Yoga describes a living, breathing practice rooted in a system of liberation that contains two, main, lateral rhizomes: power and spiritual connection. The rhizomes of power and spirituality intersect with harmful, complex systems of imperial and European-settler colonization that originated in India and then transplanted (appropriated) to the United States. Through a decolonial and feminist lens, the rhizomes can be traced back to examine how these systems have morphed from a spiritual and philosophical practice to a health focus, a science-based practice, and a lifestyle.
Serina’s scholarship at Prescott College led her to examine the lifestyle of yoga that she felt and experienced in yoga spaces. Particularly, the mainstream media portrayal of a “practice” for slender, able-bodied, white, financially privileged, women; a space she could participate in, but a community in which she did not belong.
Serina received her yoga teacher training in 2013 and has sought to dive deeper into the history of yoga and awaken to the truths of her participation and perpetuation of the harmful systems of oppression embedded within the yoga community in the United States.
Since becoming a yoga teacher, I dreamed of creating a yoga teacher training program to liberate marginalized peoples. In order to ethically do this, I deconstructed every aspect I was taught about the history and lifestyle of yoga.
The journey to create a yoga teacher training program rooted in liberation and social justice led Serina to many inquiries ranging from a) doubting whether or not she had a “right” to teach yoga as a non-Indian; b) questioning how a program could be responsibly created amidst a practice that inherently contains systems of white supremacy, capitalism, misogyny, and ableism; and c) hoping that a yoga teacher training program could be reimagined as a practice rooted in liberation and social justice through a decolonized, queer, and feminist lens.
In 2020, and in collaboration with academic mentors and Indian-scholars, Serina created a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program with a Social Justice Framework as her senior project at Prescott College. The training program focuses on the decolonization of yoga as well as continuing education curricula for current yoga teachers. The foundation of her curriculum is built upon liberation and social justice movements and the curricula seek to honor the roots of yoga. Through this process, Serina serves as an activist who creates a diverse, equitable, and inclusive yoga practice that will reach the margins of the current culture of yoga.
I cannot change the history of yoga, but I can help shape the future of yoga in a way that liberates the body, mind, and spirit.
- Core Strength Vinyasa
- Yoga Nidra
- Partner Yoga
- Tantra Yoga
- Yin/Restorative Yoga
- Senior Yoga