Our sexuality is part of who we are, one of the many identities we may hold that makes us a whole person. As we continue to think about, explore, and examine the process of liberation, we must also consider how our sexuality can be liberated and how we can support the liberation of others.
Sexuality is more than just our sexual preference — it is also how
(or perhaps if) we view ourselves as sexual beings. Yet, many of us have experienced ridicule, harassment, stigmatization, or discrimination that may have led us to question our sexual nature, or how to even embrace it.
We bring our whole selves to liberation, including our sexual selves. Let’s consider how we can deepen our liberation, and begin to untangle our sexual selves from shame, stigmatization, and oppressive systems.
Acknowledging the systems means that there is nothing wrong with us for experiencing ourselves...
We learned this week how dire the situation is in India. According to the New York Times, the end of the month culminated to 200,000 deaths, although many believe that the figures are much higher than that. We have seen daunting and harrowing images of mass cremations and stories of desperation for oxygen and medical care.
Many regard India as the birthplace of yoga and other Hindu-based practices that have migrated into Western culture. Although several different religious and cultural lineages practice yoga, Hinduism is largely credited with many of the yoga practices we use today.
Cultural appropriation and appreciation is often debated when it comes to practicing yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and other cultural practices that came to the West from India. In previous articles, we’ve explored how cultural appreciation differs from appropriation by honoring, respecting and showing up for the communities that keep the marginalized culture and practices alive.
What is happening in...
It was a week to say the very least. We all held our breath as a collective on Tuesday, awaiting the Judge’s reading of the verdict against Derek Chauvin. In unison, from all different parts of the country and the world, we exhaled as we heard the words “guilty” three times over.
As we took in the verdict, Ma’Khia Bryant was taking her last breath — a stark and unnecessary reminder that the work against white su
premacy and anti-Blackness is not done. Like Breonna Taylor, Ma’Khia Bryant’s murderer is not likely to be held accountable.
We are sharing the voices of Black women — who we must listen to and amplify as we push forward towards liberation for all.
We must recognize that there are other ways to deescalate a situation.
And we know that we are unlikely to see the white cop who shot Ma’Khia Bryant held accountable.
We need to do better. The work protecting Black women and girls is often left undone or on the...
We know and have seen that complacency only leads to more lives lost. When we do not show up, white supremacy does. Let’s continue to be reminded that our work together is important. Our actionable mindfulness creates a path towards personal and collective liberation. And our collective liberation is dependent on how we show up individually.
It has been a long month. In the last couple of weeks we have witnessed and experienced mass shootings and police violence against communities of color. We need to stay vigilant and keep taking action dismantling white supremacy, patriarchy, and systemic oppression.
2. A reminder that inclusion, diversity, and tolerance do not equal equity, just and love.
3. Interrupting is anti-racism in action.
4. Our collective liberation is also dependent on institutional change.
5. We don’t always know how, but we know we have to show up and listen.
6. Sometimes the “how” is mindfully...
For many of us on the East Coast, we feel the beginning stages of Spring coming upon us. And for many of us, the last month was the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. It also included the start of the Derek Chauvin trial and increased violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
As we continue to move through these events, let us take a moment to reflect on what we are also carrying with us, what we have stored in our bodies over the winter, and how we can release and let go of that trauma to move into Spring time and action.
When we think of season, we may think of a sister-practice to mindfulness and yoga — Ayurveda. This practice has a long history, possibly longer than yoga itself, dating back...
Let us take a moment to acknowledge the last few weeks. The recent mass shooting and the violence against the AAPI community may have left many of us feeling drained, burdened, and exhausted both emotionally and physically.
It is work to show up. It takes energy to stand up in spite of all that surrounds us. It takes energy to walk as we grieve. Our bodies and minds may be tired.
Our discussions about body have centered on one particular mantra: Honor your body. Ask it what it needs. Sometimes, the answer that is often neglect is rest.
White supremacy thrives off of skewed and distorted tales that emphasize the perceived “goodness” of white history. Over the last year, we have covered the significant harm of the invisible historical narratives of marginalized communities — from Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to Black, Indigenous and People of...
Image by Shen Lin @chinatownvibes
This week, we were rocked by the mass murder of Asian American and Pacific Islander women by a white supremacist male. This act of terror was preceded by a year of violent and aggressive acts against the AAPI community as a whole.
This terroristic act was both racially and sexually motivated. Although some dispute the racial tone of the murder, the history of the sexualization of Asian American and Pacific Islander women is very clear. White colonization and imperialism are the roots of today’s sexualization of AAPI women and therefore, these acts will always be racially motivated.
For many marginalized communities, historical narratives are often distorted, untold, or muted to uphold white supremacy. It is the same oppression for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community. What we don’t learn about in school is the deep history of sexualization and oppression of...
Mindfulness and yoga should not be sexualized practices, especially considering their religious and spiritual roots. Yet, they can still guide our views on how we connect to our bodies.
Our practice of actionable mindfulness considers ways we liberate our bodies from obstacles and oppression. One of the ways we can honor our bodies and support our body liberation is through the idea of sexual freedom guided by the concept of sex positivity.
There are varying definitions and understandings of sex positive. Most of these frameworks share some common features, including not being judgmental towards sexuality and sexual preferences, dismantling the shame associated with sexuality and sex preferences, and an overall liberation from oppressive societal structures that dictate how we should use our bodies.
Sex positive does not necessarily mean a person is sexually active or hyperactive — what it means is a person who practices sex...
We have heard over the last few years that yoga and wellness have a diversity problem. Many spaces are dominated by white folks, particularly white cisgender women. Although yoga and mindfulness find their roots in South Asian and South East Asian cultures, many practitioners, teachers, and studio owners are not People of Color.
As we continue to explore the harmful effects of white supremacy and colonization on a macro-scale, we should also examine how these concepts affect the lives of Black, Indigenous and People of Color who come to white-centered spaces for healing and find more racism and trauma. As we explore the traumatic effects of this in yoga and mindfulness, we must realize how vital it is to have accessible healing spaces exclusively dedicated to the BIPOC community.
Part of anti-racism is learning that we carry biases and perceptions that influence our interactions with the...
Our bodies are deeply valued in the practice of mindfulness. Yet, outside of this space, we find that neither our bodies nor our voices are valued equally.
As we round out Black History Month, it is important for us to continue to show up, learn, and practice anti-racism, even when there are no videos or mainstream news about violence against Black bodies. History shows us what happens when we become complacent. We know and we see that Black bodies and voices are not valued equally to white bodies and voices.
The videos were partly catalysts for change, but we have seen these images before. There is a long, traumatizing and violent history of witnessing Black bodies in pain or killed. This begs the question: Why do non-Black folks still need to see violence against Black bodies? Can we recognize that violence and fight against Black bodies exists, even when there’s no news or video?
This question partly comes to us from the recent...