Bram has been an enthusiastic yogi since 1999, and after a massive life/career change in 2008, began his Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training with Darby, Shankara & Joanne while managing Centre Luna Yoga, where he began teaching in July 2009. With additional training from Luna Yoga’s Jennifer Maagendans, Bram incorporated all his experience on and off the mat into his yoga classes which offer insight into alignment, breath awareness, and the ability to use laughter to get through the more challenging postures and sequences.
I began seeking out yoga classes in 1999 after tiring of the more conventional exercise options, and found my first teacher’s studio across the street from where I lived. The shift from a physical to a spiritual practice quickly followed, and after 9 years of practice, I left my job in retail management to immerse myself in yoga studies and I soon began teaching. My main reason for making the change was because I felt I was wasting my time, not honoring my reason for being alive. Yoga helped me find my voice and I soon found myself with students eager to hear what I felt compelled to share with them. Being able to provide guidance, insight and light to people has been the by-product of living my dharma, and I live in a perpetual state of gratitude for having the strength and vision to listen to my intuition that told me I was meant for greater things than selling material goods to people who didn’t really want them.
As a teacher, certain moments pop up as highlights, markers on my path encouraging me onwards: becoming a Lululemon Ambassador in 2010, and then finding myself teaching in the street in downtown Montreal for Lululemon two years later and having 85 people show up bright and early on a Sunday morning. Leading my first solo retreat in Santorini, Greece and having everyone who participated walk away from the experience richer and more grounded in their own selves. Co-organizing Montreal’s 2010 & 2011 Yoga Mala and raising over $15,000 for local non-profit organizations. All these things have solidified my certainty as to being on the right path, but more than any of that, I am fortunate enough to be told on an almost daily basis that I am making a difference in other people’s lives. That alone is everything I could ever want.
What I want to share with the world, regardless of whether I’m communicating with newcomers to yoga, new teachers, or seasoned teachers is this: yoga provides a shift. In perspective, in understanding, and in connection. It allows us to separate the temporary trivialities that we typically spend all our time fussing over from the stuff that really matters: who we are, why we’re here, and how we are connected to each other and the world that supports us, despite our ever-growing negligence towards it. It teaches us that we are greater than our job titles, than our bodies, than our insecurities, than our roles as mother/father/sister/brother/son/daughter. It shows us what to focus on so that at the end of our journey, we can look back on our lives and see the beauty of our spirituality, and that’s what we take with us. It really changes everything, and wakes us up to the openness and possibilities that have always been accessible to us, but that we never saw because our vision was clouded. Yoga removes that cloudiness and allows light to pour through. That’s yoga to me :)