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.

Listen to Kelly's free yoga podcasts at www.chly.ca/yogapodcast



Mary-Ellen Hannah

 The benefits of increased flexibility, more energy, lifted spirits and a warm community of fellow practitioners sustains Mary-Ellen's deep commitment to the art and science of Iyengar yoga. Mary-Ellen earned her certification in 2016.


Dori Miller

Dori has enjoyed yoga practice and philosophy for many years. It is an anchor in her life. She assists in the Cancer Recovery Class where yoga creates the basis for a practical, compassionate refuge. It is a special group of people within our wonderful yoga community.


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.


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 is an Introductory Level 2 Iyengar yoga teacher with a background in skating and teaching. She is the mother of 5 children and 9 wonderful grandchildren.




Tracy Harvey

Tracy started her yoga journey in 2007 and became a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher in September 2014. Tracy enjoys sharing the teachings and the community within the studio.




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.


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Annette Whitely

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.


Tegan Brophy

Yoga has been an integral part of Tegan’s life since her introduction to Iyengar Yoga in her late teens. For the past 30 years she has practiced and studied with a variety of international teachers, beginning her teaching career in South Africa in 2008.  Tegan is certified at the Junior Intermediate level.



Jessica Lowry

Jessica's journey with yoga training began with a 250 hour program. Having dipped her toes in this vast subject she knew it required a much deeper plunge. Iyengar’s method of yoga and teacher training continues to touch her body, mind and heart and she is full of gratitude to have the opportunity to teach and learn from students within this rich and committed Iyengar yoga community.



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.