Meet Our Kula "Community"



Meet Our Amazing community of Teachers and Staff

Our Vision is to create a safe space that allows you to connect with yourself and with your community through Yoga.Our Values are rooted in Community, Inclusivity, and Respect.We honor diversity and stand for body positivity.Our experienced teachers care about your unique journey! Whether you are a student or a teacher, we create opportunities for you to grow! The word Kula means community of the heart and pride of family, so welcome to our TulaKula!

Alicia Barrett, Studio Owner and Director, E-RYT-200, RYT500

Alicia Barrett is someone that has benefited from the transformational and healing power of yoga and wants to share her passion with her community. Her path to Yoga has not been a traditional one. She received her BA from Western Washington University in 1998. She soon after fell into her first business role working as Regional leader for a smaller retail chain. In 2004 she left that role and went to work for a large Fortune 50 retail company in an executive role where she held many positions including a position leading international expansion efforts in Vancouver, BC. She was known for great business results, the ability to develop talent through great coaching, and building great teams through promoting inclusion and team work. Although her Yoga practice had always been a big part of her life, she felt that something was missing and decided, in 2014, to pursue her 200 hour Yoga Alliance accredited teacher training certificate through Semperviva Yoga and she continues to enrich her studies receiving her 500 hour certification in 2016. She has had the fortune to train with well known teachers such as Sean Corn, Sienna Sherman, Michael Stone, Max Strom, Rolph Gates, Bernie Clark, Tina James, Gloria Latham and many others.

Leslie Whitecrow, E-RYT500

Teacher Training Faculty

Leslie first came to yoga in 2007 thinking it would be relatively boring and not challenging enough for her physicality. Boy was she wrong! After that first Bikram class she was humbled, worked-out, opened up and hungry for more! Thus began her journey. Leslie has studied in a variety of different styles of yoga and completed her 200hr RYT in 2013, through Yoga Works. Ever the enthusiastic learner, Leslie pursued deep study with Ashtanga, Iyengar, Tantra, Nidra and Baptiste styles of yoga which now incorporate themselves into her very fun and challenging vinyasa classes. Since 2015, Leslie has been lead faculty for 200hr yoga teacher training programs. In 2018 Leslie became certified as  Mudra Therapist.
Leslie teaches in the traditional way she was taught with a flair of playfulness.
In addition to teaching yoga, Leslie’s passion extends to her healing practice, employing shamanism, Energy healing and specialized kinesiology.
Connect with Leslie:
Instagram @1whitecrow

Sona Desai Buchanan

Yoga Instructor, E-RYT 200

Sona was born in Australia to Indian parents and moved to the US at age 5.  Her home life emphasized the deeper philosophical teachings and practices of yoga, but it wasn’t until 2004 that she began a regular yoga practice to balance the vigor of being a college dancer in NYC.  The dots started to connect through the gradual exploration of many facets of yoga and meditation.  After years of achieving and striving, yoga offered a place to still the mind, to breathe, and to truly be present and aligned with the flow of divine intelligence.  In yoga, she found a framework to living and a vehicle to come home.  Sona gratefully attained her RYT-200 teaching certification in 2009 and is currently working towards her RYT-500. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with over 1,500 hours of teaching experience.  Her classes range from challenging, playful and dynamic to fluid and restorative  but ultimately weave together exploration and self-study.  Sona’s teaching practice is about holding space and encouraging people to a deeper knowing and acceptance of all parts of themselves and in doing so, guiding them to a higher capacity for love. Concurrently, Sona’s passion for the healing arts guided her to Thai Yoga and Qi Healing over a decade ago.  In 2014, using learned and intuitive knowledge of body mechanics and energetic systems, she crafted a unique blend of these complimentary modalities named Integrative Thai Yoga. Shortly thereafter, Sona opened the doors to LOOM Wellness + Yoga, a small studio space in Raleigh, NC.  After 2 years, LOOM relocated with Sona to Tacoma, WA, where she continues to serve as both teacher and practitioner in private sessions, workshops, and Community Bodywork offerings. website: loom-wellness.com



Jessica Stokesberry, RYT200, has been practicing yoga for over 25 years and teaching since 2014. She believes that yoga is appropriate for everyone and finds empowerment in modifying her own practice and encourages her students to personalize their practice. Her classes are light-hearted with a healthy dose of creativity.



Dejia is a certified Barre, Yoga, Yoga Tune Up ® & Roll Model ® Instructor based out of Tacoma. Always the perpetual student, she has spent many extra hours studying yin & restorative yoga, along with myofascial release. She is passionate about helping students learn the importance of self-care and slowing down in order to allow the body time to heal, repair and replenish. Dejia specializes in leading creatively challenging classes with an emphasis on body positivity and deepening the connection between the mind, body and breath. When she’s not on the mat untangling fascia or reminding you to breath, you can find her making jewelry, record/antique hunting, cooking clean food or rock hounding. She is a believer that yoga is for EVERY BODY and best served with an excellent playlist.  Come and find out for yourself just how good a class with Dejia can make your body  feel!



Laura Anderson has been teaching since 2016, and in that short time has had the opportunities to teach overseas in Asia and Europe, as well as locally in the Pacific Northwest. Coming from a dance background, Laura found her true passion when she attended her first yoga class.  Her love of movement and sharing with others shows in her Vinyasa and Hatha classes, as well as her ability to bring a fun and playful attitude to a practice that is so important to her. She strives to keep every class fresh for her students, by using her frequent travels as a source of fuel to grow and expand her yoga practice and education. Laura believes that yoga is a way of life that can help to connect people not only to their inner selves, but to their community and the people around them as well.



When Kat retired from Gotham Girls Roller Derby, yoga was the last thing she expected to find on the other side. That is, until she discovered a class called Yoga Fight Club, where she learned that she could do yoga AND hit people–in the same room. She was hooked, and then dove further into yoga practice, with a keen interest in restorative and therapeutic applications. Kat completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training under the guidance of Amanda Wentworth and Holly Coles, and has continued her studies with teachers including Susi Hately, Erica Mather, Jules Mitchell, Annie Carpenter, Gary Kraftsow, Max Strom, and Les Leventhal. Kat firmly believes that anyone can do yoga; you don’t need to be super strong or impossibly flexible. When you take one of her classes, expect to play with your edge, whether that’s trying new shapes or slowing way down. Get ready to pay attention to your breath, how you use your hands and feet, and how you align your body. Be open to exploring and to learning something new about how your body moves that you might not have noticed before!




Kara O’Toole RYT® 200 brings over 30 years of dance teaching experience to her yoga classes and is devoted to sequencing aligned poses with a joy of movement and breath. Her love of yoga has been building for over 20 years and her practice has been fueled by the restorative power yoga has had in her life as a retired professional dancer. Kara has studied with many inspirational yoga teachers, most significantly Shiva Rea, Troy Lucero, Djuna Mascall, Kathleen Hunt, and all of the amazing teachers at her Yoga Tree San Francisco teacher training. Kara holds a MFA in Dance from the University of Washington and moved to Tacoma from Orcas Island with her family to serve as the Artistic Director at the Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (TUPAC). She is excited to join the inspired community at Tuladhara Yoga. Outside of the studio Liz enjoys spending time with her husband,Adam, and their daughter, Ada. As new residents and an active member of the Junior League of Olympia, she’s fallen in love quickly with the scenery, the kindness of the residents and the city overall.




Before I had a consistent yoga practice, I would find myself coming back to the mat again and again when I needed sanctuary. With life struggles happening and emotions swirling, my yoga mat and the many studios I found myself in became the way and the places I did the hard work, the healing.  I came to yoga when I needed it in a very reactionary way.  I used the physical practice and release of the yoga asana to heal the hurt and get to a point of, “ok, I’m good,” then moved on again and away from my mat until the next emotional battleground.  Eventually the cycle became tiring and I had the thought, “Why do I have to keep starting over?  Why does the sense of peace and contentment keep slipping away?” I sought my teacher training experience as a way to deepen my own practice and understand more of what yoga offers.  There is always more to learn, but having been exposed to more depth and seeing the benefits of yoga play out in so many different ways I knew immediately I wanted to teach and to share what I’ve learned. Yoga offers a way and a place to hit pause- to expand the space between what occurs and how we proceed.  Through teaching, I hope to help others find space to pause.

Libby Baxter


Libby has been a yoga devotee for most of her life and came to teaching as a way to connect and share with students of all abilities, backgrounds and intentions. Libby’s philosophy is that everyone has a light that shines within, and yoga helps us connect and see the light in ourselves and others.

A graduate of the University of Michigan where she studied Neuroscience and Biopsychology, Libby transplanted to the Pacific Northwest in 2018 where she enjoys everything the area has to offer, and spends time hiking and kayaking and playing with her adopted “bad dogs.”

A busy human resources professional, Libby finds time to practice and share yoga with others, making it a priority to find an oasis of calm at the yoga studio.

Libby approaches her classes with creativity, and encourages her students to have fun. She believes that yoga is for everybody and hopes that you walk out of her class feeling better than you did when you walked in.

Ashley Hastings


Ashley moved to the PNW from Cleveland in November of 2018 and soon discovered the amazing community at Tuladhara. She completed her 200-hour teacher training in Florence, Italy, and has since taken several continuing education workshops to refine her teaching skills. She initially discovered yoga to help cope with severe anxiety and depression throughout high school and college. “By cultivating a deeper mind-body connection, Yoga has given me the space to heal many of my negative thought patterns including fear and self doubt, which has been the biggest game-changer. I continually strive to be the best or highest version of myself possible by facing my fears head on and harnessing the power of thought to create lasting changes in my life.”Ashley’s classes are challenging yet nourishing, with an emphasis on strength-building, pranayama, & alignment, while also incorporating more philosophical elements from the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Ashley strives to empower her students to discover their own practice of self-love and self-acceptance.Off the mat, Ashley enjoys delving into the chakras, crystals, and the moon phases… Don’t be surprised if they make their way into a yoga class, too!

Shellsea Gibbs

Assistant Manager Service and Operations

& RYT200

Shellsea was born and raised in California and moved to Washington for love & adventure. She started her practice just 2 short years ago, ” I fell in love with the community and the inclusive space.”  Shellsea now has her 200 RYT, certified through Tuladhara’s Teacher Training Program. She knows all the in and outs of our studio, if you have any questions about yoga, classes, teacher training, or anything in between, she is always happy to help!


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