Meet our 889 Living Yoga School class of 2015!

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Photo Album 1: Bliss Yoga with Eoin Finn

Photo Album 2: LYS Graduation 2015


Class of 2015 Graduate Diane Grundy

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Over the years, the idea of Teacher Certification Training had crossed my mind numerous times, but quickly it would fade and lay dormant. I would count the doubts as I headed toward certainty.  The doubts- no time, due to my hectic work schedule. My age? Am I too old? The commitment…. Can I devote 6 months? And lastly, the fear of the unknown.

This reluctance and all of these doubts disappeared immediately after meeting with Christine to review the program. My resolve was strengthened further during the opening ceremony after spending time with Christine and Emily, the 889 team, the alumni, instructors and my new Living Yoga  companions. As we chatted and chanted together, a  sense of peace came over me – I knew I had made the right decision.

Since then I have embraced this opportunity and have focused on being in the present rather than anticipating a preconceived end result. The journey has been beautiful.

The LYP program sets the foundation and paves the way for expansion and integration of mind, body and spirit. Sanskrit, Ayurveda, Philosophy and Meditation, shadow us as we move into asana, while Anatomy challenges us to examine and understand our bodies from different perspectives.  Organic Vinyasa, Blissology and Restorative, as well as our practice as a group, awaken us to the openness and flow of movement, our connection to the rhythm of nature, and to each other.

The wisdom and dedication of our instructors is a gift, with each one passing on their knowledge and respect for ancient history and traditions while being mindful of living / practicing in the present day.

I am most fortunate to have shared this experience with my fellow students! Such an amazing coterie of yogis – bright, kind and supportive.  I find it intriguing, how we came together; all making the same decision to expand and explore.

As I reflect on  my thoughts, I cannot help but think of the train that passes behind the 889  Sun Studio several times throughout the day. At first the sound of the engine is startling, but soon after, all you can  hear is the hum – as subtle and comforting  as our collective breath .

This experience has been quite transformative but it is also something that will eternally unfold.  Discovering and uncovering  – to para phrase Nicky Poole – We all have the capacity to heal the self and others – it just takes nurturing and patience.

I am most grateful.

Class of 2015 Graduate Didi Dunin


I never dreamed I would be able to experience something as phenomenal as the Living Yoga Program. I have always been held back by anxiety and shyness, which has made new experiences seem way more frightening than exciting. Only a year ago I was in my final year of Commerce at UofT and starting a career I knew I didn’t want, but business was all I knew and I wanted to make my parents happy. To my surprise, my parents gave me the gift of LYP for my graduation present on my Commerce graduation day! Since then I have experienced something so meaningful to me and am so grateful. The LYP relieved any anxieties I had about meeting new people and about revealing my true self to others. Everyone in the program was so kind and supportive and LYP took place in such a positive learning environment. The LYP at 889 has also brought me so much insight on people, life and spirituality that I never thought possible. Learning from others’ experiences has inspired me to carve out my own unique experiences and to follow my heart by sharing my passion for yoga with others. I’m so grateful to have met such a wonderful group of people and can’t wait to see where my yoga journey goes from here!

2015 Graduate Tiffany McBride

The Living Yoga Program at 889 was transformational. I took the course to enhance my personal yoga practice, but got so much more than just tips on how to do downward dog the “right way”. I made a lasting connection with my classmates, and cherish all of my experiences at 889. I I didn’t realize how starved I was to devour all of the wisdom that the LYP faculty shared. Their support on this journey has been amazing, with each module expanding my outlook, not only on yoga, but my own life. I am ready to take on the role of teacher, something I had never thought possible before coming to 889.

2015 Graduate Sarah Kydd


My experience was so positive. It’s a great studio and the teachers they hire in general are very knowledgeable and experienced. The program scheduled for fall of 2015 has an incredible teacher leading it (Nicky Poole) so I suspect it will be very positive for next years’ graduates as well. All of the teachers (and the studio owners) put their heart and soul into this program. I would highly recommend them.

Congratulations Graduates!

Meet our 889 Living Yoga Program class of 2014!

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Photo Album 1: LYP Homecoming 2013
Photo Album 2: Graduates of 2014


2014 Graduate Maddi Rundle


I was blessed with finding 889 in winter of 2011 – and what a gift it has been. One particularly quiet winter evening, under the moon kissed sky, I found myself softening into Savasana, all of a sudden feeling a warm blanket wrap itself around me. In reaction, I opened my eyes, tense body, ready to help ease this gesture. With one look from Nicky, I softened as she said, “let me tuck you in.”
This moment changed me. This moment softened me. This vulnerability is indicative of what is possible under the guidance of Nicky. There is a flow – a rhythm to the way Nicky teaches and moves bodies. Her presence is nurturing and powerful. I was fortunate enough to complete the Living Yoga Program under the leadership of Nicky, who opened our hearts and truly unified our group experience. Nicky’s presence to her students and keen ability to soften bodies into the flow of the practice is a true gift. It was such an honour to learn from Nicky; not only through her teachings, but seeing firsthand what it looks like to walk your talk. This has been one of the most profound lessons that Nicky has given me. I am so grateful to have been welcomed into the Flow, which has enabled me to step into my life more fully.
The LYP was an amazing platform to explore my practice, delve deeper, and truly find the tools and the confidence to move forward on my path. I have been granted the opportunity to begin teaching right out of training and have been inspired to passionately follow my heart. I have since enrolled as a full time student of Spiritual Psychotherapy, which has furthered my teachings and allowed me to step into more focused workshops that tap into the heart/mind connection. I count my blessings daily.
With so much gratitude – From my heart to yours – Namaste.
Madeleine Rundle, 889 Supporting Yoga Teacher

2014 Graduate and 889 Co-Founder Emily Ridout


This program changed my life. Words cannot express how deeply meaningful this experience was for me. The deep self-exploration was incredible and the sense of community was unparalleled. As a Mom of two toddlers and a business owner, this program really allowed me to do both. I had my hesitations about taking on 200 more hours in my life but in reality, doing this program created more space in my life for self-love, contemplation and evolution. What this experience did for me as a mother, wife and leader could not be measured. My life has changed for the better and I am so empowered to live my best life and to thrive and excel from the inside out. What really stood out for me was the sense of community at 889 and how beautifully 889 holds the space for it’s trainees. I have yet to find another program that offers over 200 contact hours with senior faculty. The quality of teaching is world-class and the facilities are world-class. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to go deeper into their yoga, become a teacher or make positive change in their life. I sincerely LOVED it and my gratitude runs deep to all those who made this journey possible for me. Namaste.

2014 Graduate Deb Black

Debra Black with her poster

“As a reporter, I’ve always been under a great deal of stress and in recent years turned to yoga for a sense of relief and calm. When I was ready to take it deeper 889’s Living Yoga Program was there waiting for me. And each moment of the program has been fascinating — emotionally, physically and intellectually. I have not only grown as a person, but also grown as a yogi. My practice has deepened as has my understanding of yoga. When I first returned to practicing yoga after many years away from the mat, I never dreamed I would one day take a teacher’s training program. But here I am at the beginning of a new path, teaching yoga and spreading peace, love, joy and tranquility one class at a time.  I owe a big thanks to the teachers and faculty at 889’s Living Yoga Program for being there to support me and teach me. Their collective wisdom has fuelled my passion for learning more and going deeper into not only the physical aspects of yoga but also the spiritual. The experiences I had with all the teachers and my mentor kept me going when I didn’t think I could give anymore. And of course I’ve made some absolutely amazing friends in my fellow students. Who could ask for a greater bunch of yogis to kick around with? I am so full of joy, love and peace (I know I sound like an advertisement for Woodstock :)) from all that I have experienced and all that you have shared. I can only say: “Namaste.”

2014 Graduate Sarah Madamba

When I made the decision to pursue Yoga Teacher Training in the Spring of 2013 – I knew that it would be a decision that would change my life. 889’s Living Yoga Program did just that and the momentum that it created in my life continues to propel me forward! The outstanding faculty, peer support and well paced program was everything that I needed and more! I have been studying and practicing Yoga at 889 for over four years and will continue to do so for many more years to come!

2014 Graduate Cheryl Tan


“This LYP took me on a wild roller coaster ride. If someone were to tell me that yoga was tough when I first started six years ago, I wouldn’t have believed them one bit, other than the fact that handstands were beyond me (and I’m still learning). After moving from Vancouver to Toronto in 2011, I plunged myself deeper into my practice as I sought for ways to express my emotions and feelings in a more sustainable and safer way. Finally, after two years of debating about taking a yoga certification, I found strength and courage to embark on this LYP journey. And boy! Every aspect of this program challenged my physical, mental and spiritual psyche in ways I never thought possible. I’m extremely grateful to the faculty and my mentor, Scott Petrie, for being patient in guiding me through this journey. For anyone who is considering to do their yoga teacher certification, I highly recommend 889?s LYP for their knowledgeable and experienced faculty, as well as the sweet and lovely co-founders Christine and Emily. The LYP was a wild rollercoaster ride, but it’s one that I would do over and over again – because the practice of yoga is ever evolving and no one practice would be similar to the last.” ~Cheryl

Congratulations Graduates! Those who completed all components of the 200-hour Program.


Nicole Alexander
Debra Black
Keira Brown
Hilary Forgie
David Gavin
Jessica Lannon
Sarah Madamba
Michelle Pound
Maddi Rundle
Emily Russell
Shireen Shah
Cheryl Tan
Vanessa Vujovic

Meet our 889 Living Yoga Program class of 2013!

Livingyogafirstday Video: Class of 2013Embodying the Flow with Simon Park October 2012


Photo Album 1: Graduates of 2013
Photo Album 2: Asana Practice 2013

Meet 2013 Graduate Cheryl Hung

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“LYP was the most challenging and rewarding 6 months of my life. It was full of “aha moments”, aching muscles, laughter with fantastic women, tears of frustration and joyful (!) transformation, and 200% pure yoga fun. I signed up hoping that I’d deepen my practice and perhaps learn something new about yoga. It was more than I had bargained for. I took my practice to a different level and learned tons of new ‘stuff’ about yoga, but more importantly, I learned about myself. This program doesn’t only teach you how to be ON the mat, it’s about how to live it OFF the mat. What sets LYP apart from other teacher-training programs is the roster of quality teachers we had…who actually cared about our journey and progress. Whenever I walked into 889 and saw one of them, they would always greet me and ask how it was going. I never felt alone or unsupported with my mentors close by and an entire class of friends to chat with! LYP has changed the way I approach yoga and how I live my life. It opened up the door to a lifetime of learning and friendship, and it’s a wonderful path to be on. And the great thing is, this is just the beginning.” – Cheryl Hung

Congratulations Graduates! Those who completed all components of the 200-hour Program.


Elizabeth Adkins
Ghazal Bina
Heloise Chong
Erin Coffey
Elizabeth Connelly
Debbie Fischer
Sara Graham
Lena Hamilton
Cheryl Hung
Anne Issartel
Angela Kane
Ingrid Laar
Vivian Law
Madison Makepeace
Ruth Ann Penny
Leora Shiff
Daina Zweig
Christine Russell
Kathryn Griffiths