Lara Kozan

Co-founder, YYoga, Age 38

Lara Kozan moved to Vancouver from the Prairies in 2001. Each summer, as a student at the University of Regina, she travelled extensively, but Vancouver always stuck in her mind. Something just felt right.

“I had this intuitive sense about Vancouver,” Kozan said. “I felt possibility here.”

The same year she arrived in Vancouver, she began doing yoga, and it stuck. Kozan was hooked.

She did yoga every day for a week at a brand-new studio that was looking to attract attendees. Then she went every day for a month, then three months, then a year. Eventually, Kozan trained to become a yoga teacher and began leading classes all over town. She taught privately and also led large corporate classes.

“I knew I needed to keep going,” said Kozan. “And I knew I needed to share what I was doing. I wanted everyone in the world to feel as good as I did.”

But while Kozan’s development as a yoga student and then a teacher progressed quickly, her attempts at opening her own studio didn’t go quite as smoothly. She looked all over – even travelling across Canada to scout locations – and had numerous business partners. But nothing worked out.

It wasn’t until 2006 that the idea of YYoga began to take shape. Once it did, things began to move quickly.

By 2007, Kozan and business partner Terry McBride began hiring staff. And the company has been steadily hiring and opening locations ever since.

Kozan has since left her day-to-day role at YYoga and is now launching a new wellness-related venture – Nectar Juicery.

Business success is all well and good. But Kozan said her real career achievement has been the chance to share something she’s felt since she first started going to yoga class: how good yoga makes her feel.