Yin yoga is like the punk rock of yoga; it’s the yoga where we don’t like rules very much.
Thus spoke Devi Daly in the middle of Dragon pose during her live-streamed Yin yoga class this morning.
She went on to explain that there is a lot of physical variation from person to person; we don’t all have the same bone structures, the same hip joints, the same flexibility, etc. So when it comes to yoga postures,
We really need to have a lot of variation, a lot of permission, and a lot of willingness to break the rules. For those of us who have done a lot of other kinds of yoga that have strict rules we need to let go of some of these alignment dogmas that we’ve learned in order to honor our bodies properly.
I’d add that for those of us who have done a lot of ANYTHING that involves strict rules — or even unspoken or not-so-strict codes of conduct — it pays to at least question what we’ve learned in order to honor ourselves properly. Because we’re all different, in terms of values, motivations, and inclinations. Thanks for reminding me of this, Devi, I really needed that this morning ❤
If you’re looking for some excellent online yoga classes, taught by someone who’s really on it as far as the technology goes, do check out her awesome yoga channel and consider subscribing!
Lately I’ve been wondering if my belief that I’m acting on behalf of other beings is actually a form of delusional spiritual bypassing.
How can we balance the energy needed to do our own work to address our own delusions, and the energy and work to support the liberation of all beings?
I posed the question above to Viveka during a talk she gave on The Buddha as Social Revolutionary; a month later, I feel even more strongly that we Buddhists could muster a bit more socially-engaged energy while we also use the tools for our own comfort and self care.
Check out her fantastic answer at 45:25 (thank you Viveka ❤ ) or for even more inspiration, watch the entire talk! It starts at 10:07 in this recording and continues for an hour:
People who are not white — myself included — don’t always want to be the ones explaining certain racial concepts or experiences to people privileged enough to never really have to think about race. At the same time, many of us do still want to be part of helping all people understand the wide-reaching impact of this odd construct.
Fortunately for all of us, the National Museum of African American History & Culture has just published an excellent online resource: Talking About Race. This website splits up its various resources by topic for different audiences, and I’m a huge fan!
Now I have a place to direct people when I’m not feeling up for the conversation myself. Maybe Talking About Race will help you, too, whether you’re looking to educate yourself, or looking for a place to send well-meaning people who want to talk to you about race when you’re in a place of prioritising self-care. May we all be free from suffering, and the causes of suffering.
…how do we make space for ourselves and hold being a trailblazer and everything else that comes with our work?
A (from hospitality activist and bartender, etc etc Ashtin Berry):
I’ve often said that self-care requires discipline, but it also requires acceptance. You can’t really care for yourself if you aren’t sitting in the awareness of what your body, mind, spirit needs. So holding space for myself right now looks like investigating my feelings in a deeper way and acknowledging things even if I don’t have words for it at the moment.
Full original below for additional inspiration, but first here’s my own (five years ago!) Ace Hotel mirror selfie, constant-companion fanny pack lurking in the background:
Huzzah for celebrating the awareness of what the body, mind, spirit needs, and to letting go of needing the right words for what you discover through that investigation!
In most of the spaces I inhabited in Northern California, I had the privilege of being surrounded by very well-trained advocates for racial, class, gender, and a number of other forms of diversity and inclusion. The workshops, classes, community, and work events I frequented were excellently facilitated by people adept at leading the group through the setting of shared agreements. Once we had collectively affirmed those agreements, the facilitators and participants could lovingly but firmly call out — or rather, call in — any behavior that breached those agreements.
Even in situations where there were no explicit agreements in place, such as social gatherings, there was always someone more hip than I was to such matters who was willing to say something when anyone’s bias showed. In the rare moments when I did find I wanted to raise my own voice, usually online, I had people who could help me adjust my language before posting anything, and back me up once my words were out there.
These scenarios felt very safe and very comfortable. I benefited from the work of others; I could fully show up because I knew that what I shared would usually be received and held respectfully by the facilitator or the group itself, or that at the very least, someone else would intervene if anyone failed to check their privilege or veered into prejudiced territory, consciously or otherwise. And I trusted that my own missteps would be skillfully reflected back to me, giving me the opportunity to raise my own levels of awareness.
In addition to calculating how much money we’ve earned over our entire lives, and what we have to show for it (aka our net worth; this is Step 1), we’re instructed to calculate our real hourly wage, a function of our life energy, and track every cent that comes into our goes out of our lives (Step 2). And we get into the habit of tallying up our spending by categories that are relevant to our lives, and we regularly convert those monthly spending totals into hours of life energy (Step 3).
It’s hard to deny that there’s a lot of shit going down in the world right now. As the daughter of two immigrants (into the US) and an immigrant (into NZ) myself, what’s happening at the US border hits me in a particular way, and there are so many other examples we might point to around the world.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to stay open to and present with this sort of unpleasantness, for a couple reasons. First, I believe it is important to actually SEE and GRIEVE these atrocities, rather than pretending they don’t exist or that they don’t hurt. And more importantly, I believe we must be present to what is going on if we might hope to effectively address any issues that are not in alignment with our own values.
And so I have been super inspired by a few things that my friends have shared this week. They remind me that there are so many ways to contribute to upending the status quo, and so many ways to take care of ourselves as we do that work. Continue reading “Self care and art as acts of resistance”
Several months ago my friend Mike mentioned an article he’d read about a parasite in cats that may contribute to turning people into (as I remember him telling the story) crazy cat ladies. As I have become more and more smitten with this handsome kitty, it amuses me to imagine that his rough licks are in fact a form of feline manipulation rather than a demonstration of any affection.
Why wouldn’t he want to infect me? Well, for one, why else would I get out of bed at the first sound of his meow Continue reading “Reasons”