Our Teachers and Staff

Akeem Pierre

Akeem is an ex-national level basketball player with a fascination for movement, calisthenics, mobility and gymnastics training. It all started with a realization that during the end of his basketball career he had very little control over his body and he was also in pain on a daily basis. He then dedicated his practice and training to developing body awareness. His focus is on building better bodies through movement, joint by joint.  As one of the few FRC Mobility Specialists in Vancouver, he takes a unique but proven effective approach to mobility work and fitness.
carissa_joy_dharma_movement_company_vancouver_marketing_manager

Carissa Joy

Carissa comes from a lifelong passion for movement. Her entry into movement began as a dancer, which has since expanded to include gymnastics, yoga, partner dance and acro, movement and any other way she can find to move. Carissa taught dance and gymnastics for many years, and ran her own small studio for a few years before going to University for Sociology and Psychology and competed her 200 hr YTT at Karma Teachers. Her approach to teaching, whether it be yoga, dance or movement is to incorporate movement into people’s daily lives as a fundamental to being a healthy happy human. She is an avid learner of all things health and wellness from movement, nutrition, psychology and lifestyle design and aspires to help others find joy by applying all that she learns. Her primary focus as an instructor is to encourage people to use their bodies well, developing healthy safe fundamentals. She brings to practice a deep recognition for the interconnectedness of the mind and body. From there her passion is to inspire freedom, joy and connection through movement.

 

Carissa is also the General Manager at Dharma Movement Company. She will be busy building and connecting our community as well as be ensuring everything runs smoothly behind the scenes. Her education includes professional training and experience as a photographer, a Bachelors degree in Sociology and Psychology and over 6 years experience as a Marketing Manager for a private firm. When she’s not busy as General Manager for DMC you can find her teaching or developing her own movement practice. She considers connecting to her wild side in nature essential and loves geeking out on everything health in wellness related.

Cam_Lee_DMC_Vancouver_Yoga

Cam Lee

Cam has a love for moving her body and uses yoga as a tool to fuel her life. Through yoga, she has been able to develop a deeper connection to her body and keep healthy and pain-free. In her classes, she focuses on functional movement and mobility and guides her students in achieving their goals, whether it be for meditation, mobility, or to increase performance.

When Cam isn’t in the yoga studio she loves getting and staying outside whether it’s rock or glacier climbing, hiking (especially if it involves camping) or creating and producing visual projects in film and photography!

Cam is certified in Aerial Yoga, Pilates, Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative and Yin Yoga.

Dana_Chan_Admin_Marketing_Assitant

Dana Chan

Dana is our Administrative and Marketing Assistant. She is excited to work as part of a team to encourage movement, community and well-being. When she’s not busy behind the scenes ensuring that everyone has a positive experience, you can find her discovering new ways to move on fabric, hoop and even on other people!

Dana grew up playing organised sports and always thought yoga would be easy, boring and just a fad… Until she actually tried it! She found it to be physically and mentally challenging. She was hooked. In 2014, she signed up for a 200 hour teacher training with Eoin Finn to deepen her practice. Once she started teaching, she fell in love with sharing what she knew to her students. To further her understanding of movement, she completed a 50 hour Mat Pilates teacher training. Her classes create a safe space to explore and experiment with movement and shapes. There is also an opportunity to find stillness and slow down from a hectic life. As a student of yoga and movement, she is constantly trying to broaden her knowledge. She also teaches circus arts.

Deva Ryan yoga teacher

Deva Ryan

Deva is passionate about movement! Always curious and creating, Deva has trained within many movement modalities, including various styles of yoga, Pilates, therapeutics, biomechanics, and natural movement. Her movement philosophy prioritizes variety, integrity, structure, longevity, and fun!
Kick of your week every Monday at 10am with Deva for TnT! This explosive class is designed for total body strength and conditioning – combining cardio, plyometrics, natural movement, functional range conditioning, yoga flow, pilates core, and animal movements. This all levels class will improve whole body strength, mobility, power and control.

Jacqui yoga teacher dharma movement company vancouver yaletown

Jacqui Willcocks

Jacqui has been a teacher in the Vancouver community since 2011. She teaches both public and private classes in various locations. Teaching has been a love affair of her two main passions, the marriage of the physical and energetic body, both of which she has extensive knowledge of. She has been studying and practicing energy work for over 7 years and danced professionally for years before that. Right now her practice is about honesty, focus and softening. She is the proud mother of two beautiful children and advocates body positivity in women and girls.

Karen yoga teacher

Karen Kobel

Karen finds freedom and inspiration in movement, whether she is watching or actually moving. Her diverse training created an opportunity to integrate Pilates and dance. This union offers a unique warm up and work out that allows clients to discover full body awareness by finding their centre, allowing for deeper discovery through the mind, the body and breath. By incorporating mat based moves in dance class, and dance based moves in pilates, Karen has brought grace to the mat and stability to dance.

Recently, Karen has found movement to be some of the best healing for the mind, body and soul. She loves to share her experience by helping people tap into their own Mind, Body, and Soul for healing.

Kelly Kristy

A self-proclaimed group fitness junkie and a lover of all things movement, Kelly has a strong kinesiology background, over 500 hours of yoga based training, and can teach multiple styles of yoga, pilates, and fitness. She is passionate about hands-on adjustments and assisting people to live, grow, and be the best version of themselves. You can expect that Kelly will lead you through a class that’s strong, playful, creative and invigorating!

Kevin Taylor

Dharma Movement Company’s owner, Kevin Taylor has always been curious about athletic pursuits of many kinds.

Growing up Kevin’s passion for movement began with many team sports including Soccer, Football, Baseball, and Basketball. Later in life, his focus turned to more action sports such as skateboarding, motocross, wakeboarding, and what he considers his true passion snowboarding.

Following his heart and seeking the truest form of who he was, he decided to move to the mountains to pursue snowboarding, this brought him to BC and back to the west coast. Spending time in Whistler over the last 8 years lead to interested in other outdoor activities like downhill and cross-country mountain biking, bouldering, alpine hiking and stand-up paddleboarding.

This active life style is rewarding and beneficial on many levels but has left him with many years of wear and tear and an assortment of injuries which forced him to focus more on training, recovery, and what it means to be physically fit. This path ultimately lead him to develop a yoga practice and other daily rehabilitative movement practices. Here he found therapy on the mat and so much more; mindfulness, consciousness, self-awareness, balance, inspiration, and community.

Krystina_Simes_Yoga_Teacher_DMC

Krystina Simes

Krystina began practicing yoga at age 13 after seeking refuge from the competitive world of ballet, hoping to discover a style of movement and connection to the body without the pressure of performance and perfection.

Her innate curiosity and free-spirited nature framed her interest in self-practice and further study of philosophy, meditation, and movement.

In 2010, Krystina was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga which has remained the core of her personal practice, while she continues to playfully explore other realms & lineages of movement.

Students can expect to find an accessible & intelligent yet creative approach to āsana practice with detailed instruction and emphasis placed on sustainable practice, mindfulness and cultivating a relationship to oneself, the body and the breath.

Leiah Luz Engel

Passionate about exploring the human body’s potential, Leiah has over a decade of experience in the development of physical arts. With a strong focus on pole fitness and circus, she has studied internationally with world class champions and now continues to train full time in the disciplines of pole, contortion, dance, partner acrobatics, hand balancing and gymnastics. She strives to create a supportive environment for her students, as well as inspire them to try new things, dream big and push themselves beyond what they think they are capable of achieving. Join Leiah in CirqueFit for a uniquely dynamic and fun filled class.

Marie Salton

Marie Salton is a bodywork practitioner and restorative yoga teacher working out of Yaletown, Vancouver, Canada. She presents Deep Flow Massage workshops and is the Spa Therapy Program Director at the Vancouver School of Bodywork & Massage. Marie’s strength is to hold space for clients and students: space to be heard, vulnerable and empowered. She incorporates Restorative Yoga techniques in her bodywork treatments and can (with student permission) offer bodywork & alignment techniques in her Restorative Yoga classes. mariesalton.com

 

Marissa Wong

After travelling and studying for the past five years, I have returned to Vancouver with hopes to expand the arts community through movement language. My contemporary dance practice has led me to direct TWObigsteps collective, and allowed me to choreograph and share works in San Francisco, Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver. Influenced by ballet, contemporary, improvisation, contact, and collaborative techniques, I aspire to connect with artists from all disciplines and all regions to broaden my spectrum of dialogue. Maintaining receptivity allows for expansion of vocabulary and constant evaluation of intentions. It also provides the opportunity to bridge relationships, and navigate new territories and communities within this profession. I am finding growth by challenging my assumptions and encouraging gratitude; and am inspired to expand and share my experiences with an extended family.
@twobigsteps

Michael Demski

Michael Demski was born and grew up in the wild back-country of the Rocky Mountains. At the young age of 11, his family set off on a voyage that would span 8 years and 52 countries… Sailing around the world. Michael Demski has spent most of his life in other countries, cultures, and characters, developing, cultivating, and captivating an ease at which to perceive the world through an intriguingly unique lens. Michael’s lifelong passion of martial arts, of which he has practiced over 10 different styles, led to his discovery of his love of dance and passion of movement and expression. Training and dancing for several years in France and Holland, he soon returned to Canada to follow the next step in his adventure, acting; graduating from Toronto FIlm School in 2012. He has always been passionate of exploring the capabilities of the human body, mind, and spirit, and the potential of healing, and the ability of art to greater benefit humanity.

Chris Duggan backbend yoga vancouver yaletown

Risto (Chris)Duggan

Risto Duggan has been a pillar of the downtown yoga community for many years, as a full-time yoga teacher and as a dedicated student. He prides himself on helping students to explore their physical potential in brand new ways and to have a ton of fun while doing it. Risto sees the body as an integrated system and encourages students to use their minds as much as they use their bodies when approaching a pose. He also likes to explore the dusty corners of the hips and the empowerment that hand and arm standing can bring to the practice. Expect great tunes, big smiles and a whole lotta community-feel.

Rhaya Howich

Rhaya is a Dharma Yoga practitioner, student, and teacher. She is trained in Dharma Yoga, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, and Advanced Children’s Yoga. Her academic and clinical pursuits as an Occupational Therapist inform her teaching from the standpoints of mental, physical, and emotional well-being. For Rhaya, yoga is not only a coping strategy, a health and well-being enhancer, and a means of community integration, it is a way of life.

In her Dharma Yoga classes, Rhaya offers an accessible space for students to find stillness between thoughts and within the body, to connect to the oneness, and to embody compassion and unconditional love. Dharma Yoga is a devotional practice that emphasizes good health, a clear mind, and a kind heart. It is appropriate for students of all levels, from beginner to lifelong practitioners. You can expect a dynamic class that is balanced, filled with movement, sound, and connection.

As Rhaya’s teacher Sri Dharma Mittra so notably says, the highest form of charity is sharing the way. She is grateful for the ultimate gift, the opportunity to share the practice of yoga with others, so they too can reap the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of the practice. She offers utmost reverence to her teachers Sri Dharma Mittra and Steve Fazzari, and to those who continue to guide and inspire her day after day. Let us be receptive to the light that shines so infinitely bright within all beings, near and far. Om shanti.

Slava Goloubov

For as long as Slava can remember, he has always been curious about the human body and its complexity of expression. After taking a 10 day silent Vipassana retreat, he decided to dedicate himself fully to the practice of movement. He now teaches Yoga full time in Vancouver – holding space for weekly classes, assisting teacher trainings, hosting workshops and international retreats. Aside from his full-time practice as a Yogi, he constantly pursues different disciplines, including Hand Balancing, Circus Acrobatics, AcroYoga, Contact Dance, Capoeira, Chinese Martial Arts, Tai Chi and much more.

Steve Fazzari (Shankara Deva Om)

In 2007 I moved from just outside of Toronto to Whistler, BC. I was on a quest to find snow, and to find adventure. At my side were three of my closest friends, all on the same journey. Within days, I had done my first Yoga class and began my exploration into the Yoga techniques; my initial introduction, however, came years earlier as I read the texts and studied the philosophies inherent in the practice. This foray into the Yoga poses ended abruptly, however, when the snow began to fall.

The snow has always been a huge part of my life. One of my first memories is learning how to ski at Toogood Pond, maybe four years old. My continued pursuit of the steep and deep came with some lessons though; without proper attention to well being, some teachings may arise in a way that can be hard to ignore. Injury after injury saw my body degrading quickly, so I decided it was time to take purposeful action. Returning to a healthy relationship to the Yoga practices could return some health and balance back to some of the areas I had neglected in my body over the years. Developing a strong relationship to a whole foods, plant-based diet has set a new baseline of health in my life; days after making the (totally unintended, unforeseen shift) to this new diet, I was amazed at how good I felt – I hadn’t even known I could feel that good, that nourished, that healthy, that energized. It was a no-brainer; eating well and taking care of my body could help bring a healthy balance back to my life, and allow me to continue exploring this planet and do the things I love doing most…….For more on Steve, visit his website  http://stevefazzari.com

Timothy Martin

Timothy leads his classes from a place for both the light and dark aspects of yoga. He holds space for students to reconnect with their bodies on a deeper level than just only the mechanical with a focus on looking inward for answers. A colourful, vibrant personality you will find that Tim redefines what students think a yoga class, a yoga student and a yoga teacher should be. He meets students where they are and encourages acceptance and love through each and every breath.

Zoe Green

Rated one of “Vancouver’s top 10 Yoga teachers” 2017, students have described Zoe as “that instructor that cuts through the noise; a leader of the body, and also a leader of the mind and soul.” Zoe‘s presence is one in which students laugh out loud, reflect, and expand into a deeper awareness of Self.  Zoe’s approach varies from enthusiastic and energetic with her Fitness and Personal Training clients, to calm and peaceful with her meditation and yoga students. She will emphasize the present experience, while encouraging your connection to body, emotion, fun-filled effort,  and true rest. Remember, life is truly more beautifully humorous than dreadfully serious – especially with strong abs and an open heart.