Mindful Moments Instructors
The Mindful Moments program has a diverse team of instructors. Each instructor's class is shaped by their unique academic and personal experience with mindfulness. We encourage you to take a couple of minutes out of your busy day to read about each of our Mindful Moments instructors and to drop-in to their classes.
Lauren is the Coordinator of the Mindful Moments program and an E-RYT and Applied Mindfulness Meditation Specialist with over 1000 hours of teaching experience. She is also an MEd student at OISE where she studies Adult Education.
Lauren started practicing yoga and mindfulness as a way to manage her stress and striving. She is a keen practitioner of nature appreciation and loves to share her passion for integrating mindfulness into our day-to-day lives.
Her Wednesday class encourages an embodied awareness that contributes to the reduction of tension, increased range of motion and relaxation. Class begins with a meditation and a slow mindful warm-up, followed by a variety of poses, and closes with a 10 minute meditation. Modifications are provided throughout so that students of all abilities can participate. Latecomers are welcome and early departures are accommodated. The sessions are open to students, faculty and staff with a valid Athletic Centre membership which includes access to Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
Mindful Yoga & Meditation | Wednesdays @ 5:30 p.m. to 6:25 p.m. | Goldring Centre, Fitness Room, 3rd Floor, 100 Devonshire Place
Melissa is an experienced Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist and Buteyko Breathing Educator. She encourages people to personalize yoga and meditation and to take these teachings from the mat into daily life.
Melissa begins her class with a reflection topic/intention, moving into a gentle yoga practice, relaxation, breathing practice, and seated and/or lying down mindfulness meditation. All of her classes are beginner friendly and modifications are offered in a welcoming environment. Students who need to arrive late or leave early will be accommodated. If you plan to leave early, please let Melissa know at the start of class if possible.
Jill (MEd, BPHE, RYT, RHEP-TFL) is the Assistant Manager of Fitness & Instruction at the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education (U of T Sport & Rec). She oversees fitness, dance and sport programs across the Faculty's facilities including the yoga and meditation classes at the Athletic Centre and Goldring Centre. Jill is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and holds a certificate in Applied Mindfulness Meditation from the U of T School of Continuing Studies.
She is also a Registered Health & Exercise Practitioner-Trainer of Fitness Leaders (RHEP-TFL). Jill teaches Mindful Meditation and Yoga classes, linking several yoga poses together in a mindful way while integrating principles of alignment grounded in exercise science.
- Mindful Yoga & Meditation | Mondays @ 5:30 p.m. to 6:25 p.m. | Goldring Centre, 3rd Floor
Dr. John Vervaeke, PhD
Bio coming soon.
Tai Chi | Tuesdays @ 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Multi-Faith Centre, Room 208, 569 Spadina Crescent
Meditation | Tuesdays @ 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. | Multi-Faith Centre, Room 208, 569 Spadina Crescent
Note: These sessions run from January 15 - March 26. Participants must join by the second session (January 22).
Liam O’Leary is a lover of all things involving trees and bicycles. He is a certified coach, a graduate of the MEd program in Adult Education at OISE and he has participated in multiple mediation retreats.
He takes a solution-focused approach to supporting individuals in their personal, academic and professional growth. His mindfulness sessions encourage a single-pointed focus on a mediation-object for twenty minutes followed by a short debrief, and then a second twenty-minute session.
Please come early if you would like additional instruction. Latecomers and early departures are accommodated. All are welcome!
Lucy, an undergraduate Neuroscience student, was introduced to yoga in her early teens.
What started as a recovery tool for her training as an elite triathlete quickly became so much more: a creative outlet and healing modality. Inspired by yoga’s ability to balance both strength and restoration, she enrolled in Octopus Garden’s Teacher Training and completed over 500 hours of Yoga Education while attending high school.
Shortly after, Lucy began sharing her passion for self-inquiry and intelligent movement—the ability to trust breath and allow one’s body to find its natural alignment. You can expect a strength-based, breath-driven (and fun!) flow yoga class with modifications to make the class accessible to all levels.
Thomas is a fourth-year Psychology and Cognitive Science student at U of T. He was first introduced to meditation in grade 12 on an intense 5-day meditation retreat. He has continued his education through daily practice and attending retreats and conferences.
Each session begins with an informal introduction, followed by two twenty-minute meditations (one seated and one walking). Class close with a Q & A period. His sessions are a mix of mindfulness and loving-kindness meditations.
Latecomers are welcome and early departures are accommodated. The sessions are open to faculty, staff and students.
Zachary is a returning Psychology student at the University of Toronto. Over the past 10 years, Zach has practiced various forms of meditation and mindfulness. Recently, he has helped young athletes with adapted mindfulness-based techniques and continues to work with high-performance tennis players as a Tennis Canada Level 2 Coach.
In his sessions, Zach includes many fundamentals taught in John Vervaeke’s Introduction to Meditation Program such as Centering, Rooting, Flowing, Developing/Strengthening Concentration and Loving-Kindness. His sessions are flexible and open to all abilities and experience levels.
Airrow Toner is a graduate from the Foundations of Applied Mindfulness at U of T as well as the Community Worker Program at George Brown College, and a current student of Esoteric Studies and Spiritual Science.
In these sessions, she hopes to offer an inclusive space where those attending feel held in community and solidarity as we practice an array of mindfulness techniques together. All are welcome to attend this session. Folks are encouraged to bring a journal for post reflection (paper and writing utensils will also be available), and there will be time allotted at the end of the session for those who feel inspired to share their experience. There is no need to perform, strive, or be a certain way here. Come as you are—however you are.
Brenda Toner is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She teaches drop-in mindfulness meditation classes at the Multi-Faith Centre as part of the U of T Mindful Moments program.
For the past 34 years, Brenda has been actively involved in the area of mental health and wellbeing. She has held many leadership positions including Head of Women’s Mental Health Program and Director of the Fellowship Program at U of T. During the past 12 years, she has participated in professional education training and teaching in Mindfulness-based approaches. Over the past 3 years, she has had the opportunity to give several workshops, invited presentations and keynote addresses on Mindfulness at U of T. Brenda also taught Undergraduate and Graduate courses in the Psychology Department and OISE at U of T.
True Peace Toronto
True Peace Toronto is a group of mindfulness practitioners who meet to learn and practice the art of mindful living. Their practice is based on the Zen Buddhist teachings of the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, but they come from a variety of backgrounds, traditions and experience levels. This diversity is reflected in their family of facilitators who take turns leading the sessions. Learn more about us on our website.
Owen Ware, PhD
Owen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at U of T. His approach to mindfulness focuses on the cultivation of self-care, personal growth, and community building. He is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches meditation and yoga classes that are designed to create a safe, relaxing and welcoming space for both beginners and regular practitioners.
- Mindful Moments Meditation | Mondays @ 12:10 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. | Grad Room, Lower Level
Wake Up Toronto
Wake Up Toronto has five main facilitators who have all studied and trained with Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in the tradition of Engaged Mindfulness. Collectively, we are interested in exploring how mindfulness can be applied to daily life.
- Elli Weisbaum is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, with a focus on integrating mindfulness into healthcare. She is also an instructor for the Applied Mindfulness and Meditation certificate program at U of T’s School of Continuing studies, and a certified teacher in the Search Inside Yourself program developed at Google Headquarters.
- Rob Walsh is a Masters student in the Physical Therapy program at U of T and is passionate about bringing together the disciplines of physical therapy and mindfulness.
- Dagmara is an MSW and RSW trained Mindful Self Compassion Teacher, whose clinical work is informed by her mindfulness training. She co-teaches the foundation level courses in the AMM-MIND program at U of T and is a member of the program's advisory committee.
- Kate Dunn works in the Toronto film and television industry, while pursuing her own studies and training in mindfulness to support her community activism and personal well-being.
- Pablo Seto works in commercial banking, speaks over five languages and is an avid scholar of mindfulness teachings, offering a wealth of wisdom on the roots of our practice.
We approach mindfulness practice from the perspective of open exploration that is inclusive and fun, with the aim to develop personal well-being and a more compassionate and healthy society.
- Mindfulness Meditation | Tuesdays @ 6:30 – 8 p.m. | Multi-Faith Centre, 2nd Floor, Main Activity Hall, 569 Spadina Crescent *Every other week. Check their Facebook page for dates.