My yoga is one of shamanic roots from the songs and bones of the earth, the mountains and the medicine peoples. I have had the great honour of answering my vocational calling to teach yoga since 1998 and studying with many of the masters of yoga as we know them today: B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Sivananda, Geeta Iyengar, Dr. Karandikar, Swami Durgananda. As I journeyed deeper in the study of yoga, I have come to disentangle myself from all of these lineages. I am grateful for the experiences and teachings received and I am very consciously stepping away from old structures and pedagogies that possess within them patriarchy and violence against women, children, and boys. For my yoga to be in alignment with who I am and what I stand for, my positionality is post-lineage; by standing apart and groundless, with no lineage to lean on, I lean into my own work and hold steady here.
In the river of yoga, the openness of being guides my teaching. My classes are crafted to attend to the layers of the self, from the superficial to the deep, through the practices of singing, devotional contemplation, meditation, the studying of scriptures, embodied prayer and breath. To embrace the full range of human potential and the ultimate freedom beyond duality and suffering, the play between the masculine and feminine as consciousness and light permeates my classes. My teacher is Shakti in her multiplicity of forms; always bringing me back to nature HerSelf.
I have been a voice for social justice since I was a teenager, and my work has always been about Stopping the Violence inside and out. I resonate deeply with an aspect of my career with the Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society, where I am the clinical supervisor for the children and youth PEACE counsellors. PEACE stands for Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counselling and Empowerment in Stopping the Violence Work. I teach in Arts, Health and Society from primary schools to universities. I hold a Ph.D. in philosophy in which my dissertation was titled: The Women, The Artist, and the Yogini: An Arts-Based Phenomenological Study on Yoga and Expressive Arts with special attention to their political implications. My study revealed much of the #MeToo movement in yoga. I also wrote a thesis on shamanism and expressive arts. The pedagogy I pass forward is based on these three pillars of practice and philosophy: 1. Yoga 2. Shamanism 3. Expressive Arts. I continue to engage with the interplay between these methodologies of practice and social change.
I am part of the long line of women contributing to yoga by bringing it off the mat and into the world. My intent is to train safe teachers to work with the underserved and marginalized populations. Being yoga and living yoga is the mission: I strive to do this with integrity. I pray that I can serve in some way.
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 an apprentice for Mastery in Shamanism since 2014 with the Shamanic Yoga Institute. She is teaching Medicine Wheel in Nelson and Ucluelet, BC and she carries the Black Stone Mesa and White stone Global Mesa through Mastery courses at the Institute.
I have been studying the relationship between teacher and student as long as I can remember, and at present this seems more pressing than ever. My adventures in academia led me to complete a double Bachelor's in Arts and Education, and my passion for philosophy, spirituality, social justice, and the arts guided me to travel and study with mentors from all walks of life. I have reverence for all of my teachers, but I am especially grateful to Christine Selda for continuing to be a source of immense support and inspiration as I continue to learn, unlearn, and respond to the shifting cultural context of yoga and shamanism.
I believe that these teachings and practices are antidotes to the disconnection we feel from ourselves, our relations, the Earth, and Spirit. My aim as a teacher is to share these tools with reverence and respect, and to offer others an experience of connection and devotion. It is my hope that from these encounters, students access new ways of seeing and being in the world. I’m so glad that I am not on this adventure alone! It is such a gift to be part of this school and an honour to collaborate with women of such high integrity, who encourage me to be a catalyst for change. Being in community propels me to continue this heart work–challenging my alignment, questioning whether I am in right relationship with power, and assuring that my efforts are contributing to the equality and equity for all.
I am also an educator at a place-based, outdoor program in the forest of Squamish. I spend my days alongside a group of wonder-filled elementary school children at the confluence of curriculum and emergent learning. I am a mother of two, Ophelia and Atlas, who teach me about love, humility and presence; the lessons I cherish most.
I am a Mama, Yoga Teacher, Teacher Trainer and Mentor for yoga teachers.
What I teach is informed and inspired by 14+ years of teaching yoga full-time, 9-years of studio owning, 8+ years of leading teacher trainings around the globe.
Ultimately, my work is about supporting yoga-practitioners and yoga-teachers in living and practicing purposefully in accordance with their highest truth and vision.
In addition to yoga, I source inspiration and influence from my continued studies in; Mountain Shamanism (as taught by the Q’ero Medicine People of Peru), Meditation, and Ayurveda.
Natalie is a passionate student of Yoga, Ayurveda, Eastern Philosophy, and Meditation. She currently lives in Pemberton BC and leads inspirational Teacher Trainings, Workshops & Retreats in British Columbia and beyond. You can expect her classes to be skilfully structured and infused with the teachings that inspire her most, namely the power of practice, the wisdom of nature, and the wonder of living an ordinary life lit up through mindful presence.
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 – Harmonium, Mridanga (drum), and Kartal (hand cymbals). No previous experience is required to derive the benefits of this spiritual practice, also known as Bhakti Yoga.
Sing with Kirtan Vancouver
Hello my name is Lydia Williams. I come from the Squamish and Tsimshian First Nations. I grew up in Squamish with my parents Ray & Darlene Lebel on the Yekwaupsum reserve.
My maternal grandparents are the late Laura Williams nee: Collinson from the Tsimshian Nation and Chief David Williams of the Squamish Nation.
Growing up in Squamish was such a gift as I have had the privilege to learn from different aunts/uncles as well as respected community members how to take care of the plants/ animals and how to help preserve them for use of future generations.
I was taught things such as beadwork, cedar weaving, simple sewing, crocheting and other arts&crafts.
I would like to add special thanks to the Shamanic yoga institute & North yoga. Where I have completed 500 hours Registered yoga teacher training combined through both schools.
Thank you for honouring me and continuing to ask me to be a part of this community of learners!
Life is short, experience something new today!
Donna Billy also known as Si-so-lia is from the Squamish Nation. She is a mother of two sons who have been her inspiration. From a very early age Donna was trained in her traditional ways by the Elders. Donna takes pride in her heritage and Culture. She truly lives up to her Ancestral name Si-so-lia which means “hard working woman”. Whatever she is working on-she works hard! Taking care of the people has always been at the heart of the work that Donna does. She believes in healthy, strong families and supporting and guiding them. Most of her jobs have been working with children & mothers in the community. She is currently working with the Howe Sound Women’s Centre Transition house in Squamish.