I believe the world is as we choose to view it. Simple as that. Our happiness is, in the end, up to us, and no one else.
Often called the Urban Yogi, I am a Yoga teacher, international DJ and single mother.
My journey officially started when in 1996, after a traumatic injury during the Canada Games which ended my athletic career in 4 seconds. While recovering I found a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi which then led me to discover my mother’s copies of Light on Yoga, Yoga the Iyengar Way, The Bhagavad Gita and a poster of Dharma Mittra’s 608 Asana. It was in those discoveries that I realized that Yoga had been with me all of my life weaving in and out of my childhood and adolescence and I ran from it at every turn. However when I needed it the most, the practice, was there. It brought me back from the brink of losing everything I had worked so hard to achieve during my athletic career to a place of stillness and healing. I spent the rest of that summer in full leg cast and crutches, secluded in my parent’s basement, trying to wrap my mind around this age old practice and its concepts.
The AHA! Moment I believe came through Yogananda’s reverence for simplicity in his writings; I learned to find the joy in the rise and fall of life, the triumphs and tribulations and learning to understand the impermanence of everything around me. It was also at this point that I stumbled down the path of meditation like an elephant in a china shop, seeking refuge.
I learned important lessons in the basement, that summer that live on in my practice and teaching today.
In 2001, I traveled to Thailand, and became dedicated to the path of yoga and meditation. While there I lived in a small ascetic village which affected my practice greatly, this was not a cool resort teacher training at all; it was day to day living, offering oneself up to serve and being humbled in the most painfully extraordinary ways. I will say that being in that tiny village, and all the challenges it presented was the start of my path.
Today I work at blending the alchemy of my own practice with my years of studentship. I aspire not to teach but to allow the practice to emanate from me, letting awareness blend with movement and breath. My practices are dynamically focused classes that force you into the present moment, using a bit of urban vernacular.
For detailed information on my teaching lineage please see below.
Certifications & Designations Earned To Date
• Hatha Yoga Teacher • Yin Yoga Teacher • Pre- Natal Yoga Teacher • RYT 200 since 2012 • RYT 500 since 2014 •
- Online Anatomy and Yoga Therapeutics Training with Martin Kirk, 2016
- 75 Hour Vinyasa Flow with Noah Maze, 2016
- 100 hours Core Strength Vinyasa Method with Saide Nardini, 2015
- 500 hours Mark Stephens Yoga, 2014
- 200 hours Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with HappyTree Yoga, 2012-2013
- 40 hours Yin Yoga Training with Melanie Richards and Albert Bissada, 2012
- 300 hour Kriya Yoga with Self Realization Fellowship, 2009 – 2015
- 100 hour Vinyasa Krama with Srivatsa Ramaswami, 2011
- 125 hours Pre Natal Yoga Training with Janice Clairfield, 2010
200+ hours of miscellaneous workshops and training on topics such as anatomy, meditation, yoga practice, pranayama and philosophy with teachers Donna Farhi, David Swenson, Albert Bissada, Natalie Rousseau, Melanie Richards, Barrie Riseman, Carina Risman, Sri Dharma Mitrra, P. Sharath Jois, Steve Sims, Richard Miller, Sadie Nardini, Eoin Finn, Mark Stephens and Noah Maze.
Selena’s teachings are completely aligned with her personality. Her classes are clear, present and focused she presents this age old wisdom in the easiest way for anyone ( adult to child) to understand. She uses language that is easily transferable to our bodies and head space, amazingly she gets us out of heads and into our bodies quickly. She structures her practices in such a way that we are often in the middle of a very difficult pose before she says guess what guys you’ve now found yourselves in the midst of a AHA moment! Run with it. The emotional, spiritual and mental releases I’ve felt while studying with her beyond what I ever thought the first time I took her class. Her warmth, easy smile coupled with a razor sharp intelligence is astounding. Not to mention her sense of humor is contagious both on the mat and off.Darlene Dickson
Often referred to as the ‘Urban Yogi’ Selena Isles is a travelling Hatha yoga teacher, international DJ and single mother.
Her journey started at 1996, after a traumatic injury at the Canada Games which ended her athletic career in 4 seconds.
During her recovery she found a copy Autobiography of a Yogi and her mother’s copies of Light on Yoga, and Yoga the Iyengar Way and the Bhagavad Gita. She credits those discoveries as a turning point in her life. “Yoga has been with me all of my life” she explains (her grandfather was from India and her mother practiced yoga, meditation and prayer daily) “yet I always tried to separate it from my identity, to make it something outside of who I was. It was in that realization I had to admit Yoga had been weaving in and out of my childhood and adolescence and I ran from it at every turn. However when I needed it the most, the practice, was there. It brought me back from the brink of losing everything I had worked so hard to achieve during my athletic career to a place of stillness and healing”.
In 2001, she made the long journey to Thailand, to seclude herself further and rewrite her journey. She became dedicated to the path of yoga and meditation. Residing in a small ascetic village in the south is where Selena started to define her practice greatly. This was not a one month intensive in ultra-cool Thailand she says; this was bare bones , stripped down to the essence, day to day offering oneself up to serve consciously, mindfully and being humbled in the most painfully extraordinary ways.
She splits her time between teaching, leading workshops and teacher training’s in Montreal, and travelling to teach and lead retreats between Canada, US, Europe and Australia. http://www.selenaisles.com/classes/
No biography would be complete without mentioning that Selena was a high school teacher for 13 years teaching in some of the roughest schools in Montreal. This is why she is able to teach so efficiently, offering smart, focused and dynamic practices both on the mat and off. She brings years of teaching and garnering the ability to explain asana and philosophy in various ways that everyone can grasp immediately. On top of this she also holds Master’s Degree in Anthropology.
For over two decades Selena is also recognized by her other craft; international DJ and producer, DJ Seriousblack. In 2015 she was signed to the influential Black Swan Sounds Records and released her first album END TRANSMISSION http://store.blackswansounds.com/track/end-transmission-mixed-by-dj-seriousblack with them, followed by the Funky Tropical in 2016. She has 5 other independent releases prior to signing with Black Swan Sounds.
Since 2013 she has been a featured performer in festivals such as Wanderlust, Tadasana and Hanuman Festival. She has also been featured at The Montreal Jazz Festival, Full MOON Festival in Thailand, Who’s next in Paris, Its Time to Bloom Tour and Under Pressure in Montreal since 2010. She has had the pleasure of being featured and opening for acts like DJ Drez and MC Yogi, Karsh Kale, Micheal Franti, Garth Stevenson and Thievery Corporation. She has provided the sound space for yogis such Beau Campbell, Erik Giasson, Carolyn Budgell, Crystal Rainbow Borelli, Bram Levinson, Melanie Richards, Sadie Nardini and hosts of others.
Each of her classes features a curated playlist for that week, to explore more http://www.djseriousblack.com