I started this online yoga community only four months ago. Since then we have experienced collective trauma in the form of an attempted coup on January 6th, a stressful and unfamiliar holiday season, a week-long election night that left us drained, all while living through a pandemic. Starting a business amidst these history-making events has been confusing and challenging.
Up until recently, I took a step back from vocalizing my thoughts on these movements, mainly because I didn’t know how to do so as a business owner. I have an academic and professional background in human rights and social welfare, and I know where I stand on a personal level. I didn’t know what role this part of me would play in the yoga community I am building, and I’m still learning, so I ask for your patience as I navigate how and when to use my voice.
After a lot of reflection and self-study, I arrived at the conclusion that my yoga teaching is inseparable from my background in social justice and vice versa. So rather than shying away from opportunities in the future where I can use my knowledge and experience, I’m going to lean into it.
So what will that look like?
In the most noticeable sense, my classes are no longer going to move through asana alone. I will offer space for more pranayama, meditation, and opportunities to acknowledge and reflect upon what we are going through as a community.
When the need arises, I will be transparent about where I stand on the issues that we are confronted with. Yoga, and the wellness community in general, is experiencing a surge of false information, and I want to make sure that you know where I stand on the issues. In terms of the most recent events, I want it to be clear that I condemn the violence that occurred at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. At the same time, I will exercise discernment and step back from social media when others are in need of that space. I will work hard at recognizing when to step up and when to step back.
This also means that I’ll be doing my best to lift up and support others in my community, in particular, Desi/BIPOC teachers and creators. As a white woman teaching yoga, I am aware of the risk of cultural appropriation through my teaching. I will teach what I can while also promoting the voices of those who were born and raised in the culture of yoga. I will do the research and learning and not expect others to do that work for me. I will commit to supporting the businesses of Desi/BIPOC members of my community.
I have a lot to learn, and a lifetime to go, but I am committed to doing the work that is necessary. If you have any questions, please know that you can reach out to me at any point.
Thank you and see you in class,