Join me for a deep and powerful conversation with Melanie Klein. She is a mentor of mine and one of the founders of The Yoga and Body Image Coalition. She’s run the marathon of social justice work time and time again, and she has inspired me to grow as a person and as a social intellectual.
The real work of social awakening goes well beyond the yoga mat. For Melanie, she started out at the intersection between social work, gender studies, and media literacy before ever taking her first Kundalini Yoga class, but that first class was a game-changer. It altered her whole perspective because she realized she wasn’t as in touch with her own body as she thought.
Having the intellect to deconstruct the world around you is one strength, but until you have the tools to deconstruct the way these messages live inside yourself, you aren’t reaching your full potential. Critical consciousness is key to the awareness we achieve on the yoga mat, but it’s also integral to carrying what we’ve learned on the mat into our waking world.
Within the wellness in the community, we cannot talk about yoga without touching on the uncomfortable things people don’t want to talk about. But things like colonization, racism, classism, and sexism occur in this space too, and even though we seek meditation to “disconnect” in a sense, we cannot disconnect these social issues from our practice.
Yoga is our space to make change and take the right action. It is a space where body acceptance can be realized, and it’s also a platform for amplifying marginalized voices. Practicing yoga strengthens our hearts so we can put in the real work - what Melanie calls “in-house shifting” - so that we can be the change we wish to see in this industry and in the world around us.
I want to keep inspiring you to continue your practice. Send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me - what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast.
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