Meet Our Teachers
Yoga Tree teachers lead safe, compassionate and energizing classes that aim to restore balance, creating peace and harmony in your body.
Debbi first explored yoga as a way to deal with the pressures of a high-stress job in IT and has been practicing various forms of hot, hatha and flow yoga since 2002.
Debbi is registered with the Yoga Alliance (RYT200) and Canadian Yogic Alliance (CYA-E-RYT200) and has been teaching since 2004. Her additional certifications include prenatal and kids yoga. She has also shared the joy and benefits of yoga with other new moms through Mom and Baby yoga classes.
Yoga has brought her the physical benefits of endurance, focus and flexibility and most importantly inner strength and awareness.
Debbi teaches yoga because she wants to share her passion for yoga, and believes that we can all take our yogic experiences off the mat and in to our daily lives.
Debbi endeavours to make yoga accessible to all levels of practitioners, and loves putting together uniquely inspiring playlists. In her classes, expect her to guide you through a vigorous practice with an emphasis on being true to your Self and gaining joy, not frustration, on your mat.
As the principal instructor at Yoga Tree, Jason is best known for his authentic and no-nonsense approach to yoga. Jason offers unique seamless-sequencing, challenging his students to reach their full potential in each yoga practice. In his level 2 classes, Jason will guide students to balance their strength and flexibility, challenge gravity, and introduce arm balances as which are part of his foundation asanas. In his level 3 classes, students will play with the foundation asanas, exploring new variations, deep backbends and inversions. Jason completed his 200 hour training in Mysore, India and 500 hour training in New York City. Jason is also an ambassador for Lululmeon Athletica promoting yoga benefits to the greater community.
The practice of Yoga transformed Karin's life. It got her in touch with her true self, developed a deeper awareness and profound understanding that opened her heart and mind to the limitless possibilities in life.
Karin has been practicing Yoga since 1999 and teaching since 2007. She is fascinated by the 'step by step' of self discovery through this practice and excited to share her insights and love for Yoga with the world.
Karin's class's focus is on staying connected to the inner self with emphasis on breathing, developing body and mind awareness, as well as core strength, muscle tone, improved posture, balance and inner confident.
She is a senior instructor at Yoga Tree studios and a teacher training program director. She believes that the practice can be adaptable to suit every body when attending the specific needs of the individual and encourages her students to listen to their bodies and work in a way that feels safe to them while having fun with their practice.
Annie Marie is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor who has been practicing yoga over 10 years. She has recently returned from Pune, India where she studied with Geeta and Prashant Iyengar at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute. Anne Marie discovered the benefits of yoga after struggling for many years with a demanding career in the film and television industry. Her teaching is a blend of careful asana work, anatomy and compassion.
Deborah, a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, endeavors to empower her students to create their own sense of wellbeing and strength through their yoga practice. Her studies include classes at the Iyengar Institute in Pune India and in Canada with senior Iyengar teacher. Deborah guides students through a sequence of Iyengar yoga postures, breathing and meditation techniques designed to improve energy flow in their bodies. Improved energy flow promotes positive changes in physical and mental health and the feeling of happiness within.
Yoga as a philosophy and physical discipline has been a major interest of Tom’s since the early ‘70’s. Tom has studied Iyengar Yoga regularly for over eight years, and supplemented this training with classes from a number of other senior Iyengar Yoga teachers along with attending the Iyengar Yoga school in Pune, India in 2007. As many other dedicated students of Iyengar Yoga have learned, Tom appreciates the physical health and emotional benefits one can experience from regular practice of this discipline. He enjoys encouraging his students to experience this same awareness with care and enthusiasm.
Nash's classes are unlike any others. His classes are fun, playful, lighthearted and vibrant. He is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to philosophy and shares his knowledge with anyone who comes to his classes.
Diana discovered the benefits of yoga after experiencing tremendous stress in her personal and professional career. Her passion for yoga sent her on the journey to deepen her personal practice and to share the boundless holistic benefits of yoga to everyone. She aspires to motivate and guide students to improve their overall health and wellness through the development of self-confidence, spiritual and physical awareness, improved strength and flexibility, and stress reduction. As a successful graduate of the Yoga Teacher Training Program with Yoga Tree back in 2010, her high-energy classes are a flavorful blend of Ashtanga Vinyasa and traditional Hatha yoga with a focus on alignment, balance and endurance.
Kim offers classes where students can relax and clear their minds, while still being challenged and delivering what their physical body needs.
Specializing in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Yin, she completed her initial teacher training with Yoga Tree and has expanded her knowledge with various teachers in Canada and India. Practicing since 2005 and teaching since 2010, Kim's ongoing learning is a commitment to her students and her personal yoga journey.
Her passion for helping others inspires her to hold space for fun, creative and safe practices that accommodate every individual yogi.
Sandra believes the benefits of yoga go beyond physical fitness and is committed to developing the inner aspects of the yoga practice. In her classes she encourages her students to do their best, listen to their bodies and respect their abilities, as well as to focus on their breath while they work in the right alignment. Her classes are well balanced and flow with ease from pose to pose, as she challenges her students to develop strength, flexibility and inner awareness.
Ramona comes from a teaching background with a speciality in Physical Education. Her classes incorporates balance, flexibility, strength and mental focus with dynamic movement in order to enhance communication between mind and muscle. Being sensitive to the needs of her students, Ramona will help you appreciate where you are in your practice and help to foster your growth.
Emily began practicing yoga in 2004 to balance her involvement in rugby and complement her passion for dance. Along with its physical advantages she discovered the deeper spiritual connection and lifestyle benefits. As a yoga instructor Emily hopes to share her love and knowledge of yoga with her students. Her classes aim to provide students with the opportunity to grow as individuals along their personal yoga paths, and to be challenged physically and spiritually through the mind-body connection.
Amanda has been recognized for her inspirational classes that focus on the physical and mystical aspects of yoga. A versatile teacher who graduated Yoga Tree's teacher training program in 2010. Amanda has continued her education while obtaining many more certification in such styles as Yin and Acro Yoga. Her playful and creative teaching style which includes light-hearted analogies and rhythmic transitions from posture to posture will leave students feeling both inspired and lighter after class. Amanda's students are quick to acknowledge how safe they feel when exploring intricate postures and navigating the possibilities of their body and mind in her classes. She creates an atmosphere where each student is encouraged to celebrate their own body and mind within each moment.
Rebecca began practicing yoga in her teens as a figure skater to improve her balance and flexibility. She continued to practice because it was just so much fun. Since then Rebecca has been coming to her mat with the intention to practice yoga and has enjoyed every moment. She continues to develop a practice with less expectation and more attention to the details of the specific posture in the specific moment. Whether it’s breathing out with each movement into a forward fold or pushing down through a precise area of your foot in a standing posture you can be sure Rebecca will focus on it in her personal practice and teach it in her classes.
Rebecca encourages students to practice yoga with integrity; letting go of the desire to achieve “perfect” or more advanced postures, and focusing on the details of alignment, body awareness, deep steady breath, and the overall feeling in the posture.
Rebecca graduated from the Yoga Tree teacher training program in 2011. She currently enjoys teaching and practicing her own style of yoga based on Hatha, Ashtanga, Anusara, Iyengar, Yin, and Restorative yoga. She is also working towards earning her license as a Naturopathic Doctor.
Having first encountered yoga as a child, Ali returned to the practice in 2002 and sampled various styles including Iyengar, Viniyoga and traditional Hatha before finding Jivamukti Yoga. Ali completed her Jivamukti Yoga Teacher certification and apprenticeship in 2005 and began to teach in Toronto. In late 2007 Ali left Toronto and spent the next two years travelling, studying, teaching and practicing yoga in Australia and New Zealand. Ali continues to study all aspects of yoga -- special interests include Sanskrit, meditation and yoga philosophy -- and has additional certifications in both Restorative and Yin Yoga. Ali endeavours to guide students through a safe, breath-driven practice with a focus on alignment and an exploration of the practitioner's inner landscape. Ali is grateful to all of her teachers and dedicates her efforts to the happiness and freedom of all beings.
Kim has been practicing yoga for over twenty years and teaching for seventeen years. Kim recently returned from California where she apprenticed and worked with Elise Browning Miller. During her years traveling and teaching with Elise, Kim taught at yoga retreats and at intensives such as Yoga Journal conventions. Throughout her career, Kim also studied intensively with renown, gifted teachers: Rodney Yee, Shiva Rea, Seane Corne, Richard Freeman and Baron Baptiste. Kim’s classes are infused with humour, insight and energy.
Aley found yoga five years ago and she absolutely loves it. What began as a physical practice has grown to offer her a deep sense of connection, balance and possibility. She completed her 250-hour teacher training with Yoga Tree and is grateful to her teachers Jason Lu, Karin Charuz and Elysia Baldassarra. Aley strives to promote a safe place to practice for her students, focusing on alignment, mind and body awareness and the breath. Through playful, flowing sequencing, Aley challenges her students to explore the great potential of their bodies, hearts and minds. Join her for a light-hearted practice, finding humor, sweat, joy and inner stillness.
A graduate from McMaster University in Psychology, Michelle utilizes her understanding of human learning to cultivate balanced yet challenging classes. Michelle encourages students to utilize relaxation techniques to release themselves from self-imposed limitations and move deeper into their personal practice. Encouraging students to connect breath to movement, focus on alignment, balance strength and flexibility, develop core strength, and have fun. Michelle’s classes are both challenging and light hearted. When Michelle is not teaching you can usually find her upside down in her favourite asana, headstand.
Adventure, compassion and determination are the three pillars of Sandy's yoga philosophy. Sandy's classes are a blend of precise alignment cues and adjustments with a down-to-earth humour and humility that make for an empowering vinyasa experience. She considers each class an opportunity to rediscover our innate capability for joy, and to inspire all yogis to live their fullest lives.
Sandy discovered yoga after coming off a surfing injury while living abroad. Advised by a fellow surfer to take up yoga, she found that yoga provided a method of connecting to our world that was kind, genuine and loving. She has been living, breathing, moving and healing with yoga each day since. Inspired constantly by her fellow yogis, Sandy is currently working towards her 500 hr advanced certification under the Yoga Medicine curriculum.
Dr. Elysia Baldassarra graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Sciences, with specializations in the areas of biology and psychology. From there, she attained her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College with clinical honours. She believes continuing education is fundamental to exceptional patient care, recently completing a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences.
As a Certified Yoga Instructor, Dr. Baldassarra combines her medical knowledge with the physical and mental rejuvenation of yoga practice, giving her patients and students the unique opportunity to fully work towards optimal health. You can find her teaching an invigorating class at Yoga Tree, working in the wellness center or preparing yoga teachers in training as an anatomy professor. She aspires to motivate and educate her patients and students to achieve their personal health goals while attaining the benefits of mind and body awareness.
Dr. Baldassarra has a passion for teaching, and is proud to work as an associate professor in the faculty of Pre-Health Sciences at George Brown College. She uses her clinical knowledge and experience to help students reach academic success.
Dr. Baldassarra has an interest in women’s health, including pre and post-natal care. As a Doctor of Chiropractic, a professor, and a mother, she has the unique ability to teach at a level understood by all. She has developed a passion to share the benefits of yoga and chiropractic care experiencing first hand the importance yoga had on her own pregnancy.
Dr. Baldassarra has been inspired by the practice of yoga and its ability to prepare the
body and mind for the miracle of childbirth.
Lee's passion lies in helping children achieve their optimal potential. Using her knowledge of development and learning styles as an Occupational Therapist, Lee has created a yoga program specifically for children that utilizes a whole body and mind approach. Lee's classes are appropriate for all children between the ages of 5 and 12. Each 45 minute class incorporates the physical aspect of yoga as well as addressing concentration, focus and social development, and ends with a take-home craft.
Karen began her practice with yoga 12 years ago and completed Classical Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in 2005 with Yogi Vishvketu and Chetana Panwar. Based in yoga asana, Karen weaves her Reiki Master Certification into the flow and purpose of her classes to encourage people to embrace their personal power and sense of fun. Karen is also certified in Advanced Yoga Philosophy with Scott Petrie and joyfully draws from The Groove Method dance training to infuse her classes with her passion for movement expression to facilitate healing for everyone. She teaches Hatha, Restorative, Therapeutic and Prenatal yoga.
Gordana has been on a lifelong quest for health and balance. As a result of this journey, she came across Yoga and began practicing in 2004, feeling immense benefits from the start. A year and a half after joining Yoga Tree, Gordana received her teacher certification and began working as an instructor in early 2011. Her classes are mainly Hatha and Restorative inspired, and aim to help students feel more energetic, healthier, stronger and more flexible from their practice. Gordana is passionate about practicing and teaching yoga and hopes that in the long run, her students can share this passion with her and achieve a sense of mental and physical balance, feeling relaxed and at peace, on and off the mat.
Jonny Belinko is a yoga teacher based in Toronto, Canada teaching
Ashtanga Yoga in the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois tradition. He has traveled
twice to Mysore, India to study Ashtanga Yoga with
Sharath Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute.
A student of yoga for over 5 years, Monique has embraced the practice for its physical challenge and its
profound effect on emotional well-being. With the integration of music into her Vinyasa and Hatha flow classes, Monique brings energy, precise instruction, creative sequencing and emphasis on the healing benefits of breathing.
Monique encourages her students to develop self-awareness, to let go of judgement and to guide their practice from a quiet place within, thereby experiencing well-being on every level.
Aaron first discovered yoga as a teenager. He was immediately drawn to the balance yoga brought to his life, and this passion eventually led him to explore teaching. Emphasizing a playful and light-hearted approach in his classes, he strives to cultivate an atmosphere of self-reflection and awareness. Since completing his initial teacher training he has studied Yin and Restorative Yoga. His teachers and students provide him with an endless source of inspiration. Aaron seeks to share what he's learned in the hopes of helping others discover, improve, and maintain their own personal practice.
Queenie is a Toronto-based yoga instructor who believes that yoga is much more than being able to do advanced postures. She is first and foremost a student of yoga. Over the past 8 years, Queenie moved from North America to various parts of Asia, and then back to North America. She's practiced and taught in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Atlanta, and Toronto, where she had the opportunity to learn from a variety of teachers with diverse styles and views on yoga. A graduate of Yoga Tree's teacher training program, her teaching style combines all of her favourite components learned from these experiences. She uses each class to teach both fundamental postures and techniques, while at the same time introducing interesting new flows and target poses. Expect to be asked to smile while in her classes, and to sweat.
Mabel Pun is a certified yoga instructor, certified Thai yoga therapist, reiki master and meditation guide. She has acquired 600 hours in training and is a graduate of Yoga Tree Teacher Training Program. Mabel has studied intensively with many world renowned teachers in different disciplines of yoga and therapeutic modules which included yin, restorative and prenatal and postnatal yoga, thai yoga therapy, reiki, meditations, sound healing, inversions, hand and arm balancing, specific core training, alignment and breathe work.
Endurance, strength and flexibility collaborating together with calmness and stillness of the mind; this formula is the basis behind all of Edyta’s classes. Connection to breath and engagement of core results in less strain physically and mentally in not only a yoga practice but in all aspects of life.
Edyta’s love for people shines through in her classes. Humbleness and humility are integrated through Edyta’s teaching style; her spirit and energy is felt by all of her students.
Edyta’s classes are light hearted, very energetic and highly empowering. Focus is on breath, proper alignment, core strengthening and tension release.
Edyta has practiced yoga for about 10 years, until finally deciding to dive in and complete her teacher’s training with Yoga Tree Studios. She believes yoga has completely changed her life, making her a more compassionate and understanding human being. Her yoga practice and ability to connect to breath, has also tremendously helped her in her battle with anxiety. The benefits of yoga are endless. A yoga practice changes each person who commits to it in such a deep and profound way, everyone’s journey is different, and it’s up to each individual as to what that journey will look like for them.
Jelayna found yoga in 2006. For the next four years she visited her practice with a shy reluctance. A collegiate athlete who studied at the University of Kansas on a full athletic scholarship for rowing, she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Working in both corporate and non profit positions, she searched for balance. It wasn’t until 2010, when she walked through the Yogatree studio doors, that she began to find the internal peace and balance yoga provides through physical, emotional, mental and spiritual movement.
She finally fully gave herself to the practice of yoga. A grateful graduate of the Yogatree teacher training program, her focus is on helping others find self acceptance through the practice of yoga. Movement of the body helps still the mind. If your mind is racing, come and enjoy a class with Jelayna. Just be ready to leave your reluctance on the mat.
Jenny is a Yoga Teacher, RYT-200, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, RHN and Food Editor at Sweat Equity magazine. Her approach to wellness focuses on the development of a strong and healthy body through a balanced diet of whole foods, routine exercise, yoga and meditation. Jenny teaches permanent yoga classes at several Yoga Tree locations and offers Holistic Nutrition services at our Yoga Tree Wellness Centre at Bay & Dundas.
Parry first found Yoga to help with the physical demands of being an automotive technician. What started as a physical practice has transformed into the quest to deepen his understanding of the practice of Yoga. Parry's classes emphasize strengthening and the benefit of proper alignment. He is passionate to share and he aims to guide all levels of yogis to find their own practice.
Cheri was drawn to yoga in 2008 by the beauty of the creative and artistic postures, and was captured by the many benefits she received to the mind, body and soul. She is a graduate of the Yoga Tree teacher training program, and incorporates a fun and positive energy into her classes.
Life is too short to be taken so seriously, and she aims to instill joy into people’s lives by leading them through their practice with a smile.
Lucas discovered his practice during a slump of depression and anxiety. Through yoga, he was able to alter and transform his perspectives of life and overcome his battles with depression through a more positive mindset and lifestyle . Additional physical benefits from his dedicated yoga practice include weight loss and the feeling of becoming more physically fit.
Lucas has graduated from Yoga Tree's 250 hour teacher training program, but it was only the beginning of his journey. He hopes through teaching and studying that he can further his own knowledge and practice while helping others explore their practice as well.
Peter first started yoga in 2008 and received his RYT 200 Teacher Training at Yoga Tree Studios in 2013. From Peter's perspective, yoga has brought him strength, flexibility, peace, stability, grace and balance into his life and he believes yoga is for all people and hope to share his passion and commitment with others. Namaste.
Michelle discovered yoga in 2010 and immediately fell in love with the practice. As a former gymnast, yoga became a natural way to regain strength, flexibility and overall fitness. What started as a primarily physical practice, has developed into a strong passion for all that yoga has to offer; physically, mentally and spiritually. A graduate of Yoga Tree’s Teacher Training Program, Michelle is excited to share her love of yoga with her students and help them advance their personal practices. Come to Michelle’s classes ready to flow, sweat, laugh and breathe.
Miranda is a Toronto based yoga teacher whose philosophy in life is to follow your bliss and inspire others to do the same.
With over 30 years of experience rooted in many forms of movement arts, Miranda is known to guide her students to move fluidly with heightened body awareness drawn through keen attention to the details of body alignment and breath work.
Miranda will challenge you to tap into your own creative space to find deeper levels of coordination, concentration and control of the body. Miranda seeks to strengthen, heal, detoxify, and exhilarate the body and mind through offering classes that are challenging, uplifting and approachable taking you beyond the physical aspects of yoga and into your own sacred space. A space that she hopes will leave you feeling inspired and very much at peace - both on and off the mat.
Miranda specializes in Vinyasa Flow, Hatha Flow, Core Yoga, Partner Yoga, Acro Yoga and her most recent yoga offering, Flow and Glow!
Ang discovered yoga in 2009 when she finally let her roommate drag her to her first class. Given her background as a gymnast she was always told she'd love yoga and she immediately fell in love with the practice. Yoga truly increases her balance, flexibility, and strength in the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life. After finishing her teacher training Ang has dedicated as much time as she can to teaching yoga outside her job as a laboratory manager at Sick Kids Hospital. Her intensely smiley personality combined with her knowledge of human anatomy provides students with classes in which they can be challenged, find proper alignment, and have fun in the process
Alexa is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Tree Studios. Her personal yoga mantra is “Ahimsa” or non-violence. She would like to bring this practice of non-violent yoga into the community noting that many of the issues seen on the mat are also treated on a daily basis by health care practitioners, like chiropractors and massage therapists.
Kate began to practice yoga in 2009 while studying the performing arts at Randolph Academy. After graduating she completed her initial Yoga Teacher Training, studying the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition and went on to complete The Art of Mysore Advanced Teacher Training. Certified in Thai Yoga Massage and Reiki she brings elements from both of these traditions into her teaching style. Through class she wishes to enable students to explore the body’s potential.
Farley came to yoga to work on his flexibility by suggestion from his Muay Thai Kickboxing trainer. Realizing that yoga is not only physically beneficial but also mentally therapeutic, Farley hopes to inspire others to find the same healing qualities from yoga.
Farley has an extensive background in Massage Therapy, and he offers insight to his classes focusing on proper alignment and safety, while still challenging students and encouraging a sense of fun and excitement.
Shirley started her yoga journey in 2007. What started out as a fun exercise soon became her form of self-care to relax from school. While working abroad, she recognized that the benefits of yoga go beyond the physical practice. Yoga was a moving meditation which helped her center and focus the mind.
Shirley strongly believes yoga is a journey to understand one’s own body. She hopes to cultivate body awareness, honouring one's body through the practice of yoga. In Shirley’s class one can expect variations and it to be mindful and fun.
Erin has been practicing Yoga since 2004 and completed her 250-hour teacher training with Yoga Tree. Her love and passion for yoga shines through in all of her classes.
Nisha first found yoga while working in an advertising agency in India in 2008. To her, Yoga is a way of life and she looks at yoga as a human experience that inspires stability, flexibility & strength at all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
A graduate of Yoga Tree’s Teacher Training Program, she gives thanks to her teachers Jason Lu, Karin Charuz and Elysia Baldassarra for their gentle and open-minded approach to teaching. Nisha’s main focus is on motivating her students to feel the JOY that is; bringing body, breath, mind and spirit in sync! Her classes are a dynamic flow integrating breathing techniques, alignment, and core work. Come experience her love of yoga as she shares with you the amazing layers of experience that it can offer with an array of positivity!
“Nothing in the world can purify as powerful as wisdom;practiced in yoga, you find this wisdom within yourself”-Bhagvat Gita
Matt's classes focus equally on internal and external strength and awareness. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner, he looks forward to challenging you mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Vani has always been inquisitive about how things relate to one another, how people create the world by how they live their lives. She started in journalism, moved on to corporate ethics and public education, and then fell in love with Yoga where she felt the perfect combination of individual experience within a collective of like-minded beings.
Caroline was initially drawn to yoga as on outlet for stress release and physical activity after long days in the office. Quickly realizing that the benefits of yoga were much more meaningful than anticipated, she found greater balance, focus, and physical strength that stayed with her both on and off the mat.
Kelly has a love for the outdoors and sports including running, volleyball, and soccer. She discovered yoga and pilates over 10 years ago and fell in love with them after a serious Achilles injury that helped her achieve a gentle yet speedy recovery.
Over the past few years she has concentrated more on yoga due to the mindfulness and focus that it brings to her life. She graduated from Yoga Tree’s teacher training program shortly after her arrival to Toronto from Vancouver.
In her classes, there is a focus on core, strengthening and balancing in a fun yet challenging environment. She believes in stimulating the students’ body, mind and spirit through practice in a safe and healthy manner.
Heather is a graduate of the Yoga Tree teacher training program and a practitioner of Thai yoga massage who has been practicing yoga for over a decade. Yoga has helped Heather to develop better body mechanics that are an asset even (or especially!) when going for a run, sitting at her desk, or curling up on the couch! She enjoys the strength, flexibility, and acceptance yoga has brought into her life and welcomes the opportunity to support other practitioners to find the benefits of their yoga practice. In her hatha, vinyasa, and hot classes, Heather encourages awareness of positive body alignment, steady breathing, and mindful movement. During restorative classes, students also have the opportunity to experience relaxing, Thai massage-inspired adjustments if they wish. She invites you to find moments of stillness and appreciation of your body, breath, and mind.
Rana’s yoga journey began in 2009, and she has only grown more passionate for it ever since. Yoga has helped her find an inner peace, brought a greater joy, and has taught her to gain a better sense of awareness. A graduate of Yoga Tree’s Teacher Training program, Rana hopes to help others find balance through mind, body and breath. She strives to make her classes fun and challenging while focusing on balance, strength, flexibility, and alignment.
Jovian began yoga in 2010 when he moved to Toronto for university, and quickly became hooked, finding the combination of vigorous exercise and mindful breathwork to be a wonderful counterbalance to the pressures of grad school. A grateful graduate of the Yoga Tree Teacher Training Program, Jovian is thrilled to be able to share the transformative practice of yoga with others.
Dang first discovered yoga while on vacation in Mexico. Having been active and involved in sports growing up, he had been trying to stay in shape primarily with weight lifting. Dang was quickly captivated by the practice of yoga as a way to increase his flexibility while maintaining strength and stamina in a balanced way. Now he finds that with regular practice, yoga also brings him greater awareness, both mentally and spiritually.
Dang aims to share the valuable knowledge he gained during the Yoga Tree's 250 hour Teacher Training, and to help his students develop their own practice in a safe and fun environment.
Oliver Dawson-Clark is a Toronto-based Ashtanga yoga teacher with more than 500 hours of teacher training. He has a daily yoga practice and has been teaching classes and workshops in Canada and internationally since 2007. Oliver specializes in yoga for strength building and arm balances, and is popular with his students for his friendly, down to earth personality and straightforward approach.
Starting his yoga journey in 2013, Eric stepped onto his mat and a passion for yoga ignited that he knew would continue to blossom. Eric is a 200 hour RYT. He completed his yoga training at Yoga Tree Studios.
Eric likes to add creative and unique ways to make the poses he teaches in class extra graceful and extra elegant to help keep his students inspired. When coming to one of Eric’s classes, expect for it not to only be a workout of the body & mind, but also a tranquil healing experience, yin & yang working in perfect harmony.
Zen found yoga in 2010 when looking for a way to keep her body and mind healthy in the face of a busy schedule. Yoga quickly became so much more than just keeping a healthy body. It challenged her to get to know herself and how to quiet her mind. To Zen, yoga is about learning when and how surrender and when to push and strive further.
A graduate of the Yoga Tree Teacher Training program, she is grateful to the Yoga Tree community for continuous support and encouragement, enabling her take her own practice further and to share it with others.
In her classes, she guides her students through a challenging practice that connects movement to breath, encouraging them to listen to their minds and bodies. She challenges students to find the balance between surrender and control and to find a way to take yoga off the mat and into their daily lives.
Ani’s yoga philosophy is one rooted in self-care and community. She believes that taking time out of our often stressful lives to practice yoga helps to make the world at least a little bit better for ourselves and the people around us.
Ani is a graduate of the Yoga Tree TeacherTraining program and grateful for all that her teachers have provided her. Flowing in between effort and ease, her classes teach us how to connect mind and body through strength, flexibility and focus, offering opportunities to expand your physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries.
The sanctity of the yoga mat, four corners in which to surrender burdens, release stress, and gain strength. A place of complete acceptance.
After a long absence from yoga practice, Peggy returned to cure a chronic back problem in 2014 and found much more. The physical benefits led to a full appreciation of practice, including the mental and spiritual aspects.
She is inspired by the well-being that yoga brings to people of all ages and abilities. With particular sensitivity to the stresses of today’s world, she emphasizes breath and movement to release deeply held tension. Slowing down, finding inner strength and bringing it to a physical expression are personal experiences she would like to share with others.
Peggy is overjoyed to have found her, “Third Act”, following previous occupations in interior design and parenting. A grateful graduate of Yoga Tree’s Teacher Training Program, she feels blessed to witness the transformative power of yoga.
In 2010, Mallorie tried her first downward dog. It felt impossible, which she decided meant she should probably stretch more often! Her practice is always evolving, influenced by what is going on in her life and by the yoga community around her. The ability of yoga to fit her ever-changing needs, throughout the years as well as on a day-to-day basis, is part of what gives her so much respect and love for this practice.
Mallorie has an avid interest in alignment, and believes strongly in the work of checking your ego at the door. She has been shown again and again that what you face on the mat is a direct reflection of your patterns, and utilizes her practice to gain a deeper self-knowledge. She understands that this can be an intense process, and strives to provide an environment in her classes that will let you move through those moments, always connecting to your breath to get you through.
Finally getting the chance to complete her teacher training with Yoga Tree is something she is extremely proud of and grateful for having had the opportunity to do. Her classes are influenced by her own practice, as well as her lifelong love and connection to music.
Jaime began her personal practice in 2010 when she attended her first class, ashtanga, while traveling in Tel Aviv, Israel. Being advised to try yoga in order to relieve back pain caused from a competitive snowboarding injury, she instantly experienced the benefits of the various types of yoga. Her love for her practice has grown stronger just as she has, both physically and mentally; from a beginner package at Yoga Tree Vaughan to becoming a graduate of The Yoga Tree Teacher Training Program. She is extremely grateful for the dedication and effort that her teachers Jason Lu, Karin Charuz and Elysia Baldassarra devoted to the program and her personal development.
Jaime focuses on helping students find their inner balance and encourages them to have fun while building strength, and awareness, allowing them to trust in the strength of their bodies and minds. Jaime welcomes all levels of students to her classes and looks forward to guiding you through a smooth flow of strong movements.
Bonnie’s yoga journey started in 2013, when she started working full-time in the Corporate Sector. As a way to relieve stress, she started practicing yoga after a friend recommended it, and has been passionate about the practice ever since then.
Her teaching style focuses on flow, strength, balance, and alignment. Bonnie hopes to share both the mental and physical benefits of yoga with her students. She believes that everyone could benefit with a little bit (or a lot) of yoga in their lives!
Jonathan's yoga practice helps him stay grounded. Even while he was traveling and working abroad, in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the United States, he was able to find the time to learn from dedicated teachers. When he returned to Toronto, Jonathan completed his yoga teacher training with Yoga Tree Studios RYT 200. In his classes, Jonathan encourages his students to work towards their own individual edge and focus on how they feel in the postures. He understands that working towards goal poses like headstand can be addictive, but believes that in yoga the real work is aiming for balance in both body and mind. Come to one of Jonathan's classes and expect to be challenged, to let go of tension, and to laugh a little along the way!
Daniel is trained in and teaches a variety of yoga styles including traditional Hatha, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga and Yin Yoga. He has been practicing for many years and holds a number of yoga teacher training qualifications with schools recognized by Yoga Alliance, including his 500 RYT. With a background in athletics and fitness training, Daniel has a strong understanding of the body and difficulties that can arise from injury, aging and natural wear and tear. Daniel has also trained in yoga therapy to help assist those recovering from acute short term injuries, long term issues, pain management and degenerative problems such as arthritis.
Michelle views the physical practice of yoga as a moving meditation, where the focus on breath acts as a way of bringing the mind and body into a state of union. Pursuing a PhD at the University of Toronto with a focus on the history of emotions, she believes that yoga allows us to explore and better understand our internal landscape, so that we can develop more empathy and act with greater awareness in our everyday lives.
Michelle’s classes are dynamic and creatively sequenced, with an emphasis on alignment, breath, and finding a sense of playfulness within challenge. She encourages her students to cultivate balance between effort and ease, and aims to hold space for self-exploration, interconnectivity, and growth.
As a seasoned practicing Nurse Annie has been committed to empowering others to reach their full health potential. Through the practice of yoga she is thrilled to have found a way to continue to help others combine a healthy mind, body and spirit.
As a new YTT graduate Annie is passionate about helping students achieve a safe and fulfilling yoga experience through awareness, thoughtful movement and connection to breath.
In 2012, after practicing yoga for 4 years, Lauren began teaching meditation to survivors of trauma and domestic violence. In 2016 she completed her yoga teacher training and began teaching at Yoga Tree Studios.
She has since studied Functional Movement through Childhood Developmental Kinesiology, Tensegrity and Somatics, and DNS. She is also working toward becoming certified in Yoga Therapy, and Ayurveda.
Lauren's classes focus on finding a balance of strength and flexibility, as well as peace of mind and calmness of breath. She believes that yoga is for everybody, and aims to teach inclusive and beneficial movement for students from all walks of life.
Caroline's classes explore traditional practices from a modern perspective. Her teaching is direct and down-to-earth. There is a focus on optimal alignment and the connection of breath with a calm mind. Although challenging, they are accessible to everybody and every body who enjoys movement and wants to gain flexibility, strength and stamina. Caroline's classes target your inner strength and will motivate you in a positive direction.
She received an Hons.Bsc in Psychology from the University of Toronto and completed her initial teacher training with Yoga Tree. She has also expanded her teacher training knowledge by studying in London, England. She knows the amazing benefits to a regular yoga practice and inspires people to lead a healthy, happier and more compassionate life on and off your mat!
Tara began taking yoga classes to build physical strength, but what made her addicted to the practice were the emotional and mental benefits of asana. Through yoga, she has found self-love and acceptance, which have enabled her to achieve many things she never thought possible - including becoming a yoga teacher.
Through dynamic flows that will increase the heart rate and build strength, balanced with restorative counter-poses and emphasis on the connection to breath and on focusing of one’s own practice, Tara hopes to facilitate the journey towards self-love and acceptance for her students.
Rhea started practising yoga 8 years ago, but fell in love with it as a teenager when she was able to use it to escape from the pressures of adolescent life. Yoga became a tool for her to bring peace into her life while strengthening and stretching her body, and she was fascinated by the science behind the physical and mental benefits of the practice. Rhea wanted to share this energizing and relaxing practice with youth, so she got certified through YogaTree’s Teacher Training program where she was fortunate enough to be taught by amazing teachers like Jason, Karin and Elysia. Today she teaches teen-only classes and hopes that all youth in her community, especially those struggling with anxiety and self-esteem issues, have the opportunity to experience the magic of yoga.
Since discovering yoga in early 2000 and making it a regular practice in the last few years, Shannon has found greater sense of peace, calm and awareness in everyday life. After completing the 280 hour yoga teacher training program with YogaTree it became evident that sharing her passion for yoga with others is her calling.
In addition to the physical benefits of strength and flexibility, Shannon hopes to help students find revitalized energy, a sense of calm, and the opportunity to be more mindful and present. Students leave practice with Shannon feeling peaceful and rejuvenated.
Born and raised in Montreal, Carmen was initially introduced to Yoga in 2010. Her practice is deeply influenced by Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga traditions. Carmen believes that there is always something to learn from one another whether it is sitting still as a student or as a teacher. She aims to share her passion and creativity when it comes to sound body movements. Her multidisciplinary approach towards yoga brings calmness and warmth to the room. With her contagious positive energy, she hopes to build connections through every interaction.
Shaun’s interest in Yoga came from looking for a counterpart to his martial arts practice that would help him keep his inner calmness, and remain strong and flexible. He has completed his 200hr training in Germany and his 500hr in New York City.
Shaun teaches Hatha, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, and Yin Yoga classes. His classes are genuine, supportive, challenging, and always in a fun loving environment. His attention is to correct alignment, breathwork, and stretching the mind to go beyond physical practice. With calm and supportive guidance, Shaun allows his students to reach and feel their undiscovered potential.
Kelly Barnes is a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), in good standing with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and also member of the Registered Massage Therapists Association of Ontario. Kelly is a believer in overall wellness and feels strongly that Massage Therapy has major benefits for the body, mind and soul. After a full assessment, including an analysis of posture and potential muscle imbalances, Kelly formulates a treatment for the specific needs of each individual. Using a combination of fascial and muscle release, deep tissue, Swedish techniques, joint play, trigger point therapy and facilitated stretching, Kelly creates a personalized treatment for each client to help alleviate specific symptoms, find the source of dysfunction and aims to educate clients on how to avoid injury in the future. Kelly has also taken additional training in Perinatal massage via the Trimesters: Perinatal Professional Development Course and has experience working with Moms to be as well as brand new Moms. Kelly looks forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your wellness goals!
Andrea’s love for movement began with ballet at a very young age. Shortly after completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, she somehow stumbled into a Yoga Class one day - and was immediately hooked! She quickly dedicated herself wholeheartedly to the practice, falling in love with the discipline required, the non-judgmental culture and the unique way that yoga challenges you. Andrea is a RYT 250 graduate of Yoga Tree's Yoga Teacher Training program specializing in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha Flow and Hot yoga. Andrea’s career as a performer will only service to shine the spotlight on her natural gifts, bringing her energy, passion and pure joy to every one of her classes.
Jessica Olie is a certified yoga instructor based out of Dubai, and has gained an international following through her e-books #LETSSTARTYOGA and #LETSSTARTYOGA 2.0. Jessica hopes that you will be able to learn from her experiences and more about what it means to practice yoga safely and effectively. More importantly, Jessica wants to give you the tools and knowledge you need to kickstart your yoga journey and take it to the next level. We are excited to host Jessica once again in Canada!
Celine was first introduced to yoga in 2014 when she was living in Hong Kong. With a background in dancing, she has always loved the body’s capability in creating pretty shapes and forms. It didn’t take long for Celine to realize that yoga offers so much more than just stretching and flexibility. She started noticing a reduction in her episodic migraines and discovered her stress levels and anxiety with the hectic Hong Kong life style were also reduced with each of her yoga practice. She quickly fell in love with how yoga inspires self-discoveries, deep body connections, and discipline. The fact that yoga is non-competitive and allows individuals of all ages to practice encouraged Celine to deepen her own practice.
Celine is now back in Toronto and a graduate from the Yoga Tree Teacher Training Program. She enjoys being able to assist and inspire others in discovering their own body and their own yoga journey in hopes yoga can offer each individual what it is able to offer her.
Victoria began practicing yoga in 2015 for movement and exercise. She was then enlightened by the wonderful mental benefits that instantly made her fall in love with the practice of yoga. With a strong background in performing arts, she likes to focus on graceful and creative flowing while strengthening and stretching the body.
A graduate of Yoga Tree’s teacher training program, she focuses on the mental and physical benefits, and wants to share her positive energy, love and passion for yoga in all of her classes.
Nadia was first introduced to yoga in 2004. In 2007, she felt compelled to pursue teacher training in Hatha and Kundalini yoga to deepen her understanding of her practice.
In 2015, she decided to step back from the fast-paced life of Digital Advertising in Toronto, moving out West to be closer to her family. The move ended up being exactly what she needed to achieve a better work/life balance, to spend quality time with her family and to have the ability to pursue an additional 200 hours of yoga teacher training in Hatha Yoga and 50 hours in Yin and Restorative Yoga.
Nadia has recently moved back to Toronto and is offering classes which are open to all as they are tailored to people who would like a gentle introduction to a mindful practice focusing on breath, movement and self awareness.
With the theme of balance in mind, her intention is to offer classes that offset hectic lifestyles, promoting a state of relaxation which will allow the body to rest and digest.
In 2009, Anna went with her mom to try her first yoga class. It was so challenging that she never went back… until a year later when she began university and started doing yoga as a way to get a workout in between lectures and studying. After trying a few studios, she found a few teachers and classes that she really connected with. Not only did the practice make her stronger and more flexible physically, but mentally as well. Stepping onto the mat feeling one way and then coming off feeling more centered and rejuvenated is what kept her coming back.
As her love for yoga grew, so did her desire to share it with others – with the help of her incredible teachers, family, and friends, Anna graduated from Yoga Tree’s 250-hr yoga teacher training program, learning that yoga is less about being able to touch your toes and more about believing that you can.
On weekends, if Anna’s not at the yoga studio, she can be found at the gym, at brunch, or exploring nature and the outdoors.
Cindy first stepped onto the mat in 2013 as a way to stay active. After two years of an on-and-off practice, she finally committed to a more consistent practice and started to experience the mental and spiritual benefits that yoga provided, which was beyond just the physical practice. As a graduate of the Yoga Tree Teacher Training program, Cindy’s class is a balanced class focusing on the breath while building strength and flexibility. She hopes that you will find yourself feeling a little bit lighter and happier after her class.
After a career of twenty plus years of competitive dance in Japan, Yoh discovered that the body required servicing and immersed herself in yoga as a way to treat her repetitive injuries from dance. Yoga has been her tool to cultivate a neutral balance between body and mind. She has practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga since 2004 in Japan and Canada. She has practiced and finished the Ashtanga 100 hours Immersion Program under David Robson in 2012. She then, continued her training by graduating from Yoga Tree's 250 hr Teacher Training and finished the Mommy and Baby Yoga course at Yoga Tree in 2016.
Her classes are structured for anyone who wants to explore their yoga journey. The classes allow for the body to fulfill its full range of motion and to develop your body’s strength and flexibility by applying breathing technique in a peaceful atmosphere.
Yoh is also a mother of two small children. It is her pleasure to support pre-mothers and mothers by sharing her yoga journey as a mother.
Kaylyn began her regular yoga practice as a means to calm stress and as a way sweat through hot yoga back in 2011. Since then it has been a steady practice that has turned into a form of self study as well as a way to gain physical strength and flexibility. Yoga has been there for Kaylyn as a safe space to explore and understand her anxieties and trigger points, and it continues to be a primary tool to stay connected to herself through her evolution.
Kaylyn hopes to spread the many deep benefits of yoga through patient yet challenging asana practice. You can expect to be challenged to open up both physically and mentally in Kaylyn’s class as she guides you through a balanced vinyasa based practice.
Jieza began her yoga journey from a spur-of-the-moment invite from her sister on a lazy night. From then, Yoga became part of her life, practicing regularly for 5 years now. Through yoga she gained endurance, flexibility, body awareness, as well as mental and spiritual calmness. To pursue her passion, she completed her 250-hour Yoga Teacher Training from Yoga Tree Studios, focusing on Hatha and Vinyasa Flow.
Crissie found yoga in 2007, after sustaining severe injuries from a car accident in 2004. Coming
from an athletic background, the physical and emotional impact of her injuries and the decline in
her physical function were felt with an intensity that allowed and welcomed yoga to flow into her
life seamlessly. Yoga helped her to heal on the inside and out and brought peace into her life
while helping her to gain inner strength, focus and awareness.
Being an Occupational Therapist for 8 years and working to help others who face physical,
emotional and mental barriers on a daily basis, Crissie felt compelled to take her practice to the
next level. Having completed her 250-hour yoga teacher training with Yoga Tree, Crissie sees
the positive and healing impact that yoga can have in everyone’s lives on multiple levels.
Crissie brings a fun and heartfelt approach to her classes with the hope that each student will
experience the feeling of balance, happiness and strength, physically, mentally and spiritually,
both on and off the mat.
Meg was introduced to yoga in 2013 and was immediately drawn to the practice as a way to gain strength and flexibility. Her yoga journey began as a physical practice, but has evolved to a strong passion for the mind, body and soul connection.
A graduate of Yoga Tree’s Teacher Training Program, Meg is inspired by her teachers at Yoga Tree and is excited to share her energy with students. During her classes, Meg strives to blend her love of music with dynamic, fun and creative sequencing. Come to class ready to flow and step off the mat feeling challenged, refreshed and balanced.
Heather found yoga in graduate school to deal with the pressures of an intense workload. It was a far cry from the bootcamp classes and figure skating competitions she was used to, but she stuck with it for the mental benefit. What started as a simple crush with yoga turned into a full-blown romance, which led her to complete Yoga Tree’s 250-hour training program. Heather’s classes have a strong focus on alignment and body awareness, while remaining playful. When she’s not on the mat you can find her counselling clients as a Holistic Nutritionist, or scouring dog parks for animals to pet.
From a young age Ganna began competing in rhythmic gymnastics where she gained a deeper awareness of how the body works. It wasn't until years later that she discovered yoga and felt the need to keep going to practice.
Melinda graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. Her interest in sports and exercise medicine led her to the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College where she graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic in 2017.
Her yoga journey began in 2008 as a way to balance her cardiovascular and strength training program. It quickly became a regular part of her lifestyle after she noticed both physical and mental benefits.
In her classes, she emphasizes the balance between strength and mobility; focusing on proper alignment for injury prevention. She also shares her passion for mindfulness & body awareness by connecting the mind, body, and breath in her classes.
Laura is an Early Childhood Educator, who has worked with many different age groups of children and is currently a teacher in a preschool classroom. She began practicing yoga in 2012, after trying many different forms of physical fitness.
A recent graduate of the Yoga Tree's Teacher Training Program, Laura’s style is focused on building strong foundational postures, proper and safe alignment, and creative sequencing that encourages students to be focused and present. Inspired by the children that she works with, Laura loves bringing a playfulness to her classes. Students can expect a fresh and fun take on traditional poses in a safe and exciting environment. Be ready to sweat, laugh, breathe, and flow!
Anne-Marie’s yoga journey began in 2014 at Yoga Tree. She was looking for a way to improve her physical function after dealing with knee and hip pain, as well as a way to reduce stress and anxiety caused by her job as an elementary school teacher. The benefits of a regular yoga practice were immediately apparent, and she fell in love with yoga. She wants to share the benefits with everyone, especially the mental benefits of reducing the stress and anxiety of daily life.
Her classes focus on gentle movement to improve functionality and flexibility, as well as a connection to the breath and meditation elements to promote overall wellbeing. Anne-Marie believes that the practice of yoga should be accessible to everyone, and she encourages students to respect their own bodies while exploring a deeper connection to their self.
Christina initially stepped on to her mat as way to balance a hectic work schedule; not knowing what to expect she was blown away at how much she enjoyed it, or as she would say, ’it was love at first savasana’. She designs her classes around her philosophy that yoga is accessible to both everybody and every body and encourages students to be mindful of their physical capabilities and to work with their own body’s abilities and limitations.
Estie is a student of Kinesiology and Dance at York University. She is also a competitive dancer,
performer, and dance instructor. Estie began practicing yoga as a way to relieve stress and recover
physically and mentally between strenuous training sessions and dance competitions. She was
fascinated by the fine balance between the physical and the mental components of the yoga practice –
an approach she hadn’t encountered in her prior training.
of yoga, Estie decided that she wanted to expand her knowledge in the field and to share her passion
with those close to her and with the wider community. This decision brought her to the Yoga Teacher
Training at Yoga Tree.
Estie has always felt that movement is the best form of therapy, and even more so when combined with
mindfulness, presence, and awareness. She emphasizes awareness in her classes in order to lead her
students towards developing a deeper understanding of their bodies and minds.
on finding alignment and stability within each posture. Estie encourages her students to overcome
challenges on the mat, and hopes that by doing so, she inspires them to apply the same approach off
Masha began practicing yoga while recovering from an injury. It started as a challenge to her fitness & health and became a lifelong commitment to it. It wasn't long before she completed teacher training with Yoga Tree studios in order to expand and refine her practice. She continues to be humbled by all that it has to offer and is happy to share all that she can with her students.
Encountering yoga as a child, Maggie’s practice has been a foundational pillar in her life. Studying yoga both at home and abroad, her practice is continually evolving but is always focused on feeling at home in her body. Her approach to yoga can be characterized as authentic, playful and full of loving kindness.
A graduate of Yoga Tree’s 250 hour teacher training program, Maggie is thankful for all of her teachers, both old and new.
In Maggie’s classes expect build strength and flexibility both physically and mentally. Come to class readying to sweat and smile as you flow!