Conversations with Modern Yogis Series: Motherhood as a Healing Practice | 5/13/17 | Los Angeles, CA

April 12, 2017

Join a group of mama yogis as they dive deep into the intersection of yoga and motherhood for our Conversations with Modern Yogis Series: Motherhood as a Healing Practice. Our collective inquiry will include sharing of birth and post-partum experiences, nurturing physical, mental, and emotional well-being, navigating shifts in identity, and cultivating balance. We will also be practicing gentle breathing exercises and short meditations, and we encourage everyone to bring a small item for our altar. Our intention is to co-create a sacred energy and hold space for a transformative, healing dialogue. This event is open to all- mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons- and is co-hosted by the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, Yoga Shala West, and Piedmont Yoga, the founder of the CWMY series.



Thalia González, Jodi Strock, Melissa Mercedes, Ally South, Christina Wherry


Melanie Klein, Pranidhi Varshney

 This conversation is offered as a gift, which we encourage you to pay forward by making a financial contribution. All proceeds will benefit the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and Yoga Shala West.
Suggested contribution: $10-20.

Contribute in person or you can donate online here.


Sat, May 13
Yoga Shala West
11271 National Blvd
Suite B

Los Angeles, CA
*entrance in the back, through the parking lot off Sawtelle Blvd



Christina became a mother April 2012 to Hannah Rose. She created Lioness Heart and Soul Yoga to support everyone who would like to learn about yoga and wellness. Christina currently teaches Beginners and Senior Yoga. She advocates for mental health & wellness through workshops she facilitates. Christina is also a Reiki ll Practitioner and Postpartum Doula.


Pranidhi Varshney is the founder of Yoga Shala West, a community-supported ashtanga yoga shala in West Los Angeles. To support yoga practice on and off the mat, she writes regularly, has released an album of Sanskrit chanting, is a Yoga Gives Back ambassador, and sits on the advisory board of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition. Through all her work, she aims to build community and touch the heart.


Jodi is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with individuals, couples and families.  She has been trained in the Humanistic Spirituality approach and has a private practice in West Los Angeles. Her background as a family systems therapist incorporates many modalities including mindfulness, meditation and inquiry. Jodi has extensive experience in working with body consciousness, addiction, eating order recovery, anxiety and depression.  Her approach combines traditional forms of psychotherapy with Buddhist teachings and yoga practices as well.  She collaborates with clients in unique ways to help them awaken to self-compassion in their own healing as a critical aspect of the work.  She created and runs the Body Image and Self Compassion workshop in Santa Monica, which focuses on skills that help individuals feel more connected to and accepting of one’s body.  With a background in and dedicated yoga practice of seventeen years, she has been a strong advocate for the positive body movement and is a community partner with the Yoga Body Image Coalition.

Melanie Klein, M.A., is a writer, speaker, and professor of sociology and women’s studies. She is the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body (Llewellyn, 2014) with Anna Guest-Jelley, a contributor in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice (Horton & Harvey, 2012), is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis (Shroff, 2014), a featured writer in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living (Llewellyn, 2016) and co-editor of the new anthology, Yoga, the Body and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis with Dr. Beth Berila and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). She co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014.

Ally discovered her love for the Ashtanga practice in 2001 while she was living in the UK. It was in 2006 when she embarked on her teaching journey, studying under Paul Dallaghan, Jeff & Harmony Lichty, & Neil Barker. After receiving their blessing, she went on to teach in London (UK), Sydney (Australia), & Los Angeles (USA). She teaches from a place of love & understanding; Ashtanga Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, & Postnatal Yoga.  With these practices she helps support women throughout the grace and challenges of their pregnancy, postpartum experience, and journey through motherhood.

Thalia González is a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University Law Center and Associate Professor at Occidental College.  Her research and teaching interests center on contemporary questions at the intersection of law, society, race, politics, inequality, and systemic reform with a special focus on juvenile justice.  She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of school-based restorative justice and is frequently asked to advise educators and policymakers.  Her research has been published in leading law reviews and journals, including the New York University Review of Law and Social Change, Howard Law Journal, Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Ecology Law Quarterly and Journal of Law and Education.  Over the last 10 years Thalia has integrated contemplative practices as a liberatory pedagogy into her courses and her recent publications, Root to Rise and A Quiet Revolution, consider the identity—in theory and practice—of mindful social justice lawyering.

Melissa Mercedes, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and conducts clinical research at the VA Greater Los Angeles and San Diego Healthcare Systems. She has extensive experience in the use of mind-body therapies for trauma, depression, and anxiety in women, and is an advocate for integrative approaches to promote emotional and physical well-being.


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