Marah Smith is a certified yoga instructor and the Founder and CEO of Sankalpa. Her passion for training teachers began when she led five YTTs in downtown Toronto over three years. She realized while leading these trainings that the program just didn't give students "enough", and wouldn't it be fabulous to have some guidance from nutritional and lifestyle experts, while earning a 200 hour certificate. Alas, Sankalpa was born. When you meet Marah, you'll notice she has "sankalpa" emblazoned on her right arm. "Sankalpa" means conception or idea or notion formed in the heart or mind, solemn vow or determination to perform, desire, definite intention, volition or will. Not to be a cheeseball but....her "sankalpa" will be to ensure you are at all times comfortable, engaged and moving forward in your training. Marah is also a corporate securities lawyer by day (nbd) and proud momma to her cat, Prana and her puppy, Mango who she brought home from a vacation in Antigua.
Lisa McMurtrie is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She discovered yoga in 2009, and fell in love with the connection between breath, movement and the mind. She completed her BFA at OCAD University, Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training in Toronto, and Level 2 Teacher Training in Bali, Indonesia. Art and the human body had always been a passion, and the practice of yoga is what made the connection. Lisa believes that yoga is an art and science of life and it is about exploring the manifestations that live beneath the surface. Lisa focuses on anatomy, proper alignment, and muscle activation while creatively and deeply moving the body. Lisa teaches at yoga studios and fitness centers across Toronto. Never a dull moment with this one!
Michelle Medel began her journey with yoga in university, practicing classic hatha at a studio in downtown Toronto. Over the years as she moved into Executive Management, she began to notice the strain and tension that work created on her body, as well as her emotions and mental faculties. Gradually, she began to regard her practice as a form of self-therapy, a practice that truly got her through these challenges. Michelle’s practice has brought healing and wellness into her life, and she has been inspired to share the healing benefits of yoga with others through teaching and working therapeutically. She completed her first teacher training in Toronto and it has been her privilege to continue to train and learn, successfully completing over 1,000 hours of training through various programs. Michelle has a diverse background and studies in Hatha, Kundalini, Anusara, Ayurveda and Meditation. You'll want to learn things from this girl. All of the things. Trust us.
Genevieve Pardoe is a certified yoga & Pilates instructor with an MA in Geography & Health. She is also certified in Pre/Post-Natal yoga and specializes in Rehabilitation (sometimes called Functional) Pilates. She has worked in various physiotherapy clinics throughout Toronto and has been a trainer as well as guest speaker at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Obstetrics Dept. Previously, Genevieve was the official yoga Instructor for the Canadian Forces College and has been a Lolë Women’s ambassador for the past two years. When not teaching Pilates or working with rehabilitation patients, Genevieve can be found chasing her three wildly disobedient (but adorable) dogs or hanging out with her sidekick – her ten month-old daughter, Maier (goddaughter to our Founder). Genevieve splits her time between Toronto and Los Angeles. Because she's ballin' like that.
Angela Morley discovered yoga in 2009 when she finally let her roommate drag her to her first class. Given her background as a gymnast, she was always told she'd love yoga and she immediately fell in love with the practice. Yoga truly increases her balance, flexibility, and strength in the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life. After finishing her teacher training, Ang has dedicated as much time as she can to teaching yoga outside her job as a laboratory manager at Sick Kids Hospital. Her intensely smiley personality combined with her extensive knowledge of human anatomy will allow trainees to find proper alignment and most importantly have fun. Ang teaches at esteemed studios across the city, including Iam Yoga and Yoga Tree.
Kristi Soomer is the Founder and CEO of Encircled. A former management consultant, who virtually lived in airports and spent most of her weeks up in the air, Kristi started Encircled with a dream of helping women travel lighter and do more with less. Frustrated with the lack of versatile clothing that blended style with function with quality fabrics, she started designing it. After years of bootstrapping Encircled while working full-time, Kristi made the leap to full-time entrepreneurship in late 2014. Since then, Encircled has grown into a studio space in the vibrant Junction area of Toronto and a team of employees who share her passion for ethical fashion. As a guest speaker for the Sankalpa course, Kristi will be sharing her ongoing journey in Entrepreneurship, and her wellness tips and tricks as a dedicated yogi.
Jamie Kalynuik is a certified prenatal and postnatal yoga instructor and the Founder and Director of Toronto Yoga Mamas, a local community devoted to the prenatal and postnatal fitness and health of women and their families. Jamie is a trained birth doula and has supported and comforted many women during their pregnancy and birth journeys. Jamie takes great joy in leading her classes, is passionate about working with couples as their doula, and loves welcoming babies into their new families. Jamie prides herself on living a strong, healthy and positive life and is honoured to be an Ambassador for Genuine Health. As a guest speaker for the Sankalpa course, Jamie will be leading a - you guessed it! - pre-natal workshop.