BeCause Yoga is the project of San Antonio-based yoga instructor, Lesley Nicole Ramsey– me!
I spent the first two decades of my professional life as a progressive organizer, rabble rouser, coalition builder and facilitator, advocate, and lobbyist. After an accomplished career in fighting mode, I took a break to reassess tactics and conduct a sort of cost-benefit analysis of that work on my life. I moved to San Antonio for love. I did some grieving I had been “too busy” to do before. And, after 20 years of study and practice, I became a full time yoga teacher.
BeCause Yoga integrates my commitment social justice with a desire to bring the healing tools of yoga to front line change makers, to help them prevent burnout and compassion fatigue, and keep their communities and movements whole and thriving.
With BeCause Yoga, I am bringing the healing tools of yoga to activists, advocates, artists and educators working on the on the front lines of social change. My goal is to provide the practical tools of movement, meditation, breath work and somatic awareness to these change makers ultimately at no cost to them. On the flip side, I’m bringing the critical sensibility for making change into the yoga world, to cultivate new activists reaching into new parts of the community.
I teach and practice Yin Yoga and Vinyasa (Hatha) Yoga for full spectrum nourishment of your physical, spiritual and mental self. I am Yoga Alliance certified at the 500 hour “experienced” level (E-RYT 500) and am a certified Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher through the Grace Tree Foundation. I also consult with nonprofits on grant writing, strategic planning, meeting facilitation and wellness.
Yoga Teacher Training and Certifications
- Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500, 2020
- Embody Love Movement Facilitator Certification, 2019
- Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher Certification, Grace Tree Foundation, 2018
- Yoga Alliance RYT 500, 2017, Alchemy of Flow and Form 500 RYT training with Christina Sell and Gioconda Parker, San Marcos, TX
- Yoga Alliance RYT 200, 2009, Castle Hill Fitness, Austin, TX
Other Professional Training Completed
- Off the Mat, Into the World, Facilitation Best Practices
- The Nonprofit Management Center
- Wellstone Action
- Midwest Academy
- United for Fair Economy
- National Issue Forums
- Center for Public Deliberation
Other Work Experience and Cred.
- Independent Nonprofit Grant Writer, Fundraising and Development Consultant, Texas 2014-present
- Executive Director, Texas Civic Engagement Table, Austin, Texas, 2010-2014
- Executive Director, Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Austin, Texas, 2008-2010
- Outreach Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities, Austin, Texas, 2006-2008
- Executive Director, Texas Fair Trade Coalition, Austin, 2003-2006
- Project Director for the Texas Campaign for Women’s Health, Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, Austin, 2002-2003
- National Conference Manager, National Organization for Women, Washington, D.C., 2000
Advocacy and Community Service
- Esther Vexler Yoga School, Board Member, 2020-present
- The Nonprofit Council, San Antonio, Business Member, 2017
- Enrique Valdivia Campaign, San Antonio, Campaign Manager, 2015
- Community Yoga Austin, Board Member, 2014; Executive Director, 2015
- Workers Defense Project, Austin, Texas, Leadership Council Member, 2013-14
- Community Action Network, Austin, Texas, Community Council Member, 2010.
- Religion and Labor Network of Austin, Steering Committee Member and Founding Board Member, 2004-2008
- Texas Women’s Coalition, Austin, Texas, Founding Board Member, 2003-2005.
- Texas Globalization Education Fund, Austin, Texas, Board Member 2002-2003
- Candidate for State Board of Education, District 10, 2002
- Lilith Fund, Austin, Texas, Founding Board Member, 2001-2003
- National Organization for Women, Texas, Vice-President for Action, 2002-2003, Vice-President for Publications, 2001-2002
- 13th Annual National Feminist Graduate Student Conference, Austin, Texas, Chairperson, 1998-1999
- Center for Battered Women, Austin, Texas, Volunteer, 1994-1996