Meet our YogaNation Team!

Candice Blum - Owner YogaNation LTD


I couldn't be more excited to be apart of such an amazing team and yoga community.  I will never forget my first class at YogaNation.  It felt as though I awakened something inside of me that I never knew was even there!  The practice of yoga has literally changed my life in so many ways.  The asana (physical) practice building strength and flexibility, meditation bringing me some inner peace, and the pranayama (breath) that just seems to "show up" now during difficult times in my life bringing in a new state of calmness.  Yoga literally can benefit anyone at any age of ability, which is what led me into my teacher training later in life at the age of 35.  I took my training through the South Okanagan Yoga Academy.  This training provided me with a more in depth understanding of the history and philosophy of yoga.  It left me eager to share all these wonderful things I learned with basically anyone who would listen to me.


You'll often find a theme during my classes.  Whether it's following something from Pantajali's 8 Limbs of Yoga, building strength, breaking down peak poses, inquiring within, chakras, or just making it light and fun!  I love incorporating humour within my classes....although most of the time they come in the form of bad dad jokes or puns!  I always encourage my students to make their practice "their own."  Exploring new movements and finding out what feels good...as we are all different in body and mind, each day is different, and what we are looking to get out of our yoga practice is different.  I look forward to continuing to build relationships at YogaNation, as the community we have built and are surrounded by is filled with love and light. I'm grateful to continue to grow and expand personally and professionally.  Keeping YogaNation the wonderful space Dawn & Justina originally created here in Red Deer.



Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

"May all beings everywhere be happy and free, may the words and actions in my life contribute in some way to that for others."



Fun/Interesting Fact(s) About Candice

She used to run long distances....including the Sinister 7 trail race, completing 35km in the mountains.  Running these distances gave her a whole new appreciation for yoga.

Candice loves to do kickboxing and actually has a green belt in it.

She spends most of her summers camping and boating with her husband and 2 boys.

Candice is also a Registered Veterinary Technician and has worked in Veterinary Medicine for over 20 years!!



Dawn Burvill - Founder YogaNation LTD


Dawn Has moved to Texas, but she is and always will be apart of the YogaNation team!  Keep your eyes on our schedule and social media sites for when Dawn is in town and leading one of her amazing classes here as a "guest" instructor!

- 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.

  • 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 - Founder YogaNation LTD


Justina has moved to Calgary to pursue a career in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.  She is and always will be apart of our YogaNation team!  Keep your eyes peeled on our social media sites and schedule for special "Guest" appearances!   

- 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, Art of Assisting - Baptiste, 50 Hour Yin - Empowered Yoga, 50 Hour Thai Yoga Massage, Buti Yoga, Advanced Buti 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!

In 2014, 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 love 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 possibilities of what your body can do are endless.  You can never perfect yoga, it is a continual journey of learning and practising.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to live my dream of sharing yoga with others, while continuing to learn as a student myself.

Fun/Interesting Facts About Jenn: 

She is the oldest of 5 girls

She is "addicted" to coffee

She loves spending time with her family.  She has 2 girls, Charlee & Venice - "who challenge me more than any job I've ever had."

She loves to travel, and has seen some pretty amazing places around the world

She loves nature, especially being in the mountains.  Her family spends pretty much the entire summer camping.

 

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!

Carey Smiley


- 100 Hours Power Flow YTT with Sid Yoga, 32 hours Yin YTT with Nicole Schulz  200 hours hot yoga teacher  Alberta Hot yoga (Kim McMullen)

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.

 

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!

  • Loves to give really good hugs <3

Lindsay Johnson


- 200 hr YTT Ashtanga / Vinyasa Yoga at Yoga Passage, 100 hr YTT Prana Vinyasa with Shiva Rea, 200 hr ERYT Certified Baptiste Power with Baron Baptiste, Certified Buti Yoga Instructor.

I began practicing and teaching Yoga in 2005 where I took my first class and first training at Yoga Passage in Calgary, AB. Yoga has always been an exploration of body, mind and soul for me, I have been lucky to learn from many great Teachers and Mentors over the past decade that have all contributed to my growth as a teacher but more importantly as a student and human being. If there is one thing I have learned from all my time on my mat is there is no one way, to the way. I believe that Yoga is the process of re-discovering who we really are, beyond our patterns and belief systems and that what we experience in our body and mind on the mat, can tell us a lot about how we choose to experience our life off the mat. Yoga is the path of self discovery, love and ultimately the Truth.
I am blessed to be a part of the YogaNation team, you can find me sharing my love of Yoga from
anything from Vinyasa Flow to Power Yoga, and Buti Yoga. You can count on me to challenge you both physically and mentally, because I truly believe that our true power can be discovered in the moments that we are challenged. Yoga has shown me that in the deepest darkest moments of my own life I have discovered my brightest light. When I am not in the studio or on my mat I love to spend time with family as well as working on my business Meraki Yoga & Design.

Tracey Gall


Tracey Gall is the Fitness & Wellness Coordinator with the School of Continuing Education at RDC, yoga instructor, personal trainer, group fitness instructor and AFLCA Trainer at Red Deer College. Tracey began instructing in the area of movement over 20 years ago as Provincial coach with the Canadian Figure Skating Association, and returned to study movement at Red Deer College to complete a diploma in the study of Kinesiology – Adapted Physical Education.
Tracey graduated from Red Deer College in 2012, is a registered CSEP-CPT, and is a registered E-RYT200 with Yoga Alliance, and Yin Yoga instructor.
Tracey is studying Myofascial meridians (Anatomy Trains-Thomas Myers),Critical alignment yoga therapy with Gert van Leeuwan, and she is also completing her undergrad at the University of Alberta in Kinesiology – Youth & Recreation programming. She continues to enhance knowledge and develop creative programming and workshops in Central Alberta.
When not buried in homework and research she loves to read, spend time with family friends and her “grumble” of pugs.

Leslie Strome


- 200 hour RYT and Yoga Alliance certified through Alberta Hot Yoga Teacher Training, 32 Hour Yin training with Nicole Shultz, 24 Hour Restorative Yoga training through Empowered Yoga Edmonton, (Currently expanding on my learning for yoga through Mount Royal University Calgary, taking the Yoga Therapy program, to be completed spring 2019.)



I started my yoga journey when my youngest son was just a year, mostly to get out of the house and shed a few pounds. To be honest it took a few months of on and off practice to finally be bit by the yoga bug. I started to notice how my body changed and was focused solely on the physical parts of yoga.. Somewhere along the line, the magic happened. Without even being aware it was happening I started to alter my mindset and apply my practice off the mat. It was then I knew that teacher training was the right next step for me. Over the next year, I dedicated myself to my practice even harder as my marriage came to an end and even threw myself into the next level of teacher training. This lifestyle and teaching has forever changed me and because of it, I believe with my whole body and soul in the power of yoga. I enjoy so much seeing new students roll out their mats about to embark on their own journey, and to be part of it just for a brief moment is a very humbling thing. To me yoga is all about living your own experience and forming bonds and community in a place of safety where everyone is free to truly be themselves and take with it them as please.


Fun/Interesting Facts About Leslie:


She has 1 cat, 1 bunny and 2 birds at home


She speaks French


Leslie actually likes winter more than summer


She was raised on the ski hill, in Nancy Greene ski school and competitive down hill as a kid and then switched to snowboarding at 14, and now proud to be passing on the love of the sport to my kids

Melissa Konjolka


- RYT 200 Hour YTT Ashtanga Vinyasa with Bodhi Yoga Academy,  100 Hour YTT with Baron Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, 32 Hour Yin YTT


Yoga has been an amazing journey for me.  Allowing me to break out of my comfort zone, travel the world and meet some of the most amazing people!   Personally, yoga has brought more love and gratitude in my life, and has helped me find strength and balance.  In my classes, I teach from a place of love and the strong passion I have for yoga.  I am so grateful for all the moments I get to spend with my students. Watching students evolve and discover new things about themselves is what brings me to love what I do!   I look forward to coming to the studio and seeing all the other Yogi’s smiling faces.

Melissa Kay


Hey there, my name is Melissa Kay and this is my yoga story. At the age of 18 my at home yoga practice took hold in the town of Penhold, Alberta, but the foundation of a community practice began when I was abroad in Byron Bay, Australia 2010.  Since returning home, I have immersed myself in the Red Deer yoga community and completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training, plus 32 hours of Yin training. The inspiration for my practice at first was motivated by genetic breast cancer, but it soon altered to a conscience connection between the mind and body.  Whether it’s practicing yoga or cuing a sequence, focusing on the breath and body perception through movement or stillness seems to evolve. I am continuously drawn to different styles of yoga, they all teach to create a unique connection to awareness. Yin; A sustainable, passive and healing stretch. Yang; Whether it’s Power flow, Hatha, Aerial or Acro, there is distinction among them, but also similarities of using strength.  Yoga sets the foundation for your life. It has taught me the difference between fierceness and determination, how mindfulness affects change, and what it means to feel empowered. By remaining a student to both Yin and Yang styles of yoga, allows for new inspiration to regularly emerge and sets me up for the next goal to be achieved.

Amy Komarniski


- 200 Hour YTT completed with Shift Power Yoga, 100 Hour YTT completed through Baptiste Power Yoga, 75 Hour Thai Yoga Massage through Thai Yoga Massage Institute

 

I’ve been teaching fitness classes since I was in University. I was very inactive growing up and the value of physical movement as a way to support both physical and mental health didn’t strike me till I was 19 and tired of being out of shape and stressed. I initially started to teach so I could get free memberships for the gym…student budgets are tight. Quite by surprise, I discovered a passion for teaching that has remained constant through a number of career and life changes.

I branched out into Yoga after 15 years of racing and teaching in the fitness industry. A co-worker at the college suggested I try yoga and I’ll be forever grateful. The physical openings have been a gift, but getting to really know myself though the practices of mindfulness and self-reflection have provided a constant anchor for me as I move through life’s stages.

I have two teenage boys who I have more capacity to be tolerant with (they are sooooo lucky I love yoga), and I was even able to share some teaching moments with my youngest son when we led a season of yoga for his hockey team.  Professionally my worlds came together recently as I took on the role of Mental Health Strategist at RDC and find endless opportunities to weave the practices and teachings of yoga in the self-care and support practices for mental health.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn and grow with the staff and members at Yoga Nation and look forward to seeing you on your mat!

 

Fun/Interesting Facts About Amy :

Her first yoga class was from Sharon Hamilton, current Chair of Kinesiology at RDC. She worked with Sharon at the college who invited her to join a class with her students….best challenge ever accepted!

This girl likes anything that challenges her physically. Her growing list of activities currently includes Yoga, Running, Biking, Swimming, Hiking, Hockey, Tennis, Golf, Cross Fit/ Boot Camp, Paddle Board, Wake Surfing, Dancing, and Basketball with her son ( who is he only one who will play with her)

Shaela Brandt


Hi, my name is Shaela! I am a local Red Deer practitioner and certified teacher. I received my 200 hours YTT here in Red Deer focusing on Hot Yoga and went on to obtain another 32 hour intensive in yin yoga.

I started practicing yoga to support my mental health and my spiritual journey, since then I have grown to love the many physical benefits as well. My yoga practice is diverse and these days I use it to develop my self awareness and promote my physical health.

In my teaching I hope to create a space for you to discover yourself and your practice all while becoming aware of the capabilities your body has to offer.

I look forward to guiding you through a practice soon!

Beverly Scholze


“If there’s a question, yoga is the answer”.

There are many reasons to come back to yoga time & again. The learning & the practice are among them. My passion is to lead others to this same realization!

I am a long-time desk worker. Keeping an office job has had its toll on my shoulders and back. To make matters worse I taught fitness on cement floors when we didn’t know hi-impact could have an impact..My body, mind and spirit needed some love. All my experiences lead me to yoga.

In a perfect yoga life there’s daily practice, study and learning. Almost impossible in our busy lives. I strive to encourage others now to find a balance.

My first formal training was as a Fusion (Yoga, Pilates mix) instructor almost 10 years ago. Since then I have grown through Alberta Hot Yoga teacher training, Evolation Hot Yoga training. Restorative training and also an amazing Insight Yin Yoga instruction. What an amazing journey! The gift from these trainings is what I am able pass on to others.

A life time central Albertan, I love our area and the people in it. When I’m not in the studio, I study nutrition, travel, golf, curl and enjoy our trail system (my husband & dog with!)

Robin Nicholas


- 200 Hour YTT

I am a student and teacher of Yoga, Registered Nurse in Oncology, wife and mom of two beautiful little girls.  I love running, hiking, hugs, a good glass of wine, deep conversations, exploring with my family… mountain views, ocean views, thickly covered greens with majestic streams & waterfalls, sand in between my toes, breeze on my cheeks… basically everything outdoors!

As a student of Yoga for the past 9+ years, I have discovered that my truest Yoga form rests in the heart of Bhakti Yoga. Bhakti is Yoga of the heart; Yoga of love, devotion, connection and equanimity. It is through these practices that we are able to peel away the layers that prevent each one of us from seeing the greatness that is within. Connecting with your true self- body, soul and breath, we learn that we are all connected on this journey through life.

Every moment, every day, each time we roll out our mats is an opportunity to begin again. We are only here on this earth for a short time, let us slow down & embrace every moment of this gift we have been given. Let us join hearts and unite in connection, love & peace through this Yoga community and beyond!

I can’t wait to meet you on this journey!   ~OM OM OM ~

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