Sonali Chitre is an Indian American woman who is a fierce climate change warrior. After a bad relationship ended, she traveled to COP-22, a conference in Marrakech and Abu Dhabi for Sustainability Week to represent millennial women minorities who care about building climate change resilience. During her visit she found strong partners and allies, particularly in the Gulf Countries which include Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Chitre found her way back into the practice of yoga by going on a yoga retreat. At the retreat she learned how to cleanse and align her chakras – opening up the throat was very critical for her – which is symbolic way of saying that she learned to speak out against her negative relationship and about climate change. Her next step became clear to her when she touched back down in Brooklyn.
Sonali was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended the Montgomery Blair High School Magnet Program in Maryland and Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC. She was born to Indian immigrants to the United States Dr. Dattakumar (“Prakash”) Madhusudan Chitre, a physicist and satellite telecommunications executive with ViaSat Corp., and Dr. Neelam Gupta, a research physicist with the US Department of Defense’s Army Research Lab (ARL).
Though she obtained her law degree from Emory, Sonali is now working to build a Women’s Empowerment Ashram in Brooklyn, NY. This stems from her work as a #ClimateChangeWarriorYogini focused on protecting Mother Earth.
The goal of the Ashram is to bring together the best of Western and Eastern (Ayurvedic) traditions in health and wellness to provide “best in class services” to millennial women. They plan to provide low cost or free services to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and veterans. Sonali has a team of Ayurvedic doctors, nutrition coaches, personal trainers, physical therapists, admissions consultants, matchmakers, and life coaches that she will refer to and partner with for the center. The Ashram will seek to take the Eastern practices back to their roots and reinvigorate practices such as meditation and yoga with their ancient Indian and Hindu values, philosophy, and orientation. They will build an inclusive community based on strength and virtues that allows women to build themselves up, lean in, start their own ventures, and build their own brands, thus working to build healthy and fulfilling lives. This will include a powerful program for dance empowerment and sensual connection building based on consent and safety.
Sonali has been teaching women’s empowerment “goddess” yoga and meditation – in NYC and at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. The women students are generally millennials and often minorities looking to build up their mind body connection, lose weight, improve their overall health and nutrition, and develop personally and professionally.
Follow Sonali to contact her about getting involved in the Ashram, and learning more: