The Fitness Firm offers a YTT Teacher “trifecta” of expertise, offering a well-rounded introduction to yoga concepts. 

Kerri, Lynn and Alex, each augment yoga teachings by bringing their individual perspectives, areas of knowledge and interest to the lessons.  As the YTT 200-hour level spans 8 months, the time frame and pacing allow for deep consideration and integration of yoga concepts through regular reflection and practice via weekly assignments.  My personal journey led to expanded and subtle shifts in my world view, as yoga philosophy discussions elicited further questioning of many held assumptions based in western philosophy. 

I would highly recommend this program to anyone seeking to continue their personal journey via yoga and become an accredited YTT teacher along the way!

~ E.H., graduate 2022


I started my yoga teacher training at the Fitness Firm at as a senior and the rewards have been amazing.  The teaching team bring a wealth of experience, skill, practicality, and wisdom. They have refined the content and pacing of the program to ensure amble time to absorb, reflect and practice new skills and awareness. My confidence to lead yoga practice has grown enormously and I recommend the Fitness Firm YTT to anyone who seeks to go deeper into yoga practice and become an instructor. 

~ Rhoda Reardon, graduate 2022


If you are in a place in your life where you want to go deeper with understanding who you are in relation to the world around you, I highly recommend taking this YTT course. This is not your average yoga training course. It’s an extensive and wonderful exploration into learning how your mind, heart and body work together. The knowledge level of the instructors is phenomenal, with each of them bringing their expertise to the course: yoga philosophy, yoga nidra and asana.
I was part of a caring group, where I felt safe to share, practice and go further with my learning. YTT was a life changer! Thank you Alex, Kerri and Lynn!

~ Karen Desmeules, graduate 2020


The 200 RYT teacher training program with Alex, Kerri and Lynn through Shanti yoga was, simply said, illuminating! If you are looking for a program that takes you further into your physical practice and deeper into the more philosophical and mystical side of Yoga, then I believe this is the best place to begin your journey. I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of such and generous and supportive group of students and teachers. I witnessed an immensely positive shift in myself relative to the time we spent studying all the rich aspects of Yoga. Thank you A, K & L for what you do, and how you support your students toward becoming stronger and braver, with every passing week. 

I am especially thankful to Alex, whose knowledge and dedication to the teaching of Yoga is a true validation of what it means to truly bring Yoga off the mat into our life’s practice. 

Thank you all, I will never forget the experience. Namaste!

~ Magda, graduate 2020


2018 meant the completion of my Yoga teacher training. Something I have talked about for easily 5 years or more, but was always “too busy” to do. The choice to do my training through Shanti Yoga Hamilton was an easy one. This meant an opportunity for training with Alex Bovkis, which I will forever be grateful for. I was provided not only the necessary components to create and teach a safe and balanced sequence, but was also allowed the creative freedom to develop a teaching style of my own. Throughout the entire process, I felt more like I was being guided than “taught” and in doing so was able to experience more growth and self development than I would have ever considered possible (or at times, would have ever thought necessary) So, while others say good riddance to 2018 in hope for a better 2019, I will sit in gratitude for a year that brought growth. Growth in health, growth in knowledge and growth in love. I look forward not to a better 2019, but to whatever 2019 decides to throw at me. 

~ Stacey M., graduate 2018


This program has been so healing for me. I was able to work on myself, step by step and slowly regain some energy but more importantly, connection with myself. I resonated with the richness of Alex’s approach to teaching which includes asana practise of course, but also story-telling which made the philosophy both accessible and entertaining. We discussed the significance of ancient texts through the lens of our personal experiences. This small group of students became trusted friends with whom I shared my journey. 

I was astounded by the generosity of Alex, Jay and Lynne over and over again. I’ve grown in my spiritual life in a way that I never knew I wanted or had thought about in connection to Yoga teaching.  I have great gratitude to Alex, Jay, Lynne and to Shanti  Yoga studios and Regent studios for this experience of a lifetime. 

~ Kathy Hind, YTT graduate 2017


Thank you for providing me with sacred space to be with all the parts of myself.

For gently watching over me with wisdom as I struggled, sorted, sank and swam into both darkness and light.

For making it safe for me to be with emptiness and fear.

For making it possible for me to find my inner strength and peacefulness.


 ~ S.M., YTT graduate 2016


 The course offered so much more than I ever expected.  I don’t even know where to begin…  It changed my life.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity.  I feel confident in the knowledge I acquired from this course to start teaching.  I also feel lighter, yet more full.  Full of love, life, and acceptance.  This course would benefit someone looking to teach as well as someone who is looking to deepen their own practice.

For giving me a chance – I thank you.  For holding a space that healed me, I thank you.  For providing me with the tools I need to be a good teacher, I thank you.  For being such an amazing person to learn from and to look up to on this journey, I thank you.  For everything I thank you.

~ Christina Mlinaric, YTT graduate 2015


I absolutely loved it!  I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about yoga and/or about themselves.  The journey is so full of twists of turns –  and when you hit a pit-stop, you end up finding the most amazing gift of truthfulness and realness!!

I really truly appreciate what you and Jay do for YTT – what you have done for me!   You both really put yourselves out there for others and truly give – you have created an amazing space for individuals to open up and learn about themselves and make it safe and comfortable to do so!!!

Thank you so very much!

~ Min Porco, YTT graduate 2015


After years of enjoying the physical and emotional benefits of Yoga, I had a burning desire to take my experience to the next level.  I investigated several YTT options and after a single conversation with Alex, I sensed a rare authenticity and I knew I had found the right YTT instructor for me.

As a gifted YTT instructor, Alex has boundless energy and generosity of spirit.  She is continually expanding her own wealth of knowledge and enthusiastically shares her own growth and insights. Alex is the embodiment of grace, dedication and passion and is a constant source of inspiration every step of the way on this incredible journey.  With Jay’s nurturing support, Shanti Yoga Studio offers a holistic and comprehensive YTT program that I would highly recommend to anyone fortunate enough to consider this wonderful opportunity.  My fellow YTT students have become part of my extended family and our connection has enriched my life beyond all expectation.  The decision to do YTT at Shanti is among the best choices I have ever made.

~ Ann Mason, YTT graduate 2014


I decided to take the Shanti Yoga teacher training course as a new adventure after retirement. I began the course with some trepidation, yet open to whatever came along. From the very first week, the energy of the group came together in a unique way and blossomed into a very special bond as we came to know one another.  Alex facilitated and supported each of us as we came to understand ourselves differently.  I was amazed at the amount of personal development that came from the work involved, in learning about all aspects of yoga.  Set assignments were fun and interesting, and Alex was easily accessible to answer questions and offer suggestions when needed.
I waited until retirement before beginning this amazing journey.  I recommend that you don’t wait that long!  The earlier you begin, the longer you will reap the benefits.
Thank you Alex and Jay for providing such a positive and nurturing space to encourage personal growth and so many other levels of learning.
~ Bj, YTT graduate 2014


Taking Yoga Teacher Training at Shanti Yoga in Hamilton, was highly educational. All of my preconceived notions about yoga teacher training were soon exceeded within the first month of the course. Upon graduating from YTT, I gained the confidence, knowledge, and skills to conduct a Yoga class in a professional manner. I highly recommend YTT at Shanti Yoga in Hamilton.
Many Thanks,
 ~ Wayne Janus, YTT graduate 2014


It all happened one day several years ago while walking along Locke St. I saw a poster from Shanti Yoga Studio in Hamilton advertising a canoeing/yoga/self-exploration weekend retreat. I knew instantly that I had to go with them. This was the start of my connection with Shanti.

I had been exploring yoga and other alternative modalities for many years. I was particularly interested in yoga philosophy and really wanted to explore the self on a deeper level under expert guidance. It took me a year to finally make the decision to take Yoga Teacher Training. I was excited, yet afraid. I have to tell you it was one of the best experiences of my life so far! I connected with wonderful people, learned so much about myself and the world, and changed my life. Alex is a talented teacher who knows how to encourage a student to explore, experience and expand. If you’re considering taking this training, go for it! You will love it.

~ Kris Fisher, YTT graduate 2014




Whether or not you are looking to teach yoga Alex Bovkis of Shanti Yoga Hamilton provides a magical life long learning opportunity in the Yoga Teach Training offered at her studio. It is so much more than a cookie cutter course to teach the physical aspects of yoga.

Alex introduces the participant to the eight limbs of a yoga, paying special attention to the philosophies of the ancient yoga sutras, as well as the physical aspects of the practice. Journal writing is encouraged and is an integral aspect of the journey you take through your life as you participating in the course. Alex makes herself available to thoughtfully discuss the writing process as well as supporting the student in the planning and building of class material.
I can’t recommend the course highly enough, as a personal trainer I have been able to incorporate much of the learning into my practice and will be continuing to the next level in January 2015. Thanks to Alex and Jay for providing the space and passion for such important teachings.
~Kim Thompson, Personal Trainer CPTN, YTT graduate 2014


Yoga Teachers Training has been an experience that one cannot truly understand without embarking on this journey personally.  However, I can share what it was like for me.

I was looking for something but had no idea what I was looking for.  I was at a crossroad in my life and was unsure of which direction to move forward in.  My heart and body both knew it was time to move forward and when I discovered Shanti Yoga Studio in Hamilton, it was like I had come home to myself.  Even in the initial interview, I was nervous until I sat down on the mat in front of Alex. This feeling of peace and familiarity washed over me. Alex created a space where I felt safe to explore my physical, mental and emotional self.

YTT is not just about teaching Yoga, it was the beginning of an amazing journey which I am still on.  Not only do I love teaching Yoga and sharing this beautiful practice with others, but the energy from training still resonates and inspires me to deepen my practice and continue down this beautiful path. Thank you Shanti!

~Melissa Phillips, YTT graduate 2014


I am so grateful to have been a part of the 2013 YTT program at Shanti.  Shanti Yoga Studio provides a comfortable, safe and supportive environment to learn.   Alex Bovkis has a wealth of information and shares that wisdom and knowledge honestly and openly as she guides her students.  She teaches in a way that motivates and inspires and is very generous with all she knows.  Alex is so much more than a teacher; I consider her to be a mentor, a confidant, and a friend.

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” 

If you are looking to become a yoga instructor or would like to embark on a journey of self discovery, I highly recommend this program.  For me, this has been a life changing experience.  This program has provided me with tools that have helped me find peace through some difficult times.  I have met some incredible people through this process and have formed lasting relationships.

~Christine MacLeod – YTT Graduate 2013


What did YTT do for me?
It inspired me to BE me and only ME!
During our non-denominational sharing circles at Shanti Yoga in Hamilton, I discovered that in the past, I have always tried to be that person that everyone liked.  I was constantly avoiding conflict and criticism.  Soon did I realize, I was the only person who was criticizing myself, causing conflict and stress within my own body.
Before the teacher training begun, I was doubled over with shoulder and neck pain due to over working, poor posture and stress.  During the course I realized that avoiding my own feelings and desires in order to seem perfect, created a weight that my shoulders could not bear. The pain of suppressing my own feelings slowly dissolved as I learned to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions.
The best part about the Yoga Teachers Training course: I learned how lazy I was at times.  As the months passed, and I observed my laziness, I started to breath deeper, stand taller, sit straighter.

Upon graduating from YTT, my shoulder pain had completely receded. Although the ‘self sabotage’ peeks in every once and awhile to say “Hi”, I know the exact yoga asanas (poses) to put ‘her’ back into place.
I would like to recommend this course to anybody who is seeking a new path or practice to follow. Yoga Teacher Training at Shanti Yoga Studio in Hamilton is suitable for anybody who likes to journey towards self empowerment, uncover the illusion of pain, and discover the healing nature of conscious movement and breath.
Oh, and make sure you try the chanting.  I absolutely love chanting!!

~Kaeli Yarwood, YTT Graduate 2013


The 250 hour yoga teacher training at Shanti has been a life changing journey. The gift of Alex Bovkis’s wisdom, guidance and support has truly opened doors for me where I didn’t even know doors existed. This transformative journey has not only given me the opportunity to learn and practice teaching in a supportive environment it has inspired me to share this gift with others as a teacher. I strongly recommend this training with Alex and Shanti for anyone who wishes to not only deepen their own practice with a knowledgeable teacher but to grow and enrich their experience on all levels of being. This course gives you everything you need to become a confident teacher. I am truly grateful for her insights and encouragement and for the bond of friendship from the entire YTT group which will ALWAYS be with me.

~Joyce Camara YTT grad 2012


YTT has been a invigorating and insightful learning process. The teachers are very knowledgeable and passionate about their practices. Alex’s deep attention to details offers the students an opportunity to understand the mental and physical components of the different asanas. Shanti offers YTT students plenty of opportunities to practice, observe classes and use the studio for learning and teaching purposes.

~MR, YTT grad 2012


Alex is an incredible teacher. Her many years of practice, study and teaching have given her such a gift to teach Yoga teachers. Her passion for Hatha Yoga and the philosophies of it, plus her attention to details, has made this a wonderful year. She is a warm and compassionate person and very generous of her time and space. The year of YTT was filled with many awesome teachers and I have learned so much. Through Alex’s profound teaching and her connection to spirituality, she has a way of connecting all of us to our spirit and deepen our experience. Practicing with Alex really has helped me connect to the true meaning of Yoga and I am excited to teach this to others. Thank you Alex.

~ Lisa, YTT grad 2012