Demand for classes grows and new instructors are brought onto the team.
The team’s pre and postnatal yoga and fitness classes grow in popularity.
The Willow Studio is launched.
The studio implements new initiatives to better support sustainability and diversity in our community and beyond.
Meet the Team
Stephanie (she/her) is a yoga instructor, Core Exercise Specialist, and the founder of The Willow Studio. Her mission is to help people tap into their strength, resilience and innate wisdom to weather the storms of life.
Before becoming a yoga instructor in 2014, she earned an Honours Bachelor of Science in Geology and a Masters in Geographic Information Systems, and worked in environmental consulting and government policy in Calgary, Ottawa and Peterborough.
Hannah graduated from Breathe Yoga’s 300 hour Teacher Training in 2017. Since then she has collected certifications in yin, Reiki, trauma-informed yoga, accessible yoga and more.
In addition to teaching in studios around Toronto, Hannah teaches yoga and mindfulness in schools and to adults with intellectual disabilities.
Hannah loves yoga, and is delighted to be able to share this practice with others.
Bonnie is a certified Yoga and Meditation Teacher & Reiki Practitioner with an educational foundation in Classical Yoga and Ayurveda. She offers women’s retreats, workshops and Vibrational Therapy Sessions incorporating Reiki + Aromatherapy + Flower Essences + Crystal Healing + Yoga + Meditation.
She has a love of whole foods, forest walks, essential oils, inspirational writing and seeking out synchronicities in everyday life.
Heather is one of only a handful of Certified Yoga Therapists in Peterborough, with 1000+ hours of training and additional certifications as a Recreation Therapist and Senior Fitness Specialist under her belt. She has worked for over 35 years designing, implementing and evaluating therapeutic programs within both clinical and community settings.
Heather’s life, when not teaching yoga, embraces her husband and family of 3 sons and 1 daughter, her grandchildren and grand-dogs. A life full of seasonal, wholesome food, golfing, walking all those dogs and Netflix date-nights are also important.
Andrea is a 200 hour certified yoga instructor who’s personal yoga journey over the past 18 years has evolved from a fitness-based practice to a genuine connection with the power of yoga to unite the body and mind.
Andrea and her family recently returned from spending 3 years in Thailand, where she developed a deep meditation practice and became certified in the Himalayan Art of Sound Healing and Therapy.
Aside from yoga, Andrea works as an environmental consultant here in Peterborough. She and her husband have 2 young daughters, and enjoy outdoor pursuits of all kinds.
Liz began practicing yoga in 2000 and quickly realized the many physical and emotional benefits that it offers. Liz completed her Ashtanga Certification at the Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto in 2004 and began teaching.
Since that time Liz has completed over 1000 hours of yoga training including Yoga for Athletes, Yin, Prenatal, Anusara, Yoga Detour Method (strength based movements), and Level 2 Training in Somatics.
Liz enjoys working with athletes, and was the yoga instructor for the Peterborough Petes from 2012-2018.
Carly (she/her) is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher with a thoughtful, encouraging and lighthearted style. Carly has taken her passion for teaching abroad, teaching at international yoga retreats. She is also certified by Love Your Brain to teach yoga for people who have experienced traumatic brain injuries.
She is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and manages Sweet Simple Nutrition, a holistic wellness practice specializing in women’s health. When she’s not at the yoga studio you can often find her in the kitchen, a coffee shop, spending time outdoors, or singing.
Lia Gomez Lowe
Lia took her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2016 and has furthered her training in prenatal yoga and core and pelvic floor-specific yoga after she had her 2 daughters. She is passionate about supporting women in the perinatal phase of their lives, both on the mat and off, with her holistic nutrition business.
Lia loves her time in the studio connecting with these women and creating a friendly and warm environment for them to feel safe in their practice.
Tracy is a 500-hour certified Yoga Instructor and Physiotherapist Assistant. She has practiced yoga for almost 20 years, studying both in Canada and India. Tracy brings to her classes an emphasis on the power of the breath, on slowing down, and an aspiration to challenge, yet adapt to the needs of each student.
Besides yoga, some of Tracy’s other passions include gardening, travel, snorkeling, hiking, biking, and spending time with her husband and baby boy.
Monika Holland began her yoga journey in 2011, which became a routine that helped develop the strength and determination to make positive upgrades in her life.
She is a highly sought-after Peterborough yoga instructor, and is known for her calming voice and ability to relax a roomful of yogis. She has additional certifications in Yoga Nidra and Hot Stone placement and massage.
Andrew owns and operates Balance At Work, which specializes in workplace wellness services, yoga and meditation.
Andrew has completed 500-hour Hatha, 100-hour Vinyasa (Flow), 15-hour Trauma-sensitive, and 18-hour Love Your Brain (to help students with acquired brain injuries) Yoga Teacher Trainings. He’s currently pecking away at an MA in Counselling Psychology as the next step in the ongoing evolution of his work.
A fitness instructor and healthy living enthusiast for the past 20 years, Jane was originally drawn to Pilates for its focus on mindful movement that develops strong core muscles, and improves posture and flexibility.
A mother of two who recently completed a B.Ed. degree in adult education, Jane completed her extensive Mat Certification at Pilates education leader, Body Harmonics.
Kim is passionate about sharing the power of yoga and mindfulness with children, teens and families, both in the school setting and through her own local yoga business, Tree Song Yoga.
As well as being a certified yoga teacher, Kim is an Early Childhood Educator and a former Kindergarten teacher.
Kim enjoys kayaking, swimming, baking, and is an advocate of low tox living and water conservation.
Des (she/her) started practicing yoga over 21 years ago, and recently completed her 200-hour yoga training through Yoga With Jas on Unceded Algonquin Territory/Ottawa. She has also completed 20 hours of trauma-informed yoga teacher training.
Yoga is a practice that connects her to her roots and Ancestry. Her intention is to make yoga accessible to everyone, to ensure folx feel comfortable, safe, and empowered. She is an advocate for mental health and social justice.
Bryony (she/her) is a Registered Midwife currently on parental leave with her second child. Nature has always been a great source of connection and calm for her – whether she’s planting trees in Northern Canada, standing breathless at the top of a mountain in Argentina, or squeezing in a quick hike with her dog and kids at Warsaw caves.
When she’s not catching babies or out in the woods, she can be found trying to grow tomatoes in her garden or baking a healthy-ish treat to “share” with her children.
Donna St. John
Donna is a 500-hour trained yoga teacher, as well as a Pilates and fitness instructor, personal trainer, and healthy eating coach.
In her spare time, Donna is busy on her Bethany farm with miniature horses, Scottish Highland cattle, a llama, and two rambunctious Akbash puppies. Donna and her husband have a passion for adventure travel… with more than 25 countries visited the list keeps growing!
Telsi (she/her) is a Mat and Reformer Pilates instructor, Animal Flow instructor, and Certified Personal Trainer. Her passions include functional fitness, stability training, and aiding in injury rehabilitation through therapeutic Pilates.
Outside of work, you’ll find Telsi going for hikes with her dog, running long-distance through wooded trails, or enjoying time with friends and family.
Cara is a 500-hour certified yoga teacher, and has specializations in Yoga for Round Bodies, prenatal yoga, medical chi gong, LoveYourBrain and Reiki. Prior to teaching yoga she studied neuroscience for three years and has two children that keep her very busy.
Cara strives to create an environment that supports and empowers students to trust their own intuition, and to find their own internal gauge for healing and happiness.
Front Desk Support Staff
Katie (she/her) is an administrative professional with experience in employment counseling and human resources. You may see Katie’s friendly smile behind the front desk – she’s always ready to answer your questions!
Mama of 3, Katie like to work on art, dance, sing and explore the outdoors through canoeing, kayaking and skiing.
Denise brings over 31 years of experience with the public school board and retail sector to her role as front desk staff member. An avid yogi, Denise loves spending time with her dog Sophie, family and friends. She has a renewed interest in biking and likes to eat healthy.
Denise is excited to be part of the Willow Studio and is ready to welcome and assist all.
In addition to offering great yoga and Pilates classes, we also strive to support other local businesses, while giving back to charities that support diversity and sustainability within our community and beyond.
It takes a skilled instructor to guide a class full of unique bodies through an effective, yet safe, experience.
At Willow, we pride ourselves on providing high quality instruction based on the most up-to-date research, while providing options and modifications for those who want to change it up.
Many of our yoga teachers are trained at the 500-hour level, and we have one of Peterborough’s few Registered Yoga Therapists on staff. Our instructors regularly pursue new training to expand their skills. Our Core and Floor programs are developed in consultation with a pelvic floor physiotherapist.
Whether you’re looking to create a healthier lifestyle, manage stress and anxiety, get fit, or prepare for pregnancy and birth, our studio fuses traditional techniques with modern research to provide classes that get you amazing results.
The practice of yoga can be adapted to benefit everyone, and all are welcome at our studio. We strive to offer a variety of classes to support the diversity of the Peterborough community, including Yoga for 50+, Beginners Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Family Yoga, and Yoga for Round Bodies.
Our weekly “Pay What You Can” Community Class helps make yoga is accessible for those who may be unable to afford regular studio classes.
The Willow Studio is also proud to host the LoveYourBrain program for the Peterborough area. This program supports people who have experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury and their caregivers through participation in community-based gentle yoga and meditation classes tailored to their needs.
Our studio is on ground level and is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Plenty of parking is also available. We have two gender-neutral washrooms.
Breastfeeding is welcome. Our larger washrooms is equipped with a change table and diaper genie, and we also have a quiet nook with a nursing pillow for more privacy.
We have consent cards for use during yoga classes so you can easily let us know if you’d prefer hands-on assists or be touch-free. (Coming Fall 2021)
We recognize that there are many different reasons that people practice yoga, including for fitness, relaxation, spiritual enlightenment, stress release, healing or connecting with community, and we respect all motivations for coming to our studio. We strive to employ instructors with a variety of backgrounds so that you can find the right fit for your personal goals. By Fall 2021, it is our goal that all instructors have completed specialized training in Diversity and Trauma, to better support the unique needs of our community.
To encourage diversity in the yoga community and promote the benefits of yoga to a wider population, we have two bursaries available for community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Colour (BIPOC) and for whom cost is a barrier to attend classes at our studio. (Coming Summer 2021). Each bursary will subsidize 6 months of an Auto-Renew 5-Class Pack (30 classes) at 75% off. The recipient would be responsible for paying the remaining 25%. Your chance of receiving this bursary will depend on how many others apply.
The Willow Studio has a zero tolerance policy for discrimination, and reserve the right to ask someone to leave if the safety of our community is threatened. Please be kind and respectful to each other.
We care deeply about our impact on the Earth and our ability to pass its’ gifts on to future generations.
This is why we now donate 5% of our overall net profits to the TRACKS (TRent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science) Program, which delivers youth environmental education in Peterborough, combining Traditional knowledge with Western science.
New this spring! Through our partnership with One Tree Planted, for each piece of our branded apparel sold, one tree will be planted.
We have invested in eco-friendly cleaning products and bathroom supplies – while it increases our upfront cost, we feel good about removing harmful chemicals from our environment (and they smell great too!)
Our studio is also moving towards zero-waste. We encourage students to bring their own refillable water bottles which can be topped up at our filtered water dispenser (coming Summer 2021). We are hoping to have on-site composting up and running by Fall 2021.
We love supporting other local businesses! As much as possible, we source our studio supplies, materials, and business service providers locally. We try to keep our curated retail merchandise to as small of a sphere as possible – whether that is from within Peterborough, Ontario, or Canada.
We also give back to local charities through special events and fundraisers and love highlighting other local businesses on our social media and newsletter platforms.