Updated: Sep 7, 2020
It’s with my white privilege that I bring to you The Monthly Yoga Movement.
Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge that as a white yoga teacher, I hope to pass on the appreciation of all the lineages of yoga I’ve learned over my 14 years of practice. I understand what some see as appropriation of the culture, others may not. It’s with my own continued awareness and continuous work that I come to instil appreciation and deep respect for the values I absorb and pass on through my teachings of yoga.
The Monthly Yoga Movement promotes self-discovery as well as contributing to the cause that all of us need to be paying attention to until it’s individually and systemically eradicated. The cause is anti-racism work.
I’ll likely make mistakes, say something that offends at least one person, and I vow to listen when that happens. But, if I don’t take my own action now, I’m participating in white silence and white apathy.
This is a monthly session of all-levels yoga where the donated financial proceeds go to organisations that underpin the anti-racism revolution. Your contributions will support the backbone of a variety of orgo’s in Australia and the U.S. that work from the grassroots level all the way up to policy reform of human rights. This is an effort that needs to be targeted across all areas in order to make real change in our world.
RISE (Refugees, Survivors, and eX-detainees) promotes "freedom for refugees' rights in Australia and around the world", established by an eX-detainee after being held hostage at detention camps on and off-shore of Australia.
VACCA (Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency) "protects and promotes the rights of Aboriginal children and families" and has been for over 40 years. It's the "largest ACCO (Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation) of its kind in Australia".
Milwaukee Freedom Fund "builds on ongoing bail abolition efforts, supports immigration efforts, and works towards Black and Brown Liberation." They raise money and gather resources for protestors of the current affairs in Wisconsin like: "bail, court-related costs, rides, food, water, and other needs to support the struggle for liberation".
Minnesota Freedom Fund works "to create a society that values the freedom of all people, regardless of class or identity, ends mass incarceration, and invests in restorative and transformative justice".
Sometimes it feels like our little life won't make a difference in these worldwide woes. But, that's not true. The ripple effect perpetuates change, and when we start within ourselves, sustainable action is created to be the constant we want to see in our world.
Through your yoga practice alone, we'll cultivate self-compassion so that you can connect with yourself. Your yoga practice propels this inner-awareness, which is key to understanding others and your communities.
So, it really does start with you. Show up exactly as you are, no judgements, no shame.
You’ll be guided through sequential movements that are linked to our breath, so that we can feel this symbiotic flow between breath, body, mind, and spirit. With this harmonisation of self on the mat, we start to witness patterns of ourselves and can begin to have a fresh look at things.
Our soul is set free.
We weave new patterns within the world we live.
We become the change we want to see.
But, it takes practice. It takes discipline. And, it takes commitment.
…so does unpacking how our white privilege has prevailed across the globe and deeply impacted generations of BIPOC.
The main intention of The Monthly Yoga Movement is to be able to regularly support orgo’s that have BIPOC’s best intentions at heart and who are collaboratively facilitating their freedom. A byproduct of this Movement may be that you start to get curious about where you fit into the world of racism.
How has racism been systemically indoctrinated unto you?
How has it been handed down and handed down and handed down, to the point that you don’t even recognise it as racism?
You may even want to go further and do the work within yourself to learn how you can become not just, “not racist”, but anti-racist.
Here's a list of resources for you to explore:
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi
You Can't Meditate This Away (Race, Rage, and the Responsibilities of Meditators) with Seben Selassie from Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris
Resmaa Menakem on Why Healing Racism Begins With the Body from the University of Arizona Center for Compassion Studies
Check out Bon Iver’s link to many of the ways we can support from signing petitions to donating funds directly to the families of those traumatised by police brutality (specifically in the U.S.). There's also guidance on how to sign petitions internationally. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but yet easy to stay motivated and driven to make a difference when you see this exhaustive list of contributive options.
We really can make a difference and in so many different ways... we just need to start - which admittedly, can be the hardest part.
The Monthly Yoga Movement is here to facilitate your ambition to take your own authentic-action to rise up with the voices that need to be heard. Classes will be held every second weekend of the month.
Bring all your sh*t to the yoga mat, so that when you walk off your mat, you are ready to BE in this world.