Natalie Welle; Lily Pad Yoga founder and instructor Natalie Welle believes in the power of yoga to transform, improve and change lives – as she credits it with helping her evolve into who she is. She’s a Bemidji native and has practiced and taught yoga in Alaska, California, Duluth, and the Twin Cities and is now fulfilling her dream of opening and operating a studio in her hometown.
Yoga has without a doubt changed my life.
I began practicing in 2000. Shortly thereafter I found a teacher, Yoga Lynn, in my hometown. I was truly a beginner. My first class with her I felt very comfortable. So comfortable in fact that I closed my eyes and kept moving and grooving. When I opened my eyes and looked at the fellow yogis, I realized that I was doing some completely different “poses”. Seriously funny stuff! I decided to keep with the class I better keep my eyes open for visual input.
In college I would sign up for Yoga classes that were offered weekly for a couple months. I learned a lot from those structured classes. It was a lot of beginners work, repetition and commitment. Showing up to those regular classes kept me thriving.
When I moved to Alaska a few months after graduation there was space for yoga classes but no teachers. I volunteered in a heartbeat. I taught the classes that I memorized from college. It was beautiful to be leading classes with yogis in the outdoors among the mountains next to the entrance of Denali National Park. It sparked a desire to become a certified yoga teacher.
After Alaska I moved to California. There are a plentitude of yoga styles, studios and teachers there! I met other teachers that were not certified. I eventually lived with a wonderful lady that was a certified teacher. I would go to the studio she taught at, Laughing Lotus San Francisco and my practice strengthened. There were some difficult classes for me emotionally and physically. Even with the upsets it was EXACTLY what I needed. I saved up money living in Oakland and moved back to Minnesota.
I started a yoga teacher training at Green Lotus Yoga and Healing Center in Lakeville, Minnesota. It was a program that would take more than a year. This is what I was looking for. I got the book list and dove in. My teacher, Gwen, is a yoga teacher and a physical trainer. She understands bodies. She studied at Ganga White’s White Lotus center. We read a book of his and I look forward to going there for more schooling someday.
After leaving the Twin Cities I moved back to Bemidji. I taught prenatal yoga with a life long friend who found the practiced really helped the birth of her twins. Then I left for Duluth. While in Duluth I taught private, micro and some small party classes.
It is of the utmost importance for me to know my students. We evolve and the practice evolves with us. We change and grow and yoga is there to adapt and help us adapt to the changes in our lives. I believe in the power of the practice of yoga.
Angie Clark received her group fitness certification through the American Council on Exercise in 2013. She completed her 235hr yoga certification in April of 2019 through the Devanadi School of Yoga and Wellness. However, she has been a fitness enthusiast for her entire adult life beginning with step aerobics in high school, a time when leotards were still a thing.
Angie continues to loves group fitness and yoga classes. She says, “It is a great way to stay motivated without having to plan workouts on your own. Yoga offers an opportunity to lengthen and tone our bodies. It’s also a time to reconnect with ourselves and calm the mind even when the room is filled with other people.”
Angie is also an avid runner. As a runner, she understands the importance of strength and flexibility to maintain peak performance and injury prevention. She believes that yoga is an excellent source for providing these cross training needs.
During the week, Angie has a full-time job in higher education. Making time to fit in exercise is not always easy, but having a consistent routine helps keep her on track.
She hopes that by role modeling a balanced lifestyle she inspires others and helps them create change to meet their own personal wellness goals.