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Celebrating Yogic & Indigenous Traditions ~ A Panel Discussion in Honour of International Day of Yoga & National Indigenous People's Day

Celebrating Yogic & Indigenous Traditions

Monday, June 21, 2021
7:00pm to 9:00pm

Live Online Event


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Thursday June 24, 7-9pm

Live Free Online Workshop
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June 21 is both the United Nation’s International Day of Yoga and Canada’s National Indigenous People’s Day. It is also the Summer Solstice. Summer Solstice is a time that is celebrated as a significant event in all of the world’s indigenous and spiritual traditions. In honour of this occasion, Arkaya is hosting two special events.

Take part in a panel discussion exploring parallels between the traditions represented by the panel members. We will also discuss decolonization and necessary action steps.

  • Aline LaFlamme, Métis grandmother, pipe carrier and traditional healer
  • Yogacharini Maitreyi, from Yogic lineages of South India

  • Rhian Walker, Co-lead Minister at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church
  • There will also be songs performed by Indian classical musician Akhil Jobanputra and Malina Dawn of Cree Métis heritage. 

  • More panelists to be added soon!

Ancient cultures have a reverential relationship to the earth and with life. This is reflected in how they use resources, honour each other and treat themselves. This is the same ethos that is imbibed in authentic yoga to build harmony within and in external systems. These systems include family, education, governance, resource management, science, etc. It is more important now than ever before to raise our children with this foundation of respect and connection. It is never too late to re-parent ourselves into a more uplifting paradigm. Music creates an expansion of the heart which is an expression of our highest self. Indigenous music helps us to attune to our essential nature. This event will include musicians from each of the traditions represented.


Elder Aline LaFlamme:

Aline LaFlamme is a Métis grandmother, pipe carrier, sundancer, traditional healer, singer, activist, and drum maker (over 1400 drums). Her traditional name is Many Buffalo Running. Aline was a prominent figure in the women’s movement, the Indigenous movement, and is still a voice in women’s wellness and Indigenous empowerment today. Aline is the founder of Daughters of the Drum, co-founder of Skemcis Medicine Wheel Society, and the founder of Aboriginal Front Door Society offering traditional healing, teachings and ceremonies. Aline is deeply committed to providing educational workshops designed to promote reconciliation and she provides cultural education to various provincial and national organizations. For more than 30 years, Aline has provided workshops in communications skills, conflict resolution, team building, healing from grief and PTSD, as well as providing cultural awareness and reconciliation workshops. She has developed and operated culturally-based healing programs for Indigenous people in many prisons, treatment centres, for Aboriginal Wellness programs, and other Indigenous organizations. Working for the Native Women’s Association, Aline provided culturally-based healing workshops and ceremonies throughout the NWT and helped train Indigenous counsellors for the first native treatment centre in the NWT. Now semi-retired, she continues to offer cultural workshops, teachings, storytelling, drum-making, drum circles, healing and grieving workshops for Indigenous women, some private counselling, fasting camps and reconciliation workshops. Aline also enjoys mentoring youth.

Yogacharini Maitreyi:
Yogacharini Maitreyi is an international master teacher, practical mystic and founder of Arkaya Awareness Centre and Arkaya Foundation. For the last 25 years she has been dedicated to  sharing and teaching expansive life principles. She was born and raised in India where she was immersed in the yogic life for over four decades, through her grandfather and gurus. She studied in the Shivananda and then the Ananda ashram for many years.
Through her guidance, you will experience lightness, restfulness and a deeper connection to self. She shares from her life experience and asks people to do the same - to start where they are.
Since 1997 in India,  Maitreyi has been given titles: Yoga Chemmal (expert), Yoga Shiromani (gem), and Yoga Acharini (guide). In 2007 she was one of the youngest to be invited to the Advisory Board of the World Yoga Council, in Europe. She has shared the deeper dimensions of yoga, self management and sattvic tantra worldwide. This includes seeing and shifting within ourselves, deep rooted conditioning that is divisive, exploitative, colonial or disrespectful.
Maitreyi has trained top management and teams within 60 corporations and spoken at many conferences in India, Hong Kong, Sweden, Dubai, Srilanka. U.S and Canada. She discusses various topics that are close to her heart. These include: invoking and evoking the divine feminine, emotional resilience & spiritual intelligence, stress,  self and relationship awareness, enlightened leadership,  etc. A prolific writer, Yogacharini Maitreyi has over 100 published articles and many more poems and  blogs.
A compassionate holistic coach, her sessions include online energy assessments to guide one into one's own innate balance. Arkaya Coaching & Healing — ARKAYA YOGA (
Maitreyi trains teachers in a two-year 400-hour self awareness program, mentoring them in the Culture of Yoga and also offering Saturday satsangs at 9 am PST
She runs the Arkaya Foundation in India to support children and marginalized communities. She loves nature and ayurvedic food and now lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Malina Dawn:

Malina is a nehiyaw-ahpihtawikosisān iskwew (Cree Métis woman) who weaves together the worlds of indigenous wisdom and yogic knowledge. Raised on the prairies and well travelled through her young adult years, she found her own healing path through Yoga and the Red Road. Through reclaiming her culture and applying the principles taught in traditional ceremony and the science of yoga, she has experienced great healing and personal  transformation. Through this indigenous worldview and way of life, she has discovered how  these two paths have parallel teachings, deep roots, sweet medicine and weave together beautifully. She is now a drum carrier and learns the traditional teachings under the guidance of her elder.

She is a strong voice for decolonizing wellness while teaching how to use traditional,  indigenous, and yogic ways of life appropriately and as medicine for healing physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. She uses her experience and knowledge of the medicine wheel to offer a unique understanding of the yoga path. 

Today she creates healing spaces for in person and online yoga classes, retreats, ceremonies,  workshops and trainings all over turtle island. She has spent the last 15 years working with  indigenous, non indigenous and LGBTQ youth. She continues to work with people of all ages  and walks of life to guide them to the reclamation of their own culture, identity, body and  healing through a trauma informed lens. She is passionate about sharing her culture, building  bridges in community, emotional intelligence and honouring the interconnectedness in all of  Creation.
She is currently living, learning, unlearning and loving life on the traditional unceded territory of  the xʷməθkʷəyə̓ m (Musqueam), Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and s ̱ əl ̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)  Nations. (Vancouver, BC)

Rev Rhian Walker:

Rev Rhian Walker is the co-lead minister at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church in Vancouver, an LGBTQ2IA affirming church located on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-waututh nations. She brings a love for nurturing the spiritual development of those around her, and believes each soul has a unique expression that is a gift to the world. She has a strong interest and respect for all faith traditions, along with a deep hope for the decolonizing of the Christian faith so it can return to an expression of inclusivity, community and transformation. She runs a contemplative service on Sundays at 7pm, is a singer and poet, and a mother of two children. Her education includes a Masters of Public and Pastoral Leadership from the Vancouver School of Theology, an MA in Philosophy, Religion and Literature from Sussex University and a BA in Philosophy and Creative Writing from UVic.

Akhil Jobanputra:

Born and raised in Canada, Akhil Jobanputra started his journey in the Indian classical vocal form of khayal at the age of three with Asha Lohia receiving direction from his BadeGuruji Pandit Jasraj, and additionally continued his preliminary studies with Neeraja Aptikar. He is currently under the tutelage of Gurus Dr. Pandit Arun Dravid and Pandit Arijit Mahalanabis, and receives additional guidance from Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar. Akhil's music encapsulates elements of self-introspection, personal narratives, metaphysical beliefs, and artistic expression, rooted primarily in the Jaipur and Mewati gharanas. He has performed across Canada, the US, India, and the U.K. with recent performances for 'Chaar Prahar Festival 2020' (, and for 'Parāśakti: The Flame Within' (Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Canada) - a unique production conceptualized and co-directed by Akhil. As an educator, he teaches students of diverse backgrounds, enriching Vancouver’s South Asian traditional arts and culture ecosystem. His paper “My Identity, My Music” was published by the Simon Fraser University Library as part of the proceedings of the Canadian South Asian Youth Conference. At the age of twelve, Akhil founded the Indian Classical Music Society of Vancouver (ICMSV) with the goal of bringing communities together and promoting various local events. Since then, he has curated a series of initiatives and events geared at increasing awareness, accessibility, and education around Indian classical music.

About Arkaya:

Arkaya is a Sanskrit name for the sun which means light, healing & inspiration. Arkaya is a heart-centred community of teachers, students and practitioners of Classical Indian Yoga & Traditional Tantra. It was founded by Yogacharini Maitreyi. Our goal is to bring more holistic wellbeing, community connection and inspired living to the world. This includes having honest conversations about decolonization of our hearts and minds and embracing all people and cultures. It also includes fostering harmony in relationships - with oneself, with other human beings, with the Earth & the Universe.

The Arkaya practice has been systematized by its founder, Yogacharini Maitreyi. It is mindful, heart-centred and integrative, invoking the spirit of self awareness. Arkaya offers the full-spectrum of yoga rather than just focusing on the physical aspects. It works to align the body, emotions and mind with the cosmos.

The long-term vision for Arkaya is to establish a sustainable community and eco-ashram on the Sunshine Coast of BC. This will be a place of refuge and practice for those who wish to go deeper in their evolution, connect with like-minded souls and nature.

Arkaya offers many programs, including a weekly online practice session and satsang every Saturday from 9 - 11 AM. There is also a 400-hour Self-awareness Teacher Training and a 60-hour Online Foundations for Life Program.

Visit Arkaya’s Online School here: or
for free resources & to learn more about Arkaya’s programs, go to: