My earliest memories of yoga are of practicing with my Grandma in her living room as a child. For a long time, yoga came and went in my life. In 2001, during a time when life felt chaotic and out of reach, I started practicing more seriously and could immediately feel the effects yoga had on my life off the mat. My practice has helped cultivate a deeper connection and understanding of self and has given me a sense of clarity and contentment.
After a few years doing a gentle Hatha practice, I was drawn to the flow and vitality of the Ashtanga practice. I love the energy that this practice gives me, and the calm feeling of moving with the breath. My practice reminds me to enjoy the flow of life and of yoga. When something flows it is always moving and changing, thus, my practice reminds me every day to find beauty and contentment in the process and not the final result.
The classes I teach mirror this idea of flow and movement. I encourage fun and experimentation, with a focus on the breath, alignment and working within one’s own capacity.
After the completion of my first teacher training in 2006, my thirst for learning and experience within this vast practice of yoga has never been quenched, and I have had the privilege to learn under the guidance of many great teachers. I am deeply grateful to Ian Buchanan and David Garrigues, both of whom have deeply influenced and inspired me to live my passion and my truth.
I first discovered yoga about 15 years ago in a gymnasium setting. I found it very helpful in balancing out my body from all of the other active pursuits I was interested in and I was soon incorporating yoga into my weekly routine.
When Yogadotcalm opened its doors, I traded my gym membership for a yoga membership. It was the discipline of the Ashtanga yoga system that first hooked me, reminding me of my years of ballet training. I have always loved to use my body physically and so the physical nature of Ashtanga really appealed to me. As the years have gone by I have found myself being drawn in deeper and deeper by this powerful practice and appreciating the more subtle layers of the practice.
Ian is a practicing chemical engineer, former Edmontonian, avid backcountry hiker, vegetarian (lacto/ovo). His favorite food is wild mushroom soup and favorite color is green.
"I was introduced to Ashtanga yoga in 1998 by Jennifer Steed, who is still my teacher and good friend. I was recovering from knee surgery and at the time my body was stiff and bulky, but I fell in love with the calming rhythm of the breath and movements. Yoga has taught me to be aware of my ego (ambition/expectations/dramas/guilt/etc) and the importance of humbleness, which I try to impart in my classes by bringing a sense of caring and humor. I think we take life a bit too seriously sometimes. I thank all my teachers for guiding me along this ever–braiding and often upward path..."
Ian has studied in Mysore, India under Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath. Ian has studied in Boulder, Colorado under Richard Freeman. Ian has also studied under Mary–Jo Fetterly in Vancouver, BC.
"Everything is already ok."
Whatever brings us to yoga, whether it be for community, to improve fitness, flexibility, or strength or a desire for relaxation, we often leave with much more than we expected. In 1999 what I originally considered to be the worst day of my life, eventually became what I now consider a Blessing. I was injured in a motor vehicle accident that changed my life as I knew it. Dealing with chronic neck and back pain, migraine headaches, a permanent nerve disorder and two years of weekly treatments of physio, massage, IMS, and acupuncture; it was suggested I try yoga. Faced with the possibility of ending my career as a dental hygienist, I had nothing to lose. I started at Yogadotcalm and have not looked back.
The Ashtanga practice and all the amazing supportive teachers in this wonderful community have embraced me and my practice.
Yoga has challenged, strengthened, taught me humility, patience and compassion and most importantly allowed me to connect and to live in the present moment.
I continue to evolve, learn and inquire. I realize now that there is no end to this journey, no final pose, result or destination. Although the physical body may have limitations, the mind, and spirit does not. I must continue to inquire, explore and be curious. My teachers have enlightened me by reminding me that everything we need is within and I am exactly where I need to be. "Be where your feet are" because if you worry about tomorrow or replay what has happened in the past, you may miss this present moment which is all there really is.
As you develop this ability to be truly present, your true inner self may start to appear. This inner peace, awareness, acceptance and presence is what will carry you off your mat and into the demands of your daily life.
I have completed my teacher training at Yogadotcalm (Amber Kyliuk, Jan Goranson) completed 4 Levels of Critical Alignment Therapy with Gert van Leeuwen, Yoga Thrive Training for Cancer Survivors (Tyla Stephensen), Yin Yoga Training (Alan Mileham) and have taken many workshops with many amazing teachers including David Swenson, David Robson, Kino McGregor, Eoin Finn, Fiona Stang, Harmony Lichty, Tim Miller, Laurie Nemetz, Emily Kotow, Jan Goranson, Joanne Hutchinson, Jennifer Strukoff, and Andrea Salamon.
All of these people have touched me and shared with me their love for this practice and I am blessed and forever grateful.
This practice has given me so much and I would love to share what I have learned with you so that we all can be on this beautiful journey together.
Much love and light,
It was the physicality of Ashtanga Yoga that first attracted me. I loved the feel of the breath flowing with the movement, the heat building in my body and the sweat dripping off the tip of my nose. Even though my arms were trembling and my legs were burning and at times I felt I just couldn't go on.
I was attracted by the challenge, but I was hooked by the moment. That moment, which to begin with only lasted a few minutes or seconds depending on the day! That moment where I was not anxious, not worried, not stressing about my day ahead, just there, content. This is what brings me back to my mat day after day and I am so happy to be able to share my love of yoga with my students.
Jurgen Mantei began teaching yoga in 2001 with the desire to share the benefits he discovered through his own practice which he began in 1997 at the tender age of 43. He uses the practice of yoga as a moving meditation, where the body, mind, and spirit are most open to exploration and healing. He believes that yoga provides a path to self–discovery, creating space for peace, happiness and compassion.
Jurgen especially enjoys helping others regain the flexibility of youth. His teaching encompasses principles of proper alignment and body awareness as he guides students to calm the mind, open the body, and build strength.
Jurgen teaches yoga with creativity, compassion and love inspired by the many teachers he has trained with, such as Tim Miller, Eddie Modestini, Nicki Doane, and David Swenson.
You can also check out Jurgen and his wife Nattacia's website atwww.unitedinwellness.com.
I guess you could say yoga runs in my family, and that Yogadotcalm is our home! My mother, Mary Rasmussen, introduced me to the practice of Ashtanga yoga when I was in high school. I accompanied her to Mysore India in 2007 to practice at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute under the tutelage of Sri K Pattabhi Jois, his daughter Saraswati and grandson Sharath. Since then I have enjoyed practicing and learning under many of Calgary's wonderful teachers. In 2011, I completed my 250 hour teacher training with Amber Kyliuk and Jan Goranson through YDC. I have also had the privilege of practicing under the skillful guidance of Janet Hawkins and enjoyed various workshops with Nancy Gilgoff, David Swenson, Tim Miller, Michael Stone, Julie Gudmedstead, David Robson and Eddie Stern. In 2013 I completed an initial prenatal teacher training with Amy Bidrman. In 2014 I became a mother myself, which has enriched my yoga practice immeasurably both on and off my mat!I am so thankful to Andrea and Mike for the opportunity to be a part of the Yogadotcalm family!
Yoga has been part of my life off and on since I was a teenager. I began practicing yoga more seriously in 1999 in order to rehabilitate frozen shoulders. The practice provided relief and freedom of movement again when all other approaches failed. The benefits of a regular practice have permeated all areas of my life physically, mentally and emotionally. Yoga opens up the possibility of peace, compassion and contentment. I am fascinated by the many different approaches to the study of yoga and appreciate the similarities and differences encountered. I am very grateful for this knowledge and realize the learning has just begun and is never ending!
Mary has studied with many teachers including Sharath Rangaswamy, David Swenson, David Williams, Darby, Tim Miller, Beryl Bender Birch, Fiona Stang, Paul Grilley, Michael Stone, Ron Reid, Newton Nash, and many others. In 2007 she traveled to Mysore, India where she studied at Sri K Patthabi Jois' Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute under the guidance of Saraswati. Mary especially appreciates all her teachers and students in Calgary.
I first came to a yoga class the same way I think a lot of guys do, being dragged there by their girlfriends. I don’t remember much about my first class, other than the teacher was not talking entirely in English, and that a t-shirt and sweatpants were bad clothing options. I was sweaty. It was a lot of work. I had always been pretty flexible, but strength was never my strong suit (no pun intended).
I signed up for an Intro to Yoga workshop where I learned that there was not only a balance between flexibility and strength, but there was a mountain of philosophy behind this yoga thing. I was hooked, and embarrassed. I learned much about myself, there were many things I didn’t like about myself and my actions, and how I had been treating those around me. Most importantly, I learned that there was something I could do about it. To me, that’s yoga, not just being flexible and strong physically, but mentally as well.
I would love to be able to bring even just a little bit of that awareness to my students. I would hope to challenge them to question the things that they thought they “knew,” and be amazed when they do the things that they thought they “knew” they couldn’t do.
Over the years, I have practiced with, and taken numerous workshops with many great and inspiring teachers, in many beautiful and exotic locations. In 2013, my partner Andrea and I were given the opportunity to take over the reins at yogadotcalm, and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to be able to share this yoga journey with my very best friend.
My journey began in 2002 when I made the commitment to live a mindful life. I left my job in the corporate world and moved to Canada seeking a deeper connection. My first yoga class was shortly after the birth of my youngest daughter, and something profound clicked for me during that first practice. The connection of the breath and body allowed me to quiet my chattering mind and find a sense of peace. As my practice deepened I began to notice subtle changes in life off my mat. I found it easier to breathe. I found myself living in the present moment, better equipped to handle the challenges of life and being a mother. I found stillness.
I offer my deepest gratitude to all my teachers, especially to Jeff and Harmony Lichty, who generously continue to share their light, and am grateful for all the opportunities to learn which come my way. I completed my initial 250hr Ashtanga teacher training at Yogadotcalm in 2009. I became certified as a Critical Alignment Yoga Therapist by Gert Van Leeuwen of Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2010 and have also completed the Critical Alignment Yoga Asana training with Gert. I studied with Janice Clarfield and Marina Locke to teach Prenatal Yoga and Postnatal Yoga. I am also a DONA International trained birth doula.
My approach as a teacher in the therapeutic setting is to create an environment conducive to healing body and mind; a space where students can explore their yoga practice in a safe, welcoming atmosphere. The foundation of my classes is relaxation, linking intentions with breath. Connecting breath to movement, a new awareness can be created, effective movement patterns can develop, and asana can be experienced with a new ease and lightness, while creating stability and strength. My hope is that students leave class feeling a new connection of the body and mind - maybe even noticing the benefits of their yoga practice off the mat in their daily lives.
My intention when teaching prenatal yoga is connection to mothers’ intuition. I remind students that even if they haven’t given birth before, they are already a mother. Our yoga practice provides the perfect setting to connect with the intuitive wisdom that resides within, via the breath. My prenatal yoga classes are designed to leave women feeling empowered, confident and strong, with the intention that the sense of calm found in practice becomes accessible anywhere, including the day they give birth, a day they will remember forever. Working with mothers has been one of my greatest joys, and I am honored to be a part of such an exciting time in their life.
“Nothing in the world can purify as powerfully as wisdom: practiced in yoga. You will find this wisdom within yourself.” Bhagavad Gita 4:38
The birth of my first child in 2000 brought me to yoga. I saw yoga as an opportunity to reconnect with my changing physical self in a way that was compassionate and restorative.
I found that yoga not only allowed me to reconnect with my body but also taught me to look within myself for the confidence and emotional strength I needed as a new mother. While raising my three daughters for the past 13 years and continuing my practice throughout that time, yoga has been a constant refuge and a means to find a place of stillness.
As a teacher, I strive to create an environment for all students that is both inclusive and challenging. My hope is that students will leave class feeling inspired to expand their personal practice and to discover their own place of stillness.
I am so grateful to be part of the Yogadotcalm community, and to have completed my teacher training here in July of 2013.
I have always been fascinated by anatomy and the movement of the body. I studied various styles of dance for many years, and have further studied these concepts through my work as A Registered Massage Therapist since 2003. My Yoga journey began shortly after the birth of my second child. I was drawn to Yoga initially for the meditative aspects, and was surprised and elated by the physicality of it. I dabbled with a variety of Yoga styles, but it was when I committed myself to a dedicated Ashtanga practice that I began to fully realize the amazing benefits of Yoga. This practice continues to transform my body and my mind, and I love that there will always be more to learn. I am passionate about sharing what I’ve learned with anyone who is willing. I (eventually!) learned that a sense of humor is equally important to dedication on the mat, and I encourage my students to relax and have fun in my class, as they explore their body and realize their potential.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu
Yoga surprised and delighted me from my first class onward. Having passionately pursued and taught group exercise classes of all sorts for 20 years plus, I was amazed at how challenging the Ashtanga Yoga was. Of course, I immediately set out with great gusto to master as many postures as humanly possible in my late 40's, only to discover that I was missing the point.
Yoga is so much more than just doing the physical asanas. It's about learning to surrender to and trust the process, the wisdom of yoga masters, past and present. It's about letting go of your ego, breathing, moving and centering yourself. It's about allowing the practice to challenge you and at the same time learning to respect your own physical limitations and in teaching, those of your students.
I have had the privilege of studying with many wonderful teachers, Amber Kyliuk (Yogadotcalm), Harmony and Jeff Lichty (Ashtanga Yoga Victoria), Gert van Leeuwen (Critical Alignment Yoga and Therapy, Amsterdam) just to mention a few!
Yoga is for everyone and it is an ongoing journey.
I'd love the honor of helping you along the way!