Who We Are
The team at Yoga Outreach consists of an amazing group of passionate people who deliver programs, lead the organization, and build connections with our growing community.
Our volunteer board of directors apply their legal, financial, business, and marketing expertise to overseeing the governance and future vision of Yoga Outreach, while our staff manage the daily operations of Yoga Outreach, deliver training programs in the community, recruit & mentor volunteers, and build meaningful relationships in the community to make yoga more accessible each day.
- Cats (she has 3 orange ones)
- Leonard Cohen (sigh)
- Kitchen witching (you can often find her making a good potion)
- Good fiction (if she’s not kitchen witching she’s reading)
- Fresh sheets dried on the line (is there any greater luxury?)
- Bug-hunting & geocaching with her kids
- Splashing/swimming/surfing in saltwater
- Hot cups of tea on a cold day
- Socializing & solitude, in equal measure
Since 2004, Nicole has taught therapeutic yoga classes and offered individual sessions to trauma survivors, teaching them healthy self-regulation strategies to empower them to live connected and embodied lives. Nicole also trains yoga and healthcare professionals in the trauma-informed yoga theory and techniques. In 2009, she was awarded a master’s degree with a specialization in yoga therapy from Lesley University in Boston, MA. From 2008 – 2017 Nicole served as Director of Therapeutic Yoga Programming for the Provincial Health Services Authority at their Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addictions and at Riverview Hospital, where she developed and delivered a comprehensive yoga therapy program for in-patient clients in various stages of recovery from mental health and addiction issues. From 2009 – 2018 she taught at Onsite, the rehab arm of North Americas first safe injection site in Vancouver’s downtown east side.
At present, in addition to maintaining a private practice working with public safety personnel at Boreal Wellness, Nicole is a program director and teacher trainer with Yoga Outreach. She provides trauma informed yoga programming to the residents at Deborah’s Gate, a program serving women who have been trafficked into situations of sexual and/or labor exploitation and Tupper Nova, a day treatment program for youth who have serious mental health concerns. She is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) and a member of Bridge for Health and the Breathe Network which connects survivors of sexual violence with healing arts practitioners.
- Riding my bike
- Swimming & hiking
- Hosting dinner parties for friends
Born and raised in White Rock, BC Ariel has been smashing the patriarchy ever since raising her hand in her Catholic elementary school to question the priest on why he said only the girls were supposed to bake pies while the boys were being encouraged to shovel the driveway when it snowed. Ariel has been shoveling her own snow ever since. Ariel has been teaching hatha yoga asana and movement education since 2002 and was a Labor and Birth support Doula. As a passionate community volunteer, she has contributed her energy to Pregnancy Outreach programs, Planned Parenthood, Parkcrest Children’s Centre, Girl Guides of Canada, Burnaby Horseman’s Association, Burnaby Lake Pony Club, Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion. Ariel spent close to 5 years as the Coordinator for BC People First, a society run by and for people who are labelled with a developmental disability. When not working, parenting a teenager, volunteering, householding and being a wife she can be found riding her new forest pony, Piper or walking her rescue dog, Thomas.
- food, especially the kind she doesn’t have to cook herself
- thrift store “start the car” finds
- matcha tea lattes extra foamy
- any & all things horsey
The right words can welcome people into a special world where you feel included and understood. Since first learning to read, Wendy was convinced that words could unlock literal magic; to that end, Wendy logged 10,000 hours journaling and writing poetry, at first from a farm in Alberta, and then recording the cultural differences she discovered while building a communications skill set in jobs around the world. She learned clarity teaching English in Taiwan, commitment to brand at a Scottish pensions company, user experience from an international web design studio, factual accuracy from editing magazines, and interview skills from writing articles about credit union visionaries. Her constant is a commitment to vulnerable, beautiful authenticity. You’ll find her at events connecting with interesting people, and worrying about whether attendees feel welcome and comfortable, particularly when she’s supposed to be organizing the technology. During office hours, she’s a passionate writer and communication strategist. Away from the desk, it’s her pleasure to spend time helping newcomers navigate Canadian culture, teaching yoga for mental health at a Neighbourhood House and at the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation, and joining climate-centred political movements. She’s delighted to bring her passion for truth-telling to a non-profit that believes in the empowering magic of language.
- Dystopian fiction
- Poetry prompts & open mics
- Viewing the sky through a canopy of leaves
- Shady forest walks
Submerging herself in an ocean, lake, or good book
Coaxing nourishment from the earth as a (very) amateur gardener
Hiking in the hills of this beautiful land with her family
Getting upside down
playing with yoga & movement
forests, ocean & mountains
her pile of books
Road cycling & spin classes
- Her labradoodle Parker
- Hiking & trail running
- Reading eastern philosophy
- Enjoying sunsets & beach life in her Kitsilano community
Jennifer is an event coordinator and clarity coach for aspiring entrepreneurs. She is driven by the vision of others and contributing to its fruition through her work both in event planning and as a coach. A curious, creative, and multi-passionate entrepreneur, Jennifer strives to bring intention and meaningfulness into every facet of life. After over 10 years in the event industry, she wanted to contribute her professional skills to an organization supporting individuals affected trauma.
Combined with her passion for yoga and its power to heal, she was inspired to work with Yoga Outreach. Having travelled extensively and worked internationally, she draws on her lessons and values to connect with the community. She can often be found soaking in nature, connecting with like-minded souls, or seeking out a new adventure.
- A hot cup of tea
- Anything Pumpkin Spice (Bring on the Autumn season!)
- Seawall or nature walks
- Expansion of the mind through travel and experiences
Shivam leads and manages technology sector initiatives at the Vancouver Economic Commission, combining his educational background in biomedical engineering with his passion for seeing tech enable positive and sustainable change in societies. Over more than a decade in the professional services and consulting sector, Shivam’s technical expertise and strong business acumen has benefited technology-focused firms ranging from Global 100 enterprises to entrepreneurial startups.
Shivam has lived and worked across five continents and traveled to more than 50 countries.
Having received his ordination as a lay monk, he strives to live and experience yoga in his everyday life and explorations. A certified yoga instructor and a mindfulness coach, he strives to foster compassion, self-awareness, mindfulness and community in every interaction.
- Exploring Cultures
- Playing Music
- Chatting Philosophy
Yoga Outreach believes the diversity of experiences, ideas, individuals, and organizations in our community make us stronger. To create a more just and engaged world, we must embrace and celebrate diversity, practice inclusion, and be a champion of equity.
We recognize diversity in many ways, including but not limited to:
- Class and economic circumstance
- Disability, mental illness, and neurodiversity
- Education and professional experience
- Geography and community size or location
- Physical appearance and body size
- Race, ethnicity, and country of origin or nationality
- Sex, gender, and gender identity
- Sexual orientation and identity
While we are committed to addressing diversity as an intersectional issue, we believe the foundation of this work is rooted in racial equity, due to the dominance of white supremacy in all systems of oppression.
We accept that our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) means a commitment to constant learning—we will make mistakes, but we are determined to learn from them and to improve.
To be transparent and realistic, we also acknowledge that our capacity as an organization means we cannot always implement inclusive measures to the level that we may like (such as providing content in multiple languages). We are accountable to ourselves (both as staff and board) and to the community, and are creating regular opportunities for reporting on our work, progress, mistakes, and plans.
We encourage and invite your feedback. To support accountability and to be accessible as we continue to do this work, we hope that you will share your ideas, questions, and experiences with us. You can do so by contacting us by phone (604-385-3891) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) at any time.