Biographies

01shirleyShirley Daventry French
Shirley Daventry French is the founder of the Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria and a direct student of B.K.S. Iyengar. Since 1979 when she first travelled to his Institute in Pune, she has studied with him regularly in India, North America and Europe. Shirley has been teaching yoga for more than 40 years in Victoria and internationally, and is an advisor to the board of the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada.
She has trained and continues to mentor senior teachers in this centre and other communities across Canada. Through teaching, writing and editing she maintains contact with Iyengar communities throughout the world. She is the editor of the autobiography/biography IYENGAR: His Life and Work and one of the editors of Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Shirley’s yoga experience has been enriched by extensive study with Swami Sivananda Radha. This rich training enables her to integrate yoga philosophy and psychology with the practical work of asana and pranayama. Shirley’s teaching is challenging, insightful and delivered with a compelling sense of humour. Certification: Intermediate Senior III

 

02leslieLeslie Hogya
Leslie has been teaching in Victoria since the early 70s and has been active in the local centre since then. She has studied in Pune at the RIMYI many times since her first trip in 1985. Her most recent trip was in December 2015. Leslie is an advisor to the Iyengar Yoga Centre Board. Leslie also serves as an assessor for IYAC/AYCI. Leslie has taught in the U.S., Thailand, Hong Kong, and most recently in Mexico. Certification: Intermediate Senior I.

 

03annAnn Kilbertus
Ann has been a student in the Iyengar Tradition since 1984 when she began her studies in Victoria. She continues to study with Shirley Daventry French regularly and has been teaching classes since 1988. Ann began going to Pune, India in 1992 and returns very regularly to study with B.K.S. Iyengar and his family. Her training and practice as an occupational therapist have offered a valuable contribution to further understanding of this work. Ann has served locally for many years in the training of teachers and nationally on the Iyengar Association of Canada’s Professional Development Committee. She shares her understanding of this vast body of work with joy and with seriousness of purpose. Certification: Intermediate Senior III

 

04marleneMarlene Miller
In 1975 Marlene began practicing and studying the art of Iyengar Yoga, and has been teaching since 1979 in the Victoria region. In 1982 she went to Pune, India to be taught by the yoga master Sri B.K.S. Iyengar and his family. Since then has made several journeys back to India, the most recent being December 2015. She continues to attend classes and workshops with senior Iyengar teachers locally, nationally and internationally. Marlene has also studied intensively the yoga teachings of Swami Sivananda Radha. Marlene is a teacher trainer, and an active member and assessor of the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada.  Certification: Intermediate Senior II.

 

06lindaLinda Benn
Linda has been studying yoga with Shirley Daventry French and many other senior teachers since 1980 and been teaching since 1987. She is a member of the Teacher Training Committee. Iyengar Yoga enriches her life, her practice and her teaching. Certification: Intermediate Junior III.

 

07laurenLauren Cox
Lauren has been a student of Iyengar Yoga since the early 80s and has been teaching since 1989, locally and internationally. She continues to study with Shirley Daventry French and visiting senior teachers. Lauren has travelled to study with the Iyengars in Pune as well as in North America. Lauren continues to learn, gather insight and deepen her understanding of the work. It is a privilege! She loves how yoga takes her out of her comfort zone. Certification: Intermediate Junior III

 

08tyTy Chandler
Ty has been studying Yoga since the late 80s and completed the three year Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria’s Teacher Training program under the direction of Linda Benn in 2001. She has taken workshops with many senior teachers. She continues her training by making trips to Pune to study with the Iyengars and to Blacons, France to study with Faèq Biria. In 2006 she met Ammachi. Ty is grateful for the inspiration she receives from students, peers, and her teachers. It is her hope to inspire confidence and encourage concentration on the work at hand. Certification: Intermediate Senior I

 

09lucieLucie Guindon
Lucie has been a student of Iyengar yoga since the early 80′s. She taught in the province of Quebec for 22 years before moving to Victoria in 2008. She studied with the Iyengar family in India on 3 occasions as well as in Canada, USA and Europe when they travelled for conventions and workshops. She studied extensively in France under the guidance of Faeq Biria during summer intensives for 10 years. She currently attends weekly classes with Ann Kilbertus and takes workshops with visiting teachers. Certification: Intermediate Junior III

 

10robinRobin Cantor
Robin has been practicing and studying Iyengar yoga since 1980. She has studied with the Iyengar family in India and attends workshops throughout the year with senior teachers. Robin instructs at the Victoria Centre as well as in the community. She has a particular interest in ‘remedial’ students. A valuable challenge has been the ongoing opportunity to teach jail inmates. She is ever grateful to her senior teacher, Shirley Daventry French. Certification: Intermediate Junior II

 

11jayneJayne Jonas
Jayne began her training and teaching in the United States. She has made several journeys to Pune in India to study with the Iyengar family and continues to study with the senior teachers in Victoria. She is also an avid swimmer.
Her teaching is infused with enthusiasm and passion for the teaching of our yoga discipline. Certification: Intermediate Junior II

 

12glendaGlenda Balkan-Champagne
Glenda began her yoga studies in 1994 in Toronto as an antidote to the stress of “life upon the wicked stage.” In 1997 a colleague introduced her to Iyengar Yoga and she has never looked back. Glenda entered the teacher training program with Marlene Mawhinney in 1999 and was certified in 2003. She now lives in Victoria and studies with Shirley Daventry French and the other senior teachers here at the Centre. Glenda is grateful for the teachers, loved ones, and circumstances that sustain her on this path. Certification: Intermediate Junior II

 

13wendyWendy Boyer
Wendy has been studying Iyengar yoga in Victoria since 1991 and teaching since 1996. She studies with senior Victoria teachers regularly, and also with visiting teachers. Yoga practice and managing the centre are the daily practices of her life. Certification: Intermediate Junior I

 

15brittaBritta Poisson
Iyengar Yoga studies began in 1998 with Linda Benn… inspired to join the Victoria yoga community… interested in the art of yoga… according to Guruji, “the beauty of life is analysed, known, understood and experienced by the practitioner of yoga.” Certification: Intermediate Junior I

 

Jeannette Merryfield
Her interest in yoga began in the seventies and eighties. After moving to Victoria in 1988 Jeannette enrolled in Iyengar classes at the YMCA. When the Iyengar yoga centre opened on Fort St. in 2001, Jeannette started teacher training with Linda Benn.  She continues to study with senior teachers including those from Pune, most recently Jawahar Bangera. She was also able to study with Geeta Iyengar on her visits to Canada. Jeannette is trained as a massage practitioner.  Certification: Introductory II

 

17garyGary Wong
Gary Wong has been a student of Iyengar Yoga since 1998, and completed the Teacher Training program in 2009. He is thankful for the string of coincidences that has brought him to this school of yoga, and to this community of devoted practitioners. He studies weekly with Ann Kilbertus, and other senior teachers. Certification: Intermediate Junior I

 

18adiaAdia Kapoor
Adia began her study of Iyengar yoga in 2001 and joined the teacher training program in 2010. Yoga helps her balance her busy schedule as a human resources manager and performer. She enjoys introducing students to a style of yoga that makes the poses so accessible to everyone. Her teaching style is vibrant, compassionate, and full of humour. Certification: Intermediate Junior I

 

19sooSoo Youn Ham
Soo has been a student of Iyengar yoga since 2003. With the inspiration and encouragement from Shirley Daventry French, she joined the teacher training at IYCV in 2009. She is grateful to Ty Chandler for her dedicated and inspirational practice, teaching, and mentorship, and to all of the teachers, colleagues, and practitioners at the Centre for their support and contribution to such an incredible community. She aspires to continuously work with and learn from Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar, Geetaji, and Prashantji in Pune, India, as well as Faeq Biria in France and Manouso Manos in San Francisco, to go deeper into yoga and evolve within. Certification: Introductory II

 

johanna
Johanna Godliman
Johanna is inspired and encouraged by the vibrant community of teachers and practitioners led by Shirley Daventry French. With the touchstone of Linda Benn’s mentorship she is grateful to call the Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria home on her continuing path to Self-awareness. Certification: Introductory II

 

19sooJane McFarlane
Jane was surprised to discover the centre of the universe at 919 Fort Street in the year 2007. Adding to her shock, she entered teacher training in 2010 under Lauren Cox. She studies asana, pranayama, and philosophy under Shirley Daventry French, Lauren Cox and Ty Chandler.  She is grateful for the efficacious care of the teachers, the teachings, and the asana/pranayama. She is also grateful for the students’ support of teacher training. Certification: Introductory II

 

19sooBrandy Baybutt
Brandy has worked as a professional dancer and dance teacher for the past thirteen years. She has been practicing yoga for nearly twenty years and discovered Iyengar Yoga in 2000. She became certified as a teacher under the mentorship of Ann Kilbertus. She is continually inspired by the ways in which Iyengar Yoga leads one to further self-discovery. Certification: Introductory II

 

Jen Van de Pol
Jennifer began studying Yoga in 2002 in Vancouver, at Radha Yoga, a satellite of the Yasodhara Ashram.In 2008, when she moved to Vancouver Island, she experienced Iyengar Yoga for the first time in Nanaimo. The clarity, precision and intelligence of the teachings captivated her. The loving, heart-centred community of seekers truly inspired her, and she began teacher training in 2014. She is now honoured to continue this path with the exceptional teachers at the Victoria Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria. She regularly attends workshops with international teachers, as well as teachers in her travels as a professional artist and art educator.

 


Jess Paffard
Jess’s yoga journey began in 2002 in London, England, taking classes to offset a busy life and work schedule as a print and clothing designer. Seven years later she moved to Canada and started classes at the Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria. In 2015 she entered the teacher training program under the mentorship of Senior Teacher Ann Kilbertus. Jess is grateful to the teachers and her fellow students at the IYCV for inspiring and encouraging her on the path of learning.