Since her mother was an early proponent of holistic living, Terri started yoga when she was 4 years old and has 45+ years of exploring the mind-body-spirit connection. When she was a corporate executive, her knowledge of yoga, meditation and integrated health strategies helped her heal from almost dying. That prompted her to empower others with these transformative tools.
In 2002, she founded the first yoga studio in Harlem–Ta Yoga House–to make healthy and positive living physically, culturally and financially accessible to underserved urban communities. It was a gateway to delivering health and sustainability messages to that community. She has offered free yoga classes for cancer patients at the Ralph Lauren Cancer Center in Harlem and free yoga classes to the Harlem community through Shape Up New York program sponsored by the New York City Departments of Health and Parks & Recreation. She served six years on the Board of Yoga Alliance–the internationally-recognized non-profit association that sets standards for yoga teaching in the United States with over 90,400 registered yoga teachers and 6,200 registered schools. She was their Interim CEO and first African-American chair of the Board.
Her original yoga training was at Integral Yoga Institute in New York and Yogaville. She participated in one of the last Satsang gatherings with Sri Swami Satchidananda before he transitioned in 2002, and has studied with other great yoga teachers including Srivatsa Ramaswami, Swami Ramananda, Dharma Mittra and Tao Porchon-Lynch. In addition, she is certified in Chair Yoga, and has studied Yoga for Children and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in the tradition of Jon Kabat-Zinn. She has contributed to various media outlets on the topic of yoga and mindful living including being featured on the cover of Yoga Journal. See Media.
She has presented for a variety of mind-body related organizations and events such as the National Institutes of Health, National Ayurvedic Medical Association, Yoga Research Society, Yoga Journal Conferences (across the country) and International Association of Black Yoga Teachers. In addition to teaching and presenting, she has moderated programs with a range of notable yoga teachers including Sharon Gannon, Gary Kraftsow, Cyndi Lee, Ana Forrest, Tias Little, Aadil Palkhivala, John Friend, Judith Hanson Lasater, Rod Stryker, Jason Crandell, Pretzel France, and Rogelio Nunez.
In 2017, Terri was featured in Athleta’s Power of She campaign with her teacher/mentor Tao Porchon-Lynch. View video and blog. Tao asked Terri and her mother– journalist Janie Sykes-Kennedy–to help write her autobiography which resulted in Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master released in September 2015. The Hardcover book won 10 international and national awards, and received endorsements from a number of notables such as Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum and Agapi Stassinopoulos. Dr. Deepak Chopra called the book “extraordinary” and wrote the front cover endorsement. In November 2017, Shining Bright: Quotes and Images to Inspire Optimism, Gratitude & Belief in your Limitless Potential was released–another collaboration between Tao, Janie and Terri. In 2018, the book won the prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award. Learn more about the Tao & Terri backstory and see highlights from their work together including programs at the Pentagon, United Nations, and other incredible locations around the world.
In 2018, Terri taught two of her custom Breathe & Burn® and Blissful Vibrations® programs at the XYoga Dubai Festival in the United Arab Emirates. She joined other international yoga teachers including some yogis she had met before such as Yogi Cameron, Candace Cabrera, Dan Morgan, Anjasmara Prasetya, Pierre Ravan, Ajith Shankara, and Sjha’ra Taylor. See pictures and video.