New Board Member
Leda Resurreccion (Subrah)
Interview by Dharani Diana Diaz
Leda Resurreccion (Subrah) is the newest board member of IYINY. Leda is a former dancer with the Philippine Dance Co. of New York. She studied fashion and photography, as well as drawing and life study, at Pratt Institute in New York. Leda is the co-founder of ArenaStudiosNYC and Arena Production, LLC, serving as executive director, creative director, and curator of both organizations. She also co-founded and co-created the New York−based fundraising event Black & Blue Ball Inc., serving as its executive producer and artistic director. During its 15-year run, that event dedicated all proceeds to various charities, HIV/AIDS awareness, and environmental and women’s global health.
Leda has been a guest lecturer at the Columbia University professor Eva Kant’s psychology class, speaking on behavioral profiling and language. She has recently served as the artistic director and set designer on projects related to the Asian diaspora, produced and directed by the actors Carrie Preston and Kate Rigg. Leda is also a member of Time’s Up Now, the #MeToo movement, and Integral Yoga New York’s Marketing, Fundraising, and Racial Diversity and Anti-Discrimination committees. Leda (Subrah) is a 200-hour Hatha Yoga instructor certified from IYINY and a certified gong player under Gong Master Don Conreaux. Her focus is on the healing practice of merging sound and Yoga for her students.
Yours is an inspiring journey. When and how did you discover Yoga? What brought you to IYI?
I had no Yoga practice prior to Integral Yoga; I was more a “gym bunny.” When I was younger, dance, track, and gymnastics were the activities of my physical focus. My landing at IYI was purely by accident: I was looking to volunteer at a local mission and subsequently ran into a former employee of Namaste, on 13th Street (I wasn’t aware that she is now at Integral Yoga). She suggested that I volunteer at Integral Yoga. The rest is history. Big “Thank you” to our teacher coordinator Brina Lord!
You wear a lot of hats here: board member, Dreamwalk, media director, gong player, Yoga teacher, and partnership builder, as well as serve on the Marketing, RDAD, and Fundraising committees. Tell us about that.
Both of my parents were dancers and artists. My father was an art director, and my mother gave up her artistic career to raise three children. Aside from having an exceptional exposure to the arts from both parents, we were also raised to take part in and appreciate service to others. My grandmother worked with Dr. Ralph Bunche at the U.N. for civil rights and instilled in her grandchildren the meaning of social rights and charity. Given this as an early-childhood background and as a former business owner, I don’t feel it’s a stretch to engage in service to all the committees I’m currently involved with. Service to one’s community, aside from practice, is Yoga for me.
What do you hope your students will receive from your class?
It’s my hope that any student or participant will feel welcome, comfortable, and not judged and have the ability to just “be” in class. As a teacher, I believe that allowing space and providing one’s students with tools to facilitate their focus both inwardly and outwardly through their asana practice is paramount.
What drew you to sound healing?
Aside from the fact that the gongs have a place in Yoga, their construction is in relation not just to notes; some gongs are also designed with a direct planetary value based on proximity through vibratory assessment. There are many different types of gong. The science of sound shows how vibration and resonance have a healing effect, not just in case studies but also as a purposeful yet unscripted quality (when one is playing) that yields a meditative state and, usually, cellular movement. These results often present either immediately or directly in terms of the intent of the gong player.
What has surprised you about yourself during this pandemic?
I think the usage of Zoom has surprised me in the way of being placed in a position of constant observation and continual engagement with a whole new set of protocols and etiquette. I find myself preferring FaceTime to a regular call; I now have an appreciation for that level of social interaction. And it’s not disconcerting if students shut off their video during practice. It’s fine to abide by privacy constructs.
I appreciate how you sprinkle anatomical facts throughout your class. How much of your teaching style is attributed to your personality, your life experience, and your teaching wisdom?
Sigh… Okay, I feel that my personality shouldn’t be the focus of teaching. The message or the delivery in terms of our lineage is the crux of my view as an Integral teacher. That being stated, I understand that “me” is an intrinsic part of the reason that students may be in my class. Let’s leave it at that.
What is one of your hidden talents? How does it show up in your own Yogic practices and in the classes/Satsangs/workshops you lead?
I enjoy teaching and sharing the concepts of Sri Satchidananda through Yoga. It’s a lifestyle on and off the mat.
You’re a founding member of Dreamwalk. Tell us a little about what that is and how you choose your theme for each event.
Dreamwalk is composed of Integral Yoga teachers who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). This collective stems from Amba’s use of an Australian Aboriginal tradition of yarns (storytelling). We combine yarns, Hatha Yoga, and sound as a means both to relay a Yogic intention and create an alternative way to practice. We choose ethical or environmental concerns and develop them as our themes while incorporating Hatha practice as our foundation.
You’re also a founding member of RDAD. What does that mean to you?
For me, being a founding member of the Racial Diversity and Anti-Discrimination Committee means being a part of a subtle yet necessary movement committed to addressing diversity and racism within the Yoga community.
We are creating new policies addressing the need to dismantle power dynamics and antiquated views that lead to harmful behavior visited upon practitioners.
Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?
We shall not discuss Covid weight gain.
Ongoing classes at IYI: BIPOC Hatha with Healing Sounds, Saturdays 1:30−2:30 p.m.
Coming workshops at IYI: Dreamwalk (check calendar for spring listings)