Meet the Team

Our Team

Ellen Connell

Director/Owner
Teacher & Student

Ellen came to hot yoga 11 years ago after sustaining neck and shoulder injuries in a Motor vehicle accident. Her physiotherapist suggested it as a great way to heal her body...little did she realize it would offer her so much more! Meeting herself on the mat and in the mirror started to teach her acceptance and compassion for herself.

Outside of the hot room Ellen is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with over 30 years experience working with individuals who have had catastrophic injuries and multiple, complex trauma. She has long dreamed of incorporating the gifts yoga has given her into her therapy practise. She took the Moksha Level 1 training in Kelowna in July 2015 and is grateful to have found a Moksha home at MYW.

Ellen’s background in mental wellness work gives her a unique perspective on how yoga can heal beyond the purely physical. With a view to integrating her 2 passions of supporting folks who have experienced trauma and yoga Ellen completed her 300 - hour Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga training in March 2018. She is excited to offer TCTSY classes and continues to offer trauma informed classes and individual sessions.

Ellen approaches all of her teaching with a trauma informed lens and enjoys sharing mindfulness, compassion, body positivity, breath awareness and humour with her students. Ellen completed her Moksha flow training in North Vancouver in May 2018.

Hannah Johnson

Studio Consultant
Teacher & Student

Hannah was introduced to hot yoga at age 16 at HYS. While clearly unimpressed at the time, something stuck.Among her many accomplishments, (she is a Studio 58 Graduate, alumnus of Vancouver’s competitive Slam Poetry Team, a gifted writer and all around awesome person)

Hannah is a certified Moksha and Moksha Flow teacher and the co-owner of Moksha Yoga North Vancouver. Hannah’s passion for building community as well as her clear vision around creating a studio that is both accessible and sustainable will be invaluable to the success of HYS moving forward.

It will be great to have Hannah come and guest teach and to introduce her to our community.

Helen Purden

Studio Manager
Teacher & Student

I found myself in my first hot yoga class downtown about 15 years ago. I remember wanting to run out of the room, but stayed and fell in love with the challenge and serenity of it.

For a few years I left my practice and got caught up in the business of life - children, running a business etc. I knew I was unhappy and missing something in my life. It was yoga and the peace I felt from it, the balance that it helped me strive for.

I found my way back to HYS once again, and began practicing as often as I could and started to feel a shift within. I started doing desk shifts at the studio to get a feel for studio life as a career and spent time thinking about becoming a teacher.

By October 2017 I had enrolled in Moksha Level 1 Teacher Training and attended training in Nicaragua in March 2018. Currently I am practice teaching and excited to continue learning yoga living on and off the mat. I am ecstatic to be a part of the management team at HYS while enjoying a fulfilling shift in gears. 

Wendy Debeck

Teacher & Student

I love & live right here on The Peninsula. As a long time lover of yoga as my chosen form of exercise for both the brain & body, you’ll see me on the mat most days, and mostly because being on it and with our community - makes me feel alive & thriving.

As a dedicated yoga instructor my hope is that the deep necessity to my personal practice somehow comes across in classes, and that those like myself, who stumble, may find surer ground.

Relevant studies to date: Natalie Rousseau, Christine Price Clarke, Moksha Training w/ founders Ted Grand & Jess Robertson (along w/ their brilliant faculty), Ghosh Lineage Training(2006).

I anticipate sharing this wonderful community space at HYS with you - all of us learning & feeling better together through the powerful group dynamic, yet still with the peace & privacy that comes with being ‘on the mat.’
 

Skye Langlois

Teacher & Student

Skye’s yoga journey began in 2008 when she walked into her first yoga studio in Langford B.C. The air was hot the people were sweaty and she couldn't hold any posture for longer than a breath or two without falling out. Everything felt so new and oddly foreign, but curiously she kept coming back. Class after class. Week after week. Then slow and steady her practice started to blossom and so did her curiosity and her desire to learn more. Through the years her inquiries continued and this so did her journey toward becoming a teacher and a forever student. Her first 200hr Vinyasa training was completed in 2015 at Anamaya resort in Costa Rica, followed by an intensive sequencing training led by Natalie Rousseau. In 2017 Skye became a Moksha certified teacher after completing her 500- hr teacher training in Kelowna B.C.
Skye genuinely cares for her students and encourages them to come in early for a chat or to stay later with questions. If you’re shy and need an icebreaker question, ask her about her dog Bogart.
 

Carrie Dymond

Teacher & Student

When I first started my practice, I would set up my mat at the back, hiding behind a pillar. I didn’t want to see my reflection in the mirror but something was driving me to at least step into the room.Weeks turned into months, and the relationship that I was forming with myself, slowly lead me from behind the distant pillar to the center.

Months turned into years, and somehow I now find myself guiding and becoming with all of you.

And with all great journeys, I’m about to set out on my next stage of development. I’m not quite sure what that looks like yet, but until my return, regardless of where you are on the path, keep going and keep coming back.

We walk each other home and we are blessed to share in this together at Hot Yoga Sidney.
 

Amy C Cox

Teacher & Student

Amy has been practicing yoga over 10 years, and completed Bikram Yoga TT (9 weeks of study) in 2014. Since then she has completed workshops with Craig Villani, Gianna Purcell, Benjamin Sears, Siri Om Khalsa, Christine Price Clarke, and a 50 hour Yin Yoga TT with Bernie Clarke. She is excited to study Vinyasa TT with Ryan Leier in July.

By bringing a healthy dose of gentleness, play and compassion to her classes, Amy aims to hold space for body sizes, shapes, abilities, genders, ethnicities, and ages to grow their practice. She is interested in mediation, self study and weaving together traditional teachings with everyday common life.
 

Keir Hendee

Teacher & Student

For me, my practice started around a decade ago attending my very first yoga class at the Sidney studio. I later attended the Bikram teacher training and graduated during fall of 2010.

I have been teaching yoga ever since. In addition to my teacher training I have also attended various yoga workshops and taken courses in biology over the last 8 years to further my knowledge and understanding.

I believe in the therapeutic nature and healing power of consistent yoga practice. I hope to empower students to develop a better understanding of how to operate, maintain and heal their own bodies.
 

Peter S Schreurs

Teacher & Student

Hello, my name is peter, and I am a certified athletic therapist and yoga instructor. My goal as a professional is; to combine my knowledge, and skillset in athletic therapy, with the practical experience in yoga, in order to offer my clients/students the best care, individual to their needs.
The practice of yoga came as a natural avenue for me to finally find a bit of quiet in my thoughts. My mother, who is Buddhist, tried to teach me meditation when I was young. I didn’t realize until I began the practice of yoga, that I had to move my body to find stillness in my mind.

To me, yoga is a system of techniques we use to increase the mindbody connection. I believe that a well sequenced and well taught class can offer benefits to anyone regardless of their ability. My style of practice and teaching is very much influenced by my formal education in athletic therapy, and years on the mat.Athletic therapy is the certification I chose to pursue after discovering yoga. Throughout my training as an athletic therapist, I have been fortunate to work with different local teams, including; Charger’s men’s volley ball, Vike’s girls’ basketball, and the Harbourcats baseball team.

This has given me a wealth of practical experience, providing care for athletes who have sustained acute injuries, as well as ongoing rehabilitation of injuries. Athletic therapists are orthopedic specialists, who can provide care for anyone, not just professional athletes. As an athletic therapist, I look to get to the root of the problem in order to provide immediate care, and to offer solutions to prevent the injury from re-occurring.

I have been teaching yoga for four years and recently completed my Bachelor in Athletic & Exercise Therapy at Camosun, as well as my certification to be an athletic therapist, CAT(C). The ability to combine the holistic practice of yoga, and a complimentary education in western medical practices, allows me to approach the rehabilitation of injuries, with an analytical yet flexible mind.
 

Emily Dechant

Teacher & Student

Originally from a small town in North Alberta Emily approaches life with a beginners mind and seeing yoga as a tool to connect with authenticity and integrity. She believes that yoga is an accessible way for us to connect to the present moment. Emily received her 500 hr Moksha Hot Yoga Level 1 Training in 2015, Chair Yoga at Sempreviva in 2016 and most recently Moksha Flow Training in 2018. Emily's home studio is Moksha Yoga Burnaby.

She offers encouraging and empowering classes that combine her knowledge of anatomy with a mindfulness based approach to movement and breath. She looks forward to getting to know you on and off the yoga mat.
 

Laura Butler

Teacher & Student

Laura has been practicing yoga since 1998, and teaching in Saanich and the WestShore communities since 2006. Studying and practicing with Yin pioneers like Bernie Clark, Sarah Powers, and Paul Grilley, Laura has been specializing in Yin Yoga for over a decade. Her approach is one that is blended and well rounded, bringing knowledge and a sense of humour to lead classes that are physically and mentally beneficial to participants of all ages and abilities.
 

Melissa Nock

Teacher & Student

Melissa is a nature loving adventurous type of gal. When she’s not in the hot room, you’ll probably find her at the beach, in the bush hiking with her dogs or at a concert.
Since Melissa completed the 500 hour Moksha level 1 training, she’s also completed Moksha Level 2, a 200 hour hatha/vinyasa training, advanced vinyasa, trauma sensitive and yin. She most recently returned from the Moksha Flow Training.

Melissa loves the freedom and expression that yoga unfolds. Her classes are energetic, playful, supportive and nurturing. She’s looking forward to seeing you in the hot room!