Black Lives Matter.
For too long the lives of black women, children, and men have not counted as much as white lives in this country. We will strive to make the changes within ourselves and our organization to assist in the dismantling of systematic structural inequality that perpetuates this unjust power dynamic.
It’s obvious that racial diversity has not been the top priority for Yoga Anytime. If it had been, our teaching faculty would look different, our content would look different, and our internal team would look different. Many of you have pointed this out and asked for more representation.
“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist”
We are discovering what it means for each of us at Yoga Anytime, our sister company Pilates Anytime, and our parent company Timeshift Media to be Anti-Racist. Most (but not all) of us here have the privilege of learning about racism instead of experiencing it. We are opening up to each other, having difficult conversations, tuning in to new voices, diving into the rich resources available everywhere, and reading and listening to brilliant books. To help us see ourselves more clearly, we are hiring experts to help us develop a sustainable plan that allows us to be on this path for a long time.
When we have this action plan, we look forward to sharing our goals publicly for transparency, accountability, and feedback. We are grateful for our community of teachers and members. We are grateful for the practices of yoga to help us skillfully navigate.
Here are some of our learnings we can share now:
Confusion means that we are in new territory and is essential for learning something new. The mind generally resists confusion and continually attempts to know what is happening, only to doubt itself a moment later. When we can drop into the experience of what we are feeling we are closer to the truth of what is happening. This sensed truth will guide us.
When we are corrected on our behavior, and feel attacked because of our lighter skin color, we have the opportunity to experience a moment of empathy for what it might be like to be on the other side of racism. The expectation that people will be gentle with us is a gold star example of white privilege.
Just stop it. We can work together more effectively and efficiently if we can be brave enough to show and share our ugly, embarrassing, small scared selves. What we hide grows and festers and will continue to have a grip on us. What we share airs out, heals and transforms. We are on a path of growth, not perfection.
“Nice does not equal not racist.”
~ Rachel Elizabeth Cargle
Take responsibility and educate yourself. One of the first mistakes I made last week was asking a black woman to come speak on Yoga Anytime about her perception of silence in the yoga community around the protests. She kindly put me in my place, and I have since come to understand that asking black women to do my work is tied up in a long insidious history between white and black women.
I’ve stolen this one from the Seven Points of Mind Training. It’s the last line of the teaching, number 59. We want credit when we are doing something that we perceive as good. We want affirmation and encouragement. Part of being an adult is learning how to show up and do our part without burdening others with our neediness. Striving to be anti-racist is not good work, it’s mission critical for the safety, freedom, and happiness of all beings.
Please share any suggestions you have here in the comments or directly with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear about black teachers you would like to see here, Anti-Racism content we can share, best practices for our internal team, and resources we can explore. Many have been on this path for a long time. We do not need to imagine we are reinventing the wheel. We are happy for your guidance. Thank you.