About the Director, Helena McKinney.
In 2008 Helena attended her first yoga class, unaware of the incredible journey the practice would lead her on. Helena comes from a professional dance background, trained in ballet, contemporary and acrobatics. Her teaching career began over 12 years ago instructing students in dance at the competitive level. Helena has always had a passion and knowledge for movement, but through yoga she has discovered how to move more mindfully and live more consciously. Dedication to her practice has led her down a path of greater health, strength and peace. Feeling compelled to share this passion, Helena completed her 200 hour Teacher Training at De La Sol in 2012 and has continued her studies in Yin-Yang Yoga.
Helena established In Fine Feather in 2012 just after receiving her Teacher Training certificate. Recognizing the unbelievable benefits of the practice, Helena immediately began to reach out to her community, offering pay what you can classes at a community centre in downtown Hamilton. As her passion for teaching continued to grow, she branched out into other areas of the city doing corporate wellness in the workplace. Teaching in all these different and unique settings of the city has directly contributed to Helena creative teaching style as well as her desire to open this space in central Hamilton. She is very excited to share this journey with her students.
Teaching brings Helena the most joy because it encourages people in her community to live with greater stability, mobility and happiness on and off the mat. Her classes look to inspire a deep connection with self awareness while integrating breath with movement, to leave feeling strong and restored.
Instructor, Shelly Gordon.
Shelley Gordon is a 200 Hour Certified Yoga Instructor at De La Sol Yoga in Hamilton with additional trainings at Maureen Rae Yoga in Toronto.Being active & dealing with injuries, Shelley has an acute physical body awareness that continues to grow with practicing & teaching yoga. She knows that yoga is a powerful tool to restore balance & equanimity to our busy, over-scheduled lives. Through yoga, Shelley aims to build happy bodies & minds that live in a state of ease, lightness & love. She is excited to share her joy of yoga, meditation, music, and movement with new and seasoned students alike. Shelley has been practicing yoga for 18 years & teaching for 9. Currently she specializes in healing injuries thru yoga as a physiotherapist assistant. She brings her experience of learning from teachers in Thai Land to Montreal & England to Whistler & the dedicated staff at De La Sol. You’ll enjoy Shelley’s creative approach to making yoga fun & effective.
Instructor, Rachel Cheam.
Rachel started practicing yoga in 2006 during her college days and it ultimately led to the path of teaching in 2010. During those four years, yoga became the truest part of her. Through her practice, she has been able to cultivate stillness, strength and clarity. Yoga opened up a world of connection, happiness and peace that she had never known previously. Rachel is trained in Vinyasa (Power) Yoga, Classical Hatha, Yin and Restorative. Her 200 Hour Certification is through American Power Yoga in Dallas, TX and with Ananda Yoga Studios in Aurora, ON. Rachel’s intention of teaching the practice to others, is to remove any fears they have surrounding yoga, to help unite them with the power of their breath and to serve as a guide during their journey of Self awareness! Getting physically strong, long and lean is certainly a bonus! She looks forward to seeing you in the studio!
Instructor, Jackee DeSimone.
Jackee started practicing yoga in 2012 seeking nothing more than a physical workout. As she started to build strength, flexibility and balance, she had no idea it would take her on a soul searching journey that would soon connect her with something so much deeper than just her physical body. Yoga opened up a world of stillness and softness. Jackee immediately signed up for her 200 hour teacher training at Inspire Yoga in Mississauga under Diana Lockett and Daniel Horgan. With an additional 20 hour certification in Yin/Yang with Erin Aquin and De La Sol in Hamilton. She follows all of the principals of the Anusara tradition. This traditional style of yoga focuses on connecting your postures with your breath, alignment and opening up your heart. Yoga has changed Jackees life and as a teacher her intention is to inspire her students to safely move with breath, combined with intention-setting, and a fun upbeat soundtrack, to ensure presence and joy in each moment on the mat.
Instructor, Natalie Jakymyshyn.
For Natalie, yoga is the practice of living with awareness. She began practicing yoga in 2002. Inspired to share this practice with others, she went on to complete her 200 hour Hatha Vinyasa Teacher Training at De La Sol in 2009. Being a yoga teacher enables her to share the joy of yoga and the freedoms that it brings to ones body, mind and spirit allowing us to live a healthy life. Natalie is a firm believer in the holistic approaches to health care and is currently studying to become an Osteopath at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy. Classes taught by Natalie will combine her knowledge of yoga, functional anatomy and her passion for life.
Instructor, Kiah Cato.
Kiah first came to yoga at the age of sixteen as a compliment to her soccer regime, and the excitement of being able to touch her toes made her stick around for a while longer. Armed with her dad’s old yoga mat and Rodney Yee DVDs, she began to forge the beginning of what is now a lifelong practice. As a teacher, her goal is to help students understand and find comfort in their bodies through fluid, flowing classes. Her approach to teaching reflects her own practice with a focus on having fun and listening to the physical self. She believes that yoga is not about how far one can push themselves, but rather recognizing personal boundaries and building the strength and awareness to eventually shatter them.
Instructor, Brittany Gahagan.
Without any previous athletic experience, Brittany found yoga in 2009 as a means to enter the intimidating fitness community. Yoga slowly became a more prominent portion of her life, and in 2014 Brittany completed her 200hrYTT at De La Sol studios. For Brittany, her practice has offered a space for self-love, curiosity, confidence, and a catalyst for a health conscious lifestyle. Her classes offer students the space for intentional movement, self awareness, and the exploration of sensation.
Instructor, Sam Clarke.
Samantha began her journey into yoga humbly from her own home in 2002. Since then she has completed training and certification with YogaFit Canada and obtained her 200 RYT with De La Sol Yoga Studios in Hamilton in 2013. She has taught yoga within the Hamilton, Burlington community for over six years. Samantha also possesses her first degree reiki certification in the Usui tradition and is an avid lover of aromatherapy and essential oils. Her teaching style has been described as compassionate, spiritual and deeply healing. When not teaching yoga, Samantha loves to cook delicious plant-based meals and spend time with her dog.
Instructor, Anwar Qureshi.
Anwar found yoga in 2006 after realizing an active youth had given way to less healthy habits. Determined to regain and maintain a more healthy lifestyle, he was drawn to yoga for it’s fitness component, which works as one of the best cross trainers for many athletic endeavors. After practicing casually for two years Anwar found it was the mental and emotional benefits that kept him coming to his mat through the physical plateaus and life’s many other distractions. With a newfound depth to his yoga, Anwar began practicing more seriously and completed his 200 Hour Teacher Training Certification 2011. He feels privileged to teach yoga full time. It is the combination of physical skill and mental challenge that makes Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) his favourite pose.
Instructor, Amy Gowling.
Amy’s interest in yoga began in 2009 while working in Mental Health as a Recreation Therapist. After reviewing the research on the benefits of yoga for depression and anxiety, Amy decided to learn more by taking some classes. It didn’t take long for her to see the transformative power of yoga in herself and want to share this with others. She became certified to teach yoga in 2012 through Octopus Garden Yoga Center, and is also a Certified Senior Fitness Instructor through the Canadian Center for Activity and Aging. She believes yoga gives us the power to focus our attention on what we want to manifest in our lives and that in turn makes us limitless. With a mindful approach to both stillness and movement, she encourages students to cultivate the deep contentment that is available by being present, curious, and accepting.
Instructor, Meagan Santa.
Meagan found yoga after suffering a knee injury and looking for a form of fitness she could take on at her own pace. She quickly fell in love with the elements of yoga that encouraged mindfulness, increased flexibility and growing strength. Suffering from anxiety kept her seeking the peaceful and welcoming space at In Fine Feather Yoga in 2015. Meagan felt a calling to deepen her practice and learn how to share it with others, leading her to commit to Yoga Teacher Training at In Fine Feather in 2016! This began a healthy addiction to her yoga mat as well as long term self study to grow as a student and teacher. She is constantly inspired by The Universal lessons and shifts in her life, motivating her passion to bring those positive takeaways to her students’ practices and prompt them to dig deeper on and off the mat. Students can expect a peaceful space to converse with their thoughts and body, set positive intentions and develop an overall wellness mindset.
Instructor, Andrea King.
Andrea is a born and raised Hamiltonian. She first found yoga as a teenager when she came across an article about the healing benefits of shoulder stands for her insomnia. For years, she used yoga as a tool for fitness, as well as it’s healing properties. As an adult, Andrea discovered mindfulness training and reiki, exploring the mind-body spirit connection that yoga and its branches had to offer. Wanting to deepen her personal practice while testing her limits, Andrea enrolled in a 200hr teaching training program through Anjeli Yoga Teacher Training. She follows the principals of the Anusura tradition – alignment and connection with an open heart and an open mind. Her teaching style brings a strong focus on alignment and fun, yes she really believes you should smile in plank! She is currently enrolled in her 300hr teacher training because you should never stop focusing on your passions!
Instructor, Kelley Jespersen.
Raised as a competitive soccer player, Kelley’s relationship to movement and her body had always revolved around competition, goal achievement, and overcoming injury. When too many injuries sidelined Kelley from soccer for good, it took awhile for her to find a new relationship to her body that was both healthful and intelligent. In 2010, Kelley found a practice of Yoga that resonated with her at the SATTVA School of Yoga in Edmonton, Alberta; where she eventually completed her training in 2012. Through this practice, she found the value in holding space for others to explore movement in their bodies – without asking for anything in return – so they might experience strength, flexibility, and healing. Kelley loves when her students overcome an obstacle, share a new triumph on the mat, or experience a bit of healing. In Kelley’s classes you can expect a focus on the marriage of movement with breath, an appropriate degree of challenge for each practitioner, and longer holds in postures in order to be able to explore the subtleties of the body. She looks forward to meeting you on the mat, and learning a bit more about what brought you there.
Instructor, Carolyn Cameron.
Carolyn first came to yoga in 2010 to stretch tight muscles but over the next few years it become more and more important to her as a source of stress relief. She considers her yoga practice an incredible tool for self care and self reflection and doesn’t know what she would do without it in her life! Carolyn is a social worker by profession and her interest in teaching yoga developed from her passion for assisting others. Yoga has had such an incredible impact in her life that she feels strongly about sharing it as a form of self care and healing. Her goal is to make this practice accessible to people who need it. For Carolyn, self care means slowing down – which can be a real challenge! She loves guiding a class focused on re-connecting to body and breath. Students in Carolyn’s class can expect an alignment based approach to prevent injury, longer holds and an emphasis on breathing. Also, some lightness and fun because life is too short to take yourself too seriously.
Instructor, Sarah Barnhart.
Yoga found Sarah at a very challenging time in her life and it became instrumental in her personal journey towards mending her soul. Yoga transformed her life in ways she did not know were possible. Sarah brings her yoga little by little into all that she does. She faces each day, to the best of her human ability, with a sense of awareness and remembering that it is always a practice. Her greatest teacher and inspiration in life is her son. She may not have found her path had he not arrived to give her direction. Sarah shares her experience of this practice through teaching chill, flowing classes, guided by grace, with a focus on moving in the direction of presence both on and off the mat. Sarah completed her 200 hour YTT at Dig Yoga in Lambertville NJ and is grateful for her teachers Sue Elkind and Naime Jezzeny for their support and guidance. Sarah is also grateful for her wonderful teacher, Beth Rutty who opened her mind and heart to the practice in a way she had never experienced. Sarah has several years of experience teaching yoga in the Peel District School Board with at-risk youth struggling with mental health and behavioural challenges. Sarah is an E-RYT 200 and runs a successful homegrown business with her dad called My Dad and Me Everyday Ornaments.
Instructor, Vika Shewfelt.
Vika started practicing yoga when she began experiencing numerous health problems from digestion, chronic pain, a life long journey through depression, panic attacks & anxiety. With scoliosis running the show within her body for years, she knew she had to strengthen and find flexibility in body and mind. After only 5 months of a dedicated yoga practice, Vika was determined to become a teacher. She is a Reiki Healer and combines yoga and energy healing to create a 360 transformation with herself and students. Her classes are heavily focused on alignment, breath and playfulness. Moving with breath and the beat of the music is something you can look forward to. With an open heart she comes into this chapter of her life, where she can dedicate her energy to healing and helping others on their journey toward health and happiness.
Instructor, Jenna Speziale.
Since childhood, Jenna has always used movement as a means of expressing herself and also as a way to connect to her emotional and physical needs. For many years, she was a competitive dancer and she was looking for something to soothe that part of her soul. Within moments of stepping on the yoga mat, she realized that she would forever have a lifelong relationship with the practice. Within a short time, she completed her 200 hour YTT at De Le Sol Yoga Studios, led by Katie McClelland. Following that, she completed her 20 hour Yin Yang YTT with Erin Aquin and 40 hour Kids TT with Antoniette Finelli. Most recently, Jenna completed her 20 hour Pre/Post Natal (Mom and Baby) YTT with Kerry Casarin. Throughout both of her pregnancies, Jenna attended yoga classes regularly at the Yoga Nest, and is forever grateful for the tools- including strength, endurance and sense of community- that she was equipped with throughout the journey of pregnancy, labour and delivery. She is passionate to share her experiences and knowledge with pregnant women within the community so that they too can feel supported as they endure the most magical, yet mysterious, times of their lives.