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Vancouver Island Yoga School

Deborah Carruthers

Deborah Carruthers, Director

Vancouver Island Yoga School, formerly Harmony Yoga and Wellness Center, was founded on the Pillars of classical Ashtanga Yoga.
The second Pillar rooted in our evolution is Yin yoga and the grounding and mindfulness yogas.

If you are curious and want a deeper dive into Yin teacher training, Ashtanga and Somatics workshop, we’d love to hear from you.

Deborah Carruthers
Geoff MacKenzie

We are pleased to announce that our next 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training program will be held at VIYS in Duncan, BC, Canada, with tentative dates from early November 2022 to early March 2023!

Our Roots

The tradition of  Ashtanga Yoga is found in the ritual of early morning practice. There are 6 set series, from a Primary series through an Intermediate and Advanced series.
New students learn the foundations of Sun Salutations and standing postures, gradually mastering them before moving on to more complex postures. Breath awareness and focused attention are the key components that support the postures. Students learn discipline and patience and can take their daily practice with them.
Through consistent practice, students gain strength, mobility and flexibility, deeper breathing and a calm and peaceful mind. Daily practice of breath work, meditation and postures is likened to cleaning and purifying the body and mind, which increases longevity and quality of life.
The Yin and slow-moving classes complement the more dynamic classes with attention to body sensations and nervous system regulation. You will feel calmer and sleep better.
Research on health tells us that changing our lifestyle and the foods we consume  empowers us to create health and well-being every day. Good sleep, healthy digestion and eating whole, nourishing foods, coupled with yoga, meditation, and walks in nature give us the perfect medicine for a busy, stressful life.
Start your healthy new habits today!  

Current and Upcoming Programs

We are off to India March 2024

In an intimate, small group setting, you will immerse yourself in daily Ashtanga yoga practice and study, while optimizing your health and well-being with ayurvedic diet and lifestyle. Lose yourself amidst the breathtaking beauty of Kerala’s lush landscapes. Find yourself amidst the food, culture and beauty of South India. Discover a Self you never knew existed. March 2024 with Deborah and Shelley. 

Our Story

Vancouver Island Yoga School emerges from the landscape of Duncan’s 10-year-old Harmony Yoga and Wellness Center. VIYS is a natural evolution inspired by its founder’s desire to create a spiritual center for the study of Yoga and its sister science Ayurveda. In the last ten years, we have delivered yoga teacher training, workshops, intensives, and retreats to India. With VIYS, we redefine ourselves and create a new mission and purpose for the next ten years.

Our Mission

Our mission is to offer a deeper dive into the wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda. Our vision is to share our collective knowledge with you and provide a spiritual sanctuary where you can meditate, join a wellness program, and practice yoga. Our purpose is to create and sustain a healthy community to promote personal and spiritual growth.

Many people have experienced increased anxiety and depression over the last two years through isolation and disengagement from society. Our programming will respond to heal the collective trauma we have experienced.

Our Lineage

In its truest sense, Yoga is Union with the Divine. The word Yoga has several meanings, such as “union,” “path,” or a type of concentration called Samadhi. Samadhi means absorption and, when directed toward spirituality, the mind stills and leads to insight into the nature of reality, unseen by a mind trapped in discursive thoughts.

About 2000 years ago, the great sage Patanjali collected the existing teachings on Yoga and systemized them into the Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras became a road map to higher consciousness. This map is at the base of our teachings. The ancient teachings are as relevant today as they were in ancient India.

Amidst struggle and suffering, human beings look to wisdom teachers, schools, and temples to find sanctuary and spiritual growth. At VIYS, our goal is to provide you the space to commit to strength, wellness, wholeness, and community.


Wonderful and welcoming space. All the staff and teachers I have encountered have been lovely. I came here as a yoga newbie and have been able to develop a practice which has added so much value to my life!
Gabrielle M.
Very welcoming, comfy space, friendly and knowledgable staff. I have always had a well-balanced class with every teacher here. I love the variety of teachers and yoga styles offered. I highly recommend this yoga studio and wellness centre for everyone.