Is Yoga a “White Exercise Class”?

white people doing yoga

Image: From the exhibition #whitepeopledoingyoga Artist Chiraag Bhakta Glancing into a typical US yoga studio window, you would think Yoga equals a “white exercise class,” as Skill in Action author Michelle C Johnson has termed it. Now is the moment, more than ever, that yoga is called to take the opportunity to interrogate, and further […]

Is a hot yoga room the best for yoga?

If there were one “right” answer for the questions about hot yoga or yoga in heated rooms, that would be great! I wish I had it. Once again, the response everyone loves: “It depends…” The beauty of yoga today in the U.S., and perhaps especially in Western Massachusetts, is that you can find your yoga […]

Yoga at Community College

At the community college this past Monday, I co-led a class for high school-to-college students, ages 17 – early 20s. These students, as my colleague stated, “would likely never go to Kripalu, or even step inside a yoga studio.” As you can imagine, many were shy about taking the poses. There was a lot of […]

Keeping it clean

This weekend, I washed the yoga blankets I use for my classes at the Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center. While they were not “dirty” at all, it’s part of my practice to keep the yoga props in very good order – neat and clean. This is saucha, the Niyama or Patanjali’s yogic limb of observances, translated […]

Yoga for Bone Density

A study reported in the NY Times gave some positive support for yoga as a way to support bone density. The poses they suggest are the following: “tree, triangle, warrior II, side-angle, twisted [revolved] triangle, locust, bridge, supine hand-to-foot I, supine hand-to-foot II, straight-legged twist, bent-knee twist and corpse pose. Each pose was held for […]

Offering II

In yogic philosophy, the Niyama (observance) of Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion) calls one to offer the fruits of practice to something greater than oneself. That is, centralizing all benefits of actions to one’s own betterment will limit that benefit. This is discussed in Buddhist practice as “dedicating the merit.” Whatever practice one does can immediately be […]