Appropriation and Yoga

As I approach 20 years of yoga practice and 17 years teaching, I have become more clear on my position in regards to appropriation. I believe this issue is an essential one for all white practitioners, and especially teachers, to address. This essay will explore appropriation from within the context of my training, and how my thinking about appropriation developed across time.  

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Yoga of Reparations

Our Yoga of Reparations classes have raised over $3k in reparations to African people since I began teaching them in March 2016. They will continue virtually via my personal FB page: Kerry Dawn Porter. If you are interested in participating, please send me an email first as I don't always confirm friend requests when I don't know where they are coming from. The next class will take place on Thursday, August 27 @ 6pm CST/7pm EST.

 Please use the link below to read more on reparations as a point of entry into the ethics of Yoga practice....

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My Decalogue of a Decade

This month marks 10 years that I have been teaching Yoga. I thought I might share with you 10 highlights. They haven't anything to do with the Ten Commandments, other than I like the word 'decalogue.' Here goes:

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My Sadhana: Daily Practice

I often get asked if Yoga is a spiritual practice for me and the short answer is, “yes… if by 'spiritual' you mean a PRACTICE by which I cultivate a sense of orientation and integration in my being, and in my relationships with others and the world. This sense includes deep gratitude and awe and wonder.”

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The Spiral

The importance of this shape to experiential practices and to understanding how life moves within and without is difficult to convey. I am only now just beginning to understand.

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Out with the Old

It’s that time of year when we say, “out with the old, in with the new,” and then resolve some resolution. This is the correct order, in fact, but we often hasten through or skip entirely the process of removing the old. We stuff ourselves with the new only to upchuck our resolutions by the end of February :)

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3 Articles on Breathing

As many of you may know, I lived and taught yoga in St. Petersburg, FL for many years. I wrote these three blog pieces about the breath for some yogi friends who formed The Body Electric Company.

So many of you are asking questions about the breath, so I hope this helps to illuminate the conversation we are having on and off the mat!

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On Language...

It has occurred to me that I have a somewhat odd mixture of terms in my classes. It is not meant to be off-putting for anyone accustomed to other ways of describing the postures that we experience in a yoga class. This mixture has developed slowly over the last few years owing to my practice history with a non-native English speaking Teacher, Tony (pictured here), who was a mechanical engineer before devoting his days to teaching yoga. I work for clarity in all dimensions of practice and teaching, so here is a short glossary of terms I use in class on a regular basis.

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Bright Verticality of the Heart

My Teacher uses the phrase, "bright verticality of the heart" to describe the sensation of being aware when the body is free of pain and the mind is clear and focused.

It took awhile for me to figure out what Tony meant. He's Bulgarian and well... most of what he says sounds a little strange on first take. However, that phrase has come to describe the ultimate beauty of this practice we call Yoga... for me.

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