Foundation > Teaching for Equity Program > Teaching for Equity Participants

Teaching for Equity Participants

  • 2023
  • 2022
  • 2021
Alexis Smith
"We can reach our highest potential ‬when we practice yoga, breathing, and mantra together. This creative force emits a frequency of wellbeing and harmony. And it is contagious!‬ When we contemplate pure thought and deed in the present moment, we can instill habits of healthy living, leading to an enlightened state. As that grows in the community, we are all part of a collective. expanding our consciousness leading to a greater good!"

Alexis teaches a fusion of Iyengar inspired Hatha flow with notes on alignment and movement throughout the practice and sometimes includes a mix in classical Kundalini. Alexis thinks that with mantra, pranayama breathing, krya, prayer and intention we consciously raise our vibration, open our hearts, connect with our inner divine being and tune into a sacred space of healing.

The guidance she have received from her teachers has enabled her to bring a mixed toolkit to the practice, and Alexis always asks the students how they are feeling and what they would like to get out of the class each day, so no two classes are the same. Alexis's classes are inclusive and interactive, a place to share vibration, light and wisdom as a collective.

Ana Lucia Farina Vargas
"'I am that I am' is my favorite mantra. Becoming aware that we are not our bodies, our minds or our emotions but the consciousness which observes the experience of living. I believe when we share and can understand we are much more than our physical bodies, emotions and thoughts, we can truly connect with the essence of which we truly are, and life becomes more manageable. For me this has been one of the most profound teachings in my life."

Ana Lucia Farina is a yoga teacher in Costa Rica who has been teaching since 2009 after graduating from Nosara Yoga institute with a partial scholarship. Ana has had the opportunity to learn from western teachers and in India and is passionate about Yogic philosophy, traditional Hatha Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness. Ana has had the opportunity to live and travel which has broadened her perspective of teaching Yoga in an inclusive way.

Since 2018 she has held 200 and 300 hour yoga teaching training programs mainly in Bali, Costa Rica and India. She also shares the gift of yoga through retreats and Bhakti yoga worldwide.

Andrea Garcia Bueno
"Our disconnection with mother earth, our cycles and intuition translates into violence and disease towards the feminine. The practice of yoga, the reconnection and observation of nature, the interest in knowing our roots, history, rituals and the validation of the divinity in each one of us have allowed me to understand that consciousness expansion practices are one of the paths that we can cultivate to take charge of our Healing, Self-knowledge and Transpersonal Realization. To be a fluid body, a spontaneous heart, an intuitive mind, a fearless soul with an unbroken spirit, this is all I ever really wanted us to Be."

Andrea Garcia (she/her) is a Mother, Psychologist, Psycho-Corporal Therapist, Certified Yoga Teacher with training in Conscious Movement, Dharma Yoga and Bioneuroemotion, among others, and lives in a country where women have been mistreated, assaulted and silenced for many decades. In her sessions she honors and shows support to all women and people who have been affected by the disconnection of divinity, feminine power, and those who have been affected by breast cancer. She wants students to know that they are powerful and they are not alone. Andrea is willing to listen to and responsive of her students' needs, and she invites those in her class to connect with Mother Earth, their ancestral practices and history. She encourages students to trust the therapeutic, educational, and spiritual support that is being offered in yoga class to prevent and deal with the violence and illness that Colombian women continue to experience. Andrea operates from the assumption that yogic practices are the true Masters and that the secret to accessing that wisdom is consistency and love. Andreas trusts that her sessions feel like a big hug full of love, consciousness and a lot of hope.

Angelica Lopez
"As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, finding Yoga in my early teens was a true gift. Yoga has taught me that I have agency, it has helped me feel empowered and embodied. It has been such an important part of my healing process that I knew I wanted to share it with other survivors so that they too can find and love their whole self, just as they are."

Angelica Lopez (she/her) is a Puerto Rican survivor of childhood sexual abuse from Holyoke, MA. She was drawn to the beauty of yoga in her early teenage years and began her practice at home with PBS. Although this helped her find a sense of agency and strength within, it wasn't until college while struggling with grief that she understood the healing power of yoga. After a decade of committed practice, Angelica decided to pursue yoga teacher training in order to assist others in finding tools to help and heal themselves. She graduated from her 200-hour yoga teacher training program in January 2020. She has since completed several trauma-informed training programs with various organizations. She is a recent graduate of the 300-hour teacher training program with the Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute, led by Susanna Barkataki. Angelica offers trauma-informed, strengths-based, flow Yoga. She uses philosophy, movement, invitational language, and alignment cues to help her students find their own sense of agency and empowerment within. Her goal is to treat people like people, offering accessible, positive and affirming spaces for yoga practice.

Anne Taylor
"Teach what is inside you. Not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as it applies to the other." —Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

Anne Taylor (she/her) is an E-RYT 500 and C-IAYT living in NYC and teaches in a variety of settings including programs for persons with addictions and histories of arrest and conviction. Anne started practicing yoga in her early twenties to manage her undiagnosed ADHD. At the time she did not understand what was happening, but she knew that yoga worked. Yoga taught her how to sit with discomfort and find a place of ease. Anne's relationship with yoga evolved when she was working in community mental health and addictions, where her mentors taught her that self-care was an essential component of good clinical practice. She came to understand that yoga was more than a stress management technique; it helped to navigate life. Anne eventually pursued a 200-hour teacher certification to fortify her knowledge and kept going. She found seasoned teachers who taught her to observe bodies and listen to their stories and help them heal. She says that once upon a time, people showed up in her life and told her that she mattered, and now she is honored get to do the same for others.

Arwen Raddon
"I share Yoga with my community by providing accessible and supportive classes for all experiences. I believe that Yoga has many benefits for everyone and that it's my purpose to make it accessible for anyone who wants to give it a try. I often share the concept of finding your inner contentment or Santosha. Santosha is what I particularly found through Yoga and I aim to hold a space in which others can also find this."

Arwen Raddon (she/her) loves to teach Yoga to people who would normally not consider themselves as "Yogis." She introduces the amazing benefits of Yoga to people through gentle Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, and meditation. Teaching in a very rural geographical area can be challenging, but for Arwen it's been a honor to provide classes in isolated areas, particularly during the challenging times of COVID-19. Arwen's classes have proved to be a vital social space for students in what have been isolated and stressful times as well as making Yoga accessible for those with mobility challenges and health issues. Arwen came to Yoga to help with the stresses and strains of a busy work/home life and health challenges. She loves to see how the yoga practice helps others, sometimes much to their surprise, when they realize what an impact it can have not just on flexibility but on their overall sense of wellbeing and self-care.

Asia Smith
"I share yoga with my community because I know first hand how powerful yoga can be to change one's trajectory. Mastery of your body and thoughts and the willingness to change what you cannot accept can be positively life-changing, sometimes life-saving. I believe everyone and everything is somehow connected..."

"The greatest illusion in this world is the illusion of separation." —Albert Einstein

Asia C. Smith (she/they) is a certified Yoga Instructor, Doula, and Life and Wellness Consultant/Coach offering Wellness Experiences in both Corporate and Community spaces. Asia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Tennessee State University. She discovered the benefits of yoga in college and has been practicing for over 12 years. She founded her company, Pearled Buddha, LLC in 2019, and in the midst of the pandemic began offering virtual classes and outdoor sessions to assist others with mental and physical self-care. Her community activism with non-profit organizations, mental health facilities, and facilitating outdoor yoga sessions provides attendees, particularly BIPOC, with outlets to discover how powerful they are by learning about themselves; embracing their unique strengths and doing the 'shadow work' to improve their weaknesses. Through the practice of yoga, learning about the environment, and embracing movement and mindfulness, Asia and her students exemplify what can be accomplished individually and as a community. She loves using her experiences to create opportunities to guide others to help and heal - to become the best version of themselves.

Charles Lwanga Okoth
"Yoga has allowed me to connect, heal and empower my community positively and made it possible to meet new people I would not have known. I am now a respectable member of my community who is always consulted on basic matters involving my community. My mantra is: It doesn't matter where you come from, it matters where you are going."

Charles Lwanga (he/him) has a passion for change and transformation through the power of yoga and martial arts. He is a resident of Nairobi, Kenya and certified in Power yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Kundalini yoga, and Next Generation Yoga and international kids yoga association. He is a black belt in Tongil Moo Do and Shotokan Karate and a practitioner of Judo and Wing Tsung Kung Fu.

He teaches yoga to a group of widows, children, and those with cancer. Since the inception of International Day of Yoga (IDY) in 2015 he has been a volunteer in the organizing committee of that event to-date with Yoga Kenya. Whenever he is invited he teaches Mindfulness Practice and Conference yoga at events. Yoga has given him peace of mind, freedom and happiness.

Christy Tonel
"I believe my communities deserve the healing benefits of yoga, especially since yogic roots stem from our lineages. I am determined in being accessible by being intentional with my words, my movement, and where and to who I provide my offerings."

Christy Andres Tonel (she/they) is founder of Compassionate Connections and provides trauma sensitive, healing centered, and accessible yoga to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) through classes, events, and retreats. After a decade in nonprofit public health work, Christy started creating healing, safe spaces for her communities that needed recovery from all forms of trauma. Christy identifies as a queer woman of color who immigrated from the Philippines. Christy took her first yoga class as a freshman in college, deepened her practice by completing her 200hr yoga teacher training in Guatemala, and continued on with trauma informed and accessible yoga training. Christy serves the Queer Trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC) community in Sacramento, CA. She is dedicated to community building, social justice, and decolonizing the wellness industry.

Diana Taggart
"Teaching yoga to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is a true passion of mine. Seeing and hearing about my students using yoga off the mat brings me such joy."

Diana Taggart is an E-RYT 200, RPYT and YACEP. She owns shine yoga, llc and teaches from a small studio out of her home in Cary, North Carolina, offering in-person and virtual yoga to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Diana has 20 years of professional experience working in the intellectual and developmental disabilities services field. She has been teaching yoga to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 2016, during which time she developed the shine yoga method of teaching. The shine method focuses on body awareness, pose modifications for all body types and abilities, and also ties in social, daily living and communication skills. Each class is an opportunity for her students to let their inner light shine brightly and express their true authentic selves.

Djuma Manirakiza
"I teach free weekly yoga classes open to all at the Ituze Center in Kigali, and for refugees at the UNHCR community center. I intend to reach other communities inside the country and in the refugee camps, because I am also a Burundian refugee living in Rwanda."

I am Djuma Manirakiza, originally from Burundi. I am a yoga teacher certified by the Kundalini Research Institute, USA. In 2019, the 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) Foundation honored me as one of the 3HO50 luminaries who lead a life of service that inspires and spreads Kundalini yoga to undeserved populations. I started Kundalini Yoga practices in my country Burundi in 2013 with Anthe Vrijlandt and Sat Sansar Singh, I became a lover of Kundalini Yoga technology, a lover of Kundalini mantras (songs of Aquarius). I was trained by four international Kundalini Yoga trainers such as Harbhajan Singh from South Africa, Pritam Khalsa Kaur from South Africa, Ram Singh from France and Sat Darshan Singh Cristophe from Belgium. I was a facilitator at the Kamenge Youth Center in Burundi and a yoga teacher on the island of Lamu in Kenya. I have taken many yoga, lifestyle and meditation classes in East Africa in Kenya and Rwanda and discovered vinyasa flow yoga, hatha yoga, yin yoga and also participated in health and fitness initiatives.

Elaine Abili
"I want to teach/share/learn from my experiences because I’m passionate about mental health, its accessibility to all, and the importance of seeing ourselves in each other when we are being ourselves....Whatever little way I can contribute in helping free our mental emotional capacity so we can focus more on our overall wellbeing, becoming freer and more creative in our endeavours."

Born and raised in London to Nigerian parents, Elaine studied both her Bachelors and Masters at Central Saint Martins working in Fashion, PR, Finance and Charities. Elaine was introduced to yoga and meditation through a period of trauma, over the years her love for the practice grew deeper.

An avid traveler that has lived in 5 continents, Elaine has always been inspired by cultural connections. After ten years in corporate industries, she quit city life to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Fueled by passion and curiosity she traveled globally exploring, studying, working in schools and non-profit organisations, assisting/managing the admin in trainings, retreats, yoga festivals, workshops and classes. Elaine’s travels gifted her with diverse perspectives of holistic wellness.

In 2022, Elaine completed her 16hr Yin YTT with The Yoga people, 200hr Vinyasa YTT and 50hr Advanced Rocket YTT at Kindred School of Yoga, under the guidance of Katarina Rayburn and Helen Russell-Clark. Alongside her physical training, she studied Reiki and trauma healing to broaden her learnings and integrate these meditative practices into her teaching.

She is also working alongside renowned ayurvedic therapist Natalie Eve Roper on ‘The Racial Liberation Movement’, A program that aims to help Women of Colour thrive in a racialised society dissolving their inner workings of racism through holistic wellness.

Elaine Abili is now a Yoga Alliance accredited yoga instructor teaching yoga classes in London and specialising in Vinyasa, Rocket and Yin Yoga.

Emily Mariola
"My favorite phrase is 'Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there.'"

Emily is student, teacher and owner of Flex Yoga Studio in downtown Wooster, Ohio. The mission statement for our studio is "Yoga for Everyone", and we work hard to provide opportunities for yoga in our community. Emily is an E-RYT500 and is currently finishing up a second 300 training with Tiffany Cruikshank & the Yoga Medicine School. Emily is certified in yoga, aerial yoga, barre, yoga for recovery, yin, restorative yoga, and pranayama & meditation.

Inga Seals
"I wanted to teach yoga to help others in the ways that yoga has helped me. I did not see many teachers that looked like me in my community, so I set out to change that. This practice has helped expand the energy of kindness, compassion, and grace outward into the Houston community and beyond."

Inga Seals is a mother, Master Reiki Teacher, Sound Healer, E-RYT 200 Yoga/Meditation Instructor, Master Trainer (ButiYoga) and Intuitive Intuition Guide in Houston, TX.

She began her yoga journey in 2007 to help with weight loss and to improve her health. At age 26 after surviving a heart attack & domestic abuse, Inga embraced yoga as a way to cope through depression and anxiety. After working to improve her health, Inga received her first (of many) Yoga Certifications in 2015.

Irèni Stamou
"The journey of yoga is to know oneself, to choose well being through breathing consciously, calm, centering and aligning-practicing to balance physical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic qualities in the body-mind-soul experience. My journey with yoga is to create a healthier community by making it accessible to vulnerable persons with compassion and non-judgment."

I have taught yoga for 13 years and integrate dance, spirituality and somatics. I am also working with restorative modalities with Aerial Yoga, Barre and innovation with the Bamboo Pole as supportive props. I teach people of all ages and all walks of life. I am passionate about teaching in nature and connecting with the earth. My belief in the transformative power of yoga is to rise from any situation you are in and to live a life of authenticity and holistic well-being. My yoga practice has kept me resilient and robust as a single mother; I had to venture alone as a woman, having been banished at a young age from my family for becoming an artist and experiencing domestic violence in a relationship. My yoga practice has helped me through many challenges, from low income to starting over. I am grateful to offer the gift of yoga to an intergenerational community of vulnerable women experiencing domestic abuse and homelessness because I know it works.

James Mweu
"Yoga is a gift and to grow it I share it, breath by breath, by making it available and accessible, step by step, day by day. My mantra is: 'Practice Is Key, start small, start easy, keep showing up.'"

I bring yoga to my community through teaching to a young, curious, mixed group of members of different ages, coming from different walks of life. I share yoga because making the practice available is paying it forward. Walking, and growing together with members is easier, powerful and fun.

I learn to grow my practice through practice on and off the mat. Mindfulness is key.

Jamie Boder
"I share this practice because I have firsthand experience of the transformative effect of yoga..., and I have seen it do the same for others. Living with this condition can be very challenging and lonely. My to build a supported community where people can feel connected to one another and together practice yoga developed for them, and enjoy the benefits in doing so."

Jamie is a yoga teacher and social entrepreneur from the UK. He co-founded Yoga for AS, an organization teaching yoga for people living with Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA/AS), an inflammatory form of arthritis which primarily affects the spine. There is no found cure and it is progressive. Jamie was diagnosed with AS himself when he was 18, and shortly afterwards he discovered yoga. The moment he had his first practice it became clear that his path would be to help to empower the lives of people living with the condition all over the world. Jamie is now one of the world's leading experts on yoga for axSpA/AS and is passionate about making yoga accessible for this community as well as the wider arthritis and chronic pain communities.

Jan Johnson
"I share my love and respect for yoga because it has never failed to deliver whatever a person is seeking. Be it simply a place to simply be present and connected to community, or to begin their own healing or spiritual journey, Yoga has always delivered."

My life has been entwined in the fitness industry for over 28 years. The last 10 have been exclusively yoga: teaching, offering workshops, trainings, as well as creating content and yoga video.

I am a vegan as well as a trained home vegan chef and also enjoy power lifting, journaling, and mentoring new yoga teachers. I am currently writing my first novel/ memoir/ short stories.

I hold certifications in NASM personal training as well as nutritional coach certifications from NASM and Precision Nutrition.

JoAnn Jaffe
"All is well, all shall be well, and in all manner of things all is well." —Julian Norwich

JoAnn Jaffe is the founder of OG Yoga, a non-profit organization established in 2015 with a mission to address social justice, diversity, and equity. Her vision is to make yoga accessible to underserved communities through tailored, best practice formats, and to intervene in the complex processes of trauma. JoAnn offers four distinct programs designed to eliminate barriers to the healing practice of yoga: (1) Community Partnerships to bring trauma and diversity informed yoga on-site; (2) Overcoming Trauma through 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training / Continuing Education; (3) OG Altruistic Yoga Studio; and (4) Hosted Events in community wellness festivals like Survivors of Suicide and Father Joe's Villages for homeless.

In addition to her work with OG Yoga, JoAnn serves as an adjunct professor at Pacific College of Health & Science. She teaches the course "Introduction to Yoga for Specialty Populations" in their two-year Associate Applied Science Degree in Yoga program.

Julie Hoffman
"I am on a personal mission to normalize helping our incarcerated brothers and sisters. Whether we want to acknowledge this, when a prison complex is erected in our city, it becomes part of our community. I believe that the practice of yoga helps incarcerated people during their journey through the prison system. Yoga further helps decarcerated people as they readjust to civilian life."

Julie began studying yoga in 2002. Her teaching style is playful and inclusive. In addition to aerial yoga, Julie has experience teaching prenatal, chair, yin, nidra, restorative and flow classes. She has completed 700-hours of yoga teacher training and will complete a yoga therapy program in 2023. Julie is passionate about making yoga accessible to persons of all ages and abilities. She believes that her purpose on this planet is to help others to heal. In her 200 hour YTT when asked where she planned on teaching Julie stated that she would be teaching yoga in prison. When asked what drove her to teach yoga in prison, she honestly answers that she has no recollection of making that conscious decision and that most likely the universe chose it for her.

Kaylin McCarthy
"I share yoga with this community because it is highly underrepresented in this industry. Being neurodivergent myself it gives me a helpful lens on how to create safe space for a larger audience of needs."

Kaylin McCarthy is a seasoned social therapist with nine years of immersive experience supporting adults with special and neurodiverse needs. Her expertise encompasses emotional support, vocational guidance, stress management, family relations, meditation, breathwork, and adaptable yoga.

As a certified Kripalu yoga teacher through the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Kaylin is dedicated to making yoga an inclusive practice that fosters connection, compassion, and joy, helping individuals reach their full potential. She is also a certified Kids Yoga Teacher, enabling her to introduce mindfulness, meditation, and movement to children through personalized sessions and group classes.

Additionally, Kaylin holds HANDLE Practitioner certifications for both levels one and two from the HANDLE Institute. Her approach emphasizes gentle techniques to support the integration and care of neurological systems, addressing learning and life challenges with sensitivity and without judgment.

Recently, Kaylin has obtained three accredited life coaching certificates from the CPD group, specializing in Life Coaching, Holistic Health Coaching, and Wellness Coaching.

Lebo Goad
"Ubuntu Makwande ~ I am, because we ARE!"

Lebo Goad is the Director of Yoga Forward, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to yoga in underserved communities. She is deeply passionate about advancing health and wellness in marginalized populations. Guided by the foundational principles of Ubuntu, an African philosophy emphasizing interconnectedness, Lebo believes in the mantra "I am, because we ARE."

In pursuit of this mission, Lebo is committed to ongoing learning and to sharing skills and knowledge with the communities she serves. She strives to empower individuals facing trauma, stress, compassion fatigue, and lifestyle changes by providing them with the transformative tools of yoga and mindfulness, fostering a sense of safety within their own bodies. At the heart of her work lies a dedication to teaching with equity.

Ligia Wills
"The only way to spread peace is to have peace inside you."

Ligia, a native of Honduras, holds a 500-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher credential from Yoga Alliance. She completed her 200-hour and 300-hour yoga teacher trainings through YogaWorks in Los Angeles, California. At the age of six, Ligia moved to the USA, leaving behind her Grandmother and family to reunite with her Mother in America. Tragically, her Mother passed away from cancer when Ligia was only twelve, impacting both her mental and physical well-being. This period led to the development of an eating disorder and chronic panic attacks.

In her mid-twenties, Ligia discovered yoga, which became a transformative path of healing. Now, she is devoted to sharing this practice with anyone open to receiving it. Ligia's teaching approach is inclusive, catering to all ages and skill levels. Her primary focus is on seniors in Assisted Living communities. Additionally, she conducts yoga classes in Spanish for a non-profit organization based in South Central Los Angeles.

In group settings, Ligia offers Yin, Vinyasa, and Chair Yoga. For private sessions, she tailors her instruction to best serve each individual's body, goals, strengths, and limitations.

Lynette Smith
"May you always be able to find your right way."

Lynette Smith is a registered nurse who has transitioned into a yoga instructor. She hails from Detroit, Michigan, where she was born, raised, and educated. Lynette proudly served in the United States Navy. Among her hobbies, she finds great joy in roller-skating and dancing, both of which emphasize movement for her.

Years ago, Lynette discovered the value of stretching, igniting her passion for yoga. Her enthusiasm led her to her first yoga class, an experience she cherished. After years of dedicated practice, she made the decision to meld her nursing expertise with yoga instruction—a seamless fit. Lynette pursued formal training, achieving certification, and promptly commenced teaching. Her journey continues as she remains committed to ongoing learning, growth, and the expansion of her teaching endeavors.

Maja Vuckovic
"Be the change you want to see in the world."

After earning a master's degree in philosophy from the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, Serbia, and accumulating fifteen years of yoga practice, I completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training at Vidya Yoga school under Dragan Loncar, a disciple of the Bihar Yoga tradition.

At the University of Novi Sad's Faculty of Sport and Tourism (TIMS), I achieved the title of Certified Yoga Instructor, enabling me to obtain a work permit and professional license from the Commission of the Alliance for Recreation and Fitness Serbia, in accordance with the Law on Sports of the Republic of Serbia.

As a recipient of the Indian Government's scholarship through The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), I successfully finished the Special Training Programme for Yoga Trainers at the S-VYASA yoga university in Bangalore, adhering to the purest Vedic tradition of Yoga and international standards, providing a comprehensive 500 hours of training.

I have attended numerous workshops and seminars, including Ashtanga Yoga sessions with esteemed instructors like Ranko Stojiljkovic, Laruga Glaser, and David Fredriksson. I also participated in workshops on Yoga for Diabetes by the Indian charitable society VYASA, as well as seminars focusing on Pranayama, Kundalini, and perfecting the spiritual body through the Italian school Pramiti, guided by Walter Tirak Ruta, a direct student and follower of the renowned "Silent Yogi" Sri Sri Satchidananda.

In addition to contributing to continuing education programs through lectures on yoga, I have published various texts on Yoga philosophy in professional magazines and review articles. I am the creator of the "Philosophy and Physiology of Yoga" workshop series, diverse self-development training courses, and the founder of Ahimsa Yoga & Art. Furthermore, I hold memberships in sports associations Fit Land and Yoga Serbia, along with Yoga Alliance, with accreditations including RYIT 500 (Registered Yoga International Teacher), E-RYT 200 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), and YACEP (Continuing Education Provider), endorsing the authenticity and diversity of yoga.

Mar Isa Juárez
"Om Asatoma Satgamaya,
Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya,
Mrityorma Amiritangamaya,

Mar Isa, originally from Veracruz, now resides in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico. Her transformative journey with Yoga led her to a new life, marked by sacrifices, breaking family ties, and starting afresh in an unfamiliar city. To gain experience, she offered free classes to various segments of society in both public and private settings. Despite the challenges, Mar found a profound sense of belonging through Yoga.

Growing up in a rural area shaped her perspective, teaching her to embrace a life beyond limited patterns and imposed stereotypes. This journey also led her to a powerful revelation about her sexual orientation, a facet of her identity she now embraces with love and devotion, having overcome self-rejection.

Gratitude has been an integral part of Mar's essence, stemming from her miraculous survival at birth. This profound appreciation permeates all aspects of her work and service to society. In her teachings, Mar aims to ignite creativity, enhance body awareness, and infuse the joy of being into every class.

Through her encounters with others, she's witnessed the transformative power of reconnecting with one's inner light. As a student and teacher of Yoga in various settings, Mar now operates AGÂRA YOGA ESTUDIO, where she offers private and group classes along with Holistic Massage. Her personal mission is to accompany her students on their journeys while continuously expanding herself.

Her philosophy centers around true abundance, defined by her lived experiences rather than societal norms. She has found union and interconnectedness to be at the core of Yoga, a principle she wholeheartedly embodies.

Marcia Cameron
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life." —Melody Beattie

Marcia Cameron, a certified E-RYT 200 with four years of experience, brings her expertise as a qualified nutritionist of 18 years into her practice. Her unique blend of skills, knowledge, and extensive experience allows her to facilitate healing and positive transformations in her clients.

Marcia offers her services both in-person and virtually, providing a platform for a global reach. While based in Grenada, where she resides, her mission is to enhance accessibility for local residents. She is dedicated to breaking down the misconceptions that yoga and healing services are exclusive, advocating that yoga is for everyone. To foster greater community involvement, Marcia conducts donation-based group classes.

With an eye on growth, Marcia plans to further her studies in yoga and meditation to expand and enhance her services. Her ultimate aim is to create an inclusive environment where all individuals can benefit from the profound healing power of yoga.

Martha Kodsy
"Yoga is a peaceful practice that is so healing that I can't imagine sharing it and making sure everyone has the same opportunities."

Martha's profound connection with yoga began in 2016 when she met Terra Meenan, the founder of In Bloom. Leaving behind a 25-year career in hospital administration, Martha embarked on a transformative journey. Terra not only introduced her to the physical benefits of yoga but also demonstrated the power of mindfulness. This experience inspired Martha to incorporate yoga into her son Mikey's life, yielding positive results.

When Terra expressed a desire to explore new paths, Martha wholeheartedly stepped in to take ownership of In Bloom Yoga, ensuring its legacy would endure.

In October 2020, Martha attained her RYS 200 certification. She is also certified in Yoga Nidra, Yoga Philosophy, and Meditation.

A lifelong resident of Oneida County, Martha is an advocate for Children with Special Needs and a supporter of the Kelberman Center and Lewis Oneida County ARC. In 2015, she was honored as the YWCA's Woman of the Year in Healthcare. Martha, along with her husband Dr. Raouf Kodsy, is the proud parent of three children, ages 20-25.

Mimi Budnick
"My yoga practice and teaching are driven by a belief that individual healing and wellness is important and vital work that needs to accompany our work towards collective health and liberation."

Mimi is a queer yoga teacher, herbalist, and community educator based in Providence, RI. With a yoga journey spanning since 2001, she earned her Vinyasa certification from Tom Gillette at Eyes of the World in 2010. Focusing on the subtler aspects of yoga and a dedication to trauma-sensitive practice, Mimi pursued training in Yin, Restorative, and Trauma Sensitive yoga.

As a seasoned social justice activist and organizer, Mimi brings an anti-oppression and abolitionist perspective to her work. This translates into a strong commitment to accessibility, offering pay-what-you-can classes, inclusive language, and classes welcoming bodies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities.

A co-founder of the RI Yoga Collective, Mimi collaborates with various community organizations, including programs for survivors of sexual assault and trauma, queer and trans-wellness initiatives, and the SHAPE Center of RI, which advocates size-affirmative health. Her offerings encompass individual consultations, group classes, workshops, and trainings, guiding individuals towards deeper connections with themselves, their community, and the world.

Nataliia Pavlushenko
"The world is full of wonderful people. But if you can't find one, be one."

Nataliia Pavlushenko is originally from Ukraine and brings over 5 years of experience as a yoga instructor. Her expertise spans hatha flow, ashtanga yoga, restorative yoga, and specialized classes for children and teens. Nataliia's yoga journey took her across Asia, including India, where she earned her 500-hour yoga teacher certification. Her commitment to learning led her to delve into human anatomy and physiology, and she is presently pursuing a degree in physiotherapy, concurrently working on her master thesis exploring neurodiversity and the impact of yoga. In Ukraine, Nataliia collaborated with friends to establish a dedicated yoga space for families. Following the Russian invasion, she relocated to Norway, where she currently resides, offering complimentary classes to Ukrainian refugees.

Natasha Kumar
"How I feel after practicing yoga, I want the community to feel the same, Divine."

Natasha Kumar, known for the motto "Change Your Breath, Change Your Life," embarked on her breathwork journey in 2018. What began as a two-minute daily practice has evolved into a dedicated 20-minute ritual. The profound benefits of breathwork serve as a powerful motivator, drawing Natasha back to her mat each morning without fail. This practice leaves her feeling light, energetic, joyous, profoundly calm, and in complete emotional equilibrium.

Yoga has become an integral part of Natasha's life, serving as both an anchor on challenging days and a source of joy on brighter ones. She cherishes the deep connection she has forged with this practice over time. Grateful for the opportunity to undergo a Teacher Training Program, Natasha wholeheartedly recommends others to acquire this transformative skill, emphasizing its value not only for community but, most importantly, for personal well-being.

Nihan Hantal
"I believe in the healing, transformational power of yoga; because I've lived it myself."

Nihan Hantal was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1981. She pursued her education in Political Science and International Relations at Istanbul University, later complementing her studies with courses in Global Affairs at New York University. Nihan's journey into yoga began in 1999 in New York, and upon her move there in 2005, she had the privilege of training with esteemed teachers. Her Yoga Teacher Training took place under the guidance of Cyndi Lee at OM Yoga Center in New York. In 2010, Nihan sought to deepen her practice in India and Indonesia. Since returning to Istanbul in 2011, she has been dedicated to teaching classes, leading teacher trainings, and conducting workshops. Nihan is a published author in the field of yoga in Turkey, with her book "Hayat Seninle Aksin" (Life Flows with You). Additionally, she hosts and produces her own documentary series, "Nefes Al" (Breathe), which airs on the national channel Habitat TV. Since 2010, Nihan has been an active volunteer in the Global Committee of Yoga Gives Back.

Nyakinyua Chege
"I share yoga with my community via in-person yoga sessions. Main reason being that due to the transformation I have experienced on my journey, I want to bring this tool closer to people. I teach so that people can access more tools for self-regulation and self-awareness."

Nyakinyua Chege is a certified yoga instructor and trained psychological counselor. She discovered yoga in 2011 during a challenging period in her life, finding solace and healing through the practice. This experience ignited her passion to share the transformative benefits of yoga with others, regardless of their own journeys.

As a 200-hour certified yoga teacher and Level 2 Baptiste yoga teacher, Nyakinyua is committed to helping her students unlock their full potential and surpass mediocrity through yoga. She also leads a Trauma-Informed Mind Body wellbeing yoga program. Nyakinyua extends her teachings to individuals undergoing treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) at a rehabilitation center, as well as to children in Juvenile rehabilitation schools who require special care and protection.

Witnessing her students embrace yoga and embark on their transformative journeys brings Nyakinyua immense joy. Her ultimate goal is for her students to utilize yoga as a powerful tool for leading a balanced and holistic life.

Prof. Dr. Leonard Cruz
"May you be fierce, gracious at heart and generous in all that you do."

Dr. Leonard Cruz, PhD in Urban Education specializing in the Performing and Creative Arts, hails from Pampanga, the Philippines, and was raised in San Antonio, Texas. He has spent the last 25 years cultivating his artistic career in Germany. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts Degree in Dance from U.C.L.A., and earned his Master of Fine Arts in Performance/Choreography in 2009. In 2013, he successfully defended his PhD dissertation on "Laban Movement Analysis as a Methodology for Promoting Creativity and the Arts Across the Curriculum" at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Founder of "The Creative, Arts, and Resilience Project Network," Dr. Cruz has established a platform to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQUIA+, and individuals with Special Needs/Abilities in the arts. This network fosters mutual aid through storytelling, healing, and empowerment via virtual workshops, webinars, informal showings, and performances.

Roe Anderson
"The practice of yoga has allowed me to love all parts of myself. I am edgy, I am love, I am a warrior, I am hip hop, I am soul, I am a vibe, and I am THAT I am in each moment and in each day. Discovering this truth from within and bringing it into my community has granted others the freedom to be as flexible in expression, mind, and body. Yoga unlocks the freedom that is our birthright."

Roe is the visionary behind Girl Stance, Inc., a mindful academy dedicated to BIPOC girls and young adults. Holding an E-RYT 500 credential and deeply immersed in tantric practices, Roe's life's purpose has been devoted to serving underserved communities, guiding them back to their breath.

Roe's passion lies in introducing the transformative power of yoga to children and those who may feel disconnected and in need of support. With a background in non-profit work, she takes joy in initiating mindful projects spanning Law-enforcement, educators, students, and parents alike. Her wisdom has found its way into various publications, and she has proudly represented her community as a local Lululemon ambassador.

Every year and every day, Roe embarks on a journey of discovering new layers within the ancient art of yoga, enriching her loved ones and community with its wisdom. Through life's inevitable ebbs and flows, she continues to honor the tantra teachings, weaving them into a beautiful and enduring masterpiece.

Rondy Isaac
"My Blackness (Humanity) is infinite."

Rondy Issac, the visionary behind Barbershop Yoga, Chocolate Buddha Yoga, and Rondyoga, has revolutionized yoga experiences. Barbershop Yoga, tailored for the Black community, provides a space of familiarity, comfort, and brotherhood for Black males seeking the benefits of yoga. His YouTube channel and filming project, Chocolate Buddha Yoga, showcases his dynamic approach. Under the brand Rondyoga, he extends his expertise to the broader public. Rondy holds three 200-hour yoga teacher certifications in Vinyasa, Power, and Psychotherapeutic yoga.

Sachin Sudra
"Open your arms, hug yourself, rock yourself, and say I love myself."

Based in Alberta, Canada, Sachin Sudra is a Certified Ayurvedic Wellness & Nutrition Educator as well as a Yoga Instructor. He imparts wisdom, empowerment, and inspiration to individuals of all backgrounds and ages, guiding them in preparing Ayurvedic meals tailored to their unique lifestyles and yoga practices. Sachin specializes in equipping individuals with effective tools for self-regulation and healing through nutrition and wellness practices.

As the founder of Sunistani Ayurvedic Products & Namaste Cooking, Sachin leads a grassroots, community-driven venture dedicated to educating and kindling interest in the ancient Indian healing art of Ayurveda. Beyond this, he takes on the role of a community advocate, offering lectures and classes to preserve this valuable Indigenous knowledge. Sachin firmly believes in reinstating the kitchen as a communal hub for fostering resilience and well-being.

Se'Lah Wehner
"I offer the unity of sharing my healing practice with people that can relate to being a student of life. I do this because I am not only healing my mind, body, and soul but the minds of my children and my people as a whole."

Se'Lah Wehner is a mother of seven children. She is an advocate of growing your own foods. She has a strong dedication to birth work, focusing on the support of the family and their food intake during and after pregnancy. With over 15 years experience of acknowledging her callings, she has successfully completed training in women's emotional support, Kemetic trauma-based yoga and is a certified birth worker (Doula), certified Egyptian Basu (Instructor), a Ma Yoni 'aT Womb Yoga Instructor, Yin Yoga Instructor as well as training in food, nutrition, and health. Se'Lah is on a journey is to continue to increase her studies to be aware of the impact of traditional and ancestral remedies to balance and heal herself, family and the community. Se'Lah's is on a mission to re-introduce communities to their authentic selves, through food education, nutritional products and other healing modalities. As she is inspired to raise herself and her family, she will continue to sow seeds of conscious action through her works, actions, and influences. Se’Lah’s future goal is to evolve in all her endeavours and make a positive contribution to the Diaspora community domestically and globally.

Shannon Red Cloud
"Satchitananda—create, sustain, dissolve."

In her third Bikram yoga class, Shannon felt an unmistakable calling to become a yoga instructor. Today, her passion-driven dream has transformed into a thriving profession.

In 2008, Shannon achieved a miraculous feat by opening Pure Yoga The Dalles, the gorge's inaugural and exclusive hot yoga studio. Since 2004, she has undergone and completed 16 diverse yoga teacher trainings. This extensive training has allowed her to bring yoga to various communities, including youth and adults in custody, corporate settings, local schools through a non-profit kids yoga program she co-founded, and assisted living centers.

For Shannon, the fusion of faith, breath, and movement continuously reaffirms that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! As a dedicated student first, she places immense value on perpetual learning and gladly imparts her knowledge through private sessions, classes, retreats, and the Pure Yoga 200 HR yoga teacher training program she established in 2018.

Shannon's extensive list of certifications includes: Bikram Yoga (with recertification), Vinyasa Yoga, Imagination Yoga 1 & 2, Teacher Curriculum, Chair Yoga, Sculpt Yoga, Yahweh Yoga, Buti Yoga 1 & 2, SUP Yoga, Trauma Informed Brain Sensitive Yoga, Yoga & Social Justice, Acro Yoga Family, and Yin Yoga.

Shea Gardner
"We're all just walking each other home." –Ram Dass

Shea Gardner, residing in Gary, Indiana with her family, is a Spiritual Sociologist, Certified Trauma Informed Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Instructor, Writer, and Co-Founder of Maroon Village (501c3). With a BA in Sociology from Albion College, Shea is also a Survivor, driven to share the transformative power of movement, breathing, and meditation in healing from stress and trauma.

From intimate private sessions to dynamic large group classes and workshops, Shea's reach spans across all ages and backgrounds, extending her expertise to Survivors and Student Athletes alike. She is dedicated to fostering connections and building community, while equipping individuals with invaluable tools not only for healing from the past, but for navigating everyday life with a heart-centered, purposeful presence.

Sheila Taylor
"I often tell people to let go—we hold on to so much that doesn't belong to us. Letting go allows you to tune in to your inner self."

Sheila Taylor is the visionary behind Soul Family Yoga, a business dedicated to providing yoga practices for all age groups, from children to seniors. Through in-person and virtual sessions, she has created a nurturing space for mindfulness and movement, promoting balance and well-being for individuals.

Having immersed herself in yoga for over 15 years, Sheila's journey began as a means to alleviate sciatic nerve pain. Yoga not only relieved her pain but also enhanced her mobility and flexibility. Motivated by her transformative experience, she embarked on a mission to share the profound benefits of yoga with the world. Sheila firmly believes that yoga is inclusive of all ages and body types, fostering inner peace, deep self-connection, fortifying the immune system, and enhancing overall health.

Sheilah Laffan
"Teaching yoga gifts us the rewarding privilege of witnessing students relax and get out of their own head."

Sheilah Laffan is dedicated to providing trauma-informed and accessible yoga classes to incarcerated populations. Her mission is to alleviate needless suffering among marginalized communities through the expansive practice of yoga.

Sheilah's teachings are a fusion of trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive, and accessible yoga, drawing from both evidence-based science and the ancient wisdom of yoga. By emphasizing inclusion, equity, and diversity, she fosters a strong sense of community within her offerings.

Sierra Wagner
"Let go and let goddess."

Sierra Wagner (IAYT, E-RYT 200, CMT) is a certified Yoga Therapist, receiving her accreditation from Niroga Institute in 2016. With 25 years of dedicated study and 20 years of teaching experience, Sierra founded Sierra Laurel Yoga, a private yoga therapy practice. Here, she tailors her teachings to harmonize the essence of yoga with the unique needs and capacities of each student.

Sierra's repertoire spans from deeply restorative and meditative practices to invigorating, mindful flowing sequences. Her teaching is characterized by spiritual themes, a progression towards peak poses, and in-depth explorations of anatomy. In the wake of a transformative accident in 2018, Sierra delved further into understanding her own body, leading her to instruct self myo-fascial release techniques and become a certified Thai Yoga Massage Therapist. Her focus centers on serving older adults, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.

Simone Fink
"'Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.' We are all here to grow and learn. And in doing so, help others to do the same. This mantra keeps me going and growing."

Simone Fink heeded the call of yoga, recognizing it as her true vocation. Her mission is to lead fellow souls toward a profound sense of aliveness in the present moment. Residing in a prana-rich sanctuary away from urban life, Simone feels blessed to extend the transformative power of yoga to the world.

Drawing inspiration from the chakra energy system, Simone approaches yoga holistically, embracing all eight limbs. It has been a catalyst for her personal growth and healing journey. Now, she's dedicated to giving back to communities in need. Simone firmly believes that a widespread yoga practice elevates collective consciousness in our tumultuous world. Her passions encompass Chakra Yoga, a fusion of Meditation and Asanas, which she imparts to her students. She also finds joy in chanting Mantras on her harmonium, practicing Aerial Hammock Yoga, and hosting Sacred Red Tent Circles.

Stellah Patience Ayecho Okula
"My passion is sharing how yoga can heal physical and emotional challenges and demystify the yoga practice within my community by meeting people where they are."

Stellah Patience, a dedicated yoga practitioner from Uganda, holds a combined 400-hour yoga teacher certification from the Baptiste Institute Africa Yoga Project and Karuna Yoga Journeys. Her journey has also taken her to Jivamukti Yoga Berlin and a Buddhist Centre, where she delved into the realms of Yoga and Buddhism, blending ancient wisdom with modern psychology.

Stellah's classes are a fusion of precise alignment cues, pose modifications, profound insights into yoga philosophy, guided meditation, and an array of mindfulness techniques. Based in Jinja, Uganda, she is the driving force behind Power Yoga Jinja, aiming to make yoga accessible in her community and among groups that might otherwise miss out on its benefits. Additionally, she leads yoga retreats and workshops, catering to practitioners of varying levels of expertise. Stellah's passion lies in demystifying yoga and spreading its transformative power to all corners of her community.

Tam Fattahi
"Give even at your lowest point. It's the most genuine."

Tam is a mompreneur of 2, and a dedicated philanthropist. With a background in Psychology, she holds an RYT 500 credential. In 2018, she further expanded her expertise by completing her Kid’s Yoga Teacher training. Beyond her yoga practice, Tam channels her passion for volunteering through involvement with organizations such as Women in Philanthropy, Impact Collective University Health Networks, and Toronto Community Housing. She also actively participates in the Parent Council at her daughter’s elementary school. Outside of her yoga practice and philanthropic endeavors, you'll likely find her enjoying lively beats in the car with her kids.

Xolani Radebe
"Yoga will gently guide you back self to yourself; a place of truth, light, love and peace within you."

Jah Xolani Radebe, known for the mantra 'Let the heart lead the way,' wears multiple hats as a Content Writer, Lead Trainer, and Yoga Activist. His focus is on making yoga's mindfulness accessible and ensuring its benefits are available to all. Jah is deeply invested in holistic community development, with a particular interest in supporting the mental health of youth in South Africa's socioeconomic context. He is open to collaborations with diverse individuals and organizations who share the vision of iSeva, a holistic and integrated approach.

Highlights of Jah's journey include teaching yoga and mindfulness at universities and parks venues from 2008-2021, serving as an academic tutor for 7 years at the University of Natal, pursuing a Masters in Social Studies and completing a 200-hour Vinyasa & Restorative training with Inner Wellness Studio.

Jah's roots lie in a humble township, a place where survival is a challenge. It's from this environment that he drew strength to overcome. Yoga became his sanctuary, teaching him self-trust and the art of giving his best. In Jah's words, the rest is a journey of divine transformation, steadily improving.

Yoga Urbano Mangua
"Our community is the result of the love and light that yoga has given us to each of the instructors that participate, and from the light we want to share everything that yoga has given us and take it to every corner of our country."

Yoga Urbano Managua, established in 2014, advocates for yoga as a lifestyle that fosters holistic personal development, benefiting individuals of all backgrounds. Our mission is to make yoga accessible to underserved communities, conducting classes in various locations including parks, schools, universities, and community spaces.

Over the past 8 years, we've successfully raised awareness about yoga's transformative effects through regular practice. We consistently host sessions led by esteemed certified instructors, offering diverse teaching styles.

As a pivotal force in the yoga community, we've built a network of collaborations with instructors and institutions. Since 2021, we've proudly organized the national celebration of the International Day of Yoga, supported by the Indian embassy. This event brings together teachers from across the country to create the largest yoga class in Nicaragua, held in various venues.

Abigail Jefferson
"I believe we are all children of the Creator, and each person who dwells upon the Earth comes from the Divine. I am dedicated to the mission of using creativity, sacred dance, prayer, yoga, spirituality, and meditation to bring peace, happiness, and healing to my community. Let us all work together, one person at a time, to ultimately, heal our planet."

Abigail Ifatola Jefferson is a spiritual wellness coach, ordained interspiritual and interfaith minister, and a teaching artist. Her programs have blended story, hatha yoga, and dance--keeping traditions alive. Audiences have described her as inspirational, energizing, and spirit-filled! Abigail's presentations and classes are interactive and fun-filled. She is certified in Kripalu Yoga, Yoga4cancer, Karma Kids Yoga, Kemetic Yoga and is presently a participant in a medical study for Yoga for Osteoporosis. A resident of Harlem, Abigail has released a beautifully illustrated children’s book titled Imani’s Heart: The Dancing Angel. Her story "1968" is prominently featured in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Visible Ink 2020 Anthology. (she/her)

Ajoke Ibrahim
"By sharing my journey, and teaching to inspire and share the benefits of this practice."

Ajoke Ibrahim is a yoga teacher and student from Nigeria. She has been practicing for about eight years, following an accident that left her with back pain. Ajoke teaches and speaks on yoga, wellness, health, empowerment of women, and other related topics and issues. She is on a path to make yoga accessible and share its healing tools, especially with black women, children, and other marginalized communities in Nigeria. (she/her)

Aly Slaughter
"As a legally blind yoga practitioner (both as a teacher and a student), providing detailed verbal description is an extremely important aspect in my class offerings, which are open to all people of all abilities and in all bodies. My classes typically consist of both blind and sighted participants, all of whom have expressed appreciation for the descriptions, as they feel they can follow along through listening and being, helping them to become more introspective, and allowing them to really learn about their own individual needs of the body, breath and mind."

Aly Slaughter, RYT-500, received her initial 200 hour yoga teacher training in May 2018. Since then, she has completed her 300 hour YTT, as well as trainings and certifications in Accessible Yoga, Mind Body Solutions, Yoga For All, and Yin. In dealing with anxiety, depression and PTSD issues for most of her life, Aly has found that yoga can be a tool for healing mentally, emotionally and physically, both within oneself and also with others. Aly holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and Sociology from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN; a J.D. with a certificate in Health Law from St. Louis University’s School of Law; and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Legally blind her entire life, Aly believes in breaking down the barriers imposed by society, and is hoping to do her small part to contribute to a more equitable world. She believes that yoga is truly for all people, in all bodies, and of all abilities. Aly is currently based on the land of the Osage people in her hometown of Alton, IL (the St. Louis metro area) and is excited to be able to offer 12 virtual classes at no cost to members of the blind and visually impaired community, through the generosity of the Yoga Alliance Foundation's Teaching for Equity grant. With transportation and financial barriers being removed, Aly hopes that more blind and visually impaired individuals will have easier access to enjoy the benefits of a yoga practice. (she/her)

Arpita Roy
"Yoga is for Anybody. It doesn't require you to be flexible or able-bodied to do Yoga. Yoga helps us to grow from inside and understand the true self. So losing any part of body or color or anything outside can't define us. We need to find our true self to get real happiness that is where Yoga helps us."

Arpita Roy started her yoga journey after losing both legs in an accident from above the knee. She practices yoga with and without artificial limbs. She completed her 200-hour YTT from Integral Yoga Institute San Francisco, and she is currently doing YPS300 towards her 500-hour certification. She began teaching yoga to able-bodied students and now is teaching amputees as well. (she/her)

Asrat A Degaga
Asrat is the Director of Physical Wellness for a Non-Profit Organization in Washington, D.C. called In The Streets, whose goal is to disrupt generational mind and body trauma in the impoverished communities of Columbia Heights, DC. Asrat helps to work body trauma out from participants through Yogic practices and intentional workouts.

Asrat Degaga is a certified yoga instructor and healer who has over 25 years of experience in wellness. He achieved multiple dans in several martial arts including Karate, Tang Soo Do, Wing Chouw, and Krav Maga. He practices Ashtanga-Budokon, Power, Vinyasa and Ashtanga-Rocket styles of yoga. Asrat teaches yoga for AARP, The White House, Living Well, MGM and Vida Fitness. Asrat enjoys helping people become better to themselves. He found yoga after having back surgery and tries his best to aid other people in healing themselves through the practice of yoga. (he/him)

Auri Whitaker
"I bring yoga to my community by first practicing the yoga principles and living with awareness. This is how we cultivate the spark of interest, it's naturally contagious because the light lives in all of us. From there, I connect in the ranchos, fincas, casas of the people in my community to move the body, breathe deeper, alleviate pain, and awaken bit by bit."

A forest explorer, painter, and beach bum, Auri is a Costeña, California native building a yoga studio and art residency foundation with her partner in the mountains of Costa Rica. A recovering overachiever and former project director, she strives to create an environment where stillness, exploration, and self-acceptance can thrive by teaching students how to do less in order to access more bliss and truth from life. Auri aims to guide students toward cultivating an inner awareness while balancing effort and ease in both the body and mind. She has a gift of holding space for everyone’s dynamic expression and creativity. Her practice mixes anatomy education with mindfulness and intuition to deepen physical awareness and boost inner alignment. Luscious movements are driven by curiosity, rhythm, sass, generosity, flow, and tenderness so that practitioners have the space to discover deeper insights within themselves, and leave with a renewed sense of sweetness in their body and connectedness with one another. (she/ella/they)

Bernard Gitonga M'mauta
"I bring yoga to my community from the bottom of my heart with love and compassion."

Bernard Gitonga was born in a very poor family in Central Kenya. His parents did not have the means to support his education, but luckily he met inspiring people who brought him into the world of yoga and wellness. He was able to get certified as a yoga instructor, which has enabled him to sustain himself and support his family and community. He loves teaching yoga, and he loves to inspire others to grow through the practice of yoga and compassion. He believes that sharing his life story and his yoga journey with others can change many lives for the better. Nowadays he is a happy and healthy person with mental and physical strength, with much hope in his heart and a deep love for humanity. (he/his)

Brirkellia Álvarez Franquiz
"I strive for each practitioner to have a true moving meditation, a strong sense of self-care, compassion and listening to their body, as well as a space of introspection for wisdom and emotional strength, applicable to everyday life, outside of the mat."

Brirkellia Álvarez is a lawyer and Hatha Vinyasa Yoga teacher (RYT 200). Her childhood and adolescence was marked by economic limitations, and this led her to get involved in projects to overcome social inequality, working with various international organizations (UNICEF, World Bank, UNAIDS, etc.), promoting education and defense of human rights. Based in Caracas, Venezuela, she is the founder of "Todos En Yoga", an initiative to develop inclusive programs to spread the practice of yoga in sectors with low purchasing power. Her vision is to create a movement focused on yoga and meditation as an instrument of social transformation, to generate resilient communities and violence-free environments. (she/her)

Dea Lott
"I encourage my community to strengthen their bodies, discipline their minds, and deepen their spiritual connection with the Creator as a means of achieving healing, growth, resiliency, and unity during challenging times."

Dea Lott is the founder of Spiritual Living by Che, a natural living boutique and yoga studio that combines spiritual wisdom from the Black Diaspora and Yoga to curate multicultural and eco-friendly wellness products and create yoga programs for individuals and organizations. She is a trauma-informed Raja Yoga teacher and has studied spiritual traditions and natural living practices for nearly two decades. Before working in wellness, Dea worked alongside oppressed communities as a social justice attorney, legal educator, grassroots organizer, anti-racism advocate, and facilitative mediator.  Her strength to persevere beyond intergenerational trauma, mental illness, poverty, racism, oppression, and violence in her personal and professional life lies in her faith in Spirit, spiritual practices, a loving support system, and a sense of humor. Her practices comfort her during life's challenges, relieve mental, emotional, and physical distress, inspire growth, and deepen her relationship with Spirit. (she/her)

Dylan Maina
"We must come together to become bigger than we have been, more courageous, greater in spirit , large in outlook."

Dylan Maina is a trained and certified yoga instructor who graduated from the Africa Yoga Project academy in 2018. He is 25 years old and lives in the slums of Kangemi in Nairobi, Kenya. Teaching yoga has been his greatest and most valuable tool to keep off the streets. Yoga has become his first love and has made him connect with different types and races of people. Yoga has helped him build and earn respect in his community, where is recognized as a leader. He cherishes every day that he is able to serve his community and give back the little that he has.

Eden Shaw
"Being playful and lighthearted is always a big lesson in life. We explore freedom of body movement and creative exploration in the hammocks, this creates a mental framework of not taking anything too seriously and just having fun in life."

Eden has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 12 years, a yoga instructor for three years, and an entrepreneur for 10 years. She studied Thai massage in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and she received her Associate's degree in business in 2012. She has studied yoga and aerial yoga from Heartwood Retreat Center, and she believes that flexibility is youth. She has practiced yoga since she was a teen and still practices Hatha yoga and aerial yoga today. Yoga and massage have helped her own spinal issues, and she now helps others with this knowledge. Eden also offers yoga classes to mentally handicapped adults at Promise in Brevard. She is continuing her education into yoga therapy, and soon she will help her community through insurance providers. She long dreamed of opening a studio, and she is so grateful to have a supportive community. (she/her)

Edwin Odhiambo
"Since I was the one who introduced yoga to my community I will make sure that I buy more yoga mats to accommodate more people in the community. And also through the community social hall I will make a program for yogis and yoginis and let everyone know about it through social media."

Edwin Odhiambo began practicing yoga back in 2016. He was introduced to the practice by a childhood friend, following the violent death of another friend. Before yoga he was involved in crime, drugs, and violence. With the introduction to yoga, everything shifted and he realized he needed to change his ways. He had to change from a person who was not wanted in the community to now a leader that brings people together through the transformational practice of yoga, especially youth. He has received an award from local leadership for making yoga one of the best physical activities in the community. He is also an official representative of International Yoga Olympic committee for Kenya, and he is proud to serve his people.

Etou Stuart
"If you can breath in and out, you can do yoga."

Etou Stuart is 27 years old and lives in a small town in Uganda. When he was introduced to yoga it enabled him to understand himself and find happiness within himself. Over the past five years he has shared the practice with his community, and it has positively impacted the community during these tough COVID times. He also loves to dance.

George Okurut
"When you listen to yourself, everything comes naturally. It comes from inside, like a kind of will to do something. Try to be sensitive. That is yoga. Growing up in war zone area and in slum gave me a lot of the reasons to teach children who are in slums, villages, rehabilitations center and in organizations which deals with children."

George is a certified yoga teacher who completed 300 hours of training at S-VYASA (Swami Vivekananda Anusandhana Samsthana) Yoga University in India, and 60 hours of Satyananda Children’s yoga training at Yoga Pura Vida in Tanzania. In the future he plans to enroll in a yoga therapy course, to help expand his impact in different communities. He started his yoga journey in 2015. Having lived in a war zone area and coming from a poor family background, he found that yoga helped him with stress, depression and anxiety. After two years of practice, he was motivated to start teaching in his community--recognizing that yoga had the potential to change the lives of many young people, just as it had done for him.

Grace Solano
"I bring yoga to my community with love, compassion and in service of others."

Graciela is a certified yoga teacher, holistic minister practitioner, and reiki master practitioner. While working in the nursing profession, Graciela discovered a way of blending nursing and holistic practice to help heal others. With her background in nursing, her passion for helping others has shaped her love of using her healing gifts to bring balance to the mind, body and spirit.

Harpinder Mann
"The practice of yoga profoundly awakened and transformed me, it gave me a way to connect with Spirit and to know that I deserve to heal and live with great awareness and joy. Now I work primarily with folks of color who are looking to reclaim their power and intuition to be free."

Harpinder Mann is a Sikh-Buddhist Punjabi-American yoga and meditation teacher currently living on Tongva land, colonially known as Los Angeles. She is actively working to decolonize wellness by creating community and providing real accessibility to her ancestral practices for BIPOC, as the co-founder of the Womxn of Color Summit. She has over 800 hours of yogic training within the traditions of Raja, Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Prenatal Yoga from the Ananda Sangha Center in New Delhi, India, Stretch Yoga in Brisbane, Australia, Swaha Yoga in New Orleans, and Living Now Yoga in New York. Without her teachers, ancestors, and womxn before her, none of this would be possible. As the Founder of Harpinder Mann Yoga, Harpinder works one-on-one with womxn of color on reclaiming their power and intuition to be free through yoga asana, meditation, breathwork, and spiritual connection. As a survivor of childhood domestic violence, sexual abuse, and bullying, Harpinder knows personally how yoga has helped heal her. Yoga is a spiritual practice for Harpinder - one that takes her back to her true self without the noise of the ego and society. This practice gave her the freedom and power to be seen and live authentically, to know that there is nothing wrong with her. It has healed parts of herself she never even realized needed tending to. (she/her)

Inaruti Araní
"The wellness of my community is everything. No matter what race, gender, body type and ability, and/or class status everyone has the right to a safe space to connect to their body, emotions and to community."

Inaruti Araní (given indigenous Taino name) has always considered herself a soul that was destined to serve. She passionately believes that offering her skills to better the lives of others is her sacred responsibility. She is abundant in this way and feels beyond grateful. In early 2013, she was introduced to holistic healing and the powerful medicine of meditation and yoga. Soon after, she was certified as a yoga and fitness instructor. She understands that a high caliber of life stems from a balanced integration of mind, body and soul; this is what she offers. (she/her/ella)

James Mwaura
"Drishti-focused gaze seeing beyond the horizon that leaves no one out. I aim to provide a learning environment that is safe and supportive to everyone, and to equip my community with the skills to deal with stress and trauma, and improve their health and mental well-being. Ensuring access to yoga and inclusion to all, by working across the cultural, marginalized and heath barriers that inhibit people from taking part."

James Mwaura was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He is a certified Baptiste yoga teacher/leader who began practicing yoga to regain clarity in life and to restore his health from inside out. Yoga sparked a fire of transformation within himself and as a desire to deepen his practice and study. In 2013 he completed his first training, a 2-week intensive 200-hour certification with Africa Yoga Project; the same year he completed level-one certification with Baron Baptiste. The experience was life changing and opened a deep connection to the practice of yoga, making it a foundation of his daily life. When he first had the opportunity to teach in the community in 2014, he discovered a passion for teaching, serving, loving, giving, and sharing the gift of yoga with others--and since then he has never looked back. He finds immense joy, satisfaction and inspiration in seeing students discover their own personal yoga journey. He hopes to nurture and encourage them along their way to awaken their own healing power and to experience the joy of living more fully through the magical transformation of yoga.

Jennifer Non
Jen facilitates trauma-informed, accessible yoga practices to segments that are currently underserved such as lower-income and special populations. More recently, she has also started focusing on yoga for mental health - a topic she is passionate about, both as a mental health advocate and as someone who herself has struggled with depression and anxiety.

It was love at first sweat as soon as Jen stepped onto the mat for a Bikram Yoga class in 2004. Soon after, she started exploring other styles of yoga and was also introduced to other aspects of the practice such as meditation and pranayama. Over the years, yoga has become a constant grounding force that got her through life’s many ups and downs including recurring bouts of depression, anxiety, and body image issues. The healing power of yoga led her to eventually pursue yoga teacher training so that she may share the same benefits with others. Through trauma-informed, accessible practices, Jen hopes to share with her students a mindfulness toolkit so that they may be better able to adapt, cope with and recover from stress as well as to build resilience. In her classes, students are encouraged to approach the practice with an open curiosity and are given the space for play and self-exploration on the mat so that they may feel strong, empowered and with an improved sense of well-being. (she/her)

Jeny Rae Vidal
"To me, an important revolutionary approach to well-being comes from a decolonial practice that centers our connection to ourselves, each other and the planet moving us towards right relationship. I teach and donation-based community Yoga classes as a vehicle for understanding the interplay between collective and self-care, empowerment, responsibility and resilience."

Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Jeny Rae Vidal was a teen punk rocker-turned-teen mom at age 19. Desperately seeking relief, in 2003 she stumbled into her first yoga class at a gym as a stressed-out single mom. She fell in love with the practice of yoga and never turned back. Now Jeny Rae integrates the hard and soft edges of life experience through her work as a yoga teacher, community organizer, sociologist, coach, and writer based in Pomona. She is devoted to the work of yoga and (r)evolution, social justice, and environmental sustainability. She can be found teaching personal empowerment through decolonized wellness, working on the Advisory Board for Gente Organizada, coaching youth on socio-emotional wellness, or getting her hands dirty in the garden. (she/her/hers)

Jessica Young
"By collectively creating space where we honour our emotions, our bodies, our spirits."

Jessica Young is a Chinese Canadian movement facilitator, artist and advocate for accessibility within wellness. She is the founder of Jess Be, a space that offers BIPOC exclusive classes and workshops that focus on rest, creativity/art and community. Since becoming a teacher in 2017, Jessica has led and developed yoga programming for Anishnawbe Health Toronto, created Meaningful Movement, an accessibility training for yoga/movement teachers and Uplift Asian Women, connecting her community and offering virtual support during the pandemic. (she/her)

Jewell Singletary
"I like to say I specialize in taking yoga out of the studio and into the streets to make it accessible to my community."

Jewell Singletary is a creative entrepreneur, educator, and multidisciplinary artist. She is the founding owner of Gratitude Griot, a trauma-informed well-being-based business, a documentarian filmmaker, and host of Yoga Wit the Ohmies Podcast, a free community resource that centers Black and Brown professionals working in mental health and holistic wellness fields. Jewell has been living with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis for nearly three decades, and she began teaching yoga, meditation, and art journaling to share some of the tools that have been transformative on her own healing journey. (she/her)

Jorge López-Martinez
"Through Rashna Yoga, I aspire to create a queer portal and yoga community that conjures embodiment, self-compassion, and sense of belonging. I incorporate trauma-informed practices and embodied ways of connecting with self and others, especially LGBTQ+ folks looking for spaces to heal in community and explore their bodies freely."

Jorge Iván, RYT-500, aka Rashna Krishna, was born in Boriké land (now known as Puerto Rico) between the Guaorabo and Yagüé rivers. Rashna Krishna became a yoga teacher in 2018 at Mahadevi Wellness Center, a sacred space influenced by the teaching of Leela Mataji and Yogi Hari from the Sivananda legacy. After years of yoga practice, he decided to expand his knowledge and surrender to a calling of serving underrepresented communities through a perspective of healing justice and safe(r) embodiment. Currently, they develop Rashna Yoga, a queer portal and yoga community that conjures embodiment, self-compassion, and sense of belonging. His classes incorporate trauma-informed practices and embodied ways of connecting with self and others, especially LGBTQ+ folks that seek spaces and practices to heal in community and explore their bodies freely. He’s also a death doula, tarot reader, somatic practitioner and spiritual activist who loves spending time of silence and meditation in front of water bodies. (he/they)

Kathy Chu
"I teach an outdoor community yoga class nearly everyday and bring our neighbors and community together. We uplift each other and raise our ability to do more and have a greater impact for change."

After practicing yoga for more than a decade, Kathy Chu decided to make the practice a more central part of her life by becoming a certified yoga teacher. While pursuing certification she began realigning not only her physical body but also her inner self. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, she decided to follow her intuition and devote herself fully to delivering the holistic benefits of yoga to the local community – and beyond. She is a certified yoga teacher through CorePower Yoga and a certified prenatal yoga teacher through Ma Yoga. She is committed to helping people achieve physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, and above all, a sense of inner peace.

Kennedy Omondi
"My intention is to break down the yoga practice and make it understandable for everyone."

The basis of Kennedy Omondi's teaching philosophy is to provide the practice of yoga to all individuals. His classes are intuitive and brings out the strengths of the students, while challenging them towards greater possibilities. Students leave his class feeling energized and calm. His classes are accessible to everyone, including beginners and intermediate students, with each student getting individual attention.

Kiran Bhagat
"I am committed to defying the lie of who gets to be well. I've connected my lived experience of intentional self-care and healing to create radical self-care and collective healing experiences that support the psychological wholeness of black indigenous people across the diaspora through the Y.A.M.S (Yoga, Agriculture + Art, Mindfulness and Self-Justice)."

I am Kiran Bhagat, Lived Experience Expert in The Application of Radical Self-care and Collective-care. Kiran is a Self-Justice pioneer devoted to promoting holistic wellness and radical self-care for The Souls of Black People. Kiran Bhagat uses yoga as a tool for "black liberation" and wellness. She empowers and supports others to heal themselves by creating radical self-care and collective healing experiences through Y.A.M.S an acronym for yoga, agriculture + art, mindfulness and self-justice.

光明(Koumei) van Zeeland-Machida
"Continue to learn is one of the most important and powerful tool for living one's life fully. The spirits of YOGA and ZEN teaches us how to become the person we want to be, through our body, mind and thoughts. He wants to stand for equity for all kind of minorities like LGBQT+ and disabled."

光明(Koumei) van Zeeland-Machida began practicing yoga in 1998 and began teaching in 2004. He has completed his RYT-500/RPYT/RCYT and is currently preparing for the RYS. In Japan, the human rights of LGBQT+ and of people with disabilities still do not reach the global standard, and this has motivated Koumei's yoga work. He has organized closed and protected classes for LGBTQ+ for more than 10 years. He has integrated his knowledge as a physiotherapist with his yoga teaching to support people with physical and mental disabilities, as well as for the many lonely elderly people living in Japan. There are also many parents and children who are disconnected from their communities, and so he targets his yoga teaching on development of self-esteem and self-affirmation to be one's own self through yoga. He seeks to share his knowledge and experience of yoga with as many people as possible, especially those who most need his skills and help. Koumei is focusing this phase of his professional on supporting the wonders of Yoga and ZEN spirits to help others and make the world better.

Lara Alsen Armgart
"In collaboration with the tourism board, I teach classes of 'Yoga in the Park', where interested people have free access to enjoy Hatha flow yoga. Practicing in a group at a very special place in nature, no matter the various levels of fitness or different ages - folks have fun doing exercises together, are inspired and motivated and come back to join all of the sessions during the summer season."

A Special Educational Consultant, MEd, and seasoned Yoga Teacher, RYT®200, Lara excels at championing the needs of neuro-diverse learners. Extensive experience teaching in a variety of classrooms and leading multidisciplinary teams in international schools led to her co-founding an innovative inclusion network in Dubai. Now, she's developing "The Yoga Project" which aims to bring differently-abled students, taught in separate schools, into the same space to move mindfully together. The goal is that this pilot project leads to improved well-being, positive attitudinal changes towards (dis) ability, authentic friendships and sustainable funding. For those seeking healing, change and growth, Lara offers, online and locally: private mentoring, Yoga classes, workshops and wellness retreats. Canadian born, Bavaria-based with her husband and family, she’s joyfully on a bilingual journey and speaks English and conversational German. (she/her)

Laura McQuarrie Salter
"I provide trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive, accessible yoga offerings to people in need."

For Laura McQuarrie Salter, yoga is everything. Through the vast practice of yoga, she strives to use her privileges to support our collective liberation from needless suffering. Knowing that the spiritual connection cultivated through yoga can radically transform communities for the better, she advocates for everyone in need to have access to this practice. She teaches trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive, accessible yoga within a socially-conscious framework. Her offerings meet at the intersection of modern trauma science and the ancient practice of yoga. Guided by the wisdom of the traditional keepers of this knowledge, she prioritizes cultural literacy through honouring yoga's roots. She acknowledges that she practices on the traditional, unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Lauren Galloway
"I offer movement and stillness practices to those that don't feel included in society, so they can find their own strengths within. Creating community through JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) yogic approaches that can be practiced to ripple off the mat."

Lauren Galloway is a yogini, counselor, trauma informed teacher, and spiritual activist serving her community of New York City. She offers guided services to help others go deeper in connection with self to create a ripple of inclusion out into the world. She began her teachings with the Bhakti Center 200 hour teacher training, and she has continued to learn and grow her practice with the Radical Darshan community by obtaining her 300 hour teacher training. She is dedicated to dismantling systemic oppression as a spiritual practice and makes sure to create a safe inclusive space for ALL. Galloway offers an approach of movement inside the physical and emotional states of being through studies of Vedic Philosophy, Ayurveda, and Bhakti Traditions--flowing through alignments in order to create strength-based grounding practices that one can take on and off the mat. (she/her)

Maria Antonieta Pimentel-Elger
"To share my love of Yoga and how it is making my life healthier holistically in all aspects and still continuing to learn and study more about its traditional & modern poses (in safe & practical ways), practices, principles and philosophies. I offer yoga as a lifestyle, accessible to all and inject my cultural traditions if possible, tai chi moves, intuitive and creative practices- but in a very approachable and practical way."

Maria Antonieta Pimentel-Elger is grateful to share her love of Yoga, which makes her life holistically healthier in all aspects. She is still continuing to learn and study its traditional and modern poses (in safe and practical ways), practices, principles and philosophies. She offers yoga as a lifestyle, accessible to all. She injects her cultural traditions when possible--tai chi moves and even intuitive and creative practices--all in a very approachable and practical way, accessible to all. "If anyone can breathe then we are doing yoga!" (she/her)

Marika Ripke
"It is a great honor and pleasure to share the pearls of wisdom I have gleaned from yoga over the last 20 years with my community. My classes are inspired by and tailored to the specific needs of individuals as well as the community as a whole."

Marika is a devoted Mother, avid yogini, dancer, soul surfer, writer, Reiki and Holistic Healing Arts practitioner. She has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and teaching yoga for more than a decade. She is a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified teacher. Marika is also a dance choreographer, teacher, and performer. She currently guides dance, yoga, and meditation classes on the Big Island of Hawaii. Marika also holds a Master of Arts in Child Development and a PhD in Human Ecology. (she/her)

Mira Siblini
Mira teaches yoga in Beirut, Lebanon, amidst its worst economic crisis in decades. Despite a collapsed bank system, power shortages and multiple steep surges in COVID-19, among many other obstacles, Mira continues to offer yoga and a healing space in order to support her community through these immense challenges.

Mira Siblini founded Shiva-Lila Yoga Space in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2010. The studio offers unique Vinyasa Flo classes and organizes workshops, events, teacher training, advanced training modules, and retreats. (she/her)

Miranda McCarthy
"Myself and my team of four volunteer teachers are providing free adaptive yoga classes for the Disabled community during Covid-19. We represent an underserved community with undertreated pain. We aim to remove the biggest obstacles to wellbeing within the Disabled community: inactivity, stress and loneliness, promoting disability awareness and education. No one should suffer needlessly, and nothing should stand in the way of the right to be well; physically, mentally and socially."

Miranda McCarthy is a disabled yogi. She recently won an award from the British Prime Minister for bringing @adaptiveyogalive to the disabled community during COVID-19 and making yoga more accessible--especially for those who have injury, physical restrictions, or disabilities. Through the last 40 years of operations, rehabilitation and medication her focus was only on managing my disease. At the age of 42, after discovering adaptive yoga, she realized her ‘relationship’ with her body had only just begun. Yoga, for her, was about crafting a new healing, accepting, and loving narrative around her own body image. She no longer judged myself or compared herself to non-disabled people. Yoga showed her a way of re-inhabiting her body, with harmony and ease, no matter how painful. Learning to live with the body rather than fighting against it is truly the path to a richer, more satisfying quality of life. She hopes to help empower the disabled community through the practice of yoga! (she/her)

Mukisa Jackson Scott
"Teaching yoga in marginalized communities has opened a space for selfless service and provided a platform for holistic community transformation."

Mukisa Jackson Scott is a yoga teacher from Kampala, Uganda. To him yoga is a safe space through which we connect to ourselves and step into our greatness with freedom, self-acceptance and mindfulness. He is accredited for his fun flavored, unconventional teaching style that holds the space for his students to practice from a place of freedom and self-acknowledgement. This approach creates the opportunity for each student to practice with non judgment and self-acceptance, and it eliminates the feeling of being right or wrong. Scott loves to combine creative sequencing with fun and a pinch of challenge to help students deepen their practice. His aim is to lead students through a practice where they leave feeling nourished, refreshed, grounded and balanced. (he/him)

Mustapha Seidu
"Yoga means Union, hence bringing people together in unison to practice yoga is of essence."

Mustapha Seidu is a yoga student and teacher who is ambitious to learn, research, and experiment. He favors education that utilizes the body as well as the mind. He is a trained Theatre Arts graduate from University of Ghana who loves life and having fun, works hard to be free, and enjoys freedom. (he/him)

Nancy Nganga
"Be Yourself."

Nancy Wambui is a certified yoga teacher who come to the world of yoga practice in 2012, as she was looking for a new transition in a different type of physical practice and fun, after more than a decade of being trained as an African contemporary dancer. A friend brought Nancy to her first yoga class, and she was inspired by the teaching and the positive therapeutic vibration she felt in both mind and body connection. Off the mat Nancy is a dancer and actress; she is passionate about yoga and multi-art discipline. She appreciates its benefits of self-expression, transformation, strength, and flexibility and as healing components. She likes sharing the practice of yoga and art with her community, and spreading the love and power of yoga. Her intention is to provide an open space for her students to quiet the mind and strengthen the body, to cultivate a transformative self-experience--and she offers a space for everyone, from beginners to seasoned practitioners.

Oboma Alfred
"I did a training with Africa yoga projects in 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, and I became the second person to bring yoga in my community. I was a dancer at youth center in the camp were I live, and after my yoga training, I came back to the youth center to create awareness to others about yoga. On Facebook I go for live yoga practice and have many followers."

Oboma Alfred Olaa is a native of South Sudan, living in Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp since 2016. He was introduced to yoga in 2019 through a friend who did teacher training with the African Yoga Project in Nairobi. He began attending yoga class and a year later attended the same Africa Yoga Project teacher training program. He completed his O level in 2010 from Uganda's Kiradongo Refugee Camp, where he also lived for several years.

Oscar Rivas
"I teach Ashtanga Yoga as a way to release addiction, sickness, and all bad habits that keep us in low vibrations. I teach to all that want to learn regardless of race, creed, or religion."

Oscar Rivas was born in El Salvador and moved to Los Angeles, California at age four. A proud husband and father of three, he has been doing yoga since the age of 27. In 2015 he was diagnosed with GIST cancer; he had surgeries, and the cancer is now in remission. The lessons he learned from that experience will stay with him forever. Yoga had been a gift that got him through the worst times in his life, and his life mission is to share that gift with those who are sick and down. He has been teaching yoga at the Crunch gym for nearly three years, and he is asking the universe for his own studio. (he/him)

Rafaela Garcia
"I bring yoga to my community by offering yoga and meditation in Spanish or bilingual to Latinx and BIPOC folks in the community of Ventura County; I intend to keep these community classes free and always welcome in other BIPOC and Latinx instructors as well. This is not about what I can do alone, it is what we can do together in an effort to grow and strengthen the community."

Rafaela Garcia was born and raised in Oxnard, California by two very hard-working, loving parents. She grew up surrounded by others with a similar background, whose parents traveled to the United States to give their children a better life. She remains very grateful that she can spend her time doing something creative, spend time with her loved ones, and do yoga! She discovered yoga seven years ago when a roommate gave her a free class pass, and she never stopped after that. She was in a rough place in her life, and this new practice peeled her open and set her on a path of healing. While she never could have seen herself teaching at the start, after she did her 200 hours of training it was always with the intention to be able to provide something back to a community that helped raise her. (she/her/ella)

Rox-anne Sanchez
"I chose to sustain a yoga studio called Casa Yoga here in my community that is faced with poverty, addiction, historical traumas, is a food desert and lack of jobs due to how rural it is. I have been teaching yoga for 6 years here and working with the Pueblos. I am here to serve the minority, people of color, indigenous and unite (do yoga) together for the generations and overcome inter -generational trauma so that a story of Truth of Love and Resiliency can be expressed and settled."

Rox-anne Sanchez was born and raised in New Mexico and currently remain a native resident, with her roots very grounded and deeply invested into these sacred lands and the people. Her native name is Toh’tcho-OhLonē, Baby Hummingbird, Sister of WolfClan, Guardian of the North and Wisdom Keeper of the Earth. She is united with mind, body and spirit; every single part of her life is aligned with yogic principles, and she adheres to the eight limbs as her Yog(a) practice. She was first introduced to this life practice at age 25 and is proud to be a teacher with leadership abilities to share it with others. Yog(a) has completely transformed her life: it healed her from chronic pain and serious disabling injuries, and enabled her to live with enthusiasm and do all the activities she wants to experience. Her teaching style is about motivating and inspiring other to cultivate hope, inner power, love, light and kindness within--so they can live a high-quality life, share their inspiration stories, express themselves through movement, sit with what is, and know they can manage succeed at all three levels of life. She chose to start her studio and teach Yog(a) in the rural small village of Penasco, New Mexico, over four years ago. As the only yoga studio within a 45-mile radius, she is honored to be a part of this "movement" and to share the practice with the community, creating an opportunity for self-care and actualization.

Samuel Kitali
"I empower and motivate."

Samuel was born in Nairobi. He sees yoga as art and a tool to help with the puzzling life journey. Samuel appreciates honest, God-fearing people who are intentional and committed leaders.

Sandy King
"I hope to host inclusive classes for the queer and trans community to safely explore spirituality, chanting, meditation and the nourishment of yin yoga and restorative practices."

Sandy King (they/them) is a queer, non-binary yoga teacher based on Gadigal country (Sydney, Australia), and they have been teaching yoga full-time for over 10 years. In 2011 they began studying formally with their teachers Sharon Gannon and David Life (founders of Jivamukti Yoga Method). Their lineage is important to their sense of belonging within the yoga community because it reminds them that they are part of a living tradition that has been passed down over hundreds of years. They are passionate about dismantling the modern exclusionary yoga "fitness" culture, and instead teaching yoga as an integrated holistic approach to the radical acts of self-exploration, self love and self care. They have also witnessed the power of yoga in bringing people together, as a means of building community through finding common ground--what in Sanskrit is known as Satsang. For them, yoga has never been a purely physical practice, but instead an access point for regulating mental health and emotional wellbeing, while embarking upon spirituality in a fun and exciting way.

Santhosh Kumar
"I would like to share my yogic knowledge to all the people around me. I want to share the importance of yoga and how to integrate in daily life."

Santhosh Kumar is a yoga teacher and therapist. He has been practicing yoga since 2008, and he began teaching yoga in 2011. As he started practicing, he realized that yoga is not just physical practice, it's a way of living. Since then he has been living his yogic life everyday. He has been working as an asana, pranayama and meditation instructor for 10 years. He has also taught in many yoga teacher training programs.

Stephanie Congo
"Experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) 4 years ago opened my eyes to the world of invisible injuries and the limited support options available. Yoga therapy studies and my own healing have enabled me to help fill this gap for my community and support individual journeys to wellbeing and wholeness from a deeper place of inclusivity, compassion and understanding."

Stephanie Congo is a yoga therapist, energy practitioner, and mindfulness consultant in Memphis, Tennessee. She first began Pilates, Bikram and Vinyasa classes 20 years ago to complement her engineering career and mountain climbing adventures. After in-depth studies in the yoga and healing arts fields, she established a private practice. In 2017, her world was literally turned upside down from a fall on her head. As part of her traumatic brain injury (TBI) healing, she completed a 500 hour training in yoga therapy, specialty training with Love Your Brain (LYB), and also began teaching yoga to underserved populations. She now develops and leads virtual and in-person workplace programs, yoga and energy medicine blended movement, kids' yoga courses, and chair yoga classes for people who have experienced a TBI. Her mission is to share her love of embodying yoga, nature and the outdoors, mindfulness and other healthy ways of living through individualized attention and specialized and ongoing group programs. She is currently devoted to regaining her bike riding ability, a personal goal since her debilitating TBI! (she/her)

Tiffany Baskett
"In January of 2020 I opened a small, boutique movement studio in South Fulton, GA where I provide a variety of yoga and other movement classes. I do Community events at the studio and even offer courses, workshops, and events outside of our weekly classes to help bring yoga to the people of my community from my heart."

Tiffany Baskett is an AFAA licensed group fitness professional, liturgical/contemporary dancer, former Licensed Massage Therapist, Level 3 Medical Fascial Stretch Therapist, Soft-Stretch Release Techniques Practitioner, Level 2 VOILA Method practitioner, 500HR Vinyasa + 200HR Kemetic Yoga Instructor, and Buti Yoga Master Trainer. She became an Energy Channeling Healing Practitioner to maintain her own health and wellness, then used her knowledge to serve her growing tribe. Currently, Tiffany is studying to receive her Master’s in Metaphysical Science at the University of Sedona Metaphysics and plans to finish her PhD. Tiffany is dedicated to releasing her fear and being a catalyst for change in the African American community, regardless of the racial climate, for both her family and society’s sake. She is now E-RYT 500 and YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) Certified and plans to continue to teaching yoga workshops and classes for those who feel called to the practice, especially to the BIPOC community of South Fulton, Atlanta, and the rest of the world! She continues to study Yin/Restorative, Kundalini, and Ashtanga Yoga. (she/her)

Tiffany Brown
"I am committed to being part of the movement to help BIPOC communities embrace the practice of yoga. I believe it is an essential balm for healing with the power and potential to positively enhance mind-body-spirit wellness in our lives, communities, and the world!"

Tiffany L Brown APRN aka Tiffany NP is a family nurse practitioner, YTT 200 yoga teacher, circle keeper and owner/visionary of a holistic healthcare practice, Healing Wisdom Health + Wellness, where she believes in providing person-centered care that is sensible, practical, rooted in nature, and honors the body’s innate healing power and the uniqueness of each person's culture, family and life experiences. During the pandemic she has shifted her nursing practice to focus on mind-body-spirit wellness, including yoga, mindfulness and herbalism. She is also embracing a writing and storytelling journey to reflect the beauty, strength, hope and resilience that dwell within and among us as beautiful souls living this human experience.

Tina Fitts
"I hope that I can help others experience peace and serenity, even if it is just for a moment."

My name is Dr. Tina Fitts and I am a practicing psychotherapist. I am a professor at Walden University preparing masters and doctoral level students to become therapists. I turned to yoga more than a decade ago to heal my body from physical injuries of running marathons. As my yoga practice continued, I realized the power of yoga in all other aspects of my life, and particularly on my mind. Through practice and serving of yoga, I have been able to reach and connect with others at a deeper level. Being part of Yoga for Equity program will allow me to serve my Orlando community, and particularly giving back to first responders and the LGBTQI+ community. To me yoga is peace, yoga is community, and yoga is humanity. (she/her)

Wei Lo
"In my local community, I offer 1:1 private yoga packages to students of all ages and genders. We work on their goals like improving mobility and flexibility, energy work, and mindset. "

Wei (Irene) Lo is the founder of Irene Yoga Flow, home of intuitive healing for women of color on their self care journey. Born in Taiwan and emigrating to the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples (Vancouver, Canada) at a young age, Irene is a trauma informed yoga asana facilitator of Han/Hakka descent. For a decade, yoga has been an integral part of her health and well-being. As a dispeller of the Model Minority Myth, she approaches yoga through a decolonized lens to provide a space of liberatory practice for all. Irene works one-on-one with private yoga clients and also offers an online yoga club through her Patreon, Irene Yoga Flow, with live Zoom yoga classes, special Yoga for Radical Rest events, and tarot readings for the community. Outside of yoga she is an intuitive tarot reader that offers tarot readings individually and for events. Irene is the Co-Creator and Co-Founder of the Womxn of Color Summit, an equitable community organization focused on creating safe and inclusionary spaces for womxn and non-binary people of color to share stories and knowledge as well as make impactful change. (she/her)

Zainab AL Jawadi
"Everyone has a motivation to keep going - mine is to be of service and empower others. Studying and teaching Yoga makes me realize that Yoga has the capacity to change the brain away from stress and toward calm and relaxation. Teaching Yoga gives me a sense of self-satisfaction by making a positive difference."

Zainab is a Yoga Teacher based in Sydney, Australia. Originally from Iraq, she found yoga as a helpful way to connect with peace and calm when she resettled in Australia in 2013. Having experienced the healing power of yoga firsthand, in 2019 Zainab completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training and has since been sharing trauma-informed yoga that is suitable for all bodies and abilities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work degree, and she serves through the Yoga Impact Charity as a teacher sharing yoga with refugees healing from torture and trauma, as a member of the 200-hour teacher training faculty, and as a refugee caseworker. (she/her)

Sowmya Ayyar
“I follow Swami Sivananda's mantra, 'Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize.'”

Sowmya Ayyar is the Founder-Director of Prafull Oorja Charitable Foundation, a Bangalore-based non-governmental organization (NGO), which trains yoga therapists to implement sustainable programs with communities in vulnerable conditions. Prafull Oorja has impacted hundreds of yoga teachers, special educators, and thousands of beneficiaries. Sowmya is also a musician (vocals, violins, keyboards) and performs Carnatic and global music, bhajans, and mantra chanting to bring peace and joy to those she serves.

Beatrice Bachleda
“As a Deaf person, I was constantly frustrated with the lack of access to information that can help improve my wellbeing, my health, and generally my life as a whole; and this is something many of us experience on a daily basis as d/Deaf people. Becoming a yoga teacher meant I could help fill that gap for my community and support individual journeys to healing and wellbeing.”

Beatrice Bachleda is a Colorado-based Deaf yoga teacher, as well as an E-RYT 200 and RYT 500. She has taught a variety of students in different settings, including Deaf, DeafBlind, hearing, trauma-informed, corporate, and youth. Beatrice offers live and recorded classes in American Sign Language (ASL), provides workshops on mindfulness and yoga, and supports healing through yoga with trauma survivor organizations. She also offers workshops for ASL interpreters and students, and her latest project is a series of online courses for the community. When she's not teaching yoga, Beatrice takes her adventure cat out on hikes in the mountains and is studying to become an herbalist and Reiki healer.

Sandy Boutros
“Introducing yoga to the communities I work with is like an introduction to the Self. The hardships of life make us forget to get in touch with the body, breath, and mind. Yoga brings back self-awareness and self-love.”

Sandy Boutros is a yoga teacher and practitioner based in Beirut, Lebanon, who started her yoga journey in 2012. After developing a keen interest in meditation, she left her advertising job and traveled to Bihar School of Yoga in India to take a four-month course in Advanced Yogic Studies. After the course, she completed her yoga teacher training and enrolled in Progressive Trainings on Raja Yoga with her guru Swami Niranjananda. In 2018, she established Koun, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that makes yoga accessible to economically marginalized communities and refugees in Lebanon to promote total wellbeing and mental health.

Namurembe Rita Brown
“As a yoga practitioner, I always tell my community members to be positive thinkers by saying ‘Yes’ to themselves as a creation, not a concept—to be ready to give up anything that's holding them back, to let go, and to step out of their comfort zones to start new beginnings.”

Namurembe Rita Brown was born in Uganda in 1992. In 1999, she traveled from Uganda to Kenya to look for refuge and became registered as a refugee under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2000. In 2006, Namurembe received a scholarship with Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) as an orphan child. She later passed her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and joined Kakuma Refugee Secondary School, where she sat for her Kenya Certificates of Secondary Education (KCSE). Namurembe volunteered in her community and school as a reproductive health motivator, and later, worked for the International Rescue Committee (IRC)—a non-governmental organization (NGO)—as a healthy choice facilitator. Currently, she is working for Windle International Kenya (WIK) as a community mobilizer.

Ivelise Castillo
“My mission is to create a space that will provide shared practices for healing, strengthening, and self-love. By empowering each other, we are able to build resilience, clarity, and can explore self-expression through healing in various forms.”

Ivelise Castillo is a trauma-informed yoga instructor, Reiki practitioner, educator, and poet who enjoys the practice of self-expression through multiple healing modalities. She offers donation-based virtual meditation, yoga, and workshops to support and uplift communities in need. Ivelise created and facilitated a Yoga Club for children with special needs in a Title I school from grades 2–5 and has started to lead meditation and yoga workshops for teachers during Wellness Professional Development days. Additionally, Ivelise teaches a fusion of arts and mindfulness to teens in a pregnancy prevention program for a nonprofit organization. She is honored to be able to offer a four-week series on mindfulness, meditation, and yoga to remote fourth and fifth graders to alleviate stress during the pandemic, as well as a "Peace is Power" four-week virtual series to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities.

Ameerah Craigg
“I bring yoga to my community by using a trauma-informed approach and by creating accessible spaces for us to feel good in. This means that in my sessions, consent and comfort is the primary focus.”

Ameerah Craigg has been practicing yoga for nearly two decades and leading yoga sessions for four years, operating from a trauma-informed, womanist/feminist, and harm-reduction framework. She uses Kundalini yoga and body movement basics to support folks in centering wellness in their lives. Ameerah is also an experienced counselor, facilitator, and community organizer who is passionate about supporting marginalized communities in accessing authentic self-care by connecting earth and spirit to community. Currently, she teaches in-person in the Greater Toronto Area and around the world via virtual sessions.

Marsha Danzig
“I believe yoga is a reminder of our essential wholeness. Losing a limb or limbs can make a person feel separate from their bodies, their communities, and their life purpose. Yoga brings them back home.”

Marsha Danzig, RYT 500 and IYAT certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT), is the founder of Y4A: Yoga for Amputees—a program dedicated to helping amputees worldwide reclaim their wholeness through the healing art of yoga. Marsha is a below-knee amputee herself, who was given death rites at the age of five and survived. She has been practicing and innovating yoga since the 1980s and is passionate about guiding people to a renewed sense of hope and purpose after major loss. She is the author of Yoga for Amputees: The Essential Guide to Finding Wholeness After Limb Loss and From the Roots, a spiritual memoir about embodying the divine in every moment.

Jennifer Fischer
“I teach in Pottstown, Pennsylvania—a very diverse community both culturally and economically—to share tools that empower each person’s individuality while developing compassion within the collective.”

Jennifer Fischer is a previous runner that thought life was “Go, go, go!” until she found yoga. Yoga revealed Jennifer’s true calling and allowed her to explore her passion for life and create space for others to connect with their Self.

Jasmine Hines

Leonie van Iersel
“With a diploma, you can come a long way, but without yourself, you're nowhere. I believe that by knowing who we are and understanding our possibilities, we can become the best versions of ourselves and contribute to a better world while finding purpose in life.”

Leonie van Iersel is an Education Manager and yoga teacher from the Netherlands who moved to Peru in 2017 to fight for equity and contribute to a better world. She founded the nonprofit organization Con Pazion to empower underprivileged children in the slums of Lima through yoga and holistic education. Recently, she signed a revolutionary agreement with the government that provides rights to have and manage the first holistic public school of Peru, allowing 680 students to receive quality holistic education (including yoga and meditation) for free. Her mission is to give children the chance to connect to themselves, each other, and the earth, helping them to reach their full potential and break the cycle of poverty.

D. Jylani Ma'at

Krista Marzewski
“We are all at different places in our lives, physically, spiritually, mentally, and financially. I want everyBODY to have the opportunity to experience yoga.”

Krista Marzewski believes in making yoga accessible for everyBODY—if you are breathing, you’re doing yoga. She is passionate about sharing the gifts of the practice, especially after personally noticing the changes it prompted in herself. As a person affected by trauma and in recovery, yoga taught Krista to reconnect to herself physically, mentally, and spiritually. She is continuously furthering her education and growing her offerings through her business, Yoga with Krista, where she specializes in trauma-informed yoga. Krista’s classes offer slow introspective postures, connecting breath to movement in hopes that students leave class filled with a new awareness.

Paul Menard
“I am honored to provide a series of classes for the LGBTQIA+ community. This series allows us to open our bodies while exploring that we are all divine.”

Paul Menard began studying yoga in 2002 and has maintained a passionate practice ever since. Their elegance and grace shines through both postures and the execution of their teaching. Paul’s pursuit of a more spiritual practice led to Karuna Center for Yoga and Healing Arts, where they are now the Director of this thriving center, offering yoga teacher training, workshops, bodywork, meditation, study of yoga scripture, and more. In addition to yoga, Paul has a fervor for education. Paul completed a master’s degree in Adult Education and Training in early 2011 and is a skilled Shiatsu practitioner.

Dede Monette
“I have the honor to work as a Regional Wellness Provider for many of our First Nations communities, facilitating specialized yoga workshops ranging from Prenatal Yoga, Baby and Me Yoga, Kids Yoga, Elders Chair Yoga, and Beginners Yoga.”

Dede Monette, Director of the Tofino Yoga School, is a passionate and inspired E-RYT and RCYT who has been practicing, teaching, and sharing various styles of yoga since 1996. Dede has the blessing to work very closely with many First Nations communities as a Regional Wellness Provider, facilitating specialized yoga workshops ranging from Prenatal Yoga, Baby and Me Yoga, Kids Yoga, Elders Chair Yoga, and Beginners Yoga. She is the grateful mama of two beautiful children and the wife of a wonderful nature-loving man.

Susan Ocholla
“I believe that what we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, and what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. My mantra is: ‘Starting with nothing means you have more space for things to grow.’”

Susan Ocholla is a certified Level 1 and 2 Power Yoga teacher and certified Kundalini, Ashtanga, and TIMBo (trauma sensitive yoga) instructor. To her, yoga is a place where intellect and emotion converge in the human self. She believes yoga and meditation are continuous and lifelong practices and that we must maintain mental, emotional, and physical flexibility as a sense of personal identity. Susan challenges her students to grow by meeting both their physical and spiritual edge with friendliness and teaches them to practice listening to their bodies and each breath. She is dedicated to the growth and development of her students both on and off their mats and to relaxation and happiness in her daily life.

Victor Onyango Odhiambo
“Moving the mind positively by moving the body effectively achieves a sufficient mental and physical state.”

Victor Onyango Odhiambo is a dance and movement teacher who was born and brought up in Kibera slums. After years as a breakdancer, he transitioned into functional movement and healing. This transition was provoked by pain and injuries from breakdancing and began with the exploration of YouTube videos. His journey to movement started after post-election violence in 2007, during which he lost his close friends to tribal conflicts, drugs, and other vices. As an escape, Victor used his passion of dance as a channel to heal. Today, Victor teaches yoga and functional movement and runs a nonprofit in his community. In his organization, he teaches kids how to use art for healing, to avoid vices, and to always stay positive.

Maria (Amma) Claudia Fandiño Orozco
“I dedicate my efforts to provide students with a yoga practice that promotes self-empowerment, love, and appreciation as key aspects to connect with their inner essence and infinite capacity to transform their own lives.”

Maria (Amma) Fandiño Orozco, MSc, holds an RYT 500 credential. She has been a devoted yoga practitioner for over 28 years and enthusiastic biologist for 27 years. Amma's passion is sharing yoga with communities with challenges and vulnerable conditions—be them physical, mental, or emotional. Her work includes teaching yoga to cancer patients to help contribute to their quality of life and ability to cope with the difficult circumstances of the disease. She is also dedicated to providing space that promotes empowerment, rehabilitation, and healing for those deprived of liberty and supports substance use recovery processes. Amma lives in Colombia with her husband and two kids and loves to spend her free time in contact with nature.

Eternity Philops
“I encourage BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) students and clients to explore union with Self, union with others, and union with Spirit on a deeper level that affirms their culture and identity."

A bodaciously Black and unapologetically queer conscious being, Eternity Philops works to educate and serve BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) communities in yoga wellness. Certified in both Hatha and Kemetic yoga, Eternity began teaching professionally in 2017, and has taught hundreds of students through community classes, university courses, private sessions, and wellness retreats. Addressing the limited options for Afrocentric forms of yoga, Eternity created Kamili Yoga™, a modern Pan-African system for Black holistic wellness. Kamili Yoga™ is Eternity’s answer to the need for more yoga systems that are culturally diverse, de-center Whiteness, and recognize the beautiful depths of Black and African being.

Dawn Rivers
"At the end of almost every class, I say, ‘May you be happy. May you be whole. May you be free.’ It took me decades to live this myself, but now that I know the joy and light of it, I want to share it with others."

Dawn Rivers began her yoga journey in 1999 when she bought a Rodney Yee VHS yoga videotape. After that, she began practicing yoga in her basement as a means to invite fitness and stress relief into her life. A couple of years later, she discovered a yoga studio that ultimately became her home for almost 10 years. There she found love, acceptance, and community. In 2013, she became an RYT 200 through Cleveland Yoga, and, in 2019, Dawn completed her 300-hour yoga teacher training with Faith Hunter at Embrace Yoga, in Washington D.C. Her studio, Daybreak Yoga, opened in October 2018. In addition to offering daily classes at Daybreak Yoga, Dawn hosts yoga teacher training, mindfulness and yoga workshops, collaborative projects, and a coaching academy.

Elisha Fernandes Simpson
“I am passionate about creating inviting and supportive spaces through trauma-conscious yoga, mindfulness and art expressions to build self-awareness, and resilience and self-respect for trauma survivors.”

Elisha Fernandes Simpson is a licensed social worker and E-RYT, RCYT, and YACEP, who has been teaching yoga since 2006. She is also the Executive Director and Founder of Crossover Yoga Project (CYP), where she developed the gender-specific curriculum entitled “I Believe in Me.” She has led self-care and mindfulness training to social workers of Westchester County Department of Social Services (NY), trauma-conscious training throughout New York state and Massachusetts, and is currently teaching trauma-conscious yoga in the women’s, men’s, and acute medical units of Westchester County Department of Correction (NY). As a social worker, Elisha has worked in hospital settings, youth detention facilities, homeless shelters, and with teen girls who have experienced sexual trafficking. She is also a Mindful-Based Stress Reduction instructor who is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

Gary Steeves

Gary Steeves teaches free yoga classes in some of the most underserved, inner-city neighborhoods of Buffalo, New York (NY). Regular weekly classes are held year-round for residents of the homeless men’s shelter Buffalo City Mission and women’s and children’s shelter Cornerstone Manor. This program is part of the City Mission’s Dream Transitional Housing Program that provides each individual with a pathway to a stable life through education and skill training resources. The classes are primarily Yin Yoga, pranayama, meditation, and opportunities for prayer. In addition, Gary provides free classes seasonally for an Eastside youth football program and several programs that offer youth music skills nurturing and development. Participants mostly come for the physical benefits and take away increased emotional, psychological, and spiritual grounding.

Casey Valencia
“I create a welcoming space and invite the MercyMed community into a joyful experience living in their bodies. I teach in English and Spanish with chairs, bolsters, blocks, walls—whatever it takes to facilitate exploration of intention in forms, movement, and stillness.”

As a female ordained minister, Casey Valencia understands that the body has a deep, spiritual wisdom that far exceeds size, aesthetics, or athletic ability. After leading group fitness for a decade, she found that yoga offers sacred space with God through body and breath. She imparts calm for chronic stress, and her specialty is welcoming those who are differently-abled, facing mental health conditions, or experiencing marginalization in the yoga circle. Her joyful and positive teaching style lends to an uplifting experience, whether flowing vigorously or meditating in stillness.

Carmen Oquendo Villar
“I have been working with the Latinx and Latin American LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community for more than 20 years, and teaching yoga and mindfulness to LGBT and Gender Queer Older Adults in Puerto Rico since 2018.”

Wangui (Kui) Wanyoike
“Teach and share what you know.”

In 2015, Wangui (Kui) Wanyoike, completed her 200-hour teacher training in Rishikesh, India, under the capable guidance of Sadhviabha Saraswati, and immediately began teaching upon her return to Nairobi. Today, she teaches traditional Hatha yoga suitable for both beginner and intermediary practitioners. Wangui emphasizes awareness of breath and wants to share what she knows with her students to help them discover their own unique path within their yoga practice.

Adam Wetterhan
“We have way too many people behind bars in America and the conditions aren't conducive to healing or thriving. I apply a high-engagement and individualized approach to modifying practices to meet each individual where they are and believe we should always be training people to teach. So, ‘train-the-trainer’ is an important part of my work.”

Adam Wetterhan teaches and trains at Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute and is an E-RYT 500. He has been facilitating yoga, breathwork, and meditation at Marion Correctional Institution, Pickaway Correctional Institution, and Mansfield Correctional Institution since 2012. Adam has developed various beginner-friendly and inclusive approaches to teaching these mindful arts in carceral settings in a way that encourages folks to practice a little bit every day.

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