Self-Determination (30 min)
Long and Strong Legs
In this 30-minute asana session, we observe the second day of Kwanzaa, Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), by cultivating strength while remaining receptive and ready for change through flexibility. In so doing, we focus on lengthening and strengthening the legs—our foundation—by moving through Trikonansa (triangle) and the three sequential Virabhadrasanas (warriors), as well as Hanumanasana (front splits), for without flexibility there is no strength, just a greater susceptibility to instability and injury. This culturally commemorative class proceeds to the background of some affirmative words of Afrikan power, strength, and determination… Kujichagulia.
This is a Level 2 class.
Shani (“Dr. OM”) Ojukwu Mantenso is the Principal Movement Specialist with Hadiya Movement Systems, a private virtual movement studio. A gymnast, dancer, and Ph.D. in Performance Studies, Shani is also a yoga teacher-healer trained and certified in trauma-sensitive MindBody Centering Yoga. Along with other movement forms like Pilates, barre/basic ballet, functional calisthenics, and tumbling fundamentals she offers through HMS, Shani is privileged to provide spirit-based and trauma-informed asana as an adjunctive therapy and mode of somatic centering, cultivation, and joy. Herself on a healing journey from depression, domestic abuse, complex PTSD, and global white supremacy/racial capitalism, Shani is a proud and self-proclaimed “wounded healer.” Through her intentional observance of the eight limbs of yoga, Shani Ojukwu Mantenso has dedicated her personal and professional life to creating the optimal conditions of possibility for freedom for herself and others—mind, body, and spirit.