Yoga Moves for Every Body
✨The TV Show✨
Filmed at Coal Harbour Community Centre in downtown Vancouver, BC, 'Yoga Moves for Every Body' encourages improved mobility and accessibility. The TV show is now on YouTube so you can practice at home, when you're traveling, or whenever you want to tune in. We have created online classes for you! Thank you to everyone who helped with this community production!
Please subscribe for more on YouTube at YogaMovesTV
Namasté Friend! My name is Sandra Leigh.
My yoga journey began 1991 at the West End Community Centre in Vancouver, BC, with my first teacher, Lilian Bianchi. Lilian's lifelong experience and gentle guidance in Hatha Yoga has always been my very most precious foundation. When I first came to yoga, I was encouraged to process information in a new way. For the first time ever, I felt relaxed. I loved how I felt after yoga, so I kept at it, and I attended every class with Lilian that I possibly could. Eventually, I would become her yoga assistant at the community centre.
In 1996, it was with Lilian's encouragement that I decided dive deeper into the yoga lifestyle, living/working/studying at Yasodhara Ashram, near Nelson, BC, where I studied "The Hidden Language of Hatha Yoga" as taught by Sw. Sivananda Radha, (one of the first western women teaching yoga in Montreal, Canda) I completed the ashram's yoga development certification course (YDC) and I participated in a "Karma Yoga" youth work program, living at the ashram for about a year in 1997. It was an amazing experience for me, at the age of only 30.
When I returned to Vancouver, I knew I wanted to help teach yoga in my community, so I continued to train as a teacher. It was then, I met Sandra Sammartino, who offered a yoga teacher certificate course at her Kairos Studio in White Rock, BC. Sandra's yoga tribe remains legendary in 2020! For many years, we would car pool and trek out to White Rock. I truly appreciate Sandra for recognizing yoga as a therapy. I grew more confident in my 30's and finally stepped on the mat to teach. I will always remember Sandra's 'Courage to Teach' YTT module, and many hours of toning, we spent hours looking up to the stars together.
Sandra Sammartino was also the original pioneer of 'Yoga Outreach' programs and she mentored many of my first teaching experiences, including working one to one with Therapeutic Yoga.
Another Yoga Outreach placements took me to an after school program, yoga for children /youth with Down's Syndrome and Autism on the NorthShore. Through Yoga Outreach, Sandra also mentored me to teach yoga for young men's youth corrections facility in Burnaby (Willingdon). I also volunteered at a drug and alcohol treatment facility, helping women sit for meditation in recovery. Later, I would teach the yoga program at St. Paul's Eating Disorder Clinic. My early days of volunteering were rich in experience as I developed further awareness of participants with PTSD and traumatic injusry.
My first regular adult yoga classes were held at the old YMCA on Burrard St. in Vancouver in 1997. A while later, Lilian moved to Vancouver Island, and I inherited her Monday night yoga classes at the community centre, and have been teaching there ever since, offering yoga for over 20 years.
In 1999, I became interested in Dru Yoga Teacher Training and I have since completed many Dru Yoga courses, including Dru Yoga Teacher Training (BC, Canada), Dru Meditation Teacher Training course, (North Wales, UK) and Dru Sound & Mantra course (North Wales and India) training with Dru UK from 2000 - 2015. Dru Yoga is popular in the UK, Europe, Australia and parts of Canada. Dru Yoga specializes in trauma sensitive yoga and is incorporated into my unique style of 'Yoga Moves' in every class.
Around 2001, I was also working at Banyen Books, a local independent bookstore, when yoga (as an industry) began to boom and a new yoga book, yoga video, or DVD would show up in the new arrivals section on a near daily basis. The yoga section eventually grew from one small shelf of the classic Hittleman and Iyengar type books, to into an entire room, dedicated to both traditional and western influenced yoga media. The yoga boom did not stop there.
Since I began learning yoga, my heart craved passage to India.
I took my first adventure, 3 months of Indian Classical music study retreat, in Varanasi, 2008. I have been fortunate to visit many times, since then.
I also continue to study The Teachings of Shri Vallabhacharya and I am following Pushtimarg, also known as the 'Path of Grace', under the guidance of Shri Milan Goswami, .
2018/2019 update: Regretfully, I have drastically reduced my teaching schedule due to ongoing health concerns, including recovery from bi-lateral wrist surgeries, etc.
At present, I am still available (on reduced schedule) at both the West End Community Centre and Coal Harbour CC, in Vancouver.
'Yoga Moves for Every Body' (Shaw Community Television 2016 - 2018) inspired by our community! Our vision is to help each other reach personal health, wellness and fitness goals, safely, and to make it enjoyable, too!
'Yoga Moves for Every Body' was filmed at Coal Harbour Community Centre in Vancouver, BC, 🇨🇦
Join us Tuesday afternoon for 'Ageless Yoga' at Coal Harbour Community Centre. Registration recommended, Drop-in available (space permitting) call 604-718-8222 and ask for Ageless Yoga with Sandra Leigh. First timers, please come early for registration and set up.
Join Sandra Leigh for Yoga Moves & Meditation (in the p.m) Monday nights at 7 pm at The West End Community Centre.
I am grateful to live, work and practice on the unceded, ansestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh Nations.