Our teachers bring a wealth of experience and knowledge. They have devoted their lives and careers to sharing the benefits of Yoga and Meditation, and embody PranaShanti’s own spirit of continuous education.
Anna
Anne
Barrie

The desire to live a meaningful life brought Anna to Hatha yoga and Vajrayana Buddhism. In her studentship over the past 15 years, she’s learned that in order to follow this path it’s important to study, practice, and continually apply the teachings to our everyday life.

Anna’s practice and teachings are rooted in classical tantra. She teaches yoga that reflects this vision of reality. Tantra gives us tools to evoke as much energy and insight from our experiences as we can. Using an integrated somatic approach of body, breath, and mind, Anna offers classes that establish a strong and stable foundation in the physical body while expanding the wisdom energy of the heart.

Anne Wanda Tessier is an E-RYT 500 certified yoga teacher and trainer. Anne took a leave from her busy routine and set out to complete her RYT 200 hatha yoga teacher training in Bali, Indonesia in 2013. At the time, she was finding it tough to balance a healthy lifestyle, work, while also maintaining her yoga practice. She wanted to fully understand the benefits of regular yoga on the body, mind and spirit, and came back restored and ready to share her knowledge with others. She completed several trainings focusing primarily on restorative, yin, pranayama, and meridian yoga. She received her RYT- 500 Certification from PranaShanti Yoga center in 2018.

Life’s daily routines can be overwhelming, and Anne finds that yoga can help find balance, restore the body and find calm in our day to day life. Anne has studied with Judith Hanson Lasater and has also assisted Judith in her in several trainings. Anne is a certified Relax and Renew ® Restorative Yoga Trainer and offers individual and group classes.

In her classes, Anne’s calm and confident voice guides you through a practice that is suitable for beginners and advanced, offering various options throughout the class. Focusing on accessibility, breathing techniques and offering options for all students, Anne’s aim is to make it a safe and welcoming environment where students are comfortable, supported and safe throughout the class. She enjoys teaching classes based on themes that relate to daily life and enjoys sharing her knowledge of how yoga can help promote health and overall wellbeing.

When she is not teaching yoga, Anne enjoys traveling and hosting yoga retreats in Canada and abroad. She also enjoys making art.

E-RYT 500, YACEP

Barrie Risman is an internationally-recognized yoga teacher, public speaker, and author. Her best-selling book, Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles for Enlightened Practiceis a guide for teachers and continuing students to deepen, expand, and integrate the benefits of yoga in their lives. Widely regarded as a teacher's teacher, she's the creator of online classes, courses, and trainings that fuel the inner journey of yogis around the globe.

Barrie is well known for her ability to convey the essence of the wisdom teachings of yoga with exceptional clarity, insight, and relevance to students of all levels and from all walks of life. As unpretentious and down-to-earth as she is wise and inspiring, Barrie teaches with a remarkable combination of rigor and challenge balanced with sensitivity, humor, and compassion.

Her events weave together the technical precision of refined alignment-based practice with an ever-present awareness of the great wisdom of yoga philosophy distilled from decades of intensive study and practice.

Teaching since 1999, Barrie shares the depth of her experience and knowledge to reveal a uniquely accessible, authentic and integrated approach to yoga. She empowers students with tools to deepen their understanding and inspires them to embrace asana as a path for expansive self-discovery and inner growth.

A seasoned trainer and mentor of new teachers, Barrie serves on teacher-training faculties including The Shala, Yogacampus, HappyTree Yoga in Montreal, PranaShanti Yoga Centre of Ottawa, and Shakti Yoga in Geneseo, New York. She is the creator of professional development courses, retreats and mentoring programs for yoga teachers. 

Barrie was the co-founder and co-director of Shri Yoga, Montreal’s seminal place for the practice of Alignment-based, Heart-centered Hatha Yoga from 2011-2016. A certified Anusara Yoga teacher, she was a Senior Anusara Yoga teacher and teacher trainer from 2003-2012. Barrie led Anusara Yoga events throughout Canada, the US and internationally and served on the Anusara Yoga Teacher Certification Committee from 2006-2012, mentoring new teachers toward certification. 

She has been a dedicated student of Iyengar Yoga for more than 25 years. She continues to study regularly with her primary mentor, Kevin Gardiner, a senior Iyengar Yoga teacher and co-founder of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York. 

Barrie is a regular contributor to Yoga International. She has been featured in Yoga Journal, Elephant Journal, La Presse, and on CBC television.

She is the Co-creator and former Co-director of the World Spine Care Yoga Project, whose mission is to bring the benefits of posture, breathing and mindfulness as a tool for pain management and active self-care to low mobility populations around the world.

A native New Yorker, Barrie lives in the Eastern Townships of Southern Quebec with her husband and daughter. She holds a B.A in Anthropology from The George Washington University.

Catherine
Dev Suroop
Gabrielle
Katherine

Catherine is a Full Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. She received her PhD at the University of La Sorbonne in Paris (France). She specializes in Ancient Greek philosophy and Buddhist philosophy, and teaches meditation. She is co-founder of the Contemplative Studies Programme at the University of Ottawa, and a member of the University’s Academy of Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies.

She has published numerous books and articles on Homer, the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. Her current research focuses on Buddhist philosophy, especially on metaphysics and consciousness, as the foundation for an original conception of philosophy, which she calls ‘contemplative philosophy’, based on contemplative practices including meditation and yoga. Contemplative philosophy develops a dialogue between Buddhist philosophy and contemplative neuroscience. Its chief topics include the nature of the mind, its functioning, and its potential to be transformed. Its purpose is to demonstrate that philosophy is a way of life and a path to liberation—a path that leads to a unique sense of freedom.

She has practiced meditation and yoga for more than a decade and has participated in various short- and long-term meditation retreats.

Dev Suroop Kaur delights in sharing the pure practicality of nurturing a successful and deeply authentic life. An accomplished musician, recording artist, Naad Yogini and sound healer, Dev Suroop Kaur strives to break it down, keep it real, and guide students to their own empowered authenticity. From the deeply contemplative compositions in her recordings Sahej and Narayan, to the hip, edgy beats of her chant-rap album Kundalini Beat, Dev Suroop Kaur offers an extraordinary range of styles to invoke the experience of the Divine Spirit.

Blessed to study and practice yoga and meditation for most of her life, she gratefully shares what she has learned – and continues to learn – about how to love, work, and live better in the world. She deeply enjoys training others in the science of Naad Yoga, conscious communication, and how to access the beauty and power of their personal voice. She currently lives with her husband in Espanola, New Mexico and, in addition to her teaching and music activities, works to maintain a peaceful mind as a business executive. Dev Suroop Kaur is a Registered Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer (E-RYT 500) through Yoga Alliance, and holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Claremont Graduate University.

Learn more about Dev Suroop at: www.devsuroopkaur.com

Gabrielle’s love for yoga, teaching it, sharing it, learning more about it and how to live a healthy and mindful life is matched by her affinity for her students.

“Our students are the golden threads that tether us into a deeper sense of community, self-love, awareness of how connected we are to one another and gifts us with an enhanced personal yoga practice. Yoga brings us more joy, more freedom of movement and an intense knowingness of our true selves.”

Forever a student of life, this self professed lifelong learner enjoys being both the teacher and the student. Her yoga journey began in Okinawa, Japan where she taught English to the great-grandchildren of the largest group of the longest living humans on the planet. Surrounded by like minded souls and this wise aging population she learned that movement, diet and lifelong service was their secret. This led her to take her first yoga training with Doug and David Swenson (early disciples of Pattabhi Jois - the father of ashtanga yoga, which birthed vinyasa, power and flow yoga disciplines).

Yoga became Gabrielle’s go to remedy for a decade worth of snowboarding injuries and decades more of faulty breathing and posture. After her return to Canada, the birth of her daughter and formal Hatha yoga training, she began a blossoming full-time teaching career in 2011.

With training and experience in multiple yoga disciplines, functional anatomy, mobility, resistance stretching and intuitive movement, her classes are a creative mix of traditional and non-traditional movements and sequences to move the body and energies in creative ways.

Whether the seeker is looking for a good stretch or to strengthen their core or simply sit in a silent meditation, Gabrielle is ever ready to share her passion for anatomy, body mechanics and alignment and ways to connect with our inner guidance system. She teaches from the heart with compassion and a few giggle along the way. Her offerings are supportive and welcoming with an inclusive, all ages and abilities approach to every class.

“Yoga was always intended to be shared. Through sharing, our students join us on this journey and in return we become better versions of ourselves.“

Katherine has a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Vancouver, BC. She is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) in Ontario and a Certified Yoga Therapist in the Krishnamacharya Tradition of Yoga, also known as Viniyoga.

For the last few years, she’s been slowly working on her Somatic Experiencing training to add this to her practitioner toolbox. For nearly twenty years, Katherine has worked in a variety of social services across Canada, including residential mental health treatment facilities, schools, community-based intervention programs, substance use treatment programs, community health centres, private practice, and more.

She completed her initial 200 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in Ottawa, in 2012. She has been teaching yoga and meditation in the region ever since - in studios as well as within the local health and social services she’s connected to - alongside her work as a psychotherapist and clinical manager.

Katherine is also the Founder of Rhythms Rediscovered, a local non-profit initiative aimed at providing free trauma-informed yoga programming for people who otherwise would not have access.

Katherine is a mother, a dog-owner, a nature-lover, a writer, and is always looking for ways to deepen her own yoga practice and integrate it into her everyday life and community. She has built yoga therapy into her career because she knows its effectiveness in restoring wellness first hand.

Her goals as a therapist and teacher are to help people breathe more freely, heal, thrive, and lead wholehearted lives filled with meaning and connection.

Kethy
Kim
Laurie
Lynda

Kethy (she/her) is a Cameroonian – Canadian 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with a background in ashtanga and vinyasa hatha yoga. She teaches Slow Yoga Flows that are accessible to Beginners.

The yoga practice she leads is meant to be taken at one’s own pace, letting go of expectations and meeting the body and the mind in the present. Mindful movements — strengthening and stretching muscles — while focusing on the rhythm of the breath. Participants are invited to be kind and gentle to themselves.

To breath, move, modify and rest. Go hard. Go slow. Do you. The journey is all yours. Enjoy!

Kim is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher and visual artist with a strong desire to unleash the creativity within her students. Believing that yoga and art are intrinsically linked, Kim crafts creative sequences that are both nourishing and challenging, through which she encourages students to travel inward and find their personal flow state.

Kim’s use of heartfelt language and humour, allows students of all walks an opportunity for deeper self-reflection, and reintroduces a sense of play in each of her classes. Motivated to embolden students to trust in their own power, Kim serves her classes with compassion, and familiar kindness.

Following her training at PranaShanti Yoga Centre, Kim continues to attend workshops and trainings, including Advanced Anatomy, Teacher with Therapy Balls and Advanced Yin.

Roll out your mat in Kim’s class to roll into a deliberate and reflective experience.

Laurie was one of those who was unwillingly dragged to a class back in 1988, and Anne Pitman was her first teacher. She loved yoga from the start, though the journey to embracing the practice fully was bumpy, to say the least. Over time, yoga has become one of the most potent tools to help her navigate through life. Some of the things she loves most about yoga is that there is no end point and that the “perfect” asana is the one you can do with how your body feels at the time. It doesn’t have to look good to feel right.

Under the guidance of many skilled teachers and following her own unending curiosity, Laurie’s practice continues to unfold and evolve. She started to teach almost as soon as she returned from completing her first 200 hour teacher training at the Kripalu Yoga Centre, in 2005.

Yoga opens doors and pathways for awareness, expression and acceptance. Laurie’s mission is to help others see that who they are and what they feel is valid and beautiful in all its complexity. Being perfectly imperfect is perfect enough.

I believe that everyone is whole and complete even as the desire for change is present. My purpose is to remove the barriers to your belief in your infinite potential.  My yoga, meditation, yoga therapy and life coaching programs are designed to increase the resilience of all persons, especially those working in high-stress environments, and to alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and trauma. My approach is based on two key cornerstones of invitation and inquiry. By offering choice and encouraging curiosity, I guide you to fully inhabit your body in the present moment, thus empowering you on and off the mat.

WHO AM I? 

I’m a Registered Professional Yoga Teacher (E-RYT-500) with over 1000 hours of training. I’m a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), and I’m certified to teach Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Chair Yoga.  I have over 2000 hours of teaching experience.

I'm a Certified iRest® Yoga Nidra Teacher. I’ve been leading iRest classes since 2014. I’m a meditation practitioner and have studied and taught other styles of meditation and mindfulness.

I'm a Certified Warriors at Ease Yoga and Meditation Teacher. The Warriors at Ease program is designed for military personnel, veterans and first responders. My interest in serving people who work in high-stress environments or who have suffered trauma led me to more advanced trauma-sensitive yoga teacher training. For over six years, I partnered with the Ottawa Anxiety and Trauma Clinic, offering weekly Empowering Yoga classes.

I’m an Integral Master Coach™ and a Professional Certified Coach. I’ve been coaching  since 2003.  My integral approach to coaching unlocks your infinite potential by focusing on the effective engagement of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies. I work with you to offer new perspectives and actions that result in outcomes that deeply matter.

I first came to yoga as a teenager. Over the years life took me in many different directions. Eventually I returned to my yoga roots and took a deep dive. I’m honoured to have studied with Dr. Richard Miller, the co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and the founding president of the Integrative Restoration Institute (iRest). I’ve also had the privilege of studying with many other outstanding teachers.

I’m the founding president of Empowering the Whole Person®.

Max
Melissa
Michael
Monique

Max Strom is a global speaker, trainer, and author known for inspiring and impacting the lives of people from all walks of life, teaching leadership, breathing patterns, emotional healing and personal transformation worldwide for over 27 years. His Breathe to Heal method is focused on alleviating anxiety, PTSD, and sleep disorders. It produces immediate results that are transformational to both the student and the people close to them.

Max has given three TEDx Talks, his most recent one named “Breathe to Heal” reaching over 3.5 million views on YouTube and counting. Max presents keynote addresses worldwide and he is the author of "There is No App for Happiness”, addressing the challenge of finding meaning in the digital age, and “A Life Worth Breathing," published in five languages. He is currently working on his third book, and his fourth TEDx Talk will take place in October 2023.

Besides in-person events Max also offers many ways to benefit from his teachings online through several in depth video courses, video and audio recordings, livestream events, and one-to-one coaching sessions. Max is based in the Netherlands, but teaches in English.

Learn more about Max at: https://maxstrom.com/

Melissa has been practicing yoga since 2004 and fell in love with it immediately. Constantly amazed at all the benefits yoga has to offer, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally; her passion for yoga led her to wanting to share it with others.

One of the things Melissa loves about Yoga is that it can be practiced anywhere, anytime and by anyone. Many of us feel that we can’t, aren’t able, haven’t…., etc. But Yoga is not about flexibility or getting into that funky pose. It’s about being in the moment and using our breath to create balance and awareness in ourselves.

Melissa is registered with Yoga Alliance as E-RYT 500 & Continuing Education Provider and the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

With her diverse trainings, she teaches many styles of yoga including Hatha (all-levels), Flow, Yoga & Mobility, Yin, Restorative, and Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga. She also offers workshops such as Partner Yoga, Mother’s Day Yoga and her own Bliss Yoga! She specializes in pelvic floor health, proper breathing and postural alignment as well as prenatal and postnatal women, including postpartum recovery.

Melissa teaches with compassion and humour and offers a supportive and welcoming environment for all students and clients. She offers modifications for all levels and abilities and loves when someone finds that ah-ha moment! With breath centered awareness, she encourages people to find their balance between effort and ease, doing and doing nothing.

Her classes reflect her warm and playful spirit!

Om Sri Hanumate Namaha

Anjaneya, Michael Hutkins teaches traditional Hatha Yoga and meditation classes to students of all ages and abilities. With his foundation of classical Hatha Yoga, classes incorporate Pranayama (Breathing exercises), Sun Salutations or other warm ups, Asanas (Steady postures) and a deep guided relaxation. He adds gentleness, challenges and humour, to help students along their path. Classes can be made accessible to all students.

Training at several Sivananda ashrams in Canada, USA and India has allowed Michael to live with his teachers and be fully immersed in the yoga experience. His training covers a wide scope of yoga, from philosophy and Bhagavad Gita courses to chanting and devotion ceremonies to the physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. As well as enjoying family life, Michael is now studying to become a yoga therapist.

Monique values her yoga practice as an ongoing journey of becoming more self-aware and lighthearted. Over 25 years of practice, she has come to deeply appreciate the choices she has to live with integrity, to be of service in society, and to live as part of, and not separate from, Nature.

As a yoga teacher, Monique offers a space to pause, digest, and integrate. Feeling our body experience is prioritised over thinking about our body experience. Monique’s classes are breath-filled, grounding, and calming. She offers a space where students feel safe to be themselves and enjoy their practice.

Monique is passionate about finding ways to bring her yoga studies and practice into her engagement with conflict transformation work in all its many forms. She enjoys giving workshops where practitioners can explore their self-awareness and other skills to strengthen their services and teachings.

Monique is a certificed Yoga Therapist, C-IAYT. She is an RYT 500, E-RYT200, YACEP registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. Monique has studied with many teachers over the past 10 years, focusing on Trauma-Sensitive and Trauma-Informed approaches as well as Yin, Restorative, Hatha, and Meditation.

Monique’s somatic teaching practice has evolved out of her embodied and somatic yoga therapy training, as well as other specific somatic trainings. Most recently, Monique completed trainings in embodied conflict resolution, somatic attachment, and her certification as a mind-body coach.

Saba
Shannon
Sonia
Stéphane

Professor Saba Alvi is an award-winning professor and anti-racism educator. Her courses explore issues around anti-racism and anti-oppression pedagogy, marginalized youth and BIPOC youth subcultures. She also serves as an Anti-Racism Consultant for schools with large BIPOC student populations.

She completed her PhD in Education at the University of Ottawa. Her doctoral research explored how Muslim youth subcultures perform identity through clothing, such as the hijab.

5+ years of experience in teaching and research at the post-secondary level. Areas of interest include: Anti-racism, Cultural Studies, Youth Subcultures, Society and Schooling, Women/Gender studies, Public Pedagogy and Identity/Subjectivity

Shannon is our 200-Hour Program and 800-Hour Program Training Co-ordinator. With a profound commitment to the practice of yoga, Shannon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that enriches the training journey for every student who embarks on this transformative path.

Shannon's journey as a lifelong learner of yoga has been nothing short of inspiring. Having not only completed two 200-Hour Yoga Trainings, but also having immersed herself in a multitude of specialized courses and advanced trainings, Shannon has cultivated a deep understanding of the holistic principles that underpin the yogic tradition.

Her intention is to help each student grow their yogic understanding of their body, mind and spirit, enabling them to learn to be their own teacher.

Shannon can be contacted at shannon@pranashanti.com for any program questions.

 

Namasté.

Born in India, Sonia considers herself to be a lifelong student of Yoga and Ayurveda. She finalized her 200-hour yoga training from The Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). Introduced to yogis and swamis at a young age, she developed a deep interest in Yoga, Ayurvedic sciences and eastern philosophy to help her face different challenges in her life. Sonia continues to expand her knowledge in well-being and recently obtained her 100-hour Ayurveda Chef training and is currently studying as a 300 Hour Ayurveda Lifestyle Consultant.

Sonia has a diverse background in the Federal public Service. She brings with her twenty-eight plus years experience in the accounting and finance field, while being recognized as a workplace wellness champion. She has been a leader in introducing office yoga, mindfulness, meditation, holistic health and diets, and all types of wellness topics in and outside the workplace.

As a graduate from a leadership program in the federal government, she has a natural ability to help others understand the holistic links of well-being and organizational performance in the workplace. While continuing with her full-time career in the government, Sonia has been offering yoga classes and Ayurveda workshops, since 2016 at PranaShanti. Sat Naam.

When it comes to yoga, Stéphane is all about balance. He strives for a “just right” combination of Yin and Yang when teaching yoga—a balance that shifts depending on the energy present in the room. He brings a strong, unhurried presence, a solid foundational teaching style and his sense of humour to every class, making for a well-framed and accepting environment for students.

As a teacher, Stéphane prefers to place the accent on fundamentals: a solid connection to the earth, alignment that considers the uniqueness of our bodies, and relaxed breathing. He provides clear, direct instruction and offers many variations for each asana.

Stéphane is grateful to have been taught by highly skilled teachers in many styles, including Hatha Yoga, Power Yoga, Anusara Yoga, Ashaya Yoga, Forrest Yoga and Yin Yoga. The result of learning from so many different styles is an understanding that each student needs to be approached differently, and that in yoga, one size does not fit all.

One of Stéphane’s favourite quotes comes from Sting and deals with the futile attempt at attaining perfection, which he feels applies to every yogi: “The search for perfection is all very well, but to look for Heaven is to live here in Hell”

Stephanie

Stephanie’s love affair with yoga began in the fall of 2004 when she attended a Hatha yoga class given at her local community centre. Following this newfound passion, she went on to explore Bikram, Hot, Power, Ashtanga and Yin Yoga.

She is a certified Hatha Yoga Teacher, an E-RYT 200/RYT 500 and YACEP Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, and has been teaching in Ottawa since 2008. She blends yoga asanas with a pinch of philosophy, a touch of humour, and a steady breath.

As a full-time yoga teacher, Stephanie delves into a variety of styles, covering the spectrum from Yin to Power, Flow to Gentle and a few adventures in between. Stephanie has over 2,000 hours of teaching experience and to date, has taken trainings and master classes with Richard Freeman, Seane Corn, Ray Long, Bryan Kest, Ana Forrest and Sadie Nardini.

She was a Teaching Assistant for PranaShanti’s Winter 2017 200-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Program and 2018 Restorative Yoga Training. Stephanie continues to teach at the 200 and 300 hour levels of PranaShanti’s Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Programs and is the Program Co-ordinator for our 300 Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program.

Stephanie can be contacted at stephanie@pranashanti.com for any program questions.