Posts from ‘politics’
Yoga studios and service organizations start with the intention of being inclusive and open, but may sometimes be missing the language or process to be truly accessible. In this guest post, Cristien Storm explains what an anti-oppression framework is and how it can be applied in yoga spaces and organizations.
Those of us involved in contemplative practices such as yoga and meditation are often very dedicated to reducing violence in the world and in our lives. Without an understanding of power and privilege, however there can be a powerful disconnect between intent and impact.
An example is when (predominantly white/mainstream) studios offer discount classes for at risk youth of color with no understanding of the complexities of oppression. While the intent of offering classes like this is to do good and have yoga be more accessible, studios and teachers risk reinforcing a culture of white privilege even as they espouse values of respect. The term at risk, for example, is deficit language and signals otherness, especially if youth enter a space and don’t see anyone or anything else that reflects them and their community. This includes teachers, studio owners, neighborhood business, art and decorations in studio, music, language, dress, style of how classes are instructed among many other things. Continue Reading
Comments and opinions about the Yoga Journal San Francisco conference and Hyatt boycott abound here on IAYB and on social media. But do we really know all the facts? Chelsea Roff provided some reportage in Tuesday’s Intent.com article and the San Francisco media has written about the event.
However, we’ve heard little about the discussions at the conference and most of the yoga teachers on faculty have been quiet. Other than Seane Corn’s Facebook status in support of the boycott, and an alleged statement of support from Shiva Rea, the majority of the Yoga Journal conference presenters have refrained from making public comments.
One person who has been willing to get into the fray is Eric Shaw, a yoga scholar and teacher who jumped in the discussion on the “I Pledge to Not Attend or Teach at the 2014 Yoga Journal Conference at the Hyatt if Boycott Continues” Facebook event and the Decolonizing Yoga fanpage. Shaw taught two sessions at the conference; when he wasn’t teaching he took the time to interview four Hyatt workers and a Hyatt manager, and talk to Yoga Journal and yoga teacher colleagues about the situation. Continue Reading
So it’s been a week since the news broke that the Yoga Journal San Francisco conference was happening at the SF Hyatt Regency despite a labour dispute between the hotel and the workers’ union. Since then, we’ve received an unofficial statement from Yoga Journal, an official statement, support of the boycott from Seane Corn and Shiva Rea, and a little bit of media coverage. The conference, which started on Thursday, January 17, concluded yesterday, and I’ve been scouring my social media feeds for any information on what went down.
Today, Chelsea Roff, who was actually at the conference and able to interview people, published a piece on Intent.com about the controversy. She addressed some of the myths and inaccuracies floating around while offering the perspectives of Yoga Journal and Hyatt management: Continue Reading
Attendees and faculty for the Yoga Journal San Francisco Conference will be crossing hotel worker picket lines to get their yoga on this weekend. The Hyatt Regency San Francisco, where the conference will take place from January 17 – 21, is one of many Hyatt-owned properties on union activists’ boycott list. On their way to teach workshops, high-profile yoga teachers including Seane Corn, Deepak Chopra and MC Yogi will walk past workers in a struggle for better working conditions.
This week’s action is the latest in a long series of protests against the Hyatt, demanding fair treatment of hotel workers, higher wages, better benefits, safer workloads, and the right to unionize freely. After several years of actions, in July 2012 a growing movement of hotel workers organized a global boycott of the Hyatt – and they urged the yoga community to pressure Yoga Journal to not hold their conferences in the high-end hotel.
Unite Here, a union body which represents workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, and other industries in the US and Canada, has made specific efforts to inform Yoga Journal of the issue since a national boycott was launched in June 2010. Continue Reading
With the American presidential election lurking on the horizon, there has been a greater conversation about the connection between yoga and politics than ever before. From YogaVotes‘ non-partisan call to “Do yoga and vote,” to Matthew Remski’s callout to yoga bloggers for endorsement, to The Babarazzi’s anarchic refusal to endorse while insisting upon strategic voting, the conversation is heating up. As usual, there’s no politeness in the blogosphere!
If you’re finding the conversation stressful, you might need some yoga. If you’re lucky, there may even be a studio in your neighbourhood offering free or discounted yoga if you voted! The Associated Press recently posted a short article on a Washington, DC studio’s offerings (and I’ve seen similar pitches all over Twitter):
Flow Yoga Center said it was throwing open the doors to its Astanga Mysore, Pilates, Prana Flow and Vinyasa Flow classes next Tuesday “to help our United States re-unite again.”
“You just need to vote first, and then bring along your ‘I Voted!’ sticker or equivalent to get a free class,” said the studio, in the trendy Logan Circle neighborhood, in an email flyer.
And then went on to equate this with other election marketing gimmicks such as “free pizza for life from Pizza Hut, fresh coffee in blue Barack Obama or red Mitt Romney cups from 7-Eleven, and free flights out of the country on JetBlue for voters whose presidential favorite loses.”
Is this taking your politics off the mat and back again – or a cheap marketing ploy?
IAYB politely reminds you again to vote on November 6, and to vote for Obama because it’s the yogic thing to do and as an official endorser it’s my job to force my mega-mono-belief on y’all!
More free stuff for voting, including yoga, on The Christian Science Monitor.