Yoga service and activist organization Off the Mat, Into the World (OTM) has received their share of criticism over the past couple of years, particularly for falling short on issues related to power and privilege.
While their training programs seem to make it possible for enthusiastic and recently-transformed yoga practitioners to bridge their yoga practice and activist aspirations, by many accounts, the organization doesn’t equip people with some of the complexities of social justice work. As well, there has been an increasing conversation and awareness in the yoga community about power and privilege, and often OTM seems to be a little behind the times.
But with their new online training Beyond Duality: Yoga and Social Justice, it looks like OTM has been paying attention to the conversation and is willing to step up their game. Described on their blog as an “online training for yogis willing to talk about race, equality and oppression with honesty and mindfulness,” the syllabus looks very interesting:
*Laying the foundations for a compassionate conversation.
*Social Justice Basics 1 and 2
*Racism and White Privilege
*Mindfulness and the School to Prison Pipeline
*The War on Drugs/ Prison System
*How the yoga community can be more inclusive
The four-month session will be lead by Hala Khouri and Nikki Myers, an addiction recovery expert and founder of Y12SR (the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery), and runs from February 27 to June 11, 2014. Biweekly phone-in sessions and reasonable pricing ($260, with options for sliding scale) mean that this training will be accessible to almost anybody.
Kudos to OTM for listening to the discussion and responding with a training that will benefit not only their own network but everyone who is interested in tackling the hard questions around race, privilege and oppression.