Learn From Leaders in Yoga, 
Social Justice & Accessibility


Inspiring Keynotes | Expert Workshops | Accessible Classes

Conference Host

Jivana Heyman (he/him)

Jivana Heyman, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, is the founder and director of Accessible Yoga, an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the yoga teachings. He’s the author of Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body (Shambhala Publications, November 2019). He lives with his husband and two children in Santa Barbara, California.

Jivana has specialized in teaching yoga to people with disabilities with an emphasis on community building and social engagement. Out of this work, the Accessible Yoga organization was created to support education, training and advocacy with the mission of shifting the public perception of yoga. In addition to offering Conferences and Trainings, Accessible Yoga offers a popular ambassador program with over 1000 Accessible Yoga Ambassadors around the world.

Jivana coined the phrase, “Accessible Yoga,” over ten years ago, and it has now become the standard appellation for a large cross section of the immense yoga world. He brought the Accessible Yoga community together for the first time in 2015 for the Accessible Yoga Conference, which has gone on to become a focal point for this movement. There are now two Conferences and over thirty-five Accessible Yoga Trainings per year, as well as a strong underground yoga community supporting them.

Over the past 25 years, Jivana has led countless yoga teacher training programs around the world, and dedicates his time to supporting yoga teachers who are working to serve communities that are under-represented in traditional yoga spaces.

Keynote Speakers

Dianne Bondy (she/her)

Dianne Bondy is a social justice activist, author, accessible yoga teacher, and the leader of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive approach to yoga empowers anyone to practice—regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability. Dianne is revolutionizing yoga by educating yoga instructors around the world on how to make their classes welcoming and safe for all kinds of practitioners.

Dianne is the author of Yoga for Everyone (DK Publishing, Penguin Random House) and a frequent contributor to Yoga International, DoYouYoga, Yoga Girl, and Omstars. She has been featured in publications such as The Guardian, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and People.

Dianne’s commitment to increasing diversity in yoga has been recognized in her work with Pennington’s, Gaiam, and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition, as well as in speaking engagements at Princeton and UC Berkeley on Yoga, Race, and Diversity. Her writing is published in Yoga and Body Image Volume 1, Yoga Renegades, and Yes Yoga Has Curves. Find Dianne online at diannebondyyoga.com, yogaforalltraining.com, and yogaforallstudents.com.

Keynote | The Future is Ours to Embrace

Susanna Barkataki

Susanna Barkataki (she/her)

An Indian yoga practitioner in the Shankaracharya tradition, Susanna Barkataki is the founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute and runs Ignite Be Well 200/500 Yoga Training programs online and in person. She is an E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT). With an Honors degree in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Education from Cambridge College, Barkataki is a diversity, accessibility, inclusivity, and equity (DAIE) yoga unity educator who created the ground-breaking Honor {Don’t Appropriate} Yoga Summit with more than 10,000 participants. She is the author of the forthcoming book Embrace Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice. Get a free chapter on how to embrace the roots of yoga and trauma informed yoga at www.susannabarkataki.com/book

Keynote | Embracing the Roots of Yoga Can Help Make Yoga Accessible

Susanna Barkataki (she/her)

An Indian yoga practitioner in the Shankaracharya tradition, Susanna Barkataki is the founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute and runs Ignite Be Well 200/500 Yoga Training programs online and in person. She is an E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT). With an Honors degree in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Education from Cambridge College, Barkataki is a diversity, accessibility, inclusivity, and equity (DAIE) yoga unity educator who created the ground-breaking Honor {Don’t Appropriate} Yoga Summit with more than 10,000 participants. She is the author of the forthcoming book Embrace Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice. Get a free chapter on how to embrace the roots of yoga and trauma informed yoga at www.susannabarkataki.com/book

Keynote | Embracing the Roots of Yoga Can Help Make Yoga Accessible

Michelle Cassandra Johnson (she/her)

Michelle C. Johnson is an author, yoga teacher, social justice activist, licensed clinical social worker, intuitive healer and Dismantling Racism trainer. She approaches her life and work from a place of empowerment, embodiment and integration. With a deep understanding of trauma and the impact that it has on the mind, body, spirit and heart, much of her work focuses on helping people better understand how power and privilege operate in their life. She explores how privilege, power and oppression affects the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and energy body.

Keynote | (Title Forthcoming)

Matthew Sanford (he/him)

Matthew Sanford is an expert in the process transformation through the healing power of yoga. Paralyzed from the chest down at age thirteen and beginning yoga at age twenty-five, Matthew knows firsthand the transformative effect that yoga can have on the mind-body relationship. He is an internationally recognized yoga teacher, a sought-after public speaker, and founder of the non-profit Mind Body Solutions. He is the author of the critically acclaimed WAKING: A MEMOIR OF TRAUMA AND TRANSCENDENCE (Rodale: 2006). Matthew has also emerged as a leading voice in the integrated health movement. He won the 2010 Pioneer of Integrative Medicine Award from the California Pacific Medical Center’s Institute of Health and Healing. Previous recipients include Dr. Deepok Chopra, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Mehmet Oz. For more information: www.mindbodysolutions.org.

Keynote | Yoga, Disability, and Asana

R. Nikki Myers (she/her)

An accomplished speaker, teacher, and practitioner, Nikki Myers is an MBA, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Addictions Recovery Specialist, and Health Coach. Born from her personal struggle with addiction and work with countless students, Nikki is the founder of Y12SR, Yoga of 12-Step Recovery. Based on its theme ‘the issues live in the tissues’, Y12SR is a relapse prevention program that weaves the art & science of yoga with the practical tools of 12-step programs. Y12SR meetings are available internationally and the curriculum has rapidly becoming a feature of addiction recovery treatment centers. Nikki’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post, Origin Magazine, CBSnews.com and countless podcasts. She is honored to be a co-founder of the annual Yoga, Meditation and Recovery Conferences at Esalen Institute and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Nikki has been featured as a keynote speaker at the International Association of Yoga Therapist (IAYT) conference and the International Conference on Integrative Medicine held at Harvard Medical School. She was named a Yoga Journal Game Changer iand is an honored recipient of the esteemed NUVO Cultural Visionary Award. Web: www.y12sr.com

Keynote | Addiction and Healing During a Pandemic

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, an Accessible Yoga board member, 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.

Keynote | The Audacity of Taking Up Space: Re-imagining Power In The Body

Host | Opening Day Party

Workshop Presenters

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.

Workshop | The Beloved Yoga Community: The origins of racial healing

Lakshmi Nair (she/her)

Lakshmi Nair is the founder of Satya Yoga Co-op, a BIPOC owned and operated yoga cooperative in Denver, Colorado. Satya Yoga Co-op grew out of a yoga immersion and teacher training for BIPOC that Lakshmi has been offering in Denver since 2014.

Workshop | Radical Inclusion and Subversion is Yoga:  Reflections on the Historical Bhakti Movement and Honoring our Feet

Zahabiyah Yamasaki (she/her)

Zabie Yamasaki, M.Ed., RYT is currently the Program Director of Trauma Informed Programs at UCLA and is the Founder of Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga. Zabie has trained thousands of yoga instructors and mental health professionals and her trauma-informed yoga program and curriculum for survivors is now being implemented at over 25 colleges campuses and agencies including the University of California (UC) system, Stanford, USC, University of Notre Dame, and Johns Hopkins University.

Zabie received her undergraduate in Psychology and Social Behavior and Education at the UC Irvine and completed her graduate degree in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs at The George Washington University. Her work has been highlighted on CNN, NBC, and The Huffington Post. She is currently writing the book: Trauma-Informed Yoga for Survivors of Sexual Assault which will be published by W. W. Norton & Company and is expected to be released in 2021.

Workshop | Trauma-Informed Yoga for Survivors of Sexual Assault: Empowered Pathways Towards Healing the Mind, Body, and Soul

Mary Medellin-Sims (she/her)

Mary Medellin-Sims is the Founder and Executive Director of Guided by Humanity. She is deeply passionate and committed to making yoga accessible to everyone. She believes that ALL human beings deserve equal access to health. Mary has two decades of experience working with individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities in various capacities from direct care, administration, supervision, advocate and friend. With her passion and service in mind, Guided by Humanity was founded in 2017.

Mary as an instructor leads her classes from the inside out with an open heart and compassion. Her style is centered with a gentle approach to movement, flow and breath. Her focus is to empower students for confidence and safety in their practice encouraging the use of walls, chairs, props. She takes inspiration from her teachers, family, friends, and students.
She is also serving on the Board of Directors for ‘Accessible Yoga’, Board of Directors for ‘Sana Yoga’ Yoga for the Special Child Practitioner and a ‘Yoga and Body Image Coalition’ Partner. She is an experienced 500 HR Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. Mary has additional trainings in Adaptive Yoga, Accessible Yoga, Yoga for the Special Child, Trauma Informed, Restorative and Yin.

Workshop | Creating Safer Spaces for Persons with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities

M Camellia (they/them)

Melanie “M” Camellia (they/them) is a fat, queer, non-binary, neuro-emergent yoga teacher and advocate, called to create profoundly accessible spaces for self-inquiry by integrating mindfulness and adaptive movement practices with the spirit of social justice. They believe that the goal of yoga, as of life, is collective liberation and in turn challenge contemporary yoga practitioners to dismantle the systems and beliefs that hold us all back.

M teaches classes and workshops in the Washington DC Metro Area and as a Founding Instructor on the online class platform Core to Coeur. They train teachers in trauma-informed practices, building a culture of consent, trans and queer inclusion, and accessible teaching for those with disabilities and larger bodies. Beyond their direct work with students, M is a founding collaborator with the Trans Yoga Project, co-leader of the Yoga & Body Image Coalition, and staff member of Accessible Yoga. They’ve been called a “tour-de-force of encouraging radical self-love” (DC Refined) and listed among the “top thinkers and activists in the field of body positivity” (OmStars). M lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with their wife and two cats, Matcha and Chai.

Workshop | Creating a Culture of Consent: Teaching Toward Empowerment & Embodied Agency

Panel | Trans Yoga Project: Creating Accessible Yoga Spaces for Trans & Non-Binary Practitioners (moderator)

Mei Lai Swan (she/her)

Dedicated to the paths of yoga, meditation and community for over 20 years, Mei Lai Swan shares an approach to yoga that is deeply embodied and inclusive with a heart of social justice. Founder of global social enterprise yoga school Yoga for Humankind, Mei Lai specialises in embodied trauma-informed and social justice education and nada yoga (sound, mantra and meditation). She brings to this work a wealth of professional and creative experience as a somatic yoga educator, social worker, body-focused therapist, musician, doula and non-profit leader. But more importantly, she is deeply committed to the path of spirit, which guides her passion for collective wellbeing, community building and social transformation. Mei Lai is dedicated to honouring and making the richness and depth of the yoga teachings and practices accessible, relevant and empowering for every body, heart and mind.

Workshop | From Trauma-Informed to Trauma-Transforming: Yoga, Social Justice & Spirit

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.

Workshop | No Peon, No Water
Intersection of Casteism and Yoga: A Call to Action

Anusha Wijeyakumar  (she/her)

Anusha is the daughter of Sri Lankan immigrant parents. Being raised in the philosophy of Sanatana Dharma and a lifelong student of Hinduism and Buddhism, she has a vast knowledge in both. Anusha is also knowledgeable in the areas of meditation, pranayama, mantra, and the philosophy associated with yoga. Anusha is very passionate about honouring the roots of yoga and educating people on the importance of decolonizing these practices.

Anusha is a sought after motivational speaker around the world on the science of mindfulness and meditation. Anusha is also the Wellness Consultant for Hoag Hospital in Orange County, CA where she is actively engaged on championing mindfulness and meditation practices for maternal mental health programs, early risk assessment for breast & ovarian cancer prevention programs and breast cancer survivorship programs. Anusha is one of the first people to create a meditation program to be used in clinical research at Hoag Hospital. Anusha has over 15 years of international senior management experience working for Fortune 50, 100 and 500 global corporations, charitable organizations & private companies in three continents.

Womxn’s health and social justice is at the heart of all that Anusha is involved with. Anusha is on the Board of Directors for the non-profit MOMS Orange County and is very engaged in working with inner city communities to bring the power of yoga for a healthy mind, body and spirit into these localities to nurture and impact change from within. Anusha co-founded the movement Womxn of Color + Wellness which is focused on decolonizing yoga and making wellness more equitable, accessible, diverse and inclusive. Anusha’s first book Meditation With Intention: Quick & Easy Ways to Create Lasting Peace will be released in January 2021 by Llewellyn Worldwide. 

Workshop | Womxn of Color Voices: Representation in Publishing Matters

Ryan McGraw (he/him)

Ryan McGraw approaches every class with the belief that everyone can do yoga. As a person with cerebral palsy who has been practicing yoga for 15 years, Ryan is well aware that yoga poses can be adapted to meet the needs of the student, no matter what their ability level is. Ryan earned his 200-hour yoga teaching certificate in 2011 and has completed two adaptive yoga teacher training with Matthew Sanford. Ryan received his Master’s Degree in Disability and Human Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago, in 2013. For his Master’s Thesis, Ryan created an adapted yoga manual for people with disabilities. He has written about his yoga experience in Yoga and Body Image, a collection of essays from people who are not the average yoga practitioner and recently published an article in Yoga International why it is essential to teach accessible yoga in 200 hour teacher training courses. As a member of the disability community who has worked in the disability advocacy field for 12 years, Ryan advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society.

Workshop: Looking Beyond Physical Accessibility

Kyla Pearce (she/her)

Kyla serves as the Senior Director of Programs at the LoveYourBrain Foundation, overseeing the design, implementation, and evaluation of yoga and mindfulness programs across the United States and Canada. By turning inward through yoga, Kyla believes we learn to live as our whole selves with greater clarity and compassion, which is fundamental to wellbeing and inspiring positive social change. Kyla has blended her expertise as a yoga and mindfulness teacher and practitioner, researcher, and advocate to develop evidence-based, traumatic brain injury-centered yoga programming, which she trains yoga teachers and clinicians to deliver through yoga studios and health care facilities. She teaches the LoveYourBrain Yoga and Mindset programs and co-facilitates LoveYourBrain Retreats across the country. She is also a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dartmouth College investigating the effectiveness of yoga and meditation interventions for people with neurological conditions.

Workshop | LoveYourBrain Yoga for the Brain Injury Community

Hala Khouri (she/her)

Hala Khouri, M.A., SEP, E-RYT, has been teaching yoga and movement for over 25 years and has been doing clinical work and trainings for 15 years. Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, she has dedicated her life to the study of trauma, justice and building resilience. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and an M.A. in Community Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Hala is trained in Somatic Experiencing, a body-based psychotherapy that helps resolve trauma and its symptoms.

Hala is a co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World, a training organization that bridges yoga and activism within a social justice framework. She leads trauma informed yoga trainings nationally. Hala also works with A Thousand Joys training direct service providers and educators to be trauma informed and culturally responsive. She leads a monthly, online membership program called Radical Wellbeing. Her first book, Peace from Anxiety: Get Grounded, Build Resilience and Stay Connected Amidst the Chaos, comes out in April 2021.

Workshop | Trauma Informed Yoga and Neurodiversity (with Laura Sharkey)

Laura Sharkey (they/them)

Laura left the corporate world in 2011 for health-related reasons and used the challenge of chronic illness as an opportunity to shift their focus to their life-long interest in social justice. They teach meditation and have participated in several of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition’s campaigns, including a spotlight in YBIC and Yoga International's ""This is What a Yogi Looks Like"" series and Mantra Yoga + Health's ""Every Body is a Yoga Body"" feature. They are passionate about working to make yoga and meditation more accessible and welcoming to everyone, with a special focus on dis/ability and neurodiversity.

Workshop | Trauma Informed Yoga and Neurodiversity (with Hala Khouri)

Pamela Stokes Eggleston (she/her)

Pamela Stokes Eggleston, along with Amina Naru, is the Co-Founder of Retreat to Spirit, the former Co-Executive Director of the Yoga Service Council, and a board member of Accessible Yoga. While both are heavily immersed in trauma-informed yoga, Amina works with the jail and prison populations through POSH Yoga, and Pamela works with veterans, service members and their families and caregivers through Yoga2Sleep. In their collective work with Retreat to Spirit, Amina and Pamela focus on the subtle, energetic, and soul-inspired aspects of yoga, connection, leadership, and wellness.

Workshop | Retreat to Spirit, Expand into Service and Leadership (with Amina Naru)

Amina Naru (she/her)

Amina Naru, along with Pamela Stokes Eggleston, is the Co-Founder of Retreat to Spirit, the former Co-Executive Director of the Yoga Service Council, and a board member of Accessible Yoga. While both are heavily immersed in trauma-informed yoga, Amina works with the jail and prison populations through POSH Yoga, and Pamela works with veterans, service members and their families and caregivers through Yoga2Sleep. In their collective work with Retreat to Spirit, Amina and Pamela focus on the subtle, energetic, and soul-inspired aspects of yoga, connection, leadership, and wellness.

Workshop | Retreat to Spirit, Expand into Service and Leadership (with Pamela Stokes Eggleston)

Sarah Garden (she/her)

Sarah Garden, C-IAYT, ERYT-500, has been a yoga therapist for almost two decades. Through her career, she has developed a thriving local yoga therapy practice, has trained hundreds of yoga teachers locally and nationally, and internationally. Sarah regularly speaks at medical conferences about the benefits of therapeutic yoga as a whole person modality to compliment conventional treatment or to treat when conventional treatment fails. She believes yoga can play a valuable role in the treatment of everything from persistent pain, to cancer treatment and recovery, to women's health issues. She has forged relationships with many doctors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, and other health practitioners to work co-cooperatively to better serve students.

Sarah's passion lies in deepening student's connection with their body and empowering them to take their health into their own hands with simple accessible yoga and movement practices. Her teachings help students connect with and understand the best practices for their individual body and circumstances. Sarah believes the practice must be co-created with students to meet their needs.

Workshop | The Art and Science of Making Relaxation Accessible for Everyone

Tejal Patel (she/her)

Tejal (she/her/hers) is a first-generation Indian American yoga teacher, social justice educator, podcaster, and community organizer. She is one of the co-hosts of the Yoga is Dead podcast and the creator of the abcdyogi village, where South Asian teachers reclaim the yoga and mindfulness space. She aims to educate and empower individuals and communities around the world through her social justice yoga focused offerings.

Yoga is Dead is a revolutionary podcast that explores power, privilege, fair pay, harassment, race, cultural appropriation and capitalism in the yoga and wellness worlds. Join Indian-American hosts Tejal + Jesal as they expose all the monsters lurking under the yoga mat.

Workshop | Yoga is Dead (with Jesal Parikh)

Jesal Parikh (she/her)

Jesal (she/her/hers) is a yoga teacher, movement educator, podcaster, author, and disrupter working on creative solutions for equity in yoga. She is one of the co-hosts of the Yoga is Dead podcast and is the Co-Director of Yoga Teachers of Color. Jesal's mission is to uplift those of us who are feeling isolated and marginalized by the yoga industry.

Yoga is Dead is a revolutionary podcast that explores power, privilege, fair pay, harassment, race, cultural appropriation and capitalism in the yoga and wellness worlds. Join Indian-American hosts Tejal + Jesal as they expose all the monsters lurking under the yoga mat.

Workshop | Yoga is Dead (with Tejal Patel)

Kallie Schut (she/her)

As a yoga teacher with Indian heritage and yoga sadhana for 35 years, Kallie Schut seeks to bring the richness of wisdom tradition and philosophy to the practice of yoga taught in public spaces. She teaches and practices hatha, yin, trauma informed restorative and yoga nidra. She is also a certified gong practitioner and sound healer. Kallie has been a lifelong social justice activist - advocating for those without a voice or presence in places of power and privilege. She seeks to harness the courage of her practice to challenge the yoga industry to co-create spaces which are accessible, inclusive and representative for those who are excluded or marginalized. She is one of the founding members of the UK Yoga Teachers Union and the founder of the Rebel YogaTribe YouTube channel and Radical Yogi book club. She runs teacher trainings to delve deep into the legacy of colonialism in yoga.

Workshop | Workshop Title Forthcoming

Yoga Class Teachers

Carey Sims (he/him)

Carey Sims E-RYT500, NASM-CPT lives in Charlotte, NC. His mission is to help students explore their bodies and breath in an accepting and non-judgmental way. He teaches “Gentle Back Care” at NoDa Yoga and offers Chair/Adaptive Yoga classes at various senior living centers and gyms in the Charlotte area. Carey has studied extensively with Adaptive Yoga pioneer Matthew Sanford of Mind Body Solutions and Leslie Kaminoff of The Breathing Project. He is an Accessible Yoga Ambassador, a Love Your Brain Ambassador and leads continuing education workshops on Chair Yoga and Adaptive Yoga. Carey holds degrees in Psychology from Winthrop University and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte teaches modules on Yoga History and Ethics for several 200Hr Yoga Teacher Trainings.

Led Practice | Moving with Compassion

Nina Boswell Brown (she/her)

Nina is the founder of www.sittingfityoga.com, a graduate of Yoga Vista Academy Chair Yoga Teacher Training Programme, Accessible Yoga training, and a key collaborator on the Wheelchair Yoga Teacher Training and Certification Course for Yoga Vista Academy.

Nina is paraplegic, following a car accident over 30 years ago and uses her own knowledge and experience to ensure her yoga classes are disability friendly. She teaches Yoga to wheelchair users and those with mobility disabilities in her local area and online, has produced some short Yoga videos for Wheelpower UK and is currently studying a Health Coach Diploma to bring in other elements of health and well-being into her work.

Led Practice | Seated Yoga - Progressive Movement Sequencing

Noemi Nunez (she/her)

Noemi is a Latinx Renaissance Woman! She created an innovative bilingual yoga class format and training program, based on the language centers of the brain. The mission of this bilingual yoga format is to provide a cultural bridge to further our understanding and ultimate connection. Her bilingual yoga formula brings diversity and inclusivity to yoga rooms, one community at a time! Noemi feels blessed in wearing interesting hats in this lifetime, among those: lawyer, competitive athlete, performing artist, environmental & social justice activist, beer judge, yoga studio co-owner, and her favorite hat as of late: Multilingual Yoga Educator!

Noemi’s signature Bilingual Yoga program has been featured by NBC Universal as an impactful grassroots community outreach by making accessible this wellness practice to underserved demographics. Editorial articles call Noemi an “Influencer and Inclusionary”, and her work is showcased at art exhibits by world-class cultural and academic institutions as well as sponsored by leading international athletic brands.

Noemi’s teachings foster a challenge to cultivate equanimity both inwardly and outwardly through an array of movement modalities and educational tools. Join her in rising the vibration of your world!

Led Practice | Bilingual Yoga Class

Ashley Williams (she/her)

Ashley Williams, MS, C-IAYT is a Yoga Therapist and Mindfulness Educator with experience in the fields of education, behavioral and mental health and community programming in Richmond, VA. As a builder and weaver, she bridges mindfulness, diversity, wellness and inclusion on micro and macro-levels to achieve equitable, socially stable and conscious spaces for individual and collective care. She is the Founder of both BareSOUL Yoga & Wellness a community-based organization initially created to offer accessible yoga offerings, and Mindful on Life and Mindfulness and Movement, both curriculum-based programs dedicated to transforming community through the practice of mindfulness education. She is full of inspiration, light and experience to guide efforts in creating spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to be educated and empowered through the practice of awareness. She is a dog mom, an outdoor explorer and loves all things food-related.

Led Practice | Mindfulness + Movement: Breath, Movement & Meditation

Liz Oppedijk (she/her)

Liz Oppedijk (RYT-500, E-LVCTT, MSc) came to yoga in her fifties, following serious illness and injury. Through yoga, her recovery became a transformation. But she was left with a question: how to bring the healing practice of yoga to people for whom the mat is a barrier? She found her answer in Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga. Since training with Lakshmi, Liz has taught chair yoga to people with varied abilities, including those with Parkinson’s, MS, stroke, and cancer, as well as those with dementia, learning disabilities, and their caregivers. Her commitment to accessible yoga led her to establish Accessible Chair Yoga CIC, a non-profit social enterprise. ACY is dedicated to bringing yoga to everyone, regardless of age, ability, or physical or mental condition, in particular to UK nursing homes, by training others to teach chair yoga and by sponsoring research into yoga’s effectiveness in the social care sector. Liz is currently training in yoga therapy with The Minded Institute in London, is the official Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga teacher trainer in the UK and Europe, and is the European coordinator for Jivana Heyman’s Accessible Yoga charity.

Led Practice: Get Fit Where You Sit! Doing Yoga the Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Way

Natasha Chaoua (she/her)

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

She is a certified Hatha and Accessible Yoga teacher and an Accessible Yoga Ambassador and Supporting Organization leading online offerings for Black, Indigenous, People Of Color (BIPOC). Her classes range from journaling, gentle, vinyasa flow and chair yoga practices. She also leads all abilities yoga classes for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and an open community flow class in partnership with Guided By Humanity.

Alongside her own business, Natasha is a yoga instructor and Marketing Manager for Satya Yoga Cooperative, and a yoga instructor, Media Director and Studio Manager for Guided By Humanity.

Led Practice | Accessible Flow

Marc Settembrino (they/them)

Marc Settembrino (they/them) is a fat-queer yoga instructor based in Hammond, Louisiana. Their goal is to support people who are typically excluded from wellness spaces. Therefore, Marc is committed to creating accessible, weight-neutral yoga asana classes that cultivate radical acceptance. Specifically, their work centers people in larger bodies as well as transgender and queer people. Marc is the founder of Fat Kid Yoga Club, an online yoga community offering a variety of pre-recorded and live yoga practices. Marc is also a member of the Trans Yoga Project. In addition to their work as a yoga instructor, Marc also holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Led Practice | Fat Kid Yoga Club: Creating Space for Joyful Movement and Liberation

Adrian Molina (<3)

Adrian Molina has been teaching yoga continuously since 2004. He is a well-known and respected instructor in Miami and New York, with an extensive worldwide following through his platform and school of yoga, Warrior Flow. Adrian is a writer, massage therapist, Reiki healer, meditation teacher, sound therapist, End-of-Life Doula, Mental Health First Aid facilitator, and a Kriya yoga practitioner in the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda. Adrian is recognized for the community-building work he does in Miami and New York as founder and executive director of The Warrior Flow Foundation, which brings the benefits of therapeutic and accessible yoga, mindfulness, and stress reduction tools to schools, shelters, hospitals, first responders, and hospice care.

Led Practice | The Freedom of Movement


Accessing the Benefits of Yoga in Pain Management

Shelly Prosko (she/her)

Shelly Prosko, PT, C-IAYT, is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, educator, author and pioneer of PhysioYoga with over 20 years of experience integrating yoga into physiotherapy within a variety of specialty areas including helping people with chronic or persistent pain, pelvic health issues and professional burnout. She guest lectures at numerous yoga therapy and physiotherapy schools, presents at yoga and medical conferences globally, contributes to academic research and writing, provides mentorship to health and wellness providers, and offers onsite and online courses and resources for yoga and healthcare professionals and the general population. She considers herself a lifelong student and emphasizes the immense value gained from clinical experience and learning from the patients she serves, the professionals she teaches, and the colleagues with which she collaborates. Shelly has authored book chapters in yoga therapy and integrative rehabilitation textbooks and is the co-editor/author of the textbook Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain. She maintains a clinical practice in Sylvan Lake, Canada and believes compassion is the foundation of pain care, healthcare and overall well-being. Please visit www.physioyoga.ca to learn more.

Marlysa Sullivan (she/her)

Marlysa is a physiotherapist and yoga therapist with over 15 years of experience working with people suffering with chronic pain conditions. She is an Assistant Professor in Yoga Therapy and Integrative Health Sciences at Maryland University of Integrative Health and holds an adjunct position at Emory University, where she teaches the integration of yoga and mindfulness into physical therapy practice in the DPT program. She is also the author of Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Well-being and co-editor of Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain as well as several peer-reviewed articles. Marlysa has been involved in the professionalization of the field of yoga therapy through the educational standards committee of IAYT, which helped to define the competencies for the field, and in characterizing the yoga therapy workforce through research. Her research interests focus on defining the framework and explanatory model for yoga therapy based on philosophical and neurophysiological perspectives.

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. 

The State of Union (Yoga) Address

J Miles (he/him)

J Miles' bio is forthcoming.

Shankari Goldstein (she/her)

Shankari's bio is forthcoming.

Trans Yoga Project: Creating Accessible Yoga Spaces for Trans & Non-Binary Practitioners

Chris Johnson (they/them)

Chris Johnson (they/them) is CEO & founder of Rest in Power Yoga and Reiki LLC. Their soul's divine purpose is to nourish the trees that bear the fruits of freedom. They build sacred + radical communities that harness ancestral power, accelerate collective healing, and ignite fearless creative expression. Their practice + teachings leverage yoga, reiki, and meditation as tools for Black liberation and general decolonization. You can learn with them in 1:1 coaching and in courses like Yoga for NonBinary Folx + Those Who Love Us, in Reiki Certification Trainings, and in various public yoga, sound healing, Reiki, and meditation classes. You can also catch them online on apps, like Unplug and ManifesTrack as well as in their monthly Becoming Ancestral Community. Learn more at https://restinpower.yoga.

Daniel Sannito (they/them)

Daniel (they/them) moves through this world as a trans, non-binary activist, educator, and yoga facilitator based in San Diego, CA. As a person in constant transformation, Daniel leans into telling their story, finding full self-expression as a trans person, and gaining connection by helping others through activism and facilitating the practice of yoga.

Daniel is rooted in a heart-forward practice and movement in their life, seeing through a perspective of heart-to-heart connection. As Daniel completed their 200-hr and 300-hr YTT, they deepened their relationship to self and found profound healing. Through this healing, they were able to find liberation and full expression in their gender, identity, and community. Daniel dedicates their voice to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for all humans to explore and connect to their own hearts deeply and fully.

Noha Arafa (they/them or she/her)

Noha Arafa, Esq., RYT-200, (they/them or she/her) is a neurodivergent, Queer, non-binary, Afro-Arab, human rights attorney, trauma-informed yoga teacher and activist. They have been practicing yoga since 1997. Nothing has helped them heal or manage their C-PTSD more than yoga. Noha teaches public and private classes, as well as workshops in Los Angeles, CA. They are the founder Our Ancestors' Children, which is dedicated to creating decolonized yoga spaces. Noha is a proud member and co-founder of the Trans Yoga Project.

As attorney, Noha worked for Legal Services of NJ, representing survivors of domestic violence, refugees and asylees. They served as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, NY. Noha was the co-founder of the anti-policing organization New Yorkers Against Bratton and has worked extensively with family members who lost their loved ones to police violence. It was the desire to bring yoga to these families that motivated Noha to get their teaching certification in yoga.

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