Donna Rao - Co-Owner, Certified Iyengar Teacher, Certified Relax & Renew Trainer
Originally from Vancouver, Donna found yoga in 1983 and has been teaching Iyengar Yoga since the mid 90's
Donna continues to study with many national and international teachers. She has studied with Geeta Iyengar in Canada, as well as travelling to Pune India to study with the Iyengar family. Her other influencial teachers are Donald Moyer, Patricia Walden, Gabriella Guibalaro, and Judith Hanson Lasater and many others.
Donna completed studies with Judith Hanson Lasater and is an Certified Advanced Relax & Renew Trainer.
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"Donna's classes have become an important part of my week. Donna shares her humour, interesting philosophical and health information, and I feel she is totally focused on us. I really appreciate using props for many of the poses because I get the benefit from the pose I normally would not be able to do. Over the last 4 years, under Donna's watchful eyes, I have strengthened my injured shoulders, neck and arms without pain or added injury. Needless to say I no longer experience the same level of daily pain! Thank you Donna for a fulfilling experience!"~
Laurie Ankenman - Co-Owner, Certified Iyengar Teacher
Laurie is a nationally certified Iyengar Yoga instructor and a member of the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada since 1998. With 28 years experience as a practitioner, and 16 years as a teacher, Laurie brings a wealth of experience to her classes. She has taught a variety of general classes as well as those designed for older adults, children, and people living with cancer. Her workshop offerings have included those specific to women, basic back care, inverted postures, sleeping well series, establishing a personal practice, and understanding Sanskrit, the language of the asana.
With ongoing participation in a variety of professional workshops across Canada, Laurie annually maintains her national certification, by studying with both Canadian and international senior level Iyengar instructors. Senior Iyengar teachers with whom she has studied and continue to inspire her are: Marlene Mawhinney; Anne Kilbertus; Faiq Biria; Gabriella Guibilaro and Jawahar Bangara.
She co-owned her first studio, Yoga North in Winnipeg before relocating to the Shuswap. Her deep appreciation for its huge benefits – a quieter, focused mind inhabiting a happy and healthy body, evolved from a serious knee injury for which yoga continues to be the preferred rehabilitation and maintenance tool. Yoga remains a lifelong commitment and ongoing discipline central to her lifestyle. She particularly enjoys teaching beginning students of any age, taking delight in the many positive changes that evolve with their continued practice. Her teaching is enthusiastic, precise, compassionate and sprinkled with humour. She teaches her students to practice safely, encouraging each one to approach their entire experience of each pose with a joyful attitude as they find and embrace their ease of well-being. Laurie also practices vipassana meditation and is a member of the Monday Meditation Sitting group at the studio.
When not teaching you can find her enjoying nature with her partner Edward and dog – hiking, paddling, cross country skiing or in the kitchen delighting in creating delicious foods from the bounty of organic food grown in the surrounding community.
"It would be easy to skip activities that create new energy for me. So I sing, make pottery, walk regularly on short and long trips and keep flexible with yoga classes with Laurie Ankenman. I think this is what keeps me healthy and vital. Why stop doing these great things when you retire? The yoga has been one of my best
time uses and I feel so much better having participated in the yoga group." D. A.