Our Family

Shirlee – Studio owner and director – E RYT 500

Shirlee began her yoga journey more than 25 years ago. The study and practice of yoga has enriched and supported everything she does. It has shaped Shirlee into the person she has become.  Shirlee is a spiritual seeker, a mother of twin boys, and a teacher and yogi deeply committed to living and helping others live a full and fabulous life.

She has been fortunate to study with a number of renowned yoga and meditation teachers. Her teachings and practice have been influenced most profoundly by Esther Meyers and the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga. In addition to  certifications with these two schools, Shirlee is an  200-hour and 500-hour Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance.

In 2007, she founded Buddha Rider Yoga and Cycle Studio in Collingwood, Ontario and, since then, have been offering classes and developing original programming that have resulted in a close-knit and growing community of yogis and cyclists.

Shirlee leads  a 200-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher training program, “Living Your Yoga,” which nurtures students and aspiring teachers as they delve deeper into the rich offerings of yoga and its relevance to their personal lives and community. She hopes to inspire others to reach their potential by rediscovering the very essence of who they are, and  aspires to doing this with honesty, playfulness and heartfelt warmth – not just in the yoga class but in everything she does!

Favorite quote – And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”. – Anais Nin

Simon 

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Simon is one of the founders of Buddha Rider.  Simon is a certified Schwinn cycle instructor and a Can Fit Pro Personal Training Specialist. He brings his love of mountain biking and road riding into the studio.

His classes are filled with inspiring visualizations and anecdotes. Simon loves to motivate his clients to achieve their goals while having fun. His love for fitness shows through in all his classes. He is a competitive tennis player and avid yogi! In 2010 Simon participated in the Sear National Kids Cancer Ride. This ride is a 15 day event that saw 40 cyclists ride from Vancouver to Halifax and raised 2 million dollars to send children with cancer to camp.
He brings all these experiences to his classes. They will challenge you, inspire you and leave you wanting more.

Fovorite quote- You have to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. – Bruce Coburn

Kim – Studio Admin

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Before joining the Buddha Rider team Kim worked as an Office Administrator in Employment Resources. For 25 years she enjoyed working in an environment of people helping people.

After joining a weekly yoga class she developed an interest in bringing yoga in to her life. Kim experienced unwinding the chronic pain she was accumulating after long periods of sitting in front of a computer. After establishing a regular practice it wasn’t long before she was hooked!

In 2008, Kim pursued Yoga Teacher Training and began her transformation from an office desk jockey to a Yoga Teacher. After being displaced from her career in 2013 she started a new one by opening her own yoga studio, Willow Creek Yoga. After some time of feeling isolated in her home based business she began to search for her new work family at Buddha Rider. Kim can be found at the studio part-time providing administrative support, teaching Therapeutic Yoga classes and providing private Yoga Therapy sessions.

Kim is passionate about helping individuals explore yoga with a special focus on reducing and eliminating chronic aches and pains. Currently, she is continuing to expand her knowledge by advancing her studies in Therapeutic Yoga through Functional Synergy.

Her other life passions include her loving husband, pets, hiking, biking, and relaxing by her creek.

Favourite quote- Peace, Love and Eternal Grooviness ~ Kim Ball

Amanda 

Amanda comes from a very athletic background. She started dancing at the age of three and danced for 18yrs before acquiring The British Academy Teachers of Dance Certification. She has been involved in competitive sports most of her life which included swimming, rugby, cross country skiing and cross country running.

Amanda received a certificate in homeopathic medicine from the Homeopathic College of Canada and sampled many avenues of wellness before finding a new passion and direction for her life in yoga. After practicing yoga and pilates for over ten years, she earned her Yoga Alliance Certification under Authorized Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga teacher David Robson.

Amanda has also completed her Pre-natal Yoga Teaching certificate with Cynthia Funk as well an Advanced Pre-Natal Yoga certification for The Yoga Birth Method with Dorothy Guerra. Amanda has also completed Living Your Yoga Teacher Training Program with Shirlee Williams and her passion to practice and learn continues daily.

She is also a certified Birth Doula with world recognized Dona International and has attended many births to date. It brings her great joy to help women have a natural, mindful and enlightened childbirth experience.

After teaching yoga since 2001 and managing three of the largest Yoga Studios in downtown Toronto Amanda has relocated to Collingwood where she and her husband along with their 3 miracle babies enjoy the quiet pace of country life.

Favorite quote – Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
B.K.S Iyengar

Rochelle 

Rochelle is a graduate of the yoga program at Georgian College. She completed her training in 2009 and has been teaching for 8 years. Rochelle is a dedicated teacher who teaching a beautiful Gentle Vinyasa class.

She is a mother of two fantastic children and has been happily married for the past 18yrs.  Rochelle  has volunteered with the Georgian Bay Humane Society for the past 7 1/2 yrs where she was responsible for the strays, surrenders and adoption of the dogs.

Rochelle is excited to be joining the Buddha Rider team and looks forward to meet all of you.

Angel 
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Angel Vollick, founder of Angel Wings Yoga, is a certified black belt in Chinese Kempo, fire dancer and has completed TWO 200 hour yoga teacher training programs accredited by The Yoga Network of Canada, and Yoga Alliance. In addition, she has completed many retreats, workshops and weekly classes as her thirst for knowledge and love of sharing with individuals is ongoing. She has been actively teaching yoga since 2011. Her desire for connection not only lies in sharing yoga with people, but also in working with horses; two of which she keeps on her farm with her loving family in Stayner. Angel Wings Yoga offers classes to help with balance, flexibility and strength with the intention of taking yoga beyond the mat into everyday life!

Jennifer

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Jennifer is an RN with a background in OR nursing at The Hospital for Sick Children. After moving with her husband Scott and three children to Collingwood in 2005, Jennifer began work as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Population Health Research Institute through McMaster University. She also completed course work in Women’s Health Care at McMaster.
 
Jennifer was a competitive gymnast for many years which eventually lead to coaching. In 2003 she began practicing yoga and found it was the perfect fit for her athletic background and desire to stay fit. She has been a constant and devoted student of Shirlee’s since the day Buddha Rider opened and feels blessed to be part of the Buddha Rider community.

When practiced in an intelligent and mindful way with emphasis on strength building and functional movement, yoga was the answer in helping Jennifer rehabilitate from various athletic injuries over the years. This inspired her to complete her 200 hour Ashtanga yoga teacher training at Downward Dog Yoga Studio in Toronto.
 
When not practicing yoga, Jennifer can be found downhill skiing at Craigleith Ski Club or snowshoeing/hiking with her dogs.
 
Jennifer is very excited for the opportunity to blend her background in healthcare with her passion for fitness into creating strength and functional movement based yoga classes.
Favorite Quote – Strong is the new skinny.

Wispy

Wispy was first introduced to yoga in an Iyengar beginner course in 1996 and instantly fell in love. After beginning with Iyengar and Ashtanga she went on to complete her teacher training at The White Lotus Foundation with Ganga White and Tracey Rich in 2002. She opened Kamala Yoga studio in Toronto and continued to follow the branches of yoga and movement that she was passionate about. After having the first of her three children she enjoyed a doula apprenticeship along with pre and post natal yoga teacher trainings with Sasha Padron, and completed the Radiant Child Yoga trianing with Shakta Khalsa.
Forever passionate about her first love, her Vinyasa Flow classes embrace the linking of breath with flowing movement while her Restorative classes are filled with supportive resting postures and stillness. Following years of city life Wispy and her family moved to Collingwood in 2009 and are grateful for the appreciation of yoga and movement such a vibrant and recreational community has shown.

 

Peg

Peg is an RYT500, PRYT, C-IAYT, has been teaching, coaching, mentoring, counselling and facilitating growth and change in others since she taught her first Learn-to-Swim class at the age of 17. Since then she has gone on to discover many new interests and passions, and often dives deep to be able to share those passions with others. Peg began practicing yoga in the mid 2000’s and realized very soon that what she first thought was just another form of exercise, was in fact a window into herself and a means of connection with Spirit. The posture that changed everything was Pigeon, during which she experienced a wave of overwhelming sadness she couldn’t then explain. Many postures and over 2000 hours of training since then have led Peg to be able to offer that mind-body-spirit connection to her students and clients through Gentle Yoga and Meditation, Restorative Yoga and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. When not in the studio, Peg can be found on the ski hills, hiking trails and golf courses of the Collingwood area, as well as in the kitchen creating recipes and offering Real Food cooking workshops as a culinary nutrition expert.

Heather

Entering into the competitive dance world at a young age, Heather learned to appreciate her body. Immersing herself in her parents encyclopedia collections and through the study of literature, she learned to appreciate her mind. Finding yoga 14 years ago taught her how to nourish and connect both at the same time. Having completed her YTT 200hr at Buddha Rider in 2017, Heather aims to share her current knowledge while continuing to study so she always has more to share. When away from her mat, she enjoys working with crystals, writing and playing outside.

Laura

Laura found yoga in 2014. She originally started practicing yoga, to loose her baby weight, becoming healthier, and learning to be still in the busyness of being a new mom. The more she practiced, the more she felt this incredible, unexpected shift. Her body changed, but there was a greater transformation that occurred within. Laura felt more grounded, more resilient, more open to life, and more confident in whom she was becoming.

Laura is a graduate of her 200 hour Ashaya yoga training that she took right here at Buddha Rider and begun teaching in 2016.

Laura is so grateful to share her experiences with those who come to class and blessed to learn something from each new person she encounters. She brings the perfect mix of breathing and movement to each and every class. Her belief is we can all live a little healthier, breathe a little easier, and be a little happier on this beautiful journey we call life.

Favourite Quote – All it takes is starting, from wherever you are.

Greg

More then 20 years ago, after being involved in all manners of aerobic style classes, Greg decided to join his first spin class.  Fast forward to today, and its evident that he has the fire, passion, training and years of experience to help every rider in each of his classes find and achieve their fitness goals and celebrate the success of each journey.  Greg holds both certificates in Johnny Gee’s original Spin Program as well as The Schwinn Indoor Cycling Program. Greg also holds a certificate in Pilates level 1 Cadillac Reformer Training Certification.

Greg leads an indoor ride suited to all levels and brings years of riding and racing experience to closely replicate the feel of being on the road. His focus is to help each spinner nail their goals and complete their ride with a lot of sweat and tons of pride by pushing through a challenging and inspired ride with a ton of great tunes.

Energy Exchange Students

This is a vital program to the studio. Students of Buddha Rider Volunteer their time working at the studio. In exchange for their hours of work, students receive monthly unlimited classes at Buddha Rider. We are always grateful to all of them for their support and help.

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