Our Auto-Pay Membership is the best value if you attend more than two classes per week. The more classes you attend, the less you pay per class.

The PERKS:
Enjoy unlimited practice at both locations
  • Free mat storage
  • 20% off workshops and courses
  • 10% off merchandise in our boutique
  • Student and Seniors discounts available

May be purchased in studio or by phone at either studio;
Danforth Studio 416-461-6161
Wood Studio 416-928-3236

*Offer valid for new members only

Cynthia - The Yoga Sanctuary

Cynthia Funk

Co-Founder, Yoga Teacher Training Director / Faculty Member / Instructor

Cynthia offers a warm, open hearted, dynamic and experiential practice, sprinkled with humour~ She combines physical and energetic alignment along with insightful meditation. Fusing her passion for athletics and yoga Cynthia has been sought after by CEO’s, young athletes, pro-athletes as well as Canadian Olympians, engaging them in yoga practice to maintain their high-level competition. She continues to engage in teacher trainings, to further her skill set each year. Her passion for yoga inspires and motivates her students to reach their goals, whether it be inner peace, body awareness or building self-confidence.

Cynthia began practicing yoga in 1985 in a clear cut~ She began teaching in the GTA in 1997 and opened The Yoga Sanctuary with her sister in 1999. In 2001 Cynthia became a teacher trainer, creating and teaching the 250 hour Yoga Teacher Training course. She has taught hundreds of people to become exemplary yoga teachers who teach around the globe. Her continued exploration of yoga led to her create and teach in the Advanced 300 hour Yoga Therapeutics Teacher Training and she is the Co-Founder of HypnoZen Yoga. Cynthia is also a certified Reiki Master, certified Hpynotist and Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist and she produced an instructional yoga CD of the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga.

Cynthia grew up in the small town of Milton Ont. Always active as a child, participating in any kind of sports activities offered by her schools, it is a natural continuation to explore physical activities as an adult. She attended Queen’s University and University of British Columbia, to support her education she planted trees each summer and graduated with a B.A. in Theatre Arts.  After returning from attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in LA, she focused her attention on both acting and yoga as a way of engaging authentically with herself and those around her.

She counts among her teachers Diane Bruni, Mark Darby, Dr Kausthub Desikachar, Maty Ezraty, Shri K Pattabhi Jois, Leslie Kaminoff, Hart Lazer, Judith Hanson Lasater, Mark Lilly, Chuck Miller, Jill Miller, Eddie Modestini, Esther Myers, Ramanand Patel, Erich Shiffmann, David Swenson, Doug Swenson, Amy Weintraub and Cora Wen

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

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Kimberley Sopinka

Co-Director

Kimberley, co-director of both locations of The Yoga Sanctuary, has completed two, 250 hour Yoga Teacher Training courses. She is also a Certified Kids Yoga instructor.

It was upon completion of her Kids Yoga Teacher Training that she found her true passion for teaching. Kimberley enjoys teaching yoga to children of all ages.

She has studied with many internationally recognized teachers including Beryl Bender Birch, Hart Lazer, David Life, Darby and Joanne, Kaustaub Desichakar, Sharon Gagnon and Erich Shiffmann.

Kimberley is a loving mother of three children and continues on her path of practice, teaching and study.

 

 

 

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Shehla Khan

Instructor / Yoga Teacher Training Faculty Member

Yoga has been a constant part of Shehla’s life for as long as she can remember. Watching her Grandfather help others using Ayuerveda and yoga as well as heal her childhood shoulder injury made her a true believer of yoga and its therapeutic benefit.

After experimenting with different styles of yoga and ranging from hot yoga to Sivananda, Shehla stumbled upon the doorsteps of The Yoga Sanctuary. It was here that she completed her Yoga Teacher Training in the spring of 2007. She feels she had the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented teachers and that Cynthia Funk and Karusia Wroblewski gave her a truly amazing experience.

Shehla is grateful to all her past and present teachers for helping her on this journey. Most importantly, she is grateful for the support of her family and her most enlightened teacher, her son who teaches her something new everyday.

*Trained in Pre-natal Yoga

 

 

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Sue Ravazzolo

Instructor / Yoga Teacher Training Faculty Member

Sue found yoga in a body movement practicum in the Kinesiology Program at McMaster University. It was a serendipitous discovery for a former gymnast/athlete seeking ways to enrich her body awareness. Immersing in the physical practice opened the door to the greater world of yoga philosophy. With 16 years of practice and 14 of teaching, Sue is the resident anatomy instructor for our teacher training programs.

Sue began practice in classical Hatha but found true love as an Ashtangi, and attended training with David Swenson in 2000. Following that, Sue studied with Jonathan Austmann and Cynthia Funk in the foundation program at the Yoga Sanctuary. Over many years, teachers and courses, Sue has also developed in Vinyasa and Yin Yoga, which feeds her constant exploration of anatomical study and research. Yin with Sue is typically resonant of anatomy tutorial!

Sue also facilitates Mysore style self-practice classes, and offers personal guidance in a non-lead format that will shed light on aspects of your personal practice that cannot easily be gleaned in lead group classes. The path to self-discovery is unique for each individual. With compassion and joy, Sue shares her love of the physical path into self study, and her enthusiasm for the power of yoga effervesces.

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

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Amanda Trinh

Instructor

Amanda discovered yoga in 2009 and it was a path out of depression and alcohol addiction for her. As a result, she became a yoga teacher so she could share her experiences and the benefits of yoga with others. She completed a 500-hour teacher training course at The Yoga Sanctuary, and has studied with various top teachers and schools. Amanda also makes repeat visits to the Ontario Vipassana Center to take their 10-day silent meditation courses, and as of 2014 has become a certified Thai massage therapist.

Amanda discovered Thai Massage pairs beautifully with Yoga; and is a great way to deepen a yoga practice, heal injuries, and further develop one’s mind-body connection. She is dedicated to sharing the knowledge and the benefits of Yoga and Thai Massage. Now, Amanda teaches yoga & performs Thai Massage fulltime in various schools, community centres, and studios across Toronto, and works out of her home studio. She brings humour, compassion, care and playful energy to her classes. She encourages students to explore their own practice in a safe, fun and enjoyable way, and she looks forward to connecting with people from all walks of life.

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

 

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Karen Cove

Instructor / Yoga Teacher Training Faculty Member

Karen has dedicated her life to both the practice and teaching of yoga. She combines an advanced understanding of anatomy and sequencing with a deep compassion for her students. Her classes are designed with precision and attention to detail, but her immense love of yoga creates an environment that is fun and welcoming. Karen completed her first yoga teacher training at The Yoga Sanctuary and has gone on to complete other teacher trainings, including, with Hart Lazer. She has been assisting The Yoga Sanctuary’s Director, Cynthia Funk, with the studio’s teacher training program for since 2008 and is a part of the faculty for the Advanced Yoga Teacher Training program. “At the end of it all, what matters is if we have been present and as kind as possible.” (Anonymous)

*Trained in Pre-natal Yoga

 

 

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Rachel Gorman

Instructor / Corporate Relations

Rachel is ever amazed with the ability of yoga to help one feel at home in their body. Her classes explore the depth of this relationship physically and emotionally while gently encouraging students to find their inner teacher. Her calm demeanour helps students to feel relaxed and at ease.

Rachel has completed the 500 hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training certification with The Yoga Sanctuary and is currently a student of Osteopathy with The Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton.

 

 

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David Gluck

Instructor / Teaching Faculty

David began his study and practice of yoga and dharma in 2001. In 2003, he became a certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, studying directly under Sharon Gannon and David Life. With a relaxed attitude, David leads challenging classes that are both thoughtful and fun.

His fortune in studying with many gifted teachers worldwide brings richness to his classes surrounding the philosophy and tradition of yoga. The most inspirational of these teachers are Dharma Mittra, Ruth Lauer-Manenti, Jeannine Woodall, Ram Dass, author Douglas Veenhof and His Holiness, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

In addition to teaching Asana, David has taught philosophy from both the Buddhist and Yoga traditions, including the Lamrim, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and much of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

He is also a gifted musician and experienced Kirtan artist. David is thankful to his teachers, friends and family who have supported him and guided him through the years.

 

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Jefferson Guzman

Instructor / Teaching Faculty

Jefferson attended his first yoga class in 1998 and was immediately inspired to one day become a yoga teacher. Fourteen years later it was that same first yoga teacher, Karusia Wroblewski, who encouraged him to do just that!

Having graduated from The Yoga Sanctuary’s Evolving Spirit Yoga Teacher Training in May 2013, Jefferson feels extremely blessed to have had the amazing opportunity to study with Cynthia Funk, Karen Cove, Sue Ravazzolo, Janine Woo, and Orlando Batista.

He continues to expand his knowledge, attending master classes with Bo Forbes, Leslie Kaminoff, and Tiina Veer at the Yoga Conference in Toronto, and looking forward to furthering his studies at The Yoga Sanctuary where he is enrolled in the Advanced Teacher Training.

Jefferson is passionate about making his classes accessible to people of all shapes and sizes. His goal is to create a welcoming safe space, and a class that builds confidence, inner peace, and a desire to return to the mat.

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Yosh Maeda

Instructor / Teaching Faculty

Yosh discovered yoga 15 years ago and has been immersed in it’s transformative practice ever since. He completed the teacher training program at The Yoga Studio in 2004. Since then, ever inquisitive, Yosh has continued with advanced training in meditation, Hatha yoga, Restorative yoga, pranayama, yoga philosophy and Sanskrit.

Yosh has also been blessed with two trips to India, the latter lasting three months, where he studied at the International Meditation Institute. Yosh brings humour, compassion and playfulness to his teaching coupled with a rare and wholistic knowledge of all things yoga.

 

 

 

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Carole Adilman

Instructor

Carole received the All India Board of Yoga and The British Wheel of Yoga 250 hour teaching certificates in 1973 in the United Kingdom. Early this year she graduated from the 250 hour teachers training at the Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto which is approved by the North American Alliance Yoga Board Carole was first introduced to yoga in 1970 when a Yogini from a neighboring city visited her small town and led a practice in the school gymnasium. At the end of the practice she was approached by the teacher, who became known as, ’The Yoda of Yoga’, and asked if she would like to come and study with her. There was no question that Carole was totally smitten and for the next 2 years studied in earnest. It was a life changing two years. After moving to Western Canada in 1974, Carole taught for City Recreation in her new city and started several private classes. She has also continued her own personal practice over the years. Carole is totally committed to teaching yoga, with humour and joy, and to ensure that her students receive the best possible training she can offer, she continues to take three to four classes a week with her teachers so that she can continue to grow. Carole considers Yoga to be a life -long practice that integrates with her love of life.

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Angela Alchesi

Instructor

Angela has been a devoted practitioner of Hatha Yoga for over 15 years, and completed her formal training at The Yoga Sanctuary in 2009. She also holds advanced certifications in Restorative Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga and Chair Yoga for Seniors. Her inspiration is drawn from her continuing and advanced studies in meditation, yoga philosophy, pranayama, asana, and all aspects of yoga.

She brings to her classes her enthusiasm and love of yoga, while creating a safe, mindful and breath-centered practice for all abilities. Her intention is to provide a fun, challenging and compassionate space in which to deepen your journey inwards.

 

 

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Bodhi Batista

Instructor

For over seventeen years, Christopher “Bodhi” Batista has been motivating and educating people of all ages, leading them toward more balanced lives by building stronger, healthier bodies.

Bodhi’s formal training began with studies in Sociology and Kinesiology from The University of Western Ontario, combined with several fitness consulting certifications, including the American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.) and the International Institute of Medical Qi Gong. Bodhi’s patients have come to trust and depend on his diverse wealth of knowledge on all subjects from nutrition, flexibility, muscular conditioning, meditation, and martial arts.

Bodhi has developed a program that stresses the importance of regular exercise, muscle building and nutrition. His approach includes the most effective ways to achieve a physically fit body, a healthy mindset, and self confidence. He has been privileged to work with several celebrities including Valerie Pringle, Michael Lansberg, Leslie Jones, and Camilla Scott.

After 10 successful years at Peak Physique, Bodhi decided to close the doors to embark on a new challenge, creating and marketing the Zen Stretch program.

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Lyndsey Bishop

Instructor

Lyndsey has been inspired with a love for all things yoga since she first began practicing asana in the late 1990s. What started out as enjoyment for the physical benefits of yoga, quickly transformed into a deeper appreciation of the truly transformational aspects of the practice. In 2010 Lyndsey completed her first teacher training at The Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto, and this became the foundation for her commitment to share this wondrous practice with other like-minded individuals, looking to discover the magic of yoga. Lyndsey is a devoted student as well as teacher and has a particular interest in the meditative and philosophical aspects of the practice. Lyndsey’s asana classes are typically challenging, but always kind. She aims to bring together elements of strength, breath and movement to facilitate the flow of positive energy and create space, within and without. ~Amaram Hum Madhuram Hum – Pure, Free, Forever.

 

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Deva Datta

Instructor

Deva has been practicing yoga for over 20 yrs. Having an Ashtangha background, he has cultivated a deep respect for the ancient art of yoga.
Completing his teacher training in 2009 he continued to develop the craft through practise and workshops in India.
Deva has been fortunate to be a participant in yoga with: annual, Yoga Meltdown festival, Lu Lu Lemon, Casa Loma, and both UofT and Ryerson universities.
His hope is to share with others the enrichment of practicing yoga with integrity.

 

 

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Monique Ducharme

Instructor

After many years of being disappointed by one exercise program after another, discovering Pilates was a major turning point for Monique. Having experienced first hand the many benefits of this mind-body approach to fitness – improved posture and muscle tone, increased strength and flexibility, heightened body awareness , focus, and concentration – Monique is happy to be sharing this practice with her students.

After several years of being a committed and loyal Pilates student, Monique received her certification from Body Harmonics. With a degree in education and years of experience in that field, she feels very fortunate that she can combine two of her passions: teaching and Pilates.

As a Pilates Instructor, Monique looks forward to continued learning opportunities in movement education, and is especially keen to accompany others in working toward their wellness goals.

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Cheryl Fearns

Instructor

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Mari Ferzli

Instructor

Mari Ferzli is a certified yoga teacher with a background in Comparative Literature. Originally from Finland, she completed her yoga teacher certification at the Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto and has been sharing her love for yoga ever since. Mari teaches hatha, yin, restorative and vinyasa styles of yoga, all sprinkled with bits of mindfulness meditation. She aims to teach classes that encourage a journey of self-discovery in a relaxing, compassionate and welcoming way.

Her own personal yoga journey has lasted over a decade of regular practice. As a student of yoga, she has learned how important it is to create classes that offer a joyful and safe experience, and hopes that everyone leaves her class feeling entered, relaxed, and refreshed.

 

 

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Anne-Marie Hood

Instructor / Yoga Teacher Training Faculty Member

Having been blessed with a “difficult body”, Anne-Marie Hood has spent the last two decades exploring the sources of restriction in the bodymind and the means to release it.

Her journey has taken her through a degree in Dance from York University, the professional training program at the school of the Toronto Dance Theatre and a very successful career as an interdisciplinary performing artist.

Always looking for more ways to move, express and share the turnings of a poetic mind, Anne-Marie has studied the Alexander Technique, BodyMind Centering, and is a certified Pilates, Kundalini Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practioner. She completed her Ashtanga/Hatha Yoga Teacher Training at The Yoga Sanctuary in April 2006 and has received certification as a Master Reiki practitioner.

Anne-Marie currently teaches Yoga for Artists at the Ontario College of Art and Design, a senior’s class at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands and Yoga for Trauma Survivors at the Barbara Schlifer Clinic. She is the founder of Brown Girl’s Yoga, a yoga program for women of colour and the Ebony Yoga Circle initiative to bring yoga into the Afro-Caribbean community through peer training. Anne-Marie also maintains a private intuitive energy healing practice in Toronto.

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

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Susan Hwang

Instructor

After studying a variety of styles of yoga for over a decade, Susan finally felt ready to pursue her Yoga Teacher Training certificate. It was at The Yoga Sanctuary that Susan became a certified Vinyasa (Ashtanga)/Hatha Teacher under the tutelage of Cynthia Funk, Janine Woo, Karen Cove, Karusia Wroblewski, and Sue Ravazzolo. Her interest broadened as she began to explore the therapeutic and healing aspects of yoga which led her to successfully complete her advanced studies in Thai Yoga Massage. Susan has also completed her Yoga Teacher Training in Street Yoga for At-Risk Youth and Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga Teacher Training.

Susan has studied with Ian Macdonald, whose focus on proper body alignment and anatomy can be evidenced in her own teaching. Her primary objective is to make yoga accessible to all and help students create greater comfort and ease in their bodies, as well as prepare them for a life-long practice. She focuses on anatomical alignment, growing into one’s practice progressively, and moving with kindness to the body.

Susan is completing her Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with Cora Wen.

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

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Janet Irvine

Instructor

Janet began practicing yoga in the year 2000, a momentous year to begin something that would change her life. She began with lunch-time classes as an escape from corporate life. The “addiction” to yoga happened almost immediately and in 2003 she decided to change her corporate career and become a yoga teacher.

Graduating in early 2004 from The Yoga Sanctuary’s teacher training program, Janet began teaching right away.

Janet has studied with teachers Cynthia Funk, Jonathan Austman, Hart Lazer, and most recently, Felicia Pavlovic. Janet feels blessed to be involved in such a supportive environment. Yoga has brought her a new level of self-confidence and awareness, as well as the physical benefits of strength, endurance, focus and stability.

Janet hopes to instill these qualities in her students and, to that end, makes her classes fun, safe, welcoming and inspiring. You can expect a vigorous class with an emphasis on being true to yourself and gaining joy, not frustration, from your yoga practice.

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Parool Joshi

Instructor

Parool took her first yoga class in 1999 after years of sitting at a desk. She began to notice that an old back injury had become a chronic situation. What started as taking a few classes a week turned into dedication to a practice. After more than 10 years of practice, Parool completed her teacher training in 2009, and moved to Bermuda where she switched careers and began to teach yoga full time.

Bermuda offered an opportunity to be immersed in a rich spiritual community, where she explored chant, meditation, trance dance, as well as different styles of yoga. In addition, Parool began to organize meditation retreats and charitable events and participated in organizing Bermuda’s first Yoga Festival in 2014. She continues to work with the Bermuda Yoga Festival.

Parool is currently teaching in Toronto, where her passion has moved organically towards providing yoga to the workforce; a service she wished was available when she worked in the downtown core. Parool believes that healthy employees = a healthy bottom line.

Parool is also a certified Personal Trainer, Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, and Meditation coach. She credits her teachers, Ron Reid, Marla Meenakshi Joy, and Diane Bruni for giving her the confidence to begin teaching and the inspiration to keep practicing and learning.

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Sebastian Kowalik

Instructor

Sebastian’s love for yoga only came about after years of practice in both Vipassana and in Korean Zen Meditation. After experiencing the joy of finding stillness and peace in the heart of movement, he decided to complete his Yoga Teacher Training at The Yoga Sanctuary with Cynthia Funk and Karusia Wroblewski.

Sebastian’s approach to yoga is constantly evolving as he has realized that in order to teach one must always be a humble student.

Sebastian’s personal and teaching philosophy is to create a safe and non-competitive atmosphere that honours the body, mind and spirit. He strives to teach a well balanced class that provides students with the tools and knowledge that help bring focus, awareness and balance to their lives both on and off the mat.

May all beings be happy!

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Joshua Lewis

Instructor

Joshua is a yoga practitioner and teacher known for offering classes that encourage safe and compassionate inquiry into the pulsating experience of life – on and off the mat. His calm and supportive guidance is sought after by students of all level, age and life circumstance, knowing that he teaches humbly and with deep respect for each individual’s personal practice. He believes passionately that when we practice yoga, we are practicing for life and as such, each class is an opportunity to connect deeply with ourselves. On the mat, we develop an intimate relationship that allows us to heal, to grow and to transform.

Joshua guides his students with gentleness and precision. He desires for each student to feel that they can fully inhabit their practice, taking up residence in their physical bodies and feeling the surge of their energetic spirit. From here we endeavour to bring compassionate attention to the fluctuating realm of our mental and emotional experiences. We honour where we are – right now, right here – today.

Joshua began practicing yoga as a healing modality for a body strained by the demands of a life on stage. Dedicated from a young age to the art of movement and expression, Joshua ardently pursued a career in the theatre. This journey would eventually find him performing across the country. The practice of yoga became a unifying source of support and strength. He practiced for many years on his own in the safety of his bedroom (and with a league of yoga DVDs; thank you, Eoin Finn!) before he summoned the courage to attend a public class in a studio. As a result, his practiced flourished and led to a desire to dive deeply into the teachings of yoga. Joshua completed his 250 hour teacher training in 2009 at The Yoga Sanctuary under the guidance of Cynthia Funk and Karusia Wroblewski. Soon after, he became one of the first teachers in Toronto to be certified in yin yoga by Tracey Soghrati. Currently, Joshua is working toward completion of a 300 hour advanced teacher training. He has studied restorative yoga and philosophy with Hali Schwartz, as well as yin yoga with Cathy Keenan. He draws inspired influence from his teachers, including Sarah Powers, Saul David Raye and Pema Chodron.

Committed to lifelong learning, Joshua is looking forward to an upcoming teacher training with Matthew Sanford in adapting yoga for disability. Off the mat, Joshua spends a great deal of time thinking about, preparing and enjoying food. A self-taught foodie alchemist, he can be happily found making his own nut milks, juicing like a fiend, brewing kombucha, dehydrating kale and eating as cleanly and flavourfully as possible! Quiet time is spent on solo pilgrimages to beautiful places and spending as much time outdoors as possible. Joshua’s yoga path is richly supported by the practice of kirtan and bhakti yoga and by an incredible web of family and friends.

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Ian MacDonald

Instructor

Ian MacDonald has studied a variety of styles of yoga since 1980. His enthusiasm for yoga led him to the Kripalu Centre in Lenox, Massachusetts in 1994 where he became a certified Kripalu teacher. Soon after he became interested in Ashtanga Yoga, started practicing it, and received Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training at Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto in 1999.

Ian is known for his soothing, meditative voice and a teaching style that is focused and concise. In the last 12 years he has taught hundreds of classes in yoga studios and health clubs, and has also worked specifically with cancer patients. Since 2000 he has taught yoga in Europe with Travel With A Twist Tours. He currently teaches Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga, encouraging students to work at their own pace and discover what this ancient discipline has to offer.

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Georgia Mamakis

Instructor

Georgia believes that the path of yoga is the search for freedom; that we are all on a journey, and if it leads you to the mat…then you will find yourself there.

Georgia’s goal is to hold a space of purity and authenticity; a place where students can respectfully explore their bodies in asana, and ultimately bring stillness to the mind.

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

 

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Ann McGavin

Instructor

Yoga was first introduced to Ann while horseback riding with a physiotherapist in Patagonia. The therapist suggested that medical treatment for an injury would not work, and yoga would be the best option for a cure. Upon returning to Canada, yoga and the desire for alignment became a huge part of Ann’s life. Over time, the path to healing the injury became secondary, while the practice of yoga and meditation in motion became a passion.

After practicing in studios throughout Toronto, Ann completed The Yoga Sanctuary’s teacher training program with Cynthia Funk and Jonathan Austman. The path of learning continues as she continually takes additional courses to deepen her practice and teaching.

As a school teacher and a passionate world traveller, yoga infiltrates all aspects of Ann’s life.

“Yoga is the one thing that can be carried with me wherever I travel or whatever I do. It teaches me more each time I open my eyes and my senses to new elements.”

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

 

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Katherine McKeown

Instructor

For the past 25 years Katherine has combined her love as a Primary School Specialist, with her joy of movement, which includes, swimming, Gymoboree, camps, aqua fitness and YMCA specialty programs. As a recent graduate of The Yoga Sanctuary teacher training, Katherine now engages children of all ages in the practice of yoga.

 

 

 

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Courtney Milner

Instructor

Travelling the world Courtney discovered her love for yoga was more than just a hobby, it was a way of living. Diving right in Courtney trained intensively in Thailand and Cambodia, cultivating a strong yoga and meditation practice. Having completed a 6 week student program at Hariharalaya Retreat in Cambodia, Courtney returned home to Canada where she completed her 250 hour Yoga Teacher Training at our beloved Yoga Sanctuary.

 

 

 

 

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Czarina Moshenko

Instructor

Initially drawn to yoga as a source to develop strength and flexibility, Czarina became hooked after her first class at The Yoga Sanctuary. She later graduated from The Yoga Sanctuary’s teacher training program in 2007. She continues her studies seeking inspiration, on and off the mat, hoping to share with students all the possibilities that yoga has to offer.

 

 

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Lynda Myler

Instructor

Lynda Myler has been teaching meditation for 8 years at the Yoga Sanctuary. She has also brought health and healing to inmates through yoga and meditation practices.

 

 

 

 

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Carolyn Poplak

Instructor

Carolyn, ‘Cal’, has been a long-time practitioner of rāja yoga. She first came to yoga to explore a safe and healthy space to breathe and stretch. What got her hooked? The diversity of bodies and abilities within the practice; she realized that everyone can do yoga.

Cal has completed several teacher training programs since she started practicing yoga 17 years ago, including a 250hr Ashtanga training with the late Larry Shultz in San Francisco and a 500hr Ashtanga training with David Robson and David Gellineau in Toronto. She also completed the 500hr “Life of a Yogi” Advanced Teacher Training in New York City with her long-time teacher and guide Dharma Mittra.

Cal’s philosophy of teaching is to create a safe space where students can explore the balance between challenge and tranquility. When she’s not teaching yoga, Cal works in social justice and community development.

 

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Xiao Qian

Instructor

Xiao practiced yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga, as a hobby back in China for over nine years.
After taking up residence in Canada, Xiao retired from her former career in law, and officially began her journey to become a yoga teacher completing her 250 hour Yoga Teacher Training at The Yoga Sanctuary.
Xiao has a deeply-rooted belief in the power of yoga, and believes that although strict technique has its place  in a class, she believes that greater emphasis should be placed on overall health, happiness, and inner peace.

 

 

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Laura Reilly

Instructor

A graduate of TYS teaching program in 2006, Laura is experienced in hatha, vinyasa, prenatal, baby and kids yoga. Laura feels fortunate to continue her studies with some of Toronto’s most talented yoga teachers as well as the many guest teachers from around the world that this city welcomes. Teachers come in all sizes, and she is most grateful for her twin daughters who remind her to live in the moment.

Whether it’s the mindfulness of your body’s alignment as you rock a baby, to overcoming your fears on and off the mat, Laura’s passion and enthusiasm for yoga will help guide you along your own path to self awareness. Laura believes that inside each of us is the ability to heal our bodies and soothe our minds, increasing longevity and happiness in life. Let yoga open your heart to the world!

 

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Kai Riecken

Instructor

Kai has always had a passion for movement as well as a keen interest in health and wellness. He was introduced to yoga as part of his modern dance education at The Etobicoke School for the Arts in 1998. Asana practice has been a continuing theme throughout his training and was used as a training tool during his time studying at The London School for Contemporary Dance in London, England.
 
Ever seeking to challenge himself, Kai has gone on to become an avid cyclist, participating in long distance bike tours, as well as taking part in triathlons and marathons. Coming back to yoga has helped him to balance vigorous strength training with flexibility. Yoga has also allowed Kai to connect with his breath helping him to find the balance of sthira (strength & stability) and sukham (comfortable, relaxed lightness) within his body and mind, both on and off the mat.
 
The decision to teach yoga has been a natural evolution for Kai. He is excited to share his knowledge and passion for physical movement and awareness, and strives to help others balance strength and grace in their lives.

 

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Hala Sabeh-Aion

Instructor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Susanna Sapienza

Instructor

Susanna has a degree in psychology from York University. With a focus on helping others and doing something she is passionate about, she completed the Fast Track Yoga Teacher Training at the Yoga Sanctuary. After graduating she obtained her Seniors Yoga Certification from Breathe Yoga Studio and her Mat Pilates Certification from East to West Yoga & Pilates.

Prior to teaching yoga, Susanna worked in the film and television industry and eventually in a high-stress corporate environment which eventually impacted her health and wellbeing. Now in her mid-life and understanding the importance of holistic health and keeping physically active as we age, she turned to yoga. The many benefits and effects changed her life. She was guided and inspired by a quote from Maya Angelou, “When you get, you give, when you learn, you teach.” Susanna is lover of learning, sharing, and inspiring. She has a straightforward and easy-going approach to her instruction. You can expect fluid and flowing movement in her classes.

 

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Nina Singh Jass

Instructor / Yoga Teacher Training Assistant

Nina is an East Indian-Canadian based multidisciplinary artist who is constantly inspired by her cultural roots as well as those of others. Her inspiration is derived from a combination of movement, rhythm, dynamism, and the awe of existence.

She is both passionate and educated in dance and the fine arts. Trained in Classical Indian dance from early childhood, her love of fine arts led her to the Ontario College of Art and Design where she graduated with a Material Arts and Design specialty. Her classical dance background has also allowed her to discover an adoration for yoga. She is a graduate of the 2008/2009 250-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program at The Yoga Sanctuary.

Nina has been practicing yoga for more than a decade and looks forward to deepening her practice everyday.

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

 

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Zoe Stikeman

Instructor

Having practiced for over a decade, Zoe has a big crush on yoga. Her great joy is to assist students in striking their own healthy balance between strength and softness; chaos and pause. Zoe weaves yoga philosophy into the physical asana practice each day. She provides options so that you can make yoga suit your body, taking the class as gently or energetically as you wish. With attention to muscles, mind, and breath, her vibrant classes close with a final meditation and soothing relaxation to pamper the body.

Zoe has taught dance and high school English Literature. She is honoured to have studied with Yogi Vishvketu, YogaWorks, and completed a mentorship with Leena Patel. She is happy to bring these life lessons to The Yoga Sanctuary.

 

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Robyn Toner

Instructor

Robyn’s yoga journey began 5 years ago when her mother brought her to her first yoga class. Little did she know it would be the beginning of the most incredible life changing path she’d take. Robyn’s love of yoga led her to take the 500 hour YTT at The Yoga Sanctuary and she is thrilled to express her passion for teaching through many different styles of yoga.

Robyn also works with children with disabilities and incorporates yoga into their daily lives by helping them physically, mentally and emotionally. Being greeted with a big smile, sharing a few laughs and leaving feeling completely centred and balanced is what you can expect from attending Robyn’s classes. Even as a teacher, she will forever be a student eager to learn and study the amazing and enormous world of yoga. She just can’t get enough!

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

 

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Paula Tseng

Instructor

Paula Tseng has been studying and practicing Kripalu, Hatha, Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga for many years. She assisted classes at The Yoga Sanctuary for seven months prior to completing the Teacher Training Certification Program at the Kripalu Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Her dedicated yoga practice is supplemented by an eclectic background in modern and traditional dance, and a keen interest in photography as a vehicle for self-expression.

Paula holds a degree in Environmental Resource Management and Comparative Development from Trent University. Her immersion in the theory and inner practice of yoga is, she believes, a logical extension of her previous work in the fields of ecology and public health, through which she arrived at the conviction that the integrity of humanity’s social and physical environment is inseparable from the mental and physical integrity of each individual.

Paula’s teaching is fueled and inspired by her own recovery, through yoga, from asthma, stress and chronic back pain, and she considers it a privilege to be able to guide others on their own paths to healing and self-discovery.

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

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Jacqui Wells

Instructor

Amongst Jacqui’s many passions in life, her interest in the human body and how it functions both physically and psycho-spiritually grows with each new day. Her interest in sport and movement began at a young age – Jacqui has always been very athletic participating in various sports, and has extensive background in dance and performance. Jacqui entered her first yoga class 12 years ago.
Her passion for which continually grows, practicing and teaching yoga daily throughout the city of Toronto.
 
Jacqui is also a Shiatsu Therapist and Registered Holistic Nutritionist and has been a practicing member in the holistic health care industry in Toronto for 10 plus years. You can find Jacqui hosting Educational Workshops on various topics throughout the city, and she acts as an Anatomy Teacher in various Yoga Teacher trainings. Jacqui has proudly been on the Faculty at Conteur Dance Academy for the last few years. From pranayama to chi flow, chakra to chuturunga, probiotics to Chinese medicine, Jacqui brings to you a medley of tools and knowledge. She always works from her heart with a sincere desire to assist others in making a real difference in how their body functions, while working on the spiritual aspect in relation to the daily lives they lead.

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Valerie Wint

Instructor

Valerie Wint has been teaching Hatha Yoga since 1999. She is a certified Ananda Yoga™ teacher, and has also trained with teachers from other traditions. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance (USA), and is certified with the Yoga Network Canada. Following a back injury, Valerie started practicing yoga regularly. She eventually became a certified instructor, left her freelance communications business, and has taught steadily in Toronto since 1999.

Ananda Yoga™ is a gently challenging, classical style of Hatha Yoga. It helps awaken the subtle energies within you, using those energies to harmonize body, mind and spirit. Ananda Yoga™ uses positive affirmations to take you deeper into the essence of each posture, allowing you to fully experience all its subtleties. This is an inwardly-focused, meditative practice, and is not a strenuous workout – though it can be as challenging as you make it.

*Trained in Pre-Natal Yoga

 

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Rhondda Smiley

Instructor

Rhondda first encountered yoga while completing her BA in dance at York University, and continues to make both asana and movement part of her practice. Yoga led her to the Dharma and meditation, and together they are an essential foundation in her life today as a family person and professional.

Rhondda has maintained a regular asana practice since 1999, in the Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Tibetan Heart Yoga and Lady Niguma’s Yoga traditions. Since 2006, she has had a daily meditation practice, and continues formal studies in the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. In 2010, she discovered Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms, a meditative dance practice for sweating your prayers.

She completed her 250 hour Evolving Spirit Yoga Teacher Training certification right here at The Yoga Sanctuary, under the tutelage of TYS Founder Cynthia Funk, Karen Cove and Sue Ravazzolo.

Rhondda teaches meditation and Dharma across the GTA, and regularly produces meditation, Dharma and yoga events with visiting teachers. She is grateful for the warm embrace she’s received from the Yoga Sanctuary family, and looks forward to continuing to serve everyone’s practice here.

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Brenda McMorrow

Guest Instructor

Brenda McMorrow is a Canadian Devotional Kirtan artist who has had a rich and diverse musical career (from folk to jazz to bluegrass).  Now, with a deep devotion to the unveiling and celebration of our true beings through the power of sound, she is invited to travel worldwide to share her unique blend of original folk-inspired melodies, world beats and sacred Indian devotional chants.
 
It was when Brenda participated in her first Sanskrit chant while attending a Yoga workshop in 2004, that she had a profound knowing her musical journey was leading her to places more expansive and heart-opening than she had ever imagined. Brenda remembers: “It was a very simple chant (Om Namah Shivaya), and at the time I had no idea what it signified: all I knew was that every cell in my body started vibrating, and I felt absolute joy”. While in India soon thereafter, Brenda began combining her own songwriting with ancient Sanskrit chants – and she has been flowing with this divine wave of Bhakti energy ever since.

Brenda is a featured artist on the White Swan Records roster, a Colorado label well known for it’s high-profile yoga-inspired artists like Deva Premal. She has accompanied Grammy award winning cellist David Darling and esteemed Kirtan musicians Jai Uttal, Wah!, David Newman, Girish and Dave Stringer, and has been invited to Bhakti Yoga festivals and events across North America, Europe and Asia as part of her most recent tour schedule. When not on the Bhaktiroad, Brenda calls beautiful Guelph, Ontario home.

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Angela Jervis-Read

Guest Instructor

Sought out by studios around the globe, Angela Jervis-Read E-RYT 500, leads international teacher trainings, retreats and workshops in both the yin and vinyasa traditions. Known as a cutting edge practitioner that treats PTSD and chronic pain through movement therapy, Angela’s seamlessly weaves together Eastern insights with Western science to manipulate the relationship between mind and body. Her inquisitive nature and passion for study has culminated in an eclectic approach that draws on many traditions. She is quick to laugh and always has time for students questions and curiosities. She is honoured to be a part of the Teacher Training faculty at The Yoga Sanctuary, Spirit Loft and at the Sampoorna Yoga School in India. Angela’s work takes her to beautiful places but she is happiest when she is at home with the love of her life and her two sweet dogs. Inspirations both and on and off the mat are: S.M. Goenka, Hali Schwartz, Sarah Powers and Rishi Sudhir.

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Fernanda Cano

Learning and teaching is what moves Fernanda. Yoga has been part of her life for almost 15 years. Teaching yoga for more than a decade has made her embrace life and people in a more profound, compassionate and resourceful way.

Fernanda has been to several different countries in order to enhance her teaching methods and offer the best yoga experience to her students. Her passion for Yoga pushed her to study in Brazil, The USA, and India. She has completed 500hr of Teacher Training, 300h in Yoga Therapy/Ayurveda, and has studied and taught Meditation Fundamentals for over 12 years.

Fernanda also holds a Bachelor in Literature and Languages, and uses her communication skills to adapt and to create the right energy for the style she is teaching, anything from a dynamic and energetic class, to a soothing, relaxing experience.

Fernanda sees life as an opportunity for growth and yoga is her foundation for developing and spreading heath, strength, balance and peace of mind. Allow her to take you with you on this journey in one of her classes.

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Jo Bot

Instructor

Jo Bot has been a personal trainer for 15+ years and recently discovered yoga as part of her own training to address the instability caused by scoliosis which began to affect her more and more as she aged. The improvements that she saw both physically and mentally inspired her to delve deeper into this journey. She finished the 250 hour Fast Track Yoga Teacher Training program with The Yoga Sanctuary and is excited to share all the knowledge gleaned from this wonderful program. Joanne completed the 100hr Teacher Training program with ACROYOGA 360 as well and now she finds joy sharing the benefits of a regular yoga practice and the playfulness of acro yoga with everyone –including her mother and her grandmother

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Fernanda Cano

Instructor

Learning and teaching is what moves Fernanda. Yoga has been part of her life for almost 15 years. Teaching yoga for more than a decade has made her embrace life and people in a more profound, compassionate and resourceful way.

Fernanda has been to several different countries in order to enhance her teaching methods and offer the best yoga experience to her students. Her passion for Yoga pushed her to study in Brazil, The USA, and India. She has completed 500hr of Teacher Training, 300h in Yoga Therapy/Ayurveda, and has studied and taught Meditation Fundamentals for over 12 years.

Fernanda also holds a Bachelor in Literature and Languages, and uses her communication skills to adapt and to create the right energy for the style she is teaching, anything from a dynamic and energetic class, to a soothing, relaxing experience.

Fernanda sees life as an opportunity for growth and yoga is her foundation for developing and spreading heath, strength, balance and peace of mind. Allow her to take you with you on this journey in one of her classes.

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Kassandra is a therapeutic yoga teacher with over 450 hours of training and specializes in trauma-informed viniyoga (yoga therapy); chair, yin, hatha, and restorative yoga; and seniors exercise. Engaging with yoga’s broader contexts in classes and private sessions–breathwork, mindfulness, meditation, and takeaways into life off the mat–are of particular interest, as well as increasing functional mobility for life-long practice through posture focus. Kassandra enjoys working with those who think they can’t do yoga–because of mobility level, body size, age, injury, or condition–and encourages autonomy, insight, and self-acceptance in all students. Here’s to yoga practices that help to increase resiliency in life and activation of self-healing!

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Jacob Saphra

Jacob is a graduate of Kranti Yoga School in Goa, India. A lifelong practitioner of many different movement disciplines, Jacob found Yoga in early 2013 and instantly became enchanted by the practice and philosophy.

Rooted in ashtanga’s 8 limbs, Jacob believes in a diverse, creative and playful practice focused on his ever-expanding anatomical knowledge and his passion for movement.

Jacob aims to offer students and fellow yogis a chance to assimilate a practice that offers them an opportunity to feel grounded, to play, and to meditate.

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Shaun Warner

Instructor

Shaun originally started practicing yoga in 2006 to complement his martial arts practice and improve his flexibility. He was immediately hooked to the physical challenge and soon after discovered the mental and spiritual benefits of the practice. What started as a hobby became a daily passion and eventually his profession. Shaun has completed a 200-hour teacher training in Germany in 2012, as well as a 500-hour advanced teacher training in New York City in 2014. Shaun teaches Hatha, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Budokon, Restorative and Yin Yoga classes. His classes are genuine, supportive, fun, and tailored to the needs of the students of the class. Shaun focuses on correct alignment and creative, thoughtful sequencing of postures, combined with conscious breathing.

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