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the deeper we go, the lighter we become

irum Naqvi

Director, Center for Natural Living (CNL).

Irum is 500ERYT registered with Yoga Alliance, and   CNL is a Registered Yoga School - RYS200 & RYS300.  

Irum has been practicing yoga for over 25 years.  Influenced by all aspects of Hatha and Raja yoga, Irum focuses her practice on energetic and physical alignment in asanas, meditation and breath awareness, guiding students into their deeper physical and emotional space. 

Combining effort with ease, play and contemplation, her yoga sessions bring transformation that leaves one energized, confident and ready to follow the inner calling. On and off the mat, Irum provides a space that encourages everyone to explore their inner being, discover the true self and unlock layers of conditionings and Samskaras (deep-seated impressions that guide our actions).  

 

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Our Team

Jo Ann, Laura, Kristen, Valerie, Victoria, Ginger, Romana, Fabian, Irum

 
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Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones

Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones, author and international educator, is a professor of kinesiology and dance, certified Pilates and E-RYT500 yoga instructor, with a master’s degree in dance and movement science from NYU.  The author of the strong-selling titles The Vital Psoas Muscle, and The Anatomy of Exercise and Movement for the Study of Dance, Pilates, Sports, and Yoga, Ms. Jones currently teaches interactive movement workshops and teacher trainings across the U.S. and internationally.

Believing knowledge of the body is a pathway to health and healing is her main focus in all workshops.  She is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) and PAMA, the Performing Arts Medicine Association, IDEA Fitness, the International Association of Yoga Therapists, plus a senior trainer & Continuing Education provider through Yoga Alliance.

 
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Kristin Mylecraine

Kristin is a RYT-500 based out of Morris County, New Jersey.  She has been practicing and studying yoga since 2008, and sharing her love for the practice with others since 2014.  Kristin completed her 200-hr Teacher Training with Jo Ann Jones, Irum Naqvi through the Center of Natural Living and Kula Yoga and Wellness (Stanhope, NJ) in 2014; and completed advanced 300-hr Teacher Training with Loryn Riggiola and Marcie Wallace at JaiPure Yoga (Montclair, NJ) in 2016. 

Yoga is an inward journey, a way of life, a connection with something greater than ourselves, and a lifelong journey.  Kristin's Vinyasa classes combine vigorous, flowing movement with breath and creative alignment-based sequencing to bring balance and balance to the body, mind and spirit.   

Kristin holds a Ph.D. in Ecology, and works as a Research Scientist, studying birds, wildlife and habitat in New Jersey. She spends her free time enjoying nature and life; and deepening her own practice and study of yoga and meditation.

 

Victoria Yeh

Victoria has in her the love of music and yoga, and she combines that playing solo acoustic or her electric violin, or chanting to her crystal bowls.  In leading her yoga sessions or in training yoga teachers.

Victoria is a RYT200, trained with Center for Natural Living.  For Victoria, yoga is a personal journey, it is a tool that helps her go beyond the physical, to recognize that point in her mind where reality diverges into illusion, where judgement can be met with awareness, and where mind can come to rest. 

Victoria loves sharing her practice with others so that they may continue on their own journeys and explore what Yoga means to them.

As such, she finds it an honour to serve as a teacher.

 

Valerie Handunge

As a dedicated yoga practitioner of 15+ years, Valerie’s style focuses on the breath and subtle body awareness in a classical style of yoga for health and wellbeing.  

Valerie a RYT500 trained yoga teacher with the Himalayan Institute.

Valerie is passionate about a traditional understanding of yoga philosophy and its application to modern life to heal our bodies, minds and communities. Her teachings often explore the intersection of modern science, yoga philosophy and practice, and Ayurvedic principles for self-care.

By profession, Valerie is a management consultant and often works with her professional clients on stress management, creativity, and concentration. 

Valerie’s roots lie in Sri Lanka, where she visits often and enjoys exploring a culture rich in Ayurvedic medicine and meditation. She is also visiting teacher trainer at Ashtanka Yoga Mandir and conducts workshops coupled with travel. 

Valerie was a resident teacher at the Himalayan Institute where she studied with renowned teachers Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Rolf Sovik, Sandra Anderson and Shari Friedrichsen. She is also a writer for Yoga International and is on the leadership team of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, which promotes yoga as accessible, body-positive, and representing a full range of human diversity.

 

Romana Zafar

Romana Is Program Manager for Center for Natural Living (CNL).  She completed her 200-hour YTT with Irum and Jo Ann at CNL in Toronto and Costa Rica.

With an extensive background in people development and project management, Romana manages projects such as CNL’s presence at their booth at the annual Toronto Yoga Conference and Show and promotes Yoga Teacher Training offerings at CNL.   Romana also specializes in career coaching and strategies for second careers at WorldWinn (www.worldwinn.ca) in Toronto.

Romana continues to practise yoga with her teacher and mentor, Irum, and other teachers.  It has been a transformative and empowering experience bringing with it peace and joy and a more authentic perspective on life.   Romana is excited about deepening and sharing her yoga practice with others and infusing more and more of her experience and knowledge of yoga philosophy and mindfulness in her coaching methodology and strategies that will benefit her clients as they work towards realizing their potential through self-empowerment.

Romana can be reached at romana@centerfornaturalliving.com

 

Fabian Frangipane

Fabian is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher. He completed his training with the Center for Natural Living(CNL) in 2014, guided by Irum & Jo Ann as his teachers.  Fabian is an assistant trainer with CNL.

Canadian-born, though becoming well-travelled, Fabian prefers to think of the planet as his home. He has shared his practice between Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Australia. Fabian resonates especially strongly with the philosophical & etheric elements of Yoga. He enjoys interweaving his classes with discourse on the mind, the human energy system & spirituality while maintaining and encouraging optimal alignment, always.

In conjunction with teaching yoga, Fabian also serves as a trained counsellor & visionary coach for Visionary Evolution, through which he offers integrative one-on-one sessions. It is here that he merges yoga philosophy, psychology, metaphysics and spirituality to facilitate & empower personal development.

 

Ginger Rogers

Ginger is a RYT-200 teacher and did her training in 2014 with Center for Natural Living under the direction of Irum Naqvi and Jo Ann Jones in Costa Rica.  She specializes in teaching domestically and internationally to mature adults and beginning yoga students.  Her background in health, education and consultation for over forty-five years is instrumental in the expertise of this field. 

Ginger has a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education and a Master’s of Education in Consulting from Texas A&M University.  She used her knowledge, experience, education and yoga background to develop Ginger’s Yoga Adventures.  These adventures are geared towards beginning yoga students who are seeking a healthier lifestyle with the benefits of yoga, travel, adventure, fun, community, meditation and relaxation.  She also studies herbal medicine and enjoys teaching others how to incorporate it into their own lifestyle.

 Ginger is involved in many different charity works in Texas and Central America.  A true believer in helping others, she and her husband attempt to spend time doing so. 

“Happiness is the ability to adjust”
 
 
 

Yoga Nidra