Maya Breuer is a certified senior Kripalu yoga teacher, founder of the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™ and the Santosha School of Yoga. She began studying yoga under Amrit Desai at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health (Ashram) in 1988. In 1994, she traveled to India to deepen her knowledge of yoga practices and philosophy at the Lakulish School under Shri Rajarshi Muni in Gujarat province. Maya is an activist striving to create greater diversity in yoga by educating the public through media, workshops, lectures and presentations about the importance of yoga as a tool for empowerment for communities of color. She views and presents yoga as a lifestyle practice, one that can help people of color – black people in particular – learn simple methods to address chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Her work championing yoga in communities of color encourages people of color to decrease health disparities, challenge various forms of oppression, such as racism, and transform their lives.  

In 1999, Maya created the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™ to teach women of color how to use yoga to manage stress and incorporate healthy lifestyle practices into daily life. In 2009, Maya co-created the Black Yoga Teacher’s Alliance™, a professional organization for black yoga teachers in the United States. Maya is the recipient of the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers’ 2006 Trailblazer Award. She is a trustee emeritus of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and she is currently consulting on an NIH-funded study, “Back to Health.” This study, in conjunction with Boston Medical Center, has examined the benefits of yoga versus physical therapy for minorities with chronic low back pain. Maya believes that yoga was created for everyone, and her unique, feminine and spiritual approach to the ancient practice allows her to meet people where they are and encourage them to deepen and strengthen their connection to themselves and society. Maya uses spirit and soul to weave the classical traditions and techniques of yoga with contemporary holistic approaches for integration of body, mind and spirit.