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.
Kirsten’s classes are filled with kindness, warmth, and imagery, offering a hybrid of flowing sequences and strength-building, with attention to safe alignment and breath. Kirsten sees yoga as a key player in restoring and maintaining health and helping us to be our most compassionate selves. Sharing the gifts of yoga with her students and supporting them on their journey is a privilege that she treasures.
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.
Taryn is an energetic and inclusive instructor, drawing from experience in facilitation, gender analysis, and a commitment to social justice. Having practiced yoga for a decade, Taryn began sharing her love of yoga upon completing over 500 hours of Yoga Education at Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre in 2012.
After spending over 30 years in the world of the performing arts and then subsequently for the past 10 years running his own design and renovation business, Kerry finds himself at a happy point of synergy. During these past 10 years, Octopus Garden has happily been a home and a refuge where he has completed 540 hours of teacher training and been inspired by many of its extraordinary teachers.
Nicola’s yoga journey started in 2006 as a way to introduce movement into her corporate desk-based life. She quickly learned that the magic of yoga answers the body’s call for physical movement, through a process of self-discovery filled with gratitude. As her yoga practice became a way of life, time started to slow down, moments became clearer and she was hooked!
Studying Peace and Conflict, and International Relations led James to work with the medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in some of the most difficult conflicts in the world. After leaving MSF, determined to bring HIV treatment to the most vulnerable populations in low-income countries, James co-founded Dignitas International. Witnessing overwhelming suffering over decades left him with a heavy heart.
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.
Pat sees the practice of yoga as an opportunity for physical, psychological, and spiritual inquiry. With compassion, generosity, and humour, she encourages students to maximize their potential. Themes from eastern philosophy, psychology, and everyday experience have been informing Pat’s teaching for the past 20 years.
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.
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.
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.
Lisa Messina creates a safe place for people to deeply listen and courageously dive into the true nature of being. A dancer from the age of three, Lisa’s life work has been exploring and sharing her passion for movement through a broad range of modalities, including dance, Pilates, and yoga.
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.
Riki Richter D.O.M.P., D.Sc.O. has been teaching movement for 23 years with a focus on its rehabilitative applications. She is an osteopathic manual practitioner trained in Pilates and yoga, is a Franklin Method educator and is currently studying DNS. She opened Synergy Sports Medicine in 2011 with Dr. Raza Awan where they incorporate movement based rehab.
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.
John believes that learning is an exchange, and he endeavours to treat all those who practice with him with respect and equanimity. Drawing on more than 15 years of practice and teaching, John derives inspiration from the many layers of yoga. He is most energized and excited when philosophy, psychology, and anatomy swim together in an engaging practice. Diligent but playful, his unique classes reflect his insatiable curiosity about the “whys” of practice, and he encourages lively dialogue around all aspects of yoga.
Maddy White was introduced to the practice of yoga at a young age by a physiotherapist who recommended it to help with her scoliosis. Like many people, she started practicing as a way to stay active in a lifestyle that didn’t involve much movement, but soon she began to see the other benefits of yoga. Yoga became crucial to managing the stress that came with attending university and it provided a means for self-inquiry and self-acceptance.
Julia Wyncoll is a movement educator whose career spans over twenty-five years. Her passion is providing a class with a cornerstone of smart strength work—putting students in touch with their vitality and the magic of whole body movement.