31_tys.jpg 32_Copy of icon-you.jpg  

    Founder and Teacher 

 

Heather Morton is the first Canadian teacher to be certified in both the primary and secondary series of AtmaVikasa Yoga. She received her certification directly under Yogacharya Venkatesha in Mysore, India. Having made 15 trips to India she regularly studies with her teachers. Heather is one of the most authentic teachers today by being a perennial student, a committed instructor and devoted to practice. Her objective in teaching is to support the progress of her students by offering individual guidance, attention to the breath and working beyond known limits.                    

With a passion for learning she completed teacher training courses in California, Quebec and Kerala, India. Her first trip to India was in 1999; a journey that became an annual pilgrimage. She is equally committed to the student´s path by having developed 6-week programs with progressive classes. This is the benchmark of her teachings for mind, body and spiritual development.            

Heather´s insights and ability to create a learning environment stems from her academic pursuits. She holds a Masters of Education with a published thesis on Yoga in the Indian educational system, a Bachelor of Education (Honors) and a degree in Theatre Performance. As a devoted practitioner she was initiated into the Himalayan Tradition of meditation, a lineage of over 5,000 year old. Her practice includes silent retreats in Rishikesh, Northern India. 

Studying under Shri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore was a rare privilege in learning the primary series directly from him. By spending 3 months in India one summer she also was blessed to meet Yogacharya V. Venkatesha, the founder of the AtmaVikasa system and a national champion of backbending. Yogacharya became her primary teacher and from 2000 to the present she has trained in Mysore, becoming one of his most senior students. Upon each return trip from India she developed a self-practice and committed herself both to the practice and teaching of AtmaVikasa. She extended her support to students by producing Stilling the Mind CD for meditation as well as podcasts and instructional videos. Freedom of the Body: primary elements of the back is the bedrock to the practice of backbending; often an underdeveloped area within the postures of yoga.                          

Heather's teaching approach is influenced by the context in which she learned yoga as a spiritual discipline. Her teachers have been Indian Yoga Masters with whom she has a close relationship. This is mirrored in the relationships she develops with her students which are long lasting. She began her teaching career in South Korea where she lived and worked as an English instructor. With over 16 years of experience, she has taught yoga in community centres, hospitals and corporations as well as private and public schools. She has also taught yoga to seniors and people with special needs.

In 1997, Heather founded The Yoga Way; a niche school with the mandate of progressive teaching and individual attention; putting the needs of the student first. While running the school she returned to univeristy and worked as a drama teacher. She also teamed up with a medical doctor and physiotherapist in a rehabilitation clinic using the exercises of yoga to treat injuries. Heather´s post-graduate work was a thesis on Yoga in the Indian school system; a 2-year ethnographic project in Mysore. It has been a resource for graduate students, teachers and fellow educators. As a guest speaker, she has presented her work in Ontario universities and private schools. 

Before yoga, Heather started a promising modelling and acting career. Feeling estranged from the modelling world, she changed the direction of her life by moving to Korea. She travelled alone throughout Korea including China, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hawaii and beyond. She is a regular contributor to several on-line resources and has been featured in the Globe and Mail as well as the Toronto Life Magazine. Her writing shares her keen insights, humor and dedication to teaching and learning yoga.        

After 15 successful and proud years in running TYW, Heather has recently taken a hiatus from managing the school. Read the open letter here. She is currently travelling and offering on-line offering yoga courses, workshops and classes. For more information write: Heather@theyogaway.com.                  

Loka Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu ~ May all beings be well and peaceful

   
 

Yoga & Teacher Certifications  

 

(2012 - 2001) Ontario College of Teachers (OCT)
(2005) AtmaVikasa Secondary Series, Mysore, South India
(2002) AtmaVikasa Primary Series, Mysore, South India
(1999) Sivananda Sadhana Intensive, Ney-yar Dam, South India
(1997) Sivananda Advanced Teacher Training, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
(1997) Sivananda Teacher Training, Grass Valley, California, United States

   
 

Posture Demos, Presentations & Workshops

 

(2012) Vedic Cultural Centre, Markham, Toronto, Ontario 

(2011) The Living Wellness Kitchen, Toronto, Ontario

(2009) Greenwood College, Toronto, Ontario

(2009) SYTAR, Symposium on Yoga Therapy, LA, California

(2007, 2005) Holistic Learning, Univerisity of Toronto, (O.I.S.E.)

(2006) Engaging Social Justice, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

(2005) Post-Graduate Conference, York University, North York, Ontario  

(2003) Minute-Maid Corporation, Head Office, Toronto, Canada              

(1999 - 1997) Benefit Now Rehabilitation Clinic, Toronto, Ontario   

 

 

Academic Work (published writing)

Yoga Comes to School, (2009, Volume 19, Issue 2), The Newsletter for the Holistic Learning & Spirituality
in Education Network of ASCD,
O.I.S.E., University of Toronto.

Ethnographic Research on Yoga as a Mandatory Subject in School, (2009, Supplement, Abstract 27),
The International Journal of Yoga Therapy, International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Yoga as a Curriculum Subject: Teaching and Learning of Yoga in a South India School, (2005, Faculty
of Graduate Studies), Libraries or Library and Archives Canada,
York Unversity.                              

   
 

Yoga Training & Study 

 

AtmaVikasa Centre of Yogic Sciences, Mysore, South India
AYRI (Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute), Mysore, South India
Sadhana Mandir, Rishikesh, North India
Mysore Mandala Shala, Mysore, South India.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers (Gangotri, Trivadrum), India
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, South India

   
 

Teaching Experiences ~ Yoga & Curriculum Subjects

 

The Yoga Conference, T.O. Metro Convention Centre (2006)
William Olser Centre (Etobicoke General Hospital)
Baycrest Geriatric Hospital, Toronto
The Riverdale Hospital, Toronto
WoodGreen Community Centre, Toronto
Montcrest Private School, Toronto
Winchester Public School, Toronto
Sommerville Manor School, Mississauga