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 is a certified Ashtanga based and Broga® Yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance (E-RYT, YACEP), a certified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher and the Founder of Namaskar Yoga Studio.   She spent her career life as an Executive Liaison, until she resigned to serve others in a more meaningful way. An entrepreneur and free spirit at heart, Shelley is first and forever a student of yoga, meditation and life.

Shelley is passionate about the countless benefits of yoga and meditation, and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to practice regardless of their age or fitness level. Her vision is to make yoga and meditation accessible to every body.  She encourages her students to approach their practice (and life) with compassion, non-judgement, self awareness and an open heart. Shelley is deeply grateful to her Teacher, Deborah Carruthers for helping her to step out of her comfort zone and guiding her on her yogic path.

What Shelley loves most about teaching yoga: Witnessing students evolve – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Why she became a yoga teacher: To help others create space and connect to their Authentic 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 bona fide 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!

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!

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.

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

Challayne Kenney

Challayne was introduced to yoga 17 years ago. In an effort to cultivate feelings of calmness and strength during her second pregnancy, she completed her 200hr training at Feel Good Yoga & Pilates in Langford, BC and fell in love with teaching yoga.

Yoga has gone through many phases of life with her and it has not been a static or linear relationship. It took many years of off-and-on-practice for her to value all the information gleaned in a yoga class. Feelings of strength, energy, and relaxation were easily accepted, while feelings of being wobbly, off-kilter, or drained were often perceived negatively and led to self-deprecating thoughts. Challayne encourages students to notice and appreciate body sensations for what they are; valuable information that one can can use when moving forward.

Facilitating an opportunity for others to connect with themselves, sort through the noise of life, and begin to trust in the capabilities of their bodies is what drives Challayne’s passion to teach. She believes practicing yoga is about becoming more aware of ourselves so we can move easier through life doing the things we love.

What Challayne loves most about teaching yoga: watching students build their confidence and the energy in a room full of people breathing.

Why she became a yoga teacher: to stay connected to the community of yoga and to invite people in who may feel like they don’t belong.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: calm, energized, and tired from overthinking the cues and silence.

Her favourite pose and why: Anything with a twist because they feel so good.

Something most people don’t know about her: She loves books and has trouble reading one at a time or finishing them.

June Stenning

June is a certified yoga teacher (RDYT200) and continues her training with her teacher, Kavita Maharaj at Red Door Yoga Studio. She has been enjoying her journey teaching for the last 6 years and loves sharing her energy with others! June has found the benefits of yoga as she gracefully ages and understands that this is a way of life, not only for her body, but mind and spirit moving towards more self reflection and actualization.

What June loves most about teaching yoga: She loves sharing her knowledge with her students and enjoys the giving and receiving of each practice.

Why she became a yoga teacher: Originally it was something to do after retirement from an office job, but once on this journey, she realized that this was meant to be, teaching others to love being on their mat, connecting with their breath and being present which, for some, can sometimes be a struggle.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: that this was going to be an important part of her life and not a fad that she would out grow or become bored with!

Her favourite pose and why: Balasana, Child Pose, because no matter how you are feeling, what time of day it is, you can step onto your mat, find child pose, and feel any tension or stress slowly melt away as you surrender to Mother Earth.

Something most people don’t know: She loves to have her “coffee” meditation first thing in the morning watching the hummingbirds at the feeder.

Wanda Dori

Wanda Dori is a Registered 200HR Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance, which acknowledges the completion of a yoga teacher training with a Registered Yoga School (RYS). She has taken numerous, Yoga Alliance Certified, continuing education courses in Yin Yoga and Chakra studies. Her intention as a Yoga Teacher is to provide for students, an enriching experience. Wanda leads her classes with intention; she aims to convey kindness, truth, compassionate support, and open minded guidance for those seeking a deeper understanding of self, body and mind, within Yoga.

What Wanda loves the most about teaching Yoga: The serendipities! When students tell her that a certain pose, or a particular phrase she spoke, was exactly what they needed that day. Arriving together, exactly when we are meant to. 

Why she became a Yoga Teacher: She became a teacher to grow; to see herself more clearly, connect with others more authentically, and to understand the mysterious knowledge that becomes accessible through Yoga practice. 

Her very first Yoga experience made her feel:  Cracked wide open! The first time she practiced Yoga, she was moved to tears. It felt like coming home.

Her favourite Yoga pose, and why: Uttanasana, standing forward bend. She loves gentle inversions, the flipping of perspective, the surrender, and holding her heart above her head. 

Something most people don’t know about her:  She avoids teaching and practicing Yoga, in typical Yoga leggings! She prefers loose, natural fibres.

Brandon Alteen

Brandon Alteen has been practicing meditation for more than 20 years.  His first experience with meditation was in Montreal, Quebec at the age of 9. His mother, having had taken a Transcendental Meditation course, taught him what she learned.

After a traumatic life situation at the age of 25, he became humbled and began searching for a deeper meaning to his life. Meditation became a primary tool in healing.

Brandon is a Reiki Master, and is experienced in Tai Chi and Qi Qong meditation. He studied meditation at the Thai Buddhist Temple in Niagara Falls, Ontario and trained with Grandmaster Minh-Hung Ly at the Shaolin Kung Fu Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

Having fully experienced the life changing effects of meditation, Brandon is inspired to pass on what his teachers have taught him, including breathing techniques, seated and walking meditations as well as Yoga Nidra.

Brandon believes that by going within, you gain access to greater wisdom.

Jenn Dextras Tyler

Jenn is a certified Yoga teacher in the Kripalu tradition, registered with Yoga Alliance (RYT200). She has been exploring yoga for 20 years; beginning as a student of Hatha, Iyengar and Ashtanga in Vancouver where she grew up. She spent 10 years on the East Coast where she discovered Kripalu and Restorative Yoga and completed the Atlantic Yoga Teacher Training Program. Jenn is also a school teacher and a proud parent of two little yogis.

As Kripalu is known as “meditation in motion,” her classes focus on gentle fluid movement that honors the body, combined with moments of stillness to deepen the meditative practice of yoga. In Restorative Yoga she loves working with props to personalize poses, and believes every pose has the potential to become what we need in that moment.

Jenn has also taught Pre-Natal Yoga, Mother-Baby Yoga and Kids yoga. Seeing yoga come so naturally to babies and children has taught her that yoga is possible for everyone, at any age or stage of life, if we learn to quiet our minds and listen to what our bodies intuitively know.

What Jenn loves most about teaching yoga: watching someone surrender into a pose, being a witness in that moment.

Why she became a yoga teacher: teaching and learning have always been a part of her life; it felt very natural to move from teaching in the classroom to teaching on the mat.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: total release

Her favorite pose and why: Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall Pose). So calming and restorative.

Something most people don’t know about her: she is constantly repressing her urge to dance

Sybil Western

Sybil has been teaching yoga classes and workshops over the past 6 years. She specializes in one on one therapeutic yoga sessions and is currently completing her practicum hours for her 800hr Yoga Therapist Degree with Ajna Yoga College. Sybil is a passionate anatomy geek, lover of natural movement, biomechanics.

Injury management and prevention (Prehab) has been a special interest of Sybil’s since she started her yoga journey.  She has become even more passionate about movement as she has gone deeper into the practice by partnering biomechanics with yoga therefore increasing her knowledge of how the body works and moves.  Yoga has helped Sybil overcome a traumatic back injury, and is an integral part of her own mental wellness management. She enjoys sharing yoga as tool for people to take charge of their own mental and physical wellness. She is deeply grateful for the community and teachers at Ajna Yoga College who have all been pivotal in her yoga journey.

What Sybil loves the most about teaching yoga: Watching students have “aha” moments

Why Sybil became a yoga teacher: During a difficult time Sybil  signed up for a YTT to try and facilitate healing within herself and discovered a passion for teaching, facilitating and for sharing the joys of movement and healing with others.

Her favourite pose and why: Dancer pose – This pose is just so beautiful and is never not challenging, even when she gets it, there is always more to discover.

Something most people done know about her: She is a competitive pole dancer and performing aerial artist. She absolutely loves performing and telling stories through dance! She has never won a competition but always comes away with having achieved her goals and having learned more about herself.

Kaitlin Hoekstra

Kaitlin Is a 200hr certified Yoga Instructor with integrative yoga therapy through Island Vista Yoga. She is also a certified Reiki Practitioner and Life and Wellness coach, a new mom, and a Server. Kaitlin has always had a passion to help people since she was a young girl. She is a social butterfly who welcomes all new friendships.  Through her own spiritual journey this far she has found that self study is a crucial important part of a happy life and has found that Yoga is a top tool for just that.

Kaitlin is just entering making the leap from student and practitioner to teacher and is eager to learn and grow while giving the gift of her unique style of teaching to the world! She is beyond grateful to have the opportunity to be mentored by Shelley at Namaskar studio and is excited to grow her yogi family with teachers and students. Everyone is a teacher in her eyes.

What Kaitlin loves most about teaching yoga: Watching the transformations and realizations that people make throughout their practice. Seeing the growth in fellow yogis and being able to gift new outlooks for people to carry as tools in their everyday life.

Why she became a yoga teacher: To be able to give an answer to the question “What can I do to change my life?” Yoga, Meditate, and go within. All the answers you ever need are within.

Her very first yoga experience made her feel: A sense of connection and calm.

Her favourite pose and why: Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2), because during her first yogic experience she practiced that pose and was given a gift of wisdom from the teacher that if any day you feel you cannot go on today, doing that pose will add power to you. While doing the pose connecting with self and reminding self “I am a warrior of this life, I will conquer whatever is to come.” can be greatly beneficial. This pose is something she continues to do throughout life with that concept in mind.

Something most people don’t know about her: She is more nervous than she lets people see.