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Directors, Faculty,

& Guest Speakers



Faculty & Guest Speakers

Anne Pitman, M.Sc., C-IAYT, E-RYT, Cancer Care Coordinator


Anne is a proud co-director and faculty member  of the School of Embodied Yoga Therapy, bringing professional and holistic yoga therapy to Eastern Canada. She has a Masters in Kinesiology and has been guiding people to be more fully present in their life, through dance, yoga and fitness, for over 30 years.  She is a teacher of teachers, designing studies for certified Yoga Teacher Training and a multitude of popular workshops from a Scaravelli and somatic, or body-centered listening approach.  Anne has extensive experience in accompanying people who are facing cancer, both as a Certified Yoga Teacher in weekly gentle and restorative yoga classes, a Yoga Therapist in clinic, and a Care Coordinator at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre.  She is a graduate and ongoing scholar at the Orphan Wisdom School where she learns to compassionately support both living deeply and dying well. Recently Anne released a (4 cd) set entitled “7 Short Practices; A Gentle Companion for Yoga Home Practice” and a meditation cd, “Into the Body”, as a fundraiser for the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, both at:




Cassi Kitner, C-IAYT, E-RYT, Rehabilitation Assistant


Cassi is a co-director, faculty member, and administrative coordinator of the School of Embodied Yoga Therapy. She's also the assistant secretary for IAYT's Member Schools Committee. She works as a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT, PYT) and has studied in Canada, USA, and India as a yoga therapist and instructor. She specializes in yoga therapy, working with individuals who are suffering from chronic pain, orthopedic injuries, anxiety/mood disorders, and traumatic brain injuries. More specifically, she collaborates on rehabilitation teams with other health care professionals to support clients in recovery from motor vehicle accidents. Cassi merges her passion for the arts and scientific research in a creative and explorative personal and professional practice.

Christine Graves,  Feldenkrais Practitioner


Christine is a Feldenkrais practitioner based in Ottawa, ON. She completed her BSc (O.T.) at the School of Rehabilitation Medicine at UBC in 1992. She has worked in hospital and community with older populations, persons with neurological issues, school-based children’s therapy and in mental health settings. From 2002 to 2005 she completed her professional teacher’s training in Michigan in the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education, a 1000 hour training on the floor. Christine has worked with people facing all manner of significant illness. As an artist and musician, she has had an interest in helping professional musicians and dance trainees. At the Feldenkrais Clinic of the Ottawa Hospital, she maintained a clinical practice with people experiencing persistent pain from 2009 to 2015. She completed quantitative research projects in 2012 and 2013 at the hospital. Christine has studied numerous healing arts yet always returns to the use of movement and occupation to emphasize an internal locus of control for health. For more information about Christine, her music and practice,







Dr. Hemant Gupta, DNM, MD, Ayurveda Practitioner & Researcher


Dr. Gupta is a renowned scholar, researcher and practitioner of Ayurveda. A Doctorate in Natural Medicine from Canada, Dr. Gupta completed his masters in Kayachikitsa (Ayurvedic Internal Medicine) from National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur. Founder and Director of Shree Ma Ayurveda Institute and Wellness Centre in Ontario (Canada), Dr. Gupta is a veteran in Ayurveda bringing over 30 years of expertise in Panchakarma, Marma Therapy, Natural healing and Teaching, Yoga, and more. He is also Founder and President of Canadian Ayurvedic Members Alliance (CAMA). Dr. Gupta has been credited for introducing and establishing Ayurvedic curriculum and medicine practices in various respected educational institutions in Canada, USA, and across the world. As a Curriculum Director at College of Vedic Medicine, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, he developed curriculum from masters, graduate, and undergraduate levels, and now setting up courses (online/offline). In 2011, he was honoured with Charak Award by AAPNA, in recognition of excellence in teaching and his valuable contributions to Ayurveda in North America.Dr. Gupta has been invited by many universities and has spoken at conferences and workshops from faculties of Japan, Australia, South Africa, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Holland, Switzerland, India, and USA. He has published many research papers; a few are “Psycho-physiological correlates of the dosha theory of mind and body”, “Effect of reading Sanskrit on brainwave coherence”, “An Empirical Study of Clinical Correlates of Traditional Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis”. For more information about Dr. Gupta:

Jo-Ann D’Alfonso, C-IAYT, E-RYT


Jo-Ann  is a Yoga Educator/Therapist and mentor. Her intention  is to be of service to anyone who is on the path of bringing change to life experience and expanding happiness. She’s been in the wellness sector for over 25 years and has been practicing as a Yoga Educator/Therapist and mentor for more than 16 years.  Her sensitive approach is rooted in deep respect for the intelligence of the body-mind connection and the human capacity for inner guidance. She brings to her work an energetic and uplifting style, personal conviction, passion, and easy way of communicating with students and clients. Her interpretation is: Lila Hum, I am playful and expanding happiness. Expressing our playful nature is a valuable way to stay creative, receptive, and revitalized in transformation. When we have fun, we are dancing and singing along with the story of our life. For more information about Jo-Ann:



Janice Falls, Registered Psychotherapist


Janice is a Registered Psychotherapist with 30 years of training and experience.  She has a long-held interest and experience in working with grieving clients in her private practice. For the past four years she has worked with Kim Rosen, author of Saved By a Poem, and a teacher of self-inquiry, and is learning the transformative medicine of poetry as a way to embody words and deepen the connection with self and others. Especially when we may be silenced by grief, the words of a poem can often speak for us and to us when we cannot find our own. (I) placed my grief/ in the mouth of language,/ the only thing that would grieve with me. (Lisel Mueller – Talking To Grief). For more information about Janice:


Dr. Ken Reesor, PhD, C. Psych, Clinical, Health, and Rehabilitation Psychologist


Dr. Reesor, a registered psychologist since 1988, completed his MA and PhD at UBC. At the Rehabilitation Centre in Ottawa, he worked on chronic pain, amputee, spinal cord, and stroke units. As Assistant Director of Psychology at the Ottawa Hospital, he provided and oversaw services to anesthesiology, rheumatology, cardiology, infectious disease, and neurology services. He has held clinical positions at U of O in the Schools of Medicine, Psychology, and Graduate Studies and Research. He is a former President of the Ottawa Academy of Psychology. He currently provides services as part of a group practice of psychologists and psychotherapists. His practice involves working with individuals dealing with adjustment to personal injury, medical conditions, chronic pain, phobia, PTSD, TBI/concussion, depression, and stress related problems. He has therapeutic interests in mind-body interface and the use of yoga, biofeedback, relaxation, mindfulness, and other CAM approaches in treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery. Dr. Reesor has a passion for working with healthcare professionals and therapists on trans-disciplinary teams. His published research is primarily in the area of psychological factors and adjustments in chronic pain and other medical conditions. He has been an invited speaker, consultant, and trainer, with/to various organizations. For more information:




Katherine Marr, C-IAYT, M.A., CCC, E-RYT


Katherine is a Psychotherapist and Yoga Therapist. She has a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Vancouver. She is certified member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She works as a clinician with the Roberts/Smart Centre – a local mental health treatment centre for teens. She teaches yoga specializing in therapeutics for patients/clients of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre in the Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders Unit. Katherine has a small private practice and consultation business “Mind-Body Counselling & Education” through which she works under the clinical supervision of registered Counselling Psychologist Dr. David Paré. She is the founder of Rhythms Rediscovered,  a non-profit initiative whose mission it is to provide free yoga programs in Ottawa for people who otherwise would not have access. She is involved with and an advocate for community partnerships aimed at overcoming the barriers of access to mental health services as a means of addressing social justice issues that are prominent in our society. Katherine’s areas of expertise and passion lie within the realm of providing wellness education to people who are faced with complex and multi-faceted stress and causes to their suffering as well as training other health professionals in understanding how to effectively work with such vulnerable populations. For more information:

Kimberly Mantas, C-IAYT, E-RYT, and Yoga Educator​


Kimberly Mantas has over 20 years of practice and comprehensive yoga and yoga therapy training. She specializes in Meditation, Restorative, Yoga Nidra, Yoga Theory, all levels Hatha Yoga, and individual Yoga Therapy. Kimberly is interested in exploring the state of "being" and focuses on the healing of the whole person, and the unfoldment of self.

​As a full-time yoga therapist, teacher trainer and teacher, Kimberly works with individuals, corporations, yoga studios and with teams of health professionals. Through her yoga therapy practice, she works with individuals from a wide spectrum of abilities and backgrounds from athletes to those with limited movement, chronic illness, pain, brain injury and acute injury. In addition, she works on rehabilitation teams, using yoga therapy to support individuals recovering from motor vehicle collisions (MVC). For more information:

Madeline Dietrich, M.A., Integrative Psychotherapist


Madeline worked as an Integrative Psychotherapist with groups and individuals for 25 year.  From the early days of her practice she included a somatic component to her work.  As the field of somatic psychotherapy developed, Madeline sought to utilize the most effective approaches for accessing the somatic realm.  Most recently she certified in Somatic Experiencing – the exciting work of Dr. Peter Levine PhD and the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, Boulder Co.  Madeline is also trained as a spiritual counselor in the Pathwork, a 21st century approach to spiritual development.  Madeline offers professional development training on issues of sexuality and relationship, on the interface of psychology and spirituality, and on the spiritual impact of trauma. In her current work she is focusing on the theme of pleasure as a resource for healing and transformation.  In her non-work life you can find Madeline in her garden, bee yard, at her writing desk, or wandering at a local arts event, when she’s not off gallivanting the world.  You can learn more about her approach at:

Matthew Remski, YT, Writer, Ayurvedic Practitioner


Matthew has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1996, sitting and moving with teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist, Kripalu, Ashtanga, and Iyengar streams. Along the way he’s been certified as a yoga therapist and an Ayurvedic consultant, and has maintained a private practice in Toronto since 2008. From 2008 through 2012 he co-directed Yoga Festival Toronto and Yoga Community Toronto, non-profit activist organizations dedicated to promoting open dialogue and accessibility. During that same period he studied jyotiśhāstra in a small oral-culture setting at the Vidya Institute in Toronto. He currently facilitates programming for yoga trainings internationally, focusing on yoga philosophy, meditation, Ayurveda, and the social psychology of practice. In all subject areas, he encourages students to explore how yoga practice can resist the psychic and material dominance of neoliberalism, and the quickening pace of environmental destruction. He is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. The most recent being Threads of Yoga: remix of Patanjali’s Sutras with commentary and reveries. Forthcoming will be: What are We Actually Doing in Asana? See more at:

Nancy Maddams, Ayurvedic Practitioner, RYT


The exploration and love of yoga began for Nancy in 1972 and continues today to be a life long journey of self-discovery. Her yoga studies and practice over the years have kindled her interest and study in Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old system of natural healing and sister science to yoga. Nancy has studied Ayurveda for 10 years, enjoying the programs of the Ayurveda Medical Centre of Canada, and the teachings of Dr. Hemant Gupta, Dr. Vasant Lad, and Dr. David Frawley. She loves sharing the knowledge of Ayurveda to help people achieve vitality and well being by linking the health in one’s body, mind and spirit to that of nature and our environment. Truly, all natural forces reside in our physical form and the health of one’s entire being is enhanced when these forces and energies are fully harmonized within us.  Nancy integrates within her teaching the wisdom acquired from decades of studying with a variety of excellent teachers from around the world. She is also certified in Somayog and Yoga for the Heart.

Naomi Sparrow, Body-Mind Centering® Practitioner and Teacher


Naomi is a certified teacher and practitioner of Body-Mind Centering® and a certified Infant Movement Developmental Educator through the School for Body-Mind Centering.  She is a registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist through ISMETA. She maintains a private practice since 1995 and teaches classes and workshops in creative process, peer practices and Body-Mind Centering®.  Naomi is a pioneer in the fields of somatic education and therapy. She brings to her practice and teaching a unique ability to articulate subtle embodied principles. With a passion for cultivating egalitarian relationships, she nurtures the competency and authority inherent in each of her students and clients through their direct embodiment of somatic principles.

Neil Pearson, PT, C-IAYT, MSc, BA-BPHE, E-RYT


Neil is a skilled compassionate clinician, engaging educator, and a leader in pain management in Canada. He is a physical therapist, yoga therapist, Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC, author, and faculty member for five yoga therapy training programs. He is the first physical therapist to win the Excellence in Inter-Professional Pain Education Award from the Canadian Pain Society, and the founding Chair of the Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division. He is also a past Board member of Pain BC, and recipient of a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from Queen’s University. In addition to his volunteer work, and offering workshops and pain science education through Canada and internationally, he has developed the Pain Care Yoga training and mentorship program, and the Pain Care Pro learning site. For more information about Neil:

Rachelle Lamb, Nonviolent Communication℠ Trainer, Communication Coach, Relationship “Whisperer”


Rachelle is a writer, workshop presenter, communication coach and relationship “whisperer” specializing in conflict resolution and breakthrough conversations. Her unique approach to language, relationship dynamics and conflict through the lenses of cultural anthropology, spirituality, Nonviolent Communication (certified 2002), mythology, poetry, storytelling, deep ecology and social activism consistently produces powerful results for individuals and audiences wishing to experience the positive benefits of transformational dialogue. Visit her website:

Ruth Norfolk, C-IAYT, E-RYT


As a mother, yoga therapist, and elementary school teacher, caring for others and keeping those around her well is very important to Ruth. Having first started practicing yoga when she lived in India several years ago, Ruth was inspired by a wonderful teacher there to become a teacher herself.  She knows that yoga has shown her how she can help herself and others learn about their bodies; to feel more comfortable with the body they have and to be able to feel the benefits of stretching and strengthening muscles, resting, and ultimately of healing. Ruth has completed a number of yoga training programs over the past few years.  Apart from her initial Hatha yoga and Sivananda yoga training which began her journey, she added Restorative yoga, Children’s yoga, Yin yoga, yoga for cardiac and cancer care,Yoga for the Heart.  Most recently Ruth has trained as a yoga therapist, which enables her to work with people experiencing chronic pain, or living with physical limitations, or with those simply feeling the stresses and strains of everyday life and needing a little more support than a regular yoga class may be able to provide.

Shelley Harrison, Healer


Shelley trained as a healer at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. Weaving together 20 years of experience in craniosacral therapy, energy healing, and plant spirit medicine has given her the ability to see into the body, psyche and spirit. Her mission to bridge the gap between conventional and alternative medicine has led her to practice alongside others at several Ottawa clinics including Wind Over Earth, the Clinic Upstairs, Vitallife, and Sage Wellness. Through her work as a yoga teacher she has taught prenatal, prenatal teacher training, postnatal, Hot, Ashtanga, Power, high school students, corporate clients, and elders. Pursuing her desire for more country retreat, she opened her own yoga studio, Studio Dove Heart Yoga + Healing in Chelsea in January 2012 and moved her healing practice into the Studio full time. Visit her website at:

Shelly Prosko, PT, C-IAYT,  PYT, CPI


As a Physical Therapist and Yoga Therapist, Shelly is dedicated to bridging the gap between Eastern and Western healthcare philosophies and believes it is essential in order to achieve optimal health. She received her Physical Therapy degree at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada; Yoga Therapy training through Professional Yoga Therapy Studies in North Carolina; Yoga Teacher Training through Blissology; and her Pilates Certification through Professional Health & Fitness Institute in Maryland.  Shelly has been integrating yoga and physical therapy since 1998 and has used this treatment approach with individuals suffering from a variety of neurological, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal conditions including pelvic health issues and those suffering from chronic or persistent pain.  Currently, Shelly travels across North America offering specialty Yoga Therapy workshops, lecturing at Medical College programs, instructing at Yoga Therapy Schools and Yoga Teacher Trainings, and presenting at Medical Conferences and International Yoga Therapy Conferences while actively promoting the integration of yoga therapy into our current healthcare system. Shelly is committed to her mission of inspiring, educating and empowering people to create health and wellness in their lives. For more information about Shelly and her offerings, please visit:

Staffan Elgelid, PT, GCFT, PhD, C-IAYT


Dr. Staffan Elgelid is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Nazareth College in Rochester NY. He is a Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner as well as Yoga Therapist. His Yoga approach is influenced by his Feldenkrais Training. His main focus with clients is to build a nervous system that is robust enough to allow the clients to learn new activities, enhance present activities, and continue to live active, enjoyable lives no matter their age or situation. Staffan teaches in Yoga Therapy programs, conducts workshops nationally and internationally, and sees clients in his private practice. Staffan is the co-author of “Yoga for Stress and Anxiety” and “Yoga Therapy, A Personalized Approach for Your Active Lifestyle”.  Staffan has also produced several DVDs on a variety of topics including core training and Yoga for sports. Staffan is a member of the IAYT Advisory Board and a Board member of the Yoga Alliance.

Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW


Stephen teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, founded in 2010. With Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work), he is revolutionizing grief and dying in North America. Stephen is redefining what it means to live, and die well. Apprenticed to a master storyteller, he has worked extensively with dying people and their families, is former programme director in a major Canadian hospital, former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school, consultant to palliative care and hospice organizations and educator and advocate in the helping professions. He is also a sculptor, traditional canoe builder whose house won a Governor General’s Award for architecture. He is the author of Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul (2015), Homecoming: The Haiku Sessions – a live recorded teaching (2013), How it All Could Be: A workbook for dying people and those who love them (2009), and Money and The Soul’s Desires: A Meditation (2002), and contributing author to Palliative Care – Core Skills and Clinical Competencies (2007). Stephen Jenkinson is also the subject of the feature length documentary film Griefwalker (National Film Board of Canada, 2008), a lyrical, poetic portrait of his work with dying people. For more information about Stephen:


Faculty & Guest Speakers

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