About Bend Over Backwards Yoga

Our Vision Statement :

To provide a community service by offering yoga classes to anyone regardless of age, ability, gender, gender orientation, race or income. To offer respect, encouragement and support to every student. To maintain integrity in the yoga poses as well as in business practices. To be students first so that our knowledge of yoga continues to develop.

Our Instructors


Kelly Murphy

Studio owner Kelly has been studying and teaching in the Iyengar tradition for more than 25 years - 19 of them in Nanaimo. She finds inspiration in social justice, community building and from her students.

Kelly is certified at the Intermediate Level which allows for teacher-mentoring and assistance with physical problems.



De Orrell

De moved to Nanaimo from Australia in 2001. It was not long after this time that she found Bend Over Backwards and her Iyengar Yoga journey began. She started her teacher training in September of 2014 after being inspired by her yoga community. De is excited to teach as some of her passions include running, cycling and enjoying the outdoors. De knows she could bring her outdoor activities onto the yoga mat.
Certification: Introductory II



Dori Miller

Dori runs the studio pop-up store raising support for the child-led family of 18 HIV orphan cousins in Uganda. What began as a personal project has been embraced for 11 years by many at the studio.

“Caring for these kids brightly highlights for me the principles and practice of yoga. Yoga lights my way and their way.”


Ken Brewer

Ken received his certification for Iyengar Introductory Level 1 and 2  in 2012 and has been a long time student of Kelly for over 18 years. He has been a high school music teacher for 28 years and an Iyengar yoga teacher for 8 years.  His love of teaching comes through in his classes.
Certification: Introductory II


Missi Hegyes

The study and practice of yoga has improved Missi's life on many levels. Join her to explore! You are never too old or too stiff to begin. 

Missi has a background in figure skating and teaching. She is the mother of 5 children and 9 wonderful grandchildren.
Certification: Introductory II



Nicole Arendt

In search of a practice for personal growth and enjoyment, Nicole began studying yoga at Bend Over Backwards studio.  So strong was yoga's impact that three years later she signed up for the rigorous Iyengar Teacher Training program.  Yoga gives her strength, equanimity and poise in life and in her music career as Principal Timpanist with the Vancouver Island Symphony, and Kindermusik and Suzuki Piano Instructor at the Nanaimo Conservatory.
Certification: Introductory II


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Annette Whiteley

Annette started her yoga journey at age 50, attending a weekly noon hour class. A nurse since 1979 and a community nurse since 1985, Annette has found yoga a vital part of self-care and wishes she had started yoga earlier. Experiencing the physical, mental and emotional benefit of yoga and wishing to deepen her understanding of yoga was the incentive to start teacher training in 2015. She is grateful for the mentorship and support of her amazing teachers and fellow practitioners in this art of yoga. Certification: Introductory II



Tracy Harvey

Tracy never imagined that she would be practicing, never mind teaching, yoga but in 2007 her yoga journey began.

Tracy previously worked for 33 years with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Tracy is also a classically trained clarinetist who has taught clarinet and performed for almost 50 years. Tracy enjoys spending time with her husband Dave exploring old and new activities such as cycling, kayaking and rock climbing.
Certification: Introductory II


Jessica Lowry

Jessica is a classically trained actor and mother to three special beings. Jessica feels the practise and discipline of Iyengar Yoga bring her back to that place of childhood wisdom- intuition, physical and mental freedom.  The art of motherhood and craft of theatre inform her understanding and teaching of yoga. She is grateful this path found her, and for the vital international community that shares these evolving, living teachings.
Certification: Introductory II