PowHERhouse Portrait | Carey Dillen of YYOGA

Photo credit: Lynn Hemsley

YYoga President Carey Dillen is passionate about growing people, profits, and projects.

As President of the largest corporately owned yoga company in Canada, she is an experienced leader, an influencer, and an effective female change agent.  Her approach is open and authentic, rooted in values-based coaching and leadership.

Describe your Mission.  What’s it all about for you?

For me, it’s about a few things.  It’s about making people healthier and happier in their daily lives because I believe we can all benefit from what physical movement and mindfulness can do for our body, mind, and spirit.  It’s about empowering the people around me to grow in their careers, to learn about themselves, to collaborate as part of a team, to support each other along the journey and to embrace a big vision that brings YYoga to all of Canada. 

What is your ultimate dream for your role/business/mission and where you’d like to take it? 

The dream is to take YYoga across Canada, in every major city and suburb, so that we can touch as many Canadians as possible with our brand of movement and mindfulness!

Describe what success looks like – complete fruition. 

Success for me would be that my team is fully engaged, supportive, happy and enjoys coming to work every day; that our guests love the centres and embrace what we are doing in creating community; that we are in every major city across Canada.

Biggest highlight in your career/journey thus far? 

Biggest highlight so far was being part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.  It was a tough job – the world was watching.  I was there for five years from the early beginnings in 2005 to after the games ended in 2010.  As Vice President Finance, I was able to participate in many aspects of the business, working with 53 operating divisions from sponsorship revenue to construction to dissolution.  I learned a lot about myself – I love to lead a team, to inspire others, to make decisions, to make a difference, and that I am resilient!

One thing that you feel has been most pivotal or useful thus far in your career/journey? 

I am fearless.  I love leading others on a journey that sometimes we know our end goal and other times we are figuring it out as we go.  I love learning and I am willing to take it on and figure it out. 

How would you describe what brings you the greatest joy in your current role?

I love collaborating as a team.  I enjoy learning things from others and hearing other people’s viewpoints.  

Best advice you ever received?

Be authentic and surround yourself with people you like.

What would be your top tips for women regarding a walking their talk and a courageously approaching what is most important to them.

  • Take risks.
  • Be open to possibilities.

How do you balance between being an impactful community leader, a busy professional, volunteer and so much more without dodging your own self-care?

I do things that I like.  I enjoy volunteering on the many sport boards that I am a part of as it supports a healthy community and I know that my expertise is helping these organizations be better.  I enjoy my work and I surround myself with people who are hard-working, motivated, interesting and find purpose in what we are trying to achieve at YYoga.

Describe your Top 3 Time Management Tips as they relate to your Mission.

  • I love lists – they help keep me focused on priorities.
  • I love my calendar – it helps me fit everything I want to do into my life.
  • I love coaching – the team gets the opportunity to think through issues and I get to support their learning and growth.  It builds skills and trust.

Describe collaboration and what the looks like/feels like on the ground – how does it show up in your life?

Collaboration for me is bringing together diverse areas of the organization to look for solutions and opportunities.  I appreciate the different viewpoints and think that it provides a more well-rounded look.  We all learn something and usually the end result is a culmination of a variety of people’s ideas.

Describe a favourite hobby or adventure.

I love travelling and experiencing the world around me.  My latest adventures took me to Turkey, Greece, and China!

Jamaican Yoga Retreat

Favourite energy meal or snack (healthy).

My go-to late night snack and sometimes meal is popcorn!

Do you have a morning ritual or primer that you use daily to set your state positively and powHERfully?  We’d love to hear about it!

I try to make space in the morning to think of something that I am grateful for and then I have hot water with lemon to start my day.

Favourite indulgence or treat.


What does giving back (fulfillment) look like to you?

Giving back to my team – supporting them personally and professionally to be better and do better.

Giving back to my community – working with not-for-profit organizations to elevate their purpose.

I never leave home without my…


What are the apps or online tools you most use?

For social media tools, I use Instagram and LinkedIn the most.

If you could display a 1-line message in Times Square that would be televised to women around the world, what would it say?

It’s okay to be scared, but do it anyway – it’s called growth!

Your thoughts on mentoring young women?  What do you feel your most valuable lessons to pass on are? 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.

Where do we go from here in terms of supporting and inspiring women to step-up and continue moving forward with their missions… regardless of how hard it may feel at times.  #confidence  #courage  #connections #capital

At YYoga, the majority of our team is made up of women.  Every day the team sees women in decision-making roles, being authentic, doing what they love and making a difference.  I hope I inspire my team – and others – as a role model to be fearless and go for it!

Photo credit: Lynn Hemsley

YYoga is a Vancouver-based yoga and fitness company with 12 corporately owned, community operated studios offering more than 900 classes per week in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Whistler and Toronto. YYoga wellness studios are dedicated to bringing yoga and fitness to anyone seeking a healthy, balanced life.

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  1. […] Read Carey's PowHERhouse portrait here. […]

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