Our Team

The smiling owners

Take a chance and come join us. It can be intimidating starting something new for the first time. We understand why people don’t want to go to large classes so here’s a place where you can come, be in a small group setting and really get the individual attention you need from an expert with a wide range of knowledge and plenty of experience to keep you safe. This is a perfect recipe for starting something new.

Donna Hutchinson
CEO

At eighteen my claim to fame was how many beers I could drink. I didn’t exercise, smoked ½ pack of cigarettes a day, ate chocolate cake for breakfast and was pretty much a sedentary coach potato. Then I lost my mother to cancer and a few years later, my dad to a sudden heart attack. Something in me switched and I knew I had to make some changes. I attended my first aerobics class at a local gym and got about half way through before stepping out to have a cigarette. Let’s just say, I didn’t take to exercise right away and ended up exercising at home for a few years before going back to a gym. Eventually, I started to change all my bad habits and was inspired to become a fitness instructor. A few years after that I became a personal trainer and a life-long career as a fitness professional began.

Hang on a long list of 28 years of experience is about to begin. I am a certified personal trainer, group fitness and yoga instructor. I am an international presenter and author of two books and over a dozen resource manuals. I have a Diploma in Exercise Science, Bachelors of Arts Degree majoring in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Counseling Theories. I am currently completing a Master's program in Counseling Psychology at Simon Fraser University.  My passion for fitness led me to a passion for the outdoors. As such I have competed in several adventure races, ultra distance trail running events and have completed several ½ and full marathons.

What makes my heart happy is watching people achieve things they never thought they could do. Whether that’s learning to lift weights for the first time, run their first 5km or even tackle the grouse grind, I’m inspired by the courage people exhibit when the stretch the edge of their comfort zone.

Shelley Bohnke
COO

The profound loss of my brother when I was 21 coupled with the loss of my father at age 37 sent me into a spiral of addiction which almost resulted in the loss of my life. It was, without a doubt the most difficult time in my life. I knew that if I didn’t take steps to make a change I would end up in a very bad place. I checked myself into a recovery center which was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I spent three months in intensive therapy and was isolated from friends and family. When I came out, I knew I had to keep myself on track and part of this journey meant I had stay not only mentally healthy but physically as well. I am proud to say that I am 16 years clean.

It was on my 45th birthday that I walked into the local community center and joined my very first step class. I felt like fish out of water and laughed my head off at how uncoordinated I was. To be honest, I was terrified, but I made it through. I kept going and went to every class I could possibly go to and started to really enjoy fitness. I knew I had found something that I truly loved doing.  A few years later I decided that I wanted to become a personal trainer and that’s when Donna entered my life. The rest as they say is history and now I am the proud owner of Smiling Hearts Yoga and Fitness. I am excited to share my passion for fitness and want you to know that change is possible even when it seems like it isn’t.

What makes my heart happy is seeing the change in other people. Something as small a seeing someone standing up a little taller because they feel better about themselves or just smiling more because they are starting to enjoy the process of becoming healthier. There’s nothing better for me than this.

 

Bailey Durham
Trainer

My passion for fitness began about 6 years ago when I made one huge life decision which was to refuse to continue to live my life in an unhealthy way.  The choices that followed were both easy and extremely difficult. I left my home, my relationship and my job in order to start taking care of myself. I had no idea at that time that I would be uncovering a passion that would run so deep. At this same time my mom Shelley began her Personal Trainer Certification and with her infectious enthusiasm and the love  only a mom can give, with soft hands and a swift kick she encouraged me to go to the gym. She helped ignite a fire within me and to see that the gym wasn’t such a scary place after all.

I decided that I wanted to make fitness as easy, welcoming and empowering a choice for other people just like me.  I met Donna and she both challenged and encouraged me to train from my point of view.  I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason and I don’t believe that my mom met Donna to only find love.  I believe she met her to help change my life’s path. With both her and my mom’s encouragement and the belief that I had a place in the health and fitness industry, I decided to become a personal trainer.

I know what it’s like to start and stop. What it’s like when that internal mom guilt kicks in. Most importantly what it’s like to make the decision every day to make good and healthy choices and get out of the car rather than drive by the gym when giving up seems easier some days. I set and achieved some major personal goals this past year which included losing 100 lbs, completing two 5 km races and crushing 280 workouts. My most exciting achievement was to have the courage to try new physical activities that in the past have scared me.

What makes my heart happy is helping clients believe they can achieve more then they think they can and that a gym family is a real thing. I look forward to the privilege of working with you in the gym and helping you grow stronger on the inside and the out.

Patricia Schmidt
Yoga Instructor

A significant personal challenge for me was losing over 50lbs and keeping it off. What was surprising to me was the reaction of a few people to my significant weight loss. While some were supportive there were others who were critical, often stating that I was getting too thin and that I should stop losing weight. Perhaps they were fearful that I would change somehow. They were right, I did change, for the better. I found courage and strength and now I have a much healthier relationship with food and my body. I have learned to appreciate what my healthy body can do for me.

What makes my heart happy is seeing people believe in themselves when they work towards achieving balance. I believe selfishness is better stated as self-care because it’s the relationship you have with yourself that forms the foundation for all relationships in your life.

Lisa Thompson
Yoga Instructor
I have been practicing yoga for many years. I have also been a fitness instructor since the late 1990s. I love yoga, moving my body and learning. I've completed my 200 and 300-hour teacher training and went on to take further training in restorative yoga, yin yoga, and kids yoga. 
 
What makes my heart happy and brings me joy is seeing having the courage to move in any way that makes them feel comfortable.  
Fiona
Trainer

Living an active and healthy lifestyle has always been part of my life. I grew up in a large family, I have 7 siblings, and we lived on a working farm so milking goats, cows and raising cattle was very much part of my childhood.

At age 20 I was diagnosed with progressive Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was successfully put on a treatment plan to slow down the disease and a year and a half later I was able to run a half marathon. I was determined not to let an autoimmune disease define what I was capable of.

However, my struggle wasn’t over. After having two children I gained 65 pounds. I came to a point where I needed to take back control of my life and that’s when I decided I needed to work on not only my physical health, but my mental health as well. This journey kindled a passion within me to help others and before I knew it I was enrolled in a Personal Training Course. I would very much like to work alongside clients with autoimmune diseases and other health related conditions. I want my clients to come to know, believe and understand that their illness doesn’t define who they are and that they are capable of so much more then they know.

What makes my heart happy is seeing someone work towards a goal. Even if that goal is just to be able to get up in the morning and go for a 10 minute walk. I will be your biggest cheer leader helping you every step of the way towards achieving your goals.

Taylor Hudson
Yoga Instructor

My journey with movement began when I was young, I took a variety of dance classes for ten years. There was a brief period until I was 20 I did not enjoy movement and exercise until I took my first yoga class with Donna in her home studio. After that first class I was hooked and rediscovered my love for movement and quickly began going to exercise and yoga classes. 

I am an artist who mostly paints large oil paintings. The creative components of yoga and the unique shapes your body can make are very inspiring to me. The more I grow into myself and continue my journey as a yoga practitioner the happier and mindful I become. I am a creator in so many facets, as an instructor I want to be the vessel to guide students through their personal practice that inspires them to live and breathe yoga, on and off the mat. Yoga has taught me discipline, to honour my body and my time. It has aided my anxiety reminding me I can always come back to my breath. It has also taught me clarity directing me to this life showing me what I truly want and need. 
 
What makes my heart happy is love, in every sense. Love for friendship, community, family, art and life. Everything I create is with the intention of love and compassion. Whether it's creating new relationships with people in our community,  sequences for my classes, painting and gardening. 
Amy
Personal Trainer/Yoga and Pilates Instructor

Fitness has always been a part of my life. I started ballet and acrobatics at the age of five and continued into my teens. My mom, older brother and sister, and I joined our local rec centre when I was 14. Many years of hi/lo aerobics in purple leggings and matching leotard with leg warmers to boot! In college, I went to school originally for journalism, and right after college I wrote for a local Toronto newspaper, and was an on-air field reporter. I decided to switch careers in my mid-20s and went back to college for fitness leadership. Over the years, I have personal trained many different clients, from stay-at-home moms to lawyers to triathletes, and I have loved every minute of it.

I took a break from my career and I stayed home when my children were young. Those fulfilling years were busy, and it was difficult to fit in exercise and to eat well consistently. I did the best I could, but often times I prioritized napping over moving.

When I joined the fitness industry again, I received my 250hr yoga teacher training, and began to teach power yoga. In the years since I have also gained certifications in barre, Pilates, group cycling, seniors fitness, pre/postnatal fitness, and corrective exercise. I have discovered my love of group fitness. There is nothing better than a community of sweaty, rosy cheeked participants trying their best to get strong together.

One thing about me: I love people and the sense of community I feel. Community makes my heart smile. I enjoy being around people, and I truly enjoy leading them through fitness classes, building inner and outer strength.

Renee Lamoureux
Yoga Instructor

My journey towards health and wellness started a bit later in life. When I was young, I was blessed with a fast metabolism, so I was not concerned with exercise and I pretty much ate whatever I wanted. But when I entered my mid 20’s my metabolism came to screeching halt and within a year, I gained so much weight that I didn’t recognize myself anymore. Subsequently, I struggled with anxiety and depression and felt uncomfortable in my own skin.  I reached a low point in my life finding myself at an unhealthy weight, discontent in my marriage and my career and constantly making excuses to get out of social obligations which left me feeling isolated and alone. I needed to make a change, and fast.

Overtime I started to explore different activities and with that I found a passion for trail running and I even completed a few half marathons. My 30 year old single self was now engaged in a new life which brought me much joy and I felt like a huge weight had not only been lifted from my physical body (having lost over 60lbs) but also my mind felt lighter too.  Unfortunately, my trail running exploits came to an end when I suffered an injury that left me in an air cast for several months.

However, that didn’t get me down and I continued my wellness journey and re-engaged with my yoga practice. My practice helped me work through my anxiety and get in touch my body at a deeper level. I just loved how I felt after every class. When I signed up for yoga teacher training, I was on a personal mission of self-discovery. I had no intention of teaching but what I learned during the program forever changed my life path, provided me with a sense of purpose and a desire to share what I have learned along the way. I am now a trauma informed teacher trained in Hatha, Kundalini, Yin and Kids Yoga and I want to share the practice of yoga with you in way that bolsters your sense of self-love and teaches you to embrace your body.

What makes my heart smile are simple things like sunrises and sunsets. I love to hike and camp and explore where we live with my partner and our dogs. But most of all what makes my hearts smile is witnessing woman step into their own power through movement, breath, and meditation.

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