Tuesday September 22nd, 2020
Hello friends. Today small golden leaves were swirling down from the honey locust trees by the street and landing in my yard. After the past few weeks I really appreciated the chance to sit in gentle sunlight for a bit, just watching them dance… I hope that this fall will also bring you moments of peace and presence in the midst of so much change. If you have experienced loss, or fear, or other hardships in these rocky months, I wish you ease and healing.
Most of the free online yoga classes that I have been teaching weekly through the pandemic have now switched over to being offered through Madison School Community Recreation, or MSCR Fitness. You can learn more about these virtual classes by scrolling further down this page; you can also register for them at any time for a pro-rated cost, here: https://apm.activecommunities.com/mscractivenet
If the cost of these classes would be a financial burden to you at this point, I believe that you can request scholarships from MSCR as well!
Current free online yoga classes (for class descriptions please scroll down further)
Mondays 10:30 am Gentle Yoga (free, ongoing): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86538941861 Passcode: greenroot
Martes / Tuesday 8 pm en Madison / 7 pm, hora de El Salvador: Yoga para el Sueño, (gratuita / free) :https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89934245112?pwd=RjZyV0JpQXBaSXNWLzltbmNIajJzZz09. Contraseña: greenroot
Wednesdays 7 pm: Mindful Yoga for stress relief (free, ongoing): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88280449664?pwd=QWJuUHBicmVoN2lzekcvbjRQWmlNUT09. Passcode: greenroot.
Sábado / Saturdays 11:30 am en Madison / 10:30 am, hora de El Salvador: Yoga Suave para Aliviar el Estrés (gratuita / free): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82196943125 Contraseña: greenroot
If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. –Lilla Watson, Aboriginal elder, activist and educator from Queensland, Australia.
Love and best wishes to you, as we move through these wild and unusual times.
Even after decades of yearning and learning and working towards racial justice and reparations—really really imperfectly, pretty steadily—I still get inarticulate when I try to talk about these things. So I’ll just say that along with raw grief and fear over the latest deaths of so many Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people from police violence and Covid 19, I find unexpected hope in seeing how many people are contributing now, in so many different ways, to ending the violence and racial injustice embedded in our culture and its institutions.
I stand with them, and with the people seeking ways to make this movement grow and become sustainable.
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Sometimes urgent action is needed: in a pandemic, or in the streets, when people’s lives are in immediate danger. But even in contexts of ongoing danger, our bodies, hearts, and minds also need to release tension and find ways to rest. So I like to offer space for people to do that, even if it’s online… Ways to connect with their bodies, to ease into movement and then settle into rest.
I know that yoga isn’t for everybody. I’m often uncomfortable with the commodified culture of yoga in the US. I’m also aware that some people consider any yoga being taught outside of Indian culture as a form of cultural appropriation. I try to learn from people about this, and to teach yoga in ways that are respectful of its original cultures and background.
I appreciate and feel so much gratitude for the long history of yoga in India: for the practitioners who carried it forward and developed it, and for the many diverse paths that they travelled with yoga over time, first in India and then out into other areas of the world. I appreciate the value of yoga as preventive health care, medicine, support for mental wellness, and as a system of practices that can strengthen a sense of self-determination, freedom, connection, and solidarity with the world around us.
So I want yoga to be accessible to anyone who wants to try it. For people of different backgrounds and histories and bodies of all kinds. Inexpensively or for free, whenever possible.
If you would like to try a free online yoga class with me, you can find links and updates for them by scrolling further down this page.
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Free Online Yoga Classes
Why offer free online yoga classes during a pandemic?
Offering these community classes helps me stay centered in my body and connected with other people in ways that matter to me, and it feels like a helpful thing to do. Some days quite a lot of people show up, and other days one or two. Either way I like holding space for people to practice yoga together, and as long as people keep coming to these sessions, I will keep offering them.
Still, many people depend on being paid to teach yoga. If you can afford to take their classes and support them, I encourage you to do that. But if what you could most use right now is some yoga sessions without any economic activity attached, please feel completely welcome to join me for free. So far I am still really fortunate to be making my living through my work with Dane County Comprehensive Community Services program, sharing one-on-one yoga sessions online with people on Medicaid.
So: you’re completely welcome to participate in any of the free community classes for free. If you’d like to make a donation, here are some good places where you could do that:
MACH1 Health (street clinics for people in Madison without housing) at: http://machonehealth.org/donate/.
The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, at https://www.gofundme.com/f/blackwomenswellnesscenter
ROOTS4Change Farm to Families fund, at: https://roots4change.coop/farm-to-families-fund/
All of the yoga classes I teach are informed by my training and certification in Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY), emphasizing skills that can minimize the long-term neurological and whole-body impact of overwhelming experiences, helping to strengthen resilience, immunity, and general well-being.
Online yoga sessions, Fall 2020
For all of these online yoga sessions you’ll need to first download the free Zoom app here: https://zoom.us/pricing . For all of my free community yoga classes on Zoom, in English or in Spanish, the passcode is greenroot.
Mondays / Lunes
10:30 am Gentle Yoga (free, ongoing): A gentle yoga practice to develop flexibility, strength, balance, and a sense of calm for your body, heart, and mind. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86538941861 passcode: greenroot
7 pm, Yin Yoga through MSCR Fitness 9/14 – 11/23: Long-held mindful stretches sitting and lying down, to increase flexibility and encourage a sense of ease and peacefulness. You can register for MSCR online classes here: https://apm.activecommunities.com/mscractivenet
Tuesdays / Martes
10:30 – 11:30 am Gentle Yoga for 50+, through MSCR Goodman Rotary Fitness, 9/8 – 11/24: A gentle yoga practice to develop flexibility, strength, balance, and a sense of calm for your body, heart, and mind. You can register for MSCR online classes here: https://apm.activecommunities.com/mscractivenet
Martes / Tuesdays 8 pm (7 pm, hora de El Salvador) Yoga para el Sueño (gratuita), cada semana, every week: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89934245112?pwd=RjZyV0JpQXBaSXNWLzltbmNIajJzZz09. Contraseña: greenroot
Wednesdays / Miércoles
7 pm Simple yoga for stress relief: free ongoing weekly classes: Designed to support mental health and well-being, these sessions offer nothing extraneous–no poems, no singing, just a quiet practice of mindful movement, to help release stress, and to strengthen connections and integration in your nervous system. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88280449664?pwd=QWJuUHBicmVoN2lzekcvbjRQWmlNUT09 passcode greenroot
Thursdays / Jueves
10 am Yoga Flow through MSCR Fitness, 9/10 – 11/19 A flowing yoga practice to generate energy, and strengthen and stretch the whole body; you can register for MSCR online classes here: https://apm.activecommunities.com/mscractivenet
7:15 pm Yin Yoga through MSCR Fitness, 9/10 – 11/19 Long-held mindful stretches sitting and lying down, to increase flexibility and encourage a sense of ease and peacefulness. You can register for MSCR online sessions here: https://apm.activecommunities.com/mscractivenet
Saturdays / Sábado
10:15 am Yin Yoga through MSCR Fitness, 9/12 – 11/21. Long-held mindful stretches sitting and lying down, to increase flexibility and encourage a sense of ease and peacefulness. You can register for these online sessions here: https://apm.activecommunities.com/mscractivenet/
11:30 am Yoga Suave para Aliviar el Estrés (gratuita; 10:30 am, hora de El Salvador): Hatha yoga parado, sentado, y acostado en un tapete o colchoneta, para aliviar el estrés, fortalecer el sistema inmunológico, y aumentar el bienestar. Centrado en las prácticas de Trauma Center Yoga Sensible al Trauma (TC-YST) que incluyen escoger entre opciones de movimiento; atención a sensaciones en el cuerpo (interocepción); atención plena en el presente; crear ritmos de movimiento; y poner atención en el paso del tiempo. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82196943125 contraseña: greenroot
More free resources:
Web page devoted to the neurobiology of trauma and healing: https://clarenorelle.com/trauma-and-healing-in-the-body/
Yin Yoga video, from the first online yin yoga session that I led on March 16th: https://youtu.be/T0ySZNxtc-I
For families with young children: This is a video recording of an online family concert that I did on March 18th. The resolution & lighting aren’t great, but it’s some fun music for younger children, with some yoga mixed in….and kids who have been in family yoga classes with me might enjoy it.
Two free mp3 audio recordings of gentle trauma-sensitive yoga practices you might try:
Gentle trauma-sensitive yoga, sitting in a chair
Gentle trauma-sensitive yoga resting practice
Some extremely informal yoga videos that I made last year in Spanish; I hope to post some new links to English language videos soon:
Yoga Suave parte 1: https://youtu.be/4oDlZCeFeD0
Yoga Suave parte 2: https://youtu.be/HPBzcFTa7ts
Yoga Suave parte 3: https://youtu.be/ns4UFjpKhuI
Yoga Suave parte 4: https://youtu.be/RTqFCkFGH8s
Slideshows on Complex Trauma and Body-Centered Healing:
Part 1 What is trauma? / Trauma in the nervous system
Part 2 Neuroplasticity, and trauma in the brain
Part 3 Trauma vulnerability and resilience / Kinds of trauma
Part 4 Body-centered approaches to healing complex trauma
Part 5 Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, and other healing resources
The world is full of beauty, magic, miracles, and patterns that induce wonder… Emergence is one of the best concepts I have learned for discussing this wonder. Emergence emphasizes critical connections over critical mass, building authentic relationships, listening with all the senses of the body and the mind.
The crisis is everywhere, massive massive massive. And we are small.
But emergence notices the way small actions and connections create complex systems, patterns that become ecosystems and societies. Emergence is our inheritance as a part of this universe; it is how we change. Emergent strategy is how we intentionally change in ways that grow our capacity to embody the just and liberated worlds we long for.
adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy