Our Story

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Sea Change Yoga was born from an idea formed at a Yoga Behind Bars training in 2015 where founder and Executive Director Diana Lee met founding board member Melea Nalli. Diana was teaching yoga to the residents of Mainestay, a transitional housing facility for young adults, 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, in November of 2015, a conversation began about the dream of forming a non-profit organization that would serve, support and be a resource to the dedicated yoga teachers who had been called to offer yoga to under-resourced people.  They envisioned training interested yoga teachers, and offering workshops to raise awareness of how trauma affects the brain and how trauma-informed yoga can help. Sea Change Yoga eventually became a vital 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 as well as creating community for the amazing yoga teachers who want to do this transformative work by offering professional development opportunities and clinical consult support.


  • 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’s TCTSY at Kripalu

  • 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.

  • September 2016 'One Posture at a Time' recovery focused program comes under Sea Change

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

  • October 2106 Sea Change offers the first Trauma-Sensitive Yoga training in Portland Maine with Beth Jones

  • November 2016 SCY files 1023 for non-profit status

  • April 2017 Sea Change Yoga becomes an official nonprofit organization

  • May 2017 Sea Change Yoga, Easterseals and Optimal Self collaborate to bring yoga to veterans

  • July 2017 Sea Change Yoga partners with Maine Yoga Fest as charitable recipient, we set up shop in our Westbrook office and hire our first staff member

  • November 2017 Sea Change Yoga 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

  • January 2018 We hire our second staff member: Program Director

  • February 2018 Sea Change Yoga adds Clinical Consultation to their programming with monthly teacher meetings

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

  • October 2018 Anne Davis steps up to take over as Board President

  • February 2018 We hire our third staff member: Teacher Coordinator

  • March 2019 Sea Change Yoga holds our first peer-to-peer fundraiser and 150 yogis gather for Yogathon raising over $40,000 to support the SCY mission

  • April 2019 We publish our first Annual Report