About Us

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

IY-certification-mark-reg_size50.pngThis is a registered trademark for teachers trained, tested and approved by National Certification Boards. Authorized by B.K.S. Iyengar, it signifies the teacher’s authenticity and commitment to the Iyengar system of Patanjali’s aṣṭāṅga yoga. Learn More about the different levels of Iyengar Yoga Certification.


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.

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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.

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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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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.

Iyengar Yoga Certification Level 2


Annette Whiteley

Annette started her yoga journey at age 50. A nurse since 1979 and a community nurse since 1985, Annette has found yoga a vital part of self-care. 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.

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Dori Miller

Dori has studied and practiced at Bend Over Backwards for many years. Inspired by our heartfelt community of practice, she oversees a pop-up market in the studio that supports the work of Mutera Global Healing, formerly known as EDJA Foundation, to eradicate child sexual violence through prevention, healing and justice. It is humbling to see how our yoga has life-changing impacts on their work in East Africa and beyond.


Tracy Harvey

When Tracy started attending yoga classes in 2007 she did not realize that yoga was much more than physical exercise.  The Iyengar method of yoga has been the gateway to what is truly a transformative practice. It is a privilege to share this method of yoga with others.

Iyengar Yoga Certification Level 1


Sheila Crampton

May 7, 1954 - January 1, 2024

Sheila was held in high regard for her immense caring and her love of service to others. She was the consummate yogi. And she will be very deeply missed.

Our darling, kind, lovely, hilarious friend, may you journey seamlessly onward. We’ll meet you in the woods.

Sheila  studied and practiced with Kelly Murphy at Bend Over Backwards since 2014.

Sheila taught Chair Yoga at the studio and numerous other locations in the Nanaimo area.


Karen James

Certified through Kidding Around Yoga helped provide the many tools and inspiration to teach children to love yoga through song, stories and play.  Inclusive yoga instruction, such as connecting families, and sharing her knowledge, has become a recent focus for Karen in her quest to spread the joy of yoga.


Angelina McNamee

Angelina completed her first yoga teacher training program in South India in 1999. Since then, she's taught countless yoga classes in various styles and has continued to study yoga at home and around the world. Angelina’s inspired by a love of art, music, languages, gardening and the great outdoors.

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Charlotte Barat

Charlotte started her meditation journey in Gatineau, QC, in 2009 after being introduced through a friend to meditation sessions led by a Buddhist Monk.

Those initial sessions had a deep impact on Charlottes’ perspective and were the first steps that had led to studying in the Indian Himalayas, taking a 4-month compassion-based course with the Dalai Lama Institute and graduating from a 2-year professional training program taught by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.

Charlotte is now a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher for teaching awareness and compassion-based practices. She truly believes that mindfulness and meditation can help ease individual suffering and help reduce societal suffering.