BIENESTAR YOGA INSTRUCTORS
Learn more about who we are and why we love what we do
Lura Shopteau M.A.
Founder, E - RTY500, C-IAYT, LPC, MBSR, YACEP
Lura (she/her) earned her C-IAYT, certified yoga therapist and approval as Yoga Therapy education provider in 2017, she has been a E-RYT-500 the highest designation for a certified yoga teacher since 2003. She is certified to train other teachers at all levels. Trained and practiced as a professional mental health counselor (LPC), yoga therapist (C-IAYT) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, she is specially trained to apply psychotherapy, yogic, and meditation techniques to medical issues. Over the years Lura had the privilege to study in depth with fantastic teachers, Don & Amba Stapleton of Nosara Yoga Institute, Swami Satichidananda and yoga therapists Jnani Chapman & Mala Cunningham of Integral Yoga, TKV Desikachar at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, , A.G. Mohan of Svastha Yoga & Ayurveda, and Sarah Powers of Insight Yoga.
Lura worked with integrative medical professionals helping clients with an array of medical problems. She taught in a medical school, hospitals, yoga centers, and trained other yoga teachers while maintaining a private practice in holistic counseling for the past 23 years.
Lura’s goal is to assist others in finding a way to live their lives with peace, courage and grace. She is happy to call Uvita home, being in tune with the natural world, surrounded by its beauty and the ever-changing dynamic of nature.
Julie (she/her) teachs anatomy in YTT200, she graduated from The Ohio State University with her degree in Physical Therapy. Her area of specialty is outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine. In addition, after seeing the direct effect of nutrition on healing and overall health, Julie has pursued further education in this area from the Health Sciences academy in the UK. It is important to her to have a holistic approach to healing, recognizing we are a body, soul and spirit.
After doing contract work across the United States for two years, she landed in Portland, Oregon. Discouraged with the model of healthcare in physical therapy clinics at the time, she decided to open her own clinic to be able to treat her patients with the time and care she wanted to dedicate to them. She had her clinic there for many years, treating a wide variety of patients from grandma’s to professional athletes. In addition, she has worked with several kids and high school sport programs.
Julie is excited to be teaching the anatomy and physiology to yoga students. She loves sharing how the amazing human body works, and enjoys passing along the endless valuable lessons her own patients have taught her over the years.
PT, Cert. DN
E - RYT500
KT O'Brien, (she/her) is a 500hr E-RYT Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher. She began taking yoga classes at a young age to complement her ongoing ballet practice and completed the 200hr yoga teacher training in 2014. KT is a certified Aerial Yoga, SUP Yoga, and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher.
Additionally, she has completed a Mindful Self Compassion Course. Over many years she dabbled in most every yoga style she could find from Ashtanga to Kundalini to Power to Restorative and Yin. Each class she teaches weaves in therapeutic elements and is adapted to the needs of the students that day. Yoga Philosophy and living the practice off the mat are especially important in her own life.
KT revels in teaching beginners and sharing this gift of yoga with students for the first time! Most important is for her students to feel safe and comfortable in the class space. Absolutely everyone is welcome in her classes. Her company KTO Yoga Surf was founded in 2017 and serves the surrounding area of Savannah, Georgia as well as International Yoga + Surf Retreats.
Sandy (she/her) grew up in Vancouver BC, Canada. Although she was influenced at a young age by her fathers practice of daily sitting meditation and Buddhist chanting, for much of her youth she related more with the British roots of her stepfather. Her Asian heritage and access to its wisdom felt like a blur. It wasn't until she was 23, after she had lost her mom to a four year ride with colon cancer, in which she decided to dedicate herself to her own healing and to gain a better understanding of her connection to spirituality.
Sandy completed her first 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2009 with Ph.D Yogrishi Vishvketu through ashram residency in India. She went on to complete her 300-hour yoga teacher training in 2012 with Rachel Hull in Indonesia. Sandy has continued to accumulate over 1200 hours of training based in Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative, Thai-massage and Aerial. She has been facilitating international yoga retreats and trainings since 2013. Sandy’s classes are approachable and dynamic, and she believes that yoga is for every body. Sandy is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, 2012), and a Registered Acupuncturist (PCU College of Holistic Medicine, 2017).
Sandy is inspired by the intelligence of nature and the traditions of our ancestors, and coming together to practice our highest intentions. She is excited to share with students the profound effect that a daily yoga practice can bring – from focus, to strength, to inner peace. www.retreatwithsandy.com
E - RYT500
Renee (she/her) finished her studies B&M Tourism and Hospitality Management - with focus on sustainable development and responsible travel - in Belgium in 2016, Renée felt the urge to travel, to see the world, and get out of the rat race, to explore alternative ways of living. Her heart was drawn to Costa Rica, a whole new world opened for her; the abundance of nature, her love for Spanish language, and experiencing an off-the-grid life. It didn't take long before she knew that this magical place would be her new home.
When Renée completed her 200 hours yoga teacher training at Bienestar Uvita Yoga Shala in March 2020, she didn't have the intentions of teaching yoga. Her goal was to immerse herself in a training to deepen her own personal practice. Her yoga mat is a place to find sense of contentment, self awareness and body-mind connection. She will be forever student of the practice, and is deeply grateful for the loving wisdom her teachers have shared with her. After experiencing positive changes on the long term, she discovered she wanted to share her practice to help others thrive in life by nurturing body, mind and soul. Renée teaches yoga & meditation at Bienestar in 5 languages; English, Spanish, Dutch, French, and German.
Renée pursues her love for both organic farming and cooking soulfood. Our nutrition can't be teased apart from the rest of our bodies, minds and lives. Thus, integrating nutrition, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness is important for her as a holistic approach to healthy living. Besides digging her hands in the dirt, Renée is a handicraftswoman who is passionately threading and weaving her own authentic journey.