Clayton Smith


Yoga Techniques Training & Practice, Pranayama, Philosophy, Meditation, Teaching Methodology


ClaytonYoga radically transformed and literally saved Clayton’s life. By the age of 40, he was mired in a debilitating pattern of addictive and self-destructive behaviour. Thankfully, Grace intervened. Yoga restored him to balance and made life worth living again. Clayton believes Yoga means full engagement with life.


Clayton earned a BA from The Royal Military College and served as a Captain in the Infantry for five years before entering the financial industry in 1994. Yep – army and yoga – completely different. He currently owns Crystal Wealth (a financial firm) and is the co-founder of Chrysalis Yoga and The Naked Sprout. He met Shanine while studying meditation and completed his first yoga teacher training. They later became life partners as well as business partners and took an Anusara Teacher Training together. Clayton brings laughter, joy and fun to yoga while sharing his love of the practice with everyone.


Shanine Dennill


Yoga Techniques Training & Practice, Teaching Methodology, The Business of Yoga


ShanineShanine was introduced to yoga in 1999. While living in South Africa she was studying massage therapy and tried a few classes but never stuck with it. It wasn’t until she came to Canada in 2001 that she fell deeply in love with yoga after trying a class again. She felt more physically, mentally and emotionally empowered by the practice of yoga and realized that it truly transformed her life.

Continually advancing her studies, she earned a 250-hour level certification from the Yoga Center of Burlington and a 200-hour level Anusara Yoga Teacher Training with Todd Norian and Ann Greene. She has also done a Mediation Facilitator program and Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training.  She continues to study other styles of yoga and yoga therapeutics while still owning Chrysalis Yoga. Shanine brings to her teaching, compassion and sensitivity while still challenging students to explore deeper.


Mieka Forte


Anatomy & Physiology


Mieka HR

Dance and movement have always been a part of Mieka’s life. While studying Kinesiology in university, Yoga seemed to be a natural extension to what she was already doing. Yoga became a massive part of her life and helped her overcome so many obstacles including her own personal experience with cancer. Yoga began as a physical practice for her and has evolved into a journey of acceptance and understanding of both herself and others.


Mieka has been extremely fortunate to have been inspired by some amazing teachers including Seane Corne, Susie Diaz, Sadie Nardini and Michelle Cormack. She also been moved by some who wouldn't necessarily consider themselves a teacher such as her amazing husband, her two beautiful boys, her friends and all those who she has had the opportunity to practice with.


Mieka Forte is a Certified Exercise Physiologist, has her BA in Kinesiology, RYT 200 and is Stott Pilates certified. She has had the pleasure of working in the health and wellness industry for over 16 years.  


Johanna De Castro

The Art of Assisting

Johanna 2Johanna is involved in many communities through her love for yoga, sports, and her work at Boys & Girls Clubs of Hamilton. To be able to connect with others, share conversations and positive moments allows her to do everything she loves in life!

Johanna is grateful to her yoga teachers, her husband, and family. They’ve helped her transform in a way that she never thought possible. This journey has allowed her to open up a deeper connection to herself and has given her the courage to open her heart to great possibility. She truly loves what she does and wants to share this with others.

Johanna brings to her classes balance, lightheartedness wrapped up with lots of love, laughter, and tutu’s on special occasions! Flow with her to ignite your inner fire and elevate your potential! Relax with her to find harmony in mind, body, and spirit. You can find Johanna co-hosting 30-day challenges, retreats, and rolling around with kid’s yoga!


Rachel Saxon

Teaching Assistant, Intro to Restorative Yoga

RachelRachel came to yoga as a change to her physical exercise routine, and immediately fell in love. Before long she found herself attending numerous classes a week. She didn't know then where the road of yoga would take her; and she still doesn't know the final destination, but Rachel enjoys every moment of the journey.

By day Rachel works in the environmental testing field using her BSc in Biochemistry. By night her passion shines through when she  teaches yoga. Along with the 200hr yoga teacher training certificate earned at Chrysalis she has continued her learning with restorative and prenatal teacher trainings. Her classes are fun, challenging, and for everyone!


Toni Gordon

Yoga Lifestyle & Intro to Ayurveda

Toni - Photo_copyToni came to Chrysalis with the goal of adding a systematic practice of yoga to both her personal and professional life. In her psychotherapy practice she blends Western style techniques of working with mind and Eastern modalities of working with body. She approaches health and healing at all levels of self; mind, body, emotions, and energies. The holistic beauty of Ayurveda offers a sense of connection and compassion to our change experiences. Both Ayurveda and yoga encourage the body’s own system of healing to move more freely; Ayurveda through conscious contact with the environment, yoga through conscious contact with the Self.

Toni has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology, is a registered psychotherapist (RP) as well as a Certified Ayurvedic Counsellor, and proud member of the YTT graduating class of 2015.