As I sit on my porch rubbing my pregnant belly I am thinking about teaching my last class at Octopus Garden before I welcome this little person into the world this July. I am struck by the gratitude I feel for my yoga practice and the Octopus Garden community. This baby has been so blessed to have soaked up week after week the effort and joy emitted by the students at Octopus Garden during their practice, students in my classes as well as the time I have spent on the mat.
I am particularly grateful to Pat and Scott for taking the immense leap of faith manifesting their vision of a yoga-healing centre this past year. My gratitude towards them stretches back to 2005 when I moved back to Toronto and coincidently they started their Octopus Garden journey. From the very beginning I was welcomed with open arms and encouraged to blossom as a student and teacher under their guidance. This environment of support is one of the true gifts they have given to me over the last six years. I feel honoured to have had a teaching position in their new home on College Street. To the friends I have made from teachers to students I am grateful to have met such wonderful and open souls. Lastly I am thankful for all the students who have come to my class and have allowed me to guide them through their practice. It has been a gift to me to be led by you.
When I think of the Octopus Garden family it feels like a special place in the city where I come to be myself and surround myself with like-minded people. I hope my children have the opportunity to experience spaces in their lives to feed their spirits, strengthen their bodies and calm their minds. This is the gift of the Octopus Garden community and the lesson I soak up each day I walk through the front door.
Elisse Peltz was introduced to yoga in high school when she stumbled upon a yoga instruction manual in her parent’s library. Her experiences since then have only deepened her belief that yoga has the ability to strengthen, rejuvenate and heal the human spirit
In 2004, she became a certified instructor at Yoga People in New York. Elisse has since completed a Restorative Teacher Training at Yogaspace in Toronto, the teacher training at Octopus Garden and she became a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner.
Elisse provides psychotherapeutic counselling for children, youth, adults and families where she combines her passion for yoga with traditional psychotherapeutic techniques. She has taught at Twist Yoga, Octopus Garden and Yogaspace studios as well as schools, boardrooms, weight loss clinics and in people’s basements to encourage accessibility for all types of people. Elisse has had many amazing teachers who have guided her along the way. Currently, her most influential teacher is her two-year-old son Izzy.