Susanna Barkataki: Yoga Unity Activist, Speaker and Teacher


My Native Admission Statement: As a mixed Indian-British woman from Assam, living in the U.S. I’ve often felt excluded in many of our yoga spaces. Yet I know this exclusion is the opposite of what yoga is meant to be. Yoga is unity. It is meant to be inclusive and transformative for all, but that isn’t what happens. I am a yoga diversity, equity and culture educator and activist. I know it is past time for the practice of my indigenous wisdom to get the authenticity and diversity it deserves. I speak for my ancestors and say we are no longer here to allow this corruption and lack of diversity of the healing path of yoga today. We all lose. Instead, we can lean back to yoga’s original aims while practicing forward to a future that includes everyone. I use my unique experiences and voice to help do this through writing, teaching and speaking. I love asking people, “does what you are doing cause more separation, or more unity?” Yoga helps us see that anything other than union is just illusion. And gives us the tools to heal division and separation and get to union with self, with others, with the world.

Any emerging industry trends?

Yoga and wellness is embracing diversity and inclusion! For better or worse, these are a lot more trendy now than they’ve ever been. However, we have to be careful to not just pay lip service to these ideas, but to truly explore them deeply and fully. To ask ourselves the hard questions, make changes, and go deep. Otherwise, the trend won’t stick. Or to say this another way, these concepts need to move beyond trends and become deep practice.

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