Learn From Leaders in Yoga, 
Social Justice & Accessibility

 

Inspiring Keynotes | Expert Workshops | Accessible Classes

Conference Host

Amber Karnes (she/her)

Amber Karnes is a yoga teacher trainer, ruckus maker, the founder of Body Positive Yoga, and a lifelong student of her body. Amber trains yoga teachers and movement educators how to create accessible and equitable spaces for liberation and belonging. She also creates community for folks who want to build unshakable confidence and learn to live without shame or apology in the bodies they have today. Amber is the co-creator of the Accessible Yoga Training School and Yoga For All Teacher Training, President of the Accessible Yoga Board of Directors, and a sought-after contributor on the topics of accessibility, authentic marketing, culture-shifting, and community-building. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband Jimmy. You can find her at bodypositiveyoga.com.

Conference Host | Opening Day Party

Panel Moderator | Yoga & Diet Culture

Keynote Speakers

Indu Arora (she/her)

Indu considers herself a student for a lifetime. Acknowledged as a strong, clear, and authentic voice in the Yoga and Ayurveda community, she has spent the last two decades of her life studying, contemplating, and sharing Yoga and Ayurveda. In 2020, Indu released her most recent book, Soma: 100 Heritage Recipes for Self-Care to promote health, immunity through Self-care practices, remedies, and recipes of Yoga and Ayurveda. Her book, Yoga: Ancient Heritage Tomorrow’s Vision, published in 2019, has been an instant favorite among Yoga teachers and students, alike. As a leading expert on the subject of mudras, her book, Mudra: The Sacred Secret, published in 2014, has been translated into French (La Science Sacrée des Mudra, 2017) and German (Das große Buch der Mudras: Heilende Übungen für Körper und Seele, 2018). The biggest influence in her life is her parents, teachers, and nature. She considers nature her biggest teacher and enjoys every possibility to witness a sunrise. In her words, “Yoga is not to be learned and done, but explored and realized.” She finds true pleasure in exploring new ways to distill, simplify, and share Yoga and Ayurveda with her students. Her unique gift is in making Yoga and Ayurveda a practice, which is equally useful for beginners who may be practicing it on the side, as well as for seasoned seekers, who have made Yoga a lifelong journey. Her teaching style is rooted in empowering and inspiring students to awaken the inner Guru. She is called “the real deal” by her students and fellow teachers. Her in-person as well as online classes have been reviewed as engaging, motivational, authentic, and life-changing. She lives in Minneapolis with her spouse.

Find Indu online at https://www.yogsadhna.com

Keynote | Accessing Yoga Through the Subtle Practices

Susanna Barkataki

Jacoby Ballard (he/him or they them)

Jacoby Ballard is a social justice educator, yoga teacher, and author in Salt Lake City, Utah. He leads workshops and trainings around the country on diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a yoga teacher with 20 years of experience, he leads workshops, retreats, teacher trainings, teaches at conferences, and runs the Resonance mentorship program for certified yoga teachers to find their niche and calling.  In 2008, Jacoby co-founded Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn, to work at the nexus of healing and social justice. Since 2006, Jacoby has taught Queer and Trans Yoga, a space for queer folks to unfurl and cultivate resilience and received Yoga Journal's Game Changer Award in 2014 and Good Karma Award in 2016. Jacoby has taught in schools, hospitals, non profit and business offices, a maximum security prison, a recovery center, a cancer center, LGBT centers, gyms, a veteran’s center, and yoga studios. His first book is out October 19, A Queer Dharma: Practices, Critiques, and Visions for Liberation

Keynote | A Queer Dharma

Jivana Heyman (he/him)

Jivana Heyman, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, is the founder and director of the Accessible Yoga Association, an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the yoga teachings. Accessible Yoga offers Conferences, Community Forums, a Podcast, and a popular Ambassador program. He’s the co-founder of the Accessible Yoga Training School, and the author of Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body (Shambhala Publications), as well as the forthcoming book, Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage & Compassion (Shambhala, Nov. 2021). More info at jivanaheyman.com

Reggie Hubbard (he/him)

Reggie is the founder/Chief Serving Officer of Active Peace Yoga a practice rooted in embodied yogic philosophy, somatic awareness and mindful living. His wellness journey was born of curiosity; forged in the adversity of a toxic employment situation and has now become his lifestyle and calling. Adopting disciplined yogic practices has saved his life, serving as impetus for sharing them widely in service to the well being of all.

Reggie has taught elected officials, activists and people from all walks of life the wisdom of miracles that exist in commitment to personal peace and wellbeing as a foundation, rather than an afterthought. He regularly counsels organizations and individuals on diversity, inclusion and justice - seeking to expand the scope of wellness beyond its current homogenous nature more toward wellness for everyBODY and everyone. You can find more information about Active Peace Yoga at www.activepeaceyoga.com.

Keynote | Yoga is Political: Let's Discuss.....

Colin Lieu (he/him)

Colin is a nurturer who works with young people to block out the noise and stay connected to their best selves. Colin is the Founding Dean of Wellness at Creo College Pre. He founded Multitasking Yogi in 2017 as a platform to bring the tools of mindfulness and self-care to vastly diverse spaces and populations: teaching in public schools; leading educator professional development workshops; and servicing community events. Multitasking Yogi teacher training offers an innovative way to nurture the next generation of wellness leaders. High school juniors and seniors already taking Multitasking Yogi classes have the opportunity to be placed on a specialized track to complete a Yoga Alliance 95-hr Registered Children's Yoga Teacher certification and become their community's next generation yoga teacher. He serves on the Board of Directors of Accessible Yoga Association. 

Pre-conference Intensive

Keynote | How to Let Go of the Kids Yoga Teacher Savior Complex

Tracee Stanley (she/her)

Tracee Stanley is the founder of Empowered Life Circle a sacred community and portal of practices, rituals and Tantirc teachings that are inspired by more than 20 years of study in the tradition of the Himalayan Masters and Sri Vidya Tantra. Tracee is devoted to sharing the wisdom of yoga nidra, meditation, self-inquiry, nature as a teacher, ritual, and ancestor reverence.  She is a filmmaker and poet as well as the creatrix of the Empowered Life Self-Inquiry Oracle Deck. As host of the Radiant Rest Podcast she celebrates the practices, teachers, and traditions that prioritize the rituals of rest, sacred dreaming, and self-care.

Tracee consistently calls on her understanding of the timeless wisdom of yoga and Tantra to walk towards the door of awakening where our innate luminosity, truth, wisdom, and bliss reside. Tracee’s best-selling book Radiant Rest - Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation and Awakened Clarity published by Shambhala Publishing is now available for everywhere books are sold.

Find Tracee online at traceeyoga.com

Keynote | The Power of Transition

Pre-Conference Intensive

Dr. Terry Harris (he/him)

Dr. Terry Harris has been practicing yoga for since 2015. A 200 hour registered yoga instructor, Dr. Harris teaches community based yoga classes as well as school based classes. Dr. Harris connects Black history and storytelling in all of his classes as a reminder of the strength, courage, and wisdom of the contributions of Black people worldwide. In addition to the yoga modality, Dr. Harris incorporates Restorative Justice/Circles to create healing spaces.

Dr. Harris loves to present and share information, and has presented workshops for Yoga Alliance, Accessible Yoga Conference, Black Yoga Teacher Alliance and St. Louis Yoga Week to name a few.

Dr. Harris is the co-founder of The Collective STL, which intentionally createa a healthy and safe experience catered to Black people by offering compassionate wisdom that helps heal the mind, body, and spirit through techniques of yoga, mindfulness, and culturally relevant self care strategies. The Collective STL offers donation based yoga classes, mindfulness trainings, and self care workshops to the community of St. Louis.

Michelle Cassandra Johnson (she/her)

Michelle Cassandra Johnson is a social justice warrior, author, dismantling racism trainer, empath, yoga teacher and practitioner, and an intuitive healer. With over 20 years of experience leading dismantling racism work and working with clients as a licensed clinical social worker, she has a deep understanding of how trauma impacts the mind, body, spirit, and heart. Michelle's awareness of the world through her own experience as a Black woman allows her to know, first-hand, how privilege and power operate.

Michelle published Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World in 2017; her new book Finding Refuge: Heart Work for Healing Collective Grief in July 2021. She teaches workshops in yoga studios and community spaces nationwide. Recently, Michelle created her own podcast, Finding Refuge, which explores collective grief and liberation and serves as a reminder about all the ways we can find refuge during unsettling and uncertain times and of the resilience and joy that comes from allowing ourselves to find refuge.

Michelle leads courageously from the heart with compassion and a commitment to address the heartbreak dominant culture causes for many because of the harm it creates. She inspires change that allows people to stand in their humanity and wholeness in a world that fragments most of us. Whether in an anti-oppression training, yoga space, individual or group intuitive healing session, the heart, healing and wholeness are at the center of how Michelle approaches all of her work in the world.

Lakshmi Nair  (she/her)

Having been steeped in yoga and Ayurveda's stories and philosophy from a young age, Lakshmi Nair formally studied yoga at Vivekananda Yoga Kendra and Kaivalyadhama Ashram in India in 2002. She also attended four years of graduate study in South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, where she studied Sanskrit, Tamil, and contemporary South Asian literature.

She has been teaching yoga in Denver since 2005, focusing primarily on gentle, prenatal, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, and teacher training. She has taught trauma-sensitive yoga for Center for Trauma and Resilience and currently teaches at 3 Little Birds Counseling in Littleton and was a lead instructor for Littleton Yoga Center’s 200-hour teacher training program. She is also an adjunct instructor for various 300-hour teacher training programs in the Denver metro area.

In 2014, Lakshmi started Satya Yoga Immersion for People of Color, the country’s first and perhaps only yoga immersion and teacher training programs exclusively for people of color. Since 2014, Satya Yoga Immersion has grown into Satya Yoga Cooperative, the first POC-owned and operated co-op on the country. In 2016, Lakshmi was a panelist at the 3rd annual Race and Yoga Conference at Mills College in Oakland, California. She writes about her experiences as a South Asian American yoga teacher and about her journey to POC yoga in the Yoga and Body Coalition’s new book Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body, edited by Melanie Klein, available via Llewelyn Worldwide. She was a guest expert in Season 2 of Susanna Barkataki’s Honor Don't Appropriate Yoga Summit and will be guest-editing the 2020 issue of Race and Yoga, an e-scholarship journal, along with Arushi Singh.

proaches all of her work in the world.

Amina Naru (she/her)

Amina Naru is the co-founder of Retreat to Spirit, owner of Posh Yoga LLC in Wilmington, DE, and immediate past co-executive director of national non-profit Yoga Service Council. Her professional expertise is in the field of yoga service for communities, juvenile detention centers and adult prisons since 2013.

Amina is a contributing author to the YSC Best Practices Series, Best Practices for Yoga with Veterans (YSC/Omega, 2016) and Best Practices for Yoga in the Criminal Justice System (YSC/Omega, 2017). She has served as the project manager for Yoga and Resilience: Empowering Practices for Survivors of Sexual Trauma (YSC/Omega) published by Handspring May 2020. She was also the project manager for Best Practices for Yoga with People in Addictions and Recovery.

Amina has been featured in Yoga Journal, Yoga Therapy Today and on the J. Brown and Yoga Alliance podcasts. She served as Executive Director of the nonprofit Empowered Community and is the first black woman to implement curriculum-based yoga and mindfulness programs for juvenile detention centers in the state of Delaware.

Opening Night Kīrtan

Sheela Bringi (she/her)

Sheela Bringi is a sacred music performer, educator and multi-instrumentalist, and faculty in Indian Devotional Singing at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. She is a vocalist and plays the harp, harmonium and bansuri (Indian classical bamboo flute). She has released two albums as a solo artist (Shakti Sutra and Incantations). Her work to bridge the musical worlds of India and America has been profiled by NBC News, NPR, Public Radio International, and others. Sheela tours and teaches internationally and has collaborated with artists including Idan Raichel, Karsh Kale, Jai Uttal, and many others. In September of 2020, she co-founded an online school of Indian Devotional Music along with her partner Brent Kuecker, called the Sacred Sound Lab. Since then, people from all around the world have enrolled in their programs, and are making progress playing harmonium & singing mantra and kīrtan.. and having fun doing it! To learn more about Sheela & Brent’s school please visit: www.sacredsoundlab.com

Kīrtan | Opening Night Party

Workshop Presenters

Chara Caruthers (she/her)

Chara Caruthers – ERYT-500, YACEP; Level 2 Yoga Teacher (Yoga Australia), C-IAYT, Ayurvedic practitioner/educator(CAP-NAMA), Registered Ayurvedic Practitioner(AAPNA)
Chara Caruthers is a passionate and outspoken voice for the power of living your truth. An international teacher, speaker, advocate and mentor for women’s wellness, she has inspired and motivated a global community of women of all ages to live juicier and more connected lives by embracing the principles of yoga and Ayurveda. She is a certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), a professional Ayurvedic practitioner and a writer. Her most recent book is called “Eat Like You Love Yourself: A modern guide to Ayurvedic cooking and living”, and she’s the creator and presenter of an online TV series of the same name now available on Gaia.

Workshop | Evolving our Yoga : Moving beyond the pose to create a sustainable, nourishing practice & life

Mary-Jo Fetterly (she/her)

Mary-Jo, ERYT-500, IAYT-CYT, DMT, YACEP,: A student of Non-dual Tantra since 2001 and a teacher for 35 years, I am passionate about yoga,  especially about Accessible Yoga after becoming completely paralyzed from a skiing fall, in 2004.  With my background in massage and Somatic Psychology I utilize our Energy Anatomy to facilitate transformation and liberation in Yoga Therapy and Coaching. Since 2017 I have been involved in novel teaching, training and research on Mindfulness for Disability and Trauma. Liberation for one is liberation for all, which draws me into doing lots of volunteer work with the Accessibility and Inclusion movement. 

Workshop | Body-Mind-Spirit Integration and Self Management

Danny Fluker (he/him)

Danny Fluker is a Speaker, Writer, Wellness Creative and the Creator and Executive Director of Black Boys OM 

Workshop | Coming Home to Yourself 

Hien Hong (she/her)

Hien Hong is a Vietnamese-American yoga and meditation teacher and mentor. She is based in Tacoma, Washington and started practicing yoga as a stressed out and anxious high schooler. Hien teaches with a trauma-informed lens. She has experience teaching to a variety of populations including high schoolers, low-income seniors, and people in recovery. Hien believes in disrupting the systems that make wellness inaccessible in order to reclaim the practices. She is passionate about self-compassion, decolonizing meditation and mindfulness, creating spaces for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to practice and find healing, and supporting other yoga teachers of color in the industry.

Workshop | Sweeten Your Life with Self-Compassion

Tristan Katz (they/them)

Tristan Katz (they/them) is a writer, educator, and digital strategist specializing in business and marketing coaching-consulting, web and graphic design. Based on the ancestral land of the Cowlitz and Clackamas peoples, now known as Portland, OR, Tristan teaches workshops and trainings centered around queer identity and trans* awareness with an intersectional lens, along with justice-focused digital marketing strategies for yoga and wellness professionals. Through their podcast, articles, digital resources, and workshops, Tristan supports those who seek to grow their work while staying aligned with the practices of yoga, equity, diversity, and inclusivity.

Workshop | Accessible Marketing

Oneika Mays (she/her)

Oneika Mays (LMT, E-RYT) transitioned to yoga and meditation from a 20 year career in corporate retail leadership over 10 years ago. Oneika used that experience to support social justice non-profits and teach meditation and yoga inside jails. Today, she is the first Mindfulness Coach at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. At Rikers she works one-on-one with community members in a therapeutic/medical setting. Sessions are a combination of modalities and are infused with compassion. These sessions are meant to help people foster resilience and agency. She believes that our justice system needs to focus on transformation and restoration rather than punishment. This idea of liberation and compassion is woven into her work whether it’s in a jail, speaking to audiences or teaching meditation. In addition to teaching meditation and yoga Oneika facilitates workshops and trainings centered around resilience, liberation and compassion. She believes that meditation, movement and mindfulness practices can forge a path to freedom. Power for the people.

Workshop | Disrupt with Love

Jesal Parikh (she/her)

Jesal Parikh (she/her/hers) is an Indian-American yoga teacher, movement educator, podcaster, author and disrupter working on creative solutions for equity in Yoga. She's a co-host of the Yoga is Dead podcast and she offers movement education through the lens of social justice. Her mission is to uplift those who feel isolated and marginalized by the yoga industry.

Workshop | Movement Science is Racist

Evan Soroka  (she/her)

Evan Soroka, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, is the founder of Soroka Yoga Therapy in Aspen, CO, and the author of Yoga Therapy for Diabetes. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in her teens and chronic musculoskeletal issues throughout her life, Evan practices and teaches yoga as a health-providing tool. She is a contributor to Yoga Journal, Yoga International, and Yoga Therapy Today Magazines. You can learn more about Evan at www.sorokayogatherapy.com

Workshop | Diabetes: disrupting societal stigmas and transforming behavior through empowered resilience

Melissa Shah (she/her)

Melissa (she/her) deeply believes in applying the culture and teachings of yoga to bring to light the long standing disparities in wellness spaces. She is passionate about bringing yoga and Ayurveda back to its roots, and reclaiming representation within the wellness community. Originally from Munsee Lenape land (Queens, NY) she currently lives on Tsalaguwetiyi, S'atsoyaha and Shawandasse Tula land (Nashville, TN) where she works to make yoga accessible through yoga therapy, mentoring yoga teachers, and mantra. Melissa also utilizes her background in public health to integrate yoga into schools and clinical settings. She has been practicing yoga since she was a child, thanks to her mother, and has been studying it deeply since the age of 18. Melissa firmly believes in continuously adapting the practice to the individual as they move through human experiences. Melissa has had asthma since she was 2 years old, and has seen firsthand the positive effects that yoga and pranayama can have not only on chronic illnesses, but how we perceive the world.

Currently, Melissa works individually with clients offering yoga therapy in the Viniyoga tradition. She offers weekly community chanting classes, as well as pranayama classes for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). Her offerings focus on the intersection between yoga and social justice, and how to tune into our true self and dharma (calling, purpose) when it comes to taking action toward what we believe in. When Melissa isn't teaching, she loves to practice singing, bike ride, and experiment with Ayurvedic cooking!

Workshop | Empowering Prana: How to engage the breath therapeutically 

Indu Subramanian MD (she/her)

Dr. Indu Subramanian received her medical degree from the University of Toronto, Canada. She did her neurology residency and Movement Disorders fellowship training at UCLA. Dr. Subramanian has stayed on at UCLA and is now a Clinical Professor of Neurology. She established the movement disorder clinic at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration and has assumed the position of the Director of the South West PADRECC (Parkinson Disease Research, Education and Clinical Care) Center of Excellence in Parkinson Disease. She has developed a strong interest in integrative medicine with a special interest in Yoga and Mindfulness. She underwent a 200 hour yoga teacher training and studied mindfulness at the VA with J.G.Serpa and Christian Wolfe through Insight LA. She is designing a yoga teacher training program for yoga instructors who are interested in working with PD patients. Dr. Subramanian recently got board certified in Integrative medicine. She is also passionate about palliative care in Parkinson Disease. She is doing a contemplative fellowship for health care providers through the New York Zen Center and is an AAN Palitucci Fellow.
https://www.parkinson.org/get-involved/my-pd-story/Subramanian
She is the host of a virtual support group with world experts in PD and co-edits a blog for PD patients.
http://parkinsonsecrets.com
https://www.pmdalliance.org/social-distancing-coronavirus/

Workshop | The Power of Social Connection and Yoga in Brain Health

Natalia Tabilo  (she/her)

Natalia Tabilo is a Body Positive 500 RYT yoga teacher and the founder of Yoga for All Bodies™. She was born in Chile and now lives in San Francisco, CA.

After feeling left out and unseen in yoga classes, she decided to create Yoga for All Bodies™, an inclusive and accessible practice based on variations, sensations, and freedom to meet and enjoy your body and mind where you are today.

She loves Yoga props and in all her classes variations (not modifications, because everything is a 100% Yoga), are offered using them! She truly believes that you don’t have to be thin, young, flexible, or strong to live and own your yoga practice! That’s why she always says “Your body, Your practice”.

To fulfill the promise of sharing Yoga for All Bodies™, she is certified in Vinyasa, Yoga for All, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga, Accessible Yoga, The Roll Model Method, Restorative, Yin, Yoga Nidra, Somatics and Trauma-Informed Yoga.

Workshop | Creating a Welcoming Practice For All Bodies and Minds

Shailla Vaidya MD MPH C-IAYT (she/her)

Shailla Vaidya MD MPH C-IAYT is a physician and certified yoga therapist practicing Mind-Body Medicine in Toronto, Canada. She has worked for over 20 years on frontlines of healthcare with vulnerable and marginalized populations. In 2013, after experiencing burnout, she founded The Yoga MD, a trauma-informed practice where she integrates Eastern Mind-Body practices with Western Medicine to help foster stress resilience. With a focus on helping professionals, she developed a yoga-based program called the RnR Program for Burnout. After suffering a head injury, she developed another yoga-based program called the Reconnect Concussion Program. She is a “Compassion-it” change agent and is grateful to be carrying on the work of her ancestors. Find out more at www.theYogaMD.ca

Workshop | Healing the Healers - Why it is hard to provide trauma informed care, and what you can do to prevent burnout. 

Priya Verma C-IAYT, PA-C (she/her)

Priya Verma is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Physician Assistant for over 20 years and has been caring for COVID patients on the frontline. She has pioneered integration of trauma-informed Yoga Therapy into a traditional medical model of care, specializing in non-pharmacologic pain management. She has taught yoga in corporate, studios, hospitals, schools and is a faculty member of Optimal State Yoga Therapy Training program. She  offers Clinical Resiliency Training with self-care practices for clinicians, and healthcare workers across the spectrum.  She lectures globally on integrating Yoga, Cultural Appropriation, History of Yoga and more.  She serves on the DEI Task Force for IAYT.  https://sandalwoodyoga.com

Workshop | Difficult Conversations about Covid-19 – A Yogic Lens

Pooja Virani (she/her)

Pooja Virani is a Pain-Free Movement Specialist and Social Justice Consultant on a mission to spread joy, foster equality, and help people reach their highest potential. She is the creator of Rehabilitative Yoga and Pain-Free Hips & Knees! Pooja specializes in Pain-Free Movement, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Yoga, and Social Justice Education for Yoga Teachers, Community Leaders, and Businesses. She teaches people how to overcome chronic pain and find freedom within their bodies through a combination of yoga, myofascial movement, and functional fitness. She also works to make yoga, community, and professional spaces more diverse, equitable, and accessible. A lifelong learner and leader, Pooja has lived in ten countries, worked as a Nonprofit Management Consultant and International Development Specialist, taught in rural and urban low-income schools, volunteered for the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, hosted a community radio show, farmed, organized a 3,000-attendee conference, and run an Experiential Education company.  

Workshop | Embodied Inclusion: Increasing LGBTQ+ Representation in Yoga

Patrice Priya Wagner (she/her)

Patrice Priya Wagner RYT 500, C-IAYT, has taught yoga to people with disabilities in Oakland, California since 2008. She trained with Integral Yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area, Accessible Yoga with Jivana Heyman, and Restorative Yoga with Judith Lassiter. Priya has been published in New Mobility Magazine, Works and Conversations, Artweek, and Accessible Yoga's Blog. She's on Accessible Yoga's Board of Directors and currently serves as Managing Editor of the Accessible Yoga Blog.

Workshop | Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis

Led Practice Teachers

Shannon Kaneshige (they/she)

 Shannon Kaneshige (they/she) is a fat non-binary yoga educator who offers inclusive and accessible fat-positive, trauma-sensitive, LGBTQIA+ affirming yoga. They help folks use movement to reconnect with their bodies and learn to take up space on and off the mat. In Shannon's classes you can expect a focus on sensation over shape, time to connect the mind and body, and the freedom to find asana in your body as it exists in this moment.

Shannon teaches online classes and workshops via their online studio Fringe(ish) Fat Positive Yoga. Sliding scale, private, and online classes are available through Shannon's website www.fringeish.com

Shannon is currently based in Toronto on Anishinabewaki, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation land.

Certifications: RYT 200, Yoga for All, Accessible Yoga

Led Practice | Restorative Yoga for Larger Bodies 

Linda Natera (she/her)

Linda Natera identifies as a (she/her) Latina. Founder and Director of Sana Yoga . She is a Latina small business owner of “Elements of Ayurveda” . She was born in Veracruz, México, a coastal city, where from a very young age she learned to appreciate nature, culture and the deep bonds that unite family and community.

Linda decided to start a small nonprofit during the COVID-19 pandemic since the LatinX community was being highly affected in the city .

Through the organization, Linda provides a pathway for healing that is equitable and accessible throughout Austin ,TX. Sana Yoga cooperates with other organizations in order to reduce systemic factors that negatively impact mental health, physical health, and social well being amongst our LatinX community and other marginalized communities.

Linda is a certified YTT Instructor | Ayurvedic Counselor |Mindful Grieving Facilitator and ACY Certified .

Linda’s favorite things to do are spending time with her family and her pets and going to local art shows with her husband

Led Practice | Bilingual Chair Yoga

Aly Slaughter (she/her)

Aly Slaughter, RYT-500, received her initial yoga training in May 2018. Since then, she has completed trainings with Accessible Yoga, Mind Body Solutions, Yoga For All and holds a certification in 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, 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 form a more equitable world. She believes that yoga is truly for all people in all bodies and of all abilities.

Led Practice | Yoga for the Blind/Low Vision Community

Shanna Small (she/her)

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 also certified in the Trauma Conscious Yoga Method.

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.

For information on workshops, please e-mail [email protected]

Led Practice | Chair Ashtanga Yoga

Acosia Red Elk (she/her)

Acosia is a Member of the Umatilla Tribe in Oregon.

She is a 10x World Champion Jingle Dancer, International Yoga Teacher, Artist, and Wellness Advocate. She is known for public speaking/storytelling, Indigenizing Fitness, and teaching Powwow Dance.

Acosia travels the world sharing cultural knowledge, dance and yoga. Spreading awareness about the healing benefits of movement and the power of thought. Acosia is the creator of Powwow Yoga, a tribal yoga fusion practice.

200hr RYT, 100hrY12SR, 500hr CE, Fitness Certificates: HIIT/Sculpt/Bands/Hot Core, Master Trainer of Buti Yoga.

Led Practice | Powwow Yoga

Arpita Roy (she/her)

Arpita retrieved life from Yoga after loosing both legs in an accident. She is a Fitness Instructor/motivator/Yogini.  She has a passion for fitness and positive thinking.

Led Practice | Accessible Yoga with Arpita

Anjali Sunita, RYT-500, YACEP, Ayurvedic Health Counselor (she/her)

Anjali Sunita is the founder of Village Life Wellness and the Baltimore Yoga Village platform. She offers Ayurvedic wellness consultations, and courses in yoga and pranayama from an Ayurvedic perspective. As a biracial Desi woman, she shares with a deep respect for traditional roots of the practices with a focus on accessibility and equity. To learn more about her training, see www.villagelifewellness.com, and follow @villagelifewellness on Instagram. Anjali loves to write and share about yoga and Ayurveda on her blog: www.villagelifewellness.medium.com. From there she shares the beauty of nature, joy, and interconnectedness through simple things: movement, breath, food, singing, plants, and life practices that open up worlds and bring us home to ourselves.

Led Practice | Gentle Pranayama for Mental Wellbeing

Rajni Tripathi, MFT E-RYT 500 (she/her)

Rajni Tripathi - MFT, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Rajni, Founder and Managing Director of Thought Transformation Institute, is a therapist focused on holistic mental health by merging meditation, yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy.

With over 7,000 hours of teaching/coaching experience, hundreds of hours of meditation, and yoga training, along with neurolinguistic programming, evidence-based mindfulness training, and much more, Rajni's purpose is to help others live awake, aware and able.

Along with her therapy practice, she also serves as a Board Member of the American Women's Medical Association - Chicago, to actively promote and help facilitate all avenues of integrative mental wellness and emotional health in her community.

Led Practice | Making Meditation Accessible and Culturally Appropriate

Panelists

Increasing Access to Yoga Through Healthcare

David Elton (he/him)

David Elton serves as Chief Strategy Officer for UHG Ventures Orthology. Previously he served in several leadership roles at Optum.

David has and continues to serve on advisory boards and working groups focusing on patient care and pain management, including the United Health Group Opioid Task Force and Pain Management Work Group, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

He has delivered several presentations on pain including before the American Physical Therapy Association and National Academy of Sciences. Elton received his B.S., Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Jana Long (she/her)

Jana Long, CIAYT, ERYT-500, is the executive director of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance (BYTA) and Power of One Yoga, LLC based in Baltimore, MD. She is a yoga educator with experience as an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant, meditation facilitator, Master gardener and mentor. Jana specializes in the therapeutic application of yoga to inspire and empower people 60 years and older to cultivate peace of mind, revitalize their lives and strengthen social and community connections with practices focused on the full spectrum of aging and wellness. She has traveled to Africa, India and Central America to learn and study yoga with teachers and scholars of diverse lineages and cultures o enhance her personal practice which spans 50 years. Jana has extensive experience in media, nonprofit and for-profit management and is responsible for the visionary leadership to guide BYTA through its growth and development. 

Matthew Taylor (he/him)

Matthew J. Taylor, PT, PhD, C-IAYT has been leading integrative rehabilitation since 1994 and is the editor of the graduate textbook, "Fostering Creativity in Rehabilitation.” He is past-president of the board of directors of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and teaches nationally on business development for yoga therapists. Matt is on the IAYT PubMed-indexed International Journal of Yoga Therapy editorial board. He represents yoga therapy in integrative pain care and addiction policy development on two national interprofessional task forces, as well as IAYT’s interprofessional collaboration business development projects. He’s also authored a book for yoga professionals titled, “Yoga Therapy as a Creative Response to Pain.” He is presently on the AY board of directors and is engaged in a joint venture with a major health insurance company to integrate yoga therapy into healthcare. 

Panel Moderator 

Alyssa Wostrel (she/her)

Alyssa Wostrel is the Executive Director of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).  She joins IAYT from the nonprofit membership association space where she held successive leadership positions with large national consortia, such as the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health. Her deep experience in the private sector as a sales and marketing expert with leading homeopathic product manufacturing companies informed her personal mission and social justice/policy orientation to increasing access to whole person centered healthcare for all.

Building Community Online

Avita Bansee (she/her)

I strive to bring yoga to communities of color and incorporate anti-racist, anti-capitalist and feminist themes into my classes. My classes are fun and focused on breath, strength and socio-political inquiry. Flexing mind and muscle toward a practice of individual and collective liberation, I offer a space for critique, inquiry and philosophy paired with movement.

Shannon Crow (she/her)

Shannon Crow (she/her) is a yoga teacher, trainer and host of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast. She is passionate about helping yoga teachers to specialize so that they can stand out with their unique yoga offerings. Shannon is the founder of Pelvic Health Professionals and a Mom to her three best teachers.

Panel Moderator 

Lekisha Middleton (she/her)

Lekisha Middleton is the Founder of The Good Success Network, a management consulting and executive coaching firm that focuses on creating a workforce that is equipped, equitable, diverse and inclusive. She is best known as an advisor and coach who teaches her clients how to successfully navigate and thrive through various organizational, cultural, and societal changes. Her clients experience the safe space to clarify their vision, cultivate their strengths, and gain the confidence needed to move forward into their most optimal path.

She is a proud techie and human advocate, who is driven by the desire to empower people, especially underrepresented and minoritized groups, with the tools and strategies necessary to achieve good success in every area of their lives. She loves all thing music and travel as well as spending time with family and friends. Her favorite quote is, ""To whom much is given, much is required."

Tejal Patel (she/her)

Tejal (she/her/hers) is a first-generation Indian American yoga teacher, social justice educator, podcaster, and community organizer.

Tejal aims to educate and empower individuals and communities around the world by teaching yoga through a social justice lens. She founded Tejal Yoga, a revolutionary virtual yoga community and practice space that centers South Asian teachers offering diverse yoga and meditation practices. She is co-lead of the Yoga is Dead Team which offers a podcast questioning who and what killed yoga, workshops and training about cultural appropriation, and live events about the issues with modern yoga. She created the abcdyogi village, where South Asian teachers reclaim the yoga and mindfulness space.

Beyond the Buzzwords: Power, Privilege and Yoga

Rebby Kern (they/them)

Rebby Kern (they/them) is a wandering spirit shining light into the lives of others. Rebby’s personal mission is to operate from connection, seeking justice and empowering voices. Rebby generates space for connection, empowerment and self-discovery through their 10 years in LGBTQ activism drawing connections to the yoga world and uplifting experiences of marginalized identities. Their experience drives their passion to include diverse identities around race, gender identity, sexual orientation, body, ability and more.

Kelley Nicole Palmer (she/her)

Kelley Nicole Palmer is a black, queer creative, and community advocate based in Charlotte NC. Kelley uses the practices and philosophy of yoga to guide her work in creating equitable and sustainable access to wellness for BIPOC. Along with teaching movement, meditation, and contemplative practices, Kelley leads retreats, hosts workshops, and contributes to multiple teacher training programs. Kelley also works as a race equity educator, working to create collaborative learning and self-study spaces where inquiry-based learning brings new perspectives, insights, and action.

Kelley is a writer and collage artist focusing that work on black liberation, wholeness, and healing. Kelley serves as a founding member of The Sanctuary In The City, a Charlotte-based non-profit that focuses on equitable healing spaces for BIPOC all over the world. Kelley also serves as a trainer for Accessible Yoga Training School. To learn more about Kelley please visit, www.kelleynicolepalmer.com

Anjali Rao (she/her)

Anjali Rao came to the Yoga mat at nearly 40 recovering from surgery from Breast Cancer. Growing up in Bangalore, India, Karma and Bhakti Yoga was a way of life. She studies, teaches and writes about Yoga philosophy/ history from a socio-political perspective and is deeply interested in the intersectionality of race, culture, gender and accessibility of Yoga practices. She aims to make the practice of Yoga on and off the mat helpful and joyful to people across ages, genders and abilities in various teacher trainings in studios in the Bay Area. She serves on the Board for HERS Breast Cancer Foundation, a non profit that helps survivors and those going through treatment regardless of financial status.

Panel Moderator 

Kallie Schut (she/her)

Kallie is a yoga and dharmic traditions educator who is a lifelong social justice and antiracist activist - advocating for those without a voice or presence in places of power and privilege Kallie is YA certified E-RYT 500 yoga teacher of Indian heritage practicing intentional hatha, yin, yoga nidra, meditation and gong for 35 years.

Kallie is the founder of Rebel YogaTribe YouTube channel, Radical Yogi Book Club and delivers continuing professional development trainings which delve deep into the legacy of colonialism in modern yoga as well being co-founder of the Radical Darshan Yoga School. She is also one of the founding members of the UK Yoga Teachers Union.

Yoga & Diet Culture

Emily Anderson (she/her)

Emily Anderson of All Bodies Welcome Yoga is an Accessible Yoga certified teacher based in Pittsburgh, PA, the unceded ancestral lands of Osage Nation and Shawandasse Tula. She left a corporate management job in 2021 to become a full time yoga teacher. Emily supports folks as they connect with their minds and bodies in defiance of a fatphobic, diet culture fixated society. She is also the founder of Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club, a community led group creating fat positive experiences and resources. She enjoys making her own clothes as a hobby sewist, and a chaotic tabletop RPG night. She lives with three fluffy cats, one mostly hairless dog, and her sweet hearted husband. 

Kimberly Dark (she/her)

Kimberly Dark is a writer, yoga teacher, storyteller and sociology professor, working to reveal the hidden architecture of everyday life so that we can reclaim our power as social creators. She’s the author of four books, most recently Damaged Like Me, and Fat, Pretty and Soon to be Old. Kimberly offers workshops, trainings and retreats for do-gooders to do better, on topics like unconscious bias and conflict resolution. Her retreats encourage participants to understand the stories we carry in our bodies in order to create culture more consciously. Learn more at www.kimberlydark.com

Jennifer B. Webb, Ph.D. (she/her)

Jennifer B. Webb is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Science and the Health Psychology Ph.D. Program at UNC Charlotte where she directs the WE ARE MIND-BODY KYND Lab. Dr. Webb’s research program is informed by a non-dieting, weight-neutral philosophy on wellness equity promotion in culturally- and body-diverse groups. A particular emphasis is placed on enhancing the integration, dissemination, and accessibility of evidence-based mind-body approaches (e.g., yoga, self-compassion, mindful and intuitive eating, mindful self-care, etc.) to strengthen embodied self-regulation, positive body image, and well-being among individuals during the developmental transitions of emerging adulthood, pregnancy, and the postpartum. Dr. Webb also currently serves as an Associate Editor for Body Image: An International Journal of Research, an Advisory Board member of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, an Ambassador for Accessible Yoga, a Community Partner with the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, and as a Scientific Program Committee member of the Symposium on Yoga Research. 

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