Nicky Poole, a mother of two originally from New Zealand has been enmeshed in the study of yoga and meditation since 1999. She founded the first yoga studio in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2004 and cultivated a unique community on the banks of the Saigon River until moving to Canada in 2009. Calling Toronto home, Nicky has established herself as a highly sought-after teacher trainer, and pre and post natal specialist. She developed and led the prestigious 889 Living Yoga Program for seven years. Nicky now shares her knowledge through teacher training collaborations by invitation both in Toronto, and internationally. Nicky’s current movement based practice ranges from deep study in Kalarippayat – a martial art from South India, to Classical Ballet. Her yoga methodology draws from a variety of lineages, but her primary source of inspiration and connection for the past ten years is Prana Flow Yoga with her teacher Shiva Rea who she continues to assist on retreats worldwide. Nicky draws on extensive study of Ayurveda to inform her teachings, and enhances her care and support for her student with her offerings as a Birth Doula and a Thai Yoga Massage practitioner.
Over her 15 years of teaching, Juliana has had the privilege of deepening her practice with the help of Eileen Mur, Rodney Yee, John Friend, Richard Freeman, Cyndi Lee, Dharma Mittra, Eddie Stern, David Robson, Chip Hartranft, Edwin Bryant, and Vipassana meditation. Juliana's classes aim to bring peace, health, and joy to all through physical movement and awakening consciousness. Her teaching is influenced by her interest in Eastern philosophy and her academic background in contemporary psychology. She believes that by cultivating one’s own health and awareness throughout daily life one becomes more able to engage with the world in a constructive and loving manner. Juliana has been on the faculty of Iam Yoga's Teacher Training since its inaugural year focusing on asana alignment, assisting and adjusting, pranayama, meditation, and psychology. She feels honoured to support others on their journey toward embodying the eight limbs of yoga and inspiring others through example.
Hali Schwartz - E-RYT 500 Yoga History and Philosophy BIO - Hali has been immersed in the world of yoga since she was a little girl of 5 years old. At the age of 20, she started studying in earnest at the International Meditation Institute (I.M.I.) in the North-Western Himalayas in India. For the last nearly three decades she has been returning every year to deepen her own studies, and in 1999 started teaching Hatha and Restorative Yoga, Meditation, Pranayam, Sanskrit, Yoga History and Philosophy to the broader Toronto community. She is involved in several teacher training programs worldwide - including at IAM Yoga - where she educates new teachers on all aspects of philosophical tradition of yoga. She has led several pilgrimage retreats to India, thereby having the opportunity to travel the length and breath that AWE-some country which is the birthplace of yoga.
Matthew Remski - E-RYT 500 Ayurveda & Contemporary Critical Yogic Theory& Application BIO - Matthew has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1996, sitting and moving with teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist, Kripalu, Ashtanga, and Iyengar streams. Along the way he has trained as a yoga therapist and an Ayurvedic consultant, and has maintained a private practice in Toronto since 2008. From 2008 through 2012 he co-directed Yoga Festival Toronto and Yoga Community Toronto, non-profit activist organizations dedicated to promoting open dialogue and accessibility. During that same period he studied jyotiśhāstra in a small oral-culture setting at the Vidya Institute in Toronto. He currently facilitates programming for yoga trainings internationally, focusing on yoga philosophy, meditation, Ayurveda, and the social psychology of practice. In all subject areas, he encourages students to explore how yoga practice can resist the psychic and material dominance of neoliberalism, and the quickening pace of environmental destruction. He is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Of Threads of Yoga: a remix of Patanjali’s Sutras with commentary and reverie, scholar Mark Singleton writes: “I don’t know of any reading of the yoga sutras as wildly creative, as impassioned and as earnest as this. it engages Patanjali and the reader in an urgent, electrified conversation that weaves philosophy, symbolist poetry, psychoanalysis and cultural history. There’s a kind of delight and freshness in this book that is very rare in writing on yoga, and especially rare in writing on the yoga sutras. This is a Patanjali for postmoderns, less a translation than a startlingly relevant report on our current condition, through the prism of this ancient text.” Of the forthcoming What Are We Actually Doing in Asana?, Buddhist teacher and author Michael Stone writes: “Matthew Remski’s WAWADIA research digs beneath the statistics of yoga injuries to examine the stories we tell ourselves about our bodies, perfection, inadequacy and freedom. We all know that repetitive strain or too much flexibility creates the conditions for injury. But what we haven’t brought to light yet are the consequences of the narratives we tell ourselves—how they set us up for physical trouble in practice and how they influence the way we go through life. This research will help you pay attention to the strange unconscious intentions that get all mixed up in a life-long practice, so you can clear out unhelpful motivations and follow through on what’s truly good for you.” As a Ayurvedic consultant, he tries to hold space for people as they integrate the shadows of flesh and heart. In Matthew's own words ... "In the background of any meeting, I stay aware of whatever experience I’ve gained through ayurveda, yoga therapy, and yoga philosophy. Often, these disciplines provide useful lines of inquiry and protocols. But I try to be careful to not let what I think I know encroach upon the person, their unique growth, or mine. I try to hold my tools lightly, because they change."
John Vervaeke - BA, MA, PhD Cognitive Science and Mindfulness BIO - John Vervaeke is an Assistant Professor, in the teaching stream at the University of Toronto since 1994. He currently teaches courses in the Cognitive Science program including Introduction to Cognitive Science, and the Cognitive Science of Consciousness; courses in the Psychology department on thinking and reasoning with an emphasis on insight problem solving, cognitive development with an emphasis on the dynamical nature of development, and higher cognitive processes with an emphasis on intelligence, rationality, mindfulness, and the Psychology of wisdom. He also teaches a course in the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program on Buddhism and Cognitive Science. He has won and been nominated for several teaching awards including the 2001 Students' Administrative Council and Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students Teaching Award for the Humanities, and the 2012 Ranjini Ghosh Excellence in Teaching Award. He has published articles on relevance realization, general intelligence, mindfulness, metaphor, and wisdom. His abiding passion is to address the meaning crisis that besets western culture.
Blake Martin - E-RYT 500, BFA, MA, PhD Neuroscience and Yoga BIO - Blake Martin holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology and a Graduate Diploma in Neuroscience from York University, a B.F.A. and M.A. in dance, and a bachelor of education. His doctoral research was in neural mechanisms of attention when trying to perform more than one movement at a time. His current interests include understanding how recent bouts of physical activity impact learning and thinking, and how the motor repertoire is connected to cognitive flexibility. Blake has danced with Kaeja d’Dance and Motus O Dance Theatre and is a founding board member of the Pulse Ontario Youth Dance Conference, a province wide initiative uniting secondary dance educators and students with professional dance artists. Blake teaches part time in York University’s Dance Science Diploma program and is Defence Scientist for the Canadian government. He has been a feature teacher at the Toronto Yoga conference and show since 2009, as well as speaking provincially, nationally and internationally on issues related to yoga and the brain, arts and the brain, creativity and the brain, anatomy, and classroom management. He is a respected teacher in Traditional Thai Massage, a long distance runner, and a martial artist for more 30 years.
Aaron Maoore - BA, E-RYT 500 Mental Health, Trauma, and Stigma & Integration of Yoga BIO - Aaron is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and the co-founder of Solace Counseling alongside his wife Michelle. Originally from the gulf coast of Florida, Aaron has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters in Counseling. He works with adults and adolescents experiencing a wide range of struggles including addictions, marriage and relationships, depression, anxiety, and trauma. He is trained in EMDR and Accelerated Resolution Therapy, and he is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200). Aaron first found yoga in 2005, eventually doing his teacher training to be able to incorporate yoga into therapy. In addition to counseling, Aaron is a speaker and adviser for both To Write Love On Her Arms and The Blu Matter Project speaking often internationally about mental health, and our struggles with stigma, shame, and recovery. Aaron serves as a board member for the Now Matters More Foundation, which is dedicated to providing help for those struggling with addiction. Aaron and Michelle are the parents of five year old twins, and surf, travel and enjoy being in or on the water as much as possible.
Lisa Helm-Kitteringham - E-RYT 500 Advanced Physical and Energetic Anatomy BIO - Lisa loves to teach creative, challenging sequences so students increase their kinesthetic awareness, a concept that Shiva Rea describes as ‘bodily intelligence,’ or an awareness of the self through the physical body. Bodily intelligence and awareness allow the student to explore their own body in a safe and sustainable way and to understand their own limits and potential. Lisa’s sequencing focuses on transitions in order to teach core compression and awareness throughout movement so that balance and core engagement become instinctual instead of conscious. Her movement progressions are designed so that students can find the focus to breathe fully and deeply even in potentially demanding situations, a skill that can then be applied to real-life circumstances. The challenge is always balanced with frequent chances to rest, ground the body and come back to the breath. Lisa’s teacher training modules focus on grounding anatomical and practical knowledge in physical experience so that new teachers can teach from a place of embodied experience. Her passion for the subtle nuances of teaching combine with her patience and warmth with her students to create an environment that is conducive to every trainee learning what is most valuable to them at their own pace.
David Emerson - Special Guest Lecturer - Trauma-Sensitive Yoga BIO - Dave is the Founder and Director of Yoga Services for the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Brookline Massachusetts, where he coined the term “trauma-sensitive yoga”. He was responsible for curriculum development, supervision and oversight of the yoga intervention component of the first of its kind, NIH funded study, conducted by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk to assess the utility and feasibility of yoga for adults with treatment-resistant PTSD. Mr. Emerson has developed, conducted, and supervised TSY groups for rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs, residential programs for youth, military bases, survivors of terrorism, and Veterans Administration centers and clinics. In addition to co-authoring several articles on the subject of yoga and trauma, Mr. Emerson is the co-author of Overcoming Trauma through Yoga, released in 2011 by North Atlantic Books and Author of the forthcoming, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga in Therapy (Norton, 2015). He leads trainings for yoga teachers and mental health clinicians in North America, Europe, and Asia.