There’s abundant room for all of us in the struggle for gender justice and liberation. If trans people are respected and included and get to live and thrive on their own terms, it doesn’t mean there’s not room for empowerment about vaginas or cis women spaces to process patriarchy. Trans people having access to healthcare and youth sports and housing and work etc does not mean we can’t have a wide-open affirming gender culture that celebrates masculine women, feminine men, gender nonconforming people of all genders, non binary folks, and trans people who decide not to medically transition. We can have a critical analysis of hypersexualized femininity without scapegoating transmasculine youth. To everyone who holds any sort of privilege, especially cis privilege - can we please ditch this scarcity and be open to learn and heal together?
Sometimes amidst big changes, do you ever feel like you don't belong, even in your own life? What IS it that helps us feel actually.... connected? Content amidst the waning and waxing of all that is unfolding? In yoga, there's a concept called santosha. Like all of the niyamas, santosha is an inner practice. Sometimes described as contentment, santosha is a state of deep acceptance, appreciation even, for what is. It's not … Continue reading Content and Connected, Even Amidst Change
June 2018. Pride Month, which as usual delivered deeply nutritious community connection, witnessing, and remembrance of the roots of gay liberation and vitalization for the work ahead, as well as reminded me of the uncomfortable edges where capitalist commodification of Pride has stolen meaning and purpose and replaced it with beer ads, and consumable plastic … Continue reading Queerness, Identity Politics, and Patanjali’s Four Fold Remedy
The first niyama Patanjali gives, which could be viewed as foundational the other niyamas, is saucha which means purity or cleanliness. Where the first limb of Patanjali’s eight limb system, yama, directs the sadhaka in universal moral principles to interact harmoniously with the external world, niyama relates to the ethics of how we relate to ourselves. … Continue reading Saucha: Purifying Our Minds of Systemic Oppression
The following is a piece is inspired by the work I'm exploring in both the Albuquerque Waking up to Whiteness course and Denver Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training. In contemplating my embodied experience of the definitions BKS Iyengar lays out in the introduction to Light on Yoga, I am inequal measures reflecting about the marga, or … Continue reading Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Decolonizing Yoga
Most yoga students know alignment is important, but what IS “good alignment,” and how can you use this awareness to get the most out of your practice? In this fun, experiential afternoon workshop, we will explore what is “neutral:” the archetype of key asanas (poses), through the lens of their functional anatomical architecture as well … Continue reading Deepening Alignment: Yoga Workshop with Avery Kalapa in West Virginia!
In preparing for my upcoming workshop, "Yoga and the Pelvic Floor: Anatomy, Asana, and Energetics," I am once again in a place of digging deeper, and becoming amazed at our incredible, vital, tender, strong pelvic floors... how without certain care, our bodies do become problematic in numerous ways as a result of collapse, aging, repetitive … Continue reading Six Things I Love About the Pelvic Floor.
Organizing the femur in the hip socket is foundational to nearly every other action we explore in our yoga practice. Similar to “quieting the mind,” femur grounding is not an action we do, and then it is done, rather it is like a search for a holy grail in that it is a moment to … Continue reading Femur Grounding: Understanding More About This Key to Stability.
In preparation for my upcoming workshop, "Body-Mind Detox with Restorative Yoga," I am having a fun time exploring how to make some of the more traditional cleansing poses, such as marichayasana II, (pictured below) accessible to folks who don't have the hip organization that would allow these deep forward bends and twists, which utilize tonifying pressure to release the … Continue reading Koshas, Pratyahara, and Restorative Yoga for Detoxicification
This weekend's workshop, Self Love Through Yoga, may seem like a nice thought... but what will this look like in terms of practice, and experience? When we perceive our thoughts, feelings and actions to be "good," it's easy to "love" ourselves, or at least feel capable of receiving love, appreciation, acceptance, or attention. These feelings build up a healthy … Continue reading Yoga for Self Love…?
Our human life expects so much of us. All these tender layers of self, moving through a vast, complex world. And especially now, when we have had little time to evolve to cope with the pace, technological stimulation, societal structures, expectations, and chemical environment of our modern world; when so much has changed in the last 100 … Continue reading Yoga as Survival
As we dive into the new year, I have been enjoying a return to the structure and routine of daily life, and the psychological stability that gives. Around the time of solstice my practice became more restorative, introspective, and a way to assimilate the flurry of holiday experiences. While I like to keep a thread of restoration … Continue reading Pincha Mayurasana Thoughts: Motivations for Stability
(avery at high desert yoga, new mexico, november 2012) in the space we create internally, there is that silent neutral, beyond temporality and our ((mis))identification with it, a place of home in the equilibrium resonating inside. how do we taste this silent center? what practices bring us into the space where we can simultaneously ascend//descend into ourselves? how do … Continue reading home circling
Recently, I had the pleasure co-teaching a workshop with Judy Mortellaro exploring entry points to experience prana and creating our physical asana based on this energetic alignment. When we practice yoga, many times the main focus is on the outer layer of our being: our physical bodies. However, the shift we feel in the subtler layers … Continue reading Pranic Alignment