Our Team

Yoga Kelowna | Invati Yoga - The Yoga Studio |
Kelly Craig

Born and raised in North Vancouver, Kelly first realized her passion when she had the opportunity to practice yoga on the beaches of Maui while on a family vacation. From that moment on, Kelly’s interest in yoga took root and began to grow.

Until she moved to Kelowna, Kelly only practiced yoga occasionally. That changed altogether when she took a leap of faith, challenging herself to complete thirty consecutive days of Bikram yoga! She recalls being stunned by the changes she experienced by the end of the month, realizing the power of regular yoga practice, as it applies to all the facets of life.

When she moved to Lake Country, Kelly began training in reflexology, massage, and Reiki, sharing her newfound strengths in healing bodywork at Give Me A Break Day Spa for five years.

In 2015, Kelly took her 500-hour teacher training with Moksha International. During this time, she learned extensively about the diverse elements involved in yoga practice: alignment, anatomy, philosophy, mindfulness, and so much more. This knowledge allowed her to reflect on her past experiences in yoga, weaving together all of her teachings during her journey of growth for her mind, body, and spirit. Following this training, Kelly continued her studies in Nicaragua at the first teacher training for Mocean Yoga in 2016, a 200-hour program. Here she learnt about the power of manifesting and soaking up everything that life has to offer. Kelly recalls her thoughts at the time as she left Nicaragua:

“Life is a journey, a practice, full of lessons, growth and discipline. It was time to focus again on her dream of creating a hOMe studio in Lake Country, to follow through with her greatest manifestation.”

Kelly continues to study and learn from her teachers, Eddie Modestini, Kristin Bosteels, Nicki Doane and Ryan Leier.

Her dream has always been to bring as much goodness to Lake Country as possible, sharing her many offerings with the community, for all ages, young and old. At Invati she will strive every day to make this a reality!

Namaste.

Yoga Kelowna | Invati Yoga - The Yoga Studio |
Tara Nakashima

Tara completed her 500-hour Moksha Yoga teaching training in 2011. Her studies continued in Nepal where she attended a Buddhism and meditation course at the Kopan Monastery, in India where she studied Sivananda Yoga, and most recently, in Ireland for mediation retreats focusing on Sogyal Rinpoche’s teachings.

Coming from a background in dance, yoga was a natural transition physically. However mentally, the calmness and meditative aspects of yogic practices continue to be an incredible learning experience. Yoga has taught her the value of a balanced mind and body and their impacts on all aspects of everyday life.

Off her mat, Tara enjoys spending time in her garden and orchard where she and her partner, Christian, hope to run a farm to table restaurant someday.

Tara offers a compassionate and personal approach in her teaching and attitude, and looks forward to sharing her passion for yoga with as many people as possible at Invati.

Elise Dunn
“All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.”
– Blaise Pascal

Having studied ballet from a young age, Elise understands the importance of a connected body. Each action must be deliberate and thoughtful, similar in nature to the practice of yoga. Born and raised in Lake Country, she was active in both Summer and Winter sports from a young age, and has continued to follow those passions today.

After completing her 400-hour teacher training, Elise was excited to move back to Lake Country to share her knowledge with the community of Lake Country. Her interest in yoga and meditation is driven by her own daily practices, which she has found to be a huge tool for self-awareness when life might not be at its best. She reminds herself regularly that you can do anything you want, you just can do everything! Taking every opportunity to spend time with her two amazing children, Elise is a proud mom who is eager to educate others as they master their motions and find their spirit through invati yoga.

Shalanne Wilkison

Born and raised in Kelowna, Shalanne’s love for yoga was a slow burning fire. It started out light when she began exploring a yoga series at the local recreation centre, which smouldered for a few years, until a new spark at a local gym rekindled her curiosity to explore this new-found activity further and pursue the available local teacher training.

Leading her first class during training ignited her passion for working with people who are wanting to connect with themselves and better themselves in the process. Completing her Kripalu Teacher Training and Holistic Health Counseling at Trinity Yoga Center, Shalanne went on to first lead a weekly free class while she found her voice and deepened her exploration of yoga in her body.

Ultimately, being called to teach, Shalanne loves connecting with her students in her weekly classes. Her classes have been known to be stronger than first anticipated but this Yoga Wizard – as one client noted – encourages and allows clients to explore their bodies safely and perhaps to find themselves somewhere they wouldn’t have expected.

Join Shalanne to see if you can find yourself, in a familiar or unique space with a new appreciation. Be open to the experience and see what may come forward.

Carly Barron

Carly Barron is a 500hr Certified Yoga Instructor residing in Kelowna, British Columbia. She began her journey with yoga 6 years ago as a University student, feeling quite lost, alone and in need of some outlet for her stresses as a student. At that time, she had no way of knowing just how much yoga would totally change her life and lead her to so many incredible people and magical opportunities.
With yoga in Carly’s life she found self-love, awareness and the power to live her life in a way that serves HER. It has given her the courage to step out of her comfort zone and let go of all self-limiting thoughts and beliefs. Carly learned to embrace her truth and that is: “I AM WORTHY. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of happiness.”
Carly believes that her purpose in teaching yoga is to provide you the space to realize that you are too. With Carly, you will learn to love yourself deeper, radiate bigger and courageously live the life that you want to lead.

Crystal Bruce

Crystal found yoga in 2009 after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Feeling constantly switched on and stressed out led her to a Studio in Edmonton where she fell in love with Yin yoga. She was able to find ways to create calm while getting all the physiological benefits of Yin yoga as well. In following 10 years her love for yoga deepened as did her exploration into many different styles of classes and yoga. She settled on taking her 200hr training with Shift Power Yoga in Power Vinyasa and went on to receive her Baptiste Instructor credential. She has since been exploring the many different ways there are to run a vinyasa class, while still keeping true to the Baptiste Style methodology, encouraging her students to find growth through empowering themselves. She loves sharing new ways of thinking and of being with her students. She took her Yin Yoga teacher training with Bernie Clark in Vancouver and loves to share the Yin with others as well because we all know we can’t have the Yang with out the Yin. Whether flow or yin you will be sure to leave her class with some new ideas and ways of being.

Lance Osberg
With life’s challenges of a scattered mind and emotions, Lance’s yoga journey began in 2005. Finding safety on the mat,  he discovered yoga truly is the medicine. Lance’s willingness is his super power.
Embracing Baptiste Yoga methodology, Lance faced his fear of connection, becoming a leader in his own life.  He has stepped up and out, leaving behind limitations, moving into possibilities. Bringing his creativity and magic gives him the courage to share this passion. He loves to engage with people whether in  conversation, a smile or in practice. Lance is doing the work from break down, to breaking it down,  to breaking through. YES!!!
Lance completed 200 hr yoga teacher training at Shift Power Yoga Institute in 2019.
Yoga Kelowna | Invati Yoga - The Yoga Studio |
Megan Gerace

Megan is excited to teach Yin yoga and provide healing work at Invati Yoga!
 Being so grateful for her early days growing up in Lake County, she is happy to live here and offer her skills to the community.

Celebrating 21 years as an RMT, CranioSacral Therapist, Light Worker and Freer of Fascia and Qi Flow, Megan now steps into her role of teaching Yin yoga as a way to continue to be of service to her clients. She believes in helping each of them to retrain their nervous system through conscious movement in order to find a fresh harmonious relationship with their body.

On the mat, her intention is to offer ways to compassionately communicate with all tissues and levels of your being, and to have a discourse of peace between the breath, body, mind, and spirit.

On the treatment table, she offers her grounded intention to bring ease to tissues in protective contractions whether freshly injured or chronically engaged. Massage, Fascial Release and Acupressure techniques assist you into a stress-free place in body and mind, allowing you to reset and shift into more freedom and alignment with life.

Megan also offers Medical Qigong Sessions for a deeper inquiry into the aspects of recurring symptoms of disease.

If you’re interested in experiencing a session with Megan please contact her at [email protected] or through her website www.qiforallwellness.ca.

Megan Owens
A school teacher and mother of three, Megan has seen first-hand the profound impact that the various practices of yoga has on people of all ages. She began yoga several years ago as a way to practice moving meditation in order to calm anxiety. Since then, she has grown and studied here at Invati before completing her teacher training with Yoga on the Inside’s Eddie Modestini and Kristin Bosteels, as well as a Yoga for Youth training with Ryan Leier.
Joss Frank

Joss Frank specializes in womb yoga, healing circles, and private 1:1 therapeutic yoga sessions with her business Wild Womb. This is a sacred space created for all women ready to show up in the world as their most authentic selves by embracing their feminine experiences, sexuality and creativity.

Joss understands firsthand how healing is ignited when a woman embraces her feminine experiences and looks within for guidance. Through a lengthy personal exploration of womb yoga, women’s circles, and creative & sexual expression with strong female leaders, Joss found a unique approach which allowed her to connect to and shine as her most authentic self.

Joss is mid-way through her further studies at VSOHA to be a certified IAYT Yoga Therapist. Joss’ credentials include: RYT-200 / 300hr Yoga Therapy Foundations (VSOHA) / Women’s Circle TTC (Feminine Soul Awakening) / Womb Yoga Therapy TTC (Uma Dinsmore – Yoni Shakti).

You can also find Joss on the Invati schedule offering hatha and yin classes.
Jessica Littleford

Jessica comes from a social work background. She completed her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology in 2011, and her Master of Social Work degree in 2014. Empathetic by nature, Jessica has always been drawn to helping others. Unfortunately Jessica worked in some of the darkest and most heart-wrenching areas of social work, and over time it took a toll on her sensitive soul. Like so many other yogis, it was during this difficult time that Jessica found yoga. Yoga held Jessica’s fragmented pieces together and made her feel whole again for an hour at a time. The kindness she encountered in the yoga community helped her to find a home in yoga, eventually healing what was hurt and allowing Jessica to come back home to herself. 

In 2019 Jessica completed her 200 hour YTT with Clara Roberts-Oss and Carolyn Anne Budgell in Sri Lanka. Jessica’s intention as a yoga teacher is to hold space so that everybody/every body feels welcome. Jessica believes that the experiences we have in life can embed in our anatomy – the energies and emotions we encounter so often become held in our muscles, tissues and bones. Jessica believes that yoga provides a different way of processing, accepting, and ultimately releasing that which is stored within, that which no longer serves. 

When Jessica isn’t practicing yoga she is likely either rescuing dogs or spending time with her pack. Jessica feels that animals can be our greatest teachers. She is a proud member of Paws It Forward Dog Rescue, and has a special place in her heart (and home) for special needs huskies. Jessica’s hobbies include getting lost in a good book and spending time way out in the woods where the wild things are.

Jeff Sorensen

Jeff has deeply explored many modalities of breathwork including classical forms of pranayama, as well as many contemporary forms of conscious connected breathing, yoga and embodied movement . He is passionate about empowering others to connect to their true nature, their deepest essence and to shine that light into the world.

Jeff has studied with some true masters of breath including Wim Hof and Jhenneviev Heartt. Jeff also works as a Paramedic for the British Columbia Ambulance Service.

Alanna Grant

Alanna is a holistic nutritionist with a passion for educating and empowering individuals to take control of their health and create long-term, sustainable change. Her philosophy is centered in the belief that proper nutrition and lifestyle are essential in achieving true health and happiness. She works with clients to determine their health goals, interpret their symptoms, and design individualized diet, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations based on each person’s unique needs.

Her main interest is in supporting healthy digestion, as many of today’s health concerns are rooted in an imbalanced digestive system. She also focuses on helping people create healthy habits and cultivate mindful eating and self care practices.

Alanna received her diploma of holistic nutrition and graduated with honours from Pacific Rim College, the most comprehensive on-site holistic nutrition program in Canada. She studied for 3 years and completed 360 hours in the college clinic where she developed her love for educating and helping others. She is a member of the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners (CANNP) and is certified as a Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner (NNCP).

You can find Alanna in the Invati Cafe a few times a week sharing her knowledge with us all.

Lois Hansen

Lois began her education at the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education degree. After teaching for a number of years, her passion for counselling brought her to a team of Life Skills Facilitators in the St. Albert School Protestant District where she supported teachers and students in the school district. Once moving to British Columbia, she obtained a Masters Degree in Counselling and continued her studies, obtaining special training in trauma counselling.

She  holds a Masters of Educational Counselling degree from the University of Victoria and is a registered counsellor with Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Presently she works with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, brain injury, anger management, as well as clients with numerous other challenges.

As a consultant as well as a counselor, she works directly with clients and/or with counselors, sharing effective trauma therapy interventions. She is passionate about helping clients overcome challenges of trauma as well as assisting counsellors in equipping them with the skills to deal with the highly traumatized clients. Consultations are done individually, through seminars, for counselors, teachers and even for clients, teaching vital and innovative interventions to release the effects of trauma.

In the community Lois works along local doctors providing vital services to trauma clients in small groups as well as one on one sessions. She is constantly looking for ways of meeting the needs of her clients. Charlie, her Golden Retriever trained as a St. John Ambulance therapy dog, often assists in the counselling sessions.

To take the first step, contact Lois Hansen at 250-487-0236 or at [email protected]  Book directly with her for a session at Invati.

Chris Russell

Growing up in Northern British Columbia in the small town of Terrace BC I was surrounded by beautiful lakes, rivers, and the lush Great Bear Rain Forest which afforded me the opportunity to develop a keen appreciation of Nature.  Surrounded by natural beauty I started my study of the natural Sciences as I transferred to the University of Victoria and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry.

I was always fascinated by chemistry, physics and microbiology and was drawn by the concepts, laws and theories that were fundamental in explaining the phenomena and interactions of the Universe to which they pertained.  I had always hoped to relate my intrigue of the natural world in a way that would help deepen my understanding and ability to protect the landscapes and the way of life I had come to realize growing up. Studying science helped me become a critical thinker, develop an analytical mind and value a results oriented approach to medicine, but seeing the world from only this epistemology prevented me from understanding some of the more bizarre and ‘quantum-like’ happenings I had witnessed and researched in healing spaces.

During the end of my Chemistry degree I became deeply intrigued by Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy and my experiences of Acupuncture and Western Herbal Medicine.  In my training and practice with Hypnotherapy I began to realize the potential of the human body to heal spontaneously, to recover with suggestion and to overcome what were once life-limiting beliefs and patterns by accepting and integrating suggestions on a deeper mind-body level.  As my experience with Acupuncture deepened I began to correlate the familiar “Acu-bliss” state to the void space that was accessed in the Hypnotic state.  I believe this phenomena is a body-state related to these true healing events which occur when the body is able to integrate the signals received from an Acupuncture treatment in order to self-regulate, re-approriate resources and activate natural healing mechanisms innate to the body to prevent disease, overcome illness and recover from pathological processes.

In a world overwhelmed, overstimulated, and over-stressed, promoting the body into this healing space became an obvious solution to the growing disconnection our society has been experiencing. It became clear that the power of Acupuncture to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, affect nervous tone and regulate the immune-endocrine-nervous system could be a powerful tool to aid in healing the body in a fundamental way that many western therapies and medical interventions could not provide.

Growing up with mental illness, trauma, and drug addiction within my family I have come to realize the short-comings of the Western Medical model as it stands, which provides little support for mental-emotional disorders, favours masking symptoms over uncovering the underlying root causes of illness and pathogensis, and offers little in terms of preventative medicine.  The broad spectrum balancing effect of an Acupuncture treatment provided a way to affect the whole body system in an elegant and well defined system of experiential medicine backed by modern research and thousands of years of refinement in practice. The lens of Chinese Medicine also provided a framework for personalized diet and lifestyle advice to help patients reach their wellness goals through optimizing diet, nutrition and forms of movement and exercise.

The deeper I dove into studies and practice the more I came to realize that Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine could seemlessly co-exist in harmony and be complimentary to one another if one could get passed the sometimes bizzare language surrounding it’s rich and powerful theories.  Just like in Science, theory only takes you so far, so although theories can guide us in treatment it’s really only the clinically relevant ideas that I’m interested in.

When we combine the best of both worlds we end up with the most effective holistic patient care.

I believe Acupuncture and TCM therapies can be both an effective and complimentary treatment to many illnesses and ailments.  CJR Acupuncture sees patients from all walks of life, children to seniors, for health concerns from pain, mental-emotional disorders, fertility/pregnancy, insomnia/sleep problems, digestion, stress, hormonal regulation, skin conditions and all other conditions you would seek the care of a general practitioner (MD) for.  Although Acupuncturists do not act as primary care in British Columbia we are trained to integrate with all other forms of medical therapy and able to detect red flags and refer patients when the signs of serious conditions beyond the scope of our medicine present. ”

Aside from dedicating many hours in continuing study for the betterment of my patients I am also passionate about helping individuals regain confidence in their health and affordable medical care which is why CJR Acupuncture Lake Country’s premier Registered Acupuncturist offering affordable premium services for everyone in Lake Country and the greater Okanagan.

See you soon!

– Chris

** Book with Chris here: http://cjracupuncture.janeapp.com **

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