faculty


Sari Nisker-Fox, (Co-Program Director for the Yoga Teacher Training, Toronto); As a co-creator and co- founder of Spynga® The Yoga and Cycling Studio, Sari wakes up grateful everyday that she gets to spend her time teaching her passion and empowering people to take their lives to the next level.  Sari has been practicing yoga for over a decade, and has worked as a private and group instructor in New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto.  Sari resigned from the corporate world, leaving a career in beauty and skincare product marketing, to rediscover the bright inner beauty inside her and guides her students to reveal their true beautiful, strong, and authentic selves through yoga.  Bringing a deeply insightful understanding of movement and inspiration, Sari guides yogis of all levels, from kids to seniors, through a motivating, joyful, and safe yoga practice. Sari emphasizes the importance of the breath and how to use the life force of prana, which is energy, as a compass on the yogic journey and in life, leading to a quieter mind, stronger body, inner peace, and the confidence to see yourself as you truly are, what you want out of life and the best route to get there. Her classes include arrays of insight from the Anusara, Vinyasa and Ashtanga schools of yoga. Also stirred by curiosity and affection for cycling, Sari takes her yoga mantras to the bike and teaches Spynga’s® signature and trademarked class, The Spynga Flow™.  Sari challenges her students to go inward with every peddle stroke and is constantly amazed by the exhilaration of every indoor cycle ride. Sari received her 200 Hour RYTT Yoga Alliance certification from Sonic Yoga in New York; Prenatal certification from Be Yoga in New York; Yoga 4 Kids Certification from Sherry LeBlanc in Toronto, 100 Hours of Anusara-inspired yoga in Toronto and her yin yoga certification with Tracey Belanger-Soghrati. Sari received her indoor cycling instructor’s certification from Spinning® as well. Sari is one of the faculty heads of Spynga’s Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training program as well as a leader in developing Spynga’s license and franchise program. Sari is honored and thankful to share her enthusiasm for yoga and cycling with all of her students, colleagues and teachers. 
 
Casey Soer (Director of the Cycle Revolution Teacher Training program, Toronto) A mom of 2 boys, a co-creator and co-founder of Spynga The Yoga + Cycling Studio.  Casey is very thankful that Spynga, her second home , is that of openness, community + accessibility to all. Casey discovered and began her cycling  journey in 1998, in Los Angeles to balance the pursuit of her passion, the struggle to stardom as an actor.  In LA in 2001 she became certified in indoor cycling and began to teach. In 2002 she move to New York City where an untapped skill revealed itself to her, teaching to children with special needs.  At the same time Casey found her second passion of practice, vinyasa yoga, attending Sonic Yoga regularily and began to realize the perfect healthy balance of cycling + yoga together. An artist's intuition, an eclectic style, and a deep appreciation for music are what shapes Casey's unique form of teaching.  Casey received her 200 RYTT with Sari Nisker-Fox + Tracey Soghrati; Yin Yoga certification with Tracey Soghrati; and her Yoga 4 Kids certification with Sherry LeBlanc.  4 years ago Casey created the cycle revolution indoor training program and since it's inception has graduated over 100 teachers who teach all over the world.  Casey is continually humbled, grateful, and truly inspired by her children, husband, students, colleagues, and teachers.
 

Tracey Belanger-Soghrati (Co-Program Director for Yoga Teacher Training & Anatomy Teacher for Cycle Revolution)Toronto Tracey’s vision is to share yoga philosophy & practice in a manner that is authentic, accessible and applicable to modern day life. Her teachings are of sound knowledge of the physical body and a humble perspective on the power of the mind. As an educator, Tracey is the creator and director of Toronto's first Yin Yoga teacher training, which continually inspires her to evolve with her students. As well, she has the honour of co-directing Spynga's 225-Hour Yoga Alliance teacher training with Sari Nisker. Her newest development is a collaborative effort culminating in WuXing YinYang™ which utilizes energy medicine through Kung Fu and therapeutic Yin Yoga as a method of healing.  Tracey has completed over 1000 hours in yoga teacher training of various lineages (Jivamukti, Yin, Prenatal, Yoga Therapy) and her primary influences include Sharon Gannon & David Life, Bernie Clark, Felicia Pavlovic, Susi Hately Aldous & Jeannine Woodall. She is currently enrolled in the 2-Year Yoga Therapist Training with Felicia & Ante Pavlovic. She is a member of the Canadian Yoga Alliance as well as the International Association of Yoga Therapists.  Her formal education includes post-secondary studies in molecular biology, nursing, critical care nursing, parenting/child development, health education, perinatal care, swedish massage and thai yoga massage.  She has worked as a critical care nurse in a busy downtown intensive care unit and as a health educator for women and children. She is grateful for this amazing life and for the support and love of her husband, family and friends.

Jeannine Woodall (Yoga Teacher Training, Toronto) has been teaching yoga for 18 years.  She was former founder and co-director of Jivamukti Yoga Toronto, and owner/director of Rainbow Body Yoga.  She has trained and taught extensively in the Ashtanga yoga tradition, and is an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher by Sharon Gannon and David Life. Jeannine brings a depth of perspective to her teaching from her study and practice of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation.  Jeannine has a Master's Degree in Art History and a Bachelor of Laws Degree.  She worked as a securities lawyer and continues to work in legal education.  Her inspiration to teach comes from a wish to bring joy to others.  She weaves the philosophical teachings of yoga with spiritual discipline - making the enlightened wisdom of the past relevant to our present lives.

Joanna Perlmutar (Cycle Revolution Teacher Training, Toronto) Joanna discovered her passion for teaching in 1999 when she began her first profession as a piano instructor, following in the footsteps of her late grandmother. Since then she has taught more than 400 piano students and has also taught everything from pre-school to kid’s cooking classes to tennis to calculus to Braille. Joanna was amazed to discover that she was a born teacher – she was able to impart any skill that she possessed while forming strong and lasting connections with her students. Casey Soer introduced Joanna to indoor cycling in 2006 and it resulted in an immediate awakening – finally a way to combine her love of music with her desire to push her physical limits to the max!  Once passionate about indoor cycling it was only natural for her to become a certified cycling instructor and share her passion with others. Joanna joined the Spynga Crew the day it opened its doors in 2007. She was inspired to develop her yoga practice and has since completed her 225hr RYTT  with Sari Nisker-Fox and Tracey Soghrati. She played an active role in the 2011 and 2012 Cycle Teacher Training Certifications led by Casey. Joanna’s most recent sources of inspiration are her two year old twins, Lilah and Cameron. They motivate her continual growth as a mother, teacher, student, musician, athlete, and human being. Joanna is deeply grateful for the love and support of her husband, family and friends.  She feels very fortunate to be part of the Spynga movement, working and growing in such a beautiful and positive space.

Meredith Bannan (Yoga Teacher Training, Toronto) Meredith has practiced yoga since 1999. In 2004, she began teaching asana, pranayama and meditation in studio and private settings. She leads specialized workshops, international retreats and has been a mentor and facilitator for Yoga Teacher Trainings in Canada and the U.S..  In addition to teaching, Meredith is former director of Rainbow Body Yoga, manager of Jivamukti Yoga Toronto and The Yoga Studio. Meredith studies Classical Ashtanga Yoga under the guidance of Master Yogi Baba Hari Dass, and has completed an intensive teacher training and residential study program at his California centre, Mount Madonna.  While there, she served on the centre’s asana faculty and also mentored and assisted the Yoga Teacher Training program in 2005 and 2007.

Her creativity as a teacher, is inspired by her own study of the Anusara, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Iyengar, Restorative and Yin Yoga traditions. She draws from the diversity of her experience, to provide students with a safe and personalized approach. Her classes are dynamic, deeply therapeutic and weaved with insight for living a peaceful and balanced life. 

At the moment, Meredith is enjoying being a new mom and teaching a few regular classes and trainings. She has the honour of being a facilitator for the Spynga Yoga Teacher Training for the fourth year and is assisting in Tracey Soghrati’s Yin Yoga Training for the second time.    meredithbannanyoga.com

 

Lisa Barkin (Yoga Teacher Training, TorontoLisa experienced her first yoga class in her 20's and loved how it drew on an alchemy of strength, flexibility and balance. In 2008 Lisa took her 200 Yoga Teacher Training at Spynga. She continued her studies with Janice Clarfield, taking her Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Certification for conscious birthing as well her Yin Yoga Certification with Tracey Belanger Soghrati. 

Lisa brings to her students not only sound technique on which to base their practice, but also provides a safe and nurturing environment in which they can challenge themselves. Her classes are not just about stretching the body but also about expanding horizons. She is a committed instructor who presents music-based asana classes. She creates a feeling of well-being and empowerment in sincere, natural and authentic yoga classes. It's not only about the physical practice but lifting the spirit as well. Lisa feels privileged to learn from the community of teachers including Sari Nisker, Tracey Belanger Soghrati, Sadie Nardini and Michael Siddall as well as her students and everybody she connects with on a daily basis. Her belief in maximizing potential by integrating mind, body and soul truly motivates others to achieve their goals.

YuMee Chung (Padmani) (Yoga Teacher Training, Toronto) is an Advance Certified Jivamukti Yoga instructor who is also trained to teach Ashtanga Vinysasa Yoga. Named in Yoga Journal’s listing of yoga’s “who’s who,” she is a graceful teacher who offers challenging but accessible breath-driven classes with a strong philosophical underpinning and a playful bent. In 2002, she opened what would become the first Jivamukti Yoga studio in Canada  and co-directed the studio for five years. In 2005, she launched the Passport to Prana, a yoga business that operates in more than 20 North American cities. She has taught and spoken at national yoga conferences and she completed a tour of 19 North American cities with DJ medicineman. Today, she is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and spiritual seeker. Her work and teaching take her around the globe, but she is happiest at home on the shores of Lake Simcoe with her musician husband.

Carina Adams, (Program director and owner of spyngaFlows Ohio) Carina is a mother a three amazing children and is inspired by them everyday. Previous to her training with spynga she was a cycling enthusiast both indoors and outdoors. She taught road cycling training, indoor cycling and personal training. Owner of the Right Side of the Road Bike Tour which is an annual event that raises money and awareness for several charities. Carina Is registered with yoga alliance holding her 200 RYTT from spynga . Carina has completed Toronto’s first 40 hour Yin Yoga teacher training from Tracey Belanger-Soghrati.  Carina is currently finishing her 500 hour teacher training from Yoga on High in Columbus, Ohio. She has been trained and inspired by Tim Miller, Mati Ezrati, Lorin Rouche, Doug Keller and Richard Freeman. Yoga has changed her life and she is ecstatic that she can share this experience with everyone she meets. During her free time, Carina rides her bike, rolls out her mat and spends every possible moment with her children and is so thankful to God for all her blessings.

Paul Hammond (Yoga Teacher Training, Cleveland OH) I first started my educational path at Tri-C where I first found my interest in philosophy. Often, some questions asked of me are, “Why philosophy?”... or “What made you get into philosophy? ” Well the honest answer is… it’s the only thing that I was interested in. To look at the world in a ‘not-so-normal’ perspective. Throughout my high school experience, I noticed that I was taking a deeper look at myself, at the world, and my surroundings in general; and it was this interest in philosophy that helped 'push’ that questioning along.  After receiving my Associates Degree, I was off to CSU. At CSU I received my Bachelor’s Degree in philosophy in 2000, and finally in 2002 received my Master’s Degree. Since then I have become certified in Bioethics in 2003 & in 2007 became a certified Philosophical Practitioner from the American Philosophical Practitioner Association.  I have taught at Ashland University, and at the University of Akron. I am currently teaching at Lorain County Community College, and Lakeland Community College.

I teach all areas of philosophy (Introduction, Logic, Ethics, Bioethics, Critical Thinking), and World Religion; and have been practicing yoga almost 10 years now.

MEENAKSHI (MARLA JOY):Meenakshi (Marla Joy) first traveled to India in 1988 to study meditation and the philosophy of the Vedas with Swami Shyam, as well as other learned scholars in the Himalayas. She is a Certified Meditation and Yoga Philosophy teacher from the International Meditation Institute in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, Himalayas. She spent many years in Kullu as well studying Soma Yoga, as well as the teachings of Blandine Calais-Germaine (“Anatomy of Movement”) as well as Robin McKenzie (“Treat you own Neck”; “Treat your own Back”), as well as later studying with Judith Lasater, Chuck Miller, Maty Ezraty, Richard Freeman, Ron Reid and many great Ashtanga and Iyengar-based yogins. She is a graduate of Kikkawa College since 1993, and has been a practicing Shiatsu Therapist since then. Her touch and awareness of the body is both healing and informative, gentle and nurturing, yet clear and focused. She currently teaches Ashtanga Yoga, Swaha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yogadance, Meditation, Yoga philosophy, Sanskrit, and Chanting privately and in yoga studios in Canada, the U.S. The UK, Europe and Asia, and she has been teaching Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy in Teacher Training courses since 1999, both locally and abroad. Along with her love of the physical side of yoga, she is also a bhakta. She leads Kirtan (call-and-response chanting) with her band SWAHA, with inspired musical compositions with her partner/keyboardist, Ron Reid. She has produced 4 CD’s of Sanskrit chanting Prayer’s, Salutations, Vishnu’s Dream, and her most recent release, “Bolo!”  www.swaha.ca 

Barrie Sandman (bio coming soon) Cleveland, OH instructor

Brett Cohen (Cycle Revolution Teacher Training, Toronto) Brett has been teaching spin classes for the past 10 years. He is a certified spin instructor and personal trainer, bringing with him a wealth of experience in competitive road racing, track and field, rugby and swimming. His training methods are designed to ensure that riders leave the spinning class fitter than they were when they came in. What distinguishes him from the average spin instructor is the unique way in which he uses music to achieve that goal. His music is carefully chosen, remixed and choreographed to match a meticulously crafted ride. Simply put, when the music goes fast, the rider goes fast. When the music relaxes, the rider recovers. “The music,” he says, “is your training partner”. Brett seeks to dispel the myth that spinning classes are too hard. By letting the riders know exactly what to expect – how long, how many, how much – they are able to take complete control of their own ride. In this way, Brett ensures that riders don’t get stuck doing something they can’t handle and, more importantly, that they sustain their sense of humour.

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