Our fantastic family

Susan Horning

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Susan has been practicing yoga her whole life and has been teaching public classes full time for the past 12 years. Her love of the 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 (Levels I-III) in 2010, Thai Massage (Teacher Certified) 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 various locations around the world: http://unityretreats.ca/. She is a practicing Herbalist http://unityherbals.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.

Dr. Nicola Bennett, N.D.

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Nicola is a yoga teacher and Naturopathic Doctor living and thriving in East Vancouver’s artistically rich Commercial Drive neighbourhood. She was introduced to yoga by her gymnastics coach at age 16, where she instantly fell in love with the practice and knew that she would eventually become a teacher. Her interest in the human body and its movement brought her to UBC where she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. Nicola went on to earn her 200h YTT in Hatha with Open Door Yoga in 2011. She began teaching shortly afterwards and has been at Unity Yoga ever since.

Although Nicola had always wanted to be a doctor, she realized along the way that the conventional medical system was not for her. Yoga was the key that unlocked the door to a whole new world of Eastern philosophy and healing traditions, and she soon realized there were more paths to good health than those offered by western medicine. She decided to pursue another four years of school at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine where she became a naturopathic doctor. Her studies have enriched her yoga teachings and her classes often focus heavily on anatomy and physiology. She is particularly interested in the nervous system and how one can use breath and mindfulness to balance the nervous system. It is in this state where the body’s innate ability to heal itself, or the Vis medicatrix naturae, is active.

With a gentile supportive voice, Dr. Bennett combines her knowledge as a naturopathic doctor with her experience as a yoga teacher and long-term practitioner to create a truly unique experience in her classes.

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.

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 was inspired to practice yoga after traveling to South East Asia in 2012. 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!

Andi Javor

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To me, as well as offering ease in body and mind, yoga is a potent tool of transformation. My intention is to offer a physical practice that is sustainable, nourishing, and healing, as well as to facilitate a deep embodied experience, where students may go within and work alchemical magic. I enjoy integrating traditional yoga concepts with esoteric wisdom as well contemporary knowledge about physiology and movement. I teach in a way that is safe and approachable for beginners, while also challenging students to push their limits.

I’ve studied with some incredible teachers including Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman, Dustin Fruson, Bernie Clark, Brae Johnson, and Clara Roberts-Oss.

For more information, and to learn about my astrology practice, please see my 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.

Heather Wuschke

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Heather’s journey with yoga began with a 100 day class challenge that she set for herself and the fire was lit! Inspired by a deeper understanding of herself and thirsty for learning, Heather completed her 200 and 300 hour training with Semperviva Yoga. Influenced by styles from Kundalini to Yin, Heather emphasizes digging into all the layers yoga can offer, from the physical practice to beyond! Her classes blend moments of challenge and softness, joyfully encouraging students to meet themselves where they are!

Jenn Suvajac

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After traveling and living abroad for the past few years, Jenn is happy to bring her yoga teaching back to Vancouver. Jenn’s profound interest in body awareness, movement and mindfulness has led her to study under inspiring teachers in India, Bali, Europe and North America. Her explorations led her to deeper mind-body studies and earned Jenn a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology, Diploma in Holistic Nutrition and 500 Hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training certification. Passionate about the healing arts, Jenn brings a holistic understanding to her classes. Breath work, deep awareness, presence of mind, proper alignment and creative sequencing are the foundation of Jenn’s classes. Through mindful movement, Jenn encourages her students to tap into their oneness and experience the transformative practice of yoga. Jenn’s compassionate and attentive style make her perfect for new and advanced students looking to deepen their yogic path.

Kayla Law

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"Yoga has been a practice that has continuously brought me back to myself. No matter the situation in my life, good to bad, my mat is there. Moving my body is like medicine for my soul. I was inspired years ago to teach yoga, even though it felt far away, I just knew I needed to teach. I took my first training in 2011, and then in 2015 I took my 300 hour teacher training with Christine Price Clark at the Vancouver School of Yoga. It was one of the best trainings I have ever taken, and it was the best life choice I have made thus far!

The reason I teach yoga is I trust in the power of the practice. I can never know what is right for any one person, but what I do know is it helps every single person remember to listen to their self, and their body. It slows us down. It slows us down to breathe and move with intention. I teach with passion, understanding and a huge amount of dorky enthusiasm. I truly look forward to meeting you!

Natalie Senger

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Natalie discovered yoga in 2003, during her first year of university. She was looking for a physical practice that could replace her monotonous and uninspired gym routine. What she found was a practice that challenged her beyond her physical body and revealed pent-up tension from years of volleyball, vigorous gym workouts, and high self-expectations.

Natalie's inquisitive nature lead her to take several teacher trainings. She completed her 500 Hr advanced training at the Vancouver School of Yoga with lead teacher Christine Price Clark in 2015, and she continues to participate in advanced anatomy studies with Tiffany Cruikshank through her Yoga Medicine program.

Sharing yoga with others is a passion of Natalie's that pulled her from a full-time career as a Geologist. For her, there is nothing that compares to the joy that she gets from leading students to discover new movements, full breath, and glimpse at who they truly are and what they're truly feeling, behind the mundane, day to day tasks.

Natalie strives to create an environment where students can learn, listen, feel, and question, while skillfully building a balanced foundation of physical and mental health.