Stephanie McLean is a yoga instructor in Hamilton, Ontario. Her Vinyasa Yoga classes link movement with the breath to unite body and mind. Each lesson includes detailed alignment cues and guiding themes that make every class feel like a “mini workshop.” Her creative sequences and attention to detail ensures that even advanced students leave each class with new tips and tricks they can incorporate into their own practice.
“I bend, write, paint, and sing mantras over and over until my friends beg me to stop. I’m into lunging awkwardly in public, hugging kittens, and moments. I’ve also got a thing for the smell of Gardenias, and I find airports completely exciting. Did I mention I’m borderline obsessed with yoga?
I really respect people who stay true to their passions and listen to their heart, even when it speaks quietly. I’m a firm believer that all the bliss we’re searching for is already inside of us. If you keep on looking, you’ll certainly find what you’re searching for.”
A ballet dancer in her youth, Stephanie McLean had always been intrigued by the softness and grace of yoga. After years of dabbling in the occasional class a friend finally brought her to see Master Han, a revered yogi in the city of Jeju, South Korea. Stepping through the doors to the yoga studio something in Stephanie’s heart told her she was exactly where she needed to be. At the end of their first class together Master Han looked at Stephanie and playfully said “You are a yoga teacher.” To which she replied “No, I’m an English Teacher,” assuming he was mistaken. He only smiled in return.
After 10 months of daily study in asanas and meditation with Master Han Stephanie began to realize that the predictions he had made on their first day together were about to come true. She was starting to notice dramatic changes in her heart and psyche as a result of her newfound passion. She was inspired to share what she was learning and so she began teaching gentle Hatha Yoga for expats living abroad. In September 2011 she bought a ticket to India and packed up her life in Korea, eager to drink in the flavors of India and learn all she could from its most experienced teachers.
In the yoga epicenter of Rishikesh, she completed her 200hr Teacher Training in Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga with the Association of Yoga and Meditation India under the guidance of Yogi Chetan Mahesh. During her time in Riskikesh Stephanie also drew inspiration from the early morning chants that filled the town air, the attentive adjustments of Surrinder Singh and the evening prayers cast out into the Ganges.
After completing her course Stephanie began teaching morning Yoga Flow classes on the beaches of Goa, and Karnataka in Southern India. She inspired her students to connect their movements with their breath while taking in the incredible scenery all around them. Stephanie continued her studies by practicing Hatha Yoga with Yogi Chidanad in Hampi and devoted herself to Ashtanga with Jai Prakash in Mysore.
Upon returning home to Canada, Stephanie felt that their was a need for affordable yoga classes in her hometown and developed a 10 class introductory series for beginners that introduced all the fundamentals of Hatha Yoga, in a way that was accessible to everyone. Since then Stephanie has travelled and taught in Chicago, and Istanbul. She is currently living in Hamilton, Ontario and teaches ongoing classes at Family Massage Therapy and Bennetto Community Centre.