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Uriel MacGillivary- Founder

Teacher- All Levels/ Vinyasa/ Therapeutic Yoga
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Uriel moved to Dartmouth in 1989 and has lived in the community with her family ever since. After graduating from St. Francis Xavier University, she pursued a career in business. Along with her love of yoga, Uriel has worked for an International Human Resources Consulting Firm, where she specialized in Health Benefits solutions. Physical fitness and healthy living have been an integral part of Uriel’s life, especially playing golf with her friends and family. Although she practiced yoga sporadically for several years, it wasn’t until she discovered Hot Yoga that she committed to a practice. In 2009 She travelled to India where she completed a 300 hour training followed by 200 hours of distance learning. “Having personally experienced the stress of working in a fast paced business environment, it’s nice to offer an escape from it all; a place of calmness where you can turn off the cell phones and the rest of the noise and just be in the moment.” In 2010 Uriel continued completed Level 2 Moksha training in Costa Rica followed by an intensive training in Yoga Therapy under the mentorship of Susi Hately who is known internationally for her Therapeutic Yoga approach. After two years under a National Yoga Brand Uriel co- founded Shanti Hot yoga with her family of Yoga teachers “ Our vision is to be a 100 % organic home -grown Yoga Studio. We recognize that the needs of our local community are unique, allowing us to place a greater emphasis on fundraising initiatives that directly benefit our Students and their families. Uriel’s favorite quote by Henry Ford is, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” She is inspired to be to be part of a community that experiences connectedness through Yoga.
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Taylor MacGillivary- Co -Owner

Teacher- All Levels/ Vinyasa/ Vinyasa 2
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Taylor’s curiosity of Yoga practice came quickly after doing his first Teacher Training with Moksha Yoga in 2011. Taylor feels a close connection with the traditional practices of Yoga, practicing and teaching with Sri. T. Krishnamacharya’s lineage as his guidelines, approaching Yoga practice as medicine for your body and your mind. Staying true to Yoga’s origins while keeping practice light and accessible is what he strives for in his classes. Taylor draws on 700+ hours of study, ranging from contemporary Canadian teacher Ryan Leier, who has served as Taylor’s main teacher over the last 4 years, to his latest study with traditional Indian master Srivatsa Ramaswami, a 30+ year student of Krishnamacharya.
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Don MacGillivary- Co-Owner

Teacher- All levels
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Don moved to Dartmouth in 1989 and has been a mainstay in the Dartmouth community ever since. Don has been heavily involved in coaching throughout the Dartmouth minor hockey system, coaching both Taylor and Holly, his children, throughout their minor hockey years. Don played Major Junior hockey in Regina in his younger years, and has always been a fixture participating in a variety of sports.Encouraged to give yoga a try by Uriel, Don immediately began to realize the benefits of a regular practice. Having lived with chronic lower back pain for over 25 years, Don experienced relief from his ailment after only 2 months of practice, and says his back feels like it did when he was 20 years old again. “I feel like I have been given a second chance at living a pain free life”, since adopting a regular yoga practice. Passing along the benefits, and encouraging students to experience their own wonders with a regular yoga practice, is what motivates Don, in both the Dartmouth and Bedford communities.
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Emilie Fabre- Manager

Teacher- Morning Flow/ All levels/ Vinyasa/Yin
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Over five years ago Emilie engaged in her first yoga practice at a recently opened Moksha Yoga Studio in Edmonton. It was then, she expresses, that her journey began one breath at a time, one movement at a time, and, for the first time, with stillness as an ally not an enemy.Yoga has naturally became a part of Emilie’s everyday life; the day is not complete if she doesn’t practice in one way or another; whether at a studio or in a home practice, the energy that comes from integrating breath with movement and from challenging herself to be still-in mind and in body never ceases to amaze her.In Fall of 2009 Emilie completed a 200 hour, Yoga Alliance certified teacher training in Edmonton. She believes the person she was then was broken down into many pieces and re-sculpted. The new insight and perspective gained, also brought acceptance of her true self and an overwhelming desire to help others uncover and appreciate their own true being.Emilie has completed certifications in Pre-natal yoga, kids yoga, senior’s yoga, yoga life coaching & yin yoga and looks forward to future trainings to help in her pursuit of bringing yoga to anybody & everybody! She strongly believes there is yoga for every person-it is the engagement of their flow that has to be found!Emilie is excited to be moving into the management roll at the Dartmouth location starting January 2013! The opportunity to incorporate her passion & her business skills into one career will truly be living a dream!
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Andrew Murray

Teacher- All Levels/ Vinyasa
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Andrew was born at the fresh age of 0 and continues to lead a relatively human life, ever since. Raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Andrew was active from the get-go, starting tai chi in the third trimester of utero. His passion to move is obvious, as he launched a career into the abyss of yoga, after experiencing the residue of empowerment and introspection the practice leaves behind. Andrew wishes to share this passion on a community level, and spark a sense of curiosity for your own practice. Brining a sense of play and lightness, Andrew feels we can all shed a few layers, overcome barriers, laugh, and even cry, one breath at a time. Inhale. Exhale. Liberate yourself. This is your yoga.
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Kyla MacKinnon- Manager

Teacher-All Levels/ Vinyasa
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Kyla was born in Halifax and continues to love this friendly, accessible, beautiful, and balanced city. After completing a commerce degree with a double major in Finance and Human Resource Management, she landed a job in the investment industry. Although the work was interesting, she didn’t feel fulfilled.Kyla also had a strong athletic background and worked for lululemon athletica for years where she was fully immersed in various yoga communities. Yoga filled the void that appeared in Kyla’s life once her competitive sports had ended.Kyla eventually made the bold shift to leave the security of a job behind and follow her passion: yoga.It became clear that yoga had a special place in her life and she has since completed numerous teacher trainings and workshops. When not getting her yoga on, Kyla can be found tasting new vegan health foods, running in the park, attending numerous events with friends and family, and traveling the world. Gratitude is being sent to Taylor for sharing all of these passions with her.Oh and she also loves meeting new people and connecting with the community so don’t be shy!
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Stefanie Winters

Teacher- Power Flow/ All Levels/ Vinyasa
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Having had parents involved in the fitness industry Stefanie had been physically active from a young age, and has been a certified personal trainer for several years. However, it was not until she met Coeli Marsh and was introduced to Baptiste Power Yoga that she found her true passion. After a weekend workshop she was compelled to travel to Hawaii to train under Baron Baptiste, a transformational experience. Stefanie now teaches this style with enthusiasm, fun and a sense of curiosity.
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Lara Luer

Teacher-All Levels/ Form & Flow
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Lara Luer began her yoga journey in her hometown of England in 2001. she has studied extensively under Bridget Kramer, a senior teacher and leader in the of anasura yoga community in England. Lara has conducted workshops in England, the United States, and Canada. she has been instrumental in yoga teacher trainings and has written manuals for teacher training courses. Lara owned and operated her own studio in British Columbia. she integrates her knowledge of anatomy and movement with her yoga teaching and delivers an inspiring practice.
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Diane Bellefontaine

Teacher-All Levels/Vinyasa
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Diane has been involved in the health & fitness world for over 30 years. She has been a fitness studio owner, a fitness studio director, Executive Director of a provincial fitness association, a fitness presenter and still is a fitness instructor.During her career she hosted her own TV fitness show, she also wrote weekly fitness columns in the local newspaper. Additionally, Diane provided fitness tips on the radio and she was also featured in two different issues of Shape Magazine.

From the days of “leg warmers” and “albums” to “yoga toe socks” and “ipods”, Diane has seen many changes in the health & fitness industry over the last three decades.

Diane has received certifications with Aerobic Fitness Association of America, International Dance Exercise Association and Canadian Aquatics Leadership Association. Diane holds various certifications with the Nova Scotia Fitness Association. She is a certified FIS with Can Fit Pro, a Zumba & Zumba Gold instructor.Diane went to her first yoga weekend workshop in 2003 to acquire some “core exercises” for her group fitness classes. She soon discovered that yoga was so much more, both on and off the mat,- a completeness of mind, body and spirit. She completed her 200 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with TAYS (Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio) and is presently working on her 500hr. She is a yoga teacher and a life long student of Yoga! She believes that it’s not just about the asanas, it’s also about the Yoga Sutras and translating them into your daily life.When Diane is not teaching Yoga You may find her presenting at various conferences, workshops, and in-services.
Diane’s favorite quote is “Do what you love. Love what you do!”
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Estelle Thomson

Teacher – All Levels/ Vinyasa/Pre-Natal/Mom & Baby
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Estelle comes from a background of figure skating and dance so trying yoga seemed a normal progression to the art of movements she so thoroughly loved. In 2002, she took her first hot yoga class was astonished by the positive changes in her body and attitude on life. The more she practiced she started to realize yoga was more than just sweating & stretching; it was a way of life. Since then, the power of yoga has never ceased to amaze her. Over a decade of practice, Estelle has dabbled in many styles of yoga like Moksha, Prenatal, Power and Bikram. Hot Vinyasa with music has always resonated with her and touched her the most. The flow of asana’s, just like a dance, mixed with the sweat and tears of being totally rooted in your practice, and the rhythm of the music grips your soul, altogether taking you out of your head and into your heart. Estelle knows that yoga is the best investment she has ever made. Upon the first week of yoga, she instantly saw changes in her breathing, her skin and her entire physical/mental disposition. Not only that, but yoga helps her to face her fears, to delve into her true essence, to find balance, to find patience, to refine her perceptions and to define her values. Estelle truly believes that yoga is a quest, a love story with yourself. Estelle thinks that teaching yoga is about healing and helping others. Teaching yoga is about learning to breathe, letting go, living right here, right now. Teaching yoga is about having fun, opening your body and mind to your higher life. In her invigorating classes, you can hear Estelle say: ‘can you hear the sound of your own breath?’ We forget to breathe and to listen to what our bodies want. In yoga, we are reminded that we are ALIVE. These are some of the many reasons why she absolutely loves to teach. Off the mat, Estelle loves her boys! At only 9 months apart, Estelle juggles little troublemaker Isaiah and little warrior Thomas. Estelle’s other passion is painting acrylic on canvas. She’s been painting on and off since the age of 13. Her art is inspired by the earth, ocean, star & sun of near and far places. She creatively uses forks, wood, fingers- you name it- to create the effect wanted. Her pieces are displayed at Mhome in Halifax, Emma’s Eatery in Eastern Passage and right here at Shanti. Visit her website at: estellethomson.com
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Moriah Rose

Teacher - All Levels
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Back in the day I was a pretty serious competitive volleyball player and so maintaining my physical fitness has always been a priority. In 2009, I decided to give yoga a try thinking it was just going to be a new way to exercise. Of course what I found was so so much more. Over the years yoga has become a way of life. What we learn on the mat, we then take into our regular lives. Through my practice I have learned to approach challenges with courage, relationships with compassion… and work, well, who knew work could be so fun if you just approach it with a light heart? Yoga gives you so much perspective, it’s like a process of uncovering hidden truths, about yourself and about life. I know now the power of self forgiveness. I know that nothing counts as much as showing up. And most of all, I know now that life is supposed to be hard work, and that hard work is supposed to be fun ☺I started out with Shanti as a Trade, and throughout my teacher training I received so much love and support from the whole community - I feel so grateful to have such a solid group of people around me to learn and grow with now as a teacher. It’s been a swell ride so far and I’m really looking forward to sharing everything I learn with you, Namaste.
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Michelle Hicks

Teacher - Vinyasa
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Michelle happened upon her first yoga class in 2006 when she passed by a local studio after registering for a Joints In Motion marathon. Life was very busy at that time with lots of training and conditioning. Plus, her recent decision to step away from a secure but unfulfilling job, relationship and home had her feeling completely run down. She had read about the benefits of a yoga practice and thought the guidance would be great for her stressed out body and mind. Little did she know the impact one class would have on the rest of her life. Since then, Michelle has immersed herself in various intensive yoga and meditation programs and workshops, travelling to India and across North America, to explore the profound teachings yoga has to offer. Having studied with world renowned teachers Manju Jois, Nancy Gildoff, Shiva Rae, Seane Corn and Anodea Judith, Michelle brings a beautiful and playful mix to all of her yoga classes. As a student, teacher, wife and new mom, her regular physical and mental practices help to keep her balanced and strong, as well as flexible in more ways than one. Her vigorous, yet purposeful sequences, will help you feel refreshed, powerful and wonderfully balanced for living your life to the fullest.
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Cheilidh MacNeil

Teacher - Yoga for Youth/Wee Warriors
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Back in 2010 I was living in Montreal and re-discovering my yoga practice. At the time, I was finishing up a B.Ed and doing a practice-teaching term at an elementary school in the city; teaching English and Math. I felt like I needed to try teaching something that made a little more sense to me, so I started doing yoga with the kids everyday; giving it just as much time as English and Math. They loved it, and it gave me a new appreciation and approach to my own practice, so I expanded to teaching in preschools and studios and working more with families. Since moving back to Halifax I've been lucky enough to stumble upon Shanti and Yoga for Youth and am so totally thrilled to be part of it's growth. Practicing alongside children and youth is just the most interesting combination of unpredictability and spontaneity with humility and groundedness. So fascinating how yoga mirrors life!
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Brendan Hansen

Teacher - All Levels/Vinyasa/Yin
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After following my intuition to Halifax in October of 2013, I joined the Shanti family as a multi-disciplinary practitioner and guide. I was drawn to Shanti because of the variety in classes, the peaceful vibe, and the inspiring teachers. I’m humbled at the experience of growth and evolution towards a better world as a part of the Shanti community.After spending years in a touring rock band and bartending I found myself in a state of constant physical and mental exhaustion. In this state my health was beginning to deteriorate and my emotional stability was out of balance. I was introduced to yoga by a friend in the music industry and was hooked after one class. On my mat I found the freedom to be vulnerable and the courage to be present and participate in my life more fully, with open eyes and an open heart. I get the same feeling every day when I see friends creating their own insights through the inward journey of their yoga practice.When we breathe alone we cultivate strength. When we breathe together we change the world. Namaste
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Dani MacLean

Teacher - All Levels, Vinyasa
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Dani first discovered yoga 11 years ago while looking for something ‘’different’’ to offset her passion for aerobics and strength training. It wasn’t until 4 years ago when she discovered hot yoga that she truly fell in love with the practice. Dani completed her first Hatha yoga teacher training in 2001, followed by Pre-natal teacher training in 2010 and a 200-HR Kripalu inspired Hatha teacher training in 2011. Her greatest appreciation for yoga stems from the balance it creates in her life. Dani is a full-time working mom with a career in software and truly understands how valuable a healthy mind and body can bring to her corporate world. She delivers a practice that allows her students to evolve on and off the mat.
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