• Jody Williams

    Yoga 101, Yoga for Men, Slow Ocean Flow, Hatha, Meditation

    Jody Williams, founder of Ocean Yoga, is certified as a Hatha Yoga teacher (CYT 200) and is also certified as a Meditation Guide in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. Jody’s search for meaning began in his twenties, as he began experiencing severe depression and anxiety and a heavy sense of disconnection from his life. In 2000, he started meditating and studying Buddhism within the local Shambhala tradition and met a beautiful community of people, and his teacher, Acharya Moh Harden.

    Jody was struck by his teacher’s willingness to accept him just as he was, and now Jody teaches accepting people just as they are.
    In 2007, Jody took his vows and officially became a Buddhist, and that same year went to Plum Village Zen Monastery for an 8-week retreat under Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. This was a major turning point in his journey inward. He spent the next few years meditating and doing as many retreats as possible, including several week-long silent, solitary retreats.

    In 2010, his life's inspiration was born: a beautiful daughter named Ocean, who would imbue his life with love and meaning. Yet, there was still an undercurrent of depression and anxiety pervading. Two years later, 
    Jody walked into Moksha Yoga to inquire about yoga for a friend who was also suffering from depression. After buying his friend a membership, the owner asked “Why don’t you give yoga a try?” Jody thought,” Are you crazy? I am the most inflexible person on this planet!” but instead he replied, “Sure. Why not?” Once he experienced the meditative quality of yoga, Jody was hooked. Jody's mantra is “yoga is now”. He believes the primary benefit of yoga is to bring some ease into our lives off the mat, and that yoga offers a holistic form of self care for physical, mental and spiritual wholeness.

  • Ryan MacFarlane

    Mindfulness Yoga, Balance Yoga, Slow Flow Hatha

    Ryan MacFarlane is a certified Hatha Yoga teacher (CYT 200) and student of Meranda Squires. In 2003, Ryan began studying Tibetan Buddhism with Gen Kelsang Phuntsog of Akshobya Kadampa Buddhist Centre. This lead him to the Soto Zen style of Buddhism, and in 2011 Ryan became a resident of Little Tea Temple in Calgary, Alberta. Shortly after arriving in Newfoundland in 2015, Ryan paired his meditation practice with his newly-discovered passion for yoga.
    In yoga and meditation, Ryan found a pathway through depression and chronic stress. By way of regular, consistent practice, and with the guidance of numerous yoga instructors at Moksha Yoga St. John's as well as other local studios, Ryan developed the wish to share the mental and physical benefits of yoga with others. He believes that anyone who comes to the mat with a wish to increase their health and wellbeing has already perfected the art, whether it's their first or ten thousandth practice. The rest, he says, is "just details."

    "It's amazing what a simple balance posture can do to settle a busy mind."

    In his teaching style, Ryan emphasizes stress reduction through mindfulness of breath and movement, and through balancing the mind by balancing the body. He believes that the strength, grace and resilience developed on the yoga mat percolates into everyday life, where it serves our health and happiness in a way that's unique to every individual.