TEACHERS & BIOS

Yamikani Msosa

Brown Girls Yoga has a collective of 5 different teachers who all have unique styles and approaches to their classes & practices.

Yamikani Msosa is a grassroots feminist organizer, frontline worker, consultant, educator and yoga instructor. Born in Lilongwe, Malawi and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. She identifies as a child of the diaspora occupying many spaces of the "in-between".  As a queer black femme with invisible disabilities, she strives to work against systems of oppression that seek to silence those on the margins. 

 

Yamikani started teaching in May 2017 in Ottawa  after finding that most yoga spaces did not reflect the communities that she was apart of. They needed to find home and community, so started to teach Bodyfull Yoga for folks in larger bodies and collaborated with Kind Space to offer Yoga for Queer and Trans folks.  Since moving to Toronto they have offered trauma-informed yoga class for survivors of sexual violence called SEEDS. 

 

When practicing with Yamikani, she will invite you to explore and accept your body as you move through the asanas and practice pranayama ( breath).  Remembering that;

Yoga is healing.

Yoga is understanding.

Yoga is a union.

Yoga is breath.

 

See you in class or on the frontlines <3

Cassandra Lord

Cassandra Lord began practicing Hatha yoga in 1999, as a form of healing and self-care. Her classes aims to be a be a body positive space, that integrates the balance of breath, with the flow of postures, building strength and being open to the possibilities. Cassandra encourages her students to explore which postures work best for them and to have fun. She completed the 200-hour certified teacher training in 2013, specializing in Hatha yoga.  Cassandra is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga. When not busy being a yogi and academic, she enjoys running in the outdoors. You can reach her at yogalife.hatha@gmail.com

Kim Katrin Crosby

A yoga teacher for over 15 years, getting her certification in San Francisco, Kim has shared her practice with communities of colour, indigenous, queer and trans, differently-abled folks, chronically ill and survivors of violence. Using used yoga as a tool for healing, resilience and care.
As someone with both West African and Indian roots, Kim engages in the practice of yoga as one that binds her deeply to the healing science of her ancestry. Emphasizing form over function, she invites students to listen to their bodies. Her adjustments are slight and gentle and she always requests consent before offering touch. Her practice of yoga is grounded in a release of ego, deep love of our bodies and a connection to breath.


Classes strike a balance between a playful dialogue with her students and with an atmosphere of stillness, encouraging them to turn their gaze inwards. Attention to detail and respect for the differences in each persons body create an affirming experience for each student. Kim’s experience training people of all ages and skill sets inspire her to create a variety of modifications for each pose in order to meet the needs of all practitioners. Her dedication and passion for yoga fuels her inventive spirit and keeps her practice constantly evolving.

Nayani Thiyagarajah

My name is V. T. Nayani (pron. nine-knee). I am a daughter of the Tamil diaspora. I first give thanks to the ancestors and elders who’ve come before me, building the foundations on which I continue to work for and with others. I am ever going, ever growing, ever moved and ever moving. I work as a director, producer, and writer in the screen industries, while also balancing seva (service) work as a full-circle doula and yoga teacher. I’ve never fit well inside jars; I’ve always felt ease when flowing like water. I see both my work in film arts and holistic healthcare as mediums for healing and blossoming. Above all, I believe in love and magic.

Tuku Matthews

Liz Coucean

For the past decade I've turned to yoga and meditation as methods of self-care, to calm and strengthen myself while juggling single motherhood and a hectic career in media. After nearly 8 years of consistent practice, I decided to pursue yoga teacher training so that I could share the benefits of yoga with others. I completed my 300+ hour Teacher Training at Yoga Therapy Toronto with Ante & Felicia Pavlovic, under the Sri T. Krishnamacharya lineage, and mindfulness training with Dr. Shailla Vaidya. I teach from a trauma informed perspective and continue to learn more from my peers and mentors each day. I am currently immersed in a 1000+ hour Yoga Therapist Training program pursuing my qualifications to become an IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist. 

 

I am deeply passionate about promoting more diversity in the wellness community and creating inclusive spaces for all experience levels and body types. Through personal experience I have been motivated to further develop the accessibility and knowledge of yoga and meditation in underrepresented communities, and to share yoga and meditation with those who have experienced depression, anxiety, burnout and stress. I look forward to sharing what has brought peace and joy into my life and guiding your practice.

Jamilah Malika

jamilah malika abu-bakare teaches trauma-informed, mindfulness-based yoga. She is a Brown Girls Yoga collective member since 2011, senior teacher, mentor lead and anti-oppression teacher training facilitator for New Leaf Foundation since 2014, and anti-oppression teacher training facilitator for Kathryn Bruni Young's 2020 Mindful Strength Teacher Immersions. contact: jamilahmalika@gmail.com