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.
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.
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.
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”.
I am a Registered Therapeutic Yoga Teacher (RYT) and Holistic Nutritionist (RHN). I also hold a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Biology and Psychology from McMaster University. After years of working as a research chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry, I grew tired of the reactionary approach of the allopathic health field. It was then that I decided to switch my focus to health promotion and disease prevention to help people live a healthy and active life, free from a dependency on medication where possible. This holistic way of living is intended to empower people with the knowledge of how whole foods and mindful movement can sustain a healthy and whole body.
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.
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.
I found yoga while on a trip to India, for a friends wedding. I really enjoyed the “doing/activity” of yoga and felt great after, both in my body and mind. The inner peace that comes from practicing is what keeps me coming back to the mat. The physical benefits of yoga; strength, balance, flexibility & focus support all my other sports and outdoor activities.
Yoga has become a means for me to share through and apply my years of academics, teaching skills, love of activity, propensity for play, counselling and communication training to create opportunities for fun non-competitive, social, emotional, physical learning and exploration.
Sylvia del Valle Garcia
Sylvia has a balanced, down-to-earth approach to her teaching, combined with a deep belief in yoga’s ability to transform our lives. A dedicated yoga student and practitioner for over 25 years and a teacher since 2006, Sylvia creates thoughtfully structured classes that are fun, challenging and spiritually nourishing. She believes in teaching from her heart to connect to the hearts of others with authenticity, enthusiasm and a lightness of being.
Sylvia’s approach is inspired by her own journey in overcoming cancer, and from this life changing experience has gained an even more profound understanding of the transformational qualities of a regular yoga practice. A professional singer, Sylvia uniquely infuses each of her classes with beautiful live music in the form of a song on her guitar, or a group sing-a-long. Sylvia specializes in restorative yoga.
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 leadership & life coaching to clients across the world. If you want support in expediting your personal/professional development feel free to reach out to him.
During over 10 years of practice Christine has gained respect, acceptance and gratitude for herself, others and our natural world. Yoga has become a welcome anchor in the sea of a commonly chaotic everyday life; a place to go where she can clear her mind and nourish her body.
Christine’s teaching focuses include Vinyasa (Flow), Hatha, and Yin. Students practicing with Christine will be invited to play with their bodies in a safe and supported environment. They will be guided through a combination of poses that will strengthen and/or open both body and mind.