Alex Bovkis [Hatha, Kripalu, Chanting, Yoga Teacher's Training Director, Transpersonal Therapist]
Alex Bovkis was certified as a Classical Yoga Teacher in the summer of 2004. Since then she has taken several advanced teachers trainings and is now qualified as an E-RYT 500, which translates as Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. This high level of qualification is required in order to train yoga teachers. She is currently directing a Yoga Alliance approved 250 hour Yoga Teachers Training at Shanti Studio.
Having over a thousand training hours and over 9500 teaching hours behind her, she continues to explore this incredible path of yoga further. She continues to study with several different teachers from different yoga styles and trains in encompassing both the breadth and the depth of yoga. Her passion is chanting in Sanskrit, the ancient language in which Yoga Scriptures were written. Chanting is used as a sound meditation; it is cleansing, rejuvinating and energizing. Alex leads a chanting gathering every Friday evening, all are welcome. Alex's yoga classes are geared towards relaxation and release of stress, calming of the mind and opening the body and re-aligning. She invites her students to use their yoga practice to gain insights into their patterns and habits, discovering and becoming more conscious of hidden layers in their personality.
Alex is also seeing students one-on-one for transpersonal guidance, using the teachings from the Yoga Sutras. For more information on these sessions pleaso go to TREATMENTS page.
Alesya Courtnage [Hatha intro, Level 1]
Alesya has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. During that time, her passion and love for yoga has supported her through the pregnancy and birth of her 3 children. Alesya chose to deepen her understanding of yoga by pursuing her Yoga Teacher Training and she completed the training program at Shanti with Alex Bokvis in 2012. Alesya is drawn to the deep connection between mind and body that occurs through asana practice and is fascinated by how yoga helps people to connect, ground and become more appreciative of the world around them. As a music therapist and mental health therapist, Alesya is sensitive to the impact of music and flow in yoga practice. Her classes are creative, dynamic and energy-filled.
Angela Del Franco [Hatha 2-3, YTT]
Angela is a Certified Yoga Teacher. She trained as a dancer from youth in classical ballet along other forms of dance to professional level at the Toronto Dance Theater. She was awarded a scholarship at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in 1996. Her experience reached a new level after giving birth to her first child. She studied at the internationally acclaimed BirthLight for Perinatal Yoga and Baby Yoga with the founder Françoise Barbira-Freedman. Her training continues with a certification for Pilates through the Pilates Institute, YogaKids foundation with Marsha Wenig and The Yoga Centre of Burlington. Angela has taught in the UK and now resides in the Burlington, Ontario with her two daughters. She feels blessed with great teachers, dancers, musicians, friends and family who have inspired her to continue expression in movement possibilities for all ages.
Cathy Volpe [Hatha intro, level 1]
Cathy is a graduate of Shanti Yoga studio’s first ever Yoga teacher training (YTT) program, which ran from January to December 2012. She took her first Yoga class as a child in an after-school program, and discovered it again about 20 years later. Her objective with each class is to teach fun and challenging Yoga classes by creating an experience with an emphasis on safety, healthy lifestyle, and mindful movement and breath. She believes that a strong, flexible and calm mind and body are the ingredients for a balanced life. Her other passions are swimming, hiking, reading, learning Italian, and making people happy by sharing her baking.
Jay Henry [Restorative Yoga, Studio Manager, Wilderness Trips Leader]
Following a terrible 2002 baseball accident, which left Jay paralyzed from his neck down, the only mode of healing he could rely on was meditation. Never wavering in his belief that he would walk again, he spent hours in solitute and practiced a "tree" meditation and yogic breathing. When the movement returned to his limbs the doctors called it a miracle, as according to the MRI this was simply not possible. Patiently and slowly Jay 'meditated and visualized" himself back to movement.
Today Jay teaches Restorative yoga. Jay understands and respects when people experience pain and he supports everyone in their practice in exactly the way they need it on that particular day.
Furhtermore, Jay is the wilderness yoga and meditation retreats leader, support person and a fabulous outdoor chef.
Joyce Camara [Aroma Yoga]
Joyce has had a passion for yoga and meditation as long as she can remember. It wasn't until after beginning her own healing journey and becoming a certified Reiki master, reflexologist and the study of aromatherapy that she knew she also wanted to share the healing power of yoga with others. She took her first yoga class for the physical benefits many years ago but discovered a deeper understanding which left her with the strong desire to learn more. Now a Yoga Alliance certified instructor her goal is to teach students to connect with their true essence and find healing on all levels through their practice. Joyce currently offers a gentle evening yoga practice for all levels at Shanti which offers the added benefit of therapeutic grade healing essential oils to deepen the practice.
Sham Rang, aka Cynthia Nelson B. Ed. [Meditation for YTT]
Sham Rang, an experienced educator, was propelled by a life-threatening illness into a reassessment of her life. She now views this illness as the true beginning of her journey into self-awareness and accessing the wisdom of her own body. She continues, with ever-increasing awareness, to appreciate the richness and beauty of the physical experience, bringing her a deeper and more profound communion with the art and science of yoga.
Certified to teach Kundalini Yoga and the 5-Tibetan Yogas and to facilitate Transformational Fantasy and Transformative Self-Healing, she currently co-facilitates meditation courses for SIVAM and teaches Meditation for YTT at Shanti Yoga Studio.
Valerie Spironello [ Wellness Counselling]
Valerie Spironello has a private practice called Choose Wellness (www.choosewellness.ca). Trained as a social worker she has discovered the importance of looking at difficulties using a holistic approach. She has been studying meditation, nutrition and energy healing for just over 10 years, training with teachers such as Dekyi Lee Oldershaw, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Saki Santorelli . She has completed an Advanced Meditation Teacher Training Program with Kumar Jeeva of Samagra, Hamilton.
As a social worker/wellness counsellor, she has a specific interest in the use of mindfulness meditation in talk therapy and has completed a training program Mindfulness Meditation in Clinical Practice with Michael Stone of Centre of Gravity, Toronto. Having worked for many years in health care, Valerie has also trained to assist those in the helping professions to identify and create plans for dealing with Compassion Fatigue. Valerie is committed to supporting others in living well in Body, Mind and Spirit.
Valerie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martyn Kendrick [Sacred Geometry]
Author and Educator, Martyn Kendrick has taught in the Writer's Certificate Program at McMaster University for a decade. The author of 9 books, he has facilitated creativity workshops throughout North America in communities, schools and corporations. He is a sculptor and labyrinth designer, and sacred geometry teacher. He is also a creativity coach and during the course offers individual feedback. His book on creativity, Writing Lifestories and Other Fictions, will be available to all participants.
Many years ago, Martyn began studying the “most ancient symbols of civilization”. His studies have taken him all over the world and prepared him for working with the Labyrinth. Martyn taught creativity at McMaster for 10 years before taking his knowledge and practice to corporations and into the community. He is the founder of Labyrinth Keys – www.Labyrinthkeys.com.
On his website, Martyn writes: “During my years as a journalist and author I wrote seven books, the last of which speaks to the transformative powers of creativity and storytelling. I am also a sculptor focusing on aspects of the Goddess across cultures and time. It was while working in India on a sculpture commission that I began to investigate the hidden meaning of the labyrinth as understood in tantric practice. It was synchronicity that led me to the labyrinth. What happened to me and others walking its path has kept me coming back again and again. I have been privileged to witness profoundly transformative moments in the lives of individuals walking into the labyrinth who are faced with all sorts of challenges in the personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal dimensions of their daily lives. Their experience with the labyrinth helped them to imagine new futures and find the courage within themselves to move forward. It has motivated me to find ways to bring the principles of the labyrinth into the everyday lives of individuals in all kinds of situations.”
Stephanie Schied (Reiki Master, Sacred Sound, Life Coach
Stephanie followed her heart and moved from teaching in the public school system to facilitating self-transformation classes and A.S.P.I.R.E. seminars. Her quest for healing and inner peace led her to be initiated as Master, in the Usui System of Reiki Healing (Mar’99) and certified as meditation teacher (Aug’07) . Stephanie soon discovered her natural ability to emit sound in a sacred and shamanistic way. Her sacred sound programs have been well received in yoga studios, wellness centres, seniors’ residence homes, schools and organizations. As an intuitive and spiritual mentor, Stephanie provides you with personalized innerLife coaching programs. Whatever challenge you face in life, your perfect solutions exist within. What you learn in a few sessions ignites the change and movement you need within to perceive who you are from a more spiritual perspective.
Stephanie is pleased to join this dynamic community of Shanti Yoga Hamilton and looks forward to sharing sacred space with you.