Fitness Instructors at Natural Body Works Wellness | Yoga | Barre | Bellyfit® |

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The Downtown Vancouver fitness community is blossoming! What do you look for in a fitness studio? We provide class variety every day of the week, personalization, workshop intensives, body mechanics education and talented instructors. We are proud to contribute to the growing Downtown Vancouver fitness community which is full of talented instructors from a rich variety of backgrounds. Let’s take a closer look at Natural Body Works Wellness Center Fitness Instructors!

Shanna Arno

As the owner and founder of Natural Body Works Wellness Center and a phenomenal massage therapist for 10+ years focusing with medical and rehab therapy, she provides the foundation for which Fitness Studios should be built: on the basics of bodyView More: mechanics.  With years of health and wellness experience under her belt as well as a passion for helping others through healing and feel their best, Shanna upholds high standards and facilitates a healthy learning environment for all instructors and students. She also teaches classes as much as she can, bringing her sassy individuality to class and is a certified instructor in Yoga, Fitness Training, Bellyfit®, and Barre . Shanna has experience in providing massage and spa treatments since 2004.  Each treatment is tailored to promote health and wellness for individual needs. She offers specific treatments for stress management, chronic pain, or simple relaxation. She has advanced training and specializes in deep tissue rehabilitative services, has her medical massage license and is a Myoskeletal Technique Therapist as well. Continuing education is important to her to keep up with new techniques to incorporate into each session.  She has studied, Ashiatsu – Oriental Bar Therapy, Thai massage,  hot stone therapy, pregnancy massage, spa treatments Aruvedic massage, and more. View services here.


Loni Wise


With 7+ years experience as a Reiki Master, Teacher, Practitioner, as well as a Karuna® Reiki Practitioner, Loni has been able to provide a new connection for the body, mind and spirit. She also loves OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeing able to share all formats of Bellyfit®, Yoga, and Barre. Using movement and strength to connect with others as well as allowing them to connect to themselves, creates empowerment and a higher level of self trust and acknowledgement. The spiritual connection through Reiki and Bellyfit®, Yoga, and Barre is a gift she has been given which you will immediately feel when you meet her and experience a new level of compassion and service. Loni practices Reiki at Natural Body Works as well and you can book a session with her here. She has a weekly blog and a website with more information about Reiki.


Lexa Gillespie

Lexa first came to her mat in 2009. She deepened her practice after battling and triumphing over cancer in 2012. After being inspired by her own journey of healing, she decided to help others find their innate healing tools within. This led to her receiving her 200hr through Yogaful Day in Athens, Ga and her 500hr through Asheville Yoga Center. She also holds certifications in Barre, OmschooledLexa Kids Yoga and Jennifer Reis’s Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra. Lexa views the expansive practice of yoga as a way to be present in all parts of our life with gratitude and acceptance. The mindful, breath-oriented yoga she teaches is from the standpoint of a compassionate heart. She inspires everyBODY to begin where they are and to always remember that yoga differs from dance and theater in that, in yoga we are not creating something for somebody to look at. Rather, cultivating a sense of well being and self love, while aligning mind body and soul through asana and pranayama. By blending clear alignment instruction with themes that connect to the heart while expanding the consciousness, she offers her students a meaningful practice that inspires their journey from the mat into the world.


April Short

April has been practicing yoga and meditation since before she can remember. She loves to share its boundless benefits with others. Slow, flowing, rhythmic movements are the crux of her classes. Laughter is also a key component. She is registered with the Yoga Alliance and received her teaching certification at the world-renowned Yoga Tree studio in San Francisco. She studied underApril the philosophy that yoga can cultivate energetic alignment as well as physical benefits, and approaches classes with this in mind. At the personal level, yoga has helped her overcome injuries and emotional hurdles. As a teacher, her intention is to inspire individuals and families to expand themselves from the inside, out. In addition to adult classes, she teaches yoga to children in elementary schools throughout the Portland area. She enjoys working with yogis of all ages and skill levels—even babies! (with their mamas). April is also a long-time journalist who writes often about personal health and alternative medicines for a variety of publications. She loves to spend as much time as she can near the ocean, the forest or anyplace surrounded by Mother Nature.


Laura Kussman

Laura is a graduate of the Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates Comprehensive Apparatus Program in Costa Mesa, CA. After over a year of meticulous research and preparation, she chose to apply and complete this particular program because of the depth of the education, the high expectations for excellence, and the innovative adaptation of some of the originalLaura Pilates regimen to successfully match the needs of our contemporary bodies. She has been provided with a solid, full foundation of the Pilates Method, and finds immense joy in teaching.
Laura grew up in Washington State and graduated from Gonzaga University in 2011. As an active adolescent she practiced ballet, gymnastics, soccer and volleyball, the latter becoming my sport of choice through college. After suffering an injury and undergoing a thoracic spinal fusion in 2009, she was instructed by my physical therapist to take Pilates classes, something she’d never tried before. Pilates quickly became her new form of healing and fitness, the Pilates Method her way of life. She became obsessed and inspired to help others live their lives strong, healthy and balanced, to find the goodness within as she had. Since then, she’s begun a series of yoga therapy workshops that have enabled her to develop a deeper understanding of movement, flexibility and alignment. She approaches both my Yoga and Pilates training with great emphasis on form and rehabilitation.


Elisa Lefor

Elisa began her yoga journey about 4 years ago, on the recommendation of her doctor as an alternative to the anti-anxiety medications that she had been on.
After taking about a months worth of classes, she left to get her doctorate in Physical Therapy, Elisabut unfortunately, the anxiety disorder reared its face in true destructive fashion, and she was forced to drop out. Returning to yoga and truly investing in it, and in turn, reaping the benefits of those investments, Elisa got certified to teach yoga after it successfully helped her be able to wean completely off of the medications. Her desire is to share the immense health benefits that yoga has with everyone that sets foot in the studio.
With her background in Physical Therapy, she strongly believes that not only is alignment key, but that safety in a pose is more important than trying to force the body into something it is not yet ready to achieve. Her sincerest hope for her students is that they achieve their personal goals, while also working on our universal goals of building strength, flexibility, body awareness, mental acuity and developing the permeating peace that we can carry with us throughout our life journey.


Tara Poulson

With a strong background in dance and gymnastics, fitness is one of the foundations of Tara’s life as an busy mom and active member of the Washougal community. Tara has spent yearsFullSizeRender (8) learning about many different elements of holistic heath, which brings a helpful perspective to her role as a teacher.   She believes in having fun while staying healthy, and has found in barre to be a great marriage of the two. Her classes are intense, with focus on proper alignment and moves that will get your heart pounding and spirits lifted. Essential oils are often used to enhance the experience. When she is not teaching you may find her enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her family, teaching wellness classes in the community, working as a personal shopper or hard at work designing and remodeling one of her real estate investment properties.

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