The Sweet Freedom Team
I was born & raised in Salmon Arm.
2010 I tried yoga with a friend in Salmon Arm and this is where I met Ali Gray. I had never tried anything like it before. 2015 came around and I had signed up for my first yoga training in Kelowna.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this training. It was such a huge eye opener for me. You may have heard before that it is life changing - well it is! Completely life changing for me. Not only learning the asana ( poses ) but learning things about my self that I never had awareness before. I was shining light on dark, dusty places. I now had life tools that I could use on my mat and even use off my mat. Since 2015 I have attend 2 more Yoga Teacher Trainings. July 2016 & July 2017.
June 2018 I bought Sweet Freedom Yoga Studio & Boutique. This has been one of the best decisions of my life.
I enjoy swimming at the Shuswap lake and being with family & friends. I love riding horses and being around them.
200 hr Multistyle Yoga With Hali Love - July 2015
200 hr Multistyle yoga with Ali Gray - July 2016
200 hr Vibrant One with Ali Gray - July 2017
100 hr Vibrant One with Ali Gray - November 2018
Yoga for me has been incredible. It has flipped my life upside-down and has dramatically changed it for the better. Before I started practicing yoga I felt I was a pretty happy person, but I didn't necassarily have much purpose. I was kind of lost and didn't really know who I was. I realize now I was completely drowning in my thoughts; living a life of self-judgment and compressed stress.
Yoga has given me passion for my life. It has taught me to embrace where I am, and to enjoy every minute of it. I have learned to let things go instead of putting energy in places where it does not serve me. Yoga has made me feel light, love and inner peace. I have learned to struggle less, and to flow more. I have learned to step into my heart with power and gratitude. I have created space to continue to grow and to help others to grow. I love teaching yoga and sharing the amazing journey. I love yoga, and the gifts of abundance that it brings to life.
Certifications: Ali has more than 650 hours in training with Hali Love, Multi Style Yoga Institute, Kevin Mcquillan, Baron Baptiste & Reanna Costa. She has also done workshops & small trainings with Meghan Currie & Ryan Leier.
I began my yogic journey in grade 11 when I took Girls in Motion, a visionary PE course (for the time) designed to teach self-care to high schoolers. I knew about yoga from watching Oprah and was interested in the practice, initially learning asanas as a way to exercise alongside aerobics and traditional PE drills. I was always self-conscious and in my head, focused outwards in a group setting, unable to relax or balance, to busy comparing myself to others in the room. I remained interested in yoga, practicing on and off at home and in studios, exploring different styles and practices. In University I was dealing with intense anxiety, food allergies and was stressed out by life. After various pharmaceuticals were tried my doctor wrote meditation onto her prescription pad. At the time I thought she was blowing me off, and in retrospect, Namaste. Eventually debilitating chronic pain lead me to teacher trainings, and mindfulness became the balm that brought me back to my breath and into my body. I love learning about women’s bodies and how they work, and believe that yoga is a holistic pain reliever. I have changed my life from the inside out and love to share the tools that keep me alive!
Joel’s medicine is discipline. He’s the kind of guy who wakes up at 5:30am to practice and then run and then he’ll work for 3 hours in the garden. He’s known to be always sipping on some strange but healthy drink and can talk for hours about nutrition, anatomy or gardening. His passion and vigor is contagious, in a yoga class he’ll have you trying something you never thought you could do. He is certified in the instruction of Ashtanga (200 hours), Moksha (500 hours), Moksha Advanced and Yin (200 hours) and Vinyasa (200hours). He has studied Soto Zen for many years and continues to expand his expression of yoga with innovative approaches to functional movement.
Lena is a student, teacher and a former owner-director of Moksha Yoga Victoria. Lena is a student of Eihei Peter Levitt in the Soto Zen tradition and was ordained in November 2015. She weaves elemental themes into her yoga classes and meditations and sprinkles Spanish into everything. From roots to blossoms, Lena brings traditional yoga teachings to life through innovative perspectives. She is certified in the instruction of Moksha (500 hours), Yin (80 hours), Vinyasa (200 hours) and has attended a multitude of retreats, intensives and specialty workshops.
Lena and Joel are new residents of the Okanagan. They are living their dream of forest farming, making raw chocolate and sharing the traditional teachings of yoga through workshops, intensives and retreats. Please visit https://awakenyoga.ca/ for upcoming offerings.
I am from Tofino. Definitely an island girl as I have such a deep love and connection to the ocean! Moved to Salmon Arm in 98' and have been here ever since. I was never much of an athletic person or had even really heard of yoga or knew what it was. I attended a free class once and absolutely fell in love with something that blossomed into so much more for me. In 2015 I became a mom and my yoga world stopped. I didn't realize how much I needed it especially with a new born. But just shy of a year of my little turning 1 year old I was asked to do a training and immediately said YES! Teaching has brought light back into me. Almost as if I have become a new person and stepped into something I was truly meant to do. I love my son! I adore camping, hunting, reading and FALL is by far my favorite season!!!!
200hr Multistyle Yoga with Ali Gray - 2016
Hello. Yoga showed itself to me years ago after a "fallout" with rock climbing (my husbands fall, not my own). No longer did I wear the hat as 'rock climber.' In an attempt to find an active hobby, I found yoga. As with many yogis, it was love at first energetic feel.....I melted in utter bliss into my first savasana and knew I had found peace! A few years later (2012) I began my journey as a yoga teacher, training to 350 hours with South Okanagan Yoga Academy. Since then I've enjoyed teaching traditional hatha, yin, restorative, power, pranayama, and meditation. I feel a true creative calling when teaching and enjoy bringing mindful and beautiful flow classes to clients. I look forward to meeting you.
Certification: 200 hr from SOYA. Some of my teachers have and included Mugs McConnell, Kamala Wilkie, Mark Stephens, and the McQuillans.
Karen was born and raised in Salmon Arm. For more than 20 years she has enjoyed sharing her knowledge and motivational skills as a personal trainer and group fitness leader. Karen has based her training services from Lifetime Fitness. Karen is a certified Medical Exercise Specialist, she facilitates for post rehab clients at the gym, the community center pool or outdoor/home programs designed to meet individual needs.
Continuing education is a priority for Karen; she seeks to expand her knowledge to offer the best options to her clients.Karen teaches Hatha yoga which synchronizes breath with movement. The unique blending of multiple disciplines allows Karen to offer a personal training and yoga experience with maximum benefit.
Certifications: 200 Hours in Vancouver in 2009 & 100 hours with Hali Love in 2016.
Megan practices and teaches the many physical benefits of yoga, with a passion for what it brings to the state of spirit. It is her calling to find a stronger soulful way of life.
Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditations makes for a healthier mind, body, and spirit. She lives with open thoughts, freedom of self and connection to the beauty around her. Nestled in her cozy home in a meadow with her dog, Pheonix, she embraces nature with a commitment to learning more and to share this ancient way of life.
Megan’s formal training started 7 years ago when she decided to deepen her practice and dive into her first month long training. She knew immediately after her training she wanted to help others through Yoga to build strength to heal oneself. She has traveled to various cultures of Yoga to learn and experience the traditional aspects of this time-honored practice.
*RYT 200 hours Raja Yoga Eight Limbed Path
*RYT 200 hours Ashtanga Yoga
*RYT 50 hours Yin Yoga
*RYT Level 1 Zero Gravity Aerial Yoga
*RYT 20 hours Advanced Yoga for Athletes
*RYT 20 hours The Art of Hands-on Adjustments and Advanced Prop Use
She will be a life long student in her quest to share this ancient way of life.
Megans gentle understanding personality invites you to want to know her better and discover her deep-rooted desire to share in the amazement of what life has to offer, through Yoga and beyond. Megan believes it is relevant in our contemporary western world, this ancient wisdom is needed to fulfill the cycle of growth both in the physical and spiritual, citing the interconnection to each other and the universe at large. The opportunity to work with her is a true journey through the art of Yoga
“When you find your strength from within, the body rewards you with health and zest for life.”
Bio Coming Soon
Born and raised in Burnaby, BC, I moved to Salmon Arm in 1992 to raise my young family in a small community. I knew right away I was home. My 3 daughters completed their schooling here and have since moved away to attend university. In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors boating, swimming, hiking, camping, snow shoeing, or just enjoying Mother Nature in peace and solitude.
In the winter of 2013, feeling a desire to try something new and rattle myself out of complacency, I stepped into a yoga studio for the first time. I went hoping for physical fitness, but found so much more.
Since taking that very first class I was drawn to look deeper into the history and philosophy of yoga and find it is now a lifestyle for me, both on my mat and off. As my practice deepened I found myself living with much more awareness, clarity and authenticity.
This awareness prompted me to pursue my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Kevin & Hali McQuillan of Real Evolution Yoga in October 2013. I went with an open mind and heart, wanting to deepen my practice and immerse myself in the yoga culture. I left with a deeper understanding of yoga, of Self, and feeling very inspired to share this knowledge and insight I attained. I want to pass on this inspiration and generate curiosity in others. I love where I am on this path and live every day feeling so blessed and privileged to be here.
My passion for yoga was ignited from my love for movement of body through dance; which I did for several years in my youth. When I started practicing yoga, I discovered the power of using breath in union with these movements. I learned to let my breath guide me through the postures, listening to my body in the process and shifting my focus inward.
I originally began doing yoga as a way to keep my body feeling healthy and strong. Although I still reap those physical benefits, it has also become an essential 'vitamin' for the health of my mind and soul. When I became a parent, I started experiencing high levels of anxiety and my mind was always busy with thoughts that just didn't serve me. Yoga has been an amazing healer for me in this way. I have found immense spiritual guidance through my practice; learning to "let go", and to live fully and freely in the present moment.
Yoga for me is a life long journey of light, love and happiness! I feel so blessed to be able to share it with others!
Certifications: 200hrs with Real Evolution Yoga
Workshops: Mark Stephens "Enhance Your Teaching & Yoga Sequencing" 2013
I found my heart in the Shuswap
With the intention of re-locating my little family to Kamloops, I came to Salmon Arm to housesit for my elderly grandparents for a week, and I never left! Everything fell in to place and we made Salmon Arm our home. This was 8 years ago! I am a very busy and proud single mother of 9 year old twin boys. I’m a hockey mom and we’re on the road a lot, and we have a lot of fun with it
I found yoga (or did yoga find me…? ) about 3 years ago and I fell in love with the practice right away. Yoga made me feel so wonderful and the mindfulness was a piece that was really missing in my life. The more I practiced, the more I had the desire to really do a self-inquiry and have a good look at myself. I recently completed 200hr YTT with Reanna Costa Yoga in Sorrento, BC and it was the most powerful experience I’ve ever had. At the beginning of the training, it was not my intention to teach – it started out as a journey of self-discovery, and by the end of the 200 hours, I knew that I had to share this gift with other people. I’m so honored to receive this trust and share yoga with the people of the Shuswap.
My name is Emily Garrett. I was born in 1991, my family moved to the Shuswap in 1993, and I’ve been a small town/farm girl ever since. I grew up surrounded by animals, climbing trees and playing in the dirt. I’ve always had a profound love of the arts; watching films/television/plays, sketching, painting stones, practicing dance and acting, and making any car I drive my own personal concert venue. I first tried yoga in 2013 and fell in love. I rediscovered my breath and started to trust my body again. I took my first 200 hour training in 2016 and have been guiding classes ever since. I love helping others on their journey to trust the instincts of their bodies and find their own peace within themselves in this wild, unbound world. As always, “It’s Chaos, Be Kind”
Certifications: 200 hours MultiStyle with Ali Gray (2016) 50 hours Yin & Chakras with Reanna Costa (2017) 200 hours Vibrant One with Ali Gray (2017)
Ann is a multidisciplinary artist who came to yoga through theatre and dance long before it was trending and credits her longtime personal practice with her resilience and healing through personal trauma. She is a lifelong student with a passion for sharing what she has discovered along the way. Her classes are body positive and trauma sensitive.
Ann was originally taught in the Kripalu tradition of hatha yoga which honours the body as its own source of wisdom, deepens self awareness, compassion, and self respect as it deepens the relationship with the breath. Rather than a strict adherence to classical forms, beliefs, and concepts, the understanding of and sensitivity to one's experience in the body and in relationship to other lives is the touchstone of Kripalu's approach to yoga. Pleasing the teacher, doing it right, and looking good are de-emphasized. Establishing personal boundaries, listening to the wisdom of your body, and responding to what brings healing and fulfillment to your heart is the emphasis. To this day, Ann’s teaching continues to focus on empowering students to honour their own bodies and deepen their own experience at their own pace. Safety is a priority but perfection is not!
Ann loves to create theatre year round and thrives on the community based focus of collaborative art. She also enjoys landscaping design in the summer months, relying heavily on her yoga practice to sustain her body through the hard work. Most recently Ann has become a volunteer with Yoga Outreach and is highly motivated to removing barriers to yoga. Ann is certified in the instruction of Hatha (200 hours), Prenatal (20 hours), Vinyasa (200 hours), Yin (50 hours), and a Trauma Informed Practice (40 hours).
My first flirt with yoga was practicing Rodney Yee’s “Yoga Burn” DVD in the basement of my childhood home. My mom encouraged me to try it. She felt it might help with the pressure I was feeling at university. I always found yoga to be a little odd, but when I started to practice each class felt like a mini vacation from my everyday life. It helped me manage my feelings of anxiousness and I experienced sighs of relief as I witnessed the mental chatter quiet.
Now I don’t think of yoga so much as a vacation from everyday life but as a tool for living at ease in everyday life. Yoga helps me tap into my inner strength and teaches me how to turn towards dis-ease and breathe and soften into what is instead of resisting it. The flexibility we gain in the body from yoga can also be achieved in the mind. Yoga encourages humility, compassion and forgiveness. No matter how I show up or how long it has been since I’ve shown up, the practice is always here to welcome me without judgement. It brings me home, reminding me of who I am beyond my attachments. I connect to the spaciousness within where boundless resources reside.
I started self-practice in 2011 and have been guiding classes since 2013. I am blessed to have taken my 200-hour yoga teacher training with beloved teachers and friends, Karuna and Paul Erickson in Nelson, B.C. And in 2014, I combined two of my loves – yoga and water – and achieved my Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Certification from Kristy Wright Schell (Stand Up Paddle Vancouver). I also hold my Level II Reiki Certification which I received from my Reiki Master Joan Scott (Reiki Kelowna) in 2016.
My classes are inspired by reflections unveiled through my own yoga practice and by many cherished teachers and traditions, but the intention is always the same – to connect with our inner strength and to be with what is here now, this timeless presence. I also enjoy practicing with my eyes closed, taking deep sighs, sharing the vibration of OM and roaring Lion’s Breath!
I am the proud Mother of two beautiful children and live in Sicamous, B.C.
I was introduced to yoga in the late 90s by a dear friend, Jeanne Lamb. My first class I remember thinking I wouldn’t enjoy myself as I sat surrounded by oddly dressed yogis holding unbecoming postures and discussing their latest trip to India. When it was time for introductions I nervously said my name and began to cry. I felt silly unable to speak through my tears. The woman beside me patted my knee and the instructor smiled and said, “It’s ok Georgina. This is normal. Just know you are in a safe place now to cry.”
This compassion from complete strangers was all so foreign to me. I felt love. Yoga flowed in and out of my life and it wasn’t until my Dad’s got ill that it became my life. Yoga supported me to grieve and let go in a kind way. After dad passed, I met my teachers Karuna and Paul Erickson at one of their Heart Yoga Retreats. It was the healing experience I deeply needed. Since then, I’ve showed up on my mat, encouraged my family to practice, received my teaching certification and opened a yoga studio with my daughters. I enjoy the gentleness of yoga, connecting breath with subtle movements that strengthen and soften you.
Yoga has created my way of life. It has helped me to cope with loss, anxiety and my battle with depression. When I teach, I am able to bring in experience of dealing with depression of anxiety and know how to truly connect healing aspect of yoga and breath to the practice. I know that when you have experienced mental illness yourself it carries weight. I can speak of how I was able to rise out of that dark place and into a healing way of life, the peace you crave can be accomplished.
Now with 6 beautiful grandchildren I also love teaching youth yoga and sharing so much of the compassion and joy that yoga has taught me. I believe that all of us truly need positive body yoga that connects us to ourselves. We all need to engage in self care and self love. I found that yoga is the perfect way to experience it whether you are on your mat or out in this crazy world we live in. My goal in life is live a long and healthy life so I can truly spoil my grandchildren with yoga and chanting but also my gift to them more "Nani" time which includes snuggle naps and dunking hobnobs in tea and many hugs and kisses. www.iamyogashuswap.com.
Certification: 200-Hr RYT (Heart Yoga: Karuna and Paul Erickson)
Multi Style Yoga International Certification 500 RYT
Currently working towards Yoga Therapy Certification. (Ajna Yoga, Victoria BC)