Meditation: Wambui will conduct evening meditation sessions based on the four brahmaviharas, outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.33. Known as the four immeasurables or the four divine abodes, we’ll be cultivating these qualities of the heart-mind, namely, loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity. Each evening we’ll explore one of these qualities so that by the end of the week, we’ll have integrated all four brahmaviharas. We’ll also take the meditation outside into nature so that we can also include our Mother Earth as a sentient being worthy of our loving kindness and in need of much engaged compassion.
Lectures: This lecture series is suitable for those keen to engage the wisdom and insight received from their yoga practice in service of the greater good. Buddhist dharma and mindfulness teacher, Kaira Jewel Lingo, observes, “In a world of increasing alienation and polarization, we can each do something to nurture the seeds of inclusiveness, understanding and compassion.” Wambui will hold space so that we may begin to ask questions and reflect, both honestly and compassionately, on these following topics:
- What is trauma-informed yoga?
- How can we create safer spaces, both in yoga and beyond?
- Who is left out of these healing practices? Why?
- Can yoga and spiritual practices be done in the context of making positive social change?
- What can be done to create more inclusive and diverse healing spaces?
Wambui Njuguna-Räisänen took her first yoga class when she was 16. It proved to be the therapy she needed during rigorous, professional dance training. She continued to practice different types of yoga throughout college and graduate school.
She came across Ashtanga Yoga in 2008 when she was living in Abu Dhabi. The structure and consistency of the method was the grounded discipline she needed at that time. For the past ten years, Wambui has been immersed in Ashtanga yoga and feels deeply grateful for all what the practice has brought to fruition, both in her personal and professional life.
Currently, in the wake of #metoo and the collective shift towards decolonialization, Wambui’s plans involve teaching yoga through an explicitly trauma-informed, anti-oppressive lens. BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ communities have been the voices most silenced, and are the bodies most left out of the healing space while simultaneously being the most impacted by systemic trauma. Therefore, creating wellness spaces that feel more welcoming, inclusive and accessible is of utmost necessity and importance. Together with her massage training (Chavutti Thirumal) and meditation advocacy, Wambui strives to work at the intersection of social inclusion, equity and wellness.
Wambui was born in Nairobi, Kenya to an English-Danish mother and a Kenyan (Kikuyu) father. She was raised in the United States, has worked and lived in Chile and the United Arab Emirates and is now based in Helsinki, Finland where she lives with Petri and their two sons.