Inclusion

THE CONVERSATION: How can yoga reach EVERY BODY?

In this conversation we strive to answer the following questions: who is currently excluded from yoga in its current structure – cultural, physical, financial, geographic? What is the role of Yoga Alliance in fostering inclusion in yoga?

We have brought together a diverse spectrum of expert advisory voices to maximize the perspectives and resources within this area of inquiry. They represent one stream of input in the process — represented in the timeline activities below — alongside the thousands of voices inside and outside of yoga who have already contributed their viewpoints through a comprehensive survey, focus groups, online discussions, and other channels that will continue to be offered through the duration of this project.

Inclusion Working Group Timeline

Timeline events include scheduled calls with the assigned advisory committee to refine recommendation papers, as well as supporting podcasts and workshops.

View the summarized timeline for all working groups here.

Advisors on this group:

Jacoby Ballard

Jacoby Ballard

Jacoby Ballard is a white trans queer person working to support and nourish local and national social change work through yogic and Buddhist practices, herbalism, and political education, as well as educating and organizing embodied and contemplative communities in social justice ...
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Susanna Barkataki

Susanna Barkataki

Susanna Barkataki, M.Ed. Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Core Community of Interbeing, is known for her passion for decolonizing yoga - practicing yoga not just as poses but as a way of life. She ...
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Lisa Carbone

Lisa Carbone

Lisa Carbone was introduced to yoga for personal well-being and stress management while in graduate school. This experience sparked her initial research interest in yoga and launched a personal exploration into her own mind-body connections. From there, she pursued yoga ...
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Cindia de la Torre

Cindia De La Torre

Cindia De La Torre, MBA, RYT 200, completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2018 at Almaden Yoga in San Jose, CA under the guidance of Anuja Chaudri. During her 14-year tenure in growth and retention marketing leadership positions ...
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Phindile Dhlamini

Phindile Dhlamini

Phindile Dhlamini is a humanitarian and businesswoman who is inspired by the vibrant and diverse African continent and is driven by the pursuit of socioeconomic development of its people. A multi-dimensional background in research, philanthropy, corporate transformation and social responsibility ...
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Marshawn Feltus

Marshawn Feltus

Marshawn Feltus is a Chicago West Side native and owner of the first yoga studio, ACT Yoga, in Chicago’s Austin community. He has gained recognition through a variety of media, community members, and organizations for his work in the Chicago community ...
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Jivana Heyman

Jivana Heyman

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 for people of all abilities and backgrounds. Accessible Yoga offers two Conferences per year, which focus ...
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Hala Khouri

Hala Khouri

Hala Khouri, M.A., SEP, E-RYT, has been teaching yoga and the movement arts for over 20 years. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is trained in ...
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Crystal McCreary

Crystal McCreary

Crystal McCreary has taught yoga and mindfulness since 2007. She is committed to creating and holding safe spaces for people to connect, heal, learn, and build resilience in a world that often takes relentless hold of our bodies, minds, and ...
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Maryam Ovissi

Maryam Ovissi

Maryam Ovissi became an avid student of yoga in 1999, after studying privately with Simin Yahaghi, her first yoga teacher, in California. Since 2001, she has been teaching Hatha, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Prenatal and mom and baby classes. Maryam is a ...
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Luvena Rangel

Luvena Rangel

Luvena Rangel, HHP, E-RYT, RPYT, YACEP comes with over 15 years of experience in international oil and gas, aviation, and logistics businesses. Born and raised in the Middle East and with an academic background in science and medicine from Ukraine, she ...
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Melanie Williams

Melanie Williams

Melanie Williams, RYT-200, is a fat, queer, non-binary yoga teacher and self-love advocate in Washington, D.C. She is called to create profoundly inclusive spaces for wellness, self-inquiry, and the inward journey by integrating spiritual teachings and accessible movement practices with the spirit of ...
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