After many years of athletics and various ongoing injuries, yoga found me one day when I witnessed a woman practicing poolside. Her strong, agile body and flowing movement set my eventual union with yoga in motion. I love that yoga helps bring me into balance. It’s the food that fuels my soul and gives my mind and body a connection to something more than my physical form. It is my breath.
It was 1982 when I first discovered Iyengar yoga. My knees were shot from jogging, my back ached constantly. I knew I needed a dramatic change. Somewhat skeptically, I enrolled in an Iyengar class. Soon, my once a week practice become three, then four, and finally a daily part of my life. What had begun as simply a desire to feel healthier and more flexible became a lifelong commitment. Teaching was my next, natural step.
After a two-year apprenticeship under Wende Davis in Vancouver, I travelled to India to study directly under Gita Iyengar. It was the most intensive, challenging month of my life and reaffirmed my desire to teach others. In 1993, I opened the North Shore’s first yoga studio while continuing my own personal studies both throughout North America and on a return visit to India.
More than any other form of yoga, Iyengar yoga incorporates a diverse range of props — including belts, blocks, even chairs — allowing students at all levels to more easily perform the yogic postures correctly. As their strength and flexibility increase, this use of props is constantly modified to respect individual limits while encouraging each student to continually push beyond personal limits.
When I began Iynegar yoga, learning opportunities were limited. Today I am delighted to be teaching here at Om Prem, helping students of all ages and abilities to experience the joy and freedom this ancient art brings.
With her clear and insightful teaching, Sarah hopes to ignite the passion for yoga in others so they too may experience its transformative qualities. Ever a student, she has been practicing Iyengar Yoga since 1983 and is continually reminded of its depth and richness. Sarah has taught yoga for over 20 years.
Brad Waites is one of less than 40 teachers worldwide to be certified at the 2000-hour level by the College of Purna Yoga, and is currently a member of the college faculty. After a career as a partner in a civil litigation firm and a published author of legal articles, he began pursuing yoga as a means of self-empowerment and self-fulfillment. Years of study led him to Purna Yoga, which seeks, through individual and group practice, to evolve the consciousness of all humanity. He also holds a professional level teacher’s certificate from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, where he lived and taught for several years. Brad leads workshops and classes throughout North America and internationally, including appearances at the San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference, the Asia Yoga Conference in Hong Kong, the Toronto Yoga Conference and the Vancouver Yoga Conference. He has a special interest in introducing students to the beauty of yoga philosophy.
Kathleen began practicing yoga about 30 years ago while still a student. She’s studied many styles over the years with dozens of inspirational teachers and is delighted to find more people discovering how yoga rejuvenates mind, body and spirit. Her supportive teaching style leads students through a moving meditation using smooth transitions between postures with focus on the breath. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Kathleen enjoys hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and skiing and relies on yoga to keep her body strong, flexible and injury free. Kathleen has taught first timers to well seasoned yogis in a variety of settings locally and internationally and looks forward to meeting new students and participating in their yoga journey. One of her favourite quotes is “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”.
You will not be bored in Sandra’s hatha and flow classes. Her extreme passion for inspiring students will challenge you to explore your physical and inner boundaries in a safe, warm and friendly environment. Through clear instruction, Sandra focuses on a solid foundation for each posture, body alignment and core strength. Sandra believes that life is an exploration in balance – strength and ease, energy and relaxation and hard work and play. Sandra invites you to practice yoga and find pleasure in your pursuit of balance.
Brenda is an exuberant, loving, joyful student of life, and an inquisitive, articulate seeker. Her impassioned work includes: teaching yoga, consulting to families in need of community-based rehabilitation therapy programs, and facilitating groups. Brenda’s yoga teachings encourage students to move to dissolve barriers. She offers her students nourishing practices in order to cultivate more intimacy with themselves – through breath, body, mind – and more satisfying connections with one other and the world. Brenda’s classes blend devotion, dynamism and diversity and are woven to attune to maintaining spacious presence amidst our fast-paced, seductive modern life.
I began practicing yoga in 2001. I was attracted to it because of both the physical and psychological benefits you can gain from developing a personal practice. Yoga has helped me to improve both my performance in several sporting pursuits and my overall wellness.
I am trained in vinyasa (flow), Hatha, yin, restorative and advanced therapeutic yoga practices. I also have 20 years of experience in the coaching profession. During that time I have developed a unique and proven teaching methodology that has helped many people achieve their athletic goals at every level. I have now applied that methodology to what and how I teach people while on the yoga mat.
Michelle began yoga in 1998 in what happened to be an Iyengar class and was immediately drawn to the practice by the quiet alertness brought to her mind and body. She began teaching in 2006 on Haida Gwaii and in 2014 moved back to Vancouver and currently teaches throughout the Lower Mainland. She holds an Intermediate Junior I certificate studying under Louie Ettling. She is a committed life long learner as both a student and teacher of yoga, studying with international and national senior teachers as well travelling to Pune, India on multiple occasions to study with the Iyengars. Her love and dedication of the subject is transmitted through her teaching.
Atta’s yoga journey started over 20 years ago as part of a preparation course for a meditation retreat and he’s been a student of yoga since. His passion for leadership development and better understanding of the human potential led him on a self-developmental journey that resulted in studying coaching through the Integral Coaching Canada® where he received his Master Coaching Certificate. With a deep desire to serve the community he lives in, and with the support of yogis and yoginis within the community, he co-founded Om Prem Yoga Studio in the Spring of 2012.
Atta offers Restorative, Gentle Hatha, Purna and classical Hatha (alignment base) classes. He also offers one-on-one and group coaching to clients across the world. If you want support in expediting your personal/professional development feel free to reach out to him.
Iyengar yoga is a systematic method of Hatha Yoga named after BKS Iyengar of Pune, India, (Dec. 14, 1918 – Aug. 20, 2014). The hallmark of the Iyengar approach is the ability to adapt the poses to the needs and challenges of the individual student. This method of yoga works on the principle of “meditation in action”. The asanas (poses) bring the body/mind into balance by developing flexibility, strength and alignment as well as breath awareness. Classes are deeply energizing and promote physical, mental and spiritual well being.