Benders teachers are passionate about yoga! We have all completed a MINIMUM of 200 hours of training at a certified yoga training school but many of us have done much, much more. So what does all of it mean? It means that you are getting yoga instruction from people who have studied hard – not just about the yoga poses – but about anatomy, proper breathing techniques, meditation, yoga philosophy, and safe teaching practices.
We think we are pretty darn good, but we know we can always be better. That is why Benders teachers are now required to undergo a minimum number of hours of ADDITIONAL training every single year. By keeping our knowledge and training current, we are able to provide YOU, our clients, with the best yoga experience possible!
CYT500/E-CYT200, RYT 500/E-RYT200 Teachers:
These teachers have completed a MINIMUM of 500 hours of yoga training PLUS have over 1000 hours of teaching experience.
LESLIE HEISZ (hatha yoga)
Yoga for Longevity (50 hours), Hands on Assists (50 hours), Yoga Anatomy (50 hours), Meditation for the Modern Age (50 hours), Whispered Wisdom: Walking Between the Worlds of Yoga and Shamanism (100 hours), BA Political Science
Leslie started her yoga journey at her doctor’s suggestion, to help manage her stress and anxiety. After experiencing the amazing, transformative effects of yoga for herself, she realized that sharing yoga with others was going to become a major part of her life! Leslie completed her 200HR yoga teacher training in the summer of 2010 then soon made plans to open her own studio. In April of 2012 Benders was born.
Leslie has just completed her 500HR training level!
Slow Yoga, Workshops, Private Yoga, 200HR YTT (Anatomy & Meditation)
These teachers have completed a MINIMUM of 200 hours of yoga training PLUS have over 1000 hours of teaching experience.
MICHELE BARNES (hatha yoga)
YACEP, Certified Restorative & Pre/Postnatal Yoga Teacher, Kripalu YogaDance, Yoga for Seniors, Hons BA-English & Theatre Arts
Since she began teaching in 2003, Michele’s practice and teaching has undergone much transformation. Her inquisitive nature has inspired her to continuously research the history and benefits of yoga. The physical, emotional and mental benefits of yoga have been abundantly documented. While many of the poses that make up the asana practice can have far-reaching benefits, how they are practiced makes a big difference to whether they can be helpful or harmful. The over-abundance of forward-bending poses and hip openers in Western yoga have taken their toll on loyal practitioners, many of whom are women. In Michele’s classes, you will be taught how to practice yoga in ways that acknowledge the biomechanics of the human body and honour the sacred design of the spine…while developing core strength and overall stability and mobility.
In addition to the physical asana practice, Michele also enjoys guiding her students in meditation and breathing practices that encourage loving reconnection with the wisdom of the body and emotions. Michele encourages her students to stay in the present moment, honour their experiences and challenge themselves to step outside of their comfort zones…all while ‘preserving the curves’ of the spine.
You can learn more about Michele and her offerings at http://www.michelebarnes.com
Yoga Essentials, Gentle Yoga, 200HR Yoga Teacher Training
MARY FORAN (hatha yoga)
Transpersonal Psychotherapy, Restorative Yoga, Medical Exercise Specialist Training, Reiki (Level 1 & 2), Anatomy Asana Training, Non-Violent Communications, Women Within Trainings, Prenatal Yoga, Thai Massage, Trauma Informed Yoga Training, Shamanic Energy Work, Clearbeing Meditation, Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga
Mary specializes in Restorative Yoga and has been teaching yoga classes, workshops, and teacher training fulltime for the past 14 years in the GTA. New to the London area (Strathroy), she brings her heart-centred energy weaves it into a mindfulness-style teaching that offers healthy and fulfilling self-care through Restorative Yoga. Mary further offers Thai Yoga Massage, Trauma Informed Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, and is a Medical Exercise Specialist. She weaves these modalities into her yoga teachings as well as other psycho-therapeutic practices, community building and women’s gatherings to support healing and transformation.
Restorative Yoga (Tuesdays 7pm – starting September 4, 2018)
These teachers have completed a MINIMUM of 200 hours of yoga training and may or may not be registered with a governing body.
KARINA ELLSWORTH (hatha yoga)
Karina’s exploration of yoga started 12 years ago. At that time she was deeply immersed into exploring traditional practices of Ashtanga Yoga and various types of Hatha Yoga, but her personal practice has gone through a great deal of transformation since then. She recently completed her 200-hour YTT at Benders Yoga. She says, “That experience offered me a great opportunity to learn about recent research on biomechanics, which now helps me to create a safe practice for myself and for my students.”
Karina offers classes with an individual approach, where each pose can be modified and transformed in order to be more accessible for each practitioner. “When poses and movements are more natural and aligned we move at ease and it allows us to explore and honour the beautiful complexity of our bodies as well as inconceivable vastness of our minds. In my classes we will move through a flow of physical asana, complimenting it with self-massage, meditation, breathing practices and mindfulness exercises. I believe that Yoga is a path of self-discovery, it teaches us to be more conscious of our feelings, thoughts and actions, it gives us tools to live more balanced, peaceful and fulfilled life. It is a constant source of knowledge, equanimity and joy, it is a way to bring vitality and alignment into the body.”
Karina’s classes are suitable for students of all levels.
Yoga Essentials (Wednesdays at 6pm)
YOLANDA POSTMA (hatha yoga)
Piano Performance B.Mus, B.Ed (Music and History) , ORMTA/CFMTA certification (Ontario Registered Music Teacher’s Association/Canadian Federation Music Teacher’s Association), First Aid/CPR
Yolanda’s creative path towards becoming a professional yoga instructor first intersected with her piano performance career. Her mentor and private piano coach encouraged her to develop a relationship with yoga after she had sustained a playing injury that temporarily handicapped her playing progress during her third year of University in the Piano Performance Program at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Yolanda says, “Practicing yoga in concentration helped transform and heal my life from both personal and physical setbacks. As a result of the gift of healing in my life through yoga, the vision of becoming a certified yoga teacher was planted in my heart. The Universe led me to one of London’s most reputable training programs at Benders Yoga where I met Michele Barnes, an incredibly gifted and passionate instructor, and I became certified in August 2018. I am so pleased to be on staff at Benders, working among some of the most compassionate, wise and skilled Coaches and Therapists in the area. I look forward to continuing my journey and sharing my expertise as a Hatha Yoga Instructor. My classes include mindful movement and meditation with an emphasis on strengthening and stability.”
CHRISTEL BODENBENDER (hatha yoga)
Christel took a “Wake Up with Yoga” class during her undergrad degree. Coincidentally, it was the only morning that she could have slept in, but she never regretted going. The experience enriched her life in new ways. Yoga became her anchor for staying active and its many physical and spiritual benefits brought her through difficult times. After many years of practice, she took the step of going to India to immerse herself in the home country of yoga and complete her teacher training. This rewarding experience deepened her connection to yoga, meditation and mindfulness. And as a certified art therapist and energy healer, she also has a range of healing modalities at her fingertips that she can employ as part of her practice.
Christel will be returning in future months!
GINELLE VANDENBUSSCHE (hatha yoga)
Registered Massage Therapist, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, Reiki Master Level III
Ginelle has over 20 years of experience working with people’s bodies as a massage therapist and yoga instructor. Her yoga classes consist of a centering meditation (which intuitively helps to determine the needs of each student in each class) followed by a mix of breathwork, hatha, yin, restorative and phoenix rising yoga to make each class unique and special.
With hands on assists, each class with Ginelle is a nurturing and joyful yoga experience.