About Celeste

By making yoga or exercise a daily way of life you see this commitment carry over into a more deeply felt initiative under all that you do. Simply, you learn to rely on yourself.”
— CELESTE SHIRLEY

Celeste began exercising daily at thirteen years old when her swimming instructor told her not to bother coming to the final exam.  When she asked why, her instructor said, “You don’t have the strength [to pass]”. Celeste got out of the pool and snuck into the weight room the next day.  She was too young to be admitted. She has been weight training, dancing, yoga-ing, running and any other inspired movement her body prompts her to do since. Her lifelong journey of studying the body/mind has brought her to discover yoga at a young age. Coming from a type ‘A’ personality and recovering-academic-mentality means she is always surprised by how change and progress (as we know it) can be more alive and gentle than we realize.

Her fascination with the body’s ability to strengthen, adapt, feel emotional angst and still feel alive has fostered an approach to living that exhibits Brave.  At the same time, her sensitivity, tenderness and attentive care for her students promotes the ability for them to do the same. In the ways they need to. Her background in kinesiology keeps them aligned and anatomically informed.  She is the fusion of science, biomechanics, Mary Poppins discipline and Monty Python silliness if he did yoga. (What a great skit that would have made!)

She loves nature so much, she built her yoga studio in a conservation area.  You better come. It is not possible to depict how great you feel when you walk in the door. The view is astounding. 

About Celeste’s Approach

“I feel most alive when I convey the innate wisdom inside our bodies.

This cellular intelligence not only beats our hearts and blinks our eyes, it also prompts us to sense what we really, truly want to do in our life.  This is felt. Feeling your inherent intelligence promotes living a life of inspired self-expression and the courage to take action."

Celeste's Delightful Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm to love your life is contagious around Celeste. She connects people to their own joyful potential. Celeste’s teaching acts as a philosophical primer for living an inspired life.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke

“The classes I teach in The Yoga House are an expression of my personal inquiry into the mysteries of life. It is the way I share my findings with others who are interested in how to live healthfully in this digital, fast paced world. I reveal how it is possible to live a peaceful, integrated life in a busy city (without being a navel gazer living on sprouts) In my classes, through yoga postures, strengthening exercises, dialogue, poetry, spontaneous movement, breathing exercises (pranayama) and laughter, we find our true selves. We reunite with our true nature. We bring forth the inspired promptings that are in us to live. This is felt.

When we feel alive again, after leaving the yoga mat, our capacity to live is rebooted.

Other beneficial contributors I use in class are the following: essential oils, aromatherapy, Nature herself (sit in the ravine before and/or after class) and heaps of hands on treatment including Therapeutic Touch, reiki or Thai Massage. Don’t be surprised if you feel your neck massaged during savassanaa (lying relaxation.) In each class you will be touched, (only by consent: with notice before) either metaphorically or through a smile from the group or by one of Rumi’s fabulous parables.

It is not possible to practice yoga exclusively. When you practice yoga a meditative mind will be accentuated. You will experience what I have come to call an inner “re-calibration” that will lead to more healthful living. In my experience it’s as if the yoga practice tightens the purse strings of your tolerance to keep doing, eating, or engaging in  ways of living that do not really feed you. At the same time, humour must be massively involved when you change and become healthier. Please don’t be serious about changing and sticking with yoga or exercise. In fact, stay away from those people. Seriously.”

Bio Highlights

With a B.A.Hon. in Physical Education, a background in Kinesiology, yoga, competitive bodybuilding and certifications in: Thai Massage (Old Medicine Hospital, Chiang Mai) Laughter Yoga, personal training, and reiki, Celeste emphasizes the mind body connection for physical vitality and emotional health.

In her studio she works with individuals and groups from the Toronto District School Board experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.  This includes those that have PTSD, borderline personality disorder (emotional dis-regulation), rape survivors, and addiction.

At Bellwood Health Services, Toronto, a private hospital specializing in addiction, Celeste worked alongside doctors and nurses as fitness director and wellness consultant, teaching stress management and exercise prescription. Celeste has been discovering ways to help individuals with exceptional physical and mental experiences assimilate into life with a more centred and whole sense of self. 

As a teacher for the Roots of Empathy organization, Celeste facilitates the importance of feeling your emotions and effectively expressing them throughout classrooms in the Toronto District School Board.

Celeste loves to garden, hike, ride her bike everywhere, hang out in farmer’s markets, do all her office work in the ravine and engage in conversations about philosophy, and any matter related to behaviour. Her most cherished role is being a Mom to Sarah. She had poison ivy all the time as a kid making nature vignettes and flower arrangements. She was a florist for years, after studying Retail Floriculture at Humber College in Toronto. Yet, after graduating, she was so engaged in training provincial athletes in the athletic centre that she knew one fine day, she could not study the body, train and learn about nutrition, without teaching it. So, she went and got her Ba. in Phys Ed. Her studies took her to many teachers in Toronto, Costa Rica and Thailand. Having given up TV when she was young, she abhors being in front of any device with a screen, yet, will be as technical as is bloody necessary.