Thoughts on how yogis can support Black Lives Matter by yoga teacher Dominique Allen.
I have been trying to write this blog post for several days. I couldn’t put into the words all the feelings I was having. Yoga for me is a practice of peace. I go to my mat for solace, for healing, for growth. But in this country even yoga has been “whitewashed”. It is fun to go on Instagram and do handstands and show the coolest poses. It makes us happy to post a meme about good vibes or calming energy.
It is a much harder thing to talk about ahimsa – respect for ALL living things and the practice of non-violence. Fundamentally, the protests and backlash you are witnessing is about people asking for ahimsa. Black people in this country have never asked for MORE than anyone else. Just to be treated with respect, to have our government and legal system practice equity, and to have our fellow citizen acknowledge our right to exist, to be free and to receive that equity.
I know the Awakened community is one of diversity and love. I have never felt anything else in our studio. But I call on us as yogis to go beyond that. I ask that you go beyond the “workout” and embrace the philosophical teachings of yoga. It is not sufficient to not be racist yourself. I ask that you be vocally anti-racist. That you call out your friends and family and neighbors who perpetuate the beliefs that resulted in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Armaud Arbery and so many other that I cannot list. I ask that you use your privilege to create a new system that treat all American equitably, respectfully and with ahimsa. I ask you to look around your world and find opportunities to create change.