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Community Conversation | The Intersectionality of Yoga for Black Teachers and Practitioners

July 2, 2020, 10am ET

About This Event

In this edition of Community Conversations, a BIPOC panel including Yoga Alliance employees will engage in open conversation about how racism has affected their lives as yoga teachers and practitioners and their experiences navigating yoga spaces.


About the Presenters

Quana Thompson (RYT 200) is a yoga teacher who aspires to work with black, indigenous, and people of color to create sacred spaces of healing and fun through movement, meditation, and sound. After spending nearly a decade teaching and practicing yoga in spaces, which lacked diversity, Quana knows what truly speaks to her own and adjacent communities of color. She strives to create environments where one can practice with a sense of belonging, acceptance, and freedom without judgment. Quana completed her yoga teacher training at Atmananda Yoga Studio in NYC and taught private sessions at a holistic wellness center in the Upper West Side. Since then, she’s relocated to the DMV area where she works in the credentialing department of Yoga Alliance, and most recently, on their Social Justice Task Force.

Felix Rucker (RYT 200) graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University in May 2015. After living as a resident of North Carolina since childhood, Felix relocated to the DC Metropolitan Area to pursue dance professionally. Amid the new transition, he sought the healing and artistry found in yoga to help with his recovery from a Stage II MCL sprain in his right knee. In 2019, Felix was certified at the 200-hour level by Jasmine Chehrazi of Yoga District DC. He discovered his profound passion of holistic/rhythmic movements through dance performance and yoga. Now, Felix works for Yoga Alliance as a Member Support Specialist, and currently teaches powerful yoga with Yoga District.

Sharon Cyrus is an aspiring yoga teacher and has practiced yoga in the DC metropolitan area for 15 years. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training program at Flow Yoga Center in Washington, DC, and is currently working towards her 300-hour certificate at Embrace Om with Faith Hunter (also in Washington, DC). She has served as a Member Support Representative for Yoga Alliance for over a year and has been working closely with registered yoga professionals and schools to provide support and business assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maya Breuer (E-RYT 500, YACEP), Vice President of Cross-Cultural Advancement for Yoga Alliance, co-founder of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, an Emerita Trustee of Kripalu, is creator of the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™. Maya began studying yoga in 1986 and received her yoga teacher certification from Kripalu in 1992. She deepened her knowledge and understanding of yoga at the Lakulish School in India. Her teaching combines traditional forms with her own indigenous wisdoms, encouraging individuals to use yoga to renew their spirit, change their consciousness, and to act toward healthy living. Maya has offered RYT 200 and 300 teacher training and certification courses through the Santosha School of Yoga, which she founded in 2001.

Ava Taylor, Founder of YAMA Talent, is a tenacious entrepreneur and avid yoga practitioner. Committed to running an ethics-based business, her personal mission is to be a Catalyst for Better Living, bringing the tools of wellness to communities of all kinds. Ava has pioneered the development of the booking, management, and consulting business in the yoga space, and is a sought-out media contributor known for having her finger on the pulse of this rapidly expanding industry. She’s the creator of The Catalyst: Online Business School for Yogis.


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