Meet the Souls

alg_5630.jpgMaureen Tonge
Radiance M-Bodied Yoga for Wellness
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Maureen Tonge (Dhanraj Kaur), E-RYT500 is an Internationally Certified Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) and Hatha Yoga instructor certified with the Canadian Yoga Alliance, and has been offering Kundalini Yoga and Meditation & hatha yoga (with a focus on restorative yoga) classes in and around Yellowknife, NWT since 2007. She is one of the founding members of Collective Soul Space.

When you attend one of Maureen’s classes, you will be encouraged to listen to your body’s needs but simultaneously be asked to challenge yourself to always do your best – whatever that might look like that day! Maureen takes to heart Yogi Bhajan’s expression: “Keep Up and You will be Kept Up!”

Known for her genuine passion for “all things yoga”; her enthusiasm, positive energy and good-natured humour, Maureen considers it an honour to make her classes fully accessible to all levels of experience and ability. Whether you’re looking for stress relief, to strengthen your body’s systems, to increase your flexibility, for an opportunity to make a spiritual connection, or to take time for self-care in your busy life, Maureen offers a class for you!

ALG_5439Johanna Tiemessen
Certified Blue Belt Nia Teacher
Dancing for Birth™ Teacher
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Johanna has always had a passion for movement and the energy that is created from movement. A dancer as a young girl, she practiced ballet and jazz for many years. University opened the door for yoga practice, including valuable time for calm meditation and self-reflection. She often wondered if there was a way to connect the two concepts.

Just before moving to Yellowknife in 2000, Johanna discovered Nia. With only time to attend a few classes, she held her experience dear to her heart and shortly after, traveled to Gibson, BC to complete her white-belt training. During this blissful week, the spirit of Nia manifested itself in her soul and upon returning home, she began her journey as a teacher, sharing this spirit with others in her community. In 2011, Johanna completed her blue-belt training in Portland, Oregon at Nia Headquarters, with one of the co-creators of Nia, Debbie Rosas. This experience further deepened Johanna’s appreciation for this technique and how vital it is for us to be aware and connected to ourselves, and in essence each other.

Johanna’s classes are a journey in themselves. As the teacher, she guides the class but encourages her students to remain aware of what the movement feels like to them – physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Each class starts with setting a focus – be it a body part, an emotion, breath, or a special event – which helps bring a common awareness among the students and guide the energy of the class. The movements of Nia are simple and natural, a beautiful and forceful energy evolves throughout the class. In the end, students leave feeling alive, happy, energized, balanced and blissful. For over 15 years, Johanna has taught every week to an ever-evolving group of women and men, all who come to seek the joy of movement.

In 2014, Johanna became certified as a Dancing for Birth™ teacher. Founded in 2001, classes focus on birth preparation and include a mixture of feel-good prenatal fitness, essential birth wisdom, and celebration of pregnancy, birth and mothering. As Johanna is also a certified birth doula, these classes are fun, empowering and educational.

alg_1876.jpgDawna Marriott
breathe • believe • receive
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Dawna started her journey with yoga more than a decade ago and, over the years, she discovered that it is about so much more than the just the physical practice. While it is definitely good for the body, yoga also provides many mental, emotional and spiritual benefits and rewards. What originally started as a twice a week practice in a search for stress relief, quickly transitioned to a daily practice, both on and off the mat.

In a quest to gain a deeper understanding of this rich practice, Dawna received her Yoga Teacher Certification in 2016, through Midnight Sun Yoga Teacher Training with Do Something! Yoga’s Sylvie Boisclair, and is certified through the Canadian Yoga Alliance. She also obtained her Restorative Certification in 2016 through 40-hour training with Andrea Peloso, and has taken Yin training with Melissa Christensen and Carly Forest, both internationally certified Yin teacher trainers.

Dawna is drawn to different things from the many different styles of yoga. Her Yin classes remain true to its specific discipline, but her Flow classes tend to draw elements from a variety of practices. While mainly Vinyasa based, she likes each Flow class to be a little different so that students are able to experience a variety of sequences and poses from the large selection out there. This also allows her to share a taste of all the things she loves with her students, and her classes encourage students to be open, curious and challenge themselves, both physically and mentally.

Most who know Dawna, know she is passionate about yoga – and about sharing this passion with others. One’s own time on their mat is about inner focus, reflection and growth, but sharing this wonderful practice with others is like offering them a piece of magic.

alg_5764.jpgNancy Mullick
Taiko Drummer (Personal Practice)

Taiko, the Japanese word for “drum”, is a musical tradition that combines percussion and martial arts for a physically challenging and visually impressive performance. This style of drumming is a whole body endeavour.

Nancy first experienced taiko drumming at Folk on the Rocks in 2008. Profoundly moved by those performances, in June 2009 she relocated to Vancouver for an intensive month of taiko lessons and has been drumming ever since. Her mentors are the members of Booming Tree Taiko from Edmonton. She has also studied with Uzume Taiko from Vancouver and had the opportunity to play with community taiko groups in Winnipeg and in Thunder Bay who are mentored by Fubuki Daiko from Winnipeg.

Her involvement with the Collective Soul Co-operative makes it possible for her to access a beautiful space to practice regularly. Nancy’s private practice gives her an incredible creative outlet to explore sound and movement, silence and breath, power and finesse.

12375064_781485955550_7613065743355055250_o.jpgJahiele Paquin
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Yoga has been an essential part of Jahliele’s life for over fifteen years. In February 2015, she became a certified yoga instructor through the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas. Immediately after her training she embarked upon a two-year journey through Central and South America. During her travels she taught various classes by donation and many impromptu classes for free. Through this journey, Jahliele had the opportunity to teach students of many different cultures and skill-levels. It was both an honouring and humbling experience.

For the last year, Jahliele has been involved in the Yellowknife yoga community by teaching various workshops and being a consistent substitute teacher at Collective Soul Space.

Although her practice is rooted in tradition, she feels her style focuses on adapting to the wellness and needs of her students. She aims to incorporate ancient yoga philosophy with an attitude to have fun and explore.

alg_1979.jpgChrista Domchek
Sundog Yoga
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Christa has always been drawn to benefits of alternate therapies in maintaining and improving health. She has practiced yoga for over twelve years, and found complete refuge in the depth of Sivananda Yoga practice after becoming a mother in 2005.

The physical and mental benefits she gained from the practice of yoga at this time in her life guided her to become a teacher of classical Hatha yoga in the Sivananda tradition in 2007. She taught classes at the former Yoga Centre in Yellowknife, and as co-owner of Sundog Yoga, has been offering custom workshops in yoga for both kids and adults since 2008.

Christa also became a certified Thai Yoga Massage practitioner in Jan 2010, and spent a month in Thailand in 2012 to gain further training. She greatly enjoys offering this healing bodywork to the community of Yellowknife.

Following completion of a twelve-day residential Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Certification Course taught by Dr. Marc Halpern at the Sivananda Yoga Retreat Centre, Paradise Island in the Bahamas in 2011, Christa completed her practicum and began offering Ayurvedic services in Yellowknife.

In 2012, Christa co-founded Collective Soul Space to provide a sacred space for the healing arts in Yellowknife.

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Heather Chang, R.H.N. – Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Radiant Child Yoga Instructor
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Heather’s personal Yoga practice began in 2013 when she took her first Vinyasa class and fell in love with the simultaneously challenging, nurturing, invigorating, and calming nature of Yoga. Previous to this Heather flirted with Yoga in the form of a Kundalini class here, and a Hatha class there, but without really feeling the ‘bite’. Her practice has since evolved to include the styles of Yin, Restorative, and primarily Kundalini Yoga. In April 2018 Heather completed the 30 Hour Radiant Child Yoga Teaching, becoming a certified Radiant Child Yoga Instructor, and hasn’t looked back since.

Offering series for Kid’s Yoga, Preteen Yoga, and Family Yoga, Heather considers herself very fortunate to share her passion for Yoga with the younger generation. Her classes are designed with a mix of Kundalini Yoga, song, craft, storytelling, and games; tools used to foster a sense of both self-esteem and connection to others, while focusing on play.

Heather’s favourite part about teaching kids? Their willingness to be open, to allow their imaginations to roam free, and to be completely in the moment. Their positivity, enjoyment for life, and big smiles are uber contagious!


Natasha McCagg – Certified Radiant Child Yoga Levels (1-3); Midnight Sun Yoga Teacher Training; Girl on Fire Empowerment
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Natasha started her Yoga journey two decades ago when a friend asked her to go to a yoga class. Searching for release from neck, shoulder and back pain and hoping to find more energy, she discovered the benefits of yoga. Natasha considers herself a better mother and person because of yoga. Gradually yoga and life were interwoven. Teaching became a natural extension of the importance of yoga.

Natasha’s esteemed teachers include Sue Ducros, Saraswati Sylvie Boisclair & Jenny Kierstead. Natasha began teaching Children’s Yoga classes first. She is the co-creator of The Young Explorers Yoga & Nature Camps and Creator of The Creative Kids Yoga Summer Camp & Yoga Birthday Parties. She teaches After School Yoga Programs and Kids Yoga in Daycares.

Natasha is a sought after teacher for her easy, innovative and inclusive approach.  She prides herself in creating fun and interesting classes for adults too. She hopes you will check out one of her classes: Curvaceous Yoga, Blissful Hatha Yoga, Teen Yoga – Girl on Fire, Family Yoga, Chair Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Yoga for Hands and Feet, etc.  Or, book Natasha for a private session to get a custom yoga practice that works for your body. Natasha hopes to share the joy of yoga with her students. She feels that yoga is for Everyone & Every Body.

Sari Valenskyyoga-css.jpg
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Sari has been a student of yoga since 2005 and has always had a deep desire to understand yoga’s roots and traditions. This thirst for knowledge led her to Northern India where Sari’s understanding of yoga and Ayurveda expanded to a way of life. She credits overcoming anxiety and gaining a calm focused mind and peaceful heart to classical yoga teachings. Sari’s practice is in the Vedic tradition and follows Patanjali Yoga principles. She extends gratitude to her teacher Master Yogi Ram ji from the Himalayan Yog Ashram where she has studied twice and completed her teaching certification in February 2018.

Sari encourages students to connect with themselves through the transformative power of yoga and meditation. Her classes are accessible for all levels, as Sari promotes students’ finding and staying within their limit. The intention of Sari’s class is always to maintain a calm inward practice and leave with a balanced mind and body.

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Leslie Gray, Certified Yoga Instructor Direct Email:
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Leslie first met yoga in 2001 through a home-practice VHS with Rodney Yee, and later fell head over heels for Moksha hot yoga. Especially their mantra: “calm mind, fit body, inspired life.” Always an athlete, her passion for movement eventually led her straight into sports injuries – which led directly to yoga for recovery and to rebalance. Ever since, yoga has become a sanctuary and cornerstone, increasing physical and mental health, and enhancing both mental and physical flexibility and balance.

In 2014, she completed her YTT200 with Sadhana Yoga school in Hatha and Vinyasa flow yoga and has since studied Alignment based Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark.  She also deepened her meditation practice through a 10-day Vipassana course.

Yoga fits your body and your brain, wherever your body is, and wherever your mind may be.  Leslie believes that the breath is the key and that yoga can be relaxing and fun.  Working with the breath, you can change your day, relieve stress, and find a place of calm.  Yoga as a whole system brings awareness to your body, mind, and soul and can benefit anyone at any time, or all the time!  And even better, yoga is completely portable, so you can take it with you wherever in the world you go, and use it as needed. She aims for her students to be comfortable yet challenged, feeling their way into poses as their individual bodies allow, prioritizing function and feeling over form.

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Christine Lewandowski-Shannon
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