Jay Andrews knows firsthand the ability of the yoga practices to bring relief, stability and self-discovery to those on the path of healing and wholeness. A long-time touring musician and producer, he discovered yoga through his recovery and rehabilitation from addiction. What began as a meditation practice soon evolved into an exploration of the many practices of Yoga.
For Maura yoga is an exploration of movement and stillness. By using the body and breath we dive deeper into the present moment. Yoga can be deeply introspective and yet at the same time can help us to draw out curiosity, playfulness and understanding of the world around us.
Feeling rather disillusioned and seeking something more, Niki walked into her first yoga class some 20 years ago. She was immediately enticed by the practice. The feeling of being calm, grounded and at home in her body was a great pleasure. Honing skills to be more adaptable, practicing the art of letting go, learning to listen and pay attention—it was all too much for her to resist.
Courtney has always been extremely passionate about movement and discovering ways of using movement to learn, express, and heal oneself. As a former modern and competitive dancer of 10 years, she began seeking a more sustainable movement practice for herself and eventually found yoga in early 2016. Now, Courtney has completed over 500 hours of yoga teacher training at Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre and is a certified Barre instructor through American Barre Technique (ABT).
YuMee Chung (Padmani) is a former securities lawyer who left a busy practice to engage more deeply with life. More than a decade later, she is an Advance Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher who also offers classes in the Yoga Tune Up method.
Emily is a yoga teacher, doula, and ex-pat living in East Toronto. She is passionate about mental health, eastern philosophy, meditation, and mindful movement. Her classes aim to incorporate elements from each of these fields while creating an expansive space of ease and acceptance.
Becki’s world changed once she discovered yoga. It allowed her to be more connected to the world and present in daily activities. As she travelled and lived over seas for a couple years, her yoga mat became her school and the world was her teacher.
Mattieu de Careye E-RYT-500 YACEP is a former creative director who parlayed his powers of persuasion into an exuberance for embodied experience. His effervescence, tenacity, and humour translate into breath-driven, whimsical classes that guide all levels to a deeper appreciation of yoga — gleefully revelling in the moments of transformation from struggle to skill.
David Good believes yoga is a way to discover your hidden potential and find the truth of who you are, on and off the mat.
David’s classes range in intensity and focus, from vigorous sequencing to supportive restorative work. Offering rich alignment cues and heartfelt humour, David aims to create an inclusive environment that nurtures the soul and leaves students feeling like they’ve learned something about their bodies in the process.
A long time social justice lawyer and community organizer in Canada and around the world, Tracy Heffernan is passionate about making yoga and meditation accessible to all. With humour, compassion, and playfulness, Tracy’s classes encourage students to find strength and agility in body, mind, and spirit.
Jennifer discovered yoga as a dancer in her young twenties. At her very first yoga class, the experience resonated so deeply within that she knew then how meaningful and important yoga was going to become in her life.
A former pro wrestler, Craig has been using his body in interesting ways for the majority of his life. It was a Hatha yoga class in an art gallery 23 years ago that initially hooked him to the power of breath and movement. Shortly thereafter he was given an auspicious introduction to Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now” and for the past 10 years he has maintained a humble daily practice.
Alison has been a sports-lover her whole life. She rediscovered Yoga after overtraining injuries prevented her from doing the sports she loved. She was surprised at how healing the movements were and how balancing in poses could correct the imbalances in her muscles. Yoga has taught her more about the body and the need for mental concentration and breath. Through Yoga practice, she found greater flexibility, balance, agility, and a stronger core.
Darcie’s yoga practice has been a powerful centering force in her life. Her passion for yoga grew over the course of a decade, eventually leading her to leave her career on Bay St. to pursue teaching yoga.
Sara found yoga through an old injury – and what started as a way to stay active, quickly became a way to slow down. Always busy, always moving, she hasn’t lost her hustle, but now knows the importance of taking moments to breathe, move, and listen to her body. Yoga isn’t just a practice on the mat, but a practice of noticing, expressing gratitude, and leaning into everyday life. She has a passion for making yoga accessible to everyone, and her niche in kids & family yoga brings a lightness to the mat through exploration, play, and music.
Lucy was introduced to yoga in her early teens and what started as a recovery tool for her training as an elite triathlete quickly became so much more: a creative outlet and healing modality. Inspired by yoga’s ability to balance both strength and restoration, she enrolled in Octopus Garden’s Teacher Training and completed over 500 hours of Yoga Education while attending high-school. Shortly thereafter, Lucy began sharing her passion for self-inquiry and intelligent movement—the ability to trust breath and allow one’s body to find its natural alignment.
Nicky Poole, a mother of two originally from New Zealand, has been enmeshed in the study of yoga since 1999. She founded the first yoga studio in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2004 and cultivated a unique community on the banks of the Saigon River until moving to Canada in 2009. Calling Toronto home, Nicky has established herself as a highly sought after teacher trainer and pre and post natal specialist in the city.
Kristy has been practising yoga off and on for over ten years but became truly devoted after she found aerial yoga. The playfulness and whimsy of aerial yoga combined with fleeting moments of fear (often immediately followed by moments of exhilaration) keeps the mind completely present with the body leading to a practice like no other. She believes the beauty in aerial yoga lies in the ability to connect with the inner child, to be playful, to be curious, to be silly and unafraid of the unfamiliar; qualities as adults we often as deny ourselves.
Bryonie Wise is an artist, heart alchemist and daughter of nature. Her life is deeply rooted in the belief that when we come from a place of love, everything is possible.
Talib has always been a lifelong learner, experimenting, playing and learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. He elevated his life exponentially by completing Jonathan Fields’ Goodlife Project Immersion Program in 2014 where he learned about the importance of authentic connection, vitality, contribution and, most importantly, the significance of community. In 2016 he obtained his Certification in Applied Positive Psychology from the Flourishing Centre in New York City, incorporating the lessons into all areas of his life.
Mara Richardson is a certified yoga teacher, Doula, and Holistic Nutritionist. Through her own journey of pregnancy and now motherhood, it is Mara’s passion and honour to support others during this transformation time. She has been practicing yoga for over a decade, and teaching for seven years. To Mara, yoga is a daily practice of surrendering to the power of now, and honouring ones truth. With mindful sequencing and inclusive modifications, Mara’s classes offer a balance of strength, and relaxation.