Liberation, peace, and well-being for all.


BYTA provides opportunities for continuing education and professional development to yoga teachers who serve their communities.


  • Elevate our presence and voices in the world.
  • Provide a business and social network with black yoga teachers throughout the U.S. and abroad.
  • Serve as a catalyst to connect black yoga teachers with opportunities to train, teach and travel.
  • Increase the diversity of those who teach and practice yoga.


The Black Yoga Teachers Alliance (BYTA) was founded in 2009 by yoga teachers Maya Breuer and Jana Long, as a social media group to provide a space for teachers, students, practitioners, healers, and enthusiasts to discuss yoga and wellness, to share information about classes, workshops, events and activities, and most importantly, to build a network and get to know one another. BYTA was established as a tax-exempt nonprofit in 2016.


Black Yoga Teachers Alliance Board of Directors is comprised of dedicated volunteers who serve to support our mission, clarify our vision and implement organizational goals through effective governance and management.


Charlene Muhammad, ERYT 500, C-IAYT is a traditional healing practitioner who embraces a life-long spirit of natural living. A graduate of Cornell University, Charlene holds a Master of Science degree in Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health and is a licensed dietitian.

Vice President Business Development

Jerome Paige, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience in leadership and management in higher education, the public sector, and non-profit organizations.


Marilyn Peppers-Citizen, Ph.D., E-RYT 500, C-IAYT has been a wellness professional since 1992, dedicated to helping individuals achieve their individual wellness goals. As a certified yoga therapist and holistic health and wellness coach, mentor, motivate, educate, and support individuals in achieving health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, fitness, and bio-individuality.


Executive Director

Jana Long, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT is a transformational leader who brings her management skills as a former media professional. She has practiced and studied yoga over 50 years and bears witness to the emergence of yoga into the mainstream. She is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of BYTA.

Creative Services Director

Lorenzo Wilkins brings his creative mind and artistic skills to develop visual communication solutions for his clients. He has worked with a wide range of clientele during his 40+ years as a visual designer, and has assisted them in taking their business communication visions to more effective levels.

Black Yoga Teachers Alliance
Advisory Council

Black Yoga Teachers Alliance Advisory Council serve on a volunteer basis, offering their expertise, skills, relational connections, feedback, advice, and are advocates for our work.

Galanda A. Brooker, Technical Advisor is a wellness practitioner who guides individuals to live more joyfully and to increase their confidence and ability to live with everyday stressors. She is a certified mindfulness meditation instructor, yoga instructor and trained in engagement coaching. She loves to garden and listen to live music!

Terry Harris, Ed.D his wife, Ericka, Alonzo Nelson and Melinda Alexandria are the founders of The Collective/STL, a group of yogis and educators in St. Louis, whose aim it is to make yoga, mindfulness, and self-care accessible. He was the guiding force in bringing Yoga As A Peace Practice to St. Louis (YPP STL) in 2019.

Krishna Kaur (Emeritus) is founder of Yoga for Youth, a nonprofit dedicated to training yoga teachers to work with at-risk youth and creating yoga programs in schools and juvenile facilities dedicated to serving young people in trouble with the U.S. criminal justice system. She was a co-founder and President of the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers from 1999-2009.

Yasmeen Long, M.A., is a public health and research professional with over a decade of experience in academic research, health policy, patient and stakeholder engagement, philanthropy, global health, and strategic direction.  Her career in public health has primarily focused on improving health outcomes, eliminating disparities, promoting health equity, and improving quality of life for underrepresented and vulnerable communities particularly for women of color.

Tamara Jeffries, Blog Editor has been a writer and editor most of career, including at Essence, where she was Executive Editor, as well as at Health and HealthQuest: The Publication of Black Wellness. She currently teaches journalism and for-credit yoga classes at Bennett College that has led to a line of research to examine the impact of yoga on the mental and emotional health of Black women.

Thomas W. Johnson MD, MBA is a retired physician/Medical Director for General Motors. While at GM along with other responsibilities he managed Wellness activities for US operations including introducing the health benefits of yoga, martial arts, and meditation to the work environment. Tom is an active Black belt practitioner of Isshinryu karate and a student of Tai Chi. He has practiced yoga for 20 years and credits his practice of yoga and martial arts to supporting his own health and well-being.

Donna Rae Jones is a Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher and Coach working with adults and children since 2015. Her passion for community, connection, and mindfulness is evident as the founder of Black Women Hike Sundays and co-founder of Mindfulness with People of Color. Her mission is supporting black folks in deepening their well-being.

Dana Smith is a certified yoga teacher and trainer, Master Life Coach and Holistic Health Practitioner. She specializes in Thai Yoga Massage, Reiki and is a gifted Intuitive Counselor. Dana is the owner of Spiritual Essence Yoga in Maryland and has trained nearly 200 yoga teachers since 2008.

Eddie Stern is an Ashtanga Yoga teacher, author, and lecturer from New York City. He has a passion for engaging in a multidisciplinary approach to furthering understanding, education, and access to yoga through technology, scientific research, collaboration, and encouraging diversity in all aspects of his work. He studies philosophy, Sanskrit, ritual, science, and religion, but his first loves of punk rock and contemporary art continue to be as important to him as yoga.

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