Lead Trainers

Dorothy Fizzell and Jools Andrés, lead trainers

Jools Andrés
lead trainer
"When the body, breath, and mind begin to act as one, things really hum."

Jools Andrés
E-RYT 500, YACEP

My practice and teaching are influenced by Ashtanga, Sivananda, and Erich Schiffmann's Freedom Yoga styles, Zen Buddhism, and yoga therapy in the TKV Desikachar tradition. In addition to teacher trainings, retreats, and workshops, I teach small groups and private sessions for all levels. (See below for a link to my weekly public classes.)

I have a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Depth Psychology and Creative Writing with extensive coursework in world religions and mythologies, creativity, and post-grad training and professional experience in expressive / sandplay therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, and counselling. For all that, I have worked as a writer and editor most of my life, with some interesting side trips along the way.

I began teaching yoga in 2010. I've completed two 200-hour YTT certification programs and SOYA's 300-hour upgrade. Further training: Erich Schiffmann (Freedom Yoga teacher training), Judith Hanson Lasater (experiential anatomy), Neil Pearson (anatomy & physiology, Gentle Yoga for Pain Care), Doug Keller (yoga therapy), Leila Stuart (anatomy), Robin Rothenberg (Essential Low Back Program), and SOYA's Mugs McConnell.

I am registered E-RYT 500 and YACEP with Yoga Alliance. I have certification in Restorative Yoga and am a member of International Association of Yoga Therapists.

I am currently in a 1000-hour accredited Yoga Therapy certification program in Vancouver, BC, with studies and internship in Chennai, India, where my esteemed teachers were long-time students of Mr. Desikachar. Completion: June 2019.

Join me for weekly classes at Green Room Yoga on East Hastings Street in Vancouver.

See more at joolsandres.com.

Dorothy Fizzell
lead trainer
"Yoga is not about touching your toes−it's about what you learn on the way down!"

Dorothy Fizzell
E-RYT 500, YACEP, IYTA

I began my yoga journey as a student of Mugs McConnell over 30 years ago and was one of SOYA‘s first Yoga Teacher Training graduates. I combine my love of traditional hatha yoga wisdom and practice and wide-ranging experience as a teacher to develop and teach yoga workshops for young children, athletes, and the elderly.

My career as an Early Childhood Educator has made my approach to training yoga teachers creative, fun, and thorough. I helped establish the first SOYA Vancouver Yoga Teacher Training program in 2005. I have studied with many wonderful teachers along my path including Erich Schiffmann, Rod Stryker, Doug Keller, and most recently, Donna Farhi at the International Yoga Teachers Association Annual Conference in Sydney, Australia.

I have also pursued a path in karate and have achieved Shodan level, my first-level black belt, in Chito Ryu Karate. I assist teaching karate to 4- to 15-year-olds in Burnaby several times per week. My teaching style in both karate and yoga is down-to-earth, while also being eclectic and dynamic. 

I have a degree in Biology, E-RYT 500 and Continuing Education Provider status from Yoga Alliance (YACEP), and am a teaching member and Canadian representative for the International Yoga Teachers Association (IYTA) based in Sydney, Australia.

About South Okanagan Yoga Academy

Marion (Mugs) McConnell, E-RYT 500, IYTA, co-founder of SOYA

Robert McConnell, RYT 500, co-founder of SOYA

The South Okanagan Yoga Academy (SOYA) has been training yoga teachers to international standards for over 20 years, offering comprehensive, diverse, and accessible programs that are second-to-none. With roots in the Sivananda lineage, SOYA’s extensive programs are designed with flexibility, accessibility, and transformation at heart.

SOYA owners Marion (Mugs) and Robert (Bob) McConnell have studied with Hari Dickman, Swami Vishnudevananda, Erich Schiffmann, Dharma Mittra, Ganga White and Tracey Rich, Mark Stephens, Namadeva Acharya, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Rod Stryker, and others. 

Mugs was first certified by Swami Vishnudevananda in 1978 and is the author of Letters from the Yoga Masters: Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others published by North Atlantic Books.  She has presented workshops in Canada, United States, Spain, Mexico, and Australia and has been teaching yoga for 38 years. In 2012 she received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for representing yoga for nearly 40 years. She is a member of the Yoga Alliance Board of Directors and sits on the YA Standards Committee. See more here.

Bob earned certification with SOYA's 200-hour YTT and upgraded to 500-hour with The Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. He regularly teaches pranayama, meditation, and asana for the SOYA 200-hour and 300-hour advanced YTT programs.

SOYA is a registered RYS200® and RYS300® school with Yoga Alliance. Our yoga teacher training programs help students understand the roots of yogic wisdom while developing teaching skills and class designs. SOYA trainings are life-changing experiences and provide a solid foundation for the great journey that is yoga.

SOYA also offers yoga retreats and workshops in BC, Alberta and Mexico. 

2017 SOYA Teacher Trainings

SOYA 200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings, Extended: Creston, Penticton, Prince George, and Pitt Meadows, BC, and Fort McMurray, AB.

SOYA 200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings, immersion: Penticton, Calgary, and Mexico.

SOYA 300-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings, Immersion, upgrade to RYT 500: Spring 2017 Penticton, BC; Fall 2017 Sorrento, BC.

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