At Calgary's Yoga Studio Sarana, we are very fortunate to have an amazing team of instructors and friendly service staff, whose passion for Yoga is exceeded only by their commitment to the highest levels of personalized service. We couldn't do it without them, so without further delay, please meet our team!
Ruth Martin - Director / Instructor
As I have always been passionate about fitness and healthy living, it seemed a most natural fit to become both a Teacher, and a life long student of Yoga. My mentor is Margot Kitchen, who is a Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher with many years of experience. I have also studied with many other senior Iyengar Teachers like Shirley French, Jawahar Bangera and Father Joe.I obtained my Ashtanga Yoga certification at Yoga In Motion in Calgary, Alberta. I subsequently attended an intensive teacher training program conducted by Baron Baptiste in Tulum, Mexico. In addition, I have attended many specialized workshops offered by a variety of very wonderful teachers including David Williams, Fiona Stang and Mark Darby, to name a few. I was certified in Pilates in Vail, Colorado by Barbara Huttner and received extra training through Stott Pilates as well.
Ruth's classes are energetic, fun and focused, paying special attention to alignment and careful sequencing. In addition to being an internationally-certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Ruth is also a lifelong student, always learning and improving her practice and teaching.
Vic Mehta - Director / Instructor
You'll have fun in Vic's classes. They are energetic with a focus on correct alignment, relaxation, rejuvenation and developing self-awareness. Vic has been practising yoga for over 10 years and enjoys sharing his love of yoga with students at the Yoga Studio. He is passionate about learning and teaching yoga and has had a keen interest in yoga and yoga philosophy since childhood.
Vic is an internationally-certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, and an Iyengar Yoga student for life.
Deanna Wright - Front Office Manager
Yoga has only been a part of my life for a short time but has already been a positive and challenging journey. I started doing yoga because of my migraines. Since starting my practice, my migraines have be few and far between.Working at the studio has been one of my most grateful opportunities I have had. It has opened the door to meeting new faces, creating greater relationships and of course, continuing my practice.
"I am blessed and looking forward to what yoga will continue to do for my life."
Martha Affleck - Instructor
Martha began her yoga journey when she was 12 years old and has been teaching since 2013. Her foundation is in Hatha Yoga and she is currently in her 500 hrs in Yoga Therapy at Mount Royal University.She is also certified in Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater, who has inspired Martha to go after her Masters in Science in Physiotherapy. When Martha isn’t studying biomechanics she likes to garden, travel, ride her horses, try new things, and of course hang out with her cats Bob & Doug.
Martha’s teaching principles are observation, support, and compassion. She believes trying is the exercise and that when you come to her class you are there to practice your yoga whatever that might be.
Mario Argento - Qigong Instructor
Mario Argento has emerged as one of today’s most accessible and accomplished teachers of Qigong in Calgary. He presents easy-to-learn practices that will help you relieve pain, clear stress and tension, and harness your body's unequaled capacity for self-restoration. He developed his passion for Qigong (pronounced chee gung) in 2001 when he turned to the practice as an alternative health treatment to heal his back injury. Since then Mario has studied various schools of Medical Qigong including Eight Silk Brocade, Daoist Qigong, Spring Forest Qigong, Supreme Science Qigong, ZY Qigong, Shibashi Qigong and others.He understands the need to combine Qigong and natural healing principles into ones daily routine to counter the stress of modern day work environment and keep the body, mind and spirit healthy.He teaches Qigong because he believes that it is highly effective in preventing and healing chronic illness and methods such as Qigong will be an essential part of a sustainable health care system.
Mario continues to study alternative methods of healing with focus on energy work and has successfully completed Healing Touch Program Level 4, Spring Forest Qigong Level 3, Anatomy for Healers, Reiki Level 2, Pranic Healing Level 2 and Quantum Touch."Qigong was his healer and is now his passion in life."
Melanie Batycky - Instructor
Melanie Batycky discovered yoga as a way to gain strength and flexibility and to manage stress during her 15 year career as a professional ballet dancer with The San Francisco Ballet, and The Alberta Ballet. Now a mother of two, Melanie has found that yoga is the only way to truly keep her body healthy and pain free.She also loves the inner joy and peacefulness that comes with the practice of yoga. She is truly grateful to have found yoga and loves sharing what she has learned, and continues to learn with her students.
“Melanie graduated from the Yoga Studio College of Calgary in 2012, and continues to study with several Iyengar certified teachers as well as attending many Iyengar Yoga workshops. She has been teaching yoga at The Calgary Winter Club since 2011.”
Lee Lee Kho - Instructor
I began my yoga journey about 8 years ago. And since then, yoga has been an integral part of my life and core essence - which brought me on the most quintessential journey to Rishikesh, India where I received my formal certified yoga teacher training.My focus is not only on the asanas, but on the embodiment of yoga philosophy on and off the matt. Yoga is therefore, the purest expression of the self.
"Through my class, I hope to bring you joy, serenity and inner strength through acceptance. And as yoga is derived from the word “yoj” (union) - my hope is to guide my students with the mergence of both the body and mind."
Barb Lee - Instructor
Barb started her journey on the path of Iyengar yoga in 1999, and continues her studies with Canada’s senior teachers
Come and share Barb’s love of yoga in classes that blend all elements of traditional practice: mobility, stability, strength and alignment while maintaining awareness of the breath. Iyengar certified: Introductory II.
Leanna Lutsch - Instructor
Inspired by the transformations yoga has brought to Leanna on her life’s adventure, it brings her incredible joy to witness what this modality makes available to other practitioners as they embark on their own unique journeys, discovering the benefits of yoga for themselves.
While she has completed over 1000 hours of hatha yoga training, her most influential teachers are her students whom she learns and grows from every day.
Sandy Martino - Instructor
Sandy Martino has been teaching at the yoga studio since 2001. Iyengar yoga has strongly influenced her practice and enjoys the infinite creative possibilities for practice and teaching.
"I love teaching, witnessing my students experiences, understanding that an Intelligent and consistent practice keeps one holistically well."
Laila Moos - Instructor
Laila has been an avid follower of the Iyengar way for many years. She loves it because it is yoga for every 'body' !She completed her foundational teacher training with 'The Canadian Yoga College of Calgary', in 2012 and is currently studying and practicing for her Intro 1/2 Iyengar Certification, with Margot Kitchen. Laila is also a junior high humanities and drama teacher with the Calgary Board of Education.
"For me, yoga creates space between the joints. Space to move freely and youthfully. It creates space to open my mind and heart to myself and to let others in. Space to contemplate with out judgement. It has created space to dance again! It helps to carry oneself through life's ups and downs with more stability, poise and contentment."
Sherry Norman - Instructor
I first rolled out a yoga mat 15 years ago as a way to stay in shape. What I didn’t know then, was that yoga was to have a profound impact on my life. Yoga has the ability to awaken parts of ourselves that we didn’t even know existed before. Over the years I’ve come to understand that life itself is an opportunity to practice; to remain calm and centered in the midst of the chaos.I completed my teacher training at The Yoga Studio College of Canada and am a certified Rest and Renew® Trainer. I love the on-going learning experience of being a teacher and regularly attend workshops and intensives both locally and internationally.
"My style has been influenced by many wonderful Iyengar teachers and I enjoy integrating postures that tone and strengthen the body along with deep relaxation and stillness to rejuvenate and heal mind, body and spirit. My intention as a teacher is to provide a safe and nourishing environment where students can reconnect with their own inner wisdom."
Tracy Scott-Cooper - Instructor
After taking my first yoga class in 1997 with Sarah Wilson, I was happy and inspired! I continued to take classes and would even use VHS and DVD's to practice, until I knew I needed guidance to go deeper. I enrolled in the 2002 Yoga Studio South Teacher Training Program.I was blessed with a bouquet of teachers, mostly taught in the Iyenger tradition. Each shared from their personal experience of yoga, which inspired me to do the same. I have been teaching and practicing ever since! I am currently enrolled in the Iyengar Training Program to certify for Intro I and II.
"I trust each class I teach will put a smile on your face, a little sweat on your brow, and let you flirt with your edges that challenge you and take you a little further. Inspired by the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar , Erich Schiffman, Donna Farhi and my twin baby boys! "
Lynne Swenson - Instructor
Lynne has been a ‘student of yoga’ for the past 17 years, and has been teaching Yoga asana (postures) and related breath work for 10 years. She particularly enjoys the Iyengar style of Yoga because of the emphasis placed on balancing proper alignment with strength, stability, and flexibility; allowing a student to just ‘be’ in the posture...and enjoy!’Students appreciate her passion for teaching, precise instruction, and her knowledge of the numerous benefits each posture has to offer.
Lynne is an Introductory I/II certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, who has been studying with the International Yoga Association of Canada (IYAC) for the past 4 years and is currently working toward her next level of certification. She teaches many classes per week including Yoga for the visually impaired, a program provided by The Alberta Sports and Recreation Association for the Blind (ASRAB), and the Canadian Council for the Blind (CCB).
Lynne is currently an ongoing Student of Yoga with the Iyengar Association of Canada, studying all aspects of Yoga within the Iyengar System.
Adonia Tsakalakis - Instructor
‘The present moment is all that matters’. This is how Adonia guides her yoga classes. Whether you’re powering through a flow class or calming your nervous system through a restorative practice, the key is to be present. We all know this is much easier said then done, and we also know that a committed daily practice, will help bring this to fruition.Adonia Tsakalakis was born in the beautiful mountains of the Mediterranean in Greece, soon after which she immigrated with her parents to Canada. Growing up with multiple talents, Adonia is a passionate volunteer in the Hellenic community of Calgary. She is the coordinator of the Greek dance society, Dionysos Hellenic Cultural Society, and she volunteers as a DJ on CJSW 90.9fm. Infatuated with health and wellness, the longevity of life, balance and proper nutrition, Adonia is also a distributor with a leading edge anti-aging company, Nu Skin Enterprises.The ability to connect the mind, body and spirit has been something very enlightening. It is not something I gained over night or something that I have understood to its fullest. It is never-ending, and by continuing to practice on a daily basis, I believe one will gain a sense of satisfaction. At this point my studies from school, personal growth and yoga have taken me to a complete new level of understanding my own body, mind and spirit.
"I believe the true teacher belongs in each and every person. I enjoy bringing a playful, fun setting into the studio and helping support individuals with their connection to Yoga ! "
Vandana Vora - Instructor
Vandana Vora invites you to relax your body, renew your spirit and rediscover who you really are – on a journey to your Authentic Self, through the healing practice of Restorative Yoga and Meditative Yogic sleep (Yoga Nidra).From her deepest beginnings and spiritual grounding in India, Vandana was drawn to Yoga from childhood. She has studied and taught in India and in Calgary - the Yoga Studio North for the last 4 years teaching Restorative Yoga, Discover Yoga, Meditative Yogic Sleep and Touching Stillness workshop. She has had the privilege of learning by taking trainings and workshops with respected Iyengar Yoga teachers from across Canada and around the world, and continues the journey of learning and sharing. My first taste of Restorative Yoga with Judith Hanson Lasater was transformational - a deep connection to inner being. Judith's Relax and Renew® training, inspired me to teach " Touching Stillness Workshop" in 2012-2014.Certified through The Yoga Studio College of Canada in 2010, Certified Relax and Renew Trainer® level-1 in 2011 and Certified Yoga for Anxiety, Anger and Depression in 2014, Vandana is grateful to Guru B.K.S Iyengar, all her mentors, friends and students, and is blessed to have the opportunity to share and support the community with this healing practice.
"In the words of Lily Tomlin - " for fast acting relief, try slowing down."
Kirsten Wallace - Instructor
Kirsten's connection to yoga began when pregnant with her first child back in 2001. Passionate about children, moms, pregnancy and the study and practice of yoga (Iyengar tradition), her path has led to her career as a Doula, prenatal, postnatal and YogaKids yoga teacher.
With 3 children of her own, she has a wealth of experience and will guide you through gentle and adapted yoga poses, relaxation and breathing techniques for pregnancy and birth.