Meet Mothership School of Yoga’s Faculty

Michelle Shipley E-RYT & Valerie Giles E-RTYT                                 Co-Founders + Lead Teachers

Mothership School of Yoga was established in April 2015 offering Yoga Alliance Accredited Registered Yoga Teacher Training a the 200 Hour & 300 Hour levels.

Lead Teacher 

200 Hour RYTT

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Michelle Shipley E-RYT

Michelle Shipley (aka SHIP) E-RYT 200:  A 10 year Yoga Alliance Member, holds a 200 Hour Interdisciplinary Yoga certification from The Nosara Yoga Institute. She has been teaching yoga in studio, gym, corporates and on retreat since 2007.  She has over 2000 contact hours of teaching in Canada, USA and Nicaragua.

Ship, a self confessed “yogaholic” began her yoga journey in 2004 with Paoula DiPaulo in Keswick, Ontario, with a heavy influence by the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli and BKS Iyengar. She went on to study under world-renowned yogis, Don and Amba Stapleton Phd, at the Nosara Yoga Institute, in Nosara, Costa Rica. Her continuing education studies have included workshops and master classes in Yoga For Therapeutics with Todd Norian, Master Classes for Teachers with; Amy Ippoliti,  Rod Stryker and in Yoga Medicine with Tiffany Cruickshank.

Ship offers an experiential approach to teaching yoga. She leads with the heart. Knowing the head holds all of yoga’s obstacles she encourages her students to look deep inside themselves to find the comfort of HOME as a metaphor for the body and the mind with exercises in journaling and meditation.  She is thrilled by the “aha” moments her students discover every time they arrive on their mats.  She is a stickler for alignment and in finding a connection with each practitioner in the room.

Michelle believes in yoga’s ability to reach ALL people and specializes in working with practitioners recovering from physical and mental injury, surgery and those who are coming to the practice at seasoned stage in life.

Michelle’s approach to teaching the Mothership School of Yoga Students is based on movement inquiry, alignment and spiritually oriented yoga, with a direction toward making all poses accessible. Yoga Teacher Training is hard work physically and mentally. It is the BEST journey to help facilitate.  She is honoured by each and every one of her students who continue to teach her on a daily basis.


Lead Teacher

200 & 300 Hour RYTT

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Valerie Giles E-RYT 500

Valerie Giles (aka Val) E-RYT 500: is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance, which acknowledges the completion of a yoga teacher training with an approved and active Registered Yoga School (RYS).  She is the co-­founder of Mothership School of Yoga. Val’s personal style is a blend Anusara and Vinyasa with an added focus on restorative.  She aspires to embody the philosophy that yoga’s primary purpose is for the pure joy of it!

Valerie believes that yoga can be a pivotal process in the body’s natural ability to heal given the right environment. She was heavily involved in the competitive sport of triathlons and first came to yoga 15 years ago to help heal her injuries. She owes her wealth of knowledge and experience to an amazing list of internationally renowned teachers and mentors.

Valerie’s  initial 200 hour preparatory Immersions are based in the Anusara lineage. She studied with Robin Golt of Montreal and John Friend in Vancouver, Canada.  Valerie went on to study and certify as an Anusara Inspired 200 RYT with Turkey, based Yogi and Musician Chris Chavez in Vancouver at YYoga Vancouver.

Valerie’s Advanced Yoga Certificate 300 RYT is from the Lila­ Vinyasa School of Yoga. She went on to study and assist with Clara Roberts­-Oss, a student of Shiva Rae, in Thailand.

During Val’s eight years in Vancouver she took every  opportunity to study with many Master Teachers such as; Janet Stone, Shiva Rae, Rod Stryker, Sienna Sherman and Patrick Crewman. She attended regular workshops at festivals like Wanderlust, for regular workshop inspiration. Valerie continues to seek opportunities to further her knowledge with recent studies with Master Teachers such as, Todd Norian in Restorative Yoga Techniques, as well as her own exploration into the teachings of yoga and the wisdom traditions.

Valerie strives to integrate the philosophical and spiritual aspects of yoga wisdom along with the basic fundamentals of asana and anatomy. Her teachings are inquiry based with an emphasis on personal exploration and experiential learning, during which students are encouraged to find their own authentic voice. Her personal goal of bringing yoga to “All Ages and All levels of Fitness and Ability” is reflected in a curriculum designed to teach how to design a class suitable for a wide range of abilities and experience levels. One of the most important things she wants her students to learn is how to infuse joy into their teachings along with the vital aspect of teaching from the heart.


Mothership School of Yoga Students experience the full spectrum of intensity; from a fiery yang to healing restorative as Valerie strives to provide an experience that balances playfulness with a keen emphasis on alignment. She guides her students to build a strong foundation in order to maintain a safe playground.

Valerie invites you to play, laugh, heal, love and transform together while celebrating life.


Anatomy + Physiology + Kinesiology

200 Hour RYTT  + 300 Hour RYTT 


Karen Gilbert Tyssen 


Karen Gilbert Tyssen B.A Hon Kin, MPT, SCMT, FCAMPT, Registered Physiotherapist: completed her Honours Kinesiology degree in 2005 at The University of Western Ontario, going on to complete her Masters of Physiotherapy in 2007 and Masters of Clinical Science in Manipulation Therapy at Western University and FCAMPT certification in 2016.

Karen has obtained advanced training in Orthopedics, Manual Therapy, Spinal Manipulation, Acupuncture, Selective Functional Movement Assessment, Running Specific Injuries and Gait Assessment, and Neurological Rehab.

Karen has treated athletes of all levels and built a strong reputation in the local community. Karen enjoys doing educational talks for the Yoga and Running Community on Anatomy and Injury Prevention.


Nitya Kandath

Nitya Kandath has joined our faculty to lead us in PHILOSOPHY,  MEDITATION + PRANAYAMA. Nitya’s energy, kindness + optimism is contagious! He lives + teaches in an Ashram in India where he has been practicing yoga + Vedanta for over 31 years. He studied with Swami Vishnudevananda in South India + learned Vedanta from Swami Brahmananda of Divine Life Society Rishikesh. Nitya’s teachers were disciples of Master Sivananda. Nitya has a large following of beloved students and is most respected in our yoga community.  How FORTUNATE we are to have him share with us!