Shamanic Yoga Institute


Ayllu means Community of Spiritual Practitioners in this context. In Quechua the word ayllu is a generic term for "kin group," and its specific reference was clarified by the context.

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Since 2005, Christine Selda has been sharing the teachings of the Medicine Wheel in Squamish, British Columbia. Since this mystery school’s inception, more than one hundred students have walked the four directions of the Medicine Wheel to become Full Mesa Carriers. The Ayllu holds many who reveal themselves as shamanic practitioners, medicine song keepers, shamanic yoga teachers, psychopomps, mastery teachers, and ceremonial space holders. We in our community have built life-long friendships through this work; these relationships become strong from the healing process that we share by walking the four directions of the Medicine Wheel. We are scattered across the globe, many have adopted shamanic tools and principles within their personal and professional practices. These are some of our beloved friends who have trained with us and given back to our community in service by assisting trainings and passing this work forward. There are many to honour over the years who are not shown here, and to all our community and different ayllus out there as we grow, we carry you in our hearts, you are remembered. Thank you.


Jules Emmerson

Photographer and Merchanding Support

From my earliest days and rememberings I have been aware of the subtle energies that guide and protect us. As a young environmentalist, with a spiritual nature I was led to my path of becoming an earth keeper. Forever the artist, I design adornments and create beauty through fashion, photography and design. I am full Mesa Carrier and 300 HR YT with the SYI and am certified Kundalini Dance™ Facilitator. It is an honour to assist and take photos for the SYI trainings. I am a sister, a friend, and an ally to all walking their truth and healing path.


Kayla Young

Current Karma Yoga Manager and Teacher Assistant Yoga Teacher Trainer- SYTT 300hr -2021

Kayla participated in her first YTT with the Shamanic Yoga Institute in 2020, which led her to return as an assistant in 2021 where she graduated with her 500 hour YTT certificate. 
Kayla is both curious and passionate about dissolving the boundaries between our yoga mats and our everyday lives. She takes her yoga into the world through art, poetry, and her connection to and honouring of the lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), where she is humbled to live, play and learn. 
Kayla currently coordinates the Shamanic Yoga Institute community class program at Shala Yoga and off of her mat can be found creating, exploring and studying for her herbalism and aromatherapy programs.

Douglas Hess

Current Assistant Teacher - Squamish Outdoor Medicine Wheel 21/22

After many years of study and practice with multiple lineages, I followed my Heart to the Medicine Wheel. As I move into the collective, I am cultivating humility, gratitude, love, compassion and kindness. “The more I know the less I know,” Ram Das. I surrender. Om Samarpayimi Namaha 


Brittany Lyons

Upcoming: Lead Medicine Wheel Teacher & White Global Mesa Teacher

Brittany is committed to the work with a grateful heart. She is a Shamanic practitioner, an intuitive healer, with a focus on soul retrieval, and personalized Yoga Nidra meditations. She weaves in the medicine of Mother Nature, waters, animals, expressive arts, dancing, and ceremony in her offerings with Spirit. Her intention is to share her heart and voice in the alignment of her Soul’s mission. Prayers for our individual and collective healing.

I love empowering, guiding and supporting people on their journey to self-mastery.


Andrea Sentesy

SYI Gatekeeper, Shamanic Yoga Assistant Teacher 2018

The sweet and transformative practice of yoga arrived into my life in 2000, and it has been a process of evolution ever since. I began sharing yoga in 2010, and have over 1500 hours of teaching experience, as well as 400 hours of formal training. In 2014, my life shifted dramatically again as I followed the call towards Mountain Shamanism and completed each turn of the Medicine Wheel with Christine Selda. I am a full Mesa carrier within the Peruvian Q’ero Lineage

My daily practices of Yoga, Shamanism and Meditation have drawn me to a deeper understanding of myself and brought joy, peace and evolution to all aspects of my life. Because of these practices I feel vital, connected, courageous and a deep gratitude for life My truest desire is to spark this process of evolution in others, so that we may live in harmony and reciprocity with Mother Earth, and each other.

Off the mat, you can find me playing with sticks and rocks with my sons, rock climbing with my wonderful partner, counselling children and their families, or singing by a fire.


Jessica Kelly

Children's Medicine Wheel Teacher 2019

In 2014 Jessica began her journey to become a yoga teacher, traveling to The Pavones Yoga Centre in Costa Rica in 2014 to receive her 200 hour teaching certificate. She has since received her 75 hour yin certificate from the YYoga Teacher’s College in Vancouver, and her 300 hour certificate from the Shamanic Yoga Institute here in Squamish. Jessica is a full mesa carrier and continues to study and apprentice with Christine Selda at the Shamanic Yoga Institute. She is also a trained and licensed Girlvana instructor and carries a designation of CRYT-550 with the Canadian Yoga Alliance.


Diego Montoya

Assistant Yoga Teacher Trainer 2020-Squamish

Tracey Hopkins

Assistant Yoga Teacher Trainer - 2020 Squamish

Shamanism reminds me of my connection to this earth as well as to the stars. This great mother, who gives unconditionally and is constantly talking to us, is part of us as we are part of her.


Cara Long

Assistant 2018

Cara first began her Shamanic studies of traditional plant medicine and healing in the desert of San Louis Potosoi, Mexico. A few years later, in 2015, she completed a 200 hour teacher training with Christine Selda and Kristen Campbell and went on to become a full mesa carrier. At her graduation ceremony, she received the name Chandra, which means Moon. Her dedication to walking the Shamanic path led her to assist both the Shamanic Yoga Institute’s Medicine Wheel and Yoga Teacher Training in 2018 as well as continuing her studies with the institute’s offerings of mastery classes.

Cara draws inspiration from the complimentary teachings of the Toltec, Inca and yoga traditions. She is a medicine maker, exploring the alchemy of herbs and aromatherapy in her product line of Cannalife Botanicals and more recently Luna Vida Botanica, harnessing the energies of the moon in her formulations. She is guided by the essence of plants and the cyclical influence of the moon and stars. Through her botanical offerings she hopes to connect people to nature’s medicine traditions, inspiring others to remember their innate healing wisdom.

She tends to an organic and herbal garden in Squamish and is grateful for the abundance and beauty of the unceded territory of the Squamish Nation, where she lives. Cara is a strong believer in the power of ceremony and ritual for self-care, community and healing of the earth.


Mara Branscombe

Guest Shamanic Yoga Teacher

As a mother, yogi, dancer, mindfulness leader, ceremonialist and spirit coach, Mara Branscombe finds great joy in guiding others along the path of self transformation.  She is passionate about weaving the art of mindfulness, self-care, creativity, mind-body practices and earth based rituals into her offerings.
Mara was awakened to the potency of Hatha Yoga in India over twenty years ago. This awakening profoundly shifted her calling onto the path of the healing arts.  Teaching yoga and meditation for the past 15 years, Mara weaves together her background as a dance artist, her practice in the shamanic tradition, and her years of experience on her mat- organically what arises is a fluid, transformative, and embodied practice. She offers Reiki, intuitive counselling, sacred movement, and shamanic healing to her clients and students.
Currently, Mara hosts international yoga retreats, fuses mindfulness, yoga, and corporate leadership to executive teams, mentors yoga teaches and provides intuitive counselling to clients in all stages of life.  Mara has taught for Wanderlust, Lululemon, Saje, THNK Leadership, Molson Canadian,  The Vancouver Canucks and The Vancouver Whitecaps to name a few.
Mara became a Mesa Carrier in the Incan Shamanic Lineage with Christine Selda 11 years ago and  is truly honoured to be a guest teacher for Shamanic Yoga


Kirtan Vancouver

Kirtan is the ancient practice of call and response chanting, combining mantra and music to open one’s heart. The chanting is transformational with multiple benefits including a peaceful state of mind. The primary instruments we use are traditional – HarmoniumMridanga (drum), and Kartal (hand cymbals). No previous experience is required to derive the benefits of this spiritual practice, also known as Bhakti Yoga.


Heidi Nielsen

Assistant 2019

I am a Mother, Aromatherapist, Yogi, Teacher, Support Worker, Medicine Song Singer, and Mesa Carrier of the Andean Lineage, I hold space with an open heart. I am reiki attuned, herbal infused, and trauma informed. My private practice offers full body aromatherapy massage and energy work, incorporating ancient techniques learned from participating and assisting in Christine Selda’s Medicine Wheel trainings. I am honored to be in service as an assistant, fire keeper and facilitator of ceremony..

I have a deep love for nature and her abundant gifts, the four elements,  the standing ones, the elemental realm, plant medicine, crystal healing and the cosmos.

I feel it is my Dharma as a light carrier to be a beacon of positivity and youthful joy. I am fueled by a passion to live in a world free from oppression and patriarchal attitudes that have for centuries held all beings back from their highest healed state. I share my voice in a number of ways as a feminist, a Mother and a medicine song keeper, in the hopes of raising the vibration on this planet and all who I meet on my earth walk.  *Taeeya Amaru

Heidi is a Certified Aromatherapist and owner of Nature to Nurture Aromatherapy.

My truest desire is to spark this process of evolution in others, so that we may live in harmony and reciprocity with Mother Earth, and each other.


Gaia Sophia

Assistant 2018

Gaia Sophia literally translates into Wisdom of the Earth. My birth name is Tara, which in Sanskrit means Earth and Star. These guiding forces have reminded me of my mission on Earth, as a healer and proxy of light. My lineage comes from my great, great grandparents in Sumutra, Indonesia who were the town Healers. It is through this long line of light carriers that the work continues through me on Earth. I have an Associate in Liberal Arts and a certificate in Waldorf Education but my love is healing. I am trained in Massage Therapy, Somatic Polarity, Gamma Wave Healing, Akashic Record reading, 300 HR Yoga, and many other modalities. I pour sweat lodge, I am a sacred pipe carrier and I carry a full Mesa from the Q’ero lineage of Shamanism. 

I have a passion for learning from other healers from all over the world and I have learned that the true power comes from your own authentic connection and relationship to the Energy. I offer healing sessions distantly and in person. You can find me teaching an occasional yoga class, spending time in nature or raising my young son. I am a big believer that our external landscape is only a simulation for us to witness our invisible, internal world. Through this growth, learning and awareness we will, together, create harmony on this loving, conscious planet we call Earth


Veronika Lelyavok

Assistant 2019

Veronika hails from the flatlands of Belarus, a small European country nestled between Russia and Poland. Veronika has spent over half of her life in Canada and has had the privilege of living on the indigenous lands of Cree Nation in Manitoba, Kahnawake Mohawk land in Quebec and currently on Musqueam and Coast Salish land of British Columbia. Veronika received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Psychology from McGill University where she also served as President of a women’s leadership organization. Athletics is a major passion of Veronika’s. After 10 years of accomplishments in professional figure skating she found the path of yoga. 12 years of practice led Veronika to complete a 200 hr YTT in vinyasa, meditation and ayurvedic studies. It was through yoga that Veronika discovered Shamanic Yoga Institute and became a mesa carrier. Veronika is committed to sharing the consciousness-blazing, integrity-building, authenticity-revealing traditions of yoga and shamanism. She is here to offer you her fire.


Melissa Donohoe

Assistant 2018

Melissa Donohoe is greatly inspired by nature and movement. Her studies in Shamanism and love of philosophy weave into her teachings.  She believes in the interconnection between all, we are all one, and when we connect deeply to our own rhythm there is a knowing it syncs up to the Mother Earth.  Melissa is a full mesa carrier (studying with Christine) holds a Bachelor of Education, and is a registered yoga teacher. May we not only call on the four directions but also open them up to enter the power of the heart, and luminous place within us all.


Kelsey Dawn

Assistant 2019

Kelsey Dawn a.k.a Matrika is a Soul Illuminator, Divine Mother, Mentor, Healing Practitioner & Yoga Instructor. Having Trained in Rehabilitation & Disability Studies; Studied with Masters in Ancient Shamanic, Yogic & Buddhist traditions, her guidance helps you accelerate your personal growth to live in alignment with your soul. She was born on this planet, at this time, to help guide others through the many challenges that arise as one shifts into higher states of consciousness. Together she will support you to evolve out of the Old ways of ‘existing’ and into Ways of ‘Being.’  Through ancient wisdom, modern science & her illuminating intuitive powers, you will take what’s been haunting you, transform it to reclaim your luminous form & also help others to see their radiance. We are all meant to Thrive!