Meet our Students

Lauren Anastasi

Lauren Anastasi
Hello, my name is Lauren. I’m 43 years old and I live in Hamilton with my husband and two young children.  I work for The City of Hamilton in Tourism and Culture and I lead walking meditation at The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.  I taught yoga for over a decade in Toronto prior to moving to Hamilton.  For a few years I volunteered with The Hamilton Shambhala Centre timing meditation sessions and facilitating discussions.    While living in Toronto, I began practising at Esther Myers Yoga Studio because the classes felt like a gentle approach to moving and reconnecting with my body.  ...
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Haley Overland

Hayley Overland
I’m a mom of two in my forties. I work as a social media specialist and, in addition to yoga, enjoy painting, reading and playing with my dogs. It's a bit hazy exactly when I began practising at Esther Myers Yoga Studio. I am pretty sure it was around when I was pregnant with my first child, 16 years ago. I had tried many modalities of yoga before that (since I was a toddler, I like to say), and then decided to try EMYS because it was closer to where I live. I remember being surprised by how happy, alive and ...
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Susan Young

Susan Young teaching headstand
I’m a management consultant in the financial services industry and a former bank executive who also teaches yoga part-time to highly fit individuals at one of Toronto’s premier fitness clubs. Although banking has ‘paid the bills’ for most of my life, I’m a dancer at heart who loves to move and refuses to let her age (55+) prevent her from whipping upside down into a handstand or tackling a challenging arm balance. In the mid-1990’s, I was one of the first wave of instructors to introduce yoga and its benefits to health clubs in Toronto. As a teacher, I wanted ...
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Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney
I am currently a rehab assistant for a private company and work with people ages 3 - 90, including children with autism to seniors recovering from strokes and literally everyone in between. The pandemic has taken me on a journey to research going back to school and I have decided to pursue a degree in social work beginning this fall. I am so excited. I am 42 and feel like I am so much more well-prepared to embark on my career. I went to school for theatre in my early 20s without much guidance, and I feel now what I ...
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Helen Kohl

Helen Kohl
I'm a 69-year-old retired Canadian woman. During my working years, I was a writer. I am blessed with good health (knock on wood!), a good marriage, two wonderful adult children, and a great circle of friends. We travelled frequently with our kids when they lived with us, and on our own once our kids left home to make their own lives. Until the coronavirus hit, I was teaching yoga at community centres in Toronto part time, and commuting to our home on a lake near Parry Sound. In March, we decided to move to the country full time. It's been ...
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Sandra Campbell

Sandra Campbell
I’m a writer/wordsmith by trade and have been throughout my long life. I began to practice at the Studio in 1994 when I was immobilized by an acute case of carpel tunnel syndrome—the consequence of a 12 week, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week marathon maniacally pecking on a keyboard to meet a do-or-die deadline. My physio said if I ever wanted to recover use of my hands without pain, I must learn how to continuously relax my neck and shoulders. This wisdom came as a shocking revelation. Who knew? Certainly not me! A friend pulled me to ...
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Karen Robbins

Karen Robbins
I first came to know the Esther Myers Yoga Studio by attending one of their international yoga retreats in Costa Rica in February of 2011. The trip was co-led by studio owners Tama Soble and Monica Voss and was at a breathtaking retreat centre in the southern Osa Peninsula, not far from a protected conservation area and national park. We practised twice daily on a yoga platform suspended in the rainforest’s tree canopy where the natural bird song and cry of howler monkeys punctuated our sessions. It was simply amazing! Before the retreat, I had experienced yoga sporadically by taking ...
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Sabah Ghazzawi

Sabah Ghazzawi
I’m a retired high school counsellor and will soon turn seventy. I enjoy what a city like Toronto offers such as; plays, concerts, movies, gentle walks in the parks, spending time with friends and exploring different restaurants. I also appreciate occasional travel and gardening. Now that I’m a grandmother of two, spending time with my grandchildren ranks very high on the list of things I enjoy. I began practicing yoga and meditation twenty years ago when I attended a class that Esther Myers was offering for breast cancer survivors. I wanted to improve the mobility in my right arm where ...
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Mary Walton-Ball

Mary Walton-Ball
I am a retired psychotherapist (2015) who enjoys singing in community choirs, playing the piano and walking and hiking in parks and conservation areas around Toronto. I am also interested in alternative healing modalities which explore different approaches to wellness and emotional well-being for prevention of illness. I began practising yoga in 1997 after a friend encouraged me to take a Friday night class at EMYS. At first I was rather reluctant but by the third session I was hooked! For several years I attended weekly classes augmented with weekend retreats outside the city and an international retreat once per ...
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Rachel London-Wallace

Rachel London-Wallace
My name is Rachel London-Wallace. I'm a 23-year old student and I like sports, reading, writing, and engaging with media in a critical and also pleasurable way. I started practising yoga at the Studio a long time ago, so I don't entirely remember how I began. I think it was in part because my family and I are close friends with Tama and wanted to support her business. Also, my parents were going, so I thought, why not? The way I think about yoga is this: yoga is to my body what therapy is to my mind. It's like a ...
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Liane Connor

woman in lunge stretch
I would like to express my immense gratitude to the co-owners of EMYS, Tama Soble and Monica Voss for their dedication to the original creators of this approach to hatha yoga and its evolution through their continued learning, planning and teaching. Throughout the thirty plus years of my involvement as a participant in weekly classes, the basic principles of grounding, breathing and releasing the spine have been most helpful. These principles have guided my personal practice and my life, becoming a foundation for most daily activities. As I continued to practise, I became more alert to detecting and releasing physical ...
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Norie Jacobs

Norie Jacobs
Norie spent the first nine years of her working life as a stockbroker, a manager in treasury services and a money market trader. Thirty years ago she became a recruiter for technical industries, and continues to work in this field. She feels that shifting her professional focus to recruiting was a big risk that opened up infinite possibilities in her life. Currently, Norie is also a part time antique dealer with a booth in the St. Jacobs Antiques Market. Her passion for antiques began at the age of twelve, to her parents’ great surprise and has matured into a sophisticated ...
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Geraldine Sherman

Geraldine Sherman
All those years when I should have taken my body out of its comfort zone, I was too busy. I had a full household of kids and step-kids, aging parents, and a CBC Radio producer’s job. It never occurred to me that I had the time for, and I didn’t have the interest in, extraneous physical activity. The women I knew, those in my generation - I’m 78 - didn’t run for the fun of it, didn’t join a fitness club and only occasionally played golf or tennis, mostly for the social perks. I did none of those things. Luckily, ...
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