Leah has seen teaching yoga since 2005, when she co-founded a free, on-site yoga program for high schoolers (and their teachers) in south and west side Tucson schools. A longtime student prior to that, she had not expected or planned to teach, but found a new kind of joy in sharing accessible body and breath practices. In addition to classes at local middle and high schools, Leah taught yoga for over a a decade at assisted living and memory care facilities in Tucson.
In studio classes since 2007, Leah has continued to focus on accessibility and meaningfulness in her teaching. Leah remains intensely committed to making yoga accessible, affordable, and physically, mentally, and spiritually available and empowering to all who are interested in exploring any dimension of the practice. She specializes in movement, breath, and meditation practices of all types and levels, including yoga for activists, athletes, mamas & babies (creating the first, ongoing Mama-Baby class in Tucson), teens, school teachers, healthcare providers, social workers, elders and those with limited mobility, the marginalized, and the traumatized
As a practicing sociocultural anthropologist, Leah engages with yogic teachings in their sociohistorical, philosophical and moral contexts: Yoga arose in a distinct time and place; how can we collectively continue its evolution toward greater communal liberation? What role do westerners play in this, and what obligations do we hold? How do we continue to understand suffering as not limited to the body, and how do we strengthen and soften ourselves enough to stay present with – and fight for an end to – the suffering for those around us? These are questions that have long guided Leah’s own yogic practices (hatha and karma) and daily work off the mat, and that she invites students into engagement with.
Leah’s teaching ultimately understands yoga to maintain an impetus toward social justice and to encapsulate the imperative of our collective work for the liberation from spiritual and socio-political oppressions of all beings. A strong commitment to the teachings of Vajranaya Buddhism and particularly Shantideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva further inform Leah’s practice and teaching.
When not teaching yoga, Leah works as an applied research anthropologist focusing on liberatory education; race, ethnicity, gender, immigration and identity; food security and food justice; contemplative science; and health.