Our Teachers

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others
— Mahatma Gandhi

Ron Reid

Ron Reid has been practicing Yoga for over 30 years and teaching since 1988.  He is Co-owner and Director of the Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto, Canada (www.downwarddog.com).

Ron has studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sharath both in India and North America and was one of the first Canadian teachers to be authorized by Pattabhi Jois.. Along with his studies with his Pranayama teacher Sri Sudhir Tiwari, has also completed an “Advanced Pranayama” training with Sri O.P. Tiwari from the Kaivalyadhama Institute in Pune, India.

In addition to regular classes at Downward Dog, he conducts workshops and teacher trainings in Canada, the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and Asia, and is becoming a familiar face at various conferences around the world. 

Ron is one of Canada’s top teachers, approaching teaching in an inspired, informed and non-dogmatic way.  He places the needs of the students ahead of the demands of the practice.  While continuing to teach and practice the ashtanga vinyasa system as a foundation, he endeavors to blend tradition with innovation, and to balance precision with grace.  Students will find his refined approach to practice both challenging and rewarding.

Ron is also an accomplished musician and composer and performs with his partner Marla Meenakshi Joy under their group name “Swaha” (www.swaha.ca)

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Marla Meenakshi Joy

Marla Meenakshi Joy, (Co-owner and Director of Downward Dog Yoga Centre), first traveled to India in 1988 to study meditation and the philosophy of the Vedas with Swami Shyam, as well as other learned scholars in the Himalayas.  She is a Certified Meditation and Yoga Philosophy teacher from the International Meditation Institute in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, Himalayas, and, along with her studies with her Pranayama teacher Sri Sudhir Tiwari, has also completed an “Advanced Pranayama” training with Sri O.P. Tiwari from the Kaivalyadhama Institute in Pune, India.

She has been teaching in teacher training programs since 1999 across Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia, as both a teacher of Philosophy and Sanskrit, Chanting and Meditation, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, and Restorative Yoga.

A practicing Shiatsu Therapist since 1993, and teaching Mysore (Self-Practice) around the globe, Meenakshi has a healing and informative touch. Since 2015, she has been studying her newest passion of classical Indian dance (Odissi) with esteemed teachers both in India and Canada, and has performed at some festivals in both countries as well.

 As a celebrated song-stress, she also leads Kirtan (call-and-response chanting) with her band SWAHA, with inspired musical compositions with her partner/keyboardist, Ron Reid.  She has produced four CD’s of Sanskrit chanting entitled “Prayer’s”, “Salutations”, “Vishnu’s Dream”, “Bolo!”, “Shanti Pulse, and their newest CD “Gone Beyond”.

More information on

Toronto center website: www.downwarddog.com

Kirtan & CD's: www.swaha.ca


“When I think of a yogi, I think of Ron Reid. He teaches from what he has learned from his many years of practice, you can feel that. Even if you’ve been practicing for years and years he makes you feel curious and excited about yoga through his soft-spoken, humorous and extremely intelligent way of teaching. He knows the body and how it works and he teaches you how to keep it healthy. At the same time his classes are challenging and hot. He makes you want to move to Toronto!” - Kristin Leigh, yoga teacher and co-owner of The Shala yoga studio in New York


"We honestly had the most wonderful time. I felt an almost overwhelming gratitude as the training was coming to an end... for having such precious time with you both, sharing your expertise, knowledge and experience so generously, with such a small group. It was really very special. I know Paul was also deeply grateful to be here, and to find himself learning from you two, with all your incredible experience, skill and creativity to share. It will be fun for us to go home and try to keep it all fresh and put it into practice. But for now - THANK YOU both so so much. We will be heading to Colombia with our little tool kits full of Ron and Marla treasures. Love and gratitude" - Michaela Stapleton, Ashtanga yoga teacher & musician


“Ron, thank you so much for all that you have shared with us these past months. Your techniques, ideas, expressions and humour made your classes truly enjoyable. I will keep many memories of laughter and learning, as well as feeling peaceful and clear in the moment. You teach and live with such wisdom and humility: it’s rare to see. And it’s a wonderful inspiration to all of us trying to live our yoga-thank you!” - Joanne Jaffey

Marla: "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have taught me over the last two weeks. It has truly been an incredible learning experience for me.  Words cannot describe how valuable everything you taught me. I am very grateful to you for that.  I can’t wait to share what I have learned and to send as many people as I can to your trainings." - Costanza Roldan, Mysore teacher

“Meenakshi…thank you from the bottom of my heart for your time and teaching. Your wealth of knowledge, your experiences, your humor and your angelic voice make you a symbol of all that you teach. You are authentic. You are awesome. Friday night satsang is where my eyes were really opened as to what yoga is all about!!”-Joanne Jaffey, teacher trainee grad


"To know yoga, and use its many tools to balance the body, the heart,
the mind, and to spread that gift to others has been the gift that Ron
has given to me."