Toronto Presenters 2018-02-08T05:10:00+00:00

Dianne Bondy
Yoga for All

Dianne Bondy, E-RYT 500, has a degree in the social sciences and uses this background in her work and activism in the yoga industry, and has led to her having a worldwide following of dedicated and socially conscious students. She is a regular columnist for Elephant Journal and Do You Yoga, and has been featured in Yoga Journal magazine. She also guest authored the books Yoga and Body Image, and Yes Yoga Has Curves, and is the founder and Managing Director of – a virtual online yoga studio that supports yoga for all shapes, sizes and abilities. She developed and continues to teach the Abundant Bodied Yoga and Yoga For All teacher training programs at the 200- and 500-hour level, as well as teaching the Yoga Studies program at St. Clair College of Arts and Technology.

Mary-Jo Fetterly
President of Trinity Yoga Inc.

Mary-Jo Fetterly is a mother of two a Yoga Teacher/Therapist and President of Trinity Yoga Inc. She began her formal training in Iyengar yoga in the mid 80’s, while raising children and studying psychology. In 1995, she received a “Body Centered Therapy”certificate in massage and Somatic based bodywork. She went on to train with Dr. Carolyn Myss who is now one of the leading educators in the field of energy anatomy and intuitive medicine; and then David Swenson, Tim Millar & Ana Forest in the early rise of Ashtanga or hot yoga. Subsequently, she opened “Shanti Yoga Works”, the first yoga studio to be established in Nelson, BC. During the first operational years of the Shanti Yoga studio, Mary-Jo developed a 200-hour yoga teacher training program, and formed the company “Trinity Yoga”, which has trained hundreds of teachers since its inception. 

Shailla Vaidya, MD C-IAYT
Yoga for Stress Resilience – Therapeutic Yoga Burnout Recovery Program

Shailla Vaidya, MD MPH CCFP(EM) C-IAYT is a Physician/Yoga Therapist Practicing Mind-Body Medicine in Toronto, Ontario. She grew up in a cultural tradition of Yoga and Ayurveda, and is excited to bring the science of Eastern Wisdom to Western Medicine, making yoga accessible to all. Her area of practice in stress related illnesses, with a focus on burnout and caregiver strain in the Helping Professions. She is the creator of Yoga for Stress Resilience – Therapeutic Yoga Burnout Recovery Program (TYBRP), which combines yoga practice and philosophy with the science of human function and stress recovery. She is effecting change within the health care system by providing care for those who care for others, and by bringing a more holistic trauma-informed approach to the management of chronic disease.

Jivana Heyman
Founder and Director of Accessible Yoga

Jivana is the founder of Accessible Yoga, co-owner of the Santa Barbara Yoga Center and an Integral Yoga Minister. With over twenty years of training and teaching in a traditional yoga lineage, Jivana has specialized in teaching the subtle practices of yoga: pranayama, meditation, as well as sharing yoga philosophy. His passion is making Yoga accessible to everyone.
Accessible Yoga has grown into an international advocacy and education organization, and now offers two Conferences per year, trainings around the world, an ambassador program and online Network.
Jivana has taught wth the Dean Ornish Heart Disease Reversal Program through UCSF, California Pacific Medical Center’s Institute of Health and Healing, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has led over 40 Yoga teacher training programs over the past 16 years, and created the Accessible Yoga Training program in 2007. On December 3rd, 2015, Jivana taught Accessible Yoga at the United Nations in Geneva for their International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Jivana’s strengths are sharing esoteric and complex teaching in a readily accessible way, and applying the ancient teachings of Yoga to our day-to-day lives. 

Michael Hayes
Buddha Body Yoga

Michael Hayes, the proud owner of a “Buddha Body,” has more than 20 years experience teaching and has studied extensively in the following traditions: Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Thai Yoga, Om Vinyasa Yoga and Yoga Anatomy. In addition, Michael has traveled regularly to Thailand and studies with master teachers. His classes benefit anyone regardless of their individual anatomy, flexibility, age, or yoga background. Michael has also practiced massage for more than 20 years as a licensed massage therapist.

Carol Horton, Ph.D
Yoga Service Council

Carol Horton, Ph.D., is a writer, educator, and activist working at the intersection of mindful yoga, social science, and social justice. She is vice-president of the Yoga Service Council and a co-founder of Chicago’s Socially Engaged Yoga Network. Carol has written four books and numerous articles about yoga, and serves as an associate editor for Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity, and peer reviewer for Race and Yoga. She is a member of Yoga Alliance’s Ethics & Conduct Committee and Standards Review Project. A certified Forrest Yoga instructor, Carol has taught yoga in diverse locations including a jail, homeless shelter, foster care facility, and community health center. An ex-political science professor and policy researcher, she holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago.

nisha abuja
SOMA Ayurveda and Integrative Wellness

nisha is the co-founder and co-director of SOMA Ayurveda and Integrative Wellness, shares Ayurvedic Medicine, Holistic Yoga, Reiki and Attmic Energy Healing and is also a theatre creator, voice actor, playwright, singer/songwriter, and art, wellness, and equity educator/facilitator, having shared these offerings across Canada, the USA the Netherlands, and India. She is dedicated to dissolving the boundaries between art, traditional/ancient medicines, spirituality, and human equity, and believes that art and healing practices are revolutionary and fundamental to our collective liberation.

nisha extends immense gratitude to the many teachers, guides, and South Asian ancestors through her journey. nisha has been studying yoga and meditation since she was a child and more intensively since 1999. Her journey into sharing holistic yoga and energy work sprouted from there, studying alongside teachers in Yogic/Attmic Energy Healing and Reiki (Master Level). Time and again nisha was brought back to her ancestral connection to Ayurvedic Medicine becoming an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Therapist graduating from the Centre for Ayurveda and Indian Systems of Healing (CAISH). nisha is known in Toronto, Canada for sharing her Self-Healing Through Yoga Series several times a year, co-manifesting the Ayu-Yog Meditation Retreat For Women and Trans Indigenous Peoples and Peoples of Colour (with Sairupa Krishnamurti), having been a facilitator/member of Brown Girls Yoga Collective , and her summer series of Yoga in Dufferin Grove Park, as well as across North America/Turtle Island for workshops on wellness, spirituality, theatre, racial equity, and addressing cultural appropriation in schools, colleges, universities, and rural and urban communities. Alongside other yoga facilitators in Bending Towards Justice, as well as with main collaborator Jet Feather, Black/Cherokee co-founder of SOMA who has contributed to nisha’s personal spiritual journey immensely, nisha continues to bring these offerings to spaces across North America/Turtle Island.

Linda Varnam
Yoga Therapist

Linda Varnam is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Qigong Instructor. Her passion is empowering students to include the valuable wisdom of yoga and qigong as powerful tools for daily living. Her extensive experience includes developing a seven week breathing program while a member of a clinical team in a holistic mental health program servicing international clientele.

Matthew Remski
Yoga Teacher and Author

Matthew Remski is a yoga teacher, trainer, and consultant. He writes about cult dynamics and adverse experiences in yoga culture at His forthcoming book is called Shadow Pose: Stories of Trauma and Healing in Modern Yoga. He is represented by Westwood Creative Artists. He lives in Toronto with his partner and their two sons.

Shelly Prosko PT C-IAYT

Shelly Prosko, PT, PYT, CPI, C-IAYT is a Physical Therapist and Professional Yoga Therapist dedicated to empowering and educating individuals to create and sustain optimal health by teaching, promoting and advocating for the integration of yoga therapy into modern healthcare. She is a respected pioneer of PhysioYoga, a combination of physical therapy and yoga therapy. Shelly guest lectures at medical colleges, teaches in numerous yoga therapy programs, speaks internationally at yoga therapy and medical conferences, offers onsite and online continuing education courses for healthcare professionals, yoga therapists and yoga teachers, and offers workshops and individual sessions for those suffering from a wide variety of conditions, including chronic pain and pelvic floor dysfunctions. Shelly has extensive formal and informal training and over 20 years of experience of integrating yoga into healthcare and considers herself a lifelong student, truth seeker and change maker. Please visit for more info.

Tama Soble
Co-owner and Director of Esther Myers Yoga Studio

Tama Soble began practising yoga with Esther Myers and Monica Voss in 1984. She has had additional training in Body-Mind Centering and meditation. She teaches classes, teacher training, advanced teachers’ seminars, and offers retreats in Ontario, the United States and Italy. Tama has worked extensively with those living with anxiety, depression and PTSD. She has also taught students with a wide variety of physical challenges arising from aging, accidents and illness. Tama co-owns and directs Esther Myers Yoga Studio and its 750-hour Teacher Training Program and 250-hour Graduate Teachers’ Program with Monica Voss.

Anita Haravon
Shape Up NYC & Buddha Body Yoga

Anita Haravon is bringing yoga to the people – all the people. Every day, Anita uses her yoga training and medical background to work with people who have great need for physical and mental restoration. Her clients include senior citizens, people of size, people with physical limitations and those with lower incomes. Anita classes include:
* Chair Yoga for seniors living in NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) residences.
* Buddha Body Yoga, modified yoga poses for people of size and those with injuries.
* Shape Up NYC, a free, drop-in fitness program with locations across the five boroughs, sponsored by NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.
She completed yoga teacher training at YogaWorks.
She has studied with yoga teachers at various studios in New York City, including Buddha Body Yoga, Integral Yoga, The Breathing Project, Jivamukti and Ishta Yoga. Anita traveled to Northern India, and studied yoga, meditation and breathing practices at Anand Prakash Ashram. Before turning to yoga full-time, Anita was a clinician and researcher in communication disorders and audiology for over twenty years. Anita is a certified EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and has volunteered with Central Park Medical Unit and the American Red Cross.

Shana Sandler
Inclusive Yoga Community Toronto

Shana specializes in facilitating yoga classes that are welcoming to people of all abilities. In addition to being on staff at Ahimsa Yoga Toronto, she has taught at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, women’s shelters, various after school programs, Community Living Toronto, and she teaches Chair Yoga for seniors.
In 2017 Shana founded Inclusive Yoga Community Toronto, a weekly drop-in Accessible Yoga class. Shana is passionate about expanding yoga’s reach through classes that embrace universal access. Drawing upon the facets of yoga that can be shared by everyone, Shana creates an affirming space that brings people together in community.

Tiffany Rose
LacOMbe Yoga

Tiffany Rose is one of the only empirically trained PTSD Yoga educators and facilitators in Alberta, she owns LacOMbe Yoga and is on faculty with several teacher training academies, she also teaches workshops for people who serve and support those who may be living with the effects of trauma. She writes about her own lived experience with Complex PTSD and Yoga at
She loves to create art, connection, community and collaboration. She lives in Central Alberta with her daughter, her cats and her cute puppy Hufflepuff.

Judith Mintz
Yoga Teacher, Shiatsu Therapist and PhD Candidate

Judith Mintz is a PhD Candidate in the Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies program at York University, Toronto. The title of her dissertation is “Gender, Health and Cross-Cultural Consumption in North American Yoga Communities: A Post-Colonial Feminist Ethnography.” A yoga teacher and shiatsu therapist since 1998, Judith turned to the academic world to examine the conflicts and contradictions in the holistic health world and to develop frameworks for accessiblity. Judith has published and presented her work in diverse contexts, and she also teaches community yoga classes for Tribe Fitness and restorative yoga and bodywork sessions privately. With passion for expanding her movement practice beyond yoga, Judith also does Five Rhythms Ecstatic Dance and Contact Improv. In her academic life, Judith is working on creating innovations toward intersectional access, equity, and ethics of care in the wellness communities for workers and consumers.

Judy Mirabai Hubbell
Chair of City College of San Francisco’s Older Adults Department

Judy Hubbell (Mirabai) presently teaches Accessible Yoga, T’ai Chi Chih, Breath and Vocal Resonance to seniors through her Mind Body and Body Dynamics I classes in the Excelsior & Mission Neighborhoods of SF. She serves to build community throughout the City of San Francisco and as Chair CCSF’s Older Adults Department. Judy sees her work as that of helping others develop the connection between the breath, body, and mind by bridging various modalities. She enjoys the yin-yang stresses and resolutions of a long life of teaching and learning in many disciplines. Certified in 11 holistic disciplines as a teacher 1986-2018. Mindfulness, Meditation, Raja Yoga, Hatha I, II, III, Therapeutic Yoga, Accessible Yoga, Meditation, Qi Gong, and T’ai Chi Chih. Bachelor & Masters Degrees in Voice from the Juilliard in NY. Professional Singer until the early 1990’s.

Sherry LeBlanc
Yoga for the Special Child

Sherry LeBlanc, HBSc. E-RYT 500®, YACEP®, RCYT®, C-IAYT is a certified program teacher for Yoga for the Special Child® The Sonia Sumar Method. She has been teaching movement awareness and Yoga in Toronto, Canada for over 35 years and founded Yoga 4 Kids in 1999.

Mary-Jo Fetterly
Adaptive & Therapeutic Training

Yoga saved me as a twenty year old single mom, and continues too, to this day as a 60 year old person with Quadriplegia. Many years ago I ran one of the few YTT programs in Canada, opened the first yoga studio in my home town and now 30 years later, established the Adaptive & Therapeutic training based on years of yoga experience, both as a able body and as a person with a disability.

My yoga journey began as a young girl, when my mom’s scholiosis became so bad at 40 she saught help. There wasn’t much yoga in the day but she was blessed with a great yogi Swami Radha as her first teacher. The Shivananda lineage was passed on as my first teachings were BKS Iyengar. That strong foundation in technique and alignment expanded and developed from other influences like massage therapy, Dr.Caroline Myss’s Energy Anatomy, Richard Freeman & Tim Miller during the Astanga craze, Donald Moyer, Emile Conrad, Susan Harper, Thomas Myers, Rod Stryker Somatic psychotherapy, and my own body that all have contributed to my ever deepening relationship with yoga.

When I became paralyzed 14 years ago I had no idea – really how I would utilize Yoga but then I realized I used Yoga to stay alive using the Ujayi breath to keep my newly paralyzed body breathing. From those first days forward through grueling rehab and into community, yogic principals & techniques have informed my approach. Then I experienced what yoga could do for a severly paralyzed body like my own, to a variety of physical modalities and I knew I had to share this truth.


Chantel Ehler
Amara Vidya Yoga

My first yoga “class” was Jane Fonda’s 20 minute Sun Salutation video with my mum as a teenager in the early 90s. In 1999 I was struck with debilitating pain that led to the loss of strength in my right arm and periodic inability to move. I used yoga as a weapon against my fear and my pain, which worked for some time, driving me to attain my certification in Kripalu (2002), Moksha (2007) and many other certifications and training including Yoga Therapy. In 2012 I began to unravel the damage I was doing to my body in yoga, and chose another kinder, gentler path. I started the Amara Vidya Yoga School in 2015.​

Linda Sparrowe
Yoga is Now

Linda Sparrowe, former editor-in-chief of Yoga International magazine, and managing editor of Yoga Journal, has been called “a defining voice for yoga in America.” She’s been instrumental in bringing the deeper practices of yoga to bear on every aspect of our lives through her talks, her Yoga Is Now workshops, and her retreats.
Linda has lent her writing, editing, and coaching skills to a variety of book projects and has authored several books of her own, including Yoga At Home; YogaMama; A Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health; and Yoga: A Yoga Journal Book.
Linda is on the advisory board of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition; her talks and practices appear on and YogaUOnline, as well as in audio and video interviews online. She is featured in the films Yoga Woman and What Is Real? a film about Jivamukti Yoga.

Sharon Laraia
Yoga Teacher

Hi. I’m Sharon and I’m a yoga teacher. I’m fun, loving, sometimes quirky and I love giving hugs! If you have a breath, look out, because I am the best recruiter in sucking you into the “Yoga World”! I specialize in making Yoga inclusive to all “bodies”.
We all have a story, here’s mine 🙂 Adopted at birth, I have always been thankful to have a home, a mother, a father and a brother, which made my childhood family complete. Growing up wasn’t always easy for this “tomboy”. My mom held big expectations for her “princess.” It was like dresses and braids versus ripped jeans and stitches! At six years old I was rushed to the hospital with a benign tumor that ruptured my left ear drum and ultimately left me deaf in that ear. A combination of childhood events has supressed me from allowing my true, authentic self to be seen. Fast forward to today, my twenties, well not really, my forty’s, I am comfortably free to be me! Yoga has forced me to dig deep within and dust off my crystal heart that I came into this world with.
My goal in life, whether it be through yoga or not, but yoga is better ;), is to connect, without any barriers, with every human being.

Tobias B.D.Wiggins
PhD Candidate & Social Justice Advocate

Tobias B. D. Wiggins is a PhD candidate, consultant, and social justice advocate in Toronto, Ontario. In the department of Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies at York University, he teaches and writes on interdisciplinary topics relating to sexuality, gender, race and racism, dis/ability, and colonization. His dissertation research explores contemporary issues of transgender identity and mental health. He also works in the Toronto community, both independently and for LBGTQ2+ organizations like the Sherbourne Health Centre, developing various anti-oppression workshops, trainings, and health support groups.

Tobias has been practicing yoga for 17 years, and was recently awarded the Yoga Alliance “Aspiring Yoga Teacher Scholarship” for his leadership and service to local yoga communities. In 2014, he produced the open-access video You Are Here: Exploring Yoga and the Impacts of Cultural Appropriation, and he has been actively involved in several studio-based anti-oppression yoga initiatives. You can find him at or on Twitter @wigginstobias.


Lee Majewski MA, DYEd, C-IAYT
Yoga for Health Institute

Lee Majewski, MA, DYEd, C-IAYT is the founding director of Yoga For Health Institute in Toronto, Canada. She also is a Senior Yoga Therapist at Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, the world’s oldest yoga institute located in Lonavla, India. . Her own journey through cancer brought home the value of ancient yogic methods and techniques to facilitate self-empowerment and healing in her life.
Now Lee creates and teaches Yoga Therapy programs for cancer survivors and people with chronic diseases. She is passionate about sharing the healing value of yoga and continues to advocate for Yoga Therapy’s place in healthcare and in the medical community worldwide.
As a result of the program’s effectiveness and being the first of its kind, Beyond Cancer has received an influx of international recognition. Lee was invited as a plenary speaker to the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR) in Dallas, USA in 2014 to share the positive results of her program. Within India, Lee has spoken at the Ujjain Yoga international Conference in 2013, 7th and 8th International Conferences at Kaivalyadhama Yoga Insitute. The IAYT has invited Lee back to SYTAR 2017 to lead a Common Interest Community session on “How Yoga Therapy Fills A Gap in Post-Treatment Cancer Care.”
For more information on Beyond Cancer or Chronic Solution retreats you may contact Lee directly at