Staff List

(Showing 1 - 25 of 50)

Melanie Allison
Melanie’s journey into yoga began in 2002. She immediately noticed there was more to it than just the physical postures and the “workout” she expected. Drawn initially to the intensity of power styles of yoga, she has since developed a great appreciation for the richness to be found in slowing down, moving mindfully and finding both strength and comfort in stillness. Melanie has found that when we slow down and pay attention to how we move and breathe, we create the space to get to know ourselves and empower our life through our practice. She believes firmly that the more space we take up in our body, the more space we take up in our lives and in our relationships…and the happier we are. Her classes focus on creating a space for the body, mind and spirit to meet through conscious breathing, focused awareness and positive guidance. Since completing her 500 hr teacher training in India Melanie’s experience of yoga as a means of personal growth, healing and empowerment has been enhanced. It is her intention to gently thread those insights into her classes so that her students may experience firsthand the power of their own body, mind and spirit.
Jo-Ann Oosterman
JO-ANN OOSTERMAN first discovered yoga on a camping trip in the mid 90s. Alongside her growing interest in yoga, in 1996 she obtained her BA in Psychology, and spent several years working with people who were marginalized due to poverty, mental illness and addictions. Jo-Ann became a certified Hatha yoga instructor in 2001. Her sincerity and compassion shine through in her yoga classes as she encourages her students to not only explore the postures but to look inward to discover more about themselves. Concerned with the environmental impact of outsourcing and the proliferation of sweatshops, Jo-Ann created her home-based yoga clothing company, in 2002. Each item is designed and sewn right here in Ottawa. The Upward Dog Centre is proud to support this initiative by carrying Jo-Ann’s incredibly comfortable eco-friendly clothing in house.
Nathalie Gagnon
Nathalie Gagnon became interested in yoga to enhance her speech pathology practice. Nathalie is drawn to the transformational aspects of yoga: learning how to connect to the body and breath, letting go of those things that no longer serve you and creating space for healing and the positive things life brings. She has a passion for yin yoga as it embodies all if these aspects. Nathalie understands that the real yoga is the stuff that we can not see!
Courtenay Dore RMT
An UDYC certified instructor and RMT, Courtenay Dore has been teaching yoga for almost a decade. She was originally drawn to yoga and massage because of her own struggle with chronic pain. Her philosophy is to enable her clients to help themselves by promoting body awareness, encouraging proper body mechanics, and prescribing remedial exercise and home care. She believes that yoga and massage can help facilitate one's journey into taking charge of their health. 
Caroline Brousseau
Caroline Brousseau grew-up in Rivière-Loup, Quebec. As a child, she was already enjoying expressing her artistic & sunny personality through diverse forms of arts : painting, music, dance. With her open & soft spirit and her desire to help others, she decided to come to Ottawa to study Philosophy & Social Work. After her graduation from the University of Ottawa School of Social Work, she was a Mental Health Counselor in several organizations of the region for years. She then discovered Yoga at the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre, where she felt in love with the feeling of freedom and serenity that emerged from the practice of this alternate healing strategy.

Caroline discovered her mission of life, “freeing people from what prevents them to be authentic”, while being trained in Yin, Hatha Yoga and Kids Yoga at the Rama Lotus Centre. She has been working in the field for 2 years now, spreading her “self-acceptance” message with diverse populations (kids, teens, adults, aging people), in diverse settings (community centers, schools, corporate organizations, etc.), while teaching diverse styles (Yin, Yin-Yang, Hatha, Yoga-Dance). Whenever teaching, Caroline attempts modeling authenticity by inserting diverse artistic and restorative elements in her sequences (live music, creative dancing, therapeutic visualizations). She enjoys giving numerous options to express the yoga moves. Every client leaves the room with a deep sense of freedom, a profound feeling of self-admiration for one’s uniqueness and an increased ability to express oneself.

Sadie Webster
I was inspired by movement at a young age; I started dancing when I was ten. I have always found joy in fluid movement and dance was the perfect channel for me to remember my body's innate wisdom (and, Yoga is the perfect channel for learning to trust that innate wisdom). Since dance is very much about letting go in order to express yourself, arriving in the yoga world things seemed very structured and less about expression. It wasn't until I got serious about my personal, home-practice that I started to experiment with creative movement within the realms of Yoga. My creative exploration led me in to an intuitive practice and it's here that I draw my inspiration for classes. I've been guiding students through Asana (poses) since 2008. My intention when teaching is to encourage yogis to move in a way that honours the creative processes of the mind, the body's intuition and the natural progression of poses.
Katie Laferriere
Katie first found yoga in her late teens, and practiced on and off throughout university. After several years of dabbling, she began practicing consistently while completing her master's degree as a way to deal with stress. She quickly realized that she wanted to deepen her knowledge and understanding of the ancient practice. In Spring 2015, she left her job to travel and then returned to Ottawa to complete her 200-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with Megan Campbell. Katie loves to practice and teach yoga that is fun, fluid, and intelligently sequenced, yet safe and accessible for all levels of students. She is passionate about living a healthy, balanced life, and inspiring others to find wellness, acceptance, and balance in their own lives.
Instagram: @katielaferriere
Chantale Plante
Chantale first discovered yoga in 1996 while attending Studio 58 professional theatre school in Vancouver. After her first sun salutation she was hooked and has been an avid practitioner ever since. She primarily used it as a tool to help strengthen and help her lower back pain that she had had since she was very young as well as a means to warm up the body prior to performing on stage. It was a great way to get connected to the breath and to keep grounded and relaxed while acting. She soon realized that the effects ran much deeper than the physical. After many years of wanting to take the teacher training, she graduated in the spring of 2016 from the Upward Dog Yoga Teacher Certification with Roxanne Joly. She has also studied many times with Rod Stryker of ParaYoga. Yoga has been there at those precarious times and has kept her balanced and centred. Chantale's goal is to bring balance and happiness to those that she meets from holistic hatha practices.
Tatiana Eremina
Tatiana started her yoga journey a couple of decades ago. It was just a new form of fitness at first but eventually it turned into a real passion and became her way of life.
Tatiana has been teaching fitness for more than 10 years, doing personal and group training. In 2015 she completed her Yoga Teacher Training with Megan Campbell at Sacred Movement School and has been teaching yoga ever since.
Tatiana had been teaching at retirement homes, corporations and at home but in July 2016 she joined Upward Dog Yoga Center team and found her new family here.
Tatiana is the current owner of the Upward Dog Yoga Centre
Cassie Love
Cassie Love was blessed by being introduced to yoga at a young age; she has been embracing a yoga practice for more than twenty years as a core part of her life. This practice solidified her interest and eventually motivated her to become a certified instructor.

Cassie sees her yoga practice as an excellent avenue to share wellness tools. As part of Cassie’s wellness education she also studied with a Shaman (U.S. Virgin Islands, 2008), lived at a mediation centre (Tuscany, Italy, 2007), and finally, earning her Honors BA in Psychology and Women’s studies at Ottawa University (2015).

Cassie is honored to participate in the yoga community. Her teaching style is aimed at empowering the individual with clarity and techniques to strengthen the body mind spirit. Cassie teaches Power, Hatha, Hot, Yin, and Restorative yoga. She also leads meditations and presents art workshops.

Emilie Tobin
Thirteen years ago, Emilie walked into her first yoga class at the original Upward Dog Yoga located on Mackay Street. She was looking for a new pastime amidst a time of significant change and quickly fell in love with the physical part of yoga. It took a decade of consistent practice for Emilie to accept and embrace that yoga is so much more than the physical body. Yoga has allowed this mind-racing extrovert to pause, reflect and find grounding both on and off the mat.

Emilie completed her 200 hour Hatha Teacher Training in July 2015 and has been teaching ever since. She originally enrolled for teacher training as a way of deepening her own practice, but the minute she sat in her teacher’s seat, she felt a true sense of belonging.

Emilie has a true passion for teaching and takes great joy watching her students grow and flourish. She is excited to be joining the Upward Dog team as her yoga journey has come full circle!
Carley Hatt

Originally from midcoast Maine, Carley has been practicing yoga since 2002. Her first exposure to yoga was as an undergraduate student in Massachusetts, and found it was beneficial on both a physical and mental level. After moving to Victoria, British Columbia in 2007, she expanded her practice and completed her 250-hour teacher training at MokSana Yoga Center. Carley is pleased to have the opportunity to teach and share her practice with others here in Ottawa.

Ana Maria Pontiroli
Hello, my name is Ana Maria Pontiroli and I have been a Pilates and fitness instructor for 11 years now. I specialize in teaching progressive Pilates for all ages, at all levels. I have a passion for health and fitness, and I truly enjoy helping and guiding people through their fitness journey.
Stuart Bell
Stuart Bell is a long term Ottawa resident and Massage Therapist. He graduated from the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Upward Dog Yoga Centre in the spring of 2013, under the knowledgeable teachers Roxanne Joly and Mike Dynie. 
In the form of Hatha Yoga, Stuart uses his playful and calm approach to establish a soothing effect on the body's nervous system. Stuart has a keen interest in postural function and yoga for any age and body. His method of yoga class planning will be with careful intent to guiding subtle energy leaving the student feeling physically and emotionally open, relaxed and rejuvenated.
Natasha Moine
Natasha Moine, RYT 200HR

Natasha Moine has been a student of yoga, nutrition and energy since 2004 when she fell in love with the possibility of feeling great in mind, body and soul. Natasha's passion and purpose is to guide students to reconnect with their bodies through movement and breath.

Having recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a yoga teacher, Natasha is thrilled to now be able to guide you through your next practice at Upward Dog Yoga Studio. Experience a powerful Vinyasa class with Natasha and she will share with you this ancient healing art and all it's powerful benefits. Yoga is 'food for the soul' and will not only strengthen your body and improve flexibility it will open your heart and leave you craving more.

Natasha is also a photographic artist, having previously owned a small business in Ottawa for over 10 years. She still enjoys taking beautiful photos but mostly while travelling or spending time with her 13 year old daughter. Some of Natasha's travel photography can be found at the studio.


Karine Hallé

Since a young age, Karine has had a passion for movement and exercise. She trained and coached competitively in gymnastics and dance. After having suffered ankle injuries, which led her to quit training, she realized the importance of safe practice and healthy movement. Karine took her first yoga class in 2013, and quickly fell in love. After attending weekly classes, exploring her personal practice, as well as being engaged in the beautiful community of yoga on social media, she quickly realized she wanted more and could not get enough!

In January 2017, Karine finally followed her dream, and enrolled to Upward Dog’s YTT200hr program with Elizabeth Whissell and Garrett Plumley.

Karine enjoys the beauty of rhythm and flow by linking breath with movement. She incorporates movements for strength and flexibility in her classes, all while offering many options for variations and freedom to be creative. Coming from a background of faith, she invites her students to practice open minded, open hearted, and free of judgement. She wishes to share her love for yoga with her students by incorporating both the mental and physical benefits of yoga throughout practice.

Learn to fall in love with taking care of yourself: Body… Mind… and Spirit.

Ashley Parker
Ashley loves to play with the balance between peace and power, and strength and softness in her classes, empowering both inner and outer evolution. Ashley completed her first teachers training with Megan Campbell and Tiffani Harris here in Ottawa, and since has completed Advanced Vinyasa teachers training with Megan Campbell, Anatomy for Yoga with Jenna Switzer, Yoga Shred Teachers Training with Sadie Nardini, Thai Massage Training with Devin Johnstone, and Love Your Brain Yoga Teacher training with Kyla Pearce. Ashley is currently studying biomechanics and functional movement science under Jenni Rawlings. Ashley also holds a B.A. in Psychology and is a certified Human Resources professional and yoga alliance teacher. Ashley is a leader in the Ottawa community, committed to love (ahimsa) , life-long learning and providing a challenging but nourishing experience for her students.
Debbie Brown
Debbie came to yoga after being a boxer for 14 years. Yoga was an excellent complement that helped with her tight boxer's shoulders. Over the years and through many life happenings, yoga also became a source of solace and peace. In 2015, Debbie decided to follow her passion and pursue her RYT200 certification. Born in Newfoundland, Debbie has always loved hiking in the mountains, canoeing, being outdoors and laughing deeply from the belly. She brings her sense of humour, compassion and love of working the core to her classes. 
Marisol Egglton
Marisol discovered the joys of acroyoga a few years ago in her native city of Montreal. Hooked by this fun and creative way of connecting with people, she has since played acroyoga in several parks across the world. She loves to initiate new recruits and completed her Partner Acrobatics teacher training in Thailand in 2015. She is also an amateur of kaleidoscope yoga and a certified Thai massage practitioner from Lotus Palm School in Montreal. Acroyoga Ottawa is her cherished home community
Sergey Esin
Dr. Sergey Esin has a Doctorate in Natural Medicine®, and is a Registered Member of both The Examining Board of Natural Medicine Practitioners (EBNMP™) and Academy of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists of Canada (ACNN™).

Dr. Sergey Esin is an International Trained Health Professional. He earned his Medical Degree from the Moscow State Medical Institute (Russia), which is recognized by the World Directory of Medical Schools and Canada.

In 1991 he started to work at Central Military Clinical Hospital in Moscow as a physician and was awarded a PhD Degree in Medicine in 1997. In 1996-2016 Sergey Esin worked as a Doctor of the Centre of Alternative Medicine at the same location. He was involved in the practice of non-invasive treatment techniques such as Diet Therapy (Fasting), Electrotherapy, Homeopathy, Phytotherapy, Herbology, Lifestyle coaching, Iridology, Darkfield Microscopy, Anti-Homotoxic Therapy, Biochemical Therapy, Biopuncture, Clinical Nutrition and Counselling. Also, he has a considerable amount of publications.
Nico Gravel, RMT
Nico Gravel has been practicing massage therapy for 3 years. He’s a graduate from Everest College here in Ottawa. After 3 years in the industry, Nico decided that massage therapy wasn’t enough to help his clients and that it was only scratching the surface as far as treating physical conditions.

In order to better treat his clients, Nico has decided to undertake his Master’s degree in Osteopathic Medicine in order to unlock the hidden natural healing potentials of the human body. It is his belief that the human body holds the inert ability to heal itself, the therapist is just there to serve as a catalyst or fulcrum in order to help the human body find its way.

Like all massage therapists in Ontario, Nico has been trained in lymphatic drainage, general Swedish techniques, dynamic and static stretching as well has rehabilitation techniques. Nico specializes in athletic maintenance, sport rehabilitation, myofascial release, injury management as well as joint play and structural rehabilitation. As Nico explores and evolves in the osteopathic field, you can expect that his treatment style will also evolve into a much more structure based treatment rather than a traditional massage based treatment. Structure governs function, by treating the structure first, one is able to re-integrate soft tissue to its normal function thus eliminating pain.

Nico will be working 2 days a week to begin. Feel free to book an appointment.

If you have any questions at all, Nico will be more than willing to talk with you and explore the right course of action with your best interest in mind.

Amy Karen Berube
Amy started doing yoga in 2009, but It was in 2013 that she fell in love with the practice. After being diagnosed with anxiety she quickly discovered the importance of her practice and well being. This journey is beautiful since there is always room for growth “trust the journey even when you don’t understand it”. In 2017 she decide to follow her long time dream and took her 200h yoga teacher training at upward dog with Elizabeth and Garette. Amy loves connecting with people in her community when she’s not sharing her love for Yoga she is also teaching kindergarten and also enjoys teaching them yoga and meditation.
Alec Balfour
Alec comes from a background of sports playing high level basketball and rugby, he was first introduced to yoga in 2011 as a mean to prevent injury and increase flexibility. With time his passion for sports became a passion for yoga and movement. Coming from an Ashtanga background he gradually fell in love with yin, vinyasa flow, animal locomotion... basically movement & mobility in general. He is influenced by his teachers Mark Robberds & Deepika Mehta and what he learned studying with them. He hopes to teach a safe class that will help with longevity in mobility, flexibility and strength in respects to western anatomy while staying true to the eastern science that is yoga.

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