Yoga Stories

As a long time sufferer of anxiety, Leslie’s yoga classes have been a vital component of my anxiety management strategy. Participating in her class allows me to disconnect my mind from my day-to-day life, concerns and worries. Rather than listening to the chatter of my thoughts, I follow Leslie’s direction and immerse myself in breath awareness, deep levels of focus, and restorative body movements. The end of the class always results in a marked decrease in my stress level. I have not found any other method as effective for reducing nervous tension and promoting sleep. I have found that Leslie’s choice of poses,especially those from the Water Practice, effectively promote relaxation and leave me with a sense of calm. I highly recommend Leslie as an instructor –especially for those suffering from anxiety or stress – regular yoga practice has made a big difference in my life!
— C.M.,Scientist, Sarnia, ON
I first met Leslie in the Summer of 2014. I was in a very unsettled place in my life, feeling a little lost and in need of guidance. I decided to register for the Yoga Foundations course offered through Mandorla Yoga Institute. I really didn’t know what to expect from the course and was certainly not prepared for the effect it would have on my life. Studying with Leslie’s guidance was the most rewarding experience. Leslie’s happy and enthusiastic disposition created a very comfortable and safe environment for us to share our experiences, struggles and goals. Leslie’s many layers of knowledge and natural teaching style allowed for us to explore a wide variety of topics, however it was when the elements and doshas were introduced into the course that my entire outlook on life changed. I realized so many things about myself and learned that everything I was searching for was already in me, I just needed the tools to bring them out. Through my continued practice with Leslie in the ‘Exploring Your Personal Yoga Practice’ class, I have been able to continue on my journey of self-discovery and look forward to what the future has in store.
— Tory George, Court Services Client Care, Corunna, ON
I have taken yoga classes before and though I walked away with a deeper understanding of the asanas and the yoga life, I always felt a bit limited...especially in respect to what I could learn immediately about my physical body and its abilities. When I think back to those classes in the past, I felt that the belief was that many poses were beyond a beginner’s reach and would take a great deal of practice and time before I could even try. Leslie’s classes are different. She creates an atmosphere that is very inclusive and her delivery is calm and reassuring. From the first class, I believed that I could do what she was doing, no matter how straight-forward or challenging the pose or breath work. It wasn’t just a show and tell, but her demonstrating us all the forms of a pose from simple to difficult so that we could try it too, no matter our level of experience or physical fitness. Her classes fit everyone, from a stay-at-home mom, to a shift worker, to an athlete, to someone, like me, who has had a life long struggle with being overweight. Leslie creates, develops and immerses each class in an atmosphere that, crazy as it seems, appears to be tailored to every individual in the class. I always leave with a stronger connection to my body, a quieter mind and a deep sense of being cleansed from the inside out.
— Stephanie K., Educator, Brights Grove
I knew I enjoyed yoga and longed to learn more about it so I could get into a regular practice. But with hamstrings as tight as mine, I felt I needed to loosen up before I took on a yoga class. Surely, touching one’s toes is a prerequisite! Shortly after I had my son, a friend told me about Leslie’s Mommy & Baby Yoga class. I thought I would give it a try and am so glad I did. Right away I knew Leslie was the teacher for me, as she possessed a warm and welcoming energy about her, as well as a reservoir of knowledge she loved sharing. As a result of that initial experience, I went on to take a Yoga Foundations course taught by Leslie through Mandorla Yoga Institute and have continued with her by attending weekly ‘Exploring Your Personal Yoga Practice’ sessions. I have to say, as a result of all these experiences, I have not only fallen in love with yoga, but feel as if I go about my days now understanding myself, my past experiences and my purpose much more clearly. Part of what makes me love yoga so much is that fact that Leslie’s approach to yoga and style of teaching is very inclusive and intuitive. Aside from leading a practice and demonstrating the asanas, Leslie’s attention to each individual’s needs, requirements and alignment helps each student ensure a safe, beneficial and personal practice. Leslie has a way of reaching out to each person in a class, whether it be assisting with necessary adjustments, suggesting props needed in a pose, or re-focusing on breath work, in a manner that never makes one feel centered out or silly. Leslie has a down to earth and genuine energy, and I am looking forward to the next chapter in my yoga journey with her, as I will be working towards attaining my Yoga Teacher Certification. I am grateful that Leslie will be one of my mentors on this journey. With Leslie’s help, I have learned to respect and trust my body, mind and spirit. I have learned that one must walk into a yoga class, tight hamstrings and all, and dedicate themselves to a personal yoga practice that may even one day lead to touching one’s toes (that’s my goal at least!). Deep Roots Yoga is that perfect place for one to embark on a meaningful personal yoga practice.
— Katie Zettel, Brights Grove, ON
I’m a middle aged male who has been taking yoga classes from Leslie Pullen for over 2 years now. I can tell you that yoga is decidedly NOT just for girls. It is an hour or so of me becoming physically aware of my body and increasing my fitness all while reducing the stresses of my day. With my back issues, the stretching helps immeasurably. Also, as a golfer, my strength, balance and focus are also improved. I have seen a marked positive difference in my level of play. My handicap has not dropped much, but most golfers will tell you, once you’re in single digits, any improvement is difficult to achieve without a lot of work. My practice time on the range is easier and more fruitful since I began practicing yoga with Leslie. I urge any of you to try it a few times, with an open mind, and see for yourselves. I guarantee you will enjoy it and your game will improve from it.
— Blair Partington, Lambton College CPET Instructor, Sarnia, ON
Several years ago, after a long-term marriage break-up, I found myself having to return to school to obtain a master’s degree. Achieving this would mean being able to get full-time, permanent status at my workplace, something I very much needed at that point in my life. Going to school one night a week over six terms to Waterloo meant time on the road and enormous amounts of time working on coursework at home, all in addition to my 30 hr/week job. Needless to say I was working pretty much 7 days a week with little personal time. I had to let most of my normal outside activities go. Even dating was difficult. However, one thing that I made sure still happened was getting to Leslie’s yoga class twice a week. This was about the only “for-pleasure” activity that I did allow myself. But it was so well worth it to make the time to get to Leslie’s class. It always helped calm me, bring down my stress level and relax me; overall I felt I coped with all aspects of the demands on my life so much better as a result of making time for that one with Leslie!
— Barb D., College Chemistry Instructor, Sarnia, ON
I started with Leslie when I was a second-time mom looking to socialize and exercise. When I started Mommy & Baby yoga, I had no idea what to expect. Leslie made us feel so comfortable and really made the experience of bringing an infant to an exercise class extremely enjoyable and productive at the same time. My baby girl and I took her Mommy & Baby yoga classes for 3 sessions.They were a great introduction to yoga for the both of us and we thoroughly enjoyed them! I was immediately drawn to Leslie’s energy and knew I had to continue her classes even after my baby became too old for Mommy & Baby
yoga. I then began her “Exploring Your Personal Yoga Practice” classes and have never looked back. It seems as though Leslie reads my mind every week and guides me through a yoga journey that is exactly what the doctor called for! Leslie is the real deal, her personality and teaching methods truly embody an authentic yoga experience. Her genuine, supportive and knowledgeable attitude accommodates people of all ages and athletic levels. I really look forward to her classes every week and plan to continue my yoga with her for a long time!
— Sarah Beckingham, RPN, Sarnia ON


Prenatal Yoga Stories

Leslie’s uplifting classes taught me how to cope with the pain of childbirth by using relaxing strategies in posture, breath and verbalization. During my own labour, as soon as I relaxed, the contractions began again at a steady pace. I especially found the verbalization techniques key during the final stages of heavy labor. As a result my healthy boy arrived naturally and is doing fantastically!Many thanks to Leslie and the energy she releases and shares during the prenatal sessions. Prenatal yoga transformed the birth of my son into a spiritually enlightening experience.
— Shauna Ward, Hospitality Professional, Sarnia, ON
I have no doubt that my prenatal yoga sessions with Leslie made for a better birthing experience both mentally and physically. Leslie gives great tips for all stages of labour which not only helped me during the whole process but also helped me prepare for it. I looked forward to the relaxation every week and if pregnancy caused a certain ailment in my body, she always had a tip or pose to help relieve the discomfort. I feel that prenatal yoga is a must for any woman who is preparing for birth and you won’t find a better yoga class!
— Meaghan Esser, R.H.N., Toronto, ON
I took Prenatal Yoga classes with Leslie from the time I was 17 weeks pregnant to 3 days overdue - it really was the highlight of my week! I would feel tired after a busy day at work, but after yoga I always felt so refreshed, energized, and educated! I recommend Leslie’s class to all of my pregnant friends and clients, it made such a difference in my labour and pregnancy.
— Carlie Pitka, Registered Massage Therapist, Sarnia, ON
Best day of my week throughout my pregnancy! I always left class feeling relaxed and connected to my baby. She even kicked at the end of every class during the ‘union breath’! Not to mention my aches and pains were gone!!
— Nicole Burk, Process Operator
I am so thankful I took Leslie’s prenatal yoga session. I was in a lot of pain near the end of my 3rd pregnancy and if it wasn’t for Leslie’s prenatal yoga stretches and her care in showing me how to properly stretch as a pregnant woman, I would have been in more pain then I was already in. It helped me tremendously. Now my new baby and I have joined Mommy & Baby Yoga and we both love every aspect of it! The postnatal stretches, playful moments with my baby girl, and lively interactions with other mommies and babies make for a highly enjoyable class. The best experience I have had with a yoga teacher is with Leslie and I cannot wait to continue my yoga classes with her!
— Megan Busby, Dental Hygienist, Sarnia, ON


Mommy & Baby Yoga Stories

Leslie creates a peaceful and easy atmosphere for new moms to practice yoga and engage with their babies while doing so; it is a win-win!
— Ali D., Speech - Language Pathologist, Sarnia, ON
In one word: refreshing! Great quality and social time spent with my baby. My baby enjoyed seeing and meeting the other babies, while I enjoyed relaxing into the stress free atmosphere Leslie creates.
— Nicole Burk, Process Operator, Corunna, ON
I enjoyed the opportunity to relieve the aches and stresses of being a new mommy, while connecting with my baby through different yoga positions and fun activities.
— Stacey Casselman, Educator, Sarnia, ON


Private Integrative Yoga Stories

I began taking private integrative yoga sessions with Leslie to alleviate chronic back issues.My goal was to improve strength and flexibility. Leslie has provided much more than a physical practice. Leslie incorporates the emotional and spiritual component to your practice to assist you on your path to healing. Leslie views you as a whole person and she seeks out the root cause of your issue to guide you through a beneficial practice. Leslie exudes professionalism, is a pleasure to spend time with and is very personable. Upon meeting Leslie you can see that she has a genuine passion for yoga and a love of helping people. She is eager to share her unlimited knowledge, providing a personalized practice that is centered on your specific needs. I have experienced relief in my symptoms and continue to use the skills she has taught me at home.
— A. Bell, Educator, Petrolia


Every Body Yoga Stories

My mobility has improved greatly since I started the Every Body Yoga class at Strangway Community Center. It is a program I depend on weekly to increase my range of motion. It’s marvelous to be regaining my independence.
— Jean D.,Sarnia, ON
I’ve taken Leslie’s Every Body Yoga class on many occasions. Leslie’s classes have aided my flexibility and mobility in profound ways. The classes are uplifting and insightful with attention to individual capabilities.
— Lorraine Smith, Sarnia, ON