Tamara Y. Jeffries, RYT-200
I started practicing yoga in the late 1980s. After many off-and-on years, I entered teacher training at Triad Yoga Institute—more to learn than to teach—and completed my certification in 2013. I'm a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) with the Yoga Alliance, and a member of Service Council, an organization dedicated to bringing yoga to underserved populations.
As a yoga teacher, my intention is to help people gently increase their awareness of and connection with their own bodies. I encourage a non-judgmental, non-competitive yoga practice, helping students reach their capacity—no matter what type of body they're in. I enjoy working with people who are new to yoga and especially welcome people who are in bigger bodies or otherwise not your "typical" yoga types.
These days, my primary yoga gig is teaching young women at Bennett College, the first for-credit yoga course at a historically Black college. I've also taught in summer camps and after-school programs, and I work with private and corporate yoga clients as well.
By profession, I am a professor and a journalist who covers all aspects of health, with a special interest in how yoga can encourage mental and emotional wellness. I've completed a 5-day workshop on "Yoga, and Neuroscience" with M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D. at Satchidananda Ashram. I've also workshopped with yoga and mental health experts Amy Weintraub and Bo Forbes. As part of my yoga teacher certification, I wrote a paper titled “The Blues, The and the Wiggles: Yoga For Children’s Mental Health.”
Santiba Campbell, Ph.D., RYT-200
I was first introduced to yoga in 2007 as a graduate student working toward my Ph.D. in social psychology. I was dealing with tremendous amounts of stress and had gained weight. In a chance encounter, a physical therapy graduate student offered to create a workout plan just for me. It included one day of vinyasa yoga.
I still remember being very nervous before my first class, not knowing what to expect and concerned that my body wouldn’t be able to create the poses. I was surprised at how challenging it was while at the same time being very calming. I soon learned that yoga was more than poses; self-awareness played a bigger role. Within a year, I was taking twice a week and practicing at home as well. I continued exploring vinyasa yoga and attending yoga classes throughout graduate school, appreciating both the stretch and the stress relief.
I studied and received my yoga teacher training with Urban Bliss Yoga in 2017. I'm a Yoga Alliance registered instructor and a member of Yoga Service Council. I continued to practice yoga and strive to develop a more holistic understanding of a yogic lifestyle. To that end, I have workshopped and studied with experts in the field, including Dr. Mala Cunningham, Dr. Gail Parker Crystal McCreary.
Today, I’m an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Bennett College, where my research focuses on identity development among African-American college students; the effects of physical health and psychological well-being on academic success; and equity, and inclusion within the academy and society—including yoga culture and community.
In addition to being a yogi, I’m a foodie who enjoys traveling and sewing.