Lotus Yoga Teaching Philosophy

Our teachers are dedicated yoga practitioners. Each brings extensive education and personal experience from a broad spectrum of yoga and movement traditions. Our teachers teach a “blended” style of yoga that is mindfulness-centered, welcoming to all, and that highlights their unique training, personality, and life experiences. We teach from the heart. All Lotus Yoga teachers have completed extensive trainings, many to the RYT-500 level (Yoga Alliance – RYT

  • We are passionate about the respectful sharing of the ancient traditions of yoga in a way that welcomes everyone, just as you are.
  • We devote our teaching to people of all ages, backgrounds, identities and abilities.
  • May all beings be happy and free! Om Shanti, Om Peace!
Damithia Nieves (she / they), RYT-200

Damithia Nieves (she/they) is the founder of Thrive Centered, whose mission is to continue the work of decolonizing wellness and improving access to healing practices for BIPOC communities and youth.  LEARN MORE >>


As facilitator and educator, Damithia offers trauma-informed, healing centered and culturally responsive movement and mindfulness practices and programming to youth in schools (K-12) and throughout communities. Through sound, movement and breath, Damithia seeks to create space and opportunity for folks to Re-Member and connect to their inherent wholeness. As a dedicated practitioner and advocate for self and community care, she is rooted in disrupting dominant narratives that derail personal and collective growth and healing.

Contact Damithia at:


Krista Hanson (she / her), RYT 500
Currently on a teaching hiatus.

Krista has been teaching yoga to many different populations for the past five years. Having experienced the grounding, strength, and increased mental and physical flexibility yoga offers, Krista is passionate about sharing these practices with her students.  LEARN MORE >>


Krista's classes help students come to know themselves better through movement, breath, relaxation, and meditation techniques. Her passions beyond yoga include social justice organizing, disability justice, playing with her son and baby daughter, and swimming in Lake Washington. Krista practices yoga in its broadest sense — a path toward unity and connection — and she is convinced that absolutely all people can do yoga.

Contact Krista at:

Maia Laverty (she / her), RYT-500, Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington, Certified Yoga for Healthy Aging Teacher, Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher, E-RYT 200 — Lotus Yoga founder

Maia delights in bringing a heart-felt blending of mindfulness, loving kindness practices and an active study of evidence-based movement research to her classes. She prioritizes meeting each student where they are.  LEARN MORE >>


Her classes include a mindful and accessible approach to stability and strength-building, and an exploration of our unique embodiment, so that students are encouraged to move within their own experiences and from a place of curiosity to support their own deep sense of wellness.

Maia is a life-long learner and “anatomy geek” who continues active and ongoing study with her biomechanics teacher, Jules Mitchell. Some of Maia’s current study interests include: digging into scientific research in the areas of mindfulness, movement science, the neurology of movement, modern pain science and healthy aging. These more scientific pursuits combine with Maia’s deep reverence for the practices of self-study and compassion that traditional yoga philosophy and mindfulness practice include. The result is almost always more to be curious about!

Maia found her first yoga class through the University of Washington extension program while an undergraduate. The class was nothing she expected; very gentle and slow. Immediately, the practice helped her to feel more at home; not only in her “skin”, but also in her mind and emotions. It was revolutionary! Maia has been practicing yoga since her mid 20’s, teaching since her early 30’s and now in her 50’s, she is ready to explore what healthy aging looks like, thanks in large part to the tools gathered from the traditions and teachings of mindfulness, movement science and yoga.

Contact Maia at:


Favorite Quotes
  • “Yoga is like a hammer. Leave it sitting and it will do no good for you, but put it to use and you can build a sturdy house to protect you from the storms that life throws at all of us” — Nzazi Malonga
  • “The phrase ‘enlightened’ should just be dropped, how hard is that? Instead, how about an end to suffering?” — Rolf Gates
  • “Peace is not only a distant goal that we seek, but a means to arrive at that goal”
    — Martin Luther King Jr.
Nicole Bulow (she / her), PT, DPT, MSAT, CFMT

Nicole is a physical therapist, a mother and a lover of movement. She believes that regular movement is the key to feeling good in one's body and that pregnant people should prepare for birth like they would prepare for any physical endeavor.  LEARN MORE >>


Nicole brings a wealth of expertise from her background as a physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine and women's health. Nicole's mission is to raise the standard of care for pregnant people and support people to feel educated and empowered during their birth.

Nicole is the owner of SolFuel Wellness, a physical therapy practice in South Seattle that specializes in pregnancy, postpartum and pelvic health. When not working Nicole loves spending as much time as possible outside with her family. You will see her running around Seward Park, skiing at Crystal Mountain, and camping & hiking in the surrounding mountains.

Contact Nicole at:

Stephen Hartnett (he / him), RYT-500

Stephen started practicing yoga in 2001 in Seattle under the guidance of his first teacher, Matt Meko. After years of looking for ways to heal from various injuries and health challenges, he found a great deal of relief in the breath practices of pranayama.  LEARN MORE >>


Stephen decided to take his yoga practice deeper by studying at Lotus Yoga, there he earned his RYT 200-hour certification in 2017, Stephen is currently completing his 500-hour certification with Lotus. Stephen is registered with the Yoga Alliance.

Stephen offers private and group classes. He teaches at Lotus Yoga in Columbia City and Tukwila Village Senior Center among other venues. His classes happen on the mat, in the chair, online and sometimes in the park! Stephen also teaches Goat Yoga at the Wobbly Ranch in Snohomish when classes are in session.

When he is not teaching yoga, he can be found wandering the neighborhoods of South Seattle with groups of dogs on leash or teaching students French and English!

Contact Stephen at:

Susanna Reynolds (she / her), RYT-500

Susanna’s life work has been in Theater, Movement, Manual Healing Arts and Education.  LEARN MORE >>


For my own spirit and well being after my children grew up and left home, I took up the study of yoga after practicing in phases of my life since my teen years. Over several years I completed a 500 hour training though Lotus after being a student there for years prior and loving this community. Working with movement, sound, breathing and meditative practices bring me a grounded and joyful Spirit. Singing, walking, hiking, swimming in lakes and ocean, gardening, and writing poetry are my personal renewals.

Contact Susanna at:

Seattle Spiritual, Sensory & Structural Integration
Courses to bring you home to your unique human self.

Uxue Bengoetxea Romaratezabala (she / her), RYT-200

Uxue is a preschool teacher who moved from the Basque Country to Seattle 7 years ago. Despite her mother tongue being Basque, she is also fluent in Spanish and English.  LEARN MORE >>


She has a Master’s in Education, and her thesis focuses on the social and emotional development of children, as well as problem-solving in the classroom. Uxue believes that emotions are a crucial part of our lives, since everything we do is based on how we feel. She thinks that since we are kids, we should give emotions more importance and work on managing them. After completing her master’s degree, she felt the need to explore more about working with emotions in the classroom. She used to practice yoga, which made her realize that yoga could be a great practice to work with emotions in the classroom. In 2020, she took a class with Seattle Kids Yoga and started teaching yoga to kids. The following year, she completed a 200-hour Child Family Yoga training with Radiant Child Yoga.

Uxue genuinely enjoys teaching yoga to kids. She believes that children are innately authentic, and she feels the same way when she is around them. She loves listening to them, playing, and being silly together. Considering that children are the future, one of her primary objectives is to guide them towards freedom, happiness, and confidence to improve their lives and shape a better future. That’s why she incorporates various yoga poses, movements, games, mindfulness activities, breathing techniques, calming and relaxing techniques, music and songs, books, and imaginative play in her classes. She loves using visuals for guiding the class, but her favorite prop are books. She loves guiding the yoga class with books, incorporating poses, movements, breathing techniques, and mindfulness exercises. In her free time, you will probably find her in the mountains hiking or rock climbing.

Contact Uxue at:

Land Acknowledgment: Lotus Yoga acknowledges that we are on the ancestral lands of the Duwamish (dxʷdəwʔabš) and Coast Salish people, a people that are still here, continuing to honor and bring to light their ancient heritage. We honor with gratitude the land itself, and the original caretakers of this land, past and present. Why practice land acknowledgment?