Women Seekers + Leaders Podcast

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Women Seekers and Leaders is an initiative to highlight women in the pursuit of truth through spirituality, philosophy, science, religion, art, and overall self-discovery. It’s a conversation-style podcast where we speak to women about their journies to where and who they are now. Our aim is to inspire listeners to go deeper within—into their lineages and their paths—and to explore what it means to be human in an ever-expanding world.    This project is all-encompassing, highlighting a diverse array of beliefs and traditions, creeds and hypotheses, and specifically focused on showcasing the voices of women who should be heard and seen as leaders in spheres that have been historically dominated by men

Serena Jetelina

Serena Jetelina is a Certified Spanda Yoga Movement Therapist, a 500-hr Certified Yoga Instructor, and a Certified Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist. She views her classes as an opportunity to guide students toward their innate wholeness and wisdom, focusing on consciously strengthening breath and body awareness. Serena believes the greatest gift we could give one another is our open, unwavering presence—where understanding and self-empowerment can unfold—and this is the type of environment she hopes to bring to the classroom.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

1hr to complete

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Section 1
  • Noted yoga and meditation researcher, Harvard professor, and Vipassana practitioner Sara Lazar talks to Serena about how she first got into yoga and meditation and where her research has taken her. They talk about the effects of meditation on the body and the brain, MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) practice vs. relaxation response practice, and brain activity and structure in long-term meditators. They also talk about meditation and the science of the brain as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease, emotional regulation, stress, perception, and pain, how people with mental and emotional challenges...
  • In this episode, the daughter of one of the original yoga masters who pioneered yoga in the West and education director of the Amrit Yoga Institute, Kamini Desai, reflects with Serena on topics related to life, love, spiritual development, and self-acceptance in daily life. You’ll hear how her experience growing up in an ashram influenced her view of relationships and community, as well as the expectations she has weathered as the daughter of a guru. Kamini also talks about the healing aspects of the yoga nidra practice, yoga asana as practice “under pressure,” and how the two practices can optimally...
  • Serena talks to one of her teachers, Sandra Anderson. Sandy, as she is known to her students, has been a senior faculty member and resident at the Himalayan Institute for more than twenty years. She is also the co-author of the award-winning book Yoga: Mastering the Basics. Their engaging conversation invites you to reflect on your own experience during the Covid-19 pandemic in a compassionate way. They delve into a wide range of topics, including the emotional, psychological, and spiritual effects of the pandemic; the importance of having a daily routine right now; the struggle with loss of identity;...
  • In part one of this frank conversation, psychologist and yoga therapist Dr. Gail Parker talks to Serena about a range of topics that blend the personal with the social, including how she discovered yoga in Detroit after the 1967 riots there, how she survived her abusive first marriage, the importance of spirituality in yoga, how we can use yoga practice to move beyond disillusionment when we experience betrayal, and more. Dr. Parker is a nationally and internationally renowned media personality, educator, author, and thought leader. Her broad expertise in behavioral health and wellness includes...
  • Taught by her grandfather, a highly respected qigong master and medical doctor who treated the last Emperor of China, Liu He, at the age of fourteen, became a qigong master and was given permission to teach others, an honor traditionally reserved for men. In this episode, Serena talks to the college professor all about her practice and her training in qigong, which began at age four. Master Liu He explains how qigong helped her to write a book, its potential to transform everyday health, and how it relates to women’s health specifically. She also talks about the discrimination she faced as a female...
  • In this episode, Serena talks with Anne Cushman, a leading national pioneer in the integration of mindfulness, embodied meditation, and creative expression. Anne’s books include the memoir The Mama Sutra and the novel Enlightenment for Idiots, and her essays on spiritual practice in daily life have appeared in the New York Times, Yoga International, Tricycle, and many other publications. She also directs the mentoring component of the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program and leads regular meditation retreats. They discuss how Anne discovered Buddhism and yoga, reading about practice...
  • A Tibetan Buddhist nun for fourteen years, Tsunma Aileen gave up religion in her early twenties, discovered Buddhism years later, and subsequently renounced her life as a householder to take up a life of service. In this episode, Tsunma Aileen and Serena talk about the power of morality, the meditation process, and how prayer and trust fit into the spiritual path. Tsunma Aileen also reflects on how we can cope with anger in the wake of #metoo, deity practice, and how householders can take small steps to find simplicity amid the rush of daily life.
  • In this probing conversation, ayurvedic yoga therapist and author Indu Arora explores the nature of consciousness with Serena. You’ll first hear about Indu’s background and the teachers who have helped her become more introspective and observant over the course of her life. Elaborating on the theme of learning and growth, Indu talks about the process of finding sankalpas (goals) that work for us and how we can refine our emotions and actions throughout our yogic journey. She also critiques the popularity of the physical practice of yoga to the exclusion of its other aspects, why it’s important...
  • Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen is a movement artist, researcher, educator, therapist, and the developer of the Body-Mind Centering (BMC) approach to movement and consciousness. Her innovative work has influenced the fields of bodywork, movement, dance, yoga, body psychotherapy, childhood education, and other body/mind disciplines. She is the author of the books Sensing, Feeling, and Action, Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement, and The Mechanics of Vocal Expression. In this conversation, Bonnie and some of her long-time students talk about a range of topics related to trauma...
  • In part two of this conversation, Dr. Parker talks about her current work teaching yoga as a “peace practice” with the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, her work using restorative practices to help people manage raced-based trauma and stress, the difference between race-based trauma and PTSD, the importance of recognizing how our race and ethnicity impacts our worldview, the problem of “othering” in the way we welcome people of color into yoga spaces, and more. Dr. Parker is a nationally and internationally renowned media personality, educator, author, and thought leader. Her broad expertise in behavioral...
  • Mukti’s name is most often translated as “liberation,” a term used in Vedanta and Buddhism. She has been the associate teacher and vice president of Open Gate Sangha, a spiritual center offering retreats, courses, and intensives she founded with her husband and teacher, Adyashanti, in the California Bay Area. In this episode, Mukti talks to Serena about her religious upbringing, which embraced both Catholicism and yoga philosophy, how her relationship with God has changed over the years via meditation, the role of the body in spiritual awareness, conditioning vs. spontaneity in spiritual practice,...
  • What does it mean to “find your voice”? And how can we express ourselves as integrated human beings? In this deep and thoughful conversation, founder of Spanda Yoga Movement Therapy and vocal coach, Dr. Jaime Stover Schmitt, talks to Serena about a wide range of topics related to finding your voice: practicing and teaching from experience, speaking truth to power, the different roles/voices people assume and experiment with in their daily lives, how our voices can change as our interests change and we age, and more.
  • In this episode, senior trainer and director of operations for the iRest Institute, Stephanie Lopez, talks to Serena about her background in yoga and meditation, her first transformative moment of liberation, and the challenges she's faced along the way. Stephanie sheds light on how meditative practices can open us up to an experience of our true nature and how welcoming all parts of ourselves is essential to self-realization. She also discusses how the iRest “body-sensing” meditation technique has influenced her movement practices and how it can help us to become kinder, more loving human beings.
  • In this episode, esteemed yoga teacher and author Christina Sell talks candidly to YI executive producer Emily Smith about her path from addiction recovery to yoga, the struggles and relapses she experienced along the way, and yoga as a redemptive practice. She also reflects on how self-improvement practices can potentially inhibit us from our deeper self-worth, culturally conditioned ideas of selfhood, the thorny issues around the marketing of yoga, social media’s positive and negative impact on body image, and more. Christina is the author of Yoga from the Inside Out: Making Peace with Your Body...

Meet Your Teacher

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Serena Jetelina
Serena Jetelina is a Certified Spanda Yoga Movement Therapist, a 500-hr Certified Yoga Instructor, and... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this podcast in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This podcast is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Podcast completion.
No prerequisites are required; this podcast is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the podcast is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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