Our Teachers

We have an amazing family of  wonderful teachers to help support you on your journey.

Amber Young

Amber YoungAmber first stepped foot on a yoga mat in 1997, and in that moment truly felt her first breath. In April of 2018 Amber transitioned into ownership at Surya Daya Yoga & Wellness, and became the director of the studio.  She enjoys the balance of educating, co-managing the studio, spending time in nature, nurturing her family and supporting the teachers and students.  Amber brings a heart centered wisdom to her classes, and infuses the teachings with joy and appreciation.  She considers her role as a guardian of the studio as a true honor, Amber counts her blessings every day for carrying the torch forward for this amazing and beautiful community, committing even deeper to her yogic path and to being of service – this is her life work.

Yoga in all of its incredible forms, has changed her life. She has been an avid student of many different types of yoga and meditation (yin, kripalu, restorative, hatha, kundalini, Integral yoga, vipassana, and mindfulness techniques) . Deciding to dedicate her life’s work to yoga, massage and wellness, Amber completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2016 (under the amazing guidance of Devinder Kaur at Prana Shanti), and has since also completed her training in advanced breast health practices with Sat Dharam Kaur and Debra Curties,  restorative yoga (under Anne Tessier), trauma informed work  (under Kathleen Burr) and she is committed to self study in trauma informed work and movement practices for those with chronic pain, as well as various other continuing education courses.

Yoga is not just a practice on her mat, but rather a way of life; reminding her every day (especially as a mom of two beautiful boys) the importance of self care and living with compassion, a message she strongly brings to her teaching.  Living life with Lupus has also given Amber a deep respect for the human body and an immense gratitude to yoga and meditation, this perspective and personal experience helps her to hold safe space for you on your own unique wellness journey, whatever that looks like.

Amber has a strong anatomical background as she has been practicing as a Registered Massage Therapist since 2004, with a special emphasis on women’s health and the mind body connection. Amber continues to offer massage, specializing in working with women with breast concerns and trauma informed massage.  Amber has also been teaching women’s breast health workshops since 2007, and is excited to be launching a new healthy breast program ( in 2021 – online and live workshops) inspired by her years of massage experience and the work of Sat Dharam Kaur, working to empower women through education and community.

She feels in this human experience we should all have the space to safely discover ourselves in mind, body and spirit, and she looks forward to supporting you on your unique journey.

To receive weekly practice videos and wellness insights directly from Amber, please visit her Patreon Page here.

Amber teaches our online classes and manages the community space.  She offers live zoom mindful movement and mediation classes, as well as our Saturday morning Integrative Yoga class (which merges practices from kundalini yoga, mindful movement, chanting, pranayama and other traditions). Amber teaches breast health courses, workshops exploring yoga and chronic pain.

Mary Biggs

Mary BiggsMary has enjoyed a successful career as an international educator with extensive teaching experience at primary and secondary levels as well as in the corporate world. An avid traveler, she has sailed around the world on a tall ship and has managed complex educational projects in many regions of the world. Most recently, Mary has held the position of Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

Mary is a fully certified K.R.I. International Level 2 Instructor in Kundalini Yoga. She has completed yin training with Paul Grilley’s master teacher, Joe Barnett.

Her teaching has included corporate yoga and wellness seminars. Mary is a passionate advocate of the power of Kundalini Yoga to promote personal transformation, physical healing, spiritual growth and inner peace and contentment.

 

Jennifer Gough Irvine

Jennifer Gough Irvine, yoga instructorAfter graduating and working as a registered nurse for 5 years, Jenny was blessed with the birth of her first son and being introduced to yoga.

After practicing yoga for ten years, of various styles, Bikrham, Kundalini and Ashtanga yoga, Jenny felt it was time to take the next step in her spiritual journey. Jenny was led to do her yoga teacher training with Swami Vishnu Yoga Center taught by Nitya Sadhana Kudir.

With the teachings in Sivanada yoga, Jenny has found that her regular yoga practice has brought her to a place of peace and harmony within. Jenny looks forward to guiding her class to a place of exploring themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. Namaste.

 

Margie Hill

Margie came to yoga many years ago as a way of finding inner peace in a busy life. She has always believed that we evolve and grow as we age, becoming more deeply ourselves, more radiant and vibrant as we move through the seasons of our lives. Yoga is a perfect vehicle to carry us through our days, seasons and years.

She received her teacher training in Kundalini Yoga 5 years ago and later her Yin Yoga teacher training. These practices have been integral in her personal journey to wholeness. Her teaching is an expression of her ever deepening personal practice and she finds great joy in guiding people to that beautiful place of stillness within where all their wisdom lies.

 

Amelia Ah You

Amelia Ah YouAmelia’s practice is guided by an inner quiet and visualization of a balanced and healthy body; the mind is calmed by the breath; transformation within is cultivated by meditation in stillness and through gentle movements.

On and off the yoga mat, she adheres to the principals of non-harming and through mindful awareness of the whole self.

She is a lover of physical fitness and of the outdoors and a student of Tai Chi and Qigong. Yoga is a natural and perfect complement in her practice as a visual artist and house design consultant.

 

Lynne Jenkins

lynneLynne has been in the fitness industry since mid 1980s. Teaching everything from aerobics to Pilates and everything in between. When she finds something she is passionate about she gets the education needed to teach it and spread the passion around. Lynne took her first Kundalini Yoga class in January of 2014 and hasn’t looked back, she was instantly hooked.

Lynne has volunteered for the last 10 years with Coast to Coast Against Cancer participating in cycling events to raise funds and awareness for kids cancer. She is now a fully certified cancer coach.

Lynne is married with four children and one grandchild. She also has a beautiful German Shepherd named Clifford. Life is Good! Sat Nam

 

Lindsey Lambden

Lindsey LambdenLindsey is no stranger to the classroom. With her love of traveling and gaining new experiences, she officially began her teaching journey in South Korea as an ESL teacher. During her time in South Korea, she began doing yoga on a regular basis. Recognizing the profoundly positive effects it had on her and its ability to alleviate stress, she knew she’d found a new love!

One decade later, she decided to immerse herself into Yoga Teacher Training under the guise of Louise Cameron. Over the past many years, she has continued to integrate her love for physical activity, drama and dance into her teaching practices. She particularly loves creating a fun, safe and energetic atmosphere in which her students feel comfortable and are able to deeply explore their own amazing strengths, abilities and limits.  In 2020 Lindsey transitioned into co-director at Surya Daya, supporting the growth,diversity and momentum of our work and community service.

In the winter of 2016, while 8 months pregnant, Lindsey graduated from the YTT as a Hatha instructor. She is thrilled to continue her yoga journey, as a teacher, and always, a student. Namaste

 

Simonne LaRonde

Simonne La RondeSimonne first experienced Kundalini yoga in 2011 at an open house held at Rising Sun (now Surya Daya), she fell in love and immediately signed up for more. Each class brought her deeper within herself and she developed a strong desire to learn more about yoga, the Kundalini teachings and yogic philosophy.

In 2016, she completed her International KRI Level 1 Teacher Training and became a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor.

In addition to her teaching, Simonne leads meditations in a corporate setting. Since 2017 she has been assisting with the Level 1 Teacher Training program at PranaShanti in Ottawa, sharing her knowledge and personal experience with current and future teachers.

 

Rachelle Legros

Vichardeep Kaur, yoga instructorRachelle came to yoga to find deeper meaning in life and a deeper connection to herself. She knew from her first yoga class that she had found exactly what she was looking for and that she was meant to be a teacher of yoga.

Since 2013, she has studied many different styles of yoga such as Hatha and Yin and it was when she came to Kundalini Yoga that she felt the awakening of her heart.  In 2016, Rachelle followed her interest in gaining a deeper understanding of pregnancy and birth and started her Doula training.

She combines her heart wisdom with her extensive training to support individuals through some of the most transformational stages of life through yoga. Her teaching style matches the energy of the room. She senses the room while also bringing humour, lightness and encouragement of being present in the practice. She is always learning more about yoga and in turn learning more about herself. Experience her classes and you will feel her passion and love for this practice through her teachings.

 

Jessie Carson

Jessie Carson 002 (1)We are so excited to welcome Jessie Carson back to our teaching team (July 2020). Jessie has been teaching yoga for close to 20 years, and she brings a wealth of wisdom, experience, and compassion to her teaching.  She is an amazing writer and has  facilitated writing and yoga workshops (which we hope she’ll be offering more of in the future, definitely planting seeds), as well as sessions on yoga philosophy with us in previous years.  Jessie is also on the teaching team at Prana Shanti in Ottawa, and helps to support the teacher training programs.

Along with being a yoga teacher, Jessie is a mother, a reader, a writer, and a wonderer.

She spends much of her free time walking (it’s likely you have seen her with her family and dog Charlie roaming the local streets and forests).

Her steady and clear guidance encourages practitioners to both challenge themselves and release the tension to create ease in the body and mind. Having taught since 2002, she is adept at working with students of all levels and can support practitioners in establishing and growing their practice based on the needs of their own bodies.

We look forward to her continued and growing involvement with our studio.

 

Nicki Gallo

Nicki G Headshot1Nicki recently made the Ottawa Valley her home and Surya Daya a huge part of her community. She was born and raised in Toronto where she studied improv comedy and theatre at The Second City and created and participated in projects on stage and screen. Before moving to Almonte, Nicki was known to many as Soleil the clown; a therapeutic clown at The Hospital for Sick Children, bringing presence and play to families and patients.

Nicki is a certified play therapist and uses creative tools to help children and youth express their emotions. She is currently working towards her masters in play therapy and combines her improv background with play therapy theory to create play workshops for adults and families. Favorite “friendly town” activities: yoga at Surya Daya, the river walk with her dog, Rosie, finding gems at The Hub and meeting old and new pals at the many amazing restaurants and cafes in town.

 

Alexandra Grace

IMG_9429We are so incredibly excited to introduce Alexandra Grace to our community at Surya Daya.  Alexandra is one of the kindest, warmest and most compassionate humans you will meet.  You may have found yourself in her company at some of our classes and celebrations over the past year.  We are honoured to have her joining us (July 2020) as part of our teaching tribe, and with her growing involvement with our studio.

Alexandra is a passionate yogi, following her joy-filled personal practice for over 15 years. She shares her experience from practicing in studios, ashrams, and on retreats around the world.

In 2017 she received her Yoga Teacher Training Certificate in Hatha and Vinyasa Lineage at Union Yoga in Toronto lead by an esteemed faculty.

Grateful for her practice and teachers that have inspired and shaped her as a practitioner and teacher.

She aspires to follow in their teachings and inspire her students to connect within and feel empowered, with the beauty of Yoga’s benefits; strengthening mind- body, through breath and movement.

In addition to her passion for Yoga, Alexandra is surrounded by her two young boys, loving husband, family and friends.

Spending her time outdoors, and enjoying the special community of Almonte.