Photo by Hunter Newton on Unsplash
DISMANTLING WHITE SUPREMACY CULTURE
Unless you have been living under a rock, by now you have probably heard about the Covington Catholic High School students raucous behavior and one student smirking at a Native American elder. There have been several articles circulating such as, Don't Doubt What You Saw With Your Own Eyes, Media Rushes to Excuse Covington Catholic Students, or I Failed the Covington Catholic Test.
Is this what is still happening in 2019, minimizing and justifying racist behavior and scapegoating black men?
Yes, You’re A Little Bit Racist
I have been moved to write about what I consider a blatantly sexist, racist fiasco because I have seen so many yoga teachers (and non-yoga teachers) post and comment in support of the Covington Catholic High School students. And the media couldn’t make up its mind about what story to tell. Below are a few of the comments from yoga teachers in the Bay Area.
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash
“Blossom Your Buttocks”
Listen, Reflect and Transform From the Inside Out
“Blossom your buttocks, like an African dancer,” instructed the white yoga teacher trainer, as I stood in one of my first yoga teacher trainings. The yoga room full of mostly white students, rotated their inner thighs back, and stuck out their butts. I was in a classroom of 30 students, mostly white women and no other Black students. When I heard this instruction, I froze and stopped breathing. I was in shock. I could not speak.
Love In Action“Love is an action.” bell hooks
Love in action begins with how you treat yourself. The ability to see all of yourself, both the divinity and the imperfections with complete acceptance leads to a loving, forgiving, open heart and mind. There is often so much focus on changing, judging or fixing yourself, rather than loving yourself. When you find the courage to face your fears and love yourself fully and completely, you learn compassion and gain the ability to see clearly, real love, just as it is. Real love is unconditional love without expectations or limitations, allowing yourself and others to be open, honest and free.
To the Yoga Community: Let’s talk about systems of power, privilege, and oppression on our pathway to compassionate action and loving kindness.
Yoga and Social Justice: Building a Conscious Community
In the United States, yoga has largely become commodified, often narrowly focused on mastering asanas or physical postures, weight loss and burning calories, and achieving a tight little yoga butt. I, myself, also enjoy practicing advanced yoga poses, like handstands, king pigeon pose and backbends. However, what keeps people coming back to yoga is how the practice steadily begins to transform the human spirit. Yoga practice is more about transforming the human spirit than the human body. But first, you must prepare the body, go through the body, to connect to spirit. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, are intended to transform the human spirit, increasing our awareness of how we move through the world and how we interact with others. The practice of yoga can be a spiritual foundation for social action.