We are pleased to introduce Anne Parsonage. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Upon graduating from University of Manitoba in 1987 with a degree in Actuarial Mathematics, she moved to Toronto to work as an associate actuary. After a few years of working, she asked herself “Do I want to work in this profession for the rest of my life?”, and although she loved the subject of actuarial mathematics itself, the answer to the question was “No”. So she purchased a one-way plane ticket off the continent and, with no itinerary, embarked on a journey that lasted almost three years. Eight months into the trip, she landed in India. There Anne began a personal quest for the meaning of life. She participated in a Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat at a monastery in Dharamsala in the Himalayas. Upon completion, she realized that there exists a reality beyond that which can be perceived through the senses and the mind, and so she continued searching in earnest. She asked herself the question “What is Yoga?”. She visited the town of Rishikesh in the Himalayan foothills, on the banks of the Ganges river. There she found knowledge and purpose in ashram life, and she spent the winter immersed in this community, exploring yoga teachings at various ashrams in the area. She also learned in less formal settings, such as regular participation in the devotional worship ceremonies (“pujas”) held by a group of Bhakti yogis in a cave in the mountain jungle (Bhakti is the Sanskrit word for devotion). Anne also met other wise souls who came to the area because of its’ proximity to the holy Ganges River, a sacred pilgrimage destination for Indians. And she started to learn to speak Hindi.
After leaving Rishikesh that spring, she continued traveling for months, throughout parts of India, Nepal, and Thailand, practising yoga and Buddhist meditation, and acquiring certification in Thai massage. She finally ended up, in December 1992, at Shantivanam, a Christian ashram in South India, where she met David Muller from Switzerland. It was through the soul of David that she initially received the highest teachings of yoga … it was yoga taught out of the purity of the soul, via the Holy Spirit … it was “yoga from the heart”. She spent the winter of 1993 there, receiving the teachings and blessings through David. Yet, David himself was not the yoga master, but rather, he was connected in the heart to the cosmic-spiritual impulse embodied in the fully-enlightened soul of the graceful Heinz Grill of Germany. Anne knew she must participate in the intensive yoga teacher training course being offered by Heinz Grill himself, in the Tirol district of Austria. The course resembled an intensive Sivananda yoga teacher training course (after all, Heinz Grill himself had trained in a teacher training at a Sivananda school). But the real basis of the training course was the cosmic-spiritual impulse which appeared through the person of Heinz Grill. Upon completion of the yoga teacher training, she finally returned to Canada in September 1993.
Since then, she has been traveling back and forth between her two homes, Toronto and India, living, studying, and teaching Yoga From The Heart Canada in both places. Since the late 90’s, the India location has been on the premises of the family home of Hindu priest V.S. Hegde near the holy pilgrimage town of Gokarna, Karnataka, South India. There is a steady flow of traveling Westerners who pass through there and enthusiastically participate in the intensive 10 day yoga courses which Anne teaches on a flat rooftop surrounded by palm trees. There she is affectionately known as “Annie from Canada, the yoga teacher”. As for her teaching in Canada, she is currently teaching out of a boutique studio setting in downtown Toronto.