Vancouver’s Best Yoga Teachers

A great yoga teacher can take your practice from so-so to whoa! Here are five who do just that

With a studio on (seemingly) every street, Vancouver’s a Mecca of sorts when it comes to yoga, attracting some of the top teachers in the world. Here are our picks for the top “posers” in the city

Whether it’s Hatha or hot, power or prenatal, you won’t regret being guided through your practice by these "kick-asana" instructors.

Read on and then book yourself into one of these popular classes today.

Gloria Latham

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a class as jam-packed as Kundalini with Semperviva Yoga co-founder Gloria Latham. No wonder: the rock-star instructor’s passion is infectious, and the high-energy postures — not to mention the mid-session breakout dance party — will work every part of your body, including your smile.

“What I love the most about yoga is that it’s all about you,” says Latham. “There are no cellphones, no technology. For an hour and a half you have that peace, that quiet, where you can be alone with your thoughts or you can let go of your thoughts.”

What her students say: “After Monday night’s Kundalini practice I felt refreshed and ready to take on the week. I love the feeling of camaraderie that seems to come over everyone in Gloria’s classes. We all sweat, sing and dance together. It’s enough to make me feel like a hippie.”

Lara Kozan

After trying yoga for the first time in 1998, Lara Kozan was hooked. She became an instructor and, in 2007, founded YYoga with Terry McBride. And, despite having eight busy B.C. studios to run (plus two little ones at home to run after), Kozan still manages to make it onto the podium from time to time, leading YHot classes that leave her students panting for more.

“In my own life, and in sharing with others, I have come to know the real power this practice has to create healthy bodies, calm minds and wide-open hearts, and to empower individuals to create amazing relationships and lives; this I find inspiring,” says Kozan. “If we all were to practise yoga, I believe the world would be an even more amazing place to live in; this I find even more inspiring.”

Eoin Finn

One can hardly say the words “Vancouver” and “yoga” in the same sentence without mentioning Eoin Finn, who has been teaching classes (Vinyasa and Power) for years. In 2001, this avid nature-lover founded his Blissology movement to help people — yogis or not — find balance between their personal desires and their impact on the world.

“Blissology is basically the art of slowing down, of getting off auto-pilot and observing the path you’re on in life,” Finn explains. “We’re trying to chart a course where we’re guided by … love and happiness and connectedness.”

What his students say: “I have been going through a very tough time lately and was looking for something to pull me out of my black hole and into the sunshine again. After participating in [Eoin’s] practice, I started to see a little flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.”

Will Blunderfield

Yoga instructor and award-winning musician Will Blunderfield offers Will’s Hour at Westcoast Hot Yoga, combining the power of a transformative hot class with an energizing singing performance that’s sure to spark your inner smile — and melt your ego away.

“It’s about getting more people exposed to yoga through the universality of pop music,” Blunderfield explains. “The music I write is designed to connect, designed to heal … people who struggle with insecurity, shame and self-image issues. It’s about using chant music to bring us into this surreal place of it’s enough, I’m enough, I’m OK.”

What his students say: “That seriously was the yummiest, most awesome yoga/dance class I have ever taken. I am a total convert to the ‘House of Will’ yoga!”

Mari Dickey

Between teaching, on average, 12 Bikram yoga classes a week (throughout Vancouver, in North Vancouver and on Commercial Drive, among other studios), practising (sometimes twice) daily and training for competitions, Mari Dickey loves — or is it lives? — yoga. The 29-year-old is a three-time winner of the Western Canadian Hatha Yoga Championship, and this year placed third in the world at the International Yoga Asana Championship.

“Yoga is such an enormous part of my life and I have so much passion for the practice and its benefits,” says Dickey. “For me yoga is my passion, so if sharing my practice with others … allows people to feel my joy and passion, and that inspires even one person to want to practice yoga, or do what they are passionate about, then that is what is really important.”

What her students say: “Mari is an incredible inspiration and gift to any of us who have had the privilege to learn from and practice with her. Her presence, humility, dedication, perseverance, conviction and ability to let go of attachment, expectations and judgment is truly amazing.”