Meet the Souls

ALG_5439Johanna Tiemessen
Certified Blue Belt Nia Teacher
Certified Dancing for Birth™ Teacher

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.

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 in September 2000, traveled to Gibson, BC to complete her Nia 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 and intention, which helps bring a common awareness among the students and guide the energy of the class. The movements of Nia are simple and natural, allowing a beautiful and forceful energy to evolve throughout the students, leaving them feeling alive, happy, energized, balanced and blissful. For over 21 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 trained birth doula, these classes are fun, empowering and educational.

Johanna is one of the founding members of Collective Soul Coop.

alg_5764.jpgNancy Mullick, Skyfire Taiko
Taiko Drummer

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.

Nancy is one of the founding members of the Coop, giving her 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. In the fall of 2020, she will move forward and teach her practice, in a Intro to Taiko Drumming series of classes.

Anne-Marie GuedonIMG_1651
Certified Yoga Instructor

Anne-Marie is an E-RYT500 with Yoga Alliance and has accumulated over 1500 teaching hours since she began teaching 2006. She has a 200h yoga teacher training certification in Kripalu based Hatha from Rama Lotus in Ottawa and has just completed an additional 300h hours of yoga teacher training in PranaFlow yoga with Shiva Rea. A bit of an obsessive knowledge seeker, she also has extensive training in Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, YogaTuneUp, and Pilates (Body Harmonics method). Anne-Marie believes in creating a class environment where each individual can explore what they need both physically and mentally and her studies of anatomy have led her to deeply respect individual differences in the architecture of the human body (which she tries to communicate in her classes).

Anne-Marie’s teaching style focuses on exploring movement patterns that cultivate health in the body’s diverse tissues and the nervous system.  One of the goals of her teaching is to foster a better understanding of the body so that practitioners can incorporate that knowledge into other activities in their day-to-day lives and enjoy living more comfortably. She draws on different philosophies of movement from her own journey to understand the body and encourages other to be curious as well.

Christa DomchekChrista bio photo 2023, Sundog Yoga
Certified Yoga Instructor

Christa has always been drawn to benefits of alternative therapies in maintaining and improving health especially after becoming a mother in 2005. The physical and mental benefits she gained from the practice of yoga at that time in her life guided her to become a teacher of classical Hatha yoga in the Sivananda tradition in 2007. 

Shortly after, she cofounded Sundog Yoga and has been primarily offering accessible classes through her 10-week adaptive yoga sessions and yoga nidra classes.

Christa also became a certified Thai Yoga Massage (Level 3) practitioner in Jan 2010 with Lotus Palm. In 2012, she deepened her practice by travelling to Thailand to train with a well known teacher named Pichest Boonthumme.  She greatly enjoys offering this healing bodywork to the community of Yellowknife.

In 2013, Christa completed the Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Certification Course taught by Dr. Marc Halpern from the California College of Ayurveda. Christa completed her practicum and began offering Ayurvedic services in Yellowknife. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Christa furthered her studies by taking a unique 120-hour Ayurveda Yoga Specialist training course taught by Kathryn Templeton through Yoga International and recently became certified in January 2023. 

She is very excited to share the practice of self awareness and self care that Ayurveda provides through her yoga classes, thai massage and ayurvedic assessments.

Christa is one of the founding members of Collective Soul Space Coop, created to provide a sacred space for the healing arts in Yellowknife.

Kundalini Photo - Shane Mitchell

Shane Mitchell
Certified Yoga Instructor

Shane Mitchell is a holistic health practitioner with a deep background and daily practice in Kundalini Yoga. He completed his Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in 2016 with Devinder Kaur and Mahan Rishi Singh Khalsa in Ottawa and went on to complete a MA degree at Carleton University studying the creation and impact of Kundalini Yoga in North America.

Shane’s also trained in Hatha Yoga (200 hours), Yoga for addictions, Bowen Therapy,  LENS Neurofeedback and trained as a CHEK Practitioner. He currently practices Holistic Health Coaching and LENS Neurofeedback in Yellowknife.

Michaelis HarrisonMichaelis - Work photo
Registered Massage Therapist
Registered Nurse 
Certified White Belt Nia Teacher 

Michaelis is passionate about the body, inside and out. Her nursing and massage careers have helped expand her knowledge of the body and what wellness truly means.

As a nurse she has worked in hospitals, health centers, correctional centers, and in home and community care.  Helping patients through some of their most difficult moments has taught her to approach every problem with an open mind.

As a massage therapist she has experience working in a variety of settings including sports clinics, multidisciplinary clinics, wellness centers and independently as a sole proprietor. Her primary focus is to treat pain and discomfort through soft tissue manipulation and leave clients feeling empowered to achieve their physical goals and optimal mental wellbeing.

Her favorite pastimes are cooking, dancing, skijoring, exploring the globe, and spending time with her children. Her favorite pastimes are cooking, dancing, skijoring, exploring the globe, and spending time with her children.

Lindsey Oosenbrug-TrinhVR-NGAN-11
Certified AFLCA Instructor, Portable Equipment

Lindsey instructed a variety of fitness classes (spin, strength training, cardio kickboxing, Barre) as a certified Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA) instructor in Yellowknife from 2008-2017. After a three-year break from instructing, she realized that she missed the fitness benefits and dynamic group setting of Barre and decided to complete her AFLCA recertification in Group Exercise, specializing in Portable Equipment, in December 2021 in order to resume teaching.

Lindsey also enjoys endurance activities such as running, cycling, swimming, paddling and hiking, as well as High-Intensity Interval Training, and finds that Barre is an excellent complement to these activities for building muscular endurance, increasing flexibility and improving posture and balance.


Bronwyn Rorke
Certified Yoga Instructor

Bronwyn was exposed to yoga and meditation as a child when her mother lived in a Hindu ashram. In her early twenties, yoga rocked her world, and she lived at the yoga studio.

Being drawn to the more physically challenging styles of yoga at first, Bronwyn took her teacher training in Power Yoga in Brisbane, Australia in 2002.  Over time, she came to appreciate the yin element of the practice, and did some training in and teaching of Yin Yoga. A big focus of hers these days is to try to balance yin and yang elements and also be aligned with the cycles of the moon and seasons.

As her practice developed it became more spiritual for her, as she started to study Buddhism and Taoism. Meditation, developing the mind-states of loving-kindness and compassion, as well as training in seeing things as illusory have become practices she holds dear from Buddhist training. From Taoism, she has learnt to be very attentive to the type of energy she puts into what she does and tries to be in a state of enjoyment in all her activities. She loves to include philosophical elements from these traditions in her classes.

Recently, Bronwyn has become fascinated in Qigong – the martial art of energy movement and preventative medicine. She is currently studying her teacher training in this practice and looks forward to sharing it with Yellowknife.

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Leslie Gray, Frozen Yoga YK
Certified Yoga Instructor

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.

bio pic 1

Christine Lewandowski-Shannon, Holistic ERA

Christine has lived and worked in the North for 18 years and she is passionate about promoting a holistic approach to wellness, fostering personal accountably in students and inquiry-based self-directed learning. She is an educator, mother of two beautiful and boisterous children, a business owner, yogi, mindfulness practitioner and prides herself as a life-long learner. Christine founded her businesses, Holistic ERA & Holistic Education, to share in her many passions and empower and inspire people to cultivate positivity and presence in their lives.

Her education and experience in the wellness world include Mindfulness Teaching certification from Mindful Schools out of California and various Yoga schools with certifications in Restorative Yoga and Children’s & Infant Yoga. Christine has also completed various certificates in Emotional Intelligence & Leadership coaching through EITC, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Therapy Teacher Training through the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, courses on Self Regulation through the Mehrit Centre, and “Edu-culture” courses lead by Indigenous Educators to support Indigenous learners. Christine is currently working towards her 200-hour Yoga Teaching certification.  

Through the studio she offers private professional coaching sessions, and a range of classes, from healing restorative yoga to meditation and mindfulness, to infant and toddler classes, as well as workshops such as intention-setting, vision board creation and intuitive collages.    

Her pastimes include spending time outdoors in nature with family, camping, cooking and eating healthy food, holistic nutrition, reading, painting, drinking tea and connecting with people and the environment.

Laurence Marie Bilodeau, R.M.P.image_6483441
The Art of Healing
Certified Usui Reiki Ryoho & Crystal Reiki Master Practitioner/Teacher
Certified Art Therapist
Aura-Soma Artist

Laurence became a Certified Reiki Master Practitioner/Teacher of the Usui System of Natural Healing, Usui Reiki Ryoho, after four deepening years of training and practice. Integrating the amplifying benefits of crystals in her practice came naturally, and she decided to complete a Master/Teacher certification in Crystal Reiki. Laurence’s practice is deeply rooted in nature,  and she is certified to work with both humans and pets.

Laurence is also an Aura-Soma Artist. Her relationship to the artistic process has always been explorative and seeking, both from a medium and an inner-exploration perspective. Her deep passion in harnessing the vibrational powers of Mother Nature, brought her to study the Aura-Soma system of colour, plant and crystal energies, that enhance happiness and vitality, to integrate it in her art. 

After giving birth to her first child, who was non-verbal, she decided to get certified in Art Therapy to find success in communicating with her daughter. Doing this work reframed Laurence’s relationship to art itself. She since has had the opportunity to work with both adults and children, in one-on-one settings and group sessions. Laurence loves designing and facilitating workshops that use art as a channel to explore different aspects of the healing process, and to promote self-discovery and acceptance.

At the core of all these practices, there is an infinite thirst for inner peace. Laurence practices Shikantaza – Japanese word for “just-awareness” – meditation for several years and has been leading Reiki Guided Meditation and Sound Bath Sessions on a regular basis. With the guidance found in deep meditation, she taught herself how to play the tuning pipe of the 528 hz Love Frequency, and use singing bowls, chimes and chanting to enhance the meditation experience.

Laurence has five years of experience leading exciting personal development workshops, in areas ranging from Autism Awareness Workshops for Teachers and Support Teachers to Crystal Healing. Her work is focused on igniting self-healing in all people and empowering them to become an active participant in their own healing journey. Laurence’s website for tickets to workshop is The Art of Healing.

Maureen Tonge

MaureenMaureen Tonge (Dhanraj Kaur), E-RYT500 was an Internationally Certified Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) and Hatha Yoga instructor certified with the Canadian Yoga Alliance, teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation & Hatha Yoga (with a focus on Restorative Yoga) classes in and around Yellowknife since 2007. She is one of the founding members of Collective Soul Coop.

On October 5, 2020, Maureen made her final transition of her journey with the peace and grace that was her final wish. Even though Maureen is not with us physically anymore, her spirit, art and guidance continue to surround us with each class and each breath in the Studio.