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.
My purpose in life is to cultivate health and happiness, both in my own life and in the lives of others.
Knowing who we are, and what’s most important to us, is an essential ingredient in living a life of meaning – on purpose and with intention. The journey isn’t always easy. Often we know what we don’t want, and it can be a slow process to discover what we do want. It took me a long while… I worked for over ten years with the federal government, studied nutrition, got my certification as a Yoga Teacher in 2003, as a Life Coach in 2008, and as a Health Coach in 2012. And most recently, I became a Professional Counsellor.
Through both yoga and counselling, I love diving deep to help people find joy, intention and wellness in both their practice and their everyday lives.
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 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.
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
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!
Kim has over 25+ year experience as a Registered Massage Therapist. Her passion and knowledge for body work and different healing modalities is extensive. Also, a Yoga Teacher, Kim enjoys weaving the benefits of yoga and meditation into her treatments. Kim is skilled in massage treatments such as Deep Tissue Massage, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Thai Yoga Massage & more. Kim’s joyful and grounded presence combined with her personal attention to each individual’s physical and emotional needs keeps her very busy at PranaShanti.
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®. You can find me and my cats in my home studio overlooking the Gatineau Park. You can also meet me and hear what others have to say about working with me at www.LyndaPedley.com.
Max Strom is known for inspiring and impacting the lives of people from all walks of life, teaching breathing patterns and personal transformation worldwide. His method, Inner Axis, is known to produce immediate results in alleviating stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression, impacting the internal and emotional aspects of our life, as well as physical healing. His TEDx talk, Breathe to Heal, has over 2 million views on Youtube. Many know him for his two inspiring books: 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 and used as required reading in many yoga trainings.
A dynamic speaker, Max has presented three TEDx events, keynote addresses at medical conferences, wellbeing conferences, corporate conferences, and many yoga festivals. Most recently he presented at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the first Wellness Symposium in Saudi Arabia, and both the Inner Peace Conference and Wisdom in Business conference in Amsterdam. Max is based in the Netherlands.
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.
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 RYT 500, E-RYT200, YACEP registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She has assisted and co-taught in four 200-hour yoga teacher trainings programs. 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 is has completed her Yoga Therapy studies and is currently completing her practicum for her C-IAYT.
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.
Nadya Pohran grew up in Ottawa and started meditating at a very young age—though she did not know it was called “meditating”, at the time. In 2008 she was introduced to a form of Christian contemplative meditation (St. Ignatius) and in 2010 she travelled to South East Asia to learn more about Buddhism. It was in India, in 2012, when studying Jainism (a religion renown for its emphasis on non-violence) that she began to dive more deeply into spiritual and contemplative practices. Her current spiritual practices draw deeply from a variety of religious traditions, and also spiritual traditions outside of religious institutions, such as a love for thought-provoking poetry and the wisdom of nature.
She eventually went on to pursue a PhD in religious studies at the University of Cambridge, during which she was fortunate enough to live in an ashram in India for about a year and speak with others about their spiritual practices. After finishing her PhD project on community and belonging, she spent several months in Rishikesh, where she became a certified Yoga Teacher and Sound Healer.
Nadya is grateful for her spiritual teachers who have introduced her to the many practices in which she partakes, and to the friends and community who challenge, encourage, and deepen her own commitment to living a spiritually-oriented life. Nadya is always excited and honoured when she can teach about spirituality, such as when she taught an undergraduate course called Introduction to Contemplative Well Being at the University of Ottawa. As an academic, Nadya has always prioritized pursuing research and teaching that resonate with her own way-of-being in the world.
Nadya and her partner live in Ottawa. They both love kayaking, cycling, adding to their wealth of house plants, and finding new interesting topics to learn about.
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.
Shannon is a life long learner of yoga having completed two 200-Hour Yoga Trainings along with numerous courses and trainings.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for any program questions.
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.
Stephanie can be contacted at email@example.com for any program questions.