Yoga is Awareness

What is Yoga is Awareness?

Yoga is Awareness:
An open forum to continually shed light on how racism shows up in our community, and how we can learn and do better
Join this free live stream forum on the 4th Tuesday of each month @ 7:30pm
There is no cost to attend and absolutely EVERYONE IS WELCOME!  For the purpose of keeping this forum and its contents accessible as possible, the presentation portions of this forum will be recorded, but discussion groups will not be recorded to maintain confidentiality.  We still encourage you to join live as we believe it is only in participating in the conversation that we can really do this work. Our intention each month is to select relevant books, movies, documentaries, podcasts, etc. that we can use as jumping off points for discussion.

“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.”  ~ Malcolm X


Tuesday, May 25th @ 7:30 – 9pm
Who Is Missing in Yoga Spaces?

We continue to self-reflect on yoga spaces this month as we consider who is not in yoga spaces. When you google images of yoga, most of what you will see are fit white woman.  You may have received or seen adds before that offer “6 weeks to your yoga body!” A promise like that might even have been what brought you to yoga in the first place. In this special event we want to consider who has been left out of the yoga invitation.  We want to empower you to help yoga conversations and spaces to be safe and welcoming for everyone!  We encourage but do not require reading the book “Skill in Action” by Michelle Johnson or watching her Ted Talk: There is No Neutral:

The Yoga Is Awareness Planning Team
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Tuesday, April 27th @ 7:30 – 9pm
Cultural Appropriation in Yoga

Back in February, Yoga is Awareness introduced the topic of appropriation which in short is the use of another’s culture without permission or full understanding of it. This evening we are doing some serious self-reflection as we look at how the tradition and practice of yoga has been appropriated.  We will test your knowledge (just for fun) as we compare yoga’s origins both in form and purpose to what modern day associations are.  You will learn to recognize some of the biggest offenses that are regularly taking place online, in studios and box stores so that you can:
• Avoid contributing to the further appropriation of yoga
• Become a more conscious consumer
• Gain additional benefits from your yoga practice as you start to consider its full breadth.

Yoga is Dead Podcast:

Two Black Girls Talk About Everything Podcast:

Pandit Rajmani Tigunait brought his teacher to the states and founded the Himalayan Institute:

Yogrishi Vishvketu created Akhanda Yoga after 40 year traditional practice:

Acharya Shunya teaches Jnana (knowledge) Yoga:

Christopher Thompkins has great classes on his studies of the tantric Texts:

Tuesday, March 23rd @ 7:30 – 9pm
Special Guest Kent Alexander:
A History of Policing

A History of Policing: A PowerPoint webinar (w/a Q&A)  facilitated by Kent Alexander. This webinar will explore the history of policing in America, its relationship to the current scene, as well basic steps for creating meaningful change.

Kent Alexander is a writer and an anti-racism and workplace culture consultant.  His current and past clients include Gilburg Leadership Inc., the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, the Wildflower Alliance of Western MA,  Mount Grace Land Trust, TerraCorps, UMASS Amherst Theater Dept., the Center for Community Resilience after Trauma, the United Way of Hampshire County, and the Franklin County Development Fund, among others. Kent is serving his third year as the diversity, equity, and inclusion advisor for the ValleyCreates initiative of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. He is also a member of the Northampton Arts Council.

Learn more about Mainspring Change Consultants – the organization that Kent runs with his partner in change, Ang Roell –

Kent Alexander’s presentation is sponsored by Revolution Community Yoga.

Tuesday, Feb. 23rd @ 7:30 – 9pm
Cultural Appreciation vs. Cultural Appropriation

Intention is not the same as impact.  And when it comes to appropriation it’s important that we understand that.  Appropriation is the using elements of other cultures without permission and without understanding the full context of what we’ve taken.  Especially harmful is when these elements are used for profit without giving back (credit or rewards) to the community of origin, and especially when the people of origin are oppressed, punished, or shunned for wearing or participating in the same elements of their own culture.  This workshop we identify where cultural appropriation is happening in our communities and in our personal lives.  Hope you’ll join us!


Resources from the 7/22 Forum “White Fragility”:

Resources for the 8/25 Forum: