Decolonizing Yoga with Kimberly Dark, Jessamyn Stanley, Beth Berila and Susanna Barkataki

Decolonizing Yoga with Kimberly Dark, Jessamyn Stanley, Beth Berila and Susanna Barkataki

Event Info:

  • Oct 13, 2017
  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • $15 Guests, $10 Kama'aina


Take part in the keynote session of the Hawaii Yoga Festival featuring a storytelling performance followed by a panel discussion on creating and empowering a conscious yoga community.

1:00 pm – 2:25 pm
“Since My Body Is Your Business” Storytelling by Kimberly Dark

Kimberly Dark travels the world telling stories about the body in culture. Funny, insightful and engaging, the stories in this performance session have been published in, Ravishly, Everyday Feminism, etc.. Start laughing and thinking as you get ready for the panel discussion just following this special performance.

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Yoga and Social Justice: Building Conscious Community 

Join us for a panel discussion with four yogis who’ve been thinking and writing about conscious yoga culture for a long time. Kimberly Dark will facilitate the discussion with Beth Berila, Susanna Barkataki and Jessamyn Stanley, discussing topics such as how oppression prevents connection and interferes with ahimsa, connecting across differences, examining power, privilege and internalized oppression in our practice and in teaching, and how to create empowering yoga communities. There will be time for audience interaction as well.

Admission: Free for festival pass holders. Open to the public for $15 ($10 kama’āina). A valid Hawaii state-issued ID or driver’s license must be presented at festival check-in to receive kama’āina rates.


Susanna Barkataki, M.Ed. Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, E-RYT 500, member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Core Community of Interbeing, is passionate about decolonizing yoga and practicing it not just as poses but as a way of life. She shares yoga to be authentic, accessible and with the aim to benefit everyone.

Susanna’s family lineage is from Assam, India, where an ancient lineage of teaching the traditions of Yoga and Ayurveda are practiced still today. Susanna integrates this lineage with the practical application of a Master’s degree in Education as well as a B.A. in Philosophy for U.C. Berkeley to create a culturally aware and socially relevant practice.

Beth Berila, Ph.D., 500-hr, RYT, is the Director of the Women’s Studies Program and Professor in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department at St. Cloud State University. She is also an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist. She served as a Founding Member of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and is now a community partner. She has offered online yoga and social justice courses with Dianne Bondy and with Off the Mat, Into the World. Her work focuses on forging a mindful social justice by weaving together yoga, meditation, and feminism to offer holistic ways to unlearn oppression and forge transformative ways of being. She is the author of Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppressive Pedagogy: Social Justice and Higher Education (Routledge, 2015), and co-editor, with Melanie Klein and Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D. of Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Learn more about her work at

In addition to teaching yoga since 1999, Kimberly Dark’s writing and storytelling performances about the body in culture continue to help people reframe themselves as physically capable in whatever bodies they have, and culturally capable of creating a world that honors all bodies and experiences. She writes for, Ravishly, and Everyday Feminism, among others. Her work is widely anthologized and she’s been invited to share storytelling at hundreds of universities, festivals and other venues internationally. She was part of the founding leadership team for the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and teaches in Loyola Marymount’s Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change certificate program and in the graduate program in Sociological Practice at CSU San Marcos.   She also coordinates the yoga program at Kalani – one of Hawaii’s largest retreat centers. Read articles, watch videos and learn more at

Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga teacher, body positivity advocate, and writer based in Durham, North Carolina, and her classes use high energy vinyasa flow as a way to move past mental and emotional barriers. She provides a body positive approach to yoga which celebrates students’ bodies and encourages them to ask “How Do I Feel?” rather than “How Do I Look?” when practicing yoga. Jessamyn studied with Kimberley Puryear and Stephanie Keach of Asheville Yoga Center and her eponymous yoga lifestyle blog and Instagram attract thousands of followers daily, offering tips and advice for other yoga practitioners while documenting her home yoga practice.

Jessamyn has contributed to a number of print and online publications including Glamour, BUST, Bustle, Lenny Letter, Gaia, and Mind Body Green. She’s been featured by a wide range of international and national media outlets including Good Morning America, Al Jazeera English, New York Magazine, and The Huffington Post, among others.