Our Teachers

Ariel Swan yoga teacher dharma movement company yaletown vancouver

Ariel Swan

Ariel’s passion is her students. She came to Pilates and yoga through her career as a professional dancer and and fell in love with what both can do to improve the body, mind and soul. Ariel teaches classical Pilates mat fused with movement to create ‘Flow Pilates.’ Using core strength, her class strengthens and tones muscles from the inside out, leaving her students feeling taller, stronger and more centered. She also is a certified yoga and yin yoga teacher and has taught across Vancouver and in Nicaragua for Exhale yoga retreats. Ariel teaches Candlelight Yin on Tuesday at 8:30pm, Pilates at 5:30pm Tuesday and Thursday and Booty Pilates on Friday at 5:30pm She would love to have you come join her in class! Make sure to pre register as her classes fill up fast!

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.
Chiara Martini yoga teacher dharma movement company vancouver yaletown

Chiara Martini

Chiara Martini was born with a huge loving and giving heart that moved through her early life in the form of dance. Movement has been her form of expression since she could walk. This is how she found yoga. After practicing for many years, last year she dove deeper into yoga in India where she trained in traditional hatha yoga. Chiara feels very fortunate to have been able to travel so much in her life. Living in Italy, London and Buenos Aires in between her nomadic adventures. Her innate ability to connect with all different types of people allows her to be open and welcoming to anyone who comes into the studio and who she meets. She brings all her knowledge that she gained from her teachers in India and Canada to facilitate and hold a space where everyone’s uniqueness is honoured.

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


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.

Leiah 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.

shannon cluff yoga teacher dharma movement company vancouver yaletown

Shannon Cluff

Shannon teaches an integrative approach to yoga, movement and meditation. She offers students both a science-based perspective and an intuitive-based, energetic perspective on the physical practices. Her background training is in classical and contemporary styles of dance and her focus since 2013 has been therapeutics, strength-building, functional movement education and biomechanics as part of a mindful yoga practice. Shannon has been teaching yoga for 13 years. She is also a business consultant for the yoga industry, a teacher’s mentor through a program called Lead With Love.

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.

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.

Karen yoga teacher


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.

Chris Duggan backbend yoga vancouver yaletown

Chris "Risto" 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.

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.

Eric Desjardins yoga teacher dharma movement company vancouver yaletown

Eric Desjardins

Classically trained in Yoga and practicing since the age of 16, Eric has been teaching overseas for the past 6 years. From India to Thailand, Japan and Indonesia and has experienced firsthand the power movement has to transcend barriers. From performing in circus acts to leading group fitness or breakdancing on stage and assisting yoga teachers training in India, he continues to explore his lifelong passion for freedom of expression through diverse movement disciplines. He emphasises safety and alignment in his classes and is enthusiastic about sharing strong dynamic energy with his students.

Kristine Owen Wood

A former professional ballet dancer, Kristine has been exploring the expressive potential of movement from a young age. She has been devoted to the art and science of yoga practice since 2009.

She seeks to provide a class experience which is empowering and intelligently-aligned while also joyful, innovative, and conducive to a sense of well-being. She draws from diverse influences including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Sattva Yoga, Pilates, Dance, Movement Culture, Music, Philosophy, and the wisdom and creativity of her teachers.

Brian Carew

Brian Carew is a student and practitioner of yoga, calisthenics, and movement exploration. After several years of purely weight training , with the sole intention of attaining aesthetics, Brian reoriented his focus with the goal of becoming more functional, mobile, and body aware. During the summer of 2015, Brian began experimenting with yoga and calisthenics, with special attention to hand balancing.

Fast forward to Spring 2016, after graduating from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops BC with a Respiratory Therapy Diploma, Brian became a full-time Registered Respiratory Therapist at Vancouver General Hospital. His eyes were set on Vancouver with hopes of finding a community movers. Quickly, Brian became an active member of movement-based meet up group, named “Movimiento Originale” (Second Beach Sundays). These weekly meet-ups offered him many connections and exposure to even more aspects of calisthenics, yoga, functional movement, gymnastics, circus, and capoeira. Hungry for more exposure, Brian began volunteering at YYoga Downtown Flow in hopes of consolidating a more consistent yoga practice.

It wasn’t until Fall of 2016 where he would be introduced to a studio by the name of the Dharma Movement Company; a space to explore all avenues of the body: yoga, pilates, and movement. Brian immediately started taking movement lab class (taught by Slava Goloubov), and was shortly after asked to join the DMC team to work the front desk. At present day Brian is solidifying a balanced practice of bodyweight exercises, flow based movement training, and asthanga yoga with a focus on hand and arm balancing. His practice regiment currently consists of: training 2-3hrs, 5 days a week, and weekly, 1hr, one-on- one sessions with his Mentor, Slava Goloubov.


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, wether it be yoga, dance or movement is to incorporate movement into peoples 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 interconectedness of the mind and body. From there her passion is to inspire freedom, joy and connection through movement.


Carissa is also the Marketing Manager at Dharma Movement Company. She will be busy building and connecting our community across social networks. 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 marketing 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.

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