Maria is a former litigation lawyer turned yoga teacher who focuses heavily on anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, and movement science. She is a certified Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist, Certified Yoga Tune Up® Teacher, and is currently enrolled in the Restorative Exercise Specialist certification program with Katy Bowman. She is also a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education (CE) Provider and leads Climber’s Rock’s RYT-200hr program.
Maria first came to the practice of yoga many years ago when she was pregnant with her oldest son, but it wasn't until she returned home from a deployment in Baghdad, Iraq while serving as a officer in the US Air Force that she returned to yoga for its healing effects. Cultivating a yoga practice helped in dealing with depression, detachment, and other negative emotions brought up from being in a combat zone. She knows firsthand the importance of unifying body and mind, and understands that everyone is on their own unique journey.
Before practicing law, Maria was a therapist who specialized in working with gang members and those with addictions. Because of this varied experience, she is adept and committed to providing her students a safe environment in which to move and breathe.
Maria is a lifelong student herself, constantly engaged in research and continued education with teachers of yoga, mobility and movement. She draws inspiration from her students first and foremost, as well as BKS Iyengar, Jim Pope, Jules Mitchell, Katy Bowman, and Jill Miller. Maria is registered with the Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT200 level and is currently studying with Christina Sell and Gioconda Parker in a 500 RYT certification program.
Maria and her husband James are the owners and founders of Climber's Rock. Contact Maria at Maria@climbersrock.com for information regarding the yoga teacher training program or for private sessions.
When I first came to yoga I never would have guessed what a transformation it would bring about in my life; how it would change my relationships, my career, and how I value and utilize time. It wasn't that yoga gave me a prescribed path, but it helped me begin to recognize the doubt, fear, and shame that tainted my decisions.
I have had two great inspirations in my yoga practice. The first came when I started practicing with Katherine (who taught at the Hamilton YMCA), who introduced me to the practical physical benefits yoga nurtures. Then, when I began practicing Ashtanga Yoga under Katie McClelland, I realized yoga was a tool for self discovery, reflection, and willpower. The more I practiced the more obvious it became to me that I wanted to make yoga central in my life and help bring it to others.
I teach classes designed to balance physical and mental discipline with openness and ease, bringing these qualities together through mindful movement.
Eva's journey into yoga began in 2005. As her practice deepened, Eva awakened to a sanctuary on her mat that encouraged her to "think less" and instead connect to the body, the heart and the present moment.
In 2009, Eva travelled for the year and returned inspired from hiking the Himalayans in Nepal and experiencing yoga and the daily life of India. Upon a joyful return, Eva decided to do her training with Kinndli McCollum, based on the power Vinyasa style of Baron Baptiste. In gratitude, she set out to guide others on the yoga path of truth, love and overall wellness.
Eva believes strongly in the power of prana, the life force within us, and embraces the opportunity yoga offers to connect to something bigger. Eva's classes are dynamic and vigourous, cultivating compassion and joy as she encourages students to open up to self- inquiry, using movement and breath to dialogue with one's deeper, authentic self.
Eva is also a high school science teacher and offers a Yoga Club for her students and staff. In addition, Eva is passionate about offering yoga to students with special needs, teaching yoga to students with autism, Down's syndrome and other developmental needs.
Eva hopes that through yoga, her students become transformed to lead healthy, purposeful lives, to celebrate the process of growth and to be inspired by the wisdom and light from within.
Teaching is my opportunity to share the love and passion I have for Yoga. My main goal is to offer, expand and develop an awareness and understanding of Yoga. With patience, dedication and practice, I believe everyone will be on their own path towards a physically and mentally healthy way of living.
My journey started 15 years ago, when I first stepped onto a Yoga mat. Having a strong fitness background, I thought I could benefit from a class focused on stretching and breathing. That one class transformed me completely and instantly I was hooked! I am very grateful to have completed my 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training at the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga, on Salt Spring Island off the coast of BC. I've returned to Salt Spring for training workshops, retreats and also completed the Prenatal Yoga Program in 2010. I continue to draw inspiration from my teachers and mentors~ Kalpana, Kashi, Anuradha, and Baba Hari Das. All hold a special place in my heart.
My classes blend the traditions of Classical Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa Yoga. My teaching style includes sustained, as well as flowing postures, with the aim of cultivating mindfulness through alignment and breath. May my class be a space in which people can be present and connect deeply to their own inner-strength and spiritual awareness. And may all my students leave with a sense of peacefulness and ease so they may carry that forth into the world. Ommm Shanti!
I first became intrigued with yoga through rock climbing. I was fascinated by the meditative state I would experience during climbing and turned to yoga as a means to calm my active mind and explore the benefits of becoming more in tune with my mind and body. I quickly fell in love with yoga, first for the shift it created in my state of mind, and second, for the awareness it sparked in me. My intention and goal is to plant this seed of awareness and allow it to grow from small moments of self-awareness on your mat to bringing your awareness off the mat and living joyfully in the present moment. I believe that as we learn to move our bodies more freely we will begin to live our lives more freely.
Besides my love for yoga, I am also a passionate rock climber. I love the mental and physical concentration involved in climbing as well as the incredible feeling of being connected to nature as you move to the rhythm of the rock. I am grateful for climbing as it was really the beginning of my yoga journey and eventually led me to Barb Leese's RYT200 teacher training program. I enrolled initially as a means to deepen my practice but became inspired to pursue teaching through Barb and my fellow teacher trainers.
My classes are usually Hatha or Yin in nature where asanas are held longer and give more time and space to focus on alignment and mind/body awareness. I am very inspired by the potential of our minds and therefore enjoy creating classes that give us the opportunity and challenge to look inward.
Start where You are.
This is what I learned when an injury required me to retire from competitive dance. Not being able to do something that I had been doing my entire life was extremely hard, and this is when I found yoga.
Immediately I realized how many benefits yoga had to offer as well as how much it deepened my spiritual practice. I knew that this new path in front of me was one I needed to take.
Since then, I have only fallen deeper in love with yoga and the way I am able to connect to my body and listen to what it has to say. I am so thankful for my journey thus far and cannot wait to see where this path will go next!
I am grateful to have been able to complete my RYT200 in Prana/Vinyasa Flow with Maria Garre and a second RYT200 in Hatha Yoga with Maria Richardson at The Studio @ Climber's Rock, and to be able to help you connect with your breath and your journey, wherever that may take you.
I found Yoga in a very organic way. I moved my body the way I felt it wanted to move. My entire life I’ve loved to move, to be upside down, to cartwheel and stretch and see where my body could take me. When I discovered that there were names to the postures that I was already putting my body in, I was hooked.
I started humbly, in my home, finding a daily practice with DVD’s or just doing what felt right for that day. I started taking classes in 2011, learning so much from different teachers -- their different styles, personalities and practices. I admired everyone for their voices; their ability to translate Yoga to their students and make us understand our bodies on a deeper level. I didn’t believe then that I had that voice.
I was drawn to taking a 200 hour Teacher Training for several years, wanting to awaken that knowledge in myself, to find that voice, but it seemed that more personal growth was required on my part before the right training presented itself to me.
I have since found my authentic voice, learning from my teacher Maria Richardson, to trust in my knowledge, trust in my Yoga and in myself.
I teach with honesty. I teach from a place of love and honouring your Self, your body and where it is today for each day is different and we are never the same as we were yesterday.
I first came to yoga as a child struggling with insomnia. I read books on yoga to find postures that soothed me, and would occasionally attend classes with my father at a local gym. My relationship with yoga has evolved a lot over the years. In college, I became more involved in yoga as a form of exercise, but when I discovered The Studio at Climber’s Rock, that is when my practice really began to move off of my mat and into my life.
I am passionate about making yoga accessible to as many people as possible, helping individuals dispel their limiting beliefs, and feel strong and able in their bodies. Currently, I teach for Burlington Community Living’s Start-It-Right day program, where I teach students with developmental disabilities, and it has brought me so much joy to see them growing and challenging themselves in their yoga practice.
My classes focus on finding flexibility through strength, stillness through discomfort, and taking on challenges with positivity. I also hope that my classes help students discover what makes their yoga practice fun, experiment with new ways to move intuitively, and find a safe space both in the classroom and in their minds.
As a materials engineer and graduate of the Climber’s Rock 200Hr YTT program, Anna brings a funky mix of fundamental science, Hatha yoga, range of movement conditioning, and personality to the mat.
Practising yoga, more off than on over several years, Anna struggled with cues and poses that just didn’t seem to work for her. To understand more and improve her own practice, she embarked on teacher training and discovered a need for balance and a passion that developed from the hard work that comes with recognizing her own physical limits and learning how to safely challenge them.
Anna explains: "Despite the myth, am not a body who can perfectly bend into any pose…I likely will never be! My passion for stepping onto the mat is to share what I’ve learned to provide you an encouraging environment to explore and embrace your own unique body and practice, wherever that takes you.”
In addition to traditional yoga training and continuing education, Anna has completed Year 2 of the Restorative Exercise Specialist Certification with Katy Bowman and ELDOA Level 1 certification.
I found yoga more than 10 years ago and my first class was all about inversions! I didn't know what I couldn't do, so I started with the king of poses and fell in love. Yoga became something I carried with me that helped to calm my busy brain and gave me something to strive for in my self-improvement journey.
I received my RYT certification right here at Climber's Rock with Maria, and I've since attended a Yoga Tune-up workshop and many more.
Five years ago I went to my first acroyoga lesson in the park and I was hooked. Ask me about it if you're curious!
Yoga is still my first movement love and I find that being on my mat is still one of the best places to be.
Julie began her yoga journey almost 10 years ago, first trying it out at a local YMCA. In 2009, she began a regular practice and never looked back. Although she first started doing yoga for the physical benefits, soon the benefits of having a healthy mind, body and spirit became the driving force behind her practice. She credits yoga for helping her stay active and healthy during her 4th pregnancy in 2010.
She completed her Yoga Teacher Training in beautiful Costa Rica and is grateful to have had the opportunity to study and practice in a location that embodies the Pura Vida life.
Julie loves the benefits of yoga and truly believes that it should be assessable for everyone. Her goal is to make her students comfortable, teaching them not the pose. Every class is an opportunity for both teacher and student learn and grow from each other.
Damian Ford, RMT
Damian Ford is a proud father, a registered massage therapist, a climber, and a familiar face around Climber's Rock.
Now he's a yoga instructor too.
After a decade in massage, Damian grew frustrated with the limitations of an entirely mechanical Western approach to well-being. Representing an opportunity to improve both his professional practice as a massage therapist and his capacity as a climber, yoga was suddenly a no-brainer.
Once he began his studies in the yoga teacher training 200 hour program at The Studio at climber's Rock, Damian found himself uniquely qualified to pick up yoga precisely as Maria Richardson was putting it down: with a thoughtful, intelligent, kinesthetic approach.
Damian strives to create classes that are accessible to anyone, and challenging to everyone. He hopes to help his students achieve greater body awareness, greater self-awareness, and a greater appreciation for the gift of conscious movement.