Teachers

Gayatri (Gayle Poapst)

As a young dancer with an interest in meditation, Gayatri (Gayle) Poapst was seduced by the combination of movement and meditation that yoga offers.  Yoga grounded Gayatri throughout her education as a nurse, as she earned an Executive MBA, and throughout her career in healthcare.

After a 20 year nursing career, Gayatri took a leap and started teaching yoga – a different kind of health care!  She completed advanced yoga training with her teacher Yogi Vishvketu, to whom she returns every year, constantly seeking to build upon her practice and add to her training.

A lifelong learner with a fascination for the human body, Gayatri is a highly sought out instructor, teaching anatomy to yoga instructors throughout North America, Europe, and India.

Today Gayatri is the owner and director of the Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre in Kemptville Ontario, where she teaches group classes and leads teacher training programs.  Dedicated to creating a supportive community, Gayatri mentors emerging yoga teachers, helping them open yoga studios of their own.

In her work as a yoga therapist, Gayatri works with people struggling with injuries, chronic physical, emotional, or life-threatening illnesses, and addictions.  Working toward holistic wellness, Gayatri focuses her warm and nurturing energy on her clients, identifying goals together and developing concrete plans for achieving them.

An active member of her local community and the global village, Gayatri teaches acceptance, self-awareness, and compassion for the self and for others.  She is actively involved with Helping Hands for India, a charitable organization promoting the wellbeing of children in India while building a school in rural India (helpinghandsforindia.org)

“Yoga isn’t about touching your toes.  It’s about what happens on the way down to touching your toes.”

Karuna Mayi (Gwen Anderson)

Gwen (Karuna Mayi) Anderson is a 500 Hour E-RYT Certified Yoga Teacher.

Gwen has been practicing yoga since 1997 while working in a corporate setting and after much soul searching; she decided it was time to change her career.

In 2002, Gwen continued her spiritual journey by completing her 200 hour Teacher Training Certificate at Kripalu Yoga.  Later, in 2009, through the World Conscious Yoga Family, she travelled to India.  There she completed her 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Anand Prakash Ashram in Rishikesh, India, with Yogi Vishvaketu.  As part of the ceremony marking the completion of her 500 hour yoga teacher training, her teacher Yogi Vishvaketu gave Gwen her Spiritual name “Karuna Mayi”.  Karuna Mayi means mother or giver of kindness and compassio

Gwen (Karuna Mayi) offers Kripalu Yoga and Akhanda (holistic) Hatha yoga classes that integrate mantra (chanting), pranayama (breathing exercises), asana (postures) and meditation. Each class is different and is adapted to the student’s needs.  Kripalu Yoga and Akhanda Yoga is accessible for all body types and emphasizes yoga as an integrated system of personal and spiritual development.

Karuna Mayi is known for her clear and accessible teaching style with emphasis on breath, alignment, and the cultivation of compassionate self-awareness.  Come join her in discovering your inner wisdom by exploring each pose with ease and curiosity.

Come home to yourself.

Gill Melki

Gill has turned to yoga in recent years for balance in her busy life. As well as being a wife, mother of four and grandmother of five, she has had a lengthy career as a dance teacher along with several years in the finance industry. In the last few years she has chosen to educate herself to become a yoga instructor and therapist, a Reiki practitioner, a holistic nutritionist and a fitness instructor. She welcomes the change to a healthy lifestyle and enjoys leading others to more positive choices.

Travel has become an important part of her life allowing her to embrace other cultures and traditions. She has spent many months in India recently where she completed her 250 hour teacher-training certificate and a 250 hour yoga therapy course with Yoga Vidya Dham following ancient, traditional Indian techniques in Hatha and Ashtanga yoga. Whilst there she practiced yoga in Rishikesh at Vishvaketu’s ashram; trekked and practiced meditation in the Himalayas; spent time absorbing life in the Buddhist town of Dharamsala, the home of the exiled Tibetan political and spiritual leader the Dalai Lama; embraced the Hindi prayer rituals in Varanassi the sacred city of the Hindus; visited the mosques and palaces of the ancient Mogul Rajahs and toured the beautiful Golden Temple and kitchens of the Sikh religion in their Holy city of Amritsar. She is now looking forward to sharing these experiences with others as she sets out on a new venture leading tour groups to India. Other inspirational travels have led her to Greece, walking the Vikos gorge and visiting the Monasteries in Meteora; to Ireland, visiting ancient abbeys and stone circles where their forefathers observed the Solstice; and to Peru, pursuing the Incan empire and hiking up the 4-day trail to the lost village of Machu Picchu nestled in the peaks of the Andes. Each trip has been a life-altering experience with spirituality taking the forefront.

Gill focuses on the vibrations of sound, breath and movement in her classes, promoting relaxation, recognizing that so many people lead stressful lifestyles and do not achieve balance in other ways. Her gentle way with people allows them to move at their own pace and achieve their goals in a non-competitive way whilst enjoying the journey away from life’s pressures. People leave her classes with a sense of calm and a feeling of renewal.

Om Shanti (Melanie Savoie)

Melanie began her yoga practice after the birth of her second child. Having been through many stresses in prior years and now being a stay at home mom of 2 young ones 2 and under, she desired a change, an outlet and even some mental calmness. Melanie’s yoga practice brought balance to the chaotic times, learning to breathe and and allowing joy back into herself. Melanie continued a strong asana practice throughout her entire third pregnancy, even attending a yin class 12 hours before giving birth.

Now a busy mother of 3, Melanie is a certified Yin and Hatha yoga teacher. She is following her passion, teaching others how to restore

balance to their own lives through asana, pranayama and meditation. Her nurturing, loving nature allows students to dive deeper into themselves and find their own joy.

“Yoga has taught me to breath in everyday situations and be present. I bring these qualities off my mat and into my rold as a mother. Being a mother has taught me to be grounded and humble, I take these qualities back to my mat.” – Melanie

Melanie plans on continuing her education through various workshops and courses to deepen her personal practice, and is planning on becoming a birth doula. Integrating yoga and birth has always been a dream of hers.

Louise Barbeau

Louise studied Akhanda Yoga under the inspirational guidance of Gayatri and Karuna Mayi completing her 200-hour Akhanda Training at The Bodhi Tree (Yoga Alliance certified) in April 2011.   Louise has made Yoga an integral part of her life reaping the benefits  of yoga such as deep relaxation, patience,  strength and  overall well being.  She brings into her classes awareness on the breath, focus on the body and peace of mind.

Louise also holds certificates in Yin Yoga and Somayog.   She continues to deepen her teaching practice by attending workshops on different yoga traditions allowing her to share with her students deeper self-awareness and joy.

Maitri Devi (Tricya Morrice)

Tricya has been a yoga practioner for almost two decades.  Having previously been a dancer, she then decided to explore various styles of yoga (Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Bikram).  Soon after moving to Kemptville, she discovered the beautiful and holistic schooling of Akhanda Yoga by Yogi Vishvaketu and Chetana Panwar.

She first became certified as an Akhanda 200 RYT from the Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre, to soon after get her certification in Yin Yoga (w/ Gail Poapst) and Thai Massage (w/ Devin Johnstone).  Having attended many workshops with world renound yogis such as Rodney Yee, Seane Corne, Maria Garre, Leslie Kaminoff and Sarah Powers she believes the teachers that had the most impact on her way of teaching were and still are Gayatri (Gayle Poapst) and Karuna Mayi (Gwen Anderson) … to whom she is eternally grateful.

Tricya approaches each class with compassion, vibrancy, light heartedness, and enthusiasm.  She is a continuous student of the 8 Fold Path therefore creates each class to delve deeper into the many layers of this journey.

She is very grateful for the balance of body, mind and spirit that yoga has brought to her and all her loved ones. Metta

Harigan Kaur (Anita Mitra)

Hargian Kaur (Anita Mitra) is a Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor as well as a drama and visual arts teacher.  Hargian brings joy and grace to her yoga classes and encourages the growth of radiance and self awareness in her students. She is a seasoned teacher in the arts and brings a creative flow to her yoga classes. Her yoga practice spans 3 decades. Yoga has brought balance and a open heart approach to my life giving me the support I have needed to raise my 4 sons and teach high school. I am dedicated to bringing my students to a deeper experience of the grace of infinity in the everyday.

Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is the yoga of awareness. It is a yoga for the everyday householder and gives you the tools and techniques to experience your full potential. This ancient and holistic yoga practice builds inner and outer strength focusing on the flexibility of the spine, strengthening the nervous system, healthy glandular secretion and the development of greater breath capacity. Each class includes breathing techniques, a kriya (sequence of yoga postures) which has a specific intention and a meditation which can include mantra (sound current) moving you from awareness of your finite nature to your infinite nature.

Cailyn Edwards
Cailyn has been practicing yoga for many years and has always been a movement enthusiast. She complete her 200-hr YTT summer of 2014 and her level one Yoga Tune Up ® teacher training shortly after that. Cailyn plays a variety of sports and co-owns a small hobby farm. She is an anatomy nerd who loves working with new bodies. Her classes focus on building a strong foundation, stable alignment and learning how to practices safely and effectively for your body. Practicing yoga is all about reaching balance: balance between strength and ease, balance between discipline and joy and just managing to balance on your feet(or hands). Cailyn aims to embody this idea in her classes.
Julie Forsythe
In the fall of 2011 Julie attended her first yoga class at the invitation of a friend. She came away from that first practice calm, relaxed and totally amazed at how good yoga made her feel; she was immediately hooked!
In her hectic life before yoga Julie was too busy to even notice how overwhelming and stressful it can be to manage daily life with a young family and a full-time career. Yoga helps her find balance and peace on and off the mat. Her daily practice reminds her to focus on what’s important and know that it’s ok to let go of what’s not.
Julie graduated from the 200 hour teacher training program in Akhanda yoga (holistic hatha) in September 2013 and is certified to teach various levels of holistic hatha including beginner, gentle, intermediate, and flow classes. Her passion is to share with others techniques for managing the stress of daily life through the practice of yoga. Her calm, warm and nurturing style encourages students to turn their attention inward and discover the beauty of the body, mind and heart connection.
Amba (Sandy Guest)
Sandy (Amba) completed her yoga teacher training with Yogi Vishvketu and Chetana Panwar in Ottawa with her daughter, Eva, in 2008. While it was not initially her intention to teach yoga, she feels grateful for each class she has the opportunity to share. She has a compassionate, fun loving approach while blending asanas (postures) for flexibility, strength, stamina and balance with the calming and centering practice of pranayama (breath work) and meditation. Sandy encourages students to find their own edge, to listen to their own bodies and take time to care for themselves. She believes that Yoga is for everyone and that most postures/practices can be modified to accommodate each student’s limitations.
When not at the Bodhi Tree, Sandy is busy working as a Certified Life Care Planner (assessing the future care needs of clients with disabilities), mothering international students and baking muffins at Moose Mart.

Devika (Rachel Hooton) 

Devika has spent her life travelling around living in many places through out Canada and a few places over seas. She found the practice of yoga over ten years ago which brought her to practice at the Bodhi Tree in Kemptville where she met her wonderful teachers. She ventured on to take her 200 Hr and 500 Hr Teacher training in Rishikesh India with Yogrishi Vishvketu. She wants to share her love for and the healing power of yoga with all.

Currently she teaches Akhanda, Hatha, and Yin meditation. She is also attending school to become a Child and Youth worker, where she hopes to bring yoga to children, youth and families in need.