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Our Teachers

  • Robyn Bowman

    Owner / Director

    Robyn first began her exploration of yoga in 1993, well before the current yoga trends had begun. Her first yoga class was taken just for fun with a couple of her girlfriends. Something in the movement, the breath, and the mindfulness spoke to her and she began to search out new classes and teachers. Her practice slowly began to grow. After working closely with her teacher Helen Duquette, she decided to dive into an intensive two-year, 500-hour teacher training at the Helen Duquette Yoga Studio. She discovered that with an intense study of yoga philosophy, human anatomy and through deconstructing each asana, her practice deepened and became more fulfilling. Sharing her yoga through teaching was an obvious transition that she was happy to make.

    In 2007 she opened Creating Space Yoga Studio in Oakville, Ontario. It is here that Robyn continues to be creative and is inspired by her fellow teachers and students. 

    Creating Space Yoga Studio has become a unique studio where each student has the opportunity to move mindfully and to explore their body wisdom. Each practice will look and feel very different from the other. This is a keystone to our teaching and practice. Creating Space Yoga Studio continues to welcome students of all levels, ages, and abilities. Our CSY Studio supports the Oakville community with compassion and kindness and is honoured to use its studio platform for charity work, an important part of our CSY Community.

    Although a full-time yoga teacher, and business owner, Robyn never loses the desire to be a student. She continues to seek out guidance from other teachers and continues to be influenced by the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli, Katy Bowman, Jason Crandell, Amy Matthews, Barbara Bainbridge Cohen, Jenni Rawlings, and Kathryn Bruni Young.

    Robyn also trained with Judith Lasater and is a certified Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga teacher. She has worked intensively with Susi Hately and continues to explore the use of yoga as a way to help her students move with ease and without pain.

    Inspired by the work of Dr. Stephane Treyvaud, Robyn organized and developed a very successful Mindfulness Lecture Series featuring Dr. Treyvaud. She continues to be a consultant to Dr. Treyvaud for all matters related to yoga and functional movement. She guest teaches in his widely attended Mindfulness Meditation Groups.

    Robyn teaches with openness and enjoyment that is obvious in all of her classes. She shares with her students her years of teaching experience, her deep yoga knowledge, and her creativity and zest for learning. Her deepest wish for her teaching is that her students walk away from their mat with an appreciation of how strong, complicated, intuitive and resilient their body is, and ultimately, that they will feel a glimpse of what is possible and learn to move and live with a greater sense of ease and appreciation for their bodies.

  • Cheryl Smith

    Cheryl signed up for her first yoga class in 1998--and loved it. She’d always been interested in fitness and dance, but this was something a bit different – a wonderful mix of the physical, mental, and spiritual. Right away, she found teachers and a yoga style (Hatha) that suited her. This type of yoga was not about forcing oneself into the poses to look like the yoga models in books; it was about moving gently, mindfully working toward the poses, and seeing how much a body could do, if given a little space and time.

    After a few years, Cheryl wanted to go deeper into the study of yoga and enrolled in Helen Duquette’s 500 hour/2-year yoga teacher training programme. Graduating in 2003, she has been teaching in Oakville for the past 18 years, the last 11 of them at Creating Space Yoga. Cheryl has continued to study and learn through the years with Helen Duquette, Susie Hatley (therapeutic yoga), Jason Crandell, and Bo Forbes. She completed a Certificate in Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors from Duke University’s Integrative Medicine Programme in 2013.

    Recently Cheryl completed a two-year Certification in iRest Yoga Nidra, a type of guided meditation. iRest is an updated, research-based version of an ancient yoga practice that can be helpful for anyone wanting stress relief, and more particularly can be beneficial for those suffering from anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, grief, depression, and chemical dependency. Cheryl is currently enrolled in a Feldenkrais teacher training programme (3.5-year course) and will be bringing this unique movement approach to the studio in the coming years.

  • Natalie Suhanic

    Natalie Suhanic graduated from Sunlilyoga’s 200-hour teacher training in 2010 and is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. She went on to complete her 500-hour level teacher training under the guidance of Aida Neves.

    She has explored additional studies including training in yoga for osteoporosis, yoga for pelvic health, yin yoga, and Yoga Dance. She developed a keen interest in restorative yoga through studies with Judith Hanson Lasater and then completed additional certifications in restorative yoga through training with Andrea Pelosa and Beth Rutty. More recently she received certification as a level 2 Reiki practitioner.

    Natalie was an elementary school teacher with the Halton Board of Education for 10 years before staying home to raise her two daughters. As a new mother, she began studying and practicing yoga exploring many different traditions. She has taught in schools teaching yoga to teachers and in several studios but for the last 10 years she has focused mainly on her work at Creating Space Yoga Studio and her classes at her home studio in Oakville.

    Whether guiding a Hatha, restorative, or in class, her style of teaching is gentle and warm and draws on the teachings of the Kripalu yoga tradition. She seeks to create a safe and supportive environment for her students to explore yoga, encouraging them to practice compassion towards themselves and to discover their own practice. In her classes, she hopes that students will not only enjoy and benefit from their exploration of yoga asana but might also come away with a curiosity for yoga philosophy and a commitment to taking their practice off the mat. Natalie is now enjoying living full-time in Grey County, Ontario, and discovering her new hometown of Meaford.


  • Deana Tsiapalis

    Deana has been teaching Pilates for 9 years and two years ago became a certified Wellness Coach. As an instructor, Deana is passionate about teaching the subtleties of Pilates, breaking down each movement so there is a clear understanding of the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ for all levels and abilities.

    Deana has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years. After attending the University of Toronto and George Brown College, Deana continued to grow in prestigious commercial and corporate fitness centres in the GTA and abroad with various roles such as Personal training, Wellness Coaching, Corporate Wellness design and implementation, and Group Exercise Instruction.


  • Ashlie Burns

    Ashlie first came to yoga through a sports injury and her Dr. recommended yoga as a way to stay active without aggravating her injury further. She fell in love with the hot practice of Modo Yoga (formerly Moksha Yoga) and quit her corporate job to travel to India in 2010 to get her 500hr teaching certificate. Over the years she added different types of trainings; Kids Yoga, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga, Barre, Restorative, SUP Yoga (stand up paddle board yoga) and Yoga Therapy (C-IAYT 800hrs). She's followed several teachers over the years and enjoys both the restorative gentle and therapeutic aspects of yoga (Susi Hately, Bernie Clark) as well as the challenging faster paced vinyasa of Kino MacGregor, Bryan Kest and Baron Baptiste.

    Ashlie believes that awareness and connection in your own body and mind is the foundation of a compassionate practice that serves your body and soul. She wants you to leave the practice feeling refreshed, refuelled and full of ease. With her background in yoga therapy she knows no two bodies are the same, and each tells a different story therefore no two practices should look the same. She encourages you to feel in your body, and guides you to modify your practice to support your needs and goals. If that means you take a restorative nap one day.. then that might be just what you need.

    Ashlie loves curious students and enjoys spending time working through their questions from a detailed, analytical and anatomical lens all the way to a holistic bigger picture. While she loves the community feel of group classes she also offers one-on-one private classes to dive deeper into individual needs.


  • Substitute Teachers

    Occasionally you will arrive at the studio ready to take your weekly yoga class and discover, to your surprise, that a different teacher is there ready to teach your class. A natural response maybe to feel apprehension or disappointment but with a new perspective it can be viewed as an opportunity. While substitute teachers can be different than your regular teacher, they offer the student a new beginning with a new teaching voice and perhaps a slightly different approach to the same yoga.

    Please have every confidence that if one of your favourite teachers is away, they will have worked to find the most suitable substitute till they return. The substitute teacher will always have a strong stamp of approval from both your teacher and the studio.