Hi, I'm Denise.
I'll be your guide on your
journey towards anatomy samadhi
My Story (and what it means for you)
Everyone has a story or two.
This one is about why I became massively obsessed with movement science and how I started teaching yoga teachers to use my methodology.
1960s - Born a cop's kid
I was born in Flin Flon, Manitoba into a “police” family. My dad and mom were always fit and active. My dad was a natural athlete and no bad guys wanted to mess with him.
1970s - "Playing gymnastics"
From climbing trees to walking handstands to acrobatics in the swimming pool, my dad instilled a love of movement and the importance of having mastery over the body. Playing gymnastics on the lawn was one of my favorite things ever.
1980s - Dancing like a maniac
My first introduction to teaching came in the early days of the “fitness craze”. I’ve never forgotten the “high” of teaching those classes. I taught everything from high impact aerobics, step classes, athletic drill training – you name it, I was teaching it. My classes were even supported by specially “mixed” cassette tapes filled with non-stop dance hits that I actually paid a DJ to make!
1990s - Discovering the world of Heavy Resistance Training
As I came down from the high of dancing, I found myself drawn to the exciting world of Resistance Training. I started working with free weights, pulleys, and bars . The results were immediate and changed my body overnight. I realized that overemphasis on cardio (especially for women) was not balancing and left some key issues unaddressed – like being strong enough to carry a kid! I went back to school and got a diploma in Personal Fitness Training.
2006 - Becoming a Massage Therapist, Instructor, and College Director
After a couple years of teaching the basics of “exercise” to Massage Therapy students, I enrolled in that same college and became a Massage Therapist in 2006. I ended up becoming an Instructor at that college for over a decade. My final few years involved being the Executive Director of two campuses.
Teaching adults in a post secondary situation requires you to REALLY know your stuff! This is where I sharpened my understanding of anatomy and physiology and absorbed everything I could from medical research, my colleagues and world class experts from many parts of the “movement science” world.
2007 - Yoga enters my life
I can still remember the first few times I did yoga. I thought I was strong from weight training and interval training. But there I was, in something as simple as Warrior II, challenging my muscles and body in a way I didn’t think was possible! Within 2 months I registered for my first YTT – a 60h Ashtanga training.
2009 - Lead Instructor for YTT Programs
The next year after my Ashtanga training, I signed up for a full Akhanda Yoga 200hr training with Yogrishi Vishvaketu. Vishvaji saw my passion for anatomy and asked me to teach that section of his program!
This is where the hard work really began. How do you pare back, distill, and simplify decades worth of research and “best practices” into something that is easy for Teachers to implement into their classes?
I spent the next 10 years shifting between teaching aspiring Massage Therapists for the college and aspiring Yoga Teachers for the Akhanda 200/300 hour programs in Edmonton.
2018 - The birth of Denise Yoga Co
Eventually I started to develop my own Continuing Education programs. As much as I enjoyed teaching 200/300hr YTTs, I wanted to develop something more “anatomy” focused. The typical Yoga Alliance YTT format simply doesn’t offer enough time focusing on anatomy (and all it’s related topics) to ensure that Teachers are given all the concepts and tools they need. So I got to work on creating the most effective and practical anatomy training for yoga teachers. This is how Denise Yoga Co got started.
2020 - And here we are!
Thanks to the help of my partner, I began the process of making over 250 educational videos for yoga Teachers. If you thought teaching adults how to become competent professionals was tough, then just wait until you try to do it while looking into the blank stare of a camera lens!
Luckily all that practice has paid off and sometimes I can even imagine seeing the smiles and slow nods of my “student” teachers.
During this little “video bootcamp”, we also started creating what has become known as the Movement Template – an online course that’s designed to teach the most important fundamentals of anatomy, movement science, and student safety in a way that actually makes sense to yoga Teachers.