How is the yoga we’ve been sold different from the yoga that nourishes and acts as medicine? Amy Day and I explore our personal evolution with yoga, and give examples of what a modern-day yoga practice can look like. We explore yoga and cultural appropriation, colonization, and how to be responsible teachers and practitioners of yoga, especially if we’re white.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
Amy Day is a longtime yogi, writer, herbalist, mama & lover of all things creative. She believes in crafting practices & communities which supports us inside this life right now. She believes in creating rituals and relationships that liberate, activate & sustain us. She works with groups and individuals that are hungry for transformation. The type that shows up not just on the cellular or soul level – but that ripples into the world beyond. Through her work as a teacher, podcaster, healer, storyteller, et. al. she hopes to inspires us all to use the mighty tools we all possess – to craft the type of world we wish to inhabit – One faltering & bless-ed step at a time.
- How a yoga practice is sold to us
- Our current definition of yoga or a yogi as someone who can do amazing poses with their body, and how this attracts people who already have this kind of body
- Postures are a tiny sliver of a yoga practice
- How this keeps people who don’t fit this norm away from a practice that can provide beautiful, potent medicine
- What is yoga?
- Yoga is a practice of joining the mind/body/soul to create space to quiet the monkey mind long enough to hear the inner voice speak, and then move that out into the world
- Yoga is choosing a point of focus and staying there without wavering. Yoga provides lots of tools to help you do that, so that you can bring what is currently unconscious, concious
- It helps us to understand the patterns we’re stuck in, particularly in relationships
- If your yoga is working, your relationships will be better
- How, if we’re not careful, we can use yoga as a way to escape discomfort and jump into a beefed-up ego rather than learning to sit in and dismantle and unravel our discomfort and work through it
- How I was the kind of person who’s ego was so big I needed an injury to slow me down in order to be able to grasp the other aspects of yoga
- How Amy’s injury helped deepen her practice as well
- How my physical asana practice changed through injury
- The other “things” in my life from which I lived my yoga
- How Amy is helping people through her private yoga sessions
- What lights Amy up is taking the notion of being present and conscious and focused, and help them move it into aspects of their life that is blocked and needs love
- My teacher said that yoga is a psychology; a way of working with the mind/body system – a lens through which you can apply your life
- What Amy’s daily yoga practice looks like; what mine looks like.
- Book, “Miracle Morning” Her morning practice includes: silence, affirmation, attention, move body, write, read something (new info).
- It’s okay that your practice changes a bit from day to day
- Cultural appropriation, colonization and commodification of yoga
- Andrea MacDonald’s article on Elephant Journal (I used her definition of cultural appropriation)
- There’s lots of cultural appropriation in the yoga world, because white people have taken a practice from a group who has been marginalized and oppressed by whites
- We often cherry pick aspects of yoga we find fun or sexy, and leave the rest
- We can practice and teach yoga without culturally appropriating if we take responsibility for how we learn and present it
- How systematic change in yoga would occur at the teacher/leader level, include a much broader training and a requirement to include yoga heritage
- What do we do as teachers when the people at the top aren’t doing what we would like?
- The importance of gratitude and reverence guiding our teaching
- Why I believe yoga teacher training must include a deep dive into understanding our racial biases
- How do we adapt yoga information that needs to be updated for our modern lives, without appropriating
- “Give people just enough of what they want so that you can give them what they need.”
- Amy’s idea of opening up the lens of the yamas and niyamas (the ethical principles of yoga) to a very personal, memoir-type lens in the modern world.
Amy’s offerings at www.backpocketjuju.com
- Free monthly community calls on the full moon
- Lots of one-on-one services for yoga-based coaching
- Private yoga classes locally near her home in Northern California