230 NE Ninth Street Bend, Oregon 97701  541.382.4401

Center for Wellbeing & Wisdom Class Instructors

Instructor Biographies

Julie Carda: Everyday Brain Fitness & Bioflex Laser

Julia Carda Tai Chi InstructorJulie holds a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from St. John’s University Collegeville, MN, a Geriatric Wellness Instructor certification from Western Oregon University Northwest Rehabilitation Associates, several specialty fitness and wellness certifications, and a B.A. in Dance /Liberal Arts from Creighton University Omaha, NE.

As a young adult, Julie studied ballet in New York and Paris then settled in the Midwest where she taught and performed. Here, Julie began researching cognitive fitness and integrating the techniques into movement and dance for rehabilitative purposes.

After raising two children, Julie moved to Bend, Oregon with the express purpose of serving the needs of the aging population. In 2011, Julie created the company Everyday Brain Fitness and Bioflex Laser which offers cold laser therapy for management of inflammation and pain due to degenerative disease and injury, fall prevention programs like Tai Chi, as well as private and group brain fitness classes for the senior community.

Through purposeful interactions, Julie has been quite successful in helping clients maintain physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual independence with dignity while maximizing their functional independence and morale through community connection. Currently, Julie collaborates with the First Presbyterian Bend Center for Wellbeing & Wisdom.

Within this collaboration, Julie provides three types of Tai Chi classes and two types of group brain fitness classes. With the educational support of the Stanley J. Wertheimer Dance for Parkinson’s fellowship Julie received in 2015, she also teaches a Dance for People with Parkinson’s class.

Laura Donahue: Laura Donahue Yoga InstructorLaura discovered the holistic benefits of yoga when her practice began about 12 years ago. The uniting of breath to support postures and movement and the cultivation of mindfulness was the initial attraction. Over time, Laura’s practice became less about physical exercise and more about a way of life.

Responding to her son’s comment to “be bold,” Laura completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training and immediately began teaching at various yoga studios in Connecticut. Since then, Laura has completed additional training in teaching therapeutic yoga to seniors and mindful yoga for trauma and stress. She considers teaching yoga to be a natural progression of her previous career as a Registered Nurse.

Making the decision to uproot from Connecticut in 2015, Laura and her two Australian shepherds drove cross country to join two of her children in Portland. While in Portland, Laura taught various yoga classes at Portland Parks and Recreation, including yoga for seniors, and she offered chair yoga and gentle yoga at a non-profit dance studio called the Aspire Project.

Following one of her children again, Laura relocated to Bend in summer 2016. She’s currently teaching yoga in various venues throughout Bend, including The Center for Wellbeing & Wisdom.