Faculty

Yoga Educators


Abbey Riddell

My mom brought me to my first Bikram Yoga class in Vancouver when I was 17 years old. I remember looking around the room at the other practitioners, some three, even four times my age, marvelling at their poise and determination and how they could keep going like the room wasn’t 105 degrees! I was a competitive swimmer and waterpolo player and trained daily, and nothing in my athletic background had prepared me for what I experienced in that first 90 minutes. I was hooked! I completed my teacher training at Bikram’s Yoga College of India in 2003, and since then have had the honor to teach, train and practice with some of the founders of the hot yoga community on the West Coast and internationally. I had the privilege to open two studios on the island and every day I would go to work and witness humans transform their lives through dedication to their regular yoga practice. Many of you continue to practice alongside me today! To this day when I teach I still look around the hot room and marvel at each and every one of you practicing day in and day out, with poise and determination and all of your smiling happy faces! Thank you!



Amy Cox

Like most people, my first Bikram class was a hazy, sweaty blur with a lot of unintentional staggering. Over the 8 years I’ve been practicing, the Bikram series has introduced (and re-introduced) me to my own body and mind, in a very tough-love sort of way. The Bikram method is meant to be challenging. As you move through the asanas, you are given the opportunity to witness your internal dialogue, to see how deeply that dialogue colours your experience, and structures the opportunities you imagine for yourself and your life. We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. And yes, yoga can change your life. I have seen it so many times, in so many ways. It will find your weak spots and point them out to you, sometimes glaringly in the mirror. And as you continue to come back, and try the right way, it will give you exactly what you need – whether it be strength, flexibility, faith, self-control, concentration, determination and/or patience.


Ashley Grimm

My first Bikram Yoga class, I was mesmerized by the intensity, focus and mental strength the class required. I grew up playing competitive hockey and played every other sport I could. I was always competing against others. In Yoga, the challenge is with yourself, the practice gave me the opportunity to search within. After my first class, I was hooked. I fell in love with the practice. Nothing has challenged me more physically, mentally and spiritually, all at the same time. Yoga has taught me how important it is to take care of the body, so we can continue to keep doing all the things we love.

I attended Bikram Yoga teacher training in 2011. I have had the opportunity to teach in California, Australia, and Vancouver. Now, I am so grateful to be a part of the Hudson Yoga community.  I feel so honoured to lead students through such a powerful practice. First we learn to breath and find peace in the present moment, then the life long journey begins. Building mental power is what intrigues me most. To have the determination of an English Bulldog , and the strength of a Bengal Tiger. Anything is possible, if you believe.

I feel very inspired by yoga and everything it can teach you. When you take care of your body and your mind, the possibilities are endless. This yoga can save your life, it can  bring so much happiness into your world and everyone around you.  Come sweat!


Carrie Dymond

I was first introduced to the Bikram method by chance. A sandwich board placed on a street corner beckoned and winked for my entry but sometimes we avoid the signs, even when they’re right in front of us!

At the time, I didn’t have a formal relationship with myself and in many ways, I felt like a stranger in my own skin. The simple act of standing on my own two feet, faced with my reflection in the mirror, surrounded by others… was daunting.

But the days turned into weeks, weeks to months and after years of building a relationship with my body and breath, I set out for Bikram teacher training in 2010.

There are no guarantees in life, but one thing is certain, that regardless of how one walks into the room, we are completely changed, each and every time we make the commitment to stand – TOGETHER – toes and heels touching.


Catherine Vallance

My yoga journey began in 2012 when an intense curiosity of the hot yoga craze beckoned me to the mat. Little did I know when I stepped into that hot room for the first time that my life would never again be the same. Not even two years later, I was Baja-bound, bright-eyed and bewildered by this ancient and wholesome art. There I was fortunate enough to attain my 200hr Hatha Yoga Teacher Training at Yandara Yoga Institute and have been offering the teachings I acquired there ever since, specializing in restorative yin styles. Yoga has kindled my passion for people; the aliveness that is present in each being that I meet fascinates me endlessly. Offering yoga guidance and helping all see that light within for themselves is what I strive towards and I feel very blessed to find inspiration within the Hudson community as a foundation for this intent to flourish.


Danielle Chevalier

The first time I stepped into a yoga studio was in 2008, but my yoga journey really began when I walked into Hudson Yoga in April 2013. Before my first class, I sat beside one of the regular practitioners in the lobby – and she took me under her wing. I fell in love with every part of the yoga, the studio and especially the community right then and there. Since October 2013 I have been honoured to be part of this Hudson Yoga Life. I love that I get to wear bright clothing, spend time with great people and learn about yoga every day. All I was searching for was me, and I found her at Hudson Yoga – what are you searching for? Come on in and find it.

 

 


David Boon

I began practicing Bikram Yoga in 2005 while dealing with chronic back pain resulting from work as a professional arborist.  After being told by a doctor that I was effectively disabled and that I should get used to it, I got a second opinion from a different physician who recommended that I continue to practice as often as possible.  My chronic condition is now a distant memory and I am in better shape than I ever was as a teenager and through my 20s.  Shortly after beginning my practice, I trained to instruct Bikram Yoga and eventually co-founded two studios in the Victoria area.  After two studio sales, a baby, a degree and a few career changes, I now teach part-time and maintain my own regular practice alongside an active lifestyle and busy career.  My own experience has taught me to stick with the practice regardless of the ups and downs.  It’s never too late to start again!


Derek Sou

Nearly a decade ago, I was still recovering from a fairly severe bicycle accident. After a few years of various therapies, I had regained much of the range of motion in my body, but still couldn’t participate in my pre-accident activities and sports. My yearning to do so led me to yoga. Soon, I had tried all the forms of yoga offered at my university and was looking for a new type of practice. The closest search engine result was a hot studio offering the 26 + 2 series. Immediately, I fell in love with the demanding and rejuvenating series, and I have practiced regularly ever since. Now, I can do so much more.

In my classes I emphasize stability, alignment, compassion, and staying with the breath. I look forward to seeing you progress on your own journey.


Eddie Solidon

I started a regular yoga practice while studying to become a high school PE teacher. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it. Coming from an athletics background I was used to pushing my physical limits with the help of a coach. Having a teacher guide me in my practice filled the void perfectly when I stopped running. I was still able to feel like I was being challenged physically but it didn’t take long for me to realize what was happening mentally. I didn’t have to think but at the same time I could totally tune in. People thought I smiled a lot before the yoga, now I can’t stop. This journey I’ve been on has truly taught me about patience, determination, concentration, self-control and faith. You really learn to experience each and every moment. There’s nothing that we can’t achieve inside or outside the hot room and it was being in there that allowed me to see things that way. I hope to see you at the studio and we can sweat it out together.


Guy Friswell

I teach yoga from the perspective that everyone is unique. I believe that yoga practice is about discovering, embracing and acting from your deepest, most authentic self. When you come to one of my classes, expect to be grounded, centered, challenged, and reinvigorated – all delivered with a dose of fun and humour … AND a decent soundtrack! My own yoga history, training and certification are extensive, varied and always ongoing. This variety is reflected in my classes as a fusion of seated and moving meditation, flowing Vinyasa, powerfully held Hatha postures, contemplative Yin, and guided relaxation. I am nearing completion of my training as a certified Yoga Therapist. The act of teaching is a joyful extension of my personal yoga practice. I have had a regular and focused practice for about 13 years. My practice is a fusion of many influences, including the inward focus of the Vijnana and Shadow Yoga methods, the alignment principles of Core Strength Vinyasa YogaTM and Anusara, the yoga philosophies of Erich Schiffmann and Michael Stone, and the mental discipline of hot yoga.


Kara Martin

2006 I found myself walking in to the hot room oblivious to what yoga was or why I was there. My only thought was it would be fun to try with my friend. My discovery, a lifelong journey of healing and connecting. Learning to love and accept myself was always a challenge but through this practice I’ve learned how to be patient, gentle and surrender both mentally and physically to my true self. No matter where life takes me I will always have the yoga, my home!
As you begin your yoga journey remember everyone starts somewhere so be patient, be gentle, surrender and BREATHE.

 

 


Jan Wilson

I took my first Bikram Yoga class while I was playing competitive sport to assist in healing from major injury. I quickly fell in love with the yoga, and have never looked back since! I have been very fortunate and am grateful to have had the opportunity to study and teach both Bikram Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga, and attend further trainings in Vinyasa Maya Yoga and meditation. I work as an Occupational Therapist and greatly enjoy teaching Yoga Anatomy to yoga teacher trainees – I continue to be humbled and mesmerized by the gift of the human body, and how the art and science of yoga can heal and transform. In my classes, I love to share bits of anatomy, philosophy, and poetry. Precision and alignment with breath, a natural evolution from the gross to the subtle…. A true and authentic connection with the Self. Yoga is a “self-reliant healing system” – the practice of yoga is “natural human education” (education – from “Educere” – To draw forth from within). I am amazed at how through moving mindfully, with breath and intention, we begin to “re-create” ourselves, as Bikram would say… “From the inside-out, from the bones to the skin”


Janelle Morrison

I participated in my very first yoga class the day after I quit full-time racing as an Ironman distance triathlete. I remember laying in savasana, for the first time thinking to myself, “Whoa! I need more of this in my life!” After pushing my body relentlessly to perform, even after a near-fatal car accident where doctors and surgeons told me I’d “never race again,” I was desperately depleted and unfulfilled. A documentary film called “A Second Chance” followed my 2 year recovery process and I still muse at the title. Indeed I did have a second chance – and I was totally missing it! After exploring many disciplines of yoga over the next couple of years I eventually discovered Kundalini Yoga. The powerful practice allowed me to peel away deep layers of pain and connect with what actually lay underneath my punishing inner dialogue. I became a Kundalini Yoga teacher to learn about the practice, never intending to teach. It’s now become one of my life’s greatest joys to share with others what’s available to us all, through this potent, powerful and life changing practice.

Where you’re going is here. You’ll arrive now.


Lauryn Jones

I stepped into my first yoga class at the age of 16, fell in love + never looked back. My practice has shown me how to connect with myself and with others, teaching me balance on & off the mat and has inspired me to explore + challenge all of my edges. Over the years I’ve practiced and taught internationally, and have now landed back to my roots on the West Coast. Always a student, I have completed a variety of yoga trainings primarily in the Bikram, Hatha and Yin Yoga methods. My classes are a fusion of strength, humour and breath, each posture a possibility to heal your body and challenge the physical and mental edges. My hope is that you leave your practice feeling inspired, refreshed and balanced.

 


Leila Jones

I have been involved in the holistic health community for over 10 years. My journey began with praciticing yoga and integrating the health benefits of the practice on all levels. I began teaching yoga in 2011 and have conintually been inspired by the community. Aromatherapy and massage are healing modalities that I use in combination with herbal medicine, through my aromatherapy brand Leiluna, and yoga to bring healing and vitality to each client. In therapy sessions with me, a specific combination of healing practices are used and are unique to each client. On my journey through yogic purification and holistic healing, I continue to fufill my life’s purpose.

 


Lisa Choptiany

My personal health and fitness endeavours have always leaned towards group-classes: aerobics, water-fit, yoga, belly-dance and pilates. The self-guided gym work-out could never hold my motivation; I’d usually abandon it three months in. After my first Bikram’s Yoga class in 2007, I couldn’t get enough. Within a year, I found myself on a stage in Acapulco, with Bikram himself handing me a certificate to instruct it. I first discovered yoga as a means of increasing physical health, but found it so healing in many other facets of my life. Now it is also a secondary career. As a Registered Massage Therapist I am always encouraging my patients to increase their healing themselves, through movement and exercise.

 


Lisette Shortt

I love yoga! I am committed to generating peace, happiness and health for myself and others. My fascination with yoga began in 2003, and I completed Bikram’s Teacher Training in 2011. Now, my education continues through workshops, classes, and study of my extensive Yoga Library! So far, my yoga practice has helped me work through years of accumulated tension, correct old breathing habits, heal injuries…And keep up with my little son! I have learned to love my reflection in the mirror, and trust myself. My transformation through dedicated practice has felt like a weight lifted from my shoulders, and I want nothing more than to help lift others up. At Hudson Yoga I’ve found a supportive community of friends and colleagues who love to learn, laugh, explore and grow together. I am so grateful to have found this lifelong yoga practice and inspiring friends to share it with.


Maria Filippone

I love roses, being barefoot, the ocean, and fresh cotton sheets. I was born to the joy of movement and have been blessed to work and study with some of the finest teachers in the world. Committed to being impeccable with my word, my cues are precise and clear – making the class accessible as well as challenging. Vinyasa informed by the study of Bikram, Pilates, and Thai Massage – I blend music, movement, breath and Sanskrit chanting to carry the mind and body into alignment. Deeply connected with my students, I offer hands on adjustments that help lend the courage it takes to access grace, ease and the untapped power within. Together we grow curious about the ancient and authentic practice of yoga.

 


Marcene von Ravenhurst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Meagan Welch

Nothing inspires me more than to inspire, and to help others see what every moment in this life has to offer. A dedicated yoga practice has allowed me to live a fuller life than I ever imagined. Sharing this with others has been one of the best experiences and exchanges in my life. I teach various styles of yoga but the theme in which I teach is consistent. We move from the heart, focus on breath and alignment, and unite the mind, body and soul in a sometimes challenging but always playful practice. Being in and around the Victoria yoga community allows me to feel truly at “home”. I stepped into the seat of a teacher 4 years ago within this community and it has watched me grow and evolve in my personal practice and as a teacher. You can be sure to feel supported, safe and inspired in my classes! I look f orward to continuing to teach and grow within the Victoria yoga community.


Nat Toby

I have been involved in the yoga community for about seven years. One of my favourite things about yoga is getting in touch with my higher self. It allows me to teach and practise in alignment with my purest intentions. Everyday I am inspired by my students and teachers and through them, I realize my potential and am reminded of my purpose on Earth. Teaching and practicing yoga has brought me to a place in which I have found clarity within myself. When I teach, I try to incorporate some of the skills I have acquired from reiki, yoga, and the quantum healing hypnosis therapy course by Dolores Cannon. “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” – Anaïs Nin

 


Parveez Shahviri

After 15 years of working at desks and ignoring my body’s warning signs of back pain, in 2002 I was hospitalized for a severe spinal infection. By the time they caught it, it had eaten all the way through a disc and well into my L3 and L4 vertebrae. They told me that the best case scenario for me was going to be wearing a back brace for the rest of my life, but that I should prepare myself for the possibility of being paralyzed. I was grateful to escape paralysis and even the back brace but the shock of what had just happened and being flat on my back in a hospital bed for 7 weeks made me determined to take better care of my body, and becoming more aware of my body’s needs was going to be the first step. That intention was what led me to my first Bikram Yoga class in July 2003. Soon I’d had direct experience that convinced me this practice could meet me or anyone else right where we were when we started, and take us as far along the road to wholeness as we choose to go. Teaching is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my life.


Peter Nurse Hudson Yoga FacultyPeter Nurse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rhiannon Reid

Since I was a kid I have been involved in mindful movement. It started with martial arts and transitioned into a deep love and appreciation for yoga and Pilates. I truly believe that a body can heal itself through precise and compassionate movement. I am fascinated and beguiled by alignment principals and how they can apply (or not apply) to an individual human body. I teach Hot yoga, flow yoga, and Pilates all with a passion for intelligent execution and  internal awareness. I take great joy in embracing the community as a whole and am blessed to be inspired and mentored by some incredible teachers (Maria Filippone, Dana Carter, Justina Bailey, and Tracey Noteworthy that’s you).  I love questions and would like nothing more than to help you acheive the most benefit from your movement. I am honoured to be here. 


Sophie Turcotte

I began exploring my yoga journey in 2009. At the time I was teaching fitness classes but found my health and well being were unbalanced and I was looking for something more. It was during my very first class that I fell in love with the discipline of the practice and I knew then I wanted to become a teacher – in 2013 I was certified through Bikram Yoga College of India. My personal growth and development, physically and psychologically, inspire me to share my love for the yoga. Learning to simply breathe has returned focus and balance back into my life. In this practice movement through every part of your body, inside and out, leaves you feeling healthy and accomplished. I believe yoga is a relationship built between the body, the mind and breath. My desired outcome is to support yogis to kick-off their journey through cultivating confidence, clarity and fascination. I want to create a space for my students to leave feeling strong, more flexible and more empowered on all levels. Yoga is freedom. See you on the mat!


Tony Lum

I started the hot yoga about 11 years ago. After the first week, I knew the yoga was for me. After practicing for about a year, I noticed I had more energy and mental clarity. I decided to go to Yoga Teacher Training in the fall of 2004. I love inspiring students to practice yoga.

 

 

 

 


Vicky Kontzamanis

My yoga journey began with me signing up for a 60 day challenge in my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba. One class a day for 60 days.
Many people in my life didn’t think I could do it and I just had to prove them wrong! A few days in, and I couldn’t help but laugh at myself and think “what did I just do…this is going to be torture!”.
I had highs and lows; I had breakdowns and breakthroughs. But at some point around the 35 day mark I really started to believe the girl in the mirror was strong, sure of herself, and confident! It’s amazing what facing yourself in the mirror in the yoga room can do for self transformation. Great transformation takes great struggle, after all.
After that challenge I was hooked! I became a receptionist at the studio. I worked the desk, studied in school and practiced as much as I could. A few years later I went to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Fall of 2011. I taught while I completed my Baccalaureate of Nursing degree and have continued practicing and teaching on my days off as a Registered Nurse.
I love refuelling my mind and body in the hot room after work. It’s such a great way to reset! I try bring yoga into my career as much as possible and vice versa. I’ve been known to practice deep breathing with my patients, whether it be for meditative, relaxation or oxygenation benefits!
I hope to see you at the studio. Come say hi and sweat with me!

Faculty – Yoga Teachers, Victoria / Hudson Yoga

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