Aneesha was attracted to yoga for the difficult, but challenging combination of doing poses and breathing at the same time. For her, this is what initially kept her coming back for more—but she never imagined that she would become a teacher until she took a trip to India, and eventually found her way to Karma Teachers, where she completed her 200 Hour YTT in 2015. She believes that yoga is a deep healing practice for the body, mind, and soul, working its magic touch in all areas of our lives, on and off the mat.
Aneesha teaches an easy and fun class, with a little bit of a challenge to keep students focused and connected, making sure that everybody is breathing and smiling all the way through. It is rooted in the notion that we can always breathe and release any time we need to, no matter what is going on in our lives. Aside from yoga, Aneesha is a Reiki Master, and also leads women’s circles every full moon at Karma Teachers.
A practitioner of yoga for five years, Bianca discovered Karma Teachers one day when she saw a poster on a billboard at the café where she was working at the time, and checked it out straight thereafter. It was at Karma Teachers where she found a sense of community, her tribe, and a home away from home. She feels like so much healing has happened just from being inside and building connections with others. She believes that we all need a space to feel love, and that Karma Teachers is definitely it. Bianca is a native of Montréal, Quebec, speaks French, and plays chess.
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha
Under the guidance of great teachers, this father of three has been a student to a wide range of practices. His most recent years have been dedicated to the study of yoga and Thai massage. He combines elements from both practices to provide relaxation, flexibility, and strengthening of body and mind to clients of all ages. When not on the mat, Camilo takes photographs avidly, and gardens novicely.
His Hatha class structure involves contemplation, relaxation, meditation, breathwork, poses, relaxation, meditation, and then OM.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Ghandi
Cedar Aura chose his name to reflect that he is a spiritual being having a human experience. His practice is deeply rooted in Mother Earth, yet very spiritual. Infusing his restorative, yin and hatha classes with yogic philosophy and spiritual knowledge, you can expect to feel your chakras light up. Allow yourself to be guided by Cedar into deep ecstatic release, surrendering the senses through profound asana and meditation.
Cedar's inspiration comes from natural beauty including the ocean and forests as well as being a humble servant on Mother Earth. He invites you to leave your ego at the door and tune in to an enlightening experience on the mat.
As a mum to two spirited little children, Charlotte is continually learning to adapt her practice, both physical and spiritual, to fit her family life. Before having her children, she had a career in a high-pressured, demanding profession, and credits her experience with prenatal yoga in supporting her transition from this into motherhood. Nowadays, she works in energy healing, specialized ski instruction for people recovering from injury or trauma, and of course, teaching yoga. Charlotte loves seeing and supporting people living as their most authentic selves—whatever that looks like—and she herself is a prime example of this concept. She learned to skateboard at age 35, and she “unschools” her children (she even took her baby backpacking around Asia when she was 6-12 months old!).
Charlotte's vinyasa class is based on the acceptance of where we are in the here & now, whilst striving to be the best possible version of ourselves. She offers options for beginners through to advanced students, based on her sharing of the fundamental of each asana (pose). Her classes are littered with funny stories, analogies to life and little anecdotes. You'll find her English upbringing being expressed not only in her accent but also her playlists. And watch out for the special treat of savasana assists.
Infinitely in awe of the human experience and nature of reality, Dez often finds his curiosity compelling him to explore an extensive range of topics to curate a holistic understanding of our existence. Deeply passionate for actualizing ourselves and raising consciousness, his journey to the light began in 2013 after being drawn to yoga for it’s unique potential, and has since continued to deepen his practise through meditation, pranayama, and a changing infusion of other modalities. In 2017 he completed his 200 hour YTT at Karma Teachers with the intent of growing his practice and sharing his enthusiasm with others through teaching. He has a love affair with cycling, and he starts every morning off with a cold shower, followed by blasting music and dancing.
Travel inwards on a journey to reconnect with your center in Dez’s Hatha class. Emphasis is placed on a full-bodied breath, and slow, engaged movements, which take you deeper into your practice. This Hatha class uses a variety of poses with variations and props so that all levels of students will find a place of ease, flow, and depth.
“You do not have a body, you are your body.”
At age 50, Elizabeth has been practicing yoga for 15 years, and hopes to practice for 50 more! For Elizabeth, yoga is soul food, and she invites everybody to share in its nourishment. It helps her stay in the moment, and to live one day at a time. She completed her first 200 hour teacher training in 2013 in Greece with Semperviva, and in 2016, completed her Vinyasa training with Karma Teachers. Elizabeth has also taught kindergarten for 27 years, which helps her keep things real (along with her Chuck Taylor shoe collection).
She hopes to teach her students from the ground up with an emphasis on keeping it simple, building a foundation of breath, grace, good tunes, and lots of love. All levels are absolutely welcome.
Geoff has been practicing Hatha yoga since 1998, and exclusively teaching ashtanga vinyasa since 2004. He was authorized to teach the ashtanga method at Level 1 in 2010 and Level 2 in 2012. His teacher is Sharath Jois, the grandson and primary apprentice of Sri K Pattabhi Jois. Geoff has been studying at their institute at Mysore, India annually since 2006.
In Geoff’s class, he will teach you to practice the basics—breathing, balance, and concentration—so you can always access the method wherever you find yourself. Whole life is practice.
This skateboard-riding bartender’s passion for sharing yoga with the world comes from its multi-level healing properties. Jessica’s approach is to teach from the heart, and after completing her 200 hour YTT at Karma Teachers in June 2016, she was empowered to deepen her practice and knowledge with restorative yoga, yin yoga, and Thai yoga massage training programs soon thereafter. When she’s not falling asleep in savasana, Jessica can be found training to become a Certified Yoga Therapist.
Jessica’s restorative class is a slow paced class where you are given the chance to get a little deeper and listen to your body, mind, and soul from within. Class will begin with a stillness practice, which encompasses a brief meditation, simple breath work, and a chance to unwind your busy mind. From there, students will be guided through to about 4-6 different restorative postures (supported, comfortable, and juicy), until the final Savasana!
"Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind." - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Transplanted from the east, blossoming in the west. Julia is fascinated by all things related to the body. Yoga, meditation, and most importantly, humor, all allow Julia to reconnect with herself and others. As an avid backcountry hiker, Julia recently completed the North Coast, West Coast, and the Juan De Fuca trails (not all at the same time!) Her outdoor life and yoga practice share a symbiotic relationship, and she tries to share the peace she finds in nature with her students as much as she can. Julia recently trained this year at Karma teachers. The learning is always ongoing. This year included a 50hr Biotensegrity course with Chris Clancy.
Julia’s class sequence: Opening meditation. Gentle warm up. Sun salutation. Successively complex alignment based poses. Peak pose. Cool down with free time for inversions. Seated asana and restorative poses. Yoga nidra. Final savasana. Closing namaste and shared moment of gratitude
“Serenity is not freedom from the storm. It is peace within the storm.”
When Julia was 13 years old, her cousin taught her yoga at a family reunion, and she's been practicing ever since. In the Fall of 2016, she took Karma Teachers’ 200 hour YTT with Kent Brun. Since then, she's been subbing vinyasa classes, and is currently teaching the power flow on Friday nights! Julia's classes offer upbeat tunes with energetic, breath-centred movement.
"We suffer more in imagination than in reality" - Seneca
Kayla started practicing yoga in 2012 as a new way to get fit and feel strong. Before long, she noticed way more than just the predictable benefits on her physical body; she noticed a change in her mood, her coping skills and her overall happiness. For the first time in a long time, Kayla began to feel safe, and connected to her body. At that point, she decided that she wanted to learn more about the psychological response to mindfulness and movement. Kayla completed her 60 hour training on Yoga for Trauma, Resilience and Emotional Well-Being in Vancouver. Soon after, she completed her 200 hour teacher training focusing on both Vinyasa and Iyengar.
Kayla is grateful to teach a unique class at Karma Teachers titled Resilience Yoga. This class is targeted towards the more marginalized populations of Vancouver. With a social work background, Kayla teaches in a way that incorporates the needs of each individual student. Kayla’s classes are appropriate for anyone interested in exploring the therapeutic benefits of yoga. She also teaches various Vinyasa classes for those looking to play, sweat and explore their bodies in a safe and supportive space.
Kelly is a former professional synchronized swimmer and gymnast who loves smiling and eating caramels. She also has been practicing yoga for 5 years, and completed her 200 hour YTT in December 2016 under Mike Nichols. Since she first stepped on the mat, she has felt lifted up from the inside, has loved the community of friends and students she has encountered, and, most importantly, began to love everything about herself, including the good, the not-so-good, and the unchangeable. When she discovered Karma Teachers in her neighborhood, she thought it was the perfect place to teach, and has never been more grateful to be a part of any studio.
Kelly’s classes are fun and powerful. She makes jokes while reminding her students to breathe. Every level is welcome, and there is something in her classes for everyone. Come expecting to sweat, breathe, build strength, stretch, meet new friends, and most importantly, leave feeling lifted from the inside.
"Today you are you that is truer than true, No one alive is Youer than you." - Dr. Seuss
Kylie’s practice started unknowingly to her at a very young age, with her father enforcing a daily stretch routine for her and her older sister. These turned out to be foundational days in what would become a regular asana practice later in her life, which started out as a hot yoga and home-based hatha practice, and eventually evolved into a 200 hr YTT, a 50 hour yin certification, and 25 hours of anatomy. Kylie believes that Karma Teachers embodies everything that a yoga studio should be: a spiritual hub with a truly open door, a strong sense of community, encouragement for growth and learning, selfless service, and celebration of diversity.
Kylie’s classes vary from a gentle vinyasa/yang to yin, to a more traditional vinyasa, depending on the energy and needs of each class. She aims to prepare a well balanced class, including many classic poses, though she also loves mixing up the flows and experimenting with new poses. Kylie offers options that welcome and challenge both new practitioners and well-seasoned yogis. Often, she will incorporate a short pranayama practice and meditation into the class, encouraging the sequential movement of the body, the quieting of the mind, and the awakening of the Infinite Self/inner truth.
“You have been told that everything is a race and you have to compete, but when you get to the end you realize it was all music and you were supposed to have been dancing.” - Alan Watts
Leyre began her yoga journey five years ago when she embarked on a new adventure, moving to Canada from her small seaside hometown of San Sebastian in northern Spain. Finding and practicing yoga has helped Leyre to grow stronger, with more confidence, peace of mind, and fearlessness both on and off the mat. She expanded her love of yoga in 2015 when she completed her 200 hour YTT with Karma Teachers, and with Shantiseva Yoga under Tina Pashumati James. As Leyre continues to develop her knowledge of yoga, she will always be immensely grateful for the loving wisdom her teachers have shared. It has allowed to her pay it forward by encouraging her own students to grow their physical and spiritual selves, and to explore their own unlimited greatness.
Leyre’s style of yoga focuses on non-judgment and creative sequencing, with a dose of fun and playfulness to deepen the nurturing of breath, body and mind. She also created Kids Karma Yoga, certified by Rainbow Yoga, which offers children the opportunity for self-expression, creativity and pure connection through breath and movement.
Seva Dhyan Kaur (Mary Murphy) graduated from Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in March 2017. A long term yoga practitioner and Vipassana meditator 1987 Seva Dhyan brings her knowledge of the mind body process , with playful energy and a compassionate heart to guide you in the experience of Kundalini Yoga a Technology brought to the West in 1968 by Yogi Bhajan. If you are a beginner or have already practiced Kundalini you can benefit from the pranayams, kriyas and meditations offered in every class. Mary has worked as a clinical therapist with addictions and mental health for thirty five years, helping adolescents, adults and their families. She currently works in the DTES with adolescents in addition to having a private practice in Vancouver.
A visual artist and teacher by trade, Matthew began his teaching journey in a photography studio in Gastown for small, informal groups. Initially, he mostly resonated with the physical/fitness aspects of yoga, but after taking a class at a studio that changed his views and revolutionized his practice, he dove deeper, with both feet, into the theory of yoga. Since then, he has been experimenting with sequencing, and really getting to understand his students, coming to view yoga as a discipline of self-realization.
Matthew completed his teacher training with One Yoga under Ryan Leier two years after taking his first class, and has been teaching at not-for-profit studios ever since, while assisting and training with various other teachers across the city. Matthew’s classes are strong, slow, and light, and his hope is to align his students with whatever they need in that minute.
Monica credits yoga and meditation for saving her life. Having experienced the indescribable loss of her two baby sons in 2011 and 2013, Monica turned to yoga and meditation during her darkest hours to achieve grounding, purpose, emotional release, and the ability to get a good night’s sleep. She has grown to appreciate yoga as a practice that she can always come back to in times of stress, and has been empowered to use her life experiences, empathy, and active listening skills to help other people dealing with bereavement and heartbreak on their own healing journeys.
Karma Teachers was Monica’s gateway to becoming a teacher, where she completed her 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in July 2017. She was moved by the studio’s strong sense of community and inclusion that she hadn’t felt at any other places before. Monica’s hatha class starts with meditation, pranayama and warm up, then dives into holding poses, building strength, endurance and heat. The cool down involves some stretches, and ends with a sweet savasana, usually accompanied with original songs written and sung by Monica herself! All levels are welcome.
"If you give it to God, He transforms your test into a testimony, your mess into a message, and your misery into a ministry." - Rick Warren
For Rishika, Yoga is a life practice, a state of being. The way that we show up in a class; they way we breathe, expectations that we place on ourselves, our focus, or lack of focus. Each class is a case study on the self, a chance for us to observe, and maybe know ourselves just a little bit better. Yoga is a way for us to free ourselves from the body's endless cycle of craving and aversion. Rishika began studying yoga as a teen in 2000, interested mainly in the philosophy. She has always been drawn to, and felt empowered by, the study of spiritual practices. These are technologies that we can use to upgrade our minds, our consciousness. In addition to yoga asana and philosophy, over the years she has studied Zen meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, vipassana, dance, tantra, kirtan, and Osho (dynamic) meditation. Rishika is also a reiki master candidate and ayurvedic massage therapist.
Rishika’s mantra class is call and response style mantra chanting. Most mantras are Sanskrit chants she learned with the Satyananda yoga lineage in India. She also incorporates other medicine songs from around the world including English, Spanish, and Chinese chants. Everyone is welcome. Bring instruments if you like.
In her yin class, students will experience a super slow and meditative session with a focus on meditation and breath. Classes are usually themed, and incorporate philosophy, singing and sound healing. This is a perfect time to reflect on the self and the inner journey.
Roy was introduced to yoga 15 years ago while recovering from an injured back, and admits that he initially found it to be boring when he was starting out. However, over the years, he gradually, slowly learned to love everything about the practice, and completed his 200 hour YTT at Karma Teachers in 2016, where he has been teaching ever since. Roy is of East Indian heritage, was born in Malaysia, and grew up in New Zealand. He has lived in 6 different countries prior to Canada, and considers everywhere to be his home (although Vancouver is his home right now).
Roy’s hatha class is beginner-friendly, but sweaty, and places an emphasis on fundamentals.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” - Mark Twain
A native of Czech Republic, Terezie (she challenges you to try to pronounce her name correctly!) hadn’t even been living in Vancouver for a month before she discovered the beauty of yoga and Karma Teachers. She was skeptical because she had tried yoga previously in London, and did not enjoy the experience, but a friend brought her into the studio one day, and she instantly fell in love with the place and the people, eventually going on to complete her 200 hour YTT there. She has since been teaching at Karma Teachers, the Lookout Society in the DTES, and at her workplace. Outside of yoga, Terezie enjoys hiking with her lovebird, Camilo.
Terezie’s yin class is appropriate for most of levels of students. It's generally a passive and soft practice, with poses being held anywhere from one to ten minutes. Students will be working on relaxing and softening the body as well as connecting to their breath.
"You are never more fully yourself than when you are still inside." - Eckhart Tolle
Having parents who regularly practiced yoga played no small part in Valeria’s eventual ascendance into teaching. As a child, she recognized yoga as something serious and fun, but also a ritual, as well as a sport. In her 20s, Valeria started practicing the multifaceted discipline more consistently, and began learning more about the different styles, poses, and philosophies of yoga, including chanting, Shiva, and much more. She completed her 200 hour YTT at Karma Teachers in 2016 and has been teaching there ever since. For Valeria, Karma Teachers is a wonderful, safe, unique, and precious hiding place from the outside world. It contains a loving vibe that surrounds all the teachers, students, and volunteers that creates a peaceful, enchanting atmosphere.
Valeria’s Power Vinyasa class is a powerful, energetic form of yoga where students move from one pose to the next while connecting their breathing to their movements. After a power vinyasa you will feel rejuvenated, full of energy, and with a much clearer mind.
Virginia “Jindy” Yip
Jindy holds a firm belief that when we take care of our body, mind and soul, then we can be our best selves. In her hatha and vinyasa flow classes, her playful soul guides her students to explore and have fun, while her quiet strength and peaceful energy keeps others at ease. She not only focuses on the importance of the postures, but on softening the mind through breathwork as well. Jindy’s classes are accessible to all, and everybody is welcome, so be sure to check her out!