We respectfully acknowledge that the work of Yoga Outreach takes place across the homelands of 203 distinct Indigenous nations and cultures; with over 30 different languages and close to 60 unique dialects spoken across those homelands. We honour the Elders for their stewardship of the places and people of these nations. Yoga Outreach’s staff work from home offices on the traditional, ancestral, and stolen lands of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Kwikwetlem, Stz’uminus, sɛmiˈɑːmoʊ (Semiahmoo), sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), Á,LEṈENEȻ ȽTE (W̱SÁNEĆ), Kwantlen, Snuneymuxw, and, the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) speaking people of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

We invite you to take a moment to reflect on whose land you are living and working on and if you don’t know, to research and reflect.

Training Faculty
Staff
Board of Directors

Yoga Outreach Staff

Delanie Dyck
Delanie DyckExecutive Director

Delanie Dyck

Executive Director
She / Her
Delanie prides herself on being professional, nimble, creative, and diligent. She’s known for her commitment to, and passion for, creating innovative ways to share yoga and mindfulness-based practices with folks facing barriers.  Always looking for ways to deepen impact and support sustainability, Delanie enjoys the challenges of working in the non-profit world. She is always striving to make Yoga Outreach an organization with a social justice focus that can thrive in the world, be great to partner with, work for, and volunteer with. In her personal life she’s a bit of a renaissance woman with a passion for projects, whether in the garden, kitchen, construction, or craft, she has a deep love of creating things. She might seem tough, but once you get to know her, you’ll find her open and kind-hearted.

Delanie loves:
  • Cats (she has 3 orange ones)
  • 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?)
Nicole Marcia
Nicole MarciaDirector of Training & Mentorship

Nicole Marcia

MA, TCTSY-F, C-IAYT, YACEP
Director of Training & Mentorship
She / Her

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.

Nicole loves:

  • Weslowski
  • Riding my bike
  • Swimming & hiking
  • Hosting dinner parties for friends

Training Faculty

Adesola Omojokun
Adesola OmojokunFacilitator

Adesola Omojokun

Connect, Embody, + Empower Co-facilitator, Embodiment & Social Justice Facilitator, Yoga Outreach Core Training™ (in training)

She / Her

Desi is a Therapeutic Yoga Teacher and Mental Health Worker, born and raised in London,
UK. She relocated to British Columbia in the summer of 2016 and now resides on the
unceded, ancestral land of the Kwikwetlem First Nation people.

In 2015, shortly after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science, Desi was first
introduced to yoga. Since then, she has pursued it with great passion, integrating the
ancient teachings into her daily life both personally and professionally; by maintaining a
regular personal practice in addition to completing her 240Hr YTT (VSOHA), 300Hr Yoga
Therapy Training (VSOHA) and Yoga Outreach Core Training™.

Desi is fascinated by the way in which yoga and yoga therapy inherently incorporates the
blending of Eastern philosophical principles and our understanding of the human mind and
body and it’s response to stress and trauma. She is motivated by empathy and connection
and teaches with the intention to empower individuals and support them in realising their
highest potential. To do so, Desi combines her yoga training with her educational
background, her professional experience as a mental healthcare worker – currently working
for PHSA with individuals with eating disorders and finally; her experience as a volunteer
SMART Facilitator for Vancouver Coastal Health, supporting individuals recovering from
addiction.

Desi Loves:

  • First morning sip of coffee
  • Dining with friends & family
  • Staying active – yoga, tennis, running & hikes
  • Taking a dip in a fresh body of water
  • A good documentary on a rainy day
Brittney Fehr
Brittney FehrFacilitator

Brittney Fehr

Embodiment & Social Justice Facilitator, Yoga Outreach Core Training™ Facilitator

She / Her

Brittney is a certified meditation teacher and registered yoga teacher currently pursuing her masters in counselling psychology. She first joined the Yoga Outreach team in 2020 as a Social Justice Intern and is excited to be joining now as a Training Facilitator for the Core Training Level I. She is a human, and like most humans has experienced suffering. Experiencing and studying the impact of suffering on everyday lives and relationships has emphasized the importance of understanding trauma and how it effects individuals and society. This is why she is so passionate about trauma-informed practice and Yoga Outreach’s approach. Originally from the Wetʼsuwetʼen territory, she currently resides on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), Kwikwetlem, hən̓̓qəmin̓əm̓, and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) peoples
Brittney loves:
  • Watching people, plants, and ideas grow
  • Taking cooking lessons while travelling
  • Getting out into nature daily
  • Cheese and crackers, extra pickles
Candice Baldwin
Candice BaldwinFacilitator

Candice Baldwin

YOCP-200 Facilitator, Embodiment & Social Justice Facilitator, Yoga Outreach Core Training™ guest speaker

She / Her

Candice Baldwin’s natural curiosity about her own healing from injuries and trauma lead her to 20+ year yoga practice. This enthusiasm to learn and serve others on their healing journey lead her to pursue her life as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, while her African ancestry and autism has made her passionate about calling in BIPOC and neurodivergent communities. Candice is a 500 RYT, 200hr Himalayan Kriya Yoga teacher, Swing Yoga teacher, and Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). Her approach in Yoga Therapy focusses on building a practice around the needs of the people she serves, working with visually impaired peoples, 50+ population and people living with injuries, trauma, neurodivergence and chronic illness. You can find her at vidyatherapeuticyoga.com
Gagan Leekha
Gagan LeekhaFacilitator

Gagan Leekha

Yoga Outreach Core Training™ BIPOC ONLY
She/Her

Gagan is a first generation settler with family roots in India. Born and raised on the northwest coast of BC, Gagan met her first yoga teacher there by accident in 1998 right before moving to Lekwungen Territory (Victoria).

After practicing for almost 20 years and not seeing much of herself reflected in studios or western yoga culture, Gagan began her teacher training in 2017 with a vision to take yoga out of studios to where people already gather, and to help make yoga more accessible to all bodies. Gagan is a big fan of the work of Yoga Outreach and has been involved as a volunteer yoga instructor since 2018. She is also the co-founder of Sweet Refuge, a peer-led BIPOC meditation group.

Gagan loves:

  • sunsets, sunrises (and the sky in general)
  • bringing people together
  • poetry (the kind that makes ones heart swell)
  • being part of a large extended family
Harmeet Kaur Mann
Harmeet Kaur MannYOCP-200 Faculty

Harmeet Kaur Mann

Embodiment & Social Justice Facilitator, YOCP-200 Facilitator
She / Her

I share yoga to honour the lineage and the roots of my ancestral wisdom, by exploring the sacred knowledge with all who hold the curiosity and establishing a deeper connection to their body and breath. I hold the trauma-informed, brave space for you to show up exactly as you are, and to cultivate self acceptance and empowerment. I will welcome and advocate for all of your joy, sorrow, reflection, self connection and healing. My focus is on nourishing you from the inside out, so that you can embrace yourself and intentionally move into life’s rhythms with more inspired awareness.
 
Yoga has always played an integral part in my life and was first introduced to me at a very young age by my Pita ji (father). My journey to begin sharing Yoga with a trauma-informed, decolonized lens wasn’t until I saw the need for  community healing and liberation. My gorgeous little girl is the light of my life and everything I do goes towards delivering the torch to her and the future generations as a more equitable, inclusive and loving place. Yoga IS Social justice and liberation for all. We can lean into pleasure activism through using our body as a resource. We can support our activism and nourish ourselves through movement, breath and rest to continue the hard, necessary work we all must do.
Harmeet Loves:
  • Adventures with my 3 year old mini me
  • Wandering through mountains
  • Playing in all forms of water- taking a cold plunge, running in the rain, being held by the ocean
  • Cozy and quiet mornings filled with movement, meditation, cuddles and gratitude
  • Live music that makes my hips sway
Helen
Helen Facilitator

Helen Camisa

RYT500
YOCP-200 Facilitator
She / Her

Helen has been teaching yoga since 2014 and has trained in Hatha, Flow, Prenatal and Kundalini yoga. In the last few years she has turned her attention to teaching a series of classes dedicated to students working in bigger bodies called Full Bodied Yoga. These classes invite people to a comfortable space where they explore joy in movement while learning adjustments specific to their own unique bodies.

Helen loves:

  • High tea
  • Performing comedy
  • a rainy day Netflix binge
Jessie Nelson
Jessie NelsonFacilitator

Jessie Nelson

YOCP-200 facilitator
They/Them

Jessie (they/them) is a non-binary trans activist currently living on the traditional unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, known as “Vancouver, BC”. Jessie is white, of European settler descent, able bodied, loved and supported by beautiful family both kith and kin, a learner and endlessly curious, lover, partner, dog mom…yes mom, passionate talker, connector, ally, and smile producer.

Jessie is the founder of the consulting firm KITH+common. KITH+common was born from and inspired by its essential purpose; to create space for others to come as they are, without shame. KITH+ is a pillar for all things community specializing in business development strategies and community engagement approaches, all from an overarching lens of diversity and inclusion planning and integration. KITH+ offers inclusion consulting, customized content and training creation, and group facilitation. Jessie brings inclusive practices and insights to internal organizational culture to help create space for the diversity that exists to grow, flourish and impact change for both organizations and communities. Jessie believes in creating space for all people to come as they are. KITH is in the work of inclusion to create space for all people to express their diversity and find power in sharing their unique lived experiences.

Jessie loves:

  • Their dog Kin
  • Coffee
  • Community
  • Moving their body through run, group fitness, hockey, & being outside
Katie Connolly
Katie ConnollyFacilitator

Katie Connolly

YOCP-200 Facilitator & Yoga Outreach Kids Core Training™ Facilitator
She/her

Katie is an Expert Registered Yoga Teacher, Children’s Yoga Teacher, and Craniosacral + Somatoemotional Release Healer. Her mission is to empower others (mom’s in particular) with tools to nourish their nervous systems, so they can live their life to the fullest, be present, and lead by example. As moms, we greatly influence our little one’s nervous system baseline, and how they perceive and interact with the world around them. Katie learned meditation and breathwork as a child from her mom, to help ease her anxiety. This gift has greatly influenced her life-mission to empower others with tools to understand and process their emotions, and strengthen their body-autonomy.

Katie loves:

  • her family
  • movement
  • learning
  • nature and exploring the world around her
Laurel MacKay
Laurel MacKayFacilitator

Laurel MacKay

M.Ed, CCC
Connect, Embody, + Empower Co-facilitator, Embodiment & Social Justice Facilitator, Yoga Outreach Core Training™ Facilitator, YOCP-200 Facilitator

She / Her

Laurel MacKay is a proud mother of two amazing young womxn, the wife of a sailor, a counsellor, yoga teacher and spends much of her time hanging out with teenagers. Her ancestors are from Scotland, Ireland and Finland and her family has lived in Canada for three generations. Laurel currently works at a local high school as a Youth and Family Counsellor. She has had the privilege of living and working on the unceded traditional and ancestral territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən speaking people of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, for the past 25 years. She is a fierce advocate for the students and families she works with and challenges the outdated systems we exist in, any chance she gets. Before being in schools, Laurel worked in the private and public sectors within mental health, addictions and corrections as a mental health coordinator, social worker, and counsellor. Laurel believes connection is the most important gift we can offer one another and yoga can assist us in connecting with ourselves, each other and the world around us. When not working she can be found hiking, reading, attending or teaching yoga classes, cuddling with her dogs or playing her gong.

Laurel loves:

  • Anatahtea lattes by the ocean in the morning
  • being on or in water
  • forest bathing
  • mountain tops
  • yoga and sound healing
Mélanie Ruffié
Mélanie RuffiéFacilitator

Mélanie Ruffié

Embodiment & Social Justice Facilitator

She / Her

Mélanie Ruffié is an Accredited Yoga Therapist, teacher, pastry chef and the founder of atmaU Wellness. She has the privilege of residing on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), Kwikwetlem, Qayqayt, hən̓̓qəmin̓əm̓, and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) peoples.
Born in France and raised all over the world, her diverse cultural identities and worldly travels define her approach to life. She is an explorer of knowledge, pragmatism, and spirituality. She studied literature and philosophy as a way to explore her roots, asking herself: Why am I here? Who am I? In 2016, Mélanie started exploring yoga asana as a healing modality. It helped her discover who she is, how she functions, and has helped her make better decisions in her life. It helped her gain strength, set healthy boundaries, and be vulnerable. In 2017, she decided to live one of her dreams: she went to Paris to become a Pastry Chef while continuing on her yogic journey. There, she experienced baking/cooking in a mindful way, connecting to her breath, body, thoughts, emotions, and spirit. She has since been offering Mindful Baking classes. The more she created connections within herself, the more she came to realize that she was learning from Nature and from her bodies (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual). These are all One, interconnected! In 2019, she decided to become a Certified Yoga Therapist to help others experience a life with less suffering, more peace, and more happiness. She has taught yoga to international students in her French post-secondary courses, to women, entrepreneurs, staff and faculty members.
She is a firm believer that by becoming aware of our Breath, we can change our brain activity, our Mind and our habits. We are so much more complex than our physical bodies. We start to become more ourselves and we start to manifest the inherent potential that is within us which results in abundance.
Mélanie loves:
  • dancing with friends
  • learning
  • playing and teaching her puppy new tricks
  • Nature
  • good food
Yogacharini Maitreyi
Yogacharini MaitreyiFacilitator

Yogacharini Maitreyi

Embodiment & Social Justice Facilitator, YOCP-200 Facilitator

She / Her

Yogacharini Maitreyi is an international master teacher, practical mystic and founder of Arkaya Awareness Centre and Arkaya Foundation. For the last 23 years she has been dedicated to living an evolutionary life and sharing holistic life principles. You will experience lightness, restfulness and a deeper connection to self through her guidance.

Since 1997, she has been given titles : Yoga chemmal (expert), Yoga shiromani (gem), and Yoga acharini (guide), in India. She was one of the youngest to be invited on the Advisory Board of the World Yoga Council, in Europe, in 2007. She has shared the deeper dimensions of yoga, self management and sattvic tantra worldwide.

Maitreyi has trained over 60 corporations, spoken at many conferences and has over 100 published articles in India, Hong Kong, Sweden, Dubai , Srilanka. U.S and Canada. She was invited to share her wisdom at many international yoga, ayurveda and leadership summits. A compassionate holistic coach, her sessions include online energy assessments to guide one into one’s own innate balance.

Maitreyi loves:

  • Nature
  • Ayurvedic food
Sarah Holmes
Sarah HolmesFacilitator

Sarah Holmes de Castro

MA, TCTSY-F, C-IAYT, YACEP
Yoga Outreach Core Training™, YOCP-200 Facilitator
She / Her
Sarah was born and raised in the UK where she lived until 2003, and now lives on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded Indigenous territories of the Lekwungen-speaking Coast Salish People. Embodiment has always been her jam, from early days in grad school exploring feminist collaborative art-making and the body, through til now. Her work formerly as the Director of Programs at Yoga Outreach, as a trauma-informed yoga therapist at Fine Balance Yoga, and as a facilitator and trainer in TCTSY (Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga) with the Center for Trauma & Embodiment is all about creating opportunities for people to discover and cultivate embodied resilience in a way that works for them. She’s a firm believer that any conversations about ‘self-care’ need to take place within a context of community care and with a focus on equity.

Sarah loves:

  • Bug-hunting & geocaching with her kids
  • Splashing/swimming/surfing in saltwater
  • Hot cups of tea on a cold day
  • Socializing & solitude, in equal measure
Sashah Rahemtulla
Sashah RahemtullaFacilitator

Sashah Rahemtulla

BA Child & Youth Care, RYS 200
Embodiment & Social Justice Facilitator

She / Her

Sashah has practiced yoga since she was a teen and found a connection to her own culture and heritage through it. Sashah is deeply committed to social justice and has worked as a Social Worker, Counsellor, and Gender Equality Advisor. Sashah loves to travel and has lived abroad in Indonesia, South Korea, and Tanzania which has taught her a lot about how to appreciate culture. Currently, she loves having conversations about how yoga can be a part of activism and how to appreciate the practice rather than appropriate it.

Sashah loves:

  • Talking about social justice
  • Walking by the ocean
  • Travel
  • Interior decorating
Tahia Ahmed
Tahia AhmedFacilitator

Tahia Ahmed

Yoga Outreach Core Training™ BIPOC ONLY Facilitator
She / Her

Tahia is a facilitator and community organizer. Her dive into yoga philosophy and practice is driven by her ancestral connection to the spiritual traditions of South Asia. She is passionate about uplifting and cultivating spiritually grounded and culturally relevant approaches to building resilience. Tahia is also a birth doula and co-founder of the Nesting Doula Collective supporting Indigenous and POC communities on the Island. She trusts in the words of Arundhati Roy, “another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing”.

Tahia loves:

  • Camping
  • Reading
  • Cooking her mom’s recipes
  • Birth work

Board of Directors

Farah Nazarali
Farah NazaraliBoard Chair | Training Faculty

Farah Nazarali

Board Chair | Training Faculty
She / Her

Farah is a devoted yoga student who has been teaching for over 15 years. She has studied classical yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, Non-Violent Communication and conflict resolution. She is a pioneer in integrating conflict resolution skills with yogic practices and Buddhist wisdom; bringing a somatic approach to communication and conflict.

Farah is the former podcast host of In Conversation: The Podcast of Banyen Books and Sound and Hollyhock Talks,  and she is the founder of Drishti Point Yoga Podcasts.  As a former podcaster, Farah maintains one foot in the digital realm and the other foot firmly rooted in Nature, natural rhythms, and the unlimited possibilities contained within the human heart.

Farah loves:

  • Forest gazing
  • Ocean bathing
  • sunsets and sunrises
  • gardening
 Nina Sheere
Nina SheereVice-chair

Nina Sheere

Vice-Chair
She / Her

Nina is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, currently working in private practice, as well as in the local health authority and in Victim Services in Vancouver. She completed a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria and then a Masters of Counselling Psychology at Adler University. Bringing social justice and the lens of intersectionality into her work has always been foundational in her clinical practice and is reflected in her grassroots non-profit organization, The Street Feet Society. As a previous volunteer with Yoga Outreach in the Burnaby Youth Custody Centre, Nina is excited to support the organization as it continues to grow and engage with the community.
Nina loves:

  • Summers on Salt Spring Island
  • Swimming in the ocean or lakes
  • Travelling to new places with her partner
  • Cuddling with her dog, Gunnar
Asli Kucukbumin
Asli KucukbuminMember at large

Asli Kucukbumin, M.A, R.C.C.

Member at Large
She / Her

Asli is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has worked with people impacted by trauma for 15 years. After completing her Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology at UBC, she continued studying different modalities in trauma counselling. The more she immersed herself in the topic, the more she valued the role of yoga, which led her to travel to Bali to study yoga. Asli feels passionate about social justice. Although she has enjoyed working at a local hospital and at her own private practice during the last three years including the pandemic, she missed being a part of the not for profit world. She is excited to serve on the board of Yoga Outreach as it is a not for profit agency that beautifully connects her interests in yoga, healing and social justice.

Asli loves:

  • Spending time with her family and friends
  • Dogs! (she says hello to every dog she walks by)
  • Travelling (she has been to 30 countries)
  • Learning (she has three degrees, multiple diplomas and certificates)
  • Walking/reading by the ocean (a dog park by the ocean even better!)
Tamsen Simon
Tamsen SimonMember at large

Tamsen Simon

Member at Large
They / Them

Tamsen is a former Olympian and current Pilates teacher pursuing their Master’s of Counselling Psychology at Adler University. With a special interest in working alongside people with neurological conditions, Tamsen is focused on the integration of physiology and psychology.  They are passionate about connecting the dots between our experiences and our beliefs while exploring the intersections between how we think and how we move in the systems of our bodies and our world. Tamsen lives their values by advocating for accessible practices; this brings them into alignment with the mission of Yoga Outreach.
Tamsen loves:
  • Learning (currently practicing ASL)
  • Longboarding around the seawall
  • Reading a good book
  • Coffee walks with friends
Veronica Berezowsky
Veronica BerezowskyMember at large

Veronica Berezowsky

Member at Large
She / Her

Veronica is a curious soul inhabiting, this lifetime, the mysterious body of a woman. She deeply recalls a wiser way of existing on Earth and aims to contribute in restoring it. An eternal student, her mission this lifetime is to unlearn, develop her consciousness and be of service to others.

Veronica has over 15 years experience using dance & movement as tools for individual and social transformation and inclusion, providing individual and group dance therapy, and participating in the empowerment of communities through social justice and human rights based projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

She currently works as a somatic and EMDR therapist in private practice, mainly focused on individual, ancestral and collective (patriarchal) trauma recovery. She also collaborates as dance artist within community-based projects, dance-therapy instructor at the Movement Arc, and yoga instructor within a Latinx/BIPOC community that she birthed.

Her calling centres around holding space for others to reclaim and embody their whole Self, in a journey towards a more conscious, fulfilling & meaningful life.

Veronica loves:

  • Dancing!
  • Walking barefoot
  • Creating community
  • Helado de cajeta (Mexican caramel ice-cream)
Ioana Birleanu
Ioana BirleanuMember at large

Ioana Birleanu

Member at Large
She / Her

As a business and executive leader with 16+ years of experience, Ioana has an unwavering passion for people and a deep belief in personal and professional growth. She spent more than 12 years in the corporate environment with one of the largest tech companies in the world, where she managed multicultural sales territories, and built and led highly diverse and successful teams. Witnessing first hand the positive power that focusing on people and their wellbeing can have on business performance, she decided to take the leap into an entrepreneurial journey.
With all this experience, Ioana co-created Growth Flourishing Coaching & Consulting together with her wife. Through her holistic business approach, Ioana helps entrepreneurs and business owners refine their vision, strategies and processes, and reach new performance heights. As a very grateful female LGBTQ+ immigrant to Canada, Ioana is a firm believer in the true economic impact and growth that SMBs can bring to the Canadian economy. She sincerely believes that with true authenticity, aligning systems with values, and conscious practices for profitability, businesses can thrive and multiply their positive impact on our world.
Ioana loves:
  • Riding her motorcycle
  • Any outdoor activity – hiking, skiing, scuba diving…
  • Nesting in her home with a good book on rainy days
  • Spending time with close ones

TRAINING PROGRAMS