Who is Selena Isles?

Often called the Urban Yogi, I am a Yoga teacher, international DJ, Seriousblack and solo mother. After 25 years, I still refer to myself as student.

My journey officially started when in 1995, after a traumatic injury in the 4×400 relay ended my athletic career in 4 seconds. While recovering I found a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi which then led me to discover my mother’s copies of Light on Yoga, The Yoga Sutras, and The Bhagavad Gita.

My mother was my first teacher and guru; yoga has been with me since birth. Through her guidance and teachings that I realized that Yoga had been weaving in and out of my childhood and adolescence and I ran from it at every turn. I figured it was something that was unattainable, something I had to be “old” to understand. However when I needed it the most, the breath, the practice, the path, was there. It brought me back from the brink of losing everything, I had worked so hard to achieve during my athletic career to a place of stillness and healing. I spent the rest of that summer in full leg cast and crutches, secluded in my parent’s basement, trying to wrap my mind around this practice and its concepts.

The AHA! moment I believe came through reading Autobiography of a Yogi and his reverence for simplicity in his writings and his devotion. In addition a visit from my aunt, who shared with me her insights and outlined my life telling me that the only constant in life is change and that I could run but never hide from this path; and my mother who never swayed from her purpose or mine.  I learned to find the joy in the rise and fall of life, the triumphs and tribulations and learning to understand the impermanence of everything around me. It was also at this point that I stumbled down the path of meditation like an elephant in a china shop, seeking refuge.

I learned important lessons in the basement, that summer that live on in my practice and teaching today. It was self check, a stripping of the ego a burst of light.

In 1999, I traveled to Thailand, and became dedicated to the path of yoga and meditation, of the Nath Yogi. While there I lived in a small ascetic village which affected my practice greatly, this was not a cool resort teacher training at all! This was rugged day to day monastery living, offering oneself up to serve and being humbled in the most painfully extraordinary ways, this was learning about my dharma. I will say that being in that tiny village, and all the challenges it presented was the start of my path, as I spent the first few years learning nothing of asana yet everything of the mind, mantra and meditation. I began practicing asana and discovered something I had been seeking for years: the manifestation of meditation through motion.

Today I work at blending the alchemy of my own practice with my years of studentship. I did not aim to teach, yet allowed the practice to resonate from me, letting awareness blend with movement and breath.  Over the years, I developed a style that integrates the breath based flow of Ashtanga and the precision of Iyengar into a deep, transformative and integrative mind/body experience. My practices are dynamically focused classes that force you into the present moment, using a bit of urban vernacular. In 2019, I was named one of the first Global ambassadors for Lole.

I spend my time parenting, embracing the chaos of life, teaching, training and making music between Montreal, LA, and Europe.

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha!
 
Please see below for my teaching lineage

Certifications & Lineage

Hatha, Ashtanga & Yin Yoga Teacher

  • 500 Hour Ashtanga Yoga with Jamie Lee 2017
  • Online Anatomy and Yoga Therapeutics Training with Martin Kirk, 2016
  • 75 Hour Vinyasa Flow with Noah Maze, 2016
  • 100 hours Core Strength Vinyasa Method with Saide Nardini, 2015
  • 500 hours Mark Stephens Yoga, 2014
  • 200 hours Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with HappyTree Yoga, 2012-2013
  • 40 hours Yin Yoga Training with Melanie Richards and Albert Bissada, 2012
  • 300 hour Kriya Yoga with Self Realization Fellowship, 2009 – 2015
  • 100 hour Vinyasa Krama with Srivatsa Ramaswami, 2011
  • 125 hours Pre Natal Yoga Training with Janice Clairfield, 2010

200+ hours of miscellaneous workshops and training on topics such as anatomy, meditation, yoga practice, pranayama and philosophy with teachers Donna Farhi, Janet Stone, Davidji, Albert Bissada, Natalie Rousseau, Melanie Richards, Barrie Riseman, Carina Risman, Eddy Stern, Sri Dharma Mitrra, Steve Sims, Jamie Lee, Richard Miller, Sadie Nardini, Eoin Finn, Mark Stephens and Noah Maze.

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

Selena’s teachings are completely aligned with her personality. Her classes are clear, present and focused she presents this age old wisdom in the easiest way for anyone ( adult to child) to understand. She uses language that is easily transferable to our bodies and head space, amazingly she gets us out of heads and into our bodies quickly. She structures her practices in such a way that we are often in the middle of a very difficult pose before she says guess what guys you’ve now found yourselves in the midst of a AHA moment! Run with it. The emotional, spiritual and mental releases I’ve felt while studying with her beyond what I ever thought the first time I took her class. Her warmth, easy smile coupled with a razor sharp intelligence is astounding. Not to mention her sense of humor is contagious both on the mat and off.

Darlene DicksonArmed Guard

MEDIA

Often referred to as the ‘Urban Yogi’ Selena Isles is a travelling yoga teacher, international DJ, Seriousblack and single mother. Her journey back to yoga started in 1996, after a traumatic injury at the Canada Games ended her athletic career.

During her recovery she found a copy Autobiography of a Yogi and her mother’s copies of Light on Yoga, Yoga the Iyengar Way and the Bhagavad Gita. She credits those discoveries as a turning point in her life. “Yoga has been with me all of my life” she explains (her grandfather was from India and her mother practiced yoga, meditation and prayer daily) “yet I always tried to separate it from my identity, to make it something outside of who I was”. It was in that realization I had to admit Yoga had been weaving in and out of my childhood and adolescence and I ran from it at every turn. However when I needed it the most, the practice, was there. It brought me back from the brink of losing everything I had worked so hard to achieve during my athletic career to a place of stillness and healing”.

In 1999, she made the long journey to Thailand, to seclude herself further and rewrite her journey.  She became dedicated to the path of yoga and meditation. Residing in a small ascetic village in the south is where Selena started to define her practice greatly. This was not a one month intensive in ultra-cool  Thailand she says; this was bare bones , stripped down to the essence, day to day offering oneself up to serve consciously, mindfully  and being humbled in the most painfully extraordinary ways.

She coordinates her time embracing the chaos between teaching, parenting, leading workshops, touring and leading teacher training’s, and travelling to teach and lead retreats between Canada, US, Europe and Australia. Her teaching style she says is Radiance & Ritual, it combines the precision of Iyengar tradition with the breath and movement of Ashtanga in a moving meditation for the body, breath and mind.  In 2019 she became one of the official Global Ambassadors for Lole, and she has led the Lole White Tour for the last few years.

http://www.selenaisles.com/classes/

EXTRAS

No biography would be complete without mentioning that Selena was a high school teacher for 13 years teaching in some of the roughest schools in Montreal. This is why she is able to teach so efficiently, offering smart, focused and dynamic practices both on the mat and off. She brings years of teaching and garnering the ability to explain asana and philosophy in various ways that everyone can grasp immediately. On top of this she also holds Master’s Degree in Anthropology.

For over two decades Selena is also recognized by her other craft; international DJ and producer, DJ Seriousblack. In 2015 she was signed to the influential Black Swan Sounds Records and released her first album END TRANSMISSION http://store.blackswansounds.com/track/end-transmission-mixed-by-dj-seriousblack with them, followed by the Funky Tropical in 2016. She has 5 other independent releases prior to signing with Black Swan Sounds.

Since 2013 she has been a featured performer in festivals such as Wanderlust,Wellspring, Tadasana, Lole White Tour, and Hanuman Festival. She has also been featured at The Montreal Jazz Festival, Full MOON Festival in Thailand, Who’s next in Paris, Its Time to Bloom Tour and Under Pressure in Montreal since 2010.

She has had the pleasure of being featured and opening for acts like DJ Drez and MC Yogi, Karsh Kale, Micheal Franti, Garth Stevenson and Thievery Corporation. She has provided the sound space for top yogis such Chelsey Korus, Faith Hunter, Eoin Finn, Light Watkins, Bri Smith, Elena Brower, Mary Beth LaRue, Noah Maze, Schuyler Grant, Carolyn Budgell, Crystal Rainbow Borelli, Bram Levinson, Melanie Richards, Sadie Nardini and hosts of others.

Each of her classes features a curated playlist for that week, to explore more http://www.djseriousblack.ca

Click here to follow on Spotify and access good music  DJ Seriousblack on Spotify