I write with a sad heart and an all too familiar feeling of distress at the news of another unarmed black man being murdered. His name is George Floyd. I support the Black Lives Matter movement. I believe we all need to become aware of our privilege and how white body supremacy has functioned since the early days of this country’s history. It will help us understand what keeps happening.
Last summer I read a book called “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies.” It helped me to see and understand the deeper historical forces at play within white bodies, black bodies and police bodies.
As a yoga practitioner I appreciate the exercises that Menakem offers for the body, to be done alone and in trusted communities. He writes sections in the book for black bodies, white bodies and police bodies. A couple days ago I realized he also has a free e-course on Racialized Trauma, offered by the Cultural Somatics Training & Institute. While it is a 5-day course, each of the videos are only 10-15 minutes, and it introduces the major themes covered in the book.
I highly recommend the course or book, as I think Menakem helps us to understand how we swim in a larger system of injustice. While we are not personally responsible for creating the system (and there are historical factors that are larger than us) we are responsible for dismantling and slowly unwinding it.
While I don’t claim to know anything more than what I have observed and absorbed over the years, racism can be subtle poison. Current times are revealing how black and brown bodies and women’s bodies are subject to even greater risks for the COVID-19 infection.
I have no answers. I am a white person. Other voices need to be heard and highlighted. All I know is that I’m going to keep doing my personal work in bodyful and somatic ways with self-compassion and love for all those that are hurting. Hopefully I can connect with communities that also want to engage in these efforts.
Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands. Wear your mask.
My mother’s day virtual retreat may have an international audience! So far a couple of my yoga students are inviting daughter or family members and right now it looks like we may have one participant from Mexico and one from Portugal. I’m so honored. I also may have a cousin from Alaska and from Oregon there, I’m psyched!
But still, there is room for a few more, and I had such a great response to my last offering of this kind, I’m humbly putting out the invitation again. The special offer is to buy one registration (sliding fee: $12-25) and send the link to a family member or friend who also wants to have a Sunday (Re)treat with you! Physical distance plus social presence! Everyone can benefit.
This 90-minute yoga experience is video optional via Zoom. We will start with soma yoga, a gentle practice of movement to release tension in our spine and joints. We then do some yin yoga, longer-held poses to work with the fascia. We end with restorative yoga, some long-held poses to calm the nervous system. I will cue the entire practice so that you can be eyes closed and relaxed onto a mat, the bed or the floor. Bring blankets, pillows and towels to help “craft” the supports and I will show you those as well.
P.S. If you sign up by 6pm on Saturday I’ll have the best likelihood of sending the Zoom link on time. And if you’ve never tried a yoga experience with me, and have some financial hardship, email me to let me know and I’ll send you a free “coupon” if you join my mailing list.
Oh, the beautiful and joyful experience of being on vacation and devouring a new book by a favorite author!
I typically read books I love more than once. This one made me close my eyes at times, and just breathe in the wisdom and the impact of the words. Glennon has a way of speaking to my soul. One of my many favorite passages:
“The blueprints of heaven are etched in the deep desires of women. What women want is good. What women want is beautiful. And what women want is dangerous, but not to women. Not to the common good. What women want is a threat to the injustice of the status quo.”
Like Love Warrior, Untamed is a book I will read many times because of the ways it made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes.