CE Workshop | Techniques, Training, and Practice for BIPOC

December 1, 2020

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About This Event

This series brings awareness to yoga and communities of color. Week one's discussion explores what brought prominent women to the practice, how the eight limbs of Ashtanga impacts their lives, and suggestions for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color) beginning a personal practice.

About the Presenters

Wambui Njuguna-Räisänen is a Kenyan-American based in Finland, passionate about making wellness through yoga and meditation seamlessly engaged in equity and justice so that more people of the global majority can live well and thrive.

Wambui is deeply inspired by spiritual teachers and communities that seek ways to apply the insights from our various practices and teachings to situations of social, racial, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.

She would like to see wellness spaces engage more in social justice + collective change and activist spaces learn to breathe deeply and practice sustainable self-care in the midst of dismantling systemic oppression. This is her definition of community care. To learn more about Wambui and her offerings, visit and @wellnesswithwambui (IG).

Natasha Chaoua is the founder and owner of Dubwise Yoga Denver, LLC, and a graduate and Member-Owner of Satya Yoga Cooperative, Colorado’s first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program for black, indigenous, people of color, and the nations first BIPOC member-owned yoga cooperative.

Natasha is a certified Hatha and Accessible Yoga Ambassador and Supporting Organization leading online offerings for Black, Indigenous, People Of Color (BIPOC). Natasha also leads All Abilities Yoga classes for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and Accessible Yoga classes. Her current partnerships are with Satya Yoga Cooperative, Guided By Humanity, Spirit Of The Sun, SHYFT at Mile High and Lululemon Highlands Square.

Since a young age Laruga has been fascinated with mind/body connections and spiritual thought which later attracted her to the practice of yoga in 1996 after a sincere connection and study of yoga philosophy. It was not until she stumbled upon Ashtanga yoga when she began the journey, immersing herself into a devoted practice a few years later in 1998. Since then, she has continued to draw inspiration from her daily visit to the mat, along with long-term studies of Ashtanga Yoga at KPJAYI in Mysore, India, practicing under the guidance of the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and who she considers her principle teacher and guide, his grandson R. Sharath Jois. Laruga has made 11 trips to KPJAYI and began her studies there after 10 years of established practice. An advanced level practitioner and student of yoga as well as a Level 2 Authorized Teacher, Laruga entered into teaching after years of sustained practice and brings with her a combined total over 25 years experience instructing body movement. In turn, she is dedicated to teaching the method of Ashtanga yoga to its fullest capacity, cultivating transparency to the tradition, and the deeply rich lineage the practice originates, otherwise known as parampara. Through it all, Laruga teaches as an act of deep sharing and love for what yoga develops in each individual, facilitating space to open, challenge, and inspire those to realize their inherent potential. Currently Laruga directs the Ashtanga Yoga program at Yogayama in Stockholm, Sweden and teaches workshops and retreats internationally. (

Shanna Small is a writer and Yoga teacher who speaks to the intersectionality of Yoga and social justice. She has practiced Ashtanga Yoga and studied the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Ashtanga in Mysore with Sharath Jois. Shanna studied Sanskrit, the Yoga Sutras and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika with Laksmish in Mysore, India. Shanna’s finds joy in making the Ashtanga practice accessible for all. She studied with Amber Karnes and Dianne Bondy and is Yoga For All certified. She is a regular contributor for Yoga International, OmStars and the Ashtanga Dispatch. She teaches diversity and inclusivity, Yoga Sutras as well as accessibility trainings and workshops. She is a founding member of Yoga For Recovery Foundation, a non-profit that helps those recovering from addiction, trauma and systemic oppression.

Shanna is a graduate of Georgia State University and holds a bachelor’s in business with a concentration in marketing. Before becoming a full time yoga teacher, Shanna was a recruiter and ad account executive.

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Shakira first discovered yoga in 1999, while looking for a way to find deep peace and relaxation with her busy work, study and fitness schedules. In her journey, she has studied Vinyasa Flow, Iyengar and Anusara yoga before finding the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga method. As a devoted student and daily practitioner in this method, she believes in the transformative and healing power of Ashtanga yoga and that the practice and benefits of all yoga practice are available to all, regardless of body type, ethnicity, creed or spiritual belief.

In February 2014, she made her third trip to Mysore, India to study with R. Sharath Jois and was given his official blessing to teach the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series. She continues to deepen her studies and understanding of Ashtanga practice and philosophy with her root teachers Kino Macgregor and Tim Feldmann.

Her teaching style is Traditional Mysore-Style and Guided Ashtanga yoga as well as "Form, Focus and Flow", an Ashtanga-based Flow rooted in the traditional tristhana ("three-pronged") method of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Above all, she is passionate about sharing yoga as a healing, sustainable and spiritual practice for life and as a basis for personal transformation beyond the mat.

She teaches Private yoga sessions to Individuals and Groups, Studio and Corporate classes in Kingston, Jamaica and is available to design and create Destination Yoga experiences for students of all backgrounds and abilities.

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