Have Mat, Will Travel: Meet Gabrielle Rickman


“As a certified health and wellness coach and yoga teacher, it’s a great pleasure for me to be able to support people to find balance in their life through proper nutrition as well as all of the healing benefits that come from an invigorating yoga practice!”

–Gabrielle Rickman, RYT 500


A definite zest for life, contagious laugh and one of the brightest smiles you’ve ever seen…  just a few things you will immediately notice when in the presence of Gabrielle Rickman or “Gabby” as we call her, one of our three founding Prana team members who helped us launch in 2013.

Her knowledge of yoga is palpable and you can be assured that you are getting her full attention, focus and support in your practice.  She has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and originally received her 200-hour training from DevaTree in 2012, followed by attaining her 500+RYT in 2014. The fact that she works full time as a senior project manager for a digital agency, doesn’t deter her one bit from pursuing her passion for yoga every chance she gets– even if it means being taking on a supportive role and covering for other team members when they are unable to teach their classes.

Gabby believes that yoga is more than just a physical practice, so she takes a cross-disciplinary approach to her teaching where she weaves yogic philosophy, pranayama, and meditation into her classes to support physical postures while on the mat and as tools that can be used every day off the mat. Her style is playful; yet, supportive. Methodical; yet, fluid. Informative; yet accessible. Gabby believes that we all have an intrinsic goodness and that yoga is the perfect way to explore the real you.

“I encourage you to put everything else aside and treat yourself to some ‘me’ time on your mat focusing on you and how perfect you are!”

Gabby is a strong believer that yoga can easily be incorporated through one’s daily activities to reduce stress, maintain focus and stay grounded… it’s child’s play!

Gabby has taught private clients and offers coverage for fellow team members’ classes to keep consistency and flow in what we do. You can connect with Gabby about private or semi-private yoga classes or one-on-one health coaching at gabrielle@bebalanced.ca

Here’s how Gabrielle responded to our “10 Things About You” questions:

1. What style of yoga you teach and how do you describe your flow?

I teach vinyasa style with all kinds of flows ranging from gentle and grounding to active and strength-building. Whatever the flows, my intention is to encourage everyone to laugh and play, to be authentic as they find “their yoga” and surrender to their body’s intrinsic wisdom, let their breath lead their movements, and above all else embrace what feels best in their body at that precise moment in time in a safe, supported way. For my own personal experience, the best flows don’t come from a plan, but they come from letting my body lead me into a series of poses and movements that light me up from the inside out, make me sweaty and allow me to release on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally, and energetically. What can I say, I enjoy it all – from handstand to restorative – I’m a fan!

2. How long have you been practicing yoga?
11 years

3. Where did you grow up?
Miami, FL

4. Where’s your favourite place to visit?

Visiting family back “home” in Jamaica

5. What’s you most ‘out of the ordinary’ moment or experience? (think strange, surprising, embarrassing, amazing…)

Researching the Sanskrit name I chose when I graduated with my 500-hr Yoga Teacher Certification. I had a very powerful connection to the name Ananda that resonated deep in my heart and soul. I get goosebumps just remembering that moment!

6. Vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian?

I dabble between vegetarian and flexitarian (chicken and fish) depending on how my body feels, the season, etc. The only consistent part to my eating habits is that it always includes ice cream!

7. What stresses you out the most?

Having to tell someone “no” – especially when I want to say “yes” but I can’t for whatever reason

8. Most important part of your self-care routine?

Visiting my osteopath and indulging in a delicious afternoon nap!

9. What’s your hidden talent?

I’d say I have two:
1) I’m great with kids – love spending time with little ones of all ages! I’ve been told by my 7-year old cousin it’s because I have the mind of a child!

2) I am a wicked good organizer! …some may call this OCD but let the records show I embrace it as “attention to detail”!

 10. What’s your favourite quote?
Oh! So many! My top three:

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there we only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

“Never sacrifice your body for the glory of the pose.” – I heard this nugget from the wise and loving Brenda Dowell

“You’re killin’ me, Smalls!” – Ham Porter, The Sandlot (or pretty much any other line from this classic!)




About Chantelle Diachina

Chantelle is the founder of Prana Yoga & Wellness. When she is not teaching yoga class or facilitating workshops, Chantelle relishes the time with her husband and two school-age children. She also enjoys volunteering and collaborating with the various non-profits in her community. 3 things you may not know about Chantelle: 1. Most Memorable Moment: Being saved by a random motorcyclist from California while alone and lost in Thailand 2. Biggest Pet Peeve: Hearing her children fight 3. Most Embarrassing Moment: Showing up to a potluck party on the wrong night
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