We all belong. We are all healing. We are all welcome here in our wholeness.

Brown Sugar: Yoga for Folks of Color: Taking Care in Transition with Shawna Wakefield

Event Details


$20-45 sliding scale.  No one turned away for lack of funds.

Chocolates from our sponsor, Fine & Raw and MAST Brothers, will be served!
Taking Care in Transition 
In this month’s gathering we will engage practices that support moving fluidly between winter and spring, past, present and future. We will practice asanas and breathwork that stretch and soothe and meditation to grow the seeds of compassion as we learn how to cultivate that which we want to manifest and let go of that which is ready to complete. This will be a gathering to explore, in our bodies and together, through yoga, what it takes for each of us to allow ourselves to spring and grow with more ease even as we move through tricky transitions. We will end by enjoying the simple pleasures our senses offer us when we are aware, present and connected in final relaxation, community discussion and chocolate.
Shawna Wakefield is a gender justice advocate, yoga instructor (E-RYT 200), mother of two girls, practitioner of living life wholly and helping other change-makers to do the same. She is bi-racial (African American / white Canadian), grew up in New York and Vermont, and has lived in Cambodia and Afghanistan, with extended stays in West and East Africa. She started her career organizing with immigrant and refugee women of color in the mid 90’s, and has since worked with the UN, women’s rights organizations, foundations and INGOs. She was Oxfam International’s Senior Gender Justice Lead between 2008-2015 and is currently a consultant supporting feminist organizational development, leadership and healing.  In addition to her 200 hour with Wanderlust taught by Nikki Vilella, Kevin Courtney and Magi Pierce she has completed training in teaching trauma informed yoga with Hala Khouri, Jen Turner and Exhale to Inhale; Off the Matt’s Advanced Leadership Intensive; the IDP Secular Buddhist Studies Program; the Strozzi Women’s School of Embodied Leadership; and studies privately with New York Insight’s founder Gina Sharpe. Shawna has taught classes at Third Root and Shambhala Center for Yoga and Dance, with Exhale to Inhale for sexual assault survivors, with Brown Sugar Yoga and Yoga in Action and Resilience for Changemakers. She is a student in generative somatics’ yearlong Somatics and Trauma program.
BROWN SUGAR is a yoga and mindfulness practice for people of color, as well as a community in NYC. We offer nurturing, flowing yoga classes to help people of color connect deeply to ourselves and others, learn tools for reducing stress and trauma, and build resilience and joy.  Brown Sugar is taught 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.  Each class begins and ends in a circle where everyone is invited to share and reflect. We always work with an intentional theme – and never close without enjoying some delicious chocolate together!
We intend to provide a healing and empowering affinity space for people of color, recognizing that often when black, brown and indigenous people show up to yoga in the US we may be the only one, or one of just a few – or we may not show up at all.  Brown Sugar 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.
*Please note that we are not able to provide childcare at this time. While children are not prohibited from attending, the content of these classes will be geared toward adults and teens. If your child attends the class with you, there is a lobby where you can go together if they need a break from the practice space.
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