Teacher Training Faculty
Ron Reid E-RYT® 500, YACEP® has been practicing Yoga for over 30 years and teaching since 1988. He is Co-owner and Director of the Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto, Canada.
Ron has studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sharath both in India and North America and was one of the first Canadian teachers to be authorized by Pattabhi Jois.. Along with his studies with his Pranayama teacher Sri Sudhir Tiwari, he has also completed an “Advanced Pranayama” training with Sri O.P. Tiwari from the Kaivalyadhama Institute in Pune, India.
In addition to regular classes at Downward Dog, he conducts workshops and teacher trainings in Canada, the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and Asia, and is becoming a familiar face at various conferences around the world.
Ron is one of Canada’s top teachers, approaching teaching in an inspired, informed and non-dogmatic way. He places the needs of the students ahead of the demands of the practice. While continuing to teach and practice the ashtanga vinyasa system as a foundation, he endeavors to blend tradition with innovation, and to balance precision with grace. Students will find his refined approach to practice both challenging and rewarding.
Ron is also an accomplished musician and composer and performs with his partner Marla Meenakshi Joy under their group name SWAHA.
Meenakshi (Marla Joy), E-RYT® 500, YACEP®, Co-owner and Director of Downward Dog Yoga Centre, first traveled to India in 1988 to study meditation and the philosophy of the Vedas with Swami Shyam, as well as other learned scholars in the Himalayas. She is a Certified Meditation and Yoga Philosophy teacher from the International Meditation Institute in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, Himalayas, and, along with her studies with her Pranayama teacher Sri Sudhir Tiwari, has also completed an “Advanced Pranayama” training with Sri O.P. Tiwari from the Kaivalyadhama Institute in Pune, India.
She has been teaching in teacher training programs since 1999 across Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia, as both a teacher of Philosophy and Sanskrit, Chanting and Meditation, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, and Restorative Yoga.
A practicing Shiatsu Therapist since 1993, and teaching Mysore (Self-Practice) around the globe, Meenakshi has a healing and informative touch. Since 2015, she has been studying her newest passion of classical Indian dance (Odissi) with esteemed teachers both in India and Canada, and has performed at some festivals in both countries as well.
As a celebrated song-stress, she also leads Kirtan (call-and-response chanting) with her band SWAHA, with inspired musical compositions with her partner/keyboardist, Ron Reid. She has produced four CD’s of Sanskrit chanting entitled Prayer’s, Salutations, Vishnu’s Dream, Bolo!, Shanti Pulse, and their newest CD, Gone Beyond.
Pat Harada Linfoot, E-RYT® 500, YACEP® views the practice of yoga as an opportunity for physical, psychological, and spiritual inquiry and with compassion, generosity, and humour, she encourages students to maximize their potential. Themes from eastern philosophy, psychology, and everyday experience have been informing Pat’s teaching for the past 20 years. She is devoted to exploring the intersection of asana, restorative, meditation, and therapeutic movement practices as a conduit to healing and optimal health. Pat continues to teach classes and workshops, lead retreats, and is inspired by the rich, collaborative process of mentoring—of working together to develop a teacher’s unique voice and fullest expression of potential.
Chris Kummer N.D. BHS, E-RYT, is an experienced yoga teacher specializing in applied anatomy and physiology of yoga practices. Since 2000 Chris has been teaching yoga and the ‘Yoga Anatomy Show’ on over 100 accredited Yoga Teacher Trainings in many countries around the world and has conducted numerous workshops on yoga, breath, health and well-being. Originally from Germany, Chris was windsurfing professionally before he began studying medicine at Kiel University. In 1993 Chris moved to Australia, where he studied natural medicine. He earned a BHS in Complementary Medicine and advanced diplomas in naturopathy, holistic nutritional medicine, western herbal medicine and homeopathy. On his yoga journey Chris has been influenced by his friends and teachers. Some of the teachers who have contributed greatly to his body of knowledge are Yogacharya H.S. Arun (Iyengar yoga), Clive Sheridan (hatha kundalini, pranayama), Emil Wendel (pranayama, philosophy), Peter Clifford (therapeutic yoga), Matthew Sweeney, Louisa Sear and David Muehsam (astanga vinyasa), and Judith Lasater (restorative yoga). Chris’ naturopathic background and his passion for yoga led to his specialization in applied functional yoga anatomy. In addition to workshops, he has been developing and teaching curricula for yoga teacher trainings for 15 years. In 2003 Chris co-developed KindaYoga, a method to introduce young children to yoga and health through interactive exercises, storytelling and play via visual media. “My passion is to further the understanding of yoga, movement and health in the worldwide community”. www.chriskummer.com
Jennifer Helland discovered yoga as a dancer in her young twenties. At her very first yoga class, the experience resonated so deeply within that she knew then how meaningful and important yoga was going to become in her life. Jennifer encourages her students to listen in, practice from a place of abundance, open their hearts, and understand that there is no finish line. She first studied at Downward Dog Yoga Centre, completing their training program in 2004, and has been joyously teaching in Toronto and abroad ever since.
Cecily Milne is a strength and mobility specialist, bridging the gap between functional movement and the demands that yoga asana place on the body. She holds over 500 hours of training from Downward Dog Yoga Centre, complemented with study in India under the guidance of Petri Raisanen, Rolf Naujokat, and Emil Wendel.
In 2014, Cecily began to further expand her knowledge through direct study with the Ido Portal team. She has trained with Agatsu Inc., along with Gymnastic Bodies, and most recently completed her certification as an FRCms (Functional Range Conditioning Movement Specialist) with Dr. Andreo Spina. Two years later she received her Certificate of Applied Training/Sports Animation with internationally renowned Osteopath, Dr. Guy Voyer, creator of the SomaTraining system in 1966. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Yoga Detour, a pioneering, multi-disciplinary teacher training program, and creator of Lake of Bays Yoga in Muskoka.
Tamara Berger is a writer who has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. Her practice is Mysore-style and she learned the Ashtanga Yoga Vinyasa System — Primary, Second and Third Series as Ron Reid has taught it to her. She mostly teaches Mysore-style at Downward Dog to get to know students’ individual practices and needs. She likes to give hands-on adjustments and she is experienced with how to practice yoga with injuries. Tamara has also studied Prenatal Yoga with Sasha Padron and she really enjoys working with pregnant yoga practitioners in the Mysore room as well. In led classes, she tends to work Vinyasa-style with an emphasis on breath and bandhas, moving through a standard set of asanas to get the whole body involved. She has taught many Second Series workshops at Downward Dog over the years and has been a part of Downward Dog’s teacher training program for the last two years.
Sonia Clarke, E-RYT® 500, YACEP® received her certification in Yoga of Awareness for Cancer from Duke Integrated Medicine, part of Duke University Health Systems in Durham, NC. She is Canada’s first, and thus far only yoga teacher to receive this certification from Duke University. Sonia has been working with cancer patients and survivors sharing the practice of yoga for 5 years through all the Wellspring Centres in the Greater Toronto Area including Sunnybrook Hospital. She has completed Advanced Anatomy Labs through the Toronto Osteopathy School, is certified in Yoga for Hip and Knee Replacement, and has received her certification in Yoga for Seniors from a Duke University affiliate.