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.

Sign Up for our newsletter to get more info

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.


Cindy Stockdale

Medicine Teacher and Yoga Teacher Trainer BaH. ERYT-500, RHN

Cindy’s passion in life is to explore the great mystery and to connect deeply with others. These desires have led her to degrees in Psychology and Archaeology as well as in depth study of yoga, nutrition and most recently Shamanism and Astrology. Cindy has been teaching yoga for over 12 years and exploring Shamanism for over 10. These mystery schools are essentially journeys of remembering; there is a call that is answered and through practice an incredible truth is revealed and ultimately the remembrance of unity, wholeness and love. Cindy’s call is to create a strong, loving space for others so that they may unveil their deepest truths and then reflect these back to them so they may rise. She loves understanding how Astrology, ancestry and the soul’s purpose all interact with one another to create the stage for which this takes place and is honoured and humbled to bear witness to this inner unfolding.

Anita Vidya

Medicine Wheel Teacher, Intuitive Indigenous Healer BBA, CYA E-RYT Gold

I see myself as someone who has achieved “success through diversity” in Business and in Spirit. I have walked many paths since I began working in 1994; facilitating the young lives of children. Early on in my life I have set the intention to become clearer in the art of business and co-creating it with spiritual knowledge.

My ancestry is Chipewyan Dene; situated near the Athabasca River along the North land and lakes of Alberta. My clear visions have been brewing since the early days of my youth; one vision guides me to learn and to be in a relationship directly with spiritual knowledge of Indigenous Spirit; one shared by the ancestors. The other is to source the authentic teachings from relations across Turtle Island and beyond, and in all the worlds.

Doing this work has developed a way for myself to be in reciprocity with all of our People. My ideals are to learn the traditional medicines shared by the Elders from the land and to listen intently of the oral traditions that they share. I lovingly continue on this path where I find a better way of life in this world of discernment and ceremony.

I am a lover of life and intend it to be full of health, heart and happiness. I spend my days doing ancient dance with my Earth body practicing Shamanic Yoga; this creates a strong body, mind and soul connection in the art of Shamanism. As I venture down this Red road, I look to expand my Self by living in the unique aspects of Spiritual Business, First Nations Circles, and to connect with the Elders who hold an ancient language of creation.  A Deep gratitude to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people, I recognize and honour that we live in the un-ceded Territory of the Squamish Nation.

Anita is a certified Yoga teacher since 2012 and has been teaching the Medicine Wheel since 2020; she is a teacher for Black Stone Mastery with the Shamanic Yoga Institute. She has taught Medicine Wheel in Ucluelet, Nelson, Okanagan and will continue throughout BC sharing the teachings from the Red Road and the Institute.


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.


Brittany Lyons

Medicine Wheel 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.


Verena Frutiger

Medicine Teacher

Growing up in Switzerland in a mountain village called Adelboden, I developed a deep connection to Nature and its beauty. My curiosity to broaden my horizons brought me into the fashion industry where I worked for over 10 years as a stylist. This line of work made me realize how powerful transformations can be and awakened my hunger to study the soul.

In 2009 I started walking the path of self discovery through the sacred teachings of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.Where I was trained by Alice Haenner, Marco Betschard and Karl Hutter . I went on to run a women’s meditation group and workshops to gain a deeper understanding of women and their place in society. I remembered my true calling is to stand in support of women.

Then in 2016, I left Switzerland and moved to Vancouver BC where I connected with Christine Selda and the Shamanic Yoga Institute. My life changed completely as I immersed myself in the 300 hour yoga training that gave me a deeper understanding of the Q’ero Mountain Shamanism of Peru.


Blaire Embrey

Medicine Teacher
Shamanic Yoga Teacher Training Assistant 2021/22

I have always known that the body has Wisdom. It has been through my personal practice and in-depth training that I have learned to cultivate and listen to this intelligence. Through Shamanic Practices using Sacred Art and Ritual, I will pass on tools to my community so that they too can create less suffering on this human journey. 
 My training has taken many forms throughout my life. Starting at 4 years old I intensively trained for 17 years in various forms of dance. This began my foundational practice of movement as healing. In my 20’s I received my Childspace certification, a Feldenkrais based practice, that brings the trainees through their own physical re-birth. We work with children and their parents by fostering development through play, encouraging this internal Wisdom to develop and bloom from birth. 


Carolyn Green

White Global Mesa Teacher

Hi, I am Carolyn. I am a mother, community volunteer, teacher of meditation and ayurveda , a postpartum doula, a global nurturer, star connector, yogini, energy healer, music lover and forever student. I love empowering, guiding and supporting people on their journey to self-mastery. You’ll find me chatting, singing and playing with people (especially kids and babies) or honouring, singing and listening to nature. Walking the medicine wheel was the most concentrated healing and self-discovery I have encountered on my journey to wholeness, to freedom. My heart is full knowing I have reconnected with powerful and beautiful parts of myself and have formed new connections through my ayllu, my tribe.


Andrea Sentesy

Assistant 2018, 2020

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.


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.


Kayla Young

Assistant 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.

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


Douglas Hess

Outdoor Medicine Wheel Assistant 2021-23

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 

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.


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
Certified Aromatherapist and Herbalist

Heidi is the founder of Amaru Aromatherapy offering a wide expanse of organic essential oils, synergies, hydrosols, herbal infusions, salves, spritzers, roll-on’s, botanical incense, beeswax candles, crystal altars and chakra bracelets.Heidi is a mesa carrier with the Shamanic Yoga Institute holding space with an open heart, having come full circle many times with SYTT Medicine Wheel’s as participant and assistant since 2010. Heidi offers wellness consultations, utilizing the healing benefits of aromatherapy, herbalism and crystal energy healing. Heidi is fueled by a passion to live in a world free from oppression and patriarchal attitudes. She shares her voice in a number of ways as an anti-violence worker, medicine song singer and priestess. Heidi is blessed to be in service to community having facilitated many healing circles and ceremonies. Heidi offers various workshops: Introduction to Aromatherapy, Essential Oil Blending, Artisan Distillation and Elemental Healing. Visit www.amaruaromatherapy to learn more.

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.

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!