Conscious Purpose, Power & Practice

8-week series with Calia Marshall, Shawna Wakefield, & Emily J. Kramer

Thursdays 6 – 9 PM

April 20 – June 8, 2017

PLEASE NOTE: This program is sponsored by Third Root and will be held off-site at MINKA*: 1120 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11225


“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

  • Suggested Readings

* SPACE ACCESS INFO: MINKA is located on the 3FL of 1120 Washington Ave Building, and there is an elevator which is wheelchair and scooter accessible (please call ahead to arrange for someone to open the gate and door for the elevator access). Our workshop Foyer where most programs occur has one step up. Our bathroom is wheelchair and scooter accessible.

Investment: $360 – $600 Sliding Scale, Pre-Register at $480 (call 718.940.9343 to apply your sliding scale rate).  

Please sign up by April 6th, non-refundable after this date.  All materials included in fee.

Calia Orange SmileCalia Marshall is a yoga instructor (E-RYT 200, RYT 500),  musician, birth doula, dancer, choreographer, Reiki practitioner and educator. She has been teaching movement and healing practices to children and adults for over 16 years and currently teaches at Third Root Community Health Center, National Dance Institute and Common Ground Center.  Calia received her 200 hour yoga teaching certification from Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in 2002 and her 300 hour advanced certification through Ritam Healing Arts with Saul David Raye in 2015.  She has done advanced yoga study with Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling (of Off the Mat, Into the World), Cathy Calderon, Jonathan FitzGordon, Alison West and Kevin & Erin Maile O’Keefe (Circus Yoga).   In 2014 she founded Brown Sugar: Yoga for Folks of Color, a monthly class dedicated to bringing healing and a greater sense of community to yoga practitioners of color.  Since 2011 Calia’s mantra music band, Kirtan Soul Revival, has been traveling around the country leading call and response devotional singing and workshops bringing singing and social justice work together.  Calia finds constant inspiration from the magic that occurs when communities join together to practice yoga, to dance, to sing, and to play.  Her goal is to use these explorations of body, breath, mind, and voice to support individuals and communities in being more just, more empowered, and more loving.

1dc8c0b3-4b74-4693-b7bd-836a8af98fa0Shawna Wakefield has dedicated the last 20 years to promoting women’s rights and gender justice internationally. She has practiced yoga for the past 17 years, initially to relieve symptoms of anxiety and insomnia, and over the years finding it crucial to feeling integrated between heart, mind and body. In 2014, Shawna received her 200-hour certification, studying with Nikki Vilella and Kevin Courtney of Kula Yoga Project. She has trained with Jenn Turner, Hala Khouri and Exhale to inhale in trauma sensitive yoga; with Nikki Costello’s mentor practice; with Off the Mat’s leadership intensive; and the Interdependence Project’s Secular Buddhist Studies Program. She currently studies meditation with Gina Sharpe, among other teachers. Shawna teaches yoga at Third Root Community Health Center, Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center and with Exhale to Inhale. She co-teaches with Brown Sugar Yoga for Folks of Color with Calia Marshall and others, and the Yoga in Action program on yoga and social justice with Calia Marshall and Emily Kramer. Shawna has an MPA from the School of International & Public Affairs at Columbia University, and consults with non-profits, UN agencies and foundations providing facilitation, strategy, program and organizational development, research, monitoring, evaluation and learning. She is also working on creating collaborations to support wellbeing and collective care of social justice organizations, leaders and staff for social transformation. She is motivated by helping students identify their mental and physical sensations, including pain, strength, resilience, compassion, joy, and the ever-fluctuating relationship between them.

emilyEmily J. Kramer is currently a co-owner of Third Root Community Health Center, a cooperative in Brooklyn, where the crossroads of her work as a movement professional, social justice activist and spiritual seeker joyfully meet. She is a yoga teacher with specialization in anatomy, backcare, anxiety/depression, addiction, trauma-sensitivity, and yoga for young people. She earned her 300-hour Certification in 2014 with Alison West at Yoga Union. She studied with Off the Mat, Into the World, Street Yoga, Bent on Learning, Leslie Kaminoff / the Breathing Project, Jyll Hubbard-Salk, Elena Brower, Molly Lannon Kenny, Nikki Myers, Larry Yang and many inspired teachers on this path. She received her 200-hour certification from SchoolYoga Institute on location in Playa Marsella, Nicaragua in 2010. She also has a background in social justice activism and youth education. Specifically, she was a member of Immigrant Justice Solidarity Project from 2001 – 2005, and a youth educator city-wide in outdoor, classroom & gym settings from 2006 – 2013, including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Garden Apprentice Program & Children’s Garden, the Red Hook Community Farm, & the Weeksville Heritage Center’s Green Weeksville Program, Bent on Learning & Girls for Gender Equity. In 2009, Emily created Spirit Boxing, a workshop that combines her experience as a former amateur boxer and yogini, to serve women, youth, and queer / trans community. She offers boxing lessons in both small group and private sessions, and has collaborated with Columbia University, Safe Horizon, FIERCE!, & the Center for Anti-violence Education. Emily has a BA in Cultural Studies from Eugene Lang College of New School University (2005).