Melanie Checknita - Instructor and Owner


My yoga journey began over 35 years ago taking classes with Gerda Krebs. Over the years yoga has woven a path through my life and my heart. Yoga has taught me that strength and flexibility in my body is important but combining it with strength and flexibility of my mind allows me to face life’s challenges with courage and a positive outlook. Yoga is something that anyone can do. It becomes a need not a want and the benefits are endless!

I have been teaching yoga for over 30 years. Yoga Within opened its doors, 10 years ago, with the help and support of a very patient family and many friends! Our hope was to create a nurturing, welcoming environment where people of all levels could learn, share and practice yoga together. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with wonderful instructors, students and friends who have shared in creating this space.

We are a 200 hour and 500 hour Registered Yoga Alliance School. This is our 9th year of running our Yoga Within Teacher Training Program. I am a Registered Yoga Alliance Training Instructor and a Senior (over 800 hours) Yoga Association of Alberta Senior Teacher.

I am thankful and fortunate to have studied many styles and traditions of yoga with many wonderful, knowledgeable teachers:

Gerda Krebs, Friedel Khattab, David Swenson, Nancy Gilgoff, Tim Miller, Doug Swenson, Phattabhi Jois, Shakta Kaur Kalsa, Sat Dharam Kaur, Rosemary Antze, Bernie Clark and many others over the years.

Yoga Association of Alberta certified, Yoga Alliance 500 hours, Ashtanga with David Swenson, Prenatal, Radiant Child, Healthy Breast, Okido yoga, Yin yoga.


Aly Daly - Yoga Within Certified

My yoga experience began when I was sixteen years old at Yoga Within. I started practicing yoga because it seemed like a healthy way to expand my physical universe. I could unwind, stretch my body, and feel better about myself. However, throughout my journey, I have learned that yoga offers so much more. Now I know that every posture and every breath is fuel for my body as a whole. I believe yoga is the relationship that is created between the body, the mind, and the breath. It is sustaining a space free from obstacles in your own body to live. It is freedom and release. Yoga continuously instills with me the importance of living with unconditional self-love. For this, I am forever grateful. I am also thankful for all of the inspirational teachers who have guided me along my path. Without their support and wisdom I would not have found the courage to pursue teaching yoga! Since graduating from a 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Program and an Ashtanga Teacher Training Program in 2014, I have completed a 60-Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training Program, a diploma in Natural Nutrition, and a 30-Hour Ayurvedic Wellness Course. Throughout my holistic health studies I have learned to consider my body as a sacred center to nourish and praise. This journey has inspired me to share my passion and knowledge for health with others. 


Anita Sielecki

Anita has taught yoga for over 25 years. She has trained and was certified by Yamuna Zake as a Body Rolling instructor in 2000. She has considerable knowledge of therapeutic yoga and has been President of the Yoga Association of Alberta for 10 years.


April Kosinski - Yoga Within Certified

My name is April Kosinski. I love yoga! I teach it because it makes my heart sing! Right alongside my love for yoga is my love of snowboarding and the outdoors. Put them together and you have, in my perception, the perfect remedy for the balance of mind, body and spirit.

I believe that yoga is for every BODY! No matter your ailment, body type or attitude there is a style of yoga for you! 

I took my 200 hour hatha training at Yoga Within and I could not have asked for a better studio to train with. I am currently working towards my 500 hour certification. I have taken my yin teachers training, numerous workshops: in Purna Yoga, yoga therapy, inversions, anatomy, meditation, and more. Yoga therapy is where I set my intention for my studies. Making yoga accessible to everyone. I believe education is a life long journey. 

I live my life like I end my classes... In gratitude. 

Thank you for every breathe I take

Thank you for every step I make

Thank you for my family and thank you for my friends.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. See you in the studio!



Corinne (Indu) McNally


Corinne’s friendly and joyful personality brings honesty, humor, and an open heart to her teaching. She balances and integrates her flowing classes with breath, alignment, strength, and ease. With a communications and performing arts background, Corinne incorporates a love of yoga in all aspects of her life, including her work as a Certified Doula (DONA) and Thai Yoga Massage practitioner (RMT). In November 2009 Corinne traveled to Rishikesh, India and completed a 500 hour advanced teacher training from World Conscious Yoga Family with Yogi Vishvketu. She is extremely grateful for her transformational experience, as it has provided her with a solid foundation to continue her journey of self-discovery while assisting students to deepen, open and “let go”. Corinne is an Experience Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT500) with Yoga Alliance (YA), specializing in Yoga for Pregnancy.

Corinne is delighted to be teaching at Yoga Within and she feels blessed to be able to share the harmony and serenity that yoga brings to her life with others.

For more information on Doula care or Thai Yoga Massage please go to


Dani Checknita - 1000-Hour Yoga Within Certified

Yoga has always been a part of Dani’s life. As a young child she learned the healing effects of a pranayama practice in addition to the importance of moving her body in asanas. From a young age she was blessed to study with and learn from Gerda Krebs and Friedel Khattab. After developing a mindful Hatha yoga practice, she began to study and explore other styles and lineages of yoga such as Yin, Ashtanga, Desikachar and Purna. She has completed her Ashtanga training with David Swenson and Tim Miller. Dani is grateful for the many wonderful teachers she has been fortunate to study with: Gerda Krebs, Friedel Khattab, David Swenson, Tim Miller, Rosemary Antze, Aadhil Palkhivala and many others.


Darria Hirsekorn - 800-Hour Yoga Within Certified


Practicing yoga since 2002 has helped create balance in my life in many ways. Whatever happens, yoga is there. On any given day my practice is what it is - some days feel better than others, but there is always something to learn. I love that yoga is a practice. I don't need to BE anywhere, I just keep practicing. Some days it all comes together as I'd like; often it does not, but I keep trying to improve - both on and off the mat.

In my classes, my intention is to create a space where everyone is welcome. I believe everybody will benefit from yoga and I want students to feel comfortable with wherever they are in their own practice.

I completed my first teacher training program at Yoga Within in 2013. I continue to train and I feel fortunate to have learned from wonderful teachers who generously share their knowledge such as Friedel Khattab, Rosemary Jeanes Antze, Anita Sielecki, David McAmmond, Fiona Stang, Aadil Palkhivala, Cassie McColl, Tara Woltjen, and many others. I am ever grateful to Melanie Checknita and Gerda Krebs for their encouragement and wisdom.


Deanna Baron - 200-Hour Yoga Within Certified

"Set your life on fire, seek those who fan your flames." - Rumi

Since 2011, Deanna has been a student of yoga with a background in Anthropology and History.  Deanna's approach to yoga is one that honours the need of self-study to educate and empower her students.  She has been trained and inspired by many teachers: Melanie Checknita, Ryan Leier, Baron Baptiste, Ted Grand, Jess Robertson, Yumee Chung and Joe Barnett.  Deanna's mission is to help others intelligently move their bodies; to source their own power through practice - and, to play!  She believes in moving through life embracing full potentiality and possibility. 

1000HR RYT,  500HR Moksha/Modo Level 1, 200HR Hatha, Baptiste Level 1, 100HR Technical Training Intensive, Art of Assisting, 50HR Yin Yoga Intensive, 50HR Yoga Nidra, 100HR Living Yoga Module 1, 100HR Moksha/Modo Flow Training, Sessional Instructor - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta


Frieda Woodruff Gramit - 200-hour Yoga Within Certified

Playing with music, yoga, and children is my passion, and I am delighted to be able to do that as part of the Yoga Within community.  Ever since I began to explore yoga for myself, I have incorporated it into my work as a preschool music teacher and occupational/physical therapist assistant.  Seeing the joy that this practice brings to children and families makes my heart sing, and inspired me to pursue the Teacher Training Program with Melanie Checknita.  I also completed a 60-hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training Program with Cassie McColl, and am currently enrolled in the 500-hour certification program with Melanie.  My world is immeasurably enriched by every teacher I encounter, everyone practicing alongside me in class, and by all the children and families who share their light with me!

Registered music teacher - ARMTA


Friedel Khattab

It is with heavy hearts we share news that Friedel Khattab passed away on November 8th, 2015. Born on November 25, 1923, Friedel was truly the pioneer of yoga in Alberta, where she taught for almost 50 years. We are grateful for the fond memories, the opportunities to learn from her, and her participation in our Teacher Training Program. She will be missed.

Known for being the first to bring yoga to Alberta, Friedel Khattab established the Friedel Khattab School of Yoga in 1968 and co-founded the Yoga Association of Alberta. Her extensive training experiences from as far away as Japan and India have led her to become one of the most knowledgeable instructors in the country. Thousands of students have benefitted greatly from her expertise. Friedel teaches several different types of yoga, including Hatha yoga systems, breathing, meditation, and relaxation, all of which encourage mental and physical well-being.

Gerda Krebs

Gerda Krebs, also known as "The Yoga Lady", began  teaching yoga in 1972 after completing her teacher training with Friedel Khattab. A year later Gerda brought yoga into the homes of many with her television show “Yoga Fits In”. This show ran on Shaw cable for 25 years and was often taped at her acreage, with regular appearances from her cat. Numerous students and many teachers have trained with her through the Gerda Krebs Hatha Yoga Centre.

To this day I still love to teach. I love to watch people come and practice yoga and to watch the improvement in their bodies and also their lives. It brings me much happiness to watch one of my students do a 'pleasure pose' such as pigeon or headstand. It brings pleasure to my eyes and pride and joy to my heart. I love to end each class with a saying that comes from the bottom of my heart: "Thank you for coming to my class. Without you there would be no class. Namaste".


Glenda Hinse - 1000-hour Yoga Within Certified

It is said that ‘everything happens in its own time’. I hadn’t practiced yoga for many years, but after the loss of my father, I began to practice again. I would sometimes go to a class with a heavy heart but then leave the class with a light heart. What a beautiful gift.

As my yoga practice grew, I began to feel a desire to deepen my understanding of yoga and its effects on mind and body. At the encouragement of a dear friend, I enrolled in the teacher training program at Yoga Within. I completed the 200 hour Teacher Training program and am now a Certified Hatha Yoga Instructor.

I am also a Certified AFLCA Fitness Leader. This allows me to blend both fitness and yoga. Two of my favorite things!

I have been a runner for many years. Running distances ranging from 5km to 50km – I love them all! I believe yoga is a wonderful compliment to running and strength training. A balanced body has strength, flexibility and a peaceful mind.

I have been fortunate to learn from Gerda Krebs, Friedel Khattab, Rosemary Jeanes Antze, Aadil Palkhivala, Melanie Checknita and Marjorie O’Connor.


Janette Hook

Janette has practiced yoga since the mid 90’s and has trained exclusively in the Iyengar method under the tutelage and guidance of Teddy Hyndman and Judi Mirus of Edmonton, AB. She is certified through the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada at the Intermediate Junior 2 level and certified to teach with the Yoga Association of Alberta since 2006.

Janette regularly attends workshops and intensives held by Senior International Teachers and has studied with Geeta Iyengar and Abhijata Sridhar (granddaughter to B.K.S. Iyengar) at the Canadian conference in 2008 and at Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India in 2015.

"Yoga is a for all and I am grateful to be teaching this practice and methods with students of various ages and capabilities."


Jeremy Bell - Yoga Within Certified

Jeremy Bell is a registered psychologist and a certified Yoga instructor. He has maintained a personal Yoga practice for many years and has over a decade of experience working with mental health and addictions. Jeremy currently works as a Mental Health therapist with Alberta Health Services and has done extensive research on the benefits of Yoga in healing depression and anxiety. Yoga is a central part of Jeremy’s life, providing him with a solid path towards improvement in health and personal character. 


 Karen Stralak - 500-Hour Yoga Within Certified

Karen is a 500-Hour Yoga Within and YAA certified yoga instructor. Karen has been teaching yoga since Yoga Within opened in 2008. Influenced by the Himalayan tradition, her style is gentle and brings strength, flexibility and peacefulness. Karen also works as an Occupational Therapist.


Kat Boehm

Kat Boehm began her journey of inner reflection in 1997. She has practiced and studied Buddhist Meditation practices as well as Yoga Meditation techniques. Within her explorations, she has had the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of Meditation Teachers both in Asia, and here, in North America. She continues to deepen her practice by sitting silent Meditation Retreats yearly. Kat’s focus centers on practicing Mindfulness Meditation. Her intention is to bring Mindfulness into daily life activities, reinforcing presence and relaxation. She is also an experienced Certified Yoga and Pilates Teacher, and teaches Mindful Movement classes.



Kim Jago - Yoga Within Certified

I have always found joy in being physical, preferable outdoors, dabbling in a variety of activities over the years.  I knew little of Yoga, but the 60’s Flower Child in me was drawn to it.  I signed up for my first Hatha class over 20 years ago.  My children were young, and this 90 minutes every Wednesday night, became my sanctuary.  I always left feeling so relaxed and rejuvenated.  Karen, a student of Gerda Krebs, was my first teacher.  She moved with ease and was the picture of peace.  I was inspired to continue my journey with Shaun Giroux, another student of Gerda’s.  Shaun recognized my love for yoga and encouraged me to deepen my practice.  As is my style, my yoga practice was eclectic.  In 2007 I attended my first Yoga Retreat.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend and I have participated in several since then.  This was also my first experience with Melanie Checknita, who would become my mentor and Senior Teacher.  As a retirement gift to myself, I completed the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2014 at Yoga Within.  Following that, my heart found a home in the studio, working part time on reception.
In addition to the benefits of the physical practice, yoga has taught me the power of breath, the strength in silence, the art of letting go and so much more.  I feel a part of a community of the most wonderful beings.  In hindsight, yoga has always been a part of my life.
In Gratitude to those have shared their love and shone their light along the path… Melanie, Shaun, Karen and Cassie McColl, Jenn Parks, Corinne McNally, Tara Woltjen, Satwinder Sran and of course Gerda Krebs and Friedel Khattab. 


Kushok Lobsang Dhamchöe

Kushok Lobsang Dhamchöe was born in the remote valley of Kyedong, Tibet in the mid 1950s. This valley is mentioned in the famous book Seven Years in Tibet. by Heinrich Harrer, who wrote: "I shall never cease thinking of this place with yearning, and if I can choose where to pass the evening of my life, it will be in Kyirong." (Tibetan spellings of the valley vary.)

Kushok was orphaned at four years old. His aunt cared for him within the sacred valley until he escaped from Tibet in 1963. Kushok's paternal uncle was Drakar Rinpoche Tendzin Norbu, the 16th reincarnation of the Drakar Rinpoches. This monastic lineage is a combination of Kagyu and Nyingma. After Kushok's uncle's death the 17th Drakar Rinpoche was discovered at the direction of the 16th Karmapa; he now resides in Kathmandu, Nepal. Kushok's uncle's lineage is revered and treasured, and is unique to the valley of Kyedong. He inspires visiting lamas and pilgrims from Tibet and Nepal. For more information, go to

After escaping Chinese Communist occupied Tibet, Kushok enrolled at Kalimpong Central School for Tibetans in India. He received his novice monk's vows from the great Tibetan master Kyabje Song Rinpoche. But after only a few years the school closed from lack of funding and Kushok was left homeless. He spent several years working and living in Clementown, India, and then traveled to Dharamsala. He was accepted at Namgyal Monastery, the personal non-sectarian monastery of His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. Kushok obtained his Geshe degree from the Council of Religious and Cultural Affairs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1991. He became an expert in Buddhist scripture, ritual, philosophy, chanting, meditation, ritual dance, and the intricate arts of sand mandala and butter sculpture. Kushok's primary teacher was His Eminence Lobsang Nyima Pal Sangpo, the 100th holder of the throne of Je Tsongkhapa - known as the Ganden Tripa.

In the year 2000, after 30 years of study and service in India, Kushok moved to Edmonton at the request of Gaden Samten Ling to become the society's spiritual director. Since then he has worked unceasingly to advance the vision of the society's founding teacher, Geshe Ngawang Kaldän, and Gaden Samten Ling has grown under his constant guidance and care. The small house that served as the society's meditation centre became too small for its growing numbers and was torn down in May 2011, along with the neighbouring house which the society also owned, to make way for a brand new centre.

Gaden Samten Ling's Alberta Centre for Peace and Meditation opened in 2012 and since opening Kushok has already started to introduce new courses including the Introduction to Meditation and Introduction to Buddhism classes which have drawn dozens of new people to the centre. The centre's programming is intended to accommodate anyone with a desire to learn about meditation and developing positive states of mind. The centre also serves to preserve the Tibetan cultural traditions by continuing to study Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and conduct Tibetan meditation practices in both the Tibetan and English languages. We invite you to join us for any of our weekly classes to experience the wisdom of Kushok's teachings firsthand.


Kyra Kubrak - 500-hour Yoga Within Certified

I began practicing yoga about 18 years ago. It was an on-and-off relationship – I liked the movement but there were weird things like meditating and suggestions to send my breath to my spleen. I gave yoga a more serious try in 2002 as a means of therapy to help me recover from a seriously sprained ankle. My cast had just been removed and I couldn’t walk without a cane so I was very skeptical. Could this yoga thing really help me? With the support of a wonderful and patient teacher, yoga really did help me. Even though I had to modify nearly every pose and some postures were just abstract ideas for a couple of months, I could feel my body changing and healing, becoming more flexible and strong. My breathing became more relaxed and meaningful and it became easier to calm my whirling mind. Eventually my ankle healed and I haven’t looked back.

My approach to yoga is to be sensitive of the body, heart, and mind. By simply coming to our mats and breathing consciously, perhaps working with postures and perhaps not, we can begin to create a space where we feel safe and calm. When we can be more focused and start to let go of the world beyond our mat (even for just 5 minutes), we can begin to inhabit ourselves – not just noticing our breath and body but really feeling our breath and body. Then slowly we learn to how to take the feelings we create on the mat, off the mat and out into the world.


Lori Boutestein

Lori began her yoga journey in 2004 as a form of exercise. From that point on, her journey expanded to include the beginnings of the lifestyle of a yogi. Combining body and soul, Lori shares her learnings with everyone around her.

Lori graduated from Yoga for Today Hatha Teacher Training program in 2008. She has been teaching Hatha yoga ever since. Lori’s teaching is based on a well rounded workout, that includes strength, flexibility, and stamina, with a little bit of challenge thrown in. Grateful for the knowledge received from the esteemed teachers at Yoga for Today, as well as, Michael Stone, Robin Golt, Judith Lasater and Fiona Stang.

Yoga for Today Certified, Apprenticeship with Gerda Krebs.


Louise Rene - Yoga Within Certified

My first experience with yoga was when I registered for a 12-week session of classes many years ago, my goal was "physical conditioning". The movement, breath and atmosphere was unlike any other fitness endeavours I had undertaken. I didn’t realize it at the time, but a seed was planted. I had connected with something within and thus began a personal journey that would slowly evolve. For years yoga would come in and out of my life, gradually weaving itself into the fabric of my life. Over time, I noticed my practice was making me a better person and I could no longer deny that yoga had become a part of me. Embracing it was not only natural, but essential. Yoga connects my mind and body through breath, teaching and constantly reminding me that I am in control of myself. IT allows me to switch off autopilot & live more authentically. I absolutely love the path it has put me on and I know no matter how far I might stray, it is just a breath away. I am grateful for every opportunity that allows me to share the joy that is yoga.



Marcia Langenberg

Marcia Langenberg is a Yoga Association of Alberta Certified Senior Teacher who has a Bachelor of Physical Therapy Degree and a Master of Education Degree from the University of Alberta. She has been teaching yoga for over twenty-five years. Since 2003, she has been studying in the TKV Desikachar Lineage with Rosemary Jeanes Antze from Toronto. The essence of her teaching is YOGA as A Path to Self-Knowledge. The focus of her teaching is the cultivation of external symmetry and balance to achieve internal calmness and clarity through the integration of the body, breath and mind.


Monique Merchant -Yoga Within Certified

 I took my first yoga class at the University of Alberta in 1997. I was attracted to the idea of getting physically fit while respecting my body. Since then, yoga has taught me so much on and off the mat. Yoga's lessons of patience, mindfulness, letting go, and joy have helped me in my new adventure of motherhood. I love sharing the joy of yoga with my one-year old daughter. Every day is an opportunity to practice. I am grateful for every chance I get to introduce yoga to children and adults. There are so many physical and emotional benefits to practicing yoga. I strive to help all ages gain confidence, body awareness, concentration, mindfulness, and the ability to slow down.

I have learned from many wonderful and talented teachers over the years. I found my yoga community at Yoga Within and completed my 200-hour training in 2013. I am also a Rainbow Children certified instructor.


Nand Narine

Nand Narine is a University Lecturer, Author and Yoga Teacher in the Edmonton area. He is a former banker and Senior Manager with the Alberta Government. Nand brings an interesting mix of Eastern and Western perspectives to the study and practice of Yoga asanas. His diverse experiences on and off the mat have gradually interwoven into an inspiring Yoga lifestyle.

Growing up in the Caribbean Islands has created a passion for exotic settings and natural sounds. He recites Sufi poetry, plays the harmonium and chants Sanskrit mantras. His writings and philosophical teachings are enjoyable journeys into the history of Yoga and the spiritual wisdom of great Yoga teachers.

Nand teaches different styles of Yoga and brings the focus to the inner transformation and emotional bliss derived from a consistent Yoga practice. He travels internationally to lecture and teach Yoga Philosophy at various seminars, workshops and Yoga Teacher Training programs.


Natasha Michaud - 500-hour Yoga Within Certified

"All you need is Love" (John Lennon) 'and yoga' is my addition. Yoga is a powerful way to achieve love in many ways including the love of our bodies, souls and minds. In the beginning of my yoga journey, I had it all wrong. I thought it was about achieving physical perfection and, if I did not, I was not a good enough yoga student. It took many years, a wide variety of training and a kind heart to realize that it was much different from that. Through having yoga as a way of being rather then just a physical practice, I have learned a significant amount of empathy, compassion, love, joy, youthfulness, balance and of course, safe ways to practice the physical aspects.

When teaching yoga, I focus on all of the above creating an open and kind space for my students. I love teaching all age groups and young kids are my focus. I am the owner of a kids' yoga company and created some products including 'The Yoga Alphabet by Go-Ya! Kids' book. I have a well rounded education in different styles of yoga, meditation and movement therapy and still seek further development not only as a teacher but as a continuously expanding student as well.


Pamella Heikel

Through my own experience and pain, I've come to understand and value the role that our health and wellness plays in a happy and productive life. 

Through creating a healthy lifestyle design, I help people find a place of ease and peace while achieving optimal health through rest, nourishment, movement, and mindfulness. 

I approach health from a very grounded and practical way looking at the body as a highly complex and astonishing system. Yet, a system that truly needs just the simple building blocks that help to sustain all life. 

Tools that I cannot and will not live without: meditation, qigong, food, movement, sleep and essential oils.

What I really do: help guide people toward creating a healthy lifestyle design that is unique to them. 

Pamella Heikel Health Coach, Certified Mediation and Spring Forest QiGong Teacher, Essential Oils Advocate, Public Relations and Marketing Professional

"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." William Shakespeare


Roxanne Miller - 1000-hour Yoga Within Certified

Beginning yoga was for me a feeling of arriving home to a familiar, calm and comforting place, and at the same time, a feeling of starting a remarkable journey of discovery, adventure and serenity. I graduated from Melanie Checknita’s Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program in June 2011 and am delighted to continue learning and teaching at Yoga Within.

With a background in psychology and over 40 years experience working with babies, children and adults, including those with special needs, it is a joy to share my passionate belief that yoga can be of benefit to anyone, on many different levels, regardless of age or ability.

My gratitude goes to the people at Yoga Within for ongoing enthusiasm and support for “all things yoga”, and to the many esteemed teachers who have shared their yoga wisdom: Gerda Krebs, Friedel Khattab, Rosemary Antze, Judith Lasater, Aadil Palkhivala, Tara Woltjen, and most of all to Melanie, who taught me to listen to and to trust that inner voice!


Rebecca Hung - 200-hour Yoga Within Certified

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Rebecca Hung is a Grant MacEwan University graduate of the Holistic Health Practitioner Program. She holds certificates through the Dharmadhatu Institute, Yoga Within, Lifestyle Meditation, the Australasian Institute of Psychosomatic Therapy, Natural Health Practitioners of Canada, and The Mindfulness Institute. 

She is a 200-hour certified Yoga Instructor, Usui Reiki Master Instructor, and lifetime student. Rebecca has worked with many groups including high risk youth and recovering adults. Her passion is facilitating reiki, yoga, meditation, relaxation classes and creative workshops. She has had the honour of learning yoga from Gisele Cramer, Melanie Checknita, Gerda Krebs, Friedel Khattab, Aadil Palkhilvala, Cassie McColl, Suzy Hatley and Satwinder Sran. She has studied reiki, mindfulness and meditation with Susanne Lehrol, Jason Baumle, Dorothy Hermary, Catherine Phillips, Tara Woltjen, Mandy Trapp and many other teachers and students along the way. 


Ryan Vogelaar

We all must live life in our own way to consider it successful. The greatest lesson I have learned from Yoga was finding my very own path (even though its been a little bumpy at times) and not following blindly along the trail of others before me, or trying not to revisit the same comfortable paths over and over again.

I started yoga purely for the physical benefits, little did I know how it would creep into and affect the rest of my life in ways I would have never considered. If we can surrender to the practice and let it just happen, low and behold, new as well as old worlds open up for discovery.

I’ve had the chance to study with many respected teachers from around the world and for that I give continued humbled thanks. Teaching provides a chance to be a student in a different way and I’m thankful for the lessons I learn from each class.

I welcome the opportunity to continue to grow and share my own journey. I strive to give my fellow Yogi’s a safe and comfortable feeling in class so that we can all enjoy, smile, and look forward to coming back and doing it again and again. (Remember it’s all right to laugh!)

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha


Satwinder Sran

Satwinder obtained her BSc from the University of Alberta in 2000 and has been working for Alberta Health Services for the last 20 years. She has been teaching Kundalini Yoga for the last 18 years and holds an International Kundalini Yoga Certification from the Kundalini Research Institute, New Mexico. Satwinder has been very fortunate to learn from Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga who brought these ancient teachings to the west for the first time in 1968.  Satwinder has additional training through the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine and Humanology to teach people with Cancer, Diabetes and Immune Dysfunctions. Satwinder also holds a certification in Radiant Child Yoga Levels 1-3.  Satwinder has taught numerous workshops in Winnipeg, Lloydminster, Edmonton and area on topics such as: Healthy Breast, Diet and Eating Habits, Insomnia, Divine Goddess, Inner Vitality, etc. She holds weekend retreats on a yearly basis at the Sanctum Retreat Center. Satwinder has hosted world renowned teachers, such as Snatam Kaur,  Shakta Khalsa, Krishna Kaur and Dr. Sat Dharam.  Satwinder has been teaching the chronic pain patient population since 2007 at the University of Alberta Hospital for the Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic.  She has presented talks on Yoga and Cancer, and Yoga for Insomnia for the Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the U of A hospital.  She has also presented for the Arthritis society of Alberta and NWT on the benefits of Yoga.  She recently completed her training in Yoga Therapy from the Mount Royal University.


Sharon McMullan-Baron

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Like many people, happy priorities joyfully filled my time - children, sports, artistic pursuits, volunteer work, etc. etc. etc. until a cancer diagnosis brought me back to my long neglected you mat. My yoga mat became my healing place where I began to re-braid my body, mind and spirit back to wholeness after the life-threatening disease and years of life-altering treatments.

Yoga transformed me and I was passionate to learn more and to share my hard earned wisdom with others. I took a 300-hour Hatha Yoga training, advanced trainings and my additional certifications include Low Back/Sacroiliac, " Relax and Renew" and "Yoga Thrive", a modified Hatha Yoga program designed to support people in and beyond their cancer treatments. And I continue to learn and share my findings.

| love to share yoga and to watch yoga empower healing transformation in others. With a humble and grateful heart, I honour my many teachers and peers. Their wisdom and warmth nurture and sustain me well. Thank you: Sherry Blanchard for supporting me through that first Yoga & Meditation class and wiping away my tears, Glenda Sartore, Gerda Krebs, Judith Hanson Lasater, Susi Hately, Julie Jeone, Tara Woltjen, Satwinder Sran, Michaelle Edwards, Tatjana Knowland and of course, our beloved Melanie Checknita.

The Yoga Within Studio is a community of heart. Within this "Kula" there is passion for yoga and compassion for all who pass through the door. And a lot of fun! It is a privilege to serve as a yoga teacher here. Guided by the yogic principle of Ahimsa, we lovingly build our yoga community of practice, learnings, kindness and peace. I invite you to come and join me on the mat.



Tara Woltjen

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Tara is an Internationally Certified Yoga Instructor (since 1997) and Senior Teacher whose practice has taken her around the globe, serving in traditional ashrams surrounded by modern masters of yoga. 

Tara has advanced certification in Raja Yoga and the Bhagavad Gita. She chants the Yoga Sutras of Patanjaliby heart, and plays an Indian instrument called a Shruti Box, which deepens relaxation and concentration, and "melts the brain into the heart".

Tara’s enthusiasm for yoga is infectious. Her passion for the Sanskrit language and traditional lineage teachings connect modern students to the roots of yoga.  Her classes offer adaptations for all levels, encouraging each student to practice according to their own inner wisdom. She has been sharing the origin, history and basic philosophy of Yoga for more than ten years in Yoga Alliance recognized Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Programs and is honored to be part of our new 500 hour Certification Program! 

You can visit her blog Kali's Kitchen for recipes, resources, movies and more:


Thamarai Moorthy - Yoga Within Certified

Thamarai Moorthy is a registered psychologist and yoga teacher. She holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan, and has trained at the UC San Diego Centre for Mindfulness and the Alberta Centre for Peace and Meditation. She completed her 200-hour Hatha Yoga teacher training at Yoga Within in May 2015.  

Thamarai has embraced the use of mindfulness in her work; she recognizes the benefits of combining mindfulness practices with traditional psychotherapies and yoga to help individuals manage a variety of life challenges and achieve a sense of well-being. Thamarai attends regular continuing education and professional training courses to enhance her knowledge, skills, and personal practice of mindfulness and yoga. She offers group sessions and workshops on mindfulness and yoga in the Edmonton area. For more information, please visit her website:


Tracy Carroll - Yoga Within Certified


For Tracy, yoga has been an oasis of calm and peace during stressful times and a mode of healing during illness...In the year 2000, she took part in a 3-week theatre intensive with One Yellow Rabbit in Calgary, where the group started each day with a glorious yoga practice. This was her first foray into yoga and she’s been hooked ever since.

When she started practicing Ashtanga Yoga, Tracy found that the breath and flow of that practice had a wonderful calming effect on her mind and energizing effect on her body. She is now dedicated to continuing to deepen her own practice and is excited to help others to learn the Ashtanga series of poses.

Tracy has completed the 200-Hour Hatha teaching training program, has done her Ashtanga teacher training with David Swenson and is so very grateful to have been taught by wonderful teachers over the years: Denise Clarke, Charlotte Smith, Melanie Cheknita, Friedel Khattab, Gerda Krebs and Melissa Wasserfall.