On Showing Up

resilience

Y’all.

This is a big pulsating time of change.  This is a critical moment in our nation’s history, which is being made every. single. day in the streets and in communities and within amazing organizations and coalitions and in the hearts and minds of the people.

Yoga is a part of this.  Not separate.  Not self-indulgent.  Not elitist.
Yoga is none of those things if/when it serves to support us in showing up more fully and more wholly.

Practice showing up with me.

Align and Shine: Saturday, 10:30-12 at Durham Yoga Company. Sign up now.

AND

Anti-Racist Yoga Convergence, Sunday 1-3pm at ADF, 721 Broad St
NOTE New Location due to overwhelming interest!
Sign up strongly encouraged: Go here.

 

I’m back + LIBERATION!

Kailash

Loves, I’ve truly missed you.  While I did have many amazing adventures, including an incredible ten-day training and retreat at this beautiful ashram pictured here, I am SO EXCITED to be back with you.  Join me tomorrow as we rock out a practice focusing on the TRUE LIBERATION you can experience when you choose to (re)connect with your own glorious, radiant, divine, and infinitely expansive nature.

Join me at 10:30am at Durham Yoga Company.  Click here to sign up in advance and make your arrival that much sweeter and easier. (PS There’s no 9am class tomorrow so this is your one chance for Saturday am yoga this weekend.)

 

TONIGHT: Mourning and Meaning-Making

Let us take in their beauty…their fullness…the faces of these fallen friends, comrades, kindred.


Special All-Levels Class tonight
Wednesday 6/15 at 7:30 – 9pm

ADF Dance Studio: 721 Broad St, Durham

Free / Any Donations will go to support local POC Queer and Trans efforts

Let us hold space together
for Mourning and Meaning-Making in this Crucial Moment

I invite all trans, queer, and LGBTQIAA folks to come, as well as those who are truly interested in being in solidarity and allyship with us.  We will do a sweet, all-levels, yoga practice in a circle, physically and symbolically centering those most affected by this latest tragedy.  Those who will to show up with us can help hold a container with us by circling around us.  All are welcome.  Bring a mat if you have one, there will be some available as well.

This is a free event, but I will be “passing the hat” to support the Queer and Trans People of Color Collective, Southern Vision Alliance, and SONG.  100% of proceeds will go to supporting the work of these organizations fighting at the intersections of identity and injustice, for collective liberation.


I am in despair right now, as so many of you are.  Having been out of town and offline for the past 3 weeks, I arrived back to Durham last night just in time to hold space alongside many of you in the wake of the #PulseOrlandoMassacre.  We gathered in the most human of ways, under increasingly commonplace circumstances: to mourn the tragic and horrific theft of the lives of our kindred.  We convened to hold space for the full range of emotions that we are feeling–or trying not to feel, or wishing we could feel when all we feel is numb–rage, exhaustion, shock, helplessness, fear, defiance, resilience, anger, isolation, a dull ache of knowing that this has happened before and it very likely happen again.

Pulse Vigil.ManjuRajendran

Photo Credit Manju Rajendran

This is a powerful and potent time for our community, for this country, and for our world.  It is essential to hold space right now for mourning and grief.  This attack is a violation of one of the few spaces in which gay and queer and LGBTQIA+ folks have been able to make home, have felt held, have sought visibility and an expression of resistance and resistance.  We are once again asked to hold more than anyone should have to hold: the reality that this was a targeted attack on Black and Brown people, on the Latinx gay community.  That it was spawned by partriarchal violence and a hate which knows no boundaries, which is not the domain of any particular sect or nationality.  Even in our grief we must also be vigilant and not let our pain and this tragedy be an excuse to fuel greater Islamaphobia and spur an increase in violence against other sectors of our community.  As we shudder with the inexplicable capacity for causing harm that humans possess, we also quake with determination to stay the course of collective liberation.  This path of freedom invites all of us in–EVERY SINGLE ONE–and does not allow room for separation, isolation, for hate or fearmongering or the reductionist idea that one more violent, racist, patriarchal, white supremacist policy will make us safe.  Only we can do that, and only when we’re in our fullness.

As we mourn we have to clearly state, through our tears and our trembling and our tenderness, that we stand with our Muslim kindred just as we stand with our trans and queer and LGBTQIA Latinx kindred, just as we stand with all those who are threatened by misogynist violence, hatemongering and scapegoating, which is all of us.

Contrary to how many people approach it, grief is not an illness–not something to be cured from, to power through, or to let pass.  Holding space for grief is an essential step toward making meaning out of these important experiences–as well as minimizing the corrosive effects that unattended grief can bring. And this new grief touches on and unearths old grief, which swells up in powerful and sometimes immobilizing waves. Now is the time to hold each other tenderly. Now is the time to bear witness to each other’s humanity however it shows up: grief, rage, sadness, fear, anger, numbness. Now is the to time to keep breathing, together, while so many others can’t.

Right now we are grieving not only the loss of lives but also the continued loss of, and threat to, the sense of autonomy, access to justice, sense of safety and the sanctity of our bodies, and perhaps even a loss of faith in humanity itself. This grief therefore is truly something that we must treat with reverence and honor, for it is a way of honoring the significance of what was lost, and a very concrete way of making way for what is to come.  It is a gift we can give our future selves to hold space for it now, and our ability to do so collectively will contribute to our capacity for collective meaning-making, resilience and a renewed commitment to struggle.

What will it take to build a safety many of us have never experienced? What would we need to call on each other instead of the police? What would it take to have saved every person inside of Pulse? How do we hold the cultural and political architects of this oh so deliberate tragedy accountable? – SONG statement, http://southernersonnewground.org/2016/06/pulse/

Join me tonight for an unexpected moment to hold space together.  I have been on sabbatical and am in town or a brief moment…I couldn’t let this moment pass without trying to make a space for us all to be together.

We can do this. We are stronger together.

Please follow some of the links below to learn more about the people we lost in the tragedy, as well as ways we can respond with our whole hearts, our whole selves.

Trans and Queer Latinx respond to Pulse Orlando Shooting

One Rise, One Fall: Organizing, Resisting, and Grieving for Pulse

These are the victims of the Orlando Massacre

Statement from the Latinx Queer caucus in Durham, from last night’s vigil

Queer, Cubanx writer José Esteban Muñoz wrote, “Queerness is a longing that propels us onward, beyond romances of the negative, and toiling in the present. Queerness is the thing that lets us feel that this world is not enough, that indeed something is missing.”

For Muñoz and anyone who has moved their bodies with others in a queer nightclub knows: queerness is a belief in futurity and the possibility of utopia. Otro mundo es possible. We glimpse this utopia in queer spaces like the drag nights at Chino Latino, Legends, The Pinhook, the Bar Durham, Visions, and countless others in between, where we sweat, we dance, we kiss, we flirt, we fuck, and we feel wild, free, and full of life in our queerness and jotería. The gay club has been, and IS, a place where we imagine possibilities for queerness, community, and safety beyond the constrictions of the present.

Tonight we gather to mourn each of the fifty plus brown and Black people killed and injured by the shooting at Pulse Orlando. We name and remember each beautiful body, and each of the baby queers, lovers, and papis who danced there that night. Tonight we gather to mourn, too, the safety, communion, and joyful co-creation of queerness that is generated at every gay club. We mourn the wounding of the sacredness in the simplicity of lights pulsing, hips grinding, sweat, and the being together that has been violated in this attack. We make this space for grieving so that we can carve out meaning and futurity in the face of this innumerable loss. We do it because we need it for our collective resiliency. We do it for our ancestors and the emboldened and brilliant youth they helped make in this moment.

Our mourning is interrupted by the rising tide of institutionalized fear and hatred being spoken by right wing media and politicians mobilizing this moment for their imperialist and racist agendas. So we take this moment to say: We do not accept using the tragedy of the massacre of brown and black people in a sacred space to instill anti-immigration policies and sentiment, fuel Islamophobia, or otherwise build a right wing agenda. Not in the name of our safety.

We know how to make ourselves safe. We know the strength in togetherness, the power of our voices, and the practices of care we extend each other, each day. We learn it again and again at each dance party, drag show, potluck, and rally. We practice our collective safety in each couch we offer, each plate of food saved, every homework we help with, and every time we look in each other’s eyes and say, “You are welcome here.” “You, jotxs, queer, trans, brown, Black, asian, indigenous, accented, person with disabilities– you are beautiful”

We can feel our trans ancestor and leader of the Stonewall Rebellion, Sylvia Rivera at our sides tonight; she whispers in our ears, “Vengan, mijxs, let’s show them, it’s been our turn and we won’t stop now.” Sylvia Rivera, José Muñoz, Gloria Anzaldúa, Leslie Fienberg, every spirit at Pulse Orlando, and all our ancestors stand at our sides and remind us that our jotería is sacred, we are all connected in this struggle, we make our resiliency in mutual aid and support, and we won’t stop now.

 

 

Suh-Suh-Suh-Summertime Sabbatical

I am on a brief sabbatical for May and June.  I’ll be back to teaching in July.

Make sure you’re on my email list to stay posted about when and where I’ll be teaching when I return.

Saturday’s Align and Shine is being covered by Kate Murray for May and June.
Yoga for Queers and Misfits on Wednesdays is on pause for now.

There is a lot of great yoga to be had in Durham, so let yourself get adventurous while I’m gone and check out some other classes and teachers, mmmkay?  We can compare notes about the beauties of trying new things when I return.

This week: Know Your Rights

JUST THREE CHANCES LEFT FOR YOGA WITH ME*

Yoga Happy HourWednesday at Yoga for Queers and Misfits – 5:30 and 7pm

SPECIAL EVENT: Love Your Body Happy Hour Yoga – Friday at 5:15pm

Saturday at Align and Shine yoga – 10:30-12pm

*Until July when I’m back from my sabbatical…


Know Your Rights

Since the legislature is hell-bent on trying to legislate our very existence away, I thought I would offer this parting message for y’all as I prepare to take a much-needed sabbatical.*

Your worth is not in question. Your value is not up for debate. Your wholeness and humanity cannot be legislated away.  You have a right to know this with every part of your being.

Radiant health is your birthright. The justice, peace, stability, equality that you seek for your world—you are also entitled to the fullness of these things. The love, compassion, respect and affection that you seek for your communities and your loved ones–you also have a right to bask and revel in the power of these things.

Sometimes it can be hard to act with love towards your own self. Sometimes it feels so much easier to work towards justice out there, or sacrifice your self for the sake of someone else’s healing, safety, wellness. Sometimes it can be hard to resist voices which tell you you’re not whole, that have been downplaying your greatness and emphasizing your limitations.

It can be tempting—or sometimes may even happen unconsciously or habitually—to assent to the forces that seek to keep you small and deprive you of your freedom, to cut you off from your true nature.

It is your right to experience fullness and freedom, because it is your nature. It is your right to experience optimal health in a holistic sense—that your body, mind, and heart experience the fullness of vibrancy and vitality, the unhindered flow of energy to every cell, the undiminished inner light shining through your outer body.

It is your right to experience your fullness in every moment—not just once a year on a retreat, or once a week in a religious or spiritual setting. It is your right to know yourself fully—through the complex layers of embodiment right down to the unwavering essence of goodness. It is your right to find an expression through your outer body which matches your inner experience.

Co-conspire with the Universe to create the conditions for yourself in which you can open to the fullness of who you are. Yoga—union with the Divine, the balance of contrary complements—can be a path to residing in your freedom. Come along and check it out.

  • *This is my last week of yoga for awhile, as I am on SABBATICAL in May and June!
    • No Yoga for Queers and Misfits in that time! Please keep your eyes peeled for an opportunity to share your thoughts on the past, present, and future of YQM.
    • Align and Shine (Saturdays) will be covered by Kate Murray
  • Don’t forget: Friday, 4/29 – I’ll be teaching a FREE
    LOVE YOUR BODY Happy Hour Outdoor Yoga Class at Duke.  5:15pm at Duke Chapel Quad. Bring a mat if you have one, and I’ll bring a few too!