Jo-Anne is passionate about sharing the practice of yoga with others. She is known for her soul-filled classes that nourish body, mind, heart and spirit. She does this from the depth of her own personal practice and study; and through her gentle guidance, her sense of humour, and the safety that she creates in a peaceful and non-competitive environment.
Jo-Anne has been practicing and studying yoga since the early 1980’s when she began her university studies in the areas of sociology, psychology and religion. She holds a Masters’ degree in counselling, and has been working in this capacity within an educational setting since 1987.
Jo-Anne began teaching yoga in 1997 with her 200-hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher Certification. She received her Professional Kripalu Yoga Teacher Certification in 2000. This reflects over 500 hours of supervised training in Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, Theoretical and Applied Yogic Philosophy, Anatomy, Physiology, Teaching Methodology, Techniques and Professional Ethics. Since then she has received an additional 500 hours of training exploring various yoga styles and therapies in Canada, the United States and Thailand. Jo-Anne has received specific yoga training in working with Cardiac and Cancer clients as well as the practice of Yoga Nidra.
Jo-Anne’s teaching is currently influenced by her studies with Nischala Joy Devi, Michael Stone, Richard Miller, Erich Schiffmann, Yoganand Michael Carroll, Mukunda Tom Stiles, Gary Kraftsow, Angela Farmer and Rama Berch. Her meditation practice and teaching are most influenced by Thich Nhat Hahn, Sylvia Boorstein, Sharon Salzberg, Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield and John Main,osb.
Jo-Anne has studied Thai Yoga Massage with Kam Thye Chow of the Lotus Palm School in Montreal and with Asokananda of the International Society of Thai Yoga Massage in Thailand. She is currently studying Stott Pilates.
Jo-Anne is particularly interested in how yoga practice affects the physiological systems in the body, facilitates the mind-body connection and deepens spiritual balance. She is devoted to helping her students develop a practice that is guided from within so that they may connect more deeply to all aspects of their lives.
Jo-Anne combines pilates and somatic movement and several styles of yoga in her classes. This eclectic approach provides a safe, inspiring and challenging practice. She demonstrates care for her students by integrating their needs into well-balanced and well-paced classes. The tone is positive and respectful. The following provides a brief description of each approach.
Kripalu Yoga is known as “yoga with heart”. The three stages of Kripalu yoga include: willful practice, surrender and meditation-in-motion. Kripalu puts great emphasis on proper breath, alignment, coordinating breath with movement, and “honouring the wisdom of the body”. You work according to the limits of your individual flexibility and strength. Kripalu means “compassion”. You are encouraged to practice mindfully without self-judgement or criticism. Swami Kripalu saw this as the highest form of spiritual practice. Students learn to focus on the physical and psychological reactions created in various postures through riding the wave of sensation by breathing, feeling, watching, relaxing and allowing sensation to transform. It is the learning gained from doing this that may be translated into your life off the mat. In this context, yoga is seen as a journey rather than a destination.
Vinyasa Yoga : Nyasa means "to place" and vi means "in a special way." Vinyasa is a style of class that connects poses with breath-synchronized movements. Poses are creatively sequenced to develop internal awareness, build heat and explore energizing effects. Music is used to enhance the flow and rhythm of the class.
Structural Yoga relies on a deep respect for the body's innate capacity for safe, healthy movement and healing. This is a way of teaching that invites the body to find its own optimal way of moving and building strength, without the use of hands-on corrections that might ultimately hinder self-awareness. It promotes the slow, careful development of the muscle structures that are needed to develop a full yoga practice. Sequenced movements known as the Joint-Freeing series are integrated into the practice to improve circulation, and to strengthen and free all the joints in the body.
Viniyoga is a methodology for developing a personal yoga practice that best supports the individuals within the context of their lives. The practice continually adjusts to meet their changing needs. It’s goal is to understand ourselves more deeply. It is a practice that carefully integrates the flow of breath with movement of the spine, with sequencing, adaptations and intensity. In order to warm, to strengthen and to maintain the neuromuscular connection in the body, repetitive sequences of poses are worked before a posture is held. This approach has great therapeutic value.
Svaroopa Yoga teaches modified ways of doing traditional poses. It emphasizes the opening of the spine beginning at the tailbone and progressing up through each spinal area. This is a slow & conscious yoga that promotes healing and transformation.
Yoga Nidra is an ancient transformative meditation practice that is derived from the Nondualism Teachings of Yoga. Yoga Nidra seeks to decrease stress and increase clarity. It is a form of yoga beyond physical postures in which the practitioners lie on their backs or sit comfortably in a chair allowing them to be led into a deep state of relaxation. A trained practitioner skilfully guides this 20-30 minute process that allows the active brain to let go of distractions and zone in to the present moment and the peace that lies within. This is accomplished through specific sequential steps which include setting an intention, relaxing the physical body, becoming aware of the breath, relaxing mentally and emotionally, and following the various guided images in an open-ended visualized journey. This practice works deeply to release our obstacles to joy and to experience profound healing in our mind, emotions, body & soul. Through the practice you discover beneath your current mood, beneath your body’s aches and pains, and beneath your mind’s self-limiting beliefs, the vastness of who you really are and your connection to all that is.
Somatic Movement, as developed by Thomas Hanna, is a series of slow muscle movements intended to re-educate the neuromuscular system toward greater health and well-being. The practice of these simple somatic movements releases deeply held maladaptive neuromuscular patterns (sensory-motor amnesia) in the body, and changes how our minds and bodies interrelate.
Pilates is a sequence of toning exercises that places great emphasis on developing core strength in the abdomen, lower back, hips and buttocks. Correct anatomical placement of pelvis, rib cage, scapula, head and cervical spine are key within the practice. It is important to maintain a strong mind-body connection during the practice through deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage muscles to relax and lengthen.