I have been studying Yoga with Jo-Anne since 1997. For me, yoga brings balance to my very technical life as a software programmer, and all the hours that I spend sitting in front of a computer.
I feel very lucky to have found Jo-Anne as my teacher at the beginning of my yoga journey. Her knowledge of the postures from a physiological perspective provides safety. Through her gentle guidance you are invited to explore your body, mind and spirit. Jo-Anne’s yoga classes leave me feeling complete: my body opened my spirit light and my soul calmed.
I have learned that yoga is much more than performing a sequence of postures. It is a practice that influences all aspects of my life. I have often used the postures when I need to centre myself to deal with difficult problems at work or to better receive the people in my personal life. Through the different meditation techniques, I have gained greater acceptance of myself and others.
Lastly, I value the ongoing commitment that Jo-Anne makes to her own practice and to further study of yoga traditions. Whether it is the study of a different yoga style or the study of the Bhagavad Gita, she finds ways to incorporate them into the class and we as students dramatically benefit. –Ola-
I have been practicing yoga for about 7 years now. I have arthritis and I have been able to manage my arthritis so that I no longer need my medication. My pain and swelling is manageable on a day-to-day basis provided I continue to practice yoga. It has helped me learn to meditate - something I was never able to do before. I am a high-stress individual and I look forward to my classes to help calm me and centre my life. I enjoy Jo-Anne’s classes in particular because I always learn something new about myself and my body. I also really appreciate her caring approach with all her students. I am building strength mentally, physically and spiritually. Thank you so much. –Tania Tierney-
I began taking yoga eight years ago when I was pregnant. The meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques taught by Jo-Anne were invaluable during labour and delivery. Since then, yoga has been instrumental in keeping me in good mental and physical condition; after a hectic week it's a great way to re-focus on what is truly important in life. –Kari-
I began practicing yoga because I had an extremely hectic life and I recognized my stress level was high. I was very reactive in stressful situations. I was seeking a way to gain better control of my emotions, to de-stress, to relax and to find peace somewhere in my life.
Why I stay with Yoga is more complex. There are physical, mental and spiritual aspects some of which I can't even explain. All have provided benefits far beyond my expectations - and I am just beginning my journey (having completed my 5th year of practice with Jo-Anne.) Physically: I was not even aware of my increased body strength and flexibility until I had to stop yoga following a soccer injury and knee surgery. When I started back, it was shocking to discover how quickly I had weakened and lost flexibility. Yoga was instrumental in getting back strength and mobility in my leg and my body overall. Mentally: Thursday night yoga class is my time. I have 1 1/2 hours to completely focus on me, my mind and my body. It is not only relaxing, it is rejuvenating. Spiritually: Yoga has impacted my life-style in many ways and this continues to be an aspect I explore. The entire experience creates a more balanced self and I feel restored following each session such that I am better prepared to face the daily emotional challenges in my life with calm and perspective.
Although I practice yoga at home, I love my Thursday classes as they provide an opportunity to socialize with my yoga-mates. Most important though is that I personally benefit so much from Jo-Anne's teaching and mentoring - physically, mentally and spiritually.
In all the sports, classes and activities I have engaged in over the years, yoga is the only one that is all-inclusive - it focuses on wellness. Yoga is something I hope to practice until I'm 99! If we all practiced yoga the world would be a better place. –Kelley Jotham-
I started my practice of yoga with Jo-Anne in Sept 1997. I immediately experienced stress relief through the relaxation and breathing techniques. I soon realized that my favourite breathing exercises and poses were the ones that opened my chest; and that this was just what my body had craved. The losses and grief that I had experienced for years had had the opposite effect on my body: a closing in, tightening and constriction of my chest and breathing. When this opening via the pranayama and asanas began to happen, it felt as if a part of me had been freed - I would never have to feel like that again. I had learned a preventative tool for difficulties in my life. What an empowering feeling! Through meditation, I have learned to enjoy listening to the stillness within. I have begun a journey to really know my body and myself. The power and strength that I have built in the poses has made me feel more empowered and less vulnerable as a woman. Through Jo-Anne's classes I have gained so much insight into myself, my body, my strengths and my spirituality. Though I have been practicing with Jo-Anne for many years, I continue to take away something new from each class. I feel safe in her knowledge and skill to move us into new places of discovery within ourselves. –Shelley-
I began my journey into yoga in Sept. of 2000, because traditional exercises had not produced the weight-loss results that I was looking for. Yoga changed my life. Yoga helped me stop my weight-gaining pattern. Over time, I have been able to lose 25 lbs that I know I will NEVER gain back.
In Jo-Anne’s classes, it isn’t about striking the perfect pose; it is about being in and experiencing the pose wherever you are at. I have really gotten to know my self through this guided practice. I feel my heart open as well as my mind. Yoga provides me with the stillness that was missing in my life. I became aware of the value of moving away from the fast paced life I had been living.
What I enjoy about Jo-Anne’s classes is the emphasis on the non-judgemental attitude towards myself and not competing with others in the class. In our world, this is definitely not the norm. This helps to remind me of the deeper values I hold within. I look forward to my yoga class days and inspiring reflections she shares at the end of the class. I leave feeling calm, steady and at peace.
Jo-Anne talks about taking yoga off the mat and into your life. I have really been doing this in my home life, in my relationships with others at work and even into my golf game. I no longer feel aches and pains the same way after a game. I even have my husband and children doing some yoga with me at home. I also went through one pregnancy and post-natal recovery utilizing yoga. It helped with my delivery (I used the breathing). And I believe my body was more prepared for the delivery.
Jo-Anne, you have been extremely supportive throughout my journey. For that I will always be thankful. –Paula-
Sattva, the energy of balance, calmness, steadiness, goodness, harmony and peace accurately sums up the journey that yoga has taken me on with Jo-Anne as my teacher. It has definitely been a path that has enabled me to make simple, gradual changes to my life with profound effects on my health and spirit. In the initial sessions, learning the postures was always an amazing experience because they were taught with an emphasis on proper positioning, allowing me to truly feel and appreciate the poses. As the years went by, it was amazing to realize that the poses could be brought “deeper” using awareness, allowing me to feel a more spiritual side of yoga that goes far beyond the poses. There has always been a subtle emphasis on taking the practice deeper, which allows students to do it on their own terms, never being forced. I think this attribute is what separates good teachers from great teachers. –Alison Moore-
I have been practicing Yoga for eleven years; eight of them have been with Jo-Anne. I appreciate the calm perspective she shares with each class and her well-informed experience as a teacher. Jo-Anne has enriched my practice with her gentle guidance and her sense of humour. I recommend Yoga as an exercise and Jo-Anne as a Yoga teacher. -M. Cook-