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Our Teachers

Kim Wilson, R.Ac

Upon discovering Jin Shin Do Acupressure, Kim became fascinated by the energetic body which led her to complete the four year training for Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Kim enjoys sharing this wealth of knowledge and believes that not only do these modalities complement each other, but also allow for the creation of her unique style of holistic body care, one which is technical, playful and heartfelt. Kim  has been dedicated to sharing her love of having a healthy body and living a vibrant life. Her background in competitive rowing and athletics  inspired her training as a Certified STOTT Pilates and Yoga Instructor.

 

Kelly Ayre, RMT

Kelly is a Certified Stott Pilates instructor who also balances her career as a Registered Massage Therapist.  She has completed her level 1 certification in all disciplines of the Stott Pilates Method and has been teaching since 2003.  Having completed a Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Victoria, Kelly integrates her education and rehabilitation experience into her pilates instruction.  She enjoys being creative with her group classes and encourages participants to explore their physical and mental well-being. Through her own practice of pilates she has discovered the many positive benefits of this discipline and feels gratitude in seeing how this method of exercise enhances peoples lives.

 

Jayson Van Ee

jaysonJayson started practicing Pilates more than 5 years ago with the intent of correcting some ailments he was he was going through as a hairdresser of 20+ years. As a result, he now has sold his salon and changed career paths. Jayson was Stott certified in October and joined the Thrive team.

Jayson is constantly amazed how much he continually and progressively learns from Pilates. Attention to all the details involved keeps him coming back for more. Sharing this knowledge with others makes it that much more rewarding. Favorite sayings, “less is more”, and “if it’s easy, you’re probably not doing it right”. Learning mindful movement through Stott Pilates teaches us that we can all learn strength and be strong from the inside out, no matter our age or ability.

 

Jana Davison

Jana DavisonJana has been passionate about the study of health and fitness for all of her life. As a young athlete, Jana was involved in competitive track and field and rowing. From this athletic background, she pursued her passion into university and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Science in Medicine & Kinesiology, all the while working as a fitness instructor and personal trainer.

After completing her University degrees, she furthered her education by completing Stott Pilates training, becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a certified Precision Nutrition Coach.
Having four children as well as recovering from a debilitating bulging disc, Jana is keenly aware of the effectiveness and value of Pilates in rehab as well as in improving general strength and fitness. Through study and personal experience, Jana has vast knowledge to help her clients achieve success on their road to improved health and fitness in a safe and sustainable manner.

 

Tara Tait

Tara is an RMT and Yoga Instructor she combines her educations to share knowledge and experience in her classes. Having gone through, and recovered from several injuries herself, Tara has gained invaluable incite to the body-mind connection involved in rehabilitation. Tara fuses her passions of internal body mechanics and external bio-mechanics to create classes based on breathing, releasing, toning and alignment. Tara guides as students learn how to teach themselves by listening to their bodies, minds and spirits. “Yoga is powerful medicine. I teach yoga because it healed and transformed me it gives me complete truth, empowerment and humility every day. Teaching is a learning experience for me as much as it is for students”. Tara teaches small groups, studio classes and private sessions to persons of all ages and capabilities in Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, and Restorative Yoga.

 

Chris Csak

Chris has been working with bodies for 20 years. Originally focused on strength and conditioning, Chris’ attention is now on Pilates and Yoga. His classes are always aimed at strengthening and lengthening tissue to bring the body back to its ideal alignment and to restore full range of motion to all of the joints. He believes that as physical function increases so does physiological function and then subsequently mental and emotional health improve.

Chris carries a number of credentials including 2 Yoga Teacher Training certificates, most recently he completed his Stott Pilates full certification training in Toronto. Having just moved to Victoria with his Wife, Chris is eager to share what he has learned and to collaborate with his new community.

 

Mykaela Lemke

Certified since 2012, Mykaela is a Stott Pilates instructor from Whitehorse, Yukon. She enjoys helping students feel more comfortable in their bodies and loves how Pilates helps people to move efficiently, allowing us to improve our daily life. You can expect a very welcoming, positive atmosphere with no judgements in her classes. She wants to make sure to give an energizing work out but also to take things slowly enough that students fully understand the intention behind the exercises. Outside of work, Mykaela has a passion for natural medicine, is an animal lover, a photographer, an outdoor enthusiast, a raw vegan chef and history buff. Join her for a mindful Pilates session that will leave you happy and more in tune with your body!

 

Cathryn Lynch Socarras

In 2010, Cathryn first took Stott Pilates classes to rehabilitate a nagging knee injury. This empowering experience helped her regain her strength and mobility. Cathryn’s passion for Pilates and its healing power of body and mind inspired her to pursue a teaching certificate with Stott Pilates in 2012. Since earning her certification in both Matwork and Reformer, Cathryn has completed several professional development certifications including Cadillac, Melt Method, and dozens of small equipment workshops.

In her classes, Cathryn aims to empower each client to learn to move their body with fluidity; to gain strength, stability, length, flexibility and balance, all while having a little fun!

Cathryn is a gentle, kind, intuitive, and knowledgeable instructor. She has the ability to guide you to the safest and most efficient space inside yourself, tapping into your own healing and body wisdom.

 

Meagan Welch

Inspiring other people is what lights me up the most. Through my work, I intend to help others recognize what every aspect of their life has to offer, and to help them to better navigate the ups and downs along their own healing path. A devotion to yoga has allowed me to live a fuller life than I had ever imagined. Sharing this with others has been one of the most fulfilling experiences and exchanges in my life, and has led me to investigate my own health from a preventative perspective. My curiosity within the world of natural health and wellness eventually led me to a career in alternative medicine. I have a deep connection to the natural world and believe that by aligning ourselves with the organic rhythms of the earth and our environment we can re-awaken an innate inner wisdom that lies deep at the core of us all.

I am a certified and insured Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga instructor with over 300 hours in trainings. Since 2011 I have been teaching in Victoria, BC. My teaching journey began after having completed my first foundational teacher training with Natalie-Rousseau at Pacific Elements Yoga in 2011, and has led me to a much deeper connection to self and understanding of my own body, mind & heart.

Currently I am studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and nutrition at Pacific Rim College in Victoria and working towards becoming a registered Acupuncturist. I look forward to working with people to help them find balance within their own health outside of the yoga studio upon starting my own TCM practice. I find great joy in weaving TCM philosophies and wisdom into my offerings as a yoga teacher and I plan to join TCM practices with nutrition and my established skills as a yoga and meditation instructor to help others to reach their greatest potential and health goals.

I teach various styles of yoga but the theme in which I teach is consistent. We move from the heart, with an emphasize on breath and alignment. In my classes we work to unite mind, body, and heart in a sometimes challenging, but always playful practice. I encourage students to explore their physical, mental and emotional boundaries safely. I believe that it is by learning to fully trust in ourselves and connecting to our body’s instinctive healing power that we can let go and begin to heal deeply. I intend to continually refine my skills and carry this resonance with me out of the yoga studio and into my practice upon graduation.

 

Madison Thompson

I first came to yoga for the physical benefits but fell in love with it for the amazing effect it had on me mentally. The fact that I could go somewhere just to breathe and ground myself in the present moment was something I at first didn’t even know I needed, but soon came to rely on as a part of everyday life. Yoga has brought me awareness not only of my body but also my mind and spirit, as well as shown me how they are all interconnected. By teaching yoga I hope to help guide my students to what countless others have passed on to me – peace of mind, strength, balance, and focus. A practice both on and off the mat.

In the spring of 2015 I traveled to India for two months, during which time I completed my 200 hour Ashtanga & Vinyasa Flow certification. It was an incredible experience to learn from both Indian and Western teachers while completely immersing myself in the practice of yoga. To those of you who come to my class, thank you! I am so excited to share my knowledge with you while also learning from you in the process. In the wise words of Pattabhi Jois: “Practice and all is coming.”

 

Michelle Mark

Healing through movement is Michelle’s passion turned career. She has years of experience as a Registered Nurse and Kinesiologist. In addition to welcoming three of her own children into her active life, she opened her own Pre and Postnatal Fitness business. In 2017, she became a certified Anat Baniel Method (ABM) Neuromovement® practitioner. Michelle’s original focus was helping postpartum women improve their body awareness, decrease symptoms of incontinence, and eliminate pelvic pain or instability by introducing them to the Hypopressives technique, and by teaching them to improve their movement patterns. She has now expanded her practice to include students who are suffering from pain, recovering from injuries, struggling with a limiting diagnosis, athletes, and others who areproactively looking for easier and more efficient ways to move. Until March 2018, while completing the advanced ABM training to work with children with special needs (physical or cognitive), she is providing movement lessons to pediatric clients at no charge. She continues to study by pursuing various Kinesiology, Postpartum fitness and ABM courses. When not working Michelle can be found running, mountain biking, swimming for both fun and competitively.

 

Krista Wissink

Our bodies are the only place we truly get to call home. This has been a long and challenging thought for me to fully understand. If you’re in pain, feeling unhealthy or toxic, your home can’t be comfortable and full of love but it’s important that it is!

I truly believe in a lifelong approach to wellness. Wellness will make your body a truly lovely home.

I certified in group exercise 8 years ago, moving on to personal training, and yoga more recently before my current endeavour to become a registered massage therapist. I have an unregistered passion for movement and how bodies function.

Exercise has been my crutch through the birth and care of my four children, the development of a fitness business on a gulf island and recently my divorce. It has kept me sane with my struggles through post partum depression, and through an autoimmune diagnosis. In all of that, exercise in many forms pushes me to feel strong, confident, and healthy.

I know how hard the struggle can be to manage your home while you’re so busy taking care of others. You can’t really pour from an empty cup. My classes are full of movements that work and compound together to make bodies move better and with less injury. I believe in approaching fitness the same way you would approach building a home. You can’t lie, cheat or manipulate it to make it work for you. With a little bit of work and energy everyday, the foundation is solid and can handle a few breaks now and then. It will always be there when you need it. Sometimes you will carry it, sometimes it will carry you, and sometimes, once you have built your home, you can help others build theirs.

Let me help build your house 🙂

 

Nicki Lakas

Nicki teaches barre, yoga, pilates, aerial and pole classes all over Victoria. She loves cruising around the city meeting lots of lovely people and helping them with their practice. She encourages her students to find both the balance and the value in strength, flexibility and alignment. She’s thrilled to bring her classes to the gang at Thrive and she will see you at the barre!

 

Emily Chernoff

Emily grew up in the small mountainous city of Nelson, BC. Being raised there, she was surrounded by communities of health, wellness and outdoor adventurists which first inspired her to learn more about human anatomy and its function as a whole.

In 2016, Emily graduated from the Okanagan College of Massage Therapy. She then relocated to Victoria, BC to begin her career as a registered massage therapist.

Emily enjoys being apart of the healing journey of her patients and holding a safe space for growth and healing in a comfortable environment. Through empowerment, she encourages her patients to experience their body’s innate healing capabilities. In each treatment she will listen openly to your individual needs, assess your conditions or concerns and create a treatment plan that best suits you. Her therapeutic techniques include myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, trigger point therapy, muscle energy and swedish relaxation.

In her free time, Emily enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, rock climbing, and exploring the various mountains of British Columbia.

Emily believes in living a balanced lifestyle to achieve harmony. She is excited to be apart of a community that fosters both health and wellness, and works together to facilitate balance.