An Accessible Yoga Community Conversation with the
contributors of the Evolution of Yoga Summit’s Race and Equity Track
A Bridge Between Grief and Hope:
Putting Ourselves Back Together as a Community
May 26th, 2021 | 3pm-5pm Pacific | 6pm-8pm Eastern
This is a live online event shared via Zoom.
Free to attend. Captions available.
Replay will be made available for those who cannot attend live.
A Free Community Conversation with Amina Naru, Michelle Cassandra Johnson, Lakshmi Nair, Colin Lieu, and Dr. Terry Harris.
We will offer a community gathering of practice, candlelight vigil, affinity spaces, and conversations to process grief to make way for more hope; as we put ourselves back together again with the salve of our collective love for right action and social justice.REGISTER NOW (IT'S FREE!)
Last year, on May 25th, the world began to turn in a different way. All over the globe, people turned their attention towards a police officer, Derek Chauvin, taking the life out of George Floyd by placing his knee on George’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. We watched another heinous and horrific act of police violence against a Black man and the community who witnessed their brother be murdered. George was murdered on the heels of Breonna Taylor being shot while in her bed asleep and Ahmaud Arbery being murdered by two white supremacists while out for a jog. The landscape behind the continual murders of Black people was Covid-19, which had already shaken us all to the core. We were experiencing a global pandemic as it coincided with the ongoing pandemic of white supremacy.
White-bodied people began to awaken in a new way, reaching for resources, uplifting Black people on social media, gathering with white people in affinity spaces, protesting, and supporting the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Black people called for accountability, grieved out loud in the streets, protested, and fought for Black Lives to matter. Schools and roads were being renamed and confederate statues were being torn down. The entire world was on fire calling out George Floyd’s name around the globe.
White supremacy continued to ravage communities of color and many of us didn’t have time or space to grieve and care for ourselves. Racial trauma is the cumulative effect of racism on the heart, spirit, mind, body, and nervous system. Many Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are constantly in a hypervigilant state due to how persistent and consistent white supremacy is. When our trauma goes unattended and we do not have space to grieve this makes us sick, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We need a space to pause and heal our trauma. We need a space to grieve together, in community. We need space to process the different ways we experience living in a white supremacy culture as white-bodied people and BIPOC people.
Join the contributors of the Yoga Alliance Foundation’s Evolution of Yoga Race and Equity Blueprint on May 26, from 3:00pm-5:00pm PT // 6:00-8:00 pm ET online via Zoom for A Bridge Between Grief and Hope: Putting Ourselves Back Together as a Community.
Join us and come exactly as you are.
Meet The Presenters
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.
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 comes out in July 2021 and is available for presale now. 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.
Colin Lieu (he/him)
Colin Lieu is a nurturer who works with young people to help them better connect with themselves and block out the noise in order to realize their full potential.
Colin 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; servicing community events; self-publishing the picture book “Phoenix’s First: An Introduction to Mindful Breathing”; and presenting at conferences. No matter what we are juggling, there is a Multitasking Yogi in all of us and his launch of Multitasking Yogi School (MY School) is an innovative way to nurture the next generation of wellness leaders.
High school juniors and seniors already taking Colin’s classes have the opportunity to be placed on a specialized and supplementary mentorship and support track to complete a 95-hr Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher certification (certified by Yoga Alliance). This ensures wellness grows from a grassroots level and empowers young people to graduate high school and immediately have access to employment opportunities and help spread the important message of mindfulness and self-care in their communities.
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.