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Yoga and Racial Justice, A Series of 2 Workshops

Workshop 1: Yoga and Racial Justice

Saturday, March 16th

1pm - 3:30pm

People come to yoga for many different reasons, one of which is to check out versus checking in. The difference is so subtle that we usually don't even know we are doing it. This is also referred to as spiritual bypassing and it shields us from the truth, it disconnects us from our feelings, and helps us avoid the big picture.

There are many people who believe that we have progressed as a society but by tuning into current events there seems to be a chasm between progress and reality. Now is the time to put our bodies in mindful action toward ahimsa (non-violence). Now is the time to use yoga to help reveal the samskaras (Impressions, ideas, or actions; taken together that make up our conditioning) of racism, oppression and injustice and create new ways of thinking, being, and living. 

Conversations about race and racism can be difficult and uncomfortable, but allowing ourselves to feel that discomfort without becoming defensive or withdrawn is the only place to start.

This workshop will offer a practice of asanas, pranayama, and meditation that will allow us to be present and open. We will explore our roles in how we are potentially perpetuating racism, oppression, and injustice, and identify ways we can begin to form new samskaras around deconstructing our ideas and behaviors cause himsa (violence) to others.

Workshop 2: Yoga and Racial Justice, The Deeper Dive

Saturday, March 16th

4:30pm - 7pm

The deeper dive. is a continuation of Yoga and Racial justice. This workshop builds on concept of spiritual bypassing and explores how implicit bias and microaggressions impedes the oneness, community building, and connections we seek.

We will work through these topics by becoming present and embodied through asana, pranayama, and meditation. After our practice we will dive deeper in large and small group conversations, self-study, and action steps that we can integrate into our lives and practice.

Yoga is about oneness and how we relate and connect to it. The deeper dive explores the concept of svadhyaya (self study) to explore or discover bias and prejudice we hold that is subconscious. When we are not ready or prepared to face these parts of ourselves we have a tendency to meet them with avoidance. Coming to practice yoga and walking out of the door feeling bliss but not really digging into social issues that impact your community and society as a whole.

Yoga and race are connected for many different reasons but one that stands out is truth. The conversation reveals truth(Satya). This truth could present itself in many different ways. I am a person who has experienced/continues to experience racism in my daily life how does this impact me as a yoga practitioner? I am a yoga practitioner who has had limited/no opportunities to discuss race or racial justice where do I start? I am a yoga practitioner and I want to take action. Regardless of where you are on this journey digging deeper in a safe space and viewing this through a yogic lens can be beneficial to all.

Each workshop is $45/both for $80.

TULA Members are $40 each/both for $70.


About James Orione:

James has been practicing yoga for 8 years, having a foundation in Yoga Nidra, Yin and Restorative styles, which progressed to incorporate asana combined with vinyasa, pranayama, meditation and mantra. He completed his 200 hr RYT yoga teacher training at the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA.

James aims to create a safe space to explore yoga with open and accessible classes for students who are diverse in gender, race, religion, age and ability. As an African American male he feels it is important to create access and opportunities for people of color to explore yoga. Yoga has the ability to loosen the hold of trauma, in any form, that prevents us from living our lives to its fullest. 

He teaches in the Himalayan tradition, rooted in dynamic and flowing sequences of asanas, a strong emphasis on diaphragmatic breathing, pranayama and systematic relaxation. Over the course of his classes students will cultivate a deeper connection with the breath and the body. You can practice more with James at One Yoga in South Minneapolis and Johnson Street Yoga in Northeast Minneapolis.