Yoga is a way to access spirit through the body and the breath. I have been greatly influenced by the vinyasa flow and heart-moving style of yoga I delved into in my teaching certification at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in 2002. In 2015 I completed my advanced 300 hour training with Saul David Raye/Atma Yoga where I steeped myself in the practices of Bhakti Yoga, Tantra Yoga and Ayurveda. I am now certified as an E-RYT 200, RYT 500 (experience registered yoga teacher at the 200 hour level and registered yoga teacher at the 500 hour level). My other teachers include Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, Suzanne Sterling, Johnathan FitzGordon, and Cathy Calderon. From these teachers I have gained invaluable knowledge about yoga and social justice, trauma-informed yoga, healthy alignment, yoga for back care and about the healing power of movement, music, prayer and ritual.
My objective is to create experiences where students can heal, transform themselves from the inside out, and deepen their connection to breath, body and spirit. I strive to create a safe space for people of all genders, races, abilities and sizes to practice yoga in a supportive environment. As a teacher, I am playful, thoughtful, and open-hearted. My practice of Bhakti yoga and kirtan, dance, and Reiki greatly inform my teaching. Through a mix of vinyasa, pranayama, restorative, chanting, and yogic philosophy, I balance flow, breath-centered movement, and healthy alignment to help students move through physical and emotional challenges and to attune to their own wisdom. I am honored to share my curiosity, fascination and love of movement, music, and magic-making with my students and peers.
Check out my 14 minute Calming Yoga Sequence video on YouTube by clicking here!
My yoga class for people of color was featured in articles on elle.com and on blackenterprise.com!
Please join me for a classes at Third Root, 380 Marlborough Road, Brooklyn
Mondays 5:15-6:30pm basics
Mondays 6:45-8pm int/adv flow
Brown Sugar: Yoga for Folks of Color (with chocolate!)
The first Saturday of every month from 4:30-6:30pm @ Third Root Community Health Center, 380 Marlborough Road, Brooklyn
$20-45 sliding scale (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). More info on Yoga page.
Why: Brown Sugar: Yoga for Folks of Color (BSY) offers a healing space for people of color, recognizing that often when black, brown and indigenous people show up to yoga in New York City we may be the only one, or one of just a few – or we may not show up at all. BSY is a space for people of color, because the racism that exists in our society also shows up in yoga spaces, and can be yet another source of stress and (re) traumatization. We aim to provide a warm, nurturing yoga class and community that centers on people of color.
Our intention: BSY offers a nurturing community space to practice breath, movement and support so you leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and more connected to yourself and the BSY community. Self-care is key. We want to help people of color to recognize our gifts, through safely and bravely opening our hearts, investigating what we have to offer ourselves and others as we ground, move, heal and offer the best of ourselves in this tumultuous time.
Who we are: BSY is taught collaboratively by compassionate and experienced teachers, who are committed to holding space for people of color to move, breath and circle together in mindful yogic practices. The magic of this class is created by the energy of each person who enters this sacred space. This is a body-positive, queer friendly space. All experience levels, sizes, abilities, gender identities, and ages are welcome – and celebrated!
What we do: BSY is a monthly offering of flowing yoga classes to help people of color take care of our stress and trauma, practice connecting to ourselves and others, and own our resilience and joy. Each class begins and ends in a circle where everyone is invited to share and reflect upon one’s experiences around a chosen theme. Past themes have included compassion for self and others, practice as our resistance, equanimity, inviting in joy, and using our gifts to heal ourselves and our communities. The class encourages the community to move through yoga postures with awareness, healthy alignment, and a focus on the breath. There’s an invitation to attune to one’s individual and collective wisdom. Special classes have included immersive theater and dance, and live music. At the end of each class we have a closing circle which enjoying some delicious chocolate!eathe and circle together with an exploration of mindfulness and practice together in a diverse community. Brown Sugar is a body-positive, queer friendly space where each class begins and ends in a circle where there’s an opportunity to share and reflect upon one’s experiences. As the class moves through the yoga postures with awareness, healthy alignment, and a focus on the breath, there’s an invitation to attune to one’s individual and collective wisdom.
And: Chocolate will be served! At the end of practice enjoy some time for fellowship and chocolates from our sponsors, Fine & Raw and Mast Brothers.
Get in touch! Email us at email@example.com
Yoga in Action: Conscious Purpose, Power & Practice
Next series TBA!
“Taking this intensive turned out to be far more personal and personally enlightening than I was anticipating, and my growth internally has allowed me to finally begin growth externally. Between the necessities of a non-negotiable daily practice to the courage to create my own event, I feel grateful and very excited by this forward motion.” – YIA 2016 participant
When we only practice yoga on our mats, the benefits can be limiting. We may perfect our asanas, strive to do more advanced postures, deepen our ability to steady and quiet our minds in meditation, and heal our bodies significantly. But we may not realize the potential of the practice to affect us on multiple levels – personal, interpersonal, in our engagements with community or our activism for social change.
This 8-week series is designed to develop and sustain your unique contribution to a more compassionate and just society using yogic philosophy and social justice principles. We intend to create a supportive space to enable yogis and activists to develop new knowledge and tools for self-inquiry, to deeply connect to your purpose, and explore how you can better collaborate for lasting change in a more conscious, sustainable, and joyful way.
We will combine practices of meditation, asana and chanting rooted in the different paths of yoga, alongside reflective work and exercises rooted in social justice theory and practice. You’ll leave with new or deepened skills in conscious activism, service and collaboration.
Over the course of 8 sessions, combined with peer work and mentorship, you will learn tools and skills that will culminate in a jointly manifested seva initiative – a project that represents an act of selfless service. You will:
Contemplate connections between yogic philosophy and social justice concepts
Get grounded in purpose and motivations for service and activism
Examine limiting beliefs and own your passion
Explore your sources of power and privilege with compassion
Sustain personal, interpersonal and collective purpose in activism
Enhance interconnectedness and collaboration
Identify strategies to sustain your practice
At this moment we are all called to find our unique contributions to healing the deep divides in our society; to harness the resolve and passion of a wider segment of the population towards conscious activism that challenges power abuse and supports the whole. This course is designed to guide you toward new ways of engaging in change-making from the inside out.
Attendance is expected for all 8 sessions (24 hours of class time). Commitments include:
Self-Practice Commitment for duration of YIA
Required Readings & Worksheets
Weekly Check-in with Assigned YIA Buddy
Suggested Weekly yoga class at TR with Calia, Emily or Shawna
Investment: $360 – $600 Sliding Scale, Pre-Register at $480 (call 718.940.9343 to apply your sliding scale rate). PLEASE NOTE: This program is sponsored by Third Root and will be held off-site at MINKA. Please sign up by April 6th. All materials included in fee.
“Calia makes the out-there-ness of yoga seem so approachable and magnificent… The reverent and energetic elements become so accessible and real.” -Allison Dryja
“Yoga practice with Calia is a wonderful experience. When I decided to undertake the study of yoga and didn’t know a Downward Dog from a Tree Pose, I had the very good fortune of becoming her student. She is a truly gifted teacher- creative, intuitive and sensitive and she brings a real zeal, dedication and discipline to her work. A yoga session is a journey unto itself and in all of our sessions, be they rigorous and challenging or soothing and restorative, depending on the necessities of the particular moment, she is the ideal travel-mate and guide.” -Christopher M. Pineau
“Calia is one of my all-time favorite yoga teachers, and I could not recommend her more highly to a wide range of practitioners, from newbies to experienced yogis.” -Venice Michalsen
“Calia has a calm energy that is very conducive to practicing yoga. Her pose descriptions are clear and include modifications for those of us that are less flexible. She demonstrates the poses beautifully. I especially like it when she directs the whole class into a circle to create one big cooperative pose! All this to beautifully selected music, which is obviously chosen with care to quiet down just when we are about to go into savasana!” -David Kano