Embracing Wellness in Des Moines: A Conversation with Lily Allen-Dueñas, Founder of the Wild Yoga Tribe
Des Moines, Iowa, has become a vibrant hub for wellness and holistic health, thanks to the dedicated efforts of local practitioners like Lily Allen-Dueñas. As a proud Des Moines resident, a minority business owner and the founder of the Wild Yoga Tribe and host of the Wild Yoga Tribe podcast, Lily's journey has been a testament to the transformative power of yoga and holistic wellness. Lily is also an international yoga and meditation teacher, a vegan nutritionist, Reiki Master Healer and a holistic health and wellness coach.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership had the privilege of sitting down with Lily to discuss her inspiring work, her recent milestone of reaching the 100th episode of her podcast and her commitment to bringing yoga into nontraditional spaces.
A Global Perspective with a Local Touch
My journey in the world of wellness has been nothing short of remarkable. From Des Moines to destinations around the world, I have embraced a heart-centered approach to yoga and holistic health. I have taught yoga classes and workshops around the world, from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, and continue my travels around the globe metaphorically as well, through my podcast. Each week I interview one yoga teacher from a different country around the world on the Wild Yoga Tribe podcast.
First beginning my travels in Nepal, where I became a certified yoga teacher, I spent five years living abroad and traveled from wellness centers to resorts to surf hostels and more, to teach and to learn. I met fellow yoga teachers from dozens of countries, and when the pandemic hit, I didn’t want these conversations and connections to stop so I launched the Wild Yoga Tribe podcast in June 2021 and began interviewing yoga teachers that I knew personally through my travels. After those first twenty or thirty or so, those teachers recommended other teachers that they knew to be considered for interviews. Now, yoga teachers reach out to me on social media and vice versa. In Des Moines, I have found great joy having conversations with local yoga teachers about what yoga means to them and watching students in her local classes deepen their practice and develop their relationship with yoga.
At the heart of Wild Yoga Tribe's mission is the unwavering commitment to inclusivity and fostering a sense of belonging. My goal is to ensure that all yoga teachers have the opportunity to be truly heard, seen, understood and empowered.
Reaching a Milestone: 100 Episodes of Inspiring Conversations
On Sept. 15, 2023, the Wild Yoga Tribe marked a significant milestone — the 100th episode of the podcast. In these episodes, I have interviewed yoga teachers from 100 different countries, showcasing the diversity of yoga and its impact on various cultures and communities.
The 100th episode features Kate Herrera Jenkins, a renowned Native American yoga teacher from the Cochiti Pueblo and the founder of Native Strength Revolution. This episode is a celebration of yoga as ceremony and illustrates the profound influence of yoga on indigenous communities.
Yoga can, and does, mean different things to different countries and communities around the world. In Kenya, yoga saves lives. In Afghanistan, teaching yoga can endanger your life. However, in every country, yoga is a space for people to come together as a community. In Des Moines, that sense of community in yoga and through yoga is exceptionally strong. You can see students flood out of yoga classes and stand outside chatting or walk to a business nearby for a drink or a bite to eat. Yoga brings people together at the sculpture park, on the lawns at local businesses or as a way to hold space for each other to show up authentically as yourself.
Local Impact: Yoga in Des Moines
My journey has also come full circle back to Des Moines, where I teach locally at Power Life in the Historic East Village, with regular classes held on Monday and Tuesday nights. I also teach yoga and meditation workshops and classes at Inner Space. Beyond traditional studio spaces, I also teach yoga classes at local nonprofits such as Goodwill, YMCA Assisted Housing, Easter Seals and more.
My mission is clear: to bring yoga to everyone, and I endeavor to help every person experience the transformative and healing powers of yoga and to understand, recognize and know in their bones that yoga is for them — it belongs to each and every person.
If you can breathe, you can do yoga.
My commitment to the local community echoes the values of The Partnership, too — to ignite regional pride by fostering wellness and inclusivity.
Joining the Journey with Wild Yoga Tribe
My journey from Des Moines to every corner of the globe is a testament to the power of passion, inclusivity and community, and my work with the Wild Yoga Tribe podcast and commitment to local engagement have enriched the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community.
I invite you to join in my journey by exploring the Wild Yoga Tribe podcast, participating in the local classes I offer and embracing the transformative power of yoga right here in DSM.
In DSM, wellness isn't just a trend; it's a way of life, and local wellness leaders are leading the way.
You can find the Wild Yoga Tribe Podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more.
Or, see all Wild Yoga Tribe’s offerings.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership celebrates the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur community and helps small businesses succeed with one-of-a-kind resources and opportunities for networking. Find out how other entrepreneurs have found success by reading their stories and attending local small business events in the region.