Yoga, Pilates & Healing Collective

Yoga, Pilates, & Chiropractic Studio 

We are proud to offer the Mancos community a beautiful studio to come together and practice Yoga and Pilates. Located at 121 Grand Avenue, The River Studio is a peaceful, professional and beautiful studio which looks out on the Mancos River. We Currently offer Yoga Classes and Pilates Classes. We pride ourselves on offering classes with highly trained, talented teachers. Whether you are brand new to yoga and pilates or a seasoned practitioner, please come join us for a class ~ we welcome you! We look forward to supporting you in your journey in health.

Teachers at the River Studio:

Kim Cox

Kim CoxI was introduced to yoga 25 years ago but it was not until 2010 that I started a consistent practice, one which served as a stress reliever from my busy life as a working Mom with two young children. Yoga along with pranayama and meditation opened a whole new world for me. I was able to quiet my mind and delve into a place of calmness and be present for the first time in my life. I have always been athletic but yoga helped me gain more strength and flexibility than I have ever known as well as a deep appreciation for my body. The yoga philosophies I have learned have resonated with me deeply and have aided in my self- development and spiritual growth. In yoga, you “start where you are” there is no pressure, no competition, you take a small step towards where you want to be which eventually leads to transformation on all levels.

I completed my 200 hour Prana Vinyasa YTT, developed by Shiva Rae and led by Monica Mesa and Lily Russo, in 2016. I am deeply honored to help others find their own quiet centers, opening the mind, body and spirit to all that is, one pose and breath at a time. I am a practitioner of the ancient healing technique of Red Hat Qi Gong and work for the Tribal College Journal, a non-profit magazine that promotes higher education in Indian Country. When not practicing yoga, you will find me hiking in the beautiful canyons of the Four Corners, mountain biking, cross country skiing and hanging out with my family.


Silvia Fleitz

Silvia Fleitz Silvia Fleitz received her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Northern Arizona University in 1996 and has worked in all aspects of Physical Therapy since then, including acute hospital, outpatient, rehabilitation and home health settings. Looking for some calm and balance in her life she started practicing Amrit Yoga in 2005. She became certified in the Amrit Method of Yoga Therapy in January of 2017. She plans to pursue becoming an Amrit Yoga Master Teacher, her next courses being in Yoga Nidra, a deep guided meditation practice. While growing up and through college, Silvia studied ballet, jazz, and tap dancing. She performed in college and professional theater. She has also studied music all of her life and is an accomplished flute player. Silvia is looking forward to sharing the calming, centering aspects of Amrit Yoga, the posture of consciousness.


Wendy Griffin

Wendy Griffin Wendy began her yoga journey in her late 20's after moving to Colorado. She was drawn to yoga initially as a way to strengthen the body but quickly realized the positive effect it had on the mind and spirit. She completed her teacher training in Asheville, NC and has completed advanced training in Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra.

Her classes are heart centered and include focusing on the breath and listening to one's own body. She holds a space for others to find the connection between what happens on the mat and what happens in everyday life. Her passions outside of teaching yoga include running, biking, and spending time with her dogs, cats, chickens, donkeys and horses. In addition, Wendy is a co-founder of a horse rescue and the founder of Mountain Girl Herbals, a company that makes creams and salves that are nourishing and healing for the body and soul. She lives in Mancos, Colorado with her animals and husband, Vince. Wendy can be reached at 541-280-1283



Marisa Haga

Marisa HagaMarisa began studying Pilates in her early teens as a method to support and compliment her dance training.  She continued her Pilates study through college and after graduating completed her certification with STOTT Pilates.  She earned her BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington and taught dance and Pilates around the Seattle area for several years before moving back to her home state of Colorado.  In addition to Seattle, Marisa has taught in Ridgway and Telluride Colorado as well as New York City.  

She teaches a comprehensive approach to Pilates that emphasizes biomechanics and alignment, and is passionate about integrating mindfulness into movement.  She often draws upon her studies of Feldenkrais, Laban/Bartenieff and Yamuna Body Rolling to inform her sessions and classes.  She is also a certified Yamuna Body Rolling instructor and finds this muscular release and structural realignment method a great compliment to Pilates and other training modalities.  Currently she co-owes and operates Pilates Durango, a small movement studio in Durango Colorado. where she teaches Pilates and Yamuna Body Rolling.  


Julie Hartline

Julie Hartline I am a yoga nerd. I love breaking down poses, talking alignment, and supporting people to thrive in their bodies and lives. My nerdiness stems from 600+ hours of training as an Anusara yoga teacher. Anusara is a style of yoga that weaves alignment-based instruction with the expansive nature of the heart. And while my roots are in Anusara yoga, over the last nine years I have branched into other yogic concentrations including Yin, restorative, therapeautics (injury-specific instruction), and women-centered practices.

I welcome students to come as they are (beginners to advanced practitioners) and encourage a desire to move deeper into authenticity- body, mind, and spirit. The seat of the teacher is a responsibility I approach with humility and respect. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for this practice with the Mancos community.


Heather Ireland

Heather Ireland I took my first yoga class at Fort Lewis College in 2009, but it wasn't until I moved to Denver in 2011 that I really started to explore different styles and develop my physical practice. I loved the changes that I began to see in my body and quickly noticed my various aches and pains associated with an active lifestyle start to fade. Through the hours spent on my mat, I learned to find peace and calmness in my mind, which eventually seeped into every aspect of my life. I wanted to help others find that same peace and happiness that I had found, so in 2014 I completed a 200 hour Hatha yoga teacher training at Yoga Pod Lodo in Denver. While working full time as an Environmental Scientist and supporting my husband through grad school, I worked as a substitute yoga teacher in addition to teaching a class occasionally at a women's homeless shelter.

Now that we have relocated back to southwest Colorado, I am beyond excited to join the wonderful community down here and spread my love of yoga. In every class that I lead, I strive to link body and mind together through movement and breath. I hope you'll come join me and discover for yourself just what yoga can do for your life!


Dr. Barbara Rousseau, aka Dharmatma Kaur

Barbara RousseauMy first introduction to yoga was Hatha Yoga in 1973; however, I yearned to go much deeper. After my second child was born, I took a Kundalini Yoga class at the local YMCA and was hooked! I enthusiastically took several sessions, bought the manuals (they were affordable, then!), and began attending twice weekly yoga at a Sikh Dharma ashram. Because I was not a Sikh (most Kundalini Yoga teachers are), I attended a White Tantric Yoga Intensive and had an interview with Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga and Nutritional Science. I sought his counsel to become a Kundalini Yoga instructor, but was concerned about becoming a Sikh. Yogiji told me I did not need to become a Sikh; however, I would need to follow the disciplined 'dharma' of a Kundalini instructor. He gave me the spiritual name, Dharmatma Kaur, which means 'Path of the Soul' and assigned me a one year intensive internship. I began teaching in 1983 and have continued across several states as well as in Southeast Asia. I am a Legacy certified instructor (30+ years) with the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association (IKYTA). Yogi Bhajan has often said, “One cannot just become a Kundalini Yoga instructor; it's a calling.” I am also a published author, public speaker, and taught Language Arts at a boarding school for orphans in Thailand, and at-risk youth in high schools and colleges. I am available for personal yoga/meditation sessions and spiritual counseling. I encourage students to follow their own dharma/life path. 


Lily Russo

Lily Russo, CPTLily Russo (RYT 300) has been practicing yoga most of her life. It has been a tool of transformation, health, and empowerment since her teen years. Her initial practice of yoga asana lead her to study all the other facets including pranayama, meditation, and yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, as well as other influential disciplines, primarily Buddhism, the Tao, and plant medicines. Through these studies she has come to an understanding that all systems of life are intricately interconnected, and practices which lead us to recognize our relations to our higher selves and to all other beings as well as the natural world create a life of harmony.

As a teacher Lily’s goal is to impart her love of these practices on her students, so that they may use them as tools towards achieving mental calm and clarity, as well as physical strength and grace. She attended the Shambava School of Yoga in 2008 for her initial training, and in 2015 completed a Prana Vinyasa training led by Monica Mesa, developed by visionary Yogini Shiva Rea. As a frequent traveler, she’s been blessed to have studied with many incredible teachers around the world. Her teaching style is influenced by Prana Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, and others. She crafts classes based on the needs and abilities of her students, the time of day and year, and her intuition around what is energetically calling for attention in the moment.

Her other work as an independent artist allows her to channel her life force energy built through these practices into colorful works of creation. She is open to all mediums, especially painting, mosaics, ceramics, and textiles. With her husband, she leads Fire Walks, another transformational tool of self empowerment. Lily can be reached at: 847-819-2039 and at her website link here.

Lily offers a Yoga Immerion Program twice a year. Check out this Winter 2018 Immerion here.


Dana Thompson

Dana Thompson Dana Thompson is a lover of nature and avid world traveler who discovered yoga and meditation while working and living on a small farm in New Zealand in 2009. She was immediately drawn to the practice of yoga as a way to connect her mind, body and spirt. It also helped her to realize the interconnectedness of all beings and all of nature. Dana has taken many trips to India, studying various styles of yoga and finally took her yoga teaching training in Nashik, India in 2012. Dana furthered her experience last summer on a four month hike across the Rocky Mountains, which allowed her to truly experience the magic that Mother Earth has to offer. She is also currently studying Buddhism as a way to deepen her understanding.

In addition to teaching yoga classes at private offices in Durango, she has been teaching chair yoga to seniors for four years, as a way to make yoga practice more accessible to those who may have trouble getting on the ground. She loves teaching yoga as a way to help others find connections within themselves, with others and with nature.


Elicia Whittlesey

Elicia Whittlesey Elicia is a farmer, Zen Buddhist student, and yoga teacher. Originally from California, she now lives in Mancos with her husband. Her journey toward healing, awakening, and service brought her to Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, two Zen Buddhist communities in California, where she lived for four years. At Green Gulch and Tassajara, she discovered a love of farming and “found her seat” as a meditation practitioner. She’s enjoyed – and endured – five 2-3 month Zen practice periods, including over a dozen weeklong silent retreats, and a 6-week retreat at the Insight Meditation Society. In 2016, inspired by the effectiveness of Lily’s rich and challenging classes, she completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training with Monica Mesa and Lily Russo in the prana vinyasa style developed by Shiva Rea. Through yoga, Elicia balances the rigors of farming and sitting, and loves to help people find the profound self-acceptance that yoga offers. Working by day as the Program Manager for an educational farm in Hesperus, she aspires to integrate a daily practice into her life.


Meet the Owner

Katherine Dobson

Katherine Dobson, OwnerKatherine is the founder and manager of The River Studio in Mancos, Colorado. Originally from New England, she moved to Colorado in 1992. She attended Colorado College and then earned a masters degree in Environmental Leadership at The Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.  Following school, she and her best friend moved to South America for several years where they worked as backpack guides in the Peruvian Andes. Along with her deep love of nature and working outside with people, Katherine also loves working with people in their internal world ~ their bodies. She has had a therapeutic massage practice in Durango for 15 years, incorporating deep tissue work and thai massage. 

Now a realtor, specializing in SW Colorado, Katherine is following her other passion of land, homes and creating beautiful spaces! To contact Katherine about buying or selling a home, please visit her website at

Katherine loves living in Mancos, off the grid, with her husband and big furry dog. She has dreamed of having a place where the community can come together around movement, wellness and yoga.  She invites you to stop in to the studio, say hello, try a class and find the joy of movement! Cheers ~

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