Our Team

Our instructors are certified and registered with Yoga Alliance, the largest standards setting organization that promotes and supports the integrity and diversity of the teaching of yoga.

Shelley D’Amico

Shelley #2

Shelley is a certified Ashtanga and Broga® Yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance (E-RYT, YACEP) and the Founder of Namaskar Yoga Studio.   She spent her career life as a Communications Executive, until she resigned to serve others in a more meaningful way. An entrepreneur and free spirit at heart, Shelley is overjoyed to offer a space for the Oceanside Community to roll out their mats.

Shelley is passionate about the countless benefits of yoga and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to practice regardless of their age or fitness level. She encourages her students to approach their practice (and life) with compassion, non-judgement, an open mind and an open heart. Shelley is deeply grateful to her Teacher, Deborah Carruthers for teaching her to look within, and to embrace everything as Divine.

What Shelley loves most about teaching yoga:    The synergy, peace, joy and gratitude that student’s experience.

Why she became a yoga teacher: To share the inexplicable feeling of freedom that a regular yoga practice invites, and the journey home to one’s True Self.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: Ridiculously bored!

Her favourite pose and why: Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose). It’s challenging yet graceful and in that moment, nothing else exists but the breath.

Something most people don’t know about her: She is a textbook introvert.

Melanie Beech

Melanie #1

Melanie is a certified Forrest Yoga Instructor registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT200) as well as a certified Wellness Coach.

She is a promoter of radical self-love and believes that your body is the greatest gift you’ve ever been given. In a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment, Melanie invites her students to play, to move, to groove, to surrender, to breathe, to smile and to see where their incredible bodies take them. She is deeply grateful to her Teacher, Anna Forrest, creatrix of Forrest Yoga.

What Melanie loves most about teaching yoga: Observing her students, witnessing them rise to the challenge and grow stronger.

Why she became a yoga teacher: To encourage students to make their relationships with their bodies and with themselves the greatest love affair of their life.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: Like she was being reunited with a dear friend she hadn’t seen in a very long time.

Her favourite pose and why: Virabhadrasana Series (Warrior Series).  Thanks to these poses she has learned to love and appreciate her strong legs.

Something most people don’t know about her: She loves keeping up with the Kardashians!

 

Liz Moore

Liz #5

Liz is a certified yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT200).  Her thirty plus years of teaching and advocating an active and healthy lifestyle naturally drew her to the yoga classroom.  As a student of yoga, it became clear that this was her missing “peace”.  Her motivation to become a yoga teacher was the realization that like herself, so many people around her were experiencing not only changes in their bodies, but changes in the way they viewed the passage of time and their place in the world.

Liz aspires to reveal to others the certainty of their self-worth and the peace that comes with that knowing.  In all her classes, smooth, organic and fluid transitioning from asana to asana, create a “moving” energy that radiates inward from the body to connect with the mind and the depth of the spirit.  Liz is most grateful to her Teachers, Kavita Maharaj, April Kuramoto and Tina Pashumati James for sharing their experience, their wisdom and their passion for all that is yoga.

What Liz loves most about teaching yoga: that moment when it becomes abundantly clear that someone has just met the beautiful stranger who is themselves.

Why she became a yoga teacher:  To enhance the quality of life through yoga practice.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: Totally frustrated with her total lack of flexibility.

Her favourite pose and why: Savasana (Corpse Pose) and the awareness of the breath and the heart beat. …the settling in with oneself and the letting go.

Something most people don’t know about her: She’s helpless around chocolate.

 

Wendy Balfour

Wendy #2

Wendy is a certified Hatha-based Yoga Instructor registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT200), with a strong foundation in Iyengar, Ashtanga and Anusara Yoga. She began her yoga journey in South Africa in the 80’s, and very quickly it became an integral part of her life and her attitude towards life.

Wendy believes that Yoga isn’t just about creating lightness and joy, but also about finding the strength and courage to face fear and pain, using Yoga as a platform for transformation and healing. She is deeply grateful to her Teacher,  Bev Roberts  for teaching her that with humility comes gratitude and with lightness, we can release ourselves from needing to take life too seriously.

What Wendy loves most about teaching yoga: Connecting with others.  Sharing collective energy and having fun.

Why she became a yoga teacher:  To share the incredible feeling yoga practice  brings as well as the deeper aspects of the Yoga Path.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: Like she had come home.

Her favourite pose and why:  Ardha Chandrasana  (Standing Half Moon).  It requires complete focus to be aware of almost every aspect of the physical body, and brings her into her breath in a way that no other pose does.

Something most people don’t know about her:  Public speaking scares her!

Pauline Vandermoor

ascotone (70)Pauline is a certified Hatha-based yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT200).  With over 30 years employed in the fitness and wellness industry, she has long been a student of yoga. However, in 2010 she decided to take her active living path in a different direction when she began her journey to become a yoga teacher.  Pauline is deeply grateful to her teachers Kavita Maharaj and Karen Ackerman Waite for all of their wisdom, patience and encouragement throughout this deeply personal and life-changing journey.

What Pauline loves most about teaching yoga:  She loves that “aha moment” when a student realizes that yoga is so much more than physical poses, and that it can make a very real difference in their lives.

Why she became a yoga teacher:  After so many years as a fitness instructor and personal trainer, her body was tired and sore.  More importantly, her mind was overwhelmed from the non-stop adrenaline fueled activity.  She needed to slow down and  find a way to heal her body and mind.  Yoga helped her to do this in such a profound way that the need to share this with others as a yoga teacher became the driving force in her life.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: It was a long time ago, but she remembers thinking “wow, my muscles are very tight.”

Her favourite pose and why:  Happy Baby – she loves the name and loves how a gentle rocking movement in the pose can be so very soothing.  It reminds her of the sheer joy we can experience in a comfortable pose that is reminiscent of our earliest moments on this planet.

Something most people don’t know about her:  She is a total Jeopardy nerd – hasn’t missed an episode in years.

Annica Melanson

IMG_5480Annica is a certified yoga teacher (RYT 200) registered with Yoga Alliance. She received her training from the Saltspring Centre of Yoga and is forever grateful for her time spent there. Annica is passionate about yoga. The teachings of yoga have brought immense peace to her life and she  is honoured to share the gift of peace with others. Annica believes we all deserve to be happy and happiness starts with self love.

Through the unity of body, mind, spirit, breath, and movement, Annica encourages a chance for self transformation. She believes in creating a safe space, free of judgement, for her students to grow. Her classes will leave you feeling restored, energized, inspired, and open. Annica is truly grateful for the teachers at Saltspring Centre of Yoga and to all the teachers she has had the privilege of attending class.

What Annica loves most about teaching yoga: Helping her students connect to their inner light.

Why she became a yoga teacher: To share her passion for yoga and self love with the world.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel:Like it was the missing piece in her life.

Her favourite pose and why: Ardha Chandrasana (half moon) She can feel the lines of energy so clearly in this pose. She absolutely loves the synchronization of balancing, opening, and creating symmetry.

Something people don’t know about her: She loves to sing but can’t carry a note.

Scott Kellsey

Scott is a certified yoga instructor, (RYT200) registered with Yoga Alliance as well as a massage therapist and manual osteopath. Scott enjoys working with people who are new to yoga and looking to increase flexibility. He loves to see progression in his students and works to apply his knowledge of anatomy and human biomechanics to his yoga classes.

Scott has been an instructor of massage therapy for 3 years, and is currently teaching anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, sports massage, and deep tissue techniques at the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage. He also teaches functional anatomy and postural assessment with Open Source Yoga on Texada Island and the Vancouver School of Yoga.

What Scott loves most about teaching yoga:  seeing the changes in his students motivates him to become a better yogi and a better teacher.

Why he became a yoga teacher:  Through years of hands on work, Scott was able to see the progression in client who practiced yoga regularly and wanted to be able to offer more options for his clients.

His very first yoga experience made him feel: Sore but excited to come back.

His favourite pose and why: The first yoga goal that Scott set and achieved was headstand, as a result, this pose remains a favorite.

Something most people don’t know about him:  He can lead a yoga class in Japanese!

Jaclynn Gereluk, Operations & Marketing Manager

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Jaclynn’s interest in yoga and mind-body wellness began in the depths of a university library when, at the end of her researching rope, she found herself face-to-face with a copy of Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health. Definitely not what she was looking for, and most certainly what she needed. Thus began her ongoing study of wellness and personal development which has taken her around the world, through yoga and coach training, and has helped her lead and thrive in the corporate world for over 15 years.

How her first yoga experience made her feel: Curious and full of questions.

Favourite pose and why: King Pigeon – a beautiful expression of flexibility, focus and devoted practice.

Something most people don’t know about her: She’s a not-so-secret green tea aficionado.

Seton Bailey

Seton is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher (RYT 200) registered with Yoga Alliance. She received her training from The Blooming Lotus Yoga School and is endlessly grateful for her incredible teachers and the life changing experience.  Her original decision to complete a teacher training was to deepen her own practice and it was not until the end of the experience that she realized that it was her calling to share the absolute gift of yoga with others.

Seton’s passion for yoga is diving into the depths of the breath, body and mind through a gentle, accessible and restorative practice.  She believes yoga is for everyone and meeting each person where they are in their practice is essential for a sacred space.

What Seton loves most about teaching yoga: The notable shift in people as a gentle wave of peace washes over them at the end of a practice.

Why she became a yoga teacher: After experiencing years of bliss and taking the opportunity to deepen her own practice, it felt very natural to extend her experience and share the love for a practice that provided such profound healing.

Her favorite pose and why: Child’s pose- this pose emanates surrender. There is such a sense of gentleness, a softened inward gaze, and tapping in to the parasympathetic nervous system– total restfulness.

Something most people don’t know about her: She is happiest lost in the landscapes of mountains.

Lisa Cecconi

Lisa completed her 200hr teacher training at Open Heart yoga studio in Richmond, BC.  Her love for yoga started in the early 90’s, and brings her a sense of awareness, inner strength and peace.

Teaching yoga and being able to share such an all encompassing tradition with the people around her has brought so much gratitude into her life!  Lisa believes it is so much more than us showing up to our mats ( although this is great place to start) — it is showing up to our lives.

We connect through breath and are able to come into our presence which brings awareness to our thoughts and emotions. This gives us pause and room to be with ourselves not only on the mat, but out into the world around us.

What Lisa Loves most about teaching yoga:

The end of Savasana when everyone is getting up and they all have this blissful look to them.

Why she became a yoga teacher: She found yoga to be so fulfilling, bringing mind into body and then connecting us to ourselves. This is something she really wants to share with other people.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: absolutely grounded

Favorite pose and why: Eagle – the mixture of balance and strength and it gets into all her tight spots!

Something that people don’t know about her: She’s been a hairdresser for over 20 years

Julie Gauthier

Julie found yoga as a grounding and healing practice to navigate life in times of struggle in 2009. She did her 200 Hrs Yoga Teacher Training while travelling in Indonesia in 2016 as a modality to deepen her practice. Ironically, her intention was never to teach yoga, but she felt compelled to start volunteering as a teacher at Karma Teachers in December 2017, a non-profit yoga studio in Vancouver and she fell in love with sharing her practice with the students.

Julie has a nurturing and gentle approach. She brings compassion, non-judgement and empathy into each class she teaches and holds a safe place for her students to express and experience their true self. Passionate about people and sharing the yoga values off the mat, Julie founded The Karma Traveller, in hopes to lead humanitarian projects around the world.

What Julie loves most about teaching yoga: When she sees students in tune with their body and their breath in silence and just “being.”  Watching the movement of their breath when in savasana (or in restorative) when the parasympathetic nervous has kicked in, is the most beautiful thing.

Why she became a yoga teacher: When she came back from 2 months of travelling in Indonesia in 2016, she couldn’t afford to pay for a Yoga membership in downtown Vancouver.  She was referred to Karma Teachers, a non-profit studio where all teachers are volunteers. After her first class as a student, she felt compelled to support the community and share her practice. She had such a yoga high, she never looked back!

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: She felt  a new world was opening to her.  She had to look around to see what everybody was doing because she didn’t know any single poses!  However, it made her feel strong, grounded and at peace. It also made her feel that it was a beautiful way to love and appreciate her body more.

Favorite pose and why: It’s hard to only pick only one, but she chooses Savasana (corpse pose). This pose allows her to be more receptive and intuitive, to integrate the benefits from the juicy sequence of poses (asanas) and to facilitate meditation. It ties her practice together.

Something that people don’t know about her: She likes to have a 10 hours night sleep.