105: Yoga And Social Justice with Jivana Heyman

The historical teachings of yoga have incredible lessons for our modern world. Understanding and unpacking the ancient teachings is a lifelong process, and those of us lucky enough to practice, study and teach yoga must investigate how these teachings can shape our worldview.

The bottom line is that the teachings of yoga point towards care of the collective as a path to enlightenment. The liberation of all beings (including ourselves) is where my personal study has led me over and over again. In our world today, that often looks like what we call social justice. 

We are incredibly lucky to welcome Jivana Heyman (he/him) back to the podcast today to talk to us about his new book, Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage and Compassion.

Jivana Heyman, is the founder and director of Accessible Yoga, an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the yoga teachings. Jivana has specialized in teaching yoga to people with disabilities with an emphasis on community building and social engagement. Out of this work, the Accessible Yoga organization was created to support education, training and advocacy with the mission of shifting the public perception of yoga. 

Over the past 25 years, Jivana has led countless yoga teacher training programs around the world, and dedicates his time to supporting yoga teachers who are working to serve communities that are under-represented in traditional yoga spaces

You can listen to our previous episode…70: Yoga, Human Rights, and Accessibility with Jivana Heyman right here!

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • why true wellness can only exist in community and what brought Jivana to this work initially
  • a common misunderstanding that making yoga accessible means you have to adapt or modify the practices
  • the important teachings that offer a way for us to clearly see our own oppression and the way we may be oppressing others
  • the complicated story of Jivana’s relationship with his teacher Swami Satchidananda
  • what must replace the guru-disciple relationship in post-lineage yoga 
  • why spiritual power without service Is simply power and how this shows up in our contemporary yoga communities
  • some practical ways to make sure our students feel they have full agency over their body, and the choices they make about how to move (or not move) it

Learn More From Jivana:

This episode is sponsored by OfferingTree!   Sign up at www.offeringtree.com/mentor to get 50% off your first three months (or 15% off any annual plan).  With OfferingTree, yoga teachers put their schedule on a personally branded website where students can book classes and even pay or donate online.  All of this can be set up in 10 minutes or less.  OfferingTree supports me with each sign-up.

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