Keynote Speakers

October 17th @ 1:30pm

Yoga &
Our Social Movements

Malcolm X said, “justice by any means necessary”. Can yoga be a means to justice? How would our yoga practice and collective appropriation of yoga need to fundamentally change? Can we disentangle yoga from its own oppressive past and present in order to find the thread of liberation that our communities so desperately need to hold on to? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this keynote about justice, yoga, and today’s social movements.

October 24th @ 10am

Conscious Grief: How to Heal and Love Through Grief

Grief is a universal experience. Sometimes we feel it on a personal level, sometimes we feel it on a community level, or even on a global family level. We may be grieving the loss of a life, the loss of a relationship, the loss of connection to self, others or the planet… Whatever the circumstances or details, grief is inevitable, natural and unavoidable. So how do we process our grief? How can we heal within and from our grief? How can we love more as a result of our grief? How can we awaken through our grief?

October 31st @ 12pm

Sa̱ltała – Trauma-informed Yoga and Ceremony

Jessica will weave stories, Kwakwaka’wakw values, and research to describe Indigenous contemplative and meditative practices. She will offer reflections of healing intergenerational and historical trauma and strengthening community wellness through Yoga and Ceremony. She will speak to her experiences of co-creating trauma-informed curricula with First Nations womxn and the early impressions of her doctoral project “(Re)Connecting through women’s teachings, language and movement: Culturally-adapted yoga for First Nations Womxn and Girls”.

November 7th @ 2pm

Centring Self & Collective Care in Social Change Work

Details coming soon…

Register Now!

prac·​tice | to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient   –   prax·​is | the practical application of any branch of learning

October 17 | 1pm – 5pm PST | Live via zoom
October 24 | 9:30am – 1:30pm PST | Live via zoom
October 31 | 12pm – 4pm PST | Live via zoom
November 7 | 11:30am – 3:30pm PST | Live via zoom
Sliding scale – all 4 days $285 – $95
Single day tickets $75/day
50% off for YO volunteers, 25% off for alum, 10% off for Challenge participants
Scholarships are available for those with financial barriers.

To enhance this dialogue we have curated an amazing group of thoughtful and thought provoking panelists to further explore the topics of anti-oppression work through yoga, mental wellness & community, yoga & Indigenous communities, and activism & self-care. 

Attendees will experience thoughtful challenges to predetermined ideas about what it means to practice yoga and apply it to our daily lives.

Register Now!

Keynotes

Tahia AhmedTahia Ahmed (she/her) is a facilitator and community organizer. Her dive into yoga philosophy and practice is driven by her ancestral connection to the spiritual traditions of South Asia. She is passionate about uplifting and cultivating spiritually grounded and culturally relevant approaches to building resilience. Tahia is also a birth doula and co-founder of the Nesting Doula Collective supporting Indigenous and POC communities on the Island. She trusts in the words of Arundhati Roy, “another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing”. You can find Tahia at nestingdoulacollective.com and inneractivist.com

Taraneh Erfan KingTaraneh Erfan King, MA, RCC (she/her) is a writer, educator and registered counsellor whose purpose is to hold space for conscious awakening. Her work is informed by her deep passion to create opportunities for inward development, and purpose-led transformation. In her private practice and workshops, Taraneh focuses on supporting individuals and teams in cultivating deep awareness, and creating conscious connections which lead to powerful ripples of healing and joy in all areas of their lives. Taraneh is a mom to two magic humans, and is in the process of publishing her first book. You can find Taraneh at mindonspirit.com / @mindonspirit
Jessica Barudin (she/her) is Kwakwaka’wakw from the ‘Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC. She is a proud mother of two daughters, wife, Sundancer, Indigenous health advocate, doctoral student, and yoga teacher. Jessica has a Master’s in Applied Science in Physical Therapy from McGill University and an Bachelor’s Degree in Human Kinetics from UBC. Her doctoral research project aims to co-create a culturally-responsive, trauma-informed yoga program led by Kwakwaka’wakw womxn and girls. The focus is empowerment through movement, ceremony, women’s teachings, and language revitalization. She is passionate about teaching yoga to Indigenous womxn and youth and supporting them to feel connected and empowered in their bodies. Additionally, Jessica is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw Doula Collective and working with the First Nations Health Authority as the Traditional Wellness Specialist for the Vancouver Island region. Jessica lives with her family on Namgis territory in Alert Bay, BC. Find her at cedarandgold.ca
Michelle Cassandra Johnson (she/her) has a deep understanding of how trauma impacts the mind, body, spirit and heart. Her awareness of the world through her experience as a black woman allows her to know, first hand how privilege and power operate. Michelle is a social justice warrior, dismantling racism trainer, empath, yoga teacher and practitioner and an intuitive healer. Whether in an anti-oppression training, yoga space, individual or group intuitive healing session, healing and wholeness are at the center of how she approaches all of her work in the world. With a background as a licensed clinical social worker and teaching yoga for ten years she began her own teacher training in 2014 and in 2018 wrote a book about yoga and justice, Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. Michelle inspires change that allows people to stand in their humanity and wholeness in a world that fragments most of us. You can find her at michellecjohnson.com

Panelists

Mental wellness & community

Candice Baldwin | Jessie Nelson| Scott Arner

Yoga & Indigenous communities

Jade Harper | Jennifer-Lee Koble | Vina Brown

Activism & self-care

Jivana Heyman

Moderators

Adapted from AWARE-LA

Steering Committee

Drew Climie (he/him)

I work for a startup called Yervana, a booking platform that connects outdoor local experts offering Adventures with guests. I enjoy paddling, hiking, and pretty much anything that gets me outside enjoying nature. I’d say my yoga journey started in Ontario and was very ‘Western’ centric. Since moving to BC and learning more about white privilege, colonization, cultural appropriation, and inclusivity my thoughts around yoga have changed drastically. I feel that as society changes and new generations open to new ways of thinking it’s important to integrate these topics into mainstream conversations. I believe that awareness and education will lead, acceptance and eventually change will happen. Something fun, if I think of ‘in my perfect world’, it would be supporting a blending of the benefits of yoga and of being active in nature into an everyday practice that is affordable, accessible, and fun.

Farah NazaraliFarah Nazarali (she/her)

I am in love with all things yoga.  My ancestors are from India, my root faith community Ismaili- Muslim, and I identify as a yogi, seeker, and woman. I am a student of classical yoga (Lineage: Sri Alakpuriji, Guru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda) and Buddhism. I love sunsets and sunrises, prayer, mantra, and being in the Ocean and in the forests.

Insiya Rasiwall-Finn, B.A., E-RYT, Ayurvedic Health Counsellor (she/her)

A yogini and writer from Bombay, India. Since 2006, Insiya has been on a radical journey of self-healing, simplicity and exploration; sharing her insights as a yogi, a woman and a mother through writing and teaching. Insiya is known for her lyrical, heart filled yet challenging vinyasa practice; a first-person, East-West perspective in her teachings; and the ability to make the ancient wisdom of Vedic India relevant, contemporary and alive. A believer in the power of yoga to heal communities, Insiya initiated a program for new yoga teachers to share classes in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside women’s medical clinic in 2009. Insiya has been featured in Yoga Journal magazine and presents internationally at festivals such as Wanderlust and Bali Spirit.

Jessica Barudin (she/her)

Founder of Cedar and Gold is Kwakwaka’wakw from the Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC. She is a proud mother of two daughters, wife, Sundancer, Indigenous health advocate, doctoral student and yoga teacher. Jessica received a Master’s in Applied Science in Physical Therapy from McGill University and an Undergraduate Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia. In September 2019, Jessica started doctoral studies through the INDI Program at Concordia University. Her research will create and evaluate a culturally-responsive, trauma-informed yoga program led by Kwakwaka’wakw women and girls. The focus is empowerment through movement, ceremony, women’s teachings and language revitalization. She is passionate about teaching yoga to Indigenous women and girls by offering sacred spaces to feel connected and empowered in their bodies. Jessica currently works with the First Nations Health Authority as the Traditional Wellness Specialist for the Kwakwaka’wakw family.

Monique Harris (she/her)

My passion for building community and accessibility within the yoga world lead me to open Modo Yoga East Vancouver in 2012. I see the studio not just as a space for practicing asana but also a space for supporting our wider Vancouver community through our Karma fundraising, a space for people to build connections and empathy for each other, and a space where we are continually questioning how and why we do things and seeking knowledge to continue evolving. I’m very excited to be working with Yoga Outreach and I love the insights it has created for myself and the studio already. Outside of yoga you can also find me returning to my roots with a ballet class or huffing and puffing my way through a functional fitness class. I’m also madly in love with my 10 year old cat Mable who knows how to rock a 5 hour nap and never says no to a treat. Such an inspiration!