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.
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 Practice, is 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.
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.
For Bruce, yoga began as a physical practice to help balance out the aches, pains and stiffness of years of long-distance running and other impact sports. Since starting yoga in his early 40’s, Bruce has come to know the value of practice on, and off, the mat and considers his relationship with yoga as a long and valued friendship. This friendship cares, challenges and comforts, is a place of safety and sanctuary, holds space in struggles, gives joy in its being, brings both change and constancy and has been a solid foundation through many Life “moments”.
Bruce has explored various Hatha styles, including Astanga, Baptiste Power, Vinyasa and Yin, as well as a practice of yoga through service. In meditation, his practice is Vipassana. Beyond 200 hour core teacher training, he has trained further in Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and is a part of the 300 hour cohort at PranaShanti. His background in high-stress occupations, and in Biology and Academic Healthcare inform his approach to yoga and meditation.
In teaching, Bruce substitutes various styles at PranaShanti, and teaches in other locations. This has included leading yoga and meditation for offenders involved with the criminal justice system, and with adults living with developmental challenges.
Bruce believes that there is something in yoga for everyone, and brings his particular wisdom and wit to asana, pranayam and meditation. This winter, his practice will, once again, include immersion outdoor, as he embraces snowga and ice-anas.
In peace and kindness.
Cat Doyle loves connecting with people and helping them to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. She has fused this knowledge with her own experience and has an interest in all health, healing and wellness modalities. A yoga teacher since 2011, Cat teaches classes, hosts retreats, leads teacher training and continues her own learning.
Cat is E-RYT 500 registered and has studied with many gifted teachers including Bernie Clark (Yin), Seane Corn (Vinyasa), Maria Garre (Ayurveda), Anodea Judith (Chakra) and Abrah Arneson (Reiki and Herbal Medicine). Her background is in science — she holds a BSc. in biology and psychology. Often anatomy and functional movement are incorporated into her classes. Cat offers clear, straightforward instructions with a dose of insight and playfulness.
In addition to yoga and wellness, Cat is enthusiastic about travelling — she’s been to over 35 countries, essential oils, reading, scuba diving and snowshoeing. She has two adorable ginger cats, Poppy and Wilfrid. Cat loves the magic of the yoga community and is looking forward to connecting with you!
Chantal is a Yoga Alliance-certified 500 hour therapeutic yoga teacher who understands yoga as a practice in awareness of and acceptance of our selves.
She offers nourishing, trauma-informed classes that invite students to cultivate self-compassion while releasing tension and balancing the nervous system. Her systems-based teachings draw on elements of several yoga lineages learned from practice and from over 900 hours of teacher trainings around the world, as well as on principles of ecopsychology (fostering a connection to the earth), and have a strong focus on nurturing the nervous system.
Chantal has led Yoga for Sleep, Restorative and Reiki, and Yoga Nidra workshops and supported students in healing from PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, and sciatica in Canada and internationally. She has taught in hospital, school, home and studio settings as well as virtually and in person.
Chantal has also written for Yoga International, Elephant Journal, and other publications about how to apply tools and bring lessons learned through yoga into practice in everyday life.
With reverence, Kathleen honours the ancient tradition of Yoga as a lifelong learner. Her passion for sharing Yoga comes from a decade of direct experience and dedicated study. Kathleen’s approach is trauma-informed and focused on building collective resilience. As a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) and Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500), her work is inspired by a number of teachers, including: Hala Khouri, Dr. Richard Miller, Amy Weintraub, Maria Mendola, Joseph Le Page, Indu Arora, and Brian James in the Krishnamacharya-Desikachar lineage.
Kathleen’s presence is calming yet uplifting. Through the language of invitation and inquiry, she holds supportive space for people to make clear choices and discover what is needed now. In this atmosphere of allowing, everything is truly optional.
The exploration is slow and steady to promote a felt sense of being grounded and centered. Her offerings are designed to build inner resource and nervous system capacity. This empowers you to navigate life with more ease – even in times of great challenge. Sessions weave together a variety of practical tools, including the self-generated medicine of mudra (Sanskrit, meaning to draw forth a state of delight).
The foundation for her teaching is rooted in compassion and curiosity. Kathleen firmly believes in practice that is inclusive and adaptive – everyone is warmly welcomed. Her overall intent is to make Yoga more accessible while planting seeds for collective liberation and joy!
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!
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.
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.
Michael has done most of his studies living in Sivananda Ashrams. After his initial training he later completed the advanced yoga teacher training course, as well as the Sadhana Intensive Course which is focused on Pranayama. Michael also teaches trainings for yoga teachers to further their own development, as well as Hatha Yoga and philosophy lectures in 200hr Hatha Yoga Teacher trainings. Michael has the 500hr RYT accreditation with the Yoga Alliance.
Along with his family, Michael spends over one month each year living in an ashram, studying and teaching. Michael sums up the whole practice in six words: Breathe in slowly, Breathe out slowly.
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 Buddhism and 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 an E-200 RYT and YACEP Registered Teacher with Yoga Alliance. She has assisted and co-taught in four 200-hour RYT trainings. 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. She is currently concentrating on her 800-hour Yoga Therapy IAYT-certification with the School of Embodied Yoga Therapy. Monique’s somatic teaching practice has evolved out of yoga therapy somatic and embodied anatomy training, as well as through her studies in somatic experiencing. Monique is currently studying with teachers in Canada and Europe toward certification to work with people one-one as a somatic coach.
Pam’s passion is to teach yoga with a balance of strengthening, stretching, and connecting with yourself. Linking each movement with breath, Pam transforms your practice to movement meditation. While maintaining that the breath is the only required pose, she focuses on anatomy and sequences her classes to a peak pose, allowing for a safe yet challenging progression in your personal practice. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 200), has taught over 2000 hours of classes, and is certified in Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Meditation, as well as specializing in other styles.
Pam is also a Reiki Master and Teacher, and the founder of Star Reiki. The three main principles of Star Reiki are Intention, Love (Energy), and Grounding, simplifying this powerful healing modality. She receives messages from Oneness from a sense of knowing, images, feelings, mediumship, and into to the psychic realms. Often discovering and healing the root cause of current ailments, deep releases and healing may be experienced into the present and future. While no two sessions can ever be the same, she taps into Oneness and always asks for the highest good for you!
She offers private Reiki sessions and certification courses and gives workshops combining Star Reiki and Yoga at PranaShanti.
Pam is grateful to be a loving wife and mother of two boys, and holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Business. After working in high-tech for 8 years and transitioning to be a stay-at-home Mom for 6 years, she enjoys her third career and true purpose, teaching yoga and Star Reiki full-time since 2014, as these powerful modalities have saved and guided her. As well as providing healing to all, her passion is to teach and share her knowledge, so we can all learn how to heal ourselves! Pam is honoured and grateful to continually further her studies with teachers in the Ottawa area and beyond, learning daily from her students!
Paula completed her first 500 hour teacher training in 2008 with Modo Yoga. She has gone on to complete the Modo Yoga level 2, as well as her Level 1 and 2 power yoga training with Baron Baptiste. She draws her influences from a mix of yoga styles and movement modalities, and most recently completed her Functional Range Systems with Dr. Spina. Paula teaches an athletic style, weaving in strength work, mobility work and breathwork into her asana practices. Paula is a 500 hour registered Yoga Alliance teacher.
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’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.