79: Embracing Yoga’s Roots, Studentship and Anti-Racism Work with Susanna Barkataki

My friend Susanna Barkataki has written a book called Embrace Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice and it is excellent. It is inspiring, galvanizing, a rallying cry. In this episode we talk all about what it really means to embrace yoga’s roots and how to integrate our values into our teaching and respect the tradition and culture that yoga comes from. 

If you don’t already know Susanna and her work, you must! We did a deep dive into cultural appropriation in this earlier podcast episode: 54: Unpacking Cultural Appropriation with Susanna Barkataki. An Indian yoga practitioner in the Shankaracharya tradition, Susanna Barkataki is the founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute and runs Ignite Be Well 200/500 Yoga Training programs. She is an E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • why understanding yoga philosophy as an agent for social change matters now more than ever
  • a deep dive into appropriation including specific examples like:
    •  the double-sided coin of glamorization and sterilization
    • how to stay away from both white centering and tokenization
  • how to process feelings of discomfort when doing anti-racism work
  • the ways that yogic teachings can be used to suppress civic engagement and how to avoid that
  • what happens when yoga philosophy is weaponized
  • how the studentship of yoga is a wonderful support in the path of anti-racism and decolonization
  • how we can create conditions for true liberation 

Resources Mentioned in the episode: 

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