Shelley Tomczyk began practicing yoga in 1997 and started teaching in 2001. A synthesis of Ashtanga Vinyasa, Iyengar and Anusara yoga, Shelley's classes build discipline and strength to enhance the integrity and the delight of practice. She shares her captivation by the teachings and stories within the yoga tradition through a fearless and curious investigation of the world, as much as the asanas, and helps students uncover and reveal their own transformational potentials in everyday life. Shelley' s trainings are Yoga Alliance Certified.
Shelley has a deep resonance with Tantric practice. She is a poet who weaves a blend of teachings drawn from the threads of her own experiences in yoga, and studentship with yogic masters/philosophers. She continues to study the extraordinary hidden amongst the ordinary, discovering beauty through many forms of art, literature, alchemy, Jungian analysis, and transmitting through myths and storytelling. Shelley has been a part of the Vancouver yoga community for twenty years and is known as a teacher’s teacher. She continues to offer YTTs and retreats in Canada, India, and Europe.
"Shelley has the capacity to support you in changing your life--and, if you are willing, to accelerate the process at a rate you would not think possible. She is a master teacher of the highest order with a beauty, depth, and humility that will not fail to challenge you, delight you, inspire you, and, especially, to remind you of the beauty that you also are. I am an experienced yoga teacher with a long, dedicated sadhana spanning two decades. I also have a law degree. If I am honest, I would say I am a hard sell. It is not easy for me to find a teacher I trust and respect who can hold me and support me at the wilder edges of my practice and who also has the depth of spiritual intelligence required to feed my hunger for meaning. Shelley is that teacher: someone who, over and again, creates learning spaces so rich and true and real that transformation at levels I had not thought possible become not only possible but even fun in her presence--and when you are up against the wall, she knows how to hold you even when you think you do not deserve to be held. Just being around her, even online, has the effect of helping you see the goodness in the apparently nastiest of situations, such that life writes a new story before your eyes. You wonder--why did it take me so long to get my tangled, heartbroken soul to her doorstep?
Learning from Shelley is like remembering that life is everywhere sacred poetry, that is the kind of seeing she facilitates without you even knowing how it is happening. And she is deeply loving, with a generosity of soul and spirit that astound me--and an ability to adapt that love with incredible precision to the ever-evolving needs and capacities of the students lucky enough to come across her path. I cannot recommend her YTT highly enough--if you never want to teach yoga, the course will teach you how to be a more complete human. If you have been teaching yoga for years and think you know a lot, come learn from Shelley. She will make you more and better. On the physical practice side of things, wow! My practice grew in leaps and bounds in a few weeks of online instruction from her--old injuries healed I thought I was stuck with for life. New capacities in my physical body emerged and I found a strength and right-alignment I didn't know were possible. Thank you, Shelley."
~ Kristen Lewis, Victoria BC
"Shelley’s teachings are multidimensional, she is full of wisdom, curiosity and magic. So many profound, honest, real and personal experiences. Shelley provides an incredibly safe, creative and uplifting environment. Whether you are continuing to develop your own spiritual practise or growing as a teacher/facilitator, Shelley meets you exactly where you are and offers exactly what you need and more, you perhaps could never have imagined. The training is a considered balance of Asana practise, Pranayama, Philosophy and Retreat practise. With small intimate groups, Shelley is able to be there for 1:1s and infuse the training with everyday teachings all day. You feel immersed in a world where everything is sacred. Inspirational."
~ Sophie Robinson, Vancouver Canada
"I think I have never met another human being like Shelley, and I don't know if I can put into words what I think of her. She has such a unique way of how to approach people, and her teaching is exquisite. Her knowledge about yoga, therapeutics, mythology, tantric philosophy is beyond imagination. She is not one of those teachers who leaves you with that feeling of 'maybe they don't want me to know too much about yoga in order to get better than them' she goes all in and shares her huge knowledge with anyone keen on learning.
Shelley's capacity for sharing almost seems to be endless. She is so patient, full of life, vibrant, awake, open-hearted, inspirational and has a great sense of humor. You will never feel alone on your yoga journey as she supports you wherever she can. Shelley has that great ability to slowly guide you to your full potential, pushes you (in a kind way) to your limits - and beyond! A teacher training with Shelley is uplifting, inspiring, full of emotions, newly built knowledge and totally prepares you for the yoga teacher world. Expect growth in every possible way, an unforgettable, life-changing and magical experience and a guideline on how to live each day with gratitude and kindness. Shelley you are a unique person!!"
~ Lorena Luzi, Zurich Switzerland
"Shelley Tomczyk is a teacher's teacher, generously sharing the vast depth of knowledge she has gained through decades of personal practice and study. Her students appreciate her ability to share the teachings of yoga from a wide range of perspectives appealing to a diverse studentship. She includes psychology, tantric philosophy, history and religions, mythology from many sources and wisdom from a variety of practices to support students from many backgrounds and proclivities.
Her 'no conclusions mind' allows her to meet her students where they are at. Shelley shares openly about her own experiences with yoga to inspire her students to explore the teachings in pursuit of an authentic and fulfilling life - tasting all the world has to offer."
~ Hannah MacDonald, Whitehorse Canada
"Shelley brings over twenty years of experience into her teaching spaces. Through the synthesis of her own studentship with classical yoga, tantra yoga, mythology, psychology, social work, meditation, pranayama, creative expressions, therapeutics, and several other spiritual lineages. She offers an interdisciplinary approach to yoga. Shelley infuses her classes with complexity and intensity while taking care to only use as many words that are necessary. Largely influenced by Anusara yoga, her cueing for alignment is articulate and intentional. Shelley identifies that 'yoga meets us where we are at' and helps us to find that relationship. Amid her sophistication as a masterful teacher of teachers, she maintains accessibility for new students - sparking deeper interest in the practice every step of the way. Her ability to hold space and make sure that each individual student knows they are seen is next level. Without pretension or judgment, Shelley's presence of being reminds us all that yoga is not only making it to the mat, but rather, yoga is a way of life."
~ Katelyn Merritt, California USA
"Shelley is one of the city's most accomplished yoga instructors and Vancouver is lucky to have her. Her classes weave in elements of Anusara, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Ashtanga yoga. In addition, yogic philosophy and Indian mythology pepper each class offering students a richer flavour and a more well rounded yoga practice.
Shelleys unique teaching style can be attributed to her extensive knowledge and in-depth study of yogic philosophy combined with her holistic approach to healing. A background in psychology, therapeutics, and women studies enables her to explore different aspects of yoga in her workshops and teacher trainings, unafraid to leave a stone unturned. Her ability to teach is pure magic, so inspiring, nurturing, and versatile. Truly life-changing."
~ Dana Lee, Victoria Canada
"My heart is filled with deep gratitude & honour to know Shelley & to have studied with her in India. The 300HR Teachers Training in Tiruvannamalai, India was a transformational journey. Shelley's wealth of wisdom and guidance throughout the course revealed depths and strength within my being and my asana practice, that are continuing to unfold naturally. The focus and emphasis on Yoga Therapeutics and Universal Principles of Alignment has built integrity & a deeper understanding of my body's anatomy. Shelley's presence continues to inspire my Yogic lifestyle.
The training took place at Trivenu II Ashram in Tiruvannamalai, India, located just few miles from Arunachala Mountain, known as a holy hill and a significant place for devotees of Sri Ramana Maharshi. We had the opportunity to be a part of the Ashram lifestyle, which included daily meditation, teachings and Kirtan. The Hosts of the Ashram are wonderful beings that are dedicated to their path of devotion, it was inspiring to be in their presence everyday. The food that was served at the Ashram was extraordinary, we had a taste of one of the best traditional Indian foods with a western twist, that still supported the yogic lifestyle. We had the blessing to visit sacred sites of Tiruvannamalai, which were all captivating in their essence. This was one of the most beautiful & transformational experiences in my life. I am eternally grateful."
~ Kseniya Parakhnevych, Vancouver Canada
"Two weeks prior to the start of Shelley's 300 hour teacher training in India, I decided to take the plunge and join in last minute. Although entering somewhat blindly, I knew that this training would speak to the very definition of "challenge" in all aspects of its meaning. 7 months later, I can easily say that this month was the spark that initiated a shift in my perspective, changing the entire course of my life in the most positive of ways.
Shelley leads the training in a way that encourages and inspires individuality, while at the same time facilitating a strong sense of community and support. While at first I found life at the Ashram to be very difficult, the end of the course had me in tears saying goodbye to the inhabitant family and morning meditations that had become so dear to me. As is inevitable with new experiences like this, I encountered various uncertainties and emotional 'mountains' over the course of the month. Nevertheless, I consistently found myself supported and cared for. Shelley was always available to address anything that came up; in fact, she encouraged further exploration of any questions that came about. This type of environment cannot help but foster the type of personal growth one ought to experience in order to become a competent yoga instructor.
With regards to the material taught in this 300hr training, Shelley puts high emphasis on safe alignment of poses, the art of sequencing, development of effective themes, yoga therapeutics, and deeper layers of yogic philosophy. As such, my style of teaching has evolved from basic to subtly intricate. Since incorporating the principles I learned, it is easy to see this change reflected in my classes, as students respond consciously and effectively to cueing. I have since received plentiful feedback that consistently describes a newfound appreciation for alignment and body awareness.
In short, I am profoundly appreciative of Shelley's 300hr training, and would highly recommend it to anyone seeking development in their yoga practice, methods of instruction, and in themselves. It is more than just a yoga teacher training...rather, it is a mosaic of content and context through which you may attain and explore deeper layers of yourself."
~ Dr. Claire Wilson, Squamish BC Canada