Program Faculty

Program Directors

With over 25 years of combined teaching experience, Scott Davis and Pat Harada Linfoot offer creative and diverse learning opportunities. Their passion for knowledge, their integrated understanding of yoga as an evolving form, and their willingness to encourage and support each student’s journey allows for an inspiring and enriching experience.

Scott approaches yoga as an evolving form and health maintenance system. As a doctor of oriental medicine, he is particularly interested in yoga as a tool to support the process of waking up to the potential of the human body, intellect, and spirit. He integrates his knowledge of yoga and other eastern healing traditions to provide a unique learning experience that inspires depth, curiosity, and rigor.

Pat is inspired by the rich, collaborative process of mentoring teachers; working together to develop their unique voice and the fullest expression of their potential. She is committed to teaching yoga as a therapeutic model that stimulates physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Her academic studies in psychology, education, and statistics provide a fertile foundation for creative expression.

Guest Faculty

See individual programs for updated guest faculty.

Christine Alevizakis: Christine has been a teacher with Octopus Garden since 2005. She completed the 300-Hour and Restorative teacher trainings, in addition to trainings outside of the studio. Christine is passionate about exploring yoga’s ability to create strength, compassion, and resilience in our lives, with our families, and in our communities.

Peter Blackaby: Peter has been teaching yoga for over 25 years. He initially qualified as an Iyengar yoga teacher, but his meeting with Mary Stewart and his training in Osteopathy caused a shift in direction. The last 10 years have been dedicated to understanding how yoga can be made accessible to the Western body and mind. In England he has been developing courses in 'humanistic yoga', an approach that tries to explain some of the anatomy, physiology and psychology of yoga in the light of modern understanding.

Morgan Cowie: Morgan has been a teacher with Octopus Garden since 2009. She completed the 200-, 300-Hour, and Restorative teacher trainings, as well as two pre- and post-natal trainings. She is very grateful to count Pat Harada Linfoot and Scott Davis among her mentors. Morgan is passionate about how yoga relates to relationships and is constantly working towards modelling compassion, equanimity, and fairness.

Jesse Enright: Jesse has been a student of Yoga for eleven years and an instructor for the past nine. He began his studies with Sivananda Yoga before exploring the more dynamic Ashtanga Vinyasa, the detailed alignment of Iyengar and the comprehensive intelligence of Vijnana Yoga. He has studied and practiced under senior instructors in India, Australia, Canada, and the U.S. Jesse was a full-time instructor at the Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto for five years and completed their one-year teacher training program before moving to Vancouver in 2002. Jesse credits his excellent teachers and his training in anatomy and postural analysis for his detailed, informative style of instruction.

Michele George: Michele is a voice specialist in private practice as well as a singer and actor. She has worked with thousands of men and women, in private and group sessions and in large seminars, helping them find and express the most profound levels of their being through the voice. Her bestselling tapes Drink from the Well and River of Song, River of Life have reached many more.

Doug Keller: Doug’s background reflects a lifelong commitment to studying, imbibing and sharing the vast field of knowledge and practice known as yoga. After receiving degrees in philosophy from Georgetown and Fordham Universities in the United States, and teaching philosophy at college level for several years, Doug pursued his “post-graduate” education in the practical experience of yoga at the Siddha meditation ashram, Gurudev Siddha Peeth, in India, for seven years, and spent a total of 14 years doing service, practicing, training in and teaching yoga in Siddha meditation ashrams worldwide.

He received intensive training in the Iyengar system in New York City, practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga in India, and became one of the first certified Anusara yoga teachers, producing three highly respected books on asana, pranayama and yoga philosophy. His work has since taken him beyond the confines of the Anusara system.

Doug’s further expansion in learning is reflected in his latest and most in-depth work, Yoga as Therapy, which is one of the most comprehensive, innovative and useful treatments of the structural aspect of yoga therapy available. For a year he has also been a regular columnist for Yoga+ Magazine (formerly Yoga International, published by the Himalayan Institute), writing the Asana Solutions column that addresses specific therapeutic problems. He is at the highest level of certification with Yoga Alliance, ERYT500, and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Doug’s teaching is rooted in a vast and inclusive perspective of study and practice that honors the insights of the many streams of wisdom that flow into the river of yoga. He always draws rave reviews for the usefulness and depth of the variety of topics he covers and for his lightheartedness, humor and wisdom. He continues to travel and teach extensively in both the US and Europe, as well as at his home base near Washington D.C. He can be found at:

Hart Lazer: Hart has been teaching yoga for over 25 years, and received the depths of his training principally from Iyengar Yoga teacher Ramanand Patel. In the past few years Hart has broadened his practice to include Ashtanga Yoga, Buddhist study, and meditation. The integration of these practices with his knowledge of Iyengar Yoga alignment is fully felt and reflected in his practice and his teaching. Since co-founding the Yoga Centre Winnipeg in 1986, and United Yoga Montreal in 2005, Hart has taught workshops and trained teachers internationally in his unique blend of methods. Workshop participants over the years have been delighted by his candor and humour, while being inspired and challenged by his depth of knowledge and insight.

Sasha Padron: bio information coming soon.

Matthew Remski: Matthew (RYT, YT, AHEadv) has been meditating since 1998, and practicing the bodily meditation of asana since 2002. His most intensive period of postural study was with Kim Schwartz, a student of Ramanand Patel.

From 2006 to 2011 he co-owned Renaissance Yoga and Ayurveda in Cabbagetown, where he facilitated small and intimate classes, which allowed him to develop a student-centred approach to instruction. For years his focus has been upon the therapeutics of subtle alignment, but he’s (re)learning a little more vinyasa every day from Alix. He not only enriches his asana instruction with his experience as an Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga therapist, but also with humour, directness, and a distinctly contemporary approach to yoga philosophy and psychology.

Annalene (Riki) Richter: In 1992 Riki began studying with Scott Vannan at the Pilates Centre ofToronto, using pilates as a way to rehabilitate an old knee injury. In 1995 she took the first structured pilates teacher training course offered in Toronto at Pilates Downtown. Riki has been studying Ashtanga Yoga with Ron Reid at Downward Dog since 1997 and completed their first training course in 2000. Her fascination with anatomy has led her to study Craniosacral Therapy, Anatomy in Clay with Jon Zahourek, Gross Anatomy and currently Osteopathy. She has passed on this love of anatomy to countless yoga teachers. Riki specializes in rehabilitative pilates focusing on injury recovery. She finds her students provide her with constant inspiration and an endless ability to learn.

Hali Shwartz: bio information coming soon.

Michael Stone: Michael Stone is a psychotherapist in private practice, lecturer, yoga teacher, and authour. He co-leads the Centre of Gravity Sangha, a community of Yoga & Buddhist practitioners in Toronto and travels internationally, teaching in academic, yoga studio, and conference settings. Michael offers courses and retreat that focus on integrating yoga postures, breathing practices, meditation, and textual study. He teaches yoga in the tradition of Krishnamacharya and his principal teacher is Richard Freeman. He has studied Ashtanga, Iyengar, and other forms of hatha yoga in depth as well as Sanskrit and Indian philosophy.