Meet our rockstar teacher lineup

Just like normal humans our teachers have their own unique personalities & styles. With a variety of backgrounds & teaching philosophies you’re sure to find a teacher or two you’ll jive with.

The Crew

Brianna Branch

Instructor/Co-Owner

My Story

Yoga started for me, as a cross-training tool. To work on mobility. Having a strength practise at the time, it was new for me to use my own body as the resistance tool.

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I was practising three times a week and hungry for the challenge it provided to me. I liked  how it shook up my training routine. The Bikram poses became familiar to me and I would take stock of how my body felt doing them each time, noticing the shifts. I was starting to tune in.

Then, I started participating in Vinyasa style classes; I liked the way the flow felt in my body, stitching together the poses  fluidly with breathing and transition. I also enjoyed how these classes kept me guessing. The teachers seemed, to me, to have a creative flair and I was doing shapes that I hadn’t seen before. I liked the variety.

Practising yoga has been like a bit of secondary education, providing me with a deeper understanding of myself and the body I am in. I value the sensitivity that practising yoga has gifted me. Yoga gives me both a comforting sense of control and a sweet sense of freedom.

MY WHY
I believe movement, as a practise, is a tool for personal exploration and self-expression. As an instructor of movement and an RMT (registered massage therapist) I encourage clients to learn more about their *own* body. The body is an excellent teacher, I as an instructor am just a facilitator. I get the privilege to always be learning and then to guide movement opportunities for students and participants; in that class setting we get to explore and be curious. I want movement to be empowering and enlivening for you!

MY TEACHING STYLE
My teaching style is strong, playful, intelligent, and sensitive. While focusing on alignment, I guide you to fine tune your awareness to the more subtle sensations.  My classes integrate familiar yoga postures and breath work with creative transitions and modern philosophy.

MY QUALS
 • 200hr YTT   (Shannon and Pete MacLaggan)

 • Registered Massage Therapist (CMTO)

 • 30hr Meghan Currie

 • 8hr Kino MacGregor

Heidi Erdle

Instructor/Co-Owner

My Story

Some people fall in love with yoga the first time they try it. That was not my experience. You see, I was a Team Canada wrestler at the time (reads training like a goddamn maniac), and all I wanted was a nice laxidasical stretching session, nothing too hard or uncomfortable. I went to a Hot Yoga class. It rocked me…

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Talk about discomfort. I was not expecting yoga to be hard, and I was especially not expecting yoga to ask my body to do simple movements that I couldn’t do.

So I left the class with every intention to NEVER RETURN. Until years later when I hung up my wrestling boots and said goodbye to a life I had breathed, dreamed, and strived towards every waking hour. And somehow adrift in my goals, with a wrecked body, and overactive ego, I came back to it; yoga was a humbling practice of healing, inside and out.

My Why

Sure, yoga helps me feel so. much. better. in my body, but that pales in comparison to the tools yoga gives me to be a better person and the way it forces me to confront myself and live my life in tighter alignment to my values. 

My Teaching Style

Teaching wise I am a fairly direct,  unfluffy and authentic. My classes are demanding, empowering, playful and deep. I hope you hear the joy in my voice most days when I teach, because I truly do love this work, and I really do believe that yoga serves up “the good stuff”.

My Quals

• 200hr YTT Baptist Power Vinyasa (With Sherri Zak & Coeli Marsh)

• 200hr YTT Acroyoga (Acroyoga Montreal Jessie Goldberg and Eugene Poku)

• 75hr HIIT Training (Dynamic Fitness)

• 75hr Yogassage Training (Kelly Donald and Brittany Firth)

• 75hr Advanced YTT Kula Vinyasa  (Schyler Grant, Nikki Vilella)

• 50hr Sequencing Training (Amber, Brittany Brydon, Peter Lafontain, Pure Yoga Ottawa)

Necole Miller

Instructor

My Story

I have a love for fitness and how it can change the body and mind. On a good day, it can make you feel amazing and on top of the world, on a bad day, it can be just what you need to bring back your equilibrium. I also love bringing that feeling to others

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My Story

Fitness is my life and my hobby and what keeps me going I guess. I have worked with the military for years, first as a Fitness Instructor and now as a Fitness Coordinator. I like the feeling of being challenged and overcoming that challenge, pushing myself and walking away with a feeling of accomplishment, knowing I put it all out there whether I was running, lifting weights, doing circuits, biking… anything physical. When I first began practicing yoga, it honestly wasn’t something I felt drawn to.. it didn’t make me sweat enough or breath heavy or any of the other things I looked forward to when I worked out. Then I discovered hot yoga and I was hooked, my teacher challenged me, I left feeling so, so good. I didn’t understand at the time, that this was just the beginning. I was dedicated to the physical part of the practice, but didn’t yet understand how much I needed yoga in my life. That came a few years later.

My Why

This part of my journey began really due to the fact that I wanted and pretty much needed to teach yoga to others for my job. Yoga was rising in popularity, but it was mainly viewed as stretching to improve flexibility. Working with the military, as some of you may already know, they kind of had the same mentality as I did – challenge, YES… stretch, meh, who has time for that?

As I began instructing more classes, I really began to get it, the breath, the movement, the link and yes, the flexibility, but the mental benefits of doing yoga, the mind body connection, the more I did it, the better I felt and wanted to learn more and teach more and help more people find what I found. It is rare for me to take time just for me. Yoga gave me that too, time for me to relax, renew and reset and now I want to share all of that with you!

 

My Teaching Style

I enjoy teaching all different types of yoga from a challenging flow and holds to a relaxing and restful yin or restorative. I’m going to be honest. I’m not perfect, I’m going to make mistakes, I may fall over, say weird things and honestly who knows what other silly things will happen. I’m not perfect and I don’t expect perfect, let’s laugh at ourselves and have fun and just enjoy the time we have!

My Quals

Although I have been teaching yoga for years, I made it official when I took my 200 hr YTT in Spain with Marianne Wells Yoga School in Feb 2020. Prior to that, I took a couple of shorter yoga courses. I am currently taking an online course – Yoga and your Back and look forward to continuing to grow both my practice and teaching skills.  

Kara Foley

Instructor

My Story

I first came to yoga at the age of 16 when I was working in a gym and we started to offer yoga classes. I had been an athlete throughout my adolescence and was used to moving fast and pushing my limits and it was an immediate sigh of relief to learn to listen to my body and to allow for “what is”. 

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I also found that it complemented my other activities as it allowed me to gain more subtle control of my already overly flexible body. It was a coming home of sorts that spurred an appreciation of my body and all its little quirks. Since this time, let’s not count the years, yoga wove in and out of my life through university and came back as a dedicated practice when I finished my degree. This dedicated practice was also mostly hot yoga which I am very excited to get to share in again! My roommate and I began to go to a hot studio and although it took some adjusting I fell in love with the sweat, the intensity, and the befriending of my inner dialogue (sh*t gets real in a hot room!). It allowed me to feed my love for a good sweat and mindful movement at the same time, giving me all the aspects of what I love in movement in one practice. The older I get the more mindful my practice becomes, and the more I want to preserve my body and nothing compares to yoga for this.

 

MY WHY

For me yoga and meditation is the calm in the storm. It’s the rudder I can return to again and again to steady my mind and move my body to come home to what’s true and what’s important. It has helped me through the toughest times in my life and has also helped me to gain perspective on what is truly important in this life. If allows me to fill my cup so that I can continue to give to others. This is also why I teach. I have a deep passion for teaching and sharing these wonderful gifts of the practice so that it can have a ripple effect and others can experience the joys of practice and the unexpected ways that it shows up in your life. 

 

 MY TEACHING STYLE

My classes combine mindfulness, breath, and movement in a playful way in hopes of creating some levity in your practice. By tapping into the breath and body we can find moments of flow and joy that we may not experience otherwise in our day. Through intelligent sequencing it is often found that my students surprise themselves with poses they didn’t think possible, which is my favourite part – seeing the students find their edges and surprising themselves with their achievements. I also like to weave mindfulness prompts as we move our bodies to drop into the mind body connection and energy of the room. Expect to work, surprise yourself, and nourish your mind when you hit the mat with me. 

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • ERYT200, YACEP Yoga Alliance
  • 19yrs of practice
  • 200hr YTT with Shannon & Pete at White Pine Yoga. 
  • 200/300hr Yoga Psyche Soul with Ashley Turner (includes 50hr Meditation Training, Bhakti, Sacred Sexuality, Business of Yoga)
  • 160+hrs with Kevin Courtney immersed in Tantric Hatha
  • Meditation Teacher Training with Tracee Stanley in the Himalayan Traditions

  Stina Zealey 

Instructor

My Story

I grew up in a sleepy English town, spending most of my twenties living between London-England, California-USA and here in Canada, working as a Nanny, a dog musher and travelling and exploring as much of the world as I could.  

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My Why

Yoga is something that I was able to do everywhere I went, it’s how I found community, it’s how I felt grounded. 

 

My Teaching Style

Since living in Petawawa I have focused my attention on fusing Yin-yoga with massage to build a complete body, mind, spirit approach to having a healthy lifestyle, using natural therapies to maintain your well-being.  I love being able to share these practices with the community and look forward to meeting more of you every day.

My Quals

I am a 200 hour Yoga Alliance approved instructor and a UK trained Massage Practitioner.  

martin Malinski

Instructor

My Story

 In the early 2000’s, I was invited to my first yoga class and simply viewed it as a relaxing stretching session. Ten years later, my wife (the magical healing hands Kara Foley) asked me to practice yoga with her, and that’s when I started to get a peek at what yoga is.

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At first, I was motivated into perfecting the yoga poses – with sprinkles of competitiveness – and enjoyed the sounds of breath, live music and the conversations others. It was during my cancer journey that my curiosity adjusted into areas that I didn’t know would bring many gifts.

Many thoughts turned from being hypothetical into factual factors that affected my current state. Is this my last day to live? How do I move with a weak body? Am I still me? I started to learn and practice a form of eastern meditation, that led me to live and see the value of each moment more deeply. When my bare feet stepped on the ground and sandy beaches, there was less worrying in my mind. I was simply,
there; absorbing that powerful moment with no judgement, analysis, ideas, or thoughts. When I was able to practice yoga again, it became a different experience for me. Even though I was no longer able to challenge myself in more effortful poses, I learned that flexibility and strength is a by-product of practicing and not the main purpose. 

 

MY WHY

Yoga deepens my practical life. It calms my mind, even if travelling through challenging times. Lets me observe what is within myself, with no judgement attached. Offers me nourishment, growth, and healing, so I can truly support myself and others. Aids in dissolving the fear of change in my life, even when big decisions are to be made. Gifts me with physical rest, movement, balance, strength, and flexibility. Provides more clarity to my daily living perspective, and more. I’m humbled by opportunities to guide humans into their own safe yoga space; a space that offers evolving their inner teacher and inviting it to step out of the studio with them. This is a big checkmark on my meaningful life list.

 

MY TEACHING STYLE

My vibes are slow and steady. Some say that I have a gentle voice. My playlists tend to sway between chill beats, hip-hop, indie, spiritual, and relaxing tunes. I guide your focus to expansion of the breath while pairing it with movement, no matter if the pose is effortful or easeful. I invite patience, observance and acceptance, even if you fall off balance physically or mentally. 

 

MY QUALS

200hr YTT (Shannon and Pete MacLaggan), Yoga Alliance Member.

  Chris Edwards 

Instructor

My Story

In the weeks leading up to my third year exams, I would head to my favourite cafe to study, lugging around a bag of textbooks and sweat-gear. Across the street, a yoga studio had opened up and the sport-med team had recommended I try a few classes.

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I finally gathered enough courage to walk up the stairs and attend class. I hated it. I had to sit quietly, I wasn’t moving in a direction, I was contained to a 6x2ft area, and I was encouraged to “feel”-athletes don’t “feel”, we “do”. Though I was uncomfortable and didn’t stop thinking, that practice was the first movement I had done in years that didn’t increase my pain/injury symptoms. I went back the next day, and the day after that. Yoga was my gateway back to movement, and somewhere along the way, I met myself too. 

 

 

My WHy

My intention as a teacher is to hold space for others, allowing them to experience whatever it is they need to. Our bodies have memories, stories… through movement we can reconnect with these and maybe learn how to grow from them. Ultimately, my purpose is to help people show up in their own life, in any capacity I can. 

MY TEACHING STYLE

Oh boy. Teaching style? Philosophically, I am deeply inspired by The Jedi Order, stoicism, positive psychology, and Nature. Physically, I encourage a “choose your own adventure” approach. My sequences are typically a combination of evidence-based practice and traditional asana, but it’s your practice… you do you! 

MY QUALS

Yoga:

  • 200 hr YTT- with Eoin Finn
  • 50hr SuperFlow with Eoin Finn
  • 50hr Advanced Alignment and Adjustments with Eoin Finn
  • 100hr Somatics, Voice and Sequencing with Eoin Finn

Academic:

  • Doctorate in Philosophy Human Kinetics – University of Ottawa (current) 
  • Master of Applied Exercise Science – Human Movement Systems from Concordia University – Chicago (2020)
  • Bachelor’s Human Kinetics – Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of British Columbia (2012)

We are always looking for great teachers to join our team. Email us with your quals and availability if you are interested in joining us. Heidi & Bri are eagerly awaiting your email.

team@peakhotyoga.com