Mary - Teacher/Owner

Mary Farrell – 300 Hr Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher / Owner of Blossoming Lotus Yoga

Mary Farrell has been a sincere student of yoga for over 15 years, after finding yoga to be a blissful escape from the mundane rat race of the corporate world. Jivamukti Yoga’s path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings, spoke to Mary’s soul and in 2002 she received her 300-hour Jivamukti Teaching Certification in Austria under the guidance of her lifelong gurus, friends, and Jivamukti founders Sharon Gannon and David Life. Since then, Mary has been sharing the joy and practice of yoga as well as her sincere belief in every student’s potential for liberation, with her students and those she comes into contact with.

Mary is the owner and founder of Blossoming Lotus Yoga, a unique studio space and community dedicated to teaching the authentic practices of yoga, rich in philosophy, ethics and yogic morality. Mary designed and continues to lead Windsor-Essex’s most comprehensive 300 hour Advanced Teacher Training program in the traditional Hatha style, in which she shares her yogic wisdom as well educating her teachers in training on the 8 limbs of yoga, the kriyas, bhakti practices and more.

Off the mat, Mary can be found in her role as the loving mother of her two beautiful boys Morrissey and Tomas and rocking out at concerts with her best friend and husband Chris. She continues to strengthen her own yoga practice and each year she visits and works with her gurus Sharon Gannon and David Life – reminding herself again and again of the place that she calls h‘om’e.

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Renee Trepanier

Renee Trepanier recently spent time in Baja California, Mexico, where she practiced at the Yandara Yoga Institute and became a registered yoga instructor through the Yoga Alliance. Having studied yoga since 2002, she is drawn to the healing and transformational aspects of yoga through physical fitness and mental well-being. More succinctly, her practice has brought her focus toward incorporating the notion of metta into her classes and daily life, the philosophy of practicing loving kindness to all beings, including one’s self. Renee is also a raw food chef and the owner of Nude Food. Renee’s classes are sure to warm your body and heart, to make you sweat, to leave you invigorated, and to inspire you toward being a more compassionate and loving individual.

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Bob Duggan

I took my first yoga class in 2005 at the YMCA. Being active in sports, I was seeking something different but viewed yoga as simply a form of exercise. After that class, I knew I had found what I was looking for. I couldn’t wait for the next class. I began to visit various classes at Downtown Yoga studio going 4 to 6 times a week. When Gina Wasserlein offered a teacher training program in 2008, I signed up looking to deepen my own practice. It was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. It is an honour to share this practice with anyone who walks into the studio. I have been fortunate to learn from, and practice with, many great teachers. I consider Gina, Bill Thomas and Susan Marcaccini as my true yoga mentors, although there are many more names I could add to that list.

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Jaylyn Bernachi

Jaylyn Bernachi is a student and teacher who fell deeply in love with the yoga practice at the age of 17. She received her 200-hour certificate just two years later at Blossoming Lotus and has since continued to strive to share all that she has learned with others along this beautiful & profound path. At the heart of her teachings lives her belief in the power of the human spirit to elevate consciousness & cultivate a more spiritual existence; her teachings aim to challenge students intellectually and physically by raising meaningful philosophical questions about who we are at the deepest level. As a student of both Western & Eastern [yogic] philosophies and practices, she provides a unique blending of knowledge from both worlds in each of her classes. She is ultimately guided by the desire to bring each of her students ‘home’ within themselves; only when this occurs can we perceive the Oneness of all that is.

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Jessica Defoe

Twelve years ago, Jessica’s Yoga practice began as a way to manage stress and anxiety, and to find more tools to better serve her instrumental music students at École secondaire catholique E.J. Lajeunesse.
After experiencing her first Jivamukti Yoga Open class, she very quickly realized that she wanted to learn as much as she could about the practice. This led her to complete her RYT 200 Hour certification with Mary Farrell at Blossoming Lotus Yoga in LaSalle, Ontario in 2013-2014. As a student, she has had the fortune of sitting with many teachers in the Jivamukti Yoga Method including Julie Kirkpatrick, as well as with Jivamukti Yoga founders Sharon Gannon and David Life at Wild Woodstock.
Jessica most often teaches alongside her husband Jason (also RTY 200 from BLY). Her classes each have a clear theme or focus based in yogic teachings. She combines sound, chanting and music at the core of her classes to uplift the practice, creating a space filled with love and compassion for all beings in order to extend that into the world.
Endless gratitude to her teachers Jennifer Simone for her first class in Kingsville, and to Maryji for guiding her toward the Jivamukti Yoga Lineage and practice, for her teachings, friendship, love and mentorship.

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Jason Defoe

Jason has been practicing Yoga since 2006. Though at first drawn to the physical challenges of the Yoga practice, he soon became interested in Yoga philosophy, which lead him to complete his RYT 200 certification with Mary Farrell at Blossoming Lotus Yoga in LaSalle, Ontario in 2013-2014.
Jason loves teaching alongside his wife Jessica (RYT 200). His classes are intellectually and physically stimulating, blending dharma, chanting, asana, and meditation. Jason sees the asana practice as a microcosm of life: a place to dissolve illusions and master the skills that we can employ in every moment in order to live more mindfully and freely.
Jason extends immense gratitude to his gurus both near and far: Jennifer Simone, who set him on the path; Mary Farrell, who guides him down the path ; David Life and Sharon Gannon, founders of Jivamukti Yoga (the path!); and Alan Watts and Thich Nhat Hanh, who enlighten the path with their wisdom.

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Gayle Cross

Gayle began her yoga practice in 2009 and felt an immediate connection. Wanting to delve deeply into the practice, Gayle searched for training opportunities and began by completing Yoga Nidra Teacher training at Kripalu in Massachusetts with Jennifer Reis. In 2011 she travelled to California for the 200 hour YTT one month intensive at the Sivananda Ashram and Yoga Farm. Yin Yoga Teacher training with Lynne Baum followed and more recently Gayle added another 100 hours of training with the BLY Yoga Shala program.
Gayle continues to take workshops and on-line courses related to yoga and meditation as well as tries to participate in at least one yearly silent Vippassana (insight meditation) retreat. She has learned the Dharma from guiding teachers such as Winne Nazarko, Pascal Auclair, Molly Swan, Norman Feldman, and Thich Nhat Hahn.
Gayle believes firmly in the benefits of yoga and meditation in supporting the physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of everyone and feels privileged to share what she has learned with the BLY family.

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Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor was introduced to yoga while training in the martial art of Aikido. At that time he did not pursue yoga as a practice, but did make a mental note if he couldn’t practice Aikido or other physical pursuits he would take up the practice of yoga. This situation did come to pass and he began to regularly attend BLY asana classes in 2011. In 2012 BLY announced a Teacher Training Shala that would start in 2013. For reasons not quite apparent to Bill, he signed up for the Teacher Training. He completed the Teacher Training course in 2014 received his Certificate of Completion in 2015. Bill’s study of this practice has had a profound change about his understanding of this life we live. As he came to realize how interconnected everything in life is, a new hope developed as to the incredible potential we all have to become loving, compassionate and peaceful beings. Bill teaches yoga classes at the martial arts dojo where he trained and is a substitute teacher at BLY.

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Stefani Cobby

Stefani first began practicing yoga as a compliment to her competitive Irish dance training. She first viewed the yoga practice as simply a physical practice and a way to improve her flexibility, however as her practice continued, she yearned to learn more about yoga philosophy. Since then, yoga has become a part of her life in a significant way. Stefani was drawn to Mary’s Teacher Training at Blossoming Lotus Yoga in 2015, while on maternity leave with her first son, Jace. Stefani’s yoga practice continues to expand, as well as her family, with the most recent addition of her second son, Max, in August 2017.
Stefani’s intention as a yoga teacher is to inspire students to explore their full potential on and off the yoga mat. She looks forward to sharing this beautiful practice with you.