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Billie-Lynn Hillis

Founder & Director of Gaia Wellness Retreats & Clinic

Co-Founder of Gaia Wellness Retreat (2017-2023)

Somatic Trauma Therapist | Meditation Teacher | Certified Reiki & Sound Healer | Shamanic Life Coach | Psychedelic Guide & Plant Medicine Integration Coach | 500hr RYT, KYT & KYT for Addiction

Billie has been on a spiritual path for over 20 years. ​


After experiencing many struggles in her early life including trauma, chronic anxiety and addiction she turned to yoga, meditation and spirituality to find relief from suffering and support her in her recovery.   


Billie has many years of experience teaching Kundalini Yoga, Hatha, Yin and Beyond Addictions Yoga as well as practicing Usui & Shamanic Reiki, Sound Healing, BioTuning and many other healing modalities.


She is a Certified Compassionate Inquiry Therapist, Certified Trauma Informed Somatic Therapist, Certified Shamanic Life Coach, Certified Psychedelic Guide & Integration Coach as well as a Certified Insight Meditation Teacher. 


Billie has a deep respect for the teachings of Shamanism, Buddhism, Hinduism and all other Spiritual Traditions and is honoured to have studied with wise and compassionate teachers including Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Dr. Gabor Mate, Sat Dharam Kaur and many others.   


Billie offers her experience and knowledge in hopes of inspiring others on their journey towards personal freedom. Billie is known for her authentic, non-judgmental and compassion-centered teaching. Availing herself to continuous philosophical education from various spiritual disciplines, she integrates meditation with self-inquiry therapies, applying ancient wisdom to our contemporary western world in a useful and understandable way. 


She encourages growth of the physical and spiritual self, citing the interconnectedness to each other,to the world and to the universe at large.  

Joe Damiani


Certified Breathwork Facilitator | Breathwork Coach | CCF Certified Life Coach. 
CEO of Awakening Owl Wellness Ltd.

The practice of breathwork has heavily impacted Joey's spiritual journey in outstanding ways not only for himself but for thousands of people within Ontario, British Columbia and Costa Rica through ceremonial retreat circles, private corporate events, weekly group breathwork classes and individual one-on-one private sessions.



Yoga Teacher and Sound Healer

Shantdeep has been deeply influenced by her exploration of wisdom teachings in the fields of mindfulness, meditation, yoga, sound healing and energy work. She loves to share her passion for sound, mantra chanting and opening one's voice for self-healing with others.


Shantdeep has studied the art of using sacred sound and its application in therapeutic healing. She offers treatments in which her gentle presence and soulful voice draw participants into an experience of allowing the soul to connect with its true essence, allowing to radiate its natural joy and divinity.

Clare Cluff

Administrative Coordinator 

Assistant to the Director

Clare came to Gaia Wellness Retreat in 2017 with a background in administration, public relations, social media management, and professional organizing. She is a graduate of Algonquin College's Public Relations and Event Management Programs.


Clare is available to help you make a reservation or if you have any questions about our retreats offerings.

When Clare is not working for Gaia Wellness she offers services as a Certified Organizational Specialist, Certified Master Life Coach, and Certified Elemental Space Clearing® Practitioner.


Visit her website,


John Armstrong 

Culinary Artist

Co-Founder of Gaia Wellness Retreat (2017-2023)

John is a graduate of Carleton University with a BA in Social Science. He was introduced to Buddhist meditation practices in the mid 1980s and has since expanded his interests to include a wide selection of mystical & spiritual practices. From 2003-2017 he was self employed as owner/operator of two restaurants - co-founder TRIO Bistro (Westboro) and founder JAKS Kitchen (Centretown).

At Gaia, John opened his culinary interests to the world of vegan, vegetarian and raw foods while referencing material from recent works that relate mental health to the health of the gut. His culinary creations are a reflection of client needs, their activities, the setting and weather with the intent of “maximizing their experiences with the least hindrance”. His primary interest is in combining client experience with enhanced customer service in a stimulating and rewarding environment using the best produce available.

Tenzo - the function of the Tenzo is to manage meals for the monks “Put your awakened mind to work, making a constant effort to serve meals full of variety that are appropriate to the need and the occasion, and that will enable everyone to practice with their bodies and minds with the least hindrance” - Chanyuan Qinggui, 1102 AD


Eric Desjardins

Yoga Teacher | Thai Yoga Massage Therapist

Though Eric’s background is in Physical and Occupational Therapy, he has pursued Yoga as his full-time profession since beginning his teacher training certification in 2005 at one of Ottawa’s premiere yoga studios. Since then, he has been classically trained in Rishikesh, the world capital of Yoga under the tutelage of his present-day Guru, Yogi Kamal Singh, He went on to complete further levels of trainings, including two 500-hour Yoga Master Programs, which has allowed him to lead numerous teacher trainings, and to teach extensively abroad from India to Thailand, the Maldives, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Vancouver and Hong Kong. 

Eric was also certified in Thai Massage Therapy when he travelled to Thailand to Wat Pho Temple, which is renowned as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.

Eric is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience in the practice of Yoga with you. He presents Yoga in a way that is accessible to everyone as he emphasizes safety and body alignment in all of his classes with his grounding  and vibrant energy. 


"I was exhausted of having the same story go on and on in my head. Billie's 5 day intensive program is amazing. She gives everything she has when she's with you and the program she put together is really powerful. 

Being that I have been in the healing field for a long time and have done many retreats I have never gone this deep.
Billie is strong enough to see how you avoid but her strength comes from the female energy that makes you do what she asks of you"

Diane V



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