Our Story

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Sea Change Yoga was born from an idea formed at a Yoga Behind Bars training in 2015 where our founder and Executive Director Diana Lee met founding board member Melea Nalli. Diana was teaching yoga to the residents of Mainestay and she was eager to expand her reach to more under-resourced people with no access to yoga including the incarcerated. When Diana met Melea, they began to talk about a non-profit organization that would serve, support and be a resource to the dedicated yoga teachers who were out in the field offering yoga service to these folks.  They dreamed of training yoga teachers and offering workshops to raise awareness of how trauma affects the brain and how trauma-informed yoga can help. Sea Change Yoga is now a growing community of yoga teachers and other professionals who are committed to spreading this work. At Sea Change Yoga, we believe that everyone deserves yoga and we are determined to bring about a sea-change in bringing these healing practices to the people who need them most.


  • May 2015 Diana begins teaching at MaineStay, offering trauma informed yoga to young adults in transition

  • November 2015: Melea and Diana meet at a Yoga Behind Bars Training

  • February 2016 Diana begins teaching at the Southern Maine Re-entry Center and Esther Residence

  • March 2016 Diana begins teaching at Longcreek Youth Development Center

  • March 2016 The first gathering happens of what will become Sea-Change's founding team

  • April 2016 Diana studies and gains certificate with David Emerson at Kripalu’s 40 hour Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training.

  • May 2016 Melea and Diana travel to Omega to the Yoga Service Council Conference

  • June 2016 Diana studies with Chelsea Roff and gains certification through Eat Breathe Thrive

  • August 2016 Sea Change Yoga becomes incorporated, running 8 weekly classes in 5 facilities. The Milestone Recovery, Maine Correctional Center, and McCauley House programs begin

  • September 2016 'One Posture at a Time' comes under Sea Change, we take over the yoga program at the Portland Recovery Community Center

  • October 2016 Sea Change Yoga's very first board meeting

  • October 2106 Sea Change offers the first Trauma-Sensitive Yoga training to teachers with Beth Jones TCTSY teacher

  • November 2016 SCY files 1023 for non-profit status

  • April 2017 Sea Change Yoga becomes an official nonprofit organization

  • May 2017 Easterseals and Optimal Self collaborate to bring yoga to veterans

  • July 2017 Sea Change partners with Maine Yoga Fest as charitable recipient, we take up shop in our Westbrook office

  • November 2017 Sea Change becomes partners with Lululemon in their "Here to Be" initiative

  • December 2017 Sea Change teaches 24 classes each week with 14 partners, reaching more than 200 people

  • February 2018 Sea Change adds Clinical Supervision to their programming

  • May 2018 Sea Change Yoga becomes a partner with The United Way of Greater Portland in their 2020 Thrive Initiative