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“mighty work”

Corporeal healing.

The image below is from dream hampton’s Facebook feed. For those of you who don’t have access, or don’t want to go to Facebook anytime soon, I’ve quoted her caption below the image. The pain here is visceral but, I’d like to think, so is the healing. The regenerating and readying to fight for change.



Yesterday I got a call from my sister Cheeraz Gormon in St. Louis who was standing with poet Elizabeth Vega. They wanted me to know that a few women had created, on lawns, in the streets, healing stations, a place where the youth could come and scream and cry and be held and heard in love. Mighty work.



not-so-simple steps

While it’s difficult to take a blog post titled “101 Steps to a Simpler Life” seriously, it made for interesting enough reading that I wanted to share it here.  There were some gems that I could only think were included for entertainment value:

10. Get rid of major appliances.

My fridge? Seriously?
I find it especially funny that this blog is on the site of a company that sells appliances.

30. Check your email only twice a day.

Hahahahaha!…aaahhh…excuse me while I wipe the tears from my eyes on this one… Continue reading not-so-simple steps

What do you love?

The folks at JacksGap, an online blog and video project, asked their readers and friends the question “What do you love?” Participants sent in Skype video messages to answer the question. JacksGap reports receiving “over 2500 submissions from twenty different countries in fifteen different languages.” The best part? It reminds us that there are so many ways that despite our differences, real or imagined, we have similar experiences of this being human…

Time to Fly!

Kelly and Bernadette
Me providing support for my fellow teacher in training, Bernadette Wan Pacana.

Congratulations to my fellow graduates of the Spring 2014 500-hour Yogaworks teacher training program! We’ve been building a solid foundation and now it’s time to fly! Thank you guys for your encouragement, company, and spirit for the past six months.

The Future of Yoga Summit

Conferences seem to be (or be becoming) as popular in the yoga world as in the academic world. In the latter it’s more about attending than presenting, but nevertheless, they both generally involve relatively high registration fees and travel costs (or hoping that the one you want to attend is happening close by).

The Future of Yoga Summit (August 4-6) is free and requires no travel, no matter where you are. I haven’t registered yet so I don’t know what hidden costs might exist (and already I’ve noticed an “upgrade” option so there is money involved somewhere), but it seems a straightforward online summit about the state of yoga today and where some practitioners/leaders in the field would like to take it. The home page offers the following topics for the summit:

  • What’s revolutionary in the world of yoga – and where it’s headed
  • Exciting ways yoga can help transform culture and societal structures
  • Yogic wisdom for maintaining peace when facing social injustice
  • Ways yoga is contributing to resilience in youth and health and healing for ALL
  • How women’s experience transformed yoga in the contemporary world
  • The ways the Internet and technology is shaping yoga
  • The role of the guru, especially in light of scandals with prominent teachers
  • The most hopeful developments we’re experiencing in yoga today
  • Ways you can best contribute to yoga’s potential to bring positive change

A lot to cover in a few days, but doable in an online format. The list of featured speakers is fairly impressive and includes Cyndi Lee, Sean Corn, Hala Khouri, Suzanne Sterling, Judith Hanson Lasater, Richard Miller, and Shiva Rea.

It seems to be as geared toward regular practitioners (of all levels) as well as teachers and studio owners. Should be interesting. Will report back on what I’ve learned from my living room.

I was an English teacher…

"I was an English teacher. The demands of the system required that I give out grades, but I never felt good about it. How do you grade someone’s writing? Writing is about revision. It’s about access to self. If a student writes a poem, and it’s the best they can do at the moment, how are you supposed to compare that to the student sitting next to them? How are you supposed to give one a 90, and one an 85?" Source:
“I was an English teacher. The demands of the system required that I give out grades, but I never felt good about it. How do you grade someone’s writing? Writing is about revision. It’s about access to self. If a student writes a poem, and it’s the best they can do at the moment, how are you supposed to compare that to the student sitting next to them? How are you supposed to give one a 90, and one an 85?”

Site Spotlight: Aware of Awareness

Last week I met up with Crystal Fleming, who runs Aware of Awareness, a site for “Musings on Spirituality, Academia & Well-Being.” Crystal’s academic work “draws upon cultural sociology to explore how people interpret and respond to oppression” and her new project will look at people of color in the yoga/meditation/mindfulness community.

Crystal participated in the June yogathon I pulled together this year and it was a treat to finally meet her in person. We sat for hours discussing the various intersections of identity that we manage as academics of color with a dedicated contemplative practice.

I first “met” Crystal via Twitter – doesn’t Twitter always know when you should know some one? – and I take her site as an example of how we can marry these seemingly separate parts of our professional and personal lives. Aware of Awareness is a bold statement about the ways in which these parts are not actually, or always, separate. We can be professor, scholar, sociologist and irreverent, fly fashionista and contemplative, spiritual practitioner and angry, black woman and starry-eyed, love-struck idealist and….

From the first post on the blog (June 2012, “Popping This Blog’s Cherry”):

This blog is a space for me to share realizations, questions and musings related to spirituality.  It is inevitable not impossible that you may also stumble over posts about academia, France, thrifty fashion, cooking, champagne, cigars, social theory, activism, Mad Men and the existential angst of Blackness.

My spiritual practice draws upon two main principles at the core of a variety of Western and Eastern traditions:

(1) We are all interconnected

(2) What is real in existence is the conscious experience of the present moment

I love Crystal’s irreverence and the myriad things I can find of interest in just this one site – I can especially get lost in her posts in the “Poppin’ Tags” category about her thrift store hauls. Those of you who cook might also like her “Vegan Recipes” section. But it’s best to just go for fun, with an open mind about what you might find today.

PS – I find the following note at the end of her About page totally stealable:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Given that I am a tenure track professor, please know and understand that while I love your comments and connecting with readers, I am not able to post and reply as often as I would like, particularly during the academic year.

Jillian Pransky at TEDxNavesink

One of the guest teachers in my 500-hour yoga teacher training program, the gracious and generous Jillian Pransky, gave a talk recently at TEDxNavesink. In this talk, titled “Mindplay to Expand Love in Your Life,” Jillian explains the benefits of metta meditation and leads the audience in a short practice.

Jillian’s easy charisma and her willingness to weave anecdotes from her own life alongside words from teachers such as Pema Chodron make the practice and the philosophy behind it accessible for audience members at all levels of experience with meditation. The talk is less than 12 minutes, but could easily be the highlight of your day today.