Our Teachers

At OmTown our amazing teachers come from a variety of backgrounds and trainings to offer our students a wide range of classes in our community studio.

Stephanie Green

Stephanie Green, Owner

Stephanie instantly fell in love with the discipline of practice and is amazed at the continual opportunities yoga provides for physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. She is extremely grateful for all of her teachers and students, past and present, and has faith that with yoga and a whole lot of raucous laughter the world will become a peaceful, happier place.

Certifications and Trainings:
  • Yin Yoga & Anatomy with Paul & Suzee Grilley 100 hrs
  • Yin Yoga Chakra Theory and Meditation with Paul & Suzee Grilley 100hrs
  • Moksha 500 hr level teacher
  • Yin Yoga 40 hr Teacher Training with Bernie Clark
  • Shiva Rea 100 hr Teacher Training
  • Certified AcroYoga teacher
  • Restorative Yoga with Cyndi Lee

Madison Agrey

Madison first came to yoga in 2009. The open-minded attentiveness of the practice gave her a sense of empowerment. Since then, the yogic teachings have become a strong force in her life. She has completed a 200 hour teacher training through Yoga Works, a 50 hour yin training through OmTown Yoga and has studied energy work as well as holistic nutrition. Madison wishes to create an environment that fosters curiosity, awareness, kindness and a common sense of humanity. In her classes she imparts her passion of self-exploration, teaching others how to tune in and attend with warmth and devotion. She believes that each person holds a power within them to support, nourish and ultimately heal themselves, and that yoga is one of the many ways to guide one toward this inner wisdom.

John Alvarez de Lorenzana

John (Nav Teja Singh) is a Spanish-Canadian, Dharma Protector at the 11th stage of insight. His introduction to yoga came by way of his yogic God Mother, who tricked him into his first Garudasana as a child in the early 80's. John completed his certification in Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan at the Guru Ram Das Ashram, home of Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga, in 2017 and participates in ongoing training through the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI).

John's Mindfulness Meditation training and practice began in 2002 at Dhamma Sikhara, McLeodganj India, where he completed his first 10-day Vipassana retreat as taught by S.N. Goenka. Since that time, John has participated in dozens of short and long retreats in the Theravada tradition as well as other Buddha Dharma lineages. His root teachers are S.N. Goenka and Steve Armstrong (Senior IMS teacher & managing editor of "Manual of Insight" by Mahasi Sayadaw).

After finishing his Bachelor and Master of Arts in Psychology at UBC, John received his Doctor of Medicine from McMaster University. John went into medicine to be of greater service to humanity and came out of medical training burned out and traumatized. He had no choice but to heal himself and, in the process, transform his pain into purpose by working with Healthcare Professionals and other healers struggling with addiction, burnout, compassion fatigue and spiritual crisis. He currently offers Registered Clinical Counselling, Mindfulness Meditation and Health Professional Peer Support & Accountability Groups at Solace Wellness Centre in Nanaimo.

Lynne Berge

Lynne is certified in Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan at the Guru Ram Das Ashram in New Mexico, home of Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga. She participates in ongoing training through the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) and receives mentorship through the lead trainer of the immersion program, Sat Siri Kaur. She has additional kundalini training with Jay Suttonbrown here in Nanaimo.

Lynne has been a yoga teacher for almost twenty years. She is trained in Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin and Prana Flow with Shiva Rae. She is also an RMT and the owner of The Solace Wellness Centre and mother of two children.

Jozef Bienkowski-Gibbs

My name's Jozef (You-zeph) but most people call me Yoyo, Yosi, or Binks so take your pick :) My Yoga practice began as a strictly physical addition to my training as a University Volleyball player. I was naturally drawn to the intensity of Bikram and Hot Vinyasa classes and, for many years, my yoga practice brought further imbalance to my life.. I would force myself into postures, compete with the other people in classes, chastise myself in moments of weakness, and often left classes more sore than I entered them. But, in and amongst all those moments of aggression, I would occasionally find myself in a state of extreme relaxation, where all the striving gave way to surrender. Those fleeting moments of serenity soon became my reason for returning to the mat and now, many years down the road, I find myself in a position to help others find their own moments of peace. I completed my first 200hr teacher training in Raja Yoga with Jackie Chiodo. I'm currently studying for Teacher Trainings in Yin and Moksha Yoga and am always looking to learn from new disciplines. I strive to teach classes that are challenging yet accessible and meaningful yet lighthearted. I dream of one day teaching an entire class without once mixing up my lefts and rights.

I post updates regarding when and where I'm teaching to my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Jozefyoga/

Ren bio pic

Ren Fukushima

Ren Fukushima is a Yoga Therapist and Kundalini Yoga Teacher. Ren is a proud West Coast Weirdo! She is a Japanese-Canadian, former A-type freakshow, fight or flight work-a-holic turned Dakini, Divine Feminine, Kundalini Realness/Self-Healing Evangelist Extraordinaire. Unable to heal a debilitating injury medically, she was forced into existential crisis = spiritual awakening. Ren had no choice but to heal herself spiritually and emotionally. She was blessed to be connected with the ancient and powerful healing technology of Kundalini Yoga. Ren receives ongoing training through the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) and in 2012 she completed her Teacher Training at the Guru Ram Das Ashram in New Mexico, the home of Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga. As a Yoga Therapist, Ren is gifted at helping clients navigate grief, chronic pain, intimacy blocks and nervous system related illness. She has deep, embodied wisdom in the realms of core wound healing, the balancing of the masculine and feminine energies and is skilled at teaching people how to harness and transform sexual energy into emotional healing. Ren uses the technology of Kundalini Yoga and Rebirthing Breathwork to help clients release emotional plaque and trauma from the body. She works with individuals and couples at Solace Wellness Centre in Nanaimo.

Meg Gorosh

Meg began her lifelong love affair with yoga eight years ago. The evolutionary and compassionate nature of yoga drew her in and she's never looked back. Meg completed a 500 hour Moksha yoga training in 2012 in Montreal, and went on to complete Yin yoga training with Bernie Clark, and a 200 hour Hatha/ Vinyasa training with Steph Green and April Kuramoto. With a background in social work, Meg's approach to yoga comes from a philosophy of empowerment and self awareness, and believes yoga gives people the opportunity to discover their most authentic, brilliant selves. She takes to heart yoga's roots in non competition, non violence, kindness, and connection. She is constantly inspired by the depth of personal awareness that yoga facilitates, and by the amazing community of teachers and students that surround her. When not in the studio, you will find Meg exploring the incredible variety of activities available on Vancouver Island, whether it's slack lining at the park, hiking in the woods, or taking in the tranquility of Piper's lagoon. With a love of physical activity, Meg takes the sweetness of movement and stretch off of the mat and into her life, always on the lookout for the next adventure!

Laura Jesson

Laura Jesson

A natural born yogi, from philosophy to physical activity, Laura is always striving for balance in her life and empowering the same in others. After 5 years of personal practice she took her first training in Moksha Yoga, followed by PreNatal with Janice Clarfield, and Yin with Bernie Clark. One strong source of inspiration woven through has been the influence of Michael Stone, a Psychotherapist, Yoga and Buddhist Teacher, author and activist.

She's currently finding more peace through stillness in Meditation, Relaxation and Restorative Yoga. When not on her mat Laura takes all she learns while being mom to two beautiful boys and creating more love in life.

April Kuramoto

April began yoga practice after studying meditation, energy healing and reading with Lightwork Spiritual Development. Upon completion of her 200 hour certification to teach Hatha and Vinyasa Flow, she learned that the light of another can illuminate truth within, and support one's unique healing journey. This has become her deepest passion in teaching.

April has completed additional certifications with Yoga Kids, Prenatal Yoga with Urban Yoga, Yin Yoga with Mark Laham, Yoga Trance Dance, and an additional 300 hour certification with Shiva Rea in Prana Flow. Combining all that she has learned, she facilitates Chakra Balancing Massage and attended births as a doula CD(DONA).

April is deeply honoured to have co-taught 200-RYT intensives, offer a part time 200-RYT program, and certify Goddess Prenatal Yoga Instructors.

Nura Madjzoub

Nura has been teaching yoga for over a decade on multiple continents. She is an avid traveler, a yogi, a mother and therapeutic massage therapist. But aside from these labels, like many others, she is on a quest to connect to the core; to her truth. She believes that how we practice yoga, and what we come up against on the mat is our very own practice ground for real life. Yoga keeps her humble, and hungry for more knowledge. She teaches because she loves to share her own discoveries on her journey through this wonderful and messy life.

Nura has trained (200 hours) and mentored with Sanjeev Bhanot, Founder of Yogalife Foundation, and has completed the 200 hour yoga training at Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. She is trained, certified and experienced in prenatal yoga and has done further studies in Core Strength Vinyasa, Anusara and Thai yoga massage. She is also a Licensed and Board Certified Massage Therapist in New York and in the USA with over 1000 hours of training. Nura brings a unique set of skills to her yoga teaching from her background as a therapeutic massage therapist. She enjoys the interplay between yoga and massage work and draws from all her studies in her classes. Her yoga teaching is always infused with a strong foundation in anatomy and physiology. She has been trained, over the past decade and a half, to see the movement and the freedom, as well as the tension and the blocks, in bodies.

Nura's classes are playful and joyful, sometimes tough, sometimes sweet. She draws from hatha and vinyasa styles and utilizes hands on assists and knowledge of alignment and the physical body to guide students through their practice.

Brenda Norn profile

Brenda Norn

Brenda's yoga experience began several years ago when she was looking for a way to help reduce the stress in her life and connect deeper with her body. She practiced breath work and basic asana poses for a few years then running became her passion which led her back to yoga a second time, but this time it became a permanent practice in her life. As an avid ultra-marathon runner, Brenda identified it was time to slow her pace down both in running and in life, and yoga became her desire. She was especially drawn to the benefits that regular meditation provided and was eager to learn more.

In 2017 she moved to Nanaimo from Lethbridge Alberta and started practicing yoga at OmTown Yoga studio and signed up for the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at OmTown, in September of 2017 and immersed herself in both the theory and practical side of yoga.

Upon completing her training in October, Brenda started a studio in her home and began teaching yoga to her friends and has since been teaching in her home and at other studios on a regular basis. She enjoys teaching yoga to beginners as well as fast paced vinyasa flow classes to strengthen the entire body.

Stacy Papp

Stacy began practicing yoga in the early 2000s, primarily as a physical practice. As she dove deep into her body she was magnetically drawn to the inner exploration that naturally accompanies the outer expression of asana and was gifted with a remembrance of her Highest Self. This new, expanded awareness of Self propelled her to complete over 500 hours of training, primarily through Gaiatri Yoga. Inspired by the human condition, as examined through the lens of mindfulness and Self observation, she lives what she practices and seeks to inspire others from what she discovers. Sustained by a heartfelt desire to be of service and share the grace and splendor of a transformational practice that exists both on and off the mat, she trusts she will meet you soon.

Karen Phillips

Karen Phillips

During a time of personal soul searching in 2002, I took my first ever yoga class. That day changed my life forever because I knew that I had found what I was searching for. Yoga has been with me through life's struggles and celebrations. It has gifted me with physical, emotional and spiritual strength. My practice has evolved and grown and changed over the years, but continues to guide me to be true to my heart. In 2016 I began a daily meditation practice which has brought me even more clarity, contentment, and increased compassion, self love and joy. My teaching aims to foster mindfulness and to create a safe environment for students to explore their bodies, minds, hearts and spirits. My current passions include Mindfulness practice and studying the Buddhist dharma, Yin yoga, Yoga Nidra, Conscious Connected breathwork, Mala making, and art (drawing and painting) inspired by all of the above. I am grateful to all my teachers and students from whom I continue to learn and grow.

Some of my training includes...

  • 200 hour Hath/Vinyasa TT with Trinity Yoga
  • 100 hour Ashtange Teacher Training with Fiona Stang
  • Prenatal Yoga TT with Janice Clarefield
  • Restorative Yoga TT with East West Yoga
  • Yoga for Kids and Teens with Easy West Yoga
  • Therapeutic Yoga Training with Susie Hately Aldous
  • Yin Yoga TT with OmTown Yoga (60 hours)
  • 200 hour Hatha and Yoga Nidra TT at Shrimath Yoga, Bangalore, India
  • Mindfulness and Yin TT with Carly Forest
  • Mindfulness and Yin raining with Michael Stone
...plus many more workshops and hours of personal study

Veronique Rioux

A tragic accident became a blessing in disguise, inspiring me toward the path of fitness and wellness. In 2004, I did a 3 months (340h) YTT in Thailand with Chakra yoga school. Since that life transforming experience I have been exploring body movement and wellness from organic farming to circus art. Completed 3 Vipassana retreat, did 3 months volunteer at Kalani holistic center retreat in Hawaii, spent a couple month at Bellyacres, circus school & ecovillage in Hawaii. Certified Group Fitness instructor, personal trainer and Medical exercise Specialist. When I am not teaching classes I spent time with my 2 little boys at Pacific Garden cohousing.

Cathy Skelcher

Cathy discovered yoga after many years in the fitness industry. She loved the ability to connect with her body in a softer way. She believes that yoga has the power to transform how she walks through life. Therefor her physical asana practice is a direct reflection of how she shows up everyday for those around her. She believes everyday on the mat reveals a lesson to be learned. She loves practicing to music, so expect to hear some Florence and the Machine on her playlists! Her class is athletic and challenging but she will always offer many stages into a pose so no one is left out. Some yoga experience is recommended but know that she will welcome anyone into her class who is willing to play and laugh.

Varenka Jeevani Schwarz

Varenka Schwarz

Varenka was born and raised in Mexico City where she completed a BA in Psychology. She moved to Canada in 2005 and shortly after this move she found yoga. In 2009, she studied a teacher training in Hatha and Classical Ashtanga Yoga, as taught by Baba Hari Dass. Her love for children brought her to find Rainbow Kids Yoga, a marvelous training for teaching yoga to children, families and community at large. Along the way, she also fell jn love with acroyoga, which has become part of her regular practice. Varenka is grateful that yoga crossed her path in life and that she has had so many amazing teachers throughout her yoga journey. She loves to share the joy and peace yoga brings to her life.

Laura Timmermans

Laura's love for yoga started at an early age. Her devotion to practice is fueled by the constant evolution of the body-mind's connection. Laura's goal is to safely teach people so that they can experience the joy and countless benefits of the yoga journey. What she hopes to bring to each class is an open mind and an open heart.

When Laura is not rocking-out on her mat, she can be found outside hiking, kayaking, and exploring the endless beauty of Vancouver Island. She can also be found working as a freelance Graphic Designer where she combines her creative passion with positive action in hopes of making a better world.

Her training includes:

  • OmTown Yoga Teacher 200 hours - 2014
  • OmTown Yin Yoga Teacher 50 hours - 2016

Tash Vincze C.Ht.

Tash is dedicated to helping people achieve their goals whether they're physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. As a yoga instructor and hypnotherapist, she has exciting opportunities to explore these aspects of self, with her students and clients.

Her training includes:
  • Moksha Yoga Teacher training in 2009
  • Yin Yoga training with Bernie Clark in 2011
  • Mindfulness Training (meditation) with Re. Frank Boccio in 2012
  • Hypnotherapy training through Island Hypnosis in 2007

There's too much stress and chaos in this world and Tash wants to do her part in alleviating some of the burden. She has an opportunity to share her knowledge of how to find peace within, and is active in sharing that knowledge. She possesses unique skills to aid in the healing process, and believes it would be a waste of this expertise if not acted upon.

For more info check out her website here!

Meg Fyfe Watkins

"Breathe, move, love. This is yoga." Meg has been practicing yoga since 2002, and completed her RYT-200 yoga teacher training in 2012 under the guidance of the wise Grace Dubery. She then continued her education with a pre- & postnatal teacher training (PNYT) through The Yoga Sanctuary, and has taken workshops in Restorative Yoga, Thai Yoga Massage, and Nutrition. Meg says of her teaching style, "I feel strongly that your practice is *your* practice, and I encourage you to tune into your breath and the needs of your body as you practice, and to start from wherever you are in that moment... if you need to ignore what I'm demonstrating at the front of the room so you can do this, go for it!" In her classes, Meg links movements to the breath, and loves to flow. She strives to make her classes accessible to all levels of practitioner by offering lots of modifications and adjustments to poses and flows. If you're looking for a strengthening, slow-flow class where you can deepen your awareness of your breath and the inner strength of your body, check out her Rise & Shine class, 930-1045am on Tuesdays.