about a year after I had my son. One day I woke up stiff and in pain from head to toe. After some blood work and many visits to the doctor, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which turned my world upside down.

I tried many different medications, exercises, and therapies over the years. One day in April 2013, a friend suggested that I try a Bikram yoga class. After the first class, I was hooked! I started practicing at least 3 times a week, and it has helped me in so many ways. I have become more mobile and flexible, I have less morning stiffness and pain, and my spine is healthier than ever. I truly believe in the healing power of Bikram yoga.

With support and encouragement from my family and friends, especially my husband Ron, I was able to travel to Thailand in Fall 2014 to complete Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. Words can not describe how rewarding it is to be a teacher. I love inspiring and motivating my students to do the best they can possibly do. I look forward to seeing you in the hot room. You’re worth it!

Lynn Weisman

I came to yoga initially for healing from illness. I was diagnosed with lupus (SLE) in 1976. Until I began yoga, I suffered with severe arthritis and Reynauds syndrome. With each breath and pose, my body began to unfold and I began to believe I could help myself heal. For the past 14 years I have dedicated my life to self-healing, and now enjoy being pain free 98% of the time. Along the way I have also gained strength, flexibility, peace of mind, and a lot of playfulness.

I was certified to teach Bikram yoga in 2002 and I have taught in Canada, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles. I owned a studio in Boynton Beach FL, and I’ve taught yoga in the Providence community for the past 3 years. I believe in the notion that if we practice, all will come! I’ve completed many seminars and workshops with Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury, David Williams, Dharma Mittra, Brian Kest, Bharata, Aadil Palkhivala, Gurmukh Kaur Kalsa, and Nischala Joy Devi. I was certified in 2007 in the styles Sivananda and Vinyasa, and I am now studying Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers. As I study the different aspects of a yoga practice, I get to know myself. I have traveled the world and love sharing stories. Enjoy the journey!

melissa cobra pose

Melissa Rodenhiser

I came to class initially because I wanted to lose weight, and it’s amazing what I lost instead. I lost my chronic lower back pain that I didn’t even know was there until it was gone. I lost my bad attitude and the compulsion to drink, I began practicing with only six months of sobriety under my belt and it was a struggle every day until I found Bikram yoga. I lost the painful click in my right knee I’d had since college rugby, I lost my insomnia. This yoga has helped me become a happier, healthier and more loving person both towards myself and others. I knew after a year of practice that the only way to repay this yoga for what it had given me was to teach it for the rest of my life. I began working as a Work Study at my studio and after a little over two years of practice headed to LA to attend the Spring Teacher Training in 2013.

In class, I hope to bring empathy, enthusiasm and kindness to the students. I feel extremely rewarded that every day such fantastic and diverse people share their practice with me and will always do my best to keep them passionate about their progress.

stephanie

Steph Barta

I took my first Bikram Yoga class in December of 2011 and immediately loved how class made me feel. As a runner for over 10 years, I had achy hips and knees that I thought were just a fact of life. In addition, I had a lot of stress and anxiety that created tightness, tension and headaches. The mental and physical challenge of the first class, and everyone after, is what immediately grabbed me. I began practicing once or twice a week for a couple months, and I began to notice my aches and stress lessening. Inspired by the feeling I increased both my practice and consistency and was amazed at how much better I felt, physically and mentally, and how it made my running feel so much better. I was officially hooked and decided to commit to a regular Bikram Yoga practice.

Juliana was one of my early yoga teachers and helped me as I became a teacher in the Fall 2012. I’m thrilled to be a part of the teaching staff at East Bay staff and to share this yoga with such a great community. I strive to teach with humor, compassion, and a cat story or two.

Erin – Office Manager

I’ve always loved exercising and stretching because of how good it makes me feel. In high school I was on the gymnastics team and after graduating I practiced yoga at home. Once I had my first daughter, Khaleesi, I fell out of practice. I always drive by the yoga studio, and one day curiosity got the best of me and I decided to follow them on Facebook. I came across a post for a Karma Yogi program that I was interested in but I was pregnant with my second daughter, Hannahlise, at the time. I messaged Juliana letting her know my interest and situation, and she assured me that there would be more opportunities in the future.

A few months later I sent Juliana another message just minutes after she posted a position for office manager. I couldn’t help but think it was fate. I’m so happy to be apart of what seems like a second family. After practicing Bikram for a few weeks the pain from having two children and two epidurals started to subside. My posture has improved and I feel much better both physically and mentally. It’s great to be here and I’m looking forward to getting to know everybody!

Abby – Official Yoga Dog

A house is not a home without a dog!! Abby is an important part of the yoga studio team. You’ll find her lounging on the welcome mat, hanging out at community events, and searching for ear scratches before class. No matter how many yoga classes we take, we will never master the art of relaxation the way that she does. If our yoga classes don’t cheer you up after a rough day, then Abby probably will. She enjoys peanut butter, chasing birds, napping, and belly rubs.