Sergio Miguel That is where it all started for me in Yoga: Derek and OYS! The most important gift that Yasmine Miguel my daughter gave me -after coming to existence as my daughter – was to bring me to OYS on a cold Sunday morning in January 2005! Reluctantly I went, not knowing what was about to happen to me!!
Thank you so much Derek for 10 years of teaching the essence of true Yoga.
A lot was accomplished since and I can’t help remember the lyrics from The Beatles’ album ‘Let it Be’: “…we are on our way home…(OM!)” and “You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead…”
After eight years of regular yoga practice that lead me to meditation and retreats, I wanted to consolidate my patchwork of knowledge, skills, and experience with yoga teacher training. What struck me when I met Derek was his flexibility to include mature students with diverse experience and day jobs who are committed to yoga and sang ha, and his sincere dedication to all four paths and eight limbs of yoga, both on and off the mat.Derek’s signature message to “underachieve” cut through my Western training to compete and reach for the top. Now it was possible to bring awareness of my limits and respect them as part of doing my best. Today’s yoga practice is unique, different from yesterday’s and tomorrow’s. That is yoga.
Through detailed instructions on asana alignment, I learned adjustments, and alternatives to make yoga accessible to various ability levels. Derek’s instruction to “congratulate yourself for all the postures you didn’t do today” (IE. modified), invited us to respect and honour our total mind-body-spirit selves here and now, in this moment. It became clear that extending compassion to others is only possible once compassion to self is practiced first.
I love how Derek initiated each half-day session in yoga teacher training with a round of personal introductions. Even though we’d already met, this embodied practice of honest and respectful speaking in the moment not only warmed up our voices, it helped characterize our personal and group vital signs, like pushing a reset button, and building trust as we embarked on learning adventures as both individuals and as sang ha.
One of the most radiant lessons from Derek was awareness of using my voice as an instrument of communication. Derek’s musical background informed his yoga teaching by comparing oration of asanas as akin to learning a song, making it easier to relate to. Derek’s gift for storytelling and humour made the transmission of yoga, including its history and philosophy enjoyable. His humility and commitment to lifelong learning created ease in our training sessions, with a fluidity between teacher and students roles.
I have utmost respect and love for him as my mentor into the wider yoga teacher sang ha. I didn’t know Derek when he was a rock star, but he’s a star yoga mentor. I highly recommend his program for anyone interested in an all-inclusive adventure into yoga.
Dr. Joyce Schachter
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
I began my yoga journey with Derek at OYS in 2008 when my life was so stressful, that I was broken physically, mentally and spiritually. I tried some classes and was hooked at how relaxed the hour felt. I would arrive in any state, yet left feeling relaxed, refreshed and renewed. Learning to “underachieve”, to reduce my egoic expectations, was completely new to me.
Years later, along my path, I again ran into Derek, the OYS, and yoga teacher training. My years of healing led me to coaching others about relaxation, responsibility, and happiness. I thought it was a great idea to dig deeper into yoga, how I could benefit others with this specific training. The hours spent day after day with a class, learning about the practice, the history, breathing, and energy, shifted my thinking. I tried being a vegetarian for a week during Ashtanga classes. I was shocked at how wonderful that week felt. The constant attention to my breath and what I was thinking reinforced what I teach others, to live intentionally.
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
Since beginning, and now completing my YTT, I am a non-drinker, a vegetarian, and I do not drink coffee. Each was a huge step into feeling internally what was working for me, and listening to my body. I have added a yoga practice and daily meditation to my toolbox. I have learned intuition, to deeply feel what is correct in my life, what I would like to do, what I need to do, how to contribute.
“Sometimes, simply by sitting, the soul collects wisdom.”
To be a great teacher, I have learned that I must breathe what I am thinking, that what I think, I must live. In my quest to become a greater human, I spent years looking for people that were living what they preached. Derek strives to live daily what he teaches. This is a rare quality. Ottawa is blessed to have a yogi with so much experience, such dedication and passion.
Reese Adeney, – yogi, coach, dad.
I took my first yoga class ever with Derek at the Orleans Yoga Shala in 2004
When I was a first year Dental Hygiene student looking for something to help align my body. At first felt a little uncomfortable not knowing what to expect, a little intimidated looking around at all the people who seemed to know what they were doing. I don’t remember much of what we did in that class but I do remember the feeling I got after the class. It was hard to describe but “that was pretty awesome” seemed to sum it up well. I felt more relaxed and a little lighter, like I had left something I didn’t even realize I was carrying on the mat. It was that feeling that kept me going back as often as I could. As is often the case though, life got in the way and the first thing to go was the most recent thing I had added to my schedule – yoga.
Over the years I kept up somewhat of a yoga practice taking classes at the gym I attended. The more I practiced, the more I would notice subtle little shifts; not just in how my body was moving and feeling, but also in how I was reacting to the world around me. I felt calmer, less stressed and less bothered by things. I wanted more of that so this summer I decided to look up the Orleans Yoga Shala and see what classes they offered now that my schedule was open. The first thing that caught my eye was the 40 Hour Ashtanga Intensive Teacher Training program that was being offered and starting in a couple of weeks. I thought ‘what better way to get back into yoga then diving into an intensive program, but I really don’t want to teach yoga’. I decided to give it a shot anyway, at the very least I would have a good understanding of the postures even though I had no intention of teaching. Suffice it to say, Derek’s passion for yoga had me reconsider teaching and by the end of the 40 hour Intensive program I wanted to know more. I registered for the 200 hr teacher training and have enjoyed every minute of it.
Every weekend not only strengthened my physical practice, but the mental practice of yoga as well, and the benefits have carried through to all aspects of my life. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to practice and learn with Derek at the Orleans Yoga Shala. His kind, funny and compassionate teaching style made for a great learning atmosphere, and his years of experience added so much depth to the curriculum.
So thank you Derek for sharing your knowledge and passion. I hope to do the same!
My name is Marie-Claude Carrière and I have been practicing yoga for several years. This has been my opening statement at the beginning of every yoga teacher training class, for the past months. As simple and seemingly meaningless these words might appear, they mean so much now. These few words say it all, who I am, my essence, and how yoga has been my essence, how it has become a part of me.
The training at the Shala has helped me find the meaning of these words. What is yoga? We had so many interesting readings, discussions. I have learned so much more than the asanas. Of course we studied the postures, the techniques,the benefits, the teaching of the postures. I did all my homework and every time I would find myself more and more curious. The more I read, the more I want to read. However, what I want to bring up is what we learned between the lines. The true meaning of yoga, the breathing, the meditation, the quiet, the peace, the moment. There was an atmosphere of well being of mutual respect. At times I was wondering, what I am doing here? I can’t do this! My ego was telling me to leave….
However the principles of yoga taught me that it is ok to be myself, to accept who I am in my practice. It has helped me grow and I am convinced that it has given me the tools to sharemy love of yoga with others.
Marie-Claude Carrière Orleans Yoga Shala June 22, 2014
Twenty-three years ago, I was coaxed by a friend to go to some fitness classes at our local fitness centre.
It became such a great experience, I loved working out, I loved the music, I enjoyed the group aspect, and I met so many people. Within a couple of years, I decided to become an instructor myself. Fitness has been a very large, important part of my life since then. It has made me stronger, physically, mentally and emotionally. I’ve never looked back. Although only ever having attended a few yoga classes over the years, I knew yoga was something that I would eventually want to pursue. What prompted me to get started on the training this year was the pressing need for yoga instructors at the fitness club where I work.
My yoga teacher training experience at Orleans Yoga Shala has proven to be very enlightening and enjoyable, I found myself eager to get back for each training weekend. Derek has proven to be a wonderful instructor, very passionate about yoga, and very patient as each of us went through the learning process, ensuring that we were grasping the information and understanding the importance of proper form, the “essence” of the asana, to “be present”, to not compete, to “underachieve”, and so much more. I am going to miss his guidance.
Yoga practice is now a regular activity for me, I love the way it makes me feel. I know there is still so much more to learn, about yoga, and about myself. I have only just begun my yoga journey. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with others.
Of all the yoga shala’s available, I feel very blessed that I found Orleans Yoga.
Thank you Derek for making my experience so amazing.
Leah Pearsoll, July 2014
12 years ago, I stepped onto a yoga mat and thought that I had finally found something that I could love. At the time I did not realize how much my life would change because of it. I don’t mean huge life altering changes but small little nudges that slowly changed my way of thinking and how I reacted to the world around me. Call it serendipity but my very first yoga instructor all those years ago was Derek Kendrick and who would have thought that 12 years later it would be Derek that would guide me through my yoga instructor’s training.
While yoga has taught me many things about myself, the instructor training gave me more than I ever thought it would. I originally went into it with expectations of learning to teach people a purely physical practice but with Derek I learned much more than that.
In the eight weekends spent with him and my fellow students I found that the physical aspect of yoga is just one small part of teaching. I learned that in order to be a good teacher you must also be a good student and learn from those you teach. I learned that the history and spirit of yoga defines the teacher and plays a much more important role than just the asana. I learned to put ego and expectations aside and found I received more than I ever would have thought possible.
While the practice of yoga itself began a change in me for the better, the instructor training cemented that change and deepened my understanding of the philosophy and spirituality behind the practice which in turn is the sole reason for the practice. I have come to realize that I am just truly beginning my yoga journey.
Thank you Derek for being a kind, funny, passionate and compassionate teacher. You have inspired me and I hope that I can carry on your legacy in some small way.
Already a teacher in other fields, I started the yoga teacher training because yoga was already apart of my life, at least weekly, and in a stressful moment, I told myself it could not be a bad idea to go deeper into something as relaxing. I was already into meditation but the training made it more clear to me that meditation was not just theory, but also practice. To be honest, I was not expecting the training to be so spiritual, but after a change of expectations, I realized that all of the info and questioning that this training makes you go through is essential to a richer life and a more peaceful mind.
With the training, yoga became what it is supposed to be, that is to say a daily activity (not just physically but mentally), and just for that, it was worth it.
My expectations for this yoga teacher training, was to learn and grow my development personally and professionally so I could incorporate yoga into my future career plans. Now that my YTT is completed, I have deepened my practice and have a broader and deeper understanding of yoga through learning the history, philosophy, teaching methodology, anatomy and philosophy, meditations and much more. It is hard work but if you are up for the challenge it is totally worth it and rewarding!
I am looking forward to teach, share what I have learned and continue my endless journey of learning and practicing yoga!
Norma Léger (New-Brunswick)
About 5-6 years ago, I took my first yoga course and spent 8 weeks in a beginner class learning the “basic” postures. I practiced at home occasionally after that but did not have what I would call a regular practice. About 1.5 years ago at the age of 49, I felt like I needed something else in my life and had a strong desire to return to Orleans Yoga Shala. I have been practicing there regularly since. I think I’ve taken every class by every instructor and started to realize that yoga was not simply about the postures (asanas), but really is a way of life. I started taking some of the workshops offered and the more I learned, the more interested I became, so taking the teacher training seemed like a natural progression -whether or not I wanted to be an instructor.
The teacher training has given me a wealth of knowledge from physiology to philosophy by an instructor,Derek, who has a wealth of both knowledge and experience. For me the biggest lesson or realization is that there is more to being a teacher than showing someone how to do the asanas. At age 50 and not naturally flexible, I will not be able to do every posture perfectly…and that’s ok (which takes a lot for an overachiever to admit!). I can use my words to guide my students to do the postures, but I want to teach them more than that. If I am kind and patient both within the yoga shala and outside, if I live by example,and if I can help someone to feel better about themselves, to relax…to breath..to leave my class feeling more at peace and carrying that peace out into the world with them…then I think that is what will make me a good yoga teacher.
So thanks to Derek, the other OYS yoga teachers and my fellow teachers in training…I have learned a lot from all of you. Namaste!
Taking the yoga teacher training program not only has given me the knowledge to deepen my practice and teach but it has also open my eyes to a beautiful path that will give me a happier life.
Taking the Ottawa yoga teacher training at Orleans Yoga Shala was an amazing experience. I was surrounded by the most caring, knowledgeable and honest people I have been associated with, both the teachers and students. I felt acceptance and love. Derek has taught me that you never know it all and being 23 years old that was very hard to accept, but by being taught by such an amazing teacher I have allowed myself to accept things a lot easier. The course has taught me how to live my life on the mat and off the mat in the Maya.
My experience was profound and life changing, It was a blessing to be taught by such a yogi and teacher that leads his life the yogic way and thought me more than just Asanas in the course.
Mora Rahimi, Ottawa, On.
Words could not suffice to describe the experience gained from the Ottawa Yoga Teacher Training at the Orleans Yoga Shala. You’ll need to attend the classes and participate in the dance with Guru Kendrick and his students.
I can however tell you that the team at the Shala are flexible, kind and most importantly – safe. Through this Shala (School) you’ll deepen your practice, acquire the necessary skills to instruct all types of classes while receiving the respect and patience from the teachers. Obtaining these skills will be very challenging at times but anything worth getting should be.
Derek’s guidance helped us understand the history of the practice and taught us something new every time we attended a multitude of his different workshops.
I’m excited to read more testimonials as time goes by and can’t wait to see what your thoughts were.
Anyhow, good luck to all you future students and I ensure you that you’ll leave the course feeling the same way the majority of people feel after a fantastic yoga class; calm, content and most importantly – happy.
Bryan-Allan Ndéma-Moussa, Ottawa, On.
Completing the Ottawa Yoga Teacher Training at the Orleans Yoga Shala has not only deepened my personal practice but given me the confidence to show others this beautiful science. Derek worked patiently with every student and ensured that all of our questions and concerns were his number on priority.I now feel ready to share what I have learned with others and I hope to continue deepening my own yoga practice.
Thank you to all of the teachers and students at OYS for making my experience amazing.
Adam William Morris (Nepean ,Ottawa,ON.)
I decided to take a Ottawa Yoga teacher training at Orleans Yoga Shala when I came back from Alberta, where I took my first Yoga class back in September 2012. I fell in love with the practice and wanted to share this new passion of mine with others. It is amazing to be taught by Derek, a passionate and accomplished Yogi with so much knowledge. He is comprehensive and flexible; he will help you get the most benefits from this beautiful experience. His love and passion for Yoga made it a much more meaningful one. What I appreciate the most about the training I received at Orleans Yoga Shala, is that not only do you learn how to teach Yoga, but you also learn how to become a Yogi.
Weekend after weekend, you feel the benefits of the Yoga practice and its philosophy. Step by step you start making good changes in your life; you get more aware of your body and mind. You start to make better decisions for yourself considering a new approach, another point of view. It did change me deeply; I became more compassionate and confident, but I also learned not to be stubborn, to let go of certain things in life and to content myself with what currently makes me happy. The more you learn, the more you get happy and people around you notice it. Breath by breath, I became more flexible physically and mentally. When I took the decision to take the Yoga teacher training I didn’t know that I would learn how to live a better life.
I want to thank Derek for sharing his knowledge and guiding me through this resourceful and re-energizing experience.It’s all about balance.Namaste.
Marikosa Lafontaine-Boyer, Montreal QC.
The Ottawa yoga teacher training program offered at Orleans Yoga Shala was an eye opener for me. I have been practicing yoga for a year without the knowledge, gratitude and appreciation I now have for it. Derek provides his students with a good balance of Yoga’s history, philosophy, poses and modifications as well as breathing techniques and meditation. The yoga teacher training program offered at Orleans Yoga Shala was an eye opener for me. I have been practicing yoga for a year without the knowledge, gratitude and appreciation I now have for it.
Derek provides his students with a good balance of Yoga’s history, philosophy, poses and modifications as well as breathing techniques and meditation. This course encompasses everything you need to know to become a conscious yoga teacher and help improve your personal practice.
Derek’s love and passion for this lifestyle radiates strongly to his students and has helped shift my journey towards a brighter path. I am oh-so grateful for the opportunity to have shared this time with such knowledgeable and passionate individuals. I am now ready to put full confidence in the universe to provide me with the greater good, as it did by leading me to this program. Namaste, love and peace.
Julie Gallant, Rockland On.
I started to practice yoga about 10 years ago as a fun activity practiced spastically. In the past couple of years I have been practicing yoga more often to escape from my stressful life. Immediately I noticed that I how good I felt after a yoga class so I made the decision to learn more. I started researching teacher training programs and found OYS 200 hour teaching training program and enrolled in February 2013.
The OYS 200 hour yoga teacher training program is so much more than just learning postures. In this program I have learned what yoga really is, the history, breathing techniques, meditation and more. I have been searching and trying different things to find the happiness I have been looking for with no success. The teacher training program has helped me find my true self me and has given me a way to live a happy and fulfilling life. This program has taken me on journey that was not just physical and mental but also spiritual.
Enrolling in this program is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The past 6 months has truly been a life changing experience. I completed the 200 hour yoga teacher training program in July 2013 and have realized that this is only the beginning of my yoga journey. I am looking forward to learning more and teaching that knowledge to others.
Thank you, Derek, for your passion and knowledge. Your guidance has helped me to find happiness and peace. You have truly changed my life and I will always be grateful for this.
Nasmate and Shanti,
Teresa Splinter, Stittsville,ON.
My name is Eleanor Price, and I’m about to graduate from the Orleans Yoga Shala’s Teacher Training Program. It’s May 7th, 2013, and I feel like I’m about to enter into a new phase of life – not because I’m about to become qualified to teach yoga, but because in a few days, I will have completed a program that has permanently altered the course of my life for the better… or at least, for the truer.
Over the course of my 12-year yoga path, I’ve had several consciousness-raising experiences, but I always seem to forget what I learn when I get sucked back into life’s business. It’s only during this course that I’ve had the opportunity to share the experiences with others, as they share theirs with me, in a safe, warm and positive environment where neither heartfelt discussion nor hearty belly laughs are in short supply.
Derek himself is an honest and delightful person and as a teacher, he takes just the right amount of guff. He’s achieved the teacher’s sought-after balance of being both professional and personable. He’s approachable and flexible in his teachings, but he never wavers from his ultimate goal, which is teaching his students yoga. His passion for yoga is contagious and you can’t help but want to become more serious about yoga after this course. Even if you’re already serious about yoga, you’ll benefit from many disillusioning moments that will change your practice and by extension, your life.
Eleanor Price,Ottawa ON.
If you would be a tree, you would be a good tree. Be happy and content with what you are at this moment. NOW, as I paint the fresco of this amazing journey, I realize that this path I’m choosing to draw and nurture is seemly getting more accurate. Precisely on what I want to flow and how the flow’s naturally revealing its colors. This picture sure looks nice. It as valleys and peaks, and I sure would like to be that ray of light, or that tree, or that small ant or that free bird opening its wings through the blowing wind.
We each come from a diamond in the rough. We learn to listen, create a space for it’s own nature and polish it. Yoga helped me learn to become more LIGHT by gaining energy, life force and positivity I didn’t knew I had. Starting by making peace with myself, underachieving, I realised that I could release my full potential. By osmosis, I can help my environment by being this essence that I am.
With my new “eyes”, I realize that there’s no secret elixir. The only elixir is to practice 99% of the time. Only 1% is theory as we are all learning by doing, seing, being and most importantly: BREATHING!!!! By doing so, I can clear my mind, create inner & outer prana and just let this flow of energy transcend.
The journey with Orlean Yoga Shala will take you simultaneously through philosophy, mind control, meditation, asanas in tune with personal growth. Wich is a totally balanced teacher training program. I thought I knew what yoga was. As I was surprised to know that asanas is merely one fragment of this way to live your life. This peacefull warrior (or soultraveler) shares with love and passion knowledge and practice on the multi facets of yoga. Thank you Derek! You helped me unleashed the veils, and you inspired me to become the true me.
Eyes wide open; I seal all this growing energy to my hearth with great fullness.
Om Shanty, Peace. Chantal Ouellette – Gaineau ,QC.
Without information regarding their history, benefits, and impact, then the Yoga Teacher Training at Orleans Yoga Shala is not for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a journey through the history and philosophy of yoga, if you hope to deepen your personal practice, as well as acquire the skills necessary to guide students in performing asana in a safe manner, then you should consider the program.
Derek takes a holistic and historical approach to yoga. I discovered the link between asana and pranayama, the philosophy of yoga, and the main players in the history of the practice. Throughout the program, I learned more than a series of postures – I set my ego and expectations aside in order to deepen my practice and become a better teacher. I learned to appreciate mediation, focus on the breath as opposed to the outcome of a posture. I learned to find comfort in asana – not strain.
The program is challenging – but not the way one would expect. It is mentally challenging as opposed to physically demanding. I recommend the course to those who are ready to be challenged, stimulated, and who are looking to deepen their personal practice as well as to share their love of yoga with others.
Rana Pishva – Kingston,ON.
A good change I still pick up the book “A New Earth” by Ekhart Tolle at least once a year since the first time I read it. I became very interested in meditation and spiritual growth after reading it, and started doing more research about the topic. Inevitably I stumbled upon yoga, and went to a class with a friend. I was amazed by the effect that only one hour of asana had on me. My body and mind felt rejuvenated. Unfortunately, with a busy schedule, I wasn’t able to practice regularly. However, when I heard a friend of mine talking about the teacher training she had taken at Orleans Yoga Shala, I became very interested and decided to enroll in this spiritual journey. The course exceeded all of my expectations.
Derek not only teaches how to teach yoga in a safe way, but also how to live a life as a yogi. Through sharing with the Circle of Truth, the other students and I were able to contemplate about our experiences and how they affect us. I have learned more about how to let go of my ego and how to not engage in maya. Spiritual growth is inevitable through the regular practice of the eight limbs of yoga.
Yoga has changed my life for the better, and I am very grateful for it.
Marilia Dias. Bello Horizonte,Brazil.
“Orleans Yoga Shala gave me the tools and knowledge to share this with my patients and loved ones through the teachings of yoga.“
Life is a journey, through which we get to experience self realization. Having practiced yoga on and off for several years, I had no real intention to pursue a teacher’s training program, but everything happens for a reason and when I fell upon Orleans Yoga Shala’s program, it simply felt right.
How can one put into words what takes place on this physical, but most importantly spiritual journey? One can’t, it must be experienced.
In the past, whenever I practiced yoga, I found it to present as an escape of the pressures of the outside world, an opportunity to reconnect with my true self, if for a brief moment. Through the teachers training program, I learned how to extend the benefits of yoga beyond the mat. Derek taught me the importance of under achieving, a valuable concept in our quest for happiness, which is too often forgotten as we immerse ourselves in the outside world.
As a chiropractor, I have long shared with my patients some of the body’s wonders. Just as health comes from within, happiness, contentment and fulfillment can also only be obtained from the inside-out and not the outside-in. Orleans Yoga Shala gave me the tools and knowledge to share this with my patients and loved ones through the teachings of yoga.
Thank you Derek for sharing the wisdom you have acquired through your own life journey and for passing on your passion of yoga to so many.
Josee Dutrisac – Rockland,ON.
I have been practicing yoga, on and off, for about 25 years. I was introduced to yoga when I was in college and I immediately saw and felt the benefits. I always feel great and relaxed when I find the time for yoga. However, life often got in the way, and I always missed the benefits of yoga when I didn’t get a chance to practice.
I began the teacher training about one year ago, partly to help improve my yoga practice and partly out of curiosity. I wanted to see how much more I can learn about yoga and how it could benefit me. This journey turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected. Yoga is not just practice; it is a philosophy, a way of life.
Derek is a great and inspiring instructor, he has had invaluable training around the world with famous yogis. His knowledge of yoga is very extensive and he is able to effectively and passionately pass on his knowledge of yoga. The entire teacher training course; the classes, the workshops, and reading materials covered a wide range of yoga topics.
I have become even more enthusiastic about yoga. I find myself telling everyone about the benefits of yoga; from my yoga-skeptical husband to my curious teenagers, even to my dental patients. I often discuss stress and the causes of stress with my patients (whether it be in their everyday life or in the dental chair!) and I will introduce yoga as a way to deal with stress and to help people relax. When I started this course, I wanted to learn more about yoga for myself, not really expecting to teach afterwards. But as the course went on, I learned more about myself and my passion for yoga, and I find myself eager to pass on this knowledge and enthusiasm for yoga.
Everyone at OYS; Derek, Angie, fellow teachers and students make the shala a great place to practice yoga and I look forward to every class.
Thank you to Derek and everyone at OYS for making this an exceptional experience for me.
My first experience with yoga was really by chance thanks to a change in the lunch-time workout schedule at the office. It was a lot more difficult than I expected but I finished my day at work feeling calm and energized. I thought that there must be some truth in the yogis’ claims about the benefits of yoga so I went to yoga class again. After a month or so of regular yoga practice, I learned how to heal and prevent a recurring neck and back problem that I had been dealing with for some time. With yoga, I started feeling stronger, both physically and mentally. Yoga quickly became part of my daily routine that I looked forward to participating in.
I became curious about why yoga was helping me so much and I felt compelled to find the answer. This is the main reason why I registered for the Yoga Teacher Training Program offered by the Orleans Yoga Shala. While I could go on about yoga for hours, I will be brief. This training program has been not only an eye opener to the fascinating world of yoga but also a life lesson in what really matters. Aside from practicing and learning to teach asanas in a safe manner, gain body strength and flexibility, it has helped me raise my level of awareness by living in the present moment and simply enjoying myself. As so eloquently said by Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: “in joy in myself”. Namasté,
Marie France (Ottawa,On.)
Ever since I came across a book on Yoga by Richard Hittleman way back in 1980, I was smitten by Yoga by the way that it made me feel.Not having any proper facility back home to learn Yoga in those days I continued practicing on my own. Later in life, on brief visits to the kids who were by now studying in the USA, I attended a few random classes.I found Yoga had a lot more to offer than just exercise. Much later I joined an online course to teach, which turned out to be a lot of reading and writing, good added knowledge but no hands on training …something was missing… I wanted to experience and learn more .
The teacher training courses I found were running over weekends, too spaced out and requiring 2 years to complete, too expensive to do, or both. I was disappointed and about to give up when I came across ‘The Wrap’ in which our flyers were delivered. There was an article in that on “Olreans Yoga Shala’ it made me go to the website. I liked what I saw…..especially the 200 hour teacher’s training course This impulse decision was soon to be riddled with fear and doubt as it dawned on me that a lot of time had passed between 1980 and 2011, I had had a severe fall and injury to my back and neck. I was not young, and to top it all a few days after enrolling I twisted my knee. Just because I could do simple yoga and loved it, did not mean I could teach, how ambitious was that?! I talked to Derek Kendrick (owner of OYS) and he encouraged me to stay.
This was not going to be the first time I would be thankful to him and Angie for that matter for encouraging me, that coupled with the encouragement from my sons and husband…. I stayed! And in fact this decision turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.After a few classes into The Training Course and I knew I was……’ Om’ at last! It has been a challenge but not without its rewards and triumphs. I had walked in on a hobbling knee with somewhat mixed feelings, but about the third day or so after a shoulder stand, I came out of it almost painless and walking straight. I could not believe it?! I have not worn my knee brace since, but for a few days after that happened. As we progressed I felt more and more energetic, I slept better, I felt calmer, little aches and pains were diminishing, I was noticing some sort of a buffer to all things negative, hence I was less stressed out.
I was amazed by the slow all round transformation I was experiencing. Friends and family started to notice. Indeed, I was discovering finally a world of benefits yoga offered, far beyond my expectations, far beyond just physical flexibility. The ambience at the Yoga Shala offers a warmth and a feeling of peace and calm, so different from the world just beyond its doors. The best discovery for me was that I carried this peace and calm within me even as I moved away from the Shala. I can still hear Angie’s oft remark…’she is in yoga land!’ as I slowly moved out of the class as though in a trance, always feeling it ended too soon. Not to mention how much more energized I felt, instead of fatigue even after a full day of yoga and lectures. All of the above is made possible by the way that this course is conducted by Derek and Angie Kendrick. They both love yoga and run this Shala (aided by a few well trained teachers) with equal love and honest dedication. Derek is a disciplinarian but with humor hovering on the edge.
Angie is ever vibrant, and full of humor, no two classes are alike. Both conduct an impeccable class to die for.Their diverse personalities probably lends this place a kind of a balance as in the ‘ha’ and ‘tha’ of yoga so essential to not only yoga but indeed all things in life.I cannot go without mentioning my good fortune of enrolling in one of the workshops which are arranged by OYS on a regular basis. I enrolled for the David Swenson Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Course. I discovered that there is a misconception about Ashtanga not being for everyone. Variations make it possible. And to think I would have almost missed it if it was not for the Kendricks’ and David’s patience and encouragement for me to stay with it. This has given me a surge of confidence and it certainly is the icing on the cake so to speak, which has enhanced my entire learning experience.
David is one of best in Ashtanga Yoga. He has exceptional qualities of a teacher as well as a human being and is yet so humble. Indeed, he is a true yogi.Yoga is said to be a union of the body, mind and soul. Yoga also unites people, notwithstanding color, creed, beliefs and prejudices. This division due to differences resides in our limited thinking and minds, or only in some negative minds. True yoga has no room for negativity. The warmth and friendship and acceptance displayed by my fellow students and teachers ranging from diverse cultures and backgrounds,brings ‘OM’ the realization that love and harmony, friendship and brotherhood knows no boundaries. I can’t wait to ‘pay it forward’ all that I have learnt to benefit others. May the whole world come to yoga to make this a better place………Om . Shanti
Rukhsana Mirza, Teacher Training Course, 2012.Ottawa,ON.
I began practicing yoga on a regular basis in 2002, and everyone noticed the changes in me physically and mentally, I was truly happy. My journey was complicated after going through a tragedy in 2004. With the guidance of a friend/yoga teacher in my community I discovered Orleans Yoga Shala and registered for David Swenson’s intense Ashtanga teacher training. After discovering that Ashtanga 1st series was a “healing yoga therapy” that’s exactly what I needed. Without being fully aware at the time, I realized that yoga was part of my life and part of who I really am. Yoga has helped me not only on a personal basis but also in my nursing profession. With the knowledge and tools acquired I decided to share this gift and began teaching yoga to friends, family, colleagues, children, clients with special needs, to seniors etc. After referring a student to OYS, I decided in no time that I wanted to deepen my practice and complete the teacher training that OYS had to offer.
Derek is a wonderful role model in the yoga community. His knowledge is remarkable and really inspiring. The circle of truth sessions were of great value to me. I was able to relate to so much that was said during our discussions by just listening and being present. Everyone in our circle is unique with so much to offer. The entire learning experience helped me open up my heart and clear my mind, leading me one step further to finding my “true self”.
Derek and Angie are truly gifted and make everyone in their classes feel at ease, they also have the ability to give every student in the room exactly what they need. I am also truly blessed that I had the opportunity to study with David Swenson a second time. I must always remember to be a student and continue to grow and apply yoga in all areas of my life. I hope to plant the seed and become a great leader for my three boys. I will forever treasure my wonderful experience and will always be thankful for everyone that I met along my journey. Namaste!
Darlene Flaro, Martintown,ON.
Health and the temple (our bodies) of which we reside has being a big part of my professional and private life for many years. Yet, being a Massage Therapist my cunundrum was,”why is the thoracis and shoulders so locked up”! The light bulb finally went on, and I acknowledged to myself that it was the strain of sad debleted lungs, and so I choose to learn and teach Yoga. Teach people how to breath more life into their lives. Through a fellow yoga instructor I was introduced to OYS, and teachers training. Little did I realize the powerful enlightened world I was to embark upon.
Through the education and expertise of Derek and Angela in the world of Yoga, a true gift of which they so tirelessly provide I thank You! The eight limbs, the three bodies, Koshas, nutrien, chakras, the depth of meditation and the acceptance of ones self, I thank You! The change that I am experiencing through more disciplined focus and letting go of that ego”stinken thinken”- it’s so comforting to who that chittavritti doesn’t matter. The more one breaths and focuses the more calm and gentle life gets. I’m embracing the quietness, the change I’m encountering in the very ground substance of every cell is astounding. the gentlness and kindness never ends.
The wonderful people and friendships developed through teachers training, the laughs we’ve had and the personnel lengths shared. This life learning path of Yoga has brought a new brightness and peacefulness to me that I know has just begun. And will continue to flourish throughout my life with sharing and the practise of Yoga. I am forever grateful.
Chloe Ann Baker, Apple Hill, ON.
I was enjoying my practice and already felt like I was reaping multiple benefits from it. Although I did want to enhance my personal practice, I had a greater desire to go beyond the postures and to learn more about this discipline, this way of life. I wanted to gain a full appreciation of Yoga.
From learning about the body’s physical form; the Seven Stages of Knowledge; the paths and styles of yoga; the Eight Limbs; meditation; teaching and adjustment techniques; to sharing a one-of-a-kind and liberating experience with a group of amazing individuals, the OYS YTT was an immersion into myself.
It instigated in me a self reflection that helped me put my ego in better perspective; I am reserved by nature but I come out of this experience being less shy and self conscious, feeling more accepting of myself and having ultimately noticed positive changes in my attitude, habits and behaviour. I find myself wanting to share what I have learned so that others can also recognize the knowledge and potential that lie within.
My experience was vibrant and inspiring from start to finish and I will be forever grateful that my path led me to embark on this wonderful journey, accompanied by a circle of inspiring and kind souls who were willing to share, learn and laugh. My teachers: Derek, Angie (Kendrick) and David (Swenson) were able to transcend their own knowledge and experiences with mindfulness, kindness, consideration…and humour!
This entire learning experience has given me much more than the knowledge and tools to teach yoga in a safe, effective and fun manner – It has equipped me with tools for my everyday life while allowing me to embrace who I am, to live in the present and to accept what was, what is and what shall be.
Knowledge is endless, but Yoga and this experience have already changed me and will forever be close to my heart.
I always needed to be physically active in order to help me deal with my everyday stress throughout school and later on, work. But in 2002 and again in 2007, I injured myself playing volleyball and running: I was then forced to look for a low-impact activity that would keep me moving. Yoga seemed to be a good option and I was curious about it: I kept hearing about how good this was for relieving stress. So I started by attending beginners classes. Although I had been told during classes I attended, it took me years to finally understand that a regular practice of at least three to four days a week is what is required to really experience the continuous benefits of yoga such as better sleep, better eating habits and more patience just to name a few.
Enjoying my yoga practice and eager to learn about more than just the asanas (postures), I registered for a Teacher’s Training Program at the OYS in spring 2012. Yoga and meditation, now part of my daily routine, are the greatest life tools I have been given through the shared knowledge of wonderful teachers such as Derek and Angie Kendrick and David Swenson to whom I am very grateful.
Yoga really helps me out in my life. In the moments I am getting stressed, I can now tell myself that these things irritating me are not that critical. My way of approaching things and people has changed and my eating habits have also changed: I feel better in my body and in my mind. So yoga not only has kept me moving but it is also helping me grow and become a better person with my husband, my kids, my relatives and all the people I meet.
I still have a lot to learn but I wish to share what I have learned up to now, plant the seeds of great life changing habits so that I can in turn help others feel better physically, in mind and spirit. Namaste!
Sophie Marcoux, Orleans,ON.
“And the day came when the risk it took remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.” (Anais Nin). This quote stays true to my heart for in a world that causes us to fear the unknown instead of embracing it as the challenges we are to face to become stronger with mind, body and soul I have found a profound love and interest in ME. Yoga allows me to stay centred while continuing my journey to unleashing many qualities I have yet to discover. Yoga provides me a more satisfying lifestyle. One in which I choose to have a higher quality of nutrition and environment to live in and feed my soul with. I have had enormous changes in my relationships with others as well as myself thus far and I like who I am becoming. Having positive changes in my life only encourages me to continue. Yoga brings me closer to acknowledging my actions and what reactions occur from them.
I have entered the world of yoga for healing and cleansing purposes. I now find myself so fascinated by every aspect of it that I wish to assist others when they are ready to receive this wonderful gift of becoming more enlightened. This lifestyle is also a gift I can offer my family by opening their world and broadening their minds with information that can lead them toward a peaceful and stress free life. Yoga has and will continue to have a significant impact on my life and I enjoy every moment I share with my mat. In my walk of life the benefits of yoga has given me the opportunity to see what my challenges are and face them. I am blessed.
Orleans Yoga Shala has allowed me a safe environment to practice my journey toward my inner peace that I can only explain as the most intimate and profound experience I can offer myself and I believe that it is within everyone’s given right to have happiness reside in the body. Allow the bud to bloom even if one is fearful, for once the petals release the toxicity and tension, only softness, clarity and a lightness to ones soul will be revealed. Namaste. Live, Love, and Laugh.
The teacher training at OYS was for me the natural progression of a Yoga journey that started at OYS in January 2005 and that has been life changing and a trigger to an on-going personal growth. The teacher training taught me the proper way to safely teach yoga, but beyond that it was a truly 360° experience of the authentic classical yoga practices and philosophy. I come out from this training with a deep sense of realization and gratitude accompanied by improved yoga and life skills. As a result I feel well prepared and confident to be a Yoga teacher.
Some of the learned ‘sutras’, or lessons learned, were for instance to recognize and beware of the many manifestations of the ego waiting at every corner to undermine us as a Yoga teacher and practitioner. The multiple timed meditation sessions during each day of the workshops have helped me instill a long sought after meditation practice that previously was haphazard at best. I learned to practice Ahimsa in my own asana practice in order to safely teach asanas to others. I loved the wisdom and power of the learned aphorisms and I try to bring many of these into my daily life
The wide varieties of teachings from the training’s teachers mentioned below were practical, challenging, safe, diverse, colorful, enjoyable, thought provoking and funny.
To mention just one of Derek Kendrick’s countless teachings, I learned to teach by keeping it simple using easy to follow, simple and rhythmic terminology. A powerful teaching I can transpose to other aspects of life.
Angie Kendrick taught me to keep the Yoga practice interesting and avoid dogmas.
My fellow students gave me the Agora to practice teaching and the opportunity to enrich my experience and consciousness by sharing our journeys. I truly enjoyed their individual and uplifting personalities.
With Beryl Bender Birch I learned that in Yoga, as in life, I can only be hard and strong if I am pliable and soft.
The two ‘Davids’ (David Swenson and David Williams) reminded me that I was doing it wrong if it hurts, that breathing is of utmost importance and to practice true Yoga and not just physical exercise.
With Danny Paradise I learned to safely challenge the comfort zone not so much for improving asanas but more to challenge our self-imposed limitations in life.
Now, that’s why I call the teacher training at OYS a ’Yoga Life Class’. Thank you Derek, all the teachers and each and everyone with whom I shared this teacher training journey.
Many blessings and Namaste to all.
June 1st, 2012
For some reason a small comment by one of my fellow classmates in the Teacher Training course at the Orleans Yoga Shala struck a chord with me….”It’s like coming Om (home)”. He was referring to our Circle of Truth sessions and the art of meditation. My participation in the Teacher Training program at the Orleans Yoga Shala taught me so much about myself and others. Many in the small community where I teach do not have the opportunity to be exposed to a regular yoga program/practice and it was important for me in my continued growth and betterment to equip myself with the proper tools, techniques and knowledge to inspire and teach in a safe and friendly environment. Even though part of the training can be intense and challenging in certain aspects, it is very rewarding. What a great feeling of accomplishment when you get the sequence and it flows with the breath and the movement. The teacher training brought me back to the basics and allowed me to expand my knowledge and vision further than what I expected.
My favorite part of the sessions were the early morning Sivananda classes with Derek. I learnt the history, the sequencing and philosophy behind this style. I felt myself drawn to the history and flow of asanas which I have incorporated within my personal and teaching practice. The great part about the teacher training is that you learn by doing. The participation in all the classes and seminars has been a valuable tool. Sessions were held with Angie’s Ashtanga class and also her well taught pre-natal class. Pillows were optional !
Learning is not just about the yoga techniques as the program gave me so much information about the history, philosophy, the “father of yoga”, chakra’s, life energies, physiology , breathing (prana) meditation etc. It was a great opportunity and very humbling to be surrounded by wonderful people that shared their own knowledge and passion of yoga. My learning journey is ongoing and I will continue to participate and benefit from future workshops through the Orleans Yoga Shala. After all … it’s like coming OM.
My experience with the Orleans Yoga Teacher Training was a wonderful and life changing experience!
“When I first started, I was very nervous and shy, and I didn’t know what to expect, but I was soon at ease with the group, and Derek’s passion and enthusiasm for teaching others was inspiring to all.
Through many enjoyable and in-depth workshops, we learned the techniques and benefits of pranayama (breathing techniques), and how important the breath is when practicing yoga. I find myself using these techniques to relieve tension or nervousness during my everyday life and it has helped me become more balanced and calm. I have also learned about the benefits of meditation and I have tried to bring a regular practice into my life, and it has helped me with my concentration, and more often I can remind myself to be in the present and be less reactive.
I found learning to teach to be challenging, but rewarding. Being shy and introverted, I didn’t think that I would enjoy teaching, but I found the opposite to be the case. I enjoy doing yoga so much that I wanted to be able to pass on the knowledge and inspire others to learn yoga, and it was worth it to get over my fear, and get up in front of people to teach. During the training I had many opportunities to practice teaching, and Derek taught me how to teach different styles properly and safely (Sivananda, Ashtanga). Also, I learned various teaching methods and modifications so that I can teach yoga to people of any age or ability.
I highly recommend the teacher training at Orleans Yoga Shala to anyone who wants to learn more about yoga, even if you don’t want to teach. The more I learn, the more I want to learn, and Derek’s extensive knowledge from his studies with many Gurus and Yogis around the world made for a very well rounded and enjoyable experience.”
The Teacher Training program at Orleans Yoga Shala was an incredible journey of self exploration, personal growth, and inspirational guidance through the Yogic path. We studied the philosophy and ancient history of yoga, its traditions, as well as learned to look beyond the text books and into our own personal journey to help understand the truth behind the tradition. We were able to use our personal experiences, share our journeys within the class and learn together how Yoga relates and resonates within all of us.
As a competitive athlete I am constantly burning energy, doing exercises and activities to get performances “out of my body”, in the Teacher Training I discovered how Yoga is an Energy creating practice, where you “put into your body” in order to maintain a balance in life both physically and psychologically. Learning this was life changing, I was able to put away my competitive side, goals, and future plans away to focus and be grateful for the present moment. This allowed me to appreciate both where I am now, how far I have come, and the importance of accepting myself in this moment.
In the Teacher Training we learned many different styles of yoga, traditions, and learned that Yoga is so much more than the postures we practice in class. All yoga is about moving meditation, being good to your body, and being present physically and psychologically in order to truly be able to appreciate every moment as it is, beautiful. I am so grateful for the incredible teachers I was able to learn from, Derek Kendrick who has been an incredible source of support and compassion, and the amazing group of teachers in our training.
I highly recommend the Orleans Yoga Shala Teacher Training course to anyone who has a curiosity in yoga whether you chose to teach or not as it has truly changed my life, outlook, and appreciation for the present. We are all student in life, and the yoga teacher training is a wonderful environment to explore and grow.”
Michaela “Mickey” Sceli,Ottawa,ON.
“This fall, the OYS teacher training program started my journey of Yoga.”
To me, Yoga is not anymore just one kind of exercise good for your physical health by stretching the body on floor. It is amazing to feel that the Yoga tradition seems to have a common ground with Buddhism. It has the same roots, values and spiritual goals.I really appreciated that program helped me understand the different Yoga posture styles and pushed me to follow the traditions of Yoga. The challenges and stimulations from this training, helped me to know Sivananda Yoga, Hot Yoga, and Vinyasa Yoga posture skills, different breathing methods, and yoga sutras in a short time.I read books and practiced postures everyday between each training weekend. I Hope that in the near future I can help myself and others to have the balanced of body, mind and spirit through Yoga service and teaching with wisdom, compassion and love.”
“My expectations of the Yoga Teachers Training, were exceeded, my eyes were opened to the vast world that expands well beyond the physical exercise and momentary relaxation of the practice. Derek’s intention is to equip the Teacher/Students with knowledge and necessary tools to guide their students safely through practices that are invigorating , fun, meaningful and balanced.Derek’s students get the benefit of his vast experiences from studying with the many yoga gurus who have trained and inspired him. The program includes a variety of yoga styles, modifications and flows and goes well beyond the practice itself, allowing his teacher/students to explore the history, philosophy of yoga, physical anatomy, physiology, the subtle anatomy (chakras, nadis, vayus, etc.), breathing, meditation, etc. essential tools to be successful teaching yoga to others.”
My discovery of yoga could not have come at a more appropriate time in my life. Freshly tossed into the lion’s den that is University, yoga became my sanctuary—my “quiet spot” in a very loud world. When I began attending classes at Orleans Yoga Shala, I learned that yoga was far more than exercises on a mat. The summer that I discovered yoga at OYS, I went back to University with a newer outlook on life.
I approached others and myself with compassion, I remembered to breathe through the stress, and thanks to Derek and Angie Kendrick, I reminded myself much more often to lift the corners of my mouth and smile.
When Derek suggested to me that I should sign up for the Yoga Teacher’s Training, I will have to admit that I was intimidated at first. This feeling quickly disappeared the first time I was invited into the circle of trust. The weekends were filled with eye-opening insights, useful inquiries, and a realm of untapped knowledge. I was able to deepen my practice, not through pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, but by learning to shed the competition with others and myself. I learned to congratulate myself every time I came to child’s pose instead of venturing into a pose my body was not ready for. I’m truly thankful for all the moments I was invited to shed my stress and let everything go.
I am deeply grateful for my experiences at OYS. The peace that I find within their walls is something that I hope to carry with me all throughout my life.
“I can seriously claim that I have received many benefits from the practice of Yoga, similar, I think, to a process of conversion. Initially in my practice I was satisfied that my physical flexibility was matched by a mental flexibility – I paid more attention to words and details .This past summer,I found that subtle changes took place in a range of ways that were and continue to be surprising and pleasing. Without much thought,my diet has changed to include more salads and fruit, I’m less reactive to change at work, I’m less self conscious when meeting people, more comfortable when I’m around people, I’m less judgemental with myself and others, and I’ve even started work on some projects left unfinished for months.Yoga has also led me to resume a practice of Christian Meditation and to know that riches of knowledge and understanding are within. I’m grateful to Yoga because I’m a happier, healthier person in a range of ways that I didn’t really expect.”
Cheers, Paul W.Ottawa,ON.
“I now think about purity, what goes into my body, what emanates from my body., This teacher training experience has inspired me to bring about changes in my life consciously.
I now think about purity, what goes into my body, what emanates from my body (emotions and
actions) and how it causes a series of cause and effect cycles. I am actually willingly making a positive change in my eating habits and it is getting easier day by day. I have made mistakes many times and still might continue but it is okay as long as I get up and try again. Yoga is in itself a teacher who guides me in every step of my life.
Yoga training has also taught me to slowly understand that what we see outside of us is a reflection of what goes on within. And, that what we see is an illusion because it is moulded by our emotions, thoughts and feelings. We do not truly see. Yoga also makes me realize that I am free and with that, my biggest fears vanish.”
Anisha B Patel,Ottawa,ON.
Orleans Yoga Shala serving the Ottawa Yoga Community since 2004
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