Wellness Gurus

Mistress of Ceremonies

Nikki Balch

Nikki, who is part of the 'Vinny and Nikki' show on The Beat 92.5, is an East Coast girl who has lived in six provinces - but Montreal stole her heart when she moved here in 2011.

Her plan to become the lead singer of Destiny’s Child 2.0 fell through so she went for radio instead. Which is perfect because she loves to talk and there’s no way she’d rather spend every morning than waking up Montreal with Cousin Vinny.

When she’s not in the studio you can find her at any live show or concert, shopping along St Catherine with music in her headphones,  enjoying one of the many amazing restaurants this beautiful city has to offer or at the market stocking up on produce so she doesn’t feel so bad about all of those restaurants--it’s about balance right?


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Keynote Speaker

Mayra Husic

Back in 2011, Mayra was diagnosed with Stage 4 Follicular Lymphoma while training for a Marathon. This active mother of three with a successful career shocked her family, friends and all that knew her. You will often hear her say “cancer does not discriminate”. She was no stranger to cancer having lost her mother to gallbladder cancer in 2005. She was put on watch and wait and continued to train running her fifth marathon to keep her body strong and mind focused. In 2013, her watch and wait was over and she began two and a half years of chemotherapy.

Eager to learn and better understand the proverbial “why me?” she began meditating to help her answer this very question. With all the challenges that she has encountered during and after her treatment, she remains with a positive outlook and attitude. With various setbacks post treatment and with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis in 2017, she lives in what she calls the “grey zone”. Meditation helps her manage her daily pain and anxiety and allows her to listen to her body more intently.

She is a firm believer of “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. (Charles R. Swindoll)”. She has learned through her various setbacks that everything happens for a reason and every event whether positive or negative gives everyone a chance to grow as an individual. With the experience of a cancer caregiver and now a patient, she gives back to society by volunteering when she is physically able to do so. She is humbled by all those that fundraise and support the organization and those that have lifted her spirits along the way through their kindness. She hopes through joint efforts, a cure for Lymphoma will be just around the corner. “Namaste”

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The Wellness Gurus

Adam Mahmoud

Adam is an international Yoga and Meditation teacher as well as a professional fire performance artist.

Over the past 13 years, he has travelled around the world and studied with some experienced masters, healers, and Yoga and meditation teachers in Ibiza, Bali, and India. His technique is based on traditional Balinese, Indian and Chinese wisdom traditions.

He has educated and taught thousands of people around the world to understand their body and mind and true divine nature.

Adam is driven by his life's mission to spread more love and kindness into the world.

In addition to teaching classes and workshops in Montreal and overseas, Adam has created a unique style of Holistic Yoga practice to restore body and mind to balance and lasting inner peace and joy.

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Alexandra Dupuis Taillefer

After 25 years experience in modern dance and classical ballet, I discovered hot yoga and meditation which have been my passion for the last 15 years.

Yoga has allowed me to keep in good physical condition, remain flexible and above all, to enjoy the pleasure of movement. As for meditation, it has enabled me to refocus and rejuvenate myself at every stage of my life.

 At an early age, I had the opportunity to teach dance and yoga in Montreal and its vicinity. I also recently obtained certification in “SUP yoga” (paddle board on water) since I love water… and swim like a fish!

After academic training in science, I received a BA in medicinal chemistry. For 14 years, I was involved in both the medical and pharmaceutical fields. Thanks to this valuable experience, I regard myself as an artist with a scientific mind... which I consider to be the best of both worlds.

Science, dance and the daily practice of yoga have helped me achieve the balance I so eagerly sought – the respect for body, mind and soul. Teaching these disciplines is my true calling.


Thank you,


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Bhaskar Goswami

Having taught yoga and meditation since 2001, there is one thing that I am confident about: yoga practice is for every body. I have taught yoga in virtually every conceivable environment, to people from the entire spectrum of age, culture and physical condition. As my teacher used to say, "It is the one good, for all good".   I have been extremely fortunate to have been guided by two master teachers, Yogacharaya Nandakumar and Siromani Sriram. Beyond being in awe of their mastery of the practice, what was more inspiring was how remarkable they were as human beings. I remember my then young mind wondering, "If I could be just a little bit like them, then this is definitely worth practicing".   It is an honor and privilege to pass on what I continue to learn, with enthusiasm and due justice to the practice. So, it is very important to me that yoga is taught properly, to the best on my understanding. It is my hope and trust that this sincerity comes through in my guidance, so that this practice can be as beneficial for you as it has been for me.

“The real teacher is right under your nose. It is the breath.”

To locate or list a wellness class near you, visit: globaldaana.org

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Brian D'Oliveira

Brian D’Oliveira is an award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist, and creative director based in Montreal, Canada. His successful career reflects an extraordinary combination of creativity, talent, dedication and drive. He has contributed music to hundreds of productions including TV series, documentaries, commercials, fiction films and video games.

Born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in an artistic environment between Venezuela, Austria and Canada, his multicultural background has laid down the foundation for his trajectory of artfully blending ancient cultures and musical influences, giving them a new life in modern formats. A sound alchemist at heart, he is constantly pushing the envelope, mastering new instruments, technologies and tools. He is the Founder, CEO and Creative Director of La Hacienda Creative, a full-service music and audio post-production studio in Montreal and Toronto.

Recently his evocative work as a composer, multi-instrumentalist and sound designer on the soundtracks of video games such as Papo & Yo, Tearaway and LittleBigPlanet 3 has brought many accolades, earning him G.A.N.G. and IGN Awards as well as countless nominations including BAFTA and GDC Awards, noting his artistic achievement and inventive contribution to the medium. Brian D’Oliveira is looking toward the future, discovering new ways to tell stories with sound and music.

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Marie-Josée Lareau

MJ Lareau has earned a masters degree in the Executive MBA program at McGill University and HEC Montreal. Finding many similarities between the world of arts and the world of business, she also identified opportunities where they complement each other, harmonizing her experience in art and her solid management background to devise an innovative program tailored to the profile of business people.

Over 20 years of experience in animation of events, consultation and directing artists, Marie-Josée Lareau offer courses tailored for professionals and companies from very different industries. Her workshops have already contributed to the metamorphose of several employees, managers and executives at Cirque du Soleil, Bombardier Innovation Centre, Disney, the medical division of Abbott Laboratories and management teachers at HEC Montreal.

Marie-Josée Lareau has worked for 10 years as an artistic coach for new generations of artists at Cirque du Soleil, where she articulated the programs for artistic development. During her career in the company, she was also assistant choreographer, as well as responsible for the design of special events at the Center of Performance Research and Innovation. She has particularly distinguished herself with the innovative stage setting prepared for the C2-MTL 2012 conference of the PDG of Cirque du Soleil, bringing together video image and live acrobatic performances. Also, the implementation of her Green Carpet Creative lab, has known a sound success, triggering several other initiatives in the organization.

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Sylvia Kasselias

Sylvia Kasselias, better known to her students as Sousou, is a Sivananda certified teacher, medicinal herbalist, APQ Bikini overall champion, Idolem Master Teacher and most of all, a student of life. She teaches traditional yoga in a non-traditional way. Having had experience sharing yoga with athletes, people with disabilities, health issues, mental health issues and all kinds of struggles, her teaching style has become highly adaptable. She believes that yoga is a tool that allows every human being to heal oneself physically, spiritually and emotionally. 

Her personal expression of yoga soothes the body and the soul, but it also allows her many students to push themselves physically and mentally. This led to the creation of the Idolem Teacher Training, a 250-hour YTTC that she built herself. The Idolem Hot Yoga Teacher Training Certificate is approved and affiliated with the Canadian Yoga Alliance and has been taught since 2016. Her next training is set to be in June 2018 in beautiful Hawaii.

With love and diversity


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