Activism & Honoring Cultures

The politics of daily life in a modern world & how that, too, is yoga

 
 

Let’s dive right in — As a white woman, I work to continually learn my place in Spaces as I benefit from white privilege, while still experiencing oppression often as I identify as a woman. In learning, there exists unlearning - I am responsible for unlearning internalized racism, classism, misogyny, etc. In my teacher trainings, I unlearned some alignment aspects and meditation practices that weren’t quite right for me, and this practice of unlearning concepts & behaviors that have been ingrained in my habitual ways is not too different (though it runs a bit deeper in Self, personally).

Further, as a white person teaching yoga, I recognize that this practice stems from ancient traditions and systems (not my own) of the Eastern world / South Asia / Africa and has been Westernized in more recent decades. I actively study the history, philosophies, and cultures from where this practice was born, originally grew, and continues to thrive. I understand that there are aspects of yoga that are culturally appropriative, at times and in some cases, in the Western world, mainly, and work to not practice such appropriative pieces. I am always open to learning more and working on myself as a teacher who benefits from white privilege. In my teachings, I work to honor the cultures and philosophies of which yoga originated. I aim to show my students how to do the same and credit original teachers and teachings when cultural concepts, etc. are shared in a Space I am holding.

As a progressive activist, I acknowledge that politics are woven into most every inch of the fabric of our society, culture, and identity. I hold space in my classes that are open and safe for all people - no matter how you identify - & will meet you as you are, as you need.

Below, you will find resources (just a few, to get you started if you’d like) on the politics of yoga, information on how yoga can be appropriative in some cases, and links to the social media accounts of several figures in the yoga, activism, and poetry world who I admire and have learned from in recent years.

If applicable, I encourage you to give the articles a read, question yourSelf, and see how that questioning is yoga, too - the study of Self. If you’re on Instagram, the accounts linked below belong to several admirable figures who are generous in their teachings and share their own journeys in this world.

To close, if you have any questions or concerns that you would like to direct towards me, I am available to discuss via e-mail or social media messaging platforms.

Resources

8 Signs Your Yoga Practice Is Culturally Appropriated — And Why It Matters

A Nonbinary Approach to Spiritual Activism: Jailbreaking the Goddess

Being a Yogi Makes You a Political Activist

Spiritual Bypassing — ‘Love and Light’

For your Instagram Feed

Susanna Barkataki

Black Girl in Om

@hellolaurenash

Rachel Cargle

Roxane Gay

Samantha Vetrano

@poetagoddess