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Celebrated as one of America’s distinguished Black Yogis by Black Enterprise Magazine, Unity in Yoga host Maya Breuer is Yoga Alliance’s Vice President of Cross-Cultural Advancement; the co-founder and Emeritus President of the national Black Yoga Teachers Alliance; and a preeminent yoga teacher, speaker, practitioner, author, and community activist. Read more.

Unity In Yoga Podcast

With Maya Breuer and Special Guests

Unity in Yoga engages listeners through the teaching, practice, and discussion of yoga. Host Maya Breuer chats with guests from the yoga and wellness community representing a broad range of cultural and philosophical perspectives in a collective effort to promote: inclusion, accessibility, and better health through yoga.

 

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the special guest(s) and do not purport to reflect the policy or position of Yoga Alliance (YA) or the Yoga Alliance Foundation (YAF).


SEASON 1 | Episode 1: Yoga for Men of Color

With Sherri Doucette E-RYT 500, YACEP

Sherri Doucette discusses yoga as a self-healing tool for men of color.

Sherri Doucette (E-RYT 500, YACEP) has been featured on WFAA, NBC, BET, KHVN97 and KNON, is a native of Los Angeles, CA and a long-time resident of Dallas, TX. Motivated by the sudden passing of her husband in 2015, Sherri founded Litehouse Wellness—a non-profit purposed to strengthen the African American family and community by bridging the wellness accessibility gap for Black men using yoga, meditation, and preventative health education. She is a certified yoga teacher, meditation guide, Reiki II practitioner, mindfulness consultant, plant-based transitioning coach, and life-span doula. Sherri studied social work at Clark Atlanta University and trained with international master yoga and meditation teachers. To learn more about Sherri, subscribe to her website www.litehousewellness.org and connect via Instagram and Facebook @litehousewellness.

    45 min


SEASON 1 | Episode 2: Kashmir Shaivism

With Bruno Garrote

Bruno Garrote explains how to access the divine in the "simple" actions of yoga and meditation.

Bruno Garrote is an experienced and multi-faceted body and theory professor and instructor. His work includes a Ph.D. (2016) and Masters (2013) by USP in Law and Philosophy and books, articles, reviews, translations, poems, and more. Some of his formal trainings and certifications are in AcroYoga, yoga, contact improvisation, massage, and Expansion of Sexuality Therapy.

    44 min


SEASON 1 | Episode 3: Mindfulness and Meditation: A Practice

With Dr. Tara Brach and Dr. Jack Kornfield

Dr. Tara Brach and Dr. Jack Kornfield detail how to bring yoga to schools, teachers, and students.

Dr. Tara Brach’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. As an undergraduate at Clark University, Tara pursued a double major in psychology and political science. After college, she lived for ten years in an ashram—a spiritual community—where she practiced and taught both yoga and concentrative meditation. Over the following years, Tara earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Fielding Institute, with a dissertation exploring meditation as a therapeutic modality in treating addiction. She went on to complete a five-year Buddhist teacher training program at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and in 1998, she founded the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (IMCW), which is now one of the largest and most dynamic non-residential meditation centers in the U.S. She and Jack Kornfield lead the Awareness Training Institute (ATI), which offers online courses on mindfulness and compassion, as well as the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP).

Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India, and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. After graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967, he joined the Peace Corps and worked on tropical medicine teams in the Mekong River valley. He met and studied as a monk under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. Returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. Over the years, Jack has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International Buddhist Teacher meetings, and worked with many of the great teachers of our time. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a father, husband, and activist. His books have been translated into 20 languages and sold more than a million copies.

    57 min


SEASON 1 | Episode 4: The Power of Breath in Times of Great Change

With Sara Clark

Sara Clark shares how breathing serves as an act of peaceful resilience.

Sara Clark is an international Vinyasa yoga and meditation teacher with nearly two decades of experience. Sara’s teaching merges the physical and spiritual practices of yoga with mindfulness and meditation techniques that help to ease suffering and liberate the soul. She has been a Global Yoga Ambassador for Lululemon and has graced the cover of Yoga Journal twice along with Prevention magazine. Sara has created a series of online yoga and meditation videos for Shape Magazine, Yoga Today, and Glo. Known for her compassionate teaching style and fluid sequences, Sara makes both the novice and the more experienced practitioner feel welcomed in her class.

    46 min


SEASON 1 | Episode 5: Love, Light, and Food: Making Sustainability Taste Good

With Satta Jallah

Satta Jallah describes the karmic and environmental impacts of food.

Satta Jallah is a certified yoga instructor and doula. She is the founder of Holistic Roots Movement, where the mission is to empower women to reclaim their health through different holistic modalities such as yoga, dance, energy therapy, and natural beauty education.

    43 min


SEASON 2 | Episode 1: An Introduction to Litehouse Wellness

With Sherri Doucette E-RYT 500, YACEP

Sherri Doucette continues her discussion on yoga as a self-healing tool for me.

Sherri Doucette (E-RYT 500, YACEP) has been featured on WFAA, NBC, BET, KHVN97 and KNON, is a native of Los Angeles, CA and a long-time resident of Dallas, TX.

Motivated by the sudden passing of her husband in 2015, Sherri founded Litehouse Wellness—a non-profit purposed to strengthen the African American family & community by bridging the wellness accessibility gap for Black men using yoga, meditation, and preventative health education. She is a certified yoga teacher, meditation guide, Reiki II practitioner, mindfulness consultant, plant-based transitioning coach, and life-span doula. Sherri studied social work at Clark Atlanta University and trained with international master yoga and meditation teachers. To learn more about Sherri, subscribe to her website www.litehousewellness.org and connect via Instagram and Facebook @litehousewellness.

    45 min


SEASON 2 | Episode 2: The Yogic Philosophies of Duality and Non-Duality

With Bruno Garrote

Bruno Garrote discusses yogic philosophies of duality and non-duality, the Yoga Sutra, Vedan.

Bruno Garrote is an experienced and multi-faceted body and theory professor and instructor. His writings include a Ph. D (2016) and Masters (2013) by USP in Law and Philosophy and books, articles, reviews, translations, poems, and more, including other knowledge fields. Some of his formal trainings and certifications are in AcroYoga, Yoga, Contact Improvisation, Massage, and Expansion of Sexuality Therapy.

    44 min


SEASON 2 | Episode 3: Kindred Accelerator – MFA for BIPOC Artists

With Rona Luo

Rona Luo shares about Kindred Accelerator—a collaborative alternative program designed for BIPOC yoga practitioners and artists.

Rona Luo is a poet, acupuncturist, and yoga teacher currently based in London, UK. She walks after her maternal lineage of herbalists and storytellers. Rona has provided harm reduction acupuncture in California with the Oakland clean needle exchange, trained abortion doulas, and was a founding member of Shift Acupuncture Collective—Oakland's first multilingual healing collective. She has also taught bilingual yoga classes and Chinese medicine workshops in New York and the SF Bay Area.

    45 min


SEASON 2 | Episode 4: A New Consciousness

With yoga teacher and activist Reggie Hubbard

Reggie Hubbard helps listeners define and understand true consciousness.

Reggie Hubbard (RYT 500) is the Founder/Chief Serving Officer of Active Peace Yoga, whose mission is to serve all communities, all practice levels, and lifestyles by helping people nurture foundational habits of self-care, rather than viewing wellness as an afterthought. Reggie has authored a thesis entitled, "Yoga and Spiritual Activism: Serving Humanity from a Sense of Devotion and Love" and has been a featured speaker on racial justice and civic engagement for the Hanuman Academy, Yoga Alliance, Upaya Zen Center and various other platforms. In addition to his yoga teaching practice, Reggie has held many senior strategic and logistical roles across a variety of fields, ranging from global marketing, digital and community organizing, government relations, international education to Presidential campaigning. He currently serves as a leading progressive political strategist, regularly interacting with elected officials on Capitol Hill and managing relationships, impact and communications among the broader progressive movement. Reggie's dharma sits at the intersection of bringing more peace and balance to activists AND to guiding the wellness community toward being more engaged, concerned citizens. He is open to collaborate with anyone on teacher trainings on issues of social justice and inclusion as well as speaking to communities to facilitate these challenging, important conversations.

    45 min


SEASON 3 | Episode 1: Yin and Yang: Beyond the Binary

With Rona Luo

Rona Luo talks you through going "beyond the binary" as a poet, acupuncturist, and yoga teacher.

Rona Luo is a poet, acupuncturist, and yoga teacher currently based in London, UK. She walks after her maternal lineage of herbalists and storytellers. Rona has provided harm reduction acupuncture in California with the Oakland clean needle exchange, trained abortion doulas, and was a founding member of Shift Acupuncture Collective—Oakland's first multilingual healing collective. She has also taught bilingual yoga classes and Chinese medicine workshops in New York and the SF Bay Area.

    45 min


SEASON 3 | Episode 2: Welcoming an Age of Unity in Consciousness

With Caroline (Shola) Arewa

Caroline Shola Arewa discusses how we are arriving at a new age of consciousness through building fro past ancient traditions and utilizing reflection and awareness.

Shola Arewa is a leading figure in the worlds of spirituality and wellness. She’s delivered her award-winning work internationally for over 30 years and is the author of five books, including bestsellers Opening to Spirit and Energy 4 Life. Today, she trains and mentors wellness professionals worldwide.

    44 min


SEASON 3 | Episode 3: Evolution of Synergy Yoga

With Francisco Morales Bermudez and Salim Rollins

Salim Rollins and Francisco Morales-Bermudez share how community organizing principles inspired this international yoga platform.

Salim Rollins directs wellness and cultural arts programs that aim to create transformative experiences and uplift communities. Originally from New York, Salim currently resides in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is the founder of Soul Flow Ltd (Kenya) and a partner of Synergy Yoga. Through this work, Salim organizes and hosts yoga teacher training, Thai massage certifications, wellness festivals, retreats, and workshops. He is also the founder of Capoeira Kibera. This community-based program uses Capoeira Angola to impart critical life skills and offer alternative choices to youth in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, the largest urban slum in Africa. Salim has a background in youth development and conflict resolution facilitation. Salim deeply values his role as a community organizer and the opportunity he has been given to share healing practices with communities throughout the world.

Francisco Morales-Bermudez has been traveling the world teaching yoga since 2002. Today, he leads yoga classes and seminars as well as Synergy Trainings and Open Heart Journeys. In 2005, he founded Synergy Partner Yoga. Since then, his mission has been to share this practice and yoga asana in order to assist in alleviating pain in bodies, maintaining physical wellbeing, and cultivating trust, connection, and a playful vibration. Francisco grew up in Lima, Peru, where he spent time in the ocean, playing soccer, and becoming intrigued with a healing touch. His intrigue turned into a passion, and for many years he studied and learned from different art forms and exercise systems. He immigrated to the United States with his mother and sister at the age of nine.

    44 min


SEASON 3 | Episode 4: 3 Main Philosophies—Yoga Sutras, Vedanta, and Kashmir Shaivism

With Bruno Garrote

Bruno Garrote discusses Liberation in three main philosophies: Yoga Sutra, Advaita Vedanta, and Kashmir Shaivism.

Bruno Garrote is an experienced and multi-faceted body and theory professor and instructor. His writings include a Ph. D (2016) and Masters (2013) by USP in Law and Philosophy and books, articles, reviews, translations, poems, and more, including other knowledge fields. Some of his formal trainings and certifications are in AcroYoga, Yoga, Contact Improvisation, Massage, and Expansion of Sexuality Therapy.

    44 min


SEASON 3 | Episode 5: Achieving Peace, Harmony, Balance, and Success

With Berry Murray

Berry Murray shares how the practice and philosophy of yoga helped her overcome addiction and directly feeds the success of her personal and professional lives today.

Berry Murray is Principal Partner and Chief Operating Officer for Business Focus, Inc. (BFI), a Rhode Island-based Information Technology consulting and staffing firm. She is also the owner of the Brooklyn Coffee Tea & Guest House located in historical Smith Hill, Providence. “The Brooklyn” currently serves as a hub for supporting community and civic-minded activity for Smith Hill and surrounding communities and has been featured in Essence Magazine online and Edible Rhody. Berry is also an active member of the RI community and an outspoken advocate for creating inclusive work environments that provide entrepreneurial opportunities to women of color—believing people are most inspired by first seeing success and then doing. She sees yoga as having brought her the practice of “breathing into her life,” which offers clarity to the mind.

    44 min


SEASON 4 | Episode 1: The Anatomy and Physiology of Stress

With Arturo Peal

“Anatomy Whisperer” Arturo Peal shares how our bodies can be taught to overcome the “fight or flight” response carried by chronic stress.

Arturo Peal is an Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) instructor and a certified Yoga therapist. He co-leads the Therapeutic Yoga Training Program and holds a Master’s degree in Chinese medicine, practices craniosacral therapy, and has been involved in the alternative health-care field for more than 30 years. Arturo teaches A&P for Yoga teacher trainings plus studios, bodyworkers, and other movement specialists. His weekly class in Therapeutic Yoga serves students who are unable to do a traditional Vinyasa practice. He integrates his expertise in anatomy, kinesiology, Chinese medicine, and the healing processes to present a multidimensional understanding of the human body.

    44 min


SEASON 4 | Episode 2: Self Care is Health Care

With Kemiko Lawrence

Kemiko Lawrence shares how clean eating from an early age helped soothe seasonal allergies and build healthy living habits.

Kemiko Y. Lawrence (E-RYT 200) is a mixologist and brewmaster. Her wellness journey has been her life’s story. As a child, she experienced severe illnesses. This experience led her mother to radically modify the family’s diet. Kemiko’s mom laid the foundation for what is now her life’s work and passion. She is passionate about educating others about the power of diet and yoga. Her signature kemboocha is an extension of who she is. Having worked with corporations, individuals, small, and large groups, Kemiko continues to lead the charge of spreading wellness throughout her community and the world. A health and wellness advocate, Kemiko believes that being non-judgmental of yourself will ensure you will be the same way with others. Self-care is key to Kemiko’s way of life. Caring for herself is her way of exemplifying strength, courage, and wisdom.

    44 min


SEASON 4 | Episode 3: Laughter Yoga

With Larry O'Brien

Larry O'Brien shares how laughter is truly the best medicine and the power of "Laughter Yoga."

Larry O'Brien considers himself "nobody's yogi," though he has two practices that have immensely helped his life. The first is he Knowledge taught by Prem Rawat, which he has been practicing since 1974. The practice of Knowledge requires sitting daily and helping others do the same. This has helped Larry deal with both bipolar disorder and multiple sclerosis. The second practice is Laughter Yoga. He first attended a session around the new Millennium and became a certified leader in the practice as taught by Dr. Madan and Madura Kataria in May of 2014. Together, Knowledge gives him insight into the absurd and illusory nature of what passes for reality, and Laughter Yoga has offered Larry tools to throw back his head and laugh and help others do the same.

    44 min


SEASON 4 | Episode 4: Poetry, Spoken Word, Hip Hop, and Yoga

With Sunu Chandy and Neil Patel

Sunu Chandy and Neil Patel (N1, The Rapping Yogi) share how yoga informs their creative expressions in poetry, spoken word, and hip hop.

Sunu P. Chandy has performed poems and led creative writing workshops in various settings for about 25 years. Her work can be found in Asian American Literary ReviewBeltway Poetry QuarterlyPoets on Adoption, Split this Rock’s The QuarryThis Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation, and is forthcoming in The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood. She completed her MFA in poetry at Queens College, CUNY in 2013, and previously completed degrees from  Earlham College (Peace and Global Studies/Women’s Studies) and Northeastern Law School. Sunu is also a civil rights attorney, and since August 2017 has served as the Legal Director for the National Women's Law Center.

Neil Patel (N1, The Rapping Yogi) comes from a long family linage of yogis, dating back 100 years to Porbandar, Gujarat, India—the home of Mahatma Gandhi. His family has been teaching yoga in the U.K. since 1976, which Neil began to take over as a teenager in 1990. He is most notable in England for having survived (and still lives with) 1.5kg of active cancer in his body (now for 20 years). He cites yoga as his sole source of “mental medicine” against the disease. He is also known as the “Rapping Yogi,” having produced many songs, poems, and raps on themes like Christ as a yogi, Anti knife-crime, religious unity, and other philosophies. You can find his latest tracks called “Breathe” and “The Truth” under his rap name, “N1”. He started a worldwide trend of “Hip Hop Yoga” in the early 2000s by bringing rap music and beats to classes and choreographing the two traditions carefully into one. He trains teachers and develops students through his work, and is currently writing a book on mind over matter for cancer, as well as a new take on the yoga classic, the Mahabharata.

    44 min


SEASON 4 | Episode 5: Native American Healing Part 1

With Shawn Stevens

Shawn Stevens (known as Red Eagle) describes Native American healing and shares how it shapes his way of life.

Red Eagle (Shawn Stevens) is an enrolled member of this nation’s First People, whose ancestral homelands are the Berkshires, including the entire Hudson Valley. As a member of the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans, he is a Native American culturalist, artist, musician, and ceremonial helper, drawing on experience from living a Native American spiritual way of life. Apart from his beautiful artwork, which can be found in all 50 states and 14 countries, he is also a traditional Native American storyteller, drummer, dancer, singer, and flute player. He is an ordained minister of the Universal Church of Light and a certified facilitator of White Bison’s Mending Broken Hearts.

    44 min


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