Painting by Lakshmi Nair: “Your silence will not protect you.” by Audre Lorde

Painting by Lakshmi Nair: “Your silence will not protect you.” by Audre Lorde

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Lakshmi Nair


In 2014, I started Satya Yoga Immersion for People of Color, the country’s first and perhaps only yoga immersion and teacher training program exclusively for people of color in response to a deep need to create a yoga space that felt aligned with my Truth. I named it Satya because Satya means Truth and I wanted a reminder to stay true to what yoga means to me, which I could not find reflected out there in the yoga world. And also because Satya is my grandmother’s name. Today Satya Yoga Immersion has grown into Satya Yoga Cooperative, a POC owned yoga cooperative offering yoga as a means of personal and collective liberation.

Having been steeped in the stories and philosophy of yoga and Ayurveda from a young age, I formally studied yoga at Vivekananda Yoga Kendra and Kaivalyadhama Ashram in India in 2002. I also attended 4 years of graduate study in South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, where I studied Sanskrit, Tamil, and contemporary South Asian literature. I have been teaching yoga in Denver since 2005, focusing primarily on gentle, prenatal, Trauma Sensitive Yoga and teacher training.

In 2016, I had the opportunity to present about our POC Yoga Immersion at the 3rd annual Race and Yoga Conference at Mills College in Oakland, California and I also spoke on the deeply anti-colonial dream that was at the heart of Yoga’s journey to the West at the Center for Trauma and Resilience's Diversifying Your Practice Symposium in Denver. I have written about my experiences as a South Asian American yoga teacher and about my journey to POC yoga in the Yoga and Body Coalition’s new book Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body, edited by Melanie Klein, available via Llewelyn Worldwide.

Class Style: My preferred style of yoga is slow-paced and gentle. I offer a practice that incorporates classical yoga tenets focused on unwinding accumulated stress from the body, activating the restorative power of the parasympathetic nervous system, and developing subtle awareness. I aim to leave my participants feeling nurtured, relaxed, and restored with spines lengthened and limber!

Class offerings:

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6 week chakra series: This is a 6 week session available to groups or companies. Each week focuses on a particular chakra. Classes are 1 hour long.

Panchabhuta (5 elements) series: In this 5 week series, we explore through yoga practice the 5 elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether) which are the foundations of Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine. Classes are 1 hour long.

Sun Salutation and Pranayama series: In this series of 4 classes, you will learn the foundations for a home yoga practice. Classes are 1 hour long.

Kids Yoga: Yoga for any age group where kids can learn essential life skills while having fun. Classes can be anywhere from 20 min.-2 hours, depending upon need.

Prenatal Yoga for Women of Color and Henna: A 6 week prenatal yoga program culminating in a day of henna and celebration of you and your beautiful baby belly. Minimum of 5 participants.

Trauma Sensitive Yoga: Available to counselors and therapists who are interested in offering Trauma Sensitive Yoga groups to their clients. 8 week sessions

Healing Centered Yoga Series: Available to groups who would like to offer trauma informed, healing and resilience centered yoga classes to their communities.

Advanced courses: Available to 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher trainings or to interested groups

Sanskrit for yoga teachers: Do you want to learn to pronounce Sanskrit better? A one day introduction to the principles of correct Sanskrit pronunciation with mantra practice. Appropriate for a 200 hour teacher training. Advanced: A 10 week course, focusing on correct pronunciation, learning to read and write the devanagari script, basic vocabulary, and recitation of mantras. Appropriate for a 300 hour teacher training or interested groups of 4 or more.

Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita: This 8 week module begins with an abridged reading of the Mahabharata which provides the necessary background context for understanding the Bhagavad Gita, one of the essential texts of yoga. Appropriate for a 300 hour teacher training or interested groups of 4 more.

Tantra and the Dasha Mahavidyas: In this 10 week course of study, we meditate on the lessons of the 10 Tantric Goddesses, known as the Mahavidyas. Appropriate for a 300 hour teacher training or interested groups of 4 or more.

Ayurvedic cooking class: In this class, we will learn the principles of balancing your diet with food and spices.

Private Instruction tailored to your individual needs.

Lakshmi is the lead instructor of Satya Yoga Cooperative’s 200 hour Yoga Immersion/Teacher Training Program for People of Color. She also teaches workshops and series throughout the year. She is available for private and group yoga instruction.