SANKOFA YOGA FOUNDERS
TAMISHA J. PONDER
Sankofa Yoga and Wellness Center's founders and owners are Tamisha J. Ponder and Marcus Ponder.
Tamisha J. Ponder, A.B.D., E-RYT, YACEP, found yoga at a time when her years as a community organizer had taken a toll on her well-being. After years of visiting neurologists, massage therapists, and chiropractors to ease migraines and tension headaches, stress and anxiety had gotten the best of her. It was time to make a conscious change. After short stints of practicing on and off, in 2011 she was recommended to practice yoga consistently, and it completely transformed her life.
Tamisha immediately fell in love with yoga’s ability to relieve stress, promote mental clarity, and empower her body. The practice not only grounded her, but also complimented her marathon training and weight training routines. It was then that she realized that she wanted to help spread yogic good on and off the mat.
Teaching since 2012, Tamisha completed yoga teacher trainings in Levels 1 (40-hr); 2 (200-hr); and 3 (300-hr) Jiivana L.I.F.E Yoga® Teacher Training at Spiritual Essence Yoga & Wellness Center and Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training at Mamata Yoga. She is also a Reiki Master, certified meditation teacher, holistic life coach, Fertility Doula, Thai Massage practitioner and has received trainings in Ayurveda and Herbal Medicine. She is a continuing education provider (YACEP) and is currently offering training courses.
Holding degrees in journalism, history, women's and gender studies, and cultural studies, Tamisha is currently completing her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Culture and is researching Undergraduate Black Women's Activism during Black Lives Matter. Working over a decade in higher education as an equity director and professor, Tamisha trains educators around the country to be culturally responsive and works to promote social justice, equity and inclusion in educational systems, non-profit sectors, and in the yoga community.
She has received additional trainings from the Mindfulness in Education Network (MiEN), as she also works to bring mindfulness into schools and culturally sensitive environments. Tamisha is a peer-reviewer of Race and Yoga, the first peer-reviewed journal in the emerging field of critical yoga studies, and was also featured on Roland Martin NewsOne Now discussing the benefits of yoga in urban communities.
Tamisha believes there is something powerful when you’re able to share your authentic self with others, so by blending together her passions for both yoga and community, she and her husband created Sankofa Yoga and Wellness Center. Seeking to create more spaces to foster community, relationships, healing and wellness, Laurel, the city in which she was raised, was selected as its home.
When she is not on the mat, you can find Tamisha and her husband, Marcus, traveling the world, running competitive races, watching low budget movies, and loving up on their rescue dog, Chance.
Welcome to Sankofa Yoga and Wellness Center!