Meet Stacey Arseneau. Yoga teacher, Yoga teacher educator & trainer, and owner of Nelson School of Yoga.
"A grassroots Yoga studio located in the heart of downtown Nelson BC Canada. Hatha Yoga, Pranayama & Meditation practices for the beginner to experienced student. A Yoga centre that provides a space where people of all levels and abilities can come to learn and practice the teachings of Yoga. Classes range from Hatha to Vinyasa to Yin Yoga. With experience beginning in 2003, Nelson School of Yoga is registered with Yoga Alliance at the 500hr level including certified Yoga Teacher Trainings, ongoing continuing education, workshops and led classes. Join a community of connection, conscious evolution and realness."
Find us nestled in the Kootenay mountains amongst glaciers and the interior temperate rainforest. Find us at Herridge Place, across from The Best Western, along Nelson's Baker street. Dive deep into practice, contemplation and community led by Stacey Arseneau E-RYT 500, YACEP.
We love Stacey's space, it is so extremely inviting. There is a strong presence of Goddess & Divine Feminine energy that feels supportive in one's practice. Please enjoy our interview with Stacey as we learn more about her, her practice and her offerings.
Gaia: Stacey! We are so excited to be interviewing you. Please tell us about yourself.
Stacey: I grew up on the east coast in Bathurst New Brunswick. My roots are French and indigenous (Mi’kmaq and Inuit).
My father and mother are both strongly rooted in the east coast way of life and we would spend weekends out in the forest hunting, and connecting to the changing seasons. It’s here I began my inner journey with meditation and my connection to myself in a deeper way.
I have always had an appreciation for nature and the harmony it brings. I slowly made my way across Canada, to Montreal in 2001 and to Vancouver in 2003 as I was curious about the culture and lifestyle outside of the humble province of New Brunswick.
Gaia: How did you first get into Yoga?
Stacey: I was going through some big changes in Vancouver and started exploring my own personal growth. I was looking to find community, a healthy balance and a grounded way of life that would nourish me in ways my previous lifestyle couldn’t provide. I was tired of the culture of grasping and indulgence and was needing to feed my soul. Yoga for me was a profound shift in my relationship with myself and the external world. In 2003, I dove into the practice, excited for knowledge and something new. It ended up transforming my body, mind and nervous system in very remarkable ways.
Gaia: At what point did you decide to become a teacher? What prompted you to become a teacher & study yoga more deeply?
Stacey: I was frequenting a few studios in Vancouver, enjoying the different vibes, techniques, styles, and communities. In 2009, I took a 200 hour teacher training with Shakti Mhi and was able to expand through the rich history, philosophy and practice that is Yoga. I was fortunate to meet amazing practitioners to study with who helped stoke the fire of my journey and guide me toward teaching. I pay reverance to Chris Richardson, Christine Clancy, Mugs McConnell and Lalita.
Gaia: What do you feel you offer as a yoga teacher?
Stacey: I have a diverse history! I have overcome addiction, trauma, mental illness, and hardships. The practice has kept me grounded and focused. When a student comes to class, or I work with someone privately, we explore concepts like trauma theory, body biomechanics, having compassion for our emotions and Yoga philosophy. We manipulate the nervous system for positive change. There are parts of ourselves in everyones journey. We must come to know that we are not separate and are all reflections of one another.
Gaia: What are a few of your favourite yoga poses and why?
Stacey: This varies greatly depending on life events and how the body changes over the years. There are times where the simplest pose allows for connection. In a twist, I can connect to the present moment. In forward folds, one practices introspection. In backbends, one reflects on the past. That being said there is so much more to this practice than what meets the eye in physical postures. Outside of this Asana, we observe and quiet the mind and connect to the heart. Yoga is the stillness of mind fluctuations. The Yoga sutras tell us that Yoga begins now, in this present moment.
Gaia: How do you feel yoga helps you grow in your life?
Stacey: Yoga can be seen by many as a fitness routine. The 8 limbs of yoga offer a guide to live a happy and whole life. We learn the Yamas and Niyamas, we have a framework in which we can relate to others, our own desires, and tune our nervous systems towards contentment.
Gaia: Tell us about your studio.
Stacey: Nelson School of Yoga is warm and welcoming Shala. I was so fortunate to find a space that had great natural light and is walking distance to most amenities. I designed a modest room with warm colours, rainbows refracting through the windows, and a sense of clean, modern pop design. Somewhere anyone could feel comfortable and tap into the beauty of the mountains out the front windows. I’ve brought my library of books to share with the students. The alter is adorned with flowers, candles and the smell of incense. Its a fun loving revenant space that feels like home. Tea is always on :)
Stacey: What is your vision for your studio & what do you wish for your students?
Gaia: I wanted to create space that felt cozy and could only fit a limited number of students per class; this way each teacher has time and energy to focus on every student. It’s created a community of joy, compassion and acceptance. Often we chat, laugh, and share before and after class, and it makes my heart sing. I wanted to create a community, a lifestyle, and a safe place for everyone to do the work, and to find their own inner joy and light through Yoga.
Gaia: Are there any other personal spiritual practices you have? Do you mind sharing about them?
Stacey: I’m a regular meditator and perform indigenous practices such as offering and smudge. Connecting to nature is important for me.
Gaia: How do you think you have grown as a person in the last year?
Stacey: I took the leap of opening the Shala 20 years into the practice. It was a monumental undertaking and I feel so blessed to have done so. I have had to be vulnerable, understanding, immensely patient, and often stoic with the challenges that come with starting and running a business in todays politics. Luckily everyday is filled with lovely shiny people who come to the studio with an open heart!
Gaia: What is one thing you would like to grow about yourself in 2022?
Stacey: I would personally like to take a slight step backwards to finding work/life balance and have a bit more space for myself within the week. Now that the school is growing and glowing, I would like to take some more time for nature, cooking, and spending time with my partner and daughter in the beautiful place we call home.
Gaia: What is your sun sign and do you feel you relate to it? If you know what your moon and ascendant signs are, do you feel like they reflect in your personality?
Stacey: I do appreciate others commitments and interest in astrology. I personally don’t have much of a relationship to my signs, but have a deep reverence for sunrises, the lunar cycles and seasons. It’s undeniable to say we are not affected by the universe around us. I’m a Capricorn, isn’t that obvious?!
Gaia: Tell us about more about services you offer?
Stacey: I offer 200 and 300 hour Yoga Alliance accredited teacher trainings as well as private one-on-one sessions in alignment, emotional release, philosophy and spiritual guidance. The school hosts a number of dynamic workshops from holistic accounting to conflict resolution. My heart is so full to know that my humble space brings so much positivity to our community.
Gaia: Where can we find more information about accessing your services?
Stacey: On Instagram @nelsonschoolofyoga as well as www.nelsonschoolofyoga.com. The best is coming in for a lovely class with any of our yoga alliance accredited teachers!
Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?
Stacey: Definitely Triloka incense, Himalayan salt lamps, beeswax candles, and braided sweetgrass.