"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self." ~ The Bhagavad Gita.
Why You'll Love Zoe
Anyone who knows me would describe me as attentive, loving, and ready to laugh. I’m a former high school English teacher, dance instructor, metal sculptor, editor, and writer, all of which trained me in the clarity of instruction. But those careers also trained my eye to really see my students – to read their body language, mood, postural alignment, range of motion, facial expression, and more. Teaching yoga full-time for over 10 years has felt like my deepest calling, and I still can’t believe how much joy I derive from getting to know my students and helping them feel better in their bodies.
Why Zoe Loves Yoga
Having practised for over 15 years, I have a huge crush on yoga. It’s such an extensive and intelligent system of balancing one’s strength, health, mood, breath, and mindset. I’m constantly amazed by how both the asanas (the physical practise of yoga) and the philosophy (the wise yoga psychology and lifestyle) make people feel better. Yoga teaches us how to navigate this big hairy beast of life in a more humane way – a more patient, poetic, judicious, and generous way. And so it is my great honour to pass on these sage teachings to my students in turn.
“I teach what you need to learn, in a fun, safe, refreshing way, by offering modifications to suit your body.” ~ Zoe Stikeman
What kind of yoga do I teach?
The short answer is that I teach what each student needs to learn, in a fun, safe refreshing way, by offering modifications to suit your body. The long answer is that my own teachers come from diverse lineages: Akhanda, Krishnamacharya/Desikachar, Sivananda, Jivamukti, etc.
What style is this called?
Depending on each student’s needs, abilities, habits, health, and reasons for coming to yoga, I adjust the class accordingly. It is my great joy to provide many different styles: Hatha, Flow, Vinyasa, Gentle, Prenatal, Postnatal, Restorative, Partner Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga (rehabilitation for injuries), Meditation Techniques, and more.
Why do I practise yoga?
For many years, yoga was primarily a healing system for me. It has been a major tool in negotiating several autoimmune diseases, health complications, and copious injuries. Yoga’s coordinated breath is paired with specific movements in order to stimulate the body’s major glands, lymphatic system, abdominal organs, circulatory system, muscles and connective tissues. I really want my students benefit in the same way, and so I’m always looking for ways to make yoga suit their own body comfortably, rather than forcing their bodies to fit yoga. As a result, I’ve had to become an expert on offering modifications and providing options so that each student can take any class as gently or vigorously as they wish that day.In my own classes, I weave tenets of yoga philosophy into the breathing techniques, meditation, and physical practice, so students can learn more about themselves and how they interact with others.
Certification & Education:
Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training through Toronto Yoga Mamas.
Restorative Yoga Teacher Training through Toronto Yoga Conference (Cyndi Lee).
Cancer Exercise Specialist through the Cancer Exercise Training Institute (Andrea Leonard).
200-hour Yoga Alliance Certification through YogaWorks (Catherine Munro).
200-hour Yoga Alliance Certification through Akhanda Yoga / World Consciousness Yoga (Yogi Vishveketu).
Yoga Alliance Adjustments Certification (YuMee Chung & Charlene Yeh).
Mentorship with Leena Patel, in the lineage of her grandfather, Swami Gordhanbhai Patel, who practised under the guidance of Mahatma Ghandi.
Teaching Degree: Bachelor of Education, University of Ottawa.