Studio Teachers

Jules Payne, Co-Owner & Director of Teacher Training, ERYT-500, C-IAYT (Yoga Therapist)

Jules co-founded Ajna Yoga in 2008 and has been teaching yoga classes and training yoga teachers for 13 years. Her foundation is rooted in yoga therapy, anusara, ashtanga and vijnana yoga. Jules has a special interest in teaching 50+ yoga and injury rehabiliation. She teaches group classes, private yoga therapy sessions and teacher training. Jules’ classes are an equal mix of education, therapeutic applications and fun.

Michelle Kahan, Co-Owner & Primary Instructor of Teacher Training, E-RYT-500, C-IAYT (Yoga Therapist)

Michelle co-founded Ajna Yoga and has been teaching yoga classes in Victoria for 14 years and training teachers for five years. She is trained in Hatha, Pre/Post Natal, Ashtanga and Vijnana yoga~where she completed her 800-hour training with Gioia Irwin and Orit Sen-Gupta. She teaches group yoga classes, private yoga therapy sessions and Ajna Yoga’s Teacher Training. Michelle loves to share her passion of yoga with her easy going personality. Her classes focus on alignment, pranayama (breath), and connecting to the divine self.

Jacqueline Quinless, RYT-500

Jacqueline is an Ajna graduate and is certified in Zen meditation practices based on the teachings of global spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh through the Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan. Jacqueline is an Anglo-Indian woman whose yoga practice and spiritual philosophies are inspired by her children and the strong connection she has to her Indian family and culture. She is the founder of Mind in Motion: The West Coast Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness program that has been designed from a holistic approach to enhance children’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. She loves working with children in a playful and heart directed way to co-create a “child centric” approach to meditation and yoga.

Sarah Holmes de Castro, M.A., ERYT-200, RYT-500, TCTSY-F

Sarah has been teaching yoga in therapeutic settings since 2004. Her own practice these days is geared to amplifying the steadiness, energy, presence & humour required to be mother to 2 small children. She is Program Director at Yoga Outreach and a yoga therapist at Fine Balance Yoga, offering training and mentorship to yoga teachers offering trauma-informed programs in diverse settings as well as healthcare professionals and support workers. Over the past 12 years she has delivered yoga programs in diverse settings including yoga studios, corporate boardrooms, prisons, detox facilities, mental health teams, art galleries, women’s transition houses, mothers’ support groups and more. Sarah is a certified Trauma Centre Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Facilitator (TCTSY-F), a certified Professional Yoga Therapist with Integrative Yoga Therapy and holds certifications in Functional Yoga Therapy and restorative yoga. She has also completed trainings in Pain Care Yoga is interested in yoga as a path to recovery from both emotional and physical pain. She believes a yoga practice should be accessible, sustainable, and bring greater ease, joy and resilience in everyday life.

Guy Friswell, RYT-500

Guy Friswell is a local instructor and graduate of the Ajna teacher training program. He has practiced yoga regularly for the past ten years and has been teaching for three years, including active weekly classes at several popular Victoria studios. Guy views his yoga teaching as a joyful extension and expression of his personal yoga practice. He is passionate about all things yoga and always eager to share this passion, both one-on-one and in a class setting. His practice and teaching are a fusion of influences, including the inner focus on the vayus in the Vijnana tradition, the breath-centric movement principles of Vinyasa Krama, the intuitive alignment principles of Erich Schiffmann, and the contemporary yoga philosophies of Donna Farhi and Michael Stone.

Peggy Fok, RYT – 500

Peggy is a certified teacher of therapeutic yoga (RYT 500, registered with Yoga Alliance) and is pursuing the 800 hours Advanced Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training at Ajna. Her passion is to bring the therapeutic aspect of yoga with you both as a complimentary healing tool and as a tool to prevent injury.

Agi Mallory, RYT – 500

Agi brings a compassionate and gentle approach to teaching, meeting students where they are at, and nurturing gentle transformation through supported practice and breath work. Inspired by the subtle changes yoga continues to bring to her own practice, Agi approaches teaching with a sense of openness and curiosity, and as an opportunity to learn both with and from her students.

Corinne Diachuk SSE, RYT – 500

Corinne is certified as an Advanced Teacher of Therapeutic Yoga through Ajna Yoga, and a Certified Somatic Sex Educator. She shares her knowledge as an embodiment coach and trauma sensitive yoga teacher working one on one or with small groups for several years in her private practice.

Mabel Chong, RYT – 500, C-IAYT (Yoga Therapist)

Mabel is a graduate of Ajna Teacher Training and a 500-hour Therapeutic Teacher. Yoga has been part of Mabel’s life journey for over 17 years. She was inspired to study and teach therapeutic yoga from experiencing a knee injury that could not be surgically mended. Mabel’s teaching has a special focus on yoga for women’s health.

Janis Cooper, RYT-500

Janis completed her initial yoga teacher training in 2007 in the Sivananda tradition. Through Ajna Yoga, she completed the Advanced Teacher of Therapeutic Yoga certification program and is in the final stages of the 800-hour accredited Yoga Therapy Program. She has additional training in pain care yoga and yoga for depression and anxiety. Sharing her love for yoga, Janis teaches with gentleness and compassion, encouraging each student to approach each practice as their own personal exploration.

Tanya Gita Roberts, RYT-500

Tanya Gita has been practicing for 16 years and teaching since 2011. She was drawn to yoga to help manage stress and anxiety. She completed her 200 hour training at the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga and 500 hour certification at the Mount Madonna Centre, CA. In the words of her teacher Baba Hari Dass, she “teaches to learn” and believes that her students are some of her most profound teachers. Her teaching style integrates alignment, breath, subtle body and Ayurveda. She encourages students to feel the connection between body, breath, and mind; and to allow their heart or Spirit to guide their practice, finding that place where we are all one.