The past few weeks of protests that took place in the US calling for ending police brutality and demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd, and many other African American citizens, have brought the attention of the American society to the injustice and racism that African Americans had to go through on daily bases. This unusual situation highlighted the need for lasting change ending US’ long-standing racial disparities.
Thus, it’s our responsibility as a nation to find ways to make the long-term change that the black community needs and deserves, after over 450 years of surviving within a system where they were always seen as outsiders. We need to build a new system where the black community is celebrated and embraced as a valuable part of our society, doing so requires more than a month of protests, it requires offering continuous support to our African Americans. You might ask yourself how? How can we support them as individuals?
While it is very important to listen, understand, and educate ourselves about the history of the racial disparities that black people have suffered from in the US. It is also very crucial to offer financial support to black-owned businesses that have been hit hard during both the Covid-19 pandemic and the protests. Making sure to buy at least a certain percentage of our daily purchases from black-owned businesses, can empower them and make many of the challenges they are facing today disappear.
Following you can find a list of the Seattle area yoga teachers and studios. You can offer our Seattle amazing yoga teachers your support by learning more about them, listening to their stories, reading their books, and trying to understand the struggles they are facing every day. Attending their classes, events, and workshops will also help them. To empower and support our black owned yoga studios, please consider if you have the means to buy class passes, gift cards, or memberships. If you know other yoga teachers or studios that you think should be on this list, please reach out to us and we will make sure to include them.
You might also enjoy reading about Biola Akanni’s experience as a black yoga teacher in the Seattle yoga community!
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Even though yoga is for all, representation matters. Anything that can maximize black healing and health is needed in these moments ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽 💠Here are 32 Black yoga and meditation teachers who are making an impact in the Seattle Yoga Community. Take the time to read, amplify and support their work. It’s one small act anyone can do along with protesting, donating, reaching out to politicians, learning more about racial injustice and discussing racism with family and friends. 🙏 We do recognize that we could not feature all the great black yoga teachers in the Seattle area but please do comment and tag other black yoga teachers in the Seattle area and beyond that you think should be on this list.
|Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams||- Once called “the most intriguing African-American Buddhist” by Library Journal, and “one of our wisest voices on social evolution” by Krista Tippett, Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei, is an author, maverick spiritual teacher, master trainer and founder of Transformative Change. She has been bridging the worlds of personal transformation and justice since the publication of her critically-acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace. Being Black was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker and “a classic” by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. Learn email@example.com|
|Abiola Akanni (Trap Vinyasa)||- The Nigerian-American, certified yoga instructor is the wellness influencer behind Yoga by Biola and the founder of the radically body-positive Trap Vinyasa and Body Party event series. Abiola is on the cutting edge of the global wellness scene, presenting her workshops and events at major festivals and conferences around the world in addition to speaking about wellness education on major platforms.|
Trap Vinyasa was born from Abiola’s desire to serve community and help traditionally underserved and ‘othered’ populations transform their trauma into ascension point. It is an all levels yoga practice combining dynamic asana with sensual dance and body weight exercises including boxing and high intensity interval training.
In Addition to three regular classes per week, TV offers yoga series, events, teacher trainings, and international retreats.
|Genevieve Hicks||- Geneviève Hicks is a yoga & meditation teacher, her style of teaching can best be described as functional and fluid; shape making with a Buddhist flare. By inviting present moment attention to sensations, she aims to hold space for students to weave mindfulness and movement together. |
In addition to yoga, she has been practicing as a physical therapist for over 20 years. Geneviève has taught yoga anatomy, introduction to meditation, and yoga for people of color healing (YPOCH); she has conducted workshops on yoga, social justice and Buddhist related topics. When she is not working as a physical therapist or teaching yoga classes, she may be found practicing with her Buddhist community (in the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition) or out in the great outdoors – rock climbing, backpacking, hiking.
Geneviève is currently offering yoga classes at Two Dog Yoga.
|Shuja De’Peace (Zackery Max Driver)||- Shuja’s passion and thirst for self-development, fitness, philosophy and spirituality has taken his studies all around the world from the teachings of India’s Yogananda to the great philosophies of Ancient Egypt and Neo Revolutionaries here in the states such as Tony Robbins and Huey P. Newton!|
Shuja has a natural gift for igniting the fire in each of his students, which he achieves by supporting them in finding the connection between their Mind, Body and Spirit, meeting them where they’re at, and challenging them to breathe through their individual edges, allowing them to grow beyond the limitations of their mind.
Shuja is currently teaching weekly classes at many studios all around the Seattle area including: 8 Limbs Yoga, Tacoma Yoga, Be Luminous Yoga. In addition to events & private/semiprivate sessions.
|Sybill Hyppolite||- Sybill brings warmth, calm and humor to her classes, which include hatha, vinyasa and restorative practices. Her intention is to create a welcoming space for all to explore the healing power of yoga. She is enthusiastic about sharing these practices for radical self-care, collective healing and health equity.|
Sybill is currently teaching classes and events at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers.
|Claudette Evans||- Claudette is a long-time student of yoga, yoga educator, and studio administrator. She is passionate about the study and practice of yoga, as well as the training and mentoring of its teachers, and strives to give emerging yoga teachers the tools they need to give their best to enhance their students’ experience. In her classes, she invites curious practitioners toward an experience of greater strength, sensitivity, freedom, skillfulness, and wisdom, so that they can cultivate greater connection in their lives. Claudette's classes create space for self-expression through body and voice, cultivate a clarity of focus, and foster a joy of movement. |
Claudette is currently offering weekly classes at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers & Seattle Yoga Arts, in addition to private sessions in asana, meditation, mantra and Sanskrit, as well as teacher mentoring sessions, teacher training modules, workshops and retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest.
|Donte Quinine||- Donte Quinine is a Seattle based yoga instructor, life coach, speaker, and workshop facilitator. He is dedicated to the sole purpose of inspiring his clients and students to awaken to their true nature and become everything they desire to be. |
Donte's yoga classes build stability in the body and presence in the mind while illuminating the spirit.
Donte currently offers Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, and Hot Hatha classes at Hauteyoga Queen Anne, Aya Yoga Oasis in Burien, and The Heart Center in White Center.
|Mary Rodgers||- Mary is a massage therapist and a yoga teacher, she completed a Kripalu Yoga 200-hr teacher training in West Palm Beach, FL where she began teaching in 2012. She has also completed training through the Connected Warrior program to teach yoga to active and retired military, a population that she is committed to supporting. Through Kripalu Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and Yin Yoga, Mary helps her students develop compassionate self-awareness by combining mindful movement with powerful breath work.|
Currently Mary offers classes and workshops in multiple studios including: Body Reflects and The Sweat Box Yoga.
|Damithia Nieves (Thrive Yoga)||- Damithia completed her 200hr certification at hatha yoga center in seattle 2014 and has been teaching since. She teaches through a lens of empowered healing and her classes encourage exploration of the senses through a blend of traditional asana, and liberated movement to an intentionally curated soundtrack.|
Damithia’s business Thrive Yoga, provides yoga and mindfulness programming to youth on the Eastside and South Seattle with a focus on increasing accessibility of these healing practices in Black & Brown communities. Within this work the founder Damithia also co-facilitates a youth restorative practice circle at the Skyway Library and is a Youth Mentor with Young Women Empowered.
Damithia is currently teaching at Ritual House of Yoga, Yoga Behind Bars, and The Overlake School.
|Jasmine Rashae (Soulful Flow Yoga)||- Soulful Flow Yoga merges mindfulness, movement, and conscious soulful music into an uplifting yoga practice to deepen the student's connection to their mind, body, and soul. It is an inclusive practice designed by Jasmine to make yoga accessible to all, but particularly a vision to provide representation and exposure to yoga and wellness for communities of color.|
Jasmine RaShae has two 200 hr yoga certifications and is Trauma informed for Yoga Behind Bars, nonprofit program that brings yoga into to incarcerated youth and adults. She also holds a B.A in psychology from Huston-Tillotson University.
Besides private or small group sessions, Jasmine is currently offering classes & events at Ritual House of Yoga, Sangha Yoga, and Maya Whole Health Studio.
|Nicole Keiche (Fire and Fly Yoga)||- The foundation of Nicole’s practice combines the physical with an inner emotional and spiritual journey. By integrating body, breath, movement, and meditative awareness, she strives to promote an understanding of the interdependency of all these aspects in personal health and wellbeing. In addition to taking a 200 hour Viveka Yoga Teacher Training in 2018, She studied and practiced different styles of yoga such as, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Bikram, Hot Fusion, Yin, and Power Yoga. |
Through her business Nicole offers private sessions for those who are interested in starting a yoga practice or for those looking to advance their practice by incorporating more deep meditation, inversions, and arm balances into their flow. She also teaches a weekly Hot Fusion class at Yogabliss in Mercer Island, WA.
|Atlee Treasure||- Atlee has been practicing yoga avidly for over 8 years. After being introduced to yoga in 1997, he went on to receive his teacher training through 8 Limbs and continues to study Ashtanga with Troy Lucer of Acme Yoga Project.|
In Atlee’s classes you can find calm and ease as he guides through breath work and movement that allow expansion, challenge the body, and build strength and awareness. Explore the mind and body connection with focus on foundation and rooting.
Atlee is currently teaching classes and events at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers and Zum Fitness.
|Adam Jabari||- Adam’s classes will help you take up space, embody, expand, stretch and strengthen in a safe community. Expect to explore breath, mind, movement and stillness with clear guidance. His teaching style is influenced by Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga. Adam is offering classes & workshops at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers.||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jannine Young||- Jannine discovered yoga in 2008, and after her first class she was hooked. In 2012, she completed two 200-hour yoga teacher trainings, plus trained with Street Yoga. She began teaching yoga to middle school girls, high school athletes, plus hundreds of classes at local yoga studios over the last six years. In addition to teaching, she guides a weekly meditation circle at a downtown women’s homeless shelter.|
Her classes are a combination of flowing sequences, settling into stillness while holding poses and sitting in mediation to breathe and quiet the mind. Jannine is currently offering classes at Sangha Yoga in Queen Anne.
|Natassah Williams||- Natassah loves teaching yoga because for her it represents a conversation between hearts; it feeds her soul and nourishes her students. Natassah is currently offering classes at Elev8, an accidental phone call led to a conversation that led to her teaching at the studio which for her is a reflection of a community of souls that respect and love people.|
|Marva Benjamin||- Marva began her yoga experience/journey in 1999, in Seattle, and have been teaching since 2003 at several studios throughout the Seattle and Eastside metropolitan areas.|
She studied extensively in India; Ashtanga yoga and various meditation techniques in Mysore, with Master teacher, Sri Sheshadri; Iyengar yoga in Bangalore; Hatha combined with meditation in Goa..
Marva enjoys guiding students through an invigorating, challenging and encouraging yoga practice, as well as a gentle or restorative practice. It's her passion to teach energetic classes from the heart, with nurturing instructions, that flows into a powerful and graceful practice.
Marva is teaching classes at Spira Power Yoga and Yogabliss.
|Erika Davis (Whole Body Pregnancy)||- Erika Davis is an independent birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, and yoga instructor. As a full-time doula, childbirth educator, and yoga instructor, Davis works to confront racial disparities for black people who give birth. She also consults for a variety of Jewish organizations on the topic of diversity. She collects houseplants and lives with her wife, their dog, two cats, and six chickens on their urban farm in the Puget Sound region of Western Washington.||email@example.com|
|Tomio Blakey||- Tomio has been teaching yoga for the past 7 years and he loves it! He took his yoga teacher training at Expand Yoga thanks to the support of his family, friends, and specifically the team at Expand Yoga who have always encouraged his teaching. Tomio offers weekly classes at Expand Yoga and is a guest instructor at Be Yoga Burien.|
|David Wilson||- David began practicing yoga 10 years ago as part of his marathon training. He enjoys, and is passionate about, working with students to help them tap into the endless and optimal benefits of a consistent practice. He strives to help people “be” yoga instead of “do” yoga through slow, methodical movements as well as through breath and meditation. David also teaches Yin yoga which involves deep intense stretching of the connective tissues. |
David is currently teaching at Get Zen Hot Yoga.
|Wetlyne Douglas||- Wetlyne was born in Liberia, grew up in Ohio and has lived in the area for 5 years. Wetlyne used to do yoga classes here and there but really got more committed when Aya Yoga Oasis opened. Wetlyne loves working with the studio in this capacity because the dedication to diversity and inclusion is undeniable.|
|Summer Adams||- Summer has been practicing yoga since she was 13. She is a 200-Hour registered teacher (trained by Jaya Yoga School), Summer has a deep love for movement and a curiosity for all things yoga philosophy and practice, having studied the lineage of the Bihar School of Yoga founded by Satayanada Saraswati. As a former competitive dancer trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern dance, Summer loves dynamic movement of the body, mind, and spirit – and it shows: her innovative sequencing is sure to rock your world.|
Summer is currently teaching at Thrive Yoga Manette, and offering Group and private sessions through her business named Oneness Yogini.
|Crystal Whitehead||- Crystal took her first Bikram Yoga class in 2006 and it changed her life. The intensity of each Bikram Yoga class forced Crystal to stay present and focus solely on her breath and her body as she moved in and out of each yoga posture. |
In Fall 2007, Crystal received her Bikram Teaching Certification and has been teaching full time ever since. Crystal brings humor to her class as a way of helping students remember not to take things so seriously. But don’t be mistaken, her calm voice can be full of energy and motivation, to the point where you don’t realize how hard you are working until you see the sweat puddle accumulated around your yoga mat at the end of class.
Crystal is currently teaching at Fusion Hot Yoga.
|Gabriel Juzon||- Gabriel is a sound healer & yoga teacher, he is passionate about exploring new connections in the body. Gabriel’s inspiration of movement comes from his vinyasa, ashtanga, and bikram practice. He loves to sequence large dance-like movements that emphasize the placement of the breath. Most students describe his classes as challenging and playful. |
Gabriel is currently teaching at Bala Yoga.
|Maya Whole Health Connection||- Ikemefuna Udeze is the owner of Maya Whole Health Studio in Renton, and the person ensuring that the technology is operating smoothly at the studio. His strong desire to invest in an endeavor that could bring significant positive impact attracted him to contribute to the development of Maya.|
Maya Whole Health Studio offers a full class schedule of yoga and Pilates, every day of the week, as well as fun and informative workshops. The studio’s health services include a wide range of massage/bodywork options and Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture. All of its services are offered in a pleasant, comfortable, and upbeat environment.
|Reese McGillie||- Reese McGillie completed her 200 HR yoga teacher training program in April of 2017 through 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in Seattle. Reese has been practicing yoga regularly since 2013 and has been teaching yoga since the winter of 2016.|
A class with Reese will typically be focused on building strength and optimal alignment to cultivate a sustainable practice. She incorporates the use of breath and mindfulness to create a sense of moving meditation throughout the class. Reese’s strong values around creating safe and inclusive space for all is reflected in her choice of teaching venues and style.
Reese is currently teaching weekly classes & events at Lotus Yoga.
|Shay Huff (WEM Consulting)||- I began my yoga practice about 15 years ago and fell in love pretty immediately and received her 200-Hour Power Yoga Instructor Certification through Core Power Yoga in winter of 2016.|
Shay teaches a vinyasa flow that focuses on nurturing who her students are today. She encourages her students to let go of shame, guilt and judgement of self and allow themselves to just be. She loves heart and hip openers because they challenge her students to be vulnerable.
Shay currently offers classes at Get Zen Hot Yoga (Redmond Ridge), Hot Yoga Experience (Sammamish), and 425 Fitness (Issaquah).
|Parnisia Thomas (Brain and Body Recess)||- Parnisia Thomas is a massage therapist & yoga teacher who has a unique gift of touch that transcends the mind, body, and spirit. She has years of hands-on healing experience and continues to be sought-after by many well-known celebrities, professional athletes, and influencers worldwide. Through her business Brain and Body Recess she offers yoga, healing, massage therapy, and muscle stripping sessions for individuals, groups, and firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Alyssa Pizarro||- In 2015, Alyssa completed a 200 hr yoga certification in Nairobi, Kenya through Africa Yoga Project with Live Your Yoga, which is a part of the Baptiste lineage. She is a Development Coordinator and teacher with Yoga Behind Bars, and has attended both Street Yoga and multiple Off the Mat, Into the World trainings. Alyssa is certified as a Level II Reiki instructor and as a Death Doula, and is training to be a Hospice volunteer.|
Her time practicing yoga has taught her the power behind discovering self-love and she is committed to making yoga accessible to all. While yoga and seva are her passions, Alyssa also enjoys reading, running and spending time with friends and family.
Alyssa is currently teaching classes at The Yoga Tree.
|Clarissa Brown||- In Clarissa's classes you may find yourself flowing from pose to pose, breathing deeper and deeper into a held pose, or perhaps releasing into the support of a restorative pose. Clarissa brings two decades of group and private yoga teaching experience to the mat. She holds two 200 - hour teaching certifications, one earned in 1999 with Theresa Elliott and the other in 2011 from Yogalife in Seattle. Clarissa also practices law and enjoys being out around town with friends.|
Clarissa is currentlyy teaching classes at Sangha Yoga and at The Seattle GYM.
|Jaina Harris||- Jaina graduated from Hot26 School of Yoga in 2017 and teaches yoga classes at Hot26 Yoga and Hot Yoga Renton.|
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