Chandra Yoga Shala is a community-based yoga studio located in Toronto’s west end. Wholly inclusive, at Chandra we believe that the yoga practice is accessible by all bodies, ages and walks of life. We believe in the transformative power of the yoga practice, and endorse notions of self-discovery, empowerment and growth through Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Restorative, and Pre/Postnatal styles of yoga. We built our Shala from a place of love and gratitude, and strive to embed the Yamas and Niyamas within our culture and framework. Chandra Yoga Shala is a space where you can suspend unwanted noise, make peace with what has been and what is, find fulfillment in the present, find beauty in stillness and in silence, discover new possibilities and reconnect with yourself. Chandra Yoga Shala is your practice space. ***Join our team*** We are looking for Ashtanga yoga practitioners who are interested in working as an EE (Energy Exchange Student) at our studio. Duties include basic cleaning & admin, as well as being a part of our yoga community (i.e., taking classes). One shift per week for a maximum of 5 hours = free yoga for the month at Chandra Yoga Shala. Please e-mail any interest to firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle first began her yoga practice at the age of 20, while studying Psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto. After Michelle graduated, she bought a one-way ticket to India where she traveled and received her 200 YTT at Himalaya Yoga Valley in Goa. Michelle describes the yoga practice as an intimate and therapeutic experience. She believes that yoga is a form of intelligence that is capable of producing cohesion within the self amidst a fragmented world. Michelle also believes the practice to be deeply purifying, strengthening and stimulating. Most importantly, she promotes the notion of the yoga practice as a mirror into the self: a vehicle for truth and self-discovery. Michelle is forever grateful for the teachers that she has studied under and been inspired by, such as Yogacharya Lalit Kumar, David Garrigues, Kino Macgregor, David Robson and Amica Hilton.
Jenny first discovered yoga in 2000, fresh from high school at the local YMCA. Two classes a week quickly improved her posture and flexibility. She practiced off and on until 2012, eventually discovering the meditative side of the practice and was hooked. She loves the fluidity and warmth of a Vinyasa flow class, finding calm as movement syncs with breath. Jenny completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2013 with Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre in Goa,India, where she trained under Yogacharya Lalit Kumar and his team of extraordinary teachers. In 2014 Jenny completed the pre and post natal teacher training program with Esther Meyers Yoga in Toronto. She became certified as a Core Confidence Specialist in 2017 with Bellies Inc. and currently leads Vinyasa, pre and postnatal classes at the Shala. “My aim, hope and reason for leading yoga classes is to empower students. When I deepened my own practice and learned to spend time with myself, tuning in, I was able to see my own strengths. I got to know myself on a whole new level, understanding what I needed physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. If I can help someone see their own strengths, that's what fills me up with gratitude.”
Andréa has been practicing yoga for over twelve years and teaching for eight. She completed her Yoga Teacher Training at Breathe Yoga Studio. In 2014, she was honored to attend an Ashtanga Intensive with Kino MacGregor and Tim Feldmann. Andréa has additonal training in Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Runners, and Pilates Functional movement. Traditional Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga is Andréa’s own daily practice, and she is deeply grateful to all of her teachers.
Jeremy came to yoga as a means to improve his running. In that first Vinyasa class he found a home on his mat and has been committed to his practice ever since. Jeremy sees the benefits of all styles of yoga. His personal practice runs the spectrum from Ashtanga to Restorative and all points in between. As part of the natural evolution of yoga in his life Jeremy obtained his 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification from Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre in Goa, India under the guidance of Yogacharya Lalit Kumar. Jeremy's goal is to see his students experience all the benefits of yoga that he has, from the physical to the mindful. “Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.” –B.K.S Iyengar
I started yoga in high school with a "Yoga for Dummies" DVD. From that point and into my early adult life, my commitment with my practice ebbed and flowed, until something clicked and I realized how at home I felt in a yoga studio that I had never been to before. My practice steadied after a few years of realizing it had to be a constant in my life in some way, I finally decided to complete my Yoga Teacher Training at one of my forever favorite studios and homes, Fusionmovement Yoga Studio in Cambridge, Ontario. My goal is to create a safe and welcoming space for all, one where they can at least briefly connect with their breath with movement and true self or spirit.
I started taking yoga classes in 2008 looking for a fun, new way to get in some exercise, and very quickly I learned how the breath can be a valuable tool and a productive distraction to ease and calm anxiety. Yoga is not the "cure-all", but I do believe the physical aspect of yoga to be a training tool for our minds in how we live our lives off of the mat. I took my first Ashtanga-vinyasa class in 2015 and it increased my love for yoga even more, leading me to complete Sheridan College's 200 hour Teaching Hatha Yoga program. My goal as a yoga instructor is to keep it simple by guiding students through the movements that have brought me comfort, peace, and a renewed sense of energy.
Halyna Zalucky has been practicing yoga for over ten years. She gained her teaching certification in June 2012 from Breathe Yoga Studio in Toronto. In June and July 2013, Halyna studied Ashtanga Yoga under Saraswati Jois at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India. Halyna further completed a 200 hour Primary Series and 200 hour Assisting Immersion program with level-2 Authorized teacher David Robson at the Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto (AYCT). Currently, she is a teacher at Chandra Yoga Shala and assistant to Amica Hilton, Certified Ashtanga teacher at Yoga Space. Recognizing that yoga is an ongoing journey, Halyna both continues to learn from her students and is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and experience as both a teacher and practitioner.
For me yoga is not just a physical activity, it is a lifestyle-everything that you experience on your mat: passion, care, love and respect, can be taken off the mat into everyday life. Originally from Colombia, I am a certified Yoga Teacher and a Thai Massage Practitioner. I teach Hatha, Vinyasa & Restorative Yoga. In my classes, you can experience a mindful flow, controlled movement with a focus on strength and breathing, allowing you to go deeper into each pose. I had the opportunity to learn from several teachers along the way. One of them is Diana Bruni, she not only taught me about yoga, but she also showed me the importance of embracing life and becoming more aware and connected with oneself. Another great teacher that has had a significant impact on me is J-P Tamblyn Sabo. His charisma, knowledge and passion for yoga have taught me the importance of teaching from my heart and being ones true self. My love for anatomy came from Alison Banks, she provided me with a clear understanding of the human body and helped me to explore movement in a healthy and creative way. Teaching yoga gives me the opportunity to be part of a community where I can provide a safe place for my students to be themselves, be challenged and see growth in their practice. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and passion for the human body and I find it very rewarding to guide people to move, to breath and to share their energy together. “What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you image you create” Buddha
Lila first tried yoga in high school as a compliment to her dance training. She went on to teach classical ballet for 10 years and turned to yoga through her dance career as a way to improve strength and flexibility. Lila’s Ashtanga practice matured at Chandra Yoga Shala under the support of her dedicated teachers. She attended teacher training in Rishikesh, India, focusing on traditional yoga lineages along with a specialization in Ayurveda, the 5000 year old science of life. She is passionate about holistic wellness and each person’s unique, intricate and ongoing balance of body, mind and spirit. To borrow the words of one of her inspirations, Kino MacGreggor “…Start with the impossible and allow its difficulty to teach you…and soon the impossible starts to show you how it one day might be possible.”
April 8, 2018
Yoga keeps me honest. Honest about what I put into my body, the information I allow into my mind and heart, and the information I choose to ignore. It keeps me honest in my relationships, with others and with myself.
Yoga keeps me in line. I am a serial self saboteur who will get into trouble at every given opportunity. Yoga drags me out of bed at the crack of dawn. It forces me to make healthy choices and purge myself of accumulated bad habits- of which there are many. It helps me to edit, omit, continuously grow and improve.
Yoga makes me do the things that I don’t want to do. The ‘should dos’ that end up bringing about an enormous amount of beauty and bliss, despite the moments leading up to the actual doing of them feeling insurmountably painful. Yoga makes me lean into that pain. Dance with it. Make love to it and even feel love for it.
Yoga is my 360 degree mirror that won’t let me hide my bad side. It forces me to exasperatedly see my flaws in HD, embrace them and, dare I say, even celebrate them. Love them.
Yoga gives me the dogmatic structure that my wandering mind abhors but desperately needs. But within the rigidity, yoga allows me to create and interpret as I choose. Every day, every practice, a little different. Yoga allows me to ascribe meaning to my body. My breath. My life. Yoga makes me feel like a colourful, vibrating, beautiful being capable of the unfathomable and unseen.
Yoga softens me. It dampens the loudness and suspends the judgement. It buffers my jaded edges and corrodes my walls. It cracks open an otherwise tightly sealed heart and allows it to shine and bleed shamelessly, beautifully...
Yoga is my art. My mat is my canvas and my body, a brush. My thoughts, the strokes. My feelings, the colours. Moving musically with my breath as I paint my story of the day slowly, slowly, gently gently...
In the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, days of the full and new moon are observed as holidays. Our bodies are comprised of mostly water and like the tides of the ocean and all things watery by nature, we too are affected by the phases of the moon. The relative positions of the moon create different energetic experiences that are analogous to the breath cycle. The energy of the full moon parallels with the end of inhalation- when prana forces are strongest. This expansive, upward moving energy yields us energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. According to the Upanishads, our main prana resides in the mind. Consequently, we tend to be more headstrong during the full moon. The energy of the new moon parallels the end of exhalation, when the force of apana is most pronounced. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force making us feel grounded and calm, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.
In order to maintain an inclusive, peaceful and safe environment at Chandra Yoga Shala, we ask that students practice mindfulness by, 1) removing shoes when entering the Shala, 2) turning off any electronic devices, 3) avoiding wearing scented perfumes/creams, 4) entering and exiting the Shala quietly if there is a class in session, and 5) informing instructors of any injuries or contraindications.
You may arrive at any time during the 2 hour Mysore window, and leave whenever you complete your practice. Please leave your water bottle outside of the practice room. Please bring a small hand/face towel. Avoid watching others- keep focused on your own practice. Please only practice what has been prescribed to you by your instructor.