David Procyshyn Headshot

Meet The Founder

Hello, I'm David Procyshyn, DoYogaWithMe's founder. Yoga came to me when I injured my lower back for the third time, at 18 years old. I spent weeks on my back, taking pain killers, enduring boredom, feeling frustrated and contemplating my life. I didn’t know it then, but this was the wake up call I needed. If I were to avoid a life of chronic back pain, I would need to make some different choices.

Until then, my life was full of activities that were hard on my body - contact sports (mainly hockey and football), physically-demanding jobs and paying little attention to posture, diet and well being.

It was 1991 and alternative approaches to back care were not readily available, particularly in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I grew up. Driven to improve how I felt, I flipped through the Health and Fitness section in the yellow pages (remember them?) and found the only yoga studio in Saskatoon at that time, JNS Yoga. JNS was owned by an incredibly dedicated, skilled yogi who traveled yearly to Pune to study with BKS Iyengar. I quickly joined a beginner class and experienced my first class, which hurt (a lot!) but also brought me some relief.

David's toe balance

Over the next few months, the more I practiced, the better my lower back felt, and the more energy I had. I went to classes as often as I could and completely fell in love with yoga.

It became much more than a way to heal the injuries I sustained during years of physical abuse and neglect. It became an essential source of inner peace and inspiration for me as I continued to grow up and make my way through my twenties, supporting me through many bouts of anxiety and depression, helping me understand who I was and what truly nurtured me.

Over the next decade, I was hungry to learn more about myself. I continued to explore yoga, participated in numerous Goenka-led 10-day silent meditation retreats and made my way through a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at McGill, as well as a therapeutic massage program.

I moved to Victoria in 2000 and in 2004 I flew to Thailand to take a 250-hour yoga teacher training with David Goulet at his Pyramid Yoga Center on the island of Koh Phangan. I had already taken classes with David, but I didn’t realize the impact this 2 ½ month program would have on my life. David’s teaching immersed me in pranayama, meditation, dandhal and music, frequently inducing altered states and moments where the ego was completely gone, allowing me to finally believe that I was capable of moving out of my cycles of anxiety and depression.

When it was all over, I received my certificate to teach. I also felt like it was the beginning of yet another new approach to life.

After moving to Vancouver, I found a few teaching gigs and continued to do a lot of yoga. At the time I was practicing 2-3 hours a day, thoroughly fulfilled with its effects on my body and spirit, even learning to appreciate the challenges and the pain. It was a truly transformative time of my life.

David on a motorbike in Thailand
Lululemon Image

As I started teaching in local yoga studios, I quickly realized how unique David Goulet’s approach was. Basic pranayama, meditation and deep inner exploration were, at most, short bookends to a predominantly physical practice. I was also turned off by the materialism, trendiness, exclusivity and the predominance of synthetic clothing and mats.  I still loved yoga, along with many of the people in the community, but something about the yoga culture and the industry supporting it didn’t feel right.

In 2007, I was approached to start an online yoga business with a colleague and, although this relationship didn’t work out, I learned enough to continue, and launched DoYogaWithMe in 2008 with my brother, Sean, who had recently completed his degree in computer science.

Back then, the only online yoga resource that existed was myyogaonline.com (bought by Gaia in 2016), which was co-founded by a colleague at a yoga studio where I taught. The early years were very challenging for us both, due to rapidly changing technology, but we continued to build a community.

As DoYogaWithMe grew, and other competitors appeared, my brother and I were driven to create something different. Without fully realizing its inherent challenges, our first mission was to create high quality online yoga that was free for everyone. Our second mission was to shine a light on the harm that the yoga industry was doing to us and our planet, while presenting clear and easily-attainable alternatives. 

This was the seed of DoYogaWithMe, and it continues to guide everything we do and every decision we make today. Every choice we make, from the members of our core team and teachers, where we run retreats, how we engage with social media and how we make business decisions, are guided by our promise to honor yoga’s fundamental principles of nurturing and supporting people and our beautiful planet.

Join us as we aspire to create positive change in the world!

David and Sean Procyshyn