Black Lives Matter

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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”

~Angela Davis

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:

1. Confusion is a good thing

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.

2. Get used to doing it wrong, especially if you’re white

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.

3. Don’t pretend to be a good person

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

4. Don’t rely on others to do the work for you

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.

5. Do not expect applause

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.

What We’re Reading

Here are a few of the books we are listening to. (The physical ones were sold out).

Who We are Now Following

Here are a few of the Instagram channels we now follow:

Where I gave money

I donated to the Black Youth Project 100. Find the organization that supports black lives and aligns with your values and donate.

We're Listening

Please share any suggestions you have here in the comments or directly with me at kira.sloane@yogaanytime.com. 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.

About the Author

Kira Sloane

Kira is fascinated by the study of what Is and loves to examine the ordinary every day miracles. She serves as the President of Yoga Anytime.


Comments

Thank you. Ready to continue to learn and grown together. 

2 people like this.
I would really like a weekly feature or highlight of Black, Brown,  Indigenous and other people of color instructors on this site. 
1 person likes this.
Jennifer, such a great idea, thank you! We are currently working to go live with several new and familiar instructors of color. Please let us know of any suggestions you have of teachers you love to meet and highlight. Warmly, Kira
1 person likes this.
I am really surprised that yogaanytime is supporting Black Lives Matter. The founders of that organization are avowed Marxist as they have stated several times very recently. I joined to practice yoga, not to be lectured to about how I should treat people of color. As a martial artist I have trained with people from many ethnicities and we always, with rare exception, treated each other with dignity and respect.  I as well as many others , black, white, yellow or red know that BLM  are up to no good. It is sad to see that everything, even yoga, has become political in the United States. Very disappointed in you guys at YA.
Sincerely, 
WR  Jernigan
US Navy veteran
1 person likes this.
William, I am very glad you have written. I am having trouble fitting my response into our draconian 1000 character limit here. I am filing a bug for engineering and replying to you via our private message system. I hope you get it. Grateful, Kira 

2 people like this.
I was taught at an early age that " the personal is political" - our practice cannot nor should it be an escape from the world and all its perceived problems, especially in these tumultuous harsh times...it should be an aid in helping us remember that though we may not agree with everything others think or believe we got to have compassion and not be scared of opinions or views different to our own - I reckon we all struggle with that to a greater or lesser degree! I know I do.....   I am glad to see yogaanytime addressing the "lack of diversity" and I didnt feel lectured to at all.
Keep up the good work
loveandpeacexxxx

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