Teachers

Jacqueline Ellis

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I was introduced to yoga by my Mother when I was very young. We used to move the furniture in the living room to make room to do the postures. We did not have any yoga mats, but we didn’t miss them! Life happened and I did a lot of physical fitness, however it was not until my 40th birthday that I rediscovered yoga. My husband John decided to surprise me by taking us both to a Bikram Yoga class. It was an amazing and memorable experience. I knew right away that I would be returning again and again.

Years of running, aerobics and weight training with little to no stretching had created a huge amount of tension in my body. Three pregnancies had played havoc as well. An accident at 4 yrs of age had created a chronic spinal condition where my L5 had ossified into my sacrum and I would suffer from painful sciatica that would come and go randomly. At the time I worked as a deep tissue massage practitioner and was suffering with mild carpal tunnel syndrome. My feet, legs and hips were very tight when I first started practicing. I felt the benefits to my lower body immediately, and after about a month of regular practice the tension in my jaw, neck, shoulders and arms began to slowly ease. After class I felt lighter and more relaxed. Through practicing Bikram Yoga and attending Teacher Training I learned the truth, I am the agent of change and creativity in my life through my thoughts and focus.

My goal in the hot room is to be calm and joyful. Everything changes and shifts in life, nothing is constant except the breath. The Original Hot class creates and supports the optimal structural alignment of the body when it is practiced correctly and regularly. My body is more resilient and able to handle stress. I base that knowledge on 12 years of continuous practice. I love to explore all types of yoga and can not imagine my life without it now. I have three grown daughters, 4 grandchildren and another on the way. I am ever grateful for my network of support without which I could not do what I do.


John Ellis

Westshore Project Development
john1I am a devotee of the Original Hot Yoga. I started practicing the Bikram method yoga the day before my 46th birthday at the Langford studio with my wife Jacqueline. I was skeptical at the time but Jacqueline had wanted to try the yoga for a while. I had pretty much convinced myself that it wasn’t for me, as I was not very flexible, was 46 years old and had some injuries including a torn and dislocated shoulder and torn ACL in the right knee. I had recovered from many broken bones including neck, feet, hands, a few ribs. In short, after many years of contact and international level sport, lots of things hurt in the mornings!

john2I attended this class wearing a knee brace and a bathing suit! I was fairly sure that I wouldn’t get much out of it. After 3 classes I felt better in the mornings than I had in many years and after 2 months of regular practice I was able to continue my Martial Arts training and competing without the knee brace for the first time in 4 years. After about a year or so I was enjoying pain free weeks and that cinched my commitment to Yoga.
I completed the Bikram method yoga teacher training in the spring of 2011 at 52 years old. I am currently still working in construction, as a private contractor currently acting as the Senior Estimator and a Project Manager for a mid island marine, pile driving and deep foundations company. I completed Tough Mudder in Whistler shortly after my 55th birthday!

john3I maintain a regular practice, at least 3 classes per week. I teach a couple of times per week as well. This practice has helped me in ways that were inconceivable at the beginning. Initially the postures alleviated pain as I managed to realign fascia, muscle tissues and joints. Once I started getting past the physical pain of just being inside my body, the meditative aspect achieved through the structure of the series began to give me a mental break from the obligations and stresses that come with my busy life. I believe that this Hot Yoga has permitted me to managed my journey through PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and the associated dependencies that often accompany this condition.

john4The series and concepts are often copied, because Bikram method yoga works. The other classes I am enjoying at the studio only add to my enjoyment of the Bikram class. Nothing that I know of provides the benefits of the original Hot Yoga Series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in a 40 degree room.

I can be reached at john@theloftyoga.com or through www.wsprojdev.com if you would like to talk to me personally.


Kimiko Foster

kimikoMy name is Kimiko Foster, I took my first Bikram Yoga class in January 2008 and began a regular practice a year and a half later. For me everything changed after beginning a regular practice, I felt better from the inside out, which put a whole new definition to beauty. I gained this awareness of self that I had never experienced before. I started to take interest in my own well-being, my health, my habits, and a living a balanced life. I have heard in the hot room many times that practicing Bikram Yoga is the process of learning to love yourself, its awkward at first, you feel dizzy and nauseous, its normal to feel weird, weird to feel normal, you can’t predict your class, but you know its always worth it. I know that no matter what my monkey mind tells me, this yoga is here to take care of me and that’s really reassuring.

Everyone is so hard on themselves in the world today, mentally and physically. To come into the hot room for 90 minutes and focus on personal health and growth is a beautiful thing to witness and be apart of. If I can offer students what this Yoga has given me, I will call it a win at the end of the day.


Carol Gosse

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We are unique! Each of us has an individual story which brought us into the hot room and each story is as unique as our individual experience on the yoga mat.

Here’s a brief snapshot of me- Carole Gosse – the person behind the yoga teacherJ

Along with teaching yoga, I am also an instructor at Camosun College teaching in Bachelor of Business Administration degree, majoring in Human Resource Management & Leadership. I also teach part-time in Continuing Education’s Leadership Development Certificate Program, specializing in leadership studies and adult learning development.

I have a Master’s degree in Leadership and Training (MA) from Royal Roads University, a Bachelor degree of Arts in Communications and Psychology (BA) from SFU, and I am a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) through the Human Resource Management Association of BC & Yukon.

Prior to Camosun College, I spent 15 years as a Director of Human Resources for six different Fairmont Hotels and Resorts both in Alberta and BC. A career highlight for me was being the opening Director of HR for the Fairmont Waterfront hotel in downtown Vancouver, and ending my hospitality career as the HR & Training Director at the Fairmont’s Chateau Whistler Resort.

Although I enjoyed an exciting career in hospitality in Human Resources, I was under a great deal of stress and pressure, raising my young family and working 55 to 60 hours per week. My lifestyle left me in poor health, overweight with precious little time devoted to my health and wellness.

At 48 years of age I came into the hot room terribly unfit, extremely fatigued and suffering from tension headaches and high blood pressure. For the first while, I struggled with each and every posture, often unable to finish the class. However, after most classes, I felt relaxed, peaceful and content– a glowing feeling of well-being and relaxation that would last for days.

So, I came back again and again & soon realized this sense of wellbeing was my mind and body finally connecting but more importantly I was finally giving myself the time and space to be with myself for myself. As a commitment to my continued health, I became a certified Bikram Yoga teacher at 52 years and have enjoyed teaching Bikram yoga on a part time basis for three years and counting.

As your yoga teacher, I am committed to sharing my love and passion for this yoga and all the benefits that comes with a regular, consistent practice. I am also committed to building a strong yoga community at the West shore studio, with a focus on continued health & wellness.

See you all in the hot room soon!


Rachel Radsma

Rachel bio picAlmost 9 years ago I did my first Bikram Yoga class. I was in love. I applied for the front desk position that same day and was fortunate enough to get it. I felt like I had come home. I have met the most amazing people, who have since become like family. In 2008 I went to teacher training in Acapulco Mexico and since then I have enjoyed teaching as much as practicing. With the ups and downs that the last ten years have brought me, yoga has been my anchor. It has helped to keep me strong, flexible and sane. With my most recent endeavors to continue my education, and teach in a different capacity, I am seeing how this yoga has paved a path in my life from which I continue to explore. What I love most about teaching is seeing other people discover how yoga can change their lives. Whether it be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually, we all come here for our own reasons and continue to come back as the many benefits reveal themselves. I look forward to seeing what the next decade of teaching and practicing will bring.


Molly Atkin

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I was first drawn to yoga as a young girl. Throughout my life yoga has rooted me and carved the path into deeper spirituality, physical strength and power, as well as a stronger awareness within myself and the environment. Following my Yoga Teacher Training I felt I had to learn everything I possibly could about the body and mind, and took up the two year Diploma of Exercise and Wellness at Camosun College, wishing to pursue my passion for health, wellness, and body understanding still further I completed my Bachelor Degree of Athletic and Exercise Therapy and am now a Certified Athletic Therapist and Strength and Conditioning Specialist. I teach Yoga frequently and work predominantly teaching yoga to high level athletes and clients seeking rehabilitation. My passion to learn about the body mind and soul continues without cessation and I am honoured at every opportunity to teach.


Madison Thompson

I first came to yoga for the physical benefits but fell in love with it for the amazing effect it had on me mentally.  The fact that I could go somewhere just to breathe and ground myself in the present moment was something I at first didn’t even know I needed, but soon came to rely on as a part of everyday life. Yoga has brought me awareness not only of my body but also my mind and spirit, as well as shown me how they are all interconnected. By teaching yoga I hope to help guide my students to what countless others have passed on to me – peace of mind, strength, balance, and focus. A practice both on and off the mat.

In the spring of 2015 I traveled to India for two months, during which time I completed my 200 hour Ashtanga & Vinyasa Flow certification. It was an incredible experience to learn from both Indian and Western teachers while completely immersing myself in the practice of yoga. To those of you who come to my class, thank you! I am so excited to share my knowledge with you while also learning from you in the process. In the wise words of Pattabhi Jois: “Practice and all is coming.”

Namaste!  


Edna Yalland

Edna-YIn September 2003 I moved with my husband and three children from Bristol, England to Sidney BC. I have a background is in Nursing, specifically, working in Geriatrics and Orthopaedics. I also have experience as proprietor of a family owned music retail outlet.

In 2000, at the age of 40, I was diagnosed with a collapsed disk in my neck, osteoarthritis in C5 & C6 and a frozen shoulder. I was prescribed strong pain killers, anti-inflammatories and physiotherapy. Although I wanted to maintain an active lifestyle, I found that I could no longer swim or cycle without aggravation. I tried other activities, but to no avail. When a local hot yoga studio opened in 2006 I tried with trepidation something new and found that it felt good. With the implementation of a regular yoga practice, my decrepit body creaked less and less as I stretched into a new lease on life. Once I committed to a daily practice, my attitude changed, no longer in fear and looking forward to “eventually or in the future.” I am happy to say that the future is here; I’ve seen it! The chronic pain has eased and I am no longer on medication.

I am taking an active role in my ongoing good health and my hope is that I inspire and encourage you to do the same.

“You are never too old…”


Kat Ellis

kat-garvey-frontdeskThe Yoga Loft community consists of a group of caring individuals who inspire hope and strength into my every day life. The teachers as well as the yogis that I practice beside are some of the toughest people that I’ve ever met. Their stories are all different but what they have in common with me is that, regarding self realisation, they have found the ultimate tool of personal resilience. In my 10 years of gymnastics training I had endured two serious neck injuries, busted knees and wrists, sprained ankles, a hematoma to my quadricep and many unpleasant encounters with the balance beam. It was in January of 2009 that my worst injury occurred. Partially due to tight chest and shoulder muscles, I had an accident that damaged my long thoracic nerve, leaving me with very little mobility in my right arm, no feeling in my little finger, and an enduring pain in my shoulder and back. Needless to say, I was devastated as fear overwhelmed me and I believed that my street dancing and snowboarding days were over.

Physio therapy and chiropractic treatments did not give me the same pain relief that hot yoga did, and so I decided to commit to the Bikram method classes as a regular practice to combat my depression and weight gain. In 4 years, Bikram yoga has grown back nerves, broken down scar tissue and squashed person insecurities. I tell you with confidence that Bikram yoga, and hip hop music, saved my life.


Ashley Grimm

During my first Bikram Method yoga class I was mesmerized by the intensity, focus and mental strength the class required. I grew up playing competitive hockey and played every other sport I could. I was always competing against others. In yoga the challenge is with the Self which gave me the opportunity to search within.

After my first class I was hooked. I fell in love with the practice. Nothing has challenged me more physically, mentally and spiritually, all at the same time. Yoga has taught me how important it is to take care of my body, so I can continue to keep doing all the things I love. I attended the Bikram Method Yoga Teacher Training in 2011. I have had the opportunity to teach in California, Australia, and Vancouver and now I am grateful to be a part of the community at Yoga Loft!

I feel honoured to lead students through such a powerful practice. First we learn to breath and find peace in the present moment, then the life long journey begins. Building mental power is what intrigues me most. To have the determination of a bulldog and the strength of a Bengal tiger…anything is possible if you believe. I am inspired by yoga and everything it teaches. When we take care of our body and our mind the possibilities are endless. Yoga can save your life. It can bring so much happiness into your world and everyone around you.  Come sweat!

 


Michele Archibald

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Originally from Edmonton, Michele spent most of her life there. Having a work opportunity to move to beautiful Victoria and its Westcoast yoga friendly lifestyle did not take much convincing!

Michele has practiced various types of yoga for 15 years. A variety of styles from; Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Bikram. A very power, cardio style of yoga appealed to Michele for a long time, until she discovered Yin. Life outside of the studio is very hectic and fast paced. Yoga calms the mind, the body and emotions. “Once I hit the mat I can almost forget about life outside the studio, truly a Yin/Yang benefit!”

Michele completed her yoga teacher training in February 2015. Yin yoga is a calm, slow paced, relaxing class. We work on relaxing our overlying muscles in order access the deeper connective tissues, the tendons, ligaments and fascia. Tightness in the deeper tissues can lead to decreased mobility and flexibility in our bodies.


Nicole Schulz

“I teach for the love of teaching, from the heart.”

I think this describes me the best. Valuing the balance and awareness that yoga & teaching have provided me with and being grateful to share the love, fun and enthusiasm with others.

I started my teaching experience with step, aerobic and toning classes in 2004 as a certified instructor. After a while and literally by (knee) accident, I discovered the benefits of yoga for myself. And loved it! Curious to learn more, I became internationally certified for BodyBalance/BodyFlow™ (a unique blend of Tai Chi, Yoga & Pilates) in 2007.

I completed my previous fitness trainings with RYT-200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program, the highest of standards of South Okanagan Yoga Academy (SOYA; RYS registered yoga school) and upgraded to RYT-500 as a Wholistic Ayurvedi Yoga Teacher. Furthermore my credentials include YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) as well as the qualification as E-RYT-200 Yoga Instructor (Experienced Yoga Teacher; 1,000 teaching hours taught in 2 years only).  

In October 2013 I completed my iRest® Yoga Nidra Level I training (Integrative Restoration)  in Banff, a concept developed by Dr. PHD Richard Miller. His protocol is currently being used in 35 VA facilities in the states and helps people to find inner peace and relaxation again.

I’m grateful to offer my services at various teacher trainings as a guest teacher and since 2015 I offer a Yin Yoga Training 32 hours to everybody who wants to learn more about this wonderful practice.

Currently I find myself as a E-RYT500 teacher and YACEP for Yoga Alliance, meaning Continuing Education Provider. (people who takes trainings with me receive points to keep their certification by Yoga Alliance).

The teachers I had the chance to study with and that inspired and continuously mentor me are:

Marion Mugs McConnell

Helen Mikuska

Paula Carnegie Fehr

Satyabhama Ashley-Farrand

Bernie Clark & Diana Batts

Eoin Finn

Anne Douglas

Michael Taylor

Yoga is a lifestyle for me, happening on and off the mat.

 


Alejandro Pujol

A very special person guided me into this yogi life in 2012. I got my Hot Yoga teacher title in LA. Leaving behind 18 years of an hectic and stressful musicals stage manager career,

My life style then was completely the opposite of todays. I lived at night, slept during the day.

Hot Yoga presented me with an opportunity to part from bad habits.

I was fortunate to get this chance. This opportunity.

Hot Yoga prepared me for what was to come, life-changing experiences, where I finally found my purpose in this life. Clean body, relax mind, free spirit. Teach and help other find their way to peacefulness, self-standing and easiness.

Meditation and yoga for me are the two paths I follow, hand in hand. Yoga Works my body. Meditation Works my soul, together these are powerful weapons to teach mind and body to be one. Not to be afraid of what there is to come, to have faith, no doubts, just let the energy envelop us.

Nowadays, thanks to hot yoga my body is free to speak (its clean) and now I am able to listen to what it has got say. I love listening to it! I, now through practice and perseverance, understand how important it is to take care of our bodies, they are our means of transport in this life, and they are our soul’s home. This is one of Hatha Yoga’s most important premises. Take care of the temple of our souls.

I hereby encourage you to practice yoga, no matter how flexible (or not flexible you are), no matter how focus (or unfocused you are) whether you are disciplined (or undisciplined), determined (or erratic), I lacked most of these attributes when I started and I am still in the look out for some of them, but others have come my way and I am grateful. Thanks to yoga I feel better, I feel happy. Today I am a different, better person.

It just takes a couple of classes.

It is in our hands, it is within our reach to change our lives. It depends on us and us only.

There are moments in life when words suffice and there is a times when actions are required. So don’t put up more excuses. Don’t procrastinate! I’ll be waiting for you at Hot Yoga to start or continue this amazing adventure. Lets share or triumphs and sweat our miseries away.

I hope for all of you to find this amazing peace I’ve found, a place where you can relax, be happy and feel at ease with your self. This is what Hot Yoga brings to all of us.

Lets do it together!


Britney Stables

britney3I am madly in love with life. It is my intention to share this love with my students to inspire them to fall in love with themselves, with their life, and with the infinity of yoga— through movement, through stillness, breath, and through life. My classes are a balanced infusion of heart, playfulness, inspiration and hard work.

Years ago, yoga saved my life. In my quest of healing from years of childhood trauma, mental and neurological illness, I found yoga. In a very short time, the effects of yoga were creating profound and miraculous changes to my mind, health, body and life. Within just one month of consistent practice, I was medically seizure-free, drug-free and free from the chains of severe depression and self-harm.

Since then, this yoga journey has taken me across the world; from living in an ashram in northern India, to meditating in the jungles of Thailand, to pilgrimaging through the Himalayas of Nepal; studying yoga and other holistic healing modalities.

Yoga enlightens my body and mind, teaching liberates my spirit.

When I am not teaching, you’ll find me on my own yoga mat, exploring the island, at the ocean, cycling | swimming | hiking | learning to ride a motorbike. I’ll have a journal in my lap, sipping a tea, or creating healthy new vegan concoctions. I will be playing my guitar around a campfire, cuddling the handsome bearded man of my life, or indulging in deep heart-to-hearts with my beloved friends and family.

 

I am forever grateful for the teachings of yoga, and the opportunity to share them with the world. Namaste!


Thandi Pilkey

thandiMy Bikram yoga practice began in 2006 after the devastating loss of a child. I was in rough mental and physical shape and quite frankly, ready to give up. A dear friend recommended that I try Bikram yoga and it is a good thing, because it saved me from a slippery decent into depression and self loathing. I’ve often said that Bikram yoga saved my life…because it did. I was hooked from day one! The physical and mental release was tremendous and I began to slowly heal my body and mind. I’ve always believed in self-help rather than relying on external elements to treat what ails within, thus Bikram yoga was the right prescription for me at the time. In almost 8 years of consistent practice, I’ve managed to develop a stronger, more resilient mind and my body has reached strength and flexibility levels that I scarcely imagined. To top it off, the benefits keep coming! I feel challenged every time I step into the hot room, which is the right prescription for me always.

Hatha Flow Description

This practice will tap into the strength and flexibility that you have achieved through your Bikram practice and allow you to explore complementary asana. The Hatha Flow class focuses on upper body and core strength as well as spinal flexibility. Sun salutations and Vinyasa flows followed by Hatha Yoga poses create a dynamic, energizing class. After achieving a level of comfort with the Hatha Flow class, you will likely experience improvements in your Bikram practice.