Kassandra Prus (they/them) is a Tkaronto (Toronto)-based accessible yoga teacher, yoga educator, yoga therapist, and tarot reader of Ukrainian heritage. It is important to Kassandra to conduct their coaching practice in a way that works to decolonize yoga, challenges capitalism and ableism, values intersectional feminism and anti-racism, and upholds body sovereignty.
Kassandra’s ongoing yoga studies are primarily in the lineage of TKV Desikachar, son of T. Krishnamacharya and founder of Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Kassandra works to uphold and respect these powerful classical Vedic teachings through rigorous ongoing personal practice and study. These classical teachings come directed through Kassandra’s lived experience of navigating the modern world as a queer and non-binary, chronically ill survivor on the autistic spectrum, and all of the systemic barriers that this entails. For Kassandra, working with yoga as a somatic mano śastra (science of the mind) mirrors newly proven western understandings in psychotherapy and neuroscience, somatic psychotherapies, our understanding of trauma and more. It is of great interest to Kassandra to see how these deep indigenous knowledge systems built to heal all the layers of ourselves from the inside out (body, physiology, mind, emotions, spirit) will co-mingle with modern allopathic medical research into the future.
Kassandra’s life experiences and lineage of teaching has brought them to working with students and clients of myriad abilities and conditions–those living with disabilities, chronic pain, trauma, autoimmune issues, physical and mental health concerns, and more. While facilitating the health of heart, mind, breath, and body through Yoga Therapy, Kassandra may also turn to Tarot reading in a practical way to illuminate the way forward for students when the path seems obscured. Kassandra also specializes in teaching chair yoga group classes, especially for seniors, as well as group classes for practitioners where the focus is on integrating the subtler practices of yoga (prāṇāyāma, stages of meditation, bhāvanam/visualization, and mantra) within an āsana practice to create a therapeutic effect for all the layers of the self.
As an educator, Kassandra develops and facilitates trainings to support others looking for ways to make yoga practices and medicines more accessible to their target populations. Since 2018 they have run multiple 25-40hour Therapeutic and Chair Yoga Trainings, as well as a Subtle Anatomy module in Union Yoga + Wellness’ 225hr YTT. With yoga therapist colleagues, Kassandra is currently working towards the launch of The Yoga Therapist Collective of Canada–a place for education, collaboration, advocacy and more. Kassandra’s hope is that one day people of all abilities, ages, races, genders, religions, financial statuses, and health statuses will have places to engage safely with the deeply healing practices that yoga has to offer the world, through diverse teachers and practitioners with lived understanding of the practices.