Meet our YogaNation Team!

Dawn Burvill - Co-Owner of YogaNation Ltd.


- 200 Hour YTT completed with Baron Baptise Power Vinyasa Yoga, Art of Assisting through Baptiste Power Yoga, 20 hour Power Yoga Canada kids YTT, Calgary Hot Yoga 100 hour YTT, 20 Hour Yoga Athletes Teacher Training (YATT), Yoga Alliance accredited

I began my yoga journey quite by accident. I had spent over 10 years working out at the gym- running, weights, cross fit, kettle bells, you name it, and I even competed in a fitness competition. My running coach suggested I try yoga to ease some of the pain and gain some flexibility while I was training for a half marathon. The first moment I stepped on my mat, I was hooked! I had started to become burnt out at the gym and it was like fate was taking me in another direction. I become immersed in this magical practice called yoga. I had to find out more! And that day, 3 years ago led me here. YogaNation.

I took my first yoga teacher training with Calgary Hot Yoga and after that I decided that I wanted to learn how to become a more powerful teacher through the guidance of Baron Baptiste and Baptiste Power Yoga. I have completed my Level One training in Arizona, My level 2 training in Texas, my Art of Assisting in Ontario and my PYC kids teacher training in Ontario. I am in the process of becoming a certified Baptiste Instructor. And I want to keep on learning and growing as a teacher as well as a practitioner. I love this practice because it’s for real people. Real people with everyday struggles. It is not just for fancy, bendy or trendy people , because I am definitely not fancy, bendy or trendy! It is for everybody. It is for people who want to feel better about themselves, and want to be happier, stronger and more free in their bodies and their lives. This is what I have learned through this amazing journey - a good life is all about loving, laughing and having faith in the universe.

Fun/Interesting Fact(s) about Dawn:

  • She is left handed but only eats and writes with her left hand! Everything else she does is right handed.

  • Her first class she ever went to was taught by Zan Van Brunshot and she was hooked! Zan is the reason why Dawn wanted to teach in the first place and now she is so fortunate to work along side with Zan.

  • She loves Guns N’ Roses! If you drive with her, you will hear it. If you run with her, you will hear it. When you come to her classes, you will hear it. Most times, you will get a bad ass air guitar concert.

  • She loves anything licorice or candy related. Its the way to her heart.

Justina Waschuk - Co-Owner of YogaNation Ltd.


- 200 Hours YTT completed with Baron Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, Art of Assisting through Baptiste Power Yoga, 50 hour Yin YTT, Calgary Hot Yoga 100 hour YTT, 20 Hour Yoga Athletes Teacher Training (YATT)

It brings me so much exhilaration to introduce YogaNation Ltd into the community of Red Deer. The inspiration that led my yoga partner, Dawn, and I to open our own studio is for the opportunity to serve others by sharing our knowledge, passion and personal experience of yoga to all of you!

My story begins at a young age.  Growing up as an athlete, the idea of fitness and healthy living has always been a great part of my life. With 12 years of competitive gymnastics and several other sports under my belt, the intensity and stress that sports have put on my body brought awareness to the fact that the human body is not invincible. That realization was a hard pill to swallow, but it has changed how I nurture my physical body and well-being for the better. Being physically fit is important to me, so finding an activity that was less stressful on my body yet still challenged me immensely was important to find.

Fortunately, in 2010 the world showed me yoga and from the first time I rolled out my mat in a hot yoga studio, my love for the practice became instantaneous.  As the heat and sweat brought warmth to my body, tension in my muscles and joints became more opened and relaxed. The focus that is required of my body and mind challenges me to concentrate on my breath, balance and strength through each movement of the asana practice. As my yoga practice grew, I was inspired to discover different forms of yoga; anywhere from an intense power vinyasa flow to a restorative yin class. Yoga is more than just a practice to me; it’s a road that led me to finding my true authentic self on and off my mat.

My strong passion, curiosity and belief in yoga has transformed me into the yoga instructor that I am today. The positive aspects behind the practice are endless. Through my own personal practice as well as witnessing dedicated yoga practitioner transformations, I have seen improvements of self-awareness, self-acceptance, increased strength, flexibility and balance. Personally, Yoga has helped me find ease, comfort and strength in my heart and soul. Having the opportunity to watch students evolve and embrace yoga is what brings me to love what I do. Through my classes, I teach from a place of love and connection to cultivate a safe atmosphere that is authentic, energy-rich, creative and FUN, leaving students to embrace their own journey into possibility, true authenticity and empowerment. Yoga is your mind and body’s inquiry for learning and discovering new things about yourself!

Be the Light that Lies Within You, For Each and Everyone of Us is Born to SHINE! Namaste.

Fun/Interesting Fact(s) about Justina:

  • Her second favourite thing to do next to yoga is travel. She loves to explore and learn about new cultures and their way of being. Traveling, like yoga, is a never ending journey into self discovery.

  • She loves all styles of music, particularly Rock n’ Roll- so she digs Dawn’s love for Guns N’ Roses! She grew up listening to Classic Rock and still loves to jam to all the classics- not to mention going to their concerts. BIG concert junky right here!

Jenn Paolinelli


- 200 Hour YTT- SOYA, 85 Hour Prenatal YTT- Mamata Yoga

My yoga journey started during my first pregnancy in 2010, as I was looking to reduce stress from my busy lifestyle and stressful job. I loved how relaxed I would feel and the sense of peace that came over me during and after class. After I had my daughter, I began to practice hot yoga on a regular basis and I was hooked! I was so surprised at how quickly my practice was developing in such a short time. I had found my passion, and myself. My mat was exactly where I was supposed to be. I then decided to take the 200 hour teacher training program with South Okanagan Yoga Academy in May of 2013, and am so grateful for the experience and the amazing friends I have met along the way. It reconnected me with spirituality, and a greater appreciation for life. There is so much to be thankful for!

This May, at 32 weeks pregnant with my second daughter, I completed my 85 hour prenatal yoga teacher training with Mamata Yoga. I learned more than I had ever expected and can't wait to share my experiences and knowledge with all the pregnant ladies out there!

I love that yoga challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone and the endless possibilities. You can never perfect yoga, it is a continual journey. I am so excited for the opportunity to live my dream of sharing yoga with others and growing as a student myself.

 

Kim Small


YA 200 HR RYT through Baron Baptise Power Vinyasa Yoga, Art of Assisting through Baptiste Power Yoga

I grew up on a Farm/Ranch in Southern Saskatchewan and have a huge appreciation for my roots. I was always very active and had an interest in the human body and it's capabilities. In the past I worked in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, but hadn't done much yoga. That all changed a couple years ago when I went with an open mind to my very first "hot" class. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but came out of that class with this incredible glow and not just from the sweat pouring down my body. That one class honestly changed my life. Yoga wasn't just another "physical" thing, it became this whole new mind altering, spiritual experience. Yoga has given me a whole new perspective of life off the mat and reminds me every day to be grateful for my many blessings. The main ones being my amazing husband and two beautiful daughters. After a couple years of consistent practice and workshops, I was able to attend Level One 100 Hour Baron Baptiste Power Yoga Teacher Training in Sedona, Arizona June 2014. I have this incredible love of yoga practice and now a new love for teaching yoga. I look forward to learning and growing on this journey with my fellow teachers, practitioners and community. Nothing beats a room full of strong, shining yogis, on their mats, challenging, inspiring and sharing in this beautiful practice.

NAMASTE

Fun/Interesting fact(s) about Kim:

  • She spent Her childhood riding horses and helping on the family farm

  • Sheena Piel, a current instructor at YogaNation, taught her very first yoga class and is forever grateful to her

  • She has two daughters who are complete tom-boys....hockey, baseball, bikes and superheroes

  • She has a crazy weakness for "gummie" candies

  • She lives in yoga clothes. If she wears a dress or even throws on a pair of jeans it's a "big deal"

Raelyn Lachapelle


- 100 hour YTT completed with Baron Baptise Power Vinyasa Yoga, Calgary Hot Yoga 100 hour YTT

Hi! I'm Rae.

To point out the obvious, I love all things yoga. I love the body, and all it's power, the mind and it's never ending ability, I love the soul and all it's softness, green smoothies, the beautiful mountains and above all else God, our Creator.

Yoga has helped me and continues to help me create a life I love. It's helped me recognize and honour that it's is our choice, to choose happiness and through that choice that happiness is attainable in every single moment of this life. As I am inspired daily by the possibility yoga brings through physical practice and awareness, my intention is to inspire others to find that possibility and thus create a life for themselves that is filled with passion confidence, self love, and community. My goal that I am working towards is to continue my training through the Baptiste institute and become a Baptiste certified instructor.

I am forever grateful for the health of my body mind and soul , a gift that should never go unnoticed.

I look forward to growing with you as a teacher, student and studio.

Much love , Rae

Fun/Interesting Fact(s) About Rae:

  • She Married her best friend and high school sweetheart of seven years! They have been together since grade 10 Math class…. If our calculations are correct, she may be our youngest instructor on team YogaNation!

Zan Van Brunschot


200 Hour YTT/100 Hour Assisting/Adjusting with Vijay Amar Dynamic/Ashtanga Yoga, 500 Hour YTT with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher Karin  O'Bannon at Parmath Nikitan Ashram in Rishikesh, India, 200 Hour Iyengar Yoga TT at Pankaj Sharma in Rishikesh, India, 600 Hour Usha Devi Iyengar Yoga at Omkarananda Ganga Sedan Ashram in Rishikesh, Indian

In terms of style, students can expect the strength and challenge of Power, the alignment of Iyengar with the grace of Flow. As a teacher, I believe in sharing my heart, my passion and love of Yoga and its generous plethora of benefits. When I begin the class, I open my heart and it all just flows from there. That being said, inspiration comes to me from many sources, the elements, the beauty of nature, the inexplicable splendor of the ocean.... And from witnessing the growth and transformation of yogis I am fortunate enough to share energy with.

Fitness to me for many years was punctuated with failed commitments to go to the gym, lifting weights and running on treadmills. It always felt mindless and shallow for me, and could never hold my attention for more than a few months at a time.

When I discovered yoga it was like a breath of fresh air, it somehow all made sense, naturally  resonated with the 'me' I was at the time, but especially the 'me' I aspired to become. Yoga entered my life in 1998. It was just something I decided to try one day, and it fit so well that I cannot imagine my life without it. Yoga has been my constant companion ever since, and has rescued me over and over again. The most amazing attribute was that it never bored me, the more I practiced the more I discovered, the more I discovered the more I broadened my horizons. The potential is limitless. I needed to share this remarkable life enhancer, so I decided to become an instructor.

In 2004 I dedicated an entire year to learning to TEACH yoga, to take it beyond my own personal private experience to a level of sharing my love and joy of asana and beyond. I went to the source, to Mother India, to study with different styles and traditions of this ancient practice. I discovered so much about the tradition and even more about myself. It was love at first sight, and has continued to be my delight. Nothing gives me the same kind of feeling than sharing a yoga class with others. It's the ultimate gift, for it gives both ways equally. When I began teaching in 2005, I quickly realized that the learning never ends, everyday my students teach me how to teach them. It is such a rewarding dance...such an easy thing to share! This practice centers, grounds, releases, heals, and illuminates my life. All that is required is that I show up and dedicate myself to the discipline of being present and aware.

I hope that my classes reflect a love for alignment, a down to earthiness and accessible to all. I strive to teach multi-level classes with modifications for beginners and more complex variations for the seasoned practitioner. Students can expect clarity and precision in my cuing or at the very least; perhaps and new and interesting perspective on a familiar posture. A yoga teacher’s job is guiding you: Guide+ Dance = Guidance. We share energy and a sense of community every time we dance together!

Being part of this Yoga Community, working with such dedicated and passionate individuals who care so deeply gives me such pride!

It is, indeed, a privilege to be a small part of such a big YOGA HEART.

Fun/Interesting Fact(s) about Zan:

  • She has struggled all her life with Left and Right. When she first began teaching she considered getting big L’s and R’s on her feet and hands, but decided against it. Thankfully Yoga fixed that for her!

Freda Lundberg


- YA, AYC (Yoga Alliance, Ashtanga Yoga Canada)

I started practicing yoga when I was pregnant with my first child who is now 4. I just did prenatal yoga and instantly fell in love with it. The class only ran one a week, but every day I would look forward to this class. After my child was born, I continued practicing yoga and began practicing three or four days a week. I loved trying different styles of yoga which included Ashtanga, Bikram, Moksha, Kundhilini, Yin, Power, Hot, and not-Hot.

The first time I tried Ashtanga, I knew from that moment that I stumbled upon something amazing. It was life changing for me. I took a yoga philosophy class first learning about the Ashtanga system (8 Limbs) even before I learned Ashtanga vinyasa. After that class was completed I started practicing Ashtanga vinyasa and from there my love affair with yoga grew. I devoted my life to the practice, sacrificing many things, but truly felt it was worth it. Ashtanga is the only practice I've ever done that put a mirror in front of my face. Everything I was "off the mat" would appear "on the mat". When I found myself stumbling on my mat, I knew I had things in my life I had to balance.Ashtanga never let me escape from difficult postures. It paid no sympathy for me when I was frustrated with a posture. It helped me learn the difference between an opening and an injury. Because Ashtanga yoga is derived from the Yoga Sutras, it made me dig deeper into the philosophy. "Yogas citta vritti nirodhah" (1.2) is something my teachers always said. It was the reason why we practice and the reason why I will always continue the practice. When you get to know me, you will see and understand why I love Ashtanga so much. It was the reason why I became a teacher.


 

Carey Smiley


100 Hours Power Flow YTT with Sid Yoga, 32 hours Yin YTT with Nicole Schulz 

After moving to Red Deer in 2010 and not knowing anyone in the community, I became somewhat of a homebody.  My husband suggested I try a yoga class, as we are both health and fitness minded people and I was looking for something I could become passionate about. After resisting his urging me on (for at least a couple years!), I reluctantly went to my first yoga class in an actual “yoga studio”.  As I lay in my very first Savasana, with tears streaming down the side of my face, I was hooked and in love with yoga! I was angry at myself for resisting it for so long-  THIS was what I NEEDED on so many levels.  I began trying a few of the different classes offered at the studio and when an old acquaintance sent me a message, telling me I should try out hot yoga, again my reluctance and fear of the unknown came forward.  Would I be able to handle the heat, would I embarrass myself?  But,  I went for it, and again, I instantly fell in love.  I tried to attend every yoga class I could possibly get to.  I have a full time job, a husband and FIVE children, but I NEEDED to make time for yoga.   When teacher training was offered in Red Deer, I had to go.  I love that yoga is a constant evolution.  We continue to grow and I love sharing my passion for yoga with the people I’ve practiced beside, and have had the privilege of guiding through a practice. Expanding our minds, bodies, connection and growth is a beautiful thing.  The possibilities are endless, and I’ve found a peace within myself that I never knew existed. I love to discuss yoga with anyone who will listen and encourage them to embark upon their own journey or continue on the one they’ve already started.

 

Nicola Boist


200HR YTT- SOYA, 35Hr YTT Yin-Micheal Taylor, 30Hr YTT Restorative-Yoga for Today,  Kids Teacher Training-Rainbow Kids Yoga, AFLCA-Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association-Mind Body, choreography, Cycling, Ever Active kids, Portable training. TRX-Group suspension.

 

Nicola discovered yoga years ago when she was looking for a change. She wasn’t sure what she wanted or needed or if she would even like it. Yoga was life changing for her. It grounded her mentally, physically and spiritually. From there it fostered into a love and eventually that love moved her into changing her entire life.

A 35hrYin teacher training was the first of a few trainings Nicola would take.  After completing that it was time for the full teacher training. Graduating with the upmost of prestige with her 200hrRYT from SOYA (South Okanagan Yoga Academy) she started teaching in and around central Alberta. But that wasn’t enough for Nicola. She needed more so that she could reach out and effect more people with her love and desire for yoga. So then it was off to Victoria B.C. for her Rainbow Kids Teacher Training. Such a fun and innovative way to show children how awesome yoga is!! But for the bad backers like herself or the person who just needs a place to come to release and relax a 30hrRYT in Restorative yoga was in order. Another avenue to be able to share her love of what has helped and changed her life in so many ways.

Nicola brings a fun and challenging but unpretentious vibe to her classes. You will work hard and have fun doing it. No one said yoga was easy but no one said you couldn’t have fun while working hard. Nicola encourages you to follow your own breath and honor what your body is asking of you. Namaste

Fun and Interesting Facts:

-Nicola also teaches group fitness classes at Only Women’s Fitness, RD

-She was born in South Africa

-Travelling is a big deal and is special time to be spent with her daughter Emersen

Erin Sommers


- 500 hour YTT Moksha Yoga, Bachelor of Athletic & Exercise Therapy, Diploma Kinesiology


Yoga found me when I was a teenager, in a DVD named "Yoga with Yolanda." where I would practice in my basement. Yolanda wore a shiny blue onesie and it was magnificent. My curiosity sparked, anticipating a practice that was much more rich than what meets the eye. Soon after, I broke my back in a car accident, where yoga helped me to recover mentally and physically, allowing me to return to an active lifestyle after a short period of time. I continued to land on my mat through various forms of yoga to receive the benefits within myself, illuminating my life, bringing more awareness and connection with the world around me.


Years later, I remain a student, continuously learning what it means to practice yoga on and off my mat. This journey of leaps, falls and lands has inspired and pushed me to keep growing, to share my love for this practice with others, to see others break through walls to transform and evolve, reaching their fullest infinite potentials as a human beings.


Yoga is an intimate journey that is unique to everyone, for everyone, and am grateful for the moments to be a part of your journey.  


Fun/Interesting fact(s) about Erin:



  • She loves watermelon, sushi and all things that glow, all green and colourful things that grow. 

  • The mountains, the seas and everything in between

  • interesting fact: nothing is as it seems.


Madison Thompson


200 hour Ashtanga & Vinyasa Flow YTT through Kranti Yoga


I first came to yoga for the physical benefits but fell in love with it for the amazing effect it had on me mentally.  The fact that I could go somewhere just to breathe and ground myself in the present moment was something I at first didn’t even know I needed, but soon came to rely on as a part of everyday life. Yoga has brought me awareness not only of my body but also my mind and spirit, as well as shown me how they are all interconnected. By teaching yoga I hope to help guide my students to what countless others have passed on to me – peace of mind, strength, balance, and focus. A practice both on and off the mat.


In the spring of 2015 I traveled to India for two months, during which time I completed my 200 hour Ashtanga & Vinyasa Flow certification. It was an incredible experience to learn from both Indian and Western teachers while completely immersing myself in the practice of yoga. To those of you who come to my class, thank you! I am so excited to share my knowledge with you while also learning from you in the process. In the wise words of Pattabhi Jois: “Practice and all is coming.”


Namaste!   

Shannon Lamb


200 hour YTT completed with Blooming Lotus Yoga School, certificate with Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association.

I took my first Ashtanga class 8 years ago during a transitional and difficult time in my life. I remember distinctly feeling that in the 90 mins I was in yoga class the chaos of my life outside seemed to dissolve. Back then I had no idea that I was making such profound changes within myself through yoga asana. Ever since I have continued to evolve my practice taking it from purely physical to mental and emotional. I have done this the through study of yogic text, meditation, and consistent yoga asana practice. Yoga has become a way of life for me and has moved me forward in such a positive way. I feel so honoured to be given the gift of the path of yoga and have the privilege to share it with others.

I completed my teacher training this past June in Bali Indonesia, learning Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and some yin and restorative styles. I also had the opportunity learn a few different methods of meditation. My training was a pivotal experience teaching me so many things about myself, and how the world is best viewed from a lens of love and compassion.


Fun and interesting facts:

-Shannon has been a group fitness instructor since she was 17.

-She also loves travel to Mexico in particular and has been there 12 times to various locations.

Alaynne West-Tweten


- Calgary Hot Yoga 100 hour YTT, Power Yoga Canada 20 hour Kids YTT
 
Yoga encompasses mind, body and spirit like nothing else I have ever done in my life.  After years of pushing myself in the gym lifting weights, running, pushing myself to the extreme and in the rat race of the corporate world, I found myself on my mat.  Yoga has opened my mind to see the world differently, people differently and myself in an honest, accepting and more loving way.  My first yoga class was lend by the amazing Grace Little in Innisfail about 20 years ago.  I remember the feeling of letting go of the mind and taking my body to where she instructed us to.  I remember the bursts of energy I felt.  This brought me to my mat time and time again but not on a consistent basis, my "monkey mind" couldn't calm enough, I felt I needed a "harder" workout.  About five years ago pregnancy brought me to my mat on a more consistent basis, especially in the final trimester.  This regular practice allowed for more peace in my mind, body and soul.  
 
Ah the love of HOT yoga!  I certainly did not need to look for a more "intense" workout!  The heat allows the joints to open and the muscles are then ready to receive the benefits of the practice.  Once the body opens up the mind becomes free, and you are ready to transform.  My journey has brought more mindfulness to my everyday being, more love and gratitude for my life, my husband and four amazing children! 
 
Natural healing has always been an interest of mine and I love learning the ways of the past cultures and natural healers that have graced our earth before us.  Loving what Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential oils have done for me and my family, you may even smell them in one of my classes ;) Growth is never ending, I am committed to learning through workshops, classes and training, taking my knowledge to another level so that I can share this with you. 
 
I feel so blessed to be part of the YogaNation Red Deer team!  Come on over and get your yoga glow on!  
 
"Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim.  The better your practice, the brighter the flame." ~B.K.S. Iyengar
NAMASTE
 
Fun/Interesting Fact(s) about Alaynne:

  •  She is 1822.45mm tall!

  • She loves music with a huge appreciation for blues and jazz!

Join Our Team

YogaNation is always open to the idea of expanding our team! We seek qualified teachers with BIG personalities and a passion for yoga who excel in their field. Please contact us to discuss your background and experience. We hire on a case-by-case basis, as our needs continue to grow, however, our first loyalty goes to our current instructors. Namaste