Came for the good vibes,
stayed for the free therapy

 
Michael-props-balance.jpg

I was first introduced to yoga by my older brother and sister when I was only 15 years old. The invigorating sensations of strengthening the body in new ways kept me coming back for more, and a few yoga practices a week was the perfect complement to my other athletic pursuits in basketball and long distance running.

I got more serious about my practice ten years ago, at the age of 24. The office life of sitting long hours over a screen had its way with me. I was stressed out, eating processed meats three times a day, and in constant back pain. Having been born what doctors suspected was scoliosis, the pain was something I was used to, along with arms that would go numb, and a prescription for massages that never really addressed the real issues.

At this time, physiotherapists told me the lower back, neck and shoulder pain I was experiencing would only get worse with the Sun Salutation based yoga I was practising, moving the spine between flexion and extension with every breath. They advised me not to practice any yoga in the mornings, and definitely no backbends, I truly believed that I was destined to live in pain and mild anxiety, and go through life with a hunchback.

Inspired by the profound physical changes I witnessed in a close friend after three months in India studying Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with the Jois family, I started a daily practice and took a basic 200hr Teacher Training Certification course in hatha yoga.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga has been a huge influence on my teaching over the last decade, and continues to inform my personal practice. To better serve people like you, I expanded the scope of my studies to embrace simple functional movements from modern exercise science as a way of re-imagining a healthy and therapeutic approach towards many traditional yoga poses.

In addition to leading 200hr Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training programs in Ottawa, you can find me teaching at yoga festivals and international retreats.

Janusirsasana - Aaron.jpg

TEACHING STYLE

In 2014, I studied directly with the prolific teacher Richard Freeman for a summer, who continues to be my main inspiration in the art of teaching, and blending different yoga systems with a modern understanding of the body and mind.

My aim is to share these teachings with anyone and everyone who is curious about how Yoga can bring balance to the mind and body, and change the way we relate to the difficulties that arise in our lives.

I continue to honour the spirit of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga method and its sequences founded by Krishnamacharya in the 1930s. As he aged, he continued to evolve with discoveries in exercise science and worked to constantly adapt yoga to the needs of the individual. Having explored a variety of systems, I believe this individualized approach to Vinyasa yoga is the most potent and practical path for westerners.

What distinguishes my style from other yoga and exercise systems is an emphasis on moving from the breath, and mastering the breath to bring stability to the mind and body. The breath is the most overlooked aspect of posture and core strength, yet is the foundation of the yoga system (the Ashtanga Vinyasa method) that produced most modern masters and their off-shoot yoga brands. 

 

NOTABLE EXPERIENCES

- Teacher in 12 Yoga Teacher Training programs
(200 hours, Yoga Alliance Certified) 
- Applied Anatomy & Physiology of Yoga course with Simon Borg (Yoga Synergy)
- Month-long Teachers Intensive with Richard Freeman & Mary Taylor (2014)
- Founded Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training, offering participants students a thorough education (2016)
- Founded Om School Yoga Training and led two YTT programs (2014-2015)
- Co-led YTT at Pure Yoga Ottawa (2012-2013)
- Co-led two YTT at Upward Dog Yoga School (2010-2011)
- Edited and revised YTT Manual for Rama Lotus based on 300hrs of research (2009)
- Graduated 200hr Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Certification Program (2008)