OUR SPACE   |   OUR TEAM





  ERIN & ASHLEY WARD-WILLIAMS
CO-FOUNDERS, E-RYT-200+



Erin and Ashley, Co-founders of Country Zen Yoga, are sisters and long-time business partners who share the same curiosity and love for yoga. Beloved teachers originally drawn to the strong and graceful style of Vinyasa Yoga, they thrive off of sharing their passion with others. As life-long residents of Schomberg, Ontario, Erin and Ashley opened Country Zen in their quaint village community, March of 2012.

Forever students, together the girls have thousands of teaching hours under their belt and have studied with world-renowned teachers. Most recently, Erin spent time with Judith Lasater learning her Restorative methods. Erin's journey to Goa, India in January 2014 found her practicing under the guidance of Certified Ashtanga Teacher Mark Darby. Erin and Ashley continue to study with San Fransisco-based teacher Annie Carpenter in the method of SMARTflow Yoga.

Both Erin and Ashley nourish a community of warm, supportive and positive souls. Students receive purposeful Vinyasa classes filled with functional alignment, intention and emphasis on the breath. Restorative classes emphasize deep rest and therapeutics.

 



 






VICTORIA HEGEDUS
CSEP CPT, RYT-200



As an avid fitness and health enthusiast Victoria began her journey at a young age when she began dancing. Movement and the body's capabilities have always been motivators in Victoria's path to progress forward and expand her expertise in the field.She graduated Fitness and Health Promotion in June 2012 where she broadened her diploma and received CSEP CPT Trainers Certificate. Victoria embraces her next journey as she studies yoga under Annie Carpenter in Los Angeles for the first 100 hours of SmartFlow YTT, July 2015.

Victoria leads Strength Training classes at Country Zen and is Owner of Body Artist Fitness in Vaughan, ON, where she provides training to individuals looking to benefit and push themselves past barriers, striving for positive progress. Her passion allows her to welcome individuals into a comfortable training style. Victoria truly believes in creating a fun, motivational atmosphere suitable for all fitness levels.

 

 

 




 

JESSICA MONKCOM
RYT-200, RKY, B.ED., AMS SECONDARY 1, OCT



As an avid yoga practitioner and educator for over 10 years, Jessica decided to share her experience and deepen her knowledge through teaching yoga in 2012. Jessica began teaching Vinyasa yoga and has since explored teaching other styles such as Power, Restorative, Gentle and Yoga for Children, Youth and Teens. In 2014, Jessica spent time with Master Restorative Teacher Judith Lasater and brings this knowledge to her classes at Country Zen. In her classes, you will always find an intention-led practice interwoven with movement, and connection.

Upon becoming pregnant in late 2012, Jessica began her journey into Prenatal yoga and its benefits for pregnancy, labor and delivery and post-natal health, studying Prenatal at the Yoga Sanctuary with Cynthia Funk. After the birth of her son, her primary goal became sharing the benefits of prenatal yoga with other expectant mothers.

Jessica is the co-founder of The Yoga Project, a yoga company that aims to normalize yoga and mindfulness in schools.

 




 



ALI MARTIN
RYT-200, C.Y.C., DOULA



Infused with intention and grace, Ali's classes offer opportunity to come home to your center, connect with your breath and choose how to walk into the world.

Always having believed there was more to life than what was in front of her, Ali sought out yoga at a young age. The direct hit to her heart, the sensation of movement with breath and the ability to truly feel at home in her body offered a safe and supportive space for her to navigate her journey.

Having had this experience for herself she knew that it was to be part of what she offered for others. As a natural born nurturer Ali holds sacred space for students to explore and meet themselves again and again on the mat.

Her teachings are based in Yin, Restorative, Hatha and Prenatal Yoga, where she honors the practice in a way that allows her students to practice free from any responsibilities other than being who they, as they are - in that moment. It is from this place that we soften to our souls presence. Through mindful movement, the focus of each class is establishing intuitive connection to the Self.

Ali is passionate about the transformational shift that a dedicated practice has to offer and deeply respects the power it has to bring joy, peace and deep healing.

 

 




 




SHANNON HASTINGS
RYT-200



I teach yoga — I have a love for movement, anatomy + our intelligent, resilient bodies. My favorite part is helping people see that yoga ismore than the physical poses we see on the 'gram. When people show up for yoga, it's usually to create some sort of space — physically (flexibility or mobility), mentally (space between our fast-paced thoughts), emotionally (trying to sort through feelings) so, that’s what I encourage. Make space for yourself. Use your breath to make space. Use the physical postures to make space. Try to find release + relief. I find the phrase "letting go" hard to grasp, sometimes naive, sometimes not possible. So instead — I encourage you to make space for something new, something else, and see how you can shift your life.

How you show up for yourself, talk to yourself and treat yourself — it's a way of life. Good or bad. Clean or messy. Up or down — I think, it's really the in-betweens that are "yoga" Also, I'm really into a functional yoga method: building strength in our ranges, flirting with the fine line of structure & freedom, and learning WHY our bodies move the way they do (science, duh!)

 

 

 




 


AMY JARVIS
RYT-200



Amy’s love for yoga started out on a physical level as a way to stay active and retain her flexibility. It wasn’t until she discovered the calm it brought to her life that her practice became more about the mind and less about the poses themselves. 

She started teaching in 2016 to hold space for others, and encourage them to find that same sense of calm in a busy, fast paced world. The foundation of Amy’s teachings are built on breath work and alignment, and finding safer ways to move. Every class has a theme that flows seamlessly throughout the practice, while incorporating functional strength in a traditional way. You can always expect a challenge, fun transitions, and different ways to include props. Amy believes in the philosophy that less is more, and slower is faster.

 

 

 



  MANUELA HOALGA
RYT-200



A few words about me – In a yogi’s world - I live and breathe yoga and have for the past 7 years. I love life and people. I laugh and cry and dance and sing with so much passion. I have been already to the dark side and I want to live my life in such way that when I get out of bed in the morning, all the evil says: ” aw, shit, she is up!”.

In regular world I am a busy mother (I call my kids my sun and my moon), a happy wife and a cat mom. 

I have a Bachelor Degree in Psychology specializing in Education. I previously worked with hearing impaired children and adults, I am an ABA therapist and worked with kids on spectrum, a counselor in prison and later in a community center I worked with newcomers to Canada and conducted a women support group for 5 years. Now I am a yoga teacher! What a ride!

 


 
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