OULA Studio Bozeman

Thursday Dec. 1st, 2016

When you first walk into the tucked away OULA Studio Bozeman, right across from Wild Crumb Bakery on Wallace, you will be greeted with hugs and huge smiles, top 40s music pumping from the studio, and chatty women of all ages, body types and walks of life waiting for class to start. The studio is modern and beautifully decorated in shades of white, black and gold with pink accents and dressing rooms with velvet curtains and chandeliers… but once class starts you immediately notice that this place is rowdy. Oula is described as “one epic hour of sweat, joy and total inspiration.” An Oula class feels like part living room dance party, part therapy session… all with your best friends, whether you’ve known them for minutes or years.

OULA Fitness is a mind-body fitness company that is based out of MissOULA, MT, where its name originated. Created by Montana native Kali Lindner in 2010, OULA has now grown to offering classes in 20 states and 3 countries by over 200 certified instructors. Last December, Lindner opened up OULA’s second studio (first being in MissOULA) in Bozeman, knowing that this community would be drawn to the fact that it offers an effective and challenging workout for body + mind + soul, yet different from anything else out there.  

Kali’s background as a trained dancer and yoga and group fitness instructor led her to create the workout that she wished had existed but that she could never find. She loved the mind-body connection that yoga brought into her life, yet she craved the movement of dance and the fun, party-like vibe that can only be found in clubs or after hours. And so began OULA- Dancemania for the Soul.

Oula’s tagline is “it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel.” So often, fitness classes can feel competitive.Women sizing each other up, feeling out of place in a gym setting or body shaming themselves because they don’t fit a certain image. At the OULA Studio, none of that matters. People come into the space and immediately love how it feels to be in a supportive, non-judgmental fitness class full of women (and the occasional men!) enjoying the positive effects of a whole-being workout.  The music is predominantly top 40s and you’ll hear most of it on the radio, but the songs are meticulously chosen to not only be good “workout” music, but provide an opportunity for emotional release, too. Oula honors the whole self, not just the physical self, and people walk out of class feeling lighter, happier and more connected to themselves and each other.  One of the greatest things about Oula and the Studio is the amazing people that are drawn to it. “Oulakins” as they are referred to, are some of the kindest, most supportive people around. “OULA is about living a fuller, better life and wanting to help others do the same. I’m constantly amazed by the caring nature of everyone involved in OULA” says one OULA participant.  

In addition to OULA, the dance fitness format, you can also attend OULA-Power classes (a 45-minute strength and conditioning class that still offers the community vibe and good music, just with some burpees and push ups thrown in), monthly Friday night OULA-X classes (think disco lights, all club music, glow sticks) and will soon be offering OULA’s newest format, OulaOne (a yoga-OULA fusion class with zero impact and lots of stretching).

The studio is now co-owned by Bozeman resident Shannon Cartwright who has been an OULA instructor for four years and also helps facilitate instructor trainings with Kali, in addition to her day job as a Family Support Coordinator for the HRDC Head Start. Community involvement and support is huge to not only Shannon but to the studio, too, and part of its mission is to give back. Each Sunday afternoon, class is by donation only and a different local organization is the recipient of the proceeds. During the rest of the week, classes are reasonably priced, making the experience accessible to as many people as possible. Drop in classes are $8, or unlimited classes for a month are only $50.