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Yoga and Social Justice

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August 8 August 29 EDT

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LIVE August 8, 15, 22, 29 @ 7:00-9:00pm ET. Convert your time here.

If you can’t attend this event live, all registrants will have access to the recording.

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Yoga and Social Justice

What happens when social justice in yoga is a collective duty? In what ways will our practice change if we answer questions like, “how do I participate in my and others’ oppression on and off the mat” or “what does liberation look like through yoga?” Can we examine and dismantle systems preventing marginalized people from experiencing yoga? This workshop will engage these and other questions about yoga and social justice through curiosity, compassion, and loving accountability. This seminar is ideal for individuals interested in learning how oppression and colonization manifest in historical and contemporary yoga. Attendees will consciously examine various tenants of yoga and modern adaptation of early practices free of colonial and harmful systemic influence. Attendees will also gain the necessary tools to divest from mainstream yoga beliefs, practices, and norms that work against liberation and justice. Last, attendees will begin and sustain collective change work as practitioners, teachers, and members of an interconnected world.  

MODULE 1: Social Justice 101: Introduction, Key Concepts, and Self-Study

Undertaking social justice study requires the development of critical consciousness or “the ability to recognize and analyze systems of inequality and the commitment to take action against these systems” (El-Amin et al., 2017). This module will focus on one component of critical consciousness development. Specifically, we will develop an in-depth understanding of social justice concepts and terminology. Additionally, we will explore how our social identities inform our lived experience and yoga practice.

MODULE 2: Social Justice as A Sacred Duty

Yoga Activist and author Dianne Bondy once stated, “it is my sacred duty – my Dharma, if you will – to seek justice and yoga for all of us.” This module will propose social justice as an individual, collective, and universal assignment refined over time. We will examine the presence of social justice and liberation in yogic philosophies.

MODULE 3: History: Exploring Social Justice, Activism, and Change Work in Yoga

Having established a critical lens for yoga, Module 3 will shift the conversation to efforts of yoga change makers. We will explore how individuals “do the good work” of decolonizing yoga at the individual, interpersonal, and institutional/systemic levels. We will demystify what social justice in action looks like by observing historical and contemporary examples.

MODULE 4: Action: Embodying Justice and Transformation in Yoga

The second component of critical consciousness involves a commitment to change work. We will prepare for ongoing social justice engagement by developing an embodiment and transformation toolkit. The toolkit will include actionable steps for incorporating social justice into one’s yoga practice, community, business, and/or lifestyle. Additionally, we will discuss possible barriers or challenges associated with social justice work and solutions. We will conclude by imagining liberatory futures for yoga.

This course offers the unique opportunity to:

  • Apply social justice vocabulary, concepts, and perspectives to yoga.
  • Engage in critical change work in community with like minded peers.
  • Experience embodied activism live.

Register now…

Natalie Malone (she/her), MS 200RYT, is a doctoral-level counseling psychologist trainee, researcher, and yoga instructor. Her research prioritizes Black women’s sexual, spiritual, and holistic wellness. As a yoga teacher multicultural educator, and healer, Natalie intentionally integrates social justice, embodied healing, and holistic wellness into her work.