Bending Towards Justice diversity social justice and inclusion trainings for yoga teachers



Other Workshop Offerings

Please let me know if you're a studio owner or member of an organization interested in hosting one of these workshops, or a community member interested in attending one of these next time it is offered. You can always
sign up for my mailing list to get the latest updates!


I also work with an organization called Bending Towards Justice to offer social justice, inclusion, and diversity trainings for yoga teachers and Yoga Teacher Trainings.

Check out the Bending Towards Justice website to learn more;

we'd love to hear from you!








**Most standard workshops are four hours, but most can also be offered in variations as short as two hours, or as long as a full weekend**


**These workshop titles and descriptions are samples. I offer workshops and facilitation around many topics in yoga and social justice, trauma-informed yoga and somatics, examining privilege, inclusive teaching and languaging, accessible asana, body positivity, self-care and resilience skills for activists, organizers, and healers, and teaching for justice. If you're interested in bringing me in to teach any of these topics, just reach out and let's chat.**

Sample workshop titles and themes:

(descriptions below)

Diversity Training for Yoga Teachers:
Recognizing the Personal, Historic, and Institutional on the Way to Oneness
(with Jacoby Ballard, through Bending Towards Justice)

Workshop Segments Included in Diversity Training for Yoga Teachers:

  • A Conversation on Yoga and Social Justice with Jacoby Ballard and RW Alves
  • Identity, Privilege, and Bias
  • Language as Allyship
  • Teaching Yoga for Justice


Embodied Allyship: Practicing Skills, Moving Towards Justice, Shifting from Awareness into Action


Yoga for Body Liberation: Befriending Our Bodies, Building Body Positivity


Svadhyaya:
Acknowledging Privilege, Checking Bias, Exploring Identity


Know Self to No Self: Acknowledging Privilege, Checking Bias, Exploring Identity in Spiritual Practice and Beyond (with Genevieve Hicks)


Past Workshop Sample Descriptions:
Diversity Training for Yoga Teachers:

Recognizing the Personal, Historic, and Institutional on the Way to Oneness
(with Jacoby Ballard,

through Bending Towards Justice)

This weekend training recognizes and promotes the potential of yoga-- both yogic teachings and practices-- to create a just and fair world, both individually and culturally. The very Yamas of the eight limbs of yoga direct us to non-violence, integrity, non-greed, non-stealing, and moderation and focusing of our energy.

As yoga teachers, we are asked and expected to hold a lot-- the hearts, souls and bodies of anyone who walks through our doors-- and we are often not equipped to skillfully acknowledge, hold, and heal the dynamics of difference that are inevitably present in the room. In this training, we will plunge deeply into an exploration of who we are individually, how our identities inform our experiences and teaching, how we may unconsciously participate in dynamics of oppression, and how we can consciously show up in practices of alliance within the yoga classroom.

Using yogic philosophies, self-reflection, social justice frameworks, and activities, we will deeply explore what it takes to truly hold spaces for people with diverse identities, backgrounds, and bodies to feel welcomed in the practice of yoga. We will examine our own identities and biases, consider skillful language and action, and learn more about language and actions which may be harmful to different communities that we may not have been exposed to before. This is a moment to dig deep, sharpen our awareness, and broaden our hearts, for the benefit of all students who may walk through the doors to our classrooms, who deserve to be held well. This training, either the whole weekend or the individual workshops, is for anyone who wants more tools, for anyone who has messed up or hurt someone, for anyone who feels unseen, dismissed, or injured in the yoga classroom.


Detailed Description of Workshop Segments from
Diversity Training for Yoga Teachers

(through Bending Towards Justice):


A Conversation on Yoga and Social Justice with Jacoby Ballard and RW Alves

What does it mean to teach yoga for justice? How can I use language in my yoga classes in ways that are more welcoming and that don’t perpetuate marginalization? Why do people keep bringing up cultural appropriation? Come engage with questions of social justice and yoga through a facilitated conversation. We’ll start with reflections from the facilitators, and then move into creating space for dialogue between facilitators and participants, and among participants, in service of creating more inclusive, welcoming, and justice-oriented yoga spaces for all.

 Identity, Privilege, and Bias
This full-day workshop on identity, privilege, bias, and injustice as it plays out in our individual lives and interactions, as well as within the space of our teaching and yoga studios. We’ll spend some time exploring our own identities and experiences and how these fit into larger societal structures and dynamics, then shift our lens towards how these dynamics and injustices can play out in our teaching, and discuss skills and practices to move towards supporting diversity in our classes and showing up for justice in our teaching.
 
Language as Allyship
In this workshop, we will dive deep into looking at how the language we use in yoga classes can unintentionally marginalize and harm, and how we can become more skillful in our language in order to create alliance and more welcoming spaces for all in yoga classes and studios. We will contrast potentially harming or marginalizing language with more welcoming or liberatory language, and we will get a chance to reflect on our own skill and experiences with languaging yoga classes, as well as leave the workshop with more nuanced understanding, and more tools and points for further exploration.

Teaching Yoga for Justice
How can we show up differently for our students and ourselves? How can we move towards justice in places in our practice and our teaching that may have been challenging to us in the past? Here we will bring together our individual self-reflection work, our understandings of institutional and systemic bias and privilege, and all of our other conversations and explorations up until this point to explore practices and tools for welcoming and holding space for the whole diversity of humanity that may come through our doors-- truly moving towards and committing to teaching yoga for justice.

Svadhyaya:

Acknowledging Privilege, Checking Bias, Exploring Identity

Are you interested in the intersections of social justice and yoga? Do you want to explore how our identities, backgrounds, and privilege operate in yoga and spiritual communities, and how we might do our own self-study to create more inclusive and welcoming spaces? Do you long to engage with questions of justice and inclusion from an orientation of love, compassion, and spiritual practice?

In this workshop we will create a safe space for people to examine and deepen their understanding and awareness of their own identities, experiences, backgrounds and biases, explore how these may play out in our lives, communities, and society, and learn and practice skills that build compassion and inclusion. Using the framework of yoga philosophy and spiritual practice, we will explore questions of inclusion, bias, and identity within our communities.

Participants will come away from the workshop with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how issues of identity and privilege may express themselves, some tools and continuing conversations on how to practice inclusion and justice (and what that might look like in our spiritual practice and communities), and an introduction to other resources for continuing study and engagement for moving towards justice and inclusion from an orientation of love, compassion, and spiritual practice.



Embodied Allyship: Practicing Skills, Moving Towards Justice, Shifting from Awareness into Action

Do you want to:

*move towards social justice in your words & actions?
*practice using embodiment skills to show up as your full self in challenging interactions & situations?
*practice having the hard conversations & speaking up in those situations where you tend to freeze?

*vision, brainstorm, & create supportive community focused on moving from awareness into action?


Have you ever seen something happen or heard someone say something that you wanted to respond to—but you froze instead? Have you heard people making derogatory jokes or comments and been unsure how to respond or what to do? When you’re confronted with such situations, do you tend to shut down or to become so filled with rage that you’re unable to act or intervene effectively? Do you want to ground your responses and reactions to such events in embodied wisdom, compassion, self-possession, and power?

In Embodied Allyship, rooted in an understanding of our own identities and privilege, we will examine what it means to act in allyship, and the patterns, places, and ways in which we may be acting as bystanders rather than allies. Then we’ll experiment with tools, strategies, and exercises from such diverse sources as mindfulness, yoga, trauma therapy and the science of nervous system regulation, Theatre of the Oppressed, and various somatic modalities to envision and practice new and creative ways of approaching intervention points.

Expect to come away from this workshop with new tools and practices, more self-awareness, and a deeper understanding of how our spiritual practices can support and inform our commitment to and action towards justice. Join us to spend time in community practicing what moving towards justice looks and feels like in an embodied, compassionate, passionate, heart-centered, grounded, and ultimately human way.




Yoga for Body Liberation: Befriending Our Bodies, Building Body Positivity


Have you ever wished something about your body was different? And maybe thought that if only that one or two (or five, or ten!) things were different, your life would be automatically better or easier somehow? Or that you would be better somehow?

Do you compare your body to others’ bodies, or to images from media or pop culture?

Have you ever wondered how, as a yoga teacher or anyone else who works with other bodies, your own internalized body shame or insecurity might be showing up in your relationship and work with other people and their bodies?

Let’s break some of that shit down. Come move, explore, journal, share, listen, and build community for body positivity and body liberation!

In this workshop, using tools from The Body Positive, Health at Every Size, yoga, somatics, and journaling, we will explore our relationships with our own bodies, and strengthen our ability to befriend our bodies and find contentedness with our physical form just as it is. We all live in human bodies; let’s spend some time unpacking our relationship with them and nurturing a more positive and loving relationship with them and with ourselves!




Know Self to No Self: Acknowledging Privilege, Checking Bias, Exploring Identity in Spiritual Practice and Beyond (with Genevieve Hicks)

Are you interested in the intersections of social justice and spiritual practice? Do you want to dive into and learn more about social justice as part of The Five Mindfulness Trainings of Thich Nhat Hanh? Do you want to explore how our identities, backgrounds, and privilege operate in our spiritual communities, and how we might do our own work to create more inclusive and welcoming spaces? Do you long to engage with questions of justice and inclusion from an orientation of love, compassion, and spiritual practice?

In this workshop, we will create a brave space for people to examine and deepen their understanding and awareness of their own identities, backgrounds and biases, and explore how these may play out in our lives, communities, spiritual practices, and society. We will learn and practice skills that build compassion and understanding, grounding our conversations in spiritual practice. Using the framework of Engaged Buddhism, the Five Mindfulness Practices, and spiritual practice in general, we will explore questions of inclusion, bias, and identity within our communities. How can we find and access union without first acknowledging and understanding the things that keep us apart?

Participants will come away from the workshop with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how issues of identity and privilege may express themselves, a sense of deepening community, some tools and continuing conversations on how to practice inclusion and justice (and what that might look like in our spiritual practice and communities), and an introduction to other resources for continuing study and engagement for moving towards justice and inclusion from an orientation of love, compassion, and spiritual practice.