Meet the leaders & magic makers of Viva La Lemon Wellness Studio
Founder of Viva La Lemon
Founder of Viva La Lemon, Nicole’s passion for wellness can be seen from afar. She grew up in south-west manitoba. Met her husband Greg and settled in the quaint little community of Souris. They currently have two adorable little kiddos, Riley & Charlee. A Registered Nurse by day, she is witness to health and wellness from the frontlines.
Nicole created Viva La Lemon in 2016, which began as a blog; an outlet for her to share her own wellness journey. Trying to navigate where exactly she belonged in this world she began to explore the world of wellness, trying to live a life full of intention while being fully alive and awake. She noticed that no life is perfect, that every life has its ‘lemons’ but we can still live our best life, perfectly imperfectly.
Nicole loved to run. “I loved that feeling you get when it’s just you and the road and your breath – the rest of the world just melted away. For years that was my version of meditation. A time where I was able to get out of my head and into my body and be blissfully present.” But after a few running injuries, Nicole realized there was something missing and began practicing yoga to ‘stretch’ in the safe environment of her basement. Her love for yoga grew from there. Once she overcame her fear of practicing in a class setting with others she found herself attending a yoga class regularly. Her interest in the ancient yoga practices grew, which lead her to completing her 200hr intensive Yoga Teacher Training in 2017. Nicole began teaching under Viva La Lemon in her back yard shortly thereafter.
Nicole’s vision with Viva La Lemon grew into a community wide endevour. She wanted to create a safe and welcoming place for everybody and EVERY BODY to find a place where they belonged. A place where they could practice coming home to their true self, with the support of others, without judgement. Her motto became: Be Here, Be You, Be Loved. People fell in love with her open, raw, realness and the Viva La Lemon community began to grow.
Next came the birth of Viva La Lemon Wellness Studio in partnership with Debb from the Mindful Mouse, who will be sharing the same building space as the studio. Joining efforts they wanted to create a home for Viva La Lemon where every member of the community could come, connect, feel apart of a loving supportive group, & find a wellness practice that suited their needs and interest. “From babies to grandparents, we want everyone to feel welcome. So please join us and ‘Be here, Be YOU, & Be Loved!”
Founder of The Mindful Mouse
Massage Therapist, Dance, Movement & Meditation Teacher
Deborah loves a challenge and loves to stretch, grow and learn. She began her journey as a Massage Therapist in 2008. In school, she loved learning about the body and about anatomy and physiology. This later would serve her teaching anatomy and ethics to students at Robertson College in Brandon before founding The Mindful Mouse here in Souris. She has studied dance and been involved with many creative endeavours.
Deborah embraces change and has developed a deep trust in life. Growing out of personal struggles and damaging tendencies she has had to learn about healing, about being present to life, about the need for self-care and supportive communities. She desires positive change within the community. To see people coming together to teach each other skills, share interests, dance and move together and to support one another.
With a deep passion for traveling the world and a wellness journey that includes meditation, Deborah decided to combine the two. In May of 2018, Deborah traveled to Guatemala for a 30 day silent retreat at The Hermitage retreat center. Set on the shores of Lake Atitlan in the highlands of Guatemala, Deborah submersed herself in the secluded jungle to deepen her meditation practice. Deborah continues to explore and cultivate her meditation practice. She believes this practice has helped her improve relationships, be more aware of the beauty in people and nature that surrounds us. For Deborah it’s about trusting in the mystery, the flow, and the meaning of life. She hopes that others too can benefit from sharing in this practice.
Maria began yoga in 2014 for the physical benefits but quickly fell in love with all parts mind, body, and spirit. In May 2015 Maria traveled to Costa Rica to study under Sufey Chen and Allowah Lani and to obtain her 200 hour yoga teacher training.
Maria has been teaching yoga all over southwest Manitoba since then. Maria is also a registered nurse and loves to incorporate knowledge of the Western medicine into her yoga Maria specializes in Vinyasa flow and loves to show people that they are capable of so much more than they imagined. Maria is of the belief that yoga is for anybody and no prior experience is needed to attend her class.
Children’s Yoga Teacher
Niki Kempthorne is joining the Viva La Lemon team with over 10 years of experience being an early years teacher and before that and Early Childhood Educator. She’s always had a passion for learning alongside children.
Over the last several years Niki has been on her own journey looking for ways to positively impact her health and wellbeing. The community she joined through the Viva La Lemon yoga classes has inspired all sorts of new learning about yoga, breath work, meditation and ways to be more present and intentional in her day to day life.
Niki feels incredibly grateful to merge two passions together – children + wellness. She’s excited to play and learn alongside students in the active, fun, and empowering classes that Go Go Yoga offers.
Pilates & Ballet Teacher
Erica is a certified STOTT PILATES teacher from Kenton Mb, who has been enjoying the benefits of pilates for over 15 years. She teaches a relaxing strength building class that will reawaken muscles, release the tension in your body and provide a full body muscle workout all on the comfort of a mat.
Group Fitness Teacher
Cristina Galante has been a Certified Group Fitness Instructor for 13 years! She has run various programs in Nova Scotia, Alberta and now Manitoba and is a Member of the Manitoba fitness Council!
Over the past year Cristina has been further developing her fitness certifications to include “Individual Fitness Leader” for one on one client training in addition to group classes.
Cristina has a passion for helping others find their joy in feeling strong and healthy!
Martial Arts Teacher
Jeff began martial arts at an early age. He started with basic karate, then moved to Muay Thai and a year later started training in Ji Jitsu. Jeff developed a big interest in the various martial art disciplines and what they represent. He went on to attend classes for judo, hapkido, aikido, ti ki rin. He has had many trainers over the years and each one of them has a had a different approach to each individual discipline.
“I took the lessons I learned that best suited my talents and went on to competing in combat sports. Unfortunately, I obtained an injury to my hand and can no longer compete.” After recovering from his injury Jeff turned his focus to training others interested in martial arts.
Jeff ran a gym in his hometown of Neepawa. There he offered individualized discipline training and self defence training. Later Jeff realized the physical + mental benefits of martial arts could benefit everyone and began implementing fitness-style programs that utilized mixed martial arts geared toward all ages and levels.
Wellness Teacher & Nutrition Health Coach
Buffy Dawson Cancade has had a long time curiosity about learning and living a good life’s balance, particularly in whole life wellness, stress reduction, and nourishing foods. She believes each person is totally unique in their own wellness needs – and that they can explore their own unique balance for health, including what foods, actions, and wellness activities nourish them best in body, mind and spirit.
Buffy has studied various ways towards whole wellness, including Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching; Finding the Deep River Within – Life Balance for Busy Women (facilitator); yoga teacher training; meditation; and many things food, of course!
Having previously brought forth some of her passion through food at the Woodfire Deli, these days she is cooking up delicious and nutritious menu options for Viva La Lemon members as our branch of Viva Whole Foods.
Catch up with her anytime for a chat about your personal wellness journey!
Certified Buti Yoga Instructor
Danielle was introduced to Buti Yoga in 2017 after the birth of her son Benjamin. “I was looking for a fun outing and some physical activity to help mend my body and get my strength back. Since my first class, Buti Yoga has become so much more than a fun outing or physical activity. Buti has strengthened my love of music and movement. It has made me stronger physically and emotionally than even before the birth of my son.” Danielle certified in Buti Yoga in January in 2019 and has been teaching in southwestern Manitoba. Danielle looks forward to meeting many more amazing people in her Buti journey and encourages everyone to come and join in this energetic practice.