Lara Romero and Kristen Warren owners of Eighteenth Element Yoga created the studio on the concept of the community taking care of those who have taken care of us. The foundation of the Eighteenth Element Yoga studio is community. Our mission statement is: We support our heroes, admire our survivors, and honor the fallen by never, ever giving up hope. We strongly believe that it is our duty to help and support our local heroes.
Eighteenth Element Yoga offers various Trauma specific classes for our heroes. These classes are offered free of charge with the idea that each time you a member of the community steps into the studio to take a class help support and keep these programs alive. We use the funds from the traditional classes to continue reaching out and offering these programs for free. We are unique in this aspect.
Charles Arrington 500 E-RYT
Yoga has taught me many things. One lesson in particular is to “Never say never.” While I was in the Army, I performed a lot of challenging tasks to include jumping out of aircraft, while in flight. Fun, adventurous and definitely an adrenalin rush. That type of fun plus other physical activities led to a couple of vertebrates out of line. During each of my physical therapy sessions, a Physical Therapist would ask if I had considered yoga to relive the problems with my neck. I would roll my eyes and think “NO WAY.” “I ain’t doing no yoga.” “You thinking I’m going to move to Boulder.”
As a member of my local YMCA, I noticed yoga was on the schedule, so decide to check on a class. Since it was free, I felt I didn’t have anything to lose. After my third class I sensed there was something to “this yoga stuff.” I acknowledged the euphoria I felt during class, the challenges the poses offered and the calmness. Soon I was attending every yoga class I could, whether locally or while traveling. So I went from a sceptic about the benefits of yoga to a “yoga junkie” and now a teacher.
I truly believe yoga is a gateway to personal change and an improvement to health, attitude and your way of life. My personal mission is to share my love of yoga with others as I advance my practice. There is a type of yoga for everyone so no matter whom you are, your age, body type or you athletic background. I invite others to join me on in my journey.
Ellis Conoley 200 RYT
Ellis loved Yoga from the first class he attended in 2002 and began teaching in 2003. He teaches Yoga, Yogalates, Tai Chi Yoga Fusion, Restorative Yoga, and Tai Chi. His classes stress each participant adapting their moves to their situation. We put the pose into the body to allow the pose to work our mind body connections.
After retiring from the USAF, Ellis worked for L3 Communications, HP and CSC. His roles were Program Manager, Capture Manager, Proposal manager, Chief Technical Officer, and architect. Ellis’ USAF career was 28 years with experience including tactical operations in SE Asia, space operations in Cheyenne Mountain, ITWAA sensor management and upgrades programs, the Global Command Control System. Ellis is married to the former Evelyn McComb of Great Falls, MT. They have two now adult children, Matthew and Ila.
Lenora Degen 200 RYT, Childrens Yoga Teacher
Lenora Degen is a two time 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and Registered Children's Yoga Teacher, she does not however put too much value on these labels. More important to her is having you come in and try a class and leave feeling like it was the best thing you could have chosen to do with that hour of your time. Lenora has been teaching morning classes at Eighteenth Element for about 3 years. "I'm so fortunate to have met the studio owners and be invited into the Eighteenth Element Family. My morning students are such a joy to see every day or week".
Her introduction to yoga was through a used paperback book that she stumbled upon in New York City around 1980. She did not begin a regular practice, though, until about 20 years later. Some of us are late bloomers.
Lenora has several specialty interests in the yoga world. One is children and yoga. Lenora believes there are benefits to learning yoga, mindfulness and meditation. She also believes there are stress-relieving techniques we can all learn and use in our daily lives. So the idea that we should teach these skills as early as possible is hardly arguable! Lenora loves working with kids. They are quick to learn and are open to believing that there is always hope.
Another passion of hers is yoga as a tool for disordered eating and unhealthy body image. Our relationships with our bodies are a huge part of our overall health - mental and physical. She has a history of unhealthy eating habits, severe eating restrictions, binge eating and more. Finding a regular yoga practice was instrumental in her journey toward healing. She doesn't subscribe to magical cures or claims, but does believe that a yoga, mindfulness and/or meditation practice can be useful tools to get out of the painful cycle of disordered eating and dissatisfaction with our bodies.
Ashlynn Bowers 200 RYT
Ashlynn Bowers, is a small business owner and UCCS student studying psychology and criminal justice. She began my yoga journey in early 2015, attending vigorous vinyasa classes in pursuit of peace and self-love. While the physical practice brought her joy, She didn’t find the mental and emotional benefits of yoga until she began exploring meditation and reflection. Her yoga journey has taught her so much about the human condition and helped her find purpose in every day life. Ashlynn's personal mission is to make meaningful connections with each person she encounters and spread the same light yoga has brought her to others.
Ashlynn says "growing up in Colorado Springs has introduced me to so many amazing people, and the EEY family is among the best of the bunch. This studio stands for so much more than community: it is love, acceptance and a true celebration of each being around us and I am honored to begin my teaching journey here". Join Ashlynn one of EEY's 200 hr Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher Graduates for classes at EEY.
Lorri Williams 200 RYT
Lorri Williams is a certified addictions counselor at an outpatient facility in Colorado Springs, working within the field since 2007. She has experience with diverse and underserved populations, offering trauma sensitive services within several modalities of treatment. Lorri has been a practitioner of yoga since 2002. She connected with yoga through local gyms and an eclectic mix of knowledgeable, patient teachers. She began her journey seeking an athletic class, full of exercises to stretch and lengthen her tight muscles and wound up finding herself. Lorri came to discover yoga offered more than she ever imagined. She is a survivor of cancer and found an integrative, deep healing within her yoga practice. She became interested in joining the theories of her counseling work with yoga. She completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2013 and is registered with Yoga Alliance, 200hr RYT. She has earned an additional 200+ hours in trainings and certifications related to trauma informed care, addictions, eating disorders, combat related post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
“I seek to shine a light for practitioners to explore their heart and inner atmosphere to get to know who they are, what drives them and what it is they want from life, by holding a safe and compassionate space. I know the path I am on is truly my heart’s work and food for my soul. It gives my life purpose and meaning while allowing me the space to constantly reassess my own ideas, emotions and actions. I feel I learn just as much from my clients as they learn from me, and therein lies my growth and freedom.”
Lisa Defouw 200 RYT
Lisa began her yoga journey 7 years ago, not only to add to her fitness regime, but to satisfy a deep curiosity into Western philosophies. After only a few classes, she was hooked. The mind-body connection is truly a path to self and true happiness. Her passion is Yin and Restorative Yoga as well as Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation. She recently completed her 200 hr YTT at Eighteenth Element Yoga. She is currently a School Nurse in Colorado Springs who is interested in bringing yoga into her schools as a coping mechanism and stress reduction for both staff and students.
“Just as the water reflects the Stars and Moon, so the body reflects the Mind and Soul” - Rumi