You white folk ready to get “woke” while in a yoga class?
Ready to unpack the harmful ways white supremacy is embedded in your body, mind and heart? Ready to embody an approach to racial and social justice? Ready for a spiritual community where oppression and privilege can be addressed with compassion and honesty?
Well, if you live in the Seattle area you are in luck! There’s a new yoga class at Rainier Beach Yoga entitled, “Undoing Whiteness,” to help you achieve these goals. From the Rainier Beach Yoga web site:
In this class we will:
have a discussion around the pathology of whiteness and how contemplative practices can be supportive tools to navigate looking at our conditioning with fierce compassion
practice tools of embodiment to understand how this lives not only in our psyches but also in our physical bodies
meditate to understand how the mind is affected by whiteness, as well as how the mind can be a tool to counteract whiteness with awareness and humanity
share an action we plan to commit to in order to support our desire for racial justice in our communities
Use Shelly Tochluk’s book Witnessing Whiteness as a guide for our work. Reading is recommended, but not required.
Why “undoing” whiteness?
There has been a call for white people to name our whiteness for decades now, and this is an opportunity for white folks to face our socialization under white supremacy and how it shows up in the body, mind, emotions, relationships and all social systems. Facing whiteness is about being in process with the implicit and explicit norms that maintain white supremacy, and this exploration is to discover and bring awareness to how those norms operate within and around us.
Interrogating whiteness means that we no longer hide from the conditioning of whiteness, and we name and take responsibility for the ways white supremacy advantages and dehumanizes us.
Why are you doing this work in a gentrifying neighborhood?
Gentrification is one of the most destructive ways white supremacy is currently operating. Here is a list of ways white people like me can work towards repair:
Support POC-owned businesses
Get to know people of color in the neighborhood.
Support POC teachers
Support POC caucus space
Do not interrupt or question the need for POC caucus space
Learn about the impacts of gentrification
Offer free or low rent
Hire people of color and pay a living wage
Rainier Beach Yoga is committed to these actions. It is clear these actions will not end gentrification as this is a systemic issue that needs to be addressed systemically.
Read all about understanding and confronting your whiteness in a yoga class here.
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