Sexual Assault Prevention
Throughout the month, there are demonstrations around the globe recognizing how to deepen awareness and prevention. For the last few weeks of April, take time each week to help recognize how you can become more informed:
April 15 – 21: Support survivors and yourself
How can you find a way to take care of yourself to participate in this movement this month? Or just to recognize what you need? Take a long walk, spend time in nature, with supportive friends, journaling, or do something else that makes you feel strong, healthy, and cared for.
April 22-28: Stay Educated and Speak Out
Stay educated and share information about sexual violence prevention with your community. Read articles on RAINN’s website (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Learn the laws in your state about sexual felonies and how they are handled. Post this on your social media, and encourage others to do the same
April 29-30: Take Action today and everyday
Take what you have learned and put it into action. Volunteer on the National Sexual Assault Hotline, bring a discussion to your community school or public library to raise awareness, donate to a local charity that is working towards heightening awareness, like CYP!
And remember, the work you do today can continue for years to come. It just doesn’t have to be right now. Working as a collective is what will help raise awareness!
What does integrity mean to you?
Integrity to me means to live your own truth. Being authentic and not trying to be anything else than who you are. When you start teaching, teachers originally emulate their own teachers then their own style comes through.
Integrity can be felt by other people too, when you teach. I am my moral compass, my own point a view, not so rigid, but to a point. I am not so susceptible to peer/social pressure and keep my values front and center. I don’t want to sound rigid, but values are important.
How do you bring ahimsa into your classes?
Don’t harm other people with your words. If you can keep this and maintain this all around, it’s an integrity building trait. In my classes, I encourage compassion, what Kripalu means. In my class, I encourage myself and students to have compassion for themselves, and that pain is never acceptable. Ego has nothing to do to with finding the connection to self. If you can let go of your ego, you can connect to self. If your body isn’t doing what it should, just let go of mind and connect with your body.
I use the breath to take care of body, to help build safe space for all body types – older, those with injuries, less flexibility, traumatized. Reminding everyone to be kind to themselves in their practice.
How can we align with yogic principles for ourselves to bring awareness to our community & conversations?
I talk about this all the time and am trying to make as a 360-degree practice. I want to walk the walk and talk the talk, whether I’m in the studio or not. To lead through example, bring in Ayurveda and meditation. I’m not quite confident in my mediation practice, but I do need few moments of silence. I’m not preachy about it and don’t try to be too heavy handed with information and philosophy. Comes through in subtle ways in everyday conversation. I hope that being kind and open hearted to students that they will do the same. Yoga is not a religion, it’s a practice to be this way of being. This is a huge step I think, a multi-pronged approach – overt and subtle in so many ways.
What do you see that is not in alignment in your classes?
When I read this question, I feel there is not anything that is not in alignment that I do in my classes. I create a space that is alignment. The only thing that students need to align with is their own breath, because they have their own agenda. I suggest things that can do; however, they want to be in their own practice. It’s all about what it should be for them. I try to meet the students where they are at and work at studios that support me and are very accommodating studios.
How can we undo marginalization and oppression in our community? How can we be more inclusive of our community of culture? How can we make this a practice of oneness?
I don’t see marginalization and oppression in the classroom. Yet, there is not a lot of people of color in the classrooms. Yoga is very white women’s activity. It’s not that its bad, it’s just what it is. Yoga teacher trainings should offer more scholarships to people of color. There needs to be more outreach to groups of people who would be interested in teaching. I rarely see economic means working about yoga. The majority of people of color would be middle class black women as a teacher. If some way to reach those people – maybe through colleges and social media. In my yoga Shivaya classroom I have 4 women of color in there and that is a lot. And I teach yoga that is inclusive.
We need more male teachers of color. I rarely see this. While I was at Kripalu, I saw Rolf Gates. He was the only male person of color I saw. I feel this way about public education too. More kids will see success if they have more teachers of color. I really believe we need more teachers of color, and as much free money that could give to get certified.