Outrage and Transformation: Using It as Fuel
by Swami Jaya Devi
I am a white, female, urban yoga monk and a lifelong civil rights activist. As the spiritual leader and founder of Kashi Atlanta, I strive to create a sanctuary for every human heart. As we collectively grope our way through cataclysmic, heartbreaking times, all of us — of all races, faiths, and genders - must take action together to catalyze real societal change. As we emerge from the initial, shocking experience of a worldwide pandemic, we now enter into a traumatic arena of violence, outrage and protest. The demonstrations we are witnessing in Atlanta and across the country, are shining a light on long-standing injustice and racial inequity. The point of these protests are to wake up a slumbering society, and people, we must awaken.
We can’t “go back to normal” and keep turning a blind eye to racism. Normal for many was the daily experience of bigotry. That is not good enough, America. Inequality cannot stand. Awareness must rise. Throughout American history the political system has paid attention to oppressed, marginalized communities through protest. As a yogi and humanitarian, I am a supporter of powerful, peaceful protest. We at Kashi Atlanta stand in solidarity with brown and black America.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an ardent student of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi‘s teachings on nonviolent social change are based in the yoga tradition of “first do no harm.“ Like the physician’s code of ethics, yogis pledge to uphold non-violence, reverence for all of life, and powerful, soul-revealing truth. The truth in this situation is that our society needs to evolve. Black lives matter, but we currently don’t live in the essence of that truth.
So I have some questions to ask you:
- How can we harness our justifiable anger into peaceful, powerful, effective action?
- How can we use outrage as fuel to change our nation?
- Do you vote?
- Can you be specific about what changes you would like to see in our country’s leadership?
I also have some anti-racist, evolutionary homework for you (and if you are a student of mine you’ll be laughing at me now because I am quite well known for giving homework.)
- Educate yourself. Read “White Fragility” by Robin Diangelo, regardless of your race. It’s an important work on increasing racial awareness and how to have deep, healing conversations. Also: “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla Saad.
- Discuss racism, white privilege and anti-racism with your friends and family, even if it’s uncomfortable. You can’t really change other people but your willingness to have open conversations can change you and how we as a society approach racism and bigotry. You don’t need to do it perfectly. It’s OK to not know how. But use this experience as fuel to learn how.
- Donate to your local Black Lives Matter
With a prayer for powerful, peaceful transformation for our world, where all black lives are seen, loved and valued.
Love, Swami Jaya Devi
with Surya Devi & Joy Flanagan
Enjoy a weekly walking meditation, moving at a moderate pace. We will pay attention to the gift of placing our feet on the earth, and observe the natural beauty in the neighborhood.
Per CDC guidelines, we will practice social distancing. Masks are required to participate and walks are limited to 8 people
Series: $25 · $20 by July 4
Infinity Breath to Create Calm and Open Space
Set your intention to create space to release negative thoughts and connect to the vast formless essence within.
Place hands so the fingertips are touching, fingers separated and palms apart, with a sphere-like space between the hands. Inhale a deep breath through the nose; exhale through the mouth, puckering the lips like you are blowing out a candle.
Then inhale through your mouth still puckering, like drawing air in through a straw. Exhale through your nose. Use very long deep breaths. Continue for 11 minutes. Create space between your thoughts. Feel consciousness expanding within you.
Swami Jaya Devi
We are collecting donations to buy food, help with rent, etc. for people in our community who are in need.
After lots of heart centered discussion and reflection, we have decided to suspend all in person yoga classes at Kashi Atlanta for the time being. As of Tuesday March 17, we are live-streaming ALL of our weekly classes, and no students are permitted in the building to take class. We miss practicing in person so much but feel that our streaming options are the very best and most responsible way to navigate this challenging time.
Now, more than ever, it is important to keep connected and to keep practicing! At Kashi, we are a community that practices and grows together. Please join us online regularly to connect and recreate our intimate community online. It will take focus and stretch us all, but we believe it is worth it.
We are offering special pricing for our online-only classes:
- $10 for Drop-In Class
- $48 for a Six-Class Pass
- $75 for Unlimited Monthly Pass
We are live-streaming five FREE classes a week for all of you facing financial challenges during this time:
- Tuesdays at 4:30 pm · All Levels Yoga
- Fridays at 4:30 pm · All Levels Yoga
- Saturdays at noon · All Levels Yoga
- Sundays at 4:30 pm · All Levels Yoga
- Mondays at 6:00 pm Trans & Queer Yoga with Amala
Register online as you would for a regular class through Wellness Living. Please be sure we have your current phone number! Once you are registered for your class, you will receive a text message with the link and password to the stream 30 minutes before class begins. If you register less than 30 minutes before class, you will receive a text message with the link and password 5 minutes before class begins. If you register less than 5 minutes before class begins, we will try to send you the link and password ASAP.
If you have any trouble at all registering for class please call (404) 687-3353. Our virtual office hours are 9:00 am – 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm – 7:45 pm.
So many people from our community have helped us to mobilize our online streaming and many of you have asked how you can be of service. We thank you and are grateful for your help! Please take really good care of yourselves and please continue to join us for class!