Techie Turned Yoga Master Opens New Hillman City Studio

Techie Turned Yoga Master Opens New Hillman City Studio

By Amber Campbell

After more than two decades working in the technology industry in Silicon Valley, Dee Williams needed a change. She had started practicing Bikram Hot Yoga to ease the stress related to her busy career and was impressed by how much better she felt.

“It worked, and I realized I could help others do the same,” she said.”I love to learn and learning about yoga has been a journey since 2001.”

She started teaching yoga in Seattle in 2008, and three years later, started Kanjin Yoga, a yoga education and wellness business based in South Seattle.

“I had a calling,” she says. “My heart just opened.”

As Kanjin’s Chief Enthusiast, Dee is passionate about introducing new students to the benefits of yoga. So passionate that she also started a not-for-profit organization to advocate for health and wellness in the African American Community. Yoga for the New Millennium provides free yoga classes, yoga demonstrations and wellness education programs to local schools, groups and organizations.

“It is important that Kanjin Yoga gives back to the community,” she says.

Bringing the mind/body connection together, Dee has also published a book of poetry called “Bodhisattva Wisdom,” including an array of her own Pacific Northwest nature photos. She’d been writing poetry for more than 30 years and finally decided to bring it all together in one published collection.

“Dee is one exceptional human being who I have had the pleasure of knowing for more than eight years,” says friend Art Johnson. “As a writer, yoga instructor and long-term community health and wellness leader hosting health and wellness reading group and doing entire grassroots community health and wellness events, her work is always stellar.”

This Fri., Sept. 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, she will host community members, clients and guests for a ribbon cutting/grand opening celebration at Kanjin Yoga’s new location in Hillman City (5701 Rainier Ave. S., Suite B). All are invited to attend.

Today, she was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for our People in Your Neighborhood column — a series of interviews with some of South Seattle’s most interesting and engaging people.

Dee Williams

Photo Courtesy of Capture IT Photograpy

Columbia City/Hillman City/Lakewood/Seward Park

How long in South Seattle?
On-off since 1998 (moved back again since 2008)

Where from originally?
Mid-Western US

What do you like most about your day job?
Learning something new every day.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Potential to deliver the best quality services to clients interested in the benefits of yoga.

Tell us about your work in the community.
Teaching wellness through yoga, and advocating for youth and seniors to maintain health at all ages.

What motivates you to do this work?
Results that can be experienced.

What are you passionate about?
Introducing new students to yoga.

What are your hobbies?
Interior Decorating, Writing

Tell us about your family.
Small family, Great-Grand Parents migrated from the south (Louisiana) to the mid-west Ohio River Valley, from the early 1900’s.

What’s your most favorite thing about South Seattle?
The people from a variety of backgrounds.

What’s your least favorite thing about South Seattle?
Lack of parking near the light rail stations.

Where is your favorite place to go in South Seattle?
Kubota Gardens

If there was one thing you could change about South Seattle, what would it be?
Unrestricted parking

Who inspires you?
Children and Technology

What was the last thing you read?
The Dalai Lama’s Book of Wisdom

Tell us something about you that not many people know:
I still own my roller skates from 20 years ago, and still roller skating.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Living a healthy, happy, whole life.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

What is your current state of mind?
Peaceful determination.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Starting a non-profit wellness education program.

What is your most treasured possession?
My daughter’s and granddaughter’s artwork.

What do you most value in your friends?
Their lives, love for family, hard work, laughter.

What is it that you most dislike?
Medical commercials on TV.

What else should we know about you?
I enjoy writing poetry.

Is there a South Seattle neighbor you’d like to know more about? Nominate them for our People in Your Neighborhood column — a series of interviews with some of South Seattle’s most interesting and engaging people. Send your suggestions to


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