2016 – 2021

You can also download and print the BYTA 2021 Conference Schedule.

(Program times are Eastern Daylight Time)

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm     
Welcome to the BYTA 2021 Conference
Jana Long & Dr. Gail Parker, Co-hosts
• Invoking and Inviting the Ancestors
• Meet the presenters
• Circle of Love

9:30 am
• Zoom room opens
• Musical Interlude
• Welcome/Virtual housekeeping

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Ubuntu Family Flow, Terry, Ericka and Mhari Harris, The CollectiveSTL
Ubuntu is a South African philosophy that means “We are one.” This hour-long practice is for the entire family!  It will include a gentle yoga flow followed by a guided meditation that is designed to cultivate, self-compassion, self-awareness, and self-love to be a better family. We are one. Ubuntu.”

11:00 am – 11:15 am
Musical Interlude
“8 N All,” by Jhelisa

11:15 am – 11:30 am
“The Village Bully,” written and narrated by Maria Broom / illustrated by John Malloy / video created by Lorenzo Wilkins
In one African village, when someone does something truly wrong, work stops as everyone circles around that person, and tells him all the good things they know about him. This ‘circle of love’ helps the person to remember who he really is. “The Village Bully,” a story poem, introduces this cultural tradition to the children in today’s urban villages.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
For Those Who Have Considered Breaking/When Bending Is Enuf
Sherri Doucette
This session invites yoga practitioners to consider the benefits and enormous societal impact of teaching yoga to children. Sherri will share with equal measure her theoretical and anecdotal experiences introducing yoga to children ages 7 to 13 years as a means of cultivating self-regulation and emotional intelligence (EI). She will also delve into the process of successfully pitching a proposal to offer yoga in schools.

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
Video Interlude
BYTA Voices and Honoring our Ancestors

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Keynote Presenter
Dr. Gina Paige, President & Co-founder of
The African Ancestry Identity Experience: Using DNA to Reclaim African Roots and Foster Holistic Wellness & Healing, the pioneers of genetic ancestry tracing for people of African descent, explores the important role that identity plays in the holistic wellness of Black people today and how genetics can be used as a tool to empower us through knowledge of self. In a lively, interactive exchange, we cover family trees, genetic ancestry tracing and the cultural and historical nuances that provoke new thought on who we are in today’s America.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Robin Downes, Chair Yoga Flava
Join Robin and her father, Sergeant Major Downes, who is in his 80s, for a session of Chair Yoga Flava™.  Enhanced with the Flava of multigenerational musical grooves to ancient yoga moves in a chair!  Tips, Q&A about caring for elderly parents with Yoga.

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Panel 1 Discussion – Yoga in the Modern Family
Robin Downes, (extended family); Cleora Francis-O’Connor, (grieving family); Michele Coleman, (queer family); Tamara Jeffries (householder, moderator); Jacqueline Oselen, (Christian family).

9:30 am 
Zoom room opens

9:45 am – 10:30 am
Interview & “Ambrosial Morning Meditation” with Krishna Kaur
Expand your intuition to know in an instant what is true and what is not. Challenges and uncertainties are Heavenly gifts reminding us to serve all as warriors of light, love, and compassion. And, doing it as a family is what really matters.

10:30 am – 11:00 am 
Music and slideshow

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Panel 2 Discussion – Yoga in the Global Family
Wardah Hartley (South Africa), Paula Hines (United Kingdom), Phyllis Jeffers-Coly (West Africa), Malaika Maitland (Caribbean), Gail Parker, (United States, moderator)

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
“The Uncommon Yogi: A History of Blacks & Yoga in the U.S.”

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Leslie Salmon & Jeff Jones, Afro Flow Yoga
Family Closing Ceremony

In this multi-generational heart centered closing ceremony, we will honor our ancestors and celebrate the power of our collective wisdom. Together, in a collaborative, interactive practice of Afro Flow Yoga®, which integrates yoga, dance, and live music, we will release what is no longer serving us and we will fortify our family connections through raising the vibration of love, light, and compassion.

1:30 pm
Farewell and thank you!


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