Lani Evers-Staples, Alisha Mankatala, Sara Gill, Nattalie Anderson, Jessica Pelz, Mary Roberts, Olivia Rolfe, Jonathan Valder, and Chelsea Guenther.
Lani Evers-Staples - Co-owner/Instructor
I started my yoga journey in the beginning of 2013. I have always had an active lifestyle with dance, karate, and fitness. But yoga was the only exercise I had found that made a difference in my body. I loved the heated practice, I craved it. I was working an accounting desk job 9-5 and would spend the last few hours of my day at the studio. It wasn’t till May when the studio owner told me to do my Yoga Teacher Training(YTT) because she wanted me to work for her. I had never really thought of myself as a teacher. I just wanted to practice. I looked into it and Naked Truth Yoga had one opening left in their 200 hour YTT scheduled to start in 3 days. So, I took it.
From that point on my life flourished! I started teaching right away in the Abbotsford community and grew to reaching from Surrey all the way to Chilliwack. I have taught at 10 different locations including high schools and local gyms with over 2000 hours of teaching experience.
Opening a studio of my own has always been one of my many dreams. But never seemed accessible. No matter how hard you work as a yoga instructor its impossible to save up enough money.
It wasn’t until 2016, I had a personal crisis in my life that rendered me homeless and carless. A client, Alisha, from the Abbotsford studio reached out to me like an angel and offered me to stay in her basement suite for free until I got my life back together. After 2 weeks I decided to stay there permanently paying a low monthly rent. Alisha and I became good friends. At one point, we had discussed opening a studio and I mentioned maybe opening a studio together. What was merely just a thought soon became a reality. From scouting locations to picking out wall colours. This studio has been such a blessing for us a both and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Alisha Mankatala - Co-owner
I grew up in Nelson, BC and have always had an athletic lifestyle but mostly through team sports.
In 2016, I found yoga through a personal tragedy. After years of trying to have a baby, various miscarriages and a round of in-vitro, my full term son Amari died minutes before birth due to a delayed C-Section.
I developed PTSD, depression and anxiety. I avoided going in public for fear of seeing and or hearing babies and even watched TV muted at times because some channels had more diaper commercials than others.
Several months after this tragedy unfolded I visited a local physic medium. She was bang on about many things and asked me who the female Gemini was in my life. I told her that I didn’t know any and she said that I would be meeting one soon in a waiting area.
In the weeks that followed I was guided to “learn something new” and I knew that it was yoga. The first class that I attended was one that Lani taught. Little did I know that she was the Gemini that I was supposed to meet! At the end of the class Lani guided us to make our hands to the shape of a heart and to “point towards your angels”. I cried silently in the dark and knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
A few weeks of me practicing at the studio I noticed that Lani wasn’t her bright cheery self one morning. I overheard her share with another member that she and boyfriend had broken up and she was in a bit of crisis. I called my hubby in between the classes and told him that I wanted to help her. After class I waited for everyone to leave so that I could offer our empty basement suite to her and Kona, her beloved canine. She took me up on the offer and after a few months of our new friendship decided to open our own studio. I left a very successful career in banking as a Financial Advisor to purse this new path.
Kismet means “destiny” or “fate” and we believe that it was no accident that Lani and I met. We hope that you enjoy and love our studio as much as we do. May we all find and follow a path of health and happiness.
Mary has been a student of yoga for close to a decade. Regular practice brought much grounding and focus into her life. Her passion and drive to help people become the best versions of themselves was the main driving force in her decision to take her yoga teacher training. Mary's encouraging teaching style allows her students to remove self doubt and become proud of what their bodies and mind can accomplish. She looks forward to seeing you in class and being apart of your yoga and fitness journey.
“You cannot breath deeply and worry at the same time. Breath. Let the worry go. Breath. Allow the love and intuition in.” - Sonia Choquette
Sara received her 200 hour YTT through Oxygen in December 2016. Her favourite class to teach is Power Flow and her favourite pose right now is half moon. Her hobbies are going for walks, being at the lake and surfing! She can be found on her days off doing yoga on her paddleboard. Her favourite foods are tacos and cookies. Future goal is to get her 500 YTT certificate, become a nurse and live by the ocean.
She is 22 years old and lucky to say she's been at Kismet since day one. Also she's a mermaid.
Nattalie started her fitness career as a fitness instructor certified under BCRPA. She was in a terrible head on collision that made working out impossible. Then turned to yoga for therapy and started to see so much improvement that she decided to become an instructor herself. She did my training with Oxygen Yoga and Fitness in 2016. Continuing to see the improvements in her body from her accident through her yoga practice. Her favourite class to teach is a gentle flow because of the peace and tranquility it offers. Her hobbies include hiking, camping, running, reading, family time, friends and working out.
Chelsea is 26 years old and has been teaching at Kismet since it opened in August 2017! She did her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Parallel Yoga in 2016. Her favourite class to teach is Flow & favourite pose is Halasana, plow pose. On her days off you can find her hiking, running or, doing even more yoga! Pizza can be named as her favourite food... which is also a reason why she likes to keep active. Growing up as a dancer, Chelsea has always had a love for movement and using your body to create shapes. After taking a few years off from dancing, she decided to develop a yoga practice in efforts to regain the flexibility she had lost. It was only a short time before Chelsea started noticing the mental benefits alongside the physical. Yoga has been a major part of her life ever since and she wishes to share that passion with others as she continues her own journey.
Alexandria has been practicing yoga for over 10 years, and teaching since 2012 when she completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training through Open Source Yoga under the instruction of Daniel Clement. Alex loves to teach a variety of class styles in order to cultivate different experiences for students depending on their needs, and enjoys instructing on proper alignment of the body in postures. Alex has lived, worked, and studied in many places, such as London and Amsterdam, but now happily resides in the Fraser Valley where she grew up. When Alex is not teaching yoga, she loves to take advantage of the spectacular hikes where we live.
Photo by: Christy Neufeld
Jonathan Valder is an ambitious practitioner and teacher of mindful movement, breathing exercises, and meditation. He discovered meditation in northern Thailand in 2014 and has enjoyed a rewarding practice ever since. In New Zealand in 2015 he was introduced to yoga by his partner, Linn. After exploring multiple disciplines, one life-changing trip to India, and three teacher trainings later, his teaching is now influenced by Kashmir Shaivism, modern bio-mechanics, Iyengar's sequencing template, and the Anusara Method. Jonathan graduated from the Vancouver School of Healing Arts 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training led by Rebekka Walker in May, 2018. He has recently obtained ACE (American Council of Exercise) certification to become a personal trainer in order to support others in building confidence, mobility, and health. Among other profound benefits, the sense of balance that he has begun to feel in all aspects of his life fuels his appetite to teach, guide, and inspire others to lead authentic, content, balanced lives.
Olivia is 21 years old, has received her 200 hour YTT at Naked Truth Yoga in the fall of 2017 and has been spreading her love of yoga ever since! Her favourite class to teach is power/fusion classes & favourite pose is Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Handstand. On days off you’ll either find her on the water with her paddle board or on the mountain with her dogs, most likely she’ll have a bottle of her cold-pressed juice in hand. Her goal in life is the be the change she wants to see in the world, no matter how big the obstacle or how small the reward.