Founded by a psychologist, Healthwise Studio offers a fresh approach to self-care, one that brings focus to your mind, body and spirit. Our services are simple, yet powerful and are appropriate for all; to awaken the body, uplift the spirit and quiet the mind.
Kristin Dahl, PsyD., LP, RYT
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Registered Yoga Teacher
Dr. Dahl is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of Healthwise Behavioral Health & Wellness Clinic and Healthwise Studio. Although current evidence-based practices are the foundation of her work she values a mind-body connection and offers a holistic and integrative approach to care. Through mindful conversation and a strong belief in the importance of a compassionate relationship with oneself, she supports others by offering encouragement and fresh perspectives to patterned thinking.
“For me, my yoga practice is a very personal experience. Years ago it was curiosity that brought me to my first class. Slowly, as I learned how to connect my breath to the movement of my body I began to experience a sense of inner calm and restful awareness. A welcomed change that helped to buffer the very human experiences of insecurity, self-doubt and worry. Now, my time on my mat has become the foundation of my relationship with myself. It is where I go to quiet my busy mind and to connect with the wisest part of myself. The part of me that can accept my imperfections and my growing edges, and reminds me that taking time for me is not selfish, but self-loving. Yoga and meditation have positively influenced my everyday life and I am very grateful for the opportunity to share it with others."
Heidi Kopacek, PsyD, LP, RYT
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Registered Yoga Teacher
Dr. Heidi Kopacek is a licensed psychologist. While earning her doctoral degree in clinical psychology, Heidi specialized in the study of mindfulness and meditation and how these concepts impact well-being. Heidi deeply values the mind-body connection in her approach to health, believing the body to be an invaluable resource for managing challenging situations and emotions. While Dr. Kopacek knows most people are doing a pretty great job managing and balancing all of their complex modern-day stressors, she suspects many either don’t have time, or are confused about how to approach their inner world. Her yoga classes, based on the principles of yoga and mindfulness, are designed to explore and clarify the laws of emotion, insight, vision, and values.
“I admittedly started practicing yoga because I liked that it was exercise where you get to be barefoot and wear comfy stretch pants. And yoga was a wonderful workout, but over time, my awareness of why I enjoyed yoga started to shift. I realized that, more than feeling the physical invigoration that I feel with all forms of exercise, I was experiencing a deepening awareness of my body and what it needed. And instead of the emotional high one taps into from all forms of exercise, I was experiencing a deep and rich sense of calm, as well as unexpected bursts of insight and clarity that continued well past my yoga class. Now, rather than thinking of yoga as a fitness practice, I experience it as a wisdom practice (I still love being barefoot and wearing stretchy pants though!)”
A passionate self-care advocate, Shannon began practicing natural wellness in 2016 when she became certified as a yoga teacher. For five years, she’s taught heart-centered breath and movement, yin yoga and meditation classes to all levels of experience. She’s continued her studies to dive deeper into energetic healing modalities, becoming a Reiki Master Teacher in 2018 and an Astrology Practitioner in 2021.
The transformations she’s witnessed through these powerful energy-centered practices inspire her work – and her life.
For individuals who are seeking holistic ways to support and elevate their well being, she offers customized experiences that relax, rejuvenate and restore. She additionally loves to teach clients how to transform their own energy and feel more connected to themselves.
Shannon believes that energetic self-care holds the key to living a more fulfilling, balanced and peaceful life, and is devoted to daily practices. The intention of her work is to empower clients to cultivate calm, create vitality and navigate challenges with ease, as well as find more joy and compassion in every day.
Kimberly Plessel, MS, RD, LD
Registered & Licensed Dietitian
Kimberly views mindfulness as a key component of nutritional well-being. In 2000, she was first introduced to this concept through yoga. To deepen her awareness, she has participated in several trainings related to mindfulness-based strategies for wellness and intuitive eating. She enters into partnership with her clients to explore the positive and nourishing opportunities of food in their lives. Mindfulness provides a framework to raise awareness of personal motivations, actions and insights into the roots of ones’ health. With this awareness, each of us is empowered to trust our own intuitive wisdom, preferences and internal cues to guide our food choices.
Kimberly Plessel holds a master’s degree in nutrition. She is a registered and licensed dietitian. She holds several certifications that include intuitive eating, adult weight management and chronic disease self-management. Kimberly is currently completing a certification program to become an “Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner."
Kimberly provides clinical nutrition counseling and speaks at local women's health conferences for Oakdale ObGyn in Maple Grove. She has written several articles for local healthcare organizations, including Minnesota Health Care News. Kimberly has served as a content expert for the Star Tribune, Minnesota Magazine, Minnesota Statement and Club Business International magazine. She also appeared on KARE 11 News to share strategies to combat emotional eating.
"I started practicing yoga over 15 years ago as a way to ground myself and quiet my mind. I found incredible value in the group environment – practicing with and inspired by others that are striving for an inner balance. As time has unfolded, I have been impressed by the subtle messages and overlays that yoga has also had in my professional life. Yoga inspires mindfulness both on and off the mat. This state of awareness is directly linked to how we relate to our plates – not only our food choices, but the active process of how we eat. This has inspired me to take a functional, personalized approach to health and well-being."
Lorilee Virnig, MA, RYT, CC
MA Counseling & Psychological Services, Registered Yoga Teacher
Lorilee holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Psychological Services, she is a 200-RYT, a certified instructor of Yoga Calm® for Children, and a certified life coach for teens and young adults. Lorilee has completed Module One for Eat Breathe Thrive™ program facilitator. Eat Breathe Thrive™ combines yoga, a supportive community, and service to foster a healthier body image and relationship with food.
Lorilee completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The word Kripalu means compassion. Kripalu Yoga is a hatha yoga practice designed to adapt to all body types, ages, fitness levels, and interests. Lorilee’s goal as a yoga teacher is to help each student bring greater ease, strength, flexibility, and focus into their life. While adhering to alignment principals for safety, she invites students to foster self-awareness by mindfully connecting movement to the breath. Yoga Calm® for Children skillfully fosters social and emotional development as well as increases balance, focus, strength and flexibility for children ages 3 to 18 through the practice of age appropriate, fun, mindful movements and breath awareness.
"I have practiced a variety of types of yoga throughout my adult life. Practicing Kripalu Yoga provides me with a sanctuary for clarity, focus and joy both on and off my mat. My personal yoga practice helps me nurture a healthy mind, body and spirit, and live with grace and compassion for self and others. With the gentle guidance of an intuitive teacher, yoga can be a wonderful catalyst for personal growth at all ages and stages of life. I look forward to having an opportunity to share in your yoga journey in the beautiful Healthwise Yoga Studio.”
Betty Christensen, RYT
Registered Yoga Teacher
After both of Betty's boys left home for college, a friend invited her to attend her first yoga class. It helped her to adjust to this new phase in her life and she soon realized the many benefits of practicing yoga - from calming the mind and body through movement and breath, to learning to live in the present moment through meditation, to understanding the importance of restful awareness through a restorative yoga practice. Betty has always been physically active - from biking, swimming, teaching step classes, and keeping active in her garden - as well as working in the corporate world. But yoga was an entirely new form of "exercise" that engaged mind, body and spirit - it fulfilled her desire for physical exercise and at the same time helped to ground her for the changes life constantly offers us. In 2010 Betty's desire to share yoga with everyone she met, resulted in becoming certified to teach yoga - and thus the journey to share her passion began. She currently teaches hatha, restorative, healing, and chair yoga. Guided by compassion and an inner spirit, Betty seeks opportunities to serve others in a heartfelt and mindful manner through a yoga practice.
"Healthwise Studio's philosophy of offering opportunity to learn mind body skills to help better manage difficult emotions, ward off stress, calm anxiety and boost your mood is a perfect fit for my style of teaching yoga. I am excited to be a part of this yoga community and honored to be able to guide students to a more mindful, compassionate, and sustainable lifestyle through a yoga practice."
Nasa Mitchell, RYT
Registered Yoga Teacher
As a child I grew up watching my grandfather, who was a monk and ayurvedic healer, meditate,
chant mantras, and do his spiritual ceremonies. This heritage has inspired me to become a yoga teacher.
As a mother of two sons, living in a fast moving, noisy and turbulent world, I knew that something had to be balanced. In 2013, I began training with YogaWorks in San Francisco, CA. This experience changed my life and has helped me understand that there are many tools to use for physical, mental, and spiritual health. I have also completed Reiki Healing.
Through the practice of yoga I am able to manage my stress to be more patient with the world
around me. My focus of teaching yoga is to use the asana-postures, pranayama-breath techniques, and meditation practices as a bridge to greater connectivity with yourself, mental clarity, and a more empathetic awareness of the world around us. Together we can connect, grow, and share.
Wendy Lotter, MHSA
Certified Master Meditation Instructor
Wendy Lotter is a professional speaker and stress reduction instructor, practicing and sharing stress reduction techniques since 2008. She started meditating as the result of anxiety and the nearly immediate improvement made her a believer! Her knowledge and experience, both personally and professionally, provides clients with tangible stress reduction takeaways that can be positively life changing. She loves to teach people that Calm is a superpower and they deserve to turn compassion inward.
Wendy’s nonjudgmental, spunky and humorous teaching style puts clients at ease and allows for greater receptivity and retention of material. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Health Services Administration. Certifications include: Health Coach, Lean Process Improvement, Six Sigma Green Belt, Meditation Instructor (Chopra Center University-Dr. Deepak Chopra), Usui Reiki Master (people and animal) and Crystal Healing.
Wendy lives in Maple Grove with her Twin Soul, Dean, and their fur babies. She loves reading, camping, funny movies, biking and anything mind-body wellness related.
Laura Honeck, RYT
Registered Yoga Teacher
Laura is registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT and RPYT) and is currently pursuing her 500-hour advanced certification. Her advanced training from Mira Binzen in Therapeutic Yoga for Children and Family Yoga complements her previous work as a middle and high school teacher. She is also a certified Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist and a Birth and Post Partum Doula. Outside of Yoga, Laura is a Maple Grove mom of two, a percussionist in her husband’s rock band, and a CrossFitter. She refuels with quiet days at home, deep conversations with friends, and cooking nourishing food that even the pickiest in her family enjoy.