I’m Selena. My friends call me Sal.
I am a Yoga teacher, woman of colour, international DJ Seriousblack and solo mother. After 25 years teaching, I still refer to myself as a student.
I am from Montreal (Quebec, Canada) via Trinidad, et si je parle francais oh la la. I am the daughter of a black man and an east Indian/venezuelan woman, we are from Trinidad. I am a 70’s kid, I am an Aquarius.
Yoga made its presence in my life in via my mother and because of a traumatic injury that ended my athletic career, in 1995/6.
I went from rising track star to “has been”. I spiralled into self despair, depression and negative connotations, losing scholarships, friends and everything that I “thought” I was.
I used to think yoga was something my mom did to keep cool, calm and collected in the face of me and my sister. However this experience forced me to rewrite my whole story, and what I had believed to be true of myself.
In essence before Brene Brown coined the term, I had to lean into the hard stuff and touch the face of vulnerability. I found Tantric Buddhism (again, first time at 13) around this time and it lifted me slowly out of depression and I vowed at 19, to commit myself to some sort of path, to “surrender” so naturally moving across the globe made a lot of sense.
When I finally got to Thailand, I had no “real” practice other than the asana and meditation I practiced at home. I was a fish out of water. I had to learn to lean in again and be vulnerable, to face my own boogeyman of fear to become intimate with fear and surrender – this would be the first of many (many) times I would have to learn this lesson. This was 1999.
My time spent with the monks on Wat Suan Moh and my host family threw my yoga connotations out the window as we practiced NO ASANA for the first year only mediation, silence, Tantra and Karma/Bhakti.
This “surrender” dismantled me from the inside out – meditation and mantra or hours of it on the cold temple floors did the rest. When we did touch asana I was astounded at the simplicity of the practice. I was taken by the surrender. I learned the original asana that Shiva stated were “appropriate” for “men” to learn in this age. I believed stillness would uncover everything there was to know and so I practiced yoga according to the Hatha Pradipika, as well as meditation in silence and stillness; until I could no longer trace the lines of fluidity within the stillness. It was strict and I was in my 20’s not the best cocktail for success and yet; it was around that time that I started to link the poses to breath. I needed to move again and started to practice Ashtanga Vinyasa, and then it all clicked, as I was later initiated in the lineage of Sri Vidya.
Many years, lessons, teachings and various extraordinary and heartbreaking experiences later; I developed as semblance of a style; my style. A practice that integrates the breath based flow of Ashtanga Vinyasa and the hard/soft precision of Hatha, and an embodied connection to self realization, into a deep integrative mind/body experience, all the while dropping ancient texts and wisdom, using my language of hip hop vernacular and humour.
And that is the simple secret to my practice, dismantling the threads or sutras of the ancients and bringing it to everyone. Surrender.
Since 2014, the focus of my teaching has been, surrender, yoga nidra, meditation, self-empowerment, sankalpa (intention), nature as the teacher and self-inquiry.
I believe strongly in yoga for everybody and all bodies, and so my practices develop and emanate from a budding mind of wonder all juxtaposed against movement and meditation.
During my journey of teaching I have manifested myself all over the world. I have taught in various Wanderlust Festivals, led the Lole White Tour 3x, Taos Mountain Yoga Festival, Osheaga, BCorp Summits, worked with athletes and artists from the Canadians to the Alouettes to Post Malone, Chronixx, Florence and the Machine, Jack Harlow and Dua Lipa. I have crossed the globe bringing yoga and meditation to anyone and everyone from corporations like Evenko to Sunlife to Reebok and Just For Laughs.
In 2018, I was named the first Global BIPOC Brand Ambassador for Lole.
Being a solo mother and DJ touring and teaching all year round; I am in deep need of my own practice; it healed my broken body and mind two decades ago and now keeps my soul intact on a daily basis.
I spend my time mommying, embracing the chaos of life, loving my Frank, teaching, training, speaking, writing and making music between Montreal, LA, New York and Europe.