Barrie Risman, E-RYT 500 – Lead Teacher Trainer
Barrie Risman is widely regarded as one of Canada’s most highly skilled yoga educators, teacher–trainers and mentors. Her best-selling book, Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice, is a guide for teachers and continuing students to deepen, expand, and integrate the benefits of yoga in their lives.
Barrie is well known for her ability to convey the essence of the wisdom teachings of yoga with exceptional clarity, insight, and relevance to students of all levels and from all walks of life. As unpretentious and down-to-earth as she is wise and inspiring, Barrie teaches with a remarkable combination of rigor and challenge balanced with sensitivity, humor, and compassion.
Her events weave together the technical precision of refined alignment-based practice with an ever-present awareness of the great wisdom of yoga philosophy distilled from decades of intensive study and practice.
Teaching for more than two decades, Barrie shares the depth of her experience and knowledge to reveal a uniquely accessible, authentic and integrated approach to yoga. She empowers students with tools to deepen their understanding and inspires them to embrace asana as a path for expansive self-discovery and inner growth.
A seasoned trainer and mentor of new teachers, Barrie serves on several teacher-training faculties including HappyTree Yoga in Montreal, Yogacampus UK, PranaShanti Yoga Centre of Ottawa, and Shakti Yoga in Geneseo, New York. She is the creator of online professional development courses, retreats and mentoring programs for yoga teachers.
Barrie was the co-founder and co-director of Shri Yoga, Montreal’s seminal place for the practice of Alignment-based, Heart-centered Hatha Yoga from 2011-2016. A certified Anusara Yoga teacher, she was a Senior Anusara Yoga teacher and teacher trainer from 2003-2012. Barrie led Anusara Yoga events throughout Canada, the US and internationally and served on the Anusara Yoga Teacher Certification Committee from 2006-2012, mentoring new teachers toward certification. She has also been a dedicated student of Iyengar Yoga for more than 25 years.
Barrie has been featured on CBC, Global Television and in La Presse. Her writing has appeared in Yoga Journal, Yoga International, and Elephant Journal.
Barrie is the proud Co-creator and former Co-director of the World Spine Care Yoga Project, whose mission is to bring the benefits of posture, breathing and mindfulness as a tool for pain management and active self-care to low mobility populations around the world.
Melanie Richards, Founder of HappyTree Yoga – Teacher Trainer
Melanie leads Hatha, Yin and Gentle Yoga Teacher Training programs. She is a passionate speaker, writer and workshop leader (TEDx Montreal Women, MUHC Conferences, Lymphoma Canada, Cirque du Soleil, Expo Yoga Quebec Blog, Wanderlust Tremblant 2018) on the topics of yoga and meditation.
A certified Hatha and Kundalini yoga teacher, her current influences include Vipassana meditation and the wise guidance of her spiritual teachers, Nischala Joy Devi and Lisa Lajoie. She teaches from the heart with both compassion and humour, and loves nothing more than to help people discover their true purpose and potential
Melanie was recognized as an outstanding citizen by CTV’s The Power of One for her work in the community with cancer patients and underprivileged youth, received a McGill Green Business award, and a Quebec Notable Award for Social Entrepreneurship. She is also a proud Expo Yoga & bien-être Quebec ambassador and is on their selection committee for the 4th year in a row.
Nancy Zagbayou, RYT 500 – Assistant Teacher Trainer, Yoga for Justice, Antiracist Book Club Facilitator
Nancy completed her Yin, Gentle, and Hatha teacher trainings at HappyTree Yoga with Melanie Richards. She completed her Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher Training at Naada Yoga and did her hands-on assist training with Asami Yoga in Montreal. Nancy was trained by Melanie Shanti Faucher to guide pre and post natal yoga classes and most recently, she completed her 300-hour teacher training in Vinyasa and Ashtanga Adjustments at Kranti Yoga in Goa India.
Nancy is a Law School graduate and an advocate for justice & mental health. She is an ambassador for the Yoga Mala Foundation and a strong believer in the power of yoga and meditation to restore peace of mind.
Her intention is to teach in a joyful way that nourishes the mind, body and soul. With her wealth of knowledge and experience, Nancy’s classes serve her students, whether their desire is to improve flexibility, accelerate the healing of an injury, or change their lifestyle. Before yoga, she practiced gymnastics, capoeira, and dance.
Lyne St-Roch – Pranayama
Quebec yoga pioneer, founder of Lyne St-Roch Studios in 2001, certified in exercise science at the University of Sherbrooke, massage therapist and renowned yoga teacher, Lyne St-Roch possesses vast experience in the area of yoga and well-being. Over the years, she has given numerous teacher trainings, workshops and conferences, and many of today’s teachers in Montreal, as well as the rest of Quebec, have studied with her. Lyne contributes regularly to LaPresse+, among other media. She is always ready to listen to individual needs, while her teachings have influenced the lives of thousands of men and women.
Diana Perez – Functional Anatomy
Diana is a sports and rehabilitation physiotherapist who has worked in the medical field and fitness industry for 28 years. She has advanced specializations in Sports Physiotherapy, Manual Therapy, Back & Neck Rehabilitation, Muscle Energy and Myofascial Release. She also has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Science (McGill University), with a specialty in Therapeutic Exercise Prescription and Program Design, and has formal training in the areas of wellness, naturopathy, ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture. Diana Perez has been practicing yoga over 15 years and has been teaching yoga in the Montreal area since 2004. Her yoga influences have been mainly from the schools of Hatha, Ashtanga, Moksha and Anusara. She has completed 2 teacher training certifications (Hatha & Ashtanga; RYA-200 hours) and has attended numerous yoga workshops and courses leading to specialties in Yoga Alignment, Yoga Therapy and Yin Yoga.
She is Nationally Certified as a Sports Physiotherapist and has provided medical services to athletes of all calibres – provincial, national and professional – since 1985. She has worked with numerous Professional Teams (Montreal Supra and Impact Soccer Clubs), Canadian National Teams (Senior Men’s & Women’s Gymnastics, Women’s and Men’s Soccer, Mogul Skiing), and has been the Team Therapist to Canadian Teams for numerous World Championships & World Cup Events (World Cup Soccer Championships 1995; World Gymnastic Championships 2002/2003/2005; World Cup Mogul Ski Events 2003/2004/2005). She has been a member of various Canadian Medical Teams (2008 and 2004 Olympic Games, 2002 Commonwealth Games, 1997/1993/1989/1987 Maccabiah Games and numerous Canada Winter and Summer Games)
Dianne Bondy – Yoga and Diversity
Dianne Bondy is a social justice activist, author, accessible yoga teacher, and the leader of the Yoga For All movement.
Her inclusive approach to yoga empowers anyone to practice—regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability. Dianne is revolutionizing yoga by educating yoga instructors around the world on how to make their classes welcoming and safe for all kinds of practitioners.
Dianne is the author of Yoga for Everyone (DK Publishing, Penguin Random House) and a frequent contributor to Yoga International, DoYouYoga, Yoga Girl, and Omstars. She has been featured in publications such as The Guardian, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and People.
Dianne’s commitment to increasing diversity in yoga has been recognized in her work with Pennington’s, Gaiam, and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition, as well as in speaking engagements at Princeton and UC Berkeley on Yoga, Race, and Diversity. Her writing is published in Yoga and Body Image Volume 1, Yoga Renegades, and Yes Yoga Has Curves.
Betsy Ann Baron – Structural Myofascial Therapy
BetsyAnn Baron has been practicing yoga for many years. She has been a massage therapist since 1991 and structural integrator since 2003. In 2006 she was inspired to develop Structural Myofascial Therapy®. Her teaching takes her across Canada, into Europe as well as the USA. She teaches in both French and English. Prior to becoming a massage therapist and instructor, BetsyAnn enjoyed a 15-year career as a soloist with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. This has given her a unique, first-hand
experience with the body, its movements and its injuries. She is a Board Certified Structural Integrator and massage therapist, member of the IASI
(International Association of Structural Integrators) as well as the FQM (Federation Quebecoise des Massotherapeutes).
Hamsa Stainton – Yoga History and Philosophy
Hamsa Stainton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. He did his graduate work at Columbia University (Ph.D.) and Harvard Divinity School (M.T.S.) in the United States. He specializes in South Asian religions, particularly Hinduism, and has spent many years studying and traveling in South Asia. He teaches classes on a variety of topics related to the history and diversity of religion in India, including Yoga, the Indian epics, and Gods and Goddesses. His recent research and publications focus on a popular genre of Sanskrit devotional poetry in north India, the hymn of praise. ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS Assistant Professor (South Asian Religions), McGill University, School of Religious Studies, August 2017–present Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, Department of Religious Studies, 2013–2017 Acting Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, Department of Religious Studies, 2012–2013 Summer Teaching Scholar, Columbia University, 2011 Teaching Fellow, Columbia University, 2008–2012 Lecturer, Stony Brook University-Manhattan Summer Session, 2009