Yoga for Social ChangeTweet
“Radical Dharma is insurgence rooted in love, and all that love of self and others implies. It takes self-liberation to its necessary end by moving beyond personal transformation to transcend dominant social norms and deliver us into collective freedom.” – rev. Angel Kyodo williams, Sensei
Yoga is not just a practice of self-improvement, but a tool of liberation for the benefit of all beings. Through yoga we learn that we are all connected, which helps us to break down the barriers of the “other.” When we realize we are all in this together, then we become dedicated to relieving suffering for all.
In contrast, oppression thrives on the illusion of separateness and encourages us to see certain groups as different or “other.” One of the keys to overcoming oppression is to be able to identify its seeds within ourselves and our communities, and to have the desire and courage to take action. The practice of yoga teaches us to shine the light of our awareness on our habits, prejudices, and internalized oppressions. Yoga also empowers us to be present through challenge without turning away from suffering. As we open our hearts and practice getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, we can choose to work for the liberation of all beings.
In this series, we will use the tools of mindfulness, compassion, and love to explore the foundations of social injustice, and to build the skills necessary to confront injustice and oppression. This series will include meditation, pranayama, and asana as vehicles for building compassion and commitment to working towards liberation for all. It will also include readings, reflections, journaling, lecture, and discussion about social identities and systemic oppression. While this series is open to all, it is primarily geared towards people who hold dominant social identities who wish to move beyond feelings of powerlessness, guilt, or fear of doing or saying the “wrong” thing and towards social change.
September 20-October 25 (no class Oct. 11)
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