Posts Categorized: Yoga

Namaste: soft “yes”, hard “no”

Two years ago I stopped closing my yoga classes with namaste. It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. In fact, I probably spent six months sitting with the idea and doing test-runs to see how groups would respond before fully committing. Responses fell somewhere between confusion and oblivion. Some students waited a beat, then said “namaste” anyway,… read more…

“Yoga is for everyone” and why that’s not good enough

In conversations about cultural appropriation in yoga, the most common way of dismissing the issue is by saying “yoga is for everyone”. Recently, it occurred to me that saying “yoga is for everyone” to avoid looking at the historical context of white people taking what they want from brown people is akin to saying “all… read more…

The yoga of dying: Japa meditation

In this series of blog posts, I discuss yogic practices that relate to death and dying. In a previous post, I looked at corpse pose (savasana). Mala, japa, samskara Have you noticed those strings of beads that yogis sometimes wear around their necks or looped around their wrists and wondered what they’re for? Those are… read more…

When does yoga start?

A student pokes her head through the door to ask, “When does yoga start?” So many responses come to mind: “On the inhale” “When you were born” “Your last class never ended” But I know what she means, so I reply, “12:15, you’ve got 10 minutes.” (Another student recently reminded me of the time she… read more…

Meditation: Train in real conditions

I teach a meditation class at a busy fitness centre. The room is bright, well-equipped with blocks and cushions, and located immediately next to the area designated for weight-lifting. As we practice, the room sometimes vibrates with the impact of weights hitting the floor. The steady beat of pop music and the sounds of metal… read more…

Refresher course in dark days

The legacy of late-stage chronic Lyme disease in my life is fear. It’s a low-level fear that informs so many of the decisions I make for myself and my family. I’ve become so used to obeying this fear, that I often forget it’s even there. And I forget that the reason it’s low-level and not… read more…