I have often been criticized for making yoga political, but it is impossible to be a yoga teacher today and not be socially engaged. The definition of Ashtanga yoga is changing and being an Ashtanga yogi requires more from us than daily practice. I brought Wambui back on the show to discuss more of the indigenous wisdom of our practice and how the practice of ahimsa is playing out in the world beyond the yoga mat.
The last time I talked to Wambui Njuguna-Räisänenin, we were discussing the cognitive dissonance of yoga and the challenges of taking what we learn on the yoga mat out into the real world. Wambui shares with us the teachers who have inspired her to take on new perspectives and apply what she’s learning through yoga to the social and cultural changes that are happening all around us.
We discuss the meaning of transformative justice with lessons from Mia Mingus and examine emergent strategies and the paradox of power with lessons from adrienne maree browne.
Being a socially engaged yoga practitioner does not mean we are walking away from yoga. As Wambui describes it, we are walking around our practice and looking for connections across different communities and circumstances. It’s how we find inspiration from new teachers and how we gain new perspectives to enhance our practice and improve the emotional and spiritual well-being of the world in our own way.
Wambui would like to see wellness spaces engage more in social justice and collective change and activist spaces learn to breathe deeply and practice sustainable self-care in the midst of dismantling systemic oppression. This is her definition of community care.
Wambui Njuguna-Räisänen is a Kenyan-American based in Finland, passionate about making wellness through yoga and meditation seamlessly engaged in equity and justice so that more people of the global majority can live well and thrive. She holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and has appeared on Omstars, StillPoint Yoga London, and Maailmankuvalehti (Finnish publication).
Wambui is deeply inspired by spiritual teachers and communities that seek ways to apply the insights from our various practices and teachings to situations of social, racial, political, environmental, and economic suffering and injustice.
To learn more about Wambui and her offerings, visit wambuinjuguna.com or connect with her @wellnesswithwambui on Patreon, Youtube, and Instagram. To speak with Wambui directly, write her a letter:
Take advantage of the resources we discussed today:
Mia Mingus' blog on Accountability and Apology We Will Not Cancel Us by adrienne maree browne Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree browne Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree browne Trans Yoga Teacher with Allé K @transyogateacher If you would like to see Wambui on Omstars, get your free 30-day membership on Omstars.com & use code: PODCAST. Keep up with us online @omstarsofficial.
Keep up with me on Instagram at @kinoyoga and visit my blog at Kinoyoga.com. If you want to share what you’ve learned on your yoga journey, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast.