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What is yoga?

Yoga is everything. Literally everything. How are you eating, how are you sleeping, how are you in relationship, in chaos, in turmoil, in joy.. It is the way we walk the earth and the way we treat it for the earth mimics the Self. It is how you are breathing into this world and how you are allowing the world to breathe into you. It is the way in which you respond to all that is around you, while maintaining the essence in which you are.  Yoga is movement infused with breath -  breath is the healing agent that purifies the body and connects us to all that is more subtle than this physical experience. What is yoga….. it is this, it is that, it is the everything in the nothing and the nothing in the everything. The paradox, the dichotomies, and ultimately it is the context in which everything happens. Yoga is the seed at the bottom of all of this, that is unchanging and ever growing.


Other than people, what has taught you the most on your path?

The trees and the water.  Trees are steady and patient, always growing towards the light, not through dismissal of shadow, but rather through rooting so deep into the darkness of the soil to gain stability.  They inherently know when it is time to grow and aren't afraid of their decay.  Water continuously moves with the forces surrounding it, never trying to force something to move in an unnatural direction or create something that is not.  It simply moves, cleansing and shifting it’s surroundings, yet powerful enough to create immense chaos, and permanent change.


What got you into yoga?


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CUrrently indulging in the practice of surrender as a mother.


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2016 Yoga Teacher Training

 We as humans have the opportunity to change and inform that which is in front of us and inspire all that is around us. The words we speak impact our future, the foods we eat impact our health, the way in which we move on our yoga mats and upon the planet affects the whole.  This act does not begin from fixing the outside or trying to become a part of it.  It begins with being a student of life and having the courage to shift ways of thinking and believing that are no longer true.   We have the freedom to continually refine what works for us and dissolve what does not; this process requires us to listen closely to the innate guidance that is always available.  When we do not bravely listen to this guidance, the ripples of wisdom turn into waves, tsunami, and over periods of time show up in the fabric of our physical bodies as ailments; our whole physical existence is the somatic experience of our soul, that says a lot.  

May we be more informed, so that each move we make is chosen from our truth, not our fear and from there becomes an act of service.



200HR Foundational Teacher Training with Yogalife Studios

9 weekends ~ January 13 - April 17, 2018


Winter 2018 Guest Teachers list:

Stephen Thomas

From: Zurich, Switzerland

Teaching: Technique and alignment, pranayama, mantra, kriya, and mudra


Stephen Thomas has been a dedicated student of yoga since 1998. He has practiced, taught and lived in Asia and Europe for the past decade studying various traditions, which he incorporates into a unique yoga practice influenced and made possible by the grace and support of his central teachers.

Stephen’s background includes studies in Buddhism, Ayruveda and traditional Hatha yoga in India. In Asia, he continues an in-depth study of traditional Pranayama and Kriya through his master, O.P.Tiwari, which he combines with his love for the Asana practices that stem from his experience with Krishnamacharya’s work and influence on the Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar systems of yoga. He also brings in elements of the Chinese and Tibetan systems where appropriate.

Stephen is an avid reader and student Eastern philosophies and a lifelong lover of the arts and music. His ability to re-frame various viewpoints and to simplify things without sacrificing depth and integrity has helped him develop a unique, non-dogmatic but deeply rooted teaching style. His works spans Meditation, Pranayama, Asana and the commitment to seeing the practice off the mat. He uses these methods as tools for health and wellbeing and to support the spiritual pursuit of living life courageously and compassionately from one’s heart.

Stephen teaches classes from his base studio in Zurich, Switzerland as well as spending a part of each year traveling as a guest instructor and teaching retreats throughout the world. He also dedicates energy each year to directing Teacher Intensive Trainings and ongoing education and works one-on-one with many students and teachers in his community.


Neil Dalal

From: Edmonton

Teaching: Philosophy


Dr. Neil Dalal is Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies. His research interests include Indian philosophy, history of Indian religions, Yoga, Vedanta, meditation, religious experience, and contemplative theory. He was co-director of Gurukulam (a feature length documentary on Vedanta); Co-editor of Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics: Rethinking the Nonhuman. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled “Contemplative Practice in Advaita Vedanta;” and articles on “Sudden and Gradual Enlightenment in Advaita Vedanta;” and “Imagination and Meditation in the Early Upanishads.”

Website: https://uofa.ualberta.ca/integrative-health-institute/scholars/neil-dalal#sthash.I2XN7CKt.dpuf


Ian Hayward

From: Edmonton

Teaching: Ayurveda


Ian's first introduction to Vedic knowledge was in 1984 on there commendation of a close friend. At that time he had duodenal ulcers from an unhealthy and stressful lifestyle and the Western health system could only offer medication with undesirable side effects, so he was open to alternatives.

Ian was initially instructed in the practice of Vedic mantra meditation and over the next ten years he attended countless Meditation Retreats and Vedic Science Courses at home and abroad.  Eventually, in the summer of 1993, he emerged from the Maharishi Vedic University in Valkenburg, Holland (Deepak Chopra’s training was in the same lineage) fully trained as a Panchakarma therapist offering an extensive range of bodyworks and elimination therapies and as an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant offering pulse diagnosis and lifestyle solutions. 

After graduation in 1995 Ian spent the next two years in clinical practice applying these techniques under the supervision of medical doctors in London, England. He mainly treated very sick people and although he saw amazing results, he realized his passion was to prevent rather than cure illness; he also wanted to provide the Ayurvedic therapies in a more relaxing environment.  So for the next three years, with the financial support of some client/investors, he developed the first residential Ayurvedic Centre in the UK, based in a Meditation Academy within a large stately home in a beautiful rural setting. 

During this time, with the encouragement and guidance of his teachers, Ian adapted the presentation of Vedic knowledge to suit people living in a modern Western society and named this European Ayurveda. This made Vedic knowledge more accessible and self empowering with an emphasis on practical application in everyday life.


Brea Johnson

From: Edmonton

Teaching: Integrative anatomy


Brea Johnson has been a yoga teacher and movement educator for well over a decade. With a love for learning and studying the human body she continues her on-going education in yoga, anatomy and biomechanics and is also a certified Restorative Exercise Specialist™ with biomechanic scientist, Katy Bowman. As a teacher and mentor, Brea leads numerous workshops, teacher trainings and retreats along with a private practice helping clients move and feel better. She is known for her warm and engaging teaching style providing a safe foundation of healthy movement while remaining focused in the heart of the yogic teachings. As the popularity of yoga increases along with yoga-related injuries, this approach has made her a much sought-after teacher in the wellness and yoga community.

Also joining us will be a few of our in studio teachers: Melissa Perret for Ashtanga and Adjustments, Emily McNichol for prenatal yoga, and Cole Williston 

Visit: yogalife.education



Teaching with Julia McCabe

200HR Teacher Training Intensive. November 4 - 30, 2018.
One month intensive.  Step into the fire, let it transform all that does not serve, dive into who you are truly meant to be through the application and science of Yoga. 
register here.


11 reasons to do a Teacher Training:

By Sarah Zandbeek

1)   Remoulding Reality: There is so much we don’t know about what we know.  Having been raised in a culture that deeply values hierarchy and money, we have been secretly trained to hold rules that might be enslaving us instead of propelling us forward.  Our idea of success is buried in things that don’t touch the Soul, Yoga Trainings begin to ask more.  Begging the question again and again, is that true for you, are these ways of existing true for you? Some how in some way, something opens and all of a sudden the need to hustle and feel stressed about not having enough, transforms into “holy shit, I am so taken care of.” 

2)   Space Holding:  Ever feel like no one ever really quite listens to what you are saying?  Their physical ear is there, but they’re not hearing the words or the frequency beneath the words?   Well, Yoga Training, helps you to not be that friend.  As Teachers, we become guiders in Life whether we chose that or not.  When we begin to look at our lives with a higher resolution microscope, we learn things about life and the way it works and in that, we gain empathy, understanding, and compassion.  So, when friends and family come to you, you can actually listen with a tuned in ear to the pains they are speaking of without needing to try and push it away with statements like, “it’s going to be all good, he is a jerk any ways, or you’re going to be fine.”  Being able to Listen, is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, your community and humanity.

3)   To Live:  Yoga Training helps you to understand Life.  In this you gain the Courage to really start Living it - outside the bounds of who and what someone told you, you were suppose to be/do.  When we start to observe what the body is experiencing, it becomes a beautiful guide that moves you towards your authentic truth.  When we are in line with truth, ease arises, and the Dance of life begins underneath our feet.

4)   Freedom: I bet you, you often hear a calling for something more and you have been ignoring it for a while now and there is something deep within you that is getting louder and louder asking you to listen.  The Souls cry for freedom.  Answer that call.  The time for change is Now.

5)   Strength and SURRENDER:  Learning the pulsation of life can help you move through the tough times with more Grace.  Unfortunately (fortunately) tough times are an essential part of life and learning; imagine learning from the rough patches in a much less stressful and tumultuous way.  Not everything needs to be dealt with head on, Yoga can teach us to surrender to that which we can not change and to look a little deeper in order to see the truth of the matter, which is always humbling and filled with Powerful Teachings.

6)   Re-inhabit Intuition: Living in a society that is mostly based on lies, we have grown to stop trusting our intuition.  That which guides us to who we are and our highest purpose.  This can lead us to wondering, “what am I doing, what is the point?”  Not knowing your purpose can make it really hard to wake up each day, moving through the motions that aren’t moving you.  Yoga Training can help to build Self-trust and Confidence to stand up for what you are feeling; as well as, offer a space for others to drop their lies and start moving toward speaking truth and having the strength to say the hardest of things.  Moving lies out of the body makes space for deeper movements and more profound moments in life.  Life becomes much more juicy!

7)   Dissolve Suffering:  Suffering exists due to undigested emotional experiences, which tend to inhabit the tissues of the body in the strangest ways.  As we practice asana, engage in breathe work, and meditate, these stagnancies begin to move, bringing emotions to the forefront giving us a chance to dissolve past happenings and release them from there grip on our day to day living perspective of life.

8)   Threshold meets Change:  Often, when we reach the edge of something, friction has built and its hot, frustrating, and it feels like it might collapse you, so we turn around and go back to what we already know and that courageous part of us turtles once again.  The cycle ensues.  What if, you learned to meet these thresholds and had skills to yield through them?  You may start to desire these times of great change instead of fear them.  Grace may begin to exist as a consistency in your personality. 

9)   Authentic Self:  Who are you? Be that.  Scary?  Maybe.  Impelling?  Most definitely.  Yoga Training can help you begin to move through life guided by what really serves you in all senses: food, relationships, work, and love life.  To live in complete accordance to that which you were designed for.

10)                   Navigation:  Yoga training teaches us how to begin chipping away all the built in patterns that we have created over time through our experience in this life.  How does one begin to “listen” to the inner guide, to have courage to follow it no matter what, to speak truth even when the voice quivers and the truth is hard.  Observing the journey of Yoga in the body-mind-spirit continuum teaches us so much, allowing us to start observing moments in a much more profound way.

11)                   Life becomes an Offering:  Empathy.  Through working on your Self, the vastness of what makes you begins to reveal itself and within that, we start to see that we are all things: crazy, wild, kind, and free.  It is only through allowing yourself to experience all of Life’s emotions, that you begin to make space for the uncalculated pathway of others.  Each Life, each Soul is having a different experience than you and your way and learnings may not be their way.  Once this is realized, there is space for you to not attach to their experience but rather joyously (sometimes frustrating) observe them as they unfurl, at their own special pace, way, and time.  Not to be corrected or fixed, only Loved through the process.  The Ultimate offering.



Any Yoga teacher I know or human that has taken a Yoga Training has said they believe that this should be a mandatory like program.  I agree.