Dianne Bondy was a child who, in her words, “was always on the move,” and it was practicing yoga that helped her feel grounded. Her mom was a “wannabe hippie” who did yoga in the 70s as part of her exercise regime, and she taught Dianne the practice.
Today, Dianne is a yoga teacher, writer, and activist who focuses on inclusivity and accessibility. It’s no surprise that one of her favorite quotations reflects her social values:
“The best partnerships aren't dependent on a mere common goal but on a shared path of equality, desire, and no small amount of passion.”
“I love this quote by Sarah MacLean,” Dianne explains, “because it speaks to the ideaI that there is no one singular way to connect with people, that we could connect with humanity on a much bigger scale which includes equity, equality, and justice for all. I also love that MacLean uses the word passion. I like to exchange passion with righteous anger. Those words are interchangeable in my lexicon.”
As a leader of the Yoga For All movement, Dianne’s inclusive approach to the practice is designed to empower anyone—regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability. She is changing the yoga landscape by educating yoga instructors around the world on how to make their classes welcoming and safe for all kinds of students.
Dianne is also the author of the book Yoga for Everyone and a featured teacher on, and a frequent contributor to, Yoga International and other yoga platforms. Her writing has also been published in the books Yoga and Body Image, Yoga Rising, and Yes! Yoga Has Curves.
We interviewed Dianne, asking her the four questions we ask all of our featured teachers, so that you can get to know her and learn more about what to expect from her classes on YI.
What yoga style, tradition, and/or lineage are you a part of (if any)?
I was trained in the tradition of Anusara Yoga, though I have practiced a lot of different styles and with teachers from many different lineages, and I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had to learn from incredible educators from a variety of yoga backgrounds. My favorite style of yoga is vinyasa. I love the rhythmic connection of breath and movement. The cadence of this flow aligns with the way my body moves through the world. I like to say vinyasa tells my body "sometimes yes and sometimes no, sometimes fast and sometimes slow." I also love to dance...It brings joy to my body and that's what vinyasa does for me.
What can I expect from your classes on YI?
It’s my mission—even my dharma—to provide a lot of variety. With my classes, I offer many different interpretations of yoga so that anyone can find something that speaks to them. I have created a lot of adaptable and accessible flows, as well as challenging, powerful, strength-building flows. I also love to share sweeter, slower, restorative flows. My yoga has as many applications as my life requires.
What’s on your mind these days yoga-wise?
As always, we need to see more cultural diversity on the mat. We need more representation for people of color, people with disabilities, as well as older adults. Yoga culture has a long way to go in presenting a balanced perspective.
What do you like to do outside of yoga?
I love walking in nature, hiking, bicycling, and going to spin classes. I love to read, listen to podcasts, and take care of my family.
Find out more about Dianne and try one of her fun classes on YI!
Photography: Andrea Killam