Follett Family Active in Our Community
Aug 26, 2014 08:25PM
● By Laura Ustanovska
The Follett family, Matt, Jill, Sierra (18) and Nelson (13), moved to Wisconsin in 2003, so Matt could work for his family's business, The Follett Corporation. “It is here where yoga found me,” says Jill, owner of Santosha Fitness - Delafield, WI yoga studio. More on that later.
Matt and Jill met at the University of Iowa, where Jill received a BA in English education. She taught English in the small town of Bedford, Iowa, for two years before she and Matt married. The couple then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Jill obtained her master's in teaching English as a second language at the University of New Mexico.
Sierra was born in New Mexico before the family moved up to Portland, Oregon, where Jill taught English to non-native speakers for seven years. Nelson joined the family in Portland before the Folletts made their last big move – to Wisconsin!
Shortly after moving to North Prairie, Jill and a friend took a trip back to Oregon and attended a retreat where yoga was part of the experience. “After discovering yoga at the retreat, I was profoundly effected,” relates Jill. “I began taking classes at the YMCA and began the certification process in 2007. I am inspired by students who learn to let go, who begin to transform inside and out and continue to grow. We have a wonderful community of clients that continues to grow. Too, I am so lucky to have such a knowledgeable and caring staff of instructors who bring open hearts to our space.”
Before opening the studio, Jill volunteered at the Jefferson County Humane Society (2004-2005) and the Lake Area Free Clinic - Oconomowoc, WI (2005-2012) as a greeter and a translator. Jill truly misses her cherished time at the clinic.
Sierra is a 2014 graduate of Kettle Moraine High School - Wales, WI. “Prior to college, she is taking a gap year to go on a 'seamester' in the Caribbean, where she will be trained to be a rescue diver, as well as receive six college credits in marine biology,” explains Jill. “Having been on the swim team for eight years and being certified to dive, this should be right up her alley.”
“Our son Nelson is going into eighth grade at Prairie Hill Waldorf School - Pewaukee, WI, where many of our family activities occur,” Jill continues. “We value the philosophy of the Waldorf education and cannot speak highly enough about its merits. A natural athlete, Nelson plays rec baseball, school basketball and has trained with The Wade Group for basketball.” (He's 5'11” and growing!).
At times, the family has grown to include exchange students, Sophie from Belgium and Giulia from Italy. “Sierra just returned from visiting Sophie and her family this summer,” says Jill. “They are close, tight sisters. Sierra herself lived and studied in Chile through AFS in her junior year of high school. I think it gives everyone in the family a great experience, bringing different perspectives and ways of living.”
As a family, the Folletts love to kayak and typically explore Lake Nabobin and its surrounding waterways. One summer, the family participated in a kayak and camping trip in Canada and had the opportunity to see whales! They also love to ski. “Every other Christmas for the past 10 years we have traveled to Whistler, B.C., Canada,” says Jill. “Every other year, we choose a tropical destination, where we dive and snorkel.”
The family moved to the high ridge neighborhood in 2010, along with their four rescue pets, two cats, orange Jasper and beautiful Coralbelle, and two dogs, Boodah, a mutt, and Frida, a border collie/husky mix. Jill describes Frida as “too smart.” “We became 'those neighbors' one summer when she broke through the invisible fence and Boodah followed. She's now been 'retrained' and hasn't left the yard in two years. She can also open our screen door to the deck.”
Jill welcomes you to her studio. “It is the perfect intimate space that provides a sanctuary of calm,” she says. “We offer a variety of yoga classes and Tai Chi, accessible to anyone. Our goal is to provide a safe, welcoming environment where our instructors lovingly guide each practitioner toward balance of body and mind.” Every second and fourth Saturday, a free intro to yoga class is offered at 10:30am for those curious about yoga.
One of Jill's greatest challenges as a business owner is providing yoga affordably so everyone can enjoy its benefits. “In this vein, we are offering a community class for $5 every Saturday at 7pm beginning in September,” says Jill. Yoga for Round Bodies is also a new class addition this fall.