All the members of our team are trained facilitators who have been studying at Full Bloomed Lotus the teachings and practices from spiritual traditions that promote mindfulness. In addition they have received training from various recognized programs that teach them how to bring mindfulness into the classrooms and other settings in a secular manner so as to make it accessible for all people undergoing stress. They continue to learn and grow their own mindfulness practice through ongoing study and inner work. 

Ramaa Krishnan,

Founder of Full Bloomed Lotus Center for Self-Awareness

Ramaa Krishnan has spent most of her adult life learning and developing approaches and techniques to calm the mind and train it to be a fit companion for the journey. In 2000, she began teaching others her unique practices. Her studio can be found in Wilmette, IL where she works with groups and individuals, and collaborates with like-minded teachers. Her latest endeavor, Grow Through Mindfulness, furthers her dream to bring mindfulness into every household.

Katie Kolbe

Meditation Teacher, Speaker, Reiki Master and Access Bars Facilitator

Katie is a meditation teacher, speaker, Reiki Master and Access Bars Facilitator. She has studied and trained with Ramaa for over 14 years. Katie teaches meditation to children, teens and families, helping them create a sustainable and compassionate practice that supports living from the inside-out. Since 2016, Katie is delighted to bring the Harper Mindfulness Program into Wilmette’s Harper Elementary School as the artist-in-residence where she teaches grades K-4. She graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Speech with a focus in Radio, TV and Film. Katie is passionate about helping students Grow Through Mindfulness and is ever inspired by teaching children life skills that bring peace, increase compassion, and help them to self-regulate. 

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

 

Julie Freeman

Meditation Teacher

Julie’s source of joy, and her inspiration for evolving in self-awareness comes from raising her two teenage daughters. With a BA in psychology from Lake Forest College, she holds her Master of Social Work (MSW) from Loyola University Chicago and is a licensed school social worker. Julie is experienced in counseling youth and has worked at a therapeutic day school counseling children with social and emotional challenges ages 5-17. As an early childhood social worker, she worked with families and children with developmental delays ages 3-6 years. Julie currently is an active member of two parent education boards in her school district and sits on a family business board of directors. Julie is grateful to Ramaa for her life-changing teachings and is excited to share this wisdom with youth. Julie believes when we teach and talk about matters of the heart and shared human experiences we nourish the great connectors that bind us together. 

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

Ann Barbour

Meditation Teacher

Ann considers herself a full-time student in the school of life! This credo has given her many wonderful opportunities to use mindfulness to enrich relationships at work and home.  As a result, she is passionate about sharing her experiences, teaching tools and strategies to help create more connected and conscious communities.  Ann is a meditation teacher and has studied at Full Bloomed Lotus for more than ten years.  With a degree in computer science from Southern Methodist University and a previous career in telecommunications, Ann has also studied Reiki Level 1, Chirokinetic Therapy, is a Mindful Schools educator, and is in the process of receiving her Mindfulness Meditation Certification through both the Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center, which is located at UC Berkeley.

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

Lori Laser

Meditation Teacher

As a devoted mindfulness practitioner, Lori is excited to share the methods she has found to be life changing. Her experience as a parent has deepened her belief that self-awareness holds the key to fostering healthy relationships. As a member of the board of directors at Chicago’s Erikson Institute, and as an advancement committee member at Evanston’s Youth and Opportunity United (YOU), she is committed to ensuring that all children have equitable opportunities to realize their potential.  Lori currently serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children. She studied with renowned mindfulness educators through a two-year teacher training at the Engaged Mindfulness Institute. She completed the Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program in 2016. Lori came to FBL five years ago, and with Ramaa’s guidance has found more balance, fulfillment and connection. She is excited to work with Grow Through Mindfulness to facilitate and develop programming that promotes mindfulness practices in schools and other community settings.

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

Becky Pontarelli

Meditation Teacher

Becky believes both yoga and mindfulness can help us to access the power of presence – one through the body the other the mind. A graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, she put her business degree to work in retail management for over 15 years directing a chain of area stores. First introduced to meditation and mindfulness through her personal yoga practice, Becky became a yoga instructor in 2008 and has completed her 500-hour Yoga Teaching Training Certification. She is trained in transcendental meditation, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and has been a cycling instructor for over 20 years. Becky has been a Full Bloomed Lotus student since 2009 and believes her visit to India with Ramaa was an important part of her study. Becky’s kids swear that belly breaths and mindful body scans are like a magic sleeping potion!  

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

Jennifer Riordan

Meditation Teacher

It is Jennifer’s mission to help young people shape their lives. She strives to guide students to discover purpose and passion as they embrace their divine self and let their light shine.  Jen received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Illinois. After a rewarding fifteen-year career in broadcast media and marketing she reconnected with her true passion as a basketball coach working with girls ages 8-14. Her vision is to empower young women with self-confidence and self-belief. Her work as a student of FBL since 2005 has enhanced her personal journey of self-awareness. As a mother of three, she realizes the challenges presented by a world designed to overload the senses and the compelling need to guide young people to pursue inner peace as they manifest a life of their choosing, a life of their dreams. 

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

Juli Burden Carlin

Meditation Teacher

Since early childhood Juli's deep spiritual yearnings have perpetually kept her on a faith journey of discovery, awareness and awakening. Juli has a strong foundation in her Catholic tradition. She has a B.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois and holds a degree in Spiritual Direction from the Institute for Spiritual Leadership. With her contagious spirit and zest for life, Juli is passionate about building community. She has utilized her background in sales and event planning to spearhead many volunteer initiatives. As a student of FBL since 2005 she finds a strong connection between the teachings of mindfulness and the contemplative practices of Catholicism. Juli’s teaching philosophy embraces an inner wisdom that listens for Divine whispers, something she has found instrumental in her spiritual growth and to have greatly enhanced her mothering of four cherished boys. Juli delights in gifting others the precious present!

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

Elizabeth Whittle

Mindfulness Facilitator

Elizabeth's career as a special educator has allowed her the opportunity to work extensively with a diverse student population ages 3-21 in New York City, Salt Lake City and Chicago. Elizabeth earned her BA in secondary education, and her Master’s of Science in Special Education from State University of New York. She launched her career as a special education classroom and itinerant teacher in NYC. She specialized in educating preschoolers with autistic spectrum disorder utilizing Applied Behavioral Analysis. Elizabeth became interested in the whole child and the relationship between the caregiver and the child. She furthered her studies to learn and implement the Developmental Individual-Differences & Relationship model. This same concept would lead Elizabeth to more deeply embrace the mind-body connection and spark her passion for mindfulness. Studying with Ramaa she has learned strategies for achieving presence in a busy home with 3 children, a husband, and dog. Elizabeth’s mission in teaching mindfulness is to help youth discover they can thrive while creating a peaceful existence.

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

Lori Lichtman-Sander

Mindfulness Facilitator

Certified-International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT)

Lori received her Master’s in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Loyola University, specializing in training and development. She fondly recalls having produced an educational and entertaining sing along video program designed for families to share music! As a Child Life Specialist at Children’s Memorial Hospital, she facilitated developmental playgroups and provided 1:1 bedside companionship. Lori has developed and implemented yoga programs to school age children (5-18) for NSSRA (Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association), as well as Laureate Day School at Lutheran General Hospital catering to students with social and emotional challenges. Prior to her training in Mindful Educator Essentials, she received her yoga certification through the International Association of Yoga Therapists.   She has spent over 20 years teaching children and adults of all abilities and varying therapeutic needs. Lori has been collaborating with Ramaa since 2004 and is a Reiki Master Teacher. She believes the true joy of working with children, is helping renew their tendency to naturally be in the mindfulness of the moment. 

CONSCIOUS CLASSROOM

TEAM MEMBER

Angela Thomas, FNP, AHN-C

A long-time student of Full Bloomed Lotus, Angela is a Family Nurse Practitioner who has been loyal to her Meditation practice for years. She is certified as a MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher and as a Mindful Schools educator. She is also involved in Mindfulness research projects through Northwestern University. As a current Nurse Practitioner operating in the hospital setting, Angie has had the unique opportunity to witness firsthand the numerous benefits that mindfulness offers both the staff and patients.

MINDFUL MEDICINE

TEAM MEMBER

 

Lisa Cohen

Meditation Teacher

After graduating from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, Lisa built a career as an independent communications consultant. Lisa has been philanthropically active in her local community serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused children and sitting on various boards including the Lake County Illinois Health Center and the USC Keck Leadership Medicine Board. Lisa has studied with Ramaa Krishnan for the past five years. She has completed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training, the Mindful Educator training and is a certified Integrative Health Coach. Her desire to bring mindfulness to the health care community comes from her own experience as a cancer patient. As a recent survivor, Lisa understands firsthand the numerous benefits of a mindfulness practice and credits this practice in helping her decrease stress, remain positive and reduce pain throughout her journey.

MINDFUL MEDICINE

TEAM MEMBER

825 Green Bay Road, Suite 120, Wilmette, IL 60091

847-853-0600

info@growthroughmindfulness.com

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