our team

Guiding Teacher, Owner/Director Bikram Yoga Kitchener-Waterloo
David was voted “Best Yoga Teacher” in the Waterloo Region in both the 2009 and 2010 ECHO Reader’s Choice Awards. He began practicing yoga at the age of 16 at a yoga studio across the street from his high school and thus began a life-long love affair with Eastern spiritual practices and philosophy. He has an extensive background in Buddhist meditation as well as yoga practice.

Having graduated with an Honours B.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto, he then completed a Bachelor of Education from McGill University. He spent 13 years as a tree-planter in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, while attending University and beyond.

It was during his first full year of teaching at an alternative school in Vancouver that he discovered Bikram Yoga. His first class had a profoundly powerful effect on him. Having tried most of the major forms of yoga practice at that time, it was by far the most transformative practice he had ever done: “I had never before experienced such holistic, exhilarating and immediate benefits —physically, emotionally, spiritually – from any yoga practice or any other type of exercise in my life. I was hooked from the first class.” He immediately resolved to become a teacher of this life-transforming series.

David graduated from the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in the fall of 2003. He taught throughout Canada; Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec—as well as in California before opening Bikram Yoga Kitchener-Waterloo on April 12, 2008.

David has a deep passion for and commitment to sharing his love of Bikram Yoga with the public. Posture-by-posture and breath-by-breath he knows from abundant first-hand experience, as well as the testimonials of hundreds, if not thousands of students, the life-transforming and uplifting benefits of a regular Bikram Yoga practice:

“In my teaching, I seek to marry the exhilarating physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of the Bikram practice with a meditative consciousness and direction, whereby each person in the room, regardless of their age, physical and mental condition may leave the room with an uplifted sense of contentment and well-being — ideally with a sense of ease and peace which goes beyond this world.”


Jeff has been teaching at Bikram yoga since 2009 after completing his teacher training in Palm Desert CA. Before joining the team at Bikram Yoga KW he worked in an auto parts factory, once the factory closed Jeff made the obvious segue into teaching yoga.

Jeff teaches with an emphasis on mindfulness. His interest in eastern philosophy and meditation are woven throughout his instruction and he is able to take abstract metaphysical concepts and make them relate-able to everyday life.

Jeff approaches teaching yoga as an opportunity to create relationship and through that relationship understand himself. In his own words: “teaching yoga has taught me the importance of connection with others, it is this connection that I am trying to strengthen each time I teach a class. Making that connection with another, is to me, a recognition of myself in that person, a recognition of the truth.”

Aki graduated from the spring 2014 Bikram yoga teacher training in Los Angeles, California. Upon her completion of the training in June of 2014 she began teaching right away.

Aki came to her first class in January of 2011. She came with the promise that she would burn 1,000 calories! Wow! At the time she was training for half-marathon and completing her accounting degree at the University of Waterloo. Needless to say, the idea of being in a hot room, working hard and sweating for 90 minutes sounded like just her cup of tea.

“I fell in love with Bikram yoga from the first day. I found the yoga at the exact right time in my life. On the outside I looked like I had it all. I was on a really good path in life. However, on the inside things were hard. Insert here….Bikram yoga! The 90 minute class totally turns you upside down. At times it is hard, then exhilarating, then hard again. In one moment you feel like laughing out loud, other moments like crying. My dedicated practice has taught me that no matter how hard something
may seem, it can always be overcome if you never give up, believing with your whole heart that you can get through it.”

As a teacher, she creates a safe space for all of her students. Expect to be greeted like a long lost friend. On the podium she is encouraging, motivating and intense. She offers a strong, consistent, refreshing class.

“My goal as a teacher is to empower my students. This yoga is so transformative. There is nothing more rewarding for me, than to watch my students transform and see them glow from the inside out.”

Certified Advanced Yoga Instructor, Yoga Alliance 200HR E-RYT and Founder of Pranalife Yoga & Pranalife Yoga Teacher Training

Asia Nelson teaches Ashtanga-inspired classes focused on core strength, improving mobility and joint/spine health, to keep you feeling powerful and pain-free for the long run. She’s also a riot; be ready to laugh as well as sweat!

Asia began practicing yoga in 1998, became a Certified Instructor in 2003 and founded Pranalife Yoga in 2006. She’s led over 3 000 hours of classes, workshops and yoga teacher trainings. Her primary yoga lineage is Ashtanga but she’s practiced a number of styles, including an intensive Bikram Yoga immersion. She holds a deep respect for the wisdom of the Bikram series; her teaching integrates the best of it, and all of her experiences with yoga.

As part of developing her Pranalife Yoga Teacher Training, Asia has worked with back biomechanics and pelvic floor specialists, kinesiologists, physiotherapists, sports medicine doctors and master yoga teachers to better understand what postures are really for, and how any body can do them safely and effectively.

Asia has been interviewed in MacLeans, Chatelaine, The Record, Toronto Metro, Imprint and TruLiving Magazine. She has also written for Elephant Journal, Metro Toronto and was the Yoga Expert for Rogers Media’s DailySqueeze and SweetFit.

Step on your mat with Asia as your guide and grow more confident, stronger, calmer, and happier – on your mat and in your life.


Tara has been practicing Bikram yoga since 2001. From the very beginning Tara knew this yoga was special and for many years contemplated becoming a Bikram Yoga instructor. Finally in the Spring of 2010 Tara embarked on the training and has been passionately teaching ever since.

Tara trained at the National Ballet School in Toronto. After which she enjoyed a 22 year career as a professional ballet dancer. She danced with The National Ballet of Canada, The Alberta Ballet, The Hong Kong ballet and spent 16 years as the principal ballerina for Ballet Jorgen Canada.

Tara contributes the longevity of her career, in part, to Bikram Yoga. Bikram yoga has an amazing ability to heal and restore the body and mind. Bikram Yoga brought balance to the repetitive nature of dance saving her from knee, ankle, and back injuries typically experienced by ballet dancers. Bikram Yoga has also given Tara an inner peace. The yoga has taught her patience, perspective and self love.\par ” As a teacher I hope to guide my students towards self awareness and self discovery. To help each individual find the strength and love within to help themselves.

As a Yoga Professional, I look forward to connecting to AMAZING people like YOU! I would love to guide you through Yoga that really feeds your Soul, fuels your passions, kicks your butt, restores & strengthens your mind & body and inspires you to live your Best Life and Pay it Forward!

I have always been a seeker, in search of answers to Life’s greatest questions. Through my journey, I have come to believe that there is no greater importance and gift in life than “Finding your Purpose and Aligning with your highest Self.” This purpose not only creates a passionate and fulfilling life, but serves and uplifts others, your community and ultimately your World.

I continue to look for ways to connect my passions, gifts, and talents to ways in which they can be used for Service. Today, I advocate for the Empowerment of Women and young girls. I believe that I can use my voice to encourage children and adults to believe that Standing up, Speaking up, and Uniting does make a difference.

I also speak to eradicating Inequality by Raising & Guiding Compassionate Boys to Men. As a mother, I am always looking for ways in which I can allow my son to stay connected to his wholeness, kindness and inner-intelligence.

As a visible minority of Ethiopian descent, I want to help diversify the Yoga and Wellness industry to include more ethnicities through programs and initiatives that raise awareness.

Health is not a luxury, it’s a Birthright

I am inspired by leading edge thinkers and Entrepreneurs like Oprah, Marie Forleo, Echkart Tolle, Tony Robbins, Marianne Williamson, Esther Hicks and Deepak Chopra.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.”


Alex loves Yoga like he loves his coffee - extremely hot and satisfyingly strong. He became a Bikram yoga teacher in the summer of 2010. That same summer he also completed Advanced teacher training with Bikram himself.

He immediately started teaching yoga in the GTA making his motto something along the lines of “you won’t necessarily understand everything I say (because of his accent) in the beginning but by the end you’ll know everything” and he kept practicing regularly.

In 2011, he participated in the International yoga championship and got a round ticket to compete in California at the International level. (Bikram said he was too fat to be there which just made him smile more).

In winter 2013 he completed the Jedi fight club (JFC) backbending clinic with Esak Garcia.

Afterwards in the same year his struggle continued and he once again competed to become the Eastern Canadian champion.

He became the Eastern Champion for the second time when he competed in the Bishnu Ghosh Yoga Championships in 2014.

His love for yoga introduced him to many different styles including advanced training with Ana Forrest in Ottawa in 2014.

He got married in 2015.

He regularly continues a hot practice - and drinking strong coffee.

Alex has conducted Partner/Acro Yoga workshops at The Flying Yogi® for over 2 years and is also a faculty member with TFY 200 Hour RYT Training and cofounder of Partners at Play with Natalie Marnica.

His personal branding is Alex P Yoga. His love for the community helped him and his wife create an activity based group called adventure yogis where anyone is welcome to join in for bringing the yoga communities together. We regularly have adventures every other month or so.

Last but not least, Alex has completed 2nd level Thai yoga massage in 2016 and is always welcoming new clients.

Bhante Saranapala, the "Urban Buddhist Monk", was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh and pursued his secular and monastic studies in Kandy, Sri Lanka.  He holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Toronto and is its' Buddhist Chaplain.  He currently resides at and serves the public from the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre in Mississauga.
Teshia completed the Bikram Yoga teacher training program in Acapulco Mexico in 2008, and a Yin Yoga teacher training in Toronto, in 2010.

Teshia embraces her role as a yoga teacher with a selfless passion, and sees great potential and beauty in everyone, that walks into her classes. She celebrates the opportunity to lead her students on their journey of self-discovery, everyone comes into the room with a different history, yet everyone has a common goal: To better themselves. In her own words: “To witness such courage and transformation on a daily basis; this is the priceless gift I receive as a teacher. I feel so blessed!”

To expand her own practice, and with the hope of inspiring others to begin a yoga practice, Teshia participated in “Yoga Asana Championships” in both 2009 and 2011. Both of these years, Teshia went on to represent Toronto / Canada as the “Eastern Yoga Champion,” and also competed on an international stage in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to teaching yoga, Teshia is also the founder and Nutritionist of “Living Live Nutritional Consulting.” The merging of her two big passions, yoga and nutritional healing, is keeping Teshia busy in bliss, as she is truly, living her dream.

To learn more about this Yogini and Nutritionista, check out her website, at
WWW.TESHIAMAHER.COM

On a weight loss mission, I decided to try yoga in Cambridge. Years of practising there led me to hatha yoga training. After teaching for years, I wanted to practise something different. I tried a Bikram class in Kitchener. I loved that I was sweating in class right from the start!! Every one at the studio was great and I loved regularly attending so I decided I wanted to teach it too. I took training November 2012. It was tough but I did it and was awarded the Flower Petal Blooming award. I’ve had experience helping people with head injuries and I have seen how yoga calms minds, stretches and strengthens bodies, and gives a whole clean feeling. I love seeing people walking on air and feeling super after class. I know yoga makes me feel great so I hope my teaching can help others feel as great as me if not better!
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