TestimonialsAs a physician and former physical educator, I am impressed by Mike Chapman’s extensive knowledge of anatomy and bio-mechanics. I highly recommend his classes for anyone suffering with injury rehab issues, or any athlete wanting to round out their training.
Dr. Tracy Hughes, BPHE, MD, CCFP, Family Medicine Physician
Mike has developed an amazing level system to assist people in recovery from injury, and moving on to excel in advanced yoga. He is up to date on the most recent information on the biomechanics of the human body and rehabilitation. His attention to detail makes him an excellent teacher.
Erin Machuk, BHScPT, FCAMT, MCPA, ART Certified Provider, Registered Physiotherapist
I wholeheartedly recommend Yoga Mike (as he has come to be known) to anyone looking to improve their flexibility and strength, or improve their ability in other fitness programs they are involved with. I also recommend Mike’s program to those recovering from injury, and to those who just want a nice fun evening that will take your physical and mental aches away.
Dr. Upe Mehan, MD, CCFP, FCFP, Family Medicine Physician
I think Mike’s program is so effective because his content/curriculum is offered in learner friendly, easy to follow ‘chunks’ that advance in depth and difficulty in a very logical and systematic way. The techniques are also tailored for beginner to advanced levels with options available to suit individual physical challenges.
Paula Smyth, RN, BScN, MScN, Nursing Professor Conestoga College
An excellent program with exceptional individual attention, Breathe Into Motion Yoga is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Mike is a well trained and capable instructor, who provides a challenging and safe workout for all participants.
Dr. Sarah Kolk, MD, CCFP, Family Medicine Physician
Mike is well trained, well researched and passionate about yoga. He takes a genuine interest in his clients and their specific needs. Mike’s unique approach to injuries shows his expertise in yoga and the understanding that attaining the perfect yoga posture is not worth it if you are left with an injury.
Carla Placido, BScPT, CAFCI, Registered Physiotherapist
I definitely recommend Mike’s classes for anyone who would like to improve their health and overall well-being, even if they are working through some health conditions. I can send patients to Mike and be assured that by attending his classes they will reinforce and enhance their chiropractic care.
Dr. Kendra Brough, BSc, DC, Chiropractor
I have referred dozens of my clientele to Mike Chapman and find that his approach to yoga is highly complementary to the manual therapies offered within my clinical setting. He has helped significantly in guiding my clients back to alignment, strengthening their core and extremities while creating flexibility and improving their overall stamina. I am impressed by his knowledge, research and attentiveness for his students’ well being.
Virginia L. Springer, RMT, Registered Massage Therapist
I confidently refer my patients to Mike, knowing he will be up to date in his knowledge and research on how to prevent and work around injuries. And furthermore, I value that Mike gives complete training and reinforcement on proper breathing as I find this to be a critical piece in one’s health and healing.
Dr. Elizabeth Bastos, BSc (BioMed), ND, Naturopath
I first met Mike Chapman when he was assisting me with providing a yoga program for the staff at Cambridge Memorial Hospital Active Living Program from 2001-2004. His expert knowledge in anatomy and exercise principles allowed each participant to work at their own fitness level. He was very conscientious and attentive with regards to adapting each yoga move to each participant’s level of ability. Safety and body mechanics were always a top priority in his yoga class!
Theresa Milani, BRLS, R/TRO, Clinical Lead Recreation Therapist
Mike has extensive knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics that I have never experienced in another class setting. Every time I practise with Mike it is like an anatomy review. His knowledge of functional movement is impressive and has given me a different perspective on how to help my clients as well. I have recommended Breathe Into Motion Studio to many of my clients and will continue to do so.
Joanne Chalmers, RMT, Registered Massage Therapist
I really appreciate the time Mike puts into doing his homework to research topics such as anatomy, biomechanics, and other forms of exercise. I truly feel that I am taking a physiotherapy course when I attend his sessions. I've even been utilizing some of the yoga poses I've learned from Mike with my physiotherapy clients as part of their functional movement therapy!
Rhonda Page, BKin(Hons), MPT, CMAG, CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, Registered Physiotherapist
Mike has the ability to tailor each pose to the individual based on musculoskeletal and balance issues. Mike's attention to detail and attentive nature keeps our patients safe and feeling confident in their sessions with him. Mike has become a very important part of our cardiac rehabilitation program and we cannot thank him enough for all of his hard work and dedication.
Dr. A Shekar Pandey, BSc(CL), MD, FRCPC, ABIM, CBNC, Cardiologist Physician
Over the course of the last year I have seen firsthand how Mike’s Breathe Into Motion System is appropriate for not only rehabilitation from injuries but also for enhancing athleticism. Mike’s program allows for every type of person to find the joy of yoga, whether you are a desk jockey, weekend warrior, or looking to change your sedentary lifestyle the Breathe Into Motion Yoga System will give you the training to transform you from the inside out.
Jyoti Solanki, RMT, Registered Massage Therapist
Mike, as a healthcare provider, I am quick to recommend your studio to my patients who have musculoskeletal injuries. Your breadth of knowledge and expertise is exceptional; your passion is profound. You are a gifted teacher. You are truly a ‘biomechanical genius’ and your BIM Yoga System is a ‘life-saver!’
Dr. Carmelo Domenicucci, BSc, MSc, DDS, PhD, Bone and Dental Medical Researcher
Mike has built a fantastic yoga system with slow and steady progression, which is condusive to any injury rehab program. I highly recommed the BIM Yoga System to anyone who is healing from an injury and needs that extra little push to become more active, while still respecting the boundaries of their injury.
Imogen Lewin, BSc, CAT(C) Certified Athletic Therapist
Mike, I would love to say how impressed I am with BIM – specifically the time and energy you have devoted independently to your research. Your well-sourced science-(and logic-!)based approach to yoga is such a relief for me as a practitioner; for the first time, I have a resource I trust with my patients and my own body!
Cassie Brown, M.OMSc, Osteopathic Manual Practitioner
Mike is very knowledgeable about various aspects of Yoga. His knowledge and application of human anatomy and physiology is remarkable. He also has good understanding of various disease and injury mechanisms. His dealing with students and adapting to their needs and limitations is commendable.
Dr. Iqbal H. Biswas, MD, FRCPC, Recognized Specialist (Anesthesia) Physician
Mike, it has been almost 3 years since Peter & I joined the BIM family. In hindsight, it was one of he best health decisions we could have made. As you know, Peter has a mild scoliosis and suffered from lower back pain after participating in his other sports and activities. Now he enjoys playing tennis, golf and water sports without any lower back issues. I can honestly say we feel better in our 40’s than we did in our 30’s.
Dr. Beth Lennox, BSc (Hons), OD, Optometrist
Mike has a talent for inspiring and motivating his classes like no other yoga instructor I have met. His humour and meaningful anecdotes merely accent his passion and talent for helping people through therapeutic yoga. Most importantly, Mike's thorough understanding of anatomy, physiology and disabling conditions are transparently expressed throughout his classes, giving me great trust in the BIM system.
Varena Gouge, OTA/PTA, BRLS, R/TRO, Recreation Therapist
This program has allowed me to increase my cardio fitness with reduced risk of injury to my already injured back, ankle and feet. Because Mike’s curriculum starts with the basics and builds from there, it is easier to become physically self-aware and to design a routine that approximates a personalized yoga/physio/rehab program that takes into consideration all the strengths and weaknesses of the individual.
Lisa McArthur, RRPr, Registered Reflexologist
Mike, thank-you so much for all the great yoga classes. I just wanted you to know again my back has never felt better. You have helped me and I appreciate it every day. You are full of knowledge and you are a huge inspiration to me. You run the best program and the safest as far as I’m concerned.
Shaunna Heckbert, RMT, Registered Massage Therapist
The BIM System is a safe yet challenging yoga program that fits yogis of all kinds. Mike's dedication and passion toward the BIM System and yoga overall are truly inspiring. That, along with his humble nature and the enthusiasm he demostrates, are what makes me look forward to every class.
Dr. Sarah Renna, BScHK, MSc, MD, General Practitioner Physician
Mike has been a great mentor to me in learning about yoga and the benefits that this brings to people when it is taught properly. This is why he is such a trusted professional in our circles, because of putting clients first by educating.
Kevin Duguay, DIPL, HS, AT, Head Athletic Therapist Toronto Argonauts Football, Canadian National Soccer Program, Nova Scotia Oilers Hockey
In the 25 years that I have been teaching yoga, Mike Chapman is one of the most knowledgeable yoga colleagues that I have met. His knowledge of yoga theory, the nuances of yoga asanas, human physiology and how the three interconnect is superior to anyone else I have met.
Caron Shepley, BPHE (Hons), Corporate Director of Personal Best, CPTN Yoga Specialist Program Founder, Triathlete & Ironman Triathlete
I have had the pleasure of working with Mike as part of our school staff of Health and Physical Education instructors over the past several years. Mike has demonstrated an incredible insight into the instruction of yoga. He always works collaboratively with his students to determine the best methods and adaptations to achieve particular yoga movements, taking into account each student’s varied limitations, previous injuries and anatomical restriction.
Robert A. P. Cardy, Health and Physical Education Program Head, St. Mary’s High School, Kitchener, Ontario
After just 4 weeks of the Breathe Into Motion Yoga Level 2 program I felt my body slowly repairing to a point where I no longer have back pain, which is the first time in 10 years. I have found for me, an ex-professional hockey player, BIM is exactly what my mind and body needs.
Nathan Gillies, Owner of Fortitude Training & Drop the Puck
As a former Varsity Athlete (Hockey) for the University of Guelph, now in my thirties, I have finally found a fitness class that I can’t wait to get back to every week. It inspires me, improves my strength, endurance and flexibility, and because of Mike’s philosophy and expertise I don’t have to worry about injury.
Ingrid Macey, University of Guelph Lady Gryphons Hockey Team Captain
As a martial artist with 15 years of experience in Aikido I have found Mike’s yoga program to be very useful in enhancing body awareness, safety, flexibility, relaxation, balance, and core strength. I would recommend his program to any martial artist looking for a safe and effective enhancement to training.
Jill Nielsen, Lead Instructor K-W Ki Aikido Club
Mike, I am writing to thank you for helping to heal my extensive knee, hip and back problems as they related to my age, body style and fitness as well as my advancing arthritis. The Breathe Into Motion (B.I.M.) approach made it possible.
I spent many years training and competing as a Canadian and World Level Precision Figure Skater, and I had the opportunity to join a Canadian Champion Cheerleading Team. Then, one practice session ends in a horrible crash and my right knee is toast! Fortunately I had heard of ‘Yoga Mike’ and that he had opened his own studio in Hespeler. After completing BIM Level 1 and then Level 2, I had all but forgotten about my knee’s limitations. The strength around it had returned and I became even more flexible than ever. It was a wonderful miracle!
Ericka Andrade (Hopper), Canadian and World Level Precision Figure Skater
I was in chronic pain after an injury at work. I had been diagnosed with strained SI Joints, sciatica and a possible herniated disc. I was in a lot of pain and, at 26 years old, was uncertain that I would ever be able to return to work as a Paramedic. Someone recommended Mike’s yoga classes and I was willing to drive 40 minutes each way to take his classes based on the hope offered. I was amazed when my injuries began to heal after only a few classes. I wish I had found Mike earlier and would recommend his classes to anyone who needs help recovering from an injury.
Melissa Henderson, Paramedic
I had taken a bad fall on a set of stairs on Christmas day 2007. My doctor had referred me to a variety of specialists. I was oredered to have an MRI and finally ended up at a Neurologist. The Neurologist had told me that my back pains and numbness in my foot would improve with surgery. The doctor did not recommend surgery at this point in my life as it would limit my options in the future if the pain returned. I had met Mike Chapman in April 2009. Mike had seen first-hand the pain and suffering I was experiencing with my back and leg numbness. To my astonishment and delight, I started to feel a ‘tingling’ sensation in my formerly numb right foot immediately after the very first class. My progression continued and I was seeing improvement after each and every class. I am now completely healed. I cannot express how grateful I am to have met Mike.
Several years ago, I started dealing with severe left shoulder pain that I suspect came on from my vocation as a hairdresser. It was so bad that at times I couldn’t use my left arm. I went to physiotherapy regularly for a couple of years, all the while suffering with tremendous pain daily. It was interfering with my everyday life, even after doing all that therapy. Mike had spoken to me about trying his yoga class. Thanks to Mike’s patient, consistent guidance, and his complete understanding of my injury and what was needed to rehabilitate it, I am now absolutely pain free and stronger than I have been in years.
Sue Clarke White
Mike, as you recall, I started your yoga class as you were highly recommended to me. I had been suffering with piriformis syndrome that had started over 7 years ago from a running injury. I had been in terrible pain and unable to sit for lengthy periods of time. A couple of weeks after starting your classes, my pain has disappeared and I continue to be pain free.
Mike, I have been a mechanic for 35 years now and have been involved in many different sports thru the years. As if my trade was not hard enough on my body, the sports injuries compounded them. Nothing I did seemed to really help my back, shoulder and knee pain. Then in January of this year I was convinced to try your yoga class. Thanks to you and your BIM yoga my back has not felt this good in over 5 years, my shoulders do not ache, and my knees have never felt this good...in forever. I would recommend BIM yoga to anyone and everyone.
Turning 40 and spending more than 20 years working behind a desk had finally caught up with me. I turned to yoga to see if it could help with my chronic lower back pain and decreasing range of motion. To my great relief, Mike and the BIM System helped immensely. My back is better and so is my posture, balance and breathing. I thought I needed to be lifting weights to get a ‘real workout.’ I was wrong. After going through the BIM System, I’ve safely gained muscle strength and definition along with all the other benefits of yoga.
I have osteoarthritis in my neck and shoulders. I was starting to think I would have pain the rest of my life. After just a short time at Breathe Into Motion my pain is gone. I think this yoga is great. I haven’t taken any medication for pain in weeks.
When I started yoga 2 years ago I was taking Celebrex daily and 6 Advil for arthritic pain in the knee and hips. Within 2 months I no longer needed the Advil. By the end of the session I stopped the Celebrex. My flexibility has improved and knee and hip pain are virtually gone. Thanks Mike.
I have had a new lease on life. In June 2004, I had severe sciatic pain in my left leg, and had been suffering for 3 years. After only one session of practicing yoga with Mike, with faithful between-classes routines at home, the pain went away and has stayed away.
Mike, you have instilled in me the confidence to practice yoga without fear of re-injuring my back. I thought yoga was just another activity I probably could not do because of my back and doubted yoga could be genuinely therapeutic. Through your explanations, demonstrations and step-by-step development I find that many other activities which previously would have caused me grief I can now do without pain or discomfort.
Mike, you are such a fantastic yoga teacher. You have helped me develop an exercise routine that works around some physical limitations and chronic pain issues. For that I am especially grateful. I feel I am moving forward (slowly but surely) and am attempting things that I never thought would be possible. Imagine me working at level 4 yoga!
Mike, attending the first day of your yoga class I was a bit hesitant. However, after that first class I was hooked. I have spent a lot of time and money at the chiropractor to relieve pain and pressure in my lower back due to a previous accident where I broke my pelvis. Since taking yoga, I consistently find that I am more flexible, I breathe better, my back is not as sore and my posture has greatly improved. Not only did your classes improve me physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well.
My wife Cathy had been going to Breathe into Motion prior to me joining. At first I was a little (okay a lot) apprehensive to join, but upon her persuasiveness and her reasoning’s why I should join I decided to give it a whirl. For many years I have had lower back issues and more recently shoulder problems. Since taking yoga with Mike Chapman, my back problems have subsided drastically and my shoulder issues are improving weekly.
Mike’s anatomical knowledge and nurturing personality are what really sets him above the rest for me. He has helped me ‘yoga’ my way safely through everything from a broken femur and collarbone to daily aches and pains, even my first pregnancy. I appreciate and trust his advice.
Mike teaches with physical strengthening and health in mind. I have been witness to the rehabilitation of many people with injuries in his classes through his graduated program. I wouldn’t take yoga with anyone else.
Over the past 5 years I have participated in Mike’s small in-home yoga classes, prenatal yoga, classes in the community, and now classes at Breathe Into Motion. His willingness to meet individual needs sets him apart. Both my friend who is blind and my sister who has chronic health issues have attended classes with Mike and greatly appreciated his consideration for their needs.
Prior to starting yoga with Mike, I had pain in my knees for reasons unknown. I have now completed two consecutive sessions of yoga and have had no knee pain for months. I find his instruction and assistance in class clear and concise. I feel better in general and thoroughly enjoy the classes.
I originally sought out Breathe Into Motion Studio on the advice of three friends from the gym who advised me that, if I wanted to learn real yoga, this was the place to go. I was told that the studio owner and chief instructor, Mike Chapman, was a terrific instructor. I have not been disappointed. I arrived at the studio with two problems – I have hyperlordosis of my lower back as well as lingering difficulties with my right SI joint as a result of an injury incurred in my twenties. I am happy to say that I no longer experience any pain while doing yoga and, in fact, feel that my whole core has been strengthened, something I notice in my daily activities.
Mike, this letter is to thank you for the past 5 years of yoga instruction. I am very grateful for your focus on safety and ensuring proper body positions with warm ups to prevent any injuries. You provide clear, step-by-step instruction in a fun, non-competitive environment. With your guidance, I have improved my posture, toned & strengthened my body and lessened those chiropractic visits!
Mike, I would like to thank you very much for providing me the opportunity to participate in an excellent program. Having come off a back injury, you guided me through my first level one session into yoga. What a difference it made. You make the sessions very informative and keep reminding me to look after my health and only do what my body tells me to do.
At 71, I am probably one of Mike’s oldest students. Mike has been my inspiration and teacher. He has taught me to train my body in a way I didn’t think possible. Now I have good posture and a sense of well-being, and Mike has encouraged me to challenge myself while also being mindful of my body. Yoga is for all ages and all sizes and this is no competition, and with Mike as our teacher all things are possible.
Mike is an excellent teacher. He adapts the yoga regimen to suit individual needs and makes each of us feel successful. Yoga has kept this old body flexible and free from stiffness. I feel better each week.
Mike, just thought I would let you know that I was struggling with a touch of vertigo for about 2 weeks. I had been to my doctor and chiropractor to try to get the issue resolved but with no luck. After going to level 2 yoga on Tuesday night the vertigo is completely gone!
I joined the YMCA in an effort to improve my fitness level. My weight lifting program was self-created and unsupervised. Within 9 months I damaged both shoulders and stopped training. A friend, who also suffered a rotator cuff injury, suggested I try the yoga at Breathe Into Motion studio. Both my wife and I were new to yoga. We joined Mike’s Level 1 class. My wife and I were impressed by Mike’s knowledge of physiology/anatomy and how he’s tailored the BIM program to facilitate individual needs/injuries. To date, I feel the injury has been fully rehabilitated. My shoulders no longer feel like the weak link in the chain and I can carry on normal activities without the conscious effort of guarding my arm movements to avoid pain.
Being a 16 year old girl with a part time job, school, and a social life can be busy; but stressful too. Not to mention having scoliosis greatly adds to my stress. I have tried many treatments; massage therapy, physiotherapy and pool/water therapy. Nothing helped. I have been practising yoga with Mike at Breathe Into Motion Yoga Studios for six months now, and not only has my stress level decreased significantly, but my back pain has tremendously improved. My doctors have noticed a difference according to x-rays and most importantly, I feel the difference.
I have had arthritis since I was a teen and have noticed limitations in my mobility as 40 approaches. Mike’s step-by-step instruction gives the student a solid basis to incorporate these moves into your daily life. Since following his moves and techniques, I have experienced a dramatic increase in mobility in my feet, hips and back; my feet especially. Each day I have less pain in my feet, I can walk for longer periods of time without arthritic spasm.
Mike, a few years ago I wouldn’t bend. I didn’t twist. Scoliosis, collapsed arches and years of avoiding exercise like the plague had caught up with me and left my back and feet an aching mess. Friends, who had been attending your classes for a while, suggested I give it a try. As I attended class after class and worked my way up through the levels, I was constantly amazed by what a gifted teacher you were. You care about, teach, listen to, and encourage every student you have. Now a ‘veteran’ Level 4 student, I’m thrilled (and grateful) to report the curve in my spine has been reduced, my alignment has improved and I’ve thrown out my orthotics. Thanks for being such an inspiring teacher.
Back in 2001 I was on a long bike ride for MS. While I was on my last leg (so to speak) of the journey, I felt my right knee ‘pop.’ I found out later that I had a slight tear in my ACL. As time went by a fun family baseball tournament turned out to be a major contributor to my knee problems as I tore the ACL even more. I had reconstructive surgery in October 2013 and worked hard at recovery (physio, exercise, etc.); all I could do to strengthen my knee. I was not able to squat, crouch, sit cross leg or even sit with my legs under me. After a few months of Level 1 Yoga, with Mike teaching, guiding and making sure I was performing my poses correctly to get my full range of motion, I am now able to sit on the yoga mats with my legs crossed with no pain. I am able to run up and down the stairs without pain or fear of hurting my knee again. Thank you for helping me feel young again...and pain free.
Mike, my body has had many injuries over the last 30 years, through my physical job and having been in a car accident. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, chronic mid-back pain with Impingement Syndrome and Sciatic issues are prevalent. I had heard so much about you at Breathe Into Motion Yoga and am extremely glad to have joined your studio. My healing process has come in leaps and bounds in the last 4 years. You have taught me more about my posture, alignment and breathing than any other therapy and this has helped me physically, emotionally and spiritually. My left arm/shoulder flexibility has increased tremendously, my posture is more upright, my neck feels longer and I no longer need to sleep with a pillow. The neck pain, numbness, tingling and tightness have been reduced significantly. My whole healing self thanks you for what you are doing.
Five years ago I made one of the worse decisions in my life while weight training at the gym; I picked up an awkwardly placed 100 pound dumbbell from a lower rack while my body was off-center. I instantly felt a ‘charge’ work its way down my spinal cord to the base of my feet, locking my lower back in place at a forty-five degree angle and producing an indescribable pain. At my physiotherapy consultation it was determined that I had two badly herniated lower discs. Extremely frustrated with seeing little improvement during the six months of physiotherapy, I requested an MRI to assist with further treatment. The results came back that I was a candidate for corrective surgery. While weighing the pros and the cons, my mother suggested that I attend an open house with Mike at his yoga studio, Breathe Into Motion, as she had heard of other successful injury recovery stories. Within a year and a half I was experiencing zero back pain without any corrective surgery and was able to enjoy all pre-injury activities once again. There is no doubt in my mind that if it were not for Mike and his guidance, I would still be living my injury rather than living my life.
I am a professional pianist and piano instructor, and have been dealing with a number of injuries for a long time. For the last twelve years, I have been suffering from shoulder pain due to improper posture, and irregular breathing while at the piano. A little over two years ago, I started attending Level 1 yoga classes at Breathe Into Motion. Mike modified my program so that I could continue to participate without any discomfort. After being in Mike’s classes for a few months, Mike started working with me privately to see if he could help with my shoulder. We started yoga therapy. This was hugely different to me, because it was extremely gentle, and there was no pain – a huge departure from the massage and physiotherapy I had been getting. My left shoulder has come such a long way, it’s quite astounding. The difference treatment with Mike has made compared to the decade of physiotherapy is remarkable. I notice that the effects of Mike’s treatment last. Without Mike’s yoga therapy over the last eighteen months, I can’t begin to imagine what would have happened to my career in music.
Jessica Strub, Professional Musician
I was a wrestler for over 13 years, including 4 years varsity at the University of Western Ontario, training under the direction of Canadian Olympian, Ray Takahashi. During my wrestling tenure I incurred many injuries to my neck, knees, shoulders and finally an L5 stress fracture that held me back from continuing with the sport beyond University. Over time these injuries had also prevented me from living the active lifestyle I wanted and I slowly eliminated most sport activity outside of running. Since beginning the BIM program I have alleviated all back, shoulder and neck pain to the point where I am considering returning to active wrestling in a coaching capacity within the next year. BIM has moved from being purely supplemental to my running activity, to the forefront and core of my training and activity.
Phil Demarte, University of Western Ontario Wrestling Team
Mike, in my youth I was a long distance runner. I had to leave the sport after ten years because of sore hips and knees. I also suffered from sciatic pain. Several years ago my daughter-in-law had been helped by your yoga classes and she suggested that I try yoga too. Since I started coming to your classes I have had almost no sciatic pain. As you can imagine living pain free has made a huge difference to my life and I sincerely thank you for all of your knowledge and care.
After searching online for a yoga studio, my sister and I decided to check out the Breathe Into Motion studio as it showed classes at different levels. Not only did I learn yoga postures correctly but, as Mike explained in these classes, everything I was learning could be applied to my everyday activity – bending and returning to a standing position while in the garden; raising my arms while getting something down from a high shelf; correct posture while sitting or standing. My second session in Level 1 was also wonderful until the snow came and I hurt my back while shovelling. I found it very painful to move and would not have gone to class if I had not seen and talked with students who have been helped through various injuries by Mike and his yoga classes. Mike made sure I didn’t do anything to cause further injury. He also showed me how to use pillows to support my back. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do a forward bend again, but with time and a close concerned vigil by Mike I am now feeling great and giving Level 2 a try.
Just over a year ago, after a personal recommendation from my chiropractor, I registered for a Level 1 yoga class at the Breathe Into Motion Yoga Studio with Mike Chapman as the instructor. My chronic condition was a result of rather severe Degenerative Cervical Disc Disease of C4 to C7 with a side order of bulging and herniated discs and radicular pain. Even after being under the care of several different specialists for my neck injuries, my healing was still severely limited. During this past year, I personally have witnessed many inspiring stories of healing, not only of the body, but of the spirit as well. As for me, my level of activity has increased tremendously since I started practicing yoga with Mike. There are now actually days when I’m pain-free. Days, to be quite honest, I never thought I’d see. In short, Mike and his BIM yoga system have helped to give me back my life and I will be forever grateful.
I had never done yoga before joining Mike’s class. I wasn’t very physical either due to knee and back problems. I joined the class and was really enjoying it (my back pain disappeared right away), and then I had a bad injury in my left knee while preparing to move out of my apartment. I missed a few classes before writing to Mike for advice. He encouraged me to come in and spent some time with me before class giving me tips and yoga poses to help realign my knee. I was shocked; I had no pain for the rest of the class. Mike really is the best. He is kind and patient and I am so grateful I went back to class and didn’t give up!
In the fall of 2015, I had very stiff and painful shoulders, which had drastically impeded my ability to do weight-training exercises. As well, I also had to stop playing pick-up hockey in January. I went to a sports medicine clinic where the orthopedic surgeon / sports medicine doctor there felt that both my long head bicep tendons were ruptured. My therapy initially started with physio at the clinic. My physiotherapist there also strongly recommended that I consider Mike Chapman's Breathe Into Motion Yoga Studio, to increase my flexibility and continue my recovery. She knew that Mike had a reputation of helping people, through yoga, with their injuries. I am convinced that Mike’s yoga instruction had been a core part of my recovery from this injury. His knowledge of anatomy is amazing and it’s obvious that the safety and well-being of all his students is a top priority for him.
On the advice of a physiotherapist, I decided to do yoga to help me recover from a whiplash injury. I came to Mike at Breathe Into Motion studio to learn yoga properly. I had tried ‘hot yoga’ briefly, which did not provide any instruction and aggravated my symptoms. I was immediately impressed with Mike’s ability to call every student by name and to remember their injuries/limitations. That said to me, “this guy cares, he’s in this to help people.” Mike’s yoga classes have given me more hope for recovery and have taught me the value of relaxation, proper breathing and gentle stretching. I plan on making yoga a life-long endeavour and know I will get thorough and safe instruction at Breathe Into Motion.
Mary Lou Algar
I came to Breathe Into Motion Yoga Studios because I was looking for rehabilitation for an injury that occurred from a fall. Mike takes the time to get to know the history of illness and injuries and recognizes limitations from health issues to body types and accommodates accordingly to each individual. Mike, thank you for being such an inspiration for me and others at Breathe Into Motion Yoga Studios. Your training techniques are very diverse, helping many overcome and prevent further injury. Thank you for helping me to recognize my limitations while still allowing me to meet my goals safely.
After the long, harsh winter and the late start to spring, gardening season was upon us with a vengeance. Usually, during this heavy gardening period, I needed to take Robaxecet to ease the back, leg and neck strain that I experienced. This spring I am happy to say that I have yet to take any pain medication! I attribute this success to the yoga classes that I’m taking at Breathe Into Motion. Mike Chapman is very caring and empathic towards his students. In addition, he is extremely knowledgeable about biomechanics and the human body. He continues to study to update his knowledge and freely shares it with his students, both generally and in a manner to fit a student’s specific needs. Thanks, Mike, for teaching me how to experience pain-free gardening!
Mike, I have been wanting to contact you and express my gratitude for the past year that I have been coming to see you for yoga. Being 6’ 4” tall, and lifting heavy objects, I have always had little twinges in my back that signalled when it was time for me to stop and lay down for a couple of days. Now, being in class for over a year, and constantly paying attention to what my body is trying to tell me, my range of motion has increased, and those little twinges have completely gone. I thank you for your constant care and concern for everyone in your class.
I have practiced yoga, on and off, since 1993. I have tried drop-in classes, various styles of Hatha yoga, different levels, hybrids, as well as ‘pure forms’ over the years. However, I have never experienced anything comparable to Mike’s classes and my respect for what he has created with BIM is unparalleled. He is intelligent, well read, collaborative, and well respected by other health professionals. Incidentally, they don’t just respect him they attend his classes! Whether you are suffering from age-old sports injuries, adapting to life post-cancer, or managing anxiety, depression, or grief, one thing can be said. BIM Yoga is designed to meet you where you are and safely take you on a personal journey. I call this yoga studio Mike’s House of Healing because being part of this studio heals everyone on some level.
Mike, I truly believe that you have an exceptional gift that you share with your students in every class. Malcolm Gladwell (author of Outliers) claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of The Beatles’ musical talents and Bill Gates’ computer savvy as examples. The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the 10,000 Hour Rule. Bill Gates did the same when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it. Mike you have paid the price and are certainly gifted with the 10,000 Hour Rule. However, the true gift is for us to have you as our guru/instructor, guiding us to a better life, through yoga fitness, and developing our inner and outer self.
I used to suffer from painful and debilitating migraines a couple of times a month. Since I’ve been practicing yoga with Mike once or twice a week and have been maintaining a daily home practice based on Mike’s classes, my migraines are well under control.
Yoga with Mike was an eye opening experience. It has helped me to recover my childhood flexibility and has improved my overall stamina. Coming from a more traditional physical training background (weight training, running and martial arts) I had never thought that yoga would be a suitable and challenging form of fitness. Now I am challenged every time I get on my mat.
Yoga with Mike was an integral part of my weight loss. I lost 40 pounds by increasing my exercise and following Canada’s Food Guide. Yoga kept me centered, focused, flexible and toned.
I have been taking yoga classes with Mike Chapman for approximately 11 years now. One of the things I have noticed about Mike’s yoga instruction is how he gets to know every one of his students personally. I am now currently in Mike’s level 4 classes. The fitness level of these classes is quite high. I have lost inches and am re-shaping my body in this level. Everyone around me is noticing the difference in my body shape and the weight loss that is occurring. When asked what I’m doing, I simply tell them yoga with Mike at Breathe Into Motion.
Mike Chapman has a passion to help people realize their individual personal fitness levels using yoga. Mike’s formal education in fitness and personal training ensure that you will leave the studio feeling better than when you arrived. He is committed to safety, and is extremely well read (and experienced) in all forms of fitness, yoga and physiology. There is plenty of room to progress to the more challenging levels – from Level 1 Beginners’ classes right through to Level 5 power yoga. I owe a big thanks to Mike and the BIM team for helping me along the way!
Mike takes an intelligent approach to the practice of yoga. He demystifies the art by educating his students in the science of sequenced postures, musculature and right alignment; always emphasizing safe practices. It’s yoga for the 21st century.
When I first joined BIM Yoga level one in late spring of 2016 I was functioning daily with a bad pinch at the base of my neck that also caused a knot in my back just below the right shoulder blade. Of course I had been to the traditional physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture and massage however I was using up my benefits but was not making progress. Learning the fundamentals in BIM Yoga level one got me on track and then by the end of the summer session of level two I had completely rid myself of the neck pinch and knotted muscle, but only by following the Breathe Into Motion philosophy. Affectionately known as ‘Captain Safety’ Mike Chapman helped me take the ego out of exercising which allowed my body to start to learn to stretch but within the limits that are healthy for me.
As a long distance runner recently entering half and full marathons, I found that the therapeutic value of Mike’s program helped me through not just the months of training leading up to race day, but was also responsible for amazing effects in the post-race days. I purposefully put my weekday training runs on the days that I attended Mike’s yoga classes. It served me well and aided in my running in the following positive ways: increasing my strength, flexibility and range of motion; decreasing my chance of injury (and providing injury rehabilitation if needed); aiding in my breathing; teaching me proper body mechanics; increasing my tone; improving my balance; strengthening my core; and helping my body with its recovery strategy by helping it to perform its natural healing process more efficiently. I also used Mike’s yoga as my cool down stretches to lower my heart rate, gently stretch to release muscle tightness, and to rid my body of the lactic acid built up during my runs. As someone who has attended all 5 levels of the BIM program, I have no hesitation recommending Mike’s Breathe Into Motion program for any performance athlete who is looking for a well-rounded supplement to their training program.
Colleen Bracken, Marathon Competitor
When my wife and I signed up for our first yoga class at Breathe Into Motion, Mike made us feel comfortable and took the time to assess any injuries or limitations we may have had coming into his practice. He ensured that the poses we were practicing were adjusted to our needs and was keen to make sure we didn’t ‘over-try’ and injure ourselves. We now have a solid foundation on which we can build our yoga practice further and use it to support our fitness and athletic endeavours. As we’ve progressed from Level 1 to 4, we have both seen considerable results in our strength, flexibility, balance and mindset.
TJ Rosenberg & Sarah Southcott
One year ago I started coming to BIM Studio. Like most people, I showed up with past injuries and physical instability. Now a year later I’m back to normal and have attained a vast knowledge of my own bio-mechanics. Basically I feel great and ‘Mike has it!’
Of all the training methods I participate in, from weight lifting to mountain biking, Mike’s yoga is the most physically challenging. Mike’s classes have allowed me to achieve the greatest results, from the narrowing of my waist to the development of upper-body strength and definition. I don’t only think of Mike as my yoga instructor, but my personal trainer as well. I would recommend Mike’s yoga system to any athlete that would like to improve or enhance their overall training.
Mike, thought I’d drop you a note to thank you for your yoga instruction over the last year. I’ve really seen an improvement in my breathing over the last year. It is much more consistent, deeper and controlled, even at higher exertions during cycling and running intervals. I’m much more conscious of how form affects my performance. Now I find I run through your class routine and have dramatically improved my muscle recovery time between workouts. I set goals and a mantra during workouts to keep focus on the task I need to accomplish at the time. You hold a very important spot on my team and are helping me realize my goals.
Mark Tanner, Ironman Triathlete
Nineteen years ago, my life changed when I went in for back surgery to remove a ruptured disc in my L5 region of my lower back. All physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage therapy just seemed to make it worse. I have a friend that was a client of Mike Chapman’s at Breathe Into Motion Yoga, and she told me that I needed to visit Mike, and work with him, as he would definitely work with me so that I could achieve my goal of riding a bike across Canada. Between August 2012 and the summer of 2013, I worked very hard with Mike and his classes, going from Level 1 to Level 3, and in September of 2013, I rode my bike across Canada. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have been able to do it had I not worked with Mike for that year prior to the ride. I can’t say enough, how thankful I am to have found Breathe Into Motion Yoga. Mike did more for my back in 6 weeks than all the therapy I did in more than 10 years.
Andrew Nelson, 2-time Cyclist in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
Mike, yoga with you has truly changed my life. The studio has a special sense of community that you create through sharing and communicating with all the patrons. While I’ve been working towards instructing, I have received so much support, not only from you, but others at the studio as well. I attribute this to the community you have created. In regards to my own personal fitness, yoga has clearly benefitted me. I not only just feel more fit and healthy, but I have noticed an increase range in flexibility and strength. Also, as a non-runner, when I ran a 5km charity race, I felt my 5 minute k’s were attributed to my increased lung capacity from yoga practice. Thank you for all that you do, Mike.
Stephanie Goad, Certified Yoga Instructor
Mike is an amazing instructor. He is very real in how he shows genuine concern, care and appreciation of all his students. He is meticulous in finding and helping to resolve previous injuries or limitations and to ensure no further injury. His light approach to yoga is very appealing for the beginner and his skill is more than enough to keep the seasoned participants challenged.
Gwyn Rafuse-Smith, Certified Yoga Instructor
As a certified yoga instructor wanting to expand my knowledge base on yoga anatomy and alignment, I knew without hesitation, that Mike Chapman was the obvious answer and enrolled in his class. His stellar reputation in the community is well known. Mike exudes enthusiasm for yoga, inspires his students to safely challenge themselves, and offers excellent technical instruction. In addition, his humour allows for a relaxed and enjoyable environment in which to learn. I respect the amount of energy it must have taken in order to create this system that brings results. Mike is a man full of integrity and operates his studio in the same manner.
Susan Takacs, Certified Yoga Instructor
Mike has a rare and unique gift when it comes to teaching; the ability to impart his expertise to each one of his students. It has been incredibly refreshing to be in a class where my injuries are not made worse by an exasperated teacher who can’t be bothered to figure out the true nature of the injury. Mike takes a completely opposite approach and cares for each one of his student’s injuries and their unique characteristics each and every class. To top it all off, the classes are a workout!
Sarah Elizabeth King, Certified Yoga Instructor
Mike, as someone with a fitness background, I appreciate your in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Having been involved in a car accident many, many years ago, I have struggled in various yoga classes with experiencing back pain, but after doing classes with you and having been shown corrective techniques you helped alleviate my back pain. Since becoming a yoga instructor myself, I have been inspired by your teaching abilities, extensive knowledge of anatomy and genuine caring nature.
Kristine Ridler, Certified Yoga Instructor
Mike Chapman is a wonderful instructor. His knowledge about the body and how it functions through the yoga postures is amazing. The way he teaches translates perfectly to my profession as a Medically Integrated Personal Trainer.
Kate Lein, Registered Kinesiologist, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutritionist
Mike is an amazing person and his yoga practice is a reflection of this. He treats everyone equally and has adopted a person-centered approach to yoga, which puts the needs and goals of his students ahead of all else. Mike understands the importance of adapting the practice to the person instead of adapting the person to the practice. With a research background in preventative health, I fully recognize how this approach aligns with progressive person-centered health care models that are slowly transforming disease specific care. As a lifelong athlete, former coach, CPTN Personal Trainer and aspiring yoga practitioner, it is also very clear to me that Mike is a gifted teacher who knows how to inspire those around him.
Matt Aymar, Certified Personal Trainer
Mike, when I first to came to you I was dealing with tendonitis, pain and range of motion issues with my left forearm and wrist and in my right shoulder. They had been going on for quite some time and nothing seemed to be working very effectively including physiotherapy. As a competitive Obstacle Course racer these injuries were affecting not just my training but actual races. After coming to you, you showed me several ways I was performing yoga poses (especially anything involving planks, upward and downward dogs) in alignments that were exacerbating my conditions. Within 4 months of you showing me proper alignments, modifications and biomechanics ALL my pain and range of motion restrictions were GONE. It’s now been almost a year and I have had no reoccurrences. Both my training and races are going extremely well and since being pain free I have qualified for the World Championships and will be competing there in October 2016. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done and continue to do for me.
Darren Grandel, Certified Personal Trainer
I am a 22 year old professional classic ballet dancer with a bachelor degree from a Hungarian Dance Academy. I have been dancing since I was 10 years old, on a daily basis for 6 hours of hard physical work. This can cause a lot of physical injuries. I have had constant pain in my foot (from a lot of point work), I couldn’t sit for long periods of time because my knees and lower back would start to hurt. When I performed squatting motions I usually had a sharp pain inside my left hip and my right knee would begin to click. In the last 4-5 years I have seen countless physiotherapists, osteopaths, massage therapists, and tried cryotherapy, Pilates, and ‘hot’ Bikram yoga. The more I did the Bikram Yoga the more I felt pain. My whole view of yoga changed when I was introduced to Mike Chapman and Breathe Into Motion Yoga. Mr. Chapman has a high knowledge in human anatomy. Since I have been practicing BIM Yoga my body has changed. Mr. Chapman has fixed my injuries in 4 weeks. For example my hip doesn’t hurt, my knee is no longer clicking and I can do push-ups without pain in my elbows. My chronic ankle problem is not presenting itself as an acute injury any more. My balance has improved along with my core and breathing. Thanks to Mr. Chapman and his approach I feel much better, stronger, balanced and pain free.
Petra Biro, Professional Ballerina
Mike, having been a student of yoga with you for 10 years, I feel it is fitting to say thank you in regard to what your yoga practice has thus far given me. We students challenge ourselves under your guidance knowing we will not be temporarily or permanently injuring ourselves. I challenge anyone to provide the name of some other yoga instructor in this region who cares as deeply in this regard. The breathing techniques help when practicing the physical side of yoga, but also to cope with the predictable stresses of the daily bread and butter of life. Thank you for being not just any yoga instructor, but someone who ‘walks the walk.’ The charity events where you donate your studio, time, and effort, make a real difference in our community. Thank you also for exposing me to other great yoga practices. Meeting and having a class with Danny Paradise was a very incredible experience. I was most proud that we were all so very prepared by you to be able to keep up with Danny’s challenging regime. I am very thankful for all that you do in your classes and your studio for us.
My physical issues began 30 years ago with an unfortunate decision to complete a left-hand turn in an intersection. In my 30’s the discomfort and periods of overwhelming pain reaction increased to almost unbearable levels, blackouts, fainting, vertigo, tinnitus and other reflexive sympathetic disorders. I underwent what felt like every medical test known to humankind and landed in a rheumatologist’s office. He performed the ‘trigger point’ test for fibromyalgia and after reviewing my history felt very strongly that the years of chronic pain may have been the culprit. I have been faithfully attending a minimum of 3 Level 1 classes per week with Mike Chapman since July of 2016. He respectfully corresponds with my physiotherapist on a regular basis to ensure whatever we do in yoga doesn’t ‘undo’ what progress has been made in physiotherapy. In less than 4 months in this program, my range of movement has improved, and some of the underlying issues such as mid and lower back pain have been alleviated. I believe that as one of the ‘invisible’ disabilities, fibromyalgia also contributes to the psychoneurotic issues of heightened stress, anxiety, despair etc. and I was very close to beginning medication to cope. Yoga with Mike Chapman gives me newfound courage and tenacity to continue my journey towards healing.
My name is Cindi, and I am a 47 year old cancer survivor. While I survived the disease, I was left with a permanent and debilitating side effect, Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN). I am in a constant state of pain, either sharp stabbing pains, or a dull bone ache that, at its worst, engulfs my feet and hands, radiating upwards into my legs, arms and into my collar bones. The oncologists and my family doctor all told me that I needed to prepare to be off work permanently, and prescribed a heavy regimen of medications to deal with the pain. But by December 2015, the toxicity from those medications overwhelmed my system. By the time I found Breathe into Motion yoga studio in September 2016, I was on a new medication which helped to ease the pain to a degree. But I had stopped physical activity, measuring whether getting up off the couch to do simple tasks was worth the pain involved. I’d also internalized the hopeless message: Permanent. Incurable. Difficult to manage. The BIM system challenged these assumptions. In 11 weeks, I am seeing incremental improvements. By incorporating the use of props, and modifications, I can manage simple postures I thought impossible when I first started. The de-construction of each pose, combined with differentiated instruction, are unique to this studio. Mike’s constant coaching and encouragement have deepened my understanding of biomechanics, and enabled me to see how creativity and problem solving can keep me on my feet, and reduce the pain. I am grateful to Mike for creating BIM yoga, because without this therapy I would still be on the couch.
Mike, you will recall that I originally registered for my first yoga session in Level 1 in January 2014 shortly after I retired as the Director of Education for the Waterloo District School Board. For over 10 years I had experienced recurring neck and shoulder pain that inhibited lateral head movement. My neck and shoulder problems have disappeared thanks to your knowledgeable guidance, explicit direction and careful monitoring of my breathing, stretches, movements and poses. Having spent 42 years in the education field, I know a highly competent, skilled and engaging teacher when I meet one. Your exceptional knowledge base, expertise in your field, pedagogical skill and your ability to apply your very high level of knowledge in layman’s terms for your students is amazing. You have developed a ‘yoga curriculum’ based not on what is popular or what the current trends happen to be, but on years of experience, professional learning and extensive research to develop what is appropriate, healing and healthy for your students. My deep and sincere thanks to you for what you contribute to our community, how you assist students and for what I personally gain from you as my yoga instructor.
Linda Fabi, OCT, BA, MA, Director of Education Waterloo District School Board