Hi 😊 I'm Isazela Amanzi (they/he). Most people call me Zel. I'm a Black, neuro-genderqueer, disabled transbeing moving through this lifetime with an unconventional perspective, an alchemical lens and a dedication to the sacred connection between Self, Community, Nature + Source. My spiritual, ancestral and divestment practices have allowed me to overcome enormous obstacles toward the remembrance of my divine self, including learning to thrive in a world designed quite literally to silence and kill me and my kin. I'm a former classroom teacher and food sovereignty organizer with an M.S.Ed in Social Justice Education and certifications in Yoga (Sri Vidya), Yoga Nidra, Tantric Meditation + Western Reiki.
My primary humxn teachers have been Tracee Stanley, Chanti Tacorante Perez, Kathy Benegas, and Satarra Troutman. I am in deep learning with the Spirits of Water and Fire. I am here to nourish the trees that bear the fruits of freedom and pollinate the hearts of seekers in bloom. I would so love for you to join me on this journey!
Zel completed their M.S. in Education with an emphasis in Social Justice Education in 2019 from Cal State Fullerton. Zel earned the Outstanding Graduate Award, and their thesis on Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Habits of Mind — which focused on the intentional cultivation of anti-racist habits in culturally responsive educators — earned the Outstanding Project Award for best Master's project. Before completing their M.S., Zel also became permitted in Early Childhood Education/Child Development and graduated Magna Cum Laude from NYU with Bachelor's degrees in Environmental Studies and Sociocultural Anthropolgy. In their prior professional lifetimes, Zel was a food sovereignty consultant, helping college students organize sustainable food co-operatives on campus, and they spent 6 years as a classroom teacher specializing in experiential education, including school gardens and cooking classes.
In 2018, Zel began their formal training in yoga, meditation and reiki after 7 years of personal practice. Zel completed his 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in the Sri Vidya tradition with Tracee Stanley and was the training assistant for Tracee's last YTT offering from 2019-2020. Zel has assisted Tracee with several offerings, including her 2020 Meditation Teacher Training through Yoga Journal and her weeklong retreat at Esalen Institute. Zel also completed his Yoga Nidra training with Tracee and Chanti Tacorante-Perez in 2019. From 2018-2019, Zel completed their Western Reiki training through conventional Level 4 with Kathy Benegas and Victoria Vives Khoung. In 2020, they began consulting with Marika Clymer on Traditional Japanese perspectives and Shinto inclusion in Reiki education.
Zels personal practice is ancestor-centered and influenced by their formal training and by Hoodoo. They take classes and receive mediumship readings with Satarra Troutman. In 2023, Zel completed the Listening Line Training with A Sacred Passing
Zel is multiply marginalized and multiply privileged, with their primary social identities being subject to excessive institutional and interpersonal oppression and their privileges creating the opportunities to survive and thrive in a world that is both infinitely generous and often hostile. This allows Zel to see solutions that others often miss.
Despite holding multiple violently targeted identities, Zel has lived in 3 and traveled to 23 countries outside the US and has earned a Bachelor's Degree from NYU, a Master's degree from Cal State Fullerton and formal certificates in yoga, reiki, and meditation. Such a combination of marginalization and privileges allow Zel to successfully run Transgressive Medicine in community with beautiful folks & orgs like Cuties LA, The Honey Block, Unplug Meditation, Trans Yoga Project and more!
If you have been seeking a space to cultivate your spiritual practice at the intersection of counter-colonialism, welcome home.
Zel - a staple person in LA healing. A fresh, young voice with an old soul. I was coaxed to calmness from Zel's voice and bowls. Like an instant chill pill as soon as I'm around them!"
"Zel is amazing with directing intention and welcoming deep work in a way that leaves you feeling lifted. They have created a space open to all experiences and expressions of life, allowing one to feel supported while being authentic and healing. Integrating multiple approaches of yoga, reiki and sound healing, RIPY&R is a safe heaven for embodied living."
"Zel is a compassionate, detail oriented, and insightful practitioner. They have helped me to develop a deeper sense of self-awareness... It's clear that Zel is well versed in the traditional world of yoga, and has been a wonderful guide in increasing my understanding of several yogic practices, especially meditation. Zel's offerings are carefully curated and very high quality - their formal training in education is quite clear from their classes and teachings. Zel's direct involvement with historically disenfranchised communities makes their offerings even more profound and accessible."
"Zel leads a wonderful meditation. Insightful, sincere and informative, I really felt comfortable in the space they created and it was really healing to practice in a group nurturing queer community. Genuinely one of the best group meditations I've taken part in. I'd highly recommend working with Zel and really looking forward to the next time I do!"
"Thank you Zel. This meditation was lovingly guided. The break out group began the session as an invitation to fully show up and be seen in my healing. Grateful for the moments of calling back my wondering mind. Beautiful practice."
"Joined a virtual queer meditation session. It's the first time I've done meditation other than through an app. It was absolutely phenomenal. Will definitely go to next months session."
" At the beginning of the year (2020) I started feeling this pull from spirit to learn Reiki. Then everything fell together when I was referred to Zel. I adore Zel and their teaching style. They make learning engaging, impactful and fun! I am so happy that we were brought together because they reminded us to honor the land we worked on and the culture that Reiki emerged from. I fully recommend them and any service you're considering. You'll be happy you did."
" One of my most favorite parts I experienced with the course was the part where we got to dance! I'm often very aware when I feel uncomfortable of my body or when I'm holding back, but this exercise showed me where I needed to let go and where I didn't feel as confident in. I think the adjustments that you're making with the future Reiki classes and breaking them up into multiple days is amazing, a great way to improve the class :)"
"I wouldn't have changed a single thing about my experience. The container that Zel held for the collective community was thoughtful, detailed, and cared for with so much love. I hope that anyone reading this knows that you'll be in a safe space should you choose to utilize Zel's services or participate in a course. You won't regret it!! I was definitely more sensitive receiving Reiki (virtually) but it was received very well (emotions included). I know that as I continue to build my practice I will continue to use Zel's guidance to honor and decolonize this ancient reiki practice."