Instructors

Jill+Dunkley

Jill Dunkley

Jill originally came to yoga to help reduce work stress. The profound results she experienced connecting her mind to her body through yoga practice led to a trip to India in the mid 1990’s. This experience changed the direction of her life. By 2000 she devoted her life to teaching yoga full-time and started the cooperatively run Yoga Connection studio in Perth with Joy Demsey who has since moved to BC. In 2008 she obtained her certification as a yoga therapist from senior teacher, Gary Kraftsow, who is the director of the American Viniyoga Institute.  In 2016 Jill received her Level 1 Yoga Tune Up Teacher certification and her Yoga Therapist Certification from the International Association of Yoga Therapists (CIAYT).  In 2017 she received her Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor certification from MSBR Ottawa.  You can also visit her website at www.yoga-therapy.ca

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Nancy Williams

Nancy received her 500 hour professional level yoga teacher certification from the Kripalu Centre for Yoga and Health near Lenox, Massachusetts. Kripalu yoga is known as the yoga of compassion, and is a way to integrate body, mind and spirit through opening to the wisdom of the body.  Nancy has taught yoga with The Yoga Connection since 2001, and has earned an additional 500 hour professional level certification in Integrative Yoga Therapy. She holds certification in teaching Yoga Nidra with Richard Miller, Yoga 4 Cancer with Tari Prinster , Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater, Breath~Body~Mind with Richard Brown, MD and Patricia Gerbarg, MD, Let Your Yoga Dance and Zumba Gold. Nancy has also completed 40 hours of training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga with the Trauma Centre Yoga Program, Brookline Massachusetts. Currently, Nancy is enrolled in a 2 year program led by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, leading to a certificate to teach Mindfulness Meditation.

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Parmatma Leviton

Parmatma is a KRI-certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer (shecompleted studies with the Kundalini Research Center, New Mexico ) and has been teaching Kundalini Yoga for 22 years and training teachers for 18 years in Ottawa and Montreal.  She recently moved back to the Perth area where she once taught figure skating. She is an artist ( web.ncf.ca/parmatma ) and  also works as a Shiatsu Therapist.  She has had training in acupuncture,  cranial-sacral, waveform energetics in Scotland, contemplative awareness (Sat Nam Rasayan) and is honing her skills in harmonium and the use of gong in meditative and deep relaxation practices.  “Once I had experienced the effects of kundalini yoga to help develop a more calm and centered mind and its energizing effects, there was no turning back . It helps us access that subconscious patterning and gives us an awareness and ability to change on a thought-and-wordlevel. ”

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Karen Smereka

A sore lower back started Karen’s yoga journey nineteen years ago. After studying astanga and various other styles of yoga for ten years, she discovered Anusara yoga. and completed her Level I Anusara teacher training at Yoga Sanctuary in Northampton Massachusetts . Since then,  confusion over lack of progress (doing the same thing over and over again with no change) and watching yoga students develop Sacroiliac discomfort, shoulder pain, chronically tight hamstrings etc. while doing yoga, led Karen down a different yoga pathway.  After studying with Susi Hately, Jill Miller (Karen has her Yoga Tune Up certification), Donna Farhi,  Amy Mathews of the Breathing Project among others, Karen now teaches yoga classes that have therapeutic overtone, are slow, gentle, and generally aim to create movement without compensation, and develop ease while building strength.  Karen steers away from using force or building strength on top of tension.   Karen's classes promote motor learning where students are encouraged to learn new movement habits and set up new neural pathways rather than to perform asana based postures.

David+Stevens

David Stevens

David Stevens began the practice of yoga to counteract the inflexibility that developed from years of running, cycling and weight training.  Along the way, he discovered the many other benefits of yoga and continued the practice for its own sake.  In order to share this experience, he completed 500 hours of teacher training at Still Point Yoga, where he found that a lifelong journey of learning had only begun.

Monica Dando

Monica Dando

Monica began her yoga practice to help alleviate neck and back pain and found a practice that also calmed her mind and energized the body.  To deepen her understanding and knowledge of hatha yoga, she completed her Yoga Alliance accredited 200 hour teacher training at the Yoga Station in 2011.  The experience inspired her to continue to learn and she regularly attends workshops and conferences. Monica hopes she is able to share her love of the practice with those who attend her classes.

Ashley Buchanan

Ashley Buchanan

Ashley began her yoga practice a few years ago during a crossroads in her personal and physical life.
During her first class she quickly realized that yoga had a place in her heart and has continued to grow and learn ever since.
As someone who is always seeking and evolving, yoga not only gives her time to reflect but is also a seemingly endless subject matter to explore.

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Deborah Nordstrom

What attracted Deborah to yoga was its well-being and healing effects on both the mind and the body.  Deborah holds a RYT200 Yoga Teacher Certificate (East to West Yoga) and is currently working on her HYTT300 Yoga Teacher Certificate (Pranashanti Yoga Studio).  Other certifications she has include:  Yin Yoga (Laurie Howe/Stephane Ipersiel), Advanced Yin Yoga (Joe Barnett), Yang/Yin (Stephane Ipersiel/Jenna Switzer) and Restorative Yoga (Anne Wanda).  She loves to teach Yin for its well-being, healing and meditative effects and likes to include a bit of Yang in the mix.  Her teaching focus is on health promotion and disease prevention.  Her mission is to create a safe space for students to explore and embrace silence and stillness and notice what’s truly going on in the inner landscapes of their being – connecting mind, body and breath…ultimately, balancing the yin and yang in every aspect of life.
Deborah first came to the health and fitness industry 15 years ago as a Personal Trainer, Nutrition and Wellness Specialist and Older Adult Specialist.  She continues to hold these certifications and has in recent years added Pilates Mat Instructor, Yoga Exercise Specialist and Barre Instructor certifications.  She regularly works elements of all these specialties into her classes.

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Andrew Gehrke

Andrew has been practicing yoga for over 30 years and began teaching 12 years ago.  He has been to Mysore India three times to study and practice Ashtanga, Hatha and Vivekananda styles. He also trained at Yoga Station in Carleton Place and Still Point in the Bay of Quinte.  He enjoys sharing the knowledge he has learned with others and helping them to develop their own practice.  The benefits he experiences from practicing yoga include calming the mind and increased flexibility while strengthening the body.

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Katti Eslah

Katti is a 200 YRT certified yoga teacher. She draws on her background of 20 years of mindfulness meditation in her approach to yoga by aiming at slowing down, listening to the breath and body sensations, and learning skillful ways to respond. Her joy and confidence in the benefits of yoga inspires her to help others develop their own practice. 

Guest Instructors

Andy+Fisher

Andy Fisher

Andy Fisher, PhD, has been serving the Perth area as a psychotherapist and wilderness guide for 15 years.  He has been on a Buddhist path since the mid-1990s.  Andy is also a leading figure in the field of ecopsychology, having written and taught widely on this topic.

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Christine Graves

Christine Graves has taught movement and music during the past eighteen years. Her training in the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education was a vehicle for improving her own comfort in daily activities from sitting to holding a guitar. Using awareness combined with small movements, FM can help anyone to improve the way and the comfort with which they move. Christine is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and worked at The Ottawa Hospital in her Clinic from 2009 to 2015.

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Virginia Clarke (Puranpreet Kaur)


Virginia started yoga classes to relieve stress and improve her lifestyle in 1988; first with Kripalu yoga, and then moving on to Kundalini yoga in the early 2000’s.  She found that Kundalini yoga gave a more complete approach to yoga, with the pranayam, kriyas (yoga sets), and meditations that are a normal part of most classes.  In addition, the Gong, which is usually found in Kundalini yoga studios and used by many teachers, gave her the vibrational therapy needed to bring the body into balance.  In 2011, she completed her Level 1 KRI-certified teacher training at PranaShanti studio in Ottawa with Devinder Kaur and the experienced teacher trainers that were brought in to teach various modules of the training.  Virginia has also completed training to play the Gong, Level 2 KRI training in Authentic Relationships, and Level 3 KRI training in the 21 Stages of Meditation.

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Faith Hutton

Faith Hutton is a Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner with Advanced Clinical Nutrition certification in both Detoxification & Biotransformation and Mental Health & Neurology.She feels that now, more than ever, it is time for people to begin taking responsibility for their own health, and she is dedicated to providing the education and support necessary to enable them to do just that.
Faith has a consultancy in her heritage home in Perth, is an associate with Compassionate Support, a centre for Stress and Trauma in Kemptville, and is looking forward to joining Triadent Dental, a holistic dental clinic in Nepean, as Nutritionist. She continues to study for a certification in Functional Nutrition. Functional Nutrition is more than just learning to eat healthily - it looks at the whole person and the unique set of circumstances that created an imbalance in the body or mind, seeking to find the root cause of the problem and address it through diet, therapeutic foods, natural supplements and lifestyle changes.

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Andrea Picket, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist

As a Queen’s University Graduate, Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy & an Ottawa University graduate, with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Andrea began practice in 2003, where she gained experience in all areas of rehabilitation at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, in Burlington, Ontario. She then returned to the Ottawa area to start her private orthopedic practice in 2010. Andrea has two young children, and has a keen interest in providing Post-partum education for Moms. This focus has led Andrea to further develop her skills and since 2014, she now offers women's health services as a certified Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, treating conditions such as: bowel/ bladder dysfunctions (frequency, urgency, incontinence), pelvic organ prolapse, postpartum abdominal separation, prenatal care, as well as vulvar, lumbo- sacral & pelvic girdle pain.  A strong believer in health & wellness, Andrea takes pride in continued education & guiding her clients towards a more active lifestyle. She enjoys all forms of exercise: running, skiing, yoga and circuit strength training. Pelvic health awareness is growing and women of all ages are demanding more self-care, and due to this, Andrea is thrilled to welcome Abigail Hum, PT in 2017.
BSc (PT) Queen’s University 2003
BScKin (Hon) Ottawa University 2000
Certification in male/ female pelvic health 2014

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Philippa Syme

Philippa first began practicing Yoga as a young mother in a northern Quebec town 40 years ago. She started training to be a Yoga Teacher in 2012, completing her 200-hours, following by teacher training in: Yin, Chair and Restorative Yoga. She  studied Ayurveda and is an ‘old’ student of Vipassana. Among her Yoga teachers are Bernie Clark (Yin); Annette Wertman (Chair); Tianne Allen (Restorative); Additional workshops and trainings have been with Max Strom (A Life Worth Breathing), Rod Strker, Gahl Sasson (Cosmic Navigator), Rolf Gates (Meditations from the Mat), Michael Stone and Gurmuhk. On the west coast, Philippa taught Yoga at: Semperviva Studios, Karma Yoga, Immigrant Services, Native Education Centre, Unitarian Church, YM-YWCA, City of Vancouver  Centres (Hillcrest, Britannia, Douglas Park, Tapestry), SongRoots Retreat (Gambier Island, BC) and corporate yoga with Montreal-based "Zen&Sky".  Since moving to Perth in June, 2018, Philippa has taught Yoga at 'The Yoga Connection' and the Tay Valley Reflections  'Studio Loft'. Her approach - every ‘body’ has issues in their tissues, and practice is about meeting your body where it's at!

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Amber Percival

"BECOME SIMPLE OR REMAIN BOUND" - SWAMI MUKTANANDA. 
I love to share the slower aspects of Yoga like Yin and Restorative and the inner Yoga of Meditation, Pranayama and Mantra. My own practice and the offerings I make in each class are shared with the intention of cultivating more joy, connection to nature, laughter, intentionality, freedom and simplicity in this life. 
 
My trainings include:
- 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Ellie McMillan Yoga
- 200 Hour Shamanic Yoga Teacher Training (and a full Mesa Carrier in the Q'ero lineage) with the Shamanic Yoga Institute of BC
- Graduate of Living Meditation Teacher Training with David Harshada Wagner (Group and Private Sessions).
- Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Anne Wanda Tessier
- Reiki Level I with Denise Carpenter
- Currently enrolled in the 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Mona Warner
- Yin Yoga with Mona Warner
- Thai Yoga Massage with The Ottawa School of Thai Massage

Lee Ann Dyke

As an avid runner, I started to notice a disconnect between my body and my mind.  My body was working hard, but my mind was somewhere else.  I wasn’t listening to my breath, my heart, my spirit.  Once I started practicing yoga, I discovered that when we work from within and with intention, we can create that union where our mind, body and breath are gracefully working together.  
15 years of practice led to me completing the 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified training in the Forrest Yoga style, taught by Kim Murphy. That training awakened a passion in me - I want to help others use yoga to find their own bliss. Together, we can build strength, make space for more breath and freer movement and still be truly in our bodies.