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.

Laurie Sterling
Yoga Instructor

My yoga journey began many years ago. It started out with the physical side of the practice. Moving my body in a different way and finding myself feeling amazing when I practiced. While working in a stressful job in healthcare, yoga was there for me when I eventually needed to leave this stressful environment. Later, I became a personal trainer and group fitness leader. While this was a lot of fun and I met amazing people along the way, there was something missing passion wise. I had a steady practice at this time and decided to jump in and take my training. Wow, did my life ever change. Yoga has become so much more than physical. It has broken down barriers within myself, helped mend parts of me that I always thought would never be complete again. I feel free. I strongly believe that yoga is something to be shared. I want to share it with as many people as I can.

What makes my heart happy is YOGA. I am so truly blessed to have the ability to do something I love every day. I love seeing others connect to the practice and feel that every time we hit the mat there is a lesson to be learned. The practice connects us to who we truly are and seeing others come home to themselves is very special. 

Siobhan Coates
Cycle Instructor
There was a time in my life when I was severely out of shape and struggling to make good choices. For me, the gym was a scary place that other people went to and not a place where I felt like I fit in.
 
At that time, I would have never thought that I would become an instructor some day or that fitness and health would ever be part of my life. However, a few life transitions later and one bad break-up led me to the front doors of a gym.  
 
Fast forward 25 years, and I have become and still am an avid gym goer. I rediscovered outdoor cycling and have since done The Ride2Survive, a 400km bicycle ride from Kelowna to Delta. I proudly participated in this event for 9 years.  
What makes my heart happy is seeing fresh happy, sweaty red faced smiling people as they challenge themselves in their fitness goals, and accomplish things they never thought they could do.
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.

Krista
Trainer

As a single mother of 3, I understand life can be extremely hectic, challenging, and tough to find the time to commit to personal wellness. After facing some very significant life challenges, I found myself needing to break free of the rut I was in. Looking back, I made so many excuses and procrastinated on reaching my health goals. I spent many years struggling to lose the weight I gained after having my children. I tried every fad diet imaginable but nothing really worked. I hired personal trainers and worked out on and off for many years. It took a long while, but I finally got to point where I just wanted to feel confident and good about my body again. I was tired of the constant battle. Eventually and with patience and consistency the excuses lessened and procrastination was replaced with action.

My love and passion for health and fitness grew to another level. Fortified with a healthy body and mind I decided to become a Personal Trainer and that’s when this new chapter in my life began. Now I want to share my excitement for wellness in mind and body; to help people move and to take action regardless of what life throws at them.

What makes my heart happy is to be able help you reach your goals and feel good about who you are. I care deeply about people and there’s nothing more important to me than helping someone feel happy, confident and strong. I know what it’s like when you don’t feel happy with yourself and your body and how it can affect your whole life. I want to be there to support those who want to make a commitment to themselves to shift their mindset. I’m driven to help you discover the benefits of moving your body so that you can become the person you are meant to be. I challenge you not to let life get in the way and together we can do this.

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.

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