Teachers

Our fantastic family

Susan Horning, BBA

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Susan is devoted to her daily practice and has been sharing public classes full time for the past 12 years at Unity Yoga, in corporate environments and at music and art festivals. Her love of yoga blossomed in her twenties as she finished her business degree at Simon Fraser University. On her quest for self-inquiry, she left her corporate career 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, and is constantly learning through workshops and classes. 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 group retreats to Salt Spring Island and various locations around the world (unityretreats.ca), is a practicing Herbalist (unityherbals.ca) and has a special interest in the esoteric, offering consultations in Four Pillars Astrology (Bazi), Tarot, I-Ching and Flying Star Feng Shui. (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.

Photo of Dr. Nicola Bennett, N.D.

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!

Andrea (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.

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.

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.

Alexander Pershai

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Hi, my name is Alex. I have been practicing yoga since 2007 and recently completed my 200 hour teacher's training in the Anusara tradition with Lila Rasa Brown.

Yoga is a journey that leads toward life with an open heart and unlimited opportunity. My classes are slower-paced, in a Hatha style, with room for contemplation and individuality.

I believe that developing good alignment in asana allows students to discover inner strengths and find balance in life. My classes are holistic: you can expect a combination of asana, pranayama, philosophy, spirituality, humour, and compassion. We exercise your mind and stabilize your emotions when we challenge your body.

Bek Moss

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Bek hails all the way from New Brunswick and has been practicing yoga for 10 years. She is certified in Hatha, Vinyasa and classical Pilates. Currently, her practice and studies have taken a turn in the direction of movement—both functional and skill based.

You can generally expect her classes to be dynamic and strong, with an emphasis on transitions and a hefty dose of playfulness.

Niki Inglis

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Diagnosed at age 29 with life-threatening asthma and debilitating arthritis, Niki took her first yoga class at a neighbourhood community center. Fully healed in a short time by the practice, she has devoted the last 22 years to sharing yoga with others. Along the way, she has raised three wise and beautiful girls, accumulated a wealth of knowledge about the human body and acquired a deep curiosity for the ways in which we learn, as individuals and together.

Trained in Restorative, Hot and Aerial Yoga, she leads workshops and retreats worldwide. Her classes invite you to move more slowly, in order to feel more deeply. Gentle myofascial release techniques, yoga postures, the breath, music and deep rest are combined to create an environment where your body and mind can learn to find ease.

Her deepest influence is Vijnana Yoga - a gentle but strong, inwardly-focused practice - and she strives to bring its sense of presence and peace to all of her classes. Niki encourages questions, community and connection above all else and gratitude towards her teachers, students included, guides her every move.

Alexandria King

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Raised in the mountainous town of Canmore Alberta, Alex has been a lifelong student of various movement modalities. While working in a climbing gym, a co-worker and friend introduced Alex to the practice of Acroyoga while on their lunch break. AcroYoga inspired a shift that altered the course her life. The practice showed her the art of co-creation and connection.. It was love at first fly. In 2016, Alex moved to Vancouver to pursue training with the Vancity Acro tribe. Since then she has participated in her first YTT and Acro TT, taught numerous workshops and festivals as well as put in hundreds of hours of training. Join Alex's class to become reacquainted with your breath as well as create flexibility and strength through both body and mind...with a little bit of silliness and playfulness added to boot. It's not a race to the pose, it's a journey of practice and self-discovery.

Niki Brown

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An artist, dancer, & healer, Niki has been practicing for over 15 years. A sought after globe trotting teacher, she divides her time between Canada & France. She teaches Hatha, Flow, Restorative & Yin, along with Mindfulness & Meditation, all with a focus on nature & power of the shifting seasons. Born & raised in Vancouver, Niki’s teachings are infused with the beauty of Canada’s wild west coast. Nature is her soul & she believes that it is when we connect to nature's pace & rhythm, life flows with more sweetness & ease. Her classes invite you to connect with the beauty, truth & freedom forever blooming within you.

Claire Hurley

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Claire’s love for yoga began to unfold in university whilst studying for her experimental physics degree. Continuing her asana practice during her many years as a high school teacher, it was her background in science that brought her to delve deeper into the spiritual aspects of yoga. The practice has helped Claire experience deep calmness and clarity, feel more connected and be more at peace. Relocating to Vancouver in 2016, Claire quickly immersed herself in the many yoga offerings of the city. It was a natural progression to combine her passion for yoga and learning with her teaching background, and so she completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training with Karma Teachers, soon followed by a 40 hour yin training.

In her classes, Claire aims to help you connect with the power of your breath, the joy of moving in your body, the art of sharing in community and the many holistic benefits of your yoga practice that you can take off your mat. She recognises the honour that comes with being in the sacred seat of teacher, and wishes to give students a space to tune inwards and intuitively find what they need.

Zamir Dhanji

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Zamir is a yoga teacher, dharma artist and avid explorer of consciousness and culture. He completed his 500 hr Chakra Yoga Teacher Training with David Goulet who studied Rishi Culture Ashtanga Yoga from the late Swami Gitananda. Integrating different branches of classical yoga and strongly influenced by developments in modern science, Zamir teaches a holistic approach to yoga.

He is also an initiate of Ati-yoga under the guidance of Wisdom Master Maticintin - founder of HÜMÜH Clear-Mind Buddhism - with whom he's studied meditation and Buddhist logic for the last eight years.

"My goal as a yoga teacher is to inspire others to embrace the depth of what yoga has to offer - integrating our potential in body, mind, emotions and spirit"