Teachers

Our fantastic family

Susan Horning

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Susan has been practicing yoga her whole life. Her love of asana practice blossomed in her twenties as she finished her business degree at Simon Fraser University. Susan’s passion for movement and her quest for self-inquiry fueled her desire to open Unity Yoga in the summer of 2006. As a socially conscious Entrepreneur, her vision is to provide an inclusive space for healing and connection where everyone has a name and voice.

Exploring many styles of yoga on her journey, Susan has been influenced by a variety of excellent teachers and traditions. She received her initial 200 hour training at Vancouver’s Flow Yoga in 2006, completed her Anusara Yoga Teacher Training in 2010, Thai Massage Level I and II in 2011 and AcroYoga Level I and II certification in Montreal in 2014. Passionate about the healing power of yoga, her classes are a fusion of the flowing grace of Vinyasa, the alignment principles of Anusara / Iyengar, the gentle pace of Hatha yoga, and the wisdom of traditional yoga philosophy. Susan enjoys working with students at every level of practice, and strives to make yoga accessible to those who need it most.

In addition to her public classes, Susan facilitates retreats to Salt Spring Island and Central America together with her retreat partner, Emily Millen: http://unityretreats.ca/. She also has a special interest in the esoteric and offers consultations in Four Pillars Astrology(Bazi), Tarot, I-Ching and Flying Star Feng Shui. http://www.quanyin.ca/

DIY (Do-it-Yourself) Dharma Meditation Collective

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DIY Dharma is a peer-led Buddhist community of freaks, geeks, queers, trans folks, rebels, outcasts, stream-enterers, and friends young and old. Folks of all backgrounds, cultures, and traditions are welcome.

We meditate together in East Vancouver, following the Buddhist tradition. We strive to create a space for kindness, mutual respect, and safety, free from violence and oppression.

We meditate for a total of one hour, followed by a group discussion. There are two 20-minute sessions of silent mindfulness meditation, 10 minutes of optional walking meditation, and 10 minutes of guided loving-kindness meditation. Everyone is invited to participate, by donation.

"A Sangha is a community of resistance, resisting the speed, violence and unwholesome ways of living that are prevalent in our society. Mindfulness is to protect ourselves and others. A good Sangha will lead us in the direction of harmony and awareness. The substance of the practice is most important. The forms can be adapted."

~ Thich Nhat Hahn

You may reach us at hello@diydharma.org.

Sid Hawkins

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I came to yoga to help me get into my body and out of my mind, and I stayed because it worked! Deepening my connection to self, to my physical body, has helped me realize how essential my connection to the earth is. Tending this relationship is what I do when I am on my mat, and I encourage that connection to self and to the elements of air, fire, water, earth and spirit in my classes.

I believe that each of us in born with the innate wisdom that is necessary to heal ourselves, and if we can get quiet enough, feel resourced and listen to our bodies, that healing will naturally unfold. I am committed to providing a safe space for people's bodies, feelings and self expression, and welcome diversity with excitement.

I teach Hatha and Restorative with a focus on feeling aligned in our bodies, breath work and deep relaxation. I like digging in and get real about what is happening in our lives and the world around us, and make a point to have as much fun as possible while we do it.

Emily Millen

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Emily is a talented and inspiring Yoga teacher who currently resides in Vancouver, Canada and has been instructing around the city since 2009. In 2006, she was motivated by her history of competitive figure skating & dance, to explore a new form of movement: yoga. In 2009, Emily completed her 200 hour teacher training with Chris Chavez. Since then she has studying all over the world with Ana Forrest, Christina Sell, and Clara Roberts-Oss. Together with her facilitating partner, Susan Horning, she leads local and international retreats throughout the year. For more information on these adventures, visit http://www.unityretreats.ca/.

When Emily isn't on the mat she tends to her garden and honey bees, feeds her music addiction, and can be found supporting birthing mothers as a certified Doula. If you're interested in having Emily support you during your birth, please email emilyjanemillen@yahoo.com.

Emily draws from her many varied experiences, taking the best from each to skillfully weave art into her teaching, with a rich and heartfelt voice. Raw and authentic - what Emily learned at the Randolph Academy of the Arts in Toronto - informs her teaching as a journey to the self. She reminds her students that yoga lets you feel again, allowing for a deeper connection to this life. Be ready to peel back the layers, be ready to receive euphoric moments, and be ready to experience culture's past!

Nicola Bennett

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Introduced to yoga by her gymnastics coach at age 16, Nicola instantly fell in love with the practice and knew that she would become a teacher. Her interest in the human body its movement brought her to UBC where she studied Kinesiology and Health Science, completing her Bachelors degree. Nicola feels that it was her regular yoga practice that allowed her to remain focused and balanced during her studies. She has practiced with many teachers including Jesse Enright, Colleen Fellgate, Nancy Goodfellow, and Georgina Varveris where she’s learned to appreciate aspects of yoga other than just the physical.

With a calm, supportive voice Nicola offers gentle Hatha classes, always acknowledging that students know best when it comes to their own bodies. She likes to help students to become present and build awareness of themselves through clear simple instructions and hands on posture adjustment. Many modifications are offered to make each pose safe and effective for individual bodies. Nicola completed her RYT 200hr Teacher Training at Open Door Yoga with Hogan Poon and Georgina Varveris in March of 2011.

Lucy St. John

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Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Lucy’s passion for story led her to India in 1997. There she was introduced not only to Asana yoga practice but began a 13 year study of Vedanta ~ ancient eastern knowledge from the Shankracharya tradition. Inspired by great yogis of all walks of life, her classes are full of great music, stories and mindfulness. She blends the ancient traditions with a contemporary approach making the wisdom of the yogis accessible to everyone. She uses alignment and knowledge to help connect you to your inner source of wisdom. Her love of dance and movement inspire students to let go, laugh and feel the instinctual flow of the body. Her training has been in Anusara, Dharma Mittra, and One Love.

She developed and founded the Holistic Integrated Health Courses to help yogis bring their yoga practice off the mat and into their daily lives. Her workshops: The Centerpoint, Where is your mula bandha? and Intro to Ayurveda are roadmaps for the grounded spiritual seeker. Each offering brings clarity and understanding to the practice both on and off the mat. Lucy keeps it real with heart, humility and laughter. She’s been known to say: “Life is your Ashram” There is always an opportunity to learn and practice yoga wherever you are. Lucy has taught her workshops in the Caribbean, Cost Rica, Mexico, the California coast and British Columbia.

Devon French

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My name is Devon French, and I am currently on a mission to discover the capabilities of my body and mind. This journey led me into the yoga class where I learned to breathe, and move with fluidity. I enjoy teaching classes that are focused on slow controlled movements with an emphasis on breath and awareness of the body as it moves through space. I teach hatha, flow, core, yin, and restorative styles.

Bless Leone

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I love movement and the freedom I feel when my brain turns off and my body flows of its own accord. Yoga moves me, lifts my spirits, calms my mind and makes me feel connected. I appreciate how yoga has deepened my awareness of how to move my body and engage my muscles. It reminds me to breathe, keeps my mind free of stress and worry and allows my body to relax.

I am a Yoga Alliance registered E-RYT 200 instructor, trained in Anusara Yoga with Chris Chavez and Vinyasa Yoga with Clara Roberts-Oss. My own teaching focuses on intelligent sequencing and postural alignment. I include the use of props, modifications, verbal adjustments and demonstrations to educate students ensuring that each class is accessible to everyone in the room. I encourage my students to move safely beyond their boundaries reminding them that yoga is not about being perfect, but being present and connected in each moment. I am inspired by words, flavours and creativity and love to create myself. Being in nature, gardening, thrift store hunting, traveling and exploring other places and cultures keeps me excited to be alive!

Brittany Sharpe

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Brittany is a warm hearted and passionate yoga teacher who currently calls Vancouver, BC home. She was inspired to practice yoga after travelling to South East Asia in 2012. In that same year she moved to Vancouver and Yoga quickly became a new way of life for her. It gave her a strong sense of purpose and a new way to move and strengthen her body and mind.

In 2014, she took her 200 hour Vinyasa Teacher Training with Mike Nichols in Vancouver, BC. Her own unique Vinyasa teaching style incorporates meditation with a flowing movement of body synchronized with breath. Brittany takes her students on a journey through each pose with ease and clarity. She creates a warm and welcoming space in which people can explore their own practice. Uplifting and compassionate, Brittany embraces the spiritual side of Yoga, connecting her students on a deeper level by helping them unite with their chakra energy centers. She encourages her students to speak their truth and see the light that shines brightly within them. She supports people to feel confident in who they are and to always remember to be true to themselves by following their heart as a compass.

For Brittany, Yoga is more than just the asanas. It is feeling supported and loved in a community and extending your practice beyond the mat. When she isn't teaching yoga in a studio, you can find Brittany on the ocean leading SUP yoga classes or hanging out with her Costa Rican rescue dog Nicoya at the beach!

Lila Rasa Brown

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One of Lila’s great joys is to guide practitioners into a space of true transformation, encouraging them to fully discover, honor, and gracefully reveal their most authentic nature through the practices of yoga, evolutionary astrology, and meditation. Lila has practiced yoga and meditation for over sixteen years, has taught for over thirteen years, and was a Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher from 2005 through 2012. Most recently Lila has been developing and teaching Rasa Yoga, a practice that incorporates skillful alignment and action in the body with yogic myths, philosophy, and evolutionary astrology to create a rich, profound, and soulful experience both on and off the mat. She delights in offering yoga classes, workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats presently and has been leading yoga teacher training programs for nearly a decade. Lila feels grateful to continue her studies with her primary teacher Adyashanti, as well as inspiring yoga teachers, scholars of Hindu Tantrism, and evolutionary astrologers. Her passion for practicing evolutionary astrology has been a perfect complement to the yoga practice, and she loves creating a space of magic and healing where her clients feel supported to transform in the most radical of ways. From 2006 to 2011, Lila directed Gateway Yoga in Raleigh, NC, a yoga studio dedicated to the principles of Anusara Yoga, and was part of the faculty at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, from 2008 - 2012.

Andi Astre

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Andi’s teaching style is simple and precise. She emphasizes meditation, breath, and alignment in a playful yet focused practice. In her classes, expect to feel safe and supported to be yourself, explore, and challenge yourself at your own pace.

Andi is also an astrologer and is passionate about integrating astrology and yoga. Yoga facilitates a deep, embodied understanding of astrology, while astrology informs a symbolic, archetypal understanding of yoga asana.

She completed her 200hr teacher training in Ashtanga Yoga with Paul Dallaghan in 2012, 50hr training in Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark in 2014, and 20hr training in Tibetan Heart Yoga with John Buchanan in 2014.

She holds a BSc in Psychology from the University of Guelph, and studied Cognitive Neuroscience at Queen's University and philosophy at The University of British Columbia.

To learn more about Andi, see her website: www.MysticSandwich.com.

Anita Callahan

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When I was young, I loved dancing and making up my own stretches. At the time, I had no idea there was a name for what I was doing. One day I stumbled across a classic yoga book of my Uncles and flipped through the pages fascinated at postures like crow, cobra and down dog. I didn't know these poses would keep reappearing in my life, and I didn't ever really pursue yoga as I grew, it just kept finding me. I believe yoga is present naturally in all of us if we can quiet our minds to hear it. For me, the beauty of yoga is not just to move your physical body, but to encourage the moving and shifting on a mental and spiritual level too.

When you come to my class, you will experience a strong foundation of alignment, but I hope you sweat and laugh and enjoy some freedom too. I will remind you to breathe, and breathe deeply. I enjoy exploring poses and flowing movement. I am truly a guide to help move you through a sequence and I hope the end result will be that we all find a little more clarity for our everyday lives, because that is when you know yoga is at work. Anita is a ceritified RYT-500, having comleted her 200hr training in 2013 with Y-Yoga, and her 300hr advanced training with Christine Price Clark at the Vancouver School of Yoga and Massage in 2014.

Monique Desroches

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Yoga has been a fairly constant thread throughout my life and is a practice I maintain because it makes sense to me and supports my well-being. My introduction to the physical practice was via the television show "Lilias, Yoga and You" in the early 80's. I was in high school and the fact that I got myself out of bed for 6AM meant I was onto something. The practice stuck and I eventually found myself studying at an Iyengar studio. My time at that studio instilled in me an appreciation for props, moving slowly and purposefully, and setting a strong foundation. My devotion to yoga has ebbed and flowed over the years, however an HIV+ diagnosis in 1994 confirmed the mat as my 'go to' comfort zone. I am contemplative by nature and spent 18 years as a Third Order monastic. As such, my classes draw from traditional meditation practices, yin, restorative, and Dru yoga. I am fond of a slow and steady practice with a rhythmic pace. I am also a trauma-sensitive yoga therapist and have a private practice working one-on-one with women who are living with the effects of complex trauma. I offer my classes, workshops, and retreats as both a respite and an opportunity to fully inhabit your being with self-compassion.