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We each come to our mats for our own reasons and with our own stories.
Meet our BlissPowered Team through their stories!
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This discovery of yoga has been a great introduction to myself – the good, the bad and the ugly. It was not easy for me to walk into that very first yoga class, entering the room with extreme shyness, low confidence and little self worth. I was expecting the practice to change me externally. I had no idea I was about to embark on a life long discovery of love.
A co-worker had asked me to purchase a 10 class pass sale at a studio in the SW so we could try it out together. It seemed I had everything against me with no prior fitness routines or training and already being thirty-three years of age. My lack of physical and emotional strength was very evident. My mind screamed at me to sneakily escape the room of people who already knew what they were doing. I can even recall wanting to dodge into the washroom just so I could take a break. I stayed there in my discomfort for reasons I could not even explain to you. Maybe it was that amazing magical feeling I felt when class was finally over. I soon found myself looking for studios closer to me. I found one in the NE that very quickly became home. I’ve never learned so much in all my life; self worth, unconditional love and freedom from mental slavery.
After four years of practice, I decided to embark on a teacher training program. I had no intentions of teaching yoga. I told myself I just wanted to deepen my own practice. Truth be told, I still had some deep work to do on self-confidence. I did not think I would have the mental capacity to lead a whole class. The training not only made it very evident that yoga was my passion but it proved to me that I could do absolutely anything with hard work, perseverance and strong intentions. I have endless gratitude for all my life lessons from my past and the ones still to come.
It is my pleasure and duty to welcome you to a safe and sacred space for you to come discover what this practice has in store for you. It is YOUR practice and I am grateful to be by your side as the sweet wisdom of the yoga path invites the layers of self to unfold. This may take many lifetimes of practice and today is the perfect day to start. How lucky are we to have the opportunity to embrace this wisdom in this moment, in this body and within this spirit? It is my greatest honour to walk this path with you, moving, breathing, singing and learning together.
Humbly in your service ♡ Angie
My name is Becky and I’m so excited to get to know you. I have a love for meeting new people and hearing their stories, as I assume you do too because you’re reading mine.
I have been practicing yoga for quite a few years, but only started to take my practice seriously about 4 years ago when I wasn’t the healthiest physically or mentally.
To everyone around me, it seemed like I had an amazing life. I was always laughing and smiling, but inside I was crying out for help. Growing up I was very shy and struggled to say ‘no’. I would look down at the ground, hide in the corner, do anything to keep myself out of the spotlight. I was bullied as a child for being so small and underweight. That’s how people described me.
I grew up with the mindset of not being good enough and that I should be ashamed of who I am and what I look like. I was never diagnosed, but I believe I had some form of depression in the beginning of high school. I wrote suicidal notes for my friends and family in case it ever came to that. I directed all the love I had toward everyone around me, but never gave any to myself. I cried myself to sleep almost every night and couldn’t understand why I was feeling that way. I was mentally so sick. Then it became physical. My period had become so irregular that I was scared for my well-being.
There was a turning point for me that really pushed me to fully embrace my yoga practice. My aunt, whom I trust with my life, recommended I go to a yoga studio rather than just practicing in my room. I took her advice and I am forever grateful for that one little suggestion. I fell in love with practicing in a community of like-minded people.
Slowly by putting myself first, and self-helping rather than self-harming, I started to feel more like me again. The second class I ever went to, Leanna was teaching us. I walked in and just felt safe. The atmosphere was full of pure love radiating off the walls. During our savasana, she came to me first and laid her hands on me, and in that moment I knew this is what I was put on this Earth to do.
Fast forward to November 2017, I started my 200 hour training with the most amazing group of individuals, being led by Leanna herself. By the end of the training, I had blossomed into the woman I am today, happy and healthy! I can joyfully say that I love myself and no longer have a little devil on my shoulder saying awful and mean things about me. It hasn’t been easy. It has been a lot of hard work and dedication. However, to be on the other end of the sadness and hatred, I am able to enjoy life to the fullest with amazing people who are also full of love and joy!
Thank you so much for listening, and I can’t wait to do the same for you! All the love in the whole universe,
Bonnie St. Pierre
Going through the motions…that’s what I used to do when I went to the gym. I’d drag myself there, without joy. One day my local gym closed. “Hooray!” I thought. I was then faced with the “Now what am I going to do?” question. Being of “mature” age I wasn’t interested in joining another fitness centre & needed desperately to figure out something else to do. So, I signed up for a one-month yoga pass & went almost every day. (Had to get my money’s worth LOL!)
After the month was over, I felt incredible. How could this be? No step classes, no weights, just me and my mat. I was getting in shape without having to “work out”. The more I went, the better I felt. I was hooked!
Something else happened too… I realized that there’s so much more to yoga than being flexible (which I’m not). I learned how to close off my mind and be in the moment. I discovered the importance of breath & how it relates to movement. As I dove even deeper, I found myself on a more meaningful journey, one that allowed me to accept myself just as I am and embrace those around me. It’s been a journey that has translated into more meaningful & authentic relationships. Like a ripple effect, this new self-love and acceptance started transferring to those around me. It showed up as kindness, compassion, positive energy and so much more! I remember thinking, “Huh, maybe there is something to this ‘yoga is a way of life’ thing after all.” Turns out, Yoga IS my way of life on and off the mat.
If you’re looking to switch things up a bit, come and say hello. I’d love for you to be a part of our yoga community!
Be Healthy, Be in the Moment, Be True to Yourself.
I can still remember the end of my first yoga class, over ten years ago. I recall laying on my back, a little unsure of the “quiet” that surrounded me, and then the teacher did what I thought was the strangest thing. She asked if I wanted a blanket. I said “yes”, mostly out of confusion and curiosity, but the second she laid that beautiful white blanket over my body I felt safe, calm, and peaceful. Over the next few years I practiced yoga off and on, nothing consistent, nothing life changing for me at the time, but I always remembered how much I loved that moment at the end of my first practice.
Flash forward 5 years, my life had taken a huge shift as I had just welcomed my second daughter into my world. Now a mom to a busy toddler, and a new born baby, I found myself struggling. I adored my daughters, and felt so honored to be their mother, however I desperately missed “me”. I knew I had to start making time for myself a priority, even if it was just a few minutes a couple days a week, it would matter.
I still don’t remember where this thought came from but I decided to pull out my old yoga mat, and get back on it. I remembered how strong, connected and peaceful it felt while I practiced it and I think my mind knew that was exactly what I needed again. I found some online classes, and most mornings I would put my baby down for a nap, my toddler got to watch a favorite TV show, and for 30 minutes I got me time again. This home practice became a consistent part of my life, and although I didn’t fully acknowledge it’s power at the time, in hindsight, I can see it healed me. My yoga practice brought me back to me, to parts of me I had forgotten or stopped seeking while I was busy doing everything for everyone else.
Yoga continues to be the time I set aside for myself each week to strengthen my connection with my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Each of us has a journey of self-discovery, growth and connecting to “me” to be found on our mats. I invite you to join me as we unite as a community to live lives focused on strengthening and healing ourselves, and then spreading that love and healing to the world around us.
Hi! My name is Douglas and I am a grateful recovering addict / alcoholic.
I am also a lot of other things, but this side of my story is where yoga has played a huge role in my life!
I started doing yoga in 2016 while I was a client at the Claresholm Treatment Center for Addiction and Mental Health. To tell you the truth, I didn’t like it at all. But, after 3 months of intensive inpatient treatment, I was released back into the real world. To ensure I didn’t fall back into the deep dark pit of addiction, I moved into a sober living house for 8 months. I had no work obligations during that time. My only focus was me. I went to addiction meetings, counseling, support groups, anything I could do to better my chance of staying sober and living a happy life.
I met friends through treatment who were already practicing yoga. They encouraged me to come along. I thought to myself, “Why not?!”. So, I went to my very first guided hot yoga class. I was nervous about not knowing what I was doing. I was scared about being judged for not being good enough or doing it the right way. You know, all those “stinkin thinkin” thoughts we sometimes tell ourselves. Once I got there and started practicing, I realized that wasn’t the case at all. Those thoughts left me as quickly as the sweat started pouring off my body!
After the practice my body felt great and my mind had some peace & serenity. Being an addict, sometimes that can be hard to come by. I began to incorporate yoga into my daily routine, and it trickled into all the other areas of my life. I was sleeping better and wasn’t as reactionary. My friends and family noticed I was a lot calmer and happier in general!
Long story short, I practiced faithfully for a year. It was during a 5-day backpacking adventure I had a revelation about the possibility of teaching yoga as a profession. The moment I got back, all the stars lined up and an 8-month Yoga Teacher Training course was being offered right away! It was meant to be and I graduated in June 2018.
I did it! I’m a yoga teacher and still sober since 2016! My personal experience and yoga have made me who I am and my intention is to emulate that in the classes I teach. I want to bring fun, love, and serenity to everyone around me.
If you want to hear more of my story, please feel free to ask anytime as I would love to share!
Thanks for listening,
What does yoga mean to you? Be caring, daring, and sharing.
It was six years ago when I first walked into a yoga studio, a year after I moved to Canada. I was searching, with great hopes, for something to help me to get away from constant negative, depressing conversations I had with myself.
As an active person, I was soon fascinated by the fast and challenging movements of vinyasa yoga. It was physically demanding yet simultaneously liberating. The magical breathing referred to as pranayama yogic breathing helped me get through challenging moments during my practice and has been an essential tool for me to cope with difficulties in my life.
My passion for energetic movements led me into being happily obsessed with alignment and the importance of yoga foundations.
These last few years have been a learning process; accepting myself as I am and acknowledging my gift to share with others. My sincere desire as a teacher is to create a safe, challenging, yet playful atmosphere for students to explore.
I will close by expressing my gratitude to my teachers for their unconditional love and trust and to many beautiful souls I’ve met along my yoga journey.
I started practicing yoga as a form of exercise, a stress reliever, and as a means to step away from our technology-driven lifestyle. However, over the years, yoga gradually evolved to something much more.
When I step on the mat, an unspoken connection is formed with those around me. There is an indescribable bond, a feel good vibe, when my breath and movements are synchronized with the class (and I can totally be out of sync and still get this feeling!). Whether or not I spark up a conversation with someone after class, a bond can be made by a simple smile with someone, sharing a laugh, or wishing each other well through the word namaste.
This is why I practice and teach yoga. Come say hello.
Growing up a competitive dancer and basketball player, I always had a drive for intense physicality. Humbled by a severe knee injury in 2012, and unable to resume my usual activities, I began going to the yoga classes at the gym where I had physiotherapy. It felt REALLY good. My curiosity spiralled, and over time I got more and more interested in the subtle yogic practices, at first as a way to cope with post-surgery pain, then my autoimmune disease which I was diagnosed with, and then how to control my mind and body’s reactivity during longer tattoo sessions (I know that last point sounds weird, but it really kicked off my meditation practice!)
In 2016, I completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Santosha. My interest in meditation piqued, and in 2017 I went on to complete a 50 hour Meditation Teacher Training at Define Yoga. Then my meditation and self-reflection practices really took off, allowing my values to become a little more clear… my intentions moving forward turned more towards cultivating a life where I could truthfully act from this clarity within.
In 2018 I was laid off from my corporate job as a geophysicist, and I was so glad that I had a steady yoga practice to see the situation as it really was… a blessing. I left geophysics with no plan to return, and instead have been spending time letting go of my previous beliefs of “perceived control and stability,” while opening myself to a vast array of opportunities that feel like a clear yes!
Yoga continues to transform my perspective on life, and is the practice that keeps me centered, creative, and playful. It’s my goal to hold space for students to cultivate awareness and be curious about their bodies, minds, and limitless potential, all while not taking it all too seriously!
Namaste! My name is Lauren, and I can’t wait to get to know you.
I was introduced to yoga as a teenager, at a time where I was deep in depression and self-abusive behaviours. Having spent so long in my head and disconnected from my body, the first class I ever took cracked my heart wide open and from then on, coming to the mat gave me a safe place where I could explore sensation and emotion without being afraid or wanting to numb myself.
It was based on an unexpected and intuitive leap that I signed up for my first yoga teacher training in 2014, and I immediately fell in love with the holistic approach to the human experience that yoga offers. At the time of my first training I was working as an engineer in the oil field, and burning out five years into that career helped me to realize it was time for me to leave the industry and pursue teaching full-time.
My journey teaching yoga has allowed me to connect with so many amazing and diverse communities, in studios, schools, businesses, hospitals, conferences, festivals and ashrams. On my first trip to my teacher’s ashram in India, I was blessed with my spiritual name, Yog Jyoti (holding the light of unity) – a precious gift I carry with me all the time. It is both my self and my work, so in honour of this name, my dedication is to hold space for each of us to explore, to be curious and adventurous, to be vulnerable and courageous, and to recognize the radiant self that always exists within.
I don’t practice yoga just because I’m inspired to, I practice because I need to. And I’m here for you too – to listen, to talk philosophy (my fave!), to share a laugh or tears if that’s what you need.
You NEED yoga, he firmly told me!
My first experience with yoga came at the insistence of a personal coach I was working with at the time. I hated every minute of it…all 10 classes! I walked away and swore I’d never do that “yoga thing” again.
Years later, I was working for a company where that “yoga thing” reared its ugly head again. Team building meant showing up at a studio and doing classes together. My feelings about yoga hadn’t changed.
Don’t ask me why, but eventually I ventured into a studio on my own accord one more time. There on the wall was an invitation to participate in a 30 Day Yoga Challenge! That’s all my competitive nature needed. I signed up and decided I was going to win this thing at all costs! I’m a bit of a slow study, because it took several subsequent Yoga Challenges for me to realize beating everyone to the finish line was never the intention. But because I was on my mat every day, many times more than once, someone suggested I enroll in teacher training to deepen my practice. I had no aspirations of teaching…not ever…but I did the training…and caught the teaching bug!
But the biggest transformation didn’t come until years later. I had just guided a full class of yogis into savasana. As I sat at the front of the studio in the stillness, for no apparent reason, tears started to fall.
In a heartbeat I was transported back to an incident more than a decade prior. I was attending a personal growth and development seminar that included participants from every corner of the globe. Though I held my cards close to my chest, the truth was that my life was a train wreck and I was holding on by a thread, seeking answers that would save me from certain destruction. At the end of the week-long program, one of the Australian attendees found me in the lobby at the conference centre to say good-bye and “I love you”. I was stunned. He barely knew me. I was fuming because of his blatant disregard for both of our spouses. How dare he be so disrespectful? I wrote him a scathing letter explaining my outrage and forbidding him from ever contacting me again. For years afterward I would relive the discomfort of his professed love and get angry all over again.
And there I was, in front of my students having this flashback. The whole story began to spill from my lips. I had no idea why or where this was all going. You could have heard a pin drop. Slowly my students brought themselves out of their resting pose and leaned in to see how this story was going to end. I had no idea myself. And then it hit me! The declaration of love from many years prior, came from a human being that understood that underneath our judgments, assessments, considerations and human frailties to name a few, that there is only love when all those other things are stripped away. He saw through my pain and simply wanted me to know that I was lovable. In that moment, I regained the love I’d lost for myself.
In the days that followed, I tracked down my wise Australian friend, explained what happened and asked his forgiveness. “Welcome to the other side” was his response.
“Go out and spread your love in every direction and don’t forget to start with yourself. Now you are part of the solution on the planet, rejoice; for what you give out comes back to you in unknown and beautifully mysterious ways so many fold. I still love you just like I said to you so many years ago. Treasure that love and be an example of it. You are in a beautiful place as a Yoga teacher to do so. What a great achievement. Namaste beautiful girl, I honour you.”
And it was from that day forward, that I chose to end each class with “I love you”. I mean it with every cell of my being…I LOVE YOU!
And yes, Bob, I did NEED yoga! Thank you for planting the seed.
With heartfelt gratitude that we get to share this journey together,