Sheena Sood (she/her) is a femme yogini, holistic healer, writer, educator, and activist scholar of South Asian descent. Born and raised in the U.S. South, she currently lives in West Philadelphia. Sheena earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and International Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2007; She is now completing her Doctoral Degree in Sociology at Temple University. Her research engages how South Asian American organizations define political agendas and build alliances to build political power.
Sheena first remembers learning yoga and mantras from her grandmother, Biji, when she was 13 years old. She has trained more formally as a yogini at Kailash Tribal School of Yoga and Holistic Healing in Dharamshala, India. Beyond becoming certified as an advanced yoga teacher by traveling to study the practice from Yogi Sivadas in her homeland in 2011 and again in 2013, these trainings have allowed Sheena to deepen her practice and pedagogy on physical, philosophical and spiritual dimensions; and to also study Sound Healing, Reiki, Ayurveda and Kundalini Massage therapies with Yogi Sivadas.
As an artistic healer, sociologist and engaged activist, Sheena fuses her commitment to social justice and collective transformation by grounding yoga in healing justice frameworks that address structural oppression and trauma, empower hope, sustain community groups, build resilience amongst change-makers, and connect movements to a praxis of collective care. In a recent autobiographical piece published in the Race & Yoga journal, Sheena reflects on what it meant to grow up practicing yoga in spaces that promote white supremacist, Hindu fundamentalist, and Brahmanical casteist values; distance herself from spiritually hypocritical and oppressive spaces; and subsequently, co-create a more embodied and purposeful yogic theology praxis that commits itself to the collective liberation of marginalized communities. Sheena is a 2017 recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award. Upon completing her PhD, Sheena is looking forward to building a community-centered healing space in Philly and developing more healing justice yoga trainings. She teaches a people of color yoga class at Studio 34 Yoga Healing Arts. Feel free to contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org