Meet our Y4Y North Carolina Director and Teachers

Keval Kaur Khalsa, M.A., is a Professor of the Practice of Dance & Theater Studies at Duke University, a Kundalini Yoga Lead Teacher Trainer, and a Y.O.G.A. for Youth Teacher Trainer.  As a faculty member in the Duke University Dance Program for 31 years, Keval Kaur directed the Dance Program for seven years, and teaches courses in dance, Kundalini Yoga & Sikh Dharma, and activist theater.  For six years, she has been Co-Primary Investigator for a research study on the effects of the Y.O.G.A. for Youth curriculum on elementary and middle school students’ stress response, emotional regulation, mindfulness, physical health, and body image.  Supported by the Duke University Bass Connections Initiative, her research team includes Co-PI Dr. Michele Tracy Berger (UNC-CH), and graduate and undergraduate students from Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Prof. Khalsa is the co-founder of Y.O.G.A. for Youth-NC, the Y.O.G.A. for Youth Chapter in North Carolina.  Keval Kaur has been teaching Kundalini Yoga & Meditation for the past 20 years in locations in North America, South America, and Africa. She has trained Kundalini Yoga teachers in North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, California, Colorado, Michigan, and Accra (Ghana).  She owns Kundalini Yoga Durham, a donation-based community yoga space in Durham, NC, and is dedicated to making Kundalini Yoga available to underserved populations.  She is the mother/stepmother/grandmother of four adult children and nine grandchildren.

Azucena Santana  

My name is Azucena Santana BS RN (Mex) is an ITFS (Infant Toddler Family Specialist). I grew up in Mexico and currentl resides in Durham. About 5 years ago was introduced to Yoga for Youth as a way of bettering and improving my health. I really loved the organization and the mission to improve outcomes for children and families.  Eventually, I took the YOGA Kundalini training and this deepened my understanding and knowledge.

Mi nombre es Azucena Santana BS RN (Mex) y ITFS(Infant Toddler Family Specialist ) Me crie en México, actualmente vivo en Durham y hace aproximadamente hace 5 años inicie con la inquietud de hacer algo diferente para mejorar mi salud. Conocí  Yoga for Youth, una organización sin fines de lucro,  con muchos beneficios para los niños y jóvenes . Y me encanto y dije pero necesito saber y conocer mas para poder compartir con los padres de estos niños, asi que un tiempo mas tarde también tome el entrenamiento de YOGA Kundalini este es para adultos. Y creo que al tener información la cual es un beneficio para mi ,trabajando para familias y niños por que no hacerlo de otra manera que igual es un gran beneficio para la mente, espíritu y cuerpo que es por medio del yoga.

Christine Abernathy

Christine is a creative, a community organizer, and a yoga teacher. She came to yoga over a decade ago because she loved the physical challenge. She’s stuck with the practice not because it’s a good workout, but because  she sees how nourishing it is for both mentally and emotionally. Yoga can make you feel good! In class,  Christine shoots for a practice that’s liberating, affirming, and fun.

She’s here to share yoga with you wherever you are: your office, your community center, your living room, you name it. If you are curious about who she has learned from, you can check out more at Come breathe, move, and feel good.

Kenneth Strickland

Kenneth Strickland is an Assistant Teacher Trainer for Y.O.G.A. for Youth, an Advisory Board member for Y.O.G.A. for Youth-NC, and has served as a Lead Teacher in the North Carolina program for five years. Kenneth has been educating youth in the power of Kundalini Yoga, the breath, and Love since 2013. He believes in the inherent wisdom of children and works to create spaces where children can become aware of this wisdom. Kenneth is currently living in Little Rock, Arkansas teaching English, Social Studies, and Meditation at North Little Rock Academy. Kenneth holds a B.A. from Duke University, and is currently a Masters’ candidate at Naropa University (Boulder Colorado), where he studies Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling.  Kenneth has been honored as a 3HO Luminary for his extraordinary service in underserved communities by the non-profit 3HO Foundation International.